Tomorrow at the shop from 7:30 - 9:30 pm we’re hosting RAW, a unique raw denim sale and naked sushi event. Save 15% off when you buy one pair of raw denim, 20% off when you buy two pairs, and 35% off when you buy 3 or more pairs. We’ll also have complimentary sushi prepared on site by some of the best sushi chefs in the city, served on a [mostly] naked model. Complimentary sake will be available tomorrow as well.
#RAW is an exclusive denim sale and naked sushi event we’ll be hosting next Friday May 17 from 7:30-9:30. Save 15% when you buy any pair of raw denim, 20% when you buy 2 pairs, and 35% when you buy 3 more pairs. Enjoy complimentary sushi and cocktails during the event. Looking forward to seeing everyone there! #TCR #LifeStyleClass
This past weekend, the Filipino Students Association at UT Austin celebrated their 25th anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, they held a series of events all weekend, culminating in the Student/Alumni Networking Brunch at Top Golf Austin. I was invited to be the keynote speaker at the event, something I was both surprised and honored to do. For full disclosure, I was actually #2 on their list, but since Paul Qui of Bravo’s Top Chef and Uchiko fame had scheduling conflicts, I gladly accepted the invitation.
The theme of Sunday’s networking event was “You Are Not Your Major”, a topic very near and dear to my heart. In college I studied Management Information Systems (i.e. business IT), and upon graduating from UT in 2007 I got a job in Houston doing IT consulting and audit work. My corporate job wasn’t all that bad. I got paid relatively well for doing relatively easy work, had a pretty good benefits package, and I had time on the weekends to do almost anything I wanted. Still, by 2011 I realized the corporate world, aka “The Matrix” as I like to call it, wasn’t enough for me. In February 2011 I called a meeting with Alan, Paolo, Justin, and Asif, and 6 months later The Class Room was open for business.
The point I wanted to make to the students in attendance on Sunday was to encourage them to really find out what they’re passionate about. That’s one of the hardest things to discover, and few people in their late teens and early twenties have enough life experience to make that decision. Still, I urged them to continually think about it, and never stop asking the question until they discover the answer. Once you figure out what you’re passionate about, you have to go after it. Regardless of what your major was in college, or relevant experience you have in a particular field, if you have the drive, ambition, and desire you can make your passion your profession.
This was the 2 cents I wanted to leave with the students in Austin, and it’s the hope I have for almost everyone I come across. In America we spend more time at work than anywhere else, so we might as well enjoy what we’re doing.
Style doesn’t have to be difficult, and we at The Class Room tend to keep things pretty simple when it comes to dressing. A lot of times you’ll see us with just a shirt, a good pair of jeans, a nice pair of shoes, and maybe a hat. A big reason for that is Houston’s climate. Even in the colder months we often don’t layer as much as we’d like since a jacket is usually sufficient protection during Houston’s “winter” months. Light layering can be done during the spring and summer if your shirts are light and breathable, but if it’s over 105 degrees outside there’s only so much you can do.
The great thing about men’s style is that you can keep things simple and still be stylish. If your clothes fit properly, you don’t have to do much to look good. Take, for example, the pics of Alan below. All he’s wearing is a shirt or sweater, jeans, and sneakers. Maybe a jacket and/or a hat. Simple.
Layering and accessories are a great way to add dimension and style to your outfit, but a solid foundation of well-fitting clothes is a must in order for anything to look good. As long as your clothes fit you well, you can throw on almost anything in your closet and get away with it. Ok…maybe not ANYTHING - the basic of rules of matching clothes your mother taught you as a child still apply, but you get the idea.
#SLGT = Support Local Grow Together
A conversation I’ve had with many different circles is the lack of local, “underground” culture in Houston as it relates to music and art. There are a lot of talented cats out there not getting the “buzz” they deserve. In my opinion, a big reason for this is that the masses in Houston don’t recognize actual talent when they see it, and therefore audiences don’t physically come out to attend enough small events and performances to build up a culture that encourages local growth. Everybody says it, but I might be the first to put it out on the internet: the majority of Houston just buys into hype, and they don’t come out to things unless someone/something is already “on”.
Right now Macy’s is sponsoring the iHeartRadio Rising Star talent search. Houstonian singer/songwriter Ira Perez is one of the nominees, and if you take a second to listen to her track “U Say” embedded above (produced by the Problem Solvers), it’s easy to see she’s actually talented. Very talented.
If you like what you hear, you can check out more of her songs on her Rising Star profile page. More importantly, you can vote for her to win a chance to perform during the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Each voter can vote up to 25 times a day, and trust I’ll be among those voting for her 25 times each day.
The thing about style is that you have to care enough to try, but you should appear as if you’re not trying at all. The purest form of style has more to do with behavior than dress. ”Style is the difference, a way of doing, a way of being done, ” - Charles Bukowski (h/t Y_H_B_T_I).
The most stylish cats just are who they are. The Sinatras, the Davises, the McQueens and the Newmans. Their inherent style permeated every aspect of their lives, and that in turn reflected in the way they dressed. Those with the sickest style are born with it, but that doesn’t mean personal style can’t be learned and developed.
We say it time and time again here at TCR, that style, as it relates to dress, should be a reflection (or a projection) of who you are as an individual (or how you want to be perceived). When you are true to yourself, then being “stylish” takes less effort because you’re just being who are are, and not trying to be anything you’re not. At the same time, you have to care enough to try. You have to care enough about how things fit your body and to get things tailored when necessary. You have to care about your grooming and get a haircut and shave when necessary. And you have to care about your character, your demeanor, and how you carry yourself.
Developing your personal style is a process. A process in which you’ll have to try new things from time to time, and in that process you will undoubtedly try too hard. But that’s ok, because that’s how we all learn. Eventually you learn to strip away what doesn’t work for you, and you’re left with your true, personal style.
One final note. Being “stylish” and finding your “true personal style” doesn’t necessarily mean stuntin’ on cats while wearing mad layers and accessories, or killing the game wearing leather kilts and what not. I mean if that works for you, do what you do young playa’. But often times the devil lies in the details, and subtlety can often have the most profound effect.
Let me just say that I have a lot more respect for people who model for a living because being comfortable in front of a camera isn’t easy by any means. Having said that allow me to introduce you to a first installment of series of photos entitled TCR’s Picks where we highlight some of the products we are excited about from season to season and that you may have seen in person, but aren’t exactly sure how to put together.
Season after season, Our Legacy continues to come correct. One of my favorite pieces from the Spring/Summer 2013 Collection is the First Shirt Amazonas. Made in Portugal from an Indian-cotton linen blend, this shirt may arguably be your go to shirt for the summer since it’s lightweight and breathable but more importantly one of the better print shirts I’ve seen in a while. With prints still in heavy rotation this season The Amazon Print will help you make a bold statement.
If you’re going to go with a bold top, I highly suggest that the rest of your outfit is subtle so you don’t take away from the print. I elected to go with Rogue Territory Black Stantons. Before you start harping on me for wearing black in the hotter seasons hear me out. At this time you’re probably still trying to break in your raw denim so you can get the honeycombs you want by Fall…am I right? Well to add some variety to your wardrobe why not opt for some Black Stantons. Made in Los Angeles from Japanese Denim from Kaihara Mills, the Black Stantons are slightly lighter than your typical raw denim at 13oz. and are sanforized which if you don’t already know, you can google it here. The pants are mid-rise which I really like because I typically don’t wear pants below my waist (different strokes for different folks) but in my opinion, mid-rise is a happy median. Since summer is literally around the corner for us I also opted for a subtle shoe in the Nike Free Woven NRG. I’ve been wearing these shoes for a while now and love them. The 3.0 sole is definitely comfortable and the woven upper is very breathable especially since I typically don’t wear socks in the summer. An added bonus to the shoes is it brings some sort of texture to the outfit whereas it doesn’t look like you are wearing a black onesie from the waist down and gives the outfit and eyes some contrast in texture from the pants to the shoes.
Be on the lookout for more of our picks for the season and if you have an questions feel free to email us firstname.lastname@example.org or stop on by at our physical location located across the street from La Madeleine at 2534 Amherst St. Houston, TX 77005.
In the first Dressing for You post, I noted that no matter how well you think you’re dressed, there is always someone who will not like what you’re wearing. It’s just the nature of style. It’s supposed to be subjective, and so we’re not all going to agree on what’s fresh and what’s not.
A perfect example of this came a few days later when we came across an interesting pic on the @mensfashion Instagram (h/t Matt Parks). @mensfashion somehow came across a picture from one our very first Class Photos sessions shot about 2 years ago featuring our Style Director Alan. Check out some of the comments people left:
marcellus13: Cap doesn’t fit at all imo.
d_fig88: I like the hat. This is fresh!
kjthe216kid: Those shoes are killing!
mattimelli: That is a waste of a good shoe…#nosocksareyoucrazy
deanopicanino: Too cool
ernestcarter: Love the rolled up jeans! Very cool!
jammytrav: Wats dis new trend of boys rolling up their pants, not a mans look in anyway
As of today the picture has 6,903 likes on Instagram, but as you can see there are several guys who don’t like certain things about Alan’s style in this pic. It’s particularly amusing for me personally to see people like @mattimelli hating on the no sock thing, and @jammytrav not liking the rolled up jeans, two trends that are particularly #menswear.
It’s worth noting that some people’s opinions do carry more weight than others. But the point remains - you have to do you and not just follow trends because simply following trends won’t make you stylish.
“Do what you do, young playa.”
The ideas of “dressing well” and “personal style” are a bit paradoxal. While dressing well is essentially looking good in clothes to other people, you have to understand what you really like and what works for you. The best dressers are really in tune with their personal preferences, and can be honest enough with themselves to admit that not everything trending will look good on them. That’s not to say you shouldn’t take risks - it just means the more in tune and honest you are with yourself, the more likely your risks will work out. Before you start taking sartorial risks, though, it’s probably prudent to start with a firm understanding of the basics (fit, proportion, color/pattern matching, etc. - more on those subjects in subsequent posts).
At the end of the day, you need to dress for yourself, and not strictly for the approval of others. You need to be comfortable in what you’re wearing, because no matter how spreezy you [think] are, there will ALWAYS be AT LEAST one person that will look at what you’re wearing and think it’s wack. I remember as early as two years ago, Alan our Style Director was wearing sweatshirts with paint stains and holes in them, and this progressed into this this fall/winter season, when Al started to wear all sweats err’thang with a draping Harris Tweed coat. Alan called it “cozy boy swag”, but in all honesty I thought he looked bummy. His wife didn’t like it either. Next thing you know, though, we see pics of Eugene Tong from Details magazine blowing up Tumblr rocking very similar fits, and getting mad love on the interwebs. Turns out people other than me and Alan’s wife like the cozy boy swag look. Now, the point of the story isn’t to insinuate Eugene swagger jacked Al. Rather, it’s to show “haters gon’ hate” (in this case I was the hater), so you have to dress for yourself and, as we often say at TCR, “do what you do young playa.”
Personal style is really figuring out what you like and how it fits within the context of what’s relevant today. If you don’t understand what you like, you’ll be easily swayed by the opinions of others. You should also know WHY you like certain things, otherwise you’ll fall victim to trends. Do you roll your pants ups because you like the way it makes the taper of your jeans look and/or how it subtly shows off your socks, or do you do it because you saw it on Tumblr and Instagram? Do slim jeans work for you, or are you buying them because they’re “in”, and the tighter the fit the better the fades? You get the idea.
Style is subjective, but above all else it should communicate who you are as a person and how you want to be perceived by the public. As you become more aware of what you like, who you are, and how you want to be perceived, the more effectively you will be able to communicate these things through how you dress.