A vacation in Cancun

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Shop My Looks – Details

White Board Shorts: Andrew Christian; Plastic Oval Sunglasses: Gant;  Moorea Swim Trunks: Vilebrequin (similar) ; Logo T-Shirt: Insted We Smile; Flip-Flops: ReefBlack Sunglasses: Tom Ford (similar);  Aviator SunglassesRay Ban;  Knee length Board Shorts:  Vilebrequin; Long Sleeve Dress Shirt: Report Collection Men’s Stripe Button-Front Shirt, Orange, L (similar); Off White Linen Trousers: Armani Collezioni

For me vacation is a time to just sit back and relax. With no set agenda, I love the thought of lounging by a pool, strolling the beach, reading trashy magazines and enjoying the cocktail of the day. While I like to travel sometimes it’s good to not have a set itinerary and just take it easy.

IMG_1944 IMG_2056 For my annual trip, I returned to The Royal Resorts and Spa (http://www.royalresorts.com/the-royal-sands.asp#.VjLOe66rSRs), a 2015 Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice property. While the resort operates primarily as a timeshare, it also serves as an all-inclusive hotel chock full of activities, features a variety of dining options as well as a world class gym and spa. Another 2015 Trip Advisor Choice property is Secrets the Vine Cancun (http://www.secretsresorts.com/vine-cancun) and the Ritz Carlton Cancun (http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Cancun/Default.htm) is another excellent property, earning a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor. Staying at properties like these is almost like being on a cruise ship without ever leaving land. IMG_1999 IMG_2004

For those who want to learn a little Mexican culture, an excursion to the Mayan ruins should be on the top of the list. Two of the most frequented are Chichen Itza (http://www.chichenitza.inah.gob.mx) and Tulum (http://www.tulumruins.net/). The Tulum ruins are set on the seaport and are a great example of a Mayan city. For this trip, I headed over to Tulum for a half day to explore the magnificent ruins. Afterwards, it was off to Xel-Ha. IMG_2002 IMG_20011 Xel-Ha (www.xelha.com/) is one of several natural parks located in the Mayan Riviera. This park features a massive lazy river with multiple stops along the way to practice your American Ninja skills. Among these include ropewalks, cliff dives and zip lining. In addition there are underwater caves to explore along with some terrific snorkeling. Other parks including Xcaret (http://www.xcaretexperiencias.com/tour-xcaret.php) and Xplor (http://www.xcaretexperiencias.com/tour-xplor.php) feature a wealth of outdoor activities such as zip lining, cave exploring, hiking and exploring the jungles of Mexico. IMG_2031

Not one to end a trip without shopping, Cancun has two malls, the smaller Kukulkan Plaza and the larger La Isla Cancun (http://www.laislacancun.mx/content/). Here you’ll find many of the same brands you find in the states such as Diesel, Hugo Boss, Nike and Zara as well other European brands like Pull and Bear. If you’re looking for a great pair of sunglasses, there were several sunglass stores that boasted the latest in designer eyewear at slight lower prices than you can find in the states.

IMG_2032 Joining these brands, some fantastic restaurants, movie theater and even an aquarium many of the high-end brands have also set up shop. Designers such as Prada, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Carolina Herrera, Ermenegildo Zenga and Emporio Armani have al opened up boutiques in the mall. It was a shopping mecca and definitely geared to a foreign audience as much as their fashions were current Fall/Winter selections and geared for much colder climates. Remember when shopping pay in pesos if using a credit card and you’re card is not subject to foreign exchange fees; prices tend to be even lower. feet
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Wine Tasting in Virginia: A great fall activity

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Shop my look – Details

Vintage Trench: Burberry – Brown and Williams Clothiers (for other vintage coats); Plaid French Cuff Shirt: Robert Graham; V-Neck Sweater: Gucci; Slim fit denim jeans: J Brand, Tan boots: Cole Haan (similar) 6 7

October is Virginia Wine Tasting month so naturally in the spirit of the season I went to taste some Virginia wines. First up was Early Mountain Vineyards. This winery in Charlottesville, Virginia is owned by AOL CEO Steve Case and his wife, Jean. Purchasing the Sweely Estate Winery in 1982, the couple has done an amazing job of transforming the winery into a beautiful event space with some tasty wines. IMG_1622

Early Mountain has some great events and this excursion was no exception. The winery was hosting its Fall Oyster Festival. The festival featured live music by Charles Owens, and fresh seafood from the Rappahannock Oyster Co. After tasting the full range of Early Mountain Wines. I decided a nice barrel aged Chardonnay would be perfect with my menu of raw and steamed oysters, crab cake and Stuffin’ Muffin, a delicious oyster stuffing creation. 1

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Our next stop was Prince Michel Winery in Leon, Virginia, one of the biggest wineries in Virginia. Here we got a chance to meet with Eric Barden, the Marketing Director of the winery who had us sample some of the winery’s best wines. I do like a good Chardonnay so I couldn’t come home without a bottle of their Barrel Select. Not slighting the reds, I also came home with a Syrah which was just as nice. 2 1
Since we are now hitting the fall, the weather can be a bit tricky. A simple solution in picking out your attire is to dress in layers. For my trip out to the country, I selected a nice plaid shirt from Robert Graham. I like his shirts because the cuffs and inside collar typically have interesting contrasting patterns from the rest of the shirt. Over the shirt, I sported a deep V-neck in burgundy that helped to bring out the burgundy stripes in my plaid shirt. 3

2 Don’t be afraid to mix the old with the new. Since the beginning of the day was a bit cool, I wanted to wear a lightweight jacket. My trench is a vintage 60’s Burberry trench in light gray, which helped to compliment the gray stripe in my plaid shirt pulling the shirt, sweater and jacket combination together. Finishing the look were slim straight leg jeans and tan boots. 5

There are approximately 270 wineries in Virginia however visiting two was a perfect Sunday outing. While most like to venture out in the fall to see the changing colors of the leaves, a good wine tour is easily a fantastic alternative! For more information of Virginia wineries, visit www.VirginiaWine.org.

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Sport a navy suit and feel presidential

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Shop my look – Details

Slim Fit Navy Suit: Theory jacket and trousers; Navy Gingham Dress Shirt – Ralph Lauren, Solid Navy Tie – Hugo Boss; Lapel Pin – Knottinghill Bowties; Black Lace-up Boots – To Boot

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Living in Washington, people tend to take for granted the monuments that majestically dot the landscape in DC. For my latest shoot, I wanted to highlight my latest look on the National Mall. I thought the ideal place to showcase my sharp navy suit would be at the Lincoln Memorial. 17 19

Standing in the spot where Martin Luther King so eloquently delivered his “I Have A Dream Speech” and overlooking the Washington Monument, it’s impossible not to reflect on the many who have fought so hard for the rights of all Americans. These landmarks are filled with such history and importance that I couldn’t help but feel nothing less than presidential. 6 10

Although, I love a tailored look, with the advent of business casual, a lot of guys are foregoing the classic suit. For those who only own only own one suit or are making the decision to purchase their first suit, a navy suit is the perfect option. Navy is versatile giving the wearer a variety of options. It can be dressed up to add formality or dressed down for a more casual look. It’s great for to use as an interview suit, ideal for a night on the town and can make a guy seem more approachable in business situations as compared to a black suit. 7 15

For shoes, black, brown or burgundy will work well for most business situations. I would always up for black for evening or more formal occasions. And the suit can be dressed down by slipping on a pair of sneakers like slip-on Vans or a high top. 4 2

For this season, opt for a modern cut. The jacket should have narrow lapels and have a slight taper throughout the mid section. Slim flat front trousers should complete the suit, which will give the wearer a long leaner look resulting in a leaner look. To keep with a more modern look, I stuck with the navy color palette for my shirt and tie, choosing a gingham checked blue shirt with a solid blue tie. For a bit of flourish, I add a floral lapel pin and finished the look with a black laced boot.

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Yes, you can wear a black suit

One of the trickiest suits to wear is a black suit. While most people are of the opinion that a black suit should only be worn at weddings and funerals. I think that the color has a little more versatility.

Black Suit - looking away


One of the trickiest suits to wear is a black suit. While most people are of the opinion that a black suit should only be worn at weddings and funerals. I think that the color has a little more versatility.

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If your work attire calls for tailored looks, I generally would not have a black suit in the rotation simply because it is a bit more formal. However, I do think there are some evening occasions where you can easily pull off the look. For an elegant night on the town a black suit can work well. In a pinch it can pass for a tuxedo if accessorized properly.

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I opt for black if it’s going to be a semiformal affair. I find that I feel a little dressier and I think you can play with the look a little more than if wearing a tuxedo. I really like this suit with the tonal black stripe. I paired it with a black and white polka dot tie and a crisp white shirt and pocket square. Normally with a suit, I tend to go for lace-ups but for this look I changed it up opting for slip-ons with large tassels for a bit of fun.
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Don’t let anyone fool you, “Black will always be the new black!” Just like women have the little black dress a sharp black suit can be a great go to for a dressy occasion.

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Shop my look – Details

Black tonal suit (similar): Ralph Lauren Black Label; White dress shirt: Armani; Black and white polka dot tie (similar): Hugo Boss; Slip-on dress shoe: Jimmy Choo

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