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Gentleman of Style: James Dean

James Dean was the quintessential Hollywood bad-boy of the 1950s. But who was the young man behind the legacy–and what style lessons can we learn from him?

James Dean in his iconic ensemble from the 1955 film, Rebel Without a Cause.

James Dean in his iconic ensemble from the 1955 film, Rebel Without a Cause.

Gentleman of Style: James Dean

Best remembered for his star-making turn as disaffected outcast Jim Stark in the 1955 film, Rebel Without a Cause, and for his whirlwind life that was cut short at just 24 years of age, the casual cool of James Dean still looms large over the popular consciousness. With this in mind, there are several style lessons to be learned from this bad-boy of the silver screen–and despite being outside the typical mold for an entry in this series, we believe he can still unquestionably be considered a Gentleman of Style.

Early Life – From Indiana Farm Boy to Aspiring Actor

James Byron Dean was born on February 8, 1931, in Marion, Indiana, the only child of Winton Dean, a farmer, and Mildred Marie Wilson. Six years after his father had left farming to become a dental technician, Dean moved with his family to Santa Monica, California.

The family spent several years there, and by all accounts, Dean was very close to his mother; he was devastated when she died of uterine cancer when Dean was nine years old. Unable to care for his son, Dean’s father sent him to live with his aunt and uncle back in Fairmount, Indiana.

A young Dean plays on his aunt and uncle's farm in Fairmount, Indiana, c. 1943 (Image: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty)

A young James Dean plays on his aunt and uncle’s farm in Fairmount, Indiana, c. 1943 (Image: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty)

In school, Dean was a good student and socially well-liked, playing baseball and varsity basketball, studying drama, and competing in public speaking. After graduating from Fairmount High School in 1949, he moved back to California to live with his father and stepmother.

He enrolled in Santa Monica College, majoring in pre-law, but then transferred to UCLA and changed his major to drama, which resulted in estrangement from his father. While at UCLA, Dean was picked from a group of 350 actors to portray Malcolm in Macbeth and participated in acting workshops on campus. In January 1951, he dropped out of UCLA to pursue a full-time career as an actor.

Dean poses in his Fairmount High Quakers basketball uniform, c. 1948 (Image: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty)

Dean poses in his Fairmount High Quakers basketball uniform, c. 1948 (Image: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty)

Film & Television Career – Game Shows, TV Dramas, and Hollywood Stardom

Dean’s first television appearance was in a Pepsi-Cola commercial, and his first speaking role was as John the Apostle, in an Easter television special dramatizing the Resurrection of Jesus. Dean subsequently obtained minor and uncredited walk-on roles in five films between 1951 and 1953. While struggling to get jobs in Hollywood, Dean also worked as a parking attendant at CBS Studios, during which time he met Rogers Brackett, a radio advertising executive, who offered him professional guidance.

A publicity still from Dean's appearance on a 1951 episode of the "Schlitz Playhouse of Stars" (Image: Getty)

A publicity still from Dean’s appearance on a 1951 episode of the “Schlitz Playhouse of Stars” (Image: Getty)

In October 1951, following the encouragement of Brackett, Dean moved to New York City, where he first worked as a stunt tester for the game show Beat the Clock. He also appeared in episodes of several CBS television series, such as Studio One and Lux Video Theatre, before gaining admission to the Actors Studio to study method acting under Lee Strasberg.

Proud of this accomplishment, Dean referred to the Actors Studio in a 1952 letter to his family as “the greatest school of the theater. It houses great people like Marlon Brando…Very few get into it…It is the best thing that can happen to an actor. I am one of the youngest to belong.” Dean’s career picked up, and he performed in further episodes of such television shows as Kraft Television Theatre. One early role, for the CBS series Omnibus, saw Dean portraying the type of disaffected youth for which he would later become famous.

An early publicity photo of Dean, from 1953.

An early publicity photo of Dean, from 1953.

East of Eden – Dean’s Major Film Breakthrough

In 1953, director Elia Kazan was looking for an actor to play the role of Cal Trask, an emotionally complex young man who is bothered by the mystery of his supposedly dead mother, in the adaptation of John Steinbeck’s 1952 novel East of Eden. Kazan said that he wanted “a Brando” for the role, and the screenwriter suggested Dean. Steinbeck, who met with Dean, did not like him personally but thought him to be perfect for the part. Dean was cast in the role and on April 8, 1954, left New York City and headed for Los Angeles to begin shooting.

Julie Harris and James Dean in East of Eden, from 1955.

Julie Harris and James Dean in East of Eden, from 1955.

Much of Dean’s performance in the film is unscripted; his most famous improvisation occurs during a heated moment between Cal and his father. Instead of running away as the script called for, Dean instinctively turned to actor Raymond Massey, lunged forward, and grabbed him in a full embrace, crying. Kazan kept this and Massey’s shocked reaction in the film.

In recognition of his performance in East of Eden, Dean was nominated posthumously for the 1956 Academy Awards as Best Actor in a Leading Role, the first official posthumous acting nomination in Academy Awards history. East of Eden was the only film starring Dean that he would see released in his lifetime.

James Dean and Raymond Massey, in the climactic scene from "East of Eden."

James Dean and Raymond Massey, in the climactic scene from East of Eden.

Rebel Without a Cause – The Quintessential Dean Performance

Dean’s next film, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), would become hugely popular among teenagers, largely for its representation of teenage angst. As Jim Stark, Dean gave the quintessential performance of a restless teenager, hiding behind a mask of casual indifference while yearning for love, purpose, and recognition. In the film’s opening scene, a drunk Jim slouches on a curb, holding onto a toy monkey. The conservative tan suit he wears marks him as an adult, but his movements are those of a frightened child.

Jim suffers emotionally because of his father’s weakness and is determined not to become like him. He seeks out one daredevil challenge after another, falls in love with Judy (Natalie Wood), and along with her and social outcast Plato (Sal Mineo), finds himself wrapped up in a night of gang violence and murder–his search for purpose in an uncaring world forcing him to navigate an environment of emotional darkness and ambiguity.

Dean in an iconic publicity still from Rebel Without a Cause, wearing his signature red Harrington jacket.

Dean in an iconic publicity still from Rebel Without a Cause, wearing his signature red Harrington jacket.

Giant – Dean’s Final Film

Following the successes of Eden and Rebel, Dean wanted to avoid being typecast as a rebellious teen, and hence took on the role of Jett Rink, a Texan ranch hand, in Giant (1956). The movie portrays a number of decades in the lives of Bick Benedict, a Texas rancher, played by Rock Hudson; his wife, Leslie, played by Elizabeth Taylor; and Rink. To portray an older version of his character in the film’s later scenes, Dean dyed his hair gray and shaved some of it off to give himself a receding hairline.

Dean received his second posthumous Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his role in Giant. At the time of his death, he was set to star as Rocky Graziano in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956); that film went on to earn both commercial and critical success, winning two Oscars, with Paul Newman playing the role of Graziano.

Dean as Jett Rink in Giant, from 1956 (Image: Warner Bros.)

Dean as Jett Rink in Giant, from 1956 (Image: Warner Bros.)

James Dean’s Death – A Racer Passes on the Highway

A fan of auto racing since his childhood, Dean became interested in developing a racing career. Beginning in 1954, he purchased various vehicles after filming for Eden had concluded, including a Triumph Tiger T110 motorcycle and a Porsche 356. Just before filming began on Rebel, he competed in his first professional event in Palm Springs, California, winning first place in the novice class and second place at the main event. His racing continued in Bakersfield a month later, where he finished first in his class and third overall.

Dean hoped to compete in the Indianapolis 500, but his busy schedule made it impossible. Dean’s final race occurred in Santa Barbara, California, in May 1955; he was unable to finish the competition due to a blown piston. Following this,  the Warner Bros. studio barred him from all racing during the production of Giant. Dean had finished shooting his scenes, and the movie was in post-production when he decided to race again.

James Dean astride a motorcycle.

James Dean astride a motorcycle.

Dean was scheduled to compete at a racing event in Salinas, California on September 30, 1955. Accompanying the actor to the occasion was stunt coordinator Bill Hickman, Collier’s magazine photographer Sanford Roth, and Rolf Wütherich, the German mechanic from the Porsche factory who maintained Dean’s Porsche 550 Spyder, which Dean referred to as his “Little Bastard.” Wütherich, who had encouraged Dean to drive the car from Los Angeles to Salinas to break it in, accompanied Dean in the Porsche. At 3:30 p.m., Dean was ticketed for speeding, and the group continued to travel along U.S. Route 466.

James Dean & Rolf Wutherlich in Dean's Porsche, photographed on what would be Dean's final journey.

James Dean (right) & Rolf Wütherich in Dean’s Porsche, photographed on what would be Dean’s final journey.

At approximately 5:45 p.m., a car was passing through an intersection while turning, ahead of the Porsche. Unable to stop in time, Dean’s Porsche slammed into the driver’s side of the turning car, bouncing across the pavement onto the side of the highway. Wütherich was thrown from the Porsche, while Dean was trapped inside, sustaining numerous fatal injuries including a broken neck; meanwhile, the other driver had only minor injuries.

The accident was witnessed by a number of passersby who stopped to help; despite this, Dean was pronounced dead on arrival shortly after he arrived by ambulance at the Paso Robles War Memorial Hospital at 6:20 p.m. An estimated 600 mourners attended his funeral, while another 2400 fans gathered outside of the building during the procession.

The site of James Dean's fatal crash, now named James Dean Memorial Junction.

The site of James Dean’s fatal crash, now named James Dean Memorial Junction.

Legacy & Impact

American teenagers of the mid-1950s, when Dean’s major films were made, identified with Dean and the roles he played, especially that of Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause. The film depicts the dilemma of a typical teenager of the time, who feels that no one, not even his peers, can understand him. Humphrey Bogart commented after Dean’s death about his public image and legacy: “Dean died at just the right time. He left behind a legend. If he had lived, he’d never have been able to live up to his publicity.”

Jim Stark (Dean) and Buzz Gunderson (Corey Allen) in a knife fight in Rebel Without a Cause.

Jim Stark (Dean) and Buzz Gunderson (Corey Allen) in a knife fight in Rebel Without a Cause.

Additionally, numerous commentators have asserted that Dean had a marked influence on the development of rock and roll music. The persona Dean projected in his movies, especially Rebel, influenced many early rock pioneers, most notably Elvis Presley, who said in a 1956 interview for Parade magazine, “I’ve made a study of Marlon Brando…of poor Jimmy Dean…[and] of myself, and I know why girls…go for us. We’re sullen, we’re broodin’, we’re something of a menace…I don’t know anything about Hollywood, but I know you can’t be sexy if you smile. You can’t be a rebel if you grin.”

In their book, Live Fast, Die Young: The Wild Ride of Making Rebel Without a Cause, authors Lawrence Frascella and Al Weisel wrote, “Ironically, though Rebel had no rock music on its soundtrack, the film’s sensibility—and especially the defiant attitude and effortless cool of James Dean—would have a great impact on rock…The industry trade magazine Music Connection even went so far as to call Dean ‘the first rock star.’”

The confident exterior masking a sensitive interior that Dean brought to Rebel Without a Cause would influence musicians like Elvis Presley.

The confident exterior masking a sensitive interior that Dean brought to Rebel Without a Cause would influence musicians like Elvis Presley.

James Dean’s Signature Style

Dean was a studious and accomplished method actor, but perhaps more than his talent, it’s his natural charisma, as an avatar for rebellious youth, that shines through today. He didn’t abide by Hollywood standards of the time, preferring to live by his own rules. Many of the biggest male movie stars of the 1950s, such as Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, or Cary Grant, were of the previous generation and represented “old Hollywood” with their side-parted hairstyles and tailored suits.

Meanwhile, Dean took a much more relaxed approach to dressing; he would show up to his early castings barefoot with safety pins holding together his torn trousers, and arrive at lunch dates shirtless and wearing old jeans. His disheveled appearance combined with his emotionally vulnerable screen performances did much to define a new era of masculinity, characterized by a rugged blend of machismo and sensitivity.

Dean in a heavily worn shirt on the set of Giant.

Dean in a heavily worn shirt on the set of Giant.

Dean’s personal style was inherently casual, and it’s likely that the years he spent on an Indiana farm influenced his largely function-first wardrobe. The bright red blouson in Rebel will forever be his signature look, but Dean wore a number of other lightweight jackets of greater versatility, including a tan suede jacket (in the same film), and a leather biker jacket with fur collar (clearly inspired by his hero, Marlon Brando) that helped to popularize the leather jacket as a wardrobe staple.

And where, prior to the ‘50s, the T-shirt was considered an undergarment, Brando changed that in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), and Dean continued the trend in his own films. He likely favored T-shirts for their ease and simplicity, pairing them with denim, boots or penny loafers, and a cigarette. Today, an outfit consisting of jeans and a T-shirt is the norm for a great many men, but in Dean’s time, it was an act of defiance, taking considerable courage to wear.

Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire in a non-white T-Shirt

Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire in a T-Shirt; Brando (and this look) would be a major influence on Dean.

When dressing more conventionally, Dean’s fashion still remained true to his credo of simplicity and functionality. He could wear a standard suit (as in the opening scenes of Rebel), or go for a semi-formal ensemble: a sport coat or blazer in a color like brown or navy, a button-down shirt, khakis, and loafers. He was rebellious in his clothing choices but always projected a simple and masculine image. Simply stated, James Dean was an individual.

James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, wearing a sports coat, odd trousers, and collared shirt.

James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, wearing a sports coat, odd trousers, and collared shirt.

Harrington Windbreaker

As stated above, no singular piece of clothing is more indelibly linked to James Dean than the red Harrington windbreaker he wore in Rebel. The Harrington (named for its association with the character of Rodney Harrington on the 1960s TV series Peyton Place, and alternatively called a blouson) is a lightweight, waist-length piece of outerwear that layers quite well, especially in the cooler seasons.

James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, sporting his iconic ensemble of red Harrington jacket, white T-shirt, jeans, and boots.

James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, sporting his iconic ensemble of red Harrington jacket, white T-shirt, jeans, and boots.

You can channel Dean directly by getting one in bright red, but other colors like beige, burgundy, or navy will be more versatile. Similarly, wearing it with a T-shirt, jeans, and boots will give you a distinctly ‘50s vibe, but the Harrington can be layered equally well with button-up shirts like flannels, odd trousers, and derby shoes or loafers. Alternatively, you can try a related piece of outerwear–such as a suede bomber jacket–paired with denim, for an even more rugged look.

A modern Harrington jacket in burgundy.

A modern Harrington jacket in burgundy.

Jeans

As with the T-shirt, denim blue jeans have been a core piece of the modern American wardrobe since the 1950s, and Dean’s performance in Rebel did much to establish them as such. He wore a straight cut (not too loose or too tight throughout the leg) with a high rise, and in a medium blue wash; this classic style is still produced by many brands today, such as Levi’s and American Apparel. In particular, the Levi’s style known as the 501 was worn by Dean and is available today, and can be found in a large variety of different colors, including blue, indigo and dark washes.

James Dean shows off the fit of his blue jeans in Rebel Without a Cause.

James Dean shows off the fit of his blue jeans in Rebel Without a Cause.

Given the time period in which he lived, Dean’s trousers had a fuller cut and a higher rise on the torso than what would be typical today. You can opt for a pair with a high rise to directly replicate a ’50s aesthetic, and combine it with classic loafers and a braided belt. For a more modern take, go for a pair with a contemporary rise, in a darker wash and tapered closer to the ankle.

In either case, your jeans should project an effortless, working-man masculinity. Layer your outfit with a leather jacket, and finish with some leather boots for an ensemble worthy of Dean (or Marlon Brando). Finally, cuff or pin-roll your jeans to show off your footwear and add an additional flair.

T-Shirt

Along with Marlon Brando, James Dean transformed the white T-shirt from a piece of utilitarian underwear to its current role as the backbone of hyper-casual attire. While we here at the Gentleman’s Gazette don’t often advocate for the T-shirt to be worn on its own as outerwear, its popularity as such can’t be denied, and if you’re going for the type of simplistic, rebellious, masculine look that Dean made famous, a T-shirt is an essential piece.

Dean on the set of Rebel Without a Cause, in a simple white T-shirt.

Dean on the set of Rebel Without a Cause, in a simple white T-shirt.

Still: as with any other type of garment, fit is key. Dean wore T-shirts that were well-fitted through the chest, with armholes that accentuated his arms without hugging them. If you do plan to wear a T-shirt visibly, don’t go for the same type of undershirt that you’d get in a multi-pack at Target or Wal-Mart; instead, spend a few more dollars to get something that will flatter your form and stand up to multiple launderings. To channel Dean directly, pair the tee with traditional blue jeans and boots. For a more contemporary look, dark denim with a slimmer (but not skinny) fit would be a good option.

Boots

In Rebel Without A Cause, Dean rounded out his iconic combination of Harrington, T-shirt, and jeans with a dark pair of leather engineer boots. Whether you’re deliberately attempting such a look or not, leather boots should be a staple of any man’s footwear collection, as they’re versatile in terms of formality and types of trousers, incredibly comfortable, and highly durable; a quality pair, maintained well, can last multiple decades.

Leather engineer boots worn with cuffed denim jeans, as James Dean did in Rebel Without a Cause.

Leather engineer boots worn with cuffed denim jeans, as James Dean did in Rebel Without a Cause.

One of the most popular styles of leather boot today is the Chelsea boot, which pairs equally well with dress trousers, semi-formal pants, and denim. Picking up a pair of Chelsea boots (or other related styles) in both black and brown will provide your wardrobe with a surprising number of additional combinations.

Just remember: quality footwear is an investment, and boots are no exception. Snapping up any random pair you see on sale will only guarantee that you’ll have to buy another new pair in just a few months or years. Instead, buy from a reputable source that uses the highest quality materials, and you’ll save money in the long run, in addition to looking your best.

Chelsea Boot, George Boot & Jodhpur Boot

Chelsea Boot, George Boot & Jodhpur Boot

Polo Shirt

When not wearing a simple T-shirt, Dean could frequently be seen wearing its slightly dressier sibling, the polo, adopting the preppy look that defined his generation. Such a look is incredibly simple to achieve, and it’s entirely timeless. Dark, solid colors are the safest and most versatile options and can be worn tucked or untucked, depending on the formality level of your overall outfit.

James Dean in a polo shirt and jeans.

James Dean in a polo shirt and jeans.

Polo shirts can pair easily with both cotton trousers (be they flannels, khakis, or chinos), as well as with denim; their versatility is what makes them a true style staple. Properly fitted polos made from lightweight weaves can be worn with dark-wash jeans and leather or suede shoes for a casual look. Alternatively, layer a polo under a sports coat or sweater, and pair it with odd trousers and loafers, for a more semi-formal ensemble that’s still relaxed.

Sven Raphael wearing Fort Belvedere Driving Gloves and a green polo shirt.

Sven Raphael Schneider wearing Fort Belvedere Driving Gloves and a green polo shirt.

Sweaters

From his first starring role in East of Eden to his iconic 1954 photo shoot for LIFE magazine entitled “Torn Sweater,” Dean was also frequently seen in knitwear. In the case of the former, he wore a buff-colored V-neck over a white dress shirt, paired with khakis. For the latter, as the title would suggest, a worn and frayed black mock-turtleneck was the centerpiece of the outfit.

Dean wearing a buff-colored sweater with khakis and a collared shirt in East of Eden.

Dean wearing a buff-colored sweater with khakis and a collared shirt in East of Eden.

Each of these styles of sweater, while vastly different in attitude, is still versatile; as such, men looking to try Dean-inspired knitwear could opt for a neutral-toned sweater (either V-neck or crew-neck), paired with any color of khaki, chino, or even denim. Alternately, a black (or similarly dark) turtleneck could be paired with some black odd trousers or dark wash denim for a reserved, monochromatic look.

You’ll be safest with knitwear when avoiding more extravagant shades, and instead sticking to a color palette of grays, blacks, browns, blues, and greens. Such colors are fairly universal with odd trousers and boots, ensuring a variety of stylish combinations.

A moody Dean in a black turtleneck for the LIFE magazine photo shoot, "Torn Sweater."

A moody Dean in a black mock-turtleneck for the LIFE magazine photo shoot, “Torn Sweater.”

Breton shirt

Hailing from the Brittany region of France, the first iteration of Breton shirts were designed with tightly knit, locally sourced wool to protect fishermen from biting winds and water, and eventually evolved into a blue-and-white striped shirt. Sailors have sported the look since the start of the 19th century, and in 1858, the garments were officially adopted as part of the French naval uniform. Coco Chanel first brought Breton shirts into the realm of popular fashion, and from there, they were adopted by such icons as Audrey Hepburn, John Wayne, and of course, James Dean.

Dean in a Breton shirt with a blue, polo-style collar.

Dean in a Breton shirt with a blue, polo-style collar.

Stripes are considered by some men to be difficult to pull off, but this doesn’t have to be the case; for those just starting to integrate the pattern into their wardrobes, going for garments with narrow stripes and simple color combinations can be a great first step–and we can look to James Dean and his fondness for Breton shirts as an example.

A long-sleeved shirt inspired by the original Breton style would be an easy way to incorporate stripes into your wardrobe.

A long-sleeved shirt inspired by the original Breton style would be an easy way to incorporate stripes into your wardrobe.

Sunglasses & Eyeglasses

Whenever you spend time in the sun (especially during the summer months), sunglasses are both functional and stylish, protecting your eyes and adding an unmistakable element of cool. Dean knew this, and he often sported a pair of round, tinted sunglasses with a thin metallic frame. While such styles remain popular and perfectly smart today, you can feel free to choose any type of sunglasses you like–so long as they fit your face shape and skin tone well.

James Dean wearing his preferred style of sunglasses.

James Dean wearing his preferred style of sunglasses.

In addition to wearing sunglasses when outdoors, Dean also wore a pair of round, tortoise-shell eyeglasses, especially when reading. That he could pair a quite traditional style of eyeglasses with his otherwise casual look is a testament to his inherent sense of style. In either case, you can try pairing your eyewear with a casual shirt, like a T-shirt, polo, or Breton.

Dean wears a pair of tortoise-shell eyeglasses to read a book of poetry.

Dean wears a pair of tortoise-shell eyeglasses to read a book of poetry.

Especially when outdoors and wearing sunglasses in the summer, wearing a lighter fabric (such as linen) is a great way to stay cool and maintain a smart aesthetic. In this latter case, consider a pair of light blue jeans, as their brighter color will harmonize with the summery atmosphere of your look.

James Dean, Harrington jacket, denim blue jeans, white T-shirt, pol;o shirt, Breton shirt, V-neck sweater, mock-turtleneck sweater, engineer boots, sunglasses, eyeglasses, pomade

Hairstyle

Though perhaps not quite to the same degree as for his clothing, Dean was definitely famous for his hair. His disheveled, quiff-like pompadour projected a devil-may-care vibe, in line with the rest of his sartorial choices. Before Dean, the quiff wasn’t a popular style; it would have been considered too unprofessional for most men. Ever one to forge his own path, Dean made the style his own, and it’s since become a popular choice for many, particularly exploding in popularity in the last 10-15 years.

James Dean's signature hairstyle.

James Dean’s signature hairstyle.

If you do decide to change up your hairstyle to be more like Dean’s, go to a skilled stylist who can cut your hair to the right length, with the bangs somewhere between your eyebrow and the bottom of your eye, and the back and sides scissor-cut and relatively long, to create a rounded look from the front.

After a cut and a shower, simply take a small amount of pomade and work it into your hands to get the pomade warm. Work the pomade into your hair evenly, making sure all of the hair has some product in it. Then, take a hair dryer and a comb or brush, and on a low heat, blow dry your hair and style it as desired. A bit of hairspray for hold, and the James Dean look is yours.

James Dean and Corey Allen wearing quiff/pompadour hairstyles in Rebel Without a Cause.

James Dean and Corey Allen wearing quiff/pompadour hairstyles in Rebel Without a Cause.

Conclusion

While the word “icon” has become especially overused in recent decades, it’s undeniable that the term suits James Dean–whether it’s because of his genuine talent as an actor, or the fact that his death at 24 left him frozen in time in the minds of the movie-going public. The combination of his rebellious characters and his casual style was a perfect storm for inspiration.

His style has a largely timeless quality, featuring simple pieces rooted in their functionality and versatility. Watch any of his films or peruse a few photos, and his confidence and cool shine through. Do you have a favorite James Dean performance or wardrobe item? Share with us in the comments.


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Style Guide For The Slim Man

In today’s world, many people are trying to lose weight either for their health or just for their own image. Here at the Gentleman’s Gazette, we believe that as long as a man is following the general principles of style, in addition to feeling healthy and following his doctor’s advice, carrying around a few extra pounds is nothing to be ashamed of.

With that said, there’s also a group of men out there at the opposite end of the spectrum. Thin men who may be looking to find ways to increase their physical presence. Whether or not you’re actually looking to bulk up though, cutting a masculine figure does have benefits.

Our subconscious sees fitness as an indicator of health and we are always looking for signs of strength in potential romantic partners, co-workers, or even friends. With all that in mind, here are some tips from one slim man to another on how to dress well in order to look healthy and masculine.

Dressing Guidelines For The Slim Man

Make sure to avoid baggy clothing

Make sure to avoid baggy clothing

1. Avoid Wearing Clothing That Makes You Look Frail

Many thin men often try to disguise their frames by wearing clothing that’s too large for them thinking that the extra fabric is going to make them look bigger, however, in reality, the opposite is actually true. At the same time, however, thin men should also stay clear of super skinny or skin-tight styles because these two are just going to draw attention to your thin frame.

Skinny pants make your leg look like sticks

Skinny pants make your leg look like sticks

What’s the solution then? Simply put, you just have to find clothing that’s going to fit you just right. If they fit properly, your clothes should drape naturally over your body, fitting closely but at the same time not feeling tight or pulling anywhere and also not so loose that they’re baggy or billowing. As such, you’ll definitely benefit in the long run from forming a good relationship with a tailor as you’re probably going to need to take all kinds of different garments in for one type of alteration or another in order to achieve that ideal fit.

Proper shoulder width of a jacket

Proper shoulder width of a jacket

In particular, pay close attention to your shoulders and your sleeves. The shoulder seam of your shirt should sit right at your shoulder’s edge. If it’s up too high, the shirt’s going to look too small on you and if it’s down too low, your shoulders are going to look like they’re drooping. If the seam sits right at the shoulder edge, it’s going to properly frame your shoulders and your chest. Similarly, your sleeves should be just wide enough so that your arms can fit comfortably inside of them. If they’re too tight, you’re going to have unsightly wrinkling all around your arms and if they’re too loose, they’re just going to look like you’re wearing a pirate shirt.

The same general principle is also true for your legs. Wearing skinny jeans or pants with a tight tapered fit in things like khakis, chinos, and so forth will just make your legs look like spindly sticks and that won’t flatter you at all.

Striped green and white dress shirt with micropattern tie from Fort Belvedere

Striped green and white dress shirt with a micropattern tie from Fort Belvedere

2. Wear Colors & Patterns That Boost Your Visual Heft

As a general rule, lighter colors like white, beige, or pastels are going to make you appear a little bit larger, overall. Just as darker colors and the quintessential black are said to be slimming, the opposite effect is true for lighter clothing. Meanwhile, wearing patterns will create a sense of movement in your outfit and will also make you seem larger. When we observe a busy pattern, it does take a moment for our brain to be able to explain to our eyes what it is that we’re seeing. That split second of communication means that if you’re wearing a busy pattern, people will have to take a second and that will make you look larger.

Checked Tweed in Green with flap pockets

Checked Tweed in Green with Fort Belvedere accessories

With regard to specific patterns, horizontal stripes are of course, the classic choice for broadening the frame whereas vertical stripes will make you look taller and thinner, overall. This isn’t to say however that vertical stripes should be completely forbidden from the wardrobe of a slim man. You should just be mindful of the overall effect that you’re trying to achieve. Also, checks and other grid patterns are other good choices for broadening your frame.

Black, blue, and white checked dress shirt

Black, blue, and white checked dress shirt

In general though, the smaller the scale of the pattern, the more it’s going to increase your perceived heft. For example, wearing a fine graph check shirt would be a good choice if that’s what you’re going for.

This sweater vest is perfect for layering or wearing under a blazer

This sweater vest is perfect for layering or wearing under a blazer

3. Layering Is Key

With each additional layer you put on, you’re going to be adding a bit more bulk. One layer on its own might not necessarily make a difference but if you’re wearing multiple layers in conjunction, you’ll be able to build up your frame a little bit more. Rather than simply piling on a bunch of sweaters, however, you’ll want to approach your layering a little bit more strategically.

Start with the lightest weight fabrics closest to your body and as you move outward, each subsequent layer can be more sturdy. Also, textured weaves like tweed, flannel, denim, or corduroy give more perceived heft than do smoother weave fabrics.

Returning to the concept of patterns for a moment, this same concept of working inward to outward should apply to patterns as well. For example, the pattern on your shirt, if it has one, should be less abrasive than the pattern that’s featured on your jacket or tie.

Aleks Cvetkovics with denim shirt on top of a turtleneck sweater

Aleks Cvetkovic with denim shirt on top of a turtleneck sweater

4. Find Ways To Make Your Neck Look Larger

Turtleneck sweaters are the classic choice to create this effect but you also do have other options. For example, you could have a zip neck, a stand collar, or a shawl collar on a sweater in particular. Also, simply wearing a dress shirt with a sturdy collar assisted further by the aid of collar stays is a good way to minimize the appearance of your neck because the pattern of the shirt will be carried upward a little bit by the verticality of the collar.

Considerations For Specific Garments

A great fitting shirt will allow you to move around without getting untucked

A great fitting shirt will allow you to move around without getting untucked

1. Shirts

T-shirts, polos, dress shirts, or any other type of shirt just like any garment in general for the slim man, should fit the body closely without being too tight. As we already mentioned, fit in the shoulders and the sleeves are key. Dress shirts, in particular, should also be long enough that they stay comfortably tucked in throughout the day. If your shirt is creeping out over your waistband throughout the course of the day, that’s a sign that it’s too short.

Very little shoulder padding

Very little shoulder padding

2. Jackets

Suit jackets, sport coats, and blazers are all designed with the goal of accentuating the features of the male form making the man look more muscular. They achieve this in a variety of ways when it comes to the details of their styling. One way that a jacket does this is by broadening your shoulders.

Many jackets, though not all, depending on the style will have a bit of padding in the shoulder that makes it look more full and also more angular. Optimal shoulder padding for a jacket is subtle, however, adding only about a half inch of height at the very most. Anything more than that and your shoulders are going to look unnaturally angular almost like you put your jacket on with the hangers still in it.

flattering v shape front

flattering v shape front

In addition to making you look wider at the shoulders, a proper, meaning a close-fitting jacket will also taper as it moves down toward your waist creating a natural V shape. This V shape is a universal sign of male strength and it should also be echoed even further by related shapes that are created by your lapels, as well as your shirt collar.

Most jackets that you buy off the rack are probably going to require some sort of alterations tailoring. We suggest you start with the ever-versatile two-button single-breasted model, though if you want to experiment with a double-breasted jacket, you can still wear one of those and have it flatter your form too. We would suggest something perhaps with a six on two button configuration.

proper jacket length

proper jacket length

The length of your jacket should hit just at the bottom of your seat offering you the neatest appearance possible. If it’s any longer than that, it’s generally going to look like the jacket is too big for you. You can choose either notched or peak lapels based on your own personal preference but whatever you go with, we recommend that they be at a width of about three inches which is just a hair narrower than the standard lapel width of about 3 and 1/8 inches.

3. Trousers

You should try to find something in the middle usually that will be labeled, fittingly enough, as slim. You can wear your trousers either at your natural waist which we recommend or a little bit lower depending on your own personal preference as well as your actual height.

Navy pants with inward pleats worn with suspenders for a smooth look

Navy pants with inward pleats worn with suspenders for a smooth look

If you’re a shorter man, you can wear your trousers a bit higher to make you seem taller and if you are tall and slim, you can wear them just a little bit lower because you don’t really need any help looking tall. Style-wise, you can opt for side fasteners, belt loops, or suspenders, though if you do wear suspenders, also called braces, we would recommend that you do keep them under another layer and don’t wear them visibly. The strong verticality of these suspenders is just going to make you look thinner overall which isn’t necessarily something you’ll want.

Here’s a tip when it comes to buying, most retailers are only going to describe the measurements of a pair of trousers using just two numbers which refer to the waist size and the inseam length. These two numbers, however, don’t really give you any idea of how wide the pants are around each individual leg or what the drop height is from the top of the waistband to the bottom of the crotch. As such, the best way to figure out how well a pair of pants fits you is simply to try it on. If the trouser fabric is heavy enough to fall smoothly, a little bit of looseness in the lower legs doesn’t have to be shied away from but at the same time, you don’t want to go too far with this or you’ll risk looking like you’re wearing bell-bottoms or simply wearing pants that have way too much fabric at the bottom.

Good length for cuffed trousers

Good length for cuffed trousers

When it comes to trousers with pleats, commonly accepted wisdom is that thin men should avoid them altogether because of the extra verticality that’s provided by those lines, however, this doesn’t have to be an absolute rule. Trouser cuffs can also add some additional visual weight as well as providing a slight horizontal line around your ankles. If you are fortunate enough to have many of your garments custom-made for you, you can go ahead and make these cuffs on your trousers a little bit wider.

More casual pants can have their pockets slanted forward slightly to break up some of that verticality. Also on the topic of pockets, try to avoid filling them up with piles of stuff, this is a surefire way to make your thighs look unsightly bulky or even lumpy, that’s not an effect you’re going for.

4. Neckties & Other Accessories

Depending on your own personal preference, a necktie with the width of about two and three-quarters to three and 1/2 inches is going to look good on a slim frame. Just remember that the overall width of your necktie should be relatively in sync with the width of your jacket’s lapel so that everything is harmonious overall.

Alternatively, knit ties are often only about two inches wide but their added texture and bulk will add some heft to your frame as we discussed previously in our general overview. Anything narrower than two inches into the realm of super skinny ties won’t do you any favors. Instead, these really slim ties are just going to echo the slimness of your overall frame.

Finally, whether you’re wearing a long tie or a bow tie, consider something with an engaging and inviting visual pattern as this extra visual element will draw attention away from your frame.

Fortunately for the slim man, he’s got a good bit of latitude in what kinds of accessories he can wear that will add bulk to his frame without looking outlandish. Take, for example, a well-puffed pocket square in an inviting pattern. This will work similarly to the patterned tie that we just discussed and that it will draw eyes away from the slimness of your frame.

What you want to avoid in a belt

What you want to avoid in a belt

Proportion is just as important here as anywhere of course and there is a point where an accessory will become too large making you just look like a clown. For example, overly broad belts and large belt buckles aren’t going to do a slim man any favors. For a slim man, you’re simply going to be better suited wearing a moderately sized belt with a conservative belt buckle.

Penny Loafers

Penny Loafers

5. Shoes

Go for something understated and on the slim side rather than something more utilitarian and chunky. Loafers are going to be a good bet for you as is anything from an Italian manufacturer as their styles are typically slimmer than some parts elsewhere around the world.

CONCLUSION

You don’t have to be muscular or physically imposing to project a masculine image. Simply by knowing what types of garments fit your body and flatter you, you can look confident as well as stylish all the time.

So if you’re a slim man, what style tips do you have that we might not have mentioned? If you have any, feel free to share with us in the comments section below!


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Polished Work-from-Home Style

Alyson Seligman (38) lives in Palm Beach Gardens (FL) and is a personal style & personal growth blogger who also owns a PR/digital media agency. Her style is polished casual with a mix of Modern Classic and on-trend pieces. She loves feminine tops, statement earrings, and dressing up for special occasions.

“As I’ve become more comfortable and confident in myself, I’ve become less influenced by other women who have great taste… it’s just not true to me. My style is definitely a ‘casual chic’ vibe as I now run my blog and PR company from home. Think fab flats instead of sky-high heels (I’m a woman on the move!), great fitting denim instead of formal skirts, and tops with personality like fringe details or a fun floral print, for example. At the same time, who doesn’t love an excuse to get dressed up?!”

Erica Dunhill - 1

Alyson is all for wearing white bottoms year round. Here she’s sporting white skinny jeans with ankle zips. She’s paired the jeans with a navy sweater with fun design details — a high-low hemline, side buttons, and tasseled hem. An easy way to give an outfit extra visual interest. Adding patterned footwear, like these leopard print d’Orsay flats, is another way to add personality to a simple jeans-and-jumper look. Pattern-mixing the shoes with a darker brown satchel is a little unexpected. Navy nail polish, and a gold watch are the polished finishing touches.

Erica Dunhill - 2

A casual and comfy outfit for a day of running errands. Alyson is wearing camo print skinny jeans with contrasting tuxedo stripe and a white V-neck tee. She’s thrown over a black open cardigan that is longer in front for a nice draped effect. The white-with-black-stripes sneaks echo the colours in the outfit and pull the look together. The accessories of choice are a compact black shoulder bag and mirrored Aviator sunnies. A touch of subtle pink lipstick and our blogger is ready to go.

When asked which Fall/Winter trends she is enjoying the most in mild-weather Florida right now, Alyson said:

“It’s been unusually hot in Florida — I’m talking 86 degrees in October! — so instead of sweating to death in cozy cardigans (though I wear the in my house all the time!), I’m embracing statement colors like mustard, rich greens and a deep reds. The fall colors immediately ‘winter-ize’ your look, even if you’re wearing a tank!”

Erica Dunhill - 3

Alyson likes how lace tops can add polish to casual outfits. Here, her white sweatshirt with lace panel effectively dresses up a pair of ripped and distressed boyfriend jeans.The botanical lace detailing together with the charming red rose print on her white sneaks give the tomboy look a feminine vibe. The cognac zip-top crossbody bag is one of Alyson’s go-to daytime bags and complements her red locks beautifully.

Erica Dunhill - 4

Our 5’3” blogger is rocking the long cardigan! I also love that she’s paired it with a shorter skirt instead of a midi dress or jeans or pants. It’s a bit unexpected and very fun. Tucking the white top into the navy suede skirt provides structure and creates vertical integrity. The knee-length cardigan is also a great “lengthening tool” and an ideal lightweight topper for warm Florida Fall weather. Alyson has added split V-shaft booties in a darker grey for a non-matchy but complementary effect. Her trusted Vuitton bag comes out to play again, and the Y-necklace with subtle bling also emphasizes the vertical lines. Putting her hair up in a nonchalant ponytail works great with the casual vibe of this look.

Erica Dunhill - 5

Alyson likes to dress up for special occasions, and has worn this stunning black dress to holiday cocktail parties and weddings. The eye-catching transparent panel at the top of the fitted dress adds subtle allure and glam. The knee-length is flattering on our petite blogger. Silver ankle strap sandals with beautiful knot detailing lengthen the leg line and amp up the dressiness factor. Silver drop earrings, an heirloom bracelet that was once her grandmother’s and a black clutch are the festive finishing touches.

Erica Dunhill - 6

Our blogger is a fan of beautiful white blouses: “They can give an ethereal vibe that actually lightens up your face instead of darken your complexion.” The lace mock turtleneck blouse certainly is the star of the show here. It dresses up her skinny blue jeans like it’s nobody’s business. The neutral lining that evokes a see-through effect and sheer yoke are alluring, and create a fun juxtaposition with the buttoned-up, covered style. The blush suede stacked heel pumps with on-trend squared-off toe echo the lining of the blouse and further dress up the look. The white monogrammed chain wallet used as a clutch, and glam oversized pearl earrings complete the outfit.

Let us know what you think of Alyson’s wonderful polished casual style, and then hop on over to her blog, The Modern Savvy, to browse the rest of her outfits.


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How You Refresh Your Style

Forum member Bijou recently asked an interesting question: which aspects of our style do you regularly refresh so that you feel up to date, on-trend, and fabulous? Bijou boiled it down to the items that are the backbone of her style and work the hardest. For Bijou, it was dresses because she wears them frequently, and they’re signature to her style. 

The responses to Bijou’s post were fascinating. Some said tops, bottoms and footwear, and others said hairstyle, eyewear, colour, and outerwear. This makes perfect sense because there is no one, correct way to update or refresh your style. Fads are a thing of the past, trends last longer than they used to, and so-called style rules are obsolete. You can be as trendy, Modern Retro, classic or avant-garde as you like, and look absolutely fabulous.

When it comes to refreshing my own style, I prioritize these aspects, and strictly in this order.

1. Hair & Eyewear

Refreshing my hairstyle and eyewear is top priority because it’s integral to my signature style. I don’t go for drastic changes because I want to keep my hair short and blonde, and my eyewear Modern Retro. But I do change things up in a subtle way over the course of a couple of years to feel adequately refreshed. I’ve been growing out my fringe since January and wearing my pixie naturally wavy half the time. I added a new pair of vintage white prescription sunnies in February, and am looking at a new pair of red specs.

2. Jeans

Jeans are a wardrobe essential. I can wear them year round, to work and play, and white jeans are a favourite. Although I’m wearing jeans less frequently than I used to — favouring dresses, skirts and pants — I wear jeans A LOT. I want them to be the trendy aspect of my style because I’m not as trendy with shoes, pants and tops.

I don’t refresh my capsule every season, but I unexpectedly felt that my jeans capsule was too classic for Autumn & Winter, so I’m in the midst of editing and adding on-trend silhouettes. I’ve committed to the first two dark wash styles in the collection, and have the rest on order. I hope to add four new silhouettes.

3.Outerwear

I wear a lot of outerwear because of my climate. Since it’s my second favourite wardrobe item to purchase, I like to refresh with a few trendier items more frequently than most. I enjoy the drama of a trendy topper, and how it takes centre stage in an outfit. It also makes what you wear underneath feel “new”. This season I added an animal print coat in a gentle cocoon silhouette, and cape coat with faux fur. I’d like to add another short fashion puffer, but haven’t yet found a suitable style.

4. Handbags

I’m not into adding the new “it” bag of the season because I’m very set in my ways with bag silhouettes that work for my lifestyle. But since handbags are my favourite wardrobe item, I’m regularly refreshing my capsule and swapping out bags to create different moods in my outfits. This year I added a straw bag, and four Furlas (two of which were birthday presents). The Furlas are wardrobe workhorses.

5. Footwear

Footwear completes an outfit, adding a whole lot of interest and personality. Wearing on-trend footwear refreshes the look of golden oldies too. I do what I can to add a smattering of trendy shoes to my style each season, which is challenging given my fussy feet, urban walking lifestyle, and zero tolerance for uncomfortable shoes. This year I added mules, Western shooties, chunky white athletic sneakers, and more pairs of white boots.

6. Dresses & Skirts

From now on, I only wear knee-covering midis and dresses with sleeves, but I refresh with on-trend styles within my narrow range of style preferences. Midis are on trend at the moment, so I milked it and added a LOT of trendier dresses to my wardrobe this year. Some of the styles are Trendy Classics, which is even better.

Blouses, knit tops, knitwear, blazers, socks, scarves, belts, swimwear, make-up, nail polish, watches, workout wear, loungewear and jewellery stay relatively modern classic for my style. I’m less likely to amp up the trend factor in these items, if at all. Pants run the gamut. Sometimes I amp up their trend factor and sometimes I don’t. I focussed on dresses, skirts and white jeans for Spring and Summer, so trendy pants were not a priority. For Autumn and Winter, I’m focussing on jeans and dresses, and figuring out what I want to do for pants. I’d love to replace the orange and red pairs I recently passed on, but haven’t found anything suitable yet.

These six areas are a lot to tackle, and some years I’m more inspired, motivated and energized than others. Some seasons are more my look, which makes things easier. But lack of time, a limited budget, the wrong headspace, other priories, or just not being in the mood can get in the way. That’s OK too, because there are more important things than refreshing one’s style.

Over to you. Which components of your style do you refresh most regularly to feel on trend, up to date and fabulous?

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Dad Style, Shirts & Clothing – How To Dress Well With Children

Once you become a father, your interest in clothing and style doesn’t change, however the demands of parenting require some creative adaption regarding your wardrobe. If you’re a father of young children, your little one’s needs take priority over a new blazer, a pair of oxfords or a signet ring, but that doesn’t mean you have to switch to sweats until your kids are in junior high.

In today’s guide we show you how you can dress well as a dad and what items to incorporate into your wardrobe.

We all know that eBay is an excellent place to find great deals on clothing that would otherwise be ridiculously expensive for the average gentleman. Between eBay, Craigslist, flea markets and thrift stores, there is no shortage of apparel for the sartorially-savvy man. So what differentiates the average man on a low budget from a father? The short answer is boogers.

The average toddler gets around seven colds a year, and they last an average of three weeks. You do the math. That means that on any given day, a parent is dealing with the side effects of an illness in addition to mealtime messes, diaper duty, the occasional discovery of a jar of shaving cream.

There is no stylish way to carry a baby carrier - just suck it up and deal with it

There is no stylish way to carry a baby carrier – just suck it up and deal with it

So how can you maintain a wardrobe on a budget with kids and avoid ruining clothes that not even a dry cleaner will touch? From one father to another, here are some tips and tricks.

Baby covered in spaghetti

Baby covered in spaghetti

Budget Finds

By now, most of you know the key ways to find a wardrobe for less.  Where to buy clothes, how to find good deals and what to look for from a quality perspective. Instead, in this article, we’re going to focus on what items to buy, how to keep them clean and how to change a diaper in a bow tie.

Me playing with my daugther wearing a suit and bow tie

Me playing with my daugther wearing a suit and bow tie

The Essentials

In most cases, when we refer to essentials we’re talking the gray suit, the navy blazer, the black captoe oxfords. When it comes to the dad’s wardrobe, it’s more about the material than anything. A father is nothing short of a jungle gym. If you’re anything like me, you have clothes you wear in the house and ones you wear outside. The house clothes are just a down-sized version of the full outfit. Assuming you enjoy wearing business attire, here’s how you can keep your wardrobe intact and clean.

1. Be keenly aware of what can and cannot be easily cleaned in your wardrobe.

Let’s face it; you don’t have a lot of time to spend ironing and steaming your shirts or treat your cashmere sweaters the way they deserve it.

You also don’t want to spend your time at the dry cleaners. Hence chose items that are easily washable like cotton over wool or cashmere. Of course, you can still wear your wool suits and dress clothes, but expect to get drooled on. So maybe don’t wear your favorite items around the kids all the time.

You will get dirty with kids, guaranteed - choose clothes that you can easily machine wash at home

You will get dirty with kids, guaranteed – choose clothes that you can easily machine wash at home

2. Don’t wear clothes you’re not willing to get dirty around your kids & Get Cotton Cloths

The best way to avoid getting your clothes dirty is to change your work clothes as soon as you get home. Maybe you have a mudroom where you can do that or you have to get a little more creative, but a house wardrobe is your friend. Maybe you can enlist your partner’s help if need be or maybe it is possible for you to change at the office or the gym.

When you have little ones, it pays to have have a burp cloths handy so you can wipe noses and clean up quickly or prevent clothes from getting stained in the first place. In our opinion, cotton diaper cloths are best, as they are effective, inexpensive and easy to wash. Of course, they are also gentle and soft on your babies’ skin.  You can never have too many of them. In the beginning, I wondered we needed 20 of them, now I think 20 is the minimum.

You will get dirty with kids, guaranteed - choose clothes that you can easily machine wash at home

You will get dirty with kids, guaranteed – choose clothes that you can easily machine wash at home

3. Keep a Second Set of Clothes Handy

If you’ve seen the movie The Transporter, you probably remember the scene where he opens the trunk of his car and has a second identical suit in it. Copy that. At some point in your career as a parent, you will inevitably end up going out in public without realizing you’re wearing a special gift.

A second outfit in the car or at the office can be a lifesaver. Or both. Stick with staple outfits that can be used in various scenarios and paired with clean items you’re already wearing.

The navy blazer, a gray suit, a red tie, and a white dress shirt. It may be a little boring, but it’s clean.

4. Adjust your everyday wardrobe to better suit your family lifestyle

You never want to not play with your kids because your clothes are too precious. So, the best course of action is to add more easily washable clothes to your everyday rotation. 

That means

  • Cotton khakis and corduroys
  • Cotton Polo shirts
  • Cotton cardigans and sweaters and vests
Cotton Cardigans and sweaters are your friend when you have little ones

Cotton Cardigans and sweaters are your friend when you have little ones

Buy Multiples

Sweaters are easy to layer over a dress shirt and a tie. They make you still look put together but they also protect the layer underneath. If you like certain items, consider buying multiples of them, as they may get ruined. So, found a great pair of pants you love? Buy 2 or 3 pairs

Bow Ties Not Neck Ties

Keep in mind, bow ties are a lot more practical than neckties with kids as they are smaller and won’t get stained as easily. Of course, anything that hangs from your neck will get touched but bow ties have less surface area to get a hold off.

The classic Eton Red Ribbon shirt in white

The classic Eton Red Ribbon shirt in white

Wrinkle-Resistant Dress Shirts & Ironing

 

 

Personally, we have never been a fan of run-of-the-mill wrinkle-resistant or non-iron dress shirts. Why? Most are treated with formaldehyde which makes the shirt feel plasticky and it loses the wrinkle resistance after a few dozen washes. That aside it is not good for your skin.

 

The best one we have found comes from ETON. has a process that gives you an eco-friendly wrinkle-resistant shirt without formaldehyde or other toxins. Unfortunately, at close to $ 300 off the rack it is more expensive than most custom shirts. 

So at the end of the day, you may just opt for shirt fabrics that still look presentable even if they are not ironed. Typically, those are Super 80s or Super 60s yarns. Stay clear of superfine fabrics in the Super 180s or Super 240s as they wrinkle very easily. The higher the super number the easier it wrinkles. 

To minimize wrinkles, you can wash your shirts, shake out some wrinkles when it comes out of the laundry and when it is still wet. Then let them dry on a hanger and wear them without having to iron them. Of course, ironing is always better and to see how you can iron a shirt like a pro at home in our series here.

medium brown penny loafers

medium brown penny loafers

Stock Up On Slip-On Shoes

You won’t always have two hands to tie shoelaces with kids around, so loafers, boat shoes and slip-ons, in general, are your friend. In the winter Chelsea boots are a good option.

5. Become a master of home stain removal for washable garments

If you encounter a stain, it’s best to treat stains as soon as possible because the longer they sit the harder they are to remove.

Always start by blotting as much of the stain out of the fabric as possible. For fats and liquids, use a paper towel to draw out as much as you can then quickly research the stain online to find the best course of action or stay tuned for a series on clothes maintenance on our website.

In our experience, it pays to keep a shout wipe or tide stick in your wallet and a bigger stash in the diaper bag.

Kids may also ruin your hair but they will have a blast

Kids may also ruin your hair but they will have a blast

6. Find A Reliable Dry Cleaner With Pick-Up and Delivery Service

Dry cleaning is always an option that should be utilized as little as possible as it generally deteriorates your clothing due to the chemicals involved. Nevertheless, maintaining a close relationship with a good dry cleaner means special treatment when you need it the most. 

 

 

Tipping well and show your appreciation can mean staying open late or taking a second stab at a stain just for you. Some dry cleaners offer pickup and delivery for a marginal upcharge. That can be a huge plus as it saves a lot of time and hassle. So do your homework, not all dry cleaners are alike.

A chefs jacket keeps you clean during dinner and still looks good

A chefs jacket keeps you clean during dinner and still looks good

 

 

7. Cover Up at Meal Times

Anytime children eat, you will get dirty. It doesn’t matter what you serve. You can give them plain crackers and water, and somehow you’ll end up pulling caked soggy crackers out of their neck wrinkles. An apron is handy, but it just doesn’t cover enough surface area. Instead, hop online and buy yourself a chef’s jacket. They’re just as inexpensive as aprons, but they cover your entire upper body and arms. They also have a more masculine appeal, so you might even find yourself wearing it when dinner guests show up or when barbecuing for a crowd. The chef’s jacket will fit over your dress shirts and ties and prevent you from getting ketchup on the Charvet you just bought. It’s also white, so it can be bleached.

If you feel self-conscious buying yourself a chef’s jacket when you’re not a professional chef, get creative and suggest it as a father’s day present so you can shrug it off and tell people it was a gift from the kids. It’ll make you feel like super dad, and you look a lot cooler than you would in an apron.

Three little chefs enjoying in the kitchen making big mess. Litt

Three little chefs enjoying in the kitchen making big mess. Little girls making bread in the kitchen

8. Expect That Things Will Get Ruined

Last but not least, it is a wise idea to prepare yourself mentally that some clothes will inevitably get ruined. It is guaranteed to happen and the sooner you accept that, the better off you will be.

This isnt real. No family wears this much white. Its an advert

This isn’t real. No family wears this much white.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this primer on how to be a well-dressed dad gave you a little more insight and helped offer some unique suggestions. For many of us, it’s a matter of trial and error. The biggest thing is to maintain a barrier between your children and your clothing, but that doesn’t mean having to keep them at a distance. What are your parenting tips for dressing well?

This article was originally written by J.A. Shapira and Sven Raphael Schneider


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Contemporary Western Style

A new outfit from Paulien Riemis of Polienne, whom we introduced to YLF in April 2014.

Paulien is mixing several F/W 2018 trends in this eclectic contemporary take on Western style. She’s tucked a white blouse with tie closure into high-waisted cropped jeans with fringed hem that echoes the detailing on the top. Her ornate belt is another clever nod to rodeo and Western styling. As are the striking snakeskin ankle boots in zippy red and black. The eye-catching elongating coat in black and white gingham picks up the colours in our blogger’s outfit, and adds strong geometric interest. As the finishing touch, Paulien chose a transparent bag with on-trend round handle in a burgundy tortoise shell that works brilliantly with her red boots.

Paulien Riemis - 1

Paulien Riemis - 2


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Celebrity Stylist Molly Dickson Named Botkier Style Ambassador

Marking their 15th anniversary, accessories brand Botkier has appointed celebrity stylist Molly Dickson as a style ambassador.
“I began working with Botkier on a campaign shoot a few months ago and quickly came to love the product both personally and professionally,” Dickson says. “I’m based in New York (although often traveling) but I always look to New York (and New Yorkers) as a constant source of inspiration; it’s one of the things I love most about the city. There’s something about the twentysomething girl in the Lower East Side wearing something super authentic and effortless; she’s cool, it’s almost magnetic. That’s how I envision the Botkier girl –– she’s cool and confident, she’s the girl I want to work with and to be friends with, which made this collaboration very organic for me.”
Dickson is emerging as one of the most buzzed-about celebrity stylists in Hollywood. Having begun her career as an assistant to power stylist Leslie Fermar for six years, Dickson has a reputation for working with up-and-coming darlings of Hollywood, including “Stranger Things” actress Sadie Sink and “13 Reasons Why” breakout Katherine Langford, as well as work with Scarlett Johansson, Jenny Slate and more. Her affinity for “It” girls on the

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This Top Has Made Miami Into a Style Destination for Whitney

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