New Holiday Traditions

December 16, 2016

My wife and I travel a lot and we are often away during the holidays. We have had Thanksgiving dinner at a Green Burrito in Tennessee, and Christmas dinner at a veggie burger pop-up just by ourselves. But the first time we were away for Christmas we decided that on Christmas Eve we should have Neapolitan pizza and make that a tradition. This year will be the 3rd year for that tradition and I hope it continues on forever!

I’ve partnered with Express to share our new, and I think pretty unique, holiday tradition.  I also thought I would take the opportunity to do a mini tutorial on how I edit food photos while I was at it. You know you are going to post an Instagram photo of your Christmas dinner, and you probably posted one of your Thanksgiving plate as well. Hopefully these tips help you make a better photo! And how about this shawl collar cardigan? So cozy for colder times! I’ve been eyeing one for a while and I love the fabric on this one.

The most important element of a good photo is appropriate lighting. And ,more often that not, nice soft even shaded lighting works best for food. If you can get a nice even light over your food, you are off to a great start. Sometimes I will even ask my wife to come stand beside me to help block the light.

My favorite apps for editing photos are Snapseed and VSCO. And I use TouchRetouch when I need to remove some elements. I almost always put the photo into Snapseed first because you can use the local adjustments tool to brighten or darken specific areas. And I like the shadow and highlight adjustments too. But the key tool for me in Snapseed is the structure slider in the details tool. It really adds pop to iPhone images and helps make them look a bit more like DSLR photos.

Luckily this photo started out with great even lighting so the editing was easy. After I boosted the structure in Snapseed I brought the image into VSCO. My favorite presets in VSCO are A6, C1, and C6, C7, C8. A6 works best when you don’t want to change the look too much but want more contrast and a slight color adjustment. I used A6 for this pizza image. I also boosted the clarity a tad in VSCO as well. And that was it! Et voila!…

Sweater: Nep Knit Shawl Collar Cardigan – Express – $64
Shirt: Soft Wash Plaid Shirt – Express – $35
Jeans: Slim Fit Flex Stretch Jean – Express – $48
iPhone Case: Ultra Thin from Amazon – $8

This post was created in partnership with Express.

What Time is It?

December 13, 2016

I’m not one for crazy watches with 100 dials and lights, as you probably know, but I do like a simple watch that tells me what time it is when I need to know. I am also a BIG fan of having the date on the watch face because I can barely remember what day of the week it is, let alone the DATE! It’s an issue when you are a freelancer haha. I grabbed this classic Tissot Tradition Quartz with the brown strap. And you know what? Watches make a great gift. You don’t really have to worry about fit, and a watch like this will last forever, so it’s a lot better than getting someone a candle or whiskey stones. A watch works for a gift to the ladies as well. I mean, Tissot has been in the watch game since 1853 so they must be doing something right.

Sweater | Coat

This post is in partnership with Tissot watches.

Black Tie Tiki

December 12, 2016

At the end of the year the crew over at Dart Collective throws a big holiday party for the wedding industry as a means to get together and celebrate the end of the wedding season. This year’s theme was “Black Tie Tiki” and when I saw that on the invitation I was pretty confused how to interpret that. I debated on getting a wacky floral blazer, or wearing a floral shirt with a black tux, or a floral bow tie, etc. But in the end this velvet blazer I had purchased for an upcoming bachelor party in Vegas seemed to be a perfect fit. And I just got some new ties to add to my store so The Shoreditch Skinny Tie was a great way to bring in the tiki aspect without going over the top.

Blazer: ASOS Skinny Blazer in Velvet – $55 (other colors)
Shirt: Oxford – Uniqlo – $29
Pants: Camden – Ben Sherman
Tie: The Shoreditch – Shop Stay Classic – $25
Tie Bar: The Skinny Tie Bar – Shop Stay Classic – $10
Watch: The Vegan Minimalist Watch in Black – Shop Stay Classic – $20
Pocket Square: Masterpiece Foliage – Green TealThe Tie Bar – $15
Shoes: Bruno Wingtips in Prince 5 Black- Amazon – $35

Semi-Formal Holiday Outfit

December 9, 2016

It’s a bit late, I know, but I finally was able to get some pics of what I wore to Thanksgiving. I went into Old Navy because I saw this topcoat and I have been wanting a khaki topcoat for a while. And this one is 41% recycled woold so I knew it would be a perfect weight for me. While I was in there I saw this blazer and shirt and figured I was set for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Or both haha. Lucky for me they were having a 40% off sale so the entire outfit was around $150. My wife and I are usually the only ones dressed up for these family get togethers so I skipped the tie this time around and went a bit more casual that last year.

Topcoat: Wool-Blend Topcoat – Old Navy
Blazer: Tweed-Wool Blend – Old Navy
Shirt: Poplin Shirt in Cabernet Cabaret – Old Navy
Jeans: Flex Max Slim Jeans in Black Rinse – Old Navy
Shoes: Amazon

This post is in partnership with Old Navy.

Keep What You Love

December 7, 2016

High school is so different now for kids. I mean, the internet has changed things SO MUCH. And especially in regards to men’s fashion. When I started this blog in 2009ish there were like 3 other men’s fashion blogs. And it was nearly impossible to find affordable cool looking stuff. Now look! You can get stylish and well fitting clothes at Target and there are hundreds of men’s fashion blogs. I could have definitely used some fashion advice when I was in high school. I was a skater in a punk band, and I didn’t give a shit about looking good. I mean, I was all about goofy thrift store finds and being funny. Or about wearing band tees from shows I went to. And for some reason I thought I was a Medium (size not a psychic), though I probably should have been an XXS. And taking care of my clothes? Ya right.

I used to sweat A LOT when I was skating upwards of 6 hours a day. And on stage, under those lights, it was like I just got out of a pool. And my clothes suffered the effects of a sweaty body. Well I, along with Esquire, am here to tell you there is a better way. I’ve teamed up with them and Dove to tell you about the Dove Men+Care Invisible Antiperspirant. I can’t tell you how many of my white undershirts were ruined by yellow staining, or even my black shirts with white marks. They looked like Franz Kline paintings. The antiperspirant sticks and Dry Sprays from Dove have been reformulated to stay invisible, and won’t leave any white marks on 100 colors of shirts and jackets. And because they work as antiperspirant, you won’t get yellow pits either. And it has a built in moisturizer to protect your skin at the same time. So basically, the clothes you care about will last longer because they won’t get stained by either your deodorant or your wondrous bodily fluids (at least from your pits).

 

In the vein of now never having to get rid of clothes you love, head over to Esquire and check out a slideshow of a bunch of stuff that I am just so nostalgic about and attached to to throw out. Ranging from one of my favorite band tees to boots to my 50 State Mugs collection (in progress).

This post is in association with Esquire and Dove.