So Much For My Farmer’s Tan

May 26, 2015
Black Pants Surplus Shirt 6

One of my new favorite pieces is this short sleeve sweatshirt. You can’t tell it’s short sleeve because it’s layered underneath this utility shirt so you’ll just have to believe me. I picked this one up from Jack Threads a few weeks ago and it has gotten so much wear. It’s a brilliant idea really because it has all the comfortable fleecy goodness of a sweatshirt with the added convenience and wearability of being short sleeved. It’s perfect for someone like me who breaks out into a sweat if I even so much as see the sun. Not that the sun is an issue right now because for some reason the sun hasn’t really shown itself in weeks in Southern California. Global warming, am I right? So for the time being my short sleeve sweatshirt should really be a long sleeve but that’s where layering comes in to save the day. I get to wear my new shirt and I’m not one bit cool. Win, win. I’m hoping for sun in the near future so I’ll get to sport this guy in all it’s short sleeved glory and really work on my farmers tan. #summergoals Black Pants Surplus Shirt 1 Black Pants Surplus Shirt 2Black Pants Surplus Shirt 5 Black Pants Surplus Shirt 3 Black Pants Surplus Shirt 4Black Pants Surplus Shirt 6

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Frump, Frump City B*tch

May 22, 2015
Chambray drawstring pants 6

Comfort is increasingly vying for importance in the world of stylish menswear. Sneakers have made a huge resurgence into the world of streetstyle with heritage classics being reborn across the fashion landscape; everyone from major fashion designers to fast fashion retailers are getting in the game. Sweatpants have slimmed and seemingly overnight proven to be as stylish and as much of a staple as a go to pair of jeans. And it makes sense if you think about it. More and more men are taking an interest in the world of fashion and cultivating their personal style, and comfortable clothing makes it all the easier to get dressed and look good.

This look is a perfect example of a simple way to remain comfortable without sacrificing style. The trend of drawstring pants has become a great option for men wanting to remain comfortable in the Spring/Summer. This pair is made from a lightweight chambray, and I love the cropped length. I decided to pair them with a simple white v-neck tee and heathered grey hoodie to create an outfit that I wore to spend the day inside (that is until I stepped out briefly to snap some photos for ya’ll). The Birkenstock sandals only add to the comfort but thick strapped sandals are so on trend right now that they only add to the frump city streetstyle look I was going for. I mean it literally couldn’t get more comfortable and it looks oh so nice.Chambray drawstring pants 1 Chambray drawstring pants 7 Chambray drawstring pants 2 Chambray drawstring pants 3 Chambray drawstring pants 4 Chambray drawstring pants 5 Chambray drawstring pants 6 Chambray drawstring pants 8

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Simple Yet Significant Style

May 19, 2015
Leather Business Casual 5

Yesterday I rambled about blogging and how it’s a finicky son of a gun. It takes time, drive, and you really have to love it. One of the hardest parts is finding time to photograph the outfits that I want to talk about. Enter my two new favorite blogging tools: the tripod and remote. I wanted to photograph this casual, laid back leather look but there was no one within miles who could operate a camera/would make me feel comfortable pretending to be a fashion model in front of. That’s when I decided to put my new remote to use. It is the cheapest camera tool you will find and it worked out really well. Took a little longer than having an actual photographer but was relatively painless.

I used to think that fall was the best time to play with layers but it turns out I’m liking spring layering so much more. Maybe because we’ve been having an unusually cool spring. I’ve been really enjoying simple outfits like this that are so easy to replicate again and again but still look like I know what I’m doing. Creating a personal style is essentially about finding combinations that work and recreating them in new, creative ways. For me the emphasis is always on simplicity. I think of that quote about keeping your style simple yet significant. If you’re in the market for a styling mantra, definitely consider putting that one into practice.

Here’s a classic combination of jeans, shirt, jacket but I’m loving the detail of the textured button up with the smooth leather jacket, and then allowing some sock to show with these amazing wingtips. I mean come on, the shoes are awesome–and they are beyond comfortable. With looks like this there is no excuse for a man to leave the house without looking pulled together. Leather Business Casual 1Leather Business Casual 6 Leather Business Casual 2 Leather Business Casual 4 Leather Business Casual 5Leather Business Casual 7 Leather Business Casual 8

Make Like A Zebra And Sport Some Stripes

May 18, 2015
Striped Mens Casual Look 5

I’m starting to thinking zebras are the most fashionable animals on the planet. Think about it, they’re always sporting stripes which are consistently on trend and classically stylish. No matter the weather, no matter the conditions, always in stripes. Good job guys! I took their lead and rocked this striped long-sleeved tee which is crazy comfortable. While zebras might have stripes on lock they haven’t quite caught on to the white sneaker trend. I’m loving these Nikes. I’m not planning on taking them off for a good 3 months or so (at least).  Get used to seeing them because they have definitely become my go to.

This weekend I was thinking about blogging and how much I love it. Where else can I talk about zebras and the mark they’ve left on the fashion world? And while it’s great, I don’t think people realize the amount of time and energy that goes into running a blog. You’ve got to put time into planning looks, finding locations (sometimes I get lazy and just snap some shots in my backyard, haha), collaborating with brands and retailers, responding to endless emails, writing posts, marketing the posts… the list goes on. And while I have a lovely wife who also has a passion for blogging and helps me so much in getting everything done, we both work 40 hours a week so finding the time to squeeze it all in can be difficult. But at the end of the day I wouldn’t give it up for anything, because even though it’s a ton of work, it is something that I truly love to do. It’s a second full-time job and while frustrating at times, starting this blog has been one of the best things I’ve done for myself. That and buying these Nikes (a duh). So I hope you enjoy it! I’m always looking for ways to improve so feel free to comment below or connect with me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and let’s become friends!

Striped Mens Casual Look 7Striped Mens Casual Look 2Striped Mens Casual Look 5 Striped Mens Casual Look 3 Striped Mens Casual Look 4Striped Mens Casual Look 1Striped Mens Casual Look 6

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Comfort Is, And Always Will Be, King

May 15, 2015
Indigo Print T Shirt 2

A few weeks ago I asked anyone and everyone to give their input on which pair of white sneakers I should I add to my collection. Now I feel bad because I ended up with a pair that my wife recommended and not one from my list of options but I think you can understand why I went with these classic Nikes. They are awesome! The classic gum rubber soles and the classic navy swish combined with the fact that they are a beyond-comfortable way for your feet to spend a day make them the perfect pair of white sneakers. Don’t think this doesn’t mean that I won’t be picking up a pair from my previous wishlist…

Indigo Print T Shirt 1Indigo Print T Shirt 3Speaking of comfort, these CPO drawstring pants are one of the most affordable of my recent investments (now they are only $15–link below). I love their comfy drawstring waistband, their lightweight chino feel and the amount of detail that went into their construction. They have stitching detail along the crotch, around the knee and have pieces of elastic at the pockets so that I can squeeze my beast of a phone into my tight pants. I loved them so much that I went back and picked up a pair in blue chambray. So now I can be comfortable all spring long! And if my middle name isn’t comfort I don’t know what it is! Actually it’s Taylor but that’s besides the point… comfort is key gentlemen! Indigo Print T Shirt 4 Indigo Print T Shirt 5Indigo Print T Shirt 2 Indigo Print T Shirt 6

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Cocktails, FOOD&DRINK

The Negroni: Gin’s Old Fashioned

May 13, 2015
Hendricks Negroni 1

Not a fan of whiskey? I’m not either. Side Note: I did recently have a pretty amazing blueberry whiskey smash recently so I might be changing my tune on whiskey in the near future. Regardless, those looking for a cocktail that captures the essence of an Old Fashioned, the Negroni is the perfect cocktail for you. And better yet, it’s even easier to concoct than an Old Fashioned.Hendricks Negroni 2

Here’s why this cocktail is definitely worth working in to your drinking routine (yes, if you’re as serious as I am about booze you have what is called a “routine”). I get bored with drinks sometimes and like to cycle through different cocktails every so often to add some variety to my life. Tell me if this has ever happened to you… You come home from a long day at work and are in the mood to try something new, so you sit down with your laptop or tablet and search for a cocktail recipe that seems to fit your fancy (I usually hit up Pinterest because I need a picture to whet my appetite). You end up finding something that looks amazing but realize you don’t have any rosemary simple syrup in the fridge or any small batch gin that’s squeezed from juniper berries that are grown on a sheer cliff in Norway (that’s probably made up but it’s not far from a true situation). So long story even longer, that is why a cocktail like the Negroni is perfect. It is made up of ingredients any self-respecting home bar should contain: your favorite gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari.

COCKTAIL RECIPE

Equal parts gin (in this case, my favorite, Hendricks), sweet vermouth, and Campari. Fill a glass with ice, pour equal parts of each into your glass and give it a gentle stir to mix it all together. And that’s it. The Campari gives it a blast of grapefruit bitterness which balances out the sweetness of the sweet vermouth. And then you’ve got the floral notes of the gin and it’s just amazing. For the cocktail enthusiast, twist an orange peel and add to your glass for a little added citrus burst and garnish.

Interested in other cocktail recipes I’ve tested out? Check them all out here.

Hendricks Negroni 3

HOW TOS

3 Simple Steps To A Stylish Spring… Guaranteed!

May 11, 2015
Tropical Print Spring Style 7

FACT: Most guys don’t want to have to think too hard about what they wear everyday, and definitely don’t want to look like they tried too hard. So here is a super simple way to guarantee you look stylish this spring and summer without it requiring too much effort.

Step #1

Get on the printed shorts trend and pick up a few pairs. Obviously every guy needs some good basic shorts but grab a few printed ones to pump up your style quotient. Get a pair with a larger print (like the ones I’m wearing), a smaller, more subtle print, and a horizontal stripe pair. These three types will allow for hundreds of combinations and you’ll always look like you know what you’re doing. This pair I’ve got on are old but Hawaiian print apparel is all over again this spring/summer so they still pull a significant amount of style weight. Tropical Print Spring Style 2Tropical Print Spring Style 3

Step #2

Got a favorite t-shirt? Good. Then you’re essentially golden. Take it a step further and load up on an assortment of colors. Maybe get a little crazy and throw in a stripe, a texture, or tee with a pocket. Hell go completely insane and pick up a printed tee with a polka dot or Hawaiian print. The more tees you stock up on the more combinations you have for your printed shorts. NOTE: If you are going to mix a printed short with a printed tee you’ll be stylin’! Just make sure that one of the prints is larger and bolder than the other. I tend to pair a larger printed bottom with a smaller, more subdued print on top but personal style wouldn’t be anything without making it your own.

Tropical Print Spring Style 4 Tropical Print Spring Style 5Step #3

Birkenstock sandals seems to be an extremely polarizing piece of footwear. People either love them or hate them. I have to say that I’m loving mine because not only are they super comfortable but when I wear a sandal, I want it to be stylish. I guess that’s where the drama ensues with the questioning of if they are stylish or not… Regardless, I’m a fan and they are an easy way to add a little edge to any look.

Finish the look off with your favorite pair of sunglasses and a watch (add a bracelet or two for you adventurous types), and you’ll look stylish and sun ready. Tropical Print Spring Style 6 Tropical Print Spring Style 7 Tropical Print Spring Style

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Beating the Business Casual Blues

May 5, 2015
Spring Casual Office Look 7

I took a few days off work to recharge my batteries, something everyone needs every so often. Sometimes you just need some time to get reinvigorated and be at your best. But now it’s back to the daily grind and I’m back in business casual. My office is a pretty casual environment so I don’t wear full-blown suits to work. Instead I always try to find ways to look pulled together but still a part of the business casual atmosphere. This usually includes a dress pant, nice shoe, shirt (most times not even a dress shirt), and a tie. A look like this is a perfect way to look dapper without taking yourself too seriously. Since it is business casual, I replace suit jackets or sport coats with cardigans and sweaters. I still rock a tie every once in a while because I love that they can mix up an outfit. And a tie allows me to wear tie clips (another way to add some panache to your looks), like this awesome mustache one. It just keeps the whole look fun and relaxed. And when your days consist of boring conference calls and endless Excel spreadsheets, this little mustacheod tie clip can make all the difference. Spring Casual Office Look 1Spring Casual Office Look 4 Spring Casual Office Look 2Spring Casual Office Look 5 Spring Casual Office Look 6 Spring Casual Office Look 7

Cocktails, FOOD&DRINK

A 3 Ingredient Cocktail To Impress Your Friends

April 29, 2015
Hendricks Gin Sage Grapefruit Cocktail 6

I’m a geek for gin so I love finding new ways to enjoy it. This cocktail, while on the sweeter side, has the perfect balance of flavors to complement my favorite gin, Hendricks. And it is the perfect cocktail to enjoy now that the weather is heating up. But, most importantly, this cocktail will make all your friends go ooh and oh my gosh do I taste sage? And you, being the expert bartender that you are will be able to say, why yes that is. Read further to learn how.

Hendricks Gin Sage Grapefruit Cocktail 1 Hendricks Gin Sage Grapefruit Cocktail 2This cocktail packs a full-flavored punch with bitterness from the grapefruit and floral notes from both the gin and the sage. I perused a bunch of different recipes and came up with this one based upon what I had on hand so feel free to experiment with whatever you have nearby. The main ingredients: gin (could use vodka), grapefruit, and an herbal simple syrup. Hendricks Gin Sage Grapefruit Cocktail 5Hendricks Gin Sage Grapefruit Cocktail 4

RECIPE

Cocktail Recipe

2oz. gin (Hendricks in this case because it’s amazing)

1/2oz. sage simple syrup (see recipe below)

3-4oz. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice

1oz. grapefruit soda (only use this if you want a sweeter, bubblier taste)

Combine ice, gin, grapefruit juice and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker. Vigorously stir until ingredients are thoroughly chilled. Strain into a glass. Add a wedge of grapefruit and a sprig of sage for garnish.

Simple Syrup

Start with the base any of any good simple syrup, equal parts water and sugar. I made a small batch so used half cup of each. Then add your herb. In this case sage (I would highly recommend because the floral notes play really well off the grapefruit).

1/2 Cup water

1/2 Cup sugar

4 stems of sage

Add all ingredients to a saucepan and heat on low. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved and created a syrup. Turn off the heat and let the syrup cool. Once cool, remove the stems of sage and filter the syrup into a jar. TIP: You can create more of the syrup and store in the fridge for a good 10-14 days. Strain the syrup through a mesh colander to remove any sage leaves that may have fallen off. Store in the refrigerator.

Beware, this cocktail is super easy to drink so you might find yourself making glass upon glass so ensure you have enough sage simple syrup to go around. Enjoy! Hendricks Gin Sage Grapefruit Cocktail 6

Doing Casual Cool The Right Way

April 28, 2015
Chambray and Suede Bomber 6

For me, style has to be effortless (or nearly effortless). I never want to look like I put too much time, energy, worry, etc. into what I’m wearing. I always want to look cool and casual but still stylish and pulled together. In order to keep my sanity when it comes to style I have a few go-to rules that I remind myself of. One of them is that denim and chambray always look casual and cool. How can you know that I follow this rule? Well for one, you can skim through the personal style section of Brick&Vine and just see how much denim and chambray I wear (trust me, it’s intense). Or, you could take a look at my closet (the other option is probably easier since I don’t do tours of my closet… that often). I recently sorted all of my shirts by color and style and the chambray/denim/work shirt section is out of control. This one I’m wearing here was part of the FEED x Target collaboration a year or so back and it’s so incredibly soft and comfortable, plus I’ve worn it in perfectly so that always helps.

Chambray and Suede Bomber 1

I paired the shirt with my favorite pair of Levi’s that are a few shades darker to offset each other. I’m always a fan of wearing chambray and denim together but if you’re nervous just try to keep one darker than the other. That way you won’t feel one note. I threw on one of my favorite jackets, this suede bomber because it’s the perfect layer for this time of year. For those of you that are thinking you can’t wear suede jackets year round, well you win! Because I realized taking these photos that I have some weird sticky stain on the left sleeve–probably a spilled gin and tonic from the last time I wore it. So if I can’t get the stain out, it might be retired, but if I can, then it’s back to year round wear for me! Anyone know a good way of cleaning suede that doesn’t cost a fortune? Regardless, bombers have continued to mark their territory as the must-have layer. You can get your hands on this one from Obey except now it comes in navy which is awesome.

Chambray and Suede Bomber 2 Chambray and Suede Bomber 3 Chambray and Suede Bomber 4 Chambray and Suede Bomber 5 Chambray and Suede Bomber 6 Chambray and Suede Bomber 7

 

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