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Style Wars :: The Office, Part I

The highlight of my day yesterday came in the form of a compliment from my new supervisor. A very casual conversation about my work and performance quickly shifted to what I was wearing --- $10 GAP Shawl Collar Sweater (GAP outlet), $2 Brooks Brothers button-down (Goodwill), $15 Old Navy Chinos, and $50 Kenneth Cole wingtips (K&G). He hesitantly complimented me on my outfit and with that simple comment came a barrage of additional ones like he had diarrhea of the mouth. He admitted that he and my other co-workers always notice that I am, "well put together and stylish." Then came the shocker! Apparently, there is a tiny rumor going on in our office that I blow my check every pay period on clothes because I'm always dressed so nicely. In their minds, that's the only logical explanation for why I'm able to do what I do. I had to laugh because while they know Chris the colleague, they have no idea who Seth B. is... The guy who's mother raised him on the simple principle that budget shopping and a keen eye for good fashion are a lethal combination.

I had to breakdown to him all the parameters of outlets, thrift stores and finding sample sales. I guess I take for granted the fact that style and being a fashionisto is an innate talent. He then asked how much I charge for personal shopping because his wife is tired of "looking at his boring ass clothes." I chuckled and said, "I don't know if you can afford me." He is dead serious, by the way.

He had so many questions like how I manage to look so professional without wearing suits everyday. Even I have to admit that my combinations are spot on. Among all the advice I offered, one thing I told him is that there is nothing wrong with being a copycat after he mentioned how much he loved Fonzworth's outfit in one of my previous posts. One of the basis for establishing a solid foundation for your own personal style is duplicating a look that you like and modifying it to fit your tastes. Just to drive that point home, I took a picture of myself this morning before I left for work. During my morning workout I received some inspiration from Carlton Banks on 'The Fresh Prince.' While his character is a source for comic relief, there's no denying he's a serious style icon. The photo above is my own rendition of CB with a Seth B. twist.

My supervisor doesn't even realize that he made my day. Good dude.
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Yep! In my white T...

The white t-shirt is arguably an American classic donned by style icons like James Dean, Harry Winkler and Snoop Dogg. But just like the contrast of the aforementioned celebrities, there are opposing views on the significance and versatility of this simple staple. The "White T" is definitely a piece that I'm on the fence about. On one hand, I can't deny the appeal of a perfectly cut and fit white t-shirt. While there's not much thought that goes into it, the possibilities are endless. You can pair it with just about anything from old Levi's and your favorite Converse All Stars or fine, dark Japanese denim and a sportscoat. My problem with the controversial piece is that some have taken it and abused it; namely urban clothing enthusiasts. I despise anyone who goes are buys boxes of oversized ProClub white t-shirts and pairs them with busy jeans and New Era caps. Yuck! What type of self-expression is that?

When I came across Project White T-Shirt I got excited. They worked with 31 designers from 13 countries to transform the classic white t-shirt into something new. They will transform and redefine the definition of the T-shirt as we’ve understood it for so many decades. Participants include Andrea Crews, c.neeon, Complex Geometrics, Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair, Siv Stoldal, Kling by Kling and one of my personal favorites, Jerell Scott (pictured above). The t-shirts will be exhibited and then auctioned off with the proceeds going to the Designers Against AIDS foundation.

Cheers to breathing new life into an American classic!
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...it's surely time for a change.