Archive for November 2008
Just a quick post for yall. Enjoy your shopping day Urban Graduates! I know we will. (What you see above is the DJ Clark Kent + NIKE Limited Ed. “Black Friday” AF1– only released in 3 locations — and Concepts in Boston, MA def. was a stop for ya boy. Told yall about the textured kicks — get familiar).
As we all know Black Friday is less than 48 hours away. You can expect a mass exodus of economy-scorned holiday shoppers to your most popular mall/s. Some people don’t mind shopping in herds; while others are haunted by flashbacks of Mufasa’s death. Sometimes you just want to sit at your computer in your warm abode with some hot chocolate and point-and-click away your shopping indulgences. Well I have a great site for women’s accessories that caters to those aforementioned indulgences. Introducing to those who don’t already know, BANANA AN accessories. Nothing on this website is over $13…except the Sumo Kitty Wallet by Fluff (that’s $15.70). Shout out to Ms. Huynh.
**The jewelry is nickel-free so there’s no need for the allergic to fear any sudden bouts of dermatitis…that’s never a good look**
Happy Pre-turkey Day, Grads and Graduettes. I know yall are ready to sink your teeth into somethin’. Well, for all my sneakerheads out there, we decided to reboot the 10 Pics…10 Kicks post. Enjoy!
There’s no doubt about it, one of the most overlooked fall/winter essentials is the down vest. For some reason, us guys want to continue to act like it doesn’t exist. We figure, hell, what’s the purpose of a middleman?! Either go all the way, or not at all. — How terribly wrong! Urban Grads, the down vest should be invited back into your wardrobe. The trick is, don’t overdo the investment — go for a fitted look, low on bulkiness, and a distinct color/lining combination. Observe.
The Down Vest should hug the shoulders, be close to the body, and have a distance from seam to seam of 4 to 5 inches. Throw a henly underneath or a contrasting oxford for a fashionable dressed down look.
You could also achieve a dressed-up look by adding a fitted button-down and neckwear (although this guys tie is extremely wack…c’mon my grandfather owns that one). Bottom line, invest in functional outerwear — The Down Vest is a 3 season player! Put it in the game.
Here are some other vests for you to check out:
Apparently colored denim has been awakened from it’s deathly slumber by radiation from a fallen satellite. Or was it from deadly gas released from a medical supply warehouse? Wait, I know what it was…celebrities like Rihanna and Fergie were spotted wearing colored denim jeans. Colored denim is cool but you have to know when to relax. We are in the Fall season so it’s time to tone down the brightness for richer colors.
This is why Fall is my favorite season…LAYERING. Layering clothing is one of those intricate sciences of fashion. If done well, one can look like a million bucks and have people wondering if they should be taking a picture with you. If it’s done wrong then you can look uncomfortable, a mess, and worst of all…hot. There is no possible way that you can look cool if you are constantly trying not to exert any energy. There are a lot of great examples of layering all over the internet.
Here are some tips on the all important art of layering:
1. Make sure that you start with a thin layer (oxford dress shirt, a nice v-neck, etc). You still want to be able to get down to this layer and be comfortable if it heats up unexpectedly.
2. Next, step it up in thickness. You may want to try a thin cardigan, a sweater, or a vest. Great Fall colors are navy, black, browns, and grays. But at this point in the process, you can add a little color if you choose to. I would recommend rich colors. For example instead of purple, try a wine colored knit of some sort.
3. Don’t forget the accessories…ties and scarves.
4. Now here is where it gets thick; literally. Slap on the outerwear, a peacoat, trench, chunky knit shawl collar cardigan, leather jacket, etc. I know it sounds like you would just be coming up with the same look, but that’s why I posted those pictures first.
5. Remember, layering doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to wear a jacket; AND layering is for casual dress. Hopefully you won’t crash and burn like Eddie Murphy’s last three to four movies. Enjoy.
So you’re dressing the part….but is your tech game remedial? Nothing is worse than a pair of headphones with the ducktape on them, the throwback April O’neal video camera, or a wack cell phone (…..esp if it looks like a remote). And with BLACK FRIDAY right around the corner, what better opportunity to upgrade the technology that accompanies your lifestyle. Time to inspect your grad gadgetry — here are our top picks:
This post here is to take note of a few Urban Graduettes that I think deserve some “fashionable attention.” These sirens have styles all their own and continue to appease, displease, and even raise eyebrows in indifference with their clothing choices. In many ways, their music reflects their own individual style…listen to them and you’ll see what I mean.
Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes
Ms. Khan’s style is usually very tribal, complete with eye makeup and adornments. Her style is what the clave and conga sounds from an 808 drum machine would look like if they were made into an outfit. Something about the whole “native woman” thing is kind of hot to me.
Ms. A is adventurous. She seems to have a good idea of how to transition from B-girl to sexy hip hop artist and back. I like how she is not afraid to show some skin and be feminine in a male-dominated musical genre (this usually hurts any female rapper’s career).
Chan Marshall of Cat Power
Ms. Marshall’s style is definitely the tamer of the group. She fits more of the contemporary, all-American mold. Not so much Ralph Lauren, but more so like Banana Republic. She has already signed on as a spokesperson for a Chanel line of jewelry. She appears comfortable and very laid back in her stylistic approach.
Ms. Gold’s style is uhhh…lots of patterned tights, leotards, and a pair of doorknockers. I don’t really know how I feel about her style. Let’s just say I don’t mind the 80s, but I’m not a big fan of the pseudo-80s movement that’s going on.
Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley
Ms. Lewis’ style is very reminiscent of something you would find in an Urban Outfitter’s catalog…not the cheap stuff, but more like the Lark & Wolff stuff at the front of the store. She likes printed dresses that add to an offbeat, vintage look.
Lovefoxxx of CSS (Cansei de Ser Sexy)
Shout out to Ladebelle for this one. We all know this is MRS. Jones, but her style is very much her own. Kelis has always been a wildchild; a mare that cannot be broken. That first picture looks like she’s getting ready for her Uniqlo photo shoot…and is that an obi wrapped around her waist? What I like about her style is that it is very diverse, but she doesn’t resort to the bright patterns and spandex of the Eighties as if it were some costume (that decade should not be venerated people). I feel like she actually has her own style and isn’t just being gimmicky.
Alison Mosshart of The Kills
Ms. Mosshart, Ms. Mosshart. It’s kind of hard to put a finger on her style, but I think that’s the way she wants it. In the first picture she looks kind of grunge and then her appearance is more contemporary and urbane…both of which I like. That last picture, I don’t know. It reminds of my father’s friend Lucy who has an apartment in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Something about that outfit makes me think, Jazzfest attendee. Oh yeah, big up to Lauren for this recommendation.
Please feel free to comment and let me know who else should be added to this list.
I just want to get this out of the way first and foremost, I am NOT saying that the “high-waisted belt” look is out. I’m just saying that there comes a time where as an Urban Graduette you have to switch it up. Now I will admit that the belted look does make an outfit “pop” depending on the choice of belt. BUT we have all seen this look abused one too many times [see below]
So here is another weapon to add to your fashion arsenal…a tie waist blouse. Can ya dig it, dolly? Sorry, that was my lame attempt at inserting some nostalgic slang because the high-waisted look is from like the Fifties.
Sooo here is another suggestion (more like a FASHION FORECAST)…wear an Obi (帯, おび). An 帯, おび is a Japanese sash usually worn with kimonos and keikogis (better known as the gi). Here are some pictures to get you started but it’s a lot more fun to figure out your own way to rock em.
Bargain Hunting is a full contact sport — and the Urban Graduates are Professional Athletes. Some of us are LeBron’s and Kobe’s others…well, they may never leave the bench (I’m more of a Chris Paul myself). However, in order to stay at the top of your sport, or to rise to the top, you have to practice. Bargain shopping is not about cheap deals! It’s about elevating your style by acquiring a quality piece that satisfies the age old Micro Economics principle “MC = MB” (marginal cost = marginal benefit, google it). Think of it as Bar Gain, not bargain. With that in mind, here are some resources you can use to gain practice to overcome that bar:
Don’t sleep!! Target has some quality finds, especially in the Accessories genre (my personal selection, Tie Bars). And ever since they’ve begun working with guest designers (Alexander McQueen, Isaac Mizrahi) they’re clothes have taken a suprisingly positive turn. Look for some basic pieces for a price you can appreciate.
Pros (+): Easily accessible, multiple locations.; Cons (-): May be out of stock
Yo, it’s just like rummaging through some rich person’s cellar (or attic). Trust me, this may be your best bet for affordable Cashmere. Also, they have outerwear sections that can lift your spirits without lifting your pocketbooks.
Pros (+): Great selection of designer labels, variety; Cons (-): few locations nationwide, items in complete disarray (that store always looks like Category 5 hurricanes shop there).
I honestly don’t know what the initials stand for, but it should be, “Dun Saved Wallets“. This shoe warehouse probably has more budget ballers per square inch than any other store in its respective city. Look for quality brands, and cop shoes OFF SEASON (meaning, in preparation for the next season). And low key, they have pretty nice hosiery too. I recommend this one to ladies because they have great transition (work-appropriate and play-appropriate) styles you can afford.
Pros (+): variety, labels, locations; Cons (-): Can be a mediocre discount, popular sizes go first and don’t return (unless returned)
T.J. Maxx/ Marshall’s
Okay, I was struggling with putting this one up here because people will think this is an “endorsement” rather than a “resource mint” (my wordplay is SERIOUS). I’m NOT SAYING SPEND YOUR CHECKS AT TJ OR MARSHALL’S! Shopping at these stores is like looking for a diamond in a bag of Kingsford Barbecue Charcoal – it’s possible, but highly unlikely (I lucked up once and found a cleeeean pair of Cole Haan wingtips). Stick to the accessories – ties, belts, eyewear – and the occasional marked down dress shirt.
Pros (+): American labels, generous discount; Cons (-): goods are often in complete disarray, you have to go on a safari to find what you want.
eBay and Craigslist
This is the secret come-up of all come-ups!! People are always pushing great items at lower prices. Hell, you might even be able to pull a Hammurabi-era move and barter trade.
Pros(+): find what YOU want, availability, convenience, often reasonably priced goods; Cons(-): Gotta search and search and negotiate, and renegotiate, may lose to another bidder.
*Honorable mentions: Nordstrom Rack, Outlet stores, Macy’s sale rack, Off Broadway Shoes.
** The picture at the top is for J.Crew — sale ends tomorrow Ladies, take advantage.
OK…this is nothing new to Urban Grads, but the men’s classic black suit is ALWAYS a good look when the occasion calls for it. This is one of a man’s simplest, yet elegant looks. You can wear the traditional fit or you can take advice from our new president and rock the more tailored look. And because it is the cosmopolitan uniform it’s not hard to separate yourself from the rest of the pack in the urban jungle. What I mean is, switch up your accessories:
Instead of dress shoes and the traditional black skinny tie, here are some suggested SUBSTITUTIONS…