Tag Archives: Sandals

Chop Style: Highwaters and Sandals

The Summer has officially begun in Baltimore. Memorial Day weekend marked its official start, and the holiday brought the stifling Summer heat right along with it. It breaks our Choppy little heart to think that for the next 3 months, most people in our fair city are going to forgo fashion altogether in favor of whatever they’ve got in their drawers with the fewest actual threads in it. We’re in for a long Summer of sleeveless tees, jorts and the rest of it.

Some of us haven’t given up though. We’ve said before that we do not favor shortpants on grown men, and that sandals are only to be worn in close proximity to water. However, if you followed our advice and bought a stylish pair of flip flops, you may be wondering exactly how the fuck you’re expected to wear them if not with shorts. For the answer, we look once again to Steve McQueen:

Sure, it's too hot to put much effort into your wardrobe. Good thing this look is effortless.

If you’re actually going to be near the water, there’s no better look than this one. Not even the fact that this photo was once misappropriated for a Gap ad can take away from this dead-on Summer style. Sandals are actually made for getting your feet wet, and so highwater pants are an appropriate match. In point of fact, this is the only time that highwater pants are actually acceptable.

We’ve also said before that we’re no great fan of the Sartorialist, and one of his recent photos illustrates how not to wear highwaters:

Don't ever do this in Baltimore. Ever.

Scott Schuman publishes this kind of crap all the time. We only had to go back a couple of days to find this one. Our man here is exactly what Huckleberry Finn would look like if he moved to New York City and became a high-class rent boy.

Those pants are not only cuffed, they’re tailored that way to show off what we assume are artisanal calfskin ‘workman’s’ boots handmade in some Brooklyn studio, which must be stank as fuck being worn sockless the way they are. The rolled up short sleeves on the shirt (note McQueen’s long sleeves) and the willfully arcane suspenders suggest this lad belongs in the revival road cast of Newsies, but the $2000 briefcase carried without any other business attire reminds us that, yes, this guy probably does hand out lunchtime blowjobs to wall street executives for a living.

A comparison of these two photos illustrates not only the best way to wear cuffed pants, but also how to distinguish a timeless and effortless style from an incredibly expensive costume.

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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: Summer Shoes Do’s and Don’ts

Time to get serious Baltimore… serious about summer. The snow is a distant memory, the random rain showers are just about over, and daylight is stretching ever longer. Those trusty old Doc Marten boots you’ve been stinking up all winter aren’t going to cut it anymore. You need to get yourself up to Van Dyke and Bacon or down to Benjamin Lovell or someplace and get your feet right.

Lucky for you, the Chop is here to tell you how to get your feet right. Seeking style advice from GQ, Esquire or the internet at-large is a good start, but these sources are full of effete New Yorkers, Miami Beach wannabe’s, and of course, shoe advertisements, which are not quite the same as advice. In Chop Style, we’ll be telling you from time to time how to dress for Baltimore City since that’s where you live.

So without further ado, the Chop is glad to give you summer shoe choices that will take you from Canton to Hampden in style. (All images and prices are from Zappos.com and all pictures link to purchase page.)

Do’s:

Casual Loafers: Loafers like these Suds by Ted Baker ($135) are a great choice. These were made for pairing with chinos but can go with jeans as well, and they’ll show up without showing off.

Bucks: It’s a shame you don’t see more of these in town, since they’re a classic and they embody the property that all Baltimoreans demand from their clothes… they look better with age. These Kearneys ($89.95) from Florsheim will hold up well. True, Florsheim isn’t the most modern of brands, but they’ve been trying to resurrect their image by bringing Duckie Brown on board. The Kearneys are much the same as the Duckie lace-ups, but with a more classic sole and at fraction of the price.

Desert Boots: We proclaim 2010 the year of the desert boot. It’s hard to go wrong with Clarks ($95), who invented the desert boot, but most any brand will foot the bill. The sand suede pictured above is a little conservative, since one of the best things about desert boots is that they look flash as hell in any color of the rainbow.

Classic Sneakers: We know some of you out there are sneaker freaks. That’s all well and good, but we’re just not big on them. They are handy to have around though, especially during the summer. We say keep it classic, but maybe give the Converse a rest this year, huh? For us these Tretorn T-56’s will do the job, and we strongly recommend buying sneakers in dark colors, since white always goes dingy way too quickly. The best part about these? On sale for $44 (from a mere $55 original sticker).

Don’ts:

Running shoes: Compare these to the T-56’s above and you can easily see that all athletic shoes are not created equal. These are great shoes for running (we suppose) but you can go ahead and leave them in your gym locker, because they just look out of place in a social setting. (New balance MR760, $99.95)

Sandals: These Kenneth Coles ($78) are actually pretty nice sandals. Problem is, you can really only get away with sandals at the water’s edge. Poolside is okay, an open fire hydrant on Montford Avenue is not. Down the ocean is okay, the inner harbor is not. You also have to be very careful about what pants you pair sandals with, since the Chop does not approve of short-pants on grown-ass men.

Clogs: Just don’t. We don’t care if your girlfriend bought you these UGG Heralds ($120) for your birthday. We don’t care if they kind of sort of look like real shoes. Just don’t wear them, because when you do, you make all men everywhere look like schlubs.

Sanuks: Yep. We saved the worst for last. Your shoes say a lot about you, and these things say “Hey Brah, let’s drive the jeep up Gunpowder, put on a Badfish record and get fuuucked uuup. We can always find a job tomorrow, right?” From the quasi-gator green color to the flat foamy soles to the shoddy construction to the Name “Kerouac” ($54.95), these things look like they came straight out of a communal factory run by retarded hippies. The overall effect is similar to the clogs, but they only make you look like a shart, not all mankind.

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