Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Ralph Lauren’

5000

Vanguard America sport a new look. The guy in the middle is James Fields, who was recently charged with murder for running over a group of peaceful protesters in Charlottesville, VA. Photo:  Go Nakamura/New York Daily News

It seems white nationalists, Vanguard America in particular, have adopted for themselves a new uniform – khakis and polo shirts. According to several reports that was the prevailing outfit last weekend as these people descended upon the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

If someone says “white nationalists” I picture angry white men in well-worn jeans and heavy work boots, t-shirts with the Confederate flag or some offensive slogan, maybe a swastika. So it was startling to see in photos the once preppy look usurped by fringe hate groups.

It speaks volumes:

  • They’re not hiding their identity like previous generations of hate groups such as the KKK. They’re feeling comfortable with their racism.
  • They want to blend in and identify with the oh-so-many fellas out there who sport the same look – the golfer, the suburban dad, the middle manager, the Every Man.
  • These men want to appear mainstream, clean-cut, NORMAL.

 

If this continues the look will no doubt be tainted if it’s not already. I couldn’t help but think about the thugs in Charlottesville when the other day a man crossed my path sporting a white polo shirt and khakis. Probably on his way to work, the guy I’m sure was unaware of the association I made with his outfit. How funny is it that a week earlier I wouldn’t have even noticed him.

I say this must stop. Come on Levis, The Gap and any brand that makes khakis – like the makers of the Tiki torch you have to disavow yourselves from the alt-right. Same goes for polo shirt brands. Lacoste. Ralph Lauren. Do you want to be associated with hatred and violence?

Speak up!

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Ezra Miranda. (See below for Ezra's comments on what he's wearing.)

Ezra Miranda. (See below for Ezra’s comments on what he’s wearing.)

I met Ezra Miranda several years ago at the 944 magazine launch party. Covering the event for SFBaystyle, I was dashing about getting quotes and snapping photos when, in a paused moment, Ezra approached and very politely complimented me on my outfit (a brown 1950s full-skirt party dress with brown suede peep-toe shoes from the 1930s). He commented that my look was refreshing in a sea of sameness (I’m paraphrasing). That really meant a lot to me as sometimes not fitting in with the crowd can feel uncomfortable.

At the time Ezra was a busy guy working for Ralph Lauren, keeping up his street style blog, Golden Gauge, and hitting society parties and openings. He also had a mission – to help young men dress better. Today the 30-year-old is an operating room nurse at San Francisco General Hospital. On the side he still dresses to-the-nines and styles other men to do the same.
I recently asked my fashion buddy to have a chat with OverDressed for Life.
You’re such a dapper guy, when did you first become interested in dressing well?
Clothing has always been a huge part of my life. My parents raised me to go to church and, at the age of five, I had to put on a suit and tie every Saturday. It wasn’t something that I looked forward to, but I appreciated it.  I had to learn how to iron my own clothes, tie my own tie, and shine my shoes. Growing up with two sisters and a family filled with well-dressed aunts, who read Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue for breakfast, I was bound to fall in love with fashion and clothing. But I have to say it was during my time working for Ralph Lauren that I learned so much about the world of men’s and women’s clothing. Ralph Lauren was a more like a university for business and fashion. It really guided me in how clothing works and all the little details that go into a garment. I had to dress well. That was my job. I loved dressing people. If you looked at most of my clients outfits, you can tell it had my signature all over it.
 How would you describe your style?
I love this question! My style ranges from High End Fashion all the way to Street Wear. It really depends on the day and the event. The past couple of years I’ve really fallen in love with the way the Italians do it. The men have such an effortless look that they make the suit look comfortable. Sprezzatura (studied nonchalance) would be the word to describe it. I love wearing dress shoes, a suit and a tie, but you might also see me in a pair of Jordan 1’s with jeans and a blazer. I would say the best dressed people are the ones who don’t have just one look but multiple styles. I try to do that.
Who or what inspires you?
My parents have always been my inspiration. They’ve inspired my work ethic, my manners, and the way I dress. Watching them get dressed for a night out or a family party was the best. My mother always had the last word with what my dad would wear. But inspiration is in everything for me from music and artwork, to design and old films.
Where do you shop?
I shop almost everywhere. The clothing you wear doesn’t have to be a major designer from a department store, it can be something you found at a thrift store or even Target. Yes, Target! I shop there as well.  It always comes down to how the clothing fits you. The man next to me can be wearing the $5,000 Tom Ford Suit with incredible fabric and hand work, but the shoulders are off or the length of the jacket is too long, while I’m wearing my $100.00 suit that fits like a second skin, it moves with me, it doesn’t follow me. It all comes down to fit. Not to say that I don’t love Tom Ford.
Why is dressing well important to you?
Dressing well brings out the best in people. Everything from your body language to you posture to how you speak changes when you’re dressed well. I’ve always appreciated the effort people put into what they wear. It’s says a lot about that person. Theres also a bit of a thrill when someone comes up to you and says, “Hey, that’s a great look …”.
What advice would you give a young guy who wants to improve his look?
Learn what fits best for your body. Many times when someone puts something on that actually fits them correctly they feel uncomfortable. That’s the problem –  too many people “just want to be comfortable.” Stay away from that word and you’ll dress better every day. Start with basics. Buy yourself a navy blazer, a good pair of fitted jeans, a white pocket square, and dress shoes. Work your way up into purchasing a navy or grey suit. Learn how to tie a tie. You would be surprised at how many men still don’t have a clue on how to tie a tie. The biggest answers I hear from men or women who don’t dress up is because:  my work place is casual  – why should I wear heels? –  I just want to be comfortable. If you want to be successful you have to look successful. Make that first impression count.
Please tell us about your styling gigs.
I’ve stayed in touch with a few of my previous clients from Ralph Lauren and have worked with new faces since then. I also work with a couple of boutiques here in San Francisco to train new employees on selling mens clothing. Working in fashion retail you really have to identify with your clients.  I remember during my time selling clothing, I wanted to make it easy for my clients to shop. I was able to do that by learning as much about them as possible. Once I knew what fit them best and what style they wanted to bring out, I did the shopping and put the outfits together for them. They just came in for the fitting. Again, it always comes down to the fit of the garment.
As a well-dressed man, how do you like to see women dressed?
I could get in trouble with this question! Lets talk about shoes first. I lived in Puerto Rico for about a year, and the one thing I can say is that the women from Puerto Rico always wore their best. Heels were like sneakers to them. I loved it. I think women should pay attention to the shoes they wear. There are shoes that really compliment a lady’s figure. If it’s pumps, then do it. I’m honestly not a huge fan of flats. But that’s just me. Yes it would be nice to see more women wear a dress or a skirt, but that’s not really what we see in San Francisco. We see a lot of jeans on women, flats, and a “fun shirt.” I feel like Lululemon (yoga clothes) has become an outfit that women look forward to wearing on the weekend rather than a summer dress or winter coat. The one thing that women have over men is that they can wear everything made for women as well as mens clothing! How amazing is it to see a lady in an evening dress at one event and then wear a three-piece suit at the next. Why not be sexy, creative? Confidence starts with what we wear.
Who’s your favorite designer and why?
Yves Saint Laurent is my all time favorite designer. He was so ahead of his time giving fashion and women a taste of his mind. The man introduced the tuxedo suit for women! Even today many designers are influenced by the way he made his clothing. I have a few pieces from his men’s collection and the craftsmanship is unmatched. He was a pioneer in the fashion world and his work will always live on.
What’s your go-to item this season?
My Scarf and Gloves.
Please tell us about the photo you’ve provided.
I chose to mix in a bit of Casual Italian Country.
Denim- Double RL
Dress Shirt- Purple Label Ralph Lauren
Knit Tie- Paul Stuart
Linen Pocket Square- Ralph Lauren
Double Breasted Sport Coat- Vintage
Scarf- Ralph Lauren
Leather Gloves- Hickey Freeman
If you’re putting together a fall look, try fitted denim jeans with a sport coat. Consider shades such as brown, burgundy and olive-green. You can go with or without a tie, but I’ve always been a huge fan of the knit tie. There’s something special about the way the knot looks on a dress shirt. Fall/Winter is the season of skill. It’s the time people pull off different ways of layering an outfit. One accessory, such as a scarf or gloves, can really make the difference to your look.
Thank you, Ezra, and please keep spreading the word on the benefits of dressing well.

Read Full Post »

I like things that never go out of style, that are rooted in utility and the hand of the artist.

Fashion designer, Ralph Lauren.

Read Full Post »

The country was outraged last week when it became known that Ralph Lauren’s U.S. Olympic uniforms were made in China. This past weekend the company released a statement promising that the 2014 Winter Olympics uniform (also a RL design) will be made in America.

Following the scandal, the Olympic Committee announced that it intends to change its policy requiring that all U.S. Olympic uniforms be made in America.

But Americans are calling for a change right now with the current summer uniforms and clothing manufacturers around the country are stepping up to the plate claiming they can meet the two-week deadline. From the polo shirts to the slacks to the scarves, American clothing manufacturers are saying, “Yes we can!”

Loggerhead Apparel in Greenville, South Carolina, American Giant in San Francisco, CADET in Brooklyn and many more manufacturers have made it clear that they would be proud to supply the U.S.A. Olympic Team with uniforms sporting a Made in America label.

Image courtesy of Liscaro Scarves.

Among the enthusiasts is Lisa Devereaux, owner of Liscaro Scarves in Arlington, Texas. Ms. Devereaux contacted ABC World News With Diane Sawyer, who reported on the story, to say there is still time to make the scarves. “We want to make them right here, and NOW. We can meet the deadline.”

Ms. Devereaux says, “I wrote to ABC and said we would be honored to offer our scarves to the U.S. athletes for the Olympic games. Now it is in the hands of the United States Olympic Committee if they will allow us to move forward. If not for the 2012 games, then we will gladly provide our scarves for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, to ensure that our athletes are clothed in American-Made apparel.”

Way to go, America! Take note Ralph Lauren and all the other fashion corporate brands out there: Clothing manufacturers still exist in the United States and they are ready for business. Hire them!

Read Full Post »

Ralph Lauren US Olympic uniforms sport a Made in China label.

The iconic American designer Ralph Lauren has made a serious misstep by having the entire U.S. Olympic Team’s opening ceremony uniform made in China.

Does RL really think this is OK? Is the company that cheap? So far we don’t know what they think as there has been no direct comment on the issue.

What a waste of an opportunity to give a much-needed boost to local production as well as highlight the fact that clothing manufacturing in America is still possible and preferable. Beyond that, it’s a bad reflection on the Ralph Lauren company and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Come on, American Olympic uniforms should be made in America. Period.  

Washington is up in arms with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid suggesting the pile of China-made uniforms be burned. Some American designs are also unhappy. Nanette Lapore, who proudly manufactures her women’s line in the U.S. shared her thoughts with CNN:  

It’s very disturbing because it completely could have been manufactured here in the United States in New York City or in any other city where there’s factories that still exist. And it’s frustrating for us because it’s a cause we’ve been fighting for, and we’ve been trying to raise awareness and trying to convince designers to move work back to our shores and stop off-shoring and start on-shoring. This would have been the perfect opportunity.
 
Although I have always been a fan of the Ralph Lauren style, the reality is that the line is not a fashion house it’s a big corporate brand. Sometimes corporate brands lose their focus while striving for big profits.
  
What a shame. Yes the uniform looks good, but it’s not made in America and like an ill-fitting suit, it feels all wrong.

Read Full Post »

Vivienne Westwood Red Label Spring 2012. Image: Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway

Even as a fashion writer it’s difficult to think spring when we’re just entering fall. But for you my dear readers, I endured the struggle and took a peek at the spring 2012 fashion shows. Here’s what to keep in mind:

  1. Continuation of color and prints.
  2. The 1920s is favored with dropped waist evening dresses and lots o’ beads.
  3. The tuxedo is a big look updated with wide-leg pants.
  4. Pencil skirts are still hot but with a new twist – draped.
  5. Cropped tops. (Back again?)
  6. Athletic fabrics, especially mesh.
  7. White and more white in lace, eyelet, and sheer fabrics.

Designers that spoke to me:

I always enjoy Ralph Lauren for his classic American designs. He continues to find inspiration in the 1920s. Sheer fabric dresses and skirts in subtle pastels. Floral scarves, cloche hats, lacy cardis and three-piece suits. Super palazzo pants paired with super platform shoes. Beaded gowns for evening in white and silver. Both day and evening wear are fabulously elegant but without the fuss.

Vivienne Westwood is another favorite of mine. I admire her tailoring and unexpected use of plaids. For the most part this spring season Westwood avoids bright colors and instead keeps to creams, pale blues, and black. She shows a lot of draped dresses, which really, only a very tall woman can wear. But there are some rockin’ plaid skirts with a flounce and the most unstructured suit I’ve ever seen – straight skirt,  jacket has draped collar, and belted at the waist.  (Pictured above.)

Marc Jacobs is all about layers, fringe and movement for spring. Cropped jackets with fringe at the hems paired with sheath dresses embellished with silicone fringe. (Reminds me a bit of Paco Rabanne, who in the 1960s designed a line of clothing using materials such as metal and plastic.) The fringe and iridescent fabrics sway and shine with every movement for a dramatic effect. Sixties style coats – short with sleeves to the elbow – are the signature silhouette. Smart bowling bags and gym totes in fun shades of green and gold. Jacobs wasn’t the only designer to show thin socks with pumps. This is a look that repeats itself season after season, but has yet to translate onto the streets.

Read Full Post »