Tag Archives: socks

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Fine and Dandy: The Men’s Accessories Oasis in Hell’s Kitchen

Fine and DandyIf you shopped for menswear exclusively in Hell’s Kitchen, you’d be limited to tank tops, disposable club clothes, deep v-necks tees that drop to the navel and lollipop colored shirts, shorts and pants from the Skittles Collection. For smart, handsome, well-crafted accessories on a more sophisticated level, like regular ties, bow ties, cufflinks, socks, hats, handkerchiefs, pocket squares, braces, belts, cummerbunds, flasks, business card holders, watch straps, wallets, grooming notions and more… you’d be at a big loss in this neighborhood. Until now.

On a recent walk along the north side of West 49th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues, I passed a storefront that had been vacant for ages. On this particular walk, something was quite different. There were lights on. Not only was the window warmly lit, but there were gorgeous ties and other handsome men’s accessories in the window. I looked up and saw the sign: “Fine and Dandy Shop: accessories for dapper guys.” What??? It seemed I had just stumbled upon a welcome oasis in a menswear desert. Even though I had just recently spent more than I should on assorted accessories, the Devil made me go in.

To step into Fine and Dandy is to almost step into another time. From the mild, masculine scent of woody musk in the air, to the sound of Chet Baker’s trumpet, you’re transported to a real man’s room of taste and refinement. The intimate space is at once warm, inviting and riddled with an exquisitely curated collection of almost every well-dressed man’s accessory you can think of. Everywhere you look, there is something to see, from the actual merchandise to the perfectly chosen vintage trims and touches that finish the room.

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The proprietors and partners are Matt Fox, a former theater manager, and Enrique Crame, III (pronounced Kra-May), a manager with Massimo Dutti, a division of Zara. After opening online at fineanddandyshop.com in 2008, they finally made a dream into a reality by opening their brick and mortar shop in the fall of 2012 at 445 West 49th Street in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC. The result is fantastic.

A great percentage of their line, like ties, scarves, handkerchiefs and more, is made in the U.S.A., with some even made right here in New York City. And in addition to the wearables, they also feature a gorgeous selection of shiny knick knacks like flasks, money clips, barware and grooming gear.

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My personal favorite surprise at Fine and Dandy was an endangered men’s undergarment I rarely (if ever) see at men’s shops: sock garters. Yes, sock garters! I was so jacked to see them that I might have squealed a little when I noticed them. As a stickler for showing no leg skin in a business, dress or formal situation, I’m a huge fan of sock garters. They’re perhaps a tad old man-ish by some standards, but since over-the-calf socks (or any socks that stay up) are harder to find, I think every man should have at least one pair. Fine and Dandy carries several, in an array of colors and patterns.

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On one of my recent visits to Fine and Dandy, I spoke with Matt about how it all started and what inspires him. While Matt was working for Jujamcyn as a manager of Broadway theaters and Enrique worked as a manager for Zara, they combined their own passion to the huge wave of interest in more sophisticated menswear on the blogs and on the streets of New York. The online shop was spawned four years ago as an exploratory hobby. After some online success and more great experiences doing pop-up shops at flea markets, particularly after a great run at the Chelsea Market Pop-Up last year, Matt and Enrique spent the greater part of 2012 planning for a brick and mortar space to add to their growing little empire. After some research on spaces in their range, they came upon the 300 square foot jewel on West 49th Street that they now occupy.

IMG_2214Deeply influenced by his grandfather, who taught him the importance of presenting oneself with care and flair, Matt has also been inspired by the likes of Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Gary Cooper, Frank Sinatra and other icons from Hollywood’s golden age. Matt and Enrique have also been heavily influenced by the guys they see on the streets in different pockets of the city, from Brooklyn to the East Village to Chelsea to Hell’s Kitchen, where they also live.

Being fully tuned in to the growing market of younger men who are interested in dressing well, they deliberately designed a very affordable price point for Fine and Dandy. Originally, the top ticket item on their online shop was $50, but they’ve opened up the peak price to just over $100 since opening the physical store, enabling discerning gents of all ages to acquire smart and well-made accents for their casual, work, dress and formal modes. The prices range from $4 for collar extenders to $50 for something like a stud & cufflink formal set all the way to $125 for a really handsome decanter.

I’m sure I’m not alone in expressing my gratitude that Matt and Enrique decided to set up shop in Hell’s Kitchen. Fine and Dandy is a very welcome addition to the neighborhood, providing a fabulous men’s emporium and another terrific local business to support. Do yourself a favor and pay them a visit. And get a pair of sock garters!

Fine and Dandy
445 West 49th Street (between 9th and 10th Aves.)
New York, NY 10019
(212) 247-4847
fineanddandyshop.com
@FineNDandyShop

More photos…

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Richer Poorer Socks at Maxton Men

Richer Poorer socks at Maxton Men: Rookie Red & Blue, Outlaw Orange, Outlaw Blue, Po Boy Dark Grey

The devil is in the details. It’s inspiring and refreshing to see a man who’s nicely turned-out. That said, there’s a certain breed of fashion green berets who take the idea way too seriously, which can be a bit of a bore. There are a few ways to add a dash of whimsy and show the world that you have both a smart sense of style and a good sense of humor

At the office, one has to be careful and use sound judgment. You need to carefully consider external variables like your boss, the nature of your business and the overall environment at work. But anywhere else, a bold splash of flare can remind the world that you don’t take your style (or yourself) so dead seriously.

A certain choice of tie, shirt, pocket square or cufflink can offset the man uniform quite well. Another great way is with socks. Socks can be a blast, and Maxton Men has just added a few new pairs from the spring collection of California men’s sockery Richer Poorer.

The socks are 68% combed cotton, 16% polyester, 13% nylon and 3% spandex, and they fit men’s sizes 6-12. They’re $12/pair.

Get some.

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Essentials: Dress Socks

Sock Garters - Copyright © LIFE Magazine

My hard rule about dress socks: show no skin. For some reason, the majority of dress socks I see in stores are really crew socks that don’t cover the calf, causing the socks to slide down after taking a few steps, showing the world a little leg when we sit down.

The simple solution is to find smart man hosiery that is long enough, like Gold Toe® Over The Calf socks. If you have some great looking pairs of mid-calf socks you love, the other solution is to wear sock garters. (Yes, I have a pair.)

Whimsically striped or colored socks in a casual setting are a different story. For some reason – and this is just my opinion – I think it’s okay when a handsome pair of colored or striped casual socks slide down and reveal a little leg under jeans, chinos or other casual trousers. Sort of charming, in fact.

But when it comes to proper formal, semi-formal or business attire, the only skin we should see should be above the collar and below the wrist.

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A Splash of Flair: Socks

Striped socks by Paul Smith


With menswear, there are some basic areas where we can express a smart dose of flair: tie, pocket square, cuff links, a ring (one, not three). This is a perfect example of how to do it with socks. The beautiful man-hose in this particular photo are from British designer Paul Smith (and are available at Saks Fifth Avenue), but I have found similar kinds of socks at places like Century 21 and H&M that are equally as fun and exponentially cheaper. Keep it simple and express your flair, but be sure to do it judiciously.

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Season of The Gift: John Bartlett’s Tiny Tim Collection

Guys' Tiny Tim Hoodie in black

Veteran men’s designer John Bartlett has a stellar collection of extremely handsome wearable casual threads called the Tiny Tim Collection, named after his dog Tiny Tim.

John really knows how to design for a guy. He’s included terrific tees (short and long sleeve), sweaters, hoodies, sweatshirts, union suits, belts, organic cotton tote bags, yoga bags and more. 10% of the profits from the John’s site go to the Tiny Tim Rescue Fund.

About the fund:

The Tiny Tim Rescue Fund is dedicated to raising and distributing funds to independent rescue groups who are pulling directly from the high-risk shelters and saving the lives of countless dogs. The money raised by the Tiny Tim Rescue Fund goes to providing these dogs with medical attention, foster parents and, eventually, a loving forever home – a place all pets deserve.

Get yourself some smart duds and do a solid for Man’s Best Friend.

http://www.johnbartlettny.com/