Brands We Love: Oxford Lads December 29 2016, 0 Comments
We first discovered Oxford Lads and it’s designer Alan back in 2014 and instantly fell for his unique prints and modern cut, button-down shirts. Our customers were swooning over the funky florals, cool abstract geometrics, or totally crazy and kooky graphics of the tops! With the success of the shirts, we soon started carrying shorts, sweaters, pants and jackets. And now a few years later, it’s safe to say: Oxford Lads is a Brick & Mortar fan favorite.
Alan describes his guy as smart and rebellious, and his choices in fabrics and prints reflect that. The Oxford Lads’ guy is a little bit preppy in his own way, looking for well-made clothes with updated fits, but wanting to make it “his-own” in something daring and colorful. “They mix their preppiness together with a street style look, that’s what Oxford Lads is about.”
Let’s start with the prints. Every season, Alan scours the globe looking for something new and unique. He then cuts samples, which are shown to buyers (like us!) and then only makes what gets ordered! So that means that when we sell out of a print or style, it’s gone! There’s no replenishment waiting, no over-cut extras! We feel like that’s what makes the brand so special: you know that what you’re wearing was cut-to-order, limited run! The chances of seeing it out and about and replicated on the street is low, so if you’re looking to be one-of-a-kind, Oxford Lads is the brand for you.
Our customers have also come to know the brand for it’s amazing fabrics. A fan favorite is the silk and silk blend shirts. These lightweight, flowing fabric is silky to touch and feels amazing on. They’re easy, breezy and comfortable. The premium cotton shirts have a quality you can feel, and often feature interesting details like embroidered graphics or explosive prints!
“For me there’s no point in creating a line that you can find anywhere…” Alan says. I find … that most of the brands are doing the same basic, boring, solid color shirts or over-the-top prints that look a bit scary! I was a bit worried that my line looked very different compared to other vendors.”
That’s what we love about it! It’s fashion forward and it’s unlike anything else you’ll find out there. And at Brick & Mortar it’s always in stock. We have new orders of Oxford Lads that come in every month, so there’s always something fresh.
WeHo Dress Code: Brunch November 13 2015, 1 Comment
By Jose Hernandez
Sunday brunch in West Hollywood is like going to church in the South. Great food, drinks, and company make it a great opportunity to catch-up with friends. Not to mention that it can be the gateway drug to Sunday Funday. There are several hot spots that offer brunch over the weekend. These can be broken down into three main categories:
- The trendy hot spots – where you go to see and be seen
- The casual “recovery” spots – where you go to recover from the night before
- Brunch with a show (typically a drag show) – where you go when you just didn’t get your fix over the weekend and need an extra dose of fun
For a trendy hot spot, dressing to impress is the name of the game. The trick is to impress without looking like you’re trying too hard. A general guideline for putting together this kind of outfit is finding balance. Even though the restaurant vibe may be more upscale, it is understood that brunch is a more relaxed activity. Pair a nicer, more formal garment, with a more casual one. For example, a button down looks great with jeans, shorts, or khakis. It can look great with sneakers, motorcycle boots, or loafers.
If your outfit is looking too casual, but don’t have time to find something more formal to balance the look, grab a sports jacket. A dress jacket paired with a t-shirt and jeans can look chic and effortless.
A solid color t-shirt, paired with edgy pants can also work great. Paired with a trendy jacket, it can definitely build up a very fashionable look.
If you had a long night and you’re recovering at a casual spot, go for comfort without compromising your style. A great graphic tee with jeans and flip flops or sneakers can be great option.
For a fun drag brunch, take advantage and turn up the fab factor. Fun colors and cheeky graphic tees fit right in within this ambiance. Usually the vibe in these establishments is still very casual, but there is definitely more energy.
As far as a color palette for all three environments, it’s recommended to opt for lighter colors. Darker colors are fine, but going too dark can make it seem that you are still wearing the outfit from last night.
If you’re wondering about accessories, here are a few suggestions that could be helpful:
- Necklaces: If you’re wearing a print, go for a very simple design. Otherwise, wear a solid color shirt. Again, it’s all about balance and directing attention to where you want it.
- Bracelets: Coordinate them with the vibe of the outfit. It you’re going for a rock & roll look, silver or steel accents are great. If your look is more sophisticated, gold is always a great option. If you do not like bracelets, but want some wrist candy, opt for a metallic watch.
Wherever you decide to spend your Sunday morning/early afternoon, remember to have fun and enjoy the company. If you want to share your Sunday brunch style with us, use the hashtag #brickandmortarsundaybrunch and we’ll repost some of the best styles out there! Cheers!
Sports Luxe - Out of the Gym and Onto the Street February 04 2015, 0 Comments
You’ve most likely seen it by now: “dressy” sweatpants, fleece bomber jackets, or sparkling clean running shoes paired with a suit. If you haven’t, then let me introduce you to Sport Luxe (or Sporty Chic). It first appeared in a major way on the runways in 2012 when designers like Calvin Klein and Alexander Wang showcased sportswear elements into their shows. By mixing the best of sportwear (the comfort of sweats, the structure of fleece and vinyl) and pairing it with modern slim cuts, in more traditional colors you can create a look that’s appropriate for the street and inspired by the gym. From FashionBeans August 2012 article on Sports Luxe: “The element of luxury lay in the fabric and the cut, with garish neons being replaced with well placed zips and asymmetrical lines.” And now, in 2015 it’s still on and evolving.
Let’s start with gym pants, or sweats. They’re no longer resigned to lifting weights or running! Instead their appearing in clean, slim cuts with meticulous tailoring and details. Paired with a denim vest or an oversized graphic tee, they’ve now moved into the realm of high street fashion. The fit is most important when trying to achieve the Sport Luxe look. This is not sloppy or lazy. A slim tailored cut will provide a modern, clean look that remains comfortable. I’ve seen some great motocross hybrid action happen in the sweatpants realm. So look for reinforced stitching in the knees and cool zippers along the cuff.
While we’re on pants: there’s some great things happening in shorts in Sports Luxe as well! Again: modern slim fits, cut above the knee, but in sporty materials. We’ve seen some great mesh shorts with sublimated tonal graphics coming down the line this spring. And what’s great about Sports Luxe and shorts is that you can mix things like sweaters and button-down shirts with shorts to make a totally appropriate Southern California street styled outfit!
Another key look to come out of the Sports Luxe trend is the bomber jacket. Not just for the varsity team, these short cropped jackets with ribbed waist and cuff are totally fashion forward in materials like vinyl, leather or floral and animal prints. Pair a floral bomber with a slim pair of black sweats with a white button down for a perfect Sports Luxe look.
The final key to making this look work is the right accessories. Leave your headband and old tennis shoes at home for this look. Make sure to have clean, pristine sneakers or a pair of cool boat shoes. Leather or animal print (but not garish) baseball caps are definitely part of this look. And don’t forget long pendant necklaces and/or beaded and leather bracelets. It’s all about the juxtaposition of gym to luxury.
The Checked Pattern October 20 2014, 0 Comments
The check pattern (gingham, plaid, tartan) has been around for centuries, so it’s great to see this classic look back in street fashion in a big way! For a while, the plaid shirt was a symbol of rednecks and geeks, but it’s found way back onto the main stage and is showing up everywhere from shirts and pants to blazer and detailing. And with so many variable in the check pattern, there’s bound to be something for everyone!
After seeing the checked pattern on the runway at so many of the shows this last season (well not seeing them in person, just in other blogs and magazines J) it was no surprise to see so many brands incorporating them into their fall/winter looks. And in the tradition of everything old becomes new again, it’s a subtle nod to 90’s fashion; the best of grunge! Let’s take a look at some of the differences.
One of the big (literally) trends of the checked pattern this season is big, block checks. Look for wide checks with classic base colors of black and grey. These make excellent, audacious statement pieces in blazers and jackets. Pair it with solid chinos or jeans and tee and let the check stand out!
We all know plaid. It instantly speaks of woodsman and the outdoors, flannel and lumberjacks. It’s a beautiful, masculine pattern and has become a versatile classic. So it’s not just for the outdoors anymore! Plaid traditionally consists of vertical and horizontal lines of multiple colors that cross each other (with 2 major base colors). Look for plaid dress shirts and pair them with a solid bowtie. Layer a plaid shirt over a long tee and pair it with denim and boots for a classic fall look.
Gingham checks have been super popular for the last couple years. And while you might remember this pattern from your grandmother’s tablecloth, gingham is a classy, subtle way to bring the checked pattern into your wardrobe. This tight, square check design consists of two colors; white and a contrast color. The most versatile of the patterns, pair it with everything! Get creative and experiment with mixing patterns (gingham being a slightly more subtle pattern, the chances of looking trendy rather than crazy are much better!)
The check pattern is here to stay. Fun, versatile, masculine; it can be a head-to-toe look or just add a needed touch of pattern and color to an outfit. There really is something for everyone, and very little risk! Enjoy!
Short Sleeved Button-Downs (…and that top button!) May 03 2014, 0 Comments
Short sleeved button-downs are on trend again for summer! Button-down shirts in general have always been staple in men’s fashion, instantly adding a little dressy, refinement to any outfit, paired with jeans or pants!
The key to making a short sleeved button-down cool, (and not looking like a tech nerd) is in the styling and fit.
- Fit - Make sure your shirt fits you. The shirt’s sleeve seams should meet your shoulder. If the seam is too far in, you’ll look like the Hulk. Too far out, you’ll look sloppy. For the sleeve opening, you ultimately want it to be slightly larger than your bicep (enough for room, but slim enough so it doesn’t look oversized.) An easy fix here and trend for summer is to roll the sleeve up a couple times, it creates a fitted look and shows off them guns. If you’re really serious about fit, spend a couple dollars at the tailor (yes, you should have a tailor) and get a couple darts to put in the back, or have the sides taken in so the shirt isn’t billowing.
- Collars – There are a lot of collar options out there, and a lot of options that are in style right now. Probably the only one I would avoid is that giant 70’s collar. Give it some time, I’m sure it’ll come back around, but right now, the trend is on tailored, slim, slick (keep those keywords in mind) I personally enjoy a slim collar, or a button-down collar. They both feel very modern and on trend.
- Color/Print – Colors are simple. Choose colors that compliment your low-top shoes or sneakers, or if you’re wearing a fun sock, match to that! Have fun, it’s summer. Prints are definitely IN for summer. Micro-floral, busy prints, stripes, small polka dots…don’t be afraid: pair it with denim or khaki (shorts or pants) and you’ll be set! It’s a smaller area of fabric so it can be busier!
OK lastly, let’s talk about styling. We already addressed rolling up the sleeve. This is especially effective if your shirt has a contrast side to the material (i.e. a dark denim shirt has that light denim underside when rolled) Plus it helps define some bicep/tricep action; which is never a bad thing.
The top button: to button or not to button? That is the question! Granted, it is a little “hipster” to button that top button, but then again, a little hipster is in! I personally LOVE it. I think it takes some everyday outfits to a much cleaner, sophisticated “street-style” level. (Like if TimeOut New York was gonna take your picture for their “man on the street” section. You can tell I’m a New Yorker, I still think about these things when getting dressed. “What if Time Out NY saw me in this outfit? Would they photograph it?”)
When it’s buttoned all the way, I even like to add a necklace on the outside; a thick(ish) gold chain on the outside of my buttoned-up black floral print shirt, a longer silver pendant (from King Baby) on the outside of a short sleeved denim shirt. Ultimately though, you HAVE to feel confident in this. Otherwise you will come off looking like a Poindexter, and that’s just geeky.
Be sure to check out all the short sleeved button-downs we have in store!