Thursday, November 27, 2008

If the suit fits, don't 'waist' it

Thanksgiving is a time for reflection on what we have and what we value in our lives.

When it comes to clothes, those who eat well can expect extra calories to burn off in the gym, or else ...

Expanding waistlines can prompt a review of what's in your closet.

If you plan on purchasing a suit, one consideration is to allow the pants to fit somewhat loose, so that when you eat a large meal, you won't have to unfasten the top button on the trousers. Have suspender buttons sewn to the inside of the waistband so that you'll feel less restricted than you might be in wearing a belt. You also gain an option for accessorizing.

I checked my closet this morning, before eating a delicious Thanksgiving meal. There was already a suit in which the trousers fit too tightly now. My solid gray tropical wool Canali is close to retirement, unless I can shed about 10 pounds off the waist.

You better believe I'll be in aerobics class the next day. I like my suits.

Ah, well ... that's my Style Point for the holiday. Bon appetit.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Score some 'guy' stuff for the holidays

Baseball is said to be America's pastime, but football embodies America's passion.

Especially in Texas, where football rules from Pop Warner to pro. That said, finding gifts with a football theme is pretty easy. The hard part is doing it with style.

To wit: Instead of giving the standard-issue pigskin football for Christmas, try the bison leather football from Orvis ($98), which has an old-school look and feel. Clearly the coolest-lookin' item I've seen in a while.

Why stop there? If you're going old school, you might as well go all out. The 10-CD set called Autumn Thunder: 40 Years of NFL Films Music (about $100) is the ultimate compilation of "getting pumped" to the sounds of victory marches and dramatic interludes. The listener likely will go back in the days of hard hits and John Facenda narrating highlights in slow motion. Memorable stuff.

And for those who clearly want to go over the top ... The Super Bowl XL Opus can be found on for the princely sum of $3,000, and for $40,000 for a copy autographed by all the Super Bowl MVPs. The leather-bound book is 950 pages, weighs 90 pounds and boasts stellar photography. I witnessed a copy that Saks Fifth Avenue has at the Galleria. What a sight.

So, if you're wondering what to get men for Christmas, any of the above are can't-miss.

Happy holiday shopping!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Putting holiday shopping strategies to work

The economy is heading toward recession, credit is tighter and vigilance on disposable income is increasing. Putting gifts under the tree, however, isn't impossible. In fact, the challenge is almost welcomed because the current economic climate brings out creative choices from budget constraints.

One of the most efficient gifts to give for Christmas is the gift card. Be it for restaurants or retail stores, the gift card can be used by the recipient for whatever items (s)he desires up to the value of the card. When purchasing the card, you're able to assign a dollar amount that you can budget easily for gifts.

Next, follow the sales. Wal-Mart, the only major retailer to post a quarterly profit according to recent reports, is rolling out its discounts before Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. Check the Sunday newspaper ads for the best deals.

If you're really looking to save money on larger-ticket items, the best sales begin after Christmas, though it would be nice to have something under the tree to celebrate the holiday. Start with a small gift to mark the holiday, then convey a "surprise" is forthcoming. It might be a tough sell, especially for youngsters who think they've been good boys and girls and should not have to wait longer than necessary, but with today's economy, patience has its reward in additional savings.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President Obama has a nice ring to it

Tuesday's election of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for President of the United States resulted in an outpouring of joy nationwide and around the world (though Russia seems a bit disgruntled).

Only in America ...

So far in my lifetime, I have seen the Boston Red Sox win the World Series not once but twice after several generations of angst among New Englanders.

But an African American running the U.S.? That's another story entirely.

What an outcome. The celebration begins, but soon it will be business as usual.

President (elect) Obama has his work cut out for him, and so do the rest of us.