Tag Archives: Cubicle Chic

The Gentleman: Style Sins

The Clubbing Shirt

One would think that a gentleman would have a hard time messing up something as simple as a dress shirt. After all, it’s hard to go wrong with a white or a light blue button-up oxford. However, more and more, The Gentleman is seeing men wearing truly dreadful button-up shirts to job interviews and business formal events on his law school campus and out in the greater corporate world. After staring in puzzlement at jet black, shiny, or bright red oxfords, The Gentleman finally realized what was wrong. Guys have begun buying and wearing shirts that they are hoping will work both for professional events and nights out at the club. Thus, The Gentleman presents the third entry in his re-occurring “Style Sins” feature: “The Clubbing Shirt.”

The Gentleman has no opinion about the overall quality or style of the Clubbing Shirt when it is actually worn to a club. For that matter, The Gentleman has no official opinion about night clubs in general. However, when a man begins wearing a Clubbing Shirt during the day, things start to go awry.

A Clubbing Shirt is always very tight-fitting, even more so than a slim-fit shirt and is usually either jet black, or a bold blue or red. Clubbing Shirts are also frequently shiny. Below is a very typical Clubbing Shirt from Dolce & Gabbana.

Dolce Gabbana Striped ShirtPhoto Credit: Dolce & Gabbana

It doesn’t look bad here. Though, I would point out that unless you are as fit as the model in this picture, you are likely going to look a good bit sillier than the model because of how tapered the shirt is in the waist.

Now, let’s throw a gray suit on over that black shirt and see what happens.

Gray Suit with Dark ShirtPhoto Credit: ImageShack

Suddenly, you look like you belong in a high school production of “Guys and Dolls.” That is not a good thing. Wearing a trendy black shirt under a suit gives off an aura of self-consciousness. It’s almost as if you’re embarrassed to be wearing a suit, so you put on your most fashion forward shirt to prove that you are still cool. The result is disjointed and cheap looking.

What kinds of shirts are off-limits? In addition to black shirts of any kind, red and bright blue or teal are simply too vivid to be worn in a professional environment. Think of a shirt as a blank canvas. You will wear other accessories, like your tie and your pocket square, to bring life and energy to your ensemble. Notice how this gentleman’s red shirt drowns out his tie:

Black Suit with Red ShirtIdentity hidden to protect the innocent.

White, light blue and pale pink shirts are a gentleman’s safest choices because they are subdued and allow for a great deal of contrast with ties and pocket squares. Once you have developed a stable rotation of those colors, understated pinstripes and checked shirts ought to be added. I’ll spend more time talking about advanced shirt and tie pairings in a future article.

For now, just remember The Gentleman wants to be sure that you never wear this guy’s shirt to the office:

Guido JuiceheadGuido Halloween Costume courtesy of my former roommate, Chris.

Next week, The Gentleman interviews a law school classmate who has started in his own clothing company…

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The Gentleman: Suiting Up

Thrifting a Vintage Tweed Coat, Part II

It took longer than I was hoping, but The Gentleman was finally able to pick up his vintage tweed sport coat from the tailor. Their work was, to say the least, very impressive.

I used the services of Lil Dave’s Tailoring in New Orleans to make significant alterations to a tweed sports coat that I purchased off of the Styleforum.net Buying and Selling Thread. I discussed the process for choosing this 1960s jacket and decided what needed to be altered a few weeks ago.

Tweed Jacket 1

Tweed Jacket 2

Tweed Jacket 3Photos Courtesy of Matt DeIulio

The first major difference is the length of the arms. When I received the coat in the mail, the sleeves extended down past my wrists and onto my hands. Not only was this irritating, but it made the coat look like it was intended for someone else. You never want your jacket to look like a hand-me-down from dad. I had them shorten the sleeves so that about a half-inch of shirt cuff is showing when my arms are in a resting position. This gives the jacket a smart and fitted look.

The coat was also extremely baggy in the middle. The tailor took it in significantly so that it is tapered and fitted in the waist. This is the most significant change to the garment. Baggy tweed looks terribly frumpy. By taking it in in the middle, this jacket made the transformation from dumpy to old-school cool.

These alterations cost $50 in total. While I was hoping that it would be a bit cheaper to tailor it, when you add in the $40 price that I purchased it for, $90 is a real bargain for a vintage coat that would cost more than five times that much new. The moral of this story is, if you’re looking to buy a bargain jacket, getting it professionally tailored is a must.

Next week, the Gentleman presents his third entry in his “Style Sins” series when he decries loud, “clubbing shirts”…

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Stolen Says: Wine and Tapas at Alta

If you recall from last week, I had a fantastic weekend bar/party-hopping and mingling with some fantastic people in some fun places (Pony Bar, Inc Lounge and Calle Ocho). I had started out that weekend with some dancing in the West Village at, of all places to be dancing, a little dive bar called Pieces.  In any case, there was (surprise, surprise) a birthday party happening, and Jbru and I made some new friends – one of whom (we’ll call him KS) I met for drinks and dinner this week.  This is my favorite aspect of New York – you never know who you’re going to meet or the places they will take you!

Restaurant

When deciding on a place to go this week, I suddenly got a craving for delicious wine and tapas, so I immediately thought of Alta. Tucked away on the lower level of a townhouse in the West Village (on West 10th Street near 6th Avenue), Alta is cozy, warm and welcoming, but surprisingly spacious!  They boast an excellent wine selection (I went with the 2003 Rioja), and some of the best sangria in town. Their food menu is also incredible, and my mouth is actually watering just thinking about it. With small plates ranging in price from $3-$13, it’s easy to share a few bites and a few glasses of wine to have a splendid, wallet-friendly time. I highly suggest the lamb meatballs and the fried goat cheese – maybe not the healthiest choice, but they’re so delicious! And if you balance it out with the broccoli rabe, you can satiate your conscience as well as your palate. Yum!

Fireplace

Alta NYC

After dinner, KS & I went to 49 Grove Street, a club at which KS’s friend is a promoter. I had a flight to catch the next morning and hadn’t even packed yet, so I intended to stay for one drink and then head home. But what is it that they say? The best laid plans of mice and men… I was having so much fun dancing in this lower level lounge, I didn’t get home until 2:30 a.m.! There was a slammin’ DJ, and if you ordered bottle service, it was brought to you with a sparkler stick. This made the lounge a bit smokey, but also offered such a festive and fun ambiance! So after a few hours of dancing the night away (on a Wednesday night, no less), KS finally put his foot down, dragged me off the dance floor and we headed to the N train at 8th Street, where we parted ways. Thank heavens for little miracles, for had I stayed any later, I never would have gotten packed in time. New York makes it so hard to pull away!

(All photos: nymag.com)

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Animal Print for the Office

Those who have known me forever (Hi Mom!) know that leopard print has always been a staple in my life – not just my wardrobe. I’ve had leopard print bedspreads, towels, sheets, rugs, curtains, desk ornaments, trash cans, pencils… you name it. I was/am obsessed. As you can imagine, I am stoked to see that animal prints are all the rage for fall. Although this is a little more like a cheetah print, and therefore easier to pull off, I was a little anxious to wear this cardigan to my conservative-leaning office, but it was well received!

I’m also surprised that I can still rock this dress. My dad bought it for me YEARS ago to wear when I was inducted into the National Honor Society my sophomore year of high school (eek – about seven years ago, I feel old!). It used to be too form fitting to wear to the office, but the fabric has slacked with age, making for a much more appropriate look. I’d wear it on a warmer day because it’s quite light and airy. I think it would work well as a basic interview piece, too.

What do you think – will you be trying animal print this fall?

Lindsay’s Look:

Dress: Express, a gift from Dad

Cardigan: Ann Taylor, $56 (on sale)

Tights: H&M, $4

Shoes: Nine West, $24

Necklace: Banana Republic, $12 (on sale)

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How To Wear Sequins at the Office

Written by Lindsay

When perusing the posts on Corporette.com, arguably one of the most prominent office-oriented style sites in the blogosphere, I came across several women who hate on sequins (saying things like sequins are matronly, girly, too much, inappropriate… yada yada). This is blasphemy! Personally, I’ve fancied shiny things from a very young age and never really grew out of them as many of my friends did (as evidenced here and here). One of my favorite style bloggers who, in my opinion, wears metallics in a very feminine but rockstar way, is Betty from Le Blog de Betty. It’s hard NOT to be inspired by her combinations. So with my love for sparkles, armed with inspiration from fall trends and a disdain for the ordinary, I will outline chic and appropriate ways to wear sequins to the office. I refuse to accept that it cannot be done, whatever the reason.

Tier I: Small Accessories

You’ll want to start here if you’re a closeted sequin lover. You admire the way others wear them, but think they’re a touch too young and may not even wear them casually. Here’s what I say: life is too short! If you like sequins, wear them! Who cares what anyone else thinks – dress for you. These accessories are fabulous vehicles for slowly incorporating sequins into your wardrobe. The best part about all the pieces included in the post is that you can make them work for casual weekend dressing, too. When you’re ready to move on to more sequins, choose a bigger piece and not more smaller sequined pieces. Many small sequined accessories = surefire way to look like a teeny bopper.

Sequin Ponytail Tie

Sequin Ponytail Tie: Forever 21, $3


Sequin Earrings

Earrings: Chan Luu, $115

Black Sequin Belt

Black Sequin Belt: BKE, $15

 

Tier II: Subtle Accents
This is for those who always wished they could wear sequins to work but never figured out how to pull it off. Sometimes all it takes to overcome common mental obstacles like “my will never take me seriously” or “is this too casual” is choosing the right pieces. Unfortunately there is lots of room for error here, so listen up! Don’t skimp on price: it’s easy to tell when sequined garments are cheaply made. Also, make sure the fit and drape are right for your shape (no rhyme intended). You’re going to be drawing extra attention to yourself – even if it’s minimal – and you want to make sure it’s the good kind!

Pink Sequin Blouse

Pink Sequin Blouse: J.Crew, $118

Sequin Vest

Sequin Vest: Wet Seal, $22

Sequin Tank Top

Setting Sun Tank: Anthropologie, $40

 

Tier III: All Out
This is not for the faint of heart but for the sequin die-hard like myself who doesn’t think much of wardrobe boundaries. I would not recommend wearing sequin shorts, pants or long-sleeved shirts to work. People will think you took a wrong turn on your way to the discotheque. I do think that a skirt, camisole or short-sleeved shirt with “frosted” sequins is acceptable. These are excellent for the office because they have a subtle metallic sheen but are not outright shiny. To complete the balancing act (because we still want your colleagues to take you seriously), wear mostly understated pieces with your sequins. Do not play with volume, loud colors or patterns. If you’re in dire of a little something else extra, a cutting edge smart cut blazer is a great way to showcase personal style without overdoing it.

Sequin Skirt

Sequin Bell Skirt: J.Crew, $275

And for the non-believers, here’s how I’d style it. Looks good, eh? Cheers to sequins!

Sequins Polyvore Set

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Sparkly Sweater Chain

sweater chain and pantsThese past few weeks, we couldn’t have asked for better weather! For the most part, it’s been sunny, breezy and cool: perfect conditions for dressing. When the temperature doesn’t matter in the decision-making process of putting together an outfit, there are no limits on what articles to choose from. This particular look is so comfortable, I started calling the combination my “daytime pajamas.” 😉 The blouse is loose but still flattering, the cardigan keeps me warm and the pants fit like they were made for my body. Funny thing is, I didn’t have to get them tailored at all, not even a hem! The brand is an obscure one – Stoosh – and I’ve had a hard time finding any other work-appropriate pants by them. It always tends to happen that way, doesn’t it?

gray and cream shoes

sweater chain and pants

sweater chain and pantsThe sweater chain is what really makes this outfit Cubicle Chic. It’s quite different from any adornments I’ve ever worn to the office, and it reminds me of an updated-but-still-vintagey Mad Men or Emma Pillsbury sweater chain. What I love is its versatility: I was dreaming up different possibilities for it outside of the office during our shoot. I think it would be the perfect feminine touch on a cropped leather biker jacket, with one pin on each shoulder blade and the chains draped in between. If only I had the perfect leather jacket to pair it with! I still haven’t found one; the search continues…

fall berries

sweater chain and pants

Lindsay’s Look:

Sweater: J.Crew, $40

Blouse: Ann Taylor, $90

Pants: Stoosh, $80

Sweater Chain: c/o JUWLZ New York

Shoes: Nine West, $25

Bangles: H&M, $6

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Happy Columbus Day!

Enjoy the beautiful fall day 🙂

Autumn Color

Fall Leaf

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