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Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Layover Uniform

As a fellow frequent traveler, Anthony Bourdain's new show "The Layover" hits close to home. The sight seeing haste, enjoying random restaurants and meeting locals is something that is unique to those roaming the globe. Experiencing different cultures in this manner is just mesmerizing to the soul; to glance out into the world and see the richness of humanity. In each corner of the planet, a different delicacy, language, custom and life. Not many can say they have embarked on such a journey and for those that are yet to do it and have the means with which to do it, why aren't you on a plane today?

But I digress from the topic at hand with my rather brief trip into the philosophies of intangible wealth. Let's focus on what we are here to do, talk about style and flair for the most part with the occasional deep thinking quips as experienced above. With traveling often, as is the case with the ever so unsubtle and uniquely arrogant Bourdain, a trait which comes so natural to him that it defines his very being and on air persona; a certain je ne c'est quois his show could not afford to do without, certain clothes quickly become your favorites.

A favorite shirt to wear while on the plane; a specific shoe, pair of pants or whatever the item may be. Ergo, we will call this the layover uniform. We all have it, cherish it and swear by it.

Let's analyze Bourdain's good sense of style and mobility. Watching his episodes in Miami, Montreal and Hong Kong you see a pattern develop. He is wearing a button up shirt with rolled up sleeves; what appears to be Desert Boots or Chukkas, a pair of sunglasses with a lot of pizzazz and a good old reliable pair of jeans (A bow to the Germanic-American denim God, Levi Strauss [1829-1902]).

A few shots of Bourdain will confirm my aforementioned description and further boost my keen sense of style which so many would benefit from...
In Montreal
In Miami
In Hong Kong

It is safe to say Bourdain possesses not only the essential gene to turn his arrogance into charm, the culinary skills obtained through years of experience as well as a fine tuned (whether he is aware of it or not) sense of style. A combination not found on many TV show hosts, making his shows a niche that is appreciated by many who share much of the same qualities and live vicariously through his traveling repertoire.

Onto the clothing:

Button Ups are easy to find and purchase. My recommendation would be either a nicely fit and comfortable, yet affordable J. Crew shirt (I find that plaids or checkered patterns are the most flexible). Perhaps a more expensive and durable shirt which will weather the storms of covering a torso that has slept in closed quarters surrounded by fuselage for several hours, sweating while waiting for a taxi in a hot day outside an airport's arrivals area during high summer in humid Asia and has gone through many more ordeals much like Indiana Jones' Hat.

More expensive options can be found at Hugo Boss or Bonobos as well (one my favorites of course).

The pants need no other suggestion than some good old Made in the USA Levi's; specifically some 501's. They are durable, made with great materials and beautiful. These can be found anywhere, here's a quick link at Brooks Brothers.

The boots are the very foundation from which this solid uniform is built. Two options present themselves here. A Clark's relatively affordable pair of Desert Boots:

Or even a more expensive option such as a Hannah from Grenson (UK):

Finally for the pièce de résistance, the Sunglasses. Tom Ford is a damn good option in my book, specifically the Campbell model. Is this hitting close to Bourdain's taste (pick up on the pun yet?) in travel wear? Perhaps it is, perhaps it isn't. It's fairly close enough though.
The watch will be omitted, since this is a highly critical piece that is of particularly unique taste to each individual. A sensitive subject that deserves its own blog post at a later date.

This is it for now. As a closing message; do yourself a favor and watch Bourdain's new show "The Layover" on the Travel Channel in HD. It's a gem.

I have a plane to catch. Gotta go.


Wishing everyone around the world a wonderful New Year with much joy and love. Hoping that life presents each one of you with grand opportunities for inner growth as well as those that expand professional horizons. May you plan ahead for the new year wisely and not let another amazing gift of life be wasted!

It's so cool to see when and where NYE has already been (or will be) celebrated, check out this awesome ticker at
Be safe, be good.

It's Winter, but it's Florida...

Winter in Florida is unlike most other corners of the country. It can get rather cool, but for the most part it hovers around comfortable. Allowing the finest of outfits to be worn sans infinite layering. Unfortunately, as it is Florida, fashion is not always the top priority on everyone's list. It seems as if the norm are flip flops, cargo shorts and some Affliction/Tap Out/Ed Hardy type shirt. Looks really cool, and it takes guys to a whole new level of bad ass.
Everyone has their own style and if it's working; fantastic. However, there are many better options out there. Below is a short example of a great look good for a 'day' outing in comfortable weather. All of the needed items can be obtained through Bonobos. Their service is highly recommended. Cheaper options are available as well, but you can't beat the quality to price ratio. It rings true.

Here's the outfit; you can try any mix of the below items with different colors and experiment as you wish:

The Pants: The Rawhides
The Shoes: Finn Lace Ups Dark Brown
The Shirt: Fall River - Dark Wash
The Sweater(s): Grey or Navy Wellington

The Blazer(s): The Lewis or The Clark (Both on sale!)

Anyway, I'm out of here...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A tale of the legendary Wing Man

[To be read in a British Accent]

It was a drunken night in one of Downtown Orlando's many venues. A band of brothers, not to be confused with HBO's fantastic World War II depiction of camaraderie through a group of young men enduring the effects of war on the senses, but to be thought of as the typical contemporary group of "broskies" hanging out and to quote the greatest bandana-extension helmet wearing man alive, Brett Michaels: looking for nothing but a good time.

At the clubs the midnight hour approached. Females intoxicated, males emasculated by failed attempts at potential future coitus with the aforementioned, the "broskies" not yet exposed to this true battlefield of drunken lust carried on like a pride of lions entering the nearest watering hole during an African plateau drought seeking to establish dominance. In fact just like lions, establishing their territories via urine. Consequently, tougher to contain the higher the blood alcohol level content gets, like a single person bathroom in a nursing home filled with geriatrics with bladder issues, males flock to release this pressure at the nearest water closet. It’s a truly riveting observation.

Following the marking of this territory, the "broskies" embark on a journey of immediate empty and skewed fulfillment, and morning regrets.

Out on the dance floor, many ritual mating habits to entice a potential mate are on display. Both sexes simultaneously engaging in what could only be described as "seizures" by the professionals teaching at Oxford's medical school, truly a sight to behold for sober eyes.

Carrying on, the "broskies" flocked to the main bar facing this metaphorical cattle herded in a square footage reflective of a Manhattan flat. On display, bodies upon bodies moving in and out of rhythm, doing a little dance; potentially making a little love and getting down tonight, getting down to the down to the floor, Ludicrous.

While watching this moving mass of ridiculously tight dresses for the ladies and popped collars for the gents, reeking of an orgy of various smells ranging from the finest perfumes to the strongest musky odor and fag smoke, drinks are ordered unrelentingly by the "broskies".

Scoping out the females of this mass within a flickering light that switches on and off to the Trance, like Magellan with his fleet; looking for new lands to anchor, explore and conquer. After a brief period, one of the 'shipmates' spots an area to where he confidently sends one of his crew as a 'landing' party, much like Star Trek where the ensign might never return aboard... a small herd of the opposite sex seems to be talking wildly about this particular 'broskie envoy' who is just one of the cells within this body of "broskies". Through a 'bro-pull' of the arm, the shipmate pushes this individual towards the women pack.

Noticing that one of the females seemed particularly interested in him as if he was a brand new Louis Vuitton purse marked down by 90%, he charges straight ahead towards her. In a drunken lack of inhibition which would have otherwise kept him at bay in any other scenario, he is courageous enough to strike up small insignificant chatter. Showing intense interest, the next orchestrated move is to get her to the dance floor. Consequently, he asks her to dance and she obliges.

Unbeknownst to him, after having consumed enough Jack with his 'broskies' to have his blood flammable if lighting a cigarette, his breath does not reflect his rather strikingly handsome male ruggedness. Out on the middle of the dance floor with his prey he pulls her closer in a foolish attempt to exchange small words. After realizing this is becoming more and more like a shouting game between two deaf old men playing chess at a park bench, he seizes verbal communication and commences operation Pink Dawn. He brings her ever so close to his own body, feeling every curve of her structure until amidst the distance at the end of the dance floor he spots his fellow mate whom had sent him out to conquer waving him down.

The light is flickering, the place is jam packed, he is having a hard time trying to decipher what his buddy is gesturing to him from afar. After some strategic re-positioning of the female to where he can clearly see his buddy through the crowd, he realizes that the signal is intended to let him know that his breath is kicking like a donkey. Unfortunately, there is no way to remedy this as he is on the dance floor about to seal the deal, but now he is unsure of his next move because of his own awareness of his halitosis thanks to his 'broski' wingman. He signals from the dance floor to his buddy on standby that there is nothing he can do...

When suddenly, charging through the packed mass on the dance floor, on a mission impossible [insert MI theme music] his mate inconspicuously dances through the crowd like the French antagonist, Francois Toulour, danced through lasers in Ocean's twelve while unwrapping the solution to what could possibly bring the entire operation back online; delicious sweet mint flavored stride gum.

He reaches his buddy, with the most audacious gyrations and jukes not seen since Jim Brown and Walter Peyton while flawlessly dancing like Michael Jackson in ‘Don't stop 'til you get enough’:

While simultaneously unwrapping this ever so important ‘golden ticket’ of a piece of gum. When he gets within a distance reasonable enough for a smooth hand off like a spontaneous last minute lateral pass that will lead to the endzone in a last second decision; this piece of gum is handed off ‘Houdini’ style right into the hands of his chap. A winning strategy as the female prey remained oblivious to the recent exchange which will go down in history as the tale of the greatest wingman.

Once his breath was mentos...

...fresh, he moved in for the kill and claiming victory as the female prey was quite responsive to his approach. However, little did he know that his good old friend “Jack” who had hitherto given him the courage to follow through and the bad breath which lead to the aforementioned greatest tale had also skewed his vision.

In the darkness of the flickering lights and the heat of the moment, this prey looked to be delicious and ready to be consumed at will.

Even after having been warned by this great athletic dancing wingman for the ages of the prey's looks; he decided to follow through with the exchange of contact information. Eventually for a follow up meeting which led to a sobering disappointment. Pun intended. However, being a true champ; he goes through the entire encounter making the best of it and thus claiming victory for laying down a superb 5.5/10.

This ladies and gents; is the short amazing tale of the legendary wing man based on true events, but embellished in metaphorical grandiosity.

[/To be read in a British Accent]

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Swiss Analogy

Being single is like Switzerland in WWII. You have people who flock to you, people who want to be allied with you, who seek your shelter and those who just want to attack you, but in the end you're just neutral and their hands are tied. Ergo, you come out unscathed. Just call me Zurich.

Single life is akin to a Landsgemeinde, everyone wants to opine and direct you in a specific way...

Friday, December 9, 2011

I like big boots and I cannot lie!

Well, it's getting close to that time of the year where boots make their appearance. A staple of any man's wardrobe, a nice pair of boots can last many years. Boots can go together with a casual outfit or a business outfit. Made for most occasions, neutral boots work with everything from Jeans, Chinos and Dress pants. There are of course sporty boots, work boots, casual boots and Dress boots.

Since this blog does not cater to lumberjacks and foremen or construction workers we will omit the work boots category and stick to the remaining three. Sorry guys, maybe you can do a Google search for "beard and boots, what works?".

Sporty boots can fall under the category of casual boots as well. Ergo, in an effort to maintain this blog rather short and not too long, we will condense them into one. Please, keep your Lugz Boots to yourselves. High School ended years ago, grown men should avoid these at all costs. They're too heavy, too thick, not subtle at all much like this bowtie:

Casual boots are great, let's focus on one of the most popular styles, Chukka boots. Not to be confused with the Jewish Holiday of Hanukkah, which given its 8 days of gift exchanges, I would not mind a new pair of nice boots 8 days in a row...

A great quality Chukka will run you a decent amount of money, as most good quality footwear will. Amsterdam Designer Mark McNairy carries beautifully done pairs of these. You can find very nice Chukkas here at along with several other nice collections of sporty/casual boots to fulfill all your materialistic Winter needs. This blogger may be a bit biased because Bonobos does offer great customer service and I am very happy with my Chukkas:
A second recommendation would be Sebago boots or even Sperrys. The below Sebago Fairhaven Dark Brown boot is a gorgeous thing to wear and quite sporty for a casual night. Sperry also offers great pairs of Chukkas and regular boots. Make sure to visit both sites for your footwear needs.
Since Sporty and Casual have been tackled at once, let's now focus on dressy boots. Allen Edmonds (thanks to for the introduction) makes an out of this world pair of boots that go by the name of "Dalton". Such a powerful rubric could only be assigned to a pair of footwear worthy of its caliber. This comes in two colors, Walnut Burnished Calf and Dark Chocolate Calf:
For a cheaper alternative, one can go to Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren and Zara. All three have outstanding pairs of boots that may not cause such a huge dent in your wallet. One particular pair that stood out in the options presented by Zara was their Dressy Ankle Boot. Reminiscent of a wehrmacht style marching boot, this gem looks good with both a casual or a more dressed up outfit.
Just make sure to bend your knees when using these while walking, lest you want to end up looking like these guys:
In closing, when wearing these boots with pants, feel free to tuck your pants into boots that are worthy of being shown. However, do not allow the pants to bunch up like a pile of toilet paper in the corner of a public bathroom stall, disgusting image right? Exactly the point. Keep them neat and orderly. Another option is to fold the pants up a bit to display more of the boots (my preferred style). This results in a cleaner look and it also displays enough of your footwear for those observant enough to compliment you on your amazing pair of boots. One thing to avoid would be folding Dress pants with boots, not a good look at all and if the pants are of good quality, chances are the folds will have a hard time staying in place. It's quite sloppy. Avoid it.
Good luck with your BOOTy calls for Winter. Au revoir.