BE OUR GUEST: 5 Tips From a Fashionisto

The path to great style is rife with great highs and oh-my-god-wtf lows (remember when we all used to run around in Von Dutch trucker hats? #why), but we can all rest a little easier knowing it’s not a road we toe alone. Very few people come into this world as fully fledged fashion icons (remember when we were all mad jealous of Suri Cruise? #againwhy) after all! Today, our friend and dapper man about town, Ryan shares a little bit of his own style history, as well as his tips and tricks for creating a wardrobe that’s packed with personality. 

XO, The Committee

Hello guys and gals. I have a confession. I did not grow up a fashionisto. I did not pop out of the womb with a cute hat and an understanding of how that shirt goes with those pants. Somewhere, there are pictures of me from middle school with big, plastic glasses and a rattail (yes, I said a rattail-cut me some slack, it was the eighties). Then later in high school, I wore band shirts, JNCO jeans and some vans. I didn’t really get fashion.

During my first real job after grad school, a few things clicked for me. I looked around and started admiring the people that could really dress well. It seemed to have a good impact on their life, and people treated them well. Who doesn’t want that? This coupled with the age of TV shows like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and What Not to Wear (don’t lie, you watched them too!!!) taught me tips and gave me an avenue to think more about fashion. Then I worked at a shoe company. I learned how trends were set and spent some time talking to ladies who did this for a living. Soon, I started reading fashion magazines; and for me, it all came together.

It took some time and work to understand the rules of fashion (and later how to break them in the right way), and I want to pass that knowledge along to my fellow men. I noticed something after my recent trip to Europe. American men dress pretty shabby compared to many other parts of the world. No wonder our ladies think foreign men are so attractive (besides the accents). I say let’s “Make America Fashionable Again”! I can hear the scream now. Ryan, that sounds great, but I don’t know how. Fear not my gender! Here are my top five tips to help men dress better.

  1. Colors and Patterns Are Your Friend

First, don’t be afraid of color and patterns. Color and patterns are the paprika and garlic salt of life. You don’t have to just stick to the American man’s uniform of a blue shirt with tan khakis. There is a wide spectrum of colors. Try them on. If the color makes your skin look odd, then don’t wear that color in that tone. Really, just try them on. They won’t bite. Patterns, like color, can also give you a chance to show your personality. One tip for newbies is to pair a color or pattern with a basic (you know a black sweater or a blue or grey pair of pants). Color on top and a basic or pair of jeans on the bottom. Or vice versa. I love a black or grey sweater with red pants.

  1. Wear Clothes That Fit

Fit is important. Nothing looks sloppier than pants or a shirt that are two sizes too big. The opposite isn’t great either. If your buttons are about to pop on your pants or shirt, then it’s time for a new shirt. The bad part here is that with every brand having a different opinion on what large is you may have to try things on if you aren’t familiar with how that brand fits on you. Pants perfect but a little long? Take them in to the tailor. The cost is minimal and most tailors are fun to talk to.

  1. Glorious Footwear

They say you can tell a lot about a man by his shoes. We all have our things. Shoes are my thing (my dad calls me the Imelda Marcos of men). I may be a little biased, but I do believe there is some truth to this saying. My biggest piece of advice here is to make sure you take care of your shoes. Scuffed up and dirty shoes (when you aren’t working in a job that is rough on your footwear) just look messy. Bad or poorly taken care of shoes can take down a whole outfit. If you want to step up your shoe game, try some wingtips or something with more of a design. Many men often tell me comfort is all they care about. We live in a wondrous age. There are many shoes brands, like Stacy Adams that are making fashionable shoes with memory foam. I walked 19,000 steps in one day with a pair of these shoes. Comfort and fashion can exist in one pair of shoes.

  1. Add the Accessories

Accessories can really add to an outfit. It’s not just for women. A hat, a nice watch, a scarf or a pocket square in your jacket. Fashion is often about the little details. For me, my love of hats is a close second to shoes. Part of this is practical because my hair is deciding to slowly relocate to Florida without me (I have to assume that’s where it is going).

  1. Confidence is Key

Maybe the most important tip I can give you is just show confidence. Stop saying you can’t wear that color or that shirt. Why can’t you? No really, why? Have fun with your clothes. Life is too short. It’s just another way to show people who you are and what you enjoy. Incorporate a few of these tips and you may be the next Fashionisto. Maybe we can even start a club.

 

Happy shopping boys and remember let’s “Make America Fashionable Again”!

 

Fedora: Goorin Brothers

Sweater: Nordstrom

Pants: Express

Shoes: Prada (last season, similar)

 

 

 

You’ve Got To Fight For Your Right

Emily from Fashion By Committee- Express slim fit safety pin print portofino shirt, American Eagle jeggings, Target Mossimo faux leather moto jacket, Target merona drew pointed toe leopard print

Congratulations, you made it! Your first post-election holiday is in the books and if you’re reading this, then you survived the political minefield that is the Thanksgiving dinner table (pass the potatoes and sensible gun laws, please). You can pat yourself on the back, I won’t tell anyone (your coworker might but everyone knows they’re the one who keeps heating fish in the microwave, so who cares?). It’s pretty clear that no matter how you voted a couple weeks ago, everyone is feeling rawer than a thawing turkey these days. There are a lot of folks out there on who are struggling to make sense of the world today and figure out how to move forward. I am by no means an expert in anything other than being a well-dressed sass monster, but I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few weeks thinking about the kind of world I want to leave to future generations and how (to use that oft quoted Gandhi phrase) “to be the change I wish to see in the world”. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  • Raise your voice: Chances are you’ve got a couple of issues that you’ve got pretty steadfast stances on. Rather than debate the trolls on the message boards, take that passion to the streets and the people! Do a little research and figure out how you can be a positive ambassador for your cause(s). Try joining an organization that is making a difference or if you’ve got a unique spin, try starting one of your own! Oh, and don’t forget to write and call your congress people! These are the people that have been elected to the legislature to represent you, so be sure you let ’em know what matters to you (Unsure who those people are? You can easily figure out who your US representative and senators are and each state has its own state-level legislature website, so google away!) 
  • Shut your mouth, open your ears: I know this seems counterintuitive to the last point, but it’s important to remember that just because someone may disagree with you, it doesn’t mean they’re less than you. In fact, they probably have a reason for believing the things they do. If we all turn inward and only talk to like-minded people, we’re never going to solve the problems that face the world. You can’t hope to heal a wound without addressing the infection that plagues it. So rather than just dismiss everyone as a stereotype created by the internet, try learning someone else’s story. And while you’re listening, keep in mind that just because you have not experienced something doesn’t mean it’s not a thing that happens. I’ve never experienced a hurricane or an avalanche, but that doesn’t make them any less real.
  • Take care of others: December is officially here and that means that tis the season to remind people you love them. While you’re trying to think of the perfect gift for mom and pop (side note: anyone have any ideas what two people who birthed a bird boned, lizard person might like? Asking for a friend), I encourage you to consider those outside of your immediate circle and think about how you can brighten a few more holidays this year. Stick that spare change in a red kettle, pick up some toys for the tots, donate to disaster relief funds, or select a cause or two (or three or whatever) that matter to you and figure out how you can help out. Don’t have a lot of spare cash? Donate your time and skills by helping out at food pantries and soup kitchens, volunteering at a hotline, or organizing drives for those less fortunate. Don a safety pin (or in my case a shirt covered in them) to let those who need a shoulder to lean on know that they are safe with you. Figure out what matters to you and how you can help and then do that thing… and then after December is over, keep doing that thing because people don’t stop needing help after the holidays are over. This world would be a much brighter place if we all cared as fiercely about each other as we do about how awful Rory Gilmore is (and let’s face it, she’s the worst) or Hogwarts Houses.
  • Take care of yourself: On those particularly difficult days, it’s key to remember the most important person in your life: you. Watch a movie, read a book, play a game, listen to music, do something that allows you to tune out all of the commotion for an hour or two (I’m reading Anna Kendrick’s new book and listening to this playlist on spotify for those looking for inspo). Need to talk it out? Ain’t no shame in that! Schedule an appointment with a therapist, find a group, or call a friend! Mental health is super important and asking for help doesn’t make you weak- it means you’re strong enough and smart enough to know you don’t have all the answers.

Emily from Fashion By Committee- Express slim fit safety pin print portofino shirt, American Eagle jeggings, Target Mossimo faux leather moto jacket, Target merona drew pointed toe leopard printEmily from Fashion By Committee- Express slim fit safety pin print portofino shirt, American Eagle jeggings, Target Mossimo faux leather moto jacket, Target merona drew pointed toe leopard print Emily from Fashion By Committee- Express slim fit safety pin print portofino shirt, American Eagle jeggings, Target Mossimo faux leather moto jacket, Target merona drew pointed toe leopard print Emily from Fashion By Committee- Express slim fit safety pin print portofino shirt, American Eagle jeggings, Target Mossimo faux leather moto jacket, Target merona drew pointed toe leopard print Emily from Fashion By Committee- Express slim fit safety pin print portofino shirt, American Eagle jeggings, Target Mossimo faux leather moto jacket, Target merona drew pointed toe leopard print Emily from Fashion By Committee- Express slim fit safety pin print portofino shirt, American Eagle jeggings, Target Mossimo faux leather moto jacket, Target merona drew pointed toe leopard print Emily from Fashion By Committee- Express slim fit safety pin print portofino shirt, American Eagle jeggings, Target Mossimo faux leather moto jacket, Target merona drew pointed toe leopard print Emily from Fashion By Committee- Express slim fit safety pin print portofino shirt, American Eagle jeggings, Target Mossimo faux leather moto jacket, Target merona drew pointed toe leopard print

Safety Pin Print Shirt: Express

Jeans: American Eagle

Jacket: Target (similar)

Flats: Target

Emily from Fashion By Committee- Express slim fit safety pin print portofino shirt, American Eagle jeggings, Target Mossimo faux leather moto jacket, Target merona drew pointed toe leopard print