Monthly Archives: January 2011

I Choo-Choo-Choose You

So while I was attempting to avoid work on this glorious Monday morning I found this gem of an article on Yahoo Shopping. It was tagged with the title “Valentine’s Gift’s She’ll Really Love” so obviously I had to check out the list.

GQ’s Valentine’s Day Gifts Women Will Flip For

Now I’m not sure who GQ asked to contribute to this list but how about some insight from a lady who sits every Valentine’s Day waiting for a secret admirer to send her something as simple as a cardboard Justin Bieber Valentine her way.

First of all, you don’t even know who Phillip Lim is, do you? Second you’re going to buy your wife expensive laundry detergent for Valentine’s Day. Super romantic Romeo. Does that sound like something she’ll want? Not really. She’ll probably surf the net until she finds out how much you spent on this gift and badger you because you could have put that towards a nice bouquet of flowers. Those flowers may only last a week but guess what it’s not $36 Tide.

And a pillow. How….thoughtful? Ok at first glance it does sound like a really great and creative gift for the wifey (ugh how I hate that word) but really think about it. She probably decorated your house and for good reason. You’re color blind and have no concept of matching patterns. So if you think that a gift that revolves around the marital bed is your cup of tea you actually can stick with this website. Try a comfy sheet set in a high thread count. She’ll probably love that better and if she doesn’t she can always cover the sheets with a comforter.

The J Crew Vintage Pajamas set. Now we’re cooking with gas. I’ve actually looked at these myself and could really use a pair. And if you’re taking orders I’ll take them navy, size small, my initials are KAK. These are a great idea for your beautiful wife and if she’s anything like me she’ll never want to get out of bed on Sunday Funday.

So onto your mother. I honestly don’t know any guy who has bought their mother a gift for Valentine’s Day but just go with the flow. I’d have to say the only meaningful gift on this list is probably my favorite of the entire article. I really love the idea of getting a lady friend, not exactly your mother, the Forget Me Knot ring. It’s quite a charming idea and would be great for your wife or even the lovely lady you’ve only been dating a few months. Perhaps even a gal you’ve been admiring from afar. I’ve actually already spread the word to some male friends to purchase one for their GFs so apologies if your size is on backorder.

As for the decoratively wrapped soap and Napoleon knives….really? Don’t even think about it.

Now onto the gifts that really count. It seems like the writers stepped up their game on this list. Probably because this it where the Valentine’s gift really counts. She’s not yet you’re wife, not even close to being your mother but you have to impress her so she’ll stick around until the summer. The ring is a cute idea but if you want to buy her one either go big with a Tiffany’s diamond and sapphire bauble (oh wait I’m the only one waiting around for that sucker) or stick with the Forget Me Knot.

As for the notebook, skip it. You actually can have macaroons shipped to your lady friend. Try these authentic French treats from Sucre in New Orleans.

So you don’t think any of those gifts with impress your gal for Valentine’s Day. How about a couple more ideas from yours truly.

Remember the good old days when you and your middle school girlfriend would exchange mixtapes while passing each other in the hall? Yeah me neither. I’m still waiting for my Say Anything moment. Well now you can make your real life girlfriend, who you actually see outside of health class, a modern day mixtape. Fill up this USB drive shaped like a cassette tape with some memorable songs that she can listen to on her laptop at home or even at work.

Want a little something to go along with it. Get her a copy of Rob Sheffield’s Love Is A Mixtape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time. It’ll rock any music lover’s world.

There is not a girl out there who will ever reject flowers. And while we’re at it, Winston Flowers. Splurge a little if you’re going to buy her some buds. Maybe skip the red roses in exchange for some beautiful tulips. Most girls will say they never want flowers delivered to work on V-day but she’ll be the envy of the office once the Winston van shows up just for her. Everyone else will be putting together their bouquet from 1-800-Flowers and she’ll be happy as a clam with an arrangement like this one.

Just don’t ever take your advice for a Valentine’s gift from a bunch of dudes. Sorry GQ but stick to what you’re good at. Dressing men in suits or posting a gallery of half naked woman and naming it ‘The Women on GQ’.

Who spilled the beans?

You’re a baller on a budget waiting for your tax return check but you feel like you need to spice up your wardrobe for the rest of winter. Check out a couple gems from LL Bean Signature that will add a little pep to your winter gear without breaking the bank. And don’t forget, just click on the picture and it’ll take you right to the site.
Bean’s Signature line has been around for a little less than a year. I think it’s a great addition to the LL Bean Company. It’s got that great traditional New England feel without making you look like you harvest maple sap in the woods of Vermont for a living.

Got a weekend trip coming up with a couple of the boys and you don’t want to borrow your girlfriend’s Vera Bradley duffle to pack your stuff? Try this Vacation Bag. Although it has a $225 price tag it’s really a steal. This leather bag will last you forever. It’s got a classic look and remember LL Bean has a lifetime warranty. It’s totes magoats worth it!

I’m sure by now we all know my love for a matching belt and shoes. Try this Link Belt on for size. If you’re the type that doesn’t think you’ll ever be caught in something trendy than this belt is for you. It will add just the right amount of pizzazz to your life.

Every boy needs a corduroy blazer in their fall and winter wardrobe. If you’re going to buy one this winter I’d say get yourself one of these Cord Blazers. The Black Coffee and Black Slate are great staples to any closet but stay away from the Saddle; it’ll be a little harder to match. Wear it to work or on a date. I know a grey cord blazer that’s done wonders for a friend’s love life.

Retire a few of those freebie t-shirts you got on promo nights at the bar. No judging I’ve got a few of those in my drawer: Pabst Blue Ribbon and The Knot Whiskey. I just don’t wear mine outside the apartment like you. Henleys are great for the weekend if you’re just hanging out on a friend’s couch going on your eighth hour of Wii or getting your day time drinking on. At around $30 a piece get yourself two or three. Think about it, you won’t have to do laundry as often.

Watch where you step ’cause I’m about to drop some knowledge

The new year in underway and it seems like for a lot of men out there “asking more ladies out on dates” is top on their resolution lists. Ok well maybe second to “I won’t go to the bar on a Tuesday night anymore” but we all knew that would not last. So with a hop skip and a jump over to they’re now asking all those ladies out on said dates. How do I know this? Every lady and their mother I know is going out on dates. I mean not me obviously. I’ve got one hot date this week and it is with my couch and this laptop. Just because I’m in a dry spell doesn’t mean I haven’t had my fair share of Awktown, USA dates in the past. Which is why I’m going to help y’all out with some basic rules to dating a real life lady.

Asking the girl on the date. So you got her number and you’ve been having a lovely banter back and forth via text during your lunch break. That doesn’t mean its ok to ask her out on a date via text. Or even worse via email. Believe me I’ve had the best of both worlds. Not only have I been asked out through my Gmail but also dumped via work email. Super classy stud. So pick up the phone. Yes guys you can actually talk into that iPhone. I’m telling you right now she’s not going to answer so be ready to leave a charming message asking her out. She’ll call you back if she’s interested and she’ll most likely be more interested because you’re the one guy who called, not texted, her an invitation.

Picking the date spot. I’ve had some experience in this arena as well. I’ve done dinner, drinks, a bar crawl on one of the hottest nights of the summer and even a group date. Yes he actually invited his friends along for the ride. Drinks is probably the safest bet. Now just because you’re getting drinks doesn’t mean you get a Pass Go Monopoly card straight back to her apartment afterwards. It basically means she’s on the fence about you and doesn’t know if she can hack spending over an hour with you. Dinner is for something serious. Maybe someone you really like and maybe have already known for a while. You’ll have more to talk about because you actually know her. You didn’t just meet her while sharing a scorpion bowl at the Hong Kong. Pick a place that’s not too romantic and it should be casual. Word to the wise. Don’t try to show off and take her to Toro because she’ll want their delish corn on the cob and she won’t be able to order it if she’s dressed to impress.

Now one place you should not take her on the first date is a movie. You were thinking that was a great idea weren’t you? You cannot talk to her during the movie. Ok maybe during the the previews if you are lucky. Plus unless she’s a diamond in the rough she won’t want to see The Mechanic (it looks kind of great, right?) . She’ll think Gnomeo and Juliet looks “super cute” and drag you along to that. Think about it. Do you really want to chance that movie choice?

Another note. Don’t ever ask a girl on a running/work out date. Please don’t. It is not a date. You can’t hold hands while running down the Esplanade and not look completely ridiculous. You won’t be able to talk if you’re trying to keep up while the triathlete smokes you.

The outfit. You want to dress to impress correct? So unless you plan on running a marathon leave the sneakers at home. Put on some real shoes. Believe me it’ll do wonders for you. And first dates are usually casual right? So keep it casual. Jeans. Check. Real life shoes. Check. A nice, pressed button down (maybe a sweater if you’re feeling lucky). Check. And don’t forget the matching belt. You thought I forgot, huh? Whatever you do don’t show up in manpris. I don’t care how hot it is. She won’t take you seriously from the get go so you mine as well not show up at all.

The date is over. It went so great you’re pretty sure she’s your future wife. Send her a short text on your way home (don’t text and drive y’all). One of the best post date messages I received was ‘forgot to say you looked great tonight’. He wasn’t lying, I did look sharp. Granted this guy wasn’t my future husband (he actually hijacked my favorite black headband that I never saw again) but its short and sweet and makes a gal feel special. So you want to go on another date. Just because you called her the first go around doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods. Call her again for another date. The three day rule is completely bogus. Three hours, yes that’s a little stalkerish, but if she really likes you she’ll like hearing from you the next day saying you want to hang out again. But for the love of Gucci save your text messages for the boys and call her back!

Now I know you’re thinking “I’ve been on plenty of dates and had great luck with most of them so why should I change my ways?” Just because you’ve had great luck doesn’t mean you’ve been dating correctly Casanova. It just means the ladies of Boston have lowered their standards to find their future husband. They all think chivalry is dead so surprise your next date. Call her. Open the door. If you’re driving open the passenger side door for her…don’t do the lean across the stick shift and unlock the door. Dress appropriately. And most importantly she’s probably dating down and she’s out of your league so if you really really like her, act like it.

Men in their monkey suits

Most people are talking about the women of the Golden Globes. Who they were wearing, why in the world they thought a giant red rose on their chest would be appropriate or why they were even invited to the awards in the first place. But here at Bow Ties in Boston we’re giving the low down on all the men of the night. Because let’s face it, they all looked better than 95% of the women last night. The boys clean up well.

Christian Bale

Bale did the black on black very well. I liked the sheen finish on the lapel but the hair irks me. Maybe it’s because I’m just a little jealous he has better hair than me.

Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake does the slim cut tux very well for a guy who’s not stick thin. The beard on the other hand could have been left at home. Grizzly Adams doesn’t belong on the red carpet.

James Franco

James Franco always looks high…its a fact. He does look great in a classic tux but I may be a little bias towards the love of my life.

Johnny Depp

Depp is always going to show up on the red carpet wearing something a little different. I like that he didn’t wear a tie and added his pocket chain to include his own personal style. The one thing he could have left at home…his shoes. Just buy a pair of real dress shoes Johnny. Trust me they’ll change your life.

Joseph Gordon-Leavitt

Be still my heart JGL. He can do no wrong in my eyes. I love that he stayed true to his style and wore the slim cut tux. He’s teeny tiny and can definitely pull it off. Also one of the only presenters who memorized his lines.

Mark Salling

Now I don’t watch Glee so it may be part of the story line but sorry Mark no one looks good with a faux hawk. No one. Shave your head for the Globes. I’m sure your hawk will grow back fast enough to start shooting again for Glee.

Mark Wahlberg

Hometown boy does the classic tuxedo right. Nothing over the top because he doesn’t have to. Just look at the face!!

Ricky Gervais

I liked that he tried something different with a textured tux but it didn’t work. He looked like a Las Vegas magician. He should have never stepped foot on the red carpet with those work boots. The Ray Bans worked though. I always love a man in Bans.

Robert Downey Jr

Mr. Tux called….they need their groomsmen suit back.

Alex Pettyfer

Um hello new comer. I don’t know you but I just IMDB’d you and you haven’t been in too much so I don’t feel so bad. Your British so that’s a plus and you look great in your tux. I like the slim tie on you as well.

thanks yahoo! for letting me use your images

Let’s go home and knock boots

Its wintertime in Boston which means every other day we hear of an impending Blizzard of 2011. What better way to wait out the next storm than by stocking up on a pair of boots you can trudge through the snow in while you are cursing the Snow Gods for not closing the office for the day. Hope one of these tickles your fancy. Click on the image and it’ll take you right to the site. Can’t say I never made this easy for ya!

For the Urban Lumberjack: are you originally from the wild Midwest who’s wardrobe consists mainly of plaid shirts? These boots will fit seamlessly into your wardrobe for the nor’easters or ‘snow flurries’ compared to your home state.

The Closet Fashion Case: put a little pep in your step and I swear if I ever see you wear these boots around town I will definitely throw a compliment in your direction. So long as you are wearing a matching belt.

For the Date in the Middle of a Snow Storm: you have a date with a lady you’ve been pining after for a month and a Blizzard of 2011 is not about to stand in your way. These boots lace up high enough so you do not need to dodge those pesky puddles but when tucked under jeans they look like loafers perfect for your date.

Wellies for Men: a little jealous of the women in your life sporting their wellies outside keeping their feet dry and warm? Here’s a nice pair of masculine wellies for you to slip on and curb those jealousy issues.

The ‘I Refuse to Change Out of My Boots When I Get to Work” (casual): need a pair of boots to get you through your commute but too lazy to carry your work shoes along? Tuck these bad boys under your khakis or cords and still look professional all day long.

The ‘I Refuse to Change Out of My Boots When I Get to Work” (business attire): I cannot guarantee that these boots are made for the snow storms of Boston but just imagine how hot you will look in them on the 501 bus AND during your 2PM conference call.

The Wanna Be Brit: Hunter boots are one of England’s best imports…aside from Burberry and Daniel Craig in a swimsuit. Have your own piece of the British Isles and trudge through the snow banks while you do it.

My Motorcycle Riding Boyfriend: a girl can dream right. Thought I’d put the option out there just in case my dream man does exist.

Speedos are only acceptable when you’re saving animals

You know what’s better than a well dressed man? A well dressed man who’s willing to run through Los Angeles in a Speedo all to save animals.
My good friend Alex will be running the LA Marathon on March 20th for a great cause. He will be raising money for the lovely organization Noah’s Wish. Knowing my weakness for helping animals in need I received an email from him this morning about his quest. If Alex reaches his goal of $1500 he will run through the streets of the City of Angels in nothing but trainers and a Speedo. So you get the best of both worlds; saving animals in need and seeing a man half naked!
Noah’s Wish is a unique animal welfare organization dedicated to rescuing and sheltering animals in disasters through out the US and Canada.

If you’re interesting in donating to the cause check out Alex’s site. And how could you not want to help after seeing the face of this cutie. I’m talking about Sandy the dog not Alex the human.

And on the eighth day God created fashion

Like a good ol game of touch football the first thing to dressing appropriately is laying out some ground rules. Just following these five simple things will land you far above 85% of most men. I like to call them the Five Commandments but let’s sugar coat this for you and call them guidelines.

1. I will not wear jeans tighter than my girlfriend.

Now this could be your girlfriend, your sister, your best gal friend or just the lady you’re trying to snag a date with. No one is going to take you seriously if it looks like you bought your bottoms at Gap Kids. Let’s face it you’re as uncomfortable wearing them as we are watching you wear them. I often hyperventilate thinking how much I wouldn’t be able to breath wearing those things! So if you are the skinny jean type of guy try these jeans from Levi’s. They’re slim fit for the boys with a 32″ waist line but have a relaxed fit which won’t make me hyperventilate when I see you in them.

2. I shall not carry anything resembling a purse.

A Murse as it’s not so fondly called. A purse is for ladies not for gentlemen. You just look weird carrying one around. So if you really need a bag to carry around stuff like your phone, wallet, your game boy…then grab a messenger bag like this one. It’s super classic so it’ll never go out of style and it’s got lots of pockets you can throw your chap stick in.

3. Mandals are never appropriate footwear.

Never. If your feet are hot throw on a pair of flip flops. But not those foam shower shoes you wore down the hall to microwave your ramen in your freshman dorm. Try these on for size. I promise you’ll like them much better than a pair of brown Crocs.

4. My belt will always match my shoes.

This may sound simple but it’s almost never followed. Every man should have at least two belts in their closet. A black belt to match your black shoes and a brown belt to match your brown shoes. Check out this snazzy this get up I picked out for you. Simple enough….some classy brown wing tips and a simple belt to match. Now look how easy that was!

5. Honor your pride. Don’t wear man-pris.

Man-pris should have never been created. If you’re hot wear shorts. If you’re chilly put on a pair of pants. There is no need for a hybrid called man-pris. They look awful on a date even if you can roll your own cigarettes with one hand and have your other arm around me….I mean…they need to be retired with your mandals, Now. Get yourself a basic pair of short. You can sport them with flip flops or if you’re fancy a pair of boat shoes to wear on your yacht.

Bow ties are the new black

It’s the Monday after New Year’s Day and you’re on your computer which can mean one of two things. You’re writing a regret filled emailed to your friend about what happened Friday night, how it never should have happened and maybe you should have just kissed that complete stranger at midnight instead of the person you sat across from at brunch the next morning. Or you’re googling ‘diet detox’ or ‘Boston gym membership’ because you gained a few unwanted pounds during the holiday season. Well even though I should probably being doing both of those things I’m not. I’m already fulfilling one, if the not the easiest, of my three new years resolutions. My three resolutions being: 1. At the ripe old age of 26- start acting like an adult 2. Stop snogging boys outside my favorite neighborhood bar and 3. Start a blog. The first two may not sound difficult but if you know any thing about me I’ll probably drop them like a bad habit in two weeks time. So that leads me to the last one…start a blog. And BAM! Welcome to Bow Ties in Boston.
Why men’s fashion you ask? It combines my two favorite things: fashion and men. Easy enough…not really. I’ve dressed men almost my whole life. My most recent success being my Dad who I’d say after finally throwing out his pleated khaki pants collection (his worst fashion vice); is the best dressed man I know personally. No offense men but I have a weakness for cuff links and a perfectly starched white French cuff shirt. I feel like I’ve been helping the men in my life with their fashion for a very long time. Whether it be picking out a tie and shirt for their next job interview, choosing one must have article of clothing they’re going to use their next pay check on instead of paying rent, picking out their girlfriend’s Christmas present or getting a late night text asking ‘can I wear my white sneakers on a date tomorrow’. The advice I give in return may not be what they want to hear but it’s the truth.
They say dress for the person you want to be. Well by walking down the streets on Boston on a daily basis I see a lot of men who want to be either personal trainers going to lunch in their swishy pants and running sneakers or teenage girls in their skin tight jeans and Justin Bieber bangs. Don’t get me wrong I’m not picking on just men. I sit next to those BU girls with black leggings tucked into their UGGS on the T but that’s a whole other blog. The men’s fashion is where I come in. Like a tourist taking the Green Line for the first time I feel like many Boston men are lost when it comes to fashion. There are not too many people out there who are trying to help the men of Boston dress better. I know it’s possible. I’ve seen it with my own eyes and hope this blog can help you fellas out.
So welcome to a new year, a new blog and a new you. Yes, I mean you in the ill fitting button down standing by the bar at Dillon’s with a vodka redbull in hand.