Monday, July 30, 2012

Haters Gon' Hate

In my What not to Wears, I talk about what I don’t like to see guys wearing. Not that I really care, because if you want to look like shit, go ahead dude you’ll only make me look better by comparison. But to assuage your fears that I’m a negative nancy, harping on things guys wear because they just need to run to the store or they just want to be comfortable, understand that others across the web feel the same way.

Short Jorts, Tank Tops and Other Horror Stories- this article by Steve Dool of Four Pins. The writers on Four Pins are great, and their stuff cracks my shit UP. If for no other reason, read this for the comedic value.

Put This On piece downplaying trendier tailoring- by Jesse Thorn. Have you figured out I like this guy yet? There’s a reason I read PTO every day.
Justin Bieber blows, but Zac Efron? Dude's legit. Have you even seen 17 Again?

StyleGirlfriend hates on tank tops- tank tops suck. Even more so if you’re totally jacked and you just want to show off your guns. You look like a tool. End of discussion. 
If the StyleGrilfriend isn’t turned on by tank tops, then you’re not impressing anyone. And she's the type of girl you'd want to turn on.

Everyone makes mistakes, and I’m a forgive and forget Christian, so no worries. Brush it off and move on. Just keep in mind that people, of all kinds, really do judge you on what you wear. Try new things, experiment and express yourself, but stay classy for God’s sake.
Thanks for reading, as always,

Friday, July 27, 2012

Irish Tweed: Part 2

Okay, so remember this post where I talked about Irish tweed? And I said I’d visit some stores, then clue you in on how it went? Well I did. The stores were amazing. Awesome selection, great, and I’m talking great pieces, helpful staff…..but expensive. Like fucking expensive.
In the interest of building trust with my readers, I’ll be completely open. I have $4000 to my name. Granted, that’s more than some people, but that’s about half of what I owe in tuition (which is due in two weeks. Fuck). So as much as I’d love a great tweed jacket, or an awesome Irish linen sport coat, 250-300 euro ($307-368) is a bit much. I love menswear, but I also love food. And rent. And the occasional hooker. 
That’s not to say the experience alone wasn’t worth the trip to these stores. The staff was very friendly and helpful, and like I said, the selection was great. These both were those classical menswear stores where you walk in and immediately feel comfortable. The selection was both classic and modern; nor frilly bullshit with embroidered skulls or bedazzled seams. Check out their pictures below:

More news as it develops, and it will, because I’m buying a tweed jacket before I leave here,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Put This On's video series

Today’s post is little more than a referral to another favorite website of mine. While traveling abroad, I had brought one sport coat, and eventually wound up buying another. People have frequently asked how I’ve been able to pack the jacket without getting it overly wrinkled, and each time I’ve shown them the trick I learned in the video I’ve linked to. If you’ve got the time, I suggest watching the entire episode. Put This On’s video series is a quality production, but it’s also entertaining. Give an episode a watch (they’re less than 15 minutes) if you’re at all interested in some interesting (maybe even eccentric) menswear enthusiasts. 

Check out their episodes here,


Monday, July 23, 2012

StyleSeek & Blogger's Rights

I moved to Dublin this weekend, and so I’ve only just reestablished my Internet capabilities. Today I was planning a post on StyleSeek, but in the interim weekend where I was cut off from humanity America, I missed this.
Without delving into a huge diatribe, I’ll try to break down the issue in a quick minute. StyleSeek is run in part by Ryan Plett, the photoblogger behind [you have broken the internet]. It’s an enjoyable site where Ryan (the #menswear world is all on a first name basis), posts fashiony, photography-y pictures that serve as his (or our?) inspiration. I say “enjoyable” because there’s usually a healthy dose of side-boob. Just kidding, it’s actually a pretty cool site worth checking out (not kidding about the side-boob though, wink wink, nudge nudge). 
Anyways, StyleSeek runs off a similar format, except the ideal market is customers, not casual blog readers. It starts with a short quiz to determine your style identity, then leads to pictures, AND blog posts, reposted from across the web. The idea being, you see something you like and you have immediate access to buy whatever that is. You can also add these pictures to your “Style DNA,” so what pops up is always evolving to your personal style. 

When StyleSeek launched, it had been using an improper (no, naive) method of blog sharing. They started out posting full articles from other peoples’ blogs, without the authors knowledge or consent, assuming a link to the blog would suffice in the eyes of the blog’s author (and IP law). The issue has since been fixed, so I’m not going to kick StyleSeek while they’re down. For more on the issue itself, check out Jesse’s article over at Put This On. I truly enjoy Put This On, and although I don’t know Jesse Thorn personally, I’ve come to respect his menswear advice. I empathize with him and agree with him based on his situation. Besides all the issues Jesse raises, you can’t expect a full, reblogged post to drive users to another’s site. Without an impetus to actually visit the blog in question, chances are most readers will read the article in full and continue browsing StyleSeek without giving the original blog a second thought. 

I started blogging because my career path in law wasn't turning out like I thought it would. I don't make any money off of it, and while I continue to do it because I'm passionate about it, I do hope that someday it will lead to SOMETHING career-wise. I'm too new to the game for StyleSeek's practices to directly affect Midwest-Dressed, but I'd be pissed if someone was making a dollar profit off my work without at least throwing some visitors my way.
But I digress. Like I said I don’t want to kick them while they’re down, especially since the issue has (hopefully) been resolved. As it turns out, and in my experience, StyleSeek has been pretty legit. It offers pieces focused on your personal style (while also allowing you to find where/how to buy them), but adds enough new stuff to keep constantly evolving your “Style DNA.” I question how long StyleSeek can keep the idea going, because it’s incredibly difficult to cater to the constantly changing styles of every single individual user, but I hope they can. I like being able to spot something I love, and immediately have access to purchasing it. It’s nice for compulsive people, or anyone looking to add new flavor to their personal style. I've already found this sweet backpack, since I was in the market for a new one anyways.

Thanks for reading, and more good stuff coming,


Friday, July 20, 2012

What Not to Wear vol.9

I understand the science behind sports jerseys. Sort of. Their comfortable. They breathe well. They wick away sweat and protect you from turf-burn.

Check my logic for a sec though. You wouldn’t wear a suit to the pool, right? No, you’d wear a swimsuit, because they’re lightweight and quick-drying. They may even show some bulge in just the right places (although really, they shouldn’t. No one wants to think you’re smuggling summer sausage). 
A swimsuit is suited to the pool. Shit, it’s designed for it
So if a swimsuit is lightweight and dries easily (which is the great for ill-aiming urinators), wouldn’t it be ideal to wear around all the time? Answer is, no, dipshit, it wouldn’t. Like I said, a swimsuit is designed for the water. You’d look silly wearing one anywhere else.
Similarly, as a sports jersey is designed for playing actual sports, only during those occasions is wearing one acceptable. Let’s stop the parade of ill-fitting jerseys to bars, bbqs, and the like. If you’re not on the field/track/pitch, it doesn’t really make sense to wear one. You might think you’re showing “team spirit,” but really all you generally show is that A. You eat too much stadium food, and B. You’re a jackass.

I wrote this while wearing a Munster Rugby jersey, but writing is a sport. And I’m the Mike Jordan of it.

Pictures-source, source

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How to Roll Shirt Sleeves

If you know me, you may have noticed I’m not a big fan of long sleeves. There’s something that annoys me about the feel of a buttoned cuff around my wrist, which is ironic because these days long-sleeved shirts are pretty much my standard. Thus I’m relegated to constantly rolling my shirt sleeves. I’ll even shamelessly admit that sometimes I even leave them rolled and just put them back on the hangar like that. What can I say, I can be lazy.
With years of practice though, I’ve pretty much mastered the art. There’s a few different techniques; you can start by flipping back the cuff and repeating that in a fold, or you can fold the cuff in half, repeating that up your arm in more of a “roll” effect. I’ve tried them all and would really say, the choice is yours. I find the “roll” gives off a much more casual look, so I usually use it with a more workman-like shirt. Something chambray or plaid flannel. It’s certainly not something you want to be using on dress shirts, as you’ll be wrinkling the hell out of the forearm while compromising the cuff in the process. 
Recently though, I stumbled upon an article somewhere that claimed the “true” way to roll a shirt sleeve. I tried searching the web today in order to find it and share it, but I had no luck in turning it up (cheers to Gregg for finding me the article, which is here at Dappered. I have great readers). In any case, the process is simple (2 steps), works surprisingly well without leaving too many wrinkles, and achieves a fairly good balance between casual and dressy. Here’s my step-by-step recount of the process:

Start by unbuttoning the sleeve buttons. You should also be wearing the shirt, FYI.

What you're going to do is flip the cuff back, but then pull that along your forearm.... so, so essentially it looks like you've just pulled your sleeves back. It's hard to gauge how far back you'll need to go until you get in more practice, but I usually stop roughly when the cuff meets the crease in my elbow.

Then you "flip" that sleeve portion over the cuff portion. I say flip in quotations because it starts as a flip at this step....

....but towards the end, it becomes more of a tuck, as you tuck the cuff into the now folded portion. Play with it a little to smooth it all out (or not).

And here is the finished product on another shirt.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, July 16, 2012

Opinions from women who like men that look nice and know what they’re doing

Another guest post, this time from my friends and authors of "life, capitalized." Here, they given some thoughts on some common menswear mistakes that girls take notice of. If you're going to impress someone by how you dress, it might as well be someone who can get you I wrong?

Guys who care about how they dress are attractive - that’s common knowledge.  Whether you’re male or female, when you see a dude that is owning his look and acting confidently, you respect it.  Unfortunately, some guys have yet to discover their personal fashion boundaries, thus creating some major cases of fashion faux pas.  The opinions below are from a group of six twenty-something females who wish the d-bag dressers would just do less.
1. The short-sleeved button-up shirt: this trend has been popping up all over lately as a casual hybrid of the t-shirt and long-sleeved button-up.  It says, “I like to look nice, but I also like a little arm breeze in the Midwestern summer heat.” No offense boys, but if you aren’t either a). an I-could-care-less-about-my-appearance hipster, b). a 65-year-old grandfather, or c). a beach dweller in California, you probably look dumb.  Don’t dress like your Grandpa Virgil, and don’t dress like a skinny dude who wears women’s jeans.  Extend your sleeves to your wrists and move on from this stage in your life. 
People who get it wrong:

2. Tight clothing - you know when you see a girl wearing an obviously too-tight outfit (not in a good way) and you can’t unsee it and you don’t appreciate it?  That happens to girls, too.  It’s a simple concept, really: dress appropriately for your size.  For example, about 1% of men can successfully wear super tight pants, and most of that 1% is made up of male celebs like Beckham and McConaughey.  If you haven’t done something about the extra lb’s you gained in college from too many Keystones, that’s a personal problem.  But go up a size in your pants and stop sharing your male camel toe with the world. Thanks in advance. 
3. Shoes - just because they’re the closest thing to the ground doesn’t mean we can’t see them, dudes.  Don't wear old, gross tennis shoes, especially not with jeans (see #5 for more on this).  Don’t ever wear black tennis shoes; instead wear cool ones from Nike or New Balance.  Or wear nice dress shoes.  Or wear loafers if the occasion is appropriate.  But don’t wear shoes that you might find on a child or an elderly man.  Isn’t there a saying about ‘dressing your age, not your shoe size?’ Yeah, this applies to literal footwear. 
Casually cool Adidas, featuring Josh Duhamel.  We approve. 

4. A well-tailored suit is to women what lingerie is to men.  Enough said. 
5. Jeans - Guys wear jeans about 99% of the time they are outside of work. So maybe drop some money on some dark jeans and quit resorting to $35 pairs from a department store that make you have either a). a mom butt or b). high waters. Don't even attempt to pull off ones with shading, embellishment, intentional holes or anything like that. Just normal, nicely-fitted jeans.  We suggest Nordstrom, because it is our fashion Mecca for all ages/sizes/genders/humans. 
Here’s an example of a well-fitting pair of rag & bone jeans on what appears to be a suave male model:

Available at Nordstrom. Go figure.

6. At the end of the day, just care enough about what you wear.  Don't try too hard and get caught up in crispy hair gel or Armani cologne overload, but look like a man (not too metro) and give a damn about what you wear. 

There you have it - some gentle tips for men who try to incorporate trends into their closet without asking the internal question of, “will I look like an a-hole if I wear this?”  We’re always here to help. In the meantime, we will try to follow our advice and not attempt to dress like the Hollywood stars we envy; fewer rompers and pantsuit attempts. We apologize for all of female-kind for confusing you with these onesie-like fashion statements.
PS: Two of the contributors, K & H, blog over at “life, capitalized.” So check them out if you like things related to booze or Ryan Gosling.  Or both. 

Pictures-source, source, source

Friday, July 13, 2012

Irish Tweed

Couldn’t spend time in Ireland without discussing/purchasing something tweed. I have seen older gentlemen smartly dressed in tweed jackets or caps, although they’re rare in the strip clubs I’ve frequented, but it’s a fabric so associated with Ireland and the surrounding islands that it felt a very fitting type of a souvenir to seek out. I’m not the type of guy that buys chotchkies in souvenir shops. You know, that crap that says things like, “Only in Vegas!” or, “I’m not Irish but I’d like to get lucky!” I’m not into that crap. A good souvenir should (ideally) be made in the place you’re visiting, but should also be symbolic and representative of your trip and who you are. Granted, this is all just my opinion, but I’m way more into the idea of owning an Irish tweed than I am in owning a shot glass that says, “Limerick, Ireland.” I mean, you can buy that shit online anywhere. 

I feel the need.....the need for tweed.

Even Wooster knows the benefits of a good tweed.

Tweed is a twilled wool that can come in a variety of patterns. I feel like herringbone is most common/popular, but I’ve also seen houndstooth and windowpane. The history of tweed is kind of interesting, and you’re free to look it up on Wikipedia if you want. It gets a bit of a bad rap as a stereotypical “old man’s fabric,” but I like the idea of owning a unique tweed piece. The rough texture sets itself apart by its look and feel, adding visual and textual interest to an outfit. Plus it’s warm, water-resistant, and durable, which makes it a useful fabric. Versatility can be found not just in a piece’s styling/color, but also in its uses and function. Tweed is great for the shite weather common to Ireland, Scotland, etc. 

tweed woven in a herringbone twill

A faint windowpane can be done nicely. Too bold veers into car salesman....or this guy...

I looked up recommend places to buy tweed while in Ireland and came across Magee of Donegal, and Kevin & Howlin (which sells Donegal tweeds) of Dublin. Magee has a shop in Dublin, so while I’m there I plan to check out both stores (be on the lookout for a corresponding post with pictures). Of course there are many places to purchase tweed while in Ireland, but I liked the idea that these stores come recommended and have a solid history in the industry (Kevin & Howlin opened in Dublin in 1936). Again, you could easily pick up some crap at the airport on your way out, but it’s more enriching to immerse yourself in the culture. Shop where the locals shop, buy what they’d buy. That’s my suggestion at least. 
More news as this one develops, 

Pictures: source, source, sourcesource, source

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rainwear Options

Besides Guinness and people with freckles, the other thing common to Ireland is rain. Seattle doesn’t have shit on this place. And so while at home it’s still sweltering hot, eventually it’s going to rain again at some point. At least I hope, otherwise I’m never coming back. Here’s a rudimentary breakdown of your rainwears in preparation for that time: 
First, you have the trench coat. Born out of Burberry in WWI, it’s still the iconic go-to brand for a trench coat (in my opinion). However, these do tend to be pricey, and there are other more affordable options available. Trench coats are made from gabardine, which is made from/with/of cotton, so it’s still breathable in foul weather. 

Burberry Trench-$1,038

Then there’s the mac (mackintosh actually). Typically cut in a more simple styling (think no epaulets or waist belt), macs are made with a rubber layer to fight the rain. However, that rubber layer does less to allow free airflow, and from what I hear these things typically run hot (as in, you’ll be sweating so much in one that getting soaked by rain is actually a better option). Can’t speak to this personally as I’ve never owned one, but something to consider. 

J.Crew's $800 option

or $200-Banana Republic

Also, while you should always be trying things on before you actually buy (suck it up and get over that fear of asking the person for a fitting room. They want the commission anyways.), a mac or a trench is a bit more on the formal side of your rainwear options, so bear in mind that you’ll likely be wearing it over a suit jacket. Don’t get something so slim that it limits your ability to actually wear it. 
For our next option, there’s waxed cotton (which is a woven mix of cotton and paraffin wax). The advantages of waxed cotton are its breathability and the variety of styles you can find. Any coat option can probably be found in a waxed cotton version. I own a waxed cotton jacket from Original Penguin that’s lasted well for a few years. My only issue is a question of water-repellancy (not a word I know). My jacket is definitely water-resistant, which means it’s good for a light drizzle. But if it’s pouring rain, I get just as soaked as if I were ass-naked. However, I’ve come across options online that claim true water-repellance. If anyone has any experience, feel free to let me know how it worked in the comments.

British Millerain waxed cotton field jacket

Michael Bastian Distressed Field Jacket-not waxed cotton but I like the styling so fuck it
Finally, you have your various options in modern materials (nylon/polyester/etc.). These too come in a variety of styles, from zip-fronts to popover anoraks. They’re great because they’re lightweight (making for easy travel), and can do a good job of protecting you from rain without suffocating you. Again, in my opinion these are the least stylish of choices, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t good looking options available. A waxed cotton field jacket is just more my taste, but hey, this isn’t about me.

Brookrs Brothers Ripstop Popover- loving the bright orange, but I could see myself looking like a big traffic cone.

Good luck with the heat,

Monday, July 9, 2012


Just settled in for my extended stay in Ireland. Unfortunately though, most of this weekend was dedicated to actually settling in, like getting groceries, power adapters, etc, so this post is going to suffer a little bit. My apologies. 
One thing I've begun to notice while abroad is how different cultures approach casual dress. So far I've seen a few stereotypical Irelanders (think old men in tweed coats, driving caps), but I've seen far more young men dressed in a garb I'm starting to describe as Euro-trash. The sides of the heads are shaved while the top and back are left normal; combine that with an earring or two and an entire track suit and you've got yourself most of the 20-30 year-old men I see here. I don't know if they're soccer hooligans or in a gang, or what the deal is. Frankly, I was expecting a bit more.


Again here I'll espouse the importance of what you wear. It sets a cast for someone to mold their impression of you. It says a lot about your personality and character. Don't think of wearing a sport coat or trousers as "dressing up," like it's some act reserved for special occasions of required formality. Dress to the level of where you're going sure, but that's no reason to look like a slob. 

For example, I work from home (and by work, I mean browse the Internet between summer classes). You can generally find me naked on my couch. That’s appropriate (in the loosest sense of the word) because I’m at home, alone, where no one can see me (unless they too are on ChatRoulette). 
Would I like to run to the store naked? Or class? Sure, I bet it’s freeing. But I don’t, because I understand that certain occasions require a level of dignity reflected by your clothing. Your basic suit is appropriate for some places (work), but overkill for others (a farmer’s market). Part of growing up is about gaining an understanding of how society works and where you fit in. Hopefully, you already have a decent grasp on the level of formality that most functions call for. If not, just quit now because life is going to get a lot more complicated. A track suit is for a fucking track bro.

Thanks for reading, and I appreciate the patience as I get back up to 100%,


Friday, July 6, 2012

Casual Travel Clothes

Part of the reasoning behind this post on versatility and traveling light is because I am traveling. In fact, as you’re reading this, I’m somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, descending towards my ancestral homeland of Ireland to help repopulate the world with redheads (Hey, we all have to do our part).
Traveling is oftentimes a situation where most people opt for comfort over style; function over form. That’s why you see overweight people in sweatpants at the airport. Let me tell you something. Sweatpants are for your house when it’s cold and you’re alone and the rest of your clothes were destroyed in a fire. A man should always look presentable, at the least.
There’s nothing wrong (or uncomfortable) about traveling well-dressed. Here’s some simple and quick tips (because my flight is actually about to leave and I need to go through security still):
Slip-on shoes (try these perhaps?). They’re easy-on, easy-off at security.

Simple jeans and a sport shirt. Casual, comfortable, but still effortlessly cool. 
Sport-coat or blazer. Again, a must-have because of its versatility. It dresses up jeans, but still functions with other trousers (especially chinos, for that Yacht Club look). An unstructured (read, no shoulderpads or canvassing), unlined (no lining, you can see all the insides) jacket will be comfortable temperature wise, it can rumple and wrinkle without worry (so you can toss it in the overhead bin), but it still sets you apart from 90% of the people at your gate. When the airline has an extra first class ticket, who’re they gonna give it to? The slob in the sweatshirt and track pants, or the well-dressed guy in the sport-coat? If you want to nail a stewardess, this is how you do it (Although stewardesses aren’t what they used to be, so good luck with that). 

An example of what I'm talking about, by Modern Amusement, and what I''m wearing right now.

Unstructured, unlined. All you see is the inside of the coat.

This is not any sort of structure or lining, The hemming is just rounded off by a patterned fabric to prevent fraying.

As an added touch of versatility (and a sign of quality), look for something with working cuff buttons, meaning they can be opened. This allows you to roll up your sleeves, should you get hot.

Thanks for reading, and be on the look out for upcoming posts from abroad,


PS- since it's Friday and I feel like it, check out this song. It makes me want to take Ecstasy and go to a rave.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What Not to Wear vol.8

Ah, the diamond earring stud. The international sign of douchbaggery. Like the rotating red-and-blue lights of a cop car, the bedazzling shine of a diamond stud earring makes me stop immediately and not listen to a single thing the owner says. 
Here’s where you typically see these:
-Rappers who have the swagger to buy them and wear them
-Everyone else who doesn’t
I get "man jewelry." I'm all about Miansai bracelets, and I've got so many watches I need TWO arms. But diamond studs are unnecessary. I’m neither awed nor impressed. If anything, you’ve only saved me the time of having to actually get to know you to see if I respect you as a man. I don’t. Thanks for that.
Now I hear what you’re thinking. I’m cool. I have swag. I’ve made a mixtape on Garageband. Let me stop you right there. 
If you: A. Haven’t rapped for 10 years; or B. You don’t own your own brand of vodka/vitamin water- Put the studs away. 

C'mon son. Also, happy birthday America, you old coot!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Guest Post at Restart Your Style

What’s up with it?
As you know, your boy is running heavy in the #menswear game, and that’s why this week, I’ve been lucky enough to drop a guest post for Robert over at Restart Your Style. If you’re into my site, I highly recommend checking out RYS. The mantra is, “Cut through the bullshit, get back to basics and reinvent your wardrobe.” Dude’s writing a bible on how to jumpstart your personal style if you’re completely new to the game. Robert, like me, feels that many menswear/style websites are too advanced, focusing on nuanced looks without really defining the fundamental basics. That’s exactly what he aims to do.
So today, breeze on over to my post on his site, and show some love by clicking around and exploring. My guess is that most of my readers will benefit from, or at least enjoy, what Robert has to say. And don't forget to CLICK HERE to read my post.

Much love international playboys & playgirls,