#BNMDA #GQxGap

Fall is officially here, guys! Autumn is my favorite season for a variety of reasons: Being able to layer again (not really – it’s hot as hell over here in The Bay), all those wintry textures, PSLs (loljk), the return of Brooklyn Nine-Nine… needless to say, there’s a lot to like about this season.

One of the main reasons I love Fall though is because it’s when GQ and Gap come out with their annual Best New Menswear Designers in America collection. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s basically when GQ picks out a bunch of new high-end fashion brands – think Ovadia & Sons, The Hill-Side, Todd Snyder, etc. – and works with Gap and those brands to create a more affordable, easier-to-access capsule collection. I’ve been keeping up with this annual collection for about seven or so years, and I gotta say it’s easily my favorite collection from Gap – hands down.

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This jacket is from the BNMDA 2013 collection (featuring Bespoken), while the tie is from the 2015 collection with David Hart. The guys at Bespoken and David Hart must be so tired of my tagging them in the same stuff day after day. Whoever runs Bespoken’s Instagram is like, “WE GET IT ALREADY, YOU HAVE THAT ONE JACKET FROM THAT ONE TIME WE WORKED WITH GAP.”

This year the guys at GQ picked out some brands/designers they had already featured in previous years and brought them back for an encore collection. The four brands/designers that get this year’s nod are John ElliottMichael BastianSteven Alan, and Saturdays NYC.

There’s a whole lot to love in this year’s collection, but I thought I’d spend some time gushing over some of my favorites. Here goes:

Gap x GQ Michael Bastian Tweed Blazer

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This thing has three of my favorite elements: Texture, texture, and texture. This jacket hits just the right shade of gray, and the dark gray elbow patches are cool as well without being too professorial. Half-lined, so you can layer inside of this thing quite literally without breaking a sweat.

Gap x GQ Michael Bastian Chunky Cardigan

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If you follow my Instagram you know I’m a sucker for a good shawl-collared cardigan (#shawlwars FTW). Bonus points to this one for being extra cozy, and for the cool snowmobile intarsia on the chest – perfect for all my chesties – and on the back.

Gap x GQ Michael Bastian Skinny Fit Moleskin Pants

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Speaking of cozy, check out these moleskin pants. I love the slanted button-down pockets and the moto knees. Infinitely slicker than your average chinos.

Gap x GQ Michael Bastian Convertible Ski Jacket

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Dude, this thing is a vest with sleeves. It’s got those sweet retro vibes with the bright red and blue, except without the boxy retro fit. A sound in-vest-ment, if you ask me.

Gap x GQ Michael Bastian Distressed Slim Jeans

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I’m not normally into the whole ripped up, distressed jeans trend (I stopped wearing them after 2008), but I will gladly make an exception for these. I can’t get over how great these jeans look with that ski jacket.

Ugh, at this rate I’ll be going through every piece in the Michael Bastian collection. Let’s move on to the next bunch, shall we?

Gap x GQ John Elliott Flight Jacket

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To be perfectly honest with you, I hate could never understand all that athleisure stuff. Especially the whole distressed hoodie/skinny jeans thing. The cool thing about this jacket though is that you can wear it without looking athleisurely. I can picture this thing looking great on top of a solid white shirt and black knit tie. You can do the whole athletic thing with this jacket, and I’m sure a lot of people can pull it off nicely, but this jacket is versatile enough to do more than just that.

Gap x GQ Steven Alan Moleskin Shirt Jacket

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It’s not ACTUALLY made using the skin of moles, guys. But real talk though, look at the juicy ruby red on this shacket! This is a great layering shirt, and looks every bit as cozy as those moleskin pants from Michael Bastian.

Gap x GQ Steven Alan Wool Coat

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Can’t get over the herringbone on this coat. This is the kind of coat that you would actually put on top of a suit. Not saying that you have to, but it’ll definitely help you get through that snowy walk home from work. ‘Cuz, you know, it snows so much here in The Bay.

Gap x GQ Steven Alan Washed Cord Blazer

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Gap calls the color on this blazer “Marine Blue” – and rightfully so, because the blue on it is DEEP. A blue like this can be worn with a hell of a lot of stuff, and the corduroy adds a nice Fall texture to it. Come to think of it, this blazer reminds me of the Brooklyn Tailors corduroy suit from the BNMDA 2014 collection.

Gap x GQ Steven Alan Wool Knit Beanie

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Hey, remember that cozy, deep red shirt jacket I mentioned earlier? Here’s the equivalent for your head. Gotta love that shade of burgundy.

Gap x GQ Steven Alan Flannel Shirt

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Solid shirt in a nice windowpane plaid. As versatile a shirt as any. I would expect no less from Steven Alan.

Gap x GQ Saturdays New York City Camel Topcoat

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A solid camel topcoat is one of those things that belongs in every man’s wardrobe. At least, if you live in an area that requires topcoats. This one from Saturdays NYC has just the right shade of camel – the shade that looks every bit as good over faded, distressed skinny jeans and chelsea boots as it does over a suit and wingtips.

Gap x GQ Saturdays New York City Oxford Shirt

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Can’t go wrong with a good oxford shirt. The blue on this one in particular though is fantastic. I can already imagine throwing on a solid navy blue knit tie and dark blue jeans with this shirt; or, perhaps, with all black. Or even with some grays.

Well those are my top picks, anyway. I could go through all 59 items in this year’s collection, but I’m way too lazy busy to do so. Got any favorites in this year’s collection? How about in any collection over the past 10 years? Get at me in the comments. I’m sure you already know which pieces are my favorites because you see them on my IG feed all the time. (Sorry for all the IG tagging, Bespoken and David Hart! You too, Brooklyn Tailors. And Ovadia & Sons. And Todd Snyder. And The Hill-Side. The list goes on.)

Oh, and one more thing: If you’re gonna go buying all the stuff I mentioned here, please please PLEASE save me an Extra Small or a 28. I’m still saving my nickels and dimes for them. Gap and GQ don’t pay me to post all this good stuff for them, after all. Though really they should… *grumble grumble*

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Suitsupply SF

The good fellas over at Suitsupply have finally opened up a store in San Francisco! It’s great ‘cuz I have always loved their suits and, uh, supplies, but it was hard for me to order something of theirs online without first trying it on. So now I can try their stuff out in person.

Anyway, back on Thursday the Suitsupply guys held their grand opening party, and they were gracious enough to extend me an invite (can’t imagine why they would, but hey I’m not complaining). So I brought some homies with me and checked it out.

My chest was super stoked to be there, as you can plainly see.

Right off the bat I was overwhelmed by the number of well-dressed guys and gals there. Also I knew practically no one there. So I spent a good deal of time looking around and being awkward and overwhelmed. Like, damn, I felt out of my league.

But then my chest came across a familiar face: that of former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown!

Pardon the Asian flush. I was just kinda giddy to meet the guy.

He didn’t recognize me.

Oh, also I came across the chests of San Francisco cool guys Brian (@imchanism) and Patrick (@_pmoody_)! Always great to catch up with them.


Oh and there was one more cool guy I met while I was there: Nish de Gruiter, VP of Suitsupply.

By “met”, of course I mean awkwardly asked to take a photo of.

The guy really knows his suit game. Dug his suit and the black knit tie to go with it.

All-in-all, great people, great menswear, great times. Thanks again to Suitsupply for letting my awkward ass join in on the celebration. Can’t wait to get my chest into one of their suits.

Seersucker Day

Happy Seersucker Day, everyone! What is Seersucker, you ask? Why does it have a day to itself? Let me have Wikipedia explain it to you. I’m here to tell you how I wear this stuff.

Right off the bat, I can tell you that living in the Bay Area means that I don’t really get to wear much seersucker. Karl the Fog keeps things nice and cool for us here, so we never really have to worry about dressing for warm weather. That said, there are days when the weather feels right and a guy just wants to feel a bit dandier than usual.

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Check out this sweet seersucker suit I’ve arranged neatly on my living room floor.

The most common form of seersucker suit (at least, the type I see most often) is this light version, kinda like the Haspel suit you see up there. With a super-light suit like this I like to add contrast using darker accessories. That’s why you see the dark brown shoes and the navy blue tie and pocket square.

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Same suit, different tones. Colorful tie bar – orange you glad?

The good thing about the neutral tone of this particular seersucker suit is that I can put a lot of different colors against it. Up here, I go with some earthy browns and oranges.

Ultimately, when it comes to wearing a light seersucker suit like this one, I think it’s better to keep the rest of the pieces a bit more on the subdued side. After all, seersucker grabs quite enough attention already, so it’s best to let it do all the talking. Unless, of course, you wanna go super dandy, like what I did in the top chestie.

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Hardy Amies’s Seersucker suit, over at Gilt. I would advise against buttoning both buttons on your suit jacket, though. Silly model guy.

If the whole light seersucker suit thing isn’t your, uh, thing, you can always go with a darker alternative. It works kinda like a regular suit except lighter in weight, and with more texture. So I guess it’s kinda like a Summer version of corduroy. Seersucker suits in a solid navy like this one up here are easier to wear with your usual shirt and tie getup.

Anyway, that’s my take on seersucker suits. They’re obviously not for everyone, but when worn properly they can look pretty damn cool.

“When can I wear one”, you ask? I dunno, whenever you want, if the weather permits. Probably not during an interview though. Or a funeral. Or during a business meeting. Or to sleep. Or out camping.

Anyway, Happy Seersucker Day, urrbody! Seer [later], suckers!

 

Squaring is Caring

Can’t have too many of ’em. Pocket squares are the easiest way to inject color into my outfit without being too loud.

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Pocket square? What pocket square?

This chestie above is a prime example of what I’m talking about. Here, I’ve got the whole tonal thing going on with the all brown, but then I inject a bit more color into the outfit with the camo pocket square.

Now imagine if I wore the same outfit, except with the solid shirt swapped with the camo on the pocket square. That camo shirt would be a little too loud, wouldn’t you say?

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The “RP” stands for “Really Pretty”.

Pocket squares are even cooler when you get them embroidered with your initials, like the square in this chestie above. Embroidered pocket squares say “Hey, this square is mine. I pay attention to little details like this.” It’s also a really cool thing to hand down to your kids. People will be all like, “Sweet square! What does the ‘RP’ stand for?” and they can be all like, “It belonged to my dad” and they can even hand it down to their kids and stuff as well.

Big ups to the fine fellows at O’Harrow Clothiers for the embroidered squares, by the way. All those squares in that big grid-o-squares up top are from O’Harrow, as well.

Dad Essentials

As many of you are aware, I am a father of three. As such, I gotta make sure I pack right whenever I take them out. Unfortunately I’m also pretty vain and self-conscious so I gotta make sure I’m looking good while I’m at it. Here’s some of the stuff that keep me ready for a day of fatherhood in style:

Man Bag-Turned Diaper Bag

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Helmet Bag from QP Collections

Most baby bags out there are either really feminine or really techy. To look more like a dad who knows what he’s doing and less like a dad who had his wife pack his diaper bag for him, grab a nice-looking yet still very practical tote. Something like the bag pictured above or one of these nifty totes from Filson.

Diapers, Burp Cloths, etc. etc.

You know, stuff that I use at home for my baby – except travel-sized. Butt cream, baby wipes, diapers, thermometer, that Nose Frida suction thing, bottles and breastmilk/formula, spare clothes, all that good stuff. If ever I’m not sure, I just grab all the stuff in my wife’s diaper bag and shove it into my super-sweet tote (see above).

Extra Shirt

At some point in the early stages of fatherhood, my baby will likely pee on me. Or throw up on me. Instead of spending the rest of the day partially covered in urine/vomit, I pack another shirt – a really versatile one that matches anything I decide to put on.

Baby

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My daughter Daisy and me. She gets her looks from me, as you can plainly see.

No dad is a dad without one.

Dad Hat

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One that screams “Look at me, I’m a cool dad”. This one from Ebbets Field Flannels is pretty sweet; I wear it whether or not I’m on dad mode.

A Classic Pair of Sunglasses

I use my shades to be able to see without them noticing anyone who is silently judging me. I look super young for my age (I’m 29 and get ID-ed any time I order a beer at Olive Garden(LOLJK I don’t eat at Olive Garden)), so when I walk around the the park with my baby daughter I often get mean looks from judgy grandmas. The kind of looks that say, “What is this thirteen-year-old doing with a kid?”

Bonus for the microfiber pocket square. I hate dirty glasses, so I’m always wiping mine clean with one of these pocket squares that double as a microfiber glass cleaner.

Got any other essentials for dads? Get at me in the comments.