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A guide to help the average man... look less average

Filtering by Tag: jack spade

Barbour Jack Spade Hopper Jacket

Mark Kwak

jackbarbour2 Barbour, as many of you may know, is one of my favorite clothing brands. I'm particularly a fan of their high quality waxed cotton jackets, which I would say are really their specialty. Plus, I trust their quality because they've been doing this stuff since the beginning of ages.

In case you're not familiar with the brand, they're most well-known for three jackets in particular, which have not changed in style for quite some time- the Bedale, Beaufort (which is basically a longer Bedale), and Barbour International. All three are tried & true, and if you've been searching for a field jacket, I would highly suggest one of those options.

So recently, Barbour has been taking an effort to modernize their brand a bit, and as a result, partnering up with other companies to do just that. They're releasing collaboration pieces every now and again, and Jack Spade happens to be one of the companies they're doing it with. Recently, they released the Jack Spade Barbour Hopper Jacket, a cool twist on their Bedale-styled jackets. This is their 2nd time doing this, and I personally think this year's model is the coolest I've seen. See below:

I recently got my hands on one of these jackets, and wanted to share my thoughts about them with you today. Here it goes:

So as far as the quality is concerned, these jackets are pretty similar to other Barbour offerings. The waxed cotton, the detailing, the heft are all reminiscent of their Bedale in my opinion. There are a couple major differences though.

1. It's navy, not green like most their jackets.

2. It's actually slim cut, unlike their normal Bedale.

3. It comes with an inner vest (detachable) that has a really cool orange coloring.

4. The collar is different, it's a club collar on this one.

Here are a couple makeshift photos of me wearing the jacket

jackbarbour6   jackbarbour3

 

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Now, how do I feel about the jacket?

Personally, I think it's great. It looks sleeker and more modern than all their traditional models. The silhouette is far more flattering, the colors are refreshing, and everything good about their normal jackets still remains.

Now here's my one problem- the jacket is really expensive. It's $799 at retail price, though you can get 15% off for signing up through their mailing list. This still puts the jacket at double the price of their normal models. Yes it has a vest as well, but I don't think the vest necessarily covers the margin. You're paying for brand and exclusivity if anything.

The good news is that this jacket will probably last you a decade, easy. Barbour does a great job of reproofing their jackets if you request it, so if the wax goes away completely, you can still restore it back to tip top shape.

If you have the money, and have been looking for a Barbour jacket for some time now, check this particular model out. It's pretty awesome, though a bit pricey. You can find it at Jack Spade's website.

Friends & Family sales

Mark Kwak

Hi everybody, happy Friday. A couple friends & family sales have popped up on my radar recently so I figured I'd put them up here in case you're interested. Not HUGE blockbuster sales, but decent sales nevertheless.

1. Jack Spade

Jack Spade is a company that I'm often on the edge on. They make fine pieces, but those pieces cost a little bit more than their quality is probably worth. However, I will say that they've been stepping up their game in design recently, and it's making me turn my head more every time I pass by their racks at Nordstrom.

I've definitely heard conflicting opinions on their bags, but personally think they're solid in construction and durability. Might be worth a look. Check out their wallets as well. Here's the code to take 30% off: FALL13FF

2. Saks 5th Ave.

Saks is currently having their Friends & Family sale as well- they're offering 25% off of most items. The issue with this sale is that sometimes 25% can seem negligible when the items being sold are way too damn expensive. I mean 25% off of a $2,000 jacket still keeps the jacket at $1,500.

Either way, I'm really considering pulling the trigger on this Miansai bracelet, which is a bit more cost-friendly. We'll see.

The code for 25% off is: FRNFAM

Happy shopping friends (and family), good luck out there!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: My picks

Mark Kwak

I'm a fan of Nordstrom. They exist in almost all major towns within the U.S., usually showcase excellent products, and also offer an almost unbeatable return policy. My only issue with them is that their products are often pretty expensive at retail price.

Also, they rarely hold any sales throughout the year, making it difficult to shop there regularly. I believe they only have 2-3 weeks out of the entire year where they sell items at a discount. The half yearly men's sale and the annual Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

Well great news, my friends! The latter sale, which is also their biggest sale of the year, just started today, and there's plenty of stock to choose from.

I've decided to curate some of my favorite pieces from the sale for you to see. Full transparency: some of these are still pretty damn expensive, though oftentimes worth it.

Allen Edmonds Strand: $229.90

I own these, and love them. Great time to pick up these beautiful and classic shoes.

Dockers Alpha Fogwash Chinos: $44.90

I love the fit and quality of Dockers' Alpha Khakis. Definitely worth a try.

Red Wing Beckman Boot: $199.90

I own these boots as well. They're amazing, and definitely worth it at this price. They will be slightly uncomfortable in the beginning just FYI.

Clarisonic Mia 2: $149.90

I use a Clarisonic Mia almost everyday in the shower. TMI? Maybe. Anyhow, yes, even dudes can use this thing, and it's worth a try. It's like a Sonicare toothbrush for your face.

Threads for Thought Varsity Jacket: $49.90

I've been pretty interested in the Varsity jacket look as of late. Here's one that won't cost you an arm and a leg.

Magnanni Double Monk: $209.90

If you're in the market for double monks, these might be worth a try. They look great in my opinion, and Magnannis are usually really comfortable from my experience.

Billy Reid Crewneck Sweater: $96.90

I really want this sweater myself. Not sure what's so appealing about it to me, but it seems to be stuck in my mind.

Wolverine Emerson: $294.90

Wolverine is one of my favorite bootmakers. And they don't disappoint with this rugged, high quality model.

Wallin & Bros. Sweater: $45.90

A slightly more affordable sweater than the Billy Reid one above.

Allen Edmonds Park Avenue: $229.90

One of the most classic shoes you'll ever find. If you need a pair of solid brown or black dress shoes, get these.

Billy Reid Leather Jacket: $999.90

I know, I know. It's a lot of money. However, I can't have one of these lists without a solid leather jacket. So here it is.

Allen Edmonds Dalton: $259.90

Yet again, I own these boots too. You've probably seen them on the blog before. Worth every penny.

Jack Spade Briefcase: #249.90

I think my boss owns this bag, and to me, it looks so elegant and simple. If I didn't have enough bags myself, I'd pick it up.

Rag & Bone Colorblock Sweater: $144.90

Love the look of this sweater. Though it is admittedly expensive.

The North Face Apex Jacket: $99.90

A really classic, solid jacket for the fall. Only downside is that everyone has one of these.

Calvin Klein No Show Socks: $12.90

You know how I feel about no-show socks.

Chuck Taylor Low Sneakers: $39.90

Classics.

Burberry London Navy Trench: $864.90

Trench coats are probably my favorite type of clothing. Burberry trench at that? You're in for a classic. And yes, I know it's not cheap by any measure.

There you go! My very long list of Nordstrom Anniversary Sale picks. Even if none of these appeal to you, check the sale out for yourself. You might find a thing or two that catches your eye.

Cheers, and happy Friday.

Signature Style: American Schoolboy Prep (the Thom Browne look)

Mark Kwak

Source: Camodiaries

I've mentioned this before, but I think everybody has their own signature style. You can probably picture several of your friends right now, wearing what you would consider their signature pieces. The buddy who can't be seen without his blue baseball cap and Ralph Lauren polo. Or your coworker that wears such rugged boots and jackets that it looks like he's ready to go on a hunt at any point in time.

But what about you? Can you identify your own signature style? Is it something you stand by? Personally, I think it's important that we all discover the look we're most comfortable and confident in, and move in the direction of making our signature style embody that look.

To help in this endeavor, I've decided to launch a small series called Signature Style, where I showcase outfits that I believe represent certain signature styles we may encounter on the streets. Hopefully these styles will give you some ideas or inspiration for developing your own signature look.

To accomplish this task, I enlisted the help of some of my buddies, who agreed to model and demonstrate several looks that I have been wanting to put together for quite some time.

To make it clear, these are very particular styles that aren't necessarily what I deem classic or simple. However, I think that the slightly exaggerated nature of these getups can help you identify what works for you and what doesn't. Taking ideas here and there, and then ultimately putting together your own unique look is what really matters to me.

---

The first signature style I put together is that of one of my favorite designers, Thom Browne. His style is one I personally like to call:  American Schoolboy Prep.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Thom Browne, he is a very fashion-forward designer from New York, who sort of revolutionized modern menswear tailoring. Have you noticed trousers are getting shorter and shorter these days? Well, in many ways, we have Thom Browne to thank for that. Have you noticed folks wearing dress shoes without any socks? Again, Thom Browne. Red, white, and blue grosgrain trimming? Thom Browne.

Truth is, his look is not one for the insecure or conservative. He starts with seemingly classic American outfits (like a flannel grey suit), but then cuts them in ways that make you wonder if the man wearing them is wearing his son's clothing. Trousers are cut too short, sport coats end closer to the hip rather than the thigh, and knitwear is skin tight. To illustrate, I've put together this look for my buddy Grant:

Grant1

As you can see, this outfit is very similar to Thom Browne's one at the top of this post. White oxford button down, gray sport coat and trousers, gray tie, brown bluchers, and a white pocket square.

Grant2

I wanted to make sure this outfit was monochromatic, with gray acting as king.

Grant3

I also wanted to work with various wool textures and patterns. Got some herringbone and specked designs, all over cashmere and flannel fabric.

Grant4

Chunky brown wingtips, no socks, and trousers cut 2 inches too short. Pure Thom Browne.

Grant8

Also, I believe using thick, plastic rimmed glasses really finishes off the American schoolboy look.

Grant5

Though this look is trendy and on the up-rise, I honestly wouldn't advise going into the office this way.

Grant6

Glasses: Warby Parker | Shirt: Jack Spade (in blue) | Jacket: Black Fleece | Tie: Bloomingdales

Pocket Square: Jos A Bank | Cardigan: Gap | Pants: Uniqlo | Shoes: Alden

There you go, the American schoolboy prep look... a look that I'm quite intrigued by these days.

If you live in New York City, you'll probably see these types of outfits donned by avant-garde fashionistas from time to time. It's blowing up in the fashion world, and for good reason.  I think it brings something new to the table, combining a very particular form of modern tailoring with what we've always considered traditional American style.

Anyhow, hope you can take something away from this outfit, whether positive or negative. Oh, and look out for the next part in this series where I go over dandyism.

What am I wearing 12.8.12

Mark Kwak

Today is a relatively cold day in San Francisco, even though the sun is blasting like no one's business. Probably not cold enough to wear my winter coat and scarf, but definitely too cold to go jacket or sweater-less. Thus, I thought it would be the perfect time to bust out my shetland sweater.

Now I've had my reservations about shetland sweaters in the past. Not only can they look a little old-school, but they can also be a bit uncomfortable to wear (itchy and scratchy). However, I think if you wear them right, shetland sweaters can be an amazing addition to your wardrobe, both functionally and stylistically. They'll keep you warm and give you a bit of traditional American charm.

purpshetland3

So clearly, I'm wearing a fairly bold color- deep purple. Well, truth is that I'm a huge fan, both of the band and the color. I think a bold color like this can distinguish you from the crowd and provide a bit of uniqueness to your outfit.

However, I also made sure that I didn't have any other bold pieces in this outfit, just so I don't stand out too much. Grey / brown / white can cover the rest.

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Remember boat shoes are generally meant to be worn without socks. Not a hard-fast rule, but I try and follow it.

purpshetland4

Again, I think it's great to show your shirt cuff when wearing long sleeve shirts under sweaters. Also, an oxford cloth button down, like what I'm wearing, is a perfect item to help shield you from the itchiness of a shetland sweater.

purpshetland2

Sunglasses: Ray Ban | Sweater: Ralph Lauren Rugby | Shirt: Jack Spade

Watch: Hamilton | Pants: GQ x Ian Velardi | Shoes: Sebago

It's only going to get colder, so I'm stoked to start busting out some more of my fall and winter clothing to keep myself warm. Who says you can't look legit while doing so? Cheers friends.