Go to Hell

10 January, 2012

One aspect of dressing well is standing apart from other men. Most of the time you can do this just by putting a little effort into how you look, but there are times when you’ll be around other sartorially inclined men and you’ll want to step up your game; or you’ll be in an environment like an office where everyone dresses similarly and you’ll want to stand out a bit.

Most men will see this as an opportunity to wear a different piece of clothing or accessory than everyone else. This is why you see fuzzy hats, makeup and platform boots on guys in clubs, or pocket watches and other oddities on men in the office. Don’t get me wrong, wearing a blazer when everyone else is wearing just a button-up shirt is a good and classic way to stand out, but there’s another aspect a lot of men don’t look at – color.

I’m an advocate of dressing in a timeless and stylish manner instead of just following fashion and trends. That means the articles of clothing and the way they’re cut and fit should be flattering but classic. However, a man still needs to have a sense of fun and a devil-may-care attitude in the way in dresses. Rather than parachute pants, bell bottoms or hipster mustaches, buy classic clothes in go-to-hell colors.


Any guy can wear a loud, colorful or printed shirt. There’s definitely a place for that as well. But if you want to stand out, add some punch in other areas. Start small and work your way up from there.


If you wear a suit or a jacket then a good way to step it up color wise is by adding a pocket square. These are becoming more and more commonplace but the majority of guys who wear them are using a plain-white, pressed square a la Mad Men. Great look, but not a way to catch the eye. In a sea of black, white and navy, more white isn’t going to grab anyone’s attention. A colorful pocket square will make an outfit more casual. It’s a good way to transition into wearing a jacket if you feel stuffy doing so.

Squares are easier to find than I thought. The one on the left was part of a three pack that I got at Target for about five bucks. The one on the right is a silk scarf I found at a thrift store for $2.00. The thing about squares is you have to buy them when you find them, thankfully they’re cheap so it’s easy to do.


Socks are the next step up and are my favorite. I haven’t worn a pair of black dress socks in years. Most people don’t see your feet unless you’re sitting and you either have your legs splayed or crossed, or if you’re walking at a quick pace. This means these will catch the eye without blatantly holding someone’s attention. There doesn’t have to be any rhyme or reason to your sock choices either. Never ever try to match your socks to your square, tie or any other piece of clothing. Matching accessories takes you out of the realm of stylish and into the midst of the sportscaster. Socks – like pocket squares – are actually easier to find on the cheap as well. Target, Old Navy, American Apparel, all of these sell loud socks at decent prices.


The last is the most difficult. Wearing go-to-hell pants is something you can’t do self-consciously. You have to have confidence to pull these off without making them look like a costume. It’s best to start off with colors like I have here. These blue guys are a staple for me in the warmer months and the cranberries are perfect for fall and winter.  If you have the confidence to wear these, you’ll have women approaching you to ask you about them. Just turn on your charm from there. A word of advice about pants like this – wear a plain shirt with them. You don’t want things to be competing. White, grey or navy are about all you can put on with pants like these; and avoid any patterns.


At absolute most, you want two pieces that stand out and one of those should be a smaller piece. If you have more than that going on, you’ll look like a clown. Loud pants and loud shirt – no go. Loud pants and loud socks – doable. Another piece of advice is to keep the patterns and cuts classic. Things like varsity stripes, argyle and gingham can look great with loud colors. If your colors and patterns are unconventional, you’ll look like something out of the 80’s.

The more you wear something

4 January, 2012

The more you wear something the more comfortable it feels;
The more comfortable it feels the more natural it looks;
The more natural it looks the better it makes you look.

Is that a gun in your pocket…?

30 December, 2011

I’m an advocate of carrying a weapon and in most states you can (sucks to be you Illinois).  I could go into a whole list of reasons why, but to me it seems pretty apparent. I’m also an advocate of concealed carry. Again, there are a whole host of reasons why.

When I got my first gun I had a very difficult time figuring out how to carry it without printing (when the outline of your weapon is visible through your clothing via its imprint). Most men I know who carry don’t have this problem because they wear ill-fitting clothes and the gun gets lost in all the extra folds of fabric. That doesn’t work for me though. Another option is to spend the money to have all your clothing altered to accommodate carrying. This gets pricey but will be an option I consider as I have my clothes tailored in the future. I spent a lot of time online trying to find some tips on how to carry discretely in clothes that fit without extra alterations and found almost nothing.

My own experience led me to the conclusion that there are three important aspects of carrying concealed.

1. Concealability

2. Comfort

3. Style

The fourth would be accessibility but I figure this is non-negotiable. Why carry if you can’t access your weapon?

For the most part, you can have two of the three but not all three. Breaking it down this way makes it easy to see why most men wear their baggy clothes and conceal relatively easily. They focus on conealability and comfort at the expense of style. When I first started out I didn’t have the option of buying a whole new wardrobe of massive clothes so I had to sacrifice the comfort aspect.

I knew before making my purchase that this was the problem I would be facing so I selected my gun accordingly. This is my every-day carry.


It’s a Bersa Thunder .380. I knew I wanted a semi-auto and the Bersa is similar to the Walther PPK in that it has a metal construction, slim frame and small profile. I know a .380 doesn’t have the stopping power of a .44 but it’s big enough to do the job and the gun you have with you is better than the one you leave at home because you can’t carry it well.

I think the next handgun I buy will be a revolver. A lot of the old guns are even smaller and more concealable than semi-autos. I also know of small Glocks and things like Derringers that are practically invisible, but I wasn’t comfortable shooting those guns. It is possible to find and carry a gun that is both concealable and comfortable to fire.

Initially I thought a shoulder holster would be my best option. I personally wear a blazer or suit every day. I started doing so when I realized my phone was uncomfortably close to my balls all day long. The inner-breast pocket in my jacket is now wear I keep it and I believed the jacket would give me good coverage for the gun. Unfortunately that didn’t work. As small as the Bersa is, it still printed extremely obviously when it was under my arm. My jackets are tailored pretty slim and the difference between each side of my body was glaringly apparent.

Shoulder holster was out.

Next I figured I’d try an ankle holster. I don’t wear shorts except on the hottest days so I had no problem giving those up to carry around my ankle. Problem was that your pants have to be a lot baggier than what you’d think to carry at your ankle. Like my jackets, I have my pants tailored pretty slim.

So ankle holster was out as well.

Essentially this left me with one option – the waist. Now within that there are a number of ways you can carry: Inside Waist Band (IWB), Outside Waist Band (OWB), Small of Back (SOB), and a few more. OWB wasn’t going to work for the same reason the shoulder holster didn’t, the drape on my jackets is snug all the way down my sides and it would print too obviously. So this left me with one real option. If you think about it, the small of your back is the only place on a man’s body where there is some extra space after accounting for clothing that fits. Because of his shoulders and back, the jacket will drape and leave a nice pocket of open space at the small of the back. So that’s the option I went with.

 It’s fairly obvious that I’m carrying when I don’t have a jacket or sweater on. But, like I said, I’m almost always wearing one. In the summer you can wear unlined jackets made of cotton or linen and you can hardly feel them. When I do put one on, the gun disappears.


It’s a little tough to tell in the pictures, but I carry at about my 4 o’ clock instead of right at my six. The reason for that is the center vent in some of my jackets. When I carry at my four, I can put my hands in my pockets with that jacket buttoned and the spread of the vent doesn’t show anything.


When I carry at my six and put my hands in my pockets you can see the holster itself and most of the time the gun will peak out.

I know earlier I said that you can typically only have two of the three aspects of carrying, but what I’ve noticed over the months, (I only started carrying in August) is that my body has gotten used to having the gun on my waist. There are times when I’m in the car or sitting somewhere and I have to put my hand back to see if I am in fact carrying that day because I can no longer actively feel the gun.

Anyone else had any experience with carrying in clothing that fits?