FASH­ION­ABLE FELLAS

PLENTY OF WAYS TO LOOK AND FEEL YOUR BEST!

Cape Coral Living - - Cape Features - by Nick Ciletti

No more cargo shorts. No more socks with san­dals. No more dad jeans. And most im­por­tantly—no more ex­cuses. There are plenty of ways for to­day's fash­ion­able guys to look their best.

Guys, I’m talk­ing to you. This is an im­pas­sioned plea on be­half of all the ladies in your life: Throw out that graphic T-shirt from the ninth grade, let your dog chew on those sneak­ers from 2002, and please, for the love of ev­ery­thing, burn that puka shell neck­lace! We may not be New York, may not be Mi­lan, but there are still plenty of ways to look your best and—most im­por­tantly—feel your best when it comes to your wardrobe.

WHY STYLE Who says hav­ing a per­sonal stylist is only for the rich and fa­mous? Naples-based Sarah La­Mont, owner of Why Style, makes fash­ion fun, flirty—and rea­son­ably priced. “It’s re­ally af­ford­able to any­one, whether their bud­get is $500 for the sea­son or $5,000,” she ex­plains. “Imag­ine hav­ing some­one who com­pletely un­der­stood your life­style, bud­get and fash­ion goals and made them a re­al­ity for you.” La­Mont brings years of ex­pe­ri­ence styling men and women, serv­ing as a key mem­ber of Nord­strom’s style team be­fore branch­ing out on her own: “I started my busi­ness to help peo­ple feel em­pow­ered by what they wear and to cre­ate func­tional clos­ets that are full of pieces they love and un­der­stand—as op­posed to chaos!” And it’s in that closet where La­Mont likes to start her fash­ion makeovers, try­ing to see how clients can pair ex­ist­ing pieces with new pieces, or see what’s lack­ing. “While work­ing in the in­dus­try, I wit­nessed too many peo­ple buying some­thing new … but then not know­ing how to pair it with their ex­ist­ing closet and per­pet­u­ally fall­ing into the same rut,” notes the per­sonal stylist. Un­for­tu­nately, most men fall into that rut (this reporter in­cluded). La­Mont says the prob­lem lies in guys’ fo­cus­ing on clothes purely as func­tional in­stead of fash­ion­able. “As a man, it’s im­por­tant to pay at­ten­tion to the de­tails,” she adds. “Are you cuff­ing your jeans and throw­ing on your slide sneak­ers with­out socks? Are you mix­ing pat­terns by throw­ing a flo­ral pocket square on with your

No more cargo shorts. No more socks with san­dals. No more dad jeans. And most im­por­tantly—no more ex­cuses.

plaid sport coat? And pin­striped but­ton down?” Those aren’t the only au­tumn 2017 trends La­Mont has her eyes on. Over­all, she’s see­ing a re­turn of more for­mal at­tire for men, in­clud­ing a re-emer­gence of neck­ties for ca­sual oc­ca­sions, and dou­ble-breasted suits. But she ex­plains it’s also mixed with the ca­sual—such as a slick pair of sneak­ers that can go with pretty much any­thing.

CANNED HAM VIN­TAGE

If vin­tage is more your style, you’re all set: What’s old is new again at the Canned Ham Vin­tage shop in Sara­sota. But don’t take it from us. Vogue mag­a­zine says, “Walk­ing into Canned Ham Vin­tage feels like en­ter­ing the home of a re­ally cool friend.” That re­ally cool friend is owner Ashely Rogers. “My rule of thumb is buy what you love, so that’s my rule when cu­rat­ing Canned Ham Vin­tage,” she ex­plains. And eclec­tic doesn’t even be­gin to de­scribe it: There’s cloth­ing from the 1940s to 1970s for dap­per dudes (and their lovely ladies). There are even home fur­nish­ings. So what kind of man wears these clothes? “Our cus­tomer is a cre­ative, free thinker that ques­tions fash­ion but has undy­ing style,” Rogers says. “We have cus­tomers of all ages and back­grounds. But one thing they all have in com­mon is the crav­ing for unique beauty in fash­ion.” She de­scribes the ex­pe­ri­ence as shop­ping in her grand­par­ents’ closet and says it’s not hard to pro­vide cus­tomers with unique pieces. “Ev­ery piece we carry is one of a kind. I also use an­tique dis­plays that keep the time cap­sule vibe in­tact. I col­lect wooden hang­ers from old ho­tels, and lug­gage and dress forms. I use all of that in the shop to per­son­al­ize and add whimsy.” Rogers, who’s look­ing for space to set up shop in the Fort My­ers area, says Canned Ham Vin­tage “feels like home”—a wel­come re­treat from typ­i­cal re­tail ex­pe­ri­ences where some­times cus­tomer ser­vice is lack­ing or you feel ob­li­gated to make a pur­chase.

THE WEB­STER

Lo­cated in the heart of Miami’s South Beach, with an iconic blue, white and pas­tel-pink ex­te­rior, The Web­ster bou­tique is prov­ing to South­west Florid­i­ans that it’s worth the drive— es­pe­cially if you have an ap­petite for de­signer duds. If you haven’t been, pic­ture the most spa­cious, deluxe closet you’ve ever seen, com­plete with vel­vet couches so you can rest in be­tween all your ex­cit­ing fash­ion ad­ven­tures! It fea­tures 20,000 square feet of high-end, ready-to-wear men’s and women’s cloth­ing—and that’s not all. The coolest part about The Web­ster is its his­tory. Housed in a circa-1939 clas­sic Art Deco build­ing, it high­lights ev­ery­thing we love about Miami—the de­signs, chic cloth­ing and amaz­ing set­ting. (The Web­ster bou­tiques are also in Bal Har­bour, Florida; Costa Mesa, Cal­i­for­nia; and Hous­ton.) And The Web­ster in South Beach also dou­bles as a party venue. There’s a rooftop used for host­ing events—with

un­beat­able ocean views and peo­ple watch­ing. You can feel the warm sea breeze cas­cade across your face. Con­cern­ing men, The Web­ster leaves no stone un­turned! It fea­tures ev­ery­thing from back­packs and bracelets to loafers and lace-ups—the def­i­ni­tion of a “one-stop shop.” You can get your busi­ness suit and bathing suit just feet away from each other. And be­cause it’s Florida, use both in the same af­ter­noon! Gucci, Valentino and Dior are just some of the top de­sign­ers you’ll find at The Web­ster. The clothes aren’t cheap, but nei­ther is the qual­ity. If you’re look­ing for a clas­sic piece that will never go out of style and last a life­time, The Web­ster’s got you cov­ered. And if you can’t make it there, don’t worry: The Web­ster fea­tures one of the most ex­ten­sive on­line col­lec­tions of any bou­tique around.

CAPE BOYZ

For guys, if your T-shirt game is strong, chances are you’re ac­ing ev­ery­thing else in life! Lucky for us, there are some cut­ting-edge T-shirt de­sign­ers in our own back­yard. And that’s not the only thing

that makes Cape Boyz of Cape Co­ral unique—there’s also plenty of “broth­erly love” in their de­signs. “Our style is vi­sion­ary,” says Frank McNeal. “Our con­cept was to rep­re­sent our in­ter­pre­ta­tion of in­di­vid­u­al­ity. As broth­ers, we are dif­fer­ent, but share a com­mon thought.” Yet it’s about more than just fash­ion for the McNeal broth­ers. For Frank, who is of mixed-racial back­ground, it’s a chance to open minds, break down walls and spread ideas. “Be­ing bira­cial has proven to be a les­son in tol­er­ance,” he ex­plains. “We want to break free of the stereo­typ­i­cal looks and cre­ate clean de­signs that could be worn by everyone. The ap­parel in­dus­try is our ve­hi­cle to start a move­ment of ac­cep­tance, break­ing free from ti­tles and per­cep­tion.” Although lots of plan­ning goes into the de­signs, McNeal says it’s not all what you think. For him, spend­ing one-on-one time with his broth­ers and co-de­sign­ers, David and Mario, is most im­por­tant and helps get the cre­ative juices flow­ing: “We un­der­stand that noth­ing is guar­an­teed, so mak­ing the ef­fort to meet is a con­stant mo­ti­va­tion. Everyone wants to be val­i­dated.” And no bet­ter val­i­da­tion than see­ing peo­ple wear your clothes! Cape Boyz doesn’t have a hard time be­ing unique. “Cre­at­ing our own paths keeps the de­signs fresh and present. We’re not lim­ited to mar­ket stan­dards. … If we con­tinue to al­low each brother to sub­mit a de­sign with­out judg­ment, the cre­ativ­ity is lim­it­less.” But these guys aren’t just the de­sign­ers—they’re also the man­u­fac­tur­ers! “Right now we de­scribe the con­ver­sa­tion in our cir­cle as ‘busi­ness with hu­mor.’ Laugh­ter keeps us grounded and hav­ing a large fam­ily sup­port is a true bless­ing. We have in the fam­ily a graphic de­signer, Tyler, and sis­ters An­ge­lena and Elena, who are re­spon­si­ble for the cler­i­cal and courier side of the com­pany. So la­bor is cost ef­fec­tive and in abun­dance!” And if that wasn’t enough, three mem­bers of the team are also full-time stu­dents at Florida South­west­ern Col­lege.

TAI­LOR­ING BY RHONDA

She has decades of ex­pe­ri­ence, works around the clock to get the job done and brings some of her Euro­pean past into her Florid­ian fu­ture. Rhonda Erol, who hails from Cyprus, has been tai­lor­ing clothes for so long it’s safe to say she’s a good “fit” when it comes to styling men. “Women have so many dif­fer­ent styles,” Erol ex­plains. “But men re­ally have a lot of the same style, maybe just chang­ing the fab­ric? Be­cause there is not too much va­ri­ety, the fit is so im­por­tant.” For 30 years, Tai­lor­ing by Rhonda has been a sta­ple in Fort My­ers, lo­cated across the street from the Edi­son Mall. Erol has been around the fash­ion block and has seen styles come and go, but a trend she sees more and more of is slim­mer-fit, Euro­pean-cut suits. “The slacks are more nar­row and are tighter fit­ting,” Erol ex­plains. “I pre­fer to see men wear­ing those slim-cut suits be­cause it makes you look like you’re wear­ing pa­ja­mas if you still have the pants with the pleats.” As South­west Florida be­comes more cos­mopoli­tan, Erol sees in­flu­ences from ma­jor cities seep­ing into the lo­cal fash­ion land­scape: “It’s all start­ing to trickle into Fort My­ers. Even the older men are com­ing with their pants with the big legs and pleats and ask­ing me to ta­per them. It’s not just the younger gen­er­a­tion,” the tailor adds.

You've got the 1940s-style hat, the red slacks and those snazzy tuxedo shoes. Mix ’n’ match is the name of the game at Canned Ham Vin­tage. There are no rules—just a lot of cool clothes!

Sarah La­Mont, owner of Why Style, wants to make find­ing fash­ions easy and af­ford­able while still choos­ing clothes that help you ex­press your­self.

They may not be “blue suede shoes” but they’re still pretty darn fab­u­lous! That’s not sur­pris­ing, be­cause Stacy Adams started man­u­fac­tur­ing shoes in 1875. Con­tem­po­rary fans crave both brand-new and vin­tage styles.

Bomber jack­ets (right) have been big the last few sea­sons and fall 2017 is no ex­cep­tion. Take this must-have item to the next level with a vin­tage leather ver­sion that’s bound to im­press even the most cyn­i­cal stylists. This clas­sic “me­chanic-style” shirt (be­low) will help you stand out in the fash­ion world. So change your oil and head out to happy hour!

“Aruba, Ja­maica, ooh I wanna” … see if that trop­i­cal shirt is still avail­able! Good thing they're al­ways in style in Florida, ex­cept maybe for about a week in Jan­uary. And that's when you'll find good use for a new (or new to you) sweater.

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