Archive for the Stylez Category

SS ’13 Menswear: Birds/Blooms

Posted in ART, Soul-Crushing Materialism, Stylez with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2013 by effingjro

Screen Shot 2013-03-09 at 12.54.38 PM

I know what you’re thinking: “Florals? For spring. Groundbreaking.” And you’ve got me there. But there’s a damn good reason this happens every year. We’re suffering from color anemia. You can’t live off navy peacoats and heathered gray everything indefinitely. Even if it’s still snowing out, any of the items above will put you in a warm-weather mentality at half the cost of a trip to the Caribbean. Here are three quick favorites…

1. Profound Aesthetic 5-Panel Cap

Do not be distracted by the model (or do, briefly). Profound Aesthetic has a lot of great stuff in their newest lookbook, but this cap is doubly covetable for the 5-panel construction and suede flat brim.


2. AMI Bird Print Cotton Twill Shorts

Alexandre Mattiussi’s menswear line is French nonchalance made manifest. Proof that you can wear a bird print without looking like a peacock.

3. SUPREME x Vans Rose Print Sneaks

High Snobiety tipped me off to this collab, available in stores yesterday (you know what, they’re probably already sold out). Based off the album art for New Order’s 1983 Power, Corruption & Lies, they also look like any Baroque floral rendering, ever.

And speaking of Baroque: did you know Sofia Coppola (in her enduring wisdom) used New Order’s single ‘Age of Consent’ in Marie Antoinette? In wig choice alone, that woman owned the birds/blooms motif, so I think we’ve come full circle today, friends.

Thermal Thoughts

Posted in Photos, Soul-Crushing Materialism, Stylez with tags , , , , on November 19, 2011 by effingjro

High-fashion onesie

This morning I had to take two dogs for a walk when it was 37 degrees. I know that’s not exceptionally cold if you’re Canadian or a penguin, but I could barely get myself out of bed, much less find enough layers to ensure I wouldn’t freeze the second I made it outside. For whatever reason, I get cold way faster than the population at large, and until I can afford winter trips to Cabo, it’s all about thermal shirts and long johns for me. I’ve been scouring stores, and the only real options are the AA thermals, the Uniqlo HeatTech line (oooh, science), or this stunning one-piece Fair Isle contraption from Japan…

(How do you go to the bathroom in this?)

One of the nice things about quitting smoking (I’m on my third week) is that I’m setting aside all the money I would  have spent on cigs, and instead buying something as a reward. So my plan is to buy a pair of long johns for every day of the week, and laugh in the face of the bitter elements.

April joined me for a photoshoot

Say hello to my weekend uniform.

Good Girls Go Mad: John Carpenter’s “The Ward”

Posted in Films, Hotties, Stylez with tags , , , , , , on October 25, 2011 by effingjro

I’ve been curious about Amber Heard for a few months now. She’s gorgeous, and in a Nylon Guys interview she said something interesting: That horror movies are “sometimes the only real platform for a young woman to act. Horror films give you the opportunity to be tough and independent and to fight, to kick, to kill, to cry.”

I get that (I’m only taken seriously when I kick, kill and cry too) so I was excited to see The Ward on Netflix. It’s the first film John Carpenter’s directed in nine years, it stars this kicky blonde girl who thinks she’ll have a platform to act, and it’s set in an insane asylum, which I always find fascinating.

Amber’s character Kristen ends up here after she burns an empty farm house. She arrives at the asylum with no memory of her past, disoriented and surly. Eventually she meets the other girls in the ward. They’re nice enough, but they fit stereotypes so perfectly it starts feeling a little contrived. In this clip you can see Zoey (the nympho), Sarah (the infantile one) and Emily (the kooky tomboy) – and Kristen, who is just kind of pissed off.

The “Alice” everyone’s getting worked up about is a rotting girl-corpse who devises different ways to take out the girls, one by one.

Really, the movie would be better without Alice.

I know that having a ghoul lurking around makes everyone question their sanity in thought-provoking ways, and quick cuts to rotting flesh make for good shocks, but the ghost aspect actually detracts from this film. The best scenes here involve the (living) girls interacting with each other, or the various ways the nurse, attendant and doctor exert their authority and coerce them into submission – there are two great electroshock scenes, one a little deadlier than the other. And when Kirsten has her interviews with the doctor, she does act – and yell and fight – and she doesn’t need a monster to make that happen.

Despite an 11th hour twist (why do screenwriters always add those? to make us watch the movie again) there’s not all that much to recommend The Ward. I love a nice 60s aesthetic, and the actors are good when they get a chance to act, but the story is awfully sparse. Instead of learning more about the inmates, we see them showering with a corpse hiding in the steam. Instead of figuring out whether the attendant is molesting his charges, we see endless creepy pans across the long asylum halls.

You know what? Go watch Halloween, and then watch Girl, Interrupted. That way you’ll see two good movies instead of a mediocre one.

The Kids Still Need Tea and Sympathy

Posted in ART, Critical Theory, Films, In the News, Stylez, Vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2011 by effingjro

In the past several years, LGBT teens have made headlines for being bullied, beaten, and ultimately taking their lives after enduring daily harassment from their classmates. For gay men and women, this isn’t exactly news. That’s why Dan Savage started “It’s Gets Better,” a series of videologs filmed by celebrities, athletes,and people like us – promising the kids that they’ll be alright. To date, there have been 22,000 entries.

But bullying, unfortunately, is by no means a recent phenomenon. Last night, as part of their Vincente Minnelli retrospective, the Brooklyn Academy of Music Cinematek screened Tea and Sympathy, a 1956 melodrama that follows the trail of an “off horse” in a New England prep school populated by “regular fellows.” Protagonist Tom Lee is a sensitive guy. He spends his time listening to records and strumming his guitar – the other boys play football and go mountain climbing. Tom’s only allies are his roommate, Al, and the housemaster’s wife, Lauren, played by Deborah Kerr.

It’s easy to read Tea and Sympathy as a cult classic of the ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ variety. When Tom’s father complains, “I can’t tell my friends he wants to grow up to be a…folk singer,” he delivers it as though a folk singer were no different than a crack fiend. Later, the housemaster reassures Tom’s father: “Don’t worry, they’ll give him a real going over at the pajama party tonight,” which, to a gay audience, plays very differently than intended. Between the soaring orchestrations, bereft close-ups and the camera’s omnipresent focus on the tea set, one can imagine that Todd Haynes partly styled 2002’s Far From Heaven on this film.

Check the trailer (which really glosses over the gay parts)

While some scenes come off as shlocky, others can give gay audiences goose pricks ofrecognition. Tom’s father forces masculinity on him – encouraging him to flirt with the haggard woman at the coffee shop, nearly forcing him to get a crew cut so he’ll fit in the other boys. Tom’s interests, including gardening, sewing and cooking, immediately earn him the nickname “sister boy,” a moniker that sticks like superglue in an all-boysschool. The most poignant scene comes when Tom’s alpha-male roommate tries to coach Tom in the art of manliness. He has Tom walk around the room, and when he attempts to describe his stride, he can only produce a gesture, an unspoken, “You’re light in yourloafers.” Then when Al demonstrates his walk, a hulking stomp, it seems ludicrous –Tom won’t event attempt it.

“It wouldn’t do me any good anyway,” he says. Once you’ve become the class pariah,there’s really no way to shake it. Tom does try to bed the coffee shop girl but the plan goes horribly awry, and in a heartbreaking capitulation Tom casts aside the girl and riflesthrough her kitchen for a sharp knife. Only the intervention of strangers stops him from killing himself.

Many hold that the main character in Tea and Sympathy is not gay at all. The playwright Robert Anderson flatly stated, “It has nothing to do with homosexuality… It’s about a false charge of homosexuality.” While many gay audiences ignore this, the film is no-less poignant if Tom is simply a sensitive, straight teenager. Whether bullying springs from differences in race, class, orientation or anything else, the common denominator is difference. If the trappings have become outdated, the central theme of Tea and Sympathy is as important today as ever: students can be helpless at the hands of their classmates, but it only takes one understanding person to turn their life around.

In celebration of Spirit Day 2011, go be that understanding person. Check out’s post on how to show your solidarity with LGBT youth, and remember that your help can make all the difference in the world.

The Vincente Minnelli Retrospective at the BAM Cinematek runs through November 2. For information on screenings, tickets and times, visit

Lana del Rey: Video Games

Posted in Found Item, Hotties, In the News, Muzak, Pop, Stylez, Video Games with tags , , , , on October 13, 2011 by effingjro

I’m posting this without much comment. There’s all this ridiculous controversy about this singer – “Her lips are fake!” “Her music’s inauthentic.” Which is all bullshit, as Gawker will tell you. I love her stuff, and her videos are REALLY evocative of the kind of mid-century nostalgia I live and die for.

A Deep, Deep V

Posted in Found Item, Hotties, Pop, Stylez with tags , , , , on October 11, 2011 by effingjro

It took me a while to explain to a straight friend that what he thought was a “Deep V” was more like  a droopy crew neck. This SNL digital short should set that misconception aright…


Posted in ART, Hotties, Photos, Soul-Crushing Materialism, Stylez with tags , , , , , , , on September 4, 2011 by effingjro

Well, this is  how I want to look all the time. I don’t know if I’m more into the idea of britches or calf-high boots, but almost every look in Balmain’s Fall 2011 collection features these things (well, technically not britches, but the rolled jean with a bit of sock showing looks just as good). There are a whole lot of these vaguely military jackets with shiny buttons, as well as big ratty scarves and layered shirts and sweaters, which gives the collection a very sexy magpie feel. In fact, sexy magpie might be the look I go for this fall.

To be fair, my coworker was pretty on point when he said “All you have to do is accessorize with a chain that carries the One Ring.” Some of the looks are a bit Middle Earth, but I think it’s because the model looks like he just left the Shire.

Scarves as scarves, scarves as belts!

Leather jacket, fur collar. Rough and tumble luxe.

The designer responsible for Balmain’s comeback, Christophe Decarnin, recently left the company. He was, after all, making $6,000 jeans. I just hope whoever takes his places maintains this level of cool. Actually, maybe you can decide for yourself when you take a look at Balmain’s 2011 Spring collection. Not sure if that’s Decarnin or not, but you can find it here on

Seriously, where can I get those boots?

The Lost Artwork Of Hollywood

Posted in Advertisements, ART, Films, Stylez, Vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2011 by effingjro

A good friend handed me this excellent book yesterday, and now you get to benefit with some artwork.

This one’s from DuBarry Was a Lady (1943), based off a Cole Porter musical. It’s by Symeon Shimin. Check out the trailer below.

Next up in 1936’s Follow the Fleet, starring Fred and Ginger.

And a clip from that movie with one of my favorite songs – “Let Yourself Go.”

And my favorite of the three, Anton Grot’s poster for The Thief of Bagdad, has all the fantastic appeal of a Maxfield Parrish (or the cover of a Burroughs book).

And even better, a clip from the Douglas Fairbanks silent movie. Eat your heart out, Aladdin.


Today’s Haul

Posted in Found Item, Soul-Crushing Materialism, Stylez, Vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2011 by effingjro

Some days, I could swear I was born to go thrift shopping.

Or, to be precise, thift/vintage/antique shopping. Today, after hitting three shops, I picked up a 1867 edition of Harper’s Monthly (yeah, I’ll scan it later), six marlin-shaped swizzle sticks from 1965 (no more mixing G&Ts with a spoon) and a silk coral-and-cream clover print scarf. Grand total: $15.

Though it looks like I’ll be heading back tomorrow to pick up a double-breasted peak lapel tuxedo jacket. Circa 1950? When something that old fits perfectly, it’s just wrong to pass it up.

Your Retro Fix

Posted in Advertisements, Hotties, Photos, Rag Mags, Stylez, Vintage with tags , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2011 by effingjro

While I’m blathering on about magazine ads, here’s a fantastic one from Guess. Usually their ads are extreme and oversexed, and while this girl is certainly dressed to the nines, it’s sweet, not salacious.

Did people look like this in the ’40s? I mean, I know they weren’t constantly styled for photo shoots, and their waists weren’t the same circumference as telephone poles, but boy are those clothes great. It reminds me of the kind of photo The Sartorialist would shoot today (as opposed to the usual Guess fare – shirtless man in low-slung jeans humping on a woman in a studded bra with a beehive). Here are some genuine street style photos I found on The Fashion Spot.

That’s what the Guess ad is missing. HATS.


Tell me you’re not getting a Sex and the City vibe here. I think I spot a Samantha on the right…


Banana Republic: Too Mad For Mad Men

Posted in Advertisements, Found Item, In the News, Photos, Rag Mags, Rage Blackout, Soul-Crushing Materialism, Stylez, TEEVee, Vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2011 by effingjro

I was enjoying my normal Saturday routine: G&Ts on the lounge chair in the back yard with the latest men’s mags, when I came across this Banana Republic ad in GQ.

OK, fine, Mad Men. I dig that just as much as any of human being out there. I love the show, I LOVE the costumes – I even went so far as to download the characters’ individual playlists on iTunes – that’s how taken I am with a mid-century modern lifestyle (no, I didn’t not craft a personal Mad Men avatar, but I was tempted).

The thing is, Banana Republic has been going Mad  for three years now. They started out with a ‘casting call’ promo in 2009. Then they rolled out their capsule collection in 2010 (I remember this in particular because I urged a straight friend to glean his whole wardrobe here). And now, in 2011, they’re putting out a third collection, even though the next season of Mad Men likely won’t materialize until 2012.

This show caused a bit of a style revolution, and I’m totally in favor of gents getting more dapper. The looks – a few of which I’m posting below – are still great, if extremely grey.

No arguments here, even if they are eschewing some of the preppier, Pete Campbell flourishes for The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit-style tailoring and homogeneity.

I just think it’s a bit lame that BR hasn’t come up with anything more exciting for the past three years than Mad Men. If I think your novelty capsule collection is starting to look familiar, maybe it’s time to change it up.

And for those of you trying to cultivate a little MM panache – try a vintage shop. It’ll be a whole lot more fun.

You Don’t Have To Watch Dynasty…

Posted in ART, Films, Hotties, Man Appreciation Post, Muzak, Pop, Stylez with tags , , , on August 3, 2011 by effingjro

to have an attitude.

Why Copy Editing Counts

Posted in I do stuff!, Role Models, Stylez, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2011 by effingjro

Because otherwise, when reading an interview with a restaurateur, you may come across one of these…

A Sioux chef! While I’m sure many of these do in fact exist, the usual spelling is sous chef. Special thanks to my friend Dan for making this mistake. I’m thinking about making a whole bunch of these little drawings with commonly mistaken homonyms – thoughts include The Boar War and A Television Ceres. If you have suggestions, put them in the comments.

Side note: You know, I have no idea how the Sioux dress, so you could argue this is insensitive, but not as bad as those damn hipster “Let’s-dress-up-like-Indians parties.”

Shit is wrong.

Snap, Crackle, Rock.

Posted in Found Item, Hotties, I do stuff!, Man Appreciation Post, Muzak, Photos, Pop, Role Models, Stylez, Vintage, Vinyl with tags , , , , , , , on March 8, 2011 by effingjro

(This is a pretty hi-res image, so if you want an up-close-and-personal view of Elvis’ suggestive post, go ahead and click the photo.)

I’ve been using my record player a lot now that my favorite radio station has basically stopped broadcasting. I’m listening to a lot of Rimsky-Korsakov (random, yes), but I also found this “Jailhouse Rock” single and I couldn’t resist ripping it to my computer.

And here’s my favorite part of the song:

Number 47 said to Number 3
“You’re the cutest jailbird I ever did see
I sure would be delighted with your company
Come on and do the Jailhouse Rock with me.

I have a real talent for picking out the gay subtext in anything. He does seem awful happy to be behind bars though, right?

And, as a bonus, I leave you with the B-side of the record, “Treat Me Nice,” along with a pic of Mr Presley looking especially foxy.


Posted in Authors, Hotties, I do stuff!, Photos, Role Models, Soul-Crushing Materialism, Stylez, Uncategorized, Vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2011 by effingjro

You know, the last time I bought glasses I was 16. It’s definitely time for an upgrade. I just ordered a box of sample frames from Warby Parker, which is my recently discovered and now favorite purveyor of eyewear. For one thing, they make relatively cheap, not-too-obnoxious retro frames ($95 with the prescription), and for another, for every pair of glasses you buy, they donate a pair to someone in the world who needs them.

Which, if you think about it, is way better than one of those ‘Buy one pair, get one free’ deals at Lenscrafters. I mean, how many pairs of glasses do you need?

And without further ado, here are the five frames (they have evocative preppy names that I will riff on to distract from my face)…

The Felton: These guys are really square, like an architect’s glasses. Kind of like that cute engineer from Love Actually that “Just Judy” never gets to sleep with. Not the worst association to go with.

The Pierce: Like the Felton, but a smoky gray version, with those fun metal rivets on the side. President Pierce never wore glasses like this, but he looked damn fine on a horse.

Now on to our third selection…

The Preston: These are pretty much Clark Kent glasses, which is awesome, because there’s nothing I like more than pretending to work for a newspaper while on the sly I’m performing heroic, muscle-flexing feats of bravery.

The Roosevelt: A front-runner, along with the aforementioned Preston. I like the color and the shine on the frames, and they’re mostly square, which is good for round-faces (me). If you were to ask me, I’d say the my favorite Roosevelt wasn’t Teddy OR FDR – it was Eleanor.

The Webb: I think these glasses are way too small. I feel like Truman Capote and while that’s fine when I’m writing, I’m not taking my fashion cues from that guy. Also, aren’t glasses supposed to stop you from squinting? What is up with my eyes?

And yes this is the most vain post ever, but if I keep these glasses as long as I’ve kept my last pair, I might as well get a few opinions. Plus, hey! Polls!


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