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

Filtering by Tag: red wing

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.

Wearing black only

Mark Kwak

I've seen it a million times. Guys wearing all-pitch-black getups. Uniform combination of black shoes, black shirt, black jeans, black jacket, black watch, black scarf and black rimmed glasses. So yes, black is cool, and it's especially appropriate during fall and winter. However, I personally think you can always do better by adding a little extra color to your outfit, even if it's subtle. This actually applies to any color, since a little variety in an outfit can help it from being too boring or uniform. For example, here's an all-black outfit I'm wearing. The difference is that I wanted to add a subtle hint of color (some green and navy gingham on the shirt which together looks like black, and brown lining on the boots), and also distinguish my blacks a bit from each other. Notice my jeans are a lot lighter than the rest of the outfit, while still having that underlying black color to it. My scarf also has grey on the inverse side.

black2

See? Denim on denim can sometimes work.

black1

From a closer distance and with ample lighting, you can see that the shirt is actually blue and green, not black. Some red highlights on my watch as well.

black3

Hmm, my Red Wing boot lining matches my coffee table.

black5

I like to cuff my pants when wearing boots. Show a bit more of the boot.

Jacket: Ralph Lauren Black Label | Shirt: Black Fleece | Watch: Casio G-Shock

Scarf: Merona (similar) | Belt: Paul Stuart | Jeans: Diesel | Shoes: Red Wing

Now, I still would prefer to wear a lighter shirt with an outfit like this, but if you want to wear all-black, my recommendation is to find some way to make each piece slightly different from one another. Or else it'll just look like you're in a black jumpsuit, since others won't be able to distinguish one piece of your outfit from another.

So go out there and continue to wear black (even though some will tell you it matches with nothing... which I don't believe in the slightest). But also remember it's okay to still have some color or differentiation in your outfit to make it more interesting. Grey can be a great friend in this case, and despite what people will tell you, brown can work marvelously if used properly.

Wish List #2

Mark Kwak

That time to discuss my wish list once again. What am I interested in this time? Well, let's just say I currently have a couple holes in my closet, and am in dire need to fill them. Most of all, I need myself the most basic of basics... a solid navy suit. Either way, here's my wish list, the second time around:

Ralph Lauren Black Label V-Neck Sweater

Some reason this sweater has been on my mind for the past several weeks. I visited a Barneys up in Seattle and saw this bad boy and it's so BASIC but the color and material really hypnotize me. Cashmere v neck sweaters are a classic piece, deserving of real estate in every man's wardrobe. The fact that purple is one of my favorite colors and that this one is by Ralph Lauren Black Label just ties the knot. Too bad the price is a bit ridiculous to me.

Black Fleece Cashmere Scarf

I'm really close to just pulling the trigger on this piece. The scarf is a basic design, but I really like the grey and navy combo. It's also by one of my favorite designers, on sale, and 100% cashmere. Perfect in time for fall. Gotta think hard about this one...

Red Wing Brogue Ranger Wingtip Boot

I'm in need of a pair of black boots. They go well with so much and are almost essential when pairing with a black leather jacket. These ones by Red Wing (who I think makes great quality boots) are nice because they not only have the construction I'm looking for, but also stand out with some unique detailing. The little bit of brown doesn't distract from the black boot itself, but allows the boot to be a bit more versatile when pairing with browns.

Suitsupply Jort Navy Suit

Suitsupply is an interesting company that specializes in made-to-measure suits (but sells off the rack as well) that you can buy online or in select stores in the country (NYC and DC I think). They are European in origin, but I visited their NYC shop a couple weeks ago, and unfortunately they didn't have any in my size to try on. However, I could definitely tell the quality was excellent for the price you pay. Canvassed construction, prices starting at $400, and great designs? Call me in. I'm interested in one of these Jort suits, or the Washington style if I'm feeling a bit Harvey Specter-ish.

So there it is! My expensive and ever-changing wish-list. I'm on a hunt to save money in the next couple months, making these items even harder to look at.