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

Filtering by Tag: nike

Nike Flyknits

Mark Kwak

Source: Kicksonfire

Source: Kicksonfire

Being from Portland, Oregon, I must give a shoutout to the one (and basically only) major successful business in my neck of the woods: good ol’ Nike.

Recently, I’ve been obsessed with their flyknit collection. In case you’re not familiar with the word, let’s just say it’s Nike’s fancy branding of their proprietary mesh/fabric/cloth/awesomeness material used in some of their shoes. Complex has a super in-depth article on flyknits if you want to learn more.

I have a pair myself, the Lunar 3, and I love them. Great for running use, but also as casual street wear. Some other designs I like include the Racer, Free 4.0, and Roshe. Slightly expensive, but totally worth it in my book. Get at ‘em!

Source: Kicksonfire

Source: Kicksonfire

PS: Quick tip for you. You can use Ebates to get 8% cash back at right now in case you’re planning on buying a pair.

White Nikes

Mark Kwak

2013-10-12 11.28.35 Ah white Nikes, so fresh and so clean. I think that a pair of white athletic sneakers are really an essential to every man's wardrobe. There's something about the color white that just does well at the feet (though a pain in terms of maintenance) and usually a pair of Nikes does the trick.

Thought I'd share with you a couple pictures of my new Nikes I bought from J.Crew. Gotta love those J.Crew in Good Company deals; they really curate some awesome stuff from outside companies.

2013-10-12 10.29.59 2013-10-12 11.27.15

Nike Killshot 2 Sneakers

Pair 'em with sweats, shorts, jeans, chinos.... Whatever the case, you'll be styling and comfortable at the same time. Enjoy.

Throwback classic sneakers

Mark Kwak

In the last several years, classic sneakers from Nike, Adidas, and New Balance have been hitting the shelves with high velocity. We're talking throwback sneakers from the 70s and 80s, looking a little something like this:

Cool huh? The moment these things started to show up on peoples' feet around town, I knew that I needed to get myself a pair or two. What I like about them is that they retain the comfort of a running shoe, but still remain fairly appropriate as casual street-wear. They can even be dressed up a bit, maybe worn with an oxford cloth button down, some dark denim, and a jacket. Hell, magazines these days are pairing these types of sneakers with suits (not recommended).

I got myself a couple pairs (New Balance & Nike), both in suede, and I love 'em. They're especially great for me because I recently got a new day job at an office with the slickest floors I've ever walked on. So leather-soled shoes out, fashion sneakers in.

suedeshoes1 suedeshoes2 suedeshoes3 suedeshoes4 suedeshoes5 suedeshoes6 suedeshoes7

Nike Vintage Pre-Montreal :: New Balance 565

I love the suede sneaker look, as I feel the fabric/material really classes up a shoe that we normally would not wear to most places outside of the gym. Now, you can pair these types of sneakers up with some denim, a casual shirt, and a crewneck sweater, and still be styling all fall.

Style rules - part 2

Mark Kwak

Welcome to the second installment of simplerman's commentary on Ralph Lauren's Rules of Style. Gentlemen, it looks like today is all about accessories. Let's do this.

You know, it's very strange. I didn't use to be a fan of tie bars. I actually thought they gave off a bit of a pretentious look that I wasn't fond of. Well thank God, because the times have changed and I'm now very much on-board the tie bar train. I want to slap my old self for thinking the way I did.

Anyway, yes, definitely make sure your tie bar is shorter than the width of your tie, as otherwise, it can look ridiculous. I recommend having the tie bar hit at least the middle of the tie, but don't feel the need for it to extend all the way out and match your tie's full width. 1 and 1/2 inches is a good length I'd say. Also FYI, I only shop at one place for tie bars: it's The Tie Bar.

Sigh, I love watches so much. This particular accessory has a special place in my heart, and I promise to you that I'll be writing about them soon enough.

The interesting thing about this rule for me, is that I agree with it wholeheartedly, but think that you can make one exception. I'll get into that exception in just a second, but yes, you shouldn't be wearing digital watches to any formal event (or any event that isn't extremely casual, in my opinion). As a general rule, larger/thicker watches are for more casual events, and slimmer, smaller watches are for more formal events. The ideal dress watch is slim, simple, analog, on a black or brown leather band, and under 38/40mm in diameter. Casio G-Shocks should be left for going hunting or hiking, and blingy/oversized fashion watches should be left for... never.

So the exception I'm talking about is regarding the ability to use a nice diver watch (metal band, a bit thicker and bigger than a normal dress watch) in dressier situations. Big watch snobs will tell you that you should never do it, but I disagree. I think a nice diver watch, as long as it's not too thick or loud-colored, can look amazing underneath the cuff of a nice suit. Just my humble opinion.

So this rule is pretty self explanatory. Just like the rule about watches, this one is about wearing your accessories appropriately. Don't pair a business casual outfit with Nike Wrap Sunglasses. Save that for when you're wearing a track or wet suit. Trendy hipster glasses probably aren't the best fit with a semi-formal/formal outfit either. Use common sense on this one, and remember, the less flashy the eye/sunglasses, the more appropriate they probably are in most situations.

Leave loud colors and patterns for casual-wear, and stick with tortoise, black, or metal-colored frames for formal-wear. I recommend just buying a pair of Ray Ban Aviators or Wayfarers and calling it a day. Those classics work in basically all situations.


So there you have it- some rules to keep when wearing accessories. Basically the main takeaway is that you should consider how your accessories will work with the rest of your outfit. Matching/pairing appropriately will make a huge difference, and it's important to remember that.

Really quickly, I'm also going to say that I believe less is more in the case of men's accessories. It's definitely cool to "up the game" of your outfit with some nice accessories, but sometimes, I say it's okay to put down the pocket square, eyeglasses, diamond studs, and bracelets. Just put on a wristwatch and call it a day.

One day: outfit for the gym

Mark Kwak

The clock hits 5:30PM and your colleagues are starting to head home. While your coworkers are going home to relax and essentially take the part of human-vegetable for the rest of the night, you decide to be a bit more productive. You decide you want to to get jacked, and go to the gym.

The question now is, what do you wear? You want to look stylish, but you also want to wear something practical. You want to look ripped in front of the ladies, but you also don't want to make a fashion statement. Well, let's talk about it a bit.

In all honesty, I personally don't pay much attention to what I wear when I go to the gym. I don't care all that much about what I wear when I'm sweating like crazy. For that reason, I may not be the best role model when it comes to gym attire. However, I will say that I do notice outfits that look great on others, and believe it can pay off to look good while at the gym. Whether you want to look great in order to attract others (I mean we all know how much we love lululemon on girls), or just want to enjoy looking at yourself in the mirror, it doesn't hurt to make the effort to choose a nice gym outfit.

So let's start with the most important part of your gym attire, your shoes. Why are they the most important? Well, because we are using our footwear for actual protection against injury while working out. Make sure to wear footwear that is appropriate for whatever you are doing. Playing basketball? Wear high top basketball shoes to protect your ankles and support your feet while you're crossing dudes over left and right. Running? Get nice running shoes that fit well, are light, and can help lessen stress on your knees. If you're just going to the gym to lift, I would still stick again with running shoes, as they will likely look the best and be the most versatile in case you decide to go running.

In terms of upping the pure aesthetics of footwear, make sure that your shoes are clean and simple. Thin is usually better than bulky, and laces shouldn't be too long (eg: spilling too far down your shoe). Also make sure to wear socks. My recommendation goes to ankle socks that show just slightly above your shoe line. Just FYI, my favorite sneakers for working out are: Nike Frees, New Balance Sneaks, and Asics Gels.

You'll also notice people wearing neon green, hot pink, light blue, and other poppy colors in their shoes. If you like it, I say go for it. These colors exist not just for aesthetics, but more importantly to help you be more visible when running in the dark. Hey, if it helps you avoid car accidents, then it's all good in my book.

Next, shirts. My favorite type of shirt for working out is a cutoff dry-fit shirt. I'm a fan of the whole dry-fit thing that Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and other sports companies are doing. Not only does it look good, but it also feels good against your skin and helps you when you perspire. Because of the likelihood of getting stains (from your sweat or off of weights and machines), I would stay away from white, but all other colors are fair game. Stick to T-shirts or Tank tops.

Also, please make sure the shirts fit well against your body. I've seen people wear clothing TOO tight, or also others who buy over-sized T-shirts and cut off giant arm holes that come down to the hips, just to show off obliques, peks, and abs from the side. Come on... let's be less tool-ish please.

When it comes to pants, I like to stick with athletic shorts when working out. I think long athletic pants work just fine as well, especially when you'll be out in the cold, but shorts just seem the most versatile to me. Keep length right around the knee area (a little below or slightly above is fine) and again, make sure they fit nicely. If wearing long pants, make sure the length isn't too long, as it will get uber annoying while running or being active. You'll constantly be pulling your pant legs up, and that's no fun.

A quick note: avoid accessories if you can. Unless you need a digital watch to keep track of timing (or those new wristbands that monitor your health), I would take all accessories off as they will get annoying, or get in the way of your workout. Necklace flying inthe face while running? Ring scratching against dumbbells? Not my cup of tea.

Lastly, outerwear. I think track jackets and sweatshirts work fine when in a colder environment. Otherwise, keep outerwear in the locker. I hear a lot of people give flack to hoodies, but I think hoodies look great at the gym on a winter day. I don't want to be a broken record, but again, make sure the outerwear fits you well. Keep jackets and sweaters slim, shoulder seams hitting the right spot on your shoulders, and length ending right around your hip. Baggy is never good.

Finally, remember this is just the gym- wear whatever you feel most comfortable in. I've given some guidelines above for what I think looks best, but going to the gym is all about making yourself feel more healthy and confident, and what makes you feel confident is really up to you. When I go to the gym, I wear free T-shirts that my workplace gives me without shame. Do whatever you're most comfortable with, and you should be just fine.