Cherry Blossom Time: Pink Tie and more

The cherry blossom at its peak is one thing I look forward to every year. Washington is really at its prettiest when these flowers are in bloom.  In addition, cherry blossoms are the official signal that spring is finally arriving to the Nation’s Capital. Although we had a pretty mild winter, it’s been pretty quirky and a late winter storm and rains wreaked havoc on this year’s blossoms.

DCFashion Fool Cherry Blossom Pnk Tie Party

Unfortunately, I was not able to make it down to the Mall to see the flowers this year. However, I was able to take part in the official kick off to the Annual Cherry Blossom festival and attend the Pink Tie Party and Fundraiser. After all, I can never say no to a good party. The Pink Tie Party is the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s signature event. The money raised during the party goes to support and promote the cherry blossom through year-round programs, events, and education initiatives.

Cherry Blossom Festival Cherry Blossom Pink Tie Party with A Lacey Perspective

One of the challenges for me each year is what to wear to this pink extravaganza. While women have a variety of options and can even Rent the Runway for a greater selection, guys are not so fortunate. While those more daring may done some over the top looks, men typically we opt for a much safer route limiting our selection to our shirt and tie combinations.
DCFashion Fool Cherry Blossom Pnk Tie Party Pink Tie Party with ChicVilleUSA

A lot of men tend to shy away from wearing pink but I think it’s a great spring color option. Simple combinations such as a pink shirt with a contrasting floral tie or a white shirt with a solid pink tie look great with both light and dark suits and are excellent style choices as the weather gets warmer.

DCFashion Fool Cherry Blossom Pnk Tie Party

For my cherry blossom look this year, I went with a tonal pink shirt and tie combination.  I paired these with one of my favorite plaid blazers that also had pink tones for a great festive look.
DCFashion Fool smiles at Cherry Blossom Pnk Tie Party

Clothing Details

Plaid Blazer & Pink dress shirt: Robert Talbot; Pink Tie: Fendi; Blue dress slacks – Armani Collezioni; Penny Loafers: Tom Ford

Cherry Blossom Events

The National Cherry Blossom Festival runs through April 16. Miss the blossoms or Pink Tie? Don’t fret there’s still a variety of activities to hit. Check out these upcoming events:

1 – April     BLOSSOM KITE FESTIVAL

                  ROSÈ ROMP

2 – April     CREDIT UNION CHERRY BLOSSOM TEN MILE RUN AND 5K RUN-WALK

7 – April      NCSS CHERRY BLOSSOM GRAND BALL

8 – April     NATIONAL CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL PARADE 

11 – April    BLOSSOMS AND BASEBALL

14 – April    EVENTS DC CHERRY BLAST!

                   GALLERY TALK: MIKA YOSHITAKE ON YAYOI KUSAMA’S PUMPKIN

15 – April    SOUTHWEST WATERFRONT FIREWORKS FESTIVAL 

Elevated Casual

Opting for the elevated casual look

There are so many terms for casual wear these day that it can be a bit confusing. Casual wear is such a catch all that there seems to be subcategories to define all aspects of casual clothing. Today we talk about atheleisure, business casual and even elevated casual (just to name a few) to define our leisure look. It is that last category, elevated casual, that I seem to be drawn toward.

Elevated Casual

I have to admit that I have not really gotten into the atheleisure looks. While I think it’s great for some, I’m not sure that it works or me. Although never say never as I’ve been known to sport a great sneaker from time to time. And when I hear business casual, I always envision the oversized polo with ill fitting khakis. When a lot of companies went business casual that became the standard work uniform. Yuck! I think that’s why I gravitate towards an elevated casual look.

Elevated Casual Elevated Casual Elevated Casual

For me elevated casual means a look that’s casual but not too casual but also not overly dressy. It’s a look that’s great for a variety of occasions. Perfect for the office, a great way for travel and is the ideal date night look. Think fitted polos with slim cut khakis or maybe a pair of statement pants or shoes. Because we are in a transitional weather period don’t forget a great jacket. Even your coat can become part of your elevated casual look. The tie is optional but don’t be afraid to don one from time to time.

Elevated Casual Elevated Casual

Details/Shop My Look

Camel top coat – J. Lindebrerg (similar); Black turtleneck – Burberry (similar); Plaid Slacks – Burberry;(similar); Black chelsea boots – Prada

Elevated Casual

Other Elevated Casual Looks

Elevated Casual

Photography by Lauren McGrath

Styling my Aliveshoes in Philly

Last week I was really excited to show you the sneakers I designed from Aliveshoes. I’ve been really stoked to create my own pair of sneakers. To be perfectly honest, I’m not a big sneaker wearer but I do have a few pairs in my closet. However the chance to design my own pair meant that I could get something that was uniquely me.

I wanted a great looking shoe in muted tones. I opted for earth tones but with just a hint of color but nothing too flashy. That’s why I added the burgundy. I think this little subtle color makes this shoe a winner.

Now with the sneakers in hand, I set out to find some great looks to wear them with. Have you ever got an article of clothing and designed your whole look around it. That’s how I felt with my new sneakers. These Aliveshoes were the first things I grabbed as I planned a quick weekend getaway to Philadelphia.

It’s hard to believe that it’s the beginning of spring when last week we where facing icy cold conditions and snow. The weird thing is that the weather this winter has been so mild so the cold snap was kind of a surprise. That was the surprise that hit me as I tooled around the City of Brotherly Love.

Fortunately I have not packed away my chunky sweaters and grabbed one that was ideal for the artic blast the hit the city. I like a classic sweater with a little bit of character and I’m a big fan of cream. Think about contrast against your skin tone to make a piece a little more dramatic. While jeans would be an okay choice I found a great pair of corduroys that matched the strip in my shoe. How cool is that? And I took Philly by storm!

Shop My Look/Details

Chunky cream sweater – Zara (similar); Berry corduroys – Saks Fifth Avenue; The DCFashionFool hightop – Aliveshoes (use CUSTOMNOW for a 15% discount)

Photography by Lauren McGrath
A great pair of sneakers

A great pair of sneakers

I decided I wanted a great pair of sneakers and I’ve always been a sucker for shoes. And now I’m excited to share my passion with you.  Have you seen what some of those premium brands charge for a great pair of kicks? Besides I’d like to think that the DCFashion Fool is its own premium brand.

I’m a creative guy so I have designed my own pair of Italian made sneakers. I connected with Aliveshoes and I’m excited to show you what I’ve created. What’s even better if you love them as much as I do, you can actually grab a pair for yourself.

Take a look at my shoes and let me know what you think. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do. And follow along to see how I’ve styled them. Just think, wearing a pair, “You too really can be a fool for fashion!”

See more at Aliveshoes

DCFashionFool

An influencer’s thoughts: Why I blog

Yes I blog

When I first started my blog, I thought it would be a great opportunity to share my thoughts and express my fashion ideas. With so many blogs out there, I figured it would just appeal to the 5 people, mostly family, that popped by my page. I started and stopped posting more times than I care to remember. But now it’s something I really have a passion for.

Blog standing

The terms people use these days are creator or social influencer but what does that really mean? To me that means being true to yourself and sharing your thoughts and opinions in an honest way. If I recommend a brand or product, it’s something that I stand behind.

Blog Felix Gray closeup

In fact, I like the idea of posting about my fashion finds, showcasing my style and giving my take on advice. However but it has not been without it’s challenges. I thought blogging would be a simple thing. You slap up a page jot down your thoughts and put up a few pretty pictures. However I’m finding it’s much more than that.

 

My blog challenges

Blog work

One of the hardest things to do is be consistent. I’d like to think I have something to say but sometimes it’s hard to keep it up on a regular basis. Life gets in the way or sometimes I just have writer’s block. It’s those times I just don’t know what to say. All I can do is be myself and hopefully that’s enough.

Blog concentration

Second who knew that maintaining a blog can be hard work? Before I started my site, terms like domain authority, SEO and page views were all foreign words to me. Now it’s these things I have to consider as I build my site or write a post.

Blog closeup on concentratiion Felix Gray blog

But my biggest struggle is trying to figure out how do I attract people to hear what I have to say? How do I break through all the noise? I’d like to think I have a voice and a definite style. I want to be one of the go to guys that people go to for fashion and style advice.

Computer and Felix Gray blog

The DCFashion Fool Blog call to action

Blogging at Starbucks

Help me make my site better. In a few weeks, The DCFashion Fool site is getting a whole new look. I want to bring you great content, show of my style and give you tips in keeping with my motto,

“You too can be a fool for fashion!”

But I want to hear from you. What do you want to hear and see from me? Send me your thoughts and comments. Call me out if I’m not being truthful and let’s make this a great stop on the web. My blog will be better for it and I will be deeply appreciative.

Jimmy Choo blog

Shop My Look/Details

Fuchsia cashmere sweater – Neiman Marcus; White dress shirt – Theory; Plaid dress slacks – Peter Millar (similar); Tassel loafers – Jimmy Choo; Glasses – Felix Gray  (Computerized glasses)

Full blog look

Photography by Jeffrey Thatcher Photography 

Designing my first custom shoe

What would you do if you had the opportunity to design your own shoe? Would you design something unique representing your personality or go completely over the top? Maybe, you’d copy a shoe that you’ve been coveting like that wild pair of Christian Louboutins (yes they do make them for men!). Well, that was the dilemma I faced when Omar from OSK Styles asked me to design my own custom shoe.

The thought of owning a custom made shoe was a luxury that seemed to be out of my reach. However at a price point of around $299, the dream quickly became an accessible reality. Now that a custom shoe was within my grasp, next came the fun part…designing the perfect shoe. Using OSK Styles online 3D site, I set about crafting a beautiful pair of shoes.

Let me tell you designing your ideal shoe is tougher than it looks. You get choose ever aspect of the design from the shoe style, the materials used to every component from the sole to the laces. I wanted mine to be just right so my design project soon turned into several hours of scrutinizing every choice, making adjustments and second guessing myself. In the end, I believe it was worth it and did I mention fun?

I had a few criteria for designing my ideal custom shoe:

  • Work well with a suited look
  • Be versatile. I wanted to have a lot of options to wear it
  • Have a unique design, something you wouldn’t normally find in a store

With millions of options, it’s really easy to design a shoe that’d never been done before. I didn’t want something that was too over the top or garish. Yes sometimes I can wear a bold statement piece but I was thinking subtlety. I think I succeeded.

What did I design? I chose a blucher style dress shoe, in a mix of dark brown calf leather and blue faux crocodile. I’m really happy with the way it came out. It’s a shoe that will work with a variety of suit colors… brown, blue, gray. For my first look, I tried them with one of my favorite blue suits.

I’m pretty happy with the shoe and will definitely design another custom shoe in the future. What do you think and how did I do? Let me know your thoughts.

Shop My Look/Details

Custom shoes – OSK Styles; Blue suit – Armani Collezioni; Striped blue shirt – Joseph Abboud; Blue polka dot tie – Ties.com; Blue floral pocket square – Harrison Blake

Photography by Jeffrey Thatcher Photography