Monday, February 04, 2008

Not Just Noir

     So my search for a suit was an utter disaster. I visited H&M, Zara, French Connection, Macy's, Barney's, and Bloomingdales. In the course of my afternoon, I can't even remember all the brands that I looked through. But no matter where I went, the problem was the same: too, too big on me. No matter how much I may will it, there's no way that my 34-inch chest is going to properly fill out a 36 size jacket. And that is exactly why I put my name down for one of the Barney's Co-op suits. It'll probably be the best fitting jacket at the price point ($300-ish?), so no need to jump the gun.

      In a moment of blazing clarity, I saw the 406's at a distance while I was leaving Bloomies and just had to try them on at least. And when the associate told me that I would get 10% because they were the display piece, I couldn't help myself. Well, I could have, but that wouldn't have been any fun. Now I just need to sell some old shit to make sure that my bank doesn't ram down my door and ask for a pound of flesh.

     But now that I've got a kick-ass pair of shoes, naturally my thoughts are going to immediately go to how to style them. In a moment of murky confusion, I never thought of taking a picture of today's outfit. Oh well. But let us obsess on more interesting things, like nice monochrome outfits.

(Levi's Red Tab 511 Skinny Cord Pants, $49 @ Urban Outfitters)

      Whenever it comes to monochrome or muted palettes, I tend to play up other elements, like cut, layering, or texture. What better to offset the shiny waxed cotton of my new shoes than black corduroy? It's tough, comfortable, and creates great contrast.

(Long Sleeve Slub Hoodie, $38 @ Urban Outfitters)

     Add in a striped black and grey slub hoodie. I actually was talking with Ian and Alex about how interesting it would have been to been a college student during the hey-days of grunge. The color and tone pull us straight back to the 90s, but a slim silhouette and fit keeps it grounded firmly in a modern, more architectural aesthetic.

(Vasuma Johnny Black Collar Coat, $261 @ 111Vox)

     Coats should always serve as interest pieces. The removable collar provides drama when you need it, but sturdy cotton construction with nylon lining means that being stylish doesn't mean being impractical. The large cuff and collar would play particularly well against the skinny cords.

(Banned Brand Laptop Bag, $164 @ 111Vox)

      Never forget to accessorize. Bags are pretty personal, since everyone wants different things out of their bag. But you can't beat a black leather laptop messenger when it comes to sleek functionality. A couple of small outer pockets provide quick access to pens and phones. I find the embossing to be a little distracting, since it disrupts the clean lines of the rest of the bag, but I love how slouchy, yet structured it is. It always seems like paradoxes make for great fashion.

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