Whether or not it is intentional, your watch communicates things about you. Leslie Albrecht from the Wall Street Journal's digital finance site, Market Watch, asked me to translate what is being said. (Keep reading, mom, most of my quotes are in the last third of this article):
- I spent 48 of those 72 hours applying sunscreen to tiny necks and backs
- "Bored" became a leader in my kids' vocabulary
- Spontaneous fist-fights erupted in my house at regular intervals
- Littles began waking up before 6am, despite black out curtains, because the sun somehow still peeks through
People, it is not even real summer yet.
In addition to the above list of affronts, the debate about men's shorts seems to have extended beyond what Linette Lopez and I tackled a few years back. As Quartz confirms, there are an increasing amount of folks who take the position that men should never wear shorts. I consider that an extreme opinion and wish to defend the right of men to regulate their body temperatures as best as they can. I understand that in places like England shorts are abandoned as part of the right of passage into manhood but here in the good old USA, shorts are hugely relevant (case and point: New York City in the middle of August) and are part of American culture in much the same way as denim. To me, the problem is in the execution not in the garment itself. This goes back to our cargo shorts debate (which, by the way, was published a full year BEFORE the Wall Street Journal took on the same topic and got a TON of media attention for it). Basically too often we see men wearing oversized, overstuffed shorts and, in effect, ruining it for everyone else. If men would, as a whole, commit to wearing streamlined styles like, for example, the Theory model pictured above, I don't think shorts would have such a bad reputation.
I'm sure I will get a million texts and emails saying that flat-front shorts don't work on every body type but in fact they do work on most. If your waistline doesn't support them then let's not blame the garment. Put down that fifth beer and back away.
This GQ photo is nothing if not a testament to the power of allure inherent to Roger Federer. Who else, pray tell, could convincingly lounge on a fur throw in white sport socks and corresponding tight white short-shorts while cuddling with a tennis trophy AND SPORTING A BLAZER OVER A T-SHIRT SWEATER COMBO?! Yet somehow I'm buying what he's selling even if that boils down to nothing more than his image.
Now let's get a look at the other photos supporting his I'm-sexy-in-athleisure-image because they are all awesome in their own right:
Recently I was called in to end a family feud. It was a father/son showdown regarding suspenders and whether or not they should be worn with a belt. The answer is that both accessories were designed to keep your pants from falling down and so they should not be worn together. That would, for us ladies, be like wearing Spanx and a girdle. Or a bustier and a bra. A decision must be made between the two. When settling this particular debate I was tempted to add that a person who feels it necessary to wear both belt AND suspenders might also have some deep-seated trust issues. But then I reminded myself that no one cares about my psychological interpretations of sartorial conundrums. (But why is this I wonder? Is it because I don't have a psychology degree? Qualifications smallifications! I think we can all agree they are irrelevant and unnecessary.) So if anyone would like to hear more of my psychological analysis, please do contact me directly. I'm more than happy to spew all sorts of ill informed and misguided nonsense your way. In the meantime, let's look at some truly dapper gentlemen who are aware of the no-belt-with-suspenders-rule:
And no post about suspenders could go without a look in the review mirror at this memorable image:
I'm of the opinion that Gaga did herself a disservice by incorporating all of those cool drones into the beginning of her performance. They looked like fireworks, they took the shape of the American Flag, they were a stunning sight! I felt distinctly cheated the moment the drones took their leave and we had to focus on the actual show again. Don't get me wrong, Gaga WORKS when she is asked to perform. She offers up her heart and soul and it is always evident. But despite her hustle, I felt the performance was anticlimactic. Typically her voice is so extraordinary that I can listen to her sing most anything but the way she did her mash-up last night, all of her songs felt like the same song with slight variations. And then her costumes left me wanting. Clearly, in my view, this is where the mortal sin occurred.
The Versace she opened with was definitely my favorite (I can envision a moment in time where Britney Spears, Mariah Carey and I all converge on the last of this pair of boots and have to wrestle it out. Be warned, ladies, that I am prepared to fight a legion of marauders to secure these. Sharpen thy nails.) But the body-suit was not that different than what we've seen her in a hundred times before - something sparkly and sharp shouldered. Zzzzzz.
And then the spiky golden bolero. When you are renowned for having donned a meat dress, this sorta fails to excite. It's only a hair away from what I would wear in my actual daily life. Then she went and saved the worst for last:
This particular ensemble inspired this thoughtful commentary from a friend's 5 year old: Daddy, why is she wearing a Chinese food container? From the mouth of babes! I will say, though, that her face looks GREAT here and for that I applaud. But in the end I guess I wanted some really fun moment - something playful and unpolitical kinda like the Beyonce/Bruno Mars dance-off from last year's show. Instead I walked away talking about the drones.
Some weeks I have the same conversation all week long but with each of my clients individually. The good news is that I'm equipped for this since I have a 6 and a 4 year old and have the same conversation with each of them pretty much every hour. This past week it was about hats (with my clients, not my kids). The collective answer to the number one asked question of last week is YES there is a hat out there that suits your face shape. It takes some trial and error but the people at a good hat shop like Goorin Brothers are willing to assist. If you don't want to go hat shopping with me (WHY don't you want to go with me?!? I'm so much fun!!!! Whatever. It's your loss.) and you don't even want to go into the store, you can educate yourself with this helpful guide about finding the proper style hat for your face shape. Then browse around and see what you like. My suggestion in terms of color is that if you have a black or any neutral solid coat, go for a hat with some color. If your coat is printed or bright, go with a neutral hat.
It's not for everyone but I recently picked up the plum colored wide-brimmed fedora with ombre band (featured above). It is so pretty I felt my heart ache when I put it on. A few other favorites for women:
A few of my favorites for men:
Not everything that happens in the elevator of an investment bank is as nefarious as John Lefevre's 2015 @GSElevator book Straight to Hell would have you believe. In fact, I have proof of the opposite. One of my most favorite banking clients uses his elevator time not to discuss deviance, debauchery, and billion-dollar deals (the subtitle of the aforementioned book) instead, he uses the time to send me elevator selfies! This guy is such a team player (team Wardrobe Whisperer, that is) that he regularly posts me on what combinations he has chosen from his look book. No doubt this man understands that a visual high-five of this nature not only keeps a stylist happy but also on her toes! Here are a few more examples for your viewing pleasure:
For me, the photo above is like a red flag to a bull. Incidentally most often Trump's ties are red and I'm rather bullish and so you can see how I'm bringing this idiom full circle for you. The bottom line (which, given the length of his tie, Trump does not believe in) is that this tie is too damn long. There are many things for which to get mad at Trump, but it is my job to get mad at him for fashion and so this is my grievance. Here's what I told Business Insider about my feelings on this matter:
Every year we take a week long vacation at my parents' lake house in upstate NY. It's magical for many reasons, not the least of which is that we all drink heavily and pretend to watch each other's children. (Which, of course, amounts to no one really watching any children and said children jumping wildly off the dock/various boats and not wearing life jackets.)
The other part of the magic is the backdrop and the diversity of weather that you encounter in a single day. The mornings are temperate, the afternoons can be blazing, and the evenings are often chilly - not to mention that you are subject to crazy rainstorms at any moment in time. This could make packing tricky but luckily, I'm a professional! For last week's adventure, I got myself and both kids packed in under thirty minutes and fit all of our clothing in one medium-sized suitcase. This was a cinch given the challenge I was presented with a few weeks ago by two of my favorite LA-based clients, and the founders of Lifehack Bootcamp, Carey and Demir Gjokaj.
Carey's and Demir's challenge was this: to create a wardrobe for each of them for a full year that will work for all occasions (from hiking to giving presentations to meeting with clients to touring around), and span all climates since they'll be living in Spain, Bali, Hawaii, and Columbia. Oh! Did I mention that each wardrobe had to fit in one CARRY-ON SIZED suitcase? That's right. And, yes, we rocked it:
It has not even been two full weeks since school has let out and I already feel worn thin. God bless you, teachers of the world, for dealing with our kids and their hyperactivity most days of the year. When I'm not working, I find myself casting about for fun activities on a minute-to-minute basis and, friends, there's only so much Play-Doh a mom can handle - literally and figuratively. Which leads me to the characteristic of summer which we can collectively agree softens the blow of having the kids home all day, every damn day: Long Weekend Get-Aways!
To boost morale, let's talk about the bag that we will carry when said jaunts commence. (This exercise is every bit for me as it is for you.) My current favorite weekender is the above pictured Rag & Bone Flight Duffel. But as I know it is not eminently affordable, here's another option to consider:
Oh wait! This Valextra K Val 23" weekender is even MORE expensive than the Rag & Bone. I seem to be headed in the wrong direction on the cost spectrum. One last try:
This fun Want Les Essentiels Hartsfield bag is not only more affordable than the other two options, it's also on sale! BAM!
I know, I know there are more current fashion events to blog about - The White House Correspondents' Dinner (What in thee heck IS the WHCD other than an opp for the Pres to mug with celebs?? I haven't seen a single photo of an actual journalist yet.), the Met Gala (TONIGHT, PEOPLE, TONIGHT!!), or Princess Charlotte's First Birthday but, frankly, I'm having trouble ignoring Ezekiel Elliott. I gather that was his point when he painstakingly pinned his button-down to look like a half shirt for the 2016 NFL Draft. I understand that he's wearing it to refute the NCAA's decision to ban cropped jerseys but can we all just agree that the ban is in everyone's best interest?
I think this look is particularly disturbing to me because the outfit is otherwise well composed and it rankles to acknowledge there are folks in existence who can appreciate a lavender bow tie/white trousers/blazer combination and also, on the other hand, appreciate male crop tops (MOPS?). It's like finding out that John Wayne Gacy sewed couture in his spare time when he wasn't out strangling kids. I'm having a hard time believing these ideas can co-exist.
Sometimes it feels like the Keebler factory in here. Except that instead of making cookies, which would be delicious and appeal to everyone, I produce fashion content which sometimes is completely unappealing. Case in point - this article I wrote with Linette Lopez where I bring down the gauntlet on the vast majority of button downs I find in my clients' closets:
Don't shoot the messenger. Or the cookie maker. Or me. For the love of God, won't you just put your guns down already?
It's Thanksgiving week and the mere suggestion of turkey has flooded my body with L-tryptophan. All I want to do is sleep. (Hush up, WebMD with your pesky science.) And that sleepiness is what brings me to my decision to point you to an article published last week by Business Insider. That I did actual work on. Unlike this post which is the literary equivalent of what you will be eating for a full three days after Thanksgiving. So without further ado (and by "ado" I mean "effort"), here is that article served up again. Luckily it reheats nicely (over 104K views!): There are only 5 acceptable boots to wear with a suit by Linette Lopez
I'm working on another collaborative piece with my girl, Linette Lopez. And by "working" I really mean stalking luxury websites and drooling heavily over the images. This new article is on men's boots and so, naturally, I did a warm-up exercise of looking at gorgeous women's boots in size 7. (That research is relevant, people - don't be so judgmental!) Fully sated on the women's options, I moved onto men's with a renewed determination to focus. I was just scrolling along, minding my own business, when I stumbled upon the image above. At first I thought: "Sheesh - someone is going to get in trouble for categorizing this shoe improperly. It should be in the women's section." Then I saw the below corresponding images and thought: "That model really needs to shave her legs."
Then I noticed that these boots start at size 7 and go through 13. Hot darn - It donned on me that I was looking at a GUY! Which makes this posterior view all the more confusing:
Listen, the French have suffered enough recently and I don't want to be getting down on them but I have to report my shock. This boot by Saint Laurent has far more heel (3.25"!?!) than I've ever seen on a non-custom shoe for a man, especially one being proffered by a major fashion house.
I'm a true Libertarian at heart. I want people to use their own judgement and do what's best for them as long as no one is getting hurt. But therein lies the problem. I'm truly worried that someone MIGHT get hurt. Those are high heels, friends! Men have not been adequately trained to maneuver in those things. What will become of them when they hit the cobble stones in the Meat Packing District, for instance? I feel like these boots should come along with some lessons so, here you go. Now do what you must.
In my line of work I wear many hats - literally and figuratively. One of the literal hats is an emerald green cloche with a gorgeous feather tucked into the side. One of the figurative hats is that of translator. Even when you are working with a good tailor, meaning someone who truly understands garment construction, it is still not easy to attain a perfect result. This is because what the tailor thinks is correct is often 5-10 years out of date. Or they plain don't speak English. Or sometimes both. Therefore I make it a point to attend all tailoring sessions with my clients in order to specify EXACTLY what we want done. I shared some expert tips with my girl, Linette Lopez, over at Business Insider. This is our story: Everything you need to know before talking to a tailor about your suit
When I texted Linette Lopez from Business Insider to ask if she wanted to discuss men's dress shoes she responded immediately with the following (her emphasis), "I ALWAYS want to discuss men's dress shoes."
Is it any wonder we get along so swimmingly? Henceforth our newest collaborative piece:
Linette Lopez and I sat in Saikai Dining Bar feasting on sashimi and imbibing copious amounts of sake while discussing one of the burning issues of our day which, of course, is the debate over men's shorts. So many questions surround said issue such as "how many pockets are too many pockets" and "are prints considered acceptable" as well as the ever present "how should shorts ideally fit." Linette and I SOLVED IT for Business Insider but ultimately, men, for YOU. See our latest post here: The debate about men's shorts is over - here's why you probably lost
Who among us, man or woman, doesn't have a girl crush? Mine? Linette Lopez of Business Insider. Because she is not only pretty but fearless and just as comfy talking about emerging markets as she is talking about men's summer accessories. Proof? Check her running posts on Business Insider. With July 4th around the bend, she and I circled up to discuss men's summer accessories:
As she points out, you only need four. Grab and go, boys, neither your girl crush nor that beautiful beach wants to be kept waiting!
Last week, over lunch at ABC Cocina the gregarious and brilliant Linette Lopez described Business Insider as the likely offspring of Page Six and the The Wall Street Journal were they to have a baby. Does that not also perfectly characterize Wardrobe Whisperer? This is just one of sundry reasons Linette is a marvelous reporter: she spots synergies before the rest of the world does. Witness her coverage of Wardrobe Whisperer:
I admit it, I attempt to intellectualize everything. Even fashion. (Note to reader: intellectualizing fashion is not the same as rationalizing fashion. More on the latter in another post.) The former is particularly helpful when working with men/folks in finance, but is less helpful when dealing with, say, my two year old's meltdowns. For years I've been working on applying this tendency more effectively. I am about 20% towards my goal.
The Peabody Awards are near and dear to my heart because they are essentially the intellectualization of awards programming. Winners are chosen based solely on quality of work rather than popular or commercial success. (Exit emotion, enter brain.) Excitingly my client, Jeremy Bobb, and his HBO show, The Knick will be in receipt of one of these stellar awards this week!
Jeremy and I circled up last Friday at Hugo Boss to line up his red carpet look* which, incidentally, I did NOT over-think. Success was evident immediately. Witness for yourself above/below:
*The pocket square (first photo) is my favorite detail because it gives this smart look a personality; A description which, come to think of it, also applies to Jeremy.