Archive for June, 2008

The LIST: Best Places to Buy Graphic Tees

Pharell rockin a simple graphic tee
After all these years, it’s finally here. . . The List- not just any list, but the list of the best places to buy graphic tees. Now some of you may say “Wait! I can buy them anywhere”, well yes, that is true, but for some reason I am constantly asked the question “Where should I buy my graphic t-shirts?” so here it is:

First off, every store has graphic tees now- the basics: Old Navy & Urban Outfitters. But I have searched the internet far and wide to discover the best places for particular graphic tees at a pretty decent price:

Best Prices: Heritage 1981
This is my number 1 pick, they have unique modern tees for around $16. (Heritage 1981 is sort of like the male version of forever 21)

Best Rock Tees:

This website has very orginial looking rock star tees. The designs are really creative and edgy, and they seem to always have sales.

Best Phrases:

T-Shirt Hub has really funny t-shirts with phrase like “Save me JEBUS” and they’re only $10.
Snorg Tees are well known for their weekly new funny t-shirts. Prices are usually around $17

Most Authentic 80’s Tees:
This website is perfect for anyone wanting to get a 80’s t-shirt, you know a shirt that has RUN DMC or even a Fred Sanford or Rolling Stones throwback.

Best Musical Tees:
From Soul to Funk to 50s Rock & Guitar Stars, this site really does have stellar ass t-shirts. (prices are in british pound)

Best Political Tees:

This is the original Barack Obama t-shirt and my personal favorite. There are millions of websites that have Obama t-shirts, but this is the t-shirt that all the stars wear and the most authentic “Barack shirt”.

Okay, I hope that list is helpful. . . peruse these websites and I’ll add more to the list later.

Lupe Style: The Fashion of Lupe Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco is the self-proclaimed “Coolest dude”

Hands down without a doubt, one of my favorite rappers is Lupe Fiasco, he’s just one cool dude. I remember being backstage at one of his concerts in Atlanta:

His crew was really interesting especially Gemstones- he was quite the character. Everyone was stylish in their own way. . . they seemed a bit rushed and stressed, so the hospitality wasn’t at its best, but that comes with the territory.

While being backstage I had a chance to not only meet Mr.Cool, but to also analyze his style.And I must say- it’s pretty simple. The formula to getting the “Lupe Look” is . . .

t-shirt + designer jeans + fly superbadAss unique sneakers = Lupe Look

He often time adds a fly superbadAss jacket to the mix and some accessories. The jacket is usually one of a kind and Michael Jackson-esque, Marching Band-esque or it’s dramatically preppy- like a colorful or goth varsity jacket. His accessories range, but they all stay within the skater, rock, or urban realm.

Common Lupe Fiasco accessories: studded belt, coin wallet w/chain attachment, arab scarf, aviator shades, book-bag, and he always has on a gold watch.

If you want to know what Lupe Fiasco wears on a more specific note, just listen to his music- he gives alot of names in his song “Gold Watch”:

In my Fall of Rome jeans, my Head Porter wallet My Neighborhood shirt and my Eddie Cheng clock . . . I like City candles and Maharishi sandals And Dita sunglasses, Purple Murder surface samples I like False T-shirts, Dover street is off the handle Such a good designer, Junya Watanabe got **** you I like Yohji Yamamoto and a Mackro Solo Leather Gucci belts and Guilty Brotherhood polo’s I like Montblanch pens and Moleskine paper I like Goyard bags and green Now or Later’s Monocle magazine and Japanese manga Futura, noz furatus and HTM trainers

For those of you who didn’t catch it. . .

Brands Lupe Fiasco wears: Fall of Rome jeans, Head Porter wallets, My Neighrbood shirts, Maharishi sandals, Dita sunglasses, False t-shirts, Junya Watanabe, Yohji Yamamoto, Gucci belts, Guilty Brotherhood polos, Goyard bags, HTM trainers (nike shoes). . .

Lupe Fiasco in a False t-shirt at his concert is Atlanta
So what does all that mean? It means Lupe loves Japanese designers and he likes original clothing especially local up-and-coming talented and unique designers. He doesn’t really wear brands like Bape and BBC (Billionaire Boys Club)- which he mentioned once in an interview.

Lupe’s jackets usually combine materials such as leather, wool, and cotton.

And for those who don’t know, according to certain sources Lupe Fiasco will be throwing in the towel for music:

The rapper say his next album, LupEND, will conclude his stint as a recording artist. The budding thespian will then move on to do other things, among them write a book. “I have one more album in me and then I’m out,” he says. “I’ve been doing this music hustle for eights years and have more things I still want to do. There are other ways besides putting out an album that allow me to channel my creative energy and I’m writing a book about a window washer. I will have more than enough to keep me busy.”

Well, I can’t wait for his final LP LupEND– it’s sure to be hot.

Best Places to Buy Men’s Suits

Terrence Howard in a modern suit

Sometimes there are too many choices, and the choices need to be narrowed down- like where to buy your suit. First off, there are many qualified contenders, but each store has different perks that may sway you to purchase from them.

The Most Classic/Traditional and Best Service: Nordstrom
The Most Stylish and Best Variety: Bloomingdales
Best Value: K&G
Good Prices and Good for the Everyday Man: Joseph A.Bank

Classic Burberry Suit from Nordstrom
This is where I learned about the details of men’s fashions and styles. If you want superb one on one personal service to help choose a suit, then Nordstrom is the only place you want to go. They only carry the best brands and they have some of the best tailors in the business. Nordstrom does not have tons of promotional sales or coupons, they have a half-yearly and a anniversary sale that easily trumps the sales of all other retailers. Those sales, that are usually during the summer, are the best times to buy suits, shirts, ties, shoes, belts, pocket squares, and anything else. Featured brands include: Canali, Hugo Boss, Joseph Aboud, and many more.

Modern Hugo Boss suit from Bloomingdales

If you want the most stylish and most trendy suits, then Bloomingdales is perfect for you. The store offers a wide variety of styles and brands including: Armani, Purple Label, Hugo Boss, and many more. Bloomingdales, known for its brown bags, has sales throughout the year and is great place for anyone on a reasonable budget or who has thousands to splurge. This is usually my first recommendation for someone searching for a suit.

If you are on a very tight budget and looking to spend $100-$200 on a suit, then K&G is your godsend. K&G is a warehouse so the store has a plethora of suit offerings- every color, style, and cut. K&G carries the Steve Harvey wide-leg suits, Jones New York athletic-fit suits, italian-made suits like Zenetti, and even 3 piece-suits by Sean John. They have a wide variety, but it’s hard to find a teir-1 suit in K&G, you have to really search and you’ll only find a few to choose from.
Signature 3-button suit from Jos A.Bank

Jos A. Bank
I’m sure you’ve seen their commercials and advertisements- Joseph A. Bank is known for its sales. This store is good for the average guy on the search for his first suit. They have helpful attendants and have many traditional styles and brands to choose from.

*Other Notable Stores: Brooks Brothers and Men’s Warehouse

Every man should own atleast one suit. Not one that you got from your dad or brother, but one that you bought specifically for you and your body. I also recommend all men to have atleast one quality designer-type suit. A good suit can easily be spotted and definitely speaks tons about who you are- it says that you are serious and ready to succeed, not to mention that you have great taste!

Modern John Varvatos Suit from Nordstrom

Style Icon: Kanye West

Last week, I posted the Best Dressed Men in Hollywood. The list included ten of Hollywood’s finest from Brad Pitt to T.I- it was a very diverse list. As promised I will also be covering each person individually- so let’s start with numero uno- Mr.Cocky himself. . .

1. Kanye West: I know he’s one cocky dude, but whose flyer than Kanye West- ummm, no one. If there were one guy’s style I recommend anyone, who is trying to “step his style up”, copy- it would be Mr. West. He bases his style on mixing retro with modern, very much like the Urban Gent-Style. With his wide variety of threads, he can easily fit in at a hip-hop club or a bow-tie only red carpet affair. I really want to thank Kanye’s ex girlfriend, the stylist, Alexis for enhancing Kanye’s look- men, its always great to have a savvy fashionista girlfriend in your life.

Alexis and Kanye

They were such a haute couple.

So now some of you may ask, “How do I get Kanye’s Look”- well unless you’re balling it will be hard to get his exact look- he wears the designers that he raps about. . . you know designers like Louis Vuitton. . . but it’s easy to get his style. The key is combining prep and hip-hop and maybe a little couture or vintage. . . in layman’s term: combine brands like Lacoste (prep) & Ecco (hip-hop), and don’t be afraid to mix it with a jacket or vest you found at the thrift store (vintage) and some shoes you painted yourself (couture). . .any variation of the looks will give you a Kanye-esque vibe.

“That that that, that don’t kill me, can only make me stronger. . .” Believe it or not that song helped me through a rough situation last year, lol, . . . but that song also made many people want the shutter shades Kanye rocks when performing the hit song. Now-a-days you can find them anywhere, almost all hip-hop/rock or trendy stores carry them. You can also find them online at Shutter Shades Online or you can buy them for around 8 bucks at Urban Boundaries.

Release Your Inner Swagger

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David Beckham is a humble guy w/ a hot wife and a serious swagger


Some men are born with it; some acquire it after hanging out with a certain crowd or attending a certain school. Either way it goes, women are always attracted to men with swagger. . . some of you may know what I’m talking about, you know when a girl says “There’s just something about him, I can’t really describe it. . .” that’s swagger.

To be real there are many of you that may not need it as much because you may have strong traits that make up for it: good looks w/ a smile to match, great abs and muscles, or big pockets. But even men with those traits find themselves in dire need of swagger.

Many guys falsely believe that swagger only comes with hard jail time, being a dealer, or being in a gang- that’s just called ignorance, which usually leads to arrogance more ignorance and perhaps a forced swagger. There’s nothing cool about killing someone. . .

True swagger, as corny as it sounds, comes from within-that makes it hard to gain. Swagger can be traditionally characterized as charisma –that indescribable character trait that people naturally inhibit. Swagger is like charisma to the umpteenth power with a mixture of more. It doesn’t discriminate by age, race, height, or background- anyone can have it.

Jay-Z has swagger.

There are 3 main components to swagger.

Confidence. Being comfortable with who you are is very important. If you don’t think you’re the ish, then why should anyone else? There are many ways to gain confidence, but a couple of the fastest ways are:

1. Working Out– bulking up easily boosts confidence
and makes a woman do a double-take.

2. New Wardrobe– many men underestimate the importance
of dressing well-they think it's a female thing. But great
threads will make you feel better and quickly enhance your
image in the eyes of others.

Drive/Direction. I’m not referring to sex :-) I’m talking about ambition. Men with the most swagger know what they want in life, they have goals and they don’t let anyone get in their way. Have problems focusing and realizing your dreams, try this:

1. Write down your top 5 career choices and the steps you
need to take to actually become whatever it is you want to
become. Narrow it down to the most realistic career choice
and go after it.

2. Make a list of goals you have and set a deadline
to have each goal completed.

Be You. Like the rapper Rocko says “You just do you, Ima
do me”. At the end of the day It’s all about doing you, be
who you are and don’t apologize- unless you’re being a
complete a-hole.

Now that you know what swagger is and how to get it- work on it! Every urban gentleman must find his inner swag.

Cindy of The Urban Gentleman blog

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