If Steve Carell Can Do It, So Can You! (How Guys Can Transfer Their Wardrobe In 11 Photos)

I get it. You don’t want to look like this guy.

But that doesn’t mean you have to look like this guy either.

Or even worse, this guy.

Lesson learned? Alright, now it’s time to learn how to look like this guy.

Don’t be afraid… this would work too.

So in all seriousness, let’s start with the Basics.

Skinny Ties a must, Plaid/Patterned Button-up Shirts another must, Grey, Navy, or Khaki Blazer check! If you’re not a shopper buy multiples in different colors that you know are uber comfortable. Now onto the next piece of important business…

Skip the Pleats! The guys who avoid the diaper crotch and wear fitted pants always get the girl. Or at least that’s how it works in my fairytales. So stop this very moment and vow never to buy pleated pants again even if they are on sale for $12. I digress. Next…

 Dark Wash Jeans. Not light, not faded glory (no pun intended) but simple dark wash to medium wash jeans. Add some character and roll them up to change your look and show off your cool socks. After all, you’re not fooling anyone. We know you’ve worn those same jeans all this week.

Did I mention to update your Shoes? What about your Socks? This is a simple way to move your teen image into your new 20 something professional state. Yep… I along with everyone else realize that your t-shirt is from your senior class in the year 2000 something, and I think the Salvation Army would like to add it to their collection. As for the details…

It’s easy way for a guy to update his wardrobe! Add a new watch, some new sunglasses, maybe a spankin’ new belt, you guys seriously don’t know how easy you’ve got it. And last but not least…

I know you love your dad, we all do, alright well that sounded creepy. Forget that point, let me try again. You might love your dad, but that doesn’t mean you have to dress like him. If Steve Carell can make the change, so can you.

Welcome to your 20 somethings guys, now let’s make it happen!

P.S. – Don’t forget to add some dark khaki’s (not cargo), t-shirts under blazers, and to mix grey’s and browns together more often than not!

The Ultimate Man Shoe…

While most of my friends tend to joke that it’s my womanly hobby and my wife can’t stand the fact that every room in our house has a pair of shoes hiding in some corner, I pride myself on my taste for shoes (and I have a shit ton). Shoes are one of the best ways a male can accessorize his ensemble.  Besides, wearing the same old shoes every day is just boring.  While I do have quite a collection of wing tips and chukkas, my focus today is on the ultimate man shoe.

After transitioning from the frigid Wisconsin winter to whatever the hell you call this Cincinnati weather, I have found myself in search of a niche, manly shoe to serve a specific role…do anything and everything I need outside.  While my large and chunky winter space boots with Gortex lining might keep your toes from falling off in the Alaskan wilderness, they don’t necessarily jive with the moderate temps this wonderful part of the world gets.

I really needed something that I could slip on in rain, snow, mud, slush, leaves, sewage backup…you know, manly stuff.  Then I remembered my childhood and the awesome L.L. Bean boots my mom bought me! Turns out they still make them and market them towards men.  At first I was a little skeptical, but after reading some of the reviews from life-long Beanies, I bought a pair.  These things are awesome!

Men’s Bean Boots by L.L.Bean®, 8″ Thinsulate

They have served all of my needs thus far, though I haven’t had to deal with the sewage backup yet.  As an added plus, they are stylish enough to wear outside the yard if the weather calls for it.  They come in two basic colors, brown or tan and a variety of ankle heights.  You can also buy them with Thinsulate for an added cost.  My extra plug for the shoes: The full rubber sole is super easy to clean if you happen to step in dog crap.  Not sure you can top that.  Until next time…

Remember, style is choice so make yours,

JK

Attention Guys: Fashion Tips for What to Wear When Your Traveling on a Plane!

Getting stuck in the middle seat on a plane is an absolute nightmare, and attempting to pull off a look with any kind of style is next to impossible unless you change your expectations. When traveling, realize that comfort should be the overwhelming factor of each piece you choose to put on. Going with solid classics will allow you to easily pass through security and keep your temperature under control; yet will be versatile enough for whatever you have planned once you land. Here are my flight must-haves…

Slip on shoes is an absolute must-have. There are no laces to worry about getting stuck in the moving walkway (yes, I’ve seen that) and they are easy to take off in the plane if needed. Lately, I’ve really been into Clarks. They are durable yet comfortable and look great with jeans or khaki pants. I prefer a darker leather as it has a tendency to hide stains or scratches better than lighter colors. These shoes run between $80 and $100, but because they work with so many things, you will get your use out of them.

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My next flight essential is a super soft, jersey cotton v-neck t-shirt. Nordstrom has a really cool store line called Public Opinion that is a little more fitted in the shoulders, but has plenty of room in the body. For about $25, it feels like you’re wearing your favorite broken-in t-shirt from high school with a more grown-up style. You can’t go wrong. When there’s a chance I could go straight from the airport to a nicer dinner, I pack an extra button-down shirt in my carry-on bag. This way, I change in the airport and look fresh at the restaurant. After my last flight, I might also suggest packing an extra shirt no matter where you’re going. I got stuck next to this large dude who had the middle seat. Why are the large dudes always in the middle seats!? Anyways, he looked fine, sat down and took off his jacket. That’s when it hit me…No joke, he smelled like salami! And because he was “rolling” (pun intended) over into my seat, I too smelled like salami the whole ride to the hotel.

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Lastly, I always make sure I bring a fleece pullover. The North Face TKA 100 is a lightweight half zip pullover for $50 that is perfect for flights. You never know if the plane is going to be hot or cold, so layering allows for temperature control so you don’t sweat your ass off. They provide enough warmth if the plane is cold and roll up to fit easily into your carry- on if you take it off. The goal is to prevent huge pit stains when you walk off the jet way. Smelling like Mr. Salami and having pit stains is just bad luck. Until next time…

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Style is a choice so make yours,

J.K. is a 20 something transplant to Cincinnati.  He works for a national engineering firm and is a newcomer to the fashion blogging scene.  Follow J.K.’s style for guys every other Wednesday and post questions on www.realitychicblog.com.

Skinny Pants Are for Teen-Age Skaters Who Think They’re Gangstas

So last week I touched on the fact that the typical work environment is filled with dudes totally lost when it comes to dressing for the office. Unfortunately for guys, most male to male relationships are not conducive to fashion conversations. I get it. On one hand, you have the relentless humiliation from your buddies the instant you ask them where you should go to get your new pea coat, but on the other hand, asking the opinion of the office copy guy is just as sad. Unless laziness is the root cause of your poor clothing choices, there is hope! You just need to be pushed in the right direction.


Let’s start with something easy, pants. I alluded to Rule One in my last blog, NO PLEATED PANTS. Do you really need an explanation? Now, let’s get down to business. Basically, there are three types of cuts for men with variations of each depending on the store.

First, there is the Classic cut, the traditional casual dress pant. It tends to be tapered all through the leg with limited room for movement. In today’s trends, it’s an acceptable looking skinny pant without cutting off circulation to your manhood. This style looks good for shorter guys or guys with athletic runner-type builds.

Second, there is the Regular cut. Same basic look and style as the Classic with more room in the hips as the legs are straight through to the ankles. This is my preferred cut, as I have an average body type. It also looks good without being too constricting while sitting in the office all day.

Third is the Bootcut, an oversized pant that is much larger in the thighs and legs. It’s exactly what it says, bootcut, meant to be worn with boots. If your occupation calls for field work, it’s a viable option as it provides the movement while still looking acceptable in the office. If you’re more often found in a cubicle, I would keep these for the weekend.

Now that you know a little bit about the styles out there, you need to get to the store and try them on. When you’re at J Crew or Banana Republic or the Gap it can be awkward when the sales guys asks if you need help. Although there are exemptions, most of the time he’s working at a retail store with a side agenda to get your number, so use his option, I guarantee he knows the clothing better than you do. Don’t worry about the color right away, but grab a few different cuts to try on and see how you like them. Go for comfort, and if you really like a particular pair you might want to pick up more than one.
 
Quick Notes:  These types of pants tend to shrink a lot after the first wash so try going up one size to save the frustration of squeezing your beer gut into your brand new purchase. And don’t even think about rolling up the bottom of your pants as seen in these photos. They are just trying to show off the shoes, so you’ll buy those too.
 
Remember, style is a choice so make yours.

J.K. is a 20 something transplant to Cincinnati.  He works for a national engineering firm and is a newcomer to the fashion blogging scene.  Follow J.K.’s style for guys every other Wednesday and post questions on www.realitychicblog.com.

 

BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW!! Everything Your Guy Needs To Know About Fashion, Brought To You By: A 20 Something Guy

In the land of light wash jeans and St. John’s Bay polo shirts is also a 20 something guy that should transition his style. While I’d like to think most want to improve upon their 16 year-old closet hoarding overwashed or Hollister polos, many don’t even know where to start, what to wear, how to wear it, or where to buy it. So I’ve brought in J.K. (a 20 something stylish yet realistic guy) to sort of solve your man problems. And by that, I mean teach you or your guy how to dress. Catch his tips every other Wednesday under “Your Guy’s Fashion”! -Erin

 

Cashmere cardigans and Italian-made leather loafers don’t exactly jive with my unofficial work dress code which calls for Redwing work boots and Carhartt utility pants.  I’m a 26-year-old engineer with a little bit of fashion sense stuck for 8 hours a day in a place that seems to only attract worn-out polo shirts as bland as the office wall and pleated khaki pants!  By the way, no one under the age of 78 should ever wear pleated pants…and even then, it’s a questionable decision!  End of story!

I manage through the daily ridicule as my co-workers bust up trying to guess the exact color of the sweater I’m sporting.  “Periwinkle!  No, it’s got to be fuchsia.”  I reply and say, “It’s just regular purple.”  Actually, it’s a Merino wool, heathered purple v-neck from the latest J. Crew collection. I choose not to divulge the commentary and go on with my day.

On the drive home, I replay the events of today’s purple-sweater-gate.  Is it the fact that I’m too progressive in my fashion style or is it that other men have no idea how to look good?  I’d like to think it’s a little of both, leaning more toward the latter.  While I do pride myself in the fact that I look good when I step out of the house, I still want other people to look good too.  Your style is your first impression to the world.  When you look good, you feel good and other people notice.

As a guy starts to develop his style, the single most important item to address is the fit of the clothes.   Most of the high-end designer threads are not made for the average guy.  Unless you think the average guy is five foot nothing and weighs less than a buck fifty.  Over the next few posts I’m going to be diving into setting up your work wardrobe, from shirts to shoes, and will talk about the fit of each item.  Follow my lead and you will be looking your best in no time.

Style is a choice, so make yours.

 

J.K. is a 20 something transplant to Cincinnati.  He works for a national engineering firm and is a newcomer to the fashion blogging scene.  Follow J.K.’s style for guys every other Wednesday and post questions on www.realitychicblog.com.

Guys: Need a Suit? Read This First!

When Reality Chic asked if I could write a post about how to buy a men’s suit, I said “Of course!  Absolutely!”  Truth is, I didn’t have the slightest idea how to buy a men’s suit, let alone how to advise you to buy one.

But I’m a resourceful woman and knew exactly where to go in search of answers.  I went straight to my house of worship: Nordstrom.  And there, I found answers.  A very helpful saleswoman dropped knowledge on me and now I will drop it on you.

First, why do you need a suit?  If you’re just out of college and searching for your first job, you need a suit for interviewing.  Even if you land a job that doesn’t require you to wear a suit every day, or at all, a good suit will still come in handy – special events, weddings, The Big Date(s).  Just as a little black dress is for women, a good suit is a necessary part of any well-dressed man’s wardrobe.  Also, women dig a man in a great suit.  Trust.

One more thing, before I go any further,  you will have to try on suits. Plural.  As in more than one.  I know you don’t want to.  I know you’d sooner watch paint dry.  My heartfelt advice to you is to suck it up and deal.  Now, on to the dropping of knowledge.

Men’s suits are wool or wool blend.  If you live in a hot climate, a wool/silk blend is a lighter weight fabric and more comfortable year-round.  Wool/silk blends are also a smoother texture than 100% wool, if you care about that kind of thing.

You have two options in the cut of your suit: American or European.  The American, or traditional, cut is fuller.  The European cut is a trimmer fit.   Many younger men are opting for the European style.  As for single- vs. double-breasted, they don’t even sell double-breasted suits at Nordstrom.  So, there you go.

Suit sizes come in Short, Regular and Tall.  If you’re 5’9” or shorter, they’ll put you in a Short.  If you’re 5’10” to 6’1”, you’re a Regular.  Anyone over 6’2” is a Tall.  The salesclerk will also measure your shoulder and chest circumferences to nail down a jacket size.

If you can swing it, purchase two suits – in navy and dark, charcoal gray.  Notice: not black.  Unless you’re interviewing for a position with a mob family, black is a bit severe.

Choose a suit with simple lines and stay away from anything trendy, like topstitching or crazy colors, which will likely go out of style quickly.  A well-made suit with classic lines is an investment that you will wear for five or six years if you care for it properly.  A trendy suit could be out of style by the time you walk out of the store with it.

These are examples of classically-lined suits in navy and charcoal gray:

So, how much will this investment set you back?  A quality suit can cost $700-900.  But keep in mind there are many options, and price points, for suits.  Wherever you go, remember the guidelines here and consider cost-per-wear, which is what I do when I’m thinking about buying (yet another) fabulous purse.  Think about how often you’ll wear your suit over the next 5 years – not to mention how handsome you will look in it – and the cost per wear comes down to a reasonable amount, which will enable you to sleep at night without fear of financial ruin.

That’s it, my friend.  You now have the knowledge.  Go forth and find your suit!

 

Felicia Biggins is a personal stylist in Austin TX who wants to rid the world of pantyhose, cheap flip flops and leggings worn as pants. Her blog, The New Black, is at www.feliciabiggins.wordpress.com and you can follow her on Twitter at @fbigg.

Check out Reality Chic’s Your Guy’s Style Guide every Thursday!

Manpacks: Putting Your Mom Out of Business!

Have you ever wondered how often your guy buys new underwear? What about those white tees or other essentials for a mandrobe?

Thinking about manpacks isn’t something I sit around daily and do, but today is a little different. If you’re a 20 something guy with your mom as your main underwear supplier I’ve got the perfect brand for you, MANPACKS!

While they claim their saving precious man time for _____. (fill in blank) I believe their actually helping out girlfriends, wives, & moms everywhere. A lot of guys prefer not to shop which means if their underwear has a hole, they continue to wear it. However, it’s the women that suffer here!

Holey underwear and yellow arm pit tees are not only disgusting but vomit worthy. So thanks to Manpacks, there is now a system created by fellow men that got your back or at the least your hole!

Here’s How it Works:

1. Choose Thine Undies!

Choose from the selection of essentials & set up an account.

2. Adjust Your Package

Add whatever to an order, and they will ship it to you.

3. 3 Months Pass…

They’ll send you an e-mail reminder for your next shipment. You can change it or leave it then hit “Ship Now” for another package.

 

Check out Manpacks for more details.

Don’t Forget to Forward, Tweet, or Facebook a Male in Need!

What’s Your Thoughts on Manpacks.com?

Check Back in a Few Weeks for an Official Manpacks Review!

Does Your Guy Commit a Serious Style Crime?

How to Dress Your Guy

Often times, guys don’t get fashion. And that’s okay! Who really wants to have a discussion about what Justin Bieber wore to the Grammy’s or what Natalie Portman wore to the Oscars with your guy? You’re  lucky enough to persuade him to sit on the couch and watch GLEE (only because you know he secretly loves it) let alone discuss an episode of What Not to Wear. So you choose your battles, understandably!

Although style isn’t everything, there comes a point in a relationship where certain clothing items just can’t be ignored! For the sake of humanity, you, or at least his next girlfriend should fix it! Bringing you to…

DOES YOUR GUY COMMIT A SERIOUS STYLE CRIME?

1. The Dad

  • Jorts- better known as jean shorts.

Ladies Exchange: a khaki short.

  • Pleated Pants- because there is nothing like drawing attention to a diaper crotch.

Ladies Exchange: a flat front pant.

  • Dad Jeans- found on 95% of dads everywhere. The light wash, non-fitted, saggy crotched jeans that most certainly never goes past the top of the shoe!

Ladies Exchange: a straight cut or slim fit dark denim jean.

2. Beyond Metrosexual

  • Murse- when his bag is bigger than yours there is a problem.

Ladies Exchange: a suitcase or cross body backpack.

  • Man Cleavage Deep V-neck- unless Beckham is your last name we don’t want to see it.

Ladies Exchange: a crew neck or a standard v-neck.

  • Meggings- better known as man jeggings. Unless you’re European (still questionable) don’t try to pull it off.

Ladies Exchange: a straight cut or slim fit dark denim jean.

3. Comfy to a Tee (literally)

  • High School T-shirts- stop reliving your glory days you’re clearly not in high school.

Ladies Exchange: a button-up

  • Old Man Suits- often found at weddings and funerals. They entail pleated pants, a boxy suit jacket, and pinstripes.

Ladies Exchange: a modern slim fit two button suit with a vented back and a flat front trouser. Modern colors include:  charcoal, navy, or black.

  • Tennis Shoes- don’t get me wrong I heart tennis shoes, but not with khakis.

Ladies Exchange: Sperry’s boat shoes, modern oxfords, or Chuck Taylors.

Note to readers: These are serious issues and should not be addressed on the first date. This is only for long term stable relationships that can handle a disagreement. (sarcasm, but seriously)

3 Things You Never Hear a Woman Say About a Man!

There’s man cleavage and then there’s man tees both equally bad especially when done wrong (this meaning everyone, but David Beckham)! Now normally I don’t take on men’s fashion, but there are some basic essentials that I believe men need to know. Feel free to pass this info on to your significant other and/or father!

3 Things You Never Hear a Woman Say About a Man!

1. Wow…Did you see the cleavage on that guy? Sign me up!

2. His shirt really should of been tighter, and probably shorter too!

3. Look at the pleats on those khakis, and he’s hot! (same sentence)

So if you’re one of those guys that sports too tight of shirts to show off your bulging muscles, wears a v-neck that plunges a little too low, or is still wearing pleated khakis make today the day! Say No to….Too Low, Too Tight, and Too Wide!


Guys Love Dick’s (Sporting Goods)

I’m as much as a sports fan as the next; however,when it comes to buying sports gear I can somehow (emphasis on somehow) hold back!  I learned 2 things after going to Dick’s Sporting Goods last night.

1. Men simply can’t resist sporting goods. Example: My husband who “had to get” a softball glove for a “possible” throw around with his brother this weekend.

2. Men don’t grow up. The older man standing with his work buddy in line just ahead of us paying over $550 for golf clubs.

Although MAN’s fascination with Dick’s Sporting Goods might not ever go away. There is a way to take advantage ladies. Just remember… next time they complain about that $30 shirt you couldn’t resist; ask HIM how many golf balls he lost last Sunday. It might just keep him quiet for a little bit longer

Shopping Advantage Women: 1   Shopping Advantage Men: 0