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Entries in Menswear (66)


El-No: Goo Goo Ga Ga Goodfellas

I felt decidedly under dressed at baby music class. 

In a sea of Lululemon mommy uniforms, Mr. El-No stuck out like a gleaming gold extra in Mob Wives Chicago

I noticed the faux Louis Vuitton shirt the moment my tiny musician and I arrived at class. And of course who could miss the multiple gold chains, the large watch, or the sparkling stacks of diamond and gold rings? Didn't Sopranos go off the air?

While my mini was shaking her maracas, I was shaking my head. Was it safe to sit with my back to the door? Were "Willie Potatoes" and "Joey Doves" going to jump out from behind the toy drums? 

Apparently mafiosos have kids too. 





El-No: Oh Sandy! Shorts? 

**Sorry for the blogging mini-break. Super Storm Sandy knocked out my blog's server. But we're back!**

I saw this Mister at Starbucks two weeks ago. I was sipping my iced tea when I looked up to discover a bevy of interesting fashion choices. A rather feminine transparent shirt and tank paired with rolled shorts, trouser socks, and penny loafers.

I'm confused. You? 

Maybe this guy was going as an sexy Bermudian for Halloween? 

I think Mr El-No might need to call up Trunk Club for a little assistance. I am confident that they can suit him up with something a little more chic and appropriate. 





El-No: The Doctor Will See You Now

Forget the $20 co-pay ladies. 

For mere pennies (well actually $2.25), you can commute to work and get your yearly OBGYN appointment knocked out. Great news! This is almost as exciting as finding out that the Sea of Galilee is open for skinny dipping

Judging by his advertising practices, it seems like this "Recreational Gynecologist" is trying to keep his overhead low. Clearly a shrewd businessman. 

I vote that the good doctor stop using his shirt and start using business cards. 

*Thanks for the photo AS!



El-No: No Pants Tuesday

With temperatures in the triple digits, I was almost tempted to forgo clothes and just rock a bathing suit. But then I remembered that A) No one wants to see that and B) I have air conditioning. 

So I guess I can't blame Mr El-No for skipping pants and showing his skivvies (or are those casual shorts?). I would, however, like to gently remind this Mister that his office is probably not "pants optional." 

The key to summer business casual attire is fabrication. Always opt for lightweight, light colored, breathable fabics when the temperatures are extreme. Check out these straight fit linen pants from Banana Republic for $69.50.

* Thanks for the photo CBR 




El-No: Staying Alive

This really is unbelievable.

I was taking an afternoon stroll down Damen and enjoying the sunny weather. I must have walked into a black hole or a rip in the time/space continuum because I was magically teleported back to the Seventies.

For serious. Polyester was involved.

The time travel did a number on my reflexes because I could only snap a photo as Mr El-No breezed past. I felt like I was watching the ghost of Barry Gibb.

The picture just doesn't do it justice... I apologize for my photography fail.


El-No: Ode To Tan Mom

People really need to lay off the Tan Mom.

Her baseball glove-like appearance makes me want to slather on sun block.  Dermatologists everywhere are cheering! Down with skin cancer and premature wrinkles! One photo of Tan Mom accomplished what the entire cast of Jersey Shore couldn't... and just in time for Summer. 

I'm suddenly ok with being pale. 

In other news, Tan Mom has a Chicago based relative named Orange Guy. I got this reader submitted photo on St. Patty's Day. Orange Guy stepped out in a pale green suit. It's like a Creamcycle and a Shamrock Shake met and had a baby.  

If Mr El-No lays off the spray tanning, I think this lighthearted green ensemble could work. It is witty and Miami Vice (in a good way) but really cannot work with his current orange glow. I suggest he cancel his Palm Beach Tan membership and spend the money on a scrub.  How about this June Jacobs Men's Exfoliating Scrub for $32? 




El-No: Moons Over Miami

File this look under: Things Not To Wear To The Roller Derby 

There is nothing more thrilling than an afternoon spent on skates (especially when your dance routine is washed down with an ice cold can of your mom's stash of Tab. Just me?).

I guess roller skates make me nostalgic. But it is hard to reminisce when you have a bare bum in your face. Dudes, we don't need the full moons. 

I think these Misters should move away from the leather goods and try for something a little less chilly. This Bettie Page pinup shirt ($24) seems like a better fit. Campy nudity? Check. Traumatized by a tush? Negative. 

*Thanks for the photo JK



El-No: V-Day Faux Pas



Chocolate Covered Strawberries. 

That's right, it is Valentine's Day! Cheers to all of the men who are out frantically searching the aisles of CVS and Jewel for chocolates and red roses. I wish you luck. 

Here is a tip from your friendly local wingwoman. Don't wear socks with sandals.... or pajama pants in public. Not a good look dude. I promise you that all the ladies will go running in the other direction. 




El-No: P-I-M-P 

You know, it's hard out there for a gangsta... Especially one who can't effectively color block.

This is a straight up tragedy. Tupac would roll over in his grave if he saw this shizz (except he's alive, so we don't have to worry about that). Mr El-No is wearing a wintery wool cream coat, a polyester red suit, and a summery sheer white tie. NAGL. At least the white and red shoes are a solid attempt. 

Other than the loss of street creed, I think Mr El-No's biggest problem is his illogical mixing of seasonal fabrication. The key to color blocking is utlizing textiles that actually go together. Once the fabric weights blend, the pops of color will seem more cohesive. 

Mr El-No should checkout these Vineyard Vines Corduroy Harmon Pants in Cabernet ($86.99). Personally, I think they say "What's Up Motherf*cka" in a more luxurious and classical way than the suit. I think a change in tone might be just what Mr EL-No needs for his business.  He could pair the pants with this classic Secret Wash mini-gingham black shirt from J.Crew ($64.50) and maybe the Belstaff Roadmaster jacket in black ($595). Love!


El-No: Party Pants

Hey baby, is that a mirror in your slacks? Because I can see myself in them.


The pants are so bright, I gotta wear shades.

I didn’t know that menswear could be so reflective and glittery. It’s like Versailles’s Hall of Mirrors and the Tin Man rolled into one sparkly package.

I think Mr El-No wants to make a statement. He is announcing to the world that he listens to LMFAO while fist pumping in front of his bathroom mirror. That’s why he is wearing Disco Pants.

According to the Disco Pants website, these pants are “scientifically validated party pants.” They are magically able to attract strippers and bad decisions. Fear not mamas, they also come in baby sizes (in case your little tike is having problems appealing to pole dancers in Vegas). 

*Thanks for the photo GAR



El-No: A Tail of Two Cities

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity... - Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities

I'm confused. 

This reader submitted photo has me feeling tumultuous, much like a narrator in a Dickens novel. Yay! I get to write about a guy wearing a tail. Boooooo! Someone left their house wearing a tail and an American flag jean jacket.

What happened here? Perhaps a rogue game of pin the tail on the donkey? Big sale at Petco? Maybe this guy is on the way to a Furry convention? (Regretfully a quick internet search opened up a cache of information on Furries- yikes!) 

Anyway, I think Mr El-No should trade in the unseasonable denim jacket for a warmer outerwear option. Keep your tail toasty in the Chicago snow with this camel hair car coat from Banana Republic. This classic is only $250 (but if you order online today you can use the code BRSNOW for 35% off your whole order). 

*Thanks for the laugh and the photo AP! 



El-No: General Hospital Gown

Alert the authorities and the producers of Grey's Anatomy. It looks like a patient has escaped!

Unfortunately, I am not exactly sure from where Mr El-No was running. An annual exam? Maybe a routine teeth cleaning? Dermatology appointment? 

Whatever the cause, it must be fear inducing because there is no other logical reason for wearing a medical gown out in public (unless they are secretly re- launching Chicago Hope). Dr. Oz here seemed to be power walking away from Northwestern Hospital at a pretty steady clip. 

Ditch the hospital gown dude. Frankly this vibe is a little too One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest for me. 

I vote that Mr El-No replace the medical smock with this yummy Breckon Cardigan ($225) from All Saints. The chunky knit sweater is finished with fabulous duffle toggles and would be a perfect Fall wardrobe addition. 



El-No: Really Bad Highland Plaid

I had the luxury of wearing uniforms when I was a kid.

My elementary school world consisted of red plaid kilts and jumpers as well as some glorious peter pan collar white blouses. This made dressing for school very easy- I was thus able to focus all of my attention on important things like playground gossip.

As a result, I file plaid under the "love it" and "nostalgia" categories in my wardrobe. 

So with tartan lust flowing through my veins, it hurts me to see this explosion of mismatched bad plaid. William Wallace would roll over in his grave if he saw this (he might also call for some sort of bloody Scottish attack. We've seen what Mel Gibson can do when he is mad. Yikes!). 

What in the heck was Mr Braveheart thinking here? Why is he pairing two unrelated tartans together? He is either representing two ancient Gaelic clans or he just has bad taste. 

Tartan is made with alternating stripes of threads woven at right angles to each other. This forms sections where different colors cross, which give the appearance of additional colors. The resulting pattern repeats and creates squares called setts. 

Unless you are channelling McQueen's Highland Rape, I think it is best to pair plaid with a solid color. If you are going to attempt to mix your plaids, you should either stick with the the same plaid in different colors or the same color with a mix of plaids. Having one common element will keep you from looking like you went plaid mad. 





El-No: Gucci Gucci Louis Louis Fendi Fendi Prada

There are few times in life when the musical stylings of Kreayshawn and the White Girl Mob seem totally appropriate... almost a teaching tool. And by few, I mean this is the only time that I can think of a logical tie in.

According to this rapper, the “basic bitches wear that shit so I don’t even bother.” Very astute. I am assuming this means that Kreayshawn just read the Dana Thomas book Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster. According to Thomas (and Kreayshawn), luxury goods have become everyday objects that no longer symbolize achievement or financial success.

Someone please tell that to Mr. El-No. Maybe then he’ll take off the ridiculous tracksuit.

First of all, it is August, which seems like the wrong month to cover your body in head-to-toe velour. Perhaps he is training for the UFC and trying to make weight by sweating?  Maybe he is on some sort of detox plan that requires secreting out toxins? Couldn’t he at least save this look for cooler weather? 

Secondly, you actually bought a Gucci tracksuit? Really?! For your sake, I hope this is fake. Mr El-No, luxury workout clothes don’t give you swag. You just look like a perspiring fashion wangsta. 


*Thanks for the photo T!


El-No: Alarm Clock Fail 

Oh no…. I overslept!

We’ve all been there.

I like to think that I handle these early morning set backs with grace and poise. Usually that involves screaming obscenities while simultaneously showering/ eating dry cereal/ putting my clothes on inside out. Fatigue is messy.

No matter how many times this scenario plays out, you can safely bet that I will NEVER leave the house in slippers. Did you hear that Snooki? I’m talking to you, girlfriend.

This reader submitted photo came with a narrative. Apparently Mr El-No forgot shoes and a belt in his rush to leave the house. I imagine speed walking with your pants around your ankles has got to be tough.

I think I can help.

Bonobos has the tools to get Mr El-No in shape to face the day.


First Base Belt for $100

Tucker Blair for Bonobos One-Eyed Willie Belt for $80

Boom Goes the Dynamite Belt for $50


Slip On Shoes:

Swims Flat Front Loafer for $149

Swims Lace Up Loafer for $149

Howard Loafer for $38


*Thanks for the photo JBW!


El-No: On The Hunt

Because nothing says "work appropriate" like a sleeveless shirt with line drawings of animals on it on it.

I found Mr El-No while riding the train during the morning rush. He had me with the tank top. Of course the cargo camo shorts and white sock/ Doc Martins didn't hurt either.

He looked ready for a suburban safari by way of Red Lobster and the Brookfield Zoo.

Generally I think men should avoid tank tops. It is a hard look to pull off. You'll either end up looking like a Jersey Shore extra or a lost tourist. Originally popularized as an undershirt, tanks were never supposed to see the light of day. Let's keep it that way! 

Sir, please ditch the tank top. What about this untucked/ sleeves rolled up Crate Chambray shirt ($69) from Urban Outfitters to coordinate with your camo shorts? Swap out the socks/Docs for the Sperry Washed Canvas Shoe ($78) from Urban Outfitters. Much better!


El-No: Debt-Ceiling DIY


Thankfully this debt-celing thing was resolved. I was getting very worried about a looming economic crisis. 

Obviously Mr El-No was too. He was clearly thinking of ways to save money. I see that “don’t wear pants” made the short list of cash cutting options. Those are some very patriotic bleach splattered shorts and matching leg warmers. 

I was planning to go with more of a Scarlet O’Hara approach. That clever little antebellum minx made a party dress out of plantation curtains. Luckily I didn’t have to DIY myself an outfit out of my wooden condo blinds and a glue gun.

Mr El-No, I admire the originality but I am still not seeing how this look is a good idea. The scary bleached leg warmer/ shorts ensemble makes him look like Nat’s alter ego in Black Swan.

Check out Issey Miyake’s A-POC (A Piece Of Cloth) for some positive inspiration. Miyake gives customers a tube of his pleated silk and allows them to snip to their heart’s delight and make their own outfit. 

* A-Poc photo from ArtNet and Video from YouTube


El-No: A Trip Down Memory Lane

Call TLC! I might be a hoarder.

After being sick and in bed for two days, I decided to lay low this weekend (so no Wicker Park Fest pour moi). I took my housebound Saturday as an opportunity to clean out closets.

Big mistake.

Apparently, I save e v e r y t h i n g. I found boxes of scrap fabric from graduate school circa 2004, clothing from college (Yay! I missed you hot sequined mini.), and a million paperback beach reads. Holy Hoarders episode! Removing all of this shizz from our storage closet was totally liberating.

In a quest to make a little cash off my stash, we decided to sell all of my old books. Shockingly, the neighborhood used bookstore will not purchase chick lit. We loaded up the car and drove to a Half Price books in the suburbs- they LOVE girly books and scooped them all up.

It was in this suburban used books mecca, that I discovered Mr El-No. Is anyone else reminded of the opening credits to Saved By The Bell? Judging by the mandals and the shirt, I’d say that Zach Morris has a little closet cleaning in his future.

Update your look with a trip to the Anniversary Sale at Nordstrom. Swap out the clunky performance sandals for these updated classic Sperry topsiders ($44.90). Replace the outdated shirt with a more current look from Ted Baker ($96.90).



El-No: Clueless

Oh dear.

I don't know what I'm more upset about: the leggings, the sleeveless shirt, or the mini backpack. (I am aware that I am ignoring the floral romper, but we can't fight every battle).

Why is this poor soul dressed like an extra in the movie Clueless? News flash: That outfit is NOT what you want to wear when you make a "cameo at the Val party." Leggings are not pants. As if.

Look like you have a clue with help of Trunk Club. Those stylists can whip men right into shape (both your work and weekend looks).

Of course no makeover would be complete without some new accessories - the mini backpack needs to go. I think Jack Spade is just the guy for the job. How about one of these options?

Conservative: Drill Nylon Computer File Case Bag for $450

Casual: Work Twill Swiss Brief with Flap Bag for $375

Color: Nylon Canvas Computer Field Bag for $195





El-No: Topless Tanning 

Lord knows that I’m all for sunbathing. Skin cancer be dammed, give me a book and a pool and I am a happy girl. (And if my dermatologist is reading this, I swear that I wear sunscreen everyday.)

Mr El-No, you seem to have taken the sun worship a bit too far. Are you for reals with the lunchtime urban topless sunbathing? Is that your dress shirt and suit jacket crunched up on the back of the chair?

Oy. Put your shirt back on. I pray that you have deodorant and a garment steamer back in the office.

Skip the noontime outdoor sweat session. Head over to Bliss for a lunchtime sunless Scrub & Color. After 75 minutes you’ll be looking like a bronze bad ass for only $130.

*Loving this reader submitted photo!