Thursday, September 08, 2005

Fashion Tips From Jason Duvall Jones

Recent posts have been a bit glum, so I was wildly excited to get this lesson via e-mail from Jason Jones. The kid can toss off snappy phrases like a champion newspaper delivery boy. I particularly like hearing LeTigre wearing LeTigre. I miss you man, come back to the city...
Well. After scouring the fall fashion magazines I have come up with my digest of what I'm hoping to procure for autumn in short order. To most fashion is superfluous and insignificant. They are wrong. It is an expression of oneself. It says who you are, where you've been and how you got there without ever really saying a word that is unless you'd like it to.

I'm a snappy dresser and not very trendy. After
having worked in fashion in one way or another for ten+ years so I'd say I'm expert at this sort of thing. Hopefully it will help you in not looking like shit around the countless upcoming birthdays or holidays and spoiling photo ops with family and friends.

Enormous weekender bags
: It's a good idea to get one of these guys. It's great for travel or laundry and it looks good just lying around or at the gym. One place you shouldn't look like a schlub is the airport (except when you're flying first class) and (if you must do your own), the laundromat. The best one I saw was from Barneys Private Label. Durable cotton canvas, sturdy, came in white, black, green and white but the best color was orange. It ran about $275 which I think is a lot but it looked great and was the perfect size. Other versions I liked were; Cole Haan, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Tods, T. Anthony, Jil Sander, Kenneth Cole and Jack Spade. Don't pay more than $200. Check LL Bean, and Banana Republic. Just make sure it's lightweight, not too loud, has handy compartments and closes properly with snaps or zippers. Leather is nice but doesn't give nearly as much as nylon or canvas but lasts longer and looks better as it ages. Maybe do both.

Whenever we're at war aviators (and flight jackets) come back and why not? They're stylish and you must protect your eyes (and cargo pockets are good particularly on a jacket). I lose eyewear a lot but that doesn't deter me from coveting those which fall into the 3 digit price range (Persol, Cutler & Gross, Giorgio Armani). The best ones I've seen this season are from Ray-Ban. Mirrored or just polarized green, blue or red they get it right each time and they're durable and iconoclastic and reasonably priced at around $85-110. Even ugly people look choice in them. Perry Ellis also has a very nice pair for a bit cheaper and Mossimo has a fab pair for $20 (the fab part). Or better yet take the bread you would have spent on the Armani occhiali and buy like 8 pair of cheapo ones at the gas station. Wearing them at night says I'm rich and high.

Polo shirts:
Now I've consulted with some of my fashion forward friends on this. I'm torn about whether wearing a bright solid or striped polo shirt is appropriate if you're not in fact playing polo. I saw Le Tigre wearing in fact Le Tigre and I thought, fuck that is so white! The answer is yes apparently. I'm told that the way it's worn is what counts. Growing up in Piedmont, California, in the early '80's, 'tweens (myself included) used to wear a different polo shirt everyday, sometimes two at a time. Wearing two is stupid. The new modern way to wear them is almost like a fashion magazine spread: with a tie as a belt. I object to this style because it looks like you're trying too hard which is never the look I want to rock but I can't deny that in the right manner the look is dope. Also I just bought an orange ribbon belt from Old Navy which looks hot and is cheap as hell and looks preppylicious with a polo.

My fashion sages also say one look to sport is luxe
meaning cashmere or light Italian merinos with or without buttons. I was also told to steer clear of big labels or insignia (too common unless you're on the Cape) go for layering with a jean jacket and/or blazer and try long sleeves. Neutral colors that fit or Paul Smith- like stripes will create that sophistication that will set you apart from the pack.

The best brands are still Polo Ralph Lauren and
Lacoste especially and run about $75- 100. Ralph has the new trendy oversized polo player emblem now. Avoid these. Getting them in off colors like taupe, grey and pink are good but I'd go for black, white and red too. The type I want this season are from Fred Perry, Marc Jacobs and J Crew which has a dizzying array of striped versions and there is always a good sale both in stores and online for around $20. Cheerio!

Tennis shoes:
A good pair of tennis shoes are key this season and only a few classics will fit the bill. Black or white are evidently the only real options with a preference for white. Very Pharell. Adidas' Stan Smiths, Rod Layers or Sambas look choice with nearly every outfit this fall and always look stylish and sexy and are reasonably priced around $60 -80. I cannot resist a guy in Sambas yet I often must. K-Swiss and Puma also make a very simple no frills sports shoe that is tres sportif. I also think Vans rock. I'm going with three pairs of sneakers because this is pretty much all that I wear. I bought a pair of Golas for $40 marked down from 85 at a summer closeout. I want a pair of white Converse lowtop Chuck Taylors ($40) and some Jack Purcells ($45) I think any more than $100 for a pair of tennis shoes is excessive. John Varvatos cannot change the fact that part of the shoe is made from rubber.

Cordovan and brogues:
A good pair of Italian leather shoes will never fail you but, if you can afford it, get a pair of cordovans, which are very basic dress shoes which resemble bucks. The trend for this season is to wear them shiny without socks and with shorts, a look that few, if any straight man should attempt since you'll only drive 'mos wild with desire and turn chicks off. But it is a good look with the right shoe. I was in Chicago about 7 years ago and bought a pair of them from Johnston & Murphy ($210) and wore them everywhere and they got me noticed (and laid) and it made my life better albeit it briefly. Shoes can change your life so let them and invest in them wisely and often. Great shoes can transform a mediocre outfit. Women know this.

To Boot by Adam Derrick, Jil Sander, and Giorgio
Armani do a beautiful job with leather soled brogues and cordovans. JM Weston, John Lobb and Fratelli Rossetti are also fabulous but can run from $350 to 1000. Just remember: Shoes say a great deal about you and how you live your life and that's important when you don't feel like talking about it. I'm holding out for some vintage Ferragamo wingtips and I want suede loafers. I left my beloved Banana Republic ones at a rooftop Halloween party in Bushwick (no, it wasn't crack). I don't recall what I wore home but I took a cab so I just walked upstairs in socks. Cashmere socks from Monique from Ilux.

I would kill for a pair of Dolce & Gabbana jeans.
Recently I had a discussion with my Mom about the rationale of spending $300 and up for a pair of jeans. My Mom was unclear what the point of that was. All I could say in response to her was that jeans were like underwear. Fit and intimacy. You want your jeans to be special and fit you just the way you like them. Levi 501s are just as fine and at $40 a much better value not mention the Gap. My favorite jeans cost me $30 and were from H&M. I also like Wranglers but people are catching on and they too are becoming expensive (they sell them at Barneys now). If you must spend major I would go for Loomstate, Rogan, Earnest Sewn, AG Adriano Goldschmidt or of course, Diesel. Personally if I were to go there I'd pick Helmut Lang and have them dry cleaned. Just be sure to try them on and remember they are now no longer just casualwear.

I always dread seeing Samuel Jackson at the Oscars because he, like Steven Seagal and the dreadful Robin Williams wear these cheesy topcoats. Why? Why? I think they always make you look like you're just getting back from a western wedding on the Ponderosa.

I think there are some gorgeous versions of the
topcoat with 2 and 3 buttons (AX, Brooks Brothers, Prada) but for many men this is hard to pull off without looking too overdressed or Neo from the Matrix. I think tweed, glenplaid or herringbone versions are cozy like you just threw it on whereas microfibers or fabrics with sheen look too studied. Or just forgo it altogether and get a real Mackintosh. Asprey, Burberry and Jack Spade make great ones but I would hit Club Monaco ($248) or J Crew ($178) and get something in an interesting color if possible. Make sure it hits mid thigh with zip and/or buttons.

Parkas are big this season too but the real fur hoods from Michael Kors are just too expensive and Prada's duffel coat will be tired by February. Prada Sport does a nice resort line worth checking out however. The lines to watch are Spiewak, Ben Sherman, SeanJohn, Stussy, A Bathing Ape, and Theory. I love parkas and I think the best come from the Army/Navy store and can vary wildly in price from about 60 to 250 in price.

Get yourself a jean jacket. Gap, Banana, J Crew,
Levis, Diesel, Yamamoto, Margiela, Calvin Klein, Abercrombie, American Eagle -everyone has them and you should get one. I think spending more than $100 on one is silly unless it's vintage but they're getting up there in price. This season I want a corduroy version from APC ($140). Fat chance.

2 (ixst)'s thick squarecut tanks.
Calvin Klein ($18) still makes the best but I'm really digging these sexy looks from these guys.

This season suggests that you buy a crewneck , V neck
and turtleneck sweater. Cashmere, man or at least merino wool. Forget ribbed. The turtleneck ought to have some stretch to it and fit snugly as should the crewneck. Spend what you want because you'll wear it a lot and quality counts. My pick for this year is from agnes b. or Dries Van Noten. I should be so lucky.

The V can fit a little loser but don't do the t-shirt
under the V- neck because that look is really over. A button down with a loose tie is way better. Ties always look appropriate and, I'm beginning to see, in just about every configuration.

Well that's it. Now forget everything I just said
because that is what fashion is all about. You can screw stuff up and add your own personal imprint and style but it's much more effective to work your own look when you know a few simple guidelines. When you look good you feel good and when you feel good you exude confidence and sex appeal and chicks and guys love this so bring it.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sent this article to every male I know. Jason is really on point about dressing to look good... and doesn't he always look so good!?!

Tuesday, 16 January, 2007  

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