January 27, 2015

Dressing for the Occasion: Blizzard

If this post were an academic paper it would probably be subtitled “Responding to the anti-climactic aftermath of Snowpocalypse 2015.” With all the unfulfilled hype that was Winter Storm Juno, I wanted to give some tips on dressing for a blizzard (if one were to actually show up). Now obviously, you should not venture out during a blizzard if you can at all help it. This is more about what to wear when you venture outside the next day to resupply on bread and kale, since it was all likely sold out the day of the storm.

A high collar button-mock sweater will help keep you warm and protected from the elements. The reason I prefer button necks as opposed to turtlenecks is because the buttons allow you to regulate your coverage. If the wind is blowing, button it all the way up. If things have calmed down, open it up a little bit.

Layering is key to keeping you warm as your body heat gets trapped between the layers and helps insulate you. Underneath the sweater, I’m wearing a heavy oxford shirt and a long-sleeve undershirt, but on especially cold days I would opt for a thermal or heat-tech option.

Accessories are important, and I don’t just mean a scarf and gloves. During the day, sunglasses will be a huge help at cutting down on the glare coming off the snow. It’s hard enough to navigate snow-covered sidewalks when you can see. Shearling gloves are perfect for those really cold days as they provide more insulation that regular leather or wool alternatives.

A hat is another accessory to consider, especially when it’s snowing. You can keep your hair dry without having to carry an umbrella around and when it has a brim, in the case of this military cap, windswept snow will (mostly) stay out of your eyes. Just because it’s a blizzard, doesn’t mean you can’t add some flair. A lapel flower is just as at home on a peacoat as a blazer.

The reason I chose to wear black denim is because after a snowstorm in NYC, you end up wading through dirty slush and puddles of questionable depth. Black denim is a good choice for inclement weather because it won’t stain from getting splashed with mud and if the cuffs get wet from trekking through snow, you won’t see it.

Duck boots are a must – they’ll keep your feet dry and stylish. Since Juno only dropped 6ish inches on us, I went with a more unique alternative to the classic Bean Boot. A lot of companies are putting a fresh take on duck boots, and the wingtip detailing on these Timberland Stormbucks infuses a little touch of traditional menswear into a utilitarian boot.

Coat by AllSaints; Sweater by SQ; Shirt by J.Crew; Denim by PPD (now Paige);
Boots by Timberland; Hat by Prada; Scarf by Psycho Bunny; Gloves by Kenneth
Cole New York; Handmade lapel flower; Sunglasses by Bulgari

Inclement weather can always throw you a curveball when it comes to dressing practically and appropriately, but with a little thought and consideration you can weather any storm in style.

Stay warm and stylish,

- JJ

January 18, 2015

Head-to-Toe: Thrifted

As I’ve mentioned before, you can find some really great pieces to add to your closet for not a lot of money if you put in the time and know where to look. I wanted to do this Head-to-Toe post was to show that you can put together a well-styled, high quality look for a fraction of the retail cost. Case in point, this entire outfit cost less than $200.

The other reason I wanted to do this particular post was to demystify the illusion that you need a lot of money to have a designer wardrobe. Some of my favorite pieces and best deals came from thrift shops, and I wanted to break down the acquisition of each piece to give specific examples of what you can find, with a little bit of luck.

This blazer is by Helmut Lang and would retail for somewhere around $600-800, but I got it at a Salvation Army coat sale for $30. It was in amazing condition with very minor wear, the only issues being that one of the cuff buttons was missing and the lining had separated from the body, both easy fixes. The shirt is Barney’s New York and cost $9 at Goodwill, the Burberry tie came from Housing Works for about $30, and the AllSaints scarf was $15 at Buffalo Exchange.

The Express Studio trousers cost $8 at Salvation Army. The legline was a little on the wider side, but i really liked their texture so I needed to slim them down a bit. See my post on trouser alterations for step-by-step instructions on how to do this.

Blazer by Helmut Lang; Shirt by Barney's New York; Trousers by Express
Studio; Shoes by Salvatore Ferragamo; Tie by Burberry; Tie bar by Link Up;
Scarf by AllSaints; Belt by Ted Baker; Handmade lapel flower

The Salvatore Ferragamo shoes were $18, also at Salvation Army. Shoes are always a little tricky to thrift because most people don’t get rid of shoes until they are pretty worn down. Sometimes, if the shoe is in good shape and just needs a new sole you can find a good deal, but in the case of these Ferragamos, I just got really lucky as they just needed a good polish.

The lapel flower, while not technically thrifted, cost nothing because it was made with fabric swatches and spare buttons. The only pieces that were not purchased at a thrift store were the belt and tie bar. The belt was about $40 on clearance and the tie bar was $20 at an off-price retailer.

Hopefully this post will show you that a tight budget is not an obstacle to looking great if you put in the time and work. For more tips on thrift shopping, check out my previous post.

Stay stylish,

- JJ

January 1, 2015

Year in Review: 2014

2014 has been a year of ups and downs here at The Shy Stylist. I hit 1,000 followers on Twitter, finally jumped on the Instagram bandwagon, and picked up a couple really great new personal shopping clients. I also didn’t have a lot of time to get posts shot, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. I have a backlog of copy, but no accompanying pictures (which would make for a pretty boring style blog). Looking forward to 2015, I am contemplating new avenues to explore while sticking to my philosophy that style is both personal and timeless.

As with every New Year’s Day, I wanted to share (in no particular order) my favorite looks from the previous year. Despite the number of posts being embarrassingly low in 2014, I put together some of my favorite posts, so I think it balances out. If you want to check out the post in it’s entirety, just click the title.

Jacket by Scott James; Trousers by Express Studio; Sweater by Nautica;
Shirt by Uniqlo; Shoes by Johnston & Murphy; Tie by Penguin;
Pocket Square by Giorgio Armani; Gloves (in pocket) by French Connection

I like this look for its simplicity while also being very visually interesting. This was also one of my favorite posts content-wise because it showed that you can stand out while still sticking to classic tailored pieces.

Suit, pocket square, and belt by Ted Baker; Shirt by Charles Tyrwhitt;
Shoes by AllSaints; Tie by Alexander McQueen; Tie bar by Link Up;
Laces by Allen Edmonds

This look sort of came together on its own, as I happened upon the perfect pieces to fit the wedding’s Midsummer Night’s Dream theme. It also didn’t hurt that I have an affinity for purple. Another thing that I like about this post is that the wedding I attended was beautiful and I get to remember the weekend every time I look at it.

Jacket with pocket square by Ted Baker; Trousers by Fink Clothing; Vest by
J.Crew; Shirt by Ben Sherman; Boots by Ugg Australia; Tie by Paul Smith
 Gloves by French Connection

I love this entire ensemble, particularly because of how lucky I was to piece together what, for all intents and purposes, is a 3-piece suit from separates acquired over the last decade.

Jacket by AllSaints; Trousers by Nautica; Vest by Umit Benan; Shirt by Uniqlo;
Tie and scarf by Psycho Bunny; Shoes by Salvatore Ferragamo; Socks by Corgi 

I just think this outfit is fun, but in a subtle way. The subdued hues in the striped pants and the plaid vest are a great contrast to the colorful socks. I always love mixing patterns and I think people should be less afraid to experiment. After all, it’s only clothes.

Car coat by The Man's Shop at Lord & Taylor; Sweater & watch by Nautica;
Shirt by Barney's New York; Denim and tote by AllSaints; Boots by John
 Varvatos; Tie by Penguin; Scarf by Tallia; Sunglasses by Marc by Marc Jacobs

What I like most about this look and post is that it conveys the idea that vintage pieces can still be stylish and modern. Sure, there are a lot of really dated items that should be avoided (I’m looking at you 80’s shoulder pads…), but classic silhouettes are truly timeless and can easily be brought into the 21st century.

Thanks for reading and helping the site have it’s best year ever!

Have a stylish 2015 and keep the emails and comments coming!

- JJ