Catching up this week on posting more of my work with Composure Magazine: Trend Story + Layout Design! Read more in-depth celebrity interviews, beauty editor favorites and fashion profiles at Composuremagazine.com and be sure to buy the print issue from the shop!
Labor Day may be the unofficial end of summer (and the kickoff to the fall fashion season), but temps are still soaring. Navigate the long holiday weekend with some fabulous fall-toned styles.
STORY: Min A. Lee
Summer’s Last Hurrah: Labor Day fashion
Minan Wong Fitted Sleeveless Ponte Top, $110, minanwong.com
Blue Shirt Shop Mercer Shirt, $158, theblueshirtshop.dl1961.com
E. Shaw Jewels Lapis Lazuli Articulated Bracelet, $150, eshawjewels.com
101.Watch Christian Paul Whitehaven Grid Watch, $139, 101.watch
In partnership with 101.Watch‘s article/blog section, I share with you some styling advice featuring the amazing brands you can find at 101.watch. With a keen eye on the designer watch industry both internationally and here stateside, Sona and Karel work together to pick out timeless, yet modern, pieces that perfect for today’s street style fans.
From Karel, “selling wristwatches that are made by small, independent manufacturers was our main goal. We wanted to allow to our customers to own unconventional and trendy, yet affordable, timepieces.”
Read an excerpt from the article below and see some of the favorite blue styles:
Riverside and Airy Blue are the selected pantone favorites for their calming properties and complementary ease. In this world of fast fashion and digital influence we work to find you designs that stay on top of these runway trends, but also provide a sense of exclusivity. Everyone looks for that statement piece that will pique conversations, and 101.Watch favorites Christian Paul and TechnoSport provide just that!
With a vivid blue leather band and contrasting grid face, Paul’s unisex Balmoral time piece can be combined flawlessly with your fall neutrals. Think tailored trousers and a sports jacket, add in a pocket square of the same bold hue for sophistication. We tend to opt for darker navy, but you’ll find the brighter color of Balmoral is very diverse.
If your closet is full of athlesiure and urban wear, shop our TechnoSport brand. The Aviation TS-100-3AV’s mix of blue silicone and rose gold hardware provide that cool, streetwear vibe. With excellent craftsmanship that looks and feels like a thousand dollars on your wrist, you’ll find it’s actually quite budget friendly.
Also another blue option for fall is TechnoSport’s Dreamline TS-100-16. You’ll always capture attention with the neon yellow second hand. The best part about TechnoSport timepieces is the 10 ATM water resistance. You can swim or shower with them without retaining water damage. Definitely break these out for your most active days!
White shoes don’t have to be limited to your plimsolls and sneakers, there’s a variety of dressier options available to you. Don’t let the colour intimidate you. Let us help you navigate the tricky world of wearing white shoes to keep you looking style savvy.
Men’s white shoes aren’t exclusively contemporary. If we take a quick peek at the history of footwear, white shoes were quite popular during the 1920s. Brogues were favoured in brown or white. Other commonly worn styles were two-tone Oxfords and saddle shoes, both sporting the same beloved combination of brown and white. Rather formal during that period, white has now breached through those dressy boundaries.
The main concern with any vivid colour is the risk of standing out to much. Therefore, when trying out more formal types of white shoes, you may find it can be difficult to pair them with black or dark blue pants. You’re dealing with two extremes of the spectrum, and they can come off as being too flashy during special occasions. Depending on how you style these opposites, you can find a middle ground between the two. Finding that compromise is what will keep your appearance tidy rather than kitch.
Starting off on the easier side, white sneakers are simplest to work with. Due their casual nature, this is when you can pair dark trousers or denim with white trainers. There is more give to relaxed outfits. Sweatshirts and t-shirts are ideal if you are aiming for athleisure. Work in a plaid button down shirt and roll up the sleeves. Distressed denim is another go-to that looks flawless with white trainers.
Also, graphic designed tops and jackets are a great choice. These clothing styles won’t over or underwhelm your shoes. In fact, white is a great canvas for working in more avant-garde styles.
With Semi-Formal And Business Casual Clothing
Office settings and cocktail events can be tricky for white shoes. You can’t wear your favorite trainers, so your options settle around Derby brogues, monk straps and sleeker ankle boots. Avoid patent leathers, and look at smoother grades and nubuck leathers. They’ll have a softer appearance that’s easier to style. Suede leather will prevent your outfit from looking overly formal.
Tailored trousers and more fitting bottoms will help show off your shoes. You don’t want to cover up the white. It will look as if you’re trying to mask your shoes. Properly hemmed lengths only help you add sophistication to your look. When it comes to colours, pale dove grey and light beige work well. These tints complement white shoes for men. They don’t create a huge break in your appearance either.
If your style preferences tend towards the darker or brighter side, there are ways to make white work for you. You may be surprised, but bright colours like coral and royal blue look amazing. Going for shorts will help tone down the high intensity of the white. Wearing dark trousers or jeans with a lighter blazer or sports jacket will also have the same effect. Paying attention to accessories will help draw eyes to your entire outfit as opposed to just your shoes.
With Formal Clothing
Working with Oxfords is probably the most challenging task. Traditionally these shoes are black or brown. White on the other hand, despite being more uncommon, actually comes up quite a bit at weddings. The groom won’t always be wearing black. You’ll come across all white tuxedos, or white bottoms with a black jacket. In these specific cases, white Oxfords are a perfect match.
Another way to work white in to a formal situation is pairing it with a light grey suit. You want to keep it tailored and very neat. Tie-clips will help drive in the formality. Wear a shirt that you have to use cuff-links with. Since you aren’t going for the tuxedo, you want to keep everything as elegant as possible.
Your shoes need to be especially clean. Given the colour, try to keep them clean in the best way you can. If you aren’t too sure about how to get rid of dirt or scuffs or you’re wondering how to keep them polished, check out this handy tutorial below. When in doubt, have them professionally leather cleaned to avoid further damage.
Best White Shoes
Here at The Idle Man we’ve covered some of the best shoes a man can own in every colour and pattern. Looking at white specifically, here’s a breakdown on some of the top picks to add to your collection.
All White Shoes
Converse has been creating their classic sneakers since 1917. The All Star, originally made for basketball, is now one of the most famous styles worn by men around the world. When we think of classic, all white shoes, All Stars comes to mind pretty quickly. They’ve become iconic within the art and music worlds, they’re all over film and television, and Converse is now a true household brand .
Nike has roped in a gigantic following with their Air Force 1 style. Avid fans of streetwear brands will keep on top of every new release. You’ll see people queuing outside stores hours before a new design is about to drop. A huge proponent of hip-hop culture, the crisp all white Air Force 1 has hardly changed from its first introduction in the 1980s.
Men’s White Loafers
Vayarta put their own spin on white loafers with a chicer, more minimal design. The sole is made of a flatter and softer leather similar to that of an espadrille. This is a change from the usual hard leather and rubber covered heel. Slip them on with a pair of chino shorts and a chambray shirt for the weekend. Their no-nonsense design makes them easy to pair with any type of accessory.
Tod’s keeps their loafer design very classic. If you’re not a fan of contemporary looks, Tod’s consistently traditional design across all their loafers and moccasins make their men’s white loafers a solid choice. Easy to slip on and off, these luxurious loafers can be dressed up or styled to fit your relaxed wardrobe.
Men’s Summer Shoes
Sperry’s white boat shoes are a must-have for summer. They keep their boat shoes looking current with updated fabrics. Crisp white canvas that’s easy to care for will make your boat shoes perfect for wearing them daily. To maintain that fashion forward appearance, don’t grab your usual t-shirt, wear your white boat shoes with an edgier white button down.
Birkenstock creates the ultimate men’s summer shoe with their most well-known Arizona sandal. The wide double straps and simple design has left some to wonder how to wear them stylishly. It’s definitely possible with a pair of skinny jeans rolled up and a short sleeve shirt or a solid, clean t-shirt. You’ll look surprisingly sharp.
SUAVS’ white mesh slip on is extremely breathable for that summer heat. If you’re going to be running around all day, comfort is key. The leather strap helps hold the shoe’s shape and add a bit of modern detail to the all-over mesh. These are the perfect shoes to go sockless with.
For the top white shoes to add to wardrobe head to theidleman.com and shop for your favorites!
Trend story + Layout done for Composure Magazine’s most recent print issue available here. For more fashion, beauty and celebrity stories and in-depth interviews be sure to visit Composure Magazine weekly!
From the story:
“Wanderlust visions of exotic beaches and Mediterranean blues inspire a sartorial rainbow of turquoise, cerulean and every blue in between.”
Summer layouts have always been a favorite of mine to work on because the trends are so feminine and colorful after several months of darker tones. I do love how women work trending pantone palettes into pieces that may not necessarily fit the current fad. I hope you find a ton of inspiration from this range of blue for your daily dressing. ~ Min
Shoes have an interesting history. From functional to flashy designs, it can be easy to feel lost in all the details. As a whole, footwear is extensive. A simple wander through a history museum will show you how shoes have evolved through centuries dating back to Ancient civilisations. Now, we look at shoes and there’s endless styles to choose from, and new ones popping up regularly.
Shoes can amp up more simple outfits, or create clean, minimal lines for a more sophisticated look. Colours no longer stop at the neutral palette, and you’ll find that vivid prints are available too. No matter what your personal style’s like, there are pairs out there that will match everything you love. We’ll now take you through the 12 must-have styles that will help you be at your very best, and we’ll show you how to wear them.
Oxford Shoes are often confused with Derby Shoes, but there are marked differences between the two. Here’s the easiest way to tell them apart: closed or open laces. To put it briefly, you’ll see a line of stitches underneath the vamp for an oxford versus more space and no stitched line with a Derby.
When it comes to styling, the oxford shoe is much more formal. These are the ones you see being paired with tuxedos, and a lot of times you’ll come across shiny patent ones. You might not feel you really need a pair, but it doesn’t hurt to invest in a decent set of Oxfords. There will be occasions you need to break out a tux – weddings and holiday galas come up quick.
The Derby shoe on the other hand, you can wear with your suits and at times really sharp denim if you’re going for a business casuallook. The open space on the vamp feels slightly less formal, but there’s still a clean, minimal design to the derby shoe that you get with the Oxford.
Good for date nights and semi-formal events, the Derby is a huge favourite and a forever a classic among men’s shoes.
With their unmistakable perforations, brogues have more range than the Oxford or Derby. Being shoes that can go beyond the casual direction, they’re great for sports jackets and button down shirts. You can wear them when you suit up for the office or try a colourful suede pair to catch eyes.
You don’t have to stick to tradition. Many designers and brands are creating soles out of lightweight foam and cork for an extra summer casual look. Surprisingly durable, these styles could become your weekend favourite in no time. Dealing with rain or snow, here’s a helpful guide to sporting brogue boots – never hurts to have both at hand.
Loafers, depending on the material, can come off dressy or be very casual. Going for a nice neutral leather will help you compromise between the two. Easy to slip on and off with a moccasin-like construction, the loafer has quite a bit of history behind it. There isn’t an exact starting point on its origins, but it comes down to either Norway or England. Regardless of which version is correct, this leisurely design came about in 1920s Europe.
Fast forward a little and G.H. Bass company introduced their Penny Loafer in the 1930s. Widely accepted and appreciated for having no laces, and an easy design, their loafer is still very much loved today. You may see them worn about your workplace, which is possible, or take a cue from a favourite street style shot of ours. The t-shirt and blazer with distressed denim gets a touch of elegance from well-made leather loafers and a statement pocket square.
It’s a perfect example of how to use accessories with your shoes to finish off a look.
Monk shoes fall in-between your Derby and Oxford shoes. Named for historically being worn by monks, Monk shoes remain one of the best shoes for men. From single to double strap, you’ll also find them with brogue patterns. Though they had to find a proper place between being for formal or casual situations, styled right they can fit both occasions.
If you need to pair them with a suit, stick to black and brown. It’s sleek and with no strings to deal with, the monk strap shoe looks seamless with well hemmed trousers. This is definitely an ultra stylish men’s shoe. Want a pair that can fit your denim days? Try them in different coloured leather and suede. As time progresses, designers get more adventurous. You can find monk shoes in royal blue, green, several shades of red to oxblood, we’ve even seen a few on the avant-garde side. Wear your bottoms cuffed and try printed socks if you want to be more daring.
Currently up on Composure Magazine – a trend story and layout design featuring colorful fashion to inspire you for the upcoming Rio Olympics!
Composure features excellently penned celebrity stories and interviews, the best beauty you can find for every skin-type including Beauty Editor, Anna M. Park’s most favorite finds and a ton of fashion to help you adjust you wardrobe season to season, or where to invest in classic and timeless pieces.
From the article:
When In Rio Explore your adventurous side with flamboyant prints and vivid colors fit for the beauty of Brazil.
This is your chance to really explore some bright colors, stripes and prints that you might otherwise pass up. We really loved the blues, greens and magentas for this trend story round-up.
It never hurts to stand out a little or a lot, especially when you dress with confidence. You can always try tailored pieces in royal hues to help keep things on an elegant side. For the die-hard minimalist and monochromatic fans, just adding the tiniest splash of blue or even a deep green won’t take away from your favorite styles.
When it comes to dressing for your 9-to-5, the grey area between sleek tailored suits and getting away with denim is challenging. Depending on the work environment, business casual allows men a chance to express individuality without overstepping those bounds into losing respectability among their peers.
The challenge is finding what looks work best for your environment as well as your style, and keeping a balance between business appropriate wear, and a comfortable outfit to help you get through the day. With everything from business casual suits, shoes and trousers to choose from, we’ll help you through the minefield and help you find a look that will work for you.
What is Business Casual for Men?
Business casual. It’s a term that gets thrown around a fair amount, but what exactly is it? In simple terms business casual is similar to smart casual, but tends to relate more to your work environment, and so can adapt according to your surroundings. If you’re in a traditional office where people tend to wear suits and ties, then you might be more limited to what casual aspects you can incorporate into your wardrobe. However there are still ways that you can keep your outfit comfortable as well as smart, and this is what business casual is really all about.
Business Casual Suits for Men
Normally, when we speak of suits it’s about formality. In the case of business casual you can still pull off a tailored suit. It comes down to knowing your fabrics. Cashmere, silk and velvets are best for those evening occasions. Heavy weight wools even worsted wools are a no-go for summer. Aim for:
You may find these light weight fabrics wrinkle easier, but are much more breathable for the warm seasons. They may not have the luxurious appeal of fine wools, but you’re wanting for a more relaxed vibe to begin with. Keep the colours on the lighter side and the cuts well-fitted. If you really prefer dark grey and black, you can always lighten things up with a cool patterned shirt. Usually socks and suits go hand-in-hand, but you can skip on them for summer.
Business Casual Blazer
There’s more freedom that comes with using a blazer, single or double-breasted. You can pair it with different coloured trousers for personality. Though as with all men’s business professional attire—keep it tailored. You want to avoid looking unkept. Make sure the length of your trousers are hemmed properly.
On the other hand, this is the chance to explore different textiles. Generally, blazers are solid to help define them from sports jackets, and neither come with matching pants. We will go into the difference between the two later on.
Here’s some other style points to consider:
Pass on wearing a tie.
Sport a good quality t-shirt underneath.
You can get away with unbuttoning the collar.
Make sure that you follow complementary colour rules. Check out this quick guide to understanding the colour wheel. Having a chance to play with style doesn’t mean avoiding all the rules. You don’t want to clash.
Business Casual Jeans
The main question is, are jeans business casual? Yes and no. There are ways to make jeans fit into the mens business fashion category. Of course, this is if your office allows it.
First here’s what not to wear:
No distressed denim, whether purposely done for design or not. Distressing is strictly casual men’s fashion only. Your boss doesn’t want to see holes all over your pants and if you are dealing with clients on a regular basis, they don’t either.
No fabric that’s showing wear patterns around the knees and seat. Those pairs need to stay in your weekend pile.
No heavy whiskering or edgier dye jobs, such as acid washes. It doesn’t look as professional as it needs to be for men’s business casual.
With the blues, keep it clean and keep it dark. Summer tends to be the time for lighter blue washes, but darker is sharper. It looks more confident in the work place. You can go for monochrome blacks and blues or step out in high contrast with lighter tops and jackets.
If you really want to try colored denim, look for solid pale grey or beige, neutral tones. White is another option that can look savvy. There are a spectrum of jean colours out there, but the vibrant ones look more well-groomed when worn as a trouser.
Mainly, if you are going for jeans, everything needs to be immaculate. From the jacket to the shoes—make sure they all fit you correctly, nothing baggy, especially the jeans. Preferably keep to a blazer and a crisp button down to help take away the lax appearance of denim.
For more on dressing business casual follow the link above.