Monday, June 24, 2013

More Shoe Candy...

First off: I know things have been pretty slow on Wide Eyes, Tight Wallets over the past week or two. Unfortunately, it looks like this is going to keep up for a bit longer. I'm having some technical issues (aka my computer is on the fritz) which, combined with a hectic schedule, are going to keep me from giving my full attention to the blog. So, until things settle down a bit, I will sadly only be able to offer sporadic posts (but I promise to write as often as I can).

On the plus side, I do have a full-length post that should be ready to roll out tomorrow, and in the meantime I have this little juicy tidbit for all you readers out there:

I tweeted about this a while ago, but I'm not sure how many of you got to check out the summer sale at MR PORTER. MR PORTER has a pretty incredible selection of drool-worthy menswear apparel and accessories. Unfortunately, most of it tends to be waaaay out of my price range, and they rarely offer any sales. The good news? This is one of those times, and while the sale is nearly over, there is still a very decent selection of much-more-affordable-than-usual goods to be found. When I saw the sale go up, these brown Sperry Topsiders were actually the very first thing to catch my eye. 

But alas, they were also one of the very first things to sell out (well, actually JUST my size sold out, and pretty instantly). Therefore you can imagine my giddiness when, all of the sudden, MR PORTER my size only. In fact, when I got on the site, there was only one shoe left in any size, and it just happened to be mine. Now, to be honest, I screwed the pooch on this one a my haste to snag these before any other lucky bastard could put them in his cart first, I accidentally ordered expedited shipping. MR PORTER normally ships free (one of the things I love most about shopping there), but the $20 overnight shipping kinda put a dent in my excited over the savings. Silver lining was I got these shoes in just one day, and honestly, I'm just glad to have them. They still ended up being a bit cheaper than full price, and you really can't go wrong with a pair of classic brown leather Sperry Topsiders.

Now, I think these leather guys are all gone for good now, but there are still some canvas Topsiders left for ONLY $40!! Someone go buy them...if I hadn't just blown my shoe budget on these, I'd be grabbing a pair for myself. Check the other sale items as well, you might find that high-end piece you've been pining for, and it might for once actually be in your budget.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Product Endorsement: Pact 'Farm' No-Show Socks

So, summer weather is finally here in Chicago! Which can only mean one thing (ok, it means many things, but one of those things is...): it's time to go sockless.

One of the great things about summer is shedding your socks and letting your ankles show. Not only is it cool and comfortable, it's a very stylish look as well. However, if you've ever tried to wear leather shoes without any socks, you know darn well just how quickly cool and breezy becomes sweaty, stinky and blistered. The good news is that there are numerous ways to avoid these problems. Foot powders seem to be a popular option, but my favorite remedy has become these 'no-show' or 'loafer' socks by Pact:

Pact 'Farm' No-Show Socks (3-Pack) (Men)

Yes, I suppose this is kind of cheating as you won't really be sockless, but honestly, you really get all the benefits with no downside. If you're wearing leather shoes, your actual feet won't be breathing anyway, but these socks let you look the part, plus having your ankles bare increases your circulation and cools you down the same way that rolling up your sleeves does. There are other loafer socks out there, but I highly recommend trying these ones out. Little rubber nubs in the heel keep the sock from sliding off in your shoe, and the cotton/spandex/lycra composition is soft and comfortable. The profile is just high enough on the foot to stay secure, while still staying low enough to be hidden in all but the skimpiest of footwear. Add to that the fact that Pact is an uber-eco-friendly company (these socks are made using 100% wind power, pretty cool), and these become a no-brainer. The icing on the cake? You can snag a three-pack of these at, with free shipping, for only $12.00. Get some funky colors like those above like I did, or take a safer route with the more neutral grey/blue combination also offered at Nordstrom, but honestly you shouldn't be able to see the sock anyway, so go with whatever tickles your fancy. They make a women's version as well, and I've already convinced my galpal to get her own pair, and she loves 'em as much as I do.  'Nuff said.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

WIWT - 6/4/2013 - Classic summer prep on a cooler summer day.

The weather here in Chicago has been so wacky lately that it's been really hard to dress seasonally. It seems to always be either hot and rainy, or cool and sunny. Today fell into the latter category...the gorgeous sunshine and clear blue sky have me thinking summer, but the temperature would be more in place in March or April. Today I really stepped up to the challenge and embraced the cheery look of the day while keeping myself warm enough for the unusually cool breeze.

The biggest thing I did here was combine very light colors with my pants and shirt. In general, this is reserved for warmer summer days. I actually just read an article today in which the creative director and CEO of Grenson  shoes decreed, as a Style Rule, that men should never wear a light shirt with light pants unless the temperature is 85 degrees of higher (or something like that). Personally, I don't really adhere to the strict temperature requirement, but I do like to hold these combinations off for brighter days (it looks pretty out of place in the winter or on a dreary, rainy day). However, instead of reaching for my lightweight shirts, I stuck with a heavier OCBD from Frank and Oak. Boom, perfect balance between form and function. I also went with a lighter brown belt to add to the brighter motif, and the pants are a very light khaki chino from J Crew.

Down to the shoes, instead of going sockless in my boat shoes or tan loafers (which I've been loving to do when the weather permits), I went with my darker Tod's loafers. They aren't too chunky, so they don't clash with the more summery vibe, but they are a little sturdier and, more importantly, fit best with thicker socks. Once again, an item I wouldn't normally be incorporating into a 'summer' outfit, but that works perfectly in this situation.

I topped it all off with my lightweight Uniqlo blazer. I probably could have gotten away with wearing a wool jacket, but it's not cold here, per se, just a bit chilly in the shade and when the lakefront breeze kicks up.

The lighter cotton/linen blazer is plenty as an just an extra layer throughout the day, and with the unstructured design is a little less bulky to be throwing on and off as the temperatures fluctuate throughout the day.

As a whole, this outfit combination is a great example of classic prep. The light khakis, OCBD, blue blazer, and brown loafers all fit the bill perfectly. I kept the accessories simple too, with a thin brown belt, brown watch, and plain white pocket square. Pretty much my only break from traditional prep is in the knit tie, but this tie has become a favorite of mine for just how versatile it is, and it goes great with this look as well.

Long story short, it's important to consider both style and functionality when dressing for the day. As tempting as it was to wake up and go all-out summer with my attire, it would have left me uncomfortable and chilly, and honestly would probably have kept me inside most of the day. Instead, with a few quick substitutions I managed to stay fly and warm. But really, Chicago, where is summer?

The Details:
Cotton/Linen Blazer by Uniqlo
OCBD by Frank and Oak
Tie and Tie Clip by The Tie Bar
Belt by Levi's
Chinos and Socks by J.Crew Factory
Shoes by Tod's (via eBay)