Unfortunately Trending Now: Funeral Attire and Sending Flowers

black silhouetteSomeone very close to me died this week.  Today is the service and I will have a speaking role.  I originally pictured myself in the black suit, black tie traditional garb.  Yesterday, the rest of the “inner circle” decided not to wear suits or ties, but rather dawn comfortable wear, which is their right to do during a very tough time.

As much as I like being the center of attention, this event is not about me. It’s about honoring the recently deceased, and those close.  However, I don’t feel as though I can honor, properly, wearing comfortable shoes and a knit shirt.

So here’s what I’m going with: Dark suit (not black), shirt with cufflinks and a pocket square.  The suit and cufflinks are formal.  The pocket square will be a floral pattern.   It’s my way of sending flowers.  I feel this approach is respectful to the moment, not divergent from the “inner circle’s” desires, and most importantly frames the words I will be sharing.  What you wear sets up an image for those you interact with.  Your personality, your words, your smile emerge through that, but you always want to get off to the right start.

Floral Pocket Square

When a professional golfer birdies the first hole, he or she is saying, “I came to play”.  There are 75 holes left to play to win the tournament, but that first impression sends a message that matters (to the media, the other players, and to their own brain).

I’m pleased with this approach. And the added bonus is that I won’t be mistaken for the limo driver.

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Trending: an Overcoat-less winter?

It’s December and snow is on the ground in the Northeast.  Winter is here for a while.  The holidays, skiing, and sipping port by the fire are all things I look forward to, but the day to day “Winter Tax” is well, taxing.

Winter Tax – all the extra stuff that’s necessary for day to day living in cold climates.  Hats, scarves, boots, overcoats and gloves come out of the closets.  You need a scraper and a shovel if you own a car.   You have to constantly stomp your feet at the door to keep the salt off the floors.  (I once hosted a New Years party during an ice storm, and over-salted the walk-way, so no one would slip.  I’m still finding the occasional crystal near the corner molding).

Unlike the looming cliff talk, this tax is already here.  Is there a means to lighten the load?  Perhaps.

I will attempt this season to shed the overcoat.

A suit + scarf, hat, and gloves can keep one perfectly warm – up to a point.  I have pulled this off successfully this season, without being the least bit cold.  This has worked with light snow, and in 29-degree weather.  I will keep pushing this limit, until I reach chill point.  (Aside – a winter fedora will not mess up and will protect setting hair cream from precipitation as well)

Note – I HATE being cold.  So my chill point is conservative.

Once I hit the chill point, I will try the newly fashionable “field vest”.

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The modern insulates are so thin, the vest will fit under the suit jacket.  No more bulky than a sweater.  Yes, it’s an extra piece of clothing, but it’s sooo much less bulky than the winter topcoat, and you won’t be confused with a Siberian prison guard.  These vests are everywhere and cheap.  I have one from Lands End, but am on the prowl for another.

Now the super cold and pounds of falling flakes may still call for the dreaded 10-pound overcoat, but at least that will be a rare occasion.

Thoughts?  Give it a try and share your experiences here.

Trending: Death to “Garanimals”

It’s so easy.  Like paint-by-numbers, Ramen noodles, and cameras on phones – the simplicity has made it easy for us.  Match a blue striped tie with a blue shirt.  Pair a solid green tie with the green stripes in a shirt.  And sport the ever-so-bold solid yellow tie and solid yellow shirt.  We guys could do this.  We didn’t need to be Clinton Kelly, Deon Sanders or Cee Lo Green.   We could pull this off.  Macys, Express, and every store with their prominent displays helped us buy.   Our girls would bring us these perfectly paired gifts, and we liked them.  We understood how to match.

However men, we have evolved (and we’re no longer 4).

It’s not as hard as it seems.  Mix colors.  Mix Fabrics.  Even mix patters.  It’s that simple.  What’s important is that they compliment each other.  Said simply, contrast is complimentary.

  • Example 1:  small stripes on a tie won’t go well with small stripes on a shirt.  But those small stripes will go with checks.
  • Example 2:  pair yellow with blue, green with orange, black with pink (this one is endless…)
  • Example 3: A tie other than silk – these are designed to contrast and compliment

If you don’t start mixing and matching, you’re going to soon be “You know who”.  You know “you know who”.  The one who still wears the ten-year-old pleated pants and comfortable shoes.  He wears full turtlenecks, not mocks.  The guy who thinks he looks nice and with it, but hasn’t received a woman’s compliment on an outfit since the half-life of said pants and turtle.  The guy…..you get it.  (If you don’t believe me, GQ’s 2012 Fall Style Playbook says so too!).

If anyone questions your choice, just say with confidence, “Garanimals are dead.  Contrast is in.  Get with it!”

DISCLAIMER – In no way shape or form does Homerstyle wish harm to Garan Inc. (owner of Garanimals), childrens’ clothing or animals (with the exception of the chipmunks that keep trying to break into my attic to fornicate and breed).  It is a brilliant outfit selection solution (for 4-year-olds).