Trends & Shopping

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The Ultimate Guide to Paris

· Inspiration, Shopping Guides, Travel & Culture · , , , , , , ,

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With Paris Fashion Week right around the corner, the City of Lights is on plenty of people’s minds. Sure, we’re looking forward to Fashion Month’s grand finale, including Nicolas Ghesquière’s comeback with his first collection for Louis Vuitton, the always-anticipated work by Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy and more stunning presentations from some of the world’s elite design experts. But there’s much more to be seen in this iconic city than just a few runway shows. Whether you’re a front row regular, a newbie fighting to make it into the standing section or simply someone taking in the abundant beauty, here’s your guide to navigating Paris.

Getting There and Getting Around:

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If you’ve been at it since New York Fashion Week, your bags are probably already packed. If not, pack accordingly. While this doesn’t mean striped crew-neck sweaters and berets (please, don’t), plenty of versatile black garments, stylish scarves, sharp outerwear and fresh footwear will serve as a solid base to the “Parisian chic” sensibility. Some smart tips would be to bring a pickpocket-proof bag, as theft is an unfortunate possibility, and of course, bring a few standout statement pieces to get in on the Fashion Week festivities.

Transportation is definitely an essential for Paris Fashion Week, and while some people are lucky enough to have a driver cart them around to all of the shows, many will have to rely on the cities resources to get from A to B (and everywhere in between). Boasting one of the best transportation systems in the world, the RATP’s Metro, RER, bus and tram lines will surely get you wherever you need to go, so don’t hesitate to pick up a Navigo or carnet. If you do choose the taxi route…don’t. Trying to get a cab is borderline torturous, wasting precious time and potentially missing shows. Instead, set aside some extra euros for the Uber app, which seems more efficient in Paris than many other cities. And if all else fails, the city is small enough to make walking a somewhat reasonable option. If you have the time, you’ll definitely be treated by the ubiquitous beauty at every corner along the way.

For any last-minute hotel plans, it’s always best to avoid the wild tourist traps. Why not treat yourself and go the luxury route? Easily one of the most elite would be Hôtel Costes, situated right on the high-end Rue Saint Honoré in Paris’ 1er arrondissement. The lavish lodging features a restaurant, bar, florist, perfume boutique and more. For something a little more “off the beaten path,” check out Hôtel Amour, the epitome of “Parisian cool.” A diamond in the rough, located in the stereotypically seedy Pigalle neighborhood, this spot features a delicious restaurant on a picturesque terrace and painfully chic chambres.

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Sightseeing and Museums:

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Not only is it the fashion capital of the world, but Paris is also the home to some of the world’s best artwork. While museums like the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay and the Centre Pompidou earned their fame for a reason, it never hurts to switch it up a bit. Tucked away in Montmartre is the impressive Espace Dali, showing several of Salvador Dali’s sketches and sculptures. The Palais de Tokyo in the 16e arrondissement is a unique and provocative modern art museum where one can expect to see the unexpected, too. If the Jardin des Tuileries doesn’t impress you, head over to the far corner of the gardens and check out the Musée de l’Orangerie, which holds Monet’s iconic water lilies alongside other incomprehensibly fantastic art.

And while the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe are all must-see landmarks, you won’t have trouble finding them during a casual stroll, and there’s really no need to climb them. Instead, opt for the Grande Arche of La Défense, the centerpiece of the ultra-modern commerce district just to the west of the city limits. The Catacombes de Paris are also an astonishing experience, while you can keep up your grim pleasures with a visit to Père Lachaise, the enormous cemetery that hosts Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf and more. If it’s a church you seek, there’s no shortage of those, either. Right by Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle trumps its more famous neighbor, noted by mind-boggling, kaleidoscopic stained glass. Overall, Paris is the type of city where you can literally stumble upon beauty and inspiration at any second, making it exponentially easier to find another captivating landmark or exhibition.

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À Manger:

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Let’s not forget about French cuisine. You could walk into any brasserie and get a perfectly done croque monsieur (or madame), satisfy your post-night-out cravings with a 4am crêpe or indulge in macarons so pretty you almost don’t want to eat them…almost. But if we absolutely have to talk about a few standout places, then Paris has definitely got those, too.

Les Deux Abeilles is one option, located in the 7e right near the Eiffel Tower, while Restaurant le Châteaubriand and its neighbor/sibling spot, Le Dauphin are also great bets. If you choose to stop by the Palais de Tokyo, why not grab a bite to eat at the trendy, Kris Van Assche-endorsed Monsieur Bleu? Le Schmuck is yet another fantastic restaurant, and it’s nothing like its name suggests; high-quality dishes and superb ambience confirm this place’s undeniable 6e arrondissement sophistication. But hey, who says these are all the best Paris has to offer? Like previously mentioned, this town is home to some of the best cuisine on the planet, which is noticeable just about everywhere.

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Casual Cafés:

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Not everyone likes to do their meals big, and not everyone wants to go out on the town for a drink. For that, there are great options for low-key boissons and conversations with friends. Despite its historical prevalence and reputation as a Parisian hotspot, Les Deux Magots is still a perfect place to grab arguably the best coffee in the entire city. For something a little out of the ordinary, Toraya is one of the oldest Japanese patisseries. Definitely try their to-die-for green tea hot chocolate. For an immaculate wine selection in an intimate setting, head straight to La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, which also has amazing champagne and exceptional tapas.

After Dark:

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It’s no New York or Barcelona, but Paris likes to party. And during Fashion Week, that’s exponentially more noticeable. While the City of Lights has the tendency to lean on the more selective side, there’s no shortage of hotspots. The go-to venues for the fashion crowd tend to be Le Montana, Le Carmen, Le Baron and of course, Silencio. Meanwhile, Derrière and Le Tango are a couple underrated favorites.

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Shopping, Shopping, Shopping:

Okay, where does one even begin when it comes to Paris’ shopping? This might as well be a guide of its own, as the fashion capital of the world is, by default, the shopping capital of the world. Let’s break it down piece by piece, focusing a bit on some of the best neighborhoods to get your own personal slice of Parisian chic.

Passy (Metro: Passy)

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Start off in the 16e arrondissement, the peaceful, upscale quarter of Paris that embodies all of the dreams you’ve had of picturesque streets and authentic French culture. Of course, such a sophisticated area is bound to have some great shopping finds. Passy is a go-to neighborhood, featuring any major chain retailer you could imagine next to some of the most astonishing boutiques. While vintage isn’t Passy’s strong point, any second-time-around pieces you might find would only be the highest quality Chanel, Dior, Lanvin or other A-list Parisian labels. A postcard glimpse of the Eiffel Tower in between stores doesn’t quite hurt, either.

George V-Montaigne (Metro: George V; Alma-Marceau)

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If Passy’s luxury finds don’t do the trick, George V and parallel Avenue Montaigne aren’t too far away. With the same beautiful scenery, old-fashioned buildings and fairytale-like cobblestone streets, this little area is home to some of Paris’ top maisons. For goods from the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino, Chloé and many, many more, this area will definitely have what you seek.

Champs Élysées (Metro: Champs Élysées-Clemenceau; Franklin D. Roosevelt; George V; Charles de Gaulle-Étoile)

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Just behind the quaint George V-Montaigne area is the hyper-famous Champs Élysées. It’s substantially less secluded than the former; you’ll be navigating through immense crowds of tourists along this celebrated street, which is finalized by the Arc de Triomphe in all its grandeur. However, there’s something enticing about the juxtaposition of commercial labels like H&M and Zara with luxury giants like Louis Vuitton. Whether or not you’ll find an adequate piece of Paris fashion is debatable, but you can’t leave Paris without stopping by the Champs Élysées.

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Saint-Honoré, Vendôme, Madeleine and more (Metro: Concorde; Tuileries; Madeleine)

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The entirety of the 1er arrondissement is like shopping heaven, set in possibly the most dreamlike area imaginable. Sure, it’s still a little touristy, as the Louvre and the Musée de l’Orangerie are both right down the street. Yet the unlimited supply of acclaimed retailers is unbeatable. Rue Saint-Honoré – which holds Balenciaga, Givenchy, Sandro, Saint Laurent, Hôtel Costes, Colette and countless other beautiful boutiques – runs directly into Place Vendôme, the drop-dead-gorgeous square that’s lined with hotels, restaurants and jewelers. The Marché Saint-Honoré offers a selection of spectacular eateries, too, all perfect for a quick break during what could easily be an all-day affair. Walk just a bit further, and you’ll be in the Madeleine neighborhood, which makes it seem as if shopping heaven will never end.

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Haussmann (Metro: Opéra; Chaussée d’Antin-La Fayette; Auber; Havre-Caumartin)

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And who says it has to end? Though the Grands Magasins on Boulevard Haussmann are virtually surrounded by Metro stations, you could easily walk from Madeleine after embarking on the previously suggested shopping excursion. If you crave the convenience of a department store, Haussmann is all about that, with Galeries Lafayette and Printemps right next to each other. And department store is putting it lightly, as both shops are like nothing you could ever imagine. Each one features separate stores of equal inventory for men, as well as beauty products, ready-to-wear, shoes, handbags, jewelry and more under one roof. And that’s not all. Lafayette Gourmet serves as a grocery store of sorts, only with the highest quality products around. Meanwhile, Brasserie Printemps next door offers a selection for more of a sit-down meal, all under an incredible stained-glass dome. Oh, Galeries Lafayette has one of those beautiful domes, too, don’t worry. Shoppers can even stop by the salon at the top of Printemps if they’d like to get pampered in between trying on all of those international designer outfits, and to top it all off, both retailers offer a 12% tax refund to foreigners. Yes, it’s a little overwhelming, and breaking down on the floor and crying tears of joy is a possibility.

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Le Marais (Metro: Saint-Paul, Hôtel de Ville; Filles du Calvaire)

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A vibrant neighborhood with even more history and culture, Le Marais spans between both the 3e and 4e arrondissements. Sure, there are some high-end designer boutiques, but it’s the world-renowned vintage shops and jaw-dropping art galleries that really set this area apart from the rest. Verging on the hipster side, Le Marais is quickly reinventing a modern idea of Parisian cool, with a lively youth culture and eclectic sense of style. You can find one-of-a-kind stores like the Broken Arm or Les Vignoles for those items that will have your friends back home feeling insanely jealous, while the expressive, fun neighborhood is home to plenty of places made cool simply by their appearances. A historically Jewish neighborhood, Le Marais is one of the very few places in Paris that you’ll find things open on a Sunday, which will definitely come in handy for your day-off shopping, dining or art-hunting desires.

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Saint-Germain-des-Près (Metro: Saint-Germain-des-Près; Rue du Bac; Sèvres-Babylone)

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It doesn’t get more “Parisian chic” than this. The quaint neighborhood that embodies Rive Gauche style is home to even more high-end designer boutiques, including Karl Lagerfeld, Alexis Mabille, Sonia Rykiel and just about any others you can think of. Though not as off-the-beaten-path as some of the side streets in Le Marais, Saint Germain is far more peaceful than many other overcrowded Parisian shopping districts. Le Bon Marché is a fantastic alternative to the department stores on Boulevard Haussmann, featuring an incredible inventory in a less chaotic environment. With tons of authentic French cuisine and cultured, educated inhabitants, it’s not hard to feel at home when finding your new favorite outfit.

Okay, so maybe it will be a little hard to find time for even half of these things during the rush of Paris Fashion Week. But there’s still so much more to mention in this incredible city, as beauty, art, fashion and inspiration all pop up just about everywhere. Keep these things in mind during your next visit to the City of Lights, whether you’re attending fashion shows or simply wandering around. Enjoy!

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All photos in this article by Scott Shapiro

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Fashion Week Essentials

· Men's, Shopping Guides · , , , , , , , , , , ,

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New York and London flew by, Milan is in full swing and the grand finale, Paris is just around the corner. Yet there’s never any harm in prioritizing the essentials when it comes to a hectic, nonstop month of long, exhausting days. While the forecast at NYFW called for parkas and snow boots, there are still negotiable options for staying stylish even in a freakish polar vortex. Seeing some shows is never bad, but the experience is even better when prepared with the right items.

While this is definitely coming from a bit more of a menswear slant (sorry, ladies), there’s still plenty of versatility in this selection. No matter what city you’re in, whether you’re doing ready-to-wear, menswear or couture, here are a few suggested Fashion Week essentials.

  1. Dior Homme Black Tie Sunglasses, $354.59 at FarFetch: A little shade is always necessary in maintaining personal style, and these sunnies are chic enough to get you noticed without entering the ridiculous Fashion Week eyewear category.
  2. “Heartbreak” Raglan Sleeve Coat, $274 at Sandro: You probably didn’t forget that it’s still winter; the stinging cold is pretty inevitable. But there’s no need to torture yourself when running from show to show, as this sleek navy coat with a minimalistic concealed button placket will automatically make you one of the warmest and most stylish Fashion Week participants. And it’s on sale!
  3. Leica X2 Digital Compact Camera, $1,995 at Leica: Sure, your iPhone is still necessary for snapping some sweet Instagrams, but let’s face it, your images will be far from perfect. Meanwhile, a DSLR camera is often a burden to carry around and to figure out how to use. If you want high-quality photos of all the Fashion Week action with the convenience of a point-and-shoot, this is definitely your match.
  4. The 31 Hour Backpack, $1,250 at 3.1 Phillip Lim: It seems like most guys are only carrying around totes and those portfolio/document case bags during Fashion Week. While both are undeniably stylish, who wants to carry that around all day? Gift bags, personal items and other essentials would fit perfectly in a backpack, particularly this one from 3.1 Phillip Lim. With the sporty streetwear trend so huge at the moment, you’ll look just as good and feel 31 times better.
  5. Eau Thermale Face Spray, $12.99 at La Roche Posay: Okay, this might seem a little questionable, but really, it’s amazing. Soothing your skin in the midst of chaos is even better than you’d think, and you’ll be instantly addicted to this product.
  6. Maison Martin Margiela Eau de Toilette Replica “Jazz Club,” $113.74 at Colette: Seriously, this smells exactly like Silencio (if you haven’t been to the Parisian hotspot yet, you’ll know what this means eventually). Nevertheless, you’ll need something strong yet alluring to get you through long days, and this definitely fits the bill.
  7. Snacks, Price and retailer vary: “Fashion people” have to eat, too, and no one wants to encounter a hungry, pissed off editor/stylist/buyer/blogger/etc. Often times, gift bags at shows come with no grub whatsoever, so you’ve got to BYOF. Whether the healthiness of fruits and veggies or the convenience of potato chips, everyone’s got to fuel up somehow.
  8. Acne Studios Black Leather Trousers, $1,350 at SSense: Yes, leather pants are essential. Don’t question it anymore, just enjoy the sleek edge they bring to any and every ensemble.
  9. Rick Owens Black Leather Jacket, $4,614 at The Corner: Even more necessary than leather pants is a leather jacket, particularly a Rick Owens leather jacket.
  10. Transportation, Price and retailer may vary: You have to get around somehow, right? While plenty of editors have personal drivers and certain cities have top-notch taxi services, it never hurts to invest in a MetroCard to navigate New York or a NaviGo to make the rounds in Paris.
  11. Black Stingray Embossed Notebook, $69 at Alexander Wang: Even if you’re not a journalist, Fashion Week is an explosion of inspiration. Don’t let the thoughts and ideas that all of those shows provoke go to waste.
  12. Maison Martin Margiela Patent High Top, $890 at Barneys: Following the resourcefulness of a backpack, running around from show to show is exponentially easier with the right footwear. While some might advise against white sneakers, these Maison Martin Margiela kicks are some of the best imaginable.
  13. Neil Barrett Color-Block Neoprene Sweatshirt, $490 at Lane Crawford: A good statement piece is a must for Fashion Week, even for the most dressed-down attendees. Add some lively color to an outfit with this sweatshirt made in the new best fabric ever, neoprene.

All photos for this article via the items’ respective websites

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The Fall 2014 Trend Report: New York Fashion Week

· Trend Reports · , , , , , , ,

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After the fall 2014 menswear collections, it seemed like the industry almost forgot to mention the noteworthy trends that came out of it. However, that doesn’t mean things went unnoticed; the luxe sportswear, standout checks and plaids, playful furs and shearlings and unexpected pops of color for guys reappeared for their female counterparts throughout New York Fashion Week.

While many of us were a little distracted by incessant blizzards and borderline-apocalyptic winter weather, designers at New York Fashion Week didn’t let a little snow stop them from showing off their best work. Sure, London Fashion Week is just now wrapping up, and we’ve still got Milan and Paris after that. But let’s not forget to keep an eye on some of the biggest trends to emerge from New York Fashion Week when examining the rest of the fall 2014 ready-to-wear collections.

 

All photos via Style.com; Feature photo courtesy of Harper‘s Bazaar

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The Best Winter Coats for Men

· Men's, Top Items · , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Let’s face it, it’s cold. Unfortunately, it’s only getting colder, as this winter is set to be the most brutal since 1962. While coats are absolutely essential and make perfect holiday gifts, it’s extremely difficult to find perfect outerwear, especially as a male in the female-dominated fashion world. But before you start to feel like you’re getting seasonal affective disorder, check out this selection of the best coats to help you stay warm and look stylish this winter.

  1. Sandro Coat

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    The Parisian brand perfected minimalism with their fall/winter 2013 collection, providing an endless supply of pristine styles. One example would be this coat, taking a classic black & white wool blend and enhancing it with a modern, slim silhouette. Worn best with mutually monochromatic pieces, the concealed button closure truly ties together Sandro’s fuss-free aesthetic. Timeless yet timely, this coat is to die for.

    Sandro Flecked Wool-Blend Coat, $740 at Mr. Porter 

  2. Lanvin Oversized Coat

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    Who says that outerwear has to be limited to black or grey? Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz and Lucas Ossendrijver are always expanding the boundaries of conventional menswear concepts, this time with a lively burgundy coat. The effortlessly cool item is revamped even further with its oversized silhouette, best balanced with slim trousers and relative neutrals. Baggy but not frumpy, this Lanvin coat has been dominating every “top menswear pieces” list.

    Lanvin Oversized Wool-Blend Coat, $2,880 at Mr. Porter 

  3. Dior Homme Peacoat

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    Dior Homme is all about refined classics, thanks to Kris van Assche’s penchant for clean statement pieces. You can’t go wrong with a simple black peacoat, redone in perfect quality and a modern appeal.

    Dior Homme Double Breasted Wool Cloth Peacoat, $1,818 at Luisaviaroma 

  4. Burberry Prorsum Shearling Coat

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    No one does outerwear quite like Burberry, but the brand that essentially invented the trench is more than just a one-trick pony. Crafted entirely from shearling and accented with leather details, this coat will definitely keep you safe from the brutal winter weather. Meanwhile, it’s highlighted by the typically stylish Burberry silhouette and a bold yet neutral shade of green.

    Burberry Prorsum Shearling Coat, $8,075 at Mr. Porter 

  5. Balmain Parka 

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    Parkas are necessary for enduring the fierce winter weather, but it’s not surprising to associate the pieces with less-than-attractive connotation. Why should you ever resort to ugly outerwear? This Balmain parka redefines the nature of the typically unattractive style, providing the essential heavy duty capabilities with a stylish, exaggerated silhouette. And if it’s not exaggerated enough for your taste, tie the belt for a trench-like shape. Utilitarian pockets complete this piece, while its inner lining can be removed to allow the parka to continue protecting you from the elements through the following seasons.

    Balmain Cotton Parka Jacket with Detachable Quilted Lining, $2,985.50 at Mr. Porter 

  6. Saint Laurent Duffel Coat 

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    Despite any of the controversy that’s surrounded Hedi Slimane’s work at Saint Laurent, the man is a master of menswear. His rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic is successfully balanced with a classic style through his spin on the iconic duffle coat. Heavyweight yet made in Slimane’s signature skinny shape, the piece is a beautiful rendition of an old favorite.

    Saint Laurent Classic Duffel Coat in Camel Wool, $2,590 at Mr. Porter 

  7. Zara Coat with Hood

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    Say what you want about fast fashion, but you’ve got to love Zara. The global retailer provides the ultimate outerwear piece with this style. Featuring a weather-combative hood, copious pocket space, a belted appearance, and minimalistic concealed-zip closure, the wool coat is perfect for keeping you warm in both casual and formal settings. Modern and resourceful at an unbeatable price, this is one of those items that appeals to everyone.

    Coat with Hood, $199.99 at Zar

 

 

 

All images via respective websites

Feature image via Lyst.com

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The Holiday Gift Guide

· Shopping Guides · , , , , ,

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Although many people have probably gotten gifts for their loved ones somewhere in the Black Friday madness, there’s bound to be a few stragglers who haven’t quite figured out who’s getting what for the holidays. Nothing’s wrong with a little procrastination, but this year’s early Hanukkah has already passed, and Christmas and Kwanzaa are both just around the corner. Possibly the hardest part about shopping for the holidays is choosing the items. Cue Des Phosphènes’ 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, full of the top picks for every man and woman’s personal style.

THE CHIC SOPHISTICATE

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If you’re shopping for someone who prefers more classically masculine and feminine items with a fashion-forward twist, there are bound to be plenty of options. Maybe this person prefers a nice fur or a great pair of trousers, or maybe they would enjoy a timeless strand of pearls. Including everything from watches to baked goods, here are a few ideas for your slightly “dandy” GQ man or your traditionally elegant, luxury-loving lady. 

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THE MINIMALIST

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Minimalism is all about clean and simple styles, often structured and always sleek. But don’t think plain black and white is all that does it. A minimalist has to pay sharp attention to detail to achieve his or her strikingly sharp look, whether through shapely shades or fuss-free footwear. It’s not likely that you’ll see many buckles or buttons in this selection, but the minimalist in your life will definitely thank you for it.

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THE ROCKER

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Even with a punk rock, “no fucks given” attitude, everyone loves a little luxury, and there’s a reason rock ‘n’ roll style has long been taking the fashion industry by storm. Hedi Slimane’s range of studded leather pieces for Saint Laurent would definitely catch your favorite rocker’s eye, while there’s no doubt they wouldn’t love a new set of speakers or some jewels that pack a punch. A sharp, provocative fragrance could also be an adequate reflection of his or her persona. Whatever you choose, there are plenty of options to have your favorite rebel rockin’ around the Christmas tree.

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THE FREE SPIRIT

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Part hippie and part wild child, the Free Spirit is always bringing the good vibes. Why not share some of those vibes with him or her through creative prints or some new items to add life to the party? His or her youthful, fun-loving attitude would be truly grateful for any of these varied items.

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Feature photo and sketches by Scott Shapiro

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C’est L’heure

· Men's, Top Items · , , , , ,

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Some items have a certain allure that makes them nearly irresistible. A perfect example of this would be the M05 timepieces from the Dior Homme Chiffre Rogue line. Though they originally debuted over a year ago, the two distinct styles present themselves with a sharpness and sophistication that allows for eternal and universal appeal. Many watch connoisseurs often express detest for those of the designer fashion family. However, to those of us who simply enjoy beauty and efficiency, the Chiffre Rouge M05 is a thing of dreams. Sleek and minimal, the predominantly black watches feature pristine silver details and tastefully affixed translucent red mineral crystal accents, with the elements interpreted differently for the specific model. Somehow, the simple pieces define the elegance and masculinity commonly associated with the Dior Homme aesthetic. And they came to our attention just in time for the holidays.

Which style do you prefer?

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Images courtesy of Dior

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Black Friday Shopping Guide

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Thanksgiving is all about love, appreciation, family bonding, and other heartwarming things like that. But we can’t forget about Thanksgiving’s evil twin sister, Black Friday. Yes, Black Friday, which is all about materialism, greed, and beating the shit out of whoever is between you and those jeans marked down by 90%. It couldn’t get more American, could it? The day after – or often the night of – a massive feast, we transform into pure brutes; eating like savages transitions into behaving as such, as we embody a slew of stereotypes. Everywhere from suburban malls in Ohio to cosmopolitan boutiques in New York City is flooded with manic citizens hungry for the best sale. And yes, people have been (and probably will be) crucially injured. But never mind the self-deprecating American jokes. Plenty of people will definitely still be participating in the Black Friday madness, so here’s a few tips to avoid any broken ribs or missing teeth when you embark on the hunt for that epic sale:

  1. Plan it Out – As exciting as diving into a sea of shoppers without any specific game plan could potentially be, there’s also a high chance that it will fail miserably. This is where all the accidents happen, as customers blindly search for the unknown. Make a wish list; if you saw a few things on the Internet, try to look for those things specifically. Remember, every store will be insanely crowded, so you’ll save a lot of time if you know what you want. Don’t forget to locate these items at their respective stores, and if possible, make a plan of where you’ll go and when. This may seem a little intense, probably because it is. Unless you enjoy hectic mobs and panic attacks, you should try to specifically plan out your Black Friday.
  2. Time it Right –If you’re one of those people who absolutely needs to get in on the Black Friday action right away, then by all means, go ahead. More and more retailers are opening their doors before the last piece of pumpkin pie is even finished, so there are plenty of options for getting a head start. Of course, this will help get access to the best sales before a lot of others, though there’s still a possibility of the typical chaos. It doesn’t necessarily hurt to go later, either. Maybe that one shirt you wanted would be totally snatched up, but the crowds would definitely die down, and often times, whatever is left at the stores would be dirt cheap. Moral of the story: think rationally about the time and place before you go straight to the local shopping center.
  3. Stick to the Necessities –Do you really need that? Try to think about things outside of the “BIGGEST SALE EVER” context. As great as 80% off might seem, an ugly shirt is still an ugly shirt, and you know you’d never really wear multicolored polka dots. Instead, why not buy something a little more useful? Apparently, this winter is supposed to be the coldest in the U.S. since 1962, while coats will be in virtually no stores until mid-January. So, now’s definitely the time to bundle up. Spending a little more to stay chic and avoid pneumonia is definitely more appealing than having a hideous piece take up space in your closet. Think before you act, regardless of the bargain.
  4. Opt for the Internet –If the recent skyrocketing of online sales isn’t an adequate indicator, shopping from home is probably one of the best choices for everyone. No one (usually) gets hurt, there’s no need to leave home at 3 in the morning, and you can happily browse an unlimited selection of items for the same reductions you’d find in stores. And those aren’t even half of the benefits of online shopping. Sure, there’s no instant gratification of getting your new duds right away, but it’s probably worth it to keep your face intact.
  5. Stay Calm –Let’s be real, the probability of getting frustrated on Black Friday is pretty high. But we’re all big boys and girls, and we’ll need to move on from those pristine pieces at perfect prices without punching a fellow customer in the face. Even things go out of stock online, and it’s necessary to keep reminding ourselves that worse things could happen. Let’s all think about Thanksgiving yesterday and how grateful we are to have our families, friends, health, and other wonderful things.

Regardless of the method you choose to shop this Black Friday, there are amazing sales happening in tons of different stores and on a variety of different websites. And some of these even continue well after Black Friday is finished, allowing for further reductions of both prices and stress. Here are some great options to check out:

Don’t forget to keep the above tips in mind and stay safe this Black Friday. Happy shopping!

 

Feature image – Reuters

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How to Prepare for an H&M Designer Collaboration

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The news broke a while ago that Isabel Marant’s popular laid back Parisian styles would be reinvented at a lower price point for H&M’s latest designer collaboration. The ads and lookbooks have circulated, too, featuring iconic faces like Alek Wek, Devon Aoki, Clement Chabernaud, and more. Now the collection itself is all but upon us, as it launches tomorrow.

Including a range of pieces that embody Isabel Marant’s aesthetic, the collection also presents a rare occasion to see some menswear from the label. It’s always exciting to see limited edition pieces from top designers at reasonable prices, but maybe it’s a little bit too exciting at times.

It’s likely that you’re familiar with the mobs that gather in anticipation of these collections. Typically at the crack of dawn, or at 1AM if you’re going to the H&M at Times Square (sounds like a blast…), people nearly get violent when it comes to this type of event. Luckily, H&M’s newly installed online shop will carry the entire Isabel Marant collection, which will be available at 12PM EST. The option of avoiding the lines and crowds is definitely appealing, unless the site crashes like H&M’s UK site did at the launch of the 2011 Versace collaboration.

Not trying to discourage all of you eager Isabel Marant fans, but definitely be careful in pursuit of this designer collaboration. Things tend to get a little crazy.

Regardless, check out a few of the awesome looks from the Isabel Marant for H&M collection below. Good luck!

Images courtesy of Fashionista 

Feature image via Posh24

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The Spring 2014 Menswear Trend Report

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In real-time, spring 2014 feels like ages away. But in the fashion world, next year’s menswear has already debuted over a month ago, and with it came a variety of new trends. Some designers kept things minimal with sleek tailoring and monochromatic palettes, while others took a more romantic turn through the use of dark floral patterns. Whether the ubiquitous, sporty streetwear or the loose, soft tailoring, there was something available for every man. Let’s take a  look at some of the hottest trends from the spring 2014 menswear collections.

Les Fleurs du Mal

floral

“Florals for spring? Groundbreaking,” Miranda Priestly sarcastically stated in The Devil Wears Prada. It’s likely that many people would utter the same sentiment, as flowery prints seem like a creative cop out for spring fashion. But designers weren’t so obvious with their renditions, as the foliage that covered the runways was much darker than expected. Dries van Noten owned the trend with romantic, melancholy blossoms, while Prada reinvented every grandfather’s favorite Hawaiian print top with a sinister spin. Forget your qualms about flowery menswear; every rose has its thorn, and those thorns were sharper than ever.

Feature image via Artloveallister 

All other images via Style.com

Loosen Up

loose

For countless seasons, skinny silhouettes dominated men’s tailoring. Though the slimmer suit seems like it will never go away, designers are allowing a little more space in blazers and trousers. A sartorial king, Stefano Pilati showed his own penchant for voluminous pants and soft fabrics at Ermenegildo Zegna. Meanwhile, the suits at Lanvin and plenty of other shows were presented in far more generous silhouettes, and various designers presented long, fluid coats.

Feature image via Style-Anywhere

All other images via Style.com

Urban Outfitters

urban

It goes without saying that possibly the biggest trend of the season was the sporty, urban look shown on countless designers’ runways. Whether Alexander Wang‘s snapbacks or Gucci‘s athletic outerwear, there was no shortage of street smart styles. Sneakers were also incorporated into a variety of looks, while fabrics turned more aerodynamic. This practical side of men’s fashion is one of the best things we’ve seen all season.

 

Feature image via Artloveallister 

All other images via Style.com

The Blues

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For a while, brights were a huge trend. Soon after, pastels became a thing, too. But now, a color trend has centered entirely around one hue. Balmain‘s denim-heavy collection certainly fit the theme, while Calvin Klein took us to a minimal resort on a tropical island, reinventing the blues in the skies and waters. From pale to navy, blue was integrated into a variety of the spring 2014 menswear collections as the most necessary shade of the season.

Feature image via Artloveallister 

All other images via Style.com

White Out

white

While blue was a huge deal, we can’t deny the persistence of all-white ensembles. A stylish feat, especially in the summer, the absence of color never looked better on the spring 2014 men’s runways. The look was mastered at Jil Sander, where ensembles were paired with pops of pink and orange.

Feature image via Artloveallister 

All other images via Style.com

Beat It Up

beat

The beat generation of the 40’s and 50’s came back with a vengeance this season, as peak lapels and high waists took us to the time of the classic American male. The silhouette always makes an appearance at Bottega Veneta, where Tomas Maier adds a Hitchcock edge. But the look wasn’t limited to Maier’s aesthetic, as it resurfaced in other collections such as Louis Vuitton and Ermenegildo Zegna.

Feature image via Gulfnews.com

All other images via Style.com

Leather Weather

leather

It’s hard to even call leather a trend these days; it’s probably one of the most commonly used fabrics in current collections. Though typically associated with cooler weather, the sleek hides were still available for spring 2014 menswear, fabricating everything from pants to t-shirts.

Feature image via GQ

All other images via Style.com

Feature image for this story via Style.com

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Barneys Warehouse

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One of the biggest events every year is the epic warehouse sale from Barneys New York. The high-end department store’s discounts mark down typically pricey pieces to far more affordable standards. Yes, it’s hard to believe anything from Barneys could come at a reasonable price, but according to the website set up exclusively for the sale, dreams do come true. And this isn’t just some half-assed attempt at getting rid of last season’s items; from Givenchy to Lanvin, from womenswear to men’s leather goods, anything and everything has been significantly marked down.

In the rare case that you can’t find anything on the expansive Barneys Warehouse site, don’t fret. The actual sale itself will take place in just a couple of days on Thursday, August 22 at New York’s Metropolitan Pavilion, and if anything is left afterwards, it will run through Labor Day weekend. Of course, the retailer got in on some social media action, too, keeping consumers updated via the main Barneys New York Twitter page and the Barneys Warehouse Twitter. Stay tuned for more updates and make sure to stop by Barneys Warehouse sale! Oh, and don’t forget to save us some goods!

Feature image via Dappered