Ask A*cute: Menswear Monday Edition

by Jackie

Can I get away with not wearing a shirt and tie? It’s too hot!

In the summertime, I am especially grateful that I can wear flowy skirts and sleeveless dresses to keep me cool in the heat. I can’t imagine what I would do if I had to wear a shirt and tie. Just thinking about that combo in 8o-plus degrees makes me want to open a fire hydrant. While discussing graduation outfit options with someone, I suggested a Guayabera. I took to twitter and demanded that there be a resurgence of the classic Latin American shirt in menswear, and within seconds menswear guru Paul from Manshion.com answered my plea with this example:

Gabe Alonso of Pleats are for Lovers photographed by Justin Chung.

All of the men in my family own guayaberas. Whether it’s paired with a light-weight pant for playing dominos in Panama or with dress pants for a rooftop party in NYC, it is a versatile way to look cool while staying cool in the heat. I would love to see more guys take risks and abandon the traditional collared shirt and tie this season (of course, only if it’s appropriate for the occasion).

Celebration of Cool: #Menswear Bloggers

by Sherria

Jackie and I love when we see stylish men on the street. Although we mostly cover  women’s style here on A*cute, we like to follow menswear blogs. Below are four of our favorites.

Street Etiquette

Photo credit: StreetEtiquette.com

Blog: StreetEtiquette.com

Twitter: @StreetEtiquette

“Founded in 2008, Street Etiquette is a style blog that approaches personal style from an urban perspective. With sartorial influences stretching over many areas and eras of fashion, owners Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs, each just twenty years old, combine to publish a truly unique vision of fashionable menswear.” – StreetEtiquette.com

TuckedStyle

Photo credit: Justin Bridges

Blog: TuckedStyle.com

Twitter: @TuckedStyle

“I love many things about fashion. I love the ownership and individuality of fashion; where you can mold your ideas into a unique style, add in some personality, and you are now one of a kind like a fingerprint. I love discovery, from shopping in boutiques to reading some of the fashion’s liveliest bloggers writing about their insights and finds. I love writing about what I like, expressing myself with my wardrobe and my pen. I love it all, and I want to learn it all.”

“Perhaps I am the true story of “How to Make it in NY.” A young man who left a career in finance to follow his heart. Against the odds of being over- and under- qualified, no real network, and no real direction…I guess you will be following my path to DOING IT ALL & FASHION AT ALL COSTS.”- TuckedStyle.com

Black Fashion

Photo credit: Black Fashion reblogged from UrbanEtiquette

Blog: BlackFashion.tumblr.com

“There’s a new renaissance. Black Fashion Power!
“Black comes in every shape, size and color.
“Visually appealing aesthetics that showcase and give some depth into the lifestyle and culture of black people, in all their shades.” – thecreativeroutine

Manshion

Photo Credit: Justin Bridges

Blog: Manshion.com

Twitter: @manshion

This menswear enthusiast gives you a 360 degree view of men’s fashion; ranging from daily looks, fashion events, and magazine photo shoots.

An A*cute Look at NYFW

by Jackie and Sherria

Here’s our round-up of NYFW!

IFB Conference

We were involved with the Independent Fashion Bloggers Conference at Milk Studios in Downtown NYC. The Conference was a great way to kick off the style marathon otherwise known as New York Fashion Week.

We worked with fellow bloggers who not only had a great sense of style, but also a fun sense of humor. All of the panelists offered honest advice for fashion bloggers which can be pretty much summed up as follows: Know your worth, be original, be collaborative, and have a work/life balance.

Here are some of our favorite shots from #IFBCon. Check out the A*cute Facebook page for more pics from the event!

Ainsley Fall 2012 Presentation/Collection

All photos by Scott Pegram from NYEsq. for A*cute.

Full many a gem of purest ray serene  // The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear // Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, // And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
-Thomas Gray (Source: @ainsleyny)

This refreshing collection took its cues from Mother Nature with natural fibers and tribal designs. The designs are reminiscent of the frontier spirit of the Westward Expansion of the 18th and 19th centuries.

What’s appealing about this collection is its practical point of view and apparent wearability. It seems like A*cute and Ainsley have the same philosophy: Fashion is a right, not a privilege. Everyone should have the opportunity to express themselves through their fashion choices.

Fashionista and designer Angela Simmons made an appearance at the show.

Visit NYEsq. for more pics from the presentation!

Justin Bridges of Tucked Style Featured in Black Enterprise

Congratulations to friend of A*cute and men’s fashion blogger Justin Bridges for his feature in “Fashion Week Highlight: 5 Top Black Professionals Behind the Runway”.

Photo credit: Black Enterprise

Celebration of Cool: The Artistry of the Gentleman

by Jackie

Like the jazzy notes from Wynton Marsalis’ trumpet, the snips from the barber’s scissors and hum of his clippers are signs of an artist at work.

Back in the day, aside from the church, the barbershop was one of the few places Black people could get together and voice their opinions on issues that affect their communities. For more than 20 years, professional groomer and stylist Marvin Church has traveled the world creating polished images for his diverse clientele. I recently had the opportunity to speak with “Marv the Barb” about his journey in the men’s grooming industry.

Q.  What inspired you to become a barber and what challenges did you face while developing your career?

A.  As the youngest of 29 grandchildren, I was intrigued by my older cousins and tried to look like them. I started cutting hair at the age of nine. My dad took me to a barbershop and I started drawing out haircuts and using myself as a canvas.

Q.  Stylists sometimes serve as therapists for their clients, listening to their stories while they’re in the chair. Do you have these relationships with your clientele?

A. It goes both ways. It’s sort of therapy for me, too.

Q.  You’ve worked with a lot of notable clients, like musical legend Stevie Wonder, what was that like?

A.  I worked with Stevie as a special request at the first annual BET Honors. He’s an artist that cannot see, but can feel. I’ve always wanted someone to really feel my work.

Though I’ve worked with prominent figures, all of my clients are VIP to me.

Q.   Who haven’t you worked with that you would love to have in your chair?

A.  President Obama. He’s right around to corner, he’s my neighbor.

Q.  A lot of the images we see of black hair care are of women’s styling. Why is it important for men to be groomed?

A.  We are seeing a return to the era of the gentleman. Men want to take better care of themselves. Now that men have the money to do so, they want the same feeling that women get.

Barbering is one of the oldest professions in the world. We started with shears, razors, and combs. We do not ever want to lose that. It’s a part of history that we shouldn’t lose.

Q.  What advice do you have for young men aspiring to start their own businesses or brand?

A. Set the value of yourself most high. The doors are open. My advice would be to be more inventive; create within the creation. A lot of us do not know how to use tools like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to promote our businesses.

Marvin Church is a stylist at the Patrick Segui salon. He will be launching a new product line that takes a holistic approach to personal grooming.

Visit www.marvthebarb.com to  for the latest on his upcoming book and other projects. Click here to book an appointment.

Celebration of Cool: Weatherproof

by Jackie | Photos by AlmeniaJPhotography

He pulls on his coat collar as an icy wind fails to interrupt his stride.  The hawk is no match for his cool, winter stands no chance against his resolve.

There is nothing more important than having the right coat when temperatures drop. Outerwear becomes a vital part of an outfit during the winter months, taking precedence over what’s underneath. I recently accepted the challenge of finding the perfect winter coat for my friend, Anthony. Check out what he had to say about the experience below.

For the past couple of years in the DMV there have been some blistering winters.  I’ve kept some warm coats (a snorkel, leather, trench etc.), but for a more timid winter this year, I was looking for something a little lighter and more versatile.  I decided on a grey topcoat.  I had been looking on some sites of choice — J. Crew, Banana Republic, Nordstrom — and found a few options.  I wasn’t too excited about any of them, but getting a coat was a must.  So I decided to consult one of my resident fashionista friends, Jackie.  I know she has an eye for these types of things, and her opinion is valued.  She looked at some of the options and she, too, wasn’t that impressed.  She did whatever it is fashionistas do — pray to a bust of Audrey Hepburn, I don’t know — but she came back with several grey coats. 

She mentioned my physique and the type of style she saw me in — “edgy” was the word I think she used — and the choices seemed to fit me to a T.  In the end, I decided on the Grey Top coat with Knitted Collar from Zara.  The coat itself has a knitted zip lining with an outside button closure.  The cut is sleek and rakish and can serve for both evening attire or a winter jaunt around the city — everything I was looking for.  Thanks Jackie and A*cute consulting.  I’m definitely a believer.

Anthony Weatherspoon is a business professional in the financial industry based in Washington, DC.

 

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Style Resolution: Get Green

by Jackie

The hawk is out. For many men, the winter means lots of gray, black, and brown. While the cold may be depressing, your clothes don’t have to be. Wearing green is said to bring good luck in the new year because it is the color of wealth and fortune. If you don’t believe in luck, use it as an accent to liven up your neutrals.

My dad and his style doppleganger, a dapper New York Express bus rider, use green to accent a neutral brown outfit.

A*cute Style Picks

Tommy Hilfiger Zip-Up sweater (Macy's)

Simple V-Neck Sweater (Banana Republic)

Striped sweater (H&M)