Monday, January 6, 2014

The Art of Splurging for Men

Come the beginning of every year, there are a number of things that most people look forward to. Number one obviously is New Years Day. This past weekend you had the start of the NFL playoffs. But above all of that, arguably the biggest thing that people look forward to is getting their tax return money. While some responsible (read boring) people just throw it in the bank and pretend like its not even there, others do things like get out of debt, renovations to the house, down payment on a new car, finally replacing those bald tires that could've killed you for the past 3 months, etc. What I'm here to say is screw all that (kinda, be an adult and cut some debt) and splurge on that super lux and super expensive high fashion item that you've been coveting for a while. Everything you saw coming down the runway back in September will be hitting stores soon. So treat yourself to something that shouldn't make you feel guilty. We deserve nice things every once in a while. So as long as the neccessities are taken care of, (shelter, cheesecake, utilities, etc) please feel free to partake. I now present to you in no particular order, my top 10 tax splurges for men. 

Long before Jay-Z gave Mr. Ford his seal of approval by naming a song after him, Tom Ford has been churning out a strong assortment of suits and accessories. In the eyewear game, he's easilly in the top 5. These aviators are a good pick because they're ideal for the warm weather that's coming soon. Also, getting them in the classic tortoiseshell frame, you cant go wrong. 

Just about everyone and their mother owns a Ralph Lauren polo. They can easily be picked up at a TJ Maxx or Marshall's for $20 bucks. But I personally have never come accross anyone wearing one of these. How are these superior from the ones you see everyday? I can pick out three reasons: the mother of pearl buttons (not plastic), they are made in Italy (not China), and the logo is much more exclusive than the regular pony you see every day. I'm willing to bet most people wouldnt even recognize it when you wore it. And that's what I like about it.

As much attention to detail as I spend on clothing and all things related, I probably have the quickest face routine ever heard of. I have no loyalties to a specific face wash, face lotion, body lotion (I just learned you shouldn't use the same for both),body wash, etc. As of late, I've been trying to spend a litle more time in that area. After all, a lifeless mug and ashy hands are unattractive. Malin + Goetz is a brand I've been hearing about for some time. It doesn’t hurt that they have a minimalistic bottle design.. It's a relatively new brand that started in 2005 by two guys Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz in New York. And their use of only natural ingredients has helped them capitalize on everyone's new desire to "go green" and use "from the earth" products. While they don't actually sell this stuff as a set, I've compiled a list of 10 bathroom products that every man should be using: SPF 15 Face Moisturizer $48, Vitamin B5 Body Moisturizer $38, Bar Soap $10, Eucalyptus, Deodorant $18, Rose Hand + Body Wash $20, Vitamin E Shaving Cream $40, Jojoba Face Scrub $38, Detox Face Mask $40, Grapefruit Face Cleanser $30, Mojito Lip Balm $12
. And as a plus, you get 3 free samples with every order over $75. This is one that's on my personal list that I can't wait to scoop.

Over our lifetime, we've all had the uber generic luggage set from Sears. Or maybe we have a huge gymbag that we kept from our collegiate sports playing days done in the respective school's colors and logos. But one thing is certain; our luggage has not properly aged with us. It's time you start carrying something a little more grown up. Lotuff Leather, formally known as Lotuff & Clegg, have been churning out all types of leather goods from the mighty state of Massachusetts since the 70's. Out of all the duffles they produce, this one is my favorite. Big enough to pack nearly a weeks worth of clothing and you can still carry it on the plane with you. It is also great for days when you need to carry a change of clothes stylishly or maybe just something to keep all your daily crap in and toss it in the backseat of your car. This is the kind of bag that you can beat the ish out of it and it will continue to look better with age.

If you've already got your hands on a good navy blazer for March to November weather, and a go-with-everything-in-the-Winter grey tweed  blazer, then now's the time to experiment a little. Take a chance on a different, yet easily wearable color. Think of this deep green as the crazy, whacked out cousin of navy blue. They're pretty much interchangeable when it comes to coordinating other colors with it, but since blue is used so much more then the green, it comes of looking fresh and new. O&S has been on my radar for some time now as they continue to put out strong collection after strong collection.  Give it an honest try and you'll be surprised by how many things it will go with.

Lanvin sneakers have taken on somewhat of a cult following after GQ Magazine said it was OK to wear sneakers with a suit a few years ago. These suede and patent leather bombshells are lux simplicity at their finest. They offer this style in six colorways, and while I would most likely lean towards the grey version for their versatility, the burgundy ones are whispering sweet nothings to me.

If you've ever taken the time to scroll through some street style photos of Italy's biannual menswear trade show Pitti Uomo, then you'll notice that a large percentage of the attendees are wearing a pair of Herman Munster-sized shoes with a dainty tricolor tab on the back. They are the work of Mr. Thom Browne. You will definitely get your moneys worth because these will literally go with everything from your dark denims, casual chinos, dressy trousers, and for the brave, a well-tailored pair of shorts. They come in two colors: black and brown. Flip a coin a take your pick. It's a win-win situation.

Keeping the Thom Browne gravy train rolling, if you thought $1,000 was too much for a pair of shoes then save $5 and cop this cardigan. Done in 100% cashmere, this thing will feel so good on your skin it should be a crime. Great for throwing on top of a tee or a polo on the windy days, as well as being slim enough wear under a blazer for some extra warmth where it counts. Adorned with his signature tricolor accents, it's a thing of beauty.Here's your chance to own a piece of wearable art.

International Fashion Magazine Subscription - $195-$400
If you're like me and you've began to dare I say yawn at American mags, then treat yourself to a few of these. Its the gift that keeps on giving, for a year, at least. While they are dirt cheap in their native country, attaching airfare to these things jacks the price explicitly. A $6 magazine turns into a $20 magazine. Multipy that by 12 issues and a yearly subscription is nearly $250. The three that I have my eyes on are "Popeye", "Free & Easy", and "Brutus". If wifey says it's OK, then I'm pulling the trigger on one or two of these. 

I purposely saved this one for last. So I've read, watches pretty much come in two categories. The $4,000+ category, and everything else. If that is truly the case, then consider this one the best of the rest. Made by Baume & Mercier, a Swiss watching making company thats been around since 1830. So they kinda know what they're doing. It features a stainless steel case, real alligator strap, and it's automaticly self-wound (the second hand "sweeps", it doesn't tick). It's elegantly designed with virtually zero bling so it compliments your formal wear and beefs up your casual wear. Plan ahead for this one. This isn't something you just roll out of bed and pull the trigger on. Depending on your situation, you may have to save for a while on top of using the majority of Uncle Sam's withholdings. But you will be rewarded with something that just may outlive you. 

So there you have it. My list of 10 things to treat yourself with. You can pick something from the list or use it to spark an idea for something else you want. But let's all agree to not be boring and save every penny. Like I said in the opening, be an adult and take care of some debt first. And then feel free to use some of it to bless yourself with something you otherwise wouldnt normally get. Happy shopping, folks! And stay tuned for later in the week when I give you my top 10 list for women.

Edited by Felicity Rhode

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