National Capitol Columns

“We have built no temple but the Capitol. We consult no common oracle but the Constitution.”

On a grassy hilltop on the grounds of the National Arboretum stand 22 stately Corinthian columns. They originally stood at the East Portico – the covered entrance – to the Capitol building, where they witnessed the inauguration of 27 Presidents. Reminiscent of the ruins of ancient Persepolis or a forgotten Roman temple, they are an elegant reminder of the history of Washington, D.C., and the changes that have shaped the city.


Continue reading “National Capitol Columns”

Thomas Circle

“The Rock of Chickamauga”

Thomas Circle sits on the intersections of 14th Street NW, M Street NW, Massachusetts Avenue, and Vermont Avenue. To the north are the trendier blocks of 14th Street, and to the south is the heart of downtown D.C. While Thomas Circle doesn’t define its neighborhood the way Du Pont Circle or Logan Circle do, it has its own personality. The National City Christian Church dominates the circle while the rest is ringed by businesses and hotels. Visit the rooftop bar of the Donovan hotel for an amazing view of the circle and the District.

Continue reading “Thomas Circle”

Style Safari: Shoes

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about shoes this month. I’ve also spent a lot of time writing about shoes this month. One of the most important things I learned is that nice shoes are more expensive than the sneakers we buy at a box store. But, when buying shoes, the price does not reflect the value of the shoe. The true value of the shoe is in how long it will last relative to the price. The H&M brogues I bought for around $100 were a good buy because if I take care of them, they will continue to make me look good for the next 10 years or more. I’ve never said that about a pair of cheap sneakers.

The next bit is a tad nuanced. First of all, wear what we like. Wear what makes us happy. But never forget that the world (our friends, our family, that pretty girl on the bus) sees us differently than we view ourselves. It’s not easy walking that thin line between the subjective and the objective, the personal and the public, but it’s possible. And this cuts to the very core of style and fashion: at the same time it is a statement of individuality, and a statement of collective identity.

I hope to explore these ideas more throughout the year. Until then, here’s what I shot on this safari.

Belk $165
Oxford Wingtips. Belk. $165

Continue reading “Style Safari: Shoes”

Tying it Together

I only tend to pay attention to my shoe laces when they break or they are uneven. I’ve never even questioned how I lace my shoes, let alone why I do it that way. But it turns out there’s more than one way to lace a shoe. More importantly, there’s more than one why to lace a shoe as well.

The best resource for lacing shoes online is Ian’s Shoelace Site. Using his tutorials and explanations I’m going to give the shoes I wear most often a lacing makeover.

Display Lacing

Even though my brown brogues have an open throat, the eyelet flaps come completely together over the tongue. I went with a lacing that looks minimal and also hides the laces at the top. The only drawback to this lacing is that it can be difficult to tighten.

brownBrogue Continue reading “Tying it Together”

Colors and Combining Them

When I began looking in my closet to think about which clothes would come together well to make a good outfit, I thought about the criterion I had set up for the selection: “what I think looks good.” And one of the things I think of when I get dressed is “does this match?”

Actually, that’s what I’d like to be thinking. Right now I think “does this clash?” because I can recognize what looks awful, but what I need to know is how to put colors together. I found lots of opinions and a dose of science, but central to all of it is the color wheel.

color-wheel Continue reading “Colors and Combining Them”

Task 3 – Make an Outfit: Closet

Make an Outfit is a regular feature that is exactly what it sounds like. This week I’ll be digging through my (as yet uncurated) closet to put together at least one outfit. I’m not going to follow any hard rules for this task. Instead I’m going to focus on what I think looks good. I’ve also got some newer clothes I’ve bought since starting this … Continue reading Task 3 – Make an Outfit: Closet

‘One can never have enough socks’ – Albus Dumbledore

Rarely seen – and often overlooked – our choice of socks can either make or break an outfit. Most men, myself included, have two types of socks: black and white. From a functional standpoint that’s all we need. But today we’re going for fashion over function.

The most simple and most unbreakable rule of socks is only wear white socks with athletic shoes. The ultra-orthodox will even tell us not to wear our white socks with our jeans but I think that depends on what we’re doing in our jeans.


Continue reading “‘One can never have enough socks’ – Albus Dumbledore”

I Know Where Oxford Is but I Don’t Know What an Oxford Is.

Or at least I didn’t until I started doing research for this project. But that got me thinking about how much I didn’t know. So after digging around in a few blogs I’ve come up with a list of shoe types and terms to learn about in my quest to be a style hero. Once I’m done with my research I’m going into the retail jungle of the mall to find these shoes and styles in the wild. This is Style Safari.

Boat Shoes
The traditional boat shoe has a slip resistant sole, is made of oil treated leather, and is worn without socks. They were invented by Paul Sperry in 1935 to help him get around on his boat. This is a shoe for warm weather and for getting wet.

boat shoes

This style of shoe is characterized by its multi-piece, leather construction and the perforations along the edges of the leather pieces. The brogue was originally an outdoor shoe and these perforations allowed water to drain from the shoe. Now the perforations are decorative and the shoes have become more formal.


Continue reading “I Know Where Oxford Is but I Don’t Know What an Oxford Is.”