new.

And so ends another great week in 2016; another getaway, another nap curled up on the couch, another lunch comprised of leftovers from brunch and another week where I wore a sweater to work backwards by accident. I love 2016 already. Everything about its sleep-in-late-and-watch-The-Hangover-3-while-your-boyfriend-makes-breakfast kind of mood has been good for my soul. It’s been a long time coming but I think that 2016 is going to be quite the year.

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Lazy days have been filling up my weekend calendar.

Keep reading for some of the new things I’ve experienced so far.

Continue reading new.

Brand (& Giveaway) I’m Loving: Category 5

If there’s one thing I love more than shopping, it’s shopping local and there’s nothing better than supporting local businesses and brands. Today’s focus is on a locally owned brand you’re going to love just in time for summer.

Meet Category 5.

Boat shoes: Not just for him anymore.
Boat shoes: Not just for him anymore. (Via VentureFizz.com)

Continue reading Brand (& Giveaway) I’m Loving: Category 5

How To Dress Like A Gentleman

A guy with a basic understanding of dressing well: Abut as important as my daily cup of Joe.
A guy with a basic understanding of how to dress well is about as important as my daily cup of Joe.

Attention city girls, this post is not for you. This post might be for you if; your man (be it a father, brother, friend or boyfriend) needs a closet makeover, your significant other has requested your help in a fashion upgrade or you, as a self-respecting man, have decided that all of your tees (which are all in your favorite team colors and have someone else’s last name on the back) vastly outnumber the number of other shirts you own by about 1:0. Fear not style-concious people, this post is dedicated to you. Below I’ve included some of the most versatile items every man should have in their wardrobe. In other words, A City Girl’s Guide To Life: Where girl code means bro code, fashion-edition.

1. Aviators:

There's a reason ladies love Zac Efron and its not because of that weird tee shirt...
There’s a reason ladies love Zac Efron’s cool look and it’s not because of that weird tee shirt…

Taking a style tip from one of the wisest and practical fashion gurus on the planet, if you’re going to invest in any single piece to upgrade your look this is it. Since there is no way you didn’t think Tom Cruise was the man in Top Gun with his shades or that Brad Pitt absolutely nailed the whole tough guy thing in Fight Club, here’s the fastest way to get that look. “They are an eternally and universally fashionable shade that instantly brings out the cool factor.” And chances are, if they’re cool enough for Leonardo DiCaprio (see also The Aviator), then they’re cool enough for the ladies too.

2. Belt(s):

He's all about the "Suit & Tie" but JT also knows a thing or two about rockin' a belt.
He’s all about the “Suit & Tie” but JT also knows a thing or two about rockin’ a belt.

I don’t care what your buddies said to you in middle school but there is nothing “chill” about wearing your pants so low that the whole world can see whether you’re a boxers or briefs guy. For women, belts can make her look slimmer, pulled together and accentuate curves. For guys, its all about polishing a look that should already include pants that fit properly. Stick to black or brown leather if you’re going for versatility but step it up by picking a shiny gold or silver buckle. This man-cessory will work with everything from shorts to suiting if you can keep it in good condition.

3. Blazer/ Sports coat:

Proof that a blazer doesn't mean that you need to be dressed like you're going to the Prom.
Proof that a blazer doesn’t mean that you need to be dressed like you’re going to the Prom.

In your life you will stumble on at least one event a year where being classy is necessary. It could be a wedding, a funeral, a job interview, a work party, a first date…whatever. If you’re a skinny jeans guy, throw on a blazer with a dark pair of denim. If you’re a khakis guy, navy sports coats are perfect for late summer gatherings. “The beauty of a blazer is that is does a tango between…the formal and the casual, the preppy and the trendy, the smart and the sexy” depending on how you pair it. “You can’t quite pin it down and therein lies its charm.” (Also, ladies like a guy who can clean up. Fact.)

4. Boots:

An "Average Joe" who knows that boots are the best.
An “Average Joe” who knows that boots are the best.

No, you cannot always wear sneakers or boat shoes or flip flops. You look ridiculous, your shoes get worn out ten times as fast and it isn’t good for your feet. Boots make for a nice substitute whatever style you choose. A few of my favorite tips for this kind of footwear include;

When going “cowboy-style”: “Hanes T-shirts and your favorite pair of Levi’s (jeans over the boots always)” is the easiest way to own this look like you have been doing so your whole life.

“Spend a little money. A good pair of boots will become a part of you. After you’ve worn them long enough, they’ll be some of the most comfortable shoes in your closet.”

“Most important, you have to beat them up.” The results of your “breaking in” process should show a little bit if you don’t want to look too pretentious.

5. Boyfriend cardigan:

If you haven't gotten enough tips on how to be a ladies' man from Ryan Gosling, here's another one...
If you haven’t gotten enough tips on how to be a ladies’ man from Ryan Gosling, here’s another one

There’s a reason this piece this unisex fashion staple ends up on “must have” list every season: it looks good on everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a boyfriend or you have a boyfriend, cardigans are the easiest, lightest way to warm up on a chilly day or get points by throwing it over someone’s chilly shoulders. “The best version to look for has four buttons, with two pockets at the front.” It can be cable-knit or cashmere, patterned or plain. The only requirement is that it should look like something that could have come out of your Dad’s closet, your grandpa’s winter chest or your hipster brother’s laundry basket. (Just please make sure it’s clean!)

What did I miss? Does your favorite guy have something in his closet you think every guy should own? Sound off in the comments below!

xo, Vanessa

*All quotes from Nina Garcia’s The One Hundred