Pocket Squares

We’re going to be updating this on the regular now that Brad and I are back in Chicago and off from our long break.

I’ve recently purchased some new ties and to go along with this I’ve been purchasing pocket squares to wear with them. A good pocket square can make any suit seem infinitely less plain and will give you a subtle spark of life.

I purchased this dandy off the site Topman 

A good rule of thumb when purchasing a pocket square is to make sure it contrasts nicely with your suit yet easily matches your tie. If it doesn’t draw the eye, than it’s not doing it’s job.



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Winter Woes

I’ve spent the last few weeks searching for that perfect gift, a perfect gift for myself. What do I want?

I want a blue suit. Well not just any blue. I want a royal blue suit that I often see on men from Milan. All the American men wear blue suits that are basically navy-black, or are like blue steel colors. I want a blue suit that will enhance the browns in my shoes, and will act as a lovely backdrop for my gorgeous brown hair.

See this guy? I could be him, right now, in my blue suit:

but I’m not right now. I’m blue suit-less.  I’ve been checking everywhere I know too. I might have to crack down and start saving up my bank accounts to purchase from a real tailor and get this bad boy handmade. Wow, what an exciting day for me that will be.

Winter break is still in effect.

I’m off to Florida for the week soon, so maybe I’ll do a warm weather write up!



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a lady’s perspective

cognac & navy, recently on the sartorialist

My name is Krissie. I adore the sight of a dapper young man. A well-dressed man’s makeoutability increases at least threefold over some of his less clothing-aware buddies.  I also adore men’s fashion in general—its simplicity and adherence to tradition is what I find most appealing about the “art” of menswear. I moonlight as a men’s stylist. I stand only at 5 feet tall and act like a real spaz, but for some reason men trust me enough to buy what I suggest. It’s super fun and I’ve learned a lot from it. Unfortunately, mostly what I’ve learned is a dark truth: the average man has no concept of fashion. This is really sad, because menswear is simple enough that anyone can look good just by following some rules. Here are a few suggestions that have been inspired by the men I’ve shopped with:

1. Don’t buy all of your shoes in black. I’ve seen a lot of men who completely shy away from shades of brown. However, brown is the most versatile color. And honestly, a nice cognac shoe with a navy suit can turn a decent looking schlump into a dude I’d like to sleep with immediately. Black shoes, on the other hand, can sometimes make outfits look dated. Black shoes are for black suits. When purchasing a desert boot or a wingtip oxford (brogue), stick with shades of brown for the most use.

2. Enlist the help of sales associates. There is truly nothing better than really great customer service. And if you don’t have a girlfriend (which will surely change if you become more cognizant of your clothing choices!) or a personal shopper, your only hope might be a knowledgeable sales person. Of course, some associates and stores are better than others. I’ve had nothing but great luck shopping at Nordstrom. The sales team is helpful but not pushy. They typically make great suggestions and understand the stock. Build a relationship with an associate who you like. They can save you a lot of time while keeping you in your budget.

3. Tee-shirts don’t have to be dingey, terrible things. There is such a thing as a nice tee-shirt. Guys who seek the extra-casual look can still look good. A well-fitted tee is probably one of the most attractive clothing pieces a guy can wear. Guys who have a nice amount of chest hair can (a little, but not too much) look really smoking hot in American Apparel deep V-necks (I prefer the tri-blends). J. Crew always has a selection of nice tees at decent prices. Focus on the material and please for the sake of fashion, do not buy graphic tees, especially if they are of the Ed Hardy genre. Those squiggly lines and skulls are truly awful. On the other hand, if you are reading this blog, you are hopefully not that far out of touch with fashion to be buying those so maybe I am just preaching to the choir.

4. Wear dark jeans. This is might be an “enough said” statement. Light wash jeans are really tragic in most cases. The darker, the better.

5. Please buy a great coat. I think a really easy way of making your personal style just a tad bit better is investing in some great outerwear. If you live in Cleveland (like I do), or another freezing city, you will be seen by the most people in your outerwear. I like military style jackets right now for both men and women. Additionally, a great scarf and tweed driver’s cap exudes class and style. My heart melts at the sight of a young gentlemen wearing well-fitted and modern outerwear.



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We’re Back.

Dear interwebs,

Foremost, I owe you an apology for our most recent absence. I just got finished working on finals for school and as you may or may not know, those can be a bit time consuming.

But I’m here to say: We’re back in action. Recently, I’ve stumbled upon quite a few things I want to share with you. I have lots of free time since I work about 40 hrs a week but yet seemingly have little to do. So what better way than to constantly bombard you with blog posts?

Have you ever been to Uncrate? “The Buyer’s Guide for Men” is a nice, simply designed website that offers daily posts on things you can buy your bros or your manly loved ones.  I have to offer big props to my friend, Dan Rosenthal, for showing me this. My personal favorite gift they are showcasing right now is the Swiss Army Surplus Axes. Their sleek nature is  somehow seem both utilitarian and fashionably decadent.

Check it out below:








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Khaki Monsters

After much time, harrassment, and the good conscious of Mr. Nosan, I, Austin, finally make my debut amongst such veterans that write for this blog. My goal with this and every other writing is to maintain what we here at Crooks do best, but you already knew that. Along those same lines, I want to bring a perspective that my counterparts do not have, and that is living within the epicenter of all law, regulation, and a different sense of style that is Washington, D.C. I promise no lengthy introductions will follow this one, so here we go!

Having only moved to the District recently, one thing has become very evident, an observation I will date back to many times. That being of what I refer to as the ‘khaki monsters’, commonly known as the nine to five government worker. Take a walk on the mall or through Capital Hill on a weekday and prepare for the inundation of pleated khakis. Now while this not only is not the focus of this post, nor is it necessarily a bad thing, I know that this subject will most likely carry over to a majority of my posts, as this sets the precedent and standard for why everything else is so different/weird/awesome in The District. With all of that said, the focus of this post is one thing, and one thing only, RINGS. 

The subtleties and not so subtle statements of rings, I feel, tend to be lost amongst a fashion community more focused on bigger pieces. I personally have a knack for jewelry, being that a simple piece can set off a whole look. Such as this double ring, which various venders carry, such as Surface To Air, for a variety of prices and styles. Pending on what you are looking for, and how subtle or not subtle you feel like, you can always opt for a conversation starter from Surface To Air as well. Overall, jewelry offers a unique opportunity to set off your own personality in interesting ways.

Once again, I apologize if this post rants, rambles, or strays from the objective, but they will only progress from here. The District offers a very interesting prospective, and I hope to relay my vision onto all of you. This is the start of a beautiful relationship.



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Christmas Time is Here. Happiness and Cheer.

Hey-o internet world. I’ve been thinking a lot about what you need for this upcoming wintery world (assuming you live in a snowy hell like I do, ie. Chicago). The cold weather, the wind, the rising wet snow all around your feet…it can be a tumultous time for you.

So foremost, let me recommend the comforts of some wool trousers. I just bought a pair of grey wool trousers from H&M for $50 and I am in love. Not only are they exponentially warmer than your cotton slacks or jeans, but the thicker material breaks quite well against your shoes for a very natural cuff. I personally recommend these:

To go with your warm new slacks, you’re going to either need to upgrade the protection on your shoes or buy some quality boots. I really don’t reccomennd the idea of galoshes. For me, they take too long to take off and look kind of tacky. This ehow article explains clearly how to take care of your leather shoes in all weather.

However, if you do feel the need to upgrade into some boots, allow me to steer you towards Grenson‘s brogue-style boots. Sure, they are leather and will need treatment as well. But they combine the no-frills look that a boot requires to stomp through snow with a bit of stitching detail that your friends will be envious of.

I’m pretty much foaming at the mouth thinking about these. Check back later this week to see what you should wear on the top of your body.


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Chicago Street Style

Everyone loves a good street style blog and now for those of us residing in Chicago, there is now one for us.

Run by Chicago resident Amy Creyer, Chicago Streetstyle Scene is a collection of photographs taken by Amy of the people of Chicago and their various syles and influences.  What I enjoy most about their mission at Chicago Street Style is that they aim to “present an authentic vision of the streets of Chicago as they appear. Therefore we aim to include a wide variety of styles and looks, not just the traditionally ‘fashionable.’ ” As opposed to portraying the people of Chicago as overly glamorous and fashionable like the swanky high rises downtown, Chicago Street Style treats all the people photographed as an inherent part of the city’s urban fabric.

We know that a city is not just made of sky scrapers, but also houses, projects, restaurants, streets and stop signs. Likewise, people have many different understandings of style and what they think looks rad as hell, and Chicago Street Style appreciates this and this philosophy can be seen in the photographs.

p.s. She snapped a picture of me the other.



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