Brands We Love: Oxford Lads December 29 2016, 0 Comments
We first discovered Oxford Lads and it’s designer Alan back in 2014 and instantly fell for his unique prints and modern cut, button-down shirts. Our customers were swooning over the funky florals, cool abstract geometrics, or totally crazy and kooky graphics of the tops! With the success of the shirts, we soon started carrying shorts, sweaters, pants and jackets. And now a few years later, it’s safe to say: Oxford Lads is a Brick & Mortar fan favorite.
Alan describes his guy as smart and rebellious, and his choices in fabrics and prints reflect that. The Oxford Lads’ guy is a little bit preppy in his own way, looking for well-made clothes with updated fits, but wanting to make it “his-own” in something daring and colorful. “They mix their preppiness together with a street style look, that’s what Oxford Lads is about.”
Let’s start with the prints. Every season, Alan scours the globe looking for something new and unique. He then cuts samples, which are shown to buyers (like us!) and then only makes what gets ordered! So that means that when we sell out of a print or style, it’s gone! There’s no replenishment waiting, no over-cut extras! We feel like that’s what makes the brand so special: you know that what you’re wearing was cut-to-order, limited run! The chances of seeing it out and about and replicated on the street is low, so if you’re looking to be one-of-a-kind, Oxford Lads is the brand for you.
Our customers have also come to know the brand for it’s amazing fabrics. A fan favorite is the silk and silk blend shirts. These lightweight, flowing fabric is silky to touch and feels amazing on. They’re easy, breezy and comfortable. The premium cotton shirts have a quality you can feel, and often feature interesting details like embroidered graphics or explosive prints!
“For me there’s no point in creating a line that you can find anywhere…” Alan says. I find … that most of the brands are doing the same basic, boring, solid color shirts or over-the-top prints that look a bit scary! I was a bit worried that my line looked very different compared to other vendors.”
That’s what we love about it! It’s fashion forward and it’s unlike anything else you’ll find out there. And at Brick & Mortar it’s always in stock. We have new orders of Oxford Lads that come in every month, so there’s always something fresh.
Holiday Gift Guide! November 23 2016, 0 Comments
It’s Christmas-time again! At Brick & Mortar we’re trying to help you make it easier to find amazing and unique gifts for your friends and loved ones, so we’ve put together this gift guide. As a men’s clothing boutique we are constantly scouring the market for one-of-a-kind, independent, local, “can’t find it anywhere else” items, so you know that a gift from Brick & Mortar is going to be special! And while you already know we’re the place for the coolest clothing, shoes and accessories, did you also know we carry an assortment of gift items like candles, books and ornaments?
Check it out! You can find all of our GIFT GUIDE ITEMS HERE!
Fancy Pants Gifts
Wanna impress someone this year with something nice? We’ve added a limited selection of cashmere sweaters and accessories to our stock this season. These softer than soft pieces are not only luxurious to the touch, but are cool and modern. This ain’t your grandma’s sweater. Or maybe jewelry is the way to go? We carry a huge selection of sterling silver and precious stone jewelry from King Baby and ChanLuu, plus a few of our own custom Brick & Mortar designs you won’t find anywhere else!
Books & Candles
This year we’ve teamed up with everyone’s favorite book producer, Taschen, and have selected some amazing titles that are flying off the shelf. The Big Penis Book, Tom of Finland series, Keith Haring, and Jeff Koons plus art and design books and comic collections! There’s sure to be something for everyone. And if none of that sounds right, you can’t go wrong with a candle. Amazing scents and beautiful designs from Paddywax and Skeem. (Sorry, but books and candles are only sold in-store.)
Sunglass aficionado in your life? Why not try gifting a pair of Proof Sunglasses. With their amazing slick designs and eco-friendly mission, these shades are knock-outs for sure! Their wood frames are made from either recycled wood (like recycled skateboards!) or from sustainable wood sources. Plus a portion of each sale of Proof sunglasses goes to non-profit charities so your gift is already giving it forward!
If you haven’t checked out Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger bags yet, you don’t know what your missing. These felt structured messenger, duffle and backpacks are designed by an architect which gives them their beautiful, structural look. Pops of neon or bright colors make for exciting accents and most bags come with a removable laptop pouch inside that buttons in!
It’s a tradition in our house. (I don’t know why, it just is…) We buy each other underwear for Christmas. If it’s a tradition for you as well, we have you covered. A huge selection of Diesel, 2Eros and Supawear are sure to fill the bill, as well as socks from Happy Socks.
The Gentleman’s Gift
Class it up a little with a gifted tie, bowtie or wallet. dha1 ties come in a gift box ready for wrapping and feature amazing fabrics that add a pop to every outfit. Or try a wallet from J Fold or Kiko, all genuine leather and worthy of your back pocket.
And of course, t-shirts. A graphic tee is a no-brainer for any guy on your list. And we have a slew. Choke, Junk Food, Poster List, Curbside and Brick & Mortar originals will put a smile on any gift recipients face.
Last but not least, can’t make up your mind, or fearful they won’t like your pick? Brick & Mortar offers gift cards in multiple denominations that can be used online or in-store. So make us a stop on your shopping excursion, and Happy Holidays to everyone!
Neo-Vintage, Old is New! September 21 2016, 0 Comments
MAGIC, the world’s largest fashion retail trade show, happened last month, and man, did we order some awesome stuff! Aside from seeing our favorite brands like Oxford Lads, Inimigo, and Mavi, we picked up some exciting new, brands like Puma Accessories and Psycho Bunny, plus we’ll be carrying 2Xist again come Spring.
So this year, as we walked the show, I tried to look for some recurring themes; some cool trends. Last year was all about “gym luxe” and elevated sports looks with funky zippers and details. And while that trend is still going strong, there was something new! Well, something new that looked old.
Neo-Vintage! A huge sign telling us about the show trends read: “Neo-Vintage: New Items that feel like old favorites appeal to consumers’ sense of discovery. Global influences and hand-crafted details elevate pieces from everyday apparel to wearable artifacts.” The last line makes me feel like a clothing archeologist, but regardless, the looks were “worn-in” for sure.
I love it! Clothes that have a lived in look; worn and torn. It just LOOKS comfortable! Like your favorite sweater or jacket! We’ve already seen some of this creeping in this fall, with shredded denim and shirts, destroyed hemlines on tees and frayed edges. So keep an eye out for more of this look this coming year.
In denim, there’s a lot of destruction going on. Rustic Dime, one of our favorite brands, is giving us denim with bleach splatters and completely destroyed and patched legs. And if shredding isn’t your thing, you can still get into the look with a vintage wash. Mavi has a few of those coming this Spring as well.
Bomber jackets were a huge trend. It seemed like everyone had their version, yet every one seemed like that cool bomber jacket you had in your closet in college. Well, if you still have it, dust it off! If not, look for vintage, army styling or try a new silhouette in silk with embroidery.
And finally, patches played into the whole neo-vintage trend. Look for shirts, jackets and denim with cool sewn patches, or embroidered patch details that give the pieces a vintage piece of flair! We’ll be carrying Cohesive, who’s giving us super cool sweatshirts and tees with patch details.
Be sure to check out Brick & Mortar as we bring you the best for Spring 2017!
Sock Tales August 03 2016, 0 Comments
by Jose Hernandez
I remember thinking of getting socks for everyday use years ago. The options were: black or white rib crew socks, or dress socks in either black, navy blue, or a neutral color. When you dressed up, the only question you made was: are these blue or black? Only to later find out you still put on the navy blue pair hours later. Honestly, the worst.
In the last couple of years, something changed. Like underwear, apparel companies started rebranding and rethinking their sock collections. Bright colors, prints, and performance features were added and a new world of styling possibilities emerged.
Let’s take a closer look at the good old crew sock and see what we can expect and then learn about some of the brands killing the game.
What should we expect from a crew sock these days?
Crew socks should fit right below the calf.
Look for combed cotton for softness (70%-95%), polyester and nylon for increased strength (5%-10%), and spandex for stretch (1%-3%) Cotton will help your socks breathe better. Polyester and spandex will provide great moisture wicking and performance. The spandex will help keep the sock in place (prevent it from sagging, or shifting in the shoe.)
Look for smooth seams in the heel and toe area, for comfort during longer walks. Ankle and arch supports help keep the sock in place. Mesh upper soles can be great for breathability.
Now, let’s meet the top three companies that are making a difference in the marketplace: Happy Socks, Stance, and Pair of Thieves.
Happy Socks are a Swedish company that’s known for it’s bright colors and fun designs. Out of the three, I think Happy Socks has the best use of bright colors and patterns. They’re also available at Brick & Mortar! Currently, from an overall crew sock standpoint, this is the top brand.
Their fiber content is well balanced, but they lack some of the performance features seen in the other two competitors.
These are our favorites in store:
Grey/Green Camo: Great seasonal color palette. These could be great with vans, denim shorts and a t-shirt, or under jeans and a button down.
Black & White Hearts: Great for a wedding or formal event. You can never go wrong with black and white!
Concentric Circles: Perfect pop of color to make a tiny statement with jeans or even a navy suit!
Stance is a California based company that focuses on the importance of the performance of their product. Their intent is to deliver socks that can perform while being active. One of their key differentiators is their ability to provide printed socks. Their designs tend to be more in line with streetwear.
While Stance has great properties in its socks, such as ankle support, ribbed leg, seamless heel/toe, its designs may not be as appealing to those with a 9-5 office job.
Pair of Thieves:
With their motto being “Sneaky Performance,” Pair of Thieves delivers both in performance and design. They offer a well balanced fiber content, mesh upper soles, seamless heel/toe, arch and heel supports.
Their only possible limitations are their limited availability (currently only sold at Target and their brand website), as well as having a slow turnaround of designs. Keep an eye out for them in the next year, as I’ve heard they’re coming strong for the top spot.
Time to Make a Splash! May 27 2016, 0 Comments
By Jose Hernandez
As Memorial Day weekend approaches and we welcome swimsuit season, it’s time to talk about swimsuits!
This year, there are three main types of swimsuits we’ll be seeing out on the beach and in pools near you: the swim brief, the square cut brief, and the swim shorts.
Here’s the breakdown:
What’s the color trend?
If you want to make sure you’re on top of your swimsuit game this year, grab a pair with a geometric pattern. For colors, we’re seeing lots of greens, yellows, blues, purples, grays, white, and black.
It’s great to have so many fun options for the summer! Find what makes you comfortable, sexy, and prepared to make a splash in the next pool or beach event you attend!
February MAGIC Trade Show Trend Report March 19 2016, 0 Comments
By Jose Hernandez
MAGIC is the largest trade show in the world, which showcases apparel, footwear, accessories, and manufacturing. The first event was inaugurated in 1933 by the Men’s Apparel Guild in California, hence the MAGIC acronym. Today, MAGIC is held twice a year: February & August. During these trade shows, designers, apparel manufacturers, and sourcing companies all showcase their newest product. Their goal is to have buyers submit purchase orders for their lines.
Many people are familiar with fashion shows, but not as familiar with the purpose of trade shows. A fashion show is a promotional event meant to generate buzz about a collection. The collection is carefully styled and curated by the designer to convey a general theme, inspiration, or concept. During a trade show, the complete collection is available for preview and buyers come to see it and place purchase orders. This includes additional styles, colors, and fabrics that you may not see in a fashion show. Buyers can include anything from brick and mortar boutiques to big department store retailers.
Last month, I was able to attend the February trade show. During the February show, brands showcase their Fall/Winter collections. This is done several months in advance, so that their production managers can plan for the proper quantities to manufacture and be able to deliver product in time for the season. The trade show is held in Las Vegas, NV. Within MAGIC, there are several areas or shows that one can attend.
My focus during the trade show was to pickup on the trends from different brands and designers for the upcoming Fall and Winter seasons. Here are some of the highlights:
- 80’s: Oversized garments have been trending for a few seasons, but we’re starting to see many of the 80’s elements come back for Fall/Winter. Specifically, longer coats, pants that are looser at the thighs and tapered in the ankle. Billy Reid has several amazing pieces. The collection is available for viewing online: https://www.billyreid.com/collections/fall-winter-2016
- Knit Denim: Despite evolving over time to adopt flexible properties, denim has always maintained its traditional twill construction. In other words, the construction of the fabric has not changed. This season, I was able to preview several denim knit pants, the biggest benefit being comfort, without compromising the look. One of the brands carrying this new variation on denim is Mavi Jeans. Stich’s has an example of this type of construction in their website: http://stitchsjeans.com/blogs/behind-the-seams/88970566-the-loop-denim-collection
- Cuff Jeans: This is something that’s starting to be seen on the streets of Los Angeles and some of the brands at MAGIC showcased. Denim pants with a rock & roll vibe and thick cuffs at the bottom. Think James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause.
- Trucker Jackets: Utilitarian styling features will begin to become popular during Fall/Winter 2016/17, but will really pick up in Spring/Summer 2017. Cargo pockets were seen trending by several designers. J. Lideberg had a few trucker jackets in gray, black, and silver. You can preview their collection online: http://designsfever.com/2015/02/12/j-lindeberg-fallwinter-2015-mens-collection-nyfw/
- Color: In terms of color palettes, there were several tones of gray, black, some muted mustard yellows, dark reds. Overall a darker palette, but still rich in color. You can get a peek of a color trend report here: https://www.weconnectfashion.com/articles/men-s-color-forecast-editors-top-10-picks-for-f-w-2016-17
For more information on MAGIC, you can visit their website at: http://www.magiconline.com/
Inside Look: Mavi Jeans January 30 2016, 0 Comments
By Jose Hernandez
Denim brand Mavi Jeans was founded in Istanbul, Turkey in 1991. It’s considered a high-quality brand that combines Mediterranean details with contemporary styles that are on trend.
We were fortunate to get our hands on a tour of one of their Turkish factories to get a better perspective of how a pair of jeans goes from fabric to finished garment. Before you click on the link, let’s walk through each step of the production process:
Spreading: Denim comes in rolls of fabric and are laid out on giant tables to allow the fabric to relax before being cut. This is a quality measure that allows all jeans to be the same shape, once they are washed and dried. It’s recommended that this process take at least 12 hours.
Cutting: Once the fabric is spread and enough time is given for it to relax, it is then piled in stacks to be cut. A marker is created to be placed on top of the stack. The marker shows all of the pattern pieces that need to be cut to create a size run of denim jeans. Some companies now employ the use of laser cutters to achieve even better tolerances in their cut, providing for better quality.
Sewing: In the video, you’ll see the denim pieces being sewn together. Seams are sewn and pressed, zippers are added to the fly, pockets are embroidered and sewn into place with the help of machines. The very last step in the process is the addition of the waistband.
Quality inspection: Once the jeans are sewn together, they are checked to make sure all seams are sewn properly and there are no missing pieces.
Applying finishes: There are a few finishes shown in the video.
- Spraying: A red solution is sprayed on to the denim to create a fading effect. After the solution dries and is washed, the final product is a worn appearance in the sprayed areas.
- Stone washing: Pumice stones are used to create a washed over time look. Different diameters and wash durations yield different wash results.
- Sanding: Sandpaper is used to target specific areas to wear the denim. This can give a more distressed look in those areas that would typically see more wear.
Wash/Dry: During this step, the denim is rinsed to ensure that all chemicals and excess dye is out of the product.
Laser burning: This technique allows for whiskering to be etched directly on the denim. Current trends are using this technique to burn designs or patterns into the jeans.
- Final quality check: After washing and drying the finished product, the product is inspected against a “golden sample” to make sure the product is made according to the designer’s specifications. This ensures a uniform fit amongst all products of the same size.
Having this information provides a better understanding of the care and detail involved in the production of the pair of jeans we love and cherish so much. Mavi is an example of utilizing the best techniques to achieve a quality product. If you are not yet familiar with the brand, stop by our store and try them out! You won’t be disappointed.
If you’d like to learn a little more about how denim is made, check out this other very educational video:
New Store, New Selections! November 26 2015, 0 Comments
NEW from the guys at Brick & Mortar! BAM: Shoes and Accessories!
Come check out our new space where we've expanded our offerings on the boulevard to include: men's and women's shoes (brands like Clear Weather, Matisse, BedStu, Native, J75) men's and women's clothes plus tons more accessories for both men AND women including a huge selection of sunglasses, hats and scarves… even home gift items!
We're excited to be able to offer something to everyone in the neighborhood, so come check out what's new!
We've kept the premise the same: offer West Hollywood a boutique experience with unique and local brands at reasonable prices! Now the ladies of WeHo can get fun rompers, boho blouses, and Cali-style hats right in the heart of West Hollywood!
8705 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
WeHo Dress Code: Brunch November 13 2015, 1 Comment
By Jose Hernandez
Sunday brunch in West Hollywood is like going to church in the South. Great food, drinks, and company make it a great opportunity to catch-up with friends. Not to mention that it can be the gateway drug to Sunday Funday. There are several hot spots that offer brunch over the weekend. These can be broken down into three main categories:
- The trendy hot spots – where you go to see and be seen
- The casual “recovery” spots – where you go to recover from the night before
- Brunch with a show (typically a drag show) – where you go when you just didn’t get your fix over the weekend and need an extra dose of fun
For a trendy hot spot, dressing to impress is the name of the game. The trick is to impress without looking like you’re trying too hard. A general guideline for putting together this kind of outfit is finding balance. Even though the restaurant vibe may be more upscale, it is understood that brunch is a more relaxed activity. Pair a nicer, more formal garment, with a more casual one. For example, a button down looks great with jeans, shorts, or khakis. It can look great with sneakers, motorcycle boots, or loafers.
If your outfit is looking too casual, but don’t have time to find something more formal to balance the look, grab a sports jacket. A dress jacket paired with a t-shirt and jeans can look chic and effortless.
A solid color t-shirt, paired with edgy pants can also work great. Paired with a trendy jacket, it can definitely build up a very fashionable look.
If you had a long night and you’re recovering at a casual spot, go for comfort without compromising your style. A great graphic tee with jeans and flip flops or sneakers can be great option.
For a fun drag brunch, take advantage and turn up the fab factor. Fun colors and cheeky graphic tees fit right in within this ambiance. Usually the vibe in these establishments is still very casual, but there is definitely more energy.
As far as a color palette for all three environments, it’s recommended to opt for lighter colors. Darker colors are fine, but going too dark can make it seem that you are still wearing the outfit from last night.
If you’re wondering about accessories, here are a few suggestions that could be helpful:
- Necklaces: If you’re wearing a print, go for a very simple design. Otherwise, wear a solid color shirt. Again, it’s all about balance and directing attention to where you want it.
- Bracelets: Coordinate them with the vibe of the outfit. It you’re going for a rock & roll look, silver or steel accents are great. If your look is more sophisticated, gold is always a great option. If you do not like bracelets, but want some wrist candy, opt for a metallic watch.
Wherever you decide to spend your Sunday morning/early afternoon, remember to have fun and enjoy the company. If you want to share your Sunday brunch style with us, use the hashtag #brickandmortarsundaybrunch and we’ll repost some of the best styles out there! Cheers!
Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger - Bad Ass Bags March 25 2015, 0 Comments
One of our favorite accessories this year has got to be bags from Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger (M.R.K.T.).
M.R.K.T. is about the thriving urban streets of the world, where creativity radiates, unconventional ideas are tested, and uniqueness is encouraged. Their brand was founded in 2010 by a Harvard trained architect as a way to challenge conventional fashion trends. By creating bags and accessories inspired by architectural concepts of clean and pure forms derived from function, structure, and experimental geometry, their aim is to push the boundaries of design and function.
“Our products are designed very similarly to how I would design a building. They are conceptual, practical, flexible, and very clean. Our inspiration comes mainly from architectural practices mixed with classic bag design.”
- Tom Pen, Founder
We first started carrying them at their inception to the market last year and were super impressed by their cool lines and unique textures. All of their bags are made from really cool materials: VEGN Leather, SMRT Felt (100% Recyclable material) and MCRO Leather (alternative to animal leather). And they really know how to use their color palette (think: light greys with pops of neon yellow)
A new material that is unique to their SS15 collection is SUPR felt which is a pile and water resistant felt creating the ultimate structure and durability. SUPR felt has been in the making for the past 2 years and is now ready to be released into the market making M.R.K.T. the first company worldwide to have this pile resistant felt.
We're super excited to be carrying M.R.K.T. and hope you love them as much as we do!
Sports Luxe - Out of the Gym and Onto the Street February 04 2015, 0 Comments
You’ve most likely seen it by now: “dressy” sweatpants, fleece bomber jackets, or sparkling clean running shoes paired with a suit. If you haven’t, then let me introduce you to Sport Luxe (or Sporty Chic). It first appeared in a major way on the runways in 2012 when designers like Calvin Klein and Alexander Wang showcased sportswear elements into their shows. By mixing the best of sportwear (the comfort of sweats, the structure of fleece and vinyl) and pairing it with modern slim cuts, in more traditional colors you can create a look that’s appropriate for the street and inspired by the gym. From FashionBeans August 2012 article on Sports Luxe: “The element of luxury lay in the fabric and the cut, with garish neons being replaced with well placed zips and asymmetrical lines.” And now, in 2015 it’s still on and evolving.
Let’s start with gym pants, or sweats. They’re no longer resigned to lifting weights or running! Instead their appearing in clean, slim cuts with meticulous tailoring and details. Paired with a denim vest or an oversized graphic tee, they’ve now moved into the realm of high street fashion. The fit is most important when trying to achieve the Sport Luxe look. This is not sloppy or lazy. A slim tailored cut will provide a modern, clean look that remains comfortable. I’ve seen some great motocross hybrid action happen in the sweatpants realm. So look for reinforced stitching in the knees and cool zippers along the cuff.
While we’re on pants: there’s some great things happening in shorts in Sports Luxe as well! Again: modern slim fits, cut above the knee, but in sporty materials. We’ve seen some great mesh shorts with sublimated tonal graphics coming down the line this spring. And what’s great about Sports Luxe and shorts is that you can mix things like sweaters and button-down shirts with shorts to make a totally appropriate Southern California street styled outfit!
Another key look to come out of the Sports Luxe trend is the bomber jacket. Not just for the varsity team, these short cropped jackets with ribbed waist and cuff are totally fashion forward in materials like vinyl, leather or floral and animal prints. Pair a floral bomber with a slim pair of black sweats with a white button down for a perfect Sports Luxe look.
The final key to making this look work is the right accessories. Leave your headband and old tennis shoes at home for this look. Make sure to have clean, pristine sneakers or a pair of cool boat shoes. Leather or animal print (but not garish) baseball caps are definitely part of this look. And don’t forget long pendant necklaces and/or beaded and leather bracelets. It’s all about the juxtaposition of gym to luxury.
Denim on Denim! December 03 2014, 0 Comments
With this rain we’ve had, it’s actually feeling like fall here in Los Angeles! So let’s talk denim (which also feels very fall!) Specifically, let’s talk denim on denim. “You can’t wear denim on denim,” says your Grandmom. Fashion has changed! (Serial Mom reference) There are a couple tricks and tips for successfully pulling off denim on denim, so that you don’t end up looking like Britney & Justin at the AMA’s.
First though, let’s talk a little about denim fits and selection. (I found this great men's fit image online. These are acceptable fits!)
If you haven’t noticed by now, we’re in the era of slim and skinny fit jeans. (Please reserve your mom jeans for gardening or house cleaning.) In a recent trip to London, I swear to god, everyone had on painted on jeans. And of course I bought a pair. So, if you’re planning on wearing REALLY skinny jeans, try pairing it with an oversized or extra long shirt. This will help create a nice balance in your look. If your shirt is too fitted and your jeans are too skinny, you run the risk of looking off-trend and absurd. You’ve been warned.
- If you’ve been wearing boot-cut or relaxed cut jeans, try a pair of straight or slim leg as opposed to skinny. The truth of the matter is that a slimmer fit makes for a more refined silhouette.
- Try denim with a little stretch in it. Almost every label we’ve seen lately offers a slim fit jean with stretch. This way you can achieve a slim silhouette without losing the comfort of denim.
- Watch out for embellishment. Too much going on in the pockets screams 2004. But don’t get that confused with distressed, ripped, patched and pieced denim work, which is very on trend for 2015.
- Try a cuff! Try a little cuff and boat shoes. Try a big cuff and boots. Remember that 80’s roll we used to do on our pants? Try that too with a pair of Vans.
- And always, if in doubt, go dark. A dark pair of denim will never do you wrong.
OK Now onto, denim on denim. Assuming you have the perfect pair of jeans, how should you pair denim shirts, jackets or vests? My first recommendation is play with color! Play with weights and wash. Denim comes in so many shades, so if you’re wearing a dark denim jean, pair it with a light denim or chambray shirt. Black jeans pair with a grey denim jacket. White jeans pair with a denim shirt, and so on and so on.
The number one thing to avoid is wearing denim that’s all the same weight or wash. (ala the Canadian Suit) You don’t want to look too matched when matching denim.
Try pairing distressed denim jeans with a crisp denim shirt over a graphic or colored tee. Layering with denim is a great way to incorporate this look. You can break up the eye by making sure the tee your wearing hangs low below the denim vest or jacket you have on. Throw on a tank under a denim shirt, and wear it like a shacket! (That’s a shirt jacket)
And, as always, have fun, and feel confident. If you have those two things going on, you can never go wrong!
The Checked Pattern October 20 2014, 0 Comments
The check pattern (gingham, plaid, tartan) has been around for centuries, so it’s great to see this classic look back in street fashion in a big way! For a while, the plaid shirt was a symbol of rednecks and geeks, but it’s found way back onto the main stage and is showing up everywhere from shirts and pants to blazer and detailing. And with so many variable in the check pattern, there’s bound to be something for everyone!
After seeing the checked pattern on the runway at so many of the shows this last season (well not seeing them in person, just in other blogs and magazines J) it was no surprise to see so many brands incorporating them into their fall/winter looks. And in the tradition of everything old becomes new again, it’s a subtle nod to 90’s fashion; the best of grunge! Let’s take a look at some of the differences.
One of the big (literally) trends of the checked pattern this season is big, block checks. Look for wide checks with classic base colors of black and grey. These make excellent, audacious statement pieces in blazers and jackets. Pair it with solid chinos or jeans and tee and let the check stand out!
We all know plaid. It instantly speaks of woodsman and the outdoors, flannel and lumberjacks. It’s a beautiful, masculine pattern and has become a versatile classic. So it’s not just for the outdoors anymore! Plaid traditionally consists of vertical and horizontal lines of multiple colors that cross each other (with 2 major base colors). Look for plaid dress shirts and pair them with a solid bowtie. Layer a plaid shirt over a long tee and pair it with denim and boots for a classic fall look.
Gingham checks have been super popular for the last couple years. And while you might remember this pattern from your grandmother’s tablecloth, gingham is a classy, subtle way to bring the checked pattern into your wardrobe. This tight, square check design consists of two colors; white and a contrast color. The most versatile of the patterns, pair it with everything! Get creative and experiment with mixing patterns (gingham being a slightly more subtle pattern, the chances of looking trendy rather than crazy are much better!)
The check pattern is here to stay. Fun, versatile, masculine; it can be a head-to-toe look or just add a needed touch of pattern and color to an outfit. There really is something for everyone, and very little risk! Enjoy!
Brick & Mortar Trending: Motocross August 25 2014, 0 Comments
Motocross, a runway trend from a couple years ago, has made it’s way to mainstream and is showing up in a big way this year. We couldn’t be more excited! Last week at Project (the twice yearly fashion event for contemporary menswear in Vegas) we saw motocross elements in everything from jeans and jackets to sweatpants and sweaters. The motorcycle influence was clearly on-trend.
Motocross is the bad-ass brother of biker style. The biker jacket has always been an edgy statement of coolness; a classic piece that says “I’m awesome”. It was a big hit last year and is still rocking this fall/winter. Look for the asymmetrical zipper, zipped sleeves, and epaulettes for the classic “kick-ass” look. Motocross differs slightly. Some elements, like leather and zipped sleeves, remain the same, but look for reinforced shoulders, side panels, and ribbed stitching on the sleeves. The wide lapel of the biker jacket is done away with for the thin mandarin style collar that fastens at the neck with a strap or button.
Motocross inspired pants are the statement piece for many of the lines we saw. Marc Jacobs has done some very literal racing pants, with blocked panels and big graphic treatments. But the more subtle elements have crept into other designers’ collections, and we love it. In denim, look for blocking and panels, as well as stitched, reinforced knees and a slim fit throughout. The overall look is tough and structured. In joggers and sweatpants, those same elements really elevate the look. Zippers near the cuff, blocked stitching and patched knees bring the motocross look to life.
Keep an eye out for elements of motocross in sweatshirts and shirts too. Reinforced, padded detailing on sweatshirts; panels on hoodies with zippers running up the side, back and sleeves. I bought a really cool black sweatshirt in Sweden this summer that has subtle reinforced padding across the chest and flanking the sides. It makes me feel like I’m wearing armor (without the weight I would assume.)
I think motocross is an easy trend to integrate into your wardrobe. Pick a piece that your comfortable with and just go for it. Try a new fabrication, like neoprene (HUGE for next year, fyi). Just keep in mind, motocross is inspired by bikers and motocross gear, which is made to protect the body and fit like second skin. So your motocross inspired look should fit right and be tailored to your body; slim, tailored and comfortable.
The low-down on shorts… July 01 2014, 0 Comments
Who wears short shorts? Apparently everyone does.
2014 has been all about highlighting, not hiding, the male body. From tailored pants and skinny jeans to fitted shirts, men have evolved into a place in fashion (straight or gay) where we can say, this is my body and we’re not afraid of it.
So this summer, it won’t be any different. It is the summer of short shorts, as below the knee shorts are officially over. I personally LOVE short season, men’s legs are one of their sexiest features. AND don’t get me started on a nice pair of calves! There are so many styles of shorts out there, which show off my favorite feature, so let’s take a look at how to pull them off.
Following the trend of men’s tailoring, the tailored short is a popular choice for summer. Slim leg, tailored through the hip and thigh, and cut above the knee, these shorts can be dressed up with a button down and bow-tie or done brunch-casual with a polo. These can also be paired with a blazer, as the short suit has made it’s way off the runway and into the real world this year.
It’s a great look for all body types, just make sure the look is fitted and not tight. Make sure there’s a little room in the leg opening (you don’t wanna look like a sausage casing), but not so much that you’ll look like your dad. And, as always, have fun with color or prints. We’ve seen a lot of great options for this, from wallpaper floral prints to bright blues and pinks.
The slim-leg walk short is more casual form of the tailored short. Similar cut, but slightly more casual materials. It gives me a little more of a surfer/skater feel, which is perfect for that California look. Just be careful: surfer/skater can come off as age 17/18, so make sure you’re choosing shorts and pairing them with shirts that are age appropriate!
The mid-thigh short-short is HUGE this summer. So hopefully, you’ve been doing your squats all winter. I live near USC, so it’s interesting to see what the “kids” are wearing around campus. And let me tell you, they’re not that afraid to be showing some leg; frat boy and book geek alike.
This is a huge seller for us in the swimwear arena, but you can carry it over into a casual summer look with a pair of low-tops and a simple white shirt and wear it proud!
So these are the biggest trends we’ve spotted; it doesn’t mean they’re the only options. I’ve seen other reports on the over-sized short, but I’m not a huge fan. For me, I’m following these two rules: keep it above the knee, and have fun. It’s summer for god’s sake!
Short Sleeved Button-Downs (…and that top button!) May 03 2014, 0 Comments
Short sleeved button-downs are on trend again for summer! Button-down shirts in general have always been staple in men’s fashion, instantly adding a little dressy, refinement to any outfit, paired with jeans or pants!
The key to making a short sleeved button-down cool, (and not looking like a tech nerd) is in the styling and fit.
- Fit - Make sure your shirt fits you. The shirt’s sleeve seams should meet your shoulder. If the seam is too far in, you’ll look like the Hulk. Too far out, you’ll look sloppy. For the sleeve opening, you ultimately want it to be slightly larger than your bicep (enough for room, but slim enough so it doesn’t look oversized.) An easy fix here and trend for summer is to roll the sleeve up a couple times, it creates a fitted look and shows off them guns. If you’re really serious about fit, spend a couple dollars at the tailor (yes, you should have a tailor) and get a couple darts to put in the back, or have the sides taken in so the shirt isn’t billowing.
- Collars – There are a lot of collar options out there, and a lot of options that are in style right now. Probably the only one I would avoid is that giant 70’s collar. Give it some time, I’m sure it’ll come back around, but right now, the trend is on tailored, slim, slick (keep those keywords in mind) I personally enjoy a slim collar, or a button-down collar. They both feel very modern and on trend.
- Color/Print – Colors are simple. Choose colors that compliment your low-top shoes or sneakers, or if you’re wearing a fun sock, match to that! Have fun, it’s summer. Prints are definitely IN for summer. Micro-floral, busy prints, stripes, small polka dots…don’t be afraid: pair it with denim or khaki (shorts or pants) and you’ll be set! It’s a smaller area of fabric so it can be busier!
OK lastly, let’s talk about styling. We already addressed rolling up the sleeve. This is especially effective if your shirt has a contrast side to the material (i.e. a dark denim shirt has that light denim underside when rolled) Plus it helps define some bicep/tricep action; which is never a bad thing.
The top button: to button or not to button? That is the question! Granted, it is a little “hipster” to button that top button, but then again, a little hipster is in! I personally LOVE it. I think it takes some everyday outfits to a much cleaner, sophisticated “street-style” level. (Like if TimeOut New York was gonna take your picture for their “man on the street” section. You can tell I’m a New Yorker, I still think about these things when getting dressed. “What if Time Out NY saw me in this outfit? Would they photograph it?”)
When it’s buttoned all the way, I even like to add a necklace on the outside; a thick(ish) gold chain on the outside of my buttoned-up black floral print shirt, a longer silver pendant (from King Baby) on the outside of a short sleeved denim shirt. Ultimately though, you HAVE to feel confident in this. Otherwise you will come off looking like a Poindexter, and that’s just geeky.
Be sure to check out all the short sleeved button-downs we have in store!
Socks - The Understated Statement Piece March 24 2014, 1 Comment
(Pink is the trend color of the year!)
Okay guys, now for some sock talk. I’ve seen you, rockin' your tailored pants and cuffed jeans, but still stuck in the 90’s with those dreadful white gym socks. Maybe you haven’t given thought to these little under-garment guys, but you should. Socks are how you can express yourself while otherwise stuck in your office safe conformity.
Socks are where you get to have fun! So, leave the gym socks in your gym bag, pick a color or pattern that makes you feel cool, playful, sexy, and rock out with your sock out! Socks are your voice, make sure you have something to say!
Vibrant colors are trending, and add some life to your everyday jeans and t combo. Contrast your colors to make a statement and attract a little attention. Patterns and prints are perfect for adding a little fun to a monochromatic suit.
Just make sure your socks don’t steal your thunder and end up funnier than your tired bar jokes…so, patterns YES, cartoons NO!
And then there's always the no sock look, which is great for summer with a pair of low tops and jeans. (But my feet get sweaty!) So wear no-show socks, but make sure they're really no show! (Ankle socks are not no-show)
OK, don't be afraid to get your feet wet having fun! (See what I did there?)
BTW Head over to our sock section, we always have something fun from Happy Socks.
#selfiesatbrick March 06 2014, 0 Comments
We love selfies AND we love our customers. Put them together and you have #SELFIESATBRICK!
We're giving away a free $25 Gift Certificate just for posting a pic of you in your favorite Brick & Mortar purchase!
There’s 2 simple ways to enter:
- Snap a photo of yourself in our store wearing Brick & Mortar
product, and tweet it with the tag #selfiesatbrick
- Snap a photo of yourself in product you’ve purchased and
tweet it with the tag #selfiesatbrick
We’ll randomly select a winner at the end of March to receive a $25 Gift Card! So, start snapping!
And make sure to follow us @shopatbrick.
My Edgy Valentine February 06 2014, 0 Comments
Do you ever feel like saying "I Love You" without the sappiness or the cliche of roses and chocolate? How about something that implies love but says, "You Rock!" Maybe it's time you mixed things up a bit and get him something totally different. We love these industrial heart romance necklaces from King Baby. They are the perfect blend of the quality of fine jewelry with a masculine hard edge. This jewelry is all hand made in Santa Monica California and is all .925 sterling silver. The Industrial Heart necklace is a heavy piece of jewelry with a thick 24" chain so it's not for the subtle or the faint of heart. The Corazon De Luz charm is more subtle - a smaller scared heart pendant on a 24" onyx bead chain. Whichever piece you like, both pieces make a statement and and would never be promoted by Jane Seymour - that's a good thing.
Check out all our jewelry here!
Shawl Neck Cardigans December 19 2013, 0 Comments
I haven't blogged in a minute, mostly because I just brought home this bundle of joy, Otto von Bismark:
And here's Maddie giving him the side eye:
So, briefly I wanted to talk about Shawl Neck Cardigans. It's been actually quite nippy here in LA and I broke out this vintage red shawl neck cardigan for Christmas party we went to and I forgot how BEAUTIFUL it is.
I threw it on over a t-shirt and it was instant CLASSY! There's something about the cut of a shawl neck cardigan that makes you feel/look smarter, richer, more sophisticated. It's a great alternative to wearing a coat, offers warmth and gives you infinite layering options. FashionBeans recommends (as do I) layering over a denim jacket (CUTE! I'm so doing that...) or Oxford shirt and V-neck sweater.
SHOP THE LOOK:
Elastic Cuffs! November 07 2013, 0 Comments
So I've seen this trend at a lot of the shows and at first I was like "AGHH! the worst of the 80's!" But after the initial shock, (and after my boyfriend brought home a pair) I started to realize how friggin' cool these were.
So you know that low-tops are what's up right now, cute Van's, fun prints (See Animal Print, Floral Print) and elastic cuff pants are a really excellent way to showcase your shoe, and be trendy at the same time.
It also feels very LA, California-style to me. Casual, laid-back, a little sporty.
Some of the cuffs elastic bands are subtle, I like the intentional variety. I mean if you're gonna do it, do it. I'd make sure the pants are a slim fit (I don't want no Alladin pants). I'm also seeing it in more sporty materials, (think gym pants, but not the tailored fleece gym-pant we've seen, soft materials, Publish Brand) which are pretty cool, and a little more urban.
Make it a little dressy by choosing a slack or chino and pairing it with a dressier shoe.
It's a fun look, it make's your shoes the star and adds a little touch of "I know what's up."
Get this look:
Floral Print! October 08 2013, 0 Comments
I LOVE IT! I adore floral prints, I can't get enough of it. I love the play of soft feminine against hard masculine. For me personally, I can style it to reflect my personality: A little butch and a little fem. (Although my friends would probably say a lot fem…assholes) Now before I go any further, this is one trend that can EASILY go LADY!! (Not that there is anything wrong with that! It's a valid style choice!)
So here's my simple rule to adding floral prints to my look: 1 piece of floral at a time. T-shirt, jeans, and BAM a little floral print sneaker. Or a denim vest, over jeans (I'll hit this trend later) paired with a bad ass floral print cap. Just remember, it's balance, balance, balance.
It's really an easy trend to integrate, and for me it says "I'm a confident man. I like flowers. And what?"
SHOP THIS LOOK
Click the image above!
Brick & Mortar Trends: Leopard/Animal Print September 24 2013, 0 Comments
Animal prints are being spotted everywhere and are as popular today in men's wear as they are in women's. "Animal prints are too daring for me!", you may be saying. But take another look at how they're showing up today. There's so many ways to incorporate this trend into your everyday. It definitely adds an instant "rocker" appeal.
On the runway we've seen animal prints in full force in Marc Jacobs, peppered in accents in Burberry, and boldly used John Varvatos and Louis Vuitton.
"But how does that translate to me, on the street, everyday?" you may ask. An easy way to integrate animal prints is to start with accessories. An animal print sock, hat, or sneaker even can add that bit of flare to your everyday clothes. It really is the perfect accent this season and designers and fashion houses are making it easy to incorporate it into your wardrobe to varying degrees.
A really easy to way to embrace this trend in a slightly bolder way is an all over leopard/animal print shirt. Pair it with a some pants or jeans and you're ready to get wild. Or dress down a blazer with a button-down animal print.
And remember, animal prints can take on new and exciting looks today. Think turquoise or red leopard print or even purple zebra!
Animal prints maintain a masculine, raw edge (when done right) and can really add a sexy, wild element to your outfit.
SHOP THE LOOK
Get these animal prints at Brick & Mortar
Brick & Mortar Trends: Camo August 27 2013, 0 Comments
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