Monday, August 30, 2010

On Dressing Up, Part 2: In Which I Relate An Embarrassing Event

I go on a lot here about dressing up just to go to the grocery store.  It's clear from the Ballston Harris Teeter that I'm shouting into the wind.  But just as important as dressing up is not judging too harshly those who don't.

I moved this weekend to my own one-bedroom! my own! in Falls Church.  As a result, all of my cotton shorts were dirty and/or missing in action (much like my blog posts; apologies for that).  Last night, I just needed a gallon of milk for breakfast today, but all I had to wear was athletic shorts and a white undershirt.  I felt naked as I beelined from the front sliding doors to the milk--which the Teet had strategically placed in the opposite corner of the store.  I was rehearsing my "So good to see you!  Sorry I look so ratty!" the whole time. 

I made it without being spotted.  But if another random men's style blogger had seen me, I'm sure he would've snorted.  I guess the bottom line is that maybe a given person at the grocery store who's wearing workout clothes might conceivably have a middling-to-decent excuse, and since you just never know, you should give strangers the benefit of the doubt.

Gosh.  Those words were hard to type.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

On Dressing Up

From a reader's letter to Put This On, an excellent men's style blog.  Throw out or donate your ratty clothes so you won't be tempted to wear them in those Saturday moments of weakness.  You Just Never Know.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Put It Into Practice: First Unofficial Day of Work

My first day at the new job was this Monday, but I went in last Friday to get familiar with a file for a hearing Monday afternoon.  I wasn't going to wear a suit--I was still on vacation!--but an idea planted, germinated, and flowered in the space of thirty minutes:

Lean-cut Paper Denim & Cloth jeans, from Filene's, now several years old; Jos. A. Bank wrinkle-free button-down, semi-spread collar with barrel cuffs; Jos. A. Bank suede blazer; midnight-blue pocket square, from Filene's;

brown loafers; no socks.

If the color balance seems unusually off, even for me, it's because of this "huey" thing that Pantone makes to make your monitor reflect true color.  Apparently, true color is a sort of sickly green tint.

Monday, August 16, 2010

"Come on, D.C., score a goal--it's really ****ing simple

Put the ball into the net, and we'll go ****ing mental."

Went to my first DC United game (against FC Dallas, of my hometown; I remember the Dallas Burn) with two fine gentlemen on Saturday.  We sat with La Barra Brava (roughly, The Brave Cadre of Fans) down at field-level in a section with broken seats, most likely from the fans jumping on them while chanting obscenity at the opposing team and/or DC United.  Represented were at least two apparent sexes, a panoply of genders, a cornucopia of ethnicities, a contingent of the shirtless, and Batman playing a snare drum.  Altogether quite a rousing experience.

I picked up this DC United scarf from the club shop.  The scarf has red, white, and black to it, which means it'll go well with a gray overcoat or a charcoal suit when winter rolls around.  Practical and team-spirited.  I wrapped it around my fist whenever I gave in to the urge to violently strike the seatback in front of me, like when DC United gave up a third goal in second-half injury time.

Also, unlike a jersey, a scarf won't tempt you to wear it to a party and then dominate your entire outfit to the point that people can't even remember whether you were wearing pants or had a face.  Rule of Thumb: If you are going to wear a sports jersey somewhere, that somewhere needs to be a sporting event, or viewing thereof.  On other occasions, if you must, how about a nice baseball cap instead, which you remove when you go indoors, like a gentleperson?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Poll: How Much Do You Spend on a Dress Shirt?

Gentle Reader,

I endeavor to be responsive and to serve my readership.  I have particular ideas about how much certain items of clothing should cost, but that may be a function of my budget, not yours.  I want Dapper District to serve you, not me.  With that in mind, consider this an informal poll (informal because I can't figure out how to set up a poll in Blogger).  Please leave a comment stating, on average, what you pay for a dress shirt and where you usually buy it.  This will help me to calibrate many aspects of the site.

My entry: Paul Frederick, $20-30.

Thank you!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Most Useful Of

Now that Dapper District is well past its 100th post, I'm creating this permanent thread to keep track of the most useful (in my mind) posts--guides, how-tos, etc.  If you have any articles you'd recommend for this list, sound off in the comments.

Doing laundry
Staying cool
How to iron a shirt
Maximizing value at Jos. A. Bank
How to get a suit tailored
Necktie length
Sport shirts
Shirt cuff length
Getting your measurements taken
For the man who only needs one suit

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Good News, Everyone!

Yours truly will be creating a weekly men's style column for local magazine The Washingtonian's web site.  Their camera and video resources should allow me to do some interesting how-tos and explorations of contrast which are just too difficult with an underpowered point-and-shoot.  I will also have the chance to write some longer columns about Subjects Of Interest.  I'll be sure to post a link here whenever one of the columns goes live.  They should start up around the end of August/early September.

Meanwhile, I will shoot for two standard-length posts here every week instead of three.  (A man only has so much time in a week.)

Thank you all for your ongoing support, comments, and insights.  I hope you'll follow me at the Washingtonian as well.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Protips: Doing Laundry

I do believe I've figured out laundry.  It's definitely my favorite chore, right up until the whole "folding it" part, which I loathe.  Until the folding, you just fire and forget.  In this regard, laundry is almost 100% identical to the AIM-54 Phoenix long-range anti-aircraft missile.

My advice: everything goes into the wash together.  No need to separate whites from colors.  Exceptions: extremely dirty clothes, or clothes with colorful stains, or clothes that have never been washed before (all at risk to bleed color).  Use the longest cold-water cycle. 

Then put the dryer on the lowest possible heat setting on the "automatic" dry cycle (usually marked with an asterisk * ).  Fold while the clothes are still warm.

BONUS PROTIP: If you hang up a t-shirt right after it comes out of the dryer, it will come out adequately wrinkle-free so as to make people suspect that you iron your t-shirts.