And the Oscar Goes to…

Yesterday, the Academy announced its Oscar nominations.   Lincoln led the way with 12 nominations followed closely by Life of Pi with 11,  Les Miserable and Silver Lining Playbook each received 10 rounding out the top four.  That’s all well and good, but what really caught our attention was the “Best Actor” category.

Denzel Washington.  Bradley Cooper.  Daniel Day-Lewis.  Joaquin Phoenix.  Hugh Jackman.  This is easily the most dapper “Best Actor” field in recent memory, no crazy old men (cough-Mickey Rourke-cough)), no nerdy young men (cough-Jesse Eienberg-cough), and no well-meaning schlubs (cough-Philip Seymour Hoffman-cough), just five really stylish leading actors.

Denzel Washington

Denzel

Denzel’s been throwing heat since the eighties.  The Academy has nominated him six times since 1987 and he’s won twice, but it’s more than just his acting skills that get him recognized.  Last year Denzel appeared on the cover of GQ, showing off  his impeccable style in a double breasted striped navy suit, with a killer pocket square – neck tie combo.  There’s a reason your mother, grandmother, sister and niece all have a crush on this guy, he radiates a confident, cool, good guy swagger.

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper first caught our eye in Wedding Crashers as the jerky boyfriend, he later played Phil in the hilarious summer blockbuster The Hangover, now he’s an Oscar nominated star for his work in Silver Linings Playbook. The man has come far in a few short years and so has his style.  He’s appeared on the cover of GQ, Esquire and whatever other men’s style magazine you subscribe to.  He’s always a feature on the red carpet showcasing impeccably tailored suits.

Daniel Day-Lewis

DDL

Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the most reclusive actors on the planet,  a dedicated method actor who freelances as a cobbler on the side, but don’t let that take away from his style sense.  Day-Lewis has the boldest fashion sense of this list.  Often experimenting with classic fabrics, trading out ties for scarfs, and sometimes, just wearing a good old fashioned suit and tie.  He’s definitely an – um- original.

Joaquin Phoenix

As long as Joaquin Phoenix avoids that David Letterman look , he’s got the cool guy in a black suit thing down pretty well.  He usually skews causal, making a habit of the loose tie, unbuttoned collar trend.  Last time he was nominated for a an Oscar he went black-on-black-on-black,  it will be interesting to see what he does this time around.

Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman has done it all.  Whether it’s Wolverine, Jean Valjean, or Oscar host, this Aussie can do anything.  That includes style.  He’s graced GQ’s cover in the StatesAustralia and Russia, he’s truly an international star.  His style combines ruggedness with sophisticated class.  He’s arguably Australia’s greatest export.

What leading may has the best style?

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The Christmas Movie Style Guide

Christmas movies are great.  There are so many classics, but I’m sure you’ve too many “Best Christmas Movies” lists to care anymore.

Don’t worry, this is not one of those.

This is a salute to the best dressed men in the Christmas movie genre.  From Jimmy Stewart to Bill Murray, there are some major stars who showed off their sartorial side in some of the most merry of movies.

So, without further ado,  The list.

It’s A Wonderful Life

The first great Christmas movie also happens to star, Jimmy Stewart, one of the first great Hollywood style icons.  Stewart, like his It’s a Wonderful Life character George Bailey, wasn’t a flashy dresser, his style was understated and subtle.   Jimmy Stewart George Bailey wore suits everywhere (it was the 1940’s after all), tall and slim, his suits complimented his body type.  Like the three piece suit above, with a two button jacket and a conservative dark diagonal striped tie (diagonal strips must have been a George Bailey favorite).  Even when George decided to mix it up with a bow tie, he stayed with the strips (kind of like this one).  Of course, all his suits in this movie take advantage of classic fabrics, because – well – it’s an old movie, but with vintage looks making a resurgence in recent years it may be wise to take some notes.

A Christmas Story

Don’t be mad that a nine-year-old boy from Indiana dresses better than you,  Ralphie had some impeccable style.  He was years ahead of the whole hipster framed glasses thing and the whole Leonardo DiCraprio slicked back side part thing.  Ralphie was a true fashion innovator (although some of his looks have yet to catch on).  Even in the picture above Ralphie sports a skinny plaid cotton tie that would make any J Crew enthusiast proud.

Scrooged

The first two entries on this list are just about the most classic Christmas movies of all time, but Scrooged, Scrooged is the most underrated Christmas movie ever.  If you haven’t seen it, see it, it stars the incomparable Bill Murray as Frank Cross, a ruthless TV executive/ modern day Scrooge.  When we first meet him, he’s dressed in all black, black suit, black shirt, black tie, black pocket square, firing employees and trying to ring as much money out of Christmas as possible.  After being visited by three ghosts (nothing Ghostbusters related, I swear), he learns the real meaning of Christmas and shares his new holiday spirit with all the viewers at home while wearing a dark suit, a chic red tie and a mistletoe Christmas top hat.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Nothing quite captures the slight nuisances of the Christmas season like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  The putting up of the tree, the Christmas lights, the – umm – eccentric family members, it nails it all.  And no one pulls off the classic Dad style more than Clark Giswold.  The Christmas sweaters, the sports caps, the cardigans.  And, of course, the Santa hat and Christmas tie combo (above).

Die Hard

Maybe Die Hard is a reach as a “Christmas movie,” but it does take place during the Nakatomi holiday party and it does end with the song “Let It Snow!”  So, we’re calling it a Christmas movie.  Hans Gruber is one of the best bad guys in any movie and he knows how to dress.  He knows his suits and takes pride in wearing them.  We don’t get to see the full Hans Gruber collection, but the suit above tells us all we really have to know.  His flawlessly tailored black suit and maroon tie show off his professional 1980’s era style.  He’s easily the best dressed character in the film, sorry John, the dirty tank top just doesn’t cut it.

Are You More Bond or More Q?

We finally saw the new Bond flick, and I think it’s safe to say it’s kick ass.   It has all the car chases, twists, turns and badassery we’ve come to expect from our favorite MI-6 secret agent.

Sitting in the theater we kept thinking, “Damn that guy’s got style.”  And it wasn’t only Bond that caught our eye.  Q, Bond’s own personal iGenius, had his own style.  A style that drastically countered Bond’s, but was equally blog-worthy.

So, here’s the question:  Are you more Bond or more Q?

Q

If you went to MIT and majored in math and science, you’re probably a Q.   If Skymall is your favorite magazine, you’re probably a Q.  If you have a little bit of Brooklyn hipster in you, you’re definitely a Q.  Q is young, smart and fashionable.  He wears skinny ties, cardigans and duffel coats capitalizing on emerging trends and styles.  In the art museum scene Q rocks a solid Chambray tie like this DIBI tie from our collection.  When Q dons a brown cardigan later in the movie, he shows off a neat woven tie similar to this John Varvatos piece.  And I’m sure these 4GB USB cufflinks are right up Q’s alley.

BOND

If you think tweeting, pinning and tumblr are wrestling moves, you’re most likely a Bond.  Bond has that undeniable old school class and cool.  He doesn’t get caught up in what’s “hot” or “trendy.”  He wears suits.  High quality, well-tailored suits.  His style is timeless (after all, he’s been around for 50 years).  007 knows the worth of a good white pocket square, which is a staple.  In the museum scene with Q, Bond shows off a durable straight navy necktie, resembling this Armstrong & Wilson piece.  When Bond is chasing down bad guys in his classic greys, he wears a tie similar to this Yves Saint Laurent look.  Of course, the best Bond look is that midnight blue tux. – Now that’s style.-  Whether you know how to tie a bow tie or not, we’ve got you covered.  We have this pre-tied Giorgio Armani or this DIY (good luck) Michael Andrews Bespoke for any formal occasion.

So, who are you? More Bond or more Q?

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Dapper Up: Seven Sharp Looks For Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner, and while cutting out two holes in a bed sheet and dressing up as a ghost is easy, it’s also not very impressive.  With the recent reawakening in menswear, it’s time to use Halloween as an excuse to dapper up instead of gross out.  Here are 7 ideas to impress that sexy nurse or that cute Big Bird across the room.

1.  Don Draper

While you may not be as handsome as Jon Hamm (who is?), that doesn’t mean you can’t dress like him.  Mad Men is one of the best shows on TV and it’s led by the painfully cool Don Draper.  Don’s 1960’s swag is actually easier to pull off than you may think.  Start with a textured grey suit and a clean white dress shirt.  Throw on a straight single color tie and some silver cuff links.  Add a crisp white pocket square and a pair of oxfords and you’re half way there.  Break out the brylcreem for that sleek back over the side part, put on a steely face and there you have it, Don Draper.  Don’t forget when you’re at the bar order an Old Fashioned, Don Draper wouldn’t be caught dead holding a pink Cosmo.

2.  Nucky Thompson

If you’re going for that 1920s Prohibition era look, Nucky Thompson from Boardwalk Empire is your guy.  Nucky’s style leans heavy on classic fabrics and patterns mixed with bold colors and accessories.  Go vintage with a double breasted herringbone flannel suit, then add some color with a pastel orange shirt and a white detachable collar.  Now it’s time for the accessories, this is important because Nucky’s accessory game is on point.  Nucky always wears high quality pattern ties, try a straight gold paisley tie and DON’T forget the collar pin and the oversize rose boutonniere, both Nucky staples.

3.  Pee-wee Herman

If you haven’t noticed the nerd-chic look is in right now, and Pee-wee nails it.  Begin with a slim fitting grey glen plaid suit, a simple white dress shirt and a neatly tied red bow tie.  Fold a double peak white pocket square, throw on some white socks and some white shoes and you’re a Paul Ryan haircut away from Pee-wee.  If you really want to impress your friends tell the DJ to put on Tequila and get down.  *Bonus points if you can get your hands on an old school Schwinn.

4.  James Bond

With the new 007 movie due out November 9th, Bond will surely be a popular Halloween costume.  Whether it’s Connery, Moore, Brosnan or Craig, the Bond style hasn’t changed much in 50 years.  Dust off that black tuxedo you save for weddings, put on a midnight black bow tie, a pair of classy cuff links and finish off the outfit with a white pocket square.  Bring a toy pistol, keyword toy, and remember to order your martinis shaken not stirred.   

5.  Mister Rogers

Back before hipsters co-opted the cardigan and skinny ties, Mister Rogers rocked them nearly everyday.  Throw on a pair of vans, a nice pair of trousers, a white button down shirt, a skinny tie and, of course, a colorful zip-up cardigan and it’s that simple, you’re everyone’s favorite children’s television host.

6.  Clark Kent

So you want to be a superhero, but you don’t want to wear the tights?  Well here’s the loophole.  Clark Kent has impeccable style, Superman – eh – not so much.  Wear a three piece suit (preferably something light colored or tweed) with a striped tie and a white pocket square.  Of course you’ll need a pair of retro black framed glasses to protect your secret identity.  Add a fedora and a Superman t-shirt under your suit and you are the Man of Steel Clark Kent.

 7.  Gordon Gekko

Wall Street may have come out in 1987, but thanks to the 2012  Presidential election reviving the conversation on corporate raiders and whether or not greed is good, Gordon Gekko has never been more relevant   No matter what your feelings on Gordon Gekko are, there is no denying his style.  To pull off the perfect Gordon Gekko look, wear a blue shirt with a contrasting white collar, pleated plants and a straight pattern tie.  Lose the belt, strap on the suspenders, finish the look with a gold tie bar and gold watch.  Slick your hair back and ditch your iPhone for one of those brick looking things.  Greed’s never looked so good.

There you have it.  Seven looks that will definitely get you noticed this Halloween. And maybe if you play your cards right, you’ll get a little more than just noticed.