Archive | April, 2012

The driving loafer – the most versatile shoes you’ve got

26 Apr

If you’re anything like me you’re hittin up lots of different bars on a Friday or Saturday. You’re starting out at a rooftop with a great happy hour deal like Zabb, maybe getting a nice dinner at Urbana, then capping off the rest of the evening at Eighteenth Street Lounge. Now you’re probably thinking “Damn that’s how you roll?”, but if you’re thinking like me you’re thinking “Damn, what kind of shoe do I wear?”.

Enter the driving loafer.

It’s casual enough to be worn with jeans and a t-shirt. You can wear it sockless when it’s warm, or you can dress it up with some fun socks in the cold. And it’s just dressy enough to get into fancy clubs that prohibit sneakers. It’s truly the Michaelangelo of shoes!

Start off with the basics: a black pair and a brown pair made of leather. Then you can build up your collection with suede and other fun colors.

Fun fact: Although not all driving loafers have them anymore, the driving loafer is named as such because of the treads that extend from the sole up through the back of the heel. This provides some more comfortable traction when the back of your heel is rocking back and forth as you accelerate/decelerate in your car.

The knitted tie

23 Apr

It’s casual, it’s, it’s semi-formal. it’s a chameleon! The knitted tie is an extremely versatile piece of your tie arsenal. You can dress it up with a suit (although it’s still not super-formal so only wear it for semi-formal events at the most) or you can dress it down with jeans. It’s really good year-round however it shines in the spring and summer when some other types of ties just won’t work (wool or flannel for example).

Start off with the basic solids like black (year-round), and a brown (autumn), and then work your way up to more fun spring colors and other patterns.

Pretty much all knitted ties you’ll find will be skinny so if you’re pairing them with suits remember to go with slimmer cuts. You can also dress them down with a button-down shirt, jeans, a cardigan, and sneakers so feel free to take some liberties there as well. And of course, remember that tie-clip!

How to go sockless

19 Apr

Image courtesy of http://astorblack.files.wordpress.com

It’s warm in DC! And in other places too! That means it’s time for sockless season.

Now that doesn’t mean you should be walking around in your old gym sneakers leaving a scent trail for any bloodhound to track you down. There are hygienic ways to go sockless.

First off, the best shoes to pull off this look are casual loafers or even dress shoes if you’re really bold. No going sockless with sneakers. For sneakers go with some ankle socks.

Also, don’t let anyone tell you that it’s before Memorial day and you shouldn’t be going sockless or wearing white so early. The origins of that rule are merely guidelines to state that when it’s still cold you shouldn’t be wearing such spring-like colors. Global warming is a game-changer folks! Now it gets warm way earlier (especially in DC) so if it’s 60 plus then I say go for it!

Method 1: Powder

What’s the purpose of socks? To absorb sweat and keep your shoes nice and fresh. That’s what medicated foot powder does!

Just sprinkle some of this good stuff all over your feet, or just spray some into your shoe and you’re good to go for a while.

Method 2: Loafer Socks


Ok so if you’re really uncomfortable with going completely sockless at least invest in these loafer socks. They’re so low cut that they shouldn’t show at all under your shoes.

Warby Parker glasses

17 Apr

Image courtesy of http://nazmiyalantiquerugs.com

I love this trend of philanthropic retailers. Just so happens they make some nice- ass glasses too, and at reasonable prices. Take Warby Parker for example…

For every pair of glasses you buy, they donate a pair to someone in need. Not to mention they’re also carbon neutral.

So now if you’re thinking “I hate poor people and I hate the environment” well then you’re an asshole, but they also carry a great line of glasses and sunglasses. Best part… all of their frames are $95 which includes prescription lenses, free shipping, and free returns!

If you’d like to know how the glasses look on you then you have two options:

Virtual Try-on

If you have a webcam on your computer this tool will super-impose the image of the frames on your face. Webcams aren’t just for video-chatting with granny anymore. If you don’t have a webcam you can just use a regular image of yourself too, but that’s not much fun is it?

Home Try-on

They will send you up to five frames to try on at home for free. No shipping charges!

They even sell a freakin monocle. I mean a freakin monocle?! Now I finally have something to give Mr. Monopoly for Christmas this year.

Wine journals

16 Apr Wine bottles

Trying to remember what I like about a particular bottle of wine wine is somewhat reminiscent of my childhood for me and playing that damn Simon game with all the colors and sounds. How am I going to remember Chateau this and Domaine that?

So now I keep a journal of all the wine I drink at home so I can have something to work off of next time I go to the local wine shop. Amazon has this handy wine companion for just such an occasion.

But if you want to do it on the cheap then consider these categories of what to track:
Region
Winery
Year
Varietal
Visual description
Nose
Finish
Food pairing
Price
Occasion drank at
Overall rating

Twenty five sartorial basics

12 Apr

Wise words courtesy of Mister XY

  1. Unbutton the bottom button of your jacket. It’s not intended to be buttoned.
  2. Same goes for your vest.
  3. Remove the tags on the sleeves of your jacket before you wear it.
  4. Jackets sometimes come with white basting thread on their shoulders or holding closed their vents. Remove this thread before wearing the jacket.
  5. Jacket pockets are intended to be opened. Use a small scissor or seam ripper.
  6. More than three jacket buttons is never appropriate for anything.
  7. On a three-button coat, buttoning the top button is optional, and some lapels are rolled so as to make the top button ornamental. In other words: if buttoning the top button seems wrong, it is.
  8. Brown shoes, brown belt. Black shoes, black belt.
  9. Belt or suspenders. Never belt and suspenders.
  10. Your jacket sleeve should be short enough to show some shirt cuff – about half an inch.
  11. Your pants should end at your shoes without puddling. A slight or half break means that there is one modest inflection point in the front crease. If your pants break both front and back or if they break on the sides, they’re too long.
  12. Your coat should follow and flatter the lines of your upper body, not pool around them. You should be able to slip a hand in to get to your inside breast pocket, but if the jacket’s closed and you can pound your heart with your fist, it’s too big.
  13. When you buy a suit or sportcoat, it should be altered to fit by a tailor. This will cost between $25 and $100.
  14. Your tie should reach your belt line – it shouldn’t end above your belt or below it.
  15. Your tie knot should have a dimple.
  16. Only wear a tie if you’re also wearing a suit or sportcoat (or, very casually, a sweater). Shirt, tie and no jacket is the wedding uniform of a nine-year-old.
  17. The only men who should wear black suits during the day are priests, undertakers, secret agents, funerals attendees and yokels.
  18. Cell phone holsters are horrible.
  19. So are square-toed shoes.
  20. Never wear visible socks with shorts.
  21. Or any socks with sandals.
  22. If your shirt is tucked in, you should be wearing a belt (or suspenders, if you’re wearing a jacket as well, or your trousers should have side adjusters and no belt loops).
  23. Flip flops are great for the pool and the beach and not great for anything else. (Some say this is a matter of taste. We agree. If you have any taste, you will only wear flip-flops at the beach or pool.)
  24. Long ties are not appropriate with a tuxedo.
  25. Never wear polyester outside of the gym or theme parties.

Madras shorts

10 Apr

Image courtesy of eminiwizard.comNo the Madras shorts have not been renamed the Chennai shorts.

Are you tired of the same ol’ khaki cargo shorts from Old Navy that you’ve had since college? Everybody else is. The Madras shorts are a fun and colorful way to break out of the khaki rut.

You can tell the iconic pattern from a mile away by the patchwork of different tartan patterns. These shorts go especially well with t-shirts and polos. Since the pattern itself has a lot going on, make sure your shirt is more subdued. So no crazy patterns. Best to go with just a solid. Pair them with your Timex Weekender and some loafers (feel free to go sockless in the summer!).

Suntory Yamazaki 12 year whiskey

9 Apr

“For relaxing times, make it Suntory time”… So true Bill Murray, so true. Suntory distillery’s Yamazaki 12 year makes it really easy to have a relaxing time. You might as well put a kilt on this bad boy because its Speyside similarities are undeniable.

This will be good for anyone just getting into whiskey, and somewhat of a guilty pleasure that never disappoints for the established palettes. It should set you back about $40. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Appearance – golden in color, similar to apple juice or cider
  • Nose – definitely a big sweet nose, fruity and honey notes
  • Taste – medium body, sweet honey taste with a spicy/dry finish
  • Aftertaste – even though there was no smoke to the taste there’s a lingering smoky cigar-like aftertaste in your mouth (in a good way).

Popup tacos from Mike Isabella

6 Apr

I love popup shops. I secretly make love to tacos. How can I resist? In anticipation of Mike Isabella’s new Bandolero restaurant in Georgetown he’s continuing with the popup tasting menu trend by taking over Tackle Box in Cleveland Park. It’s a little pricey at $65 for a taco tasting menu (plus extra for drinks), but I have high hopes. You can make reservations at CityEats.com.

Cinco de Mayo party, FTW!!!

Event Dates

  • There will be seatings between 6pm and 10pm* on the following dates:
  • Thursday, April 19 – Saturday, April 21; Tuesday, April 24 – Saturday, April 28; Tuesday, May 1 – Friday, May 4
  • A special all-day Cinco de Mayo party will take place starting at 12pm on May 5 and will continue into the early hours of the morning. This is a walk-in party that will be open for the public to enjoy, and Bandolero will not be taking reservations for the event. Food will be served a la carte.

Cab it in style with Uber

5 Apr

Tired of trying to hail cabs at the end of a long night out on the town? Really tired of the cabbie doing the ol’ rolling stop just so he can reject you because you’re going somewhere farther than he wants to go? Extremely tired of kicking said cabbie’s cab? I am.

Uber is a car service that you don’t need to book way in advance. Just download the app (available for iPhone and Android), request a pickup at your location, you’ll get a text with the ETA, you’ll get a text when the car arrives, and you go. The best part is the fare (incl tip) is charged automatically to your credit card on file. Now that’s hassle free!

Uber operates in all of DC, Bethesda, Tyson’s Corner, Falls Church, Annandale, and Alexandria. Here’s a breakdown of charges:

Base Fare
Start with this fare
$7.00
Per Mile
Speed over 11mph
$3.25
Per Minute
Speed at or below 11mph
$0.75

Tip is included in your fare.

Applicable tolls and surcharges may be added to your fare.

Minimum fare is $15

Cancellation fee is $10.

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