If I haven’t affirmed this enough already, let me do so again: I love hats. They are a quintessential summer accessory for guys for their fashion and grab-and-go functionality. For those gentlemen looking for quality headwear with unmatched style and personality, Kangol is the brand to buy.
Kangol hats are cool; I mean really cool. They come in updated styles and colors to fit any aesthetic. The summer line is brimming (pun intended) with hats that are easy to wear and perfect for weekends and work days alike. The pork pie shape of the Wheat Stingy may be classic, but the bold color is anything but. You will be seen in this hat, so be prepared to field compliments from friends and strangers alike. Wheat Stingy Pork Pie $54
I love this hat. Made in the USA, the Swirl Pork Pie features a swirl effect on the felt brim. The green is the perfect hue for summer but also subtle enough to transition into fall. This hat will never go out of style or out of sight. Swirl Pork Pie $120
A special thanks to Erica Bushong of Erica Lee Style for these incredible product shots. Another thanks to Kangol for feeding my fix and delivering these two stellar hats to my door. Check out their entire Summer collection online now.
❘ The Modern Minion: DIY fashion is good. DIY fashion for Femme Friday is incredible. Friend and fellow style fan Amber Coghill delivers a clever DIY that’s as easy as it is affordable. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for all her crafty fashion ideas. ❘
The inspiration for this DIY came from these fantastic crochet detailed Guess shorts I came across in Toronto. They were absolutely adorable but I walked away from them because I couldn’t justify paying $99 when I knew I could come up with something just as cute.
As soon as I found them online, I made a trip to Goodwill to buy an old pair of jeans in a light wash that I could cut off and distress. My next stop was the fabric store to buy a couple metres of lace. After better studying the original shorts online, however, I realized that lace wouldn’t provide the same effect. So I headed to my garage to dig through some of my grandma’s things that had been left when she moved out of her apartment. I came across an old tablecloth that I knew had just the right details I needed.
Materials in hand, I began by cutting off the jeans to a length I was comfortable with. Using a pair of scissors, I added some distressing and frayed the the raw edges.
I looked at the tablecloth and cut out some designs that I thought would work well.
I wanted to make sure that the pieces would stay in place so I hand stitched each one onto the shorts. After working at it for a bit, I understood why the Guess pair was $99. Stitching the crochet took longer than I expected, but I just crashed on the couch and caught up on my shows.
Regardless of the time they took to complete, I couldn’t be happier with my shorts. While the original shorts cost $99, mine came in at an incredible $6, the cost of the jeans. If you don’t have a crochet tablecloth, try hitting up garage sales or local thrift stores. Once you start looking, you’ll be surprised how easy they are to find.
I am in love with these shorts! They look great with everything, from a casual tee to a dressier top. For a savings of almost $90, it’s definitely worth it to tackle your own clever, crochet creation.
Happy Femme Friday!
Today’s Femme Friday focuses on one of the most colorful and exotic trends this season: scarf prints. Bright and bold, scarf prints were seen on Spring 2012 runways in dresses, blouses, blazers, and even shoes. No other design house more elegantly captured these prints than D&G.
Retailers worldwide were quick to offer easy options to incorporate scarf prints into any woman’s spring/summer wardrobe. Pairing a printed blouse or skirt with simple neutrals like white highlights this trend without being overwhelming. Accessories like bags or actual scarves are also a great way to dip your toe into the scarf print pool.
Despite today’s hot weather, look cool and stay stylish and have a very Femme Friday.
One brand has helped us “run faster and jump higher” since 1937: PF Flyers. For 75 years the Boston based shoe company has been making quality footwear that’s as comfortable as it is stylish. Long before Benny un-boxed his now iconic black Center Hi’s to face The Beast in The Sandlot, PF Flyers built its reputation as a classic, American brand dedicated to “Authentic American Style.”
On Tuesday PF Flyers will celebrate its 75th anniversary by releasing a capsule collection featuring three limited edition unisex styles resonating with the tradition of innovation synonymous with the brand’s heritage. The Center Hi and Windjammer stay true to their roots, while the Grounder II is a fresh take on the original shoe of the same name. Crafted from unbleached linen canvas and veg-tanned leather, each of these PF Flyers is laden with detail, right down to the hand stamped logo. A limited run of 500 pairs of each style will be available at retailers like KITH NYC, the J.Crew Liquor Store, Bloomingdale’s 59th Street, American Rag, and The Tannery.
At the helm of the anniversary collection is PF Flyers’ Footwear Designer James Lee. Mr Lee was kind enough to talk with The Modern Minion about how his team “balanced old and new elements to create a collection that appears raw and handmade” and that honors the brand’s esteemed history.
The Modern Minion: PF Flyers is known for its “Authentic American Style.” What do you think has drawn customers to that style for the past 75 years?
James Lee: American style has evolved over the decades, but PF Flyers has remained relevant through classic styling.
MM: The workmanship on the capsule collection is incredible, right down to the hand stamped logo. Were there sleepless nights spent worrying over getting every detail on the shoes perfect?
James Lee: It was definitely a long process as we went through several rounds of prototypes to craft the details and materials. We are used to making sure every detail is consistent coming out of production, so our biggest concern was actually communicating to our production team that we wanted “imperfect” details on the shoes (i.e. every ankle logo is slightly different due to the fact that they were hand stamped).
MM: The three shoes each represent an iconic PF style that has been popular for decades. What makes each of them so special to fans of the brand?
James Lee: We wanted a collection of three shoes that had very different silhouettes. The Center Hi was an obvious choice as it is an important part of our brand DNA. The Windjammer came out in 1965, so we wanted to include this in the collection due to it’s archival relevance. Lastly, the Grounder II because it’s a brand new model that is releasing in Fall 2012. It’s an update to the Grounder, which was a big shoe for us in the past.
MM: What are you hoping the 75th anniversary collection will communicate to new customers of PF Flyers?
James Lee: The 75th Anniversary Collection pays homage to our heritage, celebrating the era when there weren’t a lot of machines and computers that processed cookie cutter shoes. Therefore, we used raw materials like unbleached linen canvas and vegetable tanned leather to give the collection a raw feel and add further value with the hand-stamped logo and hand-stitched leather.
MM: For people who won’t be lucky enough to pick up one of limited edition pairs, will this capsule collection be inspiration for future Flyers?
James Lee: We always build onto what we’ve created in the past so this collection definitely will, either directly or indirectly, inspire what’s to come in the future.
MM: Last question. We all know Benny would favor the Center Hi style. If you could only wear one pair, which from the capsule collection would you go with? And yes, I know it’s like trying to pick a favorite child or flavor of ice cream.
James Lee: Lucky for me, I got to wear test all three of them! If I had to pick a favorite child, I’d choose the Grounder II because not only is it a new model for us, it has a great aged appearance after wearing it for some time.
Thanks to PF Flyers for providing all the images.
❘ Note from The Modern Minion: Today’s post comes straight from the girl next door; the next door being Canada and the girl being friend and fashion fan Amber Coghill. Amber lives and works in the Toronto area and has an incredible talent for brand development and management. She’s been an invaluable friend and business asset and stands as one of the most beautiful and stylish women I know. I’m both honored and excited to have her as a contributor to The Modern Minion. ❘
When we talk about trends this season, peplum is arguable one of the hottest. It’s almost impossible to watch a read carpet event this season without seeing this über feminine throwback trend born in the 80′s. Initially I had my doubts that the style would be flattering on a wide range of body shapes, but peplums create an instant hour glass by accentuating the waist and masking any problem areas in the midsection.
The incredible slimming silhouette of this fashion phenomenon can be had dresses, skirts, jackets, and blouses in styles versatile enough for work or play, weekday to weekend.
Ladies, this spring show off your curves or create new ones by tapping into the power of peplum. Cheers to a very happy and feminine Femme Friday!
America is never more alive than in summertime. Backyard barbecues, bonfires, and lazy days by the water are filled with the sights, sounds, and smells of this country’s grand heritage. Few things say summer like seersucker, and even less speak of American heritage like red, white, and blue. This pair of shorts from New York based Ovadia & Sons says both. The paint splatters and cut off legs perfectly offset the classic preppiness of the seersucker. These shorts, first spotted on Selectism, serve as an iconic representation of everything that makes this nation great.
…O’er the land of the free and the home of the well dressed.
$275 at Boylston Trading Co.
I come from a long lineage of stylish gentleman. For generations the men of my family have known how to dress well. My great uncle, photographed here in 1937, had a dapper style I have come to respect.
The list of men who can successfully pull off a white double breasted suit in 2012 is a short one, and I imagine it was even smaller back then. But he wears it impeccably, adding a simple black tie and pocket square. And from the air of confidence radiating from these photographs, he knew exactly how perfect he looked. He also understood the power of versatility, pairing the white DB jacket with black pants for a look that’s much more James Bond (not that he knew that).
I count myself lucky to be able to look to the past to draw inspiration for my own style future.
I get it; a jacket that costs more than my first car is a bit ridiculous. I’ve got you covered. Try a white DB sport coat from Brooks Brothers for $398 or a John W. Nordstrom linen alternative for $345.
Unsure of how to spend the $480 in couch cushion change you have? I suggest these stylish and durable Galway boots from Dubarry.
Friend and décor blogger Emmy Smith of Progression of a Homebuyer saw these boots everywhere when she attended the Rolex event last weekend at the Kentucky Horse Park. As a style maven and equestrian herself, Emmy immediately recognized the appeal. Made from breathable leather and lined in waterproof GORE-TEX®, these boots are tough enough for horse tracks and trips to the grocery alike.
It’s awesome when my minions send me trends and products they love, especially ones so Derby appropriate. Go forth and dress well.
After the first successful guest post from my friend and photographer Rachel Yacapraro of Iacapraro Photography, I had to get her back for another Femme Friday. She has the most incredible eye for women’s fashion; an aesthetic that’s translated into her modern, sophisticated photography. Her style sense is one that both I and her clients trust implicitly.
Not one to ever play it safe, Rachel gathered some of her favorite fun and vibrant pants for this week’s Femme Friday. Inspired by her own pair of Zara trousers (dubbed her fancy fat pants), she scoured the Internet for bottoms that were anything but mundane. Rachel was especially smitten with the $50 tapered jeans from Armani Exchange and ordered them for herself.
RY: I just ordered these last night! I think they will be a winner. Pair them with a v-neck American Apparel tee and a fun sandal.
Rachel has a style that is international, literally. The day after she sent me her finds the Zara pants were photographed in Hong Kong by The Sartorialist.
No matter what your weekend plans entail, tackle them with style, grace, and of course a little fun. Happy Femme Friday.
Top row: JOE’S Jeans $158; Pants by United Colors of Benetton (see stores); Zara trousers $50 Bottom row: Spotshadow trousers via Madewell $108; Café capri pants via J.Crew $118; Tapered trouser jean via Armani Exchange $50
Hats are a summer staple and a simple way to add instant style. Seeing as how I look ridiculous in baseball caps, I stick with fedora and trilby type headgear. There are plenty of premium milliners (yes, I did have to look that up) that offer perfectly crafted pieces, but I prefer low priced options from local retailers like Target (selection is much better in store than online).
Barbecue and beach friendly, these hats give you style and shade all while covering up that receding hairline you hope has gone unnoticed.
My official outfit of summer is Levi’s 510′s, Converse, and of course a great white tee. It’s a classic look that’s survived the decades. Inspired by a photo of my grandpa from 1937, I’m going for a vintage feel this year. White makes room for off white and fitted folds to loose.
I can only hope I’ll look as cool and classic as this guy.
You absolutely can never go wrong with a bag from Marc Jacobs, especially one under $70. This is the perfect fun Friday find to start your weekend off right!
Go forth and dress well. Happy Friday!
Seersucker is the quintessential fabric for summer and definitely deserving of its own Femme Friday post. One could argue that its the most classic, recognizable warm weather textile worn the world over. Traditionally seen in red or iconic blue, seersucker is the perfect casual, comfortable staple that’s neutral enough to be worn with almost any color to any occasion.
Forget diamonds, this cool cotton is a girl’s best friend.
Row 1: Striped blazer via Zara $80; Jessica Howard dress via Von Maur $90 Row 2: J.Crew swimsuit $82; Lafayette 148 New York skirt via Nordstrom $148 Row 3: Striped shorts via Zara $40; J.Crew Café capri pant $98
I unapologetically love jean shorts. They elicit images of long summers filled with beaches, backyard barbecues, and bonfires. Although jean shorts have often been pegged as the trashy cousin of conventional denim, they’ve been resurrected in recent seasons by fashion designers and mass market retailers alike.
Plenty of brands like Levi’s and American Eagle offer a variety of fits and washes, but Zara strikes the perfect balance between style and value. Their jean shorts are available in an excellent mix of colors and seem to hit at a good point on the leg. I also like that should I get these shorts on and find they’re more Jim Dangle than anticipated, shipping and returns are free.
And yes, I suppose you could just cut off an old pair of jeans and make your own, but that post would have been shorter and far more anticlimactic.
Whoever said money can’t buy happiness never owned Nike Free Runs.
As a former avid runner struggling to get back in shape, my Free Runs have been a God send. They’re lightweight, super comfortable, and fit well enough to wear sans socks (something I’ve never done before). As a runner of almost 15 years, I can honesty say they’re the best pair of running shoes I’ve ever pruchased.
The only problem ahead of me is picking out a color (probably blue).
All images via Zappos.com
While slipping on an alien ring and transforming into an intergalactic superhero is my preferred way of going green, I suppose wearing eco friendly clothing is just as good (but not really).
Being environmentally conscious doesn’t mean dressing like a third generation hippie anymore. Companies are increasingly offering cool and stylish options for guys who want to look good without needlessly ravaging Mother Earth. I’ve collected 4 products that are just as eco fly as they are eco friendly.
Shirt: Made from natural seeded cotton knitted and sewn in Los Angeles.
Shoes: Vegan friendly and constructed from recycled and sustainable materials.
Watch: Accented with a bamboo dial, this Sprout watch is made from corn resin that’s “99% biodegradable to carbon dioxide and water within 365 days.”
The Green Lantern image was scanned from my own collection but copyrighted by DC Comics Inc. in 1983.
I had the privilege of photographing one of my very close friends after she agreed to be help me with this "nautical" styled shoot. Since the shortest distance from Columbus, OH to the coast is over a 9 hour drive we decided this quaint little reservoir would do. Stripes, a message in a bottle, a life preserver, red lipstick... does it get better than that?
There is something undeniably iconic about the vintage pin up girl. She’s beautiful, feminine, sexy, and yet classy enough to earn respect as well as admiration. Women wanted to be her and men wanted to, well you know.
When I stumbled across this 1940′s print ad of Rosemary La Planche (left) and Alma Carroll (right) at an antique mall earlier this week, I was immediately drawn to its color and subtle sexiness. The swimwear featured inspired me to hunt down some modern pieces patterned after suits from days gone by. Anthropologie, known for its vintage, feminine feel, offers these beautiful, simple swim suits worthy of being pinned on any wall (or blog).
Nothing says femme quite like these gems.
A special thanks to my friend and photographer Erica from Erica Lee Style for her helpful tips on women’s swimwear, of which I knew nothing about.
Row 1: Yakima bikini by Nanette Lepore $174; Sweetheart Patchwork Maillot by Camilla and Marc $218. Row 2: Dolly Gingham Maillot by Seafolly $168; Kamini Swimsuit by Nanette Lepore $192. Row 3: Star-Scattered Bikini by Pez D’Or $136; Natalie One-Piece by Seafolly $148. All images via Anthropologie
I was feeling a bit adulterous after today’s previous post. And while my eyes may stray from time to time, I always come home to Mr. Taylor. There’s just something special about unboxing a new pair of Converse that elicits excitement like nothing else.
Since it’s been an Americana sort of week for me, I decided to post some Chucks that read and bleed red, white, and blue.
For idolizing another, Mr. Taylor, mea culpa.
It doesn’t take much to make me happy. Any of these PF Flyers would do the trick. And while I’m a fervent worshiper at the church of Chuck Taylor, I find myself coveting these pieces of classic Americana.
Of course I had to include the iconic black on black. Benny would’ve wanted me to.
What say you, minions, Chucks or Flyers?
I consider myself a pretty stylish guy (hence the blog), so I thought I’d put together a look directly inspired by an outfit I wore earlier this week. And no, this isn’t a fun house mirror, unless said mirror is over 70 years old and was one of the deadliest, coolest machines in the skies during World War II. Yep, it’s the side of a P-51 Mustang I photographed on Monday at the Grimes Gathering of B-25s in Urbana, OH.
While it’s impossible to be me, you can certainly dress like me.
Yes, this is becoming a trend for me. I love that something so simple can look unexpectedly sophisticated. This week I played with texture by pairing a wider, athletic lace with a simple v-neck sweater and my favorite charcoal suit jacket. The royal blue is a nice contrast against the light teal.
Just so you know, I plan on riding this wave until it breaks. Go forth and dress well.
Where was I when hot pants took over? Seriously, what happened to women wearing classic, mid-length shorts? It would seem that the shrinking inseams of men’s shorts have pushed women’s shorts to ridiculous extremes. As a sir, I can appreciate a pair of gorgeous gams, but
men (rather gentlemen) will always respond more to class than skin. And few retailers exemplify class more than J.Crew.
On this Femme Friday, remember that no shorts (regardless of length) will ever be as sexy as the confident woman who wears them.