Tag Archives: Mens

Chop Style: How to Dress for Summer

Just do this… all Summer, all day long, every Summer, every day. These sons of bitches are so goddamn dapper that poor Brigitte Fossey can’t decide which one of them to devour first… and third.

Martin Sheen, Brigitte Fossey, and Sam Neill at Cannes, 1981.

If you ever wanted to know how to dress for Summer, cancel your GQ subscription and pay no mind to the blogs and the mall. Just do this. See how they’re standing on the middle of a beach in jackets and not looking overdressed? That’s style.

Wearing this in Baltimore could literally take you from the office to happy hour to the ballgame, from dinner at Bluegrass to Flicks on the Hill, or from a day at the zoo to a night on the Avenue. It’s also got the subtle advantage of being absolutely timeless. This photo is 30 years old, and it’s still going to look fresh 30 years from now.

Whatever you’re doing this Summer, do it in this.

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Chop Style: Best Summer Flip Flops

We’re reluctant to admit that we may need to acquire a decent pair of flip flops.

Now, we do not recommend sandals of any type for the men of Baltimore. You’re a grown man in a major city after all, not a dirty hippie at Bonnaroo. The only time sandals become acceptable for general wear is when you’re in very close proximity to a body of water. The kind you can swim in; the harbor doesn’t count, but swimming pools do.

We don’t find ourselves by the pool often enough to warrant sandal ownership, but now that Spring has sprung we’re getting a lot more use from the outdoor living spaces here at the Chophouse. We could use a pair of sandals for lounging on the decks, taking out the trash, or even popping over to the corner store. We haven’t got anything that’s really good for just slipping on briefly, and as we’ve already discussed, socks are not optional for shoes. So we might need sandals, and the very best sandals are flip flops. Here are three options we like at Macy’s, which all look great and cost about $30.

Clarks 'Jays'

There’s two things we like a lot about these Clarks. Their simple design makes them suitable for everything from running out to move your car to wearing at a beach wedding, and the combination of leather and rubber fuse high style with maximum comfort. $35.

Lacoste 'Molietts'

For an alternative to leather, Lacoste’s Molliets are made of rubber without looking cheap. Anything with that little gator on it is going to come off a little preppy, but as long as you steer clear of Madras shorts or ribbon belts you ought to be able to stay Mobtown Official and Chop Approved. Available in 4 colors. $32.

Tommy Hilfiger 'Lloyd'

Only a few notches lower on the prep factor scale is Tommy Hilfiger, but we like the retro styling of their Lloyd flip flop. These also combine rubber and leather, and if we’re going to have to shell out for a pair of flip flops, we’d like them to last through at least several Summers of sun and wear. We think these will. $30.

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Chop Style: Wool for Winter Part 3- The Topcoat

So by now you know all about pea coats and wool bombers, and you’re looking great and feeling like a million bucks.

But then comes January. Another Snowpocalypse, maybe. Sleet. Rain. Ice. The fucking bastard wind. What you need is more than a mere coat… you need sartorial armor.

It takes a proper overcoat to pull off a scarf and hat look.

The whole point of this series is wool, so we ask you to consider the sheep. Sheep spend their entire lives out of doors, mostly in places with really crummy climes like Scotland and Canada. You don’t see them shaking with cold though. The rain bounces right off their backs and the wind never reaches their skin. They’re covered in wool. If you want to stand outside for hours in January feeling as comfortable as you would in a bathrobe at home, get yourself a good quality wool sweater, cover it with a tweed blazer, and finish it off with a heavy wool topcoat.

The British know a thing or two about dressing well in shite weather. They invented the topcoat, and are still making some of the best ones money can buy. Iconic heritage brands like Burberry and Aquascutum set the archetype with pieces like Aqua’s Sargent Classic, and Burberry’s model, which is so stuffy and British that it’s simply called ‘Long Wool Top Coat.’ This Hackett London offering, the Smithfield Classic will also take you up and down Jermyn Street, or Thames Street for that matter, in ease, comfort and style.

Even better, ditch the scarf and show off your tie.

Are we seriously suggesting that you go up to the Burberry store at Towson and spend $1200 on a coat? Of course not. That would be stupid.

We’re suggesting that you look around at the top of the market to get an idea for materials, style, construction, etc, and then hit eBay. There are a certain few items which eBay really excels at selling, and overcoats are one of them. A quick search of the term ‘overcoat’ in Men’s Clothing turns up 2500 results, which can then be easily sorted by price, brand, material, etc. If you need a common size like 42 or 44, so much the better. (No need to size up for topcoats. They’re designed to fit layers of clothing underneath.) The price-to-value ratio on some of those eBay coats is really outstanding.

Aside from the huge cost savings, availing yourself of a vintage overcoat is a great way to carry off a bit of classic or retro style without looking like you shop exclusively in Brooklyn boutiques or like you’re playing Mad Men dress-up. A good quality topcoat is made to stand up to the elements, but will also stand up to its owners’ wear and handing-down exceedingly well, and most vintage topcoats available are in excellent or very good condition.

This season's hottest accessory? Handguns.

Modern Science may be pretty wonderful in a lot of ways, but Gore-Tex and other materials will never, ever be able to match super 120’s wool for warmth, windproofing and durability… not to mention style. A solid wool topcoat is just as well suited for running around Baltimore today as it was for hustling through Vienna more than 60 years ago, as demonstrated here by Orson Welles in The Third Man.

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Chop Style: Best Boots Under $200

After a few fits and starts, it’s about to turn genuinely cold and gray here in Baltimore. Leaves are falling, rain is falling, and soon enough there may even be snow falling. Add that to the year-round hazards that pedestrians encounter on Charm City’s streets (glass, chicken bones, strip club flyers), and it’s clear that your stylish summer shoes just aren’t going to cut it anymore.

You need a pair of boots, Baltimore. But maybe you’re afraid to pull the trigger? You want something you could shovel a few inches of snow in, if it came to that, but they’ve also got to serve for everyday wear. Hell, you might even want to throw them on under a suit for the odd holiday party that’s bound to pop up. Clearly, not just any boots will do.

And you probably don’t want to spend a fortune either. Don’t worry, the Chop’s got you covered. We’ve scoured the net and narrowed it down to half a dozen solid choices, all of which are high on style, suited for winter wear, and at or below $200. It’s hard to go wrong with a basic black Chelsea boot, but when you want to step it up a bit, you might consider one of the following options:

Fratelli 8012. $99 at Zappos.com

Fratelli 8012

We’ve got kind of a love/hate relationship with zappos. You’ve got to look through a lot of crap to find anything that looks good, but once you do, it looks like this. These Fratelli’s are unconventional in a lot of ways. They’ve got buckles, which we’re not usually a fan of, they’re cut low on the ankle for what they are, and they’re blue (but available in 3 other colors). Somehow they pull it all together though. They may not be the ideal choice for everyday wear, but they’re definitely going to stand out. $99 at Zappos.com

Mataalii Wingtip boots: $150 at Aldo.


Mataalii wingtips

Wingtip boots are having a moment right now, and we’re all for it. Make sure you’ve got the stones to pull these off though, because they’ll be in your closet for years to come. Don’t worry about it; they’re definitely going to wear well with age, and after your first winter in them they’re going to look a lot less dandy and a lot more pedigreed, which is as it should be. $150 at Aldo

The Denver Boot: $160 at Banana Republic

The Denver Boot

We’ve got a soft spot for Banana Republic, and when they offer things like these boots, it’s not hard to see why. Their Denver boot is tough enough for most anything, and genteel enough for a garden party. Swap out cleats for the uppermost eyelets and hide a zipper inside the ankle, and they’ll even kick off easily if you happen to be lucky enough to escort someone home from said garden party. Now that’s good design. $160 at Banana Republic

Brinley cap toed boots. $185 at Johnston and Murphy.

Brinley cap toed boot

Perhaps you like the wingtip boots above but you’re not ready to commit to the style? A cap toed boot provides a nice middle ground. It’s every bit as classic, but not quite as ostentatious. Once you’ve outgrown your floppy old chukka boots, you may be ready for their grown up alternative. These particular boots are also refurbishable, which few shoes are nowadays (and even fewer under $200) So if you like them, you can literally keep them forever. $185 at Johnston and Murphy

Frye's Arkansas mid-lace boot. $198 at Macy's

Frye’s Arkansas mid-lace boots

If you’re planning to actually work in these boots (whether in the backyard or at an actual job), Then Frye’s got the boot for you. An American company with all the heritage and quality of a Red Wing or Carhartt, Frye’s Arkansas boots are a pretty rare find: a genuine, bona fide work boot that actually looks good enough to wear out on the town. They’re even made right here in the good old US of A. $198 at Macy’s.

Bed Stu 'Post' boots. $200 at Nordstrom.

Bed Stu ‘Post’ Boots

If Frye is something of a throwback, then perhaps Bed Stu is what we can get used to in the 21st century. A lot of talk about humble roots and honest work and good design and quality materials, from a bunch of Brooklyn hipsters who design in some charming old salvaged warehouse building in Bedford-Stuyvesant, but send those designs overseas to be produced and shipped back. Pair them up with an established national high end retailer who wants to foster something of an ‘artisan’ or ’boutique’ feel, and you’ve got fashion’s dominant business model moving forward. This may or may not be an overly jaded view, so we’ll put it aside and look at the boots themselves.

Yeah. Those are pretty fucking nice boots. $200 at Nordstrom’s

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There are no fashion or style categories in the Baltimore Sun’s Mobbies Contest, so you’re just going to have to vote for the Chop in those categories where we are nominated, namely Music/Nightlife, Personal, and Misfits. We’ve been holding our own thus far, but we’re going to need a hand if we want to crack one of those top spots. Head over there and vote now. We’d be much obliged.

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