I have in the past gotten several requests for showing the process behind what goes into an image. Check out this short vlog to see my process!
As we are finally transitioning into my favorite season of the year (Autumn) I thought I would start to talk about pieces to pick up as I start to transition my wardrobe for the cooler months. The first thing I have decided to start with is a staple piece that should be in every guy's closet and that is the patterened blazer.
This slim, brown plaid Italian-cotton blazer from Banana Republics Fall 2017 line is the perfect example of what you should look for in your patterned blazer. What I really love about this piece is how soft the cotton they used is. In addition to that the more casual patch pockets, paired with a lightly padded shoulder give the blazer an over all more relaxed look and feel. In wearing this blazer out on a date I felt very at ease and that it falls into that perfect category of being smartly dressed without coming off as trying too hard.
To go even a step more casual try something like this; a smart leather trainer, grey henley and some light khaki trousers. This look is perfect if you work in a more casual enviroment and want to be a touch more comfortable or even a date.
Overall, for a little under $300 this jacket is phenominal. I did not have to take it to the tailor as the fit is spot on. Also the light construction and materials used are some of the best I have seen from Banana Republic thus far. The lightly padded shoulders and patch pockets make it the perfect jacket for going into Fall. Click HERE to check it out. Check out the video I did on this blazer below!
Hey Guys! So I recently moved into a new place while still going to School at UNC Charlotte. It has been a great upgrade from my first place in Charlotte. At a little under 800 square-feet it is just shy of 100 square-feet smaller than the other apartment, but I have loved every second of this new place. Checkout the video I recently did on my YouTube channel!
For a little over a year now I have been lusting over Common Projects. From their sneakers to Chelsea Boots everything they make turns to gold. The flawless design and perfect silhouette of the Achilles low has long had my attention. So finally after several months of back and forth, I finally decided to pick a pair up. Common Projects like any luxury product is something you have to see and feel in person to understand why anyone would pay $400+ for a pair of leather sneakers. Honestly, I had decided to purchase several other items on my "fashion bucket list" before picking these up but it was love at first try-on. They are some of the most comfortable and beautiful (yes, they are beautiful) shoes I have ever owned.
So, with all that being said, are they worth it? To me, yes, yes they are worth it. I have a weakness for beautifully designed products so for me it was a no brainer. But for those who are simply looking to pick-up a pair of Italian made kicks? Maybe. The Achilles sneaker like any great product has been ripped off time and time again to within an inch of being an all out Canal Street special. Brands such as M. Gemini and Greats have incredibly similar shoes with noticeably decent quality and design. While they are great options for those who aren't as elitest as myself, I would reference my friend Wilson who once told me "buy what you want". Personally, at the end of the day, those are simply knock offs to me, similar to brands such as Cole Haan who constantly knock off the designs of brands such as Gucci (see any horse-bit loafer Cole Haan has ever made). At the end of the day the CP's will last me for years and the "cost per wear" goes down significantly if you think about the amount of use you get out of them.
So to bring this post home, I would say this; if you have a well build wardrobe go for it. They are great shoes and will really be a great addition. However if you are still in the process of building your wardrobe basics hold off until you have all the basics down.
Life always gives you the best source material. So here we go, the guide to how to rip your pants and come out of it with James Bond level smoothness.
Backstory: Let's set the stage, me and my girlfriend were headed to a friends wedding on Saturday. We drove down from Charlotte and before the wedding visited my parents. When our visit was done, we walked out to the car my mother stopped me and declared to my horror that my suit trousers had ripped down the entire back. It was 5:15, and the wedding started at six, what was I to do?
Not wanting to miss the reception(the open bar, gourmet dinner I had driven an hour for, and the friends and family attending) I started the hunt for some replacement pants at a J. Crew Mercantile, Stein Mart and Banana Republic, then finally ending up at Belk, finally finding some white pants at Belk that would do the job.
What to do: The first massive mistake three out of the four retail associates tried to do was match some navy pants to my suit. In their defense, they were trying to help, but never under any circumstances go this route. Attempting this will never work out and will look ultra tacky. Instead, if you are wearing a navy suit as I was, go for some tan, gray, or white(Spring/Summer only) dress pants in a similar fabric to the suit.
Wearing a gray or Khaki suit? Navy pants all the way.
Black suit: gray pants.
In the end, I made it to the wedding reception with a great ice breaker story, and an outfit that still landed multiple complements. Sadly though the suit pants are ruined and my favorite suit of two years will now be laid to rest. Below you can see the carnage that once was my (too) slim navy suit from J. Lindeburg.
When starting to build a wardrobe you want to get as much milage out of your suits as possible. Mixing the jacket and pants of some suits with others gives a whole new life to the pieces. For this look, I was headed to dinner with some friends on a Thursday evening and wanted to remain in a more buttoned-up look, while not coming off to stuffy. For this outfit, I simply removed the navy suit jacket, threw in the more causal tan blazer and I was good to go. After dinner, we headed to a billiards hall where I lost the tie, and the look still came off as well put together without too much of a pretentious air.
Shoes: Banana Republic
Jacket and pants: J. Lindeberg
Glasses: Warby Parker
Watch: Deutsche Uhrenfabrik
After owning my 2010 BMW 328i X-Drive coupe for six months now, and getting several questions along the way I thought I would do a short write up on my experience and what goes into to owning one of these cars. Before we get started I need to provide a few basic facts. First off I don't have the time, nor the patience to learn to work on my own car. Yes, I could probably save a boatload of money in maintenance (which we will get into later) but I simply enjoy driving cars and prefer not to go past that. Second, I did not want to buy this car mid-college, however, after my car was totaled (not my fault, and totally screwed up situation) the price of this car versus something like a Honda Accord wasn't much more and I had always wanted a BMW 3-Series coupe. Third, I had exactly four Infiniti G-37 coupes sold out from under me in the span of a month. And to finish it out at number four, I had a very limited amount of time to find a new car, and the majority of my research was focused on other cars. So now that you have some context let's get into my experience.
From the second I got into the car to test drive it I was sold. The heavy, direct feel of the steering, the beautiful hum of the flat-six german engine all had such a euphoric effect on me. I had been looking for a car for almost a month and a half, and with no luck and this felt like the one. So in that moment, I made my first big car buying mistake; I bought it. Like actually just bought it on the spot an hour after the test drive. It had a clean carfax report (remember this) so I just went for it. With 39K miles on it and just under $20K it seemed like a great deal. I purchased the car from a reputable dealer (who will go unnamed). So things started to hit the fan a week later when I realized there was a crack on the front drivers-side fender. I had it inspected by my local BMW dealership and they confirmed that it had been in a wreck at one point. I took it back to the Honda dealership I bought it from and over the course of three months the entire fender was replaced, wheels straightened, front brakes and rotors replaced (they were warped), and the front grill had to be realigned (and still isn't perfect). In total it cost me nothing extra as the dealer had basically lied about the condition of the car and gotten around reporting it on the car facts. It's a common dealer trick and pretty easy to do quite honestly. Now onto the actual ownership part.
Ok, so to recap the car was purchased in late October 2016 and now finally at the end of January 2017 I now had a fully repaired car. Everything else aside it really has been a very fun car with all the issues fixed. It isn't the fastest of cars but for an entry-level luxury coupe (not a sports car, let's be honest about that) I have loved owning it. In terms of maintenance if you can find a good third-party shop to work on it will save you a lot of money. In February I had a cylinder coil blow which through the dealership cost me around $400 to fix, I also had the spark plugs replaced which cost $135. An oil change will run you around $75-100 which isn't the end of the world by any means. I also had the brake fluid serviced which ran around $125.
As for the car itself I have been nothing but happy with the driving experience. As mentioned before it is the X-drive version which is BMW's all-wheel drive system so it feels incredibly planted to the ground when going through corners at high speed. The design of the car itself doesn't scream 7 years old, and the car still has a modern look to it. The car gets pretty average gas milage at around 16-20mpg city and 26-30 highway. The downside of having the AWD system however is once you start to drive it more "spirited" (semi-reckless) it sucks down that premium gas like a runner who just did a 5k in mid-August. The cabin is reasonably quite, and comfortable. Being a bit more sport oriented coupe it isn't the most fluid ride in the world but it is comfortable overall. It comes with no spare tire, and I ran run-flat tires for quite sometime but gave up after they became noisy after a few thousand miles. I currently run Michelin A/S 3+ tires on it and have liked them far more.
So now knowing all of that, you may ask if I would buy it again. The short(and annoying answer) is yes I would in a heartbeat. The car puts a smile on my face still when I walk up to it in a parking deck. Hold down the unlock button for a few seconds and all the windows lower and the sunroof opens up inviting you in. The smooth sound of the engine as you accelerate calms you, and brings you into the moment and out of whatever is happening around you. The all-wheel drive system makes the best use of the torque and horsepower available making the car seem much faster than it really is. While I only plan to keep the car for another year before upgrading, it has been such a pleasure to drive. While I regret the amount of stressed caused by the dealership I have truly loved the car ever since. It isn't the fastest, or best looking of the BMW line-up but it has a certain lovable nature about it when it isn't draining your pockets. It is well balanced and turns into corners hard enough to scare my girlfriend. Overall it is a phenomenal car, and owning any car comes with an amount of risk, so you might as well get one that brings you a little bit of happines every once in awhile.
With Spring here and Summer not far behind it, the time for wardrobe updates has come. A pair of tassel loafers in a lighter color is perfect for everything from casual suits worn with no socks or more causal fits with jeans these are a great all around loafer for the season. I love this pair of suede loafers from Crosby Square's Spring/Summer 2017 collection. The more pointed toe and beautiful materials used make it the ideal loafer for Summer. I really prefer lighter colors for Spring because it feels a bit less heavy when pairing with light colored clothing (Aka those white pants you've been waiting to wear all Winter). Check out the images below for some of the ways I've paired it. Click here to view this shoe on Crosby Square's website.
I have a love of automotive photography. I rarely post about any cars on my blog, but after getting the chance to photograph the newest model from Aston Martin I couldn't help but throw a small gallery of images up. The car is absolutely stunning, and the overall design is next level for Aston Martin. Enjoy the images that were outtakes from a shoot for Mitchell Prime Properties, huge thanks to Foreign Cars Italia of Greensboro for supplying the car.
Coming towards the end of my college years, I am starting to focus on purchasing products for my wardrobe that lean on the side of quality versus quantity. After having worn this watch for several months now, it very rarely leaves my wrist.
The Maruice Lacroix Aikon is the perfect first "nice watch" in my opinion. Priced at around $900 (for the model shown) the slim profile of the watch sits perfectly on the wrist and is not to overstated. The Aikon is available in a Chronograph model, as well as other variants click HERE to see the full collection.
What I love about this watch is its versatility. When traveling this lately has been the only watch I take with me. Either on the beach, or when wearing a beautiful suit this watch complements both looks well. The slim profile fit nicely under a dress shirt, and does not cause the sleeve to bunch up. Yet when on a boat, or strolling down the beach I found that the watch was rugged enough to withstand being used more roughly. I would equate this watch to a new BMW 3-Series. The 3-Series is the introduction into luxury automobiles, and is a perfect fit for the emerging millennial workforce.
While I won't get to deep into the technical features of this watch, I will say it they used fantastic materials when creating this watch. The Aikon Gents(shown here) is has a 42mm watch face, while the Chronograph is slightly larger at 44mm, and features a quartz movement. The quarts movement is a great baseline movement, which has proved itself reliable over the years and really allowed Maurice Lacroix to make such a beautiful watch for under $1,000. While there are countless other great pieces in the sub $1K price-range, this has been the best value I have seen thus far.
I often find that on the weekends/when traveling I prefer to ditch the dress shirt when not called for, but love to wear my blazers. During the colder months, I love to wear a long sleeve polo under my blazers. The collar, while not usually a stiff as button downs gives some visual structure to the look as opposed to a crew-neck sweater.
Polo/Belt: Ralph Lauren, Blazer/Socks: J. Crew, Pants: Brooks Brothers, Shoes: Johnston & Murphy, Glasses: Tom Ford, Watch: Maurice Lacroix.
A few months ago I had the opportunity to work on a really cool, and at the time secret project for Maurice Lacroix. They task me to shoot five looks, with five watches from their lineup for a Holiday gift guide. Now that the holidays are over I can finally post about it on my channels and show you guys the work I did. Below is a gallery of both screenshots from the finished project on their website, along with some of my favorite images from this project. Click HERE to see the post on their website.
Wearing layers during the Summer is always difficult to do in a comfortable manner for most guys. To help feel a little bit lighter I have paired a polo shirt in place of the usual button down shirt. It adds a more relaxed feel to this somewhat elevated look and is ideal for more upscale dinners and Summer events. The weekender bag is by Bespoke post, and is the perfect size for an quick weekend getaway.
Blazer: Banana Republic, Pants: Bonobos, Shoes: Res Ipsa, Shirt/Glasses: Ralph Lauren, Bag: Bespoke Post.
While I'll be the first to admit on my off days my Vineyard Vines hat is a go to, outside of that I typically don't wear much of their products. But last week, while strolling through the mall I ventured into their store to checkout their end of season sale. Jokingly I tried on one of their blazers, when to my surprise I found it fit almost perfectly. While I like Vineyard Vines as a brand, I am typically I am not a fan of the frat/college centered prepseters who wear their t-shirts with some cargo shorts and sperry's. Overall I love this blazer, the slim fit, and light cotton/linen blend make it a perfect Summer/Early Fall blazer. It has functional buttons on the sleeves which I always find to be a nice feature.
I styled the blazer here with a Twillory shirt, Brooks Brothers mini-check chinos, Jay Butler Shoes, J.Crew knit tie, Happy Socks, Cotten Brew pocket square, Daniel Wellington watch, and Eye Buy Direct Glasses.
Overview: Upon stepping into Cannon Green I no longer felt like I was in Charleston, but had stepped into a high end restaurant in somewhere such as Boca Raton. The atmosphere, while still retaining some southern charm was incredibly modern and eloquent, with a bit of a fun twist. The back seating/event area (pictured above) was lined with palm trees and fountains and made me feel as though I was strolling through the backyard of a small mansion courtyard. The live DJ set up on the second story balcony was not loud or overwhelming, but added a pleasant upbeat feel to the restaurant that complemented the atmosphere well.
Food/Drink: For my meal I enjoyed their eggs Benedict, and a couple mimosas. The eggs Benedict had a rich, savory flavor and just the right texture. I found from time to time that when eating some Eggs Benedict the egg can have an unpleasant slime-like texture that is unappealing but I found their dish to be my favorite version so far.
Atmosphere: It has a very happy/upbeat vibe. I went with my friends on a Sunday around 1pm and it was the perfect meeting spot. We all hung out and shot Instagram photos in the back area(shown below), and for people looking for the perfect food shot the tables were all fairly well lit.
With Summer in full swing we are in the high of shorts season. A departure from the typical tan chino shorts is always a refreshing change, which is were the light hearted brand of Rufus & Royce comes in. With 15 current designs, and 17 set to launch by the end of this week they have become a fast favorite of mine. I pictured above is "The Washingtons", and below "The Midshipmen". Both are well made, comfortable, and made of very light seersucker/cotton. I love the very subtle use of elastic in the waste band, which makes them very comfortable to wear either with or without a belt.
These are a great buy for the Summer, I would encourage anyone looking for a fun, casual pair of shorts to look into Rufus & Royce! Click here for their website.
Overview: Eleve is a restaurant located on the top floor of the Grand Bohemian Hotel, located in the heart of downtown Charleston, South Carolina. The restaurant has a fantastic atmosphere that leans more toward an upscale vibe. Guest can feel comfortable wearing a blazer or suit, however jeans and a nice shirt would not make you stick out if you are on a more relaxed date night or similar occasion. The menu is Farm-to- Table American cuisine, which I found to gave lots of great options and will satisfy the pickiest of eaters.
Food/Drink: My meal started with the Calamari, and pomme fries paired with a light rosé. To follow up it up, I ordered the center cut filet mignon with a side of whipped yukon gold potatoes with a nice pinot noir. Overall the filet stood out the most to me, the meat was cooked to a perfect medium/rare. The exterior had a nice crunch and was lightly covered in spices that complemented the meat well.
Atmosphere: As you can see from the images below, the restaurant has a fantastic open floor plan and outdoor space to sit. After our meal, we sat outside for at least two hours sipping wine and even had some more friends join us there for drinks. The outdoor fireplaces and seating area are ideal for a night out with friends.
With the vivid Spring colors in full effect, what better way to stand out than a bold-patterned blazer? I love this lightweight blazer from Hickey Freeman. The construction of the jacket is a bit less structured so it can be dressed up, or down. Here I have paired it with a crisp white button-down, and a pair of navy chinos. This look is a bit more dressy, but is still comfortable and can be worn without feeling too pretentious or overly dressed.
As the week draws to a close, what better way to leave work behind than in a Bentley? For this look I wore a navy suit jacket, with a classic Wall Street-inspired blue contrast collar shirt, some white chinos, and, to finish it off, a pair of suede double-monks. The upper half of the outfit has a more upscale look while the bottom half complements well but dresses down the outfit and keeps it young and fun.
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Jacket: J. Lindeburg, Shirt: Ledbury Fine Shirt-Makers, Pants: Banana Republic, Shoes: Crosby Square, Watch: Daniel Wellington, Glasses: Ralph Lauren, Sunglasses: Ray-Ban, Car: 2015 Bentley Continental. Photography: Alec Hutchins
No white pants before Memorial Day? I'm calling bull on that one, after working in New York with publications like GQ, and Vogue no one could answer my question of why this is a rule, and further more agreed it was a silly rule. So I proudly wear these white jeans I recently purchased from Gap. They have stretch technology and have been incredibly light and comfortable after wearing them for a week straight. If you want to add in more denim either a light wash shirt or jacket is a great addition to the outfit. Here I kept the outfit a little more on the smart side with a Ralph Lauren polo, and Cole Haan loafers.