Friday, January 31, 2014

Deals and Steals for the Weekend - 1/31/2014

Finally back on the grind with a working computer. Also home sick today, so I have some time to throw together a Deals and Steals!

Free Shipping at J.Crew Factory (Today Only, Code FREESHIP):
First off, J.Crew Factory is offering free shipping today (and today only, so jump on this fast). There aren't any other markdowns, but this is a great opportunity to snatch up some cheap accessories. I'll be grabbing this wool tie at just $15.

Wool Triple-Stripe Tie | J.Crew Factory
I've been a big fan of every J.Crew tie I've bought, and the clearance discount plus free shipping puts this one at a less-than-Tie-Bar price. Easy pick.

I also recommend picking up this card-holder/wallet. A slim wallet like this is a great chance to reduce your bulk and keep your silhouette trim. I have one myself, and the leather is nice and has aged well over time.
Leather Card Holder | J.Crew Factory
Again, the clearance markdown to just $15 makes this an easy buy on any budget. I'm a big fan of the classic brown, but they have a few other colors available as well.

BONUS: My girlfriend is a big fan of J.Crew (and factory) necklaces, and they've got a 40% off sale going on in their women's jewelry section. V-day is coming up....

Additional 40% Off Sale Items at Bonobos (Code TOASTY):
This one has been going on for a while, but now everything is knocked down to Final Sale. Stinks if you are unsure of your sizing, but this also means that the seasonal sale is probably on it's last legs and won't be around much longer. So, if you're thinking of grabbing something, now is the time! I'm a huge fan of the fit of Bonobos pants, and even with the Final Sale, you should be safe going with your regular size, in a slim-straight fit. Sizing is getting pretty limited, but luckily they have these maple brown cords in my size:
French Corders in Maple | Bonobos
I have yet to pick up a pair of cords this winter, and they are one of my favorite seasonal fabrics, so I'll most likely be jumping on this last chance, especially at the affordable price of $40.

It's also worth taking a look beyond the pants that Bonobos is known for. I bought a few of their sweaters lately and have been loving them (slim-fit in the merino wool and you can't go wrong). This time, I'm looking forward to spring and taking advantage of some super low prices on tees. I'm really digging this one in a nautical stripe:
Vintage Wash Tee | Bonobos

At under $10 with the discount, I'll probably grab one or two in classic white as's a menswear wardrobe staple, and mine are getting a bit worn.

Additional 30% Off Sale Items at Original Penguin (Code OPSALE30):
I don't shop at Original Penguin too often, but everything I've gotten from them has been solid and stylish, and this sale has some good deals available. For one, I'm still on a huge warm-sweater kick as the weather stays nice and crappy here in Chicago. OP has a V-neck lambswool option for under $25 after the discount:
Hector Lambswool V-Neck Sweater | Original Penguin
Not much more to be said...that's a steal of a price and a darn cozy-looking sweater.

While you're at it, you can grab a sharp dress shirt to wear underneath. They have several options, but this windowpane is classy, and would be very versatile as well:
Windowpane Dress Shirt | Original Penguin
I don't have personal experience with Original Penguin dress shirts, and there isn't a fit description, but at $30, you should have a few bucks left over in case this needs a quick trip to the tailor.

Clearance Sale at Imogene + Willie:
Ever since Imogene + Willie was featured in an episode of Alternate Route (by the way, Esquire is killing it with their TV Network), I've been dying to get a pair of their jeans. Unfortunately, their super-premium denim is usually way out of my price range. However, there are some HUGE discounts in their sale section right now that have me tempted to whip out my credit card. For example, these black rigid straight-legs are sharp, and marked down to just $105 from an original $275.

Willie Black Rigid | Imogene + Willie
Everyone is all about their indigo blue jeans, but black can be just as versatile and sometimes even better-looking. I've been on the lookout for a pair, and might not be anymore.

The rest of the sale ain't cheap, but the discounts are still hard to beat. If you've been considering dropping some dough on a premium button-down, Gitman did a line for Imogene + Willie, and this dark blue shirt stands out in the shop:
Navy Gitman for IW | Imogene + Willie
Like I said, $80 for a shirt isn't a steal, but when you consider the original price of $165, it just might be a deal.

I'll leave you with a final recommendation: check out sales in person! I'm an online shopping addict and do most of my buying from the comfort of my couch, but you can catch some crazy good discounts in-person. Perfect example: I stopped in at Gap on a whim last week, walked out of the store with a pair of buttery-soft and cozy-warm moleskin Chinos for less than $10. I can't even find the damn things online, so there's no way I would have gotten a deal like that without actually walking into the store. Goes to show, it's worth getting off your ass every so often!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Trashness - In-Person Review

Be proud, this post was done without my personal computer whatsoever. Also, keep that in mind if critiquing any formatting and/or spelling errors.

I had seen shirts by a brand called Trashness popping up here and there on the internet at pretty awesome prices, and ended up suggesting that you all check them out in one of my 'Deals and Steals' posts. I also commented that I hadn't seen a ton of reviews around the web, and a few weeks later, Trashness shot me an e-mail to see if I'd like to help fill that void, so here we go!

The Brand:

As has become tradition, first we'll give the folks from Trashness the chance to tell us about their brand and plug themselves a little bit. I spoke with Amin Eftegarie, co-founder, via e-mail. Here's what he had to share:

"We're based in the Netherlands, in a small town called Nieuw-Vennep (suburbs of Amsterdam). The rent is low here. The Dutch are known for trying to save money in every situation you can think of. That state of mind helped us to cut costs. And as you noticed we offer free worldwide shipping on all products, so 99% of our orders are outside NL. (our top destinations: USA, Italy, UK, Japan etc). We care a little less about our profit margins, and a little more about getting students across the world the style and quality of clothing we wished some company was offering when we were broke students. 

We've been around since 12-12-12. At least officially, on this date we registered Trashness at the Dutch chamber of commerce. But my co-founder Maarten and I were obsessing about menswear long before that. We often discussed what other brands were doing. And sometimes we wondered why they were doing it (in such a way). Why aren't they doing it another, to us more rational/gratifying way? We went on a journey which ended with the establishment of Trashness

Perhaps all those company background stories might sound the same. The best communication we do, is trough the quality and branding of our products and the awesome custom service we give when something's not up to our standards."

I selected probably their most classically styled shirts, but they also have a lot of more aggressively styled options, including a wide selection of extreme cut-away collars (not quite my style, but if that's your thing, definitely take a look). They also offer accessories from ties to pocket squares to bracelets, and recently I saw a line of cotton cardigans pop up that looked mighty tempting.

The Shirts:

Trashness was kind enough to actually send me two shirts to try out. The fit on both shirts was pretty darn nice, for right off the rack. Trashness had actually cautioned me that their shirts run extra slim, and since I have yet to find a shirt that istoo slim for me, I was hoping this would be darn snug. It comes pretty close, there's still a bit of room, which is probably for the best, as most slim guys will probably have a few inches on me anyway. As it is, I don't think I will need to tailor it at all. Points! (Editors Note: Fit pictures will come, pending more cooperative outdoor lighting). 

The first shirt I picked was their white OCBD ($44 via the Trashness store). 
Not only is this shirt a staple that no man can have enough of, I've been on a huge kick with them lately, wearing them almost everyday. I love how much I can play around with the rest of an outfit when it's anchored by a classic like a white OCBD. Anyway, when it came down to it, this was the least impressive of the two shirts, mainly due to lower quality fabric. While the shirting felt sturdy enough, there was a lot of fraying along the edges, seams and buttonholes. 

One instance of fraying fabric.

Additionally, there wasn't quite a nice roll to the button-down collar...when worn with a tie I kept getting weird dents and crinkles, and the collar wouldn't just lay flat. 

Just not the best collar roll ever.
In all fairness, Amin also mentioned that they will soon be upgrading their OCBD fabric, so all this might be moot in a short while.

That being said, My second choice was a spread collar denim shirt ($44 via the Trashness store), which I thought was fantastic:
I've been hunting down a spread collar denim dress shirt that wouldn't cost me an arm and a leg, and this fits the bill nicely. The fabric here is much cleaner, and I'm a big fan of the heft. It's a bit thicker than a lightweight chambray, but doesn't feel like you're wearing a jean jacket. Amin told me, "It's enzyme washed. We had another denim shirt which was great, and softer after a couple of washes. So this shirt is already pre-washed, giving you the softness right from the start." The spread collar and lack of chest pockets keep the silhouette trim, and I'd definitely wear this with a tie and/or a blazer. Just a few areas they could improve: why no collar stays? Or at least slots? A curled up collar can be so detrimental to a look, and it's such an easy fix! 

Some collars should roll, but these shouldn't.
Also, I can't decide if I like the contrast stitching (reminiscent of denim jeans). 

Contrast Button-Hole

On one hand, I like the way it hearkens to the stitching on your jeans, but on the other, I think it takes away from the formality of the shirt in a slightly out-of-place way.

My only other beef, with both shirts, is the embroidered logo at the hip. 

Too much branding! Also, more sloppy needlework.
I just like my shirts (dress shirt especially) to be logo-and-embellishment-free. I won't even buy Polo Ralph Lauren shirts if the little polo man is embroidered in a contrast color. While it's a nifty little logo, keeping it on the tag should be enough. It's not a huge deal, but I think it detracts a bit from an otherwise clean, sharp look. Maybe my tailor can pick it out without leaving any noticeable holes...

The Bottom Line:
There are indeed better shirts to be had, but they will be hard to find at $45. If fit is your biggest concern (rather than high fabric quality), this is definitely not a bad choice. Fit is sharp and modern, and better than you'll get from most OTR choices, but construction and fabric quality seem to be a bit sub-par, at least on certain options. The branding on the shirt keeps them from being 100% office-ready (although said branding is easily hidden under a cardigan or blazer).

This was a sponsored review, and the products reviewed were provided to me free of charge. The article, however, remains objective and unbiased and is published without prior editing or review by Trashness. While I love to be given products to review, don't worry, I will never endorse a product I wouldn't wear myself. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

My Weaknesses - Socks and Ties

My computer is in the shop, which is the worst. Fortunately, my lovely girlfriend had her work laptop handy and let me jump on for a few minutes to throw a short post up.

I was doing laundry this weekend and was inspired to share my two wardrobe weaknesses, items that I have a zillion of, but will still buy in a heartbeat if something catches my eye: ties and socks.

Ties because they are the ultimate game-changer. Add one to a tie-less look and you automatically take your style level up a notch. On top of that, swap out the one you have for a completely new look, in a move that takes two minutes and zero laundry. I love knit ties, and The Knottery has some great ones (check out the polka dots) at very affordable prices. Also, I've recently started working with Peter Field here in Chicago (more on that later), and they have some really nice wool ties that are seasonally appropriate for this miserable winter weather!

Socks because they are comfortable and functional, but let you add this almost-secret dose of pizzazz to any outfit, no matter how formal or informal. You can take the simplest, monochromatic look and make it fun with a bright sock on the bottom. My tip for building a collection is to keep an eye on sales sections at retailers that offer free shipping. I've ammassed a respectable collection, rarely spending over $10 a pair. Nordstrom has a pair by Polo Ralph Lauren in a snazzy polka dot for around $9.00.

Hopefully my computer will be back in action soon, I have some larger features in  the works!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Deals and Steals Fail

Big apologies folks, no deals and steals coming your way today. My computer decided to 100% crap out on me last night, so it (along with all my drafts and articles) is undergoing surgery with the good folks at Geek Squad and I am writing to you from my iPhone. Fingers crossed, we'll be back to normal by next week. Meantime, take a few minutes to go through some old posts, participate in some discussions if you feel so inclined, or just shoot me an e-mail and say hi! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dapper Plaid - Putting It Into Practice

Earlier this week I wrote a post on how to wear plaid without looking sloppy, frumpy, or lumberjack-y. Over the weekend (after writing the post), I incorporated some flannel plaid into a sharp outfit myself, and took the opportunity to snap a few pictures so I could show my tips in action:

Nope, no decent pics of me looking at the camera. NO EYE CONTACT!
Let's take a look, one tip at a time:

First, I recommended dressing up your shirt. During the week, a blazer would be a perfect addition that would make your flannel office-appropriate, but we were headed out to the barcade (beer + old school arcade games = gold, pure gold), so I kept things a bit more casual, opting for a chunky cardigan instead of a jacket. The effect is similar though, allowing the hearty pattern of the shirt to come through but not dominate.
The cardigan is the cozy man's blazer...I made that up.
Next, I advocated dressing up your pants or trousers a bit as well. I actually encouraged choosing something other than jeans, but here I show how jeans can work. Like I said on Monday, just keep them dark and crisp, and by doing so you channel more city-casual than woodsy-careless.

Third, you can't really tell in the picture since I am wearing the cardigan buttoned-up, but I avoided the workwear look by sticking with a slimmer fitting shirt (this one happens to be from Frank and Oak). Even with the cardigan, picking a slim shirt is smart as it will reduce bunching as well as open up your options to unbutton or take off the sweater if things warm up.

Last, I told y'all to tuck it in, which I clearly did here! Along the same lines, just make sure the way you are wearing it is neat. Little touches like a clean 1/4 inch (or so) of cuff showing past the cardigan, and keeping the plaid collar points contained by the shawl collar help keep the whole look put-together and avoids any sense of sloppiness.

The rest of the pics (including a shot of my awesome new Polo Ralph Lauren boots...if you'll remember, I recommended these a while back, and I do listen to my own advice):

Also, gotta love $5 Target Boot Socks.

The Details:
Shirt - Frank and Oak
Cardigan - H&M
Jeans - Levi's

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mad for Plaid

Plaid is everywhere these days, doubly so now that we are fully into the winter season. I love the pattern, for the visual variety it lends an outfit, for the rugged warmth it exudes, but it's really easy to lose the sharp edge of your style and to slide quickly into lumberjack territory.

So how do you rock seasonal plaid without looking like you're about to build a log cabin while hunting a grizzly bear? Here are a few ways to keep your plaid city-appropriate:

1) Dress it Up:
Plaid is a pretty inherently casual pattern, especially when made from a thicker flannel cloth, as is wont in the colder months. However, this doesn't mean your whole outfit has to be way laid-back to match. Try keeping a bit of formality by wearing a plaid button-down under a blazer. I suggest a thicker wool fabric for the blazer to match the heft of the plaid. A tie and a pocket square seal the deal with a look that is definitely business casual, rather than redneck.

2) Don't Wear Jeans:
This is one of your easiest options. Instead of reaching for your favorite beat-up blue jeans, go for something a bit sharper, like some dark chinos. Those black and red buffalo check flannels that are so appealing look great with a pair of black chinos, while some of your lighter options will pair well with khaki's, or even some winter whites. If you do go for jeans, opt for a dark, dressier pair rather than your beat-up 501's.

3) Pay Attention To Fit:
This doesn't mean only wear super slim fitting plaids, but to know the fit of what you're wearing and treat it appropriately. A heavy, looser flannel shirt that you can pick up at your local thrift store will look way better used as a light jacket (say, over a sharp white tee-shirt, or even a turtleneck sweater) instead of trying to pull it off as a dress shirt. 

4) Tuck It In:
This is a huge one. I'm definitely not saying that there is no style or class in an un-tucked casual shirt, but the loose plaid shirt is definitely a cabin-ready look. You can feel much more appropriately dressed hitting the city with your tails tucked. Again, though, pay attention to fit, and avoid billowing at the waist or sleeves. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Deals and Steals for the Weekend - 1/17/2013

First, the spiel: "Every weekend, check in on the blog for a collection of the best (read: my favorite) deals and steals on the interweb for some quality shopping over the weekend. Have any to add? Share them in the comments or shoot me an e-mail. Also, if you're biting on any of these hooks, I'd love to hear about it!"

And now the deals:

Ralph Lauren Winter Sale:
Ok, starting off with a repeat, cuz it's just that crazy of a deal. Remember these colorful suede Chukkas I recommended a few months back
Casterton Suede Chukka | Ralph Lauren

At that point they were around $60, if I remember correctly, already a great deal. Well holy hell, look at 'em now. ONLY $40. Need I say more? If these are as nice as they look, this is an unbeatable deal. Come payday tomorrow, I know I'm grabbing a pair. Hell, for that cheap, I might get one of each color.

While we're on Ralph Lauren, I highly recommend taking a look at the Hats/Gloves section of their accessories sale. We've made it through a few months of winter already, but it's still far from over. There's a great selection of hats and gloves as well as scarves that will keep you toasty through the rest of the season at a reasonable price. Personally, I'll probably go for these cashmere-lined leather gloves:
Nappa Cashmere-Lined Gloves | Ralph Lauren
I bought a pair of dress gloves from Frank and Oak earlier this year, but they started to fall apart way too quickly so I had to return them and have been looking for a replacement ever since. These should fit the bill pretty perfectly, and at $42 (down from $98), they won't leave me broke.

Lands' End Canvas:
Not a designated event, but Lands' End Canvas has some darn good-looking deals going on right now. I've read that LEC is being phased out, which is a shame because they offer a more contemporary, slim-fitting take compared to the Lands' End standard. As such, there isn't usually a huge selection, but WOAH, did they just add a ton? Or did I unknowingly have some search filter on yesterday? Regardless, I've got my eye on these slim-fit herringbone chinos, down to $35 from an original price of $88:
Men's 608 Slim Fit Elston Chinos | Lands' End Canvas
I've been dying to get some really wintery trousers (I'm thinking tweed, flannel, etc.). These certainly look nice and wintery, but by using a cotton blend rather than wool, it looks like LEC has kept the pricing down. I'm also hugely impressed by the fact that inseams are offered at 1/4 inch intervals. I've never heard of that before, it's practically a free custom hem-job. On top of that, you can get them cuffed or un-cuffed (or un-finished if you want to go pay to have them hemmed yourself). 

My other recommendation isn't even on sale, but it's still a pretty darn good deal, and I'm considering it myself. Everyone loves a good white OCBD, and I've been wearing mine even more over the past few weeks. I'm not sure why, but I don't really need a reason! Either way, it's made me wish I had a fresh one to wear every day of the week, so this number jumped off the page:
Men's Washed Oxford Shirt | Lands' End Canvas
Even without a discount, these are very affordable at $39, and come with all the necessities: button-down collar, 100% cotton, 'close to the body fit,' a hemline that can be worn tucked or not, you name it. Get both of these (or any other combo over $50) and shipping is free.

Extra 40% Off Final Sale Items at J.Crew:
Ok, this one is kind of a cop out because a) there's only one size left - 32/32, and b) this is definitely a 'planning ahead' purchase that you won't be able to use until the summer. BUT, if that's your size, you're getting and incredible deal, and come summer, you'll be so glad you bought these. I have a pair of oxford-cloth pants from Bonobos that are the most comfortable thing I've ever worn and breezy-cool in the hot summer, and J.Crew's version looks just as nice: 
Bowery Slim in Oxford Cloth | J.Crew
Offered in the slim Bowery fit, these come at a ridiculously low price of $24 after the discount (originally $88). Get it.

To make up for the limited availability and delayed reward of that recommendation, here's a much more season-appropriate and widely sized option, also at an incredibly low price of $24:
Vintage Cord in Slim-Straight Fit | J.Crew
These deep red corduroy pants in slim-straight fit may look like a bold choice, but the softer texture helps mute things a bit, and honestly, the warmth of the color can be a welcome element to your wardrobe on a dreary winter day.

MLK Day Sale at Gap:
There's not a ton of things that I will regularly go to Gap for, but these 'lived-in' chinos are one of them. They are crazy comfortable, and in my experience a bit slimmer than the photos indicate, which leaves them at a perfect balance between casual and dressy. I've worn these with a t-shirt to music festivals and with a dress shirt, tie and blazer to the office. 

Lived-In Slim Khaki | Gap
Lately, I've been on the hunt for a pair of chinos in brown, and at $24 (hmm, popular price for pants these days) these are too good to pass up. 

While you're at it, grab another staple at a steal. A white tee may seem too simple, but throw one on with a pair of dark blue jeans and you'll be rocking a timeless look, comfortable but sharp, rugged yet refined. 
The Essential Crewneck T | Gap

This one is only $9, so you get above-Target quality for below-target prices. Again, too good to pass up.

Happy shopping, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mr. Pocket Square - Front and Center

A few weeks before Christmas, Mr. Pocket Square sent me a pocket square from their collection to sample. 
Tartan Pocket Square | Mr. Pocket Square
It's a beautiful, festive square and I've been rocking it since it arrived, and am just now getting a chance to really feature it here on the blog.

Admittedly, most of the collection from Mr. Pocket Square is a bit bold and bright for my tastes. However, there are a few tamer gems in the mix that can be a great pop of color for an otherwise stolid outfit, but maintain enough class and subtlety to avoid looking affected.

The one I picked out is a perfect example, coming in a bright green and red plaid. Yeah, the colors are bright, but the pattern itself is pretty standard (you know this, you see plaid everywhere, and have for ages). I've been loving to use this square as the punch in an outfit, keeping everything else as minimal and 'classic' as possible. 

Here is one of my favorite looks, a simple white OCBD, grey wool blazer, and black knit tie. It really doesn't get any simpler than that, so the pizzazz added by the colorful pocket square doesn't risk pushing things over the edge. I wore this particular 'fit with jeans, but I was thinking it would have worked very well with my dark green chinos, which remain neutral but would play well with the subtle green tones from the square. 

Since the pocket square is such a small pop of color, I'd go ahead and repeat the injection below with a bold pair of socks, even something in solid bright red.

Extra hint: Score one of these squares, emblazoned with cute and classy hearts, for a standout touch on Valentine's day!
Blue Hearts Pocket Square | Mr. Pocket Square

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Essential Winter Shoe-Care Tips

We've done a post about the importance of taking care of your shoes, and just like that time, I'm going to avoid a general 'how-to' since a quick Google or YouTube search will get you all the info you need to know. However, there are a few extra tips that we felt were crucial enough to getting through the winter that we wanted to write up a quick post for y'all.

Shoe Trees
Cedar Shoe Trees | Men's Wearhouse
These are important all year, but doubly so in the winter. Mainly, they help the leather in your shoes maintain it's natural shape as it dries, avoiding creasing and cracking. Through the winter, you're just that much more likely to come back with some snow stuck to your soles, or slush in the seams of your precious leather footwear, so be extra sure to shove a pair of shoe trees in them as soon as you take them off. Shoe tress can get expensive, but there's really no need. Stick to cedar, and if possible get split toes, and you're good to go. Men's Wearhouse has a nice looking pair that goes for just $20, and you'll often be able to take a chunk out of that with a good sale. I get mine at Nordstrom Rack, where I think they run just $13.

While your stuffing your shoes with trees, it's also really important to give your kicks a quick wipe-down with a damp cloth as soon as you step inside. The salt that your local city or town or what have you applies liberally to the streets and sidewalks will do extra murder to your footwear, staining and drying out the leather in ways far worse than just water. Avoid any excess damage by wiping your shoes clean of any salt build-up before it has a chance to really set into the leather.

Save Your Suede
Combo Suede Brush | Allen Edmonds

Water and salt won't necessarily ruin suede as immediately as many people think, but it's still rough on the material. At the very least, you can end up with spots from the salt and weird lines from uneven exposure to water (or snow, or slush). We have two quick recs here: First, don't be afraid to fight fire with fire (or water with water, in this case). Often, applying a moist cloth evenly to the whole shoe will help remove stains and get rid of unsightly lines. Second, get a suede brush! The rubber nubs are great for working salt and other crud out of the leather, and the stiff wire bristles will restore the 'nap' of your suede to looking almost like new. Suede brushes are dirt cheap at shoe companies like Allen Edmonds (think $6.50 and free shipping), but in a crunch you can use a rubber eraser and plain wire brush.

Just some suggestions to help you make it through these cold and dreary months without stifling your style!

Ed. Note: Between writing and publishing this post, I also purchased waterproofing spray from Allen Edmond's. It's inexpensive at ~$7.00 a can, silicone free (better for your leather), and so far is working great on my suede boots. It's usually highly recommended around StyleForum, etc., and I'm inclined to agree.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Deals and Steals for the Weekend - 1/9/2014

First, the spiel: "Every weekend, check in on the blog for a collection of the best (read: my favorite) deals and steals on the interweb for some quality shopping over the weekend. Have any to add? Share them in the comments or shoot me an e-mail. Also, if you're biting on any of these hooks, I'd love to hear about it!"

This week, we're going with high-end designer duds being offered at crazy low prices. This is the time of year for seasonal sales that drop some normally hugely expensive items down to a price range that doesn't make me regret memorizing my credit card. 

East Dane End-Of-Season Sale:
I had actually never heard of this e-commerce retailer before, but got turned on to them just in time to catch this huge sale. The site offers a lot of high-end designer goods, similar to MR PORTER, and most would normally be pretty far out of my price range, but this sale puts a lot of great items in reach. For instance, there's a large selection of Gant Rugger shirts hovering around the $40 mark (most originally $125). This madras plaid is one of my favorites:
Madras Plaid Shirt | Gant Rugger via East Dane
I'm really digging the spread collar, where most shirts in this style come with a button-down collar. The spread just ups the formality a bit, and I think this would look great under a summer suit.

Shift back to winter real quick, I also spotted these chinos (another offering from Gant), knocked down to just $50 from an original price of $165:
Winter Chinos | Gant Rugger via East Dane
I love navy chinos as an incredibly versatile alternative to khaki. Even better, these are made with a 'winter weight' cloth, and this polar vortex has me all about warmer duds for the next few months. Check out the rest of the sale for some other great designers at surprisingly affordable prices.

Up to 50% Off Fall Styles at Rag & Bone:
Rag & Bone is in the middle of their seasonal sale and have a ton of items at unusually low prices. I'm actually pretty blown away by the price of these selvage (selvedge?) jeans, which are going for a pretty unheard of price of $75 (originally $255):
RB15-Indigo Selvage Jeans | Rag & Bone
Selvage denim rarely goes for under $100, especially with a designer name like Rag & Bone attached. If they have your size, I highly recommend grabbing these.

I'm also so tempted by this mock-neck sweater, especially after seeing this similarly cut one in red, rocked incredibly well by Wes over at TSB:
Jeremy Army Pullover | Rag & Bone
The sweater is running $105, which is still a bit steep for my blood, but is a great deal when you look at the original $350 price tag. A late Christmas present for myself, maybe?

Up to 60% Off at Todd Snyder:
Like Rag & Bone, Todd Snyder is one of those designers I've always loved but could never afford. This sale changes things, though, and I'm ready to jump on a few items. First on my list is this incredibly comfortable looking pullover crewneck sweatshirt:
Off-White Pocket Sweatshirt | Todd Snyder
Lately, I've been on a drive to convert my college casual wardrobe to something more grown-up, and this would make a great replacement for those hoodies that I wore everywhere when I was younger. I love all the details, from the gusseting at the neck to the chest pocket. The regular price of $130 was way high for something I'd probably mostly wear around the house, but at $56, like I said, ready to jump.

Todd Snyder does a lot of great collaborations as well, like these Todd Snyder + Seavees Army Issue Sneakers. Originally $125, these are going for only $49, and look like a great casual shoe for when the weather starts to warm back up.
Olive Army Issue Low Sneaker | Todd Snyder + Seavees
The lightweight look isn't just weather-appropriate for the spring and summer, but it will also balance great with shorts (I hate the way a chunkier sneaker looks with a trim pair of fitted shorts). Also, military styling has really developed into a long-lasting trend over the past year or so.

Barneys Fall Designer Sale:
We'll close things out with a few picks from luxe department-store Barneys, whose Fall Designer Sale is running apparel, shoes and accessories at up to 75% off. One of my top picks is this great, very wintery tie, offered exclusively through Barneys at $39 (down from $70).
Exploded Houndstooth Donegal Tie | Barneys

I have a great tie collection, but I've stuck with bargain deals (lookin' at you, Tie Bar), and am trying to add some nice ties to the mix. This wool/silk mix looks fantastic and would certainly fit the bill.

I've probably made it clear that I love chunky sweaters, and I love tweed, so it shouldn't be a suprise that I'm closing out with this awesome Tweedy Cable-Knit Sweater by Saturdays Surf NYC:
Tweedy Cable-Knit Sweater | Saturdays Surf NYC via Barneys
What's not to love? It's incredible appropriate for this cold weather, and the style is spot on. Factor in the huge discount, from $160 down to $59, and it's a deal that's really hard to pass don't!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Niche For Men Deodorizing Wipes: An In-Person Review

Rapid-fire product reviews, gotta love it. Carl of Niche For Men, LLC reached out to me with a product to share that I think will be 100% appropriate for your next 'walk-of-shame' type of morning. After a night of raucous debauchery, and maybe not spending the night at home, you might be thinking outside the box for ways to freshen up. Niche For Men comes in with a, not-quite-unheard-of product in the form of an all-in-one facial and body wipe. 

A 'Niche for Men' 5-pack.
The product description really labels the things as an alternative to a shower when you're on the run, and the directions are pretty darn simple as well. Basically, use one wipe (they come in packs of two), and wipe what's smelly (or dirty, or grungy, you name it, just don't go wiping every hipster you see).

Two sets of wipes inside each pack.
The only thing that weirded me out at first was the direction to wash your hands after use. "Wait," I thought, "aren't the wipes supposed to do the washing themselves?" But then I thought a bit more, and confirmed with Carl that this is merely a suggestion to avoid ingesting the cleaning solution (or getting it in your eyes). Makes sense now. 

Poppin' one open.
I tested these out while I was traveling for the holidays. I thought they would be a perfect remedy to that gunky feeling you get after sitting in a car for 13 hours. I had planned on using one and then going out, but that afore-mentioned car ride had me beat, so I freshened up, hung around the house for a while, and then went to bed.

Goin' to work.
The results were...results. After a quick wipe, I definitely smelled much less like BO and more like a respectable human being. However, my girlfriend noted that the scent was kind of feminine. Personally, I don't think it's overly so, and it didn't bother me much, but if you're freshening up for the ladies, it's something to keep in mind. While I did smell better, I'm not sure I necessarily felt cleaner. One of those issues of masking vs. cleaning, I guess. However, I will say that it did a darn good job removing the oil and general scumminess that had built up on my face via a few fast food drive-in stops throughout the trip. By the next morning, the perfume was pretty much gone and I was starting to get a bit musky again, and definitely was ready for a shower.

Not too shabby!
Bottom line, I could see these being useful, if I had more of a use for them (circular logic, kinda, I know). I don't do a ton of traveling at this point (though I'd love to), and am rarely unable to shower once a day. I also don't really work out during the day (though this should change), so I don't often need a quick mid-day refresher. However, if I was to start hitting the gym on a lunch break, I think these wipes would be a great way to save some time (if necessary) and skip a post-workout shower here or there. Likewise, after a 12 hour flight, it could be very refreshing to duck into the airport bathroom and put a wipe to a quick use before bustling off to a business meeting. I don't see myself buying more of these in the immediate future, but I'll be keeping them in mind as an on-the-go solution moving forward. They run $3.00 for a two-pack, so I wouldn't think about using these like, 10 times a day, but here and there is entirely viable.

And I would definitely take advantage of these wipes real quick when I stumble out of bed for a Sunday Brunch, still bleary eyed and hungover from the night before. At least I'd show up smelling like roses!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Keepin' It Budget with Target Boot Socks

Even with our weekly 'Deals and Steals,' Wide Eyes, Tight Wallets occasionally risks venturing out of 'Tight Wallet' zone, so I try to make a conscious effort to steer back time-to-tome to articles that really prioritize the 'budget-friendly' aspect of the site (of course without sacrificing too many style points). 

Here's one of those posts, as we endorse the Mossimo Supply Co. Boot Sock from Target

Men's Hiker Boot Sock | Mossimo Supply Co. via Target
This has been the year that I've taken a whole-hearted dive into keeping myself warm, and it's been a good year to do it as this Chicago winter has already been pretty damn brutal. When it's a zero-degree high for the day, it's really important to keep your extremities bundled up and avoid losing any body heat while you're out fighting the elements. One or two good pairs of gloves is plenty, but if you try spreading your socks that thin, you're going to end up in stinky trouble.

On the other hand, these warm smartwool or merino wool or cashmere socks get expensive pretty quick, especially if you are like me, constantly unprepared and running into a store mid-day because your feet are freezing. Enter the Mossimo Supply Co. Boot Sock, available at target for only $5.00 a pair. Sure, they aren't pure wool (or pure anything, for that matter), and they will probably fall apart by the end of winter, but I got one for every day of the week for well under $50 (and they have enough colors to do so).
Some of the many colors and varieties offered. 

Beyond that, they are warm, comfortable (the acrylic that makes them so cheap actually makes them softer and less itchy as well), and have that great 'ragg' look that I love to rock on my feet in these cold months. I've worn them with boots, lace-ups and loafers and been compliment and comfy all around.