Shopping Guides

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THE HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

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Ready or not, here the holidays come!

We know, picking out gifts for your loved ones is a daunting task, with so many different tastes and styles for each person on your list. That’s where our Holiday Gift Guide comes in. You’ll be sure to find something to please everyone this holiday season, from the edgy, modern guy you love to the fun-loving free spirit, your luxury-obsessed man or your classically elegant mother. Who wouldn’t love some opulent jewels, chic attire, or luxury cosmetics? Meanwhile, it’s hard to go wrong with an inventive stocking-stuffer, from candles to stationery, chocolates to tech gear, and much, much more. Loved by men and women alike, with the potential to appeal to just about everyone in your life, sometimes those unexpected, miscellaneous items make the best gifts possible.

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The Big Chill

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Although the weather patterns have been pretty weird this year, there’s no denying that the temperatures are going to start dropping fast. However, procrastination is human nature, and it’s likely that a lot of us have yet to get our cold weather gear.

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Photo: Tommy Ton

Bundle Up!

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Whether you like it or not, it’s cold, and it’s only getting colder from here. With the rapidly dropping temperature, snowfall has already started pulverizing several regions. Time to break out your puffy winter jacket, Ugg boots, and ski pants, right? Wrong.

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Photo: Alexander Wang for H&M

Wang for Days

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After the announcement of Alexander Wang’s H&M collaboration earlier this year, customers have been anxiously anticipating a preview of the coveted capsule collection. Well, now all of the looks are here, including tons of neoprene, utilitarian winter outerwear, and items garnished with a bold “WANG” logo. There were some great bags and shoes, too, like those slide-on sandals, leather high-top sneakers, and leather backpacks. And let’s not forget about the accessories. Bringing a few things from his “items” collection to the masses, Wang threw in the towel…literally. He also threw in a pair of goggles, a water bottle, a trophy, boxing gloves, keychains, and a whistle ring (because why not?).

The collection epitomizes Wang’s minimal, sporty aesthetic, providing tons of timelessly stylish pieces; we’re putting virtually every single thing on our wish list, to be honest. And while a lot of these items would make great investment pieces, there’s no need to shell out all of your money. In the event that you somehow forgot about H&M’s remarkable prices, you’d be pleasantly surprised to find out that many of these pieces come in below the $400 mark.

Every H&M designer collaboration is kind of a big deal, with customers lining up hours before store openings to get their hands on these pieces before they run out. Meanwhile, Alexander Wang is undoubtedly one of the biggest contemporary labels of the moment. The New York-based designer’s mass following expands well-beyond the realms of the high fashion niche. In other words, it wouldn’t be surprising if the release of this collection resulted in utter pandemonium. We’d definitely recommend reading up on some tips for shopping an H&M designer collaboration, especially this one. And in case your calendars aren’t already marked (which they definitely should be by now), Alexander Wang’s collection for H&M will be available at select H&M stores and at hm.com on November 6.

Check out the full Alexander Wang x H&M lookbook below!

Photos courtesy H&M

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Back At It: The Key Pieces for Fall

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Whether you like it or not, fall is right around the corner. Yes, the warm weather will really be done soon, and we’ll all be back at school, work, and our typical routines even sooner. But who says that has to be a bad thing?

Everyone loves back-to-school shopping. And even if you’ve got your degree, you’re not exempt from the excitement of a fresh new wardrobe. You’ve already seen the hottest trends for fall 2014 and which pieces to buy for said trends, so now it’s time to focus on the specifics. Sure, a lot of your fall wish list might seem like a no-brainer, but it never hurts to revisit an old classic with a whole new twist. From your new it-jacket to statement accessories, a killer pair of kicks to the bag of your dreams, here are the top 10 key pieces for both girls and guys to snatch up this fall.

 

 

THE BOMBER JACKET

Photo courtesy Por Homme

Photo courtesy Por Homme

What would fall be without some new outerwear, specifically a freshened up bomber jacket? Part military-inspired, somewhat sporty, and 100% stylish, the bomber adds the perfect touch of laid-back cool to any look. Whether you choose an ultra-trendy shearling number or even a fun, printed variation, don’t opt for another denim jacket or basic hoodie this fall.

 

 

 

THE PRACTICAL SAC

Photo courtesy Elle

Photo courtesy Elle

For all the students heading back to classes this fall, you’re going to need the right device to carry all of your books, stationery, and other academic essentials. One of the greatest things about everyone’s current streetwear obsession is the popularity of backpacks, which are way more useful than just a tote. A backpack’s not your style? No worries, there are plenty of other bags that are both useful and stylish, making your life easier and your ensemble more presentable this fall.

 

 

 

 

THE WHITE COAT

Photo courtest anacroswell

Photo courtesy Ana Croswell

Whoever said that you can’t wear white after labor day is a potential psychopath. So, take that psycho away in a crisp, clean piece of white outerwear. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be a coat; a cool jacket will suffice, too. Sure, it’s a little risky to invest in something white, as there’s always bound to be some food, drinks, or other elements ready to ruin your new purchase. But as long as you’re careful, you’ll be the proud owner of some white-hot cool weather attire.

 

 

 

THE BOOT

Photo courtesy Tom & Lorenzo

Photo courtesy Tom & Lorenzo

When people get excited to break out their fall gear, it’s almost impossible to forget about boots. Sturdy combat boots are always a go-to, while many opt for a more sleek, minimal chelsea boot. And when it comes to eveningwear, ladies love the highest pair possible. There seems to be an unlimited amount of boots, all just as desirable as the next. Choose wisely.


THE SNEAKERS

Photo courtesy Chanel

Photo courtesy Chanel

Yes, it’s kind of like overkill to keep talking about how big sportswear has been lately; you know it by now. And of course, this isn’t going to change come fall, so it’s time to ditch the pair of sneakers that you’ve been wearing all spring and summer. This time around, you don’t necessarily have to be super trendy. Instead, find a pair of kicks that will last you through all of the wild weather and beyond. Just like boots, there’s millions of pairs to choose from. But whatever you go with, just be happy that comfortable footwear is still in.

 

 


THE COZY KNIT

Photo courtesy Elle

Photo courtesy Elle

No, this isn’t the ugly Christmas sweater that your grandma made for you. It’s time to up the ante when it comes to your knitwear, especially since it’s already poised to be one of this season’s top trends. Whether you’re going for a sweater dress or a sharp turtleneck, you’ve got to have a killer sweater this season, period.

 

 


THE LEATHER

Photo courtesy Hypebeast

Photo courtesy Hypebeast

Come on, you didn’t think we would forget about leather, did you? You can’t face fall without some new leather goods. A biker jacket is always an essential, though it never hurts to invest in a simplified version. Don’t think that jackets are the only pieces of the material we’re talking about, though. Leather pants are very much a thing, as well as skirts, shirts, accessories, and virtually anything else. Go ahead, dive into the supple material this fall.

 

 

 

 

 


Feature photo by Sharif Hamza for VMAN

 

Tell us your favorite seasonal essentials and what you’ll be buying this fall!

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Shop the Trends

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Let’s be real, we’re in kind of a confusing point in fashion; the spring 2015 menswear shows only recently wrapped up, and the industry is currently in preparation for next season’s women’s fashion. Meanwhile, retailers are clearing out their current pieces from spring 2014. But regardless of all the things pulling our attention in different directions, the fall 2014 collections are finally upon us. Yes, it’s still hot out, and you could probably sweat just thinking about putting on a new leather jacket or shearling coat. However, the temperatures will be dropping before you know it. Not only do you want to be prepared for the cooler weather, but you want to be stylish while doing so. While trends shouldn’t completely dictate your wardrobe, they’ll definitely serve as useful guidelines when it comes to your fall shopping trip. Here are some of the fall’s top trends for both menswear and womenswear and the best items to match.

 

 

SUIT UP

When it comes to fall and winter, every guy needs to step up his suit game. And it shouldn’t be too hard, as classic tailoring is quintessential in a fall/winter men’s collection. But sharp tailoring isn’t just for the guys; these days, sleek blazers and matching trousers look just as nice on ladies. Meanwhile, coats, dresses, shirts, and skirts can be given a spruced-up, professional twist. Whether office attire or eveningwear, there’s plenty to choose from in terms of structure and elegance, all of which can outlast a single season.


MOD SQUAD

The swinging 60s always make a comeback every now and then, but for fall 2014, this return seems stronger than ever. With festive colors and patterns on otherwise simple silhouettes, there are plenty of fun sweaters, dresses, and other items at your disposal. These pieces go exceptionally well with simple shoes and accessories, by the way.


SHEAR GENIUS

Shearling could seem like a bit of an obvious trend for the fall/winter season, probably because it’s a truly timeless staple. However, these pieces are anything but basic. In more colors and textures than you could imagine, shearling makes its typical appearance on outerwear and shoes, though it also pops up on bags and other accessories. Bundling up for fall can kind of suck sometimes. Not with these chic shearlings.


TIGHT KNIT

Another cliché for fall, knitwear was also redone in a variety of inventive ways for fall 2014, because designers know that no one wants just a boring sweater. Sure, traditional knits were aplenty. But for those who crave a little more pizzazz, there were sweater dresses, capes, and more. Some labels even churned out some unexpected items – like pleated skirts or men’s shirts – in knitwear form. Looks like it’s time to throw away your ugly Christmas sweater.


WORLD EXPLORER

Some might say “gypsy” or “boho,” but we’re calling it as we see it: designers are getting a lot of random influences from all across the globe. The end result shows furs and textures alongside animal prints and other patterns. Layering is key for fall and winter, so if you’re going to do it, then why not pile on a variety of influences? Go ahead, tap into your wanderlust this fall, and be sure to enjoy the journey.


DANCING IN THE STREETS

Streetwear and sportswear were just as present in the fall collections as everywhere else they’ve popped up in the past year. Meanwhile, some designers were getting a little excited this season, meshing rave-appropriate attire with these urban elements. Wild hues and prints appeared on everything from sneakers to parkas and more. A bit over-the-top at times? Maybe. But one’s thing’s for sure: fall 2014 is about to be party time.

The Spring 2014 Wish List

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The fall 2014 collections have all been shown, and many of these to-die-for pieces will be in stores within the blink of an eye. But at the moment, all of the greatest items from the spring 2014 collections are permeating the top retail locations, giving us a lot to take in.

For me personally, my birthday is right around the corner, and compiling a wish list is essential. Okay, maybe I’m being a little aspirational with some of these picks, but it never hurts to dream, right? And I’m sure you’ll see where I’m coming from once you take a look at these covetable sporty, neoprene, leather and other pieces. Check out my spring 2014 wish list, featuring some hot items that I’m sure plenty of you will love just as much as I do.

3.1 Phillip Lim neoprene box-cut jacket, $650

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Vibrant yet minimal, this structured, brightly colored jacket would be the perfect addition to an otherwise monochromatic wardrobe.

3.1 Phillip Lim sweatshirt, $360

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With warmer weather approaching (or at least we can hope), maybe that jacket would serve a little less of a purpose. In that case, bring on this short-sleeved sweatshirt in the same lively hue and perfect material.

Calvin Klein Collection navy neoprene sky print t-shirt, $595

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The spring 2014 Calvin Klein menswear collection conveyed an incredible balance of nature with the brand’s signature minimalism, embodied by this heavenly t-shirt. The worst part? It’s tough to decide between the navy or light blue version.

Calvin Klein Collection blue neoprene & mesh sweater, $695 

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Clearly, Phillip Lim and Italo Zucchelli won my heart this season. This sleek and sporty sweatshirt brought to you by the latter designer is another hot item that I’m dying to get my hands on.

Lanvin navy neoprene biker jacket, $3195 

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Oh, look! More neoprene! This Lanvin jacket is a little less sporty, but it’s just as lovable. A perfect example of the mastery of Alber Elbaz and Lucas Ossendrijver, no one can deny the utter happiness that would come from owning this piece.

Lanvin white leather biker jacket, $4295 

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Maybe the white leather details on the last outerwear weren’t enough. Why not go even further with this Lanvin all-white leather jacket? The absence of color on the sharp silhouette takes the rock ‘n’ roll staple to a place of purity and ultimate perfection.

Alexander Wang black lambskin moto jacket, $1995 

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A black leather biker jacket is an essential (though I’d never turn down the white Lanvin one). Taking that into account, this painfully beautiful lambskin number by Alexander Wang is another one of bests of the season, combining sleek sophistication with an urban twist like Wang does best.

Alexander Wang black leather bubble embossed t-shirt, $1395 

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Also by Mr. Wang, this leather t-shirt is indicative of the look of the future. Forget a plain black tee when you can add texture, quality and dynamism to a sharp and simple shape.

Yang Li green oversize textured t-shirt, $685

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It’s still technically the spring 2014 season, making oversized silhouettes still very much a thing in menswear. It didn’t seem like it could get any better until this Yang Li top came along; the color, fabric, shape and texture are giving life to what would have been just another basic.

Kenzo sweatshirt, $278 

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Continuing the theme of structured shapes and sleek silhouettes, this Kenzo piece represents the brand’s playful spirit through a scribbled-on check print. Oh, and you’ll never guess what fabric it’s made of…

Denis Gagnon black neoprene hooded bomber jacket, $700

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Call me predictable, but I can’t help but love every beautiful piece that’s reminiscent of high fashion scuba gear this season. This Denis Gagnon specimen is just as great as all of its neoprene counterparts on this list, while a touch of gold makes it look like something of royalty.

Denis Gagnon black ribbed neoprene shirt, $175 

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Another masterpiece from Denis Gagnon, this shirt is even more scuba-esque, while the glossy ribbed details provide a somewhat darker element. Shape, structure, sleekness and texture. What could be better?

Neil Barrett white colorblocked neoprene shorts, $510 

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Like I said before, warm weather will be here before we know it, and I’m going to need some shorts. Rounding off the incessant parade of neoprene (I’ll try to cut back, I promise), this pair from Neil Barrett is basically the best sports attire, only created with pure luxury. The pop of red doesn’t hurt, either.

D.gnak by Kang.d black leather zip-tripped shorts, $780

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When it’s painfully hot out, wearing leather shorts might not seem like the best idea. However, style has a tendency to trump comfort, and these supple leather bottoms would definitely make it worth the struggle.

J.W. Anderson black leather double-cuff jacket, $1800

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Could a jacket get any more minimal? I didn’t think so. And with my love for minimalism equal to that of my love for puppies, this J.W. Anderson leather is going to be on my mind for quite some time.

Alexander McQueen black & white leather tote, $1995

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I used to be completely against totes. I rejected the idea of carrying something around all day, especially something so reminiscent of a woman’s handbag. But okay, I finally caved. Any sort of two-tone black and white item will instantly grab my attention, especially when its resourceful quality is combined with a powerful shape.

Alexander Wang black pebbled leather wallie backpack, $1095

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On the topic of bags, few things are better than a top-notch leather backpack. I think this Alexander Wang classic would do the trick.

Marsèll black leather open-side sandals, $750

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Hey, did you know that I like minimalism? Well, these sandals definitely fit into that, too, acting as the most simple possible summertime footwear without the risk of suffocation.

Jil Sander black leather grid sandals, $845

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Maybe the last sandals could provide a little too much coverage in the midst of summer’s potentially oppressive heat. If so, this Jil Sander pair does just the opposite, allowing ventilation to commingle with fancy footwear.

Lanvin green mesh panel sneakers, $820

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Oh, and one more pair of shoes. Sneakers are everything this season, especially in bold colors and luxurious materials. These Lanvin kicks are better than some of the options from the “best” American sports brands.

Dior Homme black tie 170/s teashades, $310

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A little retro yet a lot timeless, I would potentially sell my soul for a pair of Dior Homme black tie sunglasses. If I had to pick a specific style, these rounded frames would be more than sufficient.

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Going Mobile

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Technology is essentially taking over the world in every possible aspect, and the fashion industry is definitely not an exception. Plenty of retailers have taken the mobile route, creating countless apps to help shoppers stay on top of their game. Meanwhile, the ASAP54 app has allowed people to track their almost unidentifiable love-at-first-sight items. Sure, helping consumers find exactly what they’re looking for is fantastic, but what about helping industry insiders?

Well, there’s an app for that.

Introducing iMerchandise, simplifying the jobs of buyers and store owners. Eliminating handwritten orders and reducing tedious paperwork, the app makes the fashion show experience even more enjoyable. Buyers can now snap a photo on their own phone and make dream boards instantly, while styles can be shared via social media and pre-sales and wholesale can be arranged without an ounce of stress. The organized, efficient app is available at the iTunes Store.

Check out more on iMerchandise by watching the video below!

 

Image via iMerchandise

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The Ultimate Guide to Paris

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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:

Silencio

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