Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Hunt for the Man Bag

One of the refreshing sites to behold at Fashion Week is the congregation of smart dressing men. The highlight of this spectacle is in the sleek carry ons, referred to as "Man Bags."
I look at my own bag and I see the rampant examples of items a man would want to carry, such as a camera, a planner, a water bottle, a book or paper, chapstick, ipod...on and on. And all those cargo pockets have to go! 
I spotted this Louise Vuitton, pictured below to the left, on a male spectator at the Trias show. You don't need to buy an expensive bag such as this one, or even a bag that looks like this one, if your taste differs. No matter your taste, this bags quality and versatility, meaning it's ability to work with a variety of looks, is noteworthy in finding your own.
With a little detective work, I have found that perhaps an affordable, wearable bag is in your arms reach, and your arm will love it! 

Louis Vuitton 

Finding an affordable bag is "in the bag." There are a ton of discounted designer finds at places such as TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack. Even check out thrift stores, where you can score vintage, one of a kind carryalls. I checked out some spots in one of the cheapest shopping areas of New York City: Astoria, Queens. Here are some of my finds: 


Gap. $39.50. I like a man bag with this type of handle.

It also comes with a shoulder strap.

Simple, sporty, and casual, yet the bold red still gives it personality.  I love this bag for a man, especially since it's price is $5.99, thanks to The Salvation Army on Steinway in Astoria.

Pole Berg, located at 3164 Steinway Street, offered more sporty options, with an impressive, daring collection of Puma Bags. 


$65. These Puma bags are for the bold. They may not be for everyone, but after all, if they were, they wouldn't  make you stand out in a crowd.

$75. The green is cool. Personally.  I am not a fan of having a large label printed on any of my clothing, but if you are a fan of Puma, and like that designer label look, Puma has good quality bags.

Web Deal!: Out of curiosity, I checked out the Puma Website, and found this bag on clearance: 
$35 down from $55 at Puma.com. A black and white bag could be a great option because it goes with everything and adds a bit of class, like saddle shoes. The Puma label is also discrete.
Sometimes you can be surprised with what you'll find at stores you assume to be dollar stores or tourists traps.  Located on Steinway Street. 
Both of these have white and black appeal, visually appeasing graphics, and seem to be very durable. They could absolutely add great interest to any look. Can't beat the price either. By Yak Pak. $20. 
Yak Pak $20.

The higher end of Astoria shopping, Index is located at 3055 Steinway Street.

This D&G, at $225, has a nice clean pattern and cool color combination that would mix well with clothes. The messenger style bag is probably appealing to many men.

This could be a match for many men: non flashy, versatile, and I hate to say it, but masculine. It's for the guy who doesn't want to say much with his bag, just that he likes to look classic and cool. Y-3 $195.

As you see, bags can be found even in the most dubious areas and with the most strapped budgets, no pun intended. I'll take this point home (carried in stylish bag!) and close with a man bag I found on the R train the other day: 

Zara, "About a year ago" and for "Less than $100."


Monday, February 21, 2011

Lessons from Trias: Fall 2011 Collection

Trias' collection reminded me that one doesn't need to wear provocative, tight fitting clothes to be sexy . I really thought the modest looks, with their knee length hems, looser cuts and thick layering, had a very hot effect. I especially found this to be true in his more professional dresses. I could picture a professional woman commanding respect at the workplace with one of these frocks, then coming home to look like the hottest housewife, with or without the apron. 

Lesson #1: 
Intelligence, drive, taste and self-respect are sexy, therefore sexy dressing must communicate all these things. 

Professional/Sexy Mama Looks:

The epitome of Trias' aim with this collection: simple, clean,  

A slouchy dress entices appeal:
The mix of evening wear silk with thick knit and leather cast a cool affect

Lust worthy layering:
An air of mystery forces the onlooker to create a story, one that inevitably includes the beheld woman as a smart woman. 
Lesson # 2: 
For Fall accessories, you only need three. 
1. The  Glove 
Long and in leather or suede 

2. The Skinny Belt 

In a neutral shade of suede, some times matching, sometimes mixing with the shoes 

3. The Kitten Heel 
Pointy in earthy browns, taupes and greens

Lesson # 3 

Believe you can't wear black with brown? Trias teaches us neutral combinations of brown and black, even with navy and gray, wear well like color any day. 

Perfectly cut gray poncho wraps up all that you thought was wrong, but turns out, looks just right: navy pants, black shirt, and brown scarf. 
Distinct fabrics add to the mix. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sexy and Working: Milly's Fall 2011 Tribute to the '70s Woman

 Vibrant colors. 

Sexy cuts.

These are the things we love so much. 

Milly's colorful blast to the '70s packed a lively punch, with professional 
go-get um wear and sexy street threads meant for the feminine 
AND confident. Maybe a woman can do it all! 

The '70s funk soundtrack thumped with the decade's finest 
brown knee-high riding boots, and  sleek ankle strapped stilettos, 
which were paired with slim tops and blazers,  sexy trousers 
(wide legged and flared of course), jumpsuits, long, fluid skirts, 
and trench coats, often all topped off with large brown, signature 
of the time,floppy hats. 

The colors were vibrant, with a mix of deep purples, greens, golden browns, 
and blues, often in velvet and silk. The bold pairing of bright orange-peach 
and bright pink could be seen in tweed on professional wear, as well as in 
street wear, where it was  pared down with navy, black and gray. Gray 
tights were a re-occuring site. 

The bow tied at the neck kept up the theme of the decade several times as 
well throughout the show, as did the subdued glittery disco dresses in bronze 
and silver. 

Along with the floppy hat and the ankle-strap heel, the accessory of choice 
was the long glove in velvet, and a pair of bright red lips.

Speaking of lips, a favorite was a pink dress printed with large red lipstick 
kisses. This dress may represent perfectly what I would like to do to all the 
looks of this show.

A look from Milly's Spring 2011 Collection 

Tip from the Runway:

Pair a basic navy blue and white 
striped shirt with a neon tweed of a 
different color