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Friday, December 28, 2012

Das Boot [Podiatric Sartorialism part deux]

Das Boot is the contemporaneously world famous container which one fills with their beer of choice and tries to drink it in its entirety as a sort of drinking game.  Although its origin is subject to speculation, the below is directly from Wikipedia:

"Beer boots, or Bierstiefel, have over a century of history and culture behind them. It is commonly believed that a general somewhere promised his troops to drink beer from his boot if they were successful in battle. When the troops prevailed, the general had a glassmaker fashion a boot from glass to fulfill his promise without tasting his own feet and to avoid spoiling the beer in his leather boot. Since then, soldiers have enjoyed toasting to their victories with a beer boot. At gatherings in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, beer boots are often passed among the guests for a festive drinking challenge. Since the movie Beerfest appeared in 2006, beer boots have become increasingly popular in the United States. It is an old joke to hand the boot to a young novice drinker with the tip pointing away from his person, which will result in beer pouring over the drinker's face uncontrollably when air enters the tip; seasoned drinkers always point the tip towards their body until the glass is sufficiently drained. Beer boots are made of either manufactured pressed glass or mouth blown glasses by skilled artisans in form of a boot."

Aside from drinking shenanigans, boots are a staple of menswear and have been such a staple from time immemorial, well, far back enough to escape our modern memories.  Winter is the best time to sport a pair to complement your cold weather gear.  Several types exist that are available for every day use, a more business like attire, for snow, mud, trekking, and among sundry other activities.  This form of shoe wear can come not only with aesthetic, but also practical purpose for the surface on which it will travel.

They can range in height, size, material, and colors.  Below are some currently used styles that are quite stylish and in vogue for men which I recommend and wear as well on occasion:
Timberland Chukka 

Allen Edmonds Daltons

Clarks Desert Boots

Allen Edmonds Fifth Street

LL Bean Boots

Red Wing Boots

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Podiatric Sartorialism

Sporting Christmas Socks
Socks are often overlooked and never really an area of much focus when it comes to an outfit's priorities for most.  I submit that instead of leaving socks to your fashion 'after thought,' they should be just as an essential part of your wardrobe as any other relevant piece.  A well placed pair of festive socks can often say that under all of that toned down outfit, there is a party waiting to happen.

A conservative outfit at a business meeting can sometimes just blend in with the rest of the automatons discussing figures on a PowerPoint slide.  However, once you cross your legs and the pants ride up a few centimeters revealing a colorful display of fashion sense, the observant onlooker will realize that there is more to you than meets the eye.  You're not just a regular Peterbilt truck, but you can shape your self into quite the  unique individual on a moment's notice (Transformers fans will understand this reference).

More emphasis should be place on what can only be rightfully labeled as the podiatric sport coat.  Some great places for socks can be J.Crew, Vivarati, Bonobos, and sundry others will appear after a quick Google search for fun socks.

Here are some of my own fun combinations to get you started:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Movie: 2012 Genre: Comedy

Soon enough every one and their mother will be proved wrong about a theory that has been heretofore misjudged and misunderstood.  This theory is that the world will end on 12.21.12 (21.12.12).  This is when the Mayan calendar ends, or so everyone believes.

However, a bit of further study into the matter quickly clears up this nebulous subject filled with money making schemes, sensationalism, among other conspiracies that are based on nothing but sheer conjecture.

December 21st is nothing but the last day of the Mayan long count calendar known as the thirteenth Baktun.  A Baktun being calculated as a period of 144,000 days.  At the end of each of these periods in the Mayan calendar, a transition occurs in humanity.  This 'last' transition is prophesied as a shift from the realm of complete materialism to one of cosmic awareness and spiritualism of human kind.

This event can be classified in today's vernacular as a regeneration or purification of the Earth.  This idea is analogous to our long modern earthly calendar that ends on the 31st day of the 12th month.  However, it does not mean that after that day is reached the sun will no longer rise.  Rest assured, just as our calendars are reset, so will we continue to spin on towards progress.  Calamities have always existed, disasters have and will continue to occur, but we remain, rebuild, and regenerate.

So, enough riding on this ridiculous farce, get off the train and think for yourself.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Why do we fall? So we can post again...

After watching the latest movie in the Dark Knight trilogy, yes I'm quite late to the party, I have come to an epiphany.  Aside from the awesomeness with which the movie carries its suspenseful tone all throughout its duration, I was able to reflect upon a trivial portion of it which led me to the following...

The below statement is an opinion and nothing more, I have not checked facts, researched this, nor am I a comic book nerd who follows everything.  However, I do admire the creativity with which many of these stories are created.

"Bruce Wayne is to DC comics what Tony Stark is to Marvel comics." 

Who is the coolest, who is the most bad ass, who is the wealthiest, who has the most gadgets, who is more technologically advanced?

Reflecting strictly upon recent movies and setting aside all comic books stories, alternate reality stories, I believe it is a tie.  Although Tony is unequivocally the most entertaining of all super hero characters, Bruce is up to par with him in many aspects.

Both characters are notorious for the many women which they attract; both are literally billionaires, philanthropists in their own right, have their secret hiding spots, and sundry gadgets.  The major difference between both, one is an ostensible egocentric show off with a computer for a butler, and the other more of an outsider with large emotional scars with a real life British butler.  I'll take my butlers British any day of the week.

In Forbes fictional listing of the top wealthiest characters, Tony has an estimated 9.3 billion dollars net worth  while Bruce comes up a bit short at 6.9 billion dollars.  Also, what Tony has in engineering technology and marvels, is only outdone by Bruce's actual hand to hand combat abilities which are unparalleled for a regular human not yielding a prosthetic exoskeleton that aids its pilot in enhancing his/her senses to extra-human capacity.  Although, Bruce also wears a suit which does offer him an edge, it cannot be compared to Tony's.

However, as far as style and fashion is concerned, I have to hand it to Tony.  After seeing Bruce's 3-button (1990s style) suit, I no longer respect his sense of style.  In my opinion, it is a draw.  Feel free to post your comments about this comparison below, I am sure you are all way more educated in the topic than I am.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Movies with Style

This weekend I felt inspired after looking at some movies that truly indirectly provide men with stylish tips. Now granted, not everyone may pull most of these looks off, however they are there to show how a true man should dress himself. Of course, again some of the outfits and ensembles might not be for everyone, but a variation thereof might suffice. Let's just say it's a good base and start for most. The movie I will specifically point out later has fantastic and intriguing plots and although a re-make, it is a well done one that stayed true to its origins unlike most modern revisions of past classics.

The suits, the shirts and pants and shoes displayed in the two main protagonists and some antagonists are simply outstanding and should be a part of any gentleman's wardrobe. If you have not yet guessed which movie I am referring to, I'll give you a hint, it's got Clooney in it, heists, and suits. Still unsure?

Ocean's 11, 12, and 13 are all very good movies. Of course my single favorite is 13 followed by 11 and lastly 12. However, when it comes to scenery accompanying the style of clothing, 12 is a hands down winner. A setting in European hot spots with high end luxury clothes goes together like Oreos and milk. This [these are] is one of those movies that should be on every man's list.

ocean eleven pictures

ocean eleven pictures

 oceans eleven wallpapers

By the way, here is a nice video I stumbled upon that is just amazing when it comes to style and urban living. The way it was edited truly does steal me away from reality during its entire duration and mesmerizes my fashion sense...without any further ado, enjoy it:

I'm gone.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Instagram: Your favorite iPhone app, #Hashed.

Photography is a hobby that many people like. It provides a still image of that special moment you experienced in your life allowing you to share it with others not present, be it with family or anyone else. It is a somewhat affordable pursuit that is fun and very fulfilling if you’re an artistic or creative type of person. It is as if your talents come through the lenses and are forever printed onto a piece of paper or digitized and ‘megapixeled’ into being.

Yes, the equipment used matters greatly, but more importantly, the eye of the person behind that camera is the end all be all of photography. You may own an extremely nice camera with all the bells and whistles, but if you lack the artistic background or this innate skill found in most with a sensitive eye for beauty in the world even in the worst places, you will just have a nice camera. Some can make masterpieces from phone cameras and cheaper digital cameras. It is truly all a matter of talent, as it is the case in most other arts.

Ergo, since not everyone can afford an expensive camera, many settle for a cheaper alternative, be it a digital camera or a phone camera. Today, one can make great use of a phone camera due to current technology and editing materials via a veritable cornucopia of available applications. However, let’s zero in further and narrow the field down to one specific camera and market; the iPhone camera and the Apple market

There exists an iPhone-centric application that in a relatively short period of time this author has come to love. That app is called Instagram. This app was launched on October 6th, 2010 when Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger decided to shift their focus from their HTML-5 platform check-in project Burbn to mobile photography. Shortly thereafter, others joined the team and the app became an instasuccess as subsequent add-ons were released in version 2.0 during September 2011. This app quickly garnered massive following, gaining one million users by December 2010 and five million by June 2011. It has since passed the ten million user mark and currently sits at above twenty-five million users. Clearly, many others share this author's enthusiasm for Instagram.

Instagram caters to many people. It is wonderfully refreshing to see how many truly artistic souls exist out there, and here is a platform from which they can finally share their feelings, personalities and emotions with the rest of the world through photography. There is so much to see and so many nice images that at times it is overwhelming to the eye. It truly is in today’s grimy vernacular; visual pornography, or in Instagram hashtag lingo; #eyeporn.

You can clearly see through its sundry postings that a great majority of the app’s users (including this author) are very passionate about what they post and can at times be extremely meticulous about the types of pictures taken and the edits done to augment the effect they are attempting to convey to their followers or random viewers. It’s a virtual mobile center for self-expression and displays of art.

At this point, the reader must have decided to at least check this application out. Fair warning has been given though concerning the fact that once downloaded and used, you will get addicted to Instagram.

However cool the app is, one must know how to use it to its full potential. A user must know how to get attention and how to obtain more and more followers. Although this author is relatively new to the Instagram scene, he has spent enough time lurking at other popular users’ accounts to figure out what brings people to your profile to check out your postings. Below are some concise steps in how to get to this point:

Don’t post too often.

It’s hard to resist the urge to share in all the glory you see every day. Tread lightly though, because this constant flooding of new pictures on any of your followers’ feeds can become an annoyance which leads to a quick tap of the ‘following’ button. Refrain from posting new pictures often, let others savor the current posting and give yourself ample time until the next one. A good rule of thumb is one posting per day and at the most two.

Post only things that count and are unique.

Instagram is not meant to be a daily account of your experiences. It is isn’t an online Journal or Diary. Moreover, unless you are a famous actor/actress or star, you will not get people liking every single one of your unimportant posts of what you’re drinking at Starbucks, what type of ice cream you are currently stuffing yourself with and many other situations that are best reserved for your eyes only. Make the posts cool and different, they should consist of different angles which most people would never think to use or look at objects and view them in such a manner, therefore blowing their minds and earning you more followers and likes.

What types of pictures to post.

From surfing the popular section of Instagram you will quickly get an idea of what gets hits and what doesn’t. The following are pictures that usually get a good following and amount of likes, not in any necessary order: Beach, Skylines, Skyscrapers, Models, Beautiful Women, Nature, Sunsets, Sun rises, Sky and Cloud formations, City Life and some others. Usually these pictures offer a mental getaway for most, hence the ‘likes’ they receive. Ensure that the color displays are wonderful and mind boggling as well.

Use your Hashtags #properly.

Instagram functions much like Twitter when it comes to hashtags. The pound symbol signifies that the word following it can be utilized as a keyword for a search result in the app’s search function. Ergo, #Sky will be available when searching for pictures relating to Sky. Therefore, use hashtags to your advantage. Scope the most popular shots to see what type of hashtags they are using to bring in more viewers and likes. Some popular hashtags are as follows: #Sky, #Summer, #Spring, #Winter, #Clouds, #Skyline, #Skyscraper, #City, #Instagram, #iPhone, and many other ones.

You can hashtag the tool with which you used to take your picture, i.e., #iPhone, #iPhoneonly, #iPhoneography, #iPhone4, #iPhone4s, and etc.

Comment on popular shots and show some love to your followers and those on your feed.

Visit the popular section often and be nosy. Post comments and likes on the pictures you enjoyed looking at. Don’t be a comment bot either, post interesting remarks that drive people to your profile as well. Think things that incite curiosity in others. Also do not forget to like the pictures too.

On your feed, make sure to like the pictures of those you follow and be genuine in your compliments as well via the commenting function. They will become appreciative of you and at some future point in time when enough rapport is built, become just as supportive of your postings as you are of theirs. Heck, they might even give you a shout out to increase your following.

Adding effects to pictures.

When posting pictures, not all of them look good in their virgin or pristine state. Often, a bit of editing and tweaking can make all the difference with regard to driving traffic to your posts. Many good apps exist out as mentioned above that provide this type of function for all of your editing needs. The following are a handful of apps this author recommends: Snapseed, AvgCamPro, PhotoToaster, PhotoForge2, Fotolr PSP and others. Doing a quick Google search on this subject will fulfill your need for further recommendations.

You may also choose to not add any effects as well. Some pictures actually do look better in their natural state. You may give a picture minimal tweaks by using Instagram’s tools as well. Unfortunately there is no right or wrong way to add effects to a photo through editing, it really stems from the eye of the user posting the picture and how much of a talent he/she has in doing so.

So, there you have it, a short how to guide and fun introduction into a very popular app that millions and millions have come to adore. Don’t wait any further and join in on the fun and see where your talents take you. Oh, and don’t forget to follow me @Davidkishere !!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Making the most out of any Dress shirt

Dress shirts come in many different sizes and colors, patterns and lines. However, they all remain a staple of every respectable man's wardrobe. Typically, if you're a fit guy you want to gravitate to those shirts that come tapered from the store with any type of fit other than the classic or standard fit, e.g., custom, slim or extra slim fits. These fits make the shirt mold to your body and give you a more pleasing taper that can make the shirt 'pop' even more.

However, for those of us that workout a lot this can present a problem because our shoulders and chest width may put a lot of strain on the top buttons causing them to look over stretched and ready to put an eye out like a mini missile in a bar, club or restaurant. There is one workaround that I have found resolves this problem, but it can be a pain and add another $10-20 to the final price of your shirt.

Before getting to the latter part, some good fitting shirts from places that I recommend:

  • Brooks Brothers
  • J.Crew
  • Zara
  • Ralph Lauren (Although at times overpriced for its quality)
  • Landsend Canvas
  • Hugo Boss
These brands carry many fits other than your boring standard and classic ones that make you look like a bag of chips or Jerry Seinfeld in his poofy shirt episode, except instead of the poof being on the sleeves and shoulders, it's near the waist.

Now, let's get back to the latter portion of the post to wrap this up. The aforementioned workaround for us muscular fellas (skinny Europeans need not apply, no hate) is this:

  1. Purchase a regular shirt that has plenty of room on the chest and shoulder area
  2. Notice the portions of extra fabric (typically located on the waist and arm areas)
  3. Mark them and identify how many inches is necessary to taper them down to a nice fit
  4. Take the markings and measurements to a tailor near you
  5. Wait for the results and profit from a great looking shirt
This can even become cheaper than buying a shirt of any custom, slim or extra slim fit as the tapering is priced into the shirt already. Therefore an extra slim shirt might run you $85 whereas a classic or standard fit may be $50 plus the tailoring ($20) and you still come out winning ($70 vs $85). So, go forth and taper.

I'm gone.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spring back in play

Warmer weather approaches...It isn't as if it has been cold during this Winter at all in Florida with the exception of a few days here and there. Therefore, opportunities for sweaters were few and far in between and layering was not an occurrence in my neck of the woods. Luckily, things are getting a bit back to normal, the Earth is once again getting a bit closer to the sun in its elliptical orbit and bringing the temperatures back up slowly across the country.

In other words, time to break out some shorts, loafers or boat shoes and your polo shirts. Prep is back in full. Long sleeve button ups are okay as well, make sure they are light in weight so as to not make you perspire too much. Fold the sleeves, tuck or do not tuck (up to you) them in with some nice 6-8inch long shorts and you're golden.

Let's do a brief run down of the above mentioned type of outfit...

Shorts (6-9 inches long)
Long Sleeve Button ups (Light fabrics, maybe Chambrays)
Polo Shirts (Fitted ones only)
Spring color belts (Solid or striped, light colors, nothing heavy)
Spring color watch bands (Solid or striped, light colors, nothing heavy)
Sunglasses (Spring time does call for some wayfarers)
Loafers (Boat shoes or regular loafers)

This is something to be worn during the day or in a warm night in a very casual environment. However, for a night out, all one may need to do is exchange the shorts out for a nice pair of fresh Chinos with some rolled up or folded bottoms and you're set. Some jeans may also apply here, but to keep in line with our preppy theme, chinos are favored.

Here it is visualized: Rayban Wayfarers for sunglasses ($150):
Original Wayfarer Black / G-15 XLT
Polo Slim fit shirts (There are great if you are fit) ($85.00):
Slim-Fit Mesh Polo - Polo Ralph Lauren Custom-Fit  -
J.Crew Shorts (Club Shorts) ($65.00):
Club short in oxford cloth
Loafers or Boatshoes (Heck even some oxfords work)(Sperry $100):
Men's Boat Oxford
Belts (Brooks Brothers $128):
That ought to do it for now, soon I'll post a picture of myself in such an outfit so you guys can have a better idea. Please keep in mind that you can find several cheaper substitutes of the above items on sale at sundry websites online. Just shop smart. These were just convenient examples with regard to screen captures.

That's all folks. Head sprung.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Another Week...

Headache Monday

Singles Tuesday (Valentine's Day)

Hump Wednesday

Pointless Thursday

Party Friday

Hangover Saturday

Dreading Monday Sunday

Cynical much? Yes.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Stiff Upper Collar

Every time you go out you have a tendency to adjust your clothing. Be it your pants, shirt or jacket. One main target of adjustment is always your dress shirt’s collar. If wearing a sweater or jacket over it, one has to on occasion keep the collar in check to ensure that it doesn’t flare out over the top layer of clothing. Additionally, they typically do flare a bit after some usage or like an older man suffering from ED; collars sometimes need something to maintain their stiffness.

It doesn't look good to walk around with a messy and wrinkly collar. It takes away from the entire outfit and it becomes the focus of most observant people who talk to you. Aside from ironing the collars or starching the shirts, what else can you do to maintain your shirt’s erection after you first put it on so that you’re not disappointed later on at night when its collar goes flaccid?

The name of this solution says it all, ‘wurkin stiffs.’ A neat little product that is inserted into dress shirt collars to keep them upright at every occasion. This truly is the Viagra of shirt collars. These are metallic collar stays that come with tiny magnets that are put on the inside of the collar which locks it into place, keeping it hard all night long. No pun intended. Therefore, for those of you who are incredibly OCD about this, here is your remedy. It is sold in various quantities and formats. They also have them available for Polo shirts.

In my humble opinion, this is a must for every stylish man’s wardrobe. Here are some pictures to help you visualize the effects of this prop:

Without 'wurkin stiff power stays' and with them on. Notice the difference? I sure did.

Do yourself a favor and get this, the side effect of priapism in this instance is a good thing. Plus, they come in a cool little wallet style case with instructions (with a major typo, let's see if you notice it as well!) that you can take with you anywhere in this beautiful world:

Collared out.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Watches on a budget

Owning a large watch collection may considerably set you back financially depending upon the types of models one obtains. Even watches that are considered within the affordable range ($200-$500) can still burn a hole in most pockets, especially in a time where spending frivolously on luxury items isn't advised.

Therefore, this post is just a suggestion on how to expand your watch collection in a 'pseudo' manner. Most people will never notice that you are not purchasing new watches as much as you are changing the look of your current watches. This is an economical way with which to add some pizzazz to your look and bring back to life a certain charm about any old watch that may have been set aside into the darkness of the back end of a dresser drawer.

Exchanging bands can be done to any one watch in particular. Enough patterns and color schemes exist out there to satiate any specific taste. From leather bands to Nato and Zulu bands, there are a ton of options from which to choose. Below you will see pictures of how a 'boring' Kenneth Cole watch owned by yours truly was brought back to life with some inexpensive updates:

A great website with the all of the above tools is There you will find all of these items at a relatively low price. There you have it, an easy way to improve an essential male accessory.

Time out.

PS: Here is a great youtube video on how to actually change watch bands: