Staying Cool (And Looking Cool Too)

August 31, 2015
Vintage Hawaiian Print 4

Summer is coming to a close but, at least where I’m at, the sun hasn’t been told. It’s been so hot that I have a feeling that I’ll be using the summer section of my wardrobe for weeks if not months to come. So in my defense, rocking a vintage Hawaiian print shirts seemed like the perfect way to keep cool and just embrace this seemingly endless summer. I picked up this shirt at a thrift store a few years back and I’m amazed at how much use I get out of it. I think it’s mainly because it’s so lightweight and airy that it is the perfect piece to stay cool in when the temps are in the triple digits.

This shirt works perfectly with almost everything, particularly these denim shorts. And, true to my style, I paired this already intensely printed Hawaiian print shirt with these cool tribal printed Sperry slip-ons. While it would seem that they would never go together I actually think they work quite nicely. Keeping prints broken up is always an easy way to pair bold prints together and keep your outfit from looking overwhelming. Which I obviously care about but truly when it’s as hot as it has been, all I really care about is staying cool which this outfit definitely assisted with. Vintage Hawaiian Print 2Vintage Hawaiian Print 3Vintage Hawaiian Print 6Vintage Hawaiian Print 1Vintage Hawaiian Print 5Vintage Hawaiian Print 4 Vintage Hawaiian Print 7

SHOP THE LOOK

Shirt: vintage // Shorts: old (similar) // Shoes: Sperry // Sunglasses: RayBan // Watch: Timex

An Irrational Fear Turned Style Staple

August 27, 2015
Black and Camo Shorts 1

I’ve probably talked about my complicated relationship with black before, so I’m sorry if you’re over this… I’ve only started wearing black in the last few years. For some reason I was never comfortable wearing it. I almost always reserved it for more formal looks. Like, going out tonight? Wear black. Going to a funeral? Wear black. Putting on a magic show? Wear black. I also feel like maybe it had to do with the fact that it was such a stark contrast next to my pasty white skin? I don’t know.. needless to say I hardly ever wore it.

Regardless of where my fear of black clothing came from, in recent years I have slowly begun to add more of it into my wardrobe. And with seemingly little to no effort at all it has quickly turned into a style staple. I’ve even started wearing it casually. Look at me, all grown up. Even thought it’s a million degrees in the summer, a classic black polo is the perfect staple. It looks perfect with paired with these palm print shorts. I love that while this is a definite “summer” look it doesn’t have to be all sea mists and white, but can be darker and a little more dramatic. I think I made a good choice adding the black wingtips into the mix; they gave a pretty simple outfit a little bit of an elevated flair. And of course the amazing watch with Swarovski crystals and the railroad spike bracelet aren’t hurting anything either. 😉

Black and Camo Shorts 6Black and Camo Shorts 2Black and Camo Shorts 7 Black and Camo Shorts 3Black and Camo Shorts 8 Black and Camo Shorts 4Black and Camo Shorts 1 Black and Camo Shorts 5

SHOP THE LOOK

Shorts: Old Navy (similar) // Polo: J.Crew // Shoes: J.Crew (similar) // Watch: c/o Rakani // Bracelet: Giles & Brother // Sunglasses: Spitfire Sunglasses

Live Stylishly With a SWIG Flask

August 24, 2015
Swig Flask 4

When it comes to a complete list of men’s wardrobe essentials, a flask is definitely something that all men should have. But choosing the right flask is important. You need one that is both elegant and stylish, but also high quality so that it doesn’t taint the alcohol within. A novelty flask with a saying like “Bitches Be Crazy” printed on the side aren’t going to cut it. Usually they’ll leave a metallic taste and no one wants that.

Instead, upgrade to a grown up hip flask like this one from SWIG. They have a variety of styles, everything from simple and sleek to ones with Harris tweed pouches and leather sleeves (like mine below). Born in the UK, SWIG flasks are made from a single piece of polished, mirrored stainless steel so you won’t have to worry about leakage. And don’t worry, your whisky is safe because there’s no harsh aftertaste and it’s all lead-free. I chose one from their Executive collection which includes a leather sleeve (available in 4 different colors and a cool Union Jack print). The leather pouch is made from a high-end vegetable tanned leather and “wet molded”  by leather artisans based in the Spanish town of Ubrique. I’m telling you guys, this flask is so amazing you’ll have it forever and you’ll be able to pass it down for generations. Plus, they make the perfect gift for any guy… next time you need to a graduation gift, Christmas gift, a just-because gift… Side note, I wouldn’t mind getting more just-because gifts.

Regardless of the reason, a sleek and stylish flask is a definite must-have for any fashionable man. Pieces like an insanely cool flask take style to a whole new level; beyond just what’s hanging in your closet to an overall lifestyle choice. So don’t just dress stylishly, live stylishly!

Swig Flask 3 Swig Flask 2 Swig Flask 1Swig Flask 4

Purchase your very own Swig flask at www.swigflasks.com.

The Art Of Mixing Prints

August 19, 2015
Checks and Dots 3

Something that definitely separates the men from the boys in the world of styling and personal fashion is the ability to step outside the box and come up with looks that the average guy (the “boy” in this example) wouldn’t normally throw together. Now, I’m not saying anything groundbreaking is happening here (I mean it’s shorts and a short-sleeved shirt), but putting some thought into what you’re wearing and how you put it together can take an outfit from ordinary to something pretty cool.

The art of mixing prints is not hard to master, but here are some helpful tips to get you on your way to becoming a style savant.

  1. Go Bold or Go Home: For the experts among us mixing bold prints with other bold prints can be done, but you are definitely going to get noticed. Pairing a paisley pant with a floral shirt can be done and is sure to make you look like a sartorial samurai. Just make sure that one doesn’t overpower the other. If it does it will make your look off-balance and not as well-perceived.
  2. Bold Yet Balanced: Big, bold prints can be intimidating but if you want to pair it with another printed piece opt for something simple. Balance the boldness with something subtle. A large floral print with a thin stripe. Or a large camo with a small polka dot. I’ll post a look about this soon…
  3. Subtle and Understated: My favorite way, and an easy way to master the art of print mixing, is to mix two smaller prints within the same color family. The look below works because both prints are small and uniform, but also because they both have a navy and white color palette.

A look like this is made of pieces that all guys should have in their closet. Everyone should have a printed short (I mean come on, 2015 is like the year of the floral) and a simple printed short sleeve shirt (i.e. gingham, stripes, dot, micro floral, etc.). You can recreate it easily! Don’t forget to style it by tucking and rolling your sleeves.

Checks and Dots 5Checks and Dots 1Checks and Dots 3 Checks and Dots 4Checks and Dots 2Checks and Dots 6

SHOP THE LOOK

Shorts: similar // Shirt: similar // Shoes: c/o Rockport // Watch: Jack Spade // Belt: J.Crew // Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Cocktails

Sip On This Summer Scotch Lemonade

August 18, 2015
Cutty Sark Summer Punch 1

When it’s as scorching as it has been here lately the only thing I want to do at 5 o’clock (or earlier) is enjoy a nice cocktail. I’m definitely a huge fan of red wine, and while swirling a scotch definitely has a time and a place, when you need to cool off all you want is a cold refreshing cocktail. This adults-only lemonade is the perfect combination of summer citrus and subtle sweetness of the honey blended with the slight vanilla notes of Cutty Sark make it a definite crowd pleaser. It will transport you to a cushioned lounge chair on a big wraparound porch somewhere in the south while the crooning of Ella Fitzgerald can be heard gently playing. You sip and savor. Maybe that’s just what the drink did for me, but try it for yourself and see where you taken to. The best part of this cocktail is that you can easily customize it to your personal taste and to whatever you happen to have on hand. Love ginger? Replace the honey with a ginger infused simple syrup. Or try muddling the berries to make a berry lemonade. Whatever you love, this simple scotch lemonade is the perfect base but can also be enjoyed as is. Take it for a test drive and let me know what you think!

RECIPE

2 oz. Cutty Sark or light-bodied blended scotch

1 oz. Fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1/2 oz. Honey

Ginger Beer (to taste)

Handful of berries

Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice. Add Cutty Sark, lemon juice, and honey and stir. Top with ginger beer and garnish with fresh berries. Enjoy, preferably while on a shaded front porch. :)

Cutty Sark Summer Punch 7Cutty Sark Summer Punch 2Cutty Sark Summer Punch 4 Cutty Sark Summer Punch 5Cutty Sark Summer Punch 3 Cutty Sark Summer Punch 6Cutty Sark Summer Punch 1

Suspenders Give a Simple Summer Look New Life

August 17, 2015
Suspenders and Chambray 8

Sometimes getting dressed gets boring. For me, wardrobe boredom usually hits around this time in any given season. For example, at this point in the summer the novelty of shorts and short sleeves has completely worn off. I’m busy daydreaming about merino wool and tweed even though it’s still 100 degrees here. Yes, it is awful, thank you for asking. So at this point when I’m ready to jump ship and skip ahead into the next season, I try to get a little creative with what I’m wearing. Finding a new way to wear an old piece or reviving life into a season I’d rather see leave can sometime yield the most stylish results.

Adding suspenders to a look like this is a great way to inject a little life into a basic short sleeve chambray shirt that I’d rather replace with a long sleeved flannel. Clip on suspenders like these can be a great addition to any wardrobe. Whether you need to dress up a wedding outfit or give a casual look a creative spin, suspenders are a great way to add a little personality to a look and stand out. I personally love the look of these leather ones. Clipped to a great pair of dark skinny jeans keeps the look more modern, and they draw your eye to the great belt loop detailing on these jeans (photo below). Balanced by my favorite pair of vintage loafers which help create a cohesive look and together make the perfect combination of everything that I love: a classic vintage vibe with a modern edge. Suspenders and Chambray 5Suspenders and Chambray 2 Suspenders and Chambray 3Suspenders and Chambray 6Suspenders and Chambray 1 Suspenders and Chambray 7Suspenders and Chambray 8

SHOP THE LOOK

Shirt: Similar // Suspenders: c/o JJ Suspenders // Jeans: c/o Volcom // Shoes: vintage // Watch: Timex // Bracelet: Giles & Brothers

Get Your Very Own Winston Watch

August 13, 2015
WIlson_watches-023 (1)

The perfect watch is sometimes hard to find. So when one comes along that can quickly become your perfect travel companion and a must-pack item for any trip… that’s a watch worth holding on to. Winston timepieces were designed with travel in mind. They come in a selection of classic colors and have interchangeable straps so there’s something for every occasion. So whether you’re riding bikes on the boardwalk or enjoying a candlelit dinner al fresco, the Winston watch is the perfect timepiece for the occasion. Check out my review from when they were still in the kickstarter phase.

Now you can get your own Winston Watch for 20% of retail ($149)! Just use code brickandvinewinston at checkout. Pick yours up today and tag me in your photos on Instagram and Twitter so I can check out how you rock the Winston watch.  JRP_WinstonWatches-8June1520382JRP_WinstonWatches-8June1520465 JRP_WinstonWatches-8June1520392

Form & Function In Perfect Harmony

August 11, 2015
Brooks Sneakers 4

It might be the best time to be in the business of sportswear. Never before has it played a larger role in both the athletic and fashion spheres. Running shoes and athletic sneakers can now be worn on your morning workout and then worked in to a perfectly styled street look. It’s easier than ever to look great and feel equally comfortable. And that’s why it’s never been better to be me. I’m a sucker for comfort. Form and function coexist in every outfit I put on. Take a shoe like this pair of Brooks Running shoes from their Fall 2015 Heritage collection as an example. Their design harks back to classic eighties sneakers, and while they’ve got all the makings of a running shoe, are the perfect sneaker to mix into your wardrobe to help pull off the perfect streetstyle look. This classic color combination can be mixed with literally anything, and I am in love with the attention to detail on this pair of shoes. I mean look at that stitching on the tongues–amazing!

I paired them with these lightweight joggers and a classic, almost “dad like” Hawaiian shirt because it’s still summer after all. I love mixing pieces that you wouldn’t initially think to put together and these sneakers and Hawaiian shirt speak to that. It’s a bit unexpected but it’s such an easy way to look like you know what you’re doing. Plus it opens up the possibilities of your wardrobe when you don’t limit running shoes to be worn for running and Hawaiian shirts for time spent in Hawaii (not to say I wouldn’t gladly spend all my time in a Hawaiian shirt in Kauai if I could). Add in a classic leather Timex and my new Giles & Brother bracelet and you’ve got a perfectly balanced look. Form and function in perfect harmony.

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SHOP THE LOOK

Sneakers: c/o Brooks Heritage Fall 2015 (similar) // Pants: c/o Rustic Dime // Shirt: Old Navy (similar) // Watch: Timex // Bracelet: Giles & Brother //

 

A Little Bit Of Neon Never Hurt Anybody

August 5, 2015
Neon Bandits Chambray 2

Athletic and sports-inspired clothing has completely infiltrated the world of fashion. Whether it’s a pair of vintage-inspired sneakers or a pair of jersey joggers, there are countless ways to get in on the trend. The thing I love about the trend of mixing athletic-wear into your wardrobe is that it offers the opportunity to get creative. Let’s be real, the trendsetters you see walking down the street rocking a bright pair of sneakers or rocking a jersey is not in fact headed for a game of three on three. But that’s what is so great about the trend, you can mix these “sports” pieces with other pieces and create your very own brand of personal streetstyle.

I took a piece that I am always seen wearing, a chambray shirt, and paired it with a pair of black joggers and my brighter-than-the-sun New Balance sneakers. The piece of my look that perfectly encapsulates this mix between style and athletic function are my Neon Bandits socks. At their core they are an athletic sock but with a stylish twist. The result? An “action lifestyle sock” that won’t slide down your calf but has some definite style star power. They have a padded foot bed and, my favorite feature, they fit your foot tight and never slipped once while wearing them. I like my socks to fit my feet and hate when I have to continually pull them up to avoid bunching. You will not have a problem with that with these guys. I can’t wait to wear these again, I’m thinking with shorts and some Jack Purcells… Thoughts?

Neon Bandits Chambray 6Neon Bandits Chambray 3Neon Bandits Chambray 7 Neon Bandits Chambray 4Neon Bandits Chambray 8 Neon Bandits Chambray 5Neon Bandits Chambray 2SHOP THE LOOK

Socks: c/o Neon Bandits // Shoes: New Balance // Pants: Express // Shirt: Forever21 (similar) // Sunglasses: Spitfire

Cocktails, FOOD&DRINK

It Doesn’t Take An Aficionado To Appreciate Aperol

August 4, 2015
Aperol Gin Citrus 5

I am a cocktail aficionado. And what I mean by aficionado is that I love a good cocktail. Years of training and hard work have gone into being someone who can not only drink and enjoy a cocktail, but truly appreciate it. (NOTE: I have not actually been trained on anything related to alcohol, but I can dream can’t I?). Part of becoming someone as well-versed in cocktails as I is creating a well-stocked home bar. Sure, cocktails are wonderful when little to no effort goes into them. Wham, bam, $13 later and you’ve got some wonderful sipping. But what about those times when you’re at home and you want to whip up a truly delectable drink that has all the sophistication of a classy lounge but simple enough to handle on a Today was rough, I need a drink stat! kind of day.  Enter the home bar and no home bar would be complete without the perfect Italian apertif, Aperol.

Aperol has a distinct citrus flavor combined with a secret concoction of herbs and roots. I take this to mean that it has medicinal properties, however no science or medical reasoning back this claim. Perhaps the extent of its beneficial qualities is that it is the perfect addition to a citrus packed gin based cocktail. You will feel the stress literally leave your body with each small sip. Try the recipe below for the perfect end of summer cocktail.

COCKTAIL RECIPE (Makes 2 because one is never enough)

2 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice

1 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 oz. Aperol (I prefer a little more but start with 1 oz.)

3 oz. gin

Tonic water

Combine lime juice, lemon juice, Aperol, and gin into cocktail shaker with a few handfuls of ice. Shake until chilled. Split into two rocks glasses. Top with tonic water. Garnish with lemon or lime. Simple as that!

Aperol Gin Citrus 1 Aperol Gin Citrus 2 Aperol Gin Citrus 3 Aperol Gin Citrus 4Aperol Gin Citrus 6

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