Fashion Friday

Fashion Friday: Nerding Out

Remember when we were kids and a pair of black, thick framed glasses spelled N-E-R-D and pretty much guaranteed a childhood of teasing, unflattering nicknames and rejection from your peers? Well, it seems like the tables have turned, and nerding out is actually very in. I recently ordered pair of non-prescription nerd glasses. Not because I need them to see, but because I think they actually look cool and have this amazing ability to complete an outfit or an up-do with a hint of sophistication that my other accessories just can't match. Plus they are actually a lot of fun, and having a sort of alter ego personality helps truly rock the rims.  I liked the idea so much that I got two pairs (as featured in the pictures above).

I know that bold frames have been making a comeback for a while as celebs like Johnny Depp and Rose McGowan toss aside their contacts in favour of a vintage pair of rims.  What I didn't realize, is that fake nerd glasses are all the rage too. I've started to notice them on some of my friends and friends of friends, and a quick Google search results in pages of results for online stores selling rims in all colours, shapes and styles.

What do you think? Are nerd glasses in or out?


Fashion Friday: Is It Too Early For White Shoes?

Last summer, I went to a Bachelor Party in Las Vegas and I knew that the must-have accessory for the trip was a pair of white leather loafers and matching white belt.

After returning to Toronto, this combo earned a regular spot in my wardrobe. At least until about mid-September. Then it got colder, a bit rainier, and my shoes and belt seemed out of season.

Now that the weather is getting warmer again, I'm wondering when I can break this great look out. Can you wear white shoes on the first sunny day, or do you have to wait until after the long weekend in May?

And while we're on the topic: socks or no socks with white shoes?

Fashion Friday: Anything Other Than Naked

A few weeks ago, I was asked to review a copy of Anything Other Than Naked, a guide to fashion and style for men by a former financial services advisor and Captain in the U.S. Air Force.

As someone who works in a slightly less formal environment these days (the only ties I see in our office are the skinny kind worn with plaid shirts), I'm not sure how handy this book will come on a daily basis. However, for buying a new suit or formal wear (or for those pesky Fashion Friday questions that pop up), this book will a great resource.

In a no-nonsense style, it covers almost everything the white-collar male needs to know about getting dressed for work and the formal occasions in his life. I think this would be a great gift for a young gentlemen just graduating from university or about to start his first job.

A few of the pieces of advice that really stand out are that I should buy proper pants hangars to keep my trousers from wrinkling (hang them by the cuffs, not folded over) and that I seriously need to get a better spring-weight jacket.

You can grab a copy of the book at the following links:

Anything Other Than Naked (on Amazon)

Anything Other Than Naked (on Amazon, Kindle edition)

However, the publisher has also  been kind enough to provide an extra copy of the book as a giveaway to one extra-lucky BlogCampaigning reader. For a chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment telling us what topic you'd like us to cover in an upcoming Fashion Friday.

I'll choose the best answer on Wednesday, April 13th and notify the winner via email.

Fashion Friday: Christmas Cheer

The following Fashion Friday post was written by Yuri Park, an Account Executive at MAVERICK PR. Although the shades in my closet are better suited for the mafia, I’m certainly not shy around my holiday reds and sequins. Then it got me thinking: ‘tis the season for sequins, sparkles, Cosby sweaters, and in a train wreck scenario, all of the above. Now, I’m no fashionista, but I thought I’d put together a few of my personal tips on pulling these loved looks off this holiday season.

The Cosby Sweater Say what you will, but these bad boys are cozy and warm as hell. You could even use the excuse that vintage is back. That being said, it’ll probably make a better hit at a family dinner than a work function. Mostly because your family’s obligated to love you no matter what. I kid. Best paired with: a white men’s Oxford shirt and dark jeans or casual slacks for guys and a pair of tights, knee-high boots and a chunky knit scarf for girls

Sequins and Sparkles They’re fun, they’re glitzy and they’ll absolutely make you stand out. But please, for the sake of preventing an aneurysm, try to stick to one or the other and leave it as a statement piece. If you’re wearing a sequined dress, it’s really not necessary to wear sparkle tights, rhinestone jewellery and an animal print overcoat. If you’re a stickler for matching, match the colours, not the texture. Best paired with: Anything neutral. Sequins, sparkles and prints can be worn as a cardigan, dress or statement accessory but to make it stand out (after all, that’s why you’re wearing it), tone down the rest of your outfit with neutral shades like black, grey, beige and white, and keep other exciting textures to a minimum.

Risky Business We’ve all been to that corporate function where the one girl decides to wear a skin-tight, open-back, deep-V slinky dress and everyone is staring for one reason or another. If you can pull it off, I’m not shy to acknowledge my jealousy for your hot bod. If you’re out with friends and really tight colleagues, go for it. If you’re out with family, that’s just weird.

But please remember that at a corporate function where your CEO/supervisor may be present, most people are nervous that you might pull a Janet Jackson after your next glass of wine. More importantly, it may affect your credibility at the next Monday meeting. I know, it’s a party, but it’s not a college gongshow. You can still keep it PG sexy without looking like a lot lizard. I’m not the biggest Le Chateau fan but something along these lines would work

What advice do you have for holiday fashion?

Yuri Park is YPark28 on Twitter.

Fashion Friday: Button-Down Collars

What's the deal with button-down collars on mens' dress shirts?

From H&M to Club Monaco and French Connection, it seems like you can't get a decent button-down shirt without an extra two buttons holding down the collar these days (and yeah, I know there are probably better places to get shirts, but these three serve as a sort of "What's Trending" in fashion right now).

I've never really liked that look, but couldn't understand why.

Fortunately, Wikipedia came to the rescue and traces their invention back to the Brooks Brothers, who introduced the look in the late 1800s. It was modeled after the shirts polo players wore, and is still considered less formal than collars without buttons.

That's right: there are more buttons, but it is less formal. And the consensus seems to be that you shouldn't wear a tie with this look either. To paraphrase a user on Metafilter: Girls say this looks tacky.

So that's it: No button-down collars for this guy.


PS: While we're talking about collars: Has anyone been watching Boardwalk Empire? I love how all the guys wear shirts with the detachable collars. Where can I get one of those?

Fashion Friday - Black Leather Heels

Wednesday marked the first ever International Black Patent Leather (BPL) Heels Day! Heels really tell a lot about the lady wearing them and the kind of mood she is in. Is she feeling sassy? Dramatic? Practical? Flashy? Or just straight up stylin'?
I personally have at least 5 or 6 pairs of black heels, and wouldn't hesitate to add more to my ever growing collection if the right pair caught my eye. Honestly, who couldn't use a little more Louboutin or Weitzman in their lives? The perfect pair of black pumps can put the final sparkle on any outfit, dressed up or down, plus they are damn sexy.
Since Wednesday, I have started to take note of ladies and their heels, compiling pictures people posted on BPL Day.  Below are some of my favourites (via @BPLShoes, @StilettoQueenbe and @frankie_nicole):

Do you have a favourite pair of BPL heels? Care to share?

Fashion Friday: Traditional German Drinking Hats

On Thursday afternoon I joined my Toronto Tribal DDB/Radar DDB colleagues at a local pub to wind down the work week. After ordering a pint of Labatt Blue, the owner of the bar brought over some samples of a German wheat beer, and told us that if we ordered a pint we'd be entered into a draw to win an authentic German drinking hat as well as a sausage on a bun.

I liked the sample, and was planning on ordering a pint of the beer anyways when the waitress told us that the owner was mistaken: I wasn't entered into contest to win the sausage and hat. They were included with the beer!

As Ed Lee pointed out, this is one particular case where these types of free promotions were worthwhile for the brewery: I Tweeted about it (mentioning Jens and Malte in my Tweet, two German friends who are probably likely to at least try drinking this beer if they hadn't already), and Ed posted a picture of the deal on his influential and widely-read gastronomy/business blog "Marketing Chef."

So how was it?

The sausage was well cooked, with a great sauteed onion and mustard topping.

The beer, Weinhenstephan, was amazing.I'm a fan of these "Weiss" beers and this one was particularly good. I'd definitely order it again, even without the promise of a hat and sausage to accompany it.

And the hat? Pretty awesome.

It might not become part of my everyday wardrobe, but I like to think I pull it off pretty well.

What do you think? When is the right occasion for wearing a traditional German drinking hat? And what do you think about theses types of give-away promotions? Are they worth it?


PS: Thanks for reading another edition of Fashion Friday on BlogCampaigning!

Fashion Friday: Shoes Without Socks

I don't know if this is a new trend or simply something unique to Toronto but for most of the summer I noticed that a lot of dudes weren't wearing socks. Its not like these people are at the beach - they were at the office and wearing shoes.

While the professionalism of this trend is debatable, I'm more worried about the personal hygiene aspect. Leaving the house in the morning without socks means that you're probably headed towards 9-10 hours of sweaty feet during the hottest months of the year. Doing this day in, day out in the same pair of shoes just seems like an awful idea.

However, Michael at Avoid Robots makes some good points about the issue. He even suggests that men invest in some shoe-liners (mini-socks) so they can rock the sockless look without the sweat worry.

Is this a trend I just don't get? Or is it actually a fashion mistake?


Fashion Friday: The Turbonegro Jean Jacket

Turbonegro was a Norwegian rock band that exploded onto the scene in the mid-1990s. Jello Biafra even called their 1997 masterpiece Apocalypse Dudes, a wild mixture of glam, rock'n'roll and classic 1970s US punk, possibly the most important European record ever. Yet there was something else that set the band apart from the rest, their denim-mustache-Tom-of-Finland-look, basically a move to piss of the Norwegian metal scene which couldn't be shocked by much. Except homosexuality.

During their 1998 Darkness Forever tour the mental problems of singer Hank von Helvete became such an issue that the band broke up in the waiting room of a psychiatric emergency ward in Milan, Italy.

After their split they slowly developed into a cult phenomenon. A tribute album was recorded and the momentum from their old records would continuously grow. Part of this resurrection was the blossoming of the so called Turbojugend (Turbo youth), a fan club with chapters all over the world.

What started as a joke became the Turbo equivalent to the Kiss Army. My dentist was in it (seriously!).

A Turbojugend member can be recognized by their specially-made denim jackets with the Turbonegro logo and "Turbojugend [name of chapter]" stitched on the back. In the late 1990s Turbonegro's German label Bitzcore would print up Levi's jackets with the "Turbojugend Oslo" logo on it, but eventually changed Oslo to St. Pauli.

After a while these jackets became so sought-after, so that Bitzcore-run Turbonegro mailorder would start printing up Levi's jackets with different chapter names on them.

The jackets are also known as a "Kutte", a German word originally referring to denim jackets/vests worn by metal fans. There's one crucial rule about the Kutte; it must never be washed. The only exception is when someone pukes on it, then the owner is allowed to clean it with lukewarm water and cover the smell with a fragrant.

I got mine at a festival in Germany about seven or eight years ago. I hasn't been washed ever since (but then again I haven't worn it in the last… three years or so).


Fashion Friday: When To Wear A Blazer

A couple of months ago, I asked readers of BlogCampaigning when it is okay to take off your suit jacket in a meeting. There was some great discussion around that topic, and I've decided to follow it up with what I hope is another question that can help me out:

When is it okay to wear a blazer?

Not being incredibly fashion-forward, my original phrasing of this question to a friend was, "What's the deal with guys that wear suit jackets with different coloured slacks? That just looks tacky." My friend quickly pointed out that these guys are wearing blazers, and that these are less formal ("sportier") versions of the suit jacket.

My take on it is that if you're going to bother putting on a suit jacket (sporty or not), match the pants to it. Otherwise, it looks like you just pulled out the first two things you saw in your closet. The fact that 3 of the first 10 results in Google for "When is it okay to wear a blazer?" are for how women should wear them doesn't instill a lot of confidence in me that this is an appropriate look. has an article titled Men's Blazers: 6 ways to wear them. In order, these ways are:

1. With a deep V-neck cardigan

2. With a plaid shirt

3. With a chunky patterned knit

4. With heavily distressed denim

5. With cargo pants

6. With combat boots

And none of these six ways seem like good ideas, despite coming from "The Number 1 Canadian Men's Lifestyle Portal".

So what's the right situation for wearing a blazer? Am I completely wrong to think that it isn't a professional look?