June 26, 2013

Favorite Finds: J.Crew No-show Loafer Sock

So a little while back I answered a question about wearing boat shoes with socks. Now that summer has hit (hard), bare ankles are both more comfortable and more appropriate but I just can’t do the whole ‘no socks’ thing, which is why I wear no-show socks.

It is really easy to find no-shows for sneaker or dress shoes, but the options are severely limited when it comes to boat shoes and loafers because more of your foot is exposed. I have always settled for pairs that are made of a stocking-like material that can barely be called a sock, until I stumbled across these amazing No-Show Loafer Socks by J.Crew.

What I love about these is that they feel like a sock, which not only means better sweat and odor protection for your shoes, but also more cushioning for your feet. You get the best of both worlds – the comfort of a sock with the bare ankle look.  They run a little big (I wear a US9/EU43 and they just barely fit me), so if you have a small foot, these might not be the socks for you.

The colored pairs are available in stores (at least all of the ones I visited in NYC), but there are solid two-packs available both in store and online.  The single pairs come in dark gray/turquoise, light gray/orange, and medium gray/green with turquoise stripes and are $10. The two-packs are $16.50 and are available in black, heathered graphite, and white. They are a cotton/nylon blend with a rubbered pad inside the heel to help keep them in place.

After trying out the turquoise ones to make sure I liked them, I went back and bought more. You may wonder why I would pay what amounts to $1.75 extra per pair for the colored ones when, by design, they will never be seen. The answer is simple, they’re fun and there is just something about putting on colorful socks in the morning, even if no one else gets to see them.

Stay stylish,
- JJ

June 22, 2013

Head-to-Toe: Ted Baker

When it comes to putting together a look that stands out (in a good way), the details are what make it happen. One thing that a lot of British menswear designers do incredibly well is embrace pattern, color, and fun detailing. This is one of the things I love about Ted Baker and why it is perfect for this Head-to-Toe post.

Unlike my two previous posts in the series where almost every piece came from a different season, the jacket, pants, and shirt all came from the same collection. The reason I chose to do this instead of mix and match is that when a designer imbues their collection with a running theme that manifests in the details, it conveys a sense of considered cohesiveness (alliteration much?).

What I mean by this is that it can give you a clean, put together look without the effort of having to coordinate all of the details yourself. Half the work is done for you. For example, the polka dots on the cuff button tie in with the polka dots on the inside of the shirt collar and cuffs.

The nautical undertones of the collection extend from the jacket lining to the anchor lapel pin to the pocket square. The whole outfit ties itself together with virtually no work on my part.

The shoes I picked for three reasons. I love brogues and their blue tone ties them in with the rest of the outfit. Plus, even though these shoes are about 3 years old, the wood heel plays off of the wood buttons on both the shirt and jacket, further bringing the whole thing together.

As an added bonus, I noticed that almost all of the jackets and waistcoats in the current (and hopefully future) collections have an interesting feature. The lining of the chest pocket is designed and cut to be able to pull out and masquerade as a pocket square. This is such an ingenious idea that I had to examine several jackets to make sure they hadn’t just rigged up a display piece.

Jacket, shirt, pants, shoes, pocket square, & lapel pin
by Ted Baker; Sunglasses by Marc by Marc Jacobs

While I could have easily come up with a head-to-toe Ted Baker look that spanned several different collections, sometimes a look just comes together on its own, and you just have to embrace it. All of these pieces were bought at different times and I didn’t realize just how well the detailing worked together until getting ready to shoot this post.

Stay stylish,
- JJ