Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dude Outfit of the Month: By Justin

I've said this so many times before. When you're a stylist who is self-employed, your "co-workers" and those you discuss random things like the Kardashians with are the people who work at the stores you frequent. With today's guest blogger, Justin Holbrook, the topics can range from the Republican Senate ticket to Justin Bieber. Justin (Holbrook, not Bieber) is one of my faves. He works out at Belk, and is pretty much the only good thing about driving to Cool Springs on many of my days. He kindly wrote today's blog, your Dude Outfit of the Month, chock full of tips that only a dude could provide.

My style can always vacillate between Nantucket Chic and True, Southern Fratastic. Regardless, it's always fun to prep out a bit here and there, and that look never really goes out of style. My wardrobe is pretty basic with many universal pieces and a little strategic fun thrown in. It's true I love to spend the most on items I'm going to reach for more frequently. I feel you should spend your money on good shoes, belts, ties, sunglasses, and watches... by the time you've worn them out, it becomes pennies per wear. Having said that, it's still possible to look good and not break the bank doing so.

A. Non-Iron Ainsley Collar Dress Shirt, Brooks Brothers, 3 for $199. Let's start with a great non-iron dress shirt. I love the Brooks Brothers all-cotton version. The preppy classic brand now offers an updated Extra-Slim Fit which will give you a trimmer silhouette right off the rack. Pull it out of the dryer and go. (Money saved on dry cleaning can go to a few extra brews at your favorite watering hole.) The shirts come in a multitude of colors and three different collar options. I especially love a light blue Ainsley Collar button-up. Right now they're three for $199, too, so stock up!

B. Monogram Dress Pant, Banana Republic, $155. Next, a good wool dress pant that also resists wrinkles. When you want something that lasts wear after wear and is pretty timeless, Banana Republic's Monogram dress pant is what you need. This wool/spandex version is trend-right without being too trendy--the back pocket flaps are an awesome addition. Pair the black/charcoal detailed pant with basically any color Non-Iron, but especially our light blue favorite.

C. McCormack Knit Tie, J. Crew, $69.50. A man's greatest chance to accessorize: the necktie. I've always loved J Crew for a fun variety of neckwear at a terribly reasonable price. Let's face it, they're the best at bowties, too! For our current look, though, let's do an iconic knit tie in a skinny navy cashmere blend. I just ordered this tie last week and it can literally go with at least twelve different shirts in my closet! Besides, knit ties just look cooler!

D. Magnanni "Basilio" Apron Toe Oxford, Nordstrom, $295. Now for footwear. I'm sure we don't have to remind you that your belt must always match your shoes. Guys also need to ditch the clunky square-toed shoes for a more updated slimmer, round-toed version. Nothing is as important as a good pair of dress shoes. The right ones might cost a little more, but with proper care and maintenance, they'll last an age. With our charcoal pants, I love the way these leather oxfords look. The burnished effect makes them look quite rich, and the brand has been producing high-quality leather shoes for years while consistently garnering rave customer reviews.

E. Eleven Eleven Aluminum Watch, Neiman Marcus, $295. You might not think this bright blue patent leather watch really works with our uber-buttoned up look, but that's part of the fun. These watches go from suit and tie to jeans and a T-shirt in seconds flat and they're incredibly comfortable and lightweight. You can also change out the bands if you're so creatively inclined. It's a little unexpected whimsy in just the right spot and sometimes that is exactly what separates the fashionable from the rest of the world.

Put it all together and I guarantee people will notice your new style upgrade. Don't be afraid to reach for a cozy cardigan on a chilly Fall day to take the look to an even higher level of prep!

Thanks for reading, guys! And go visit Justin at Belk! xo-Amber

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