For Him and For Her: Soludos Buyers Beware

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I write this post with a heavy heart, as I originally had such high hopes for these espadrilles when I first purchased them. I was looking for a summer footwear alternative to flip-flops (which doctors say are really bad for you), discovered Soludos on a blog, and was intrigued. I went to their website and their prices were incredibly reasonable, so I bought 2 pairs. The first week was the honeymoon period, and I though that I had just found a new pipeline for summer footwear, but then it all went horribly wrong. I discovered that one of the pairs were inexplicably larger than the other pair. Next both pairs began to make my feet hurt and the rubber soles (on the underside of the shoe) started to separate from the rope sole. From that point on, the disintegration continued to speed up until I had to retire them once and for all. I noticed the other day that J. Crew is now selling Soludos. This surprised me because in my experience J. Crew usually only sells well-made goods, but in this instance that is clearly not the case. At any rate I felt it was my civic duty to warn everyone that I could before they made the same mistake that I made twice.

 

 

 

– Chadwick

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For Him: Colorful Shorts

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Summer is fast approaching and the shorts are starting to come out. Colorful shorts are one of my favorite pieces to wear in the spring and summer. I am actually wearing a pair of red/pink shorts as I write this. Colorful shorts are easy to wear as long as you are a confident person (these are not for the timid). Make sure that your shorts are “flat front” (no pockets), hit somewhere above your knee, and aren’t baggy (not tight, just slim). When wearing colorful shorts you want to keep your shirt pretty basic. I usually wear my shorts with solid color shirts (red, blue, grey) or a simple striped pattern (like the first picture below). Here are some of my favorites that are out there right now:

 

G.I. Lightweight Chino Short by Polo Ralph Lauren ($85)

 

 

Slim-Fit Sun-Faded Chino Short by Polo Ralph Lauren ($89)

 

 

Flat Front Shorts by GAP ($29 on sale)

 

 

Chino Shorts by H&M ($24)

 

 

Stanton Short by J. Crew ($59)

 

 

Rolled Cuff Short by Dockers at Urban Outfitters ($49)

 

 

‘Parker’ Flat Front Shorts by Bill’s Khakis at Nordstrom ($78)

 

– Chadwick

For Him: Colored Shoelaces

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When it comes to men’s style, the key lies in toeing the line between looking boring and peacocking. To avoid the unfortunate occurrence of looking like you’re trying too hard, try focusing on the details. It’s not about reinventing the wheel– Rather, it’s about putting a spin on it that’s truly yours. I add personality to my wardrobe with colored laces. After the stock brown laces broke on my Clarks Desert Boots, I hit the internet to look for a replacement pair. I stumbled upon ShoeLaces Express, which boasts an impressive selection of over 2,000 different laces to choose from. Since I was replacing the laces for a 4-eyed boot, I chose the 21 inch round braided laces in burgundy ($4.49 for two pair) . And, because you have to order two pairs at a time, I ordered another pair of the same laces and replaced the laces on my Suede Bucks. Now both pairs look great, and I have a subtle way to distinguish myself.

Fashion Round Dress Shoelaces by ShoeLaces Express ($5.49 for two pair)

 

Dress Shoelaces by Hook + Albert ($14 for two pair)

– Chadwick

For Her: Bandage skirt- I am so over you.

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$138 BCBG

Dear Bandage Skirts,

I am over you. In fact, I don’t know that I was ever into you. Perhaps it is my tiny figure that makes me hate you. Let’s be honest, you make me look like a small child with bad parents. However, this isn’t to say you’d improve if I gained 10lbs… Then I’d want to hide behind something a little more comfortable than your tight grasps. I find your fit stressful, as I constantly have to make sure you haven’t crept up. You try and sell yourself as a wear to work item, but then I think- do I work at a club? I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but I think I want to see other skirts. Please pass that along to your designers. It’s not me- It’s you.

Sincerely,

Day– go with the flow skirt wearer extraordinaire.

$34.99 Mod Cloth

$368 Anthropologie

$79.50 JCrew

$59.50 Express

For Her: Talking yourself down from the checkout ledge

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To be honest… I am terrible at this. For instance, when I found myself searching for an Ipad cover the other day, I went to a few stores and looked online to no success. After glancing around selection at Nordstrom, I found it. The perfect case.

It was like Diane von Furstenberg had designed it for me. It holds the Ipad at all times (unlike a sleeve) has folders for papers, it’s feminine, but not so much so that it’s unprofessional- all in all a winner…. Except for the $136 dollar price tag. Naturally, I thought to myself, I can get an ipad cover for $20 that will do a decent job, don’t buy this. But then I just closed my eyes and swiped anyways.

This whole story to tell you that I have a problem. I need to stop spending. So here is my quick list to avoid the checkout counter:

1. AVOID sales people at all costs. People pleasers, like myself, are an easy target for the right sales person. Treat me right, act like you care, and I’ll buy just so you don’t feel like you wasted your time.

2. Never shop alone. That way someone else will be there to tell you that your spending an outrageous amount of money on something you’ll wear twice.

3. Know what you’re looking for and have a budget in mind. This way you won’t get caught up in promotions and gimmicks meant to lead you astray. (Yes, lady at the perfume counter, I am talking to you– I know your tricks, and I am not falling any more!)

4. Don’t be afraid to put things on hold. If I like something at a store but can’t decide if the product justifies the price tag, I put it on hold and keep shopping. Sometimes I can’t stop thinking about it, and then I race back in to the store and drop a bundle. However, often times I find something else I like for much cheaper and never return.

5. Pay for things in cash. Our credit card culture has virtually destroyed the “wrench of delivery” that would otherwise prevent a sale. Charging $136 is a lot easier than handing over the cash.

6. Consider whether the product is super trendy or here to stay. Don’t throw your money at passing fads. The classics are what you invest in… Like an excellent pair of boots, or a quality wallet.

7. Hand in hand with #6, ask whether you can find the same thing at forever 21 (or some other comparable store). Why buy the real deal when you can get virtually the same thing for less. THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO SHOES! But generally, I try and put my money into pieces that I can’t find just anywhere, like a unique but classic dress. It will stand out, and stand the test of time.

8. If all else fails, tell yourself you look fat in it. Or, better yet, have your shopping buddy tell you that you look fat in it.  Which reminds me– Would someone please tell me that I’d look fat in this:

$352 Free People

-Day

For Him: Cologne

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A man should smell like a man, but in a good way. This post springs from my recent experience trying to find a new scent that I felt like associating myself with. When it comes to cologne there are several different philosophies; none of which are inherently right or wrong. Some people like to pick a signature scent and wear it year round. Others like to have a scent for day-time use and a separate scent for night activities. Then there are those who like to rotate scents seasonally. I count myself among the third category (seasonal scents). I like having a warm weather scent (usually something lighter and sweet) and a cold weather scent (something a little richer).

Before picking out a new scent it’s a good idea to do a little homework online. Macy’s has a Fragrance Finder that asks you a series of questions and tries to point you to scents that match what you are looking for. When I used the Fragrance Finder it recommended Nautica Voyage and Azzaro Chrome Sport. So I headed down to the nearest Macy’s to try them out. Unfortunately I found both of them smelled surprisingly similar to laundry detergent (not unpleasant, just not what I was going for). The saving grace was that next to those two fragrances was a bottle of Lacoste Essential. I sprayed some on the tester card and was pretty sure I liked it, so I put a squirt on my wrist and wore it for the rest of the day. By the end of the day I was sold; the scent seemed to get better as time went on (it began with a citrusy note and faded to a sweet tone).

Essential by Lacoste ($69 for 4.2 oz)

 

Helpful Hints:

– Do a little research on the internet before going into the store.

– Don’t rush your decision on which scent to purchase. The first day I went looking I spent about an hour searching and didn’t find one that I liked, and that’s completely ok.

– Make sure to clear your nose by sniffing the coffee beans (which they will have sitting on the counter). If you don’t do this periodically you wont be able to smell the differences in the scents.

– When you find a scent, or two, that you like try them on your wrists and wear them for the rest of the day. You will find that the scents will change when they come in contact with your skin. Simply spraying the cologne on the tester cards and then making a purchase is not the way to go.

 

So what’s your take on cologne? Do you like to stick with one, switch for day and night use, or rotate seasonally? What is the scent that you have chosen?

 

– Chadwick

For Him: Suede Bucks

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Either Spring is on its way to an area near you or it has already arrived. Either way, you should start looking forward to changing your wardrobe in response to the changing temps. And what better way than from the ground up? Suede Bucks are a classic warm weather shoe that can be paired with both pants and shorts. I wear mine with chinos some days and colorful cloth shorts other days. Another versatile piece that will maximize your ability to experiment. The usual colors for Suede Bucks are white and earth tones (tan, grey, etc), though they can also be purchased in more garish color schemes (as the navy pair below).

Bucks by Sherman Brothers Private Label ($112)

 

Harrington Suede Bucks by J. Crew ($178)

 

Garris Plain Toe by Johnston & Murphy ($99)

 

Buck Oxford by David Spencer ($110)

 

Suede Bucks by Alden for J. Crew ($490)

 

Buck Oxford by Bass ($89)

 

– Chadwick

For Her by Him: The Blazer

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A blazer, if selected with care, can be a versatile addition to any wardrobe. It’s a piece that can “dress-up” an outfit or be used as a light jacket without looking too pretentious. Blazers come in countless different colors, textures, and cuts, so there is no excuse not to find one that you love. Once you’ve bought it, don’t be afraid to experiment with it. Wear it buttoned, wear it unbuttoned, wear it with the sleeves down, wear it with the sleeves up, etc. Just remember that the most important part about finding the right blazer for you is FIT. An ill-fitting blazer just won’t look right, even if you can’t put your finger on the exact problem. Bonus tip: since the blazer is an item borrowed from the world of men’s fashion you’ll want to pair it with a feminine piece or two.

Hacking Jacket by J. Crew ($250)

 

 

Schoolboy Blazer by J. Crew ($198)

 

 

Merriweather Jacket by J. Crew ($128)

 

 

Color-tipped Blazer by Banana Republic ($150)

 

 

Corded Dobby Stripe Blazer by LOFT ($98)

 

 

Corded Dobby Stripe Collarless Jacket by LOFT ($98)

 

 

Shrunken Pinstripe Riding Blazer by GAP ($98)

 

 

Cropped Ruched Sleeve Blazer by Sparkle & Fade ($79)

 

 

Sans Collar Blazer by Cartonnier ($98)

 

– Chadwick

For Her: Colorful Crops

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I am at a loss for words, but not for song! Mika’s “Love Today” perfectly captures how I feel walking out the door in a pair of colored crops. Listen, peruse, indulge.

 

Bennett Chino by J. Crew ($79)

 

 

Cafe Capri by J. Crew ($89)

 

 

Straight Ankle Chinos by Pilcro ($88)

 

 

Slim Leg Pants by Vince Camuto ($52)

 

 

Luxe Twill Skinny Jeans by J Brand ($172)

 

I’m loving the J. Crew Poppy Chino’s. What about you?

-Day

For Him: Shawl-neck Sweater

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As readers of this blog know, I like to accent my wardrobe with a number of different collar types (crewneck, V-neck, boat neck, etc.). The newest collar addition to my wardrobe is the shawl-neck sweater. They are incredibly comfortable and perfectly suited for winter months, because they wrap around your neck like a scarf.

Cotton-cashmere Shawl-collar Sweater by J. Crew ($78)

 

Cotton Cable Shawl-collar Sweater by J. Crew ($118)

 

Shawl Collar Cardigan by Projek Raw ($55)

 

Jacquard Shawl Pullover by Polo Ralph Lauren ($189)

 

Rugby Stripe Shawl by Vince ($142)

 

Fairisle Cardigan by Moods of Norway ($97)

 

— Chadwick