So today officially launches my new bi-monthly column, Style Mavens. I will be the first to admit that it isn’t a unique idea to feature fabulous people in fabulous clothes, but Style Mavens will veer slightly from The Sartorialist format and feature only people I know. You see, I want to put my vast Facebook network to use. One of my favorite social networking features is the photo sharing functionality. Not only do I enjoy seeing my friends in action, but I am consistently inspired by their style choices… Now don’t panic, I will always ask for your approval before poaching a photo and Style Mavens will always be about the best in class, so nothing but glowing critique!
Last week, I pretty much bashed preppy style in my Prepped Out entry. Now of course, my commentary is usually generalized and my point-of-view can always be broadened, so I am open to differing ideas. You see, the best part about style is it evolves and changes; it is fluid… So, when I am exposed to fashion that expands my sense of style, I feel compelled to celebrate it and at times even contradict myself! This is why I chose to launch Style Mavens with a photo of my friend Brendan, who actually embodies Preppy Done Right.
I love the way he looks in this photo. He celebrated New Year’s in the Bahamas, lucky guy, and is the portrait of island-party-chic. First of all, I adore his Hugo Boss jacket. The perfect modern plaid, great trim detail, sexy fit. I love when a man has the confidence to ignore formal dressing rules and deviates from the norm. Use this as an example to break out of your typical Black Tie rut. You can wear it now for any dressier occasion with black pants, white shirt, black bowtie, basically the way Brendan styled it and then break it our again in the warmer weather with white pants, khakis (a al Brendan) or a pair of dark rinse jeans. Of course, think about the type of Black Tie or cocktail occasion you are attending before you choose your pairings. If you need advice, always feel free to ask me…
Here the bowtie is pefect! He chose a narrow, tightly formed version, which proportionally works beautifully with the bold plaid. He also went simple with the shirt choice. When going pattern-strong, a clean, unfussy shirt is always the flawless alternative.
Plaid is also so versatile… Brendan chose to dress it up, but this jacket would also look great with some of the new more distressed denim washes, the perfect J. Crew Oxford shirt and a cool pair of sneaks. You don’t have to stick with a white shirt; a classic Oxford blue or even a very subtle blue stripe would work as well. If trying the pattern mix, only attempt if you really have fashion confidence. If you don’t, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with subtlety!
Look for lots of plaid jacket options for Spring 2009. Some of my favorites are from Z Zegna, think modern, slim fit, slightly quieter than Brendan's and prices that are accessible. I also love the plaids that Thom Browne designed for the Black Fleece Collection at Brooks Brothers. Of course, you pay for Thom's innovative talent, but for the true fashionophiles, his are the go-tos.
Well, I hope you share my love of Brendan’s modern preppy look and feel compelled to let him know how fab he is! If you happen to have one of your great style moments captured on film, then please send to me, as you never know when you may become the next The Gift Of Style, Style Maven.