Sunday, October 24, 2010

SHOPPING DIARIES - October 24th, 2010

What beautiful weather we had in NYC today! Such a climate made for a perfect shopping day down in Soho, so I thought I would create this new post, entitled, "Shopping Diaries," to give you guys a better idea of where I like to shop and my opinions on the retail environment in New York.

To begin, I explored the basics at Vince and Unis, then headed across the street to scope out the vintage at Ina and later Amarcord, the fast fashion at Uniqlo on Broadway, the high fashion at Rag & Bone, and quite by accident, the perfect mix at the Florsheim pop-up on Mercer street.

The quality of Vince's offerings has steadily declined over the past few of seasons since I began shopping there a couple of years ago, though I did pick up a pair of their skinny jeans ($240, pictured at right) to put away for Christmas. Their bottoms have always been a standout and their new skinny jean cut is without a doubt the most flattering I've ever worn. And, by picking out a $42 T-Shirt, I was eligible for their Spend $250, get $50 back sale (basically, I got the T-Shirt for free).

Unis always makes a great peacoat, and I'm lusting over her grey wool offering that I showed you guys earlier in the Bloomingdales mailer.

On the vintage front, Ina had some Moncler just in for almost the same price as the current full-price coats at Barneys, and an AMAZING Burberry double breasted wool coat for around $500. I believe it's a size small as it fit me like a dream but, as you guys know from my +J post, I already picked up the Chesterfield coat at Uniqlo for almost a fourth of the price. Amarcord had some great military jackets and, as always, a fine selection of luxury dress shoes and long coats.

At Uniqlo I picked up another one of their Cashmere Cardigans, a slim corduroy blazer for $80 (!!!), and a sweatshirt that is a 100% rip off of of the Wings + Horns one pictured below. Although I feel bad buying a rip off, the fit and price ($30, compared to $200) were just too good to pass up.

Rag & Bone was pretty depressing. While their clothes look great on a runway (and everyone knows what a big fan of their Fall/Winter 2010 show I was and still am), in person and alone they just loose their life and end up looking stiff. I went in expecting to walk out with one of the Tiberland boot colabs, but alas, they did not live up to expectations. I knew it was too good to be true. Not yet completely defeated, I tried on a pair of green corduroys ($195). The fit was alright, but I just wasn't in the mood anymore.

Feeling defeated and competely bootless, I was about to make my way home before I basically walked right into the Florsheim pop-up store without even realizing it. The lofty space is clean and welcoming, with the Duckie Brown collaboration taking up the front space, a great selection of well priced accessories in the middle, and the Florsheim Limited collection in the back.

I tried on a few pairs of dress shoes and boots while I was there. The Duckie Brown shoes were a little bit too feminine for my taste, but the Florsheim Limited collection was perfect. The prices were unbelievable (almost all of the shoes were under $150), and the styles were both classic and intriguing without being too unwearable.

I picked up a pair of the Sentinel lace-ups in camel for just over $99 and a Fair-Isle cap for $65. Check out some pictures of the space and my shoe purchase below.

(Florsheim Accessories)

(Florsheim and Duckie Brown Collaboration Collection)

(Florsheim Limited Collection)

Sentinel in Camel ($99)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

WEEKEND WATCHING - Kanye West "Runaway"

Weather you think Kanye West is a visionary or an asshole, his new music video is worth a watch. Clocking in at 34:32 minutes, I would classify this work as more of a musical short film than a "music video." When I think of a rap music video, I usually envision big guys in baggy clothing and tiny girls in little clothing dancing provocatively to some nonsensical lyrics, usually while money and alcohol are thrown around in some sort of display of wealth and status. While there is dancing involved, the "Runaway" video seems to include the exact opposite of what I would expect.

While Kanye West certainly likes to show off, there is no doubt that their is more to this film than girls and money. West tackles issues of race, relationships, love, lust, innocence, and power in a slew of dramatic and elegantly staged scenes with a collection of exciting new songs. And lest I forget to mention his amazing wardrobe, the likes of which we could all stand to learn something from when it comes to pulling off a great tux.

Though his acting chops could use a little work, and the story is a little outlandish, I like the idea of a music video epic. Why not make one film that encompasses every song on an album to set a tone for the record by telling a real story? So far I'm intrigued by Mr. West's little experiment and will look forward to his upcoming album and future videos.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gap - Spring 2011 - Review

Patrick Robinson is making some big changes at Gap. Starting with this coming Spring, expect a new look at Gap stores, and I'm not just talking about the logo.

Gap is known for the all-American basics at affordable prices. A quick visit to their store on 54th street earlier this week offered a fine assortment of garments with extremely low price tags. While the quality was admirable, the selection wasn't exactly cohesive or on trend (though there was a great army green military jacket for only $99). This Spring 2011 season marks a more directional collection for the storied brand and a new opportunity for fashion lovers without funds to procure some stellar garments.

Carrot leg jeans, an unconstructed blazer, slouchy sweatshirts, and a nylon windbreaker are just some of the few subtle but statement-making pieces in a muted blue, black and grey pallet that will appear in stores come 2011.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

SPLURGE - Acne Utility Jacket - $450

This waterproof cotton utility jacket from Acne is a great looking take on the classic safari jacket for Fall. Available in navy and beige with a black and grey detachable hoods (respectively), this jacket is full of stylish details. A hidden front zipper, contrasting snap closures, drawstring hood and waist, and elbow patches are only some of the features that adorn this garment. Make sure to check out the jacket in person at Acne' store on Green Street in Soho. Splurge.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

SAVE - Uniqlo Cashmere Cardigan - $150

A cashmere cardigan is one of my favorite Fall/Winter wardrobe staples. Once a luxury, Uniqlo has produced their own slim fit version in 100% cashmere for just $150. The cardigan is offered in navy, charcoal, light grey, camel, and black. Although the cardigan is one of their most expensive items in the store (save the +J collection), it's with good reason; the sweaters are thick, soft, and fit perfectly. If $150 is still out of your price range, there is a lambswool version for $40. Save.

Monday, October 11, 2010

SPLURGE - Nixon 51-30 Watch - $400 to $500

In a previous post I tackled what to wear on the wrist jewelry wise, but to me, a man really needs a good watch. Something simple, masculine, functional, and above all, appropriate for many events and situations.

Nixon is an amazing watch maker that I've posted about before. Their 51-30 model comes in a slew of different color and material combinations for both flashy and conservative customers.

Their "Gunship" model with red hands over a black face is more casual and sporty, while the "High Polish/ White Face" model is great for more dressy occasions. I'm a fan of "Black" model with steel band and black face because of its versatility, but you really can't go wrong here. With stainless steal casing, a stylish design, and an easy to read face, this is the perfect timepiece for every guy. Splurge.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

SPLURGE - Opening Ceremony Blazer - $520

Opening Ceremony's in house collection turns out an interesting group of pieces each season. While a lot of it is a little too avant-garde for my taste, I am obsessed with their Professor Blazer with arm patches available in khaki or brown. This season there inspiration stemmed from both the UK and France, a fact that is evident in this tailored offering.

The proportions are slim and youthful, the color is season-less, and the design is thoughtful and classic. And, it's all made here in the USA. Perfect for a chill Fall day downtown, or a casual dinner out with friends. Splurge.

WEEKEND WATCHING - Rye Rye "Sunshine"

After seeing Rye Rye (right) perform at Barneys for Alexander Wang on Fashion's Night Out I am eagerly anticipating her new album, Go! Pop! Bang! This new single, "Sunshine," features M.I.A. (as do a few other of her songs), and has a sick music video to remind you of those warm summer days. Enjoy.

SPLURGE - Super Special Edition Sunglasses - $218

The opening of the new Barneys CO-OP location on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn coincides with the luxury department store chain's 25th anniversary. In celebration of both events, Barneys has collaborated with some of their favorite CO-OP designers to produce a collection of limited edition items for the new store.

Alas, the Alexander Wang backpack, though in my opinion completely unisex, is WAY overpriced. As a consolation, these Super Sunglasses, made in Italy, are just as much of a style statement and equally as chic. Don't forget, the sun still shines in the winter! Splurge.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

SAVE - +J Fall/Winter Collection

Jil Sander has gone dressy for her +J Fall/Winter collection for Uniqlo. Windbreakers and parkas are inspired by blazers, and outerwear, such as the Chesterfield wool flannel coat (pictured above), would work beautifully over a suit. Speaking of suits, +J has produced the only suit you'll ever need for this winter. Slim, charcoal grey, and under $300, it's a must have. The down quilted jacket (pictured below) is reminiscent of Thom Browne's puffer snap button coats for Moncler Gamme Bleu two seasons ago, and at a fraction of the price.

With a superior fit, technical fabrics, and minimalist design aesthetic, this +J collection is sure to fly off of the racks. Available at the Uniqlo Soho flagship starting October 15.

Photos curtesy of +J and Uniqlo

UPDATE: I purchased the Chesterfield coat on Friday and it is AMAZING! Definitely a must have for Fall and even Winter. The cut is slim and flattering, and the length will add refinement and sophistication to any outfit. The lining is also incredibly comfortable, while the wool/flannel on the outside is super soft.

Natty NYC

A collection of items, videos, songs, happenings, people, places, things, and the like that embody the natty lifestyle in New York City and abroad.