Tag Archives | Fashion

Fashion Inspiration

Fashion isn’t just about what you wear, what goes on your body. It’s truly an expression of yourself that extends beyond your clothes.

“Fashion is everything. Art, music, furniture design, graphic design, hair, makeup, architecture, the way cars look – all those things go together to make a moment in time.”  – Tom Ford

And just as fashion isn’t limited to the cloth that we wrap ourselves in, inspiration can also be found in many forms.

I began clipping pictures from magazines as a pre-adolescent, not necessarily fashion inspiration per se, just pictures that caught my attention, things that I found eye-catching, or memorable, or mesmerizing.

As I became interested in fashion however, my clipping habits became more focused. And while I don’t confine myself to photographs of clothing and accessories, I’ve found that my love of fashion gives this activity more direction and purpose. I’ve found that even without context, pictures can serve a creative function.

They excite. They encourage. They inspire.

The beauty and artistry captured by a photographer can be moving, regardless of the medium. Advertisements, promotional materials, editorials, art, beauty, home decor…

I’ve found that by keeping these images available to myself I can stay out of a fashion rut. They provide new ideas and inspiration, get my creative juices flowing, and motivate me to grow and evolved sartorially. I highly recommend creating and maintaining a Look Book, a collection of images that make you smile, that invigorate you, that make you push your boundaries.

Whether it’s a physical book filled with clippings like mine are, or Boards on Pinterest, this is a great creative and inspirational outlet. Keeping pictures of looks that you like, styles that call to you, photos that take your breath away, can all be great tools to keep your approach to fashion fresh and interesting.

What’s YOUR favorite way to get inspired?

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Menswear: Let’s Hear it for the Boys!

In my opinion menswear styles are more classic and long-standing than their female counterpart, the cuts are more enduring and the underlying style more deeply rooted. This means putting your money into well made, classic pieces is the best way to approach your closet, since you’ll be able to wear them for years to come.

So what, do you ask, should today’s modern man have in his closet?

Suit(s):

Once you’re out of school, a good suit is a must. Interviews, weddings, funerals, work/charity events, and perhaps even the occasional date (think Valentine’s Day/Anniversary) can all call for a suit. Black, navy or charcoal are all a good choices, though I must admit that I’m a sucker for a great pinstripe suit. I’m also a fan of a classic three-piece suit, I love how they still manage to look clean and put together even with the jacket off and the sleeves rolled up.

Menswear Must Haves Mens Fashion Style Fashion Blogger Street Style

Dress Shirts:

Button-downs are extremely versatile and have a place in any well-rounded wardrobe. Pair with slacks or a suit for (semi) formal affaires, with jeans and dress shoes for Friday night cocktails or untucked over well-worn shorts with loafers (sans socks) for summertime. Like I said, versatile.

So invest! Stripes, solids, pastels, black, white, slim fit, logo, patterned, linen, cotton… Whatever suits your build, coloring, and lifestyle, it’s time to put your money where your shirt is! 🙂

T-Shirts:

Tees are somewhat of a touchy subject for me. While basic shirts can be a great staple for a man’s closet, they should not all be graphic or novelty shirts, nor should they be riddled with holes and look like they belong in a rag pile. I don’t care how many memories they hold! (Does that sound like a line I’ve used before? Cuz is it is…)

Depending on your build and lifestyle, different styles will suit you best. For his downtime my brother loves vintage-style rock shirts, and with his build – Tall & muscular but lean – They suit him perfectly. My dad favors the Robert Barakett shirts that Nordstrom carries because they’re soft with a relaxed fit and can keep up with him whether he’s walking around downtown or gardening (oh, the joys of retirement). I’m also a fan of the oh-so-easy Lacoste V-Neck Jersey Tees.

So take your significant other, sister, mom or friend shopping with you and try on some different styles. To each their own!

Menswear Must Haves Mens Fashion Style Fashion Blogger Street Style

Collared Shirt:

Polo shirts are a great middle ground between a t-shirt and a button down. They can add a bit of structure to a look while retaining an overall low-key air. Throw one over jeans with loafers or pair with shorts and flip-flips. You can even pop that collar if you’re in the mood.

Like t-shirts and button downs, these come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Once you’ve found a brand that fits you perfectly, you can order online to your heart’s desire, but you should definitely put in the in-store research before getting mouse happy.

Pants:

A complete closet should contain a few types of bottoms, namely slacks, jeans, and shorts, if applicable to your climate. At least one pair of black slacks are a requirement, however depending on how often you dress up you should consider investing in multiple pairs. Charcoal, navy and a neutral color like khaki or tan are right behind black in importance. Wool, cashmere and linen for dressing up and seersucker, cotton and linen blends for play.

When you hit the store for any pants shopping be sure to take the shoes you’ll most frequently wear with them. A good pair of slacks or jeans can be expensive, so you don’t want to buy them too long and ruin them in a matter of weeks by walking all over the hems. Also, keep in mind the tailoring is a great option, it’s fairly inexpensive and can make your pant last much longer.

Menswear Must Haves Mens Fashion Style Fashion Blogger Street Style

Extras:

I adore accessories for men, you gentlemen prefer to buy one or two great ones and leave it at that (none of the female shoe insanity!) A black and a brown belt, same for shoes, a pair of sunglasses, a wallet and a large silver, gold or leather band watch and you’re done. Easy peasy! (Obviously, this is not applicable to rappers)

The key for mens accessories is finding quality, classic pieces that can be worn season after season. Unfortunately this may require trips to multiple stores. I know – I’m sorry! Take the time though, as much as it takes, and you wont regret it.

 

{Images from Menswear Must Haves}

What are YOUR menswear must haves?

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Blogger Confessions {II}

  • Some mornings I wake up and wonder what I’m doing with my life. Then I realize that it’s 3:45am and that’s how everyone feels at that hour.
  • I have the attention span of a baby kangaroo. On PCP. In a toy factory.
  • My favorite store on the planet is Zara.
  • While I don’t follow astrology, I do believe that I encompass many of the traditional Scorpio characteristics.
  • I look forward to family gatherings like a little kid on Christmas Eve waiting for Santa to come down the chimney. Laughter, wine and hilarity inevitably ensue.

Related Reading: Blogger Confessions

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Blogger Confessions

Welcome to the new Blogger Confessions series! Get ready for some funny, embarrassing little confessions…

  • I don’t own an iron and can’t remember the last time I did my own laundry.
  • My cat Bones is my favorite man in the world. He cuddles just the right amount, runs to the door when I get home to say hi, and never talks back.
  • Sometimes I eat nothing but potato chips for days at a time. Potato chips and wine.
  • I can’t stand Matthew McConaughey. Yes, I have principles when it comes to romantic comedies.
  • I’m a reformed nail bitter and flying is the only thing that still causes me to start chomping on my nails again.

* Note: The concept for my Les Confessions post (which will become a semi-regular offender) was lovingly adopted from the adorable, hysterical, chocolate-coated Jenna at Eat, Live, Run. To see her original Confessions of a Food Blogger posts, please visit her site. 

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Community Sponsored Agriculture – CSA

Today I would like to discuss a topic with you that is very close to my heart – And my refrigerator – Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSAs).

If you’re anything like me, you enjoy having a variety of fruits and vegetables in your fridge at any given time so that you can make quick and healthy meals. Trips to Whole Foods and other specialty shops can be hard on the pocketbook, especially if you need to restock your cupboards with multiple trips a week.

Enter the CSA…

CSAs are programs that provide you with direct access to food produced by local farmers. Fresh, seasonal, high quality food. Essentially it’s a mini farmer’s market delivered directly to your front door, or a nearby pick-up location, for a fraction of the price that you’d pay at a large chain grocery store.

Why did I choose to join a CSA?

First, I was intrigued by the idea of giving my money to local farmers directly without a big corporation acting as the middle man. Second, I live car-free in San Francisco and rely on my own two feet for most of my errands. Finding a CSA with a drop-off three blocks away saves me time, energy and effort, all good things when you don’t want to run to the grocery store after spending all day at the office. Third, I was interested in learning to eat a more seasonal diet. True, I virtually always crave spinach and sweet potatoes, but I began to wonder if I was missing out when I purchased the same things each week. I quickly learned that I’d been missing out on a lot.

What is the biggest benefit of joining a CSA?

You don’t get to pick and choose what you receive through these programs, you are given a box/basket/bag containing a variety of produce that was picked at the farm that week. The result is that you’ll frequently get the opportunity to try things you wouldn’t normally buy for yourself. You get to plan your meals around what’s in season and what the farmers in/near your city are harvesting, rather than what’s being flow in from out-of-state or South America. In addition to getting the chance to eat seasonal, local produce and support smaller farmers, you’re reducing the pollution created when foods are transported long distances.

How expensive are CSAs?

They’re not! Without packaging and the shipping costs to send the food around the country, all you’re paying for are the fruits and vegetables themselves. Each CSA is going to charge slightly different fees and the cost will depend on how often you receive deliveries and whether you request any special additions to your basket. That being said, most of the programs that I researched when I was making my choice were less than $30 per delivery. I don’t know about you, but I can do quite a bit more damage than that given half an hour at Whole Foods!

Did anything surprise you when you first signed up?

If you’re used to the beautiful displays and waxed fruit at grocery stores, your deliveries may initially come as a shock to you. When I say that everything is harvested that week, I’m not exaggerating. The food will be unwashed, with dirt and leaves still clinging to it. Recycled and reusable containers will be utilized whenever possible, so there wont be pristine packaging and sterile plastic wrappings. A good word to keep in mind when you prepare yourself for your first delivery is rustic. It is coming straight from the field to you, with no stops for beautification.

What’s an example of the contents of a shipment?

My most recent delivery contained the following: a bag full of small navel oranges, a large grapefruit, a big bag of spinach, a large bag of pre-mixed stir fry greens, a head of lettuce, onions & garlic, a head of green cabbage, collard greens (yum!), half a dozen small apples and a large bunch of carrots. The variety and types of produce you receive will vary depending on the region you’re in, the season and the CSA you choose.

There are a variety of CSAs currently available and with a little research you can determine the one that suits your needs best. You’ll find that there are some farms that offer you additional supplements to the standard fruit & vegetable boxes, like eggs, milk, cheeses and meats. There are both certified organic farms and traditional farms offering CSAs and you can get deliveries weekly, twice a month, monthly… Whatever will work best for you.

If you’re interested, Google CSAs in your area to try to find one that is perfect for you, or check out the LocalHarvet website to help you narrow down the choices available to you.

The Bay Area has some amazing options and I will admit that it was a hard decision to pick which CSA I wanted to support. I finally made my choice based on the following criteria that were important to me: (1) certified organic, (2) close-by to cut down on shipping cost and pollution from transportation, and (3) a pick-up location walking distance from my apartment. In the end, I went with Eatwell Farm. I had previously seen them at the Ferry Building’s Saturday morning farmer’s market and was impressed by their selection of beautiful produce. I’ve been a proud member since October 2009 and they’ve been very easy to deal with and consistently produce excellent fruits and vegetables.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this post and that if you haven’t looked into signing up for a CSA prior to this that you’ll consider it now and keep in mind the benefits to the environment, local farmers and your refrigerator!

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