Saturday, January 31, 2009

Super Bowl chic

Each year, as Americans congregate at households or sports bars or wherever there's a large screen, the Super Bowl is a big deal. Here's a smattering of what's at stake: Rooting interests of entire metropolitan areas; Creative ads that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to air; and who's going to Disney World as the game's MVP.

If you're lucky enough to be going to Tampa for the game, you're obviously not going to the stadium dressed the same as the average Joe (the fill-in-the-blank) who's watching on TV.

So let's break down the sartorial options. First, the common goals:
  • Dress comfortably. It's going to be warmer in Tampa than, say, Pittsburgh, so a cotton windbreaker in Tampa Stadium should get the same result as a wool sweater in the Steel City. For the latter, just remove the sweater should it get too warm indoors.
  • Go casual all the way. It's jeans, T shirts, Under Armour gear, whatever does it for you.
  • Colors are important. You can ward off the potentially annoying question of whom you're rooting for by wearing red and white if you're pulling for the Cardinals or black and gold for the Steelers.

And now, things to avoid:

  • Put non-contending team gear away. If you don't have as much of a rooting interest in this year's Super Bowl, do not wear the colors of your favorite team. The reason is quite simple: The season is over for teams that are not the Cardinals or Steelers. Wait until after the game to resume wearing your favorite team's gear and/or colors in anticipation of next season. If you go neutral, wear khakis or jeans and a solid shirt (white or gray).
  • Take off ties after church. Come game time (6:18pm EST on NBC) on Sunday, no ties. It'll be your fault for exposing your tie to beer that may get spilled on you by accident.
  • It's not a fashion show. No need to buy new clothes for the Super Bowl. Really. People won't go out of their way to notice what your wearing, just whether you're interested in football, if you're hungry, and what you'd like to drink.

But, if you must have stuff to get in the gridiron spirit, I recommend the following "old school" items:

Enjoy the game.

Shopped 'til you drop? Now see this movie

Check out my take on "Confessions of a Shopaholic" on, where even men can learn a thing or two about when the desire to look good goes to the extreme.

Maybe we're too cool for that -- on the outside -- but for those guys who take their look seriously, take a little time out and check out this (not just for chick) flick.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Presidential look is in

Take a look at my entry in on Barack Obama's power attire that sets the visual stage for his historic speech in Washington on Tuesday.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Bargain hunter update

The economic downturn has posed a challenge for retailers to be successful and for consumers to manage their finances more efficiently.

In other words, prices are coming down to encourage spending. But how low can they go before buyers bite?

The fundamentals still apply. Know what you have in your closet and assess what you'd like to have in advance. When you see something that's on your radar at a reasonable price, that's the time to strike.

I wish I could say this happens to me all the time, but I have neither infinite good luck nor resources. I can, however, relate this:

On New Year's Day at the factory outlets in San Marcos, Texas, I came across a Polo Ralph Lauren cashmere/wool blend sportcoat that retailed at $1,895. After discounts and sales tax, I wound up paying $140. I was stunned to realize that the jacket was there for me to purchase at that price point.

This isn't the first (see previous blog entries) and probably not the last item I'll encounter on sale for that good a deal. But choose wisely. Check out the garment thoroughly, and then decide whether it fits into your budget. You can certainly look good for less, but only if you have the confidence to afford it without guilt.

Good luck.