Archive for the ‘ Fashion ’ Category

Suits!

Because who doesn’t love wearing a suit, right?

This suit is my one and only. My mother and I bought it off the rack and it needs tailored, but it’s the suit that counts.

I wore this because I was conducting an interview for a story this morning. I was on the reporting trail, but I’m inspired to wear my suit more often.

People respect a suit. Even if yours doesn’t fit properly like mine, wearing a suit shows you mean business.

Show that you mean business. Wear a suit. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

I also wrote this weekend. I fell back a couple more days, but I did write on Sunday. I covered the Ohio v. Northern Illinois baseball game and you can see that story here.

More posts are a’coming. I do plan to catch up to my 365-day blogging challenge. Stay patient.

Peace be with you,

–BP

Fishing for Fashion: Gunmetal

Gunmetal cufflinks

Men often forget what a great accessory cufflinks can be. A good pair of cufflinks replaces the dim and drab buttons that come stock with a standard cuffed shirt.

A French cuff shirt with cufflinks is easy and allows for a more personalized look for the everyday. Buy one pair to start and then you can start to branch out.

I got this pair in high school for a dance or something and they continue to be one of my favorite things to wear. The gunmetal goes well with almost any shirt/tie combination.

Cufflinks are subtly stunning like a woman’s earrings. Most of the time you don’t see them, but when the light twinkles off them for a quick moment, people notice.

Nike NFL: Where tradition meets excellence

The Seattle Seahawks unveiled their new uniforms for 2012 on Tuesday.

Many traditional fans were flipping their lids the past couple of years leading up to Tuesday’s launch of Nike’s NFL gear. When photos of NFL uniform “prototypes” were “leaked” last year, people were fearing for their favorite football team’s traditions.

Turns out, those images were just the work of some creative design expert who gets a kick out of scaring the NFL’s traditionalists out of their wits.

Tuesday’s reveal left many resting easy, showing no major aesthetic changes in the NFL uniforms with the exception of the Seattle Seahawks who unveiled an entirely new kit (whoops…wrong football).

However, the Nike’s devoted fan club was left waiting for something more.

Some of the NFL jerseys clearly could not be messed with, simply because of the tradition that surrounds them. Teams such as the Steelers, Packers, Raiders and Browns have too much history in their uniforms to make any major changes.

On the other hand, there are teams in the NFL such as the Bengals, Panthers, Eagles, Chargers and Buccaneers who could have made extreme changes to their uniforms to please the Nike contingent.

I don’t think Nike made the right move. Coming from a fan of the company’s work in NCAA football and basketball, there is a lot left to be desired with the unveiling of the new uniforms.

Images similar to this "leaked" last year revealing fake Nike prototypes for the 2012 NFL collection.

Yes, the technology is unprecedented. What Nike has done in the area of performance apparel is unmatched and that part of the new uniforms is what I enjoy. But Nike’s most recent success, or at least a hefty amount of attention, has come from the appearance of the uniforms themselves. The creativity behind the aesthetics of the Nike Pro Combat uniforms keeps people talking, at the very least.

I don’t think it’s in Nike’s best interest to make an underwhelming jump back into the NFL. Many people probably didn’t even know the switch was happening. Now that it has happened, people would expect to see a lot of what Nike does best as far as aesthetics are concerned. Nike didn’t exactly burst onto the NFL scene as I expected, but rather crept into the back door and quietly took a seat.

Nike is too daring to have the NFL stay stagnant. I predict NFL teams will unveil alternate uniforms, much like they did in the NCAA, later into the season. Nike must have been doing what it could not to send longtime fans into cardiac arrest at the sight of their wild uniforms. But, like I said, I don’t think Nike cannot stay this conservative for too long.

For now, Nike fans will live with the satisfaction of knowing that the folks behind the Swoosh are bringing all-new technology to the NFL. The Nike contingent can take solace in that, as history has told us, Phil Knight always has something up his sleeve.

Fishing for Fashion: Grey Tweed Blazer

Tweed

I lucked out on this jacket. It’s one of my favorite things in my closet and I didn’t pay a dime for it.

This is my grandpa’s old jacket, which my grandma was planning to get rid of a few years back. I needed a blazer for a play I was in and snatched this up before it became destined for Goodwill racks.

I wore it for the week of dress rehearsals and the feature presentations and put it up in the closet for every subsequent day after.

When I got to college and became more fashionably inclined (i.e. didn’t want to look like a grubby high school student), I rediscovered this blazer.

In my recent searches for the next best outfit, I came across a blazer eerily similar to this one on many of my favorite sites (here and here). Eureka.

So, who would have thought that my 5’9″ grandfather would end up contributing a staple piece to his 6’4″ grandson’s wardrobe?

A jacket like this is a great layer on days like today – cold, snowy, blustery. With a sweater, shirt and tie, this jacket adds a critical layer of warmth while not looking clunky and out of place; great for when I don’t want to wear my heavy duty work coat (that I haven’t done any type of manual labor in despite its true purpose).

Men, consult your grandfathers. You never know what fashion gems are hiding in their closets.

Hooray for fashion. Shout out Thread Magazine for making me the fashionable man I am today. Shout out Grandpa. Shout out awesome grey tweed blazer. Later, gators.

Peace be with you,

–BP

If my wardrobe could talk

One trend I’m not hip to: new clothes that look old. Perhaps I’m a bit of a fashion traditionalist that way.

Walking through the mall can sometimes be depressing with all of the new clothes covered in holes and scuffs and looking thinner than wet newspaper.

jeans

Holy jeans! These jeans have holes!

Is it wrong that I want my clothes to look more like clothes than swiss cheese made from tissue paper? I think not.

I like my clothes to tell their own story. If there is a hole in my jeans I want it to be there because a street ninja’s sword ripped it open in a dramatic, traffic-stopping battle. Not because I bought them that way.

My clothes are the only things that are with me all the time–both when and when I’m not fighting street ninjas.

The Odd CoupleTherefore, each piece of clothing that I own tells its own story. Some stories are exciting: my grey tweed jacket has starred in two plays with me (plus one with someone else). Some are boring: my Star Wars T-shirt sits in the drawer, only brought out when I know I’m among friends. (It lives a sad life, but it is loved.)

But no matter how exciting or how boring, each piece has a story. That’s what I like most about my wardrobe.

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about:

coffeeI bought my red tank top last summer for four dollars. I didn’t buy it for any good reason other than the fact that I won a ten-dollar Wal-Mart gift card at after-prom that I wouldn’t let go to waste.

Whenever I go into Wal-Mart I want to get out. It’s a store I only go into under extreme circumstances and I consider free money one of those circumstances. However, leaving remained my top priority going into Wal-Mart.

It was a good thing the men’s section was right in front.

I went to check out clutching my red tank along with grey one and two Hershey’s chocolate bars (to make it an even ten dollars, you know?).

I wasn’t thinking the tanks would be more than two shirts taking up drawer space that I’d wear playing basketball or something. Then I’d get rid of them in a couple years and for the first year that was looking like the case.

However, this summer I’ve grown closer to my red tank. It’s my go-to shirt, just a plain wearing shirt. (For those that don’t know, a wearing shirt is a shirt made for wearing…A LOT. The same goes for wearing jeans, wearing jackets, etc.)

My red tank went with me to the 6593-foot peak of Mt. LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains with my brother, sister, mom and dad. It was warmed by the sun and covered inside and out with black weevils blowing off rhododendron bushes at the peak. It was soaked with a torrential mountain downpour for the last couple miles of the descent. It was the most beautiful rain I’ve ever experienced and my red tank was right along with me.

mountainBut my red tank hasn’t traveled just to the top of a mountain. It’s been with me in early mornings drinking coffee. It’s been used as a hand-towel for my mud-covered weed-pulling hands from days in the garden. It’s been wadded up under my head as a pillow while laying by the Hocking River.

Do you see? My red tank has a story to tell. It’s gone from four-dollar Wal-Mart special to mountain climber extraordinaire. (And I think it looks nice with many different things.)

And the best part about it is that it wasn’t born that way. I’ll take my clothes through heck and back until they look like the ones in the stores. The only difference: mine will have memories of mountains and street ninjas while the store-bought clothes will be tattered with envy.

You may be able to buy shorts for $70, but you can’t buy memories.

meanmug

My red tank is versatile. It can be paired with many things (including a mean-mug like this).

Skulls surrounded by style

For the most part, the word “uniform” is clearly defined for athletes. Teams have home, away, and sometimes even alternate uniforms. Each player wears the same thing only with a different number patched on the front and back. Players will add their own unique flair by wearing different shoes or a “lucky” sweatband, but past that there is not much individuality.

However, hockey offers a route to creative expression in the uniform, but only to the big kahunas in net. A goalkeeper’s mask is theirs to own, both figuratively and literally. The mask is not only used for protection, but also for intimidation. The mask is like a giant tattoo for the skull that can be removed after the game. From the days of the “Jason” masks to the current masks that look like something out of a sci-fi film, goalie masks have always struck a bit of fear into opponents.

Goalies want their opponents to crumble at the sight of menacing eyes peering through the tight bars of an intimidating mask. Therefore, the task of coming up with a good mask is a difficult one. A goalie’s mask must display team loyalty, self-confidence, and creativity.

Here are my mask awards for the NHL:

jonas, hiller

Most Unique: Jonas Hiller of the Anaheim Ducks may not have the most creative helmet, but it definitely is the most unique. Hiller went simple with a flat black helmet, gold bars, and a small gold Ducks "D". (Photo by Debora Robinson/Getty Images)

ilya, bryzagalov

Most Creative: Ilya Bryzgalov of the Phoenix Coyotes adds what looks to be drawings from his kids on both sides of his mask. Touching. (Photos by Christian Petersen, Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

tuukka, rask

Most Intimidating: Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins knows intimidation. Imagine going in for a penalty shot peering into the red, menacing eyes of a ferocious bear. Scary. (Photos by Brian Babineau, Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

dan, ellis

Best Mask: Dan Ellis of the Tampa Bay Lightning takes the cake with his masks. Each has an intimidating figure with interesting, relevant artwork surrounding it. I love both Zeus and the Sea Monster, giving Ellis the award for best mask. (Photos by Scott Audette, Eliot J. Schechter, Bruce Bennett, Andy Martin/Getty Images)

p.s. To check out the entire collection of masks in the NHL this season, check out this photo gallery from Sports Illustrated.

p.p.s. For more from me, follow me on Twitter @Bradley_W_Parks and check out my sports blog/vlog B+ Sports here and on YouTube.

p.p.p.s. For more from Thread, follow us on Twitter @threadmag, like us on Facebook, and head to our website outhreadmag.com. The March issue of Thread comes out next week! Stay tuned!

If John Stockton were a surfer, he’d be proud.

dane, reynolds

Pro surfer Dane Reynolds goes with the knee-length boardies at the ASP World Tour Billabong Pro in Tahiti. (Photo by Sean Rowland/Getty Images, 2008)

As spring and summer quickly approach, beach-goers are gearing up for the warm sun with some new swimwear. Also, the surfers and skimmers out there have the pressing decision of which boardshorts to ride out the season with.

It seems that fashion-driven boardshorts are starting to slowly creep back up guys’ thighs. If John Stockton was a surfer, he’d be proud, being infamous for his classic short shorts carried on throughout the below-the-knee era in the NBA. But not only are the boardshorts getting shorter, but the designs are going back in time as well with bold stripes and spots in bright colors.

However, for the most part, tech boadshorts (boardies made for the surfer) have stayed true to form and have kept their hem around the knees.

Brands such as Billabong, Lost, Hurley, and O’Neill have stayed with their traditional style of tech boardshorts: knee-length, lots of blues and reds, flowers, trees, plaid, etc. However, more fashion-driven brands such as AMBSN, Critical Slide Society, and Aloha  have gone shorter with “vintage” colors (faded greens, yellows, oranges) and the aforementioned bold stripes.

Men, we have a difficult decision coming up: play it safe with traditional boardies or turn back the clock with some fashion-forward trunks? This decision could make or break beach season for you. Choose wisely.

p.s. For more from me, follow me on Twitter @Bradley_W_Parks and check out my sports blog/vlog B+ Sports here and on YouTube.

p.p.s. For more from Thread, follow us on Twitter @threadmag, like us on Facebook, and head to our website outhreadmag.com. The February issue of Thread is up on the website, so go check it out…NOW!