Men’s Style: Weekend Gear…

I am capping off this week with how I would style the GAP Army jacket (similar)  for a weekend day about town.  I wish I could say I live a jet setting life, but aside from the occasional weekend trip to wine country or Palm Springs, I get my dose of excitement from visiting Trader Joes or a matinée movie.  Mind you, I am not complaining, but sometimes a boy can dream, so that is exactly what I did when I put together my weekend outfit….

CLake Top Army

If you haven’t guessed, I love to layer.  Just like in interior design, the different layers of an outfit bring interest.  For my weekend jaunt, I layered a thin cashmere henley (similar) under the jacket and finished it off with one of my favorite scarves from Alexander McQueen (similar).

CLake Laughing Army Jacket

As for accessories, I have been wearing my bronze metallic watch non-stop since picking it up in France this summer.  I love its chunky qualities and is the perfect unexpected element for a dude.  I am also a sunglass fiend but I am also a near-sighted sunglass fiend, so these are my every day prescription sunglasses in an aviator style from SEE Eyewear.

CourtneyOutLoud Green Army Jacket

And yup, I carry a “murse” (aka man purse).  I don’t know about where you live, but here in Northern California, we get charged for each bag we use at stores, so I have started carrying my own. I love this bag from Banana Republic (similar) – the cognac color, t he stitching and size are spot on for my weekend needs.  I think a leather tote is the perfect compromise – stash your grocery bags inside along with life’s other essentials (lip balm, wallet, iPad, phone, journal, cross bow…hey-you never know when the zombies will attach!)

So there you have it – three different looks to take you from work to night to play using one jacket as inspiration.  Hope this inspires you to go play dress up in your wardrobe and rediscover your closet.    Now get your weekend started!  Have a GREAT ONE!

Photography by: Desi Arnaz Hyter

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Motivational Mondays: Appearance…

Mark Twain Quote 2

Hello World!  It’s me in my underwear on the Internet.  As you can see, I have the body of a Greek Adonis  – chiseled, refined and oh so masculine.  But I am nearly naked for a reason….

Some people may call me a clothes horse or a fashionista but honestly, I used clothes as a way to hide in plain sight.  My outfits were a type of armor I put on daily to project an air of confidence.  Board meeting?  Armani suit.  Dinner with clients?  APC Jeans, Theory blazer and Prada loafers.  Brunch with friends?  Black Fleece cardigans and Marc Jacobs pants of course.  I was spending a ton of time, money and energy creating a persona when I could have been expending the same effort investing in my spiritual and emotional well-being.

When I left corporate America and started to freelance, something odd happened.  I found myself some mornings  simply too tired to contemplate an “outfit”.  GAP replaced Armani and Converse Chucks became my shoe of choice.  I was running from meetings with vendors to dusty job sites to the design center with a healthy dose of dog walking thrown in and my old way of dressing seemed forced.  What was once a shield had become a burden, a well-heeled weight around my neck.  But something else happened, something more profound than realizing jeans worked better than dress pants for my new life.  I found that I wanted people to HEAR me rather than SEE my outfit.  When I walked into a meeting, I wanted people to notice my ideas, not my coat.  All my time in corporate America, I doubted I had the skills to do the job I was in, so I used my clothes to project that confidence.  However, doing design, I love what I do and am pretty darn good at it.  My confidence comes from within now – not from a label.

Which brings us back to why I am in my underwear?  I promised myself for 2013, I would edit my closet to  have only those pieces I love and can use for work and play.  I am giving myself free rein to play “dress up” in my closet.  So I tasked myself with a challenge, take one piece from my closet and style it three different ways.

So this week, I am dedicating the blog to styling this jacket…..

GAP Army Jacket

Tomorrow the challenge begins…..( and I promise I will be wearing pants.)

Photography by: Desi Arnaz Hyter

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Traveling In Style….

While I do alot of traveling for work (and some for pleasure) I don’t particularly enjoy the process.  Packing, organizing and of course the airports.  Since 9/11 the strict airport security precautions basically leave me feeling a little worse for the wear.  Long lines, evasive searches and less than nice TSA agents have taken their toll on me.  I remember as a little boy going to the airport was glamorous…..my Mom got dressed up, my step-Dad wore a tie and I always got a new outfit for the plane ride.

However, since you basically have to strip to go through security, long gone are the days where dressing up is an option.  But I do like to try to look stylish and while a suit and tie aren’t in the cards, you can definitely mix it up to be stylish and airport “ready”.  So here is my take on traveling in style……

For me, regardless of gender, nothing is more glamorous than oversized sunglasses.  However, here they serve the added purpose of hiding dark circles and puffy eyes from a red-eye flight.  As for the outfit, I like to keep it simple — a striped tee, light coat, dark denim and slip-off shoes.

And I know that roller suitcases are easier to maneuver around but sometimes practicality needs to be tossed out the window!  So why not rock a purple duffle?  It is the perfect pop of color in a pretty monochromatic outfit….

Peacoat: Sandro USA/ Shirt & Jeans: Agnes B/Sunglasses: John Varvatos/ Shoes: John Varvatos for Converse/ Duffle: Jack Spade

Wanna recreate this look?  Here’s how……

Coat/Top/Jeans/Duffle/Shoes/Sunglasses

Okay, time for me to do some work so I can spend the rest of my time in Palm Springs, drinking excessively fruity drinks and taking dips in the pool in our back yard.  Speaking of the house, it’s pretty awesome…. see pics of the house and of my shenanigans on Insta.gram.

Have a great weekend peeps!

Loving Out Loud: ASOS Peacoat

Happy Monday!  I thought I would kick this week off with a little love, actually more like a deep and profane obsession.  It is no surprise to those of you who follow me on Pinterest that I have a thing for yellow.  On a side note, if there is a client who wants to do a yellow room, CALL ME.

Aside from dreaming about yellow rooms, I have been searching for a yellow coat.  I know… I know, a yellow coat is just a hop, skip and jump away from looking like a human banana, but I think I can pull it off.  My previous attempts at purchasing a yellow coat have been thwarted by either coat or fit, but I think I may have hit the jackpot with this yellow peacoat from ASOS . . .

It’s yellow.  It’s a peacoat.  It’s slim cut.  It’s love.

In my head this coat is begging for a little street chic styling, so I would pair it with……

Agnes B Tee/Everlane Weekender/APC Jeans/Ann Demeulemeester Sneaker

This outfit reminds me of all the chic guys I saw in Paris, effortlessly stylish but not polished…..a little rough around the edges.  Très chic.

Aside from counting my pennies on this Monday morning, I am also counting down the days until I wrap up the Hawthorne Project.  This tiny condo has had the biggest lag thanks to snafus on the closet doors and a broken dining table.  Fingers crossed that this week, we will be able to solve the dining table issue.

And if you wanted to start your week off with more of moi, check me out on FacebookTwitter and Insta.gram (CourtneyOutLoud) for musings on design, food and just plain randomness.

Loving Out Loud: Thom Browne …

I develop crushes really easily.  Treat me nicely, show me a little affection or pay me a compliment and I will be eating out of your hand.  Seriously.  I once had a crush on  a boy who worked the drive through at Taco Bell because he gave me an extra taco.   In my 16 year-old eyes, this was clearly a sign and therefore began a two-week stint of daily Taco Bell runs.  Did I get a boyfriend or did I gain five pounds and develop a horrible case of upset stomach?  You figure out which of those two scenarios came true….

However, to this day I still develop crushes based on odd connections.  This holds true regarding my crush on the menswear designer Thom Browne.  The man designs clothing like he has me in mind – preppy colors, slim cuts, slightly cropped silhouettes, heavy use of cashmere….the list could go on.  But honestly, he has to love me because why else would he design such beautiful clothing that speaks to me on so many levels….

Some say that Mr. Browne’s aesthetic has completed changed the dynamics of menswear.  One fashion editor has even gone on the record having said Mr. Browne will be remembered as one of the most dynamic designers of this century. He has been called a “genius”.   I just want to call him “Boo Bear” ……

So Mr. Browne, should by some stroke of luck and happenstance, should you read this, I love you.  I love your clothes.  I love how they make me feel.  I love how they make me look.

In summary, Mr. Browne, I want to make little cashmere knit babies with you…..

Now that I have sufficiently embarrassed myself, is there a designer or clothing brand that you are particularly smitten with?  Share it in the comments section or even better, post a pic of yourself in your favorite outfit on Facebook, or shoot it to me on Twitter.

Wanna see sneak peeks of my day?  Follow me now on Instagram (@CourtneyOutLoud)!