Monthly Archives: June 2010

Men’s Accessories

When we think of accessories, we automatically think of items that cater only to women i.e. earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Male accessories are something that men in general should embrace, not feeling uneasy about incorporating these items into their wardrobes. They enhance your look by adding elegance and style. This summer I recommend 6 accessories that all men should invest in to upgrade their personal styles apart from the traditional tie and watch. Paying attention to the finer details will always make your outfit pop.

First is a great pair of sunglasses. I would suggest having a pair of traditional black and brown frames that you can alternate with whatever you are wearing. If you’re a bit more outgoing and adventurous try colored/ patterned frames but please stay within the color/pattern barriers that compliment your age. Subtlety goes a long way; you don’t want to look like a 40 year old wearing your teenager’s sunglasses. Avoid wearing sunglasses that are too small for your face because small frames make your face look larger and vice versa for large frames. A nice pair of aviators will always do the trick and they come in a range of sizes.

Cuff Links signify classic elegance. These pieces of jewelry can be worn to work, black tie affairs, and weddings or anywhere you would like to make a statement. They come in all different designs with a mixture of precious stones and colors.

Work Bags are great accessories to have and they come in a wide range of different styles and fabrics to fit your lifestyle. For a more business look you would probably gravitate towards the leather and for a more casual and relaxed look, the nylon or cloth would be perfect. No longer is it cool to carry your cell phones on your hip, lunch bags and gym bags while wearing a suit. These bags are designed to carry all your belongings while looking very fashionable.

Believe it or not a pair of great looking socks can start some very interesting conversation. Forget about boring and get a pair of eye catching socks. These days male hosiery comes in an assortment of patterns and colours. If you are a little bit more conservative you can stick with the traditional argyle and stripes patterns.


When a man reaches a certain age, carrying a backpack for a weekend trip seems a little adolescent. It gives onlookers the impression that you are going camping, hiking or backpacking across Europe. Why not travel with a little bit more style and get a weekend bag. It holds all your essentials for the weekend, its light weight and you look more mature and fashion forward carrying this piece.

  
A great belt is a very important accessory in every man’s wardrobe. Keep it simple with a classic buckle and a fine leather band in either black or brown. Gentlemen always remember that your belt should ALWAYS match your shoes. Woven and colored belts are also great for the summer especially in a more causal setting.









 
Written by: Curt Greenidge
  
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All Hail The Queen!

I remember the first time I saw Mary J Blige. There she was on my TV set singing her hit song “Real Love” and me thinking “Damn I gonna marry her someday!” Now for anyone that knows me, know that I am a HUGE Mary J Blige fan. I had the opportunity to meet and profess my undying love for her during her “Share My World” album signing tour at HMV in downtown Toronto. I cut school early (sorry Mom) and like a hormonal teenage boy I had it all planned out how I was going to pop the question. I thought I was dressed fresh to death to meet my Queen, wearing a Karl Kani black v-neck T-shirt, black Levis, all white Nikes and my brother’s black New York Yankee’s hat turned to the back. I waited in line for 4 hours and finally my opportunity came. There I was standing in front of her and for some reason I couldn’t get a single word out of my mouth. My heart was racing, my hands were all clammy and I’m sure I had that deer caught in the headlights look! After being escorted off by my friends because my feet were firmly planted on the ground to a point where I couldn’t move, I was like “DAMMIT! Now she will never know how I feel!” My friends all looked at me and started laughing and said “Like you had a chance!

Mary J Blige always has this swagger about her in the way she walks, talks, sing and definitely dress. She started out during the 90’s where dressing like a boy was very cool for females. She would thug it out in a full workman’s jumpsuit, a pair of Timberlands and baseball cap turned to the back with blonde Shirley Temple curls. As the years went by and her career sky rocketed, the Queen of Hip Hop and Soul’s style became more high fashion however always incorporating a street edge. Everything Mary wore all young female imitated. From her blonde hair styles, signature sun glasses and edgy wardrobe. There are two sides to MJB’s style, one is represented by her alter-ego Brook-Lynn whose style is hard, edgy and street savvy the other is Mary who is more refined, feminine and high fashion. Both personalities have one thing in common, her swagger.

 

Last week Mary and fashion designer/ close friend Catherine Malandrino raised money to send 30 under privileged young women to college for her charity FFAWN. Last year the two created a line of T-shirts priced at $300; studded leather jackets $3000 which reflected Mary’s musical influences. Bloomingdales immediately sold out as soon as the clothing was placed on the racks. This new charity line showcased 25 new looks, a collection of evening wear, leather jackets and T-shirts. It was reported that the inspiration for this line was taken from the distinct styles of other music icons i.e. Tina Turner, Al Green and Grace Jones. This is not the first time Mary has joined forces with the fashion world to raise money for her charity. Last year she collaborated with Gucci to create a watch and now she has a line of sunglasses called Melodies. All hail the Queen! Trendsetter, Style Icon, Musician, Business woman and Humanitarian her swagger is often imitated but never duplicated.







“You Don’t Have To Worry” Video:Highlights Mary’s tomboyish style when she first started her career.

“Enough Cryin'” video: This video is very glamed up and high fashion representing both Mary and alter-ego Brook-Lynn’s styles.

“Your Child”: I call this Mary’s Sex and the City video. Her style is very 70’s inspired with knee length leather skirt, satin tops, neck ties and blonde Farrah Fawcett hairstyle.

Written by: Curt Greenidge

Review of Elle.com’s 25 most influential and intrepid female style icons in the music industry

A style icon is someone who embodies fashion. Someone whose personality shines through anything they wear and make their audience flip through the pages of a magazine and say “I want that”. This month Ellie.com wrote an article regarding the 25 most influential and intrepid style icons within the music industry. The list is compiled of all female musicians, most of which deserves to be on this list, others not so much. I will be sharing this list and giving my own personal opinion on who should be given this title, who should have been forgotten and who was forgotten. So what do you think? You too can leave your personal comments on who you feel warrants to be on this list and who is not worthy.

Annie Lennox: Annie Lennox was definitely a style icon during the 1980’s. She was fearless during this time wearing men’s suits, studded leather jackets and pants while completing her look with that platinum blonde boy cut.


Beyoncé: Always a style Diva rocking Haute Couture representing for the curvy females, showing them you can look stunning in these garments even though you do not have the typical model body type.


Diana Ross: When we think of glamour and glitz we think of Miss Diana Ross, the lead singer of the Supremes. She then went on to have a very successful solo career and was known for her “bling” out fashion. During the 60’s, for a female singer it was all about the gowns and dresses and through the years Miss Ross has acquired quite a bit. Diana’s daughter Tracey Ellis Ross once mentioned that her mother’s closet was timeless and she herself sometimes wore some of her mother’s clothing. This within itself speaks volumes if your clothing after 50 years is still relevant today.

CHER: CHER, the original Lady Gaga is indeed a fashion icon. She is extremely fearless in her fashion choices. Her and ex-husband Sonny Bono revolutionized hippie fashion and was most known for the nude feathered gown she wore on the cover of Time magazine in 1975. Definitely during that time period risky outfits were unheard of and CHER definitely pushed the ballot with her style.

Jennifer Lopez: Jennifer started out as a Fly Girl on the hit TV sitcom In Living Color. Wearing high waist pants, tight midriff tops, bamboo earrings and high ponytails representing for all the around the way girls. She then went out to star in movies, then she decided to show the world one other hidden talent and that was singing. Somewhere along her journey J.Lo managed to create a magnificent glam squad that crosses her T’s and dots her I’s when putting her looks together. In her music videos, movies and red carpet appearances J.Lo is always up to par. I like the way she mixes her street savvy style with couture and still look very glamorous.

Madonna: Madonna is one fashion icon that I think is the most comfortable in her own skin. She is never afraid to experiment with fashion and incorporate different eras. She is constantly reinventing herself from the thrift store get ups during the 80’s to the 90’s wearing underwear as outwear, which is a trend for this summer to the Madonna we know and love today more polished and European. For each one of these eras one thing is for sure Madonna had everyone rocking her looks. Even today Madonna is still making waves, check out the magazine spread she did for Interview. The Material Girl still has it, gracing the pages looking even better than before. Guess what? No airbrush believe it or not.

Kylie Minogue: Kylie Minogue was and still is in my opinion a sexy symbol and she had the wardrobe to match. Kylie was known for her edgy and daring costumes while she performed. She rocked the hell out of swimsuits before Beyonce showing off her power house body. Today Kylie is less risky with her clothing and more stylish and refined.

Björk: Björk? Really? She is not even on my fashion radar and too be honest shouldn’t even be considered for this list. Maybe I’m missing something here, I’m all for the over the top fashion but wearing a swan dress to an award show does not say fashion icon.

Cherie Currie and Joan Jett: Cherie and Joan were the poster children for Rock and Roll, with their leather body suits, high boots and mullet hair styles. Two of young Hollywood stars Kristen Stewart as Joan and Dakota Fanning as Cherie are scheduled to play this rocker duo in the upcoming movie The Runaways.

Courtney Love: Musician Courtney Love who is known for her grungy rocker style during the 90’s was transformed into a chic movie star for her debut in 1997. I won’t say Courtney Love is a fashion icon however I would give her the title of best transformation.

Debbie Harry: American singer, songwriter, actress Debbie Harry who is best known as the lead singer for the group Blondie is indeed a fashion icon. Most of her looks during her musical career is very relevant to today’s fashion which is a perfect example of how fashion is forever revolving. She was known for her oversize man’s tee with leggings and strapless figure-hugging jumpsuits which are all hot trends for the summer 2010 women’s fashion.

Elly Jackson: Elle.com compares Elly Jackson’s style to that of Annie Lennox and Grace Jones with fitted blazers, skinny jeans and Gucci loafers. This gender-bending trend is also popular these days. This gender bending trend is also popular these days i.e. singer Janelle Monae’s tuxedo wearing style.

Grace Jones: Growing up as a kid I was really scared but still very fascinated with Grace Jones. She definitely walked the line between masculine and feminine. Grace Jones had no boundaries when it came to fashion she rocked the hell out of that high top fade. She was the advocate for very structured and elaborate shoulder pads which is also another reoccurring trend.

Gwen Stefani: Gwen Stefani is a style icon and fashion mogul. Her fashion line L.A.M.B was founded in 2003, they manufacture clothing and accessories such as shoes, watches, bags and a fragrance called L. Gwen comes from a line of seamstresses and it definitely shows. When Gwen first came on the scene with her band No Doubt her look was very tom boyish, as time elapsed she herself evolved into a glamorous 1940’s pin-up girl.

Karen O: This South Korean born musician is known for her outlandish sense of style. Her outfits are made by her friend and fashion designer Christian Joy. Her exotic facial features and black bob hair cut which amplify her pale skin along with her over the top outfits make Karen O stand out.

Lady Miss Kier: Elle.com stated that she designed her 60’s inspired clothing which caught the attention of designer Thierry Mugler who invited her to walk in his spring 1991 show.

M.I.A: M.I.A is very adventurous in her fashion choices. I remember watching her interview on MTV when she first came on the scene and thinking “Wow this chick is definitely trapped in the 80’s but I think her style is kind of dope!” She is also a fashion designer which explains her over the top fashion ideas i.e. her appearance at the 2008 MTV Music Awards while 9 months pregnant.

Lady Gaga: Speaking of over the top, Lady Gaga theatrical fashion sense will definitely make you stop and take notice. Gaga most recently wore a studded swimsuit to a baseball game; talk about under dressed however for some reason I just can’t get enough. It’s like the late Alexander McQueen himself created this international superstar. I’m in the front row anxiously waiting to see what comes down the runway next. Even though almost all of Gaga’s outfits are not ready to wear, she well deserves to be on this list for being an innovator.

Missy Elliott: Missy Elliott is an extremely talented artist and successful business woman however not a style icon. Elle.com stated that Missy “wears Hip Hop” but I’m sorry the hip hop fashion has come a long way from wearing track suits and Adidas. Hip Hop style is a fusion of street savvy style and an individuals’ personal style. Mary J Blige, Keri Hilson and Keyshia Cole are all perfect examples of female artists that embody Hip Hop fashion. Missy Elliot on the other hand is a trendsetter in music not in fashion.

Patti Smith: known as the Godmother of Punk, integrated the beat poetry performance style with the three cord rock and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 2007. Back then in the 70’s Smith embraced the “boyfriend” trend which has been reemerging within the fashion world for the past couple of seasons. It is said that she would wear men’s oxford shirts with blazers which inspired fashion designer Ann Demeulemeester.

Rihanna: I did a short piece on Rihanna back in January of this year entitled “Rated: Trendsetter” and I guess I stand corrected. Rihanna is indeed a force to be reckoned with when it comes to fashion. Her style is like no other and she takes on many different faces from the girl next door to a super hot sex symbol decked out in all the latest designer garments. She has set the bar so high that even though you may not like her as an artist you can never deny her influence when it comes to fashion.

The Spice Girls: The Spice Girls were not style icons in the 90’s, even though that era had some really questionable style selections. These were 5 girls dress exactly how they were supposed to be portrayed. Baby Spice dressed like a baby in pink and ponytails, Posh always in a short mini dress which I personally thought she got the name because of her facial features. Scary Spice wore horns and animal prints. Sporty Spice track pants and crop tops showing her athletic physique. Ginger always wore red. They were indeed huge mega stars however not influential in any way when it came to fashion.

Tina Turner: The Queen of Rock and Roll started out with straight hair wearing that infamous sequined flapper dress rolling on the river. Artists like Beyonce and many others even today still try to reinvent that look. Tina then transformed during the 80’s wearing a leather micro mini, spiked heels with matching hair with a denim jacket embracing her rocker look.

Yoko Ono: Always wearing a pair of designer sunglasses no matter the time of day and staying true to her 60’s beatnik style dressed in all black or white. Yoko Ono is style Icon in her own right, by incorporating current designer pieces to upgrade her beatnik style.

Beth Ditto: This punk chick reminds me of a modern day Tracy Turnblad (Hairspray movie) representing for all the “pleasantly plump” females. Beth is a plus size lady that knows what to wear to compliment her body type by using clothing with certain designs that draws the eye away from her size and to her shape. She is very confident in her own skin and it shows.


Written by: Curt Greenidge

Rugby by Ralph Lauren Summer Suits

The Ralph Lauren brand “Rugby” was launched back in 2004 and is best known for its preppy, campus sports inspired looks. This summer Rugby introduced their cotton and lightweight linen suits. Not for a second straying away from the true essence of what the brand represents, however taking it to higher heights. These suits truly embody signature Ralph Lauren style with a youthful and individualistic edge. Giving the buyer the opportunity to mismatch and play around with the suit to make it casual or formal attire. The craftsmanship and tailoring for these suits are amazing like all Ralph Lauren suits. Underneath the collar you will find embroidered skull and bones pattern and silk taping on the side seams of the pants. Ralph Lauren added a unique twist to the tuxedo shirt, which I thought was very creative by making the front pleated region plaid giving the shirt and the entire suit an extra punch. As for myself, these looks will definitely be in contention as I will be attending a wedding this summer.

  
 
Written by: Curt Greenidge

Printed Pants

Printed pants are one way to bring your wardrobe alive this summer. Add an extra punch to your outfit with these garments. Bright colors and bold graphic prints, stripes and floral are some of the designs for the adventurous individual that loves to stand out. However, these pants come in more subtle and sophisticated tones as well for the more conservative. The harem pant, which you will see the ladies of Sex and the City 2 wearing during the movie is relaxed on the hips and tapered at the bottom. These pants are also available in skinny or free flowing cuts. Please don’t be intimidated by these bold prints because they can practically be worn with anything, just keep a couple of things in mind. If you like to experiment with mixing patterns, go right ahead just ensure that you don’t go overboard. If you are self conscious about your lower half, keep in mind that bold prints draw attention therefore avoid the skinny cuts and try the relax fits. The loose fit can be worn with either a fitted or baggy top. If your taste is more sophisticated and mature go with the tailored high-waist flowing pants and subtle prints.
Written by: Curt Greenidge