Attaché Case by Ettinger

Posted September 1st, 2010 by design4men and filed in Style
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I have been noticing the resurgence of the attaché case and I love it.  There is something about carrying the right one that adds sophistication to the work ensemble.  I am coveting the St. James Lid-Over Attaché case by Ettinger of London.  The interior lining makes grabbing your computer or documents just a touch more special.  And aspects of the case can be customized specifically for you. Check out the Ettinger site for more info by clicking here.

Images courtesy of Ettinger of London

Military Inspired

Posted March 22nd, 2010 by design4men and filed in Style
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Living in Washington, DC,  I find myself surrounded by military culture.  Despite the sometimes questionable fabrics used, I am often impressed by how polished the men and women look.  This spring, I am into sprinkling in some military touches into the wardrobe.   Thanks to On Display Men for sharing photos from a military inspired photo shoot of model, Jesse Blum, who won the and 2010 Model Search.  I also love that the clothes used are affordable.  The shirt and hat worn above are from the Gap.

Grey sweater jacket by  INC from Macy’s and Black Skinny tie, Macy’s

Black and white check shirt with epaulets from Nordstrom

Courtesy of: On Display Men
Model: Jesse Blum, click here to go to his site on On Display Men
Photography: Image 1 & 2 by Adam Medders Photography, Image 3 by Jay Fuertez (click on the names to go directly to their sites)

ByThreads Laptop Bags

Posted February 15th, 2010 by design4men and filed in Style
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Bythreads, based in Copenhagen makes these really awesome slim, journal sized laptop bags made of quality materials including full-grain leather, environmentally friendly materials, and neoprene. The cases are sleek and simple and 13 or 15″ MacBook safe, tempting me to go out and buy a MacBook to justify the purchase.

Image 1 from Stylecrave; Images 2-3 from Bythreads

Avoiding Style Mistakes

Posted September 29th, 2009 by design4men and filed in Style
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Photographs by Hilary Walsh, source GQ

Thank You GQ for the most helpful, Seven Style Mistakes piece…I loved the tips.  I am so tired of seeing guys in clothes that aren’t current and don’t flatter them.  And the fix is simple, concentrate on fit.  I loved the author’s advice to try on smaller jackets until you can’t get the sucker on and then buy the size up.  I love the Dolce and Gabbana leather bomber jacket above…a stylish and classic alternative to the all too common bulky leather jacket.  Furthermore, bold printed ties have been out since the 90s, so why do I still see guys rocking them.  And if any one is wondering, buying those shirt and tie combos you can purchase as some department stores is never a good idea.  Keep the patterns simple: I am a huge fan of a bold stripe or subtle herringbone.   And be adventurous with color with a solid silk tie.  My final favorite without ruining the  slideshow is the oversize suit – make it stop!  I often see guys wearing suits that are too big for them.  I agree with the author that the same sizing down approach mentioned earlier applies here as well.  However, my shoulders have taught me much more.  If you have an athletic build, then there is NO chance that a suit off the rack will fit you.  So make sure you budget for a tailor.  They can work magic and a good tailor will be able to educate you on how a suit should fit.  To check out all seven of these common style mistakes, check out the slide show here.

So what is the moral of the story: keep up with fashion trends and focus on fit!

RETAIL THERAPY: Hugo Boss Concept Store

Posted August 31st, 2009 by design4men and filed in Architecture, Leisure
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Shopping provides great retail therapy for me.  Anyone that has ever worked in retail knows that the design of the store is a major part of the experience.  My new favorite is the Hugo Boss concept store, which opened in October 2008 in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan.  I spotted an article in Contract Magazine and immediately fell in love with the space.  Architecture firm Callison and Matteo Thun Partners teamed up to design the 4,000 sq. ft space which brings both the women’s and men’s collection together under one roof for the first time.  The design merges sophisticated and sleek furnishings with the rugged bones of the interior.  The unfinished concrete floors, exposed brick walls, existing columns and even the graffiti remain while the casework and furniture are an elegant mix of bronzed metal and black leather displays.  I may want to steal those tufted black leather wing chairs and ottomans.  The star of the design is the wooden lattice that arches from one side of the space to the other.  LED lights occur at each crossing for sparkle above.


sketch rendering

I always find it interesting to see initial drawings of the designs I admire.  The images above, a sketch and a rendering of the concept store  illustrate the design process.  Clearly the rendering resembles the final design but I enjoy that the sketch evokes the feel of the design as well.  One of the major challenges of a designer (especially when considering the vision of our clients) is to make the translation from conceptual to real in design.  I enjoy that the initial concept is preserved in the final design of the Hugo Boss store.  While a new Hugo Boss anything may not be in the budget, this store is definitely on my list for my next trip to New York.  And I suggest you check it out too, even if only to marvel at the beautiful space.

F. Rock – The New It Bag?

Posted August 28th, 2009 by design4men and filed in Style
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F.Rock made its first impression when I spotted a plaid and leather messenger bag in a tent as I was leaving the SOWA antiques market.  I have been on the hunt  to replace my old Jack Spade bag.  Upon taking a closer look, I was struck by the beautiful bags.  And after speaking with owner and designer, Nicolé, I understand why.  Nicolé is a passionate woman and I could tell that she infuses a large part of herself into her work.  F.Rock, is Boston based and emerged from Nicolé’s desire to create stylish, eco-friendly bags for the guy on the go.  The custom carryalls blend traditional and urban style flawlessy.  The design is simple and masculine which appeals to me as my Jack Spade 2 has been glued to me since Jack Spade 1 was stolen 2 years ago.  Named after Boston streets and landmarks, F.Rock designs vary in size and utility from the Brattle, perfect for a day on the town to the Harrison, more substantial, taking you from week to weekend with tons of flexibility.  You can choose from an assortment of 100% recycled fabrics and leathers as well as the hardware which is sourced locally.  F.Rock goes farther than most when it comes to sustainability.   “2% of each F. Rock purchase goes directly to environmental initiatives and leadership programs benefiting urban youth in Massachusetts,” according to the website.  F. Rock believes in 360 degree production, so all of the bags are “Locally made, sustainable, stylish, and give back to community.”  They had me the moment I saw the bags in the tent but it certainly makes me feel better that this company really cares.   So out with my Jack Spade, it is time for F. Rock!  The company also has functionally designed wallets and laptop cases in the fabrics and leathers available for their bags, hmmm…it may be time to replace that Ralph Lauren wallet as well.

Franklin_cream_whiskeyhbplaidSo here is what I am thinking  for my bag: My Jack Spade is well huge and is perfect for carrying everything but I want to get away from the bulky look…I think it is time for something slim.  I love the Franklin shown in the whiskey cream herringbone plaid with the medium brown leather.  I am not crazy about gold hardware but it works on this bag.  I saw this one on the site but the designer in me wants to design my own.  I could play on their website for hours changing leathers, fabrics, and hardware – they’ve made it quite easy.  Here are some combinations I like…what do you think?


Definitely check out F.Rock,  Also at the SoWa Sundays Bazaar and online at And F.Rock is coming to stores near you, including Motley and Mr. Sid.  Nicolé mentioned that they have received so many orders that it will take at least 4 weeks to get your bag, so get moving.

Ted Kennedy: The Legacy Continues

Posted August 27th, 2009 by design4men and filed in News, Style
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tedkennedymainSen. Edward Kennedy, the youngest and last of the Kennedy brothers, passed away Tuesday at 77.  Referred to as the “lion of the senate”, Kennedy was known for his approachability, his humor, and his ability to get things done in congress.  Gloria Borger, CNN senior political analyst said “He was a rare politician who knew when to cut a deal. He knew when to compromise. He knew how to work with George Bush…He understood the power of personal relationships.”  After reading so many articles, I thought this is certainly the end of an era.  And then I remembered Kennedy’s endorsement of Obama in the presidential campaign last year.  In his speech, Kennedy mentioned that Obama would continue the legacy of his fallen brothers and I believe that he will do just that.  Last night, I received an email from President Obama, like many, many others with a statement about the death of Ted Kennedy.  Obama, who will give the eulogy for Kennedy at his funeral said, “His fight has given us the opportunity we were denied when his brothers John and Robert were taken from us: the blessing of time to say thank you — and goodbye.”   And fight, Kennedy did.

Although, Ted’s brother, John F. Kennedy, is often associated with style.  After seeing some photographs from the 1960s, I couldn’t help but notice the attention all of the brothers had to their appearance.  In an article on the Huffington Post, titled “Ted Kennedy’s “Mad Men”-Style Suits” looks at Kennedy’s 1960s style.  The suit he is wearing looks dapper by todays standards.   The look is classic and cool: the two button jacket, the subtle striped skinny tie, down to the brown shoes.


It will be hard to fill the shoes of Ted Kennedy and many are discussing who will take over for Senator Kennedy.  Kennedy was an inspiration and his legacy will continue on in legislation and in the people that he inspired.  Obama said, “Today, our country mourns. We say goodbye to a friend and a true leader who challenged us all to live out our noblest values. And we give thanks for his memory, which inspires us still.”

STREET STYLE: Washington, D.C.

Posted August 20th, 2009 by design4men and filed in Style
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willWhile in D.C., I had planned to take some photos of guys on the street with great style.  Perhaps I was not hanging out in the right parts because that was a challenge.  And then as I was leaving Halo, I ran into Will, a handsome guy dressed sharp in a fitted short sleeve white oxford shirt from H&M, Zara striped dress pants, and slick Black shoes from Aldo.  I love this look and I highly encourage guys to start to blend their work and going out wardrobe.  While Iknow the decision is comfort driven, I am getting a little tired of jeans all the time.  Check out tomorrow’s article on Must Haves for the transition to dare I say it, Fall.  And in the future be on the look out for more shots of guys on the street.  Consider emulating a guy who’s style you admire to upgrade your look.

Well that ends my Ode to D.C. series…great city, great times!