Breaking Down the Button Down

While NYC might be a mecca of cutting edge fashion, it can be shocking how some New Yorkers make absurdly plain choices.  This is never as apparent as when one enters one of the many pseudo-trendy bars or lounges and notices the number of low quality button downs... Apparently, many men feel they must sport this basic in order to achieve the look demanded of them by impressively ambiguous dress codes.  While quite a few guys out there aren't guilty of this (good job, kids), far too many fall victim to their own ignorance, or perhaps they allow themselves to be far too cavalier when it comes to this wardrobe staple.

While the following may be more arbitrary than definitive, we'd like to separate the world of button down analysis into general aesthetic categories... Let's start with what seems to be the hot look this season...

(1)  Plaids (or any other sometimes abrasive patterning)

Bets and I been saying this for the past year... plaids and flannels (in shirt form) are on their way back.  True, they're a cyclical sort of textile, wafting in and out of the fashion world's sensibilities.  The great thing about these styles of button-down shirts is that you don't necessarily have to worry about high-end fashion in order to rock it effectively.  This look is more about ease and comfort rather than style, but luckily handles all needs.

(2)  Classic White (the same rules apply to solid colors in general)

Now I know what some guys think... there isn't much difference between one white button-down and the next.  However, because it's such a basic, there's an incredible variety out there of these basic whites.  This also means that what is appropriate for the workplace isn't necessarily ideal for a night out.  While you might jump to a Banana Republic white dress shirt for the office, it's advisable to think more tailored or interesting designs for when night falls.  Now, it's not just a matter of upgrading the shirt to, say, a slimming Charles Tyrwhit.  One of our friends opened our eyes to Trovata and the simple yet effective details that it provides their men's whites.  The quality of fabric also plays a large role... while it's nice to know that you're rocking a beater underneath that crisp white shirt, no one needs to see the outline of the entire thing through your shirt.

(3) Miscellaneous Detailing

The most obvious differences one can determine are when a shirt has added detail... it could just be what looks like someone scribbled on the shirt via a sewing machine... or it could be ornate embroidery of any design.  Now don't get confused... just because a shirt (or anything else, really) has that little something extra does not mean it's a good thing.  Designers have found it far to easy to keep adding more and more, how should we say, wiggity wack trim, but it's up to us, the consumers, to separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff.  Examples: good - simple detailing on the reverse side of the cuffs, creating a pleasant contrast when the sleeves are rolled up.  bad - embroidery and stamps resembling mallards.  Hideous.


Celebrity Time Machine: Umbrella Remix Edition

There had been something bothering us about Posh Spice-Beckham lately. We couldn't quite put our finger on it and only just realized the distinct truth that Spice-Beckham has stolen Rihanna's fashion soul.



Ode To Simplicity

Light gray belted t-shirt dress:

Jeans, v-neck, blazer:We love the simplicity.


Question of the Day: Why Wasn't Our Prom Dress This Awesome

And as a follow up why is Joy Bryant wearing a corsage on the red carpet?


Redacted v.2.0

We may have made a joke or three about the fact that while it's a shame that people are speculating over Keira Knightley's weight and/or potential anorexia, at least she is showing solid fashion sense.

Right. Well, perhaps it's time to take the "tablecloth" out of the wardrobe and have ourselves a little cheeseburger, no?


Celebrity Time Machine: Eva Longoria Parker

Actually, it should be called celebrity twin machine. All those years in the Swiss Alps have been good to Shania Twain.


Dear Stylist: We're Pucci'd Out

Dear Stylist,

Christina Aguilera is wearing way to much Pucci lately. It's just so very Carmela Soprano at a cocktail party.

To avoid looking like the very rare yet widely available on ebay for $7.99 Christina Aguilera Barbie, we suggest limiting the Pucci wardrobe to scarves and headbands only please.

Thank you.

Yours truly,
The Aesthetes