We had the pleasure of reviewing another great pair of shoes from Rockport, this time the Trend Worthy Captoe Chukka. Unlike your typical pair of ankle-high leather boots, these “Trend Worthy” ones come with padded collars and tongues that designed to stop blisters and lace bruising from ever being an issue. Additionally, the manufacturers claim the sturdy rubber outsole “provides a durable grip on a variety of surfaces”, which would be key for me given my propensity for running to the L-train stop and catching it in the nick of time. But despite all these special materials and engineering, are these Rockport boots comfortable?
I’d say Rockport accomplished what they set out to do – create a classic and smart looking chukka that’s just as light and comfortable as a sneaker. I get the durability and aesthetic pleasure of boots without the clunkiness that would typically accompany them. Sharp enough to wear to the office, yet casual enough to kick it in jeans and a t-shirt. Furthermore, unlike a lot of other boots or chukkas, these Rockports are timeless and can definitely be carried over to all seasons.
I’m typically a size 12 or 13 depending on the shoe/brand, and while the size 12 is a perfect fit in the toe, I found at first that the tongue was a bit tight on the dorsal of my foot. However, though I’ve only worn them a few times, they seem to have assimilated to the shape of my foot.
Overall, these chukkas are super light and comfortable while looking great and definitely making me feel on-trend.
When it comes items that a man need to complete a suit, ties are the first thing to come to mind. Sometimes, the bow tie is a forgotten accessory, unless it is a black tie affair and it actually can be a stylish addition to any suited look. Even though a form of bow ties has been around since they were used by the Croatian Mercenaries during the 17th century Prussian Wars to hold the neckline of the shirt together, the bow tie has managed to remain in fashion. However, it definitely has gone through some changes through the years.
At Threads for Gents, they are dedicated to having a selection of the best accessories for men, at affordable prices. Neck ties, bow ties, and pocket squares are the essential finishing touches when it comes to your suit, but they can be extremely pricey when luxury materials are being used. For example, one of the bow ties at Threads for Gents is The Producer.
It is a 100% tightly woven silk and is fabricated in a multi-tonal blue and brown plaid. The tans and grayish-taupes are the neutrals to the plaid pattern, while the blues make the bow tie pop. It really allows you so many color choices with your dress shirt and suit, so you can choose a combination that is on the demure side or something a little bolder.
The other great reason to get The Producer and other suit accessories at Threads for Gents is the price. A pure silk, plaid bow tie like The Producer, which for similar ones can run hundreds of dollars in upscale department stores, is at the unbelievable price of $19! Even their selection of long neck ties, made of a silk/linen blend are also $19 each. Threads for Gents is a place where you can get luxury accessories at bargain prices.
When it comes to finding the perfect button-down shirt, the qualities that every man is looking for are a great fit and easy care. However, at Mizzen + Main they not only take the time to make sure that you can get the fit that you are looking for off the rack and produce shirts that require no ironing or dry cleaning, but Mizzen + Main also uses a fabric that wicks away moisture and gives a lot of room for movement with a 4-way stretch. They have developed a men’s button shirt where performance meets style.
For example, the Frost Light Blue Button-down Oxford takes a traditional pique texture and combines it with body-flattering seaming across the shoulders and down the back to create a stylish, easy care button-down. Mizzen + Main also pays attention to the shirts detailing with the button-down collar, one-button sleeves, and double-button cuffs. Their shirts give you the ability to stay cooler, be more comfortable, and look great without a lot of fuss. At $125, it may seem a little pricey, but think of how much time and money you will save without needing to iron or take it to the dry cleaners for care.
The next one is the Bradbury Dark Plum Gingham Spread Collar dress shirt. As well as having the same cooling/comfort technology fabric and tailored fit, this dress shirt takes on the classic look of Gingham, modernizing it with a dark plum color. Micro-patterns have been around a long time and are a great alternative to a plain shirt when it comes to layering them under a sweater, sports jacket, or suit.
Ordering a few of these shirts will give you the ability to freshen up some of your older items in your closet with a button-down that has a modern style and fabric that you will appreciate for years to come. Also, Mizzen + Main makes that very easy with discounting a pack of 3 or 6 dress shirts for your purchasing.
When looking for those perfect accent pieces to add to a pair of trousers, a great fitting button-down dress shirt is the place to start. The three things that make a good dress shirt are fit, fabric, and fashion. You want a fit that is close to the body, in order to give you a shape, but still leaving you some room to move. The shirts at Structure generally reflect these values.
One such shirt is the Men’s Slim Fit Dress Shirt with Sateen Stripe by Structure. It is a garment that is cut closer to the body with a slimmer silhouette, which is constructed of a cotton-rich broad cloth that is easy care with 55% cotton/45% polyester. It not only comes in black, but a fabulous array of blues, plums, browns, and white. The fabric has a tonal sateen stripe that gives this dress shirt a little more interest up close, yet it still acts as a solid. This type of dress shirt gives you a little more choice in complimentary ties because you can go with a micro-pattern or bolder with a larger paisley design, since the tonal striping keep it like a solid color. For $21.99 at www.sears.com, it is a great value in a dress shirt.
Another accent piece that could compliment both the Structure slim fit dress shirt and a pair of a casual trousers is the Structure Men’s 5-Button Vest with Faux Leather Trim. It has your basics with the v-neckline, notched hem, and woven cotton/poly grey fabric, but it has some added features of trendy faux leather trim on the four slit pockets, a satin back for ease of movement, and the easy care of machine washing.
The downside of the item is that if it is worn under a sports jacket, then you probably will not notice its unique features, but for $20.00 at Sears, it will pay for itself after one wearing.
The Gravalot brand was founded in the heart of London, giving its creators a way to express their beliefs in the human experience through fashion. The company prides itself in being artisans who create a legacy of “strength, quality, and beauty” within their men’s line of dress shirts.
One item in particular, the Acre Maroon button-down dress shirt, is a part of the Late Harvest Collection from Gravalot, a line that is said to “explore” the causes of a particularly riotous moment in recent British History. This shirt has a deep chocolate, plum tinged hue that embodies the word rich more than ‘rebellion’ – but I can see how it certainly isn’t a run-of-the-mill piece that takes some courage to wear. It is constructed of woven, breathable cotton and has the look of very clean lines with its tonal stitching. ‘Strength’ also comes to mind.
The dress shirt walks the fence between a formal button-down with the details of an angled collar and hidden button placket, but also has the qualities of a casual dress shirt that can be worn with a pair of jeans and a sweater. The buttons in particular, despite being usually behind the placket, are of a genuine quality that is always appreciated.
And at 65 pounds sterling, it is a fantastic price for a “made to order” dress shirt and of a style that you will not find tons of in department stores and boutiques. Also, if the saturated maroon color is not for you, at they have a pure white and a micro-print Acre Square in black and white too.
As far as accessories go, the belt is one that you would probably find in every man’s closet. It may be something that is not worn every day, but at some time you will need that finished look that can only be accomplished with the right belt.
You may think that all belts are the same, but there is one that has features that set it apart from the rest. The innovative design of the Mission Belt, developed by Nate Holzapfel in Provo, Utah, is set to take the belt world by storm. The revolutionary quality of these belts is that it has no holes, which avoids the cracked leather and stretched holes from normal wear and tear of other belts.
Despite not having fastening holes, the Mission Belt is totally adjustable with a customized fit of ¼ inch increments – it will fit you before and after Thanksgiving dinner. The belt’s closure system is based on ratchet action and it has a release for quick removal that gives the piece a cool mechanical feel. The Mission Belt also offers a selection of interchangeable belt buckles, so you can change the look without getting another belt.
The particular piece I got to try out is the Mission Belt Vader. It is a classic-looking black belt with a sleek metallic buckle rocking a delicious black acrylic finish. The leather is 1.25 inch wide and has a synthetic coating for the buckle to slide over without fail. It is a totally customizable fit and comes in S-XL. The Vader is fantastically priced at $34.95 and you can feel good that the company is dedicated to fighting poverty and hunger around the world.
I highly recommend the Vader for the man pursuing some innovation in his accessorizing efforts!