Christie Brinkley’s 5 Quotes On Living Well

Happy Birthday, Christie Brinkley! The stunning supermodel known for her Sports Illustrated covers turns 60 today, and she looks just as good in a swimsuit now as she did decades ago!

Brinkley posed in a swimsuit for this week’s issue of People Magazine in honor of her milestone birthday and said she’s looking forward to turning 60. “I’m actually excited about turning 60. I feel on top of my game,” she told People. Brinkley’s modeling career took off in 1979 when she first graced the cover of Sports Illustrated. Since then, she’s held contracts as the face of Cover Girl, Total Gym fitness products, and has even launched her own line of eyewear.

christie brinkley kate upton
Brinkley posed with fellow Sports Illustrated model, Kate Upton, at the 2013 Style Awards, and proved she’s hardly aged since her cover girl days. She swears by sun protection, exfoliating, and getting plenty of exercise to help keep her youthful appearance.

While she’s had her share of personal struggles including surviving a helicopter crash and dealing with a very messy public divorce, Brinkley has remained resilient and optimistic. She often preaches the value of smiling, telling Good Housekeeping, “If you put your mouth in a smiling position, a smiling feeling follows.”

Here are some more of her best quotes on aging gracefully and embracing life at any age.

On embracing age rather than fighting it:
“I would be remiss when talking about beauty secrets to not say that one of the best is to care about the world around you. That’s what really matters. Even when I’ll be sitting here with gray hair and Georgia O’Keeffe wrinkles, people are going to say, ‘There is just something youthful about her’.”

On what really matters in life:
“No matter what your age is, you only have now. So it’s always about living in the moment and being in the moment…I refuse to let those numbers define me and I just try to face each day positively.”

On ageism:
“I think Hollywood is aging…thank heavens for baby boomers. Ageism is going by the wayside.”

On the best beauty secret:
“A smile is like an instant facelift and an instant mood lift.”

On why it’s so good being a boomer:
“We’re the generation that says 60 is the new 30. We don’t let the numbers shape us; we’re reshaping the numbers.”

The Best Accessories From New York Fashion Week Fall 2014

A lot of exciting things happen during New York Fashion Week. Models strut down the catwalk in spectacular outfits, celebrities flock to Lincoln Center and Milk Studios and some of the best parties go on until the wee hours. But our favorite part is the street style.

This week, our photographer Raydene Salinas spotted some pretty badass accessories outside of the tents. Between metallic bags, bright green hats and statement rings, the fashion crowd proved that they sure know how to accessorize.

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All photos by Raydene Salinas/HPMG.

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Men’s Riviera Style

Men’s Riviera Style  Share this article: skyeshopping

Riviera Summer: Dressing For The Med

Summer is well and truly upon us at last, and with it our attention turns to taking a break from the familiar nine-to-five rituals and heading off for some well-deserved ‘r and r’. But how do we ensure that our style standards don’t slip along with our levels of productivity whilst away?

Popular for decades with sun-starved Europeans, the French and Italian Rivieras burst into life during the summer months, proving an irresistible draw for stressed-out urbanites. Bathed in sunshine and glamour, this sleek corner of the Mediterranean has inspired a sartorial legacy synonymous with well-heeled elegance that will keep your style credentials in check.

The Origins Of Riviera Fashion

The origins of Riviera style stem from the 1920s and 1930s, when sunbathing and sport became fashionable pastimes. At this time of great social upheaval, the European smart set began to flock to the cities of Nice, Marseille and Cannes on the French Riviera, and to Portofino and San Remo on the Italian side.

With this influx of travellers from cooler climes, fashion required alteration to suit the warmer conditions. Heavy wools and dark business dress were swapped for lightweight linens and cottons in neutral shades. With the rising popularity of yachting and water-based pursuits, maritime-inspired dress heavily influenced Riviera style; this was the birth of modern resort wear.

Whilst the decades past have seen the style adapt with the times, the fundamental elements of Riviera dressing endure, and maintain an ageless sophistication today.

In this article, we take a look at how the modern man can successfully execute a refined look that will stretch beyond the confines of the beaches of Cannes and grand salons of Monte Carlo…

Tailoring

Whilst it may be tempting in warmer climes to lose all your layers, certain occasions call for a more formal dress code. Tailoring for Mediterranean resorts should consist of unlined, summer-weight linen and cotton jackets and relaxed fit, single pleat trousers. Garments in seersucker fabric are also worthy of consideration.

A cooling effect can be achieved with tailoring if the correct materials and pieces are chosen; layer a thin unlined jacket over a simple cotton tee or slim-fitting white shirt. Opt for tailoring in light and neutral shades to avoid absorbing extra heat from sunlight.

To forego a tie is acceptable nowadays, except perhaps at the most formal events. If the rest of your attire is respectably smart, a tie will not be missed. In its absence, introduce a simple silk or ivory lace pochette to your breast pocket to add interest.

Summer tailoring can now be found everywhere, from high-end houses to high street retailers, and will become a versatile investment for your next jaunt around the Med. Some key labels to look out for include Gieves & Hawkes, Hackett and Mr. Rick Tailor, whilst Topman and Reiss provide more wallet friendly options.

Lookbook Inspiration

MEn's Riviera Style - Upper Half

lbm 1911 ss13 angelo nardelli ss13 angelo nardelli ss13 h&m ss12 duchamp ss12 el burgues ss13 lbm 1911 ss13 Gieves & Hawkes ss13 henry cottons ss13

Key Pieces

J.crew Grey Ludlow Striped Cotton Suit JacketRiver Island Stone Lightweight BlazerTopman Cream Multi Fleck Suit JacketHackett Ascot Fine-stripe Blazer 147406Vito Seersucker BlazerMr. Rick Tailor Vintage Jacquard Single-breasted Jacket 148341Asos Slim Fit Blazer In OxfordBrooks Brothers Cotton-linen Single-breasted Jacket 146372River Island Light Pink Double Button Oxford Blazer

Tops

Warmer climates provide the opportunity to dress down. It should be remembered that if a simple t-shirt is the primary component of an outfit, then quality should always be the first factor of consideration when building the look. Opt for high-grade organic cotton tees that will wash well and also remain cool due to their absence of synthetic fibres.

Brands such as American Vintage, COS and Acne provide an array of high-quality basics that will serve as a strong foundation to your Riviera wardrobe. Basic, solid-tone tees can also be easily dressed up by pairing with a tailored jacket and smart chinos.

The polo shirt comes into its own in the Mediterranean, with the light material and short-sleeve construction helping maintain a comfortable body temperature, whilst the collar can provide protection for the neck in direct sunlight. Synonymous with 1950s nonchalance, the polo is a core element in the Riviera portfolio and has remained a failsafe summer style.

Sunspel’s aptly named Riviera polo range is the perfect choice for any warm weather trip. Worn by none other than Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, this quality staple is a fine example of elegance in simplicity.

Short-sleeved Organic Cotton V-neck T-shirtAcne Limit Cotton-jersey T-shirtNudie Jeans Fairtrade Organic Cotton T-shirtSomewhere Men’s Organic Slub Cotton T-shirtNudie Jeans Fairtrade Organic Cotton T-shirtPaul Smith Jeans Jet Pocket T-shirtSunspel Riviera Cotton-mesh Polo ShirtTrussardi Waffle Weave Polo Top 148538He By Mango Cotton Polo ShirtOrlebar Brown Felix Marl Cotton-piqué Polo ShirtAllsaints Bramford PoloSunspel Riviera Polo Shirt 136434

Key Piece: The Breton Stripe

Heavily inspired by menswear, the legendary Coco Chanel firmly believed that the classic Breton stripe top would always remain a timeless and sophisticated style throughout the sartorial shifts and changes of the years.

Originally the uniform of the fisherman of Brittany, the iconic striped design was adopted by the French navy and has become synonymous with maritime pursuits. A navy or red stripe Breton paired with beige chinos and espadrilles makes an enduring statement that works well both in the city and abroad. Jigsaw’s navy stripe Breton tee (below) captures the look seamlessly:

River Island Navy And White Striped T-shirtReiss Provence Long Sleeve Striped Jersey Top Blue StripeLong Sleeve Breton T ShirtAllsaints Mirach VestAmi Stripe-knit Sweater 171592A.p.c. Striped Cotton-jersey T-shirtTopman Red Breton Stripe SweatshirtAsos Polo With Breton StripeTopman Burgundy Stripe Crew Neck T-shirt

Shirting

All synthetic fibres should be avoided in warmer climes as they will only serve to exacerbate perspiration and discomfort. With this in mind, Oxford cotton and linen styles are a solid backbone to a summer shirting repertoire. The classic Oxford shirt should feature a box pleat on the back for a looser, more comfortable fit.

With its breathable and absorbable qualities, linen is the ideal fabric for the majority of summer occasions. Durable and multi-faceted, an organic white linen shirt will work perfectly with a tailored jacket, or worn solo with shorts and deck shoes. For a more modern feel, pastel linen shirts are a smart and on trend option.

Italian label 120% Lino and premium swimwear brand Orlebar Brown have a great range of quality linen apparel for the discerning gent.

For those of a more contemporary inclination, short-sleeve chambray or bold print shirts are also worthy of consideration. Menswear designers’ enthusiasm for micro-prints and flora and fauna motifs has led to a seemingly endless choice of options in this genre, with styles from high street to high end to suit everyone. Strong labels in the offering include Hentsch Man, A.P.C. and Topman.

Asos Oxford ShirtJ.crew Button-down Collar Cotton Oxford ShirtAmerican Apparel Washed Oxford ShirtHe By Mango Linen Straight-fit ShirtUniqlo Men Premium Linen Long Sleeve Shirt BHe By Mango Linen Straight-fit ShirtD-struct Hawaiian ShirtTopman Dark Red Tile Print Short Sleeve Smart ShirtRiver Island Blue Tribal Print Short Sleeve ShirtAllsaints Belharra Short Sleeved ShirtJ.crew Floral-print Cotton Short-sleeved ShirtShort-sleeve Shirt In Japanese Indigo Chambray

Trousers & Shorts

Cotton and linen are once again key fabrics in this category. The chino reigns supreme for trousers, with slim fitting or pleat front styles both sound choices.

Shorts should finish above knee level and neutral tone, ice cream shades or eye-catching optic prints are all key elements to add interest below the waistline. Just remember if your bottom half is patterned, it’s best to keep things simple on top.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Riviera Style - Trousers, Shorts & Swimwear Lookbook

massimo dutti june 2013 henry cottons ss13 pierre cardin ss13 el burgues ss13 he by mango summer 2013 he by mango summer 2013 Gieves & Hawkes ss13 h&m ss12 drykorn ss13

Key Pieces

Slowear Incotex Linen And Cotton-blend Chinos120% Lino Tailored Linen Trousers 143324Topman Pale Grey Skinny ChinosCheap Monday Slim ChinosUniqlo Men Skinny Fit Chino Flat Front PantsReiss Labrynth T Micro Geo Print Trousers ApricotHe By Mango Houndstooth Print Bermuda ShortsEasy Printed Chino ShortsPaul Smith - Jeans Mens 306m Printed Shorts - MultiTopman Navy Jungle Mid ShortsJ.crew 9 Stanton Cotton-twill ShortsTopman Stone Cotton Chino Shorts

Swimwear

As a substantial amount of your time will be spent ocean side, swimwear will be one of the most important components in your Riviera-bound suitcase.

A high quality pair of swimming shorts are a must, and with the recent rise in premium swimwear labels for men, there’s never been a better time to upgrade from those faded baggy board shorts.

Orlebar Brown is the market leader in quality swimwear and has something for everyone, from Mr. Classic to the exhibitionist. Their iconic ‘Bulldog’ and ‘Setter’ styles are a considered choice and available in a range of colour-pop hues, whilst their photo imagery print shorts are a playful tongue-in-cheek alternative.

London-based label MYO also offers a range of bold and youthful styles for the avid beach-goer. For those looking to stretch their pound a little further, there are some great options available on the high street.

 Orlebar Brown Setter Short-length Swim ShortsOrlebar Brown Bulldog Mid-length Printed Swim ShortsMyo Oxford Check Swim Shorts 147998Myo Marlin Camouflage Swim Shorts 147985Hartford Mid-length Printed Swim ShortsTopman Floral Swim ShortsReiss Ditora Butterfly Floral Print Shorts Airforce BlueRiver Island Navy Contrast Stripe Swim ShortsRiver Island Red And Blue Colour Block Swim Shorts

Footwear

When the mercury begins to climb, the footwear department can be one of the trickiest areas for men to negotiate. In the British Isles our feet spend a pale, sun-deprived existence cocooned in socks and leather for approximately 360 days per year, making most men somewhat reluctant to expose them to the world when the sun finally rears its head.

In recent summer seasons, the sandal has been creeping ever higher in the sartorial consciousness, with designers creating some imaginative and practical styles that even the most toe fearing gents can give a go. Leather cross-strap sandals in a dark tan are a multi-faceted option and have come a long way since the ‘Jesus sandal’ faux pas of the 1980s Brit and German abroad.

For those not brave enough to work some ‘toe and mankle’ action into their look, deck shoes and espadrilles are a more viable option, whilst suede tassel loafers will serve for formal occasions.

Try Jil Sander, A.P.C. and Sebago for stylish solutions to your footwear dilemmas.

Greenwood Kurt Geiger London BrownAsos Sandals With Cross Over StrapsJil Sander Blue Leather SandalsAsos Tassel Loafers In SuedeAsos Tassel Loafers In SuedeGrenson Mens Marcel Tassel Loafers - GreySperry Topsider Twill Boat ShoesDockside Boat Sebago GreySebago Horween Dockside Leather Deck Shoes InkStriped EspadrilleRivieras Cotton Mesh Slip-on ShoesBellafonte Mesh Espadrill H By Hudson Navy

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Accessories

Accessories are an essential component of the Riviera look, with a good quality pair of sunglasses and a lightweight straw hat key investments.

The range of skilfully crafted eyewear available on the market has reached an all time high, with manufacturers offering increasingly sophisticated materials and technology, coupled with vintage design elements. Brands such as Illesteva and Han Kjobenhavn offer a smart and sleek range of eyewear that is ideal for the Riviera.

Borsolino, one of the foremost Italian milliners, makes a superb range of handmade straw fedoras and panamas that will see you through many a summer, with equivalent styles readily available on the high street.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Riviera Inspired Accessories  

Key Pieces

Linda Farrow Luxe Lfl191 Grey Square Aviator SunglassesIllesteva Marco Round-frame Acetate SunglassesHan Kjøbenhavn™ Timeless SunglassesStraw Panama HatMens Bailey Fernales Straw HatBorsalino Woven-paper Trilby Hat

Champions Of Riviera Style

When in doubt, take your cue from those in the know. There are certain men who can pull off Riviera style like it’s their second skin.

One of the most sartorially elegant legends of the silver screen, the Swiss-French actor Alain Delon effortlessly made Riviera panache his own and remains one of the most charismatic style icons of the 1960s.

In this photograph, Delon shows how neutral-tone tailoring is done:

Alain Delon

Another cinematic legend, no one wore the Breton stripe tee quite like fabled US actor James Dean, who died tragically young at the age of twenty-four in a fatal car crash. Who knows what the sartorial icon had in store for us if he had survived: James Dean was a fan of the Breton stripe

This dapper group of gents in Florence show how to work elements of Riviera style into a city wardrobe. The off-white trousers, retro-inspired eyewear and lightweight tailoring are particularly sharp:Gents In Florence Bringing Riviera Style To the Mainland

Shot in 1960s France, the gent below [left] demonstrates the art of casual summer insouciance; the canvas espadrilles are a particularly apt Riviera touch.

Bringing the look bang up to date, this dapper Londoner [below right] has dressed appropriately for a summer’s day in town, with a well-cut lightweight cotton suit and an intricately woven straw fedora. Note the natty pocket square:

The Talented Mr. Ripley, staring Jude Law and Matt Damon, features some of the strongest and most inspirational Riviera style in silver screen history.

Set in late 1960s Italy, the film boasts a continual sequence of aesthetic perfection from one scene to the next. See our full break down of this cinematic masterpiece in our Celluloid Style series:The Talented Mr Ripley features a superb example of Riviera style

The Palette

Off-whites, beiges and neutral tones are synonymous with classic Riviera style, as are primary tones of reds and blues for more nautical-inspired pieces.

Pastel and ice cream shades will also add a fresh and contemporary feel to the look and can easily make the transition to your city wardrobe:

An example Riviera palette

Conclusion

All of us can work an element of Riviera style into our wardrobe through the simple addition of light-coloured linen, unstructured cotton tailoring and a pair of playfully printed shorts.

The key factor to remember is that each component should be both practical and comfortable; the style itself evolved from the necessity to have a freer form of dressing for an active lifestyle in sunny climes.

However it adapts and evolves with the passing decades, the core spirit of Riviera style remains in the form of elegant simplicity and functional panache.

Men’s Footwear: Tassel Loafers

Men’s Footwear: Tassel Loafers

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Introduction

High fashion is currently obsessed with all things fitted, with tailoring dominating the catwalks. Leading fashion houses draw on past and bring us looks that re-invent history, albeit with new features. Dolce & Gabbana’s recent take on 1930s ‘depression-era workman’ look – complete with wide wool trousers, short fitted blazers and round toe rugged shoes – is an excellent case in point. As is Prada’s brave autumn/winter 2012 collection, which pushes sartorialism to the extreme by offering a dose of mid 20th century military/dictator-esque inspired looks – complete with long double-breasted coats and badges.

Sitting at the other side of this spectrum are the traditionalists like Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger. Their most recent collections show just how strong the appetite for American Prep is. To an extent, this is a look that delivers a compromise. Featuring the ‘uptightness’ of fitted blazers, ties, handkerchiefs and a plethora of other sartorial details, whilst at the same time utilising denim, varsity jackets and heavier materials such as corduroy and wool to relax the aesthetic. American Prep seems to straddle the line between formal and casual.

Transcending Styles – Tassel Loafers

Transcending both the styles above, tassel loafers have become increasingly popular over the past year with many fashionable men. Interestingly, this piece of footwear was not initially offered by many; despite its growing popularity and wide-reaching appeal. High street fashion has since caught up and – especially for the upcoming spring/summer 2012 season – we now have wide a choice of styles and finishes available in this statement item.

The appeal of tassel loafers is understandable. They are adaptable to both casual and formal outfits, have an aura of sophistication around them and instantly bring your look up a notch when worn with more casual attire.

You would be mistaken to think that tassel loafers cannot be worn with a suit. Even if you have a limited appetite for experimenting, combining traditional black leather tassels with a dark suit achieves that typical Ralph Lauren, ‘Great Gatsby’, gentleman look. The ability to pair with a suit boils down to style and quality. Suits are formal, so you should be looking for a more formal style of loafer. This means structured shapes in high quality leather – ideally you want something that has a slight shine to it, so you can continue to polish and buff them to an acceptable office standard.

Alternatively, suede loafers are a possibility; really it all depends on how you are going to utilise the footwear and how strict the dress code is at your place of work. High quality suede examples, again in structured shapes, are what to look for – but be aware that they will have an instant ‘dress down’ effect as soon as you slip them on. That doesn’t mean they can’t work with a suit for other less formal occasions however.

In terms of colour, you should be looking at the timeless hues of brown and black if you want to wear them with a suit. Oxblood – recently covered in our guide to shoe colour combinations – could potentially be an option, dependant on where you work and your profession. If you do invest in a classic formal tassel loafer, remember that spending more will pay off in the long term. These have become a statement shoe that will never go out of fashion. With a bit of love and care, these could become your go to spring/summer formal shoes for the next 5 years.

One final advantage of the tassel loafer comes from its suitability to the spring/summer season. This is a shoe that looks superb without socks, due to their inherently low profile and slip-on nature. Why not try a suit, no socks and shirt combination for summer events this year? It would be perfect for weddings, garden parties and the like.

Formal Tassel Loafers Lookbook

Men's Formal Tassel Loafers Lookbook

Casual Tassel Loafers

Thanks to their character, tassel loafers have a natural leaning towards casual. Buying them in suede leather is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to sport tassels as part of a relaxed weekend look.

As the lookbook below demonstrates, tassel loafers offer a surprising amount of versatility. They look great paired with denim, chinos, blazers or even varsity jackets, which is why they are perfect for transcending the two dominant styles within menswear – American Prep and ‘uptight’ tailoring.

Again, when buying suede tassels, you will be confronted with numerous alternatives in terms of both style and colour. Blue and tan suede are the most popular colours available on the market today, and both would become an instant statement piece within any outfit. A coloured tassel loafer has the potential to become one of your trademark pieces for the coming season.

However, as always with coloured footwear, the key is to let the shoe effortlessly become the focal point. This means adding neutral and unfussy surrounding pieces, in order to bring balance to the overall look. With this in mind, try pairing blue suede tassels with slim chinos, a neutral blazer and a white fitted shirt for an elegant take on smart-casual. Accentuating the choice of footwear by adding an accessory of similar colour is always a good idea, but remember that ‘less is more’ – a simple blue polka dot handkerchief could be just the right amount.

If you prefer a more conservative look, try brown suede loafers. Brown compliments almost any other colour, and works particularly well with warmer tones (such as all those coloured chinos you have been stocking up on). For the ultimate new-era Dandy, and brilliant inspiration of how a tassel loafer look should be pulled off, check out Matt Allinson’s article on Mr Lapo Elkann.

Casual Tassel Loafers Lookbook

Men's Casual Tassel Loafers Lookbook

Men’s Casual Tassel Loafers

Notice the amount of styles and colours available below. There are deck shoe inspired silhouettes, loafer/brogue hybrids, contrast soles, thick vibram soles and everything in between. There really is a style of loafer for every personal taste this year.

Men’s  Tassel Loafers:

item-0FF93AF0-1E3E5968000000000401000011BFA213_0.jpgitem-0FF93F41-1E3E5968000000000401000011BFE02C_2.jpgitem-0FF9401F-1E3E5968000000000401000011BFA9D7_2.jpg

Conclusion

The tassel loafers have seen a recent spike in popularity. Far from being a fashion fling, these are a true investment piece and an item worthy of a distinguished gentleman. Their character offers versatility and sophistication, which makes them perfect for both formal and casual occasions.

But now it’s time for your opinion:

  • Are you a fan of the tassel loafer?
  • Is this a shoe you are going to add to your collection this year?
  • If you already own a pair, how do you wear them?
  • Would you ever wear these to work? Or are they simple for smart-casual looks only?

Footwear Trend – Men’s Monk Strap Shoes

Footwear Trend – Men’s Monk Strap Shoes

Introduction To The Monk Strap

Fashion bloggers and writers the world over always stress the importance of choosing good quality footwear (see skyeshopping’s article this week for example); if looked after properly and with care, a good quality pair of shoes can last for years. But in a footwear world inundated with laces, I would like to take a moment to leave the humble lace behind and look at an alternative option which is currently increasing its influence on the world of fashionthe monk strap shoe.

Simply put, a monk strap shoe is one which contains no laces and instead is closed with a buckle and strap fastening. Historically, monk straps were worn by monks and members of the Roman Catholic clergy as early as the 11th Century. These monks needed a shoe which was simple yet sturdy and long-lasting. Monk straps offered more protection than traditional sandals, and were cheap, highly durable and suitable for both formal and informal occasions – perfect for religious men of the time.

In modern society, monk strap shoes offer a distinctive style which stands out from the common lace-up. The beauty of monk straps is that they offer a huge variety of options as ultimately it is only the fastening which is different. This means you can still opt for a variety of styles of shoe – from monk strap brogues, to monk strap desert boots, to monk strap loafers. Also, there are a range of colours and materials out there, so leather, patent and suede are all on offer. Generally, monk strap shoes are currently not as popular as the timeless lace-up brogue or tassel loafer, but this means there is a perfect opportunity to break free from the sheep-like nature of following the crowd and embrace an alternative style of footwear which is less common but no less stylish. Mr Porter describes the monk strap as ‘a rakish alternative to a lace up’, and any item which receives the description ‘rakish’ is worth a try in my opinion!

How To Wear

There is a common misconception out there that monk strap shoes should be approached with caution by younger men as they are traditionally associated with the middle-aged, but I really don’t think this is the case any more. Of course it is important to pair the shoes with a complementary outfit to avoid looking like your Dad circa 1990 but a good pair of monk straps paired with timeless pieces and careful styling can make you stand out from the crowd for the right reasons.

Another misconception is that monk straps are formal dress shoes and only work well with suits and tailored garments. Although I am not advocating rocking a monk strap with your gym kit after a workout, they can work well with the fashion trouser of the moment, the chino, and can even work with a pair of straight-leg, slim-fit jeans. For added impact, why not roll up the chinos/jeans to really show off the signature buckle and don a pair of brightly coloured socks to inject a burst of colour – perfect for the summer months.

The images below from (the always inspiring) StreetEtiquette.com perfectly illustrate the successful pairing of monk straps with both formal suiting and less formal styling to create two very different looks. Details Magazine also recently ran a feature on monk strap shoes and writes: ‘Sure, they’re stylized and debonair, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear them with a suit.’

The Monk Strap Shoe Look Book via StreetEtiquette.com

Back in March, GQ.com also ran a similar feature on monk straps, which highlights their current increase in popularity on the fashion circuit. This article featured monk straps from a range of providers, from high street stores such as Russell & Bromley, to high fashion design houses such as Gucci and Berluti which shows that both the high street and high fashion designers are backing the trend.

Quite obviously, the star feature of a monk strap shoe is the strap and buckle which acts as a centre-piece and draws the eye. The individual choice of monk strap shoe depends largely on the type of outfit you intend to wear with the shoes. For example, for the office, the classic single monk strap shoe in black leather with a discrete, understated silver buckle works perfectly with a tailored suit.

For a more dramatic, eye-catching look, you could opt for a double monk strap (or ‘dub monks if you are down with the sartorial kids!) which adds a more contemporary twist on a classic style – making you stand out from the lace-obsessed crowd without making you look like Puss in Boots!

Monk Strap Shoes Lookbook

The Monk Strap Shoes Look Book for Men

Product Picks

The placing and size of the buckle also helps to make the shoes either classic or contemporary. For most classic monk straps the buckle tends to be fairly understated and appears on the side of the shoe like the ASOS Monk shoe detailed in the product picks below. But for a more contemporary style, the buckles can appear further back towards the rear of the shoe; for example, the Alexander McQueen Leather Monk Strap shoes available at Mr Porter, or the Garrett by Kurt Geiger. Or you could even go one step further and opt for a triple monk strap shoe like the Swear Vinnie 10 Monk Brogues below, available from ASOS (and currently in the sale!), to really up the monk strap ante.item-0FF943AF-1E3E5968000000000401000011BFCCFC_0.jpgitem-0FF94590-1E3E5968000000000401000011C137AB_0.jpgitem-0FD957E9-1E3E59680000000004010000106292E7_0.jpgA38A47A76

Conclusion

In the current footwear market which is saturated by lace-up shoes the monk strap shoe offers men a perfect alternative which doesn’t compromise on style. I think in this day and age as men are becoming more and more interested in fashion and how they present themselves to the world – most men also like to inject a sense of themselves into their styling and add a sense of individuality to their look rather than simply following the crowd. So why not take a step in a different footwear direction and buckle up with some lace-less monk strap shoes.

Top 5 Ways To Boost Your AW13 Business Style

Top 5 Ways To Boost Your AW13 Business Style Image: skyeshopping 2014

Introduction

After taking a brief glance through some of the work I’ve put out since the sun decided to disappear, it would be fair to say that I’ve stuck firmly to the casual end of the sartorial spectrum.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that – there is, after all, a lot more room for experimentation, trend incorporation and creativity within casual clothing. Plus, for the majority of guys who work in an office or corporate environment, it’s pretty much suit, shirt, tie, shoes, done. Where’s the fun in that?

However, as with most things that involve being creative, it’s all about what you do with what you’re given. And I would make the argument that because a business environment often requires you to wear a uniform, there is actually more room to experiment with colour, fabric and trends without things getting too out of control.

So, with that in mind, I thought I’d put together a few tips on how to easily raise your style game in the office this season.

This does presume that you already own a solid selection of classic office wear, such as neutral suits, block-colour dress shirts and a collection of ties. If not, it may be worth reading one of my previous articles, The Ultimate Streamlined Capsule Wardrobe, before continuing.

For those that already have the basics down, let’s get right amongst it…

Embrace Brown & Blue

The Italians have been doing it for years, and we all know how well they’ve mastered dressing for business. It’s such a simple combination to pull off because the shade of each colour doesn’t matter, just so long as they’re together.

Whether it’s a brown wool tie with a blue gingham shirt or a navy suit with chocolate brown shoes, incorporate this colour combination into your nine-to-five looks for an instant shot of style and sprezzatura.

Lookbook Inspiration

Example Combinations

Reiss Pluto Patch Pocket Slim Fit Shirt BlueHe By Mango Classic-fit Basilia SuitDrakes Silk-grenadine TieRiver Island Blue Accent Button Long Sleeve Poplin ShirtTopman Brown Tweed Herringbone SuitReiss Cutler Knitted Silk Tie NavyTopman Grey Blue Slim SuitReiss Danton Formal Suit Belt With Feather Edge Mid BrownReiss Rossmore Hand Finished Brogues Brownitem-0FF9148C-1E3E5968000000000401000011BC0590_0.jpgitem-0FD957E9-1E3E59680000000004010000106292E8_0.jpg

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The Return Of The Chelsea Boot

The Return Of The Chelsea Boot

The Death Of The Statement Shoe

We’ve all seen them. The look-at-me-do-you-know-how-much-these-cost type of footwear statements covered in studs, glitter and God knows whatever else. Embroidered velvet slippers with gold coats of arms, contrasting coloured rock studs or more tassels than a National Trust property; the experimentation with men’s footwear is over.

With prices pushing four figures, these are bling and bad taste all in one – and don’t they want you to know it. It’s not so much the designs that have killed this trend, it’s the type of people wearing them.

So, what’s the alternative? We’re seeing a return to more solid and handsome silhouettes. Dare we say traditional? Something that not only looks great, but works. Men are creatures of function and never more so than with footwear.

Our wardrobes consist of joined up segments. As the trouser shape changed, it had a knock on effect on our shoes. With skinny/slim cuts reigning supreme over the last few years, this made the whole shoe visible and therefore more important.

Where once the trouser covered half your footwear, it now lightly hovers above – and thus the statement shoe was born. However, it’s about time this trend gave way to something far more classic and tasteful, which works just as well with your collection of slim and skinny trousers.

The Return Of The Chelsea Boot

First, a brief history lesson: Chelsea boots, also known as Dealer boots, were initially created for horse riding. Unisex, they were tight-fitting, ankle-high boots which first appeared in Victorian times and were originally called paddock or jodhpur boots. Their most distinguishable feature was the elastic on the side that allowed you to effortlessly pull them on and off with the heel tab at the back.

Charles Goodyear’s development of vulcanized rubber in 1839 in Springfield, Massachusetts, enabled J Sparkes-Hall, bootmaker to Queen Victoria, to invent the elastic gusset boot in 1851. He later claimed “She [The Queen] walks in them daily and thus gives the strongest proof of the value she attaches to the invention.”

By the middle of the 20th century, a group consisting of young artists, film directors, musicians and fashion designers started frequenting the King’s Road area in west London. This group was named the ‘Chelsea Set’ by the media at the time and they made the name ‘Chelsea’ synonymous with a new way of living and dressing. These style-conscious gents started favouring and wearing the paddock boot, and hence ‘Chelsea’ boots were born.

The Beatle Boot

Today, they have become synonymous with the mods and the ‘beat generation’ of the 1960s – and most notably The Beatles. When The Beatles first appeared on the music scene, forty years ago, as well as their classic round-collared suits they wore what we now call Beatles boots.

A Beatle boot is a skinnier type of Chelsea boot. Tight fitting, they are slim with a tapered, pointed front and a larger Cuban-type heel. The style can feature a zipped or more traditional elasticated side and have a centre seam running from ankle to toe.

The story goes – October 1961, John Lennon and Paul McCartney saw these Chelsea boots whilst browsing in the London footwear company Anello & Davide, on Charing Cross Road, and ordered two pairs with the addition of Cuban heels to complement their new tailored image, which they were developing after visiting Hamburg.

Anello & Davide originally called it the ‘Baba boot’ and George and Ringo joined them, by ordering theirs in 1962, completing The Beatles first stage look.

The Beatles Boot

Other notable highlights of the Chelsea boot evolution include featuring in the first three Star Wars films, as worn by the stormtroopers of the Empire. The stormtrooper boots were actually standard black Chelsea boots coloured white.

Brand Advocates

There’s no one label that can really claim this style exclusively. Brands from the 1960s, such as Ben Sherman, are renowned for their Mod aesthetic, yet Chelsea boots are synonymous with the entire beatnik/mod generation, so whenever a brand shows a look inspired by these subcultures, they are usually not far behind.

At the AW13 global fashion week previews, Chelsea boots were shown on the Burberry Prorsum runway in patterned pony-skin and more traditional black leather. Burberry’s signature cut is usually extremely skinny and the boots simply allowed this silhouette to continue to the floor without any clear break.

Another major designer advocate was Saint Laurent; Hedi Slimane’s obsession with everything rocker and grunge often sees him reinvent and perfect classic items for the French design house. Think Pete Doherty on a good day.

This season’s Saint Laurent Chelsea boots are the most Beatle-like, complete with the stacked Cuban heel. They look great with slim black jeans and the groupies’ favourite, the large fedora:

Chelsea boots on the AW13 runways at Burberry Prorsum and Saint Laurent

Chelsea boots on the AW13 runways at Burberry Prorsum (top) & Saint Laurent (Bottom)

How To Style

The Chelsea boot is an extremely versatile silhouette that works just as well with jeans as it does with a suit. They are guaranteed to slot seamlessly into your existing wardrobe and will bring a new dimension to any of your current go-to ensembles. That being said, due to its ties to the sixties and beatnik/mod subcultures, it will always look most at home within these types of looks.

Luckily for us, the era is trending: classic mod pieces, such as the casual suit and roll neck, are being brought bang up to date via contemporary fits and colours, whilst 1960s-inspired checked tailoring is set to become the must-own suit style for 2013/14.

For those who want something a bit darker and edgier, try pairing your boots with the rocker’s go-to uniform: black slim/skinny jeans, a plain tee/knit/shirt and classic leather biker. It’s an outfit that can be thrown on with minimal fuss and oozes effortless cool.

Lookbook InspirationMen's Chelsea Boots Lookbook Outfit Inspiration

Key Styles

The Chelsea boot is very democratic. You can find styles at every price point from ASOS to John Lobb. It’s a silhouette you only really start to notice when you being searching for a pair.

Timeless is an overused and clichéd term in fashion, but the Chelsea boot runs throughout menswear continually. Of course, the style is currently having a moment, hence why we have featured it, but feel safe in the knowledge that you’ll definitely get your cost-per-wear from them.

Key Men’s Boot Styles For AW13

Key Men’s Boot Styles For AW13

Introduction

As we transition into autumn/winter and the weather begins to deteriorate, it is important that we alter our footwear to suit.

No longer is it acceptable (or practical) to walk the puddled streets in your flimsy espadrilles or trusty suede loafers. Instead, we suggest you opt for something more seasonally-appropriate: the boot.

Not only are they extremely practical, but their versatile nature means they will see you safely through winter and well into the new year. Whether you favour a casual approach to dressing, or refuse to leave the house without a suit, boots are undoubtedly an AW13 ‘essential’.

Below, we highlight handmade ankle boot options available this year, and provide you with some inspiration on how to style them…

1. Dress Boots

Just because it is a boot, it doesn’t mean it has to be casual. The dress boot is making big waves this season, and for good reason. Unlike many of the other options available, this style allows the wearer to pair with a far smarter wardrobe. Not only that, but they can be worn come work or play.

Wear them with your suit when heading to the office, or with a classic chinos, shirt and blazer combination when hitting the town. If dressing down at the weekend, dark denim (it’s smarter) tends to work best, whilst on top, a polo shirt and lightweight bomber pairing is both on trend and strikes the perfect balance between smart and casual.

To give your outfit an added touch of detailing, opt for a trouser with a turn up, or simply fold the hems of your chinos/jeans a couple of times. Not only does this help dress down the look slightly, but it also shows off your chosen boot to the fullest.

When searching for further styling inspiration, a look to the catwalk never does any harm – and Hardy Amies’ ‘Made In England’ collection is a great starting point. For the brand’s AW13 collection shown at London Collections: MEN, dress boots were paired with sharp, cropped suiting (an excellent way of showing you are wearing boots), whilst the colour scheme included dark greys, black and a healthy dose of tartan.

Key Show: Hardy Aimes AW13

Hardy Aimes AW13 Collection

Lookbook InspirationMen's Dress Boots Lookbook

Key StylesA45A75A74SKPB14 - Flat Ankle Fashion Boots for Men Goodyear Welt BootsSKPB8 - Snow Boots in Goodyear Welt Nature Wool Lining for MenSKPB15 - 2013New Ankle Boots Goodyear Welt Genuine Leather Boots

The Best Street Style Snaps from Milan Men’s Fashion Week Fall 2014

Fashion Weeks with womenswear usually get all the street style attention, but after peeping the showgoers at the men’s shows in Milan, we’re not sure why. Can you say no to well-dressed ladies and tons of exceptionally dapper dudes? We certainly can’t. 

More Men’s Fashion Style:  New York FashionWeekBoots  Fashion Ankle Boots  Handmade Shoes   Goodyear Shoes/Boots   Calf Leather Shoes   Height Increasing Shoes  Men Shoes  Fall 2014 Trend   Flat Shoes   New FallTrend   Biggest Fall Trend

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Holiday Dressing Tips For Fashion Men In New York City

As the holiday season hits full swing, it’s time to pull your look together to hit the soiree circuit. Whether it’s an office party, drinks with your college buddies, a family gathering, or the dreaded party down the street at “the Jones’s”, it’s important to put some thought into your evening outfits.

IT’S IN THE FLANNEL
Instead of the typical holiday sweater in red or green, consider wearing a gray flannel blazer or even full flannel suit. I am a believer in breaking up your suit and wearing the gray flannel jacket on its own with jeans or cords. If you do break it up, try wearing a pocket square in a rich texture that will compliment your shirt. Depending on your coloration, you can go light, medium or dark charcoal. All tones are acceptable when dressing for evening. No tie necessary in this case because the pocket square will complete this more casual approach.

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THE SUIT ROUTE
 If you go the full suit route, I would suggest either a tie or pocket square, or both. Keep it simple by wearing a crisp white shirt with a white linen pocket square, adding an eggplant, bright blue or even wine colored tie. A burgundy wool tie provides incredible texture and a bold splash of color. I also like wearing a lightweight v-neck sweater in the same tone as the suit jacket, it’s all about layering.

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GET TEXTURED
 

Texture is in this season! Go for neckwear in wool or cashmere as opposed to traditional silk. Not only is it trendy, but also more practical. To add more texture, you can try a slim wale corduroy shirt in a saturated color, think blue, emerald, eggplant, or another shade of gray with dark denim jeans on the bottom. You can also look at a dressier solid cotton flannel button-down, which will look great with cords. A gray-washed cotton flannel shirt with white detail is incredibly chic with a gray jacket and white pocket square.

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THE WING-TIP MAN
For shoes, go with the wing-tip boot. There are many options available at every price point. Wear your wing-tips with a suit or a jacket and jeans. It will give your look a slightly sportier feeling and will allow you to stand out in a tasteful and subtle way.

A45A45-1A45-2A45-3A45-4A45 NEW1

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Remember, great taste is in the details. Happy Holidays! Follow my men’s column on the skyeshopping blog for more tips.

The Most Popular Men’s Fashion :  New York Fashion WeekBoots  Fashion Ankle Boots  Handmade Shoes   Goodyear Shoes/Boots   Calf Leather Shoes   Height Increasing Shoes  Men Shoes  Fall 2014 Trend   Flat Shoes   New FallTrend   Biggest Fall Trend