Christmas outfit

Must-Haves to Up Your Accessory Game

If the polar vortex has wreaked havoc on your personal style this winter, you’re not alone. Even the most debonair gentlemen had to go Eskimo at times, sacrificing style for clunky boots and full-body long-johns—anything that would bring some semblance of warmth. Now that the polar vortex is (hopefully) on its last legs, it’s time to thaw out and look ahead to some of the upcoming spring and summer trends.

When it comes to fashion trends for 2014, the devil is in the details. Once you’ve emerged from your puffy parka cocoon, you can focus on letting those details shine. Accessories are the perfect way to add personal flair to your outfit, especially in warm weather, and can serve a practical purpose as well. If you’re looking to win the accessory game this year, here are a few must-haves to consider.

military-watch-boxsetWatches

Unless you’re a Luddite, chances are your cell phone (or computer, or tablet) does a perfectly good job of telling you the time. So why invest in a watch? A bare wrist is like a blank canvas. You could leave it blank and call it art, or you could use the opportunity the canvas presents to make a statement about your style. It’s one of the few pieces of jewelry that a man can wear without looking like he’s trying to win a bling competition (Unless you’re wearing a diamond-studded watch that takes up half your arm, but we’ll leave that up to your discretion). You don’t need to break the bank to find the right watch either. A Rolex is great for some, but unless you have thousands of dollars to spend, consider a cheaper alternative. Look for something that matches and complements your personality. Smart Turnout is a British company that sells a variety of colorful, affordable watches and watch straps. Purchase a collection of watch straps and you can switch it up depending on your outfit. For a classic, non-flashy look, consider a vintage watch, even if it isn’t the most accurate time-keeper. Watches are more about style than function anyway. A unique, old-fashioned timepiece will be an elegant change-of-pace from your brethren who demand the newest brands. Heck, be bold and wear a pocket watch if the spirit moves you.

Socks

There’s no need to let your sock drawer turn into a quagmire of whites, blacks, and grays. First of all, those socks are drab. The only statement they make is that they’re utilitarian and plain. Not to mention that a pile of similar white socks is harder to match when folding laundry, and you have better things to do with your time. Dark solids are already well-represented in your wardrobe, so why not spice up your outfit with a dash of bright color, such as Nice Laundry’s collections? Robert Griffin III rocks some crazy socks, and you should too. Even if you work in a conservative setting, show the world that you’re not afraid to let your personality shine. A little uplifting color never hurt anyone. Build up your sock drawer with a range of patterns and colors. Polka dots, stripes, and bold patterns can match a range of outfits and will add panache wherever you go. Don’t let your otherwise chic style be brought down by boring socks. Take back this oft-forgotten frontier by being that style pioneer with crazy, cool socks.

urban-messenger-01Man Bag

Despite the fact that technology has consolidated most of the paper products of the world, it seems like we’re now inundated with an endless supply of high-tech gear to lug around.

Computers, tablets, cell phones, MP3s, and an endless supply of chargers and cables must be transported. These expensive items are certainly not something you want to lose or drop, so investing in a good man bag is a worthwhile investment. The Leather Shop makes a variety of high-quality laptop cases, briefcases, and messenger bags that can handle all your transportation needs. The leather bags look sleek and elegant so you won’t look like a college TA toting around a backpack. If you’re looking for a great way to organize all your chargers and gadgets, consider the Cocoon Grid-It. These cases feature a network of elastic bands that will hold any size gadget in place, and the entire organizer will easily slip into your new man bag.

Please feel free to contact Ella Gray at ella.l.gray@gmail.com with any questions.

Photo sources: Smart Turnout and Leather Shop

Essential Accessories for the Fashionable Man

Staying current with today’s top trends is important to many men, and wearing the right clothes can certainly help keep you up-to-date with what the chicest men around are doing. What many men forget, however, is that accessories are just as important as clothing when it comes to looking stylish. Everything from the right belt to the right men’s eyeglasses can set you apart from all of the other men that are content with looking boring all the time. Here are some of the basic accessories that every fashion-conscious man should have in his closet.607825_lg

Trendy Glasses

Even if your eyes are perfectly fine and you don’t need vision correction, a sleek pair of glasses can be a great way to add interest to a basic outfit. Some of the most popular eyeglasses today are chunky and extra nerdy. These thick-rimmed, plastic frames are relatively low cost, so you can feel good purchasing a pair of glasses that you may not even need. The best thing about glasses is that they are easy to switch out and try some new styles. Don’t be afraid of going bold with your glasses, since you can stick with a neutral clothing choice and still look great.

Ties

Nothing dresses up an outfit like a nice tie, and having a little bit of extra variety can give you a huge range of color choices so that you can get extra creative. Wearing the same ties over and over can get pretty boring, and people may just start noticing – especially if you are prone to spills at meal time. Try branching out and trying some fun and interesting patterns and prints on your ties. Not only can you look dressed up with the right ties, but you can even look trendy by picking today’s hottest styles of cuts and colors.A10185221_lg

Sunglasses

This accessory is not just fashionable, but it is practical as well. Having a nice pair of sunglasses can not only keep you looking cool, but they can help to protect your eyes from sun damage, which is no fun for anyone. There are plenty of sources for low-cost sunglasses, so don’t feel like you have to spend a lot to look good. While spending a little more will get you some higher-quality sunglasses, you can have a greater variety by picking up one or two different styles of cheap frames.

A Watch

Investing in a high-quality, good looking watch is a great way to complete your wardrobe. While you may not use a watch to actually check on the time much anymore, thanks to smart phones, a nice watch looks really good with both a suit and a casual outfit.

Shoes

Many men are content with owning a pair of work shoes and a pair of casual shoes, but you don’t have to stick with just a pair or two. Try looking for some interesting new shoes that will draw attention to your personal sense of style. If you usually only wear casual shoes, why not pick a dressier pair just to switch things up a bit. Don’t be afraid of thinking outside of the box to create some interesting outfit combinations.

Article Written by Jen Blair of The Sprightly Shopper. Follow her on Twitter @sprightlyshop.

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