Whenever I see Norris Ford or Quentin Thrash, I have to stop and look them over.
What these LA stylists known as Norris x Thrash pull off seems improbable when you take apart the details—beads, espadrilles, starched pocket squares—but they have a serious and singular knack for putting things together.
There’s clearly a vision involved. Otherwise, I don’t know how you could throw so many different colors, textures and concepts into the blender, and make the final product look just so. Their work is a sort of alchemy, where the sum is greater than its parts and whatever or whomever’s been styled by them looks good—smooth, masculine and creative.
Even when the look is tame, stylists Norris X Thrash add a bit of something…
If you’ve ever talked to me about male style for even a second, you know my lament…too many American guys suffer from a serious deficit of dressing knowing-how. There are far too many guys who are hiding their fine selves under baggy sweatshirts and other horrors—okay fine—such as:droopy basketball shorts, shapeless pants with too much fabric in the seat, and anything that remotely looks like a puffy sweatshirt. Why? Because they don’t know another way.
But any guy can look fantastic, even if he’s headed to his job at RadioShack or walking to the diner on Sunday morning for waffles. A lot has to do with his demeanor, granted, but the accoutrements—grooming, clothes, shoes—matter.
So, in the interest of publicizing the fundamentals of everyday dressing, I cornered style maestros Norris X Thrash at an event and asked them for their top tips.
Norris x Thrash Basic Dressing Dos’ for Guys
Fit. Find a good tailor. The way that things fit is key.
Proportion. Everything has to be in proportion with your body.
Color. Know what colors work best for you. Color is really big.
Frame your Face. You always want your outfit to compliment your face. You want your clothes to be the frame that leads to your face. That’s always the focal point.
Norris, Me, Thrash
These male style tips may seem basic, but the execution can be complex. Lucky for you, chap, there is only one person you have to dress, and his name is I.
So take these four golden rules of dressing and apply them to everything you currently own—and are considering owning in the future. Don’t be afraid of getting rid of dead weight in your closet. Better you own a handful of items that fit your perfectly, visually balance your physique, flatter your skin-hair-eye combo and bring attention to your face—than a closet full of nothing.
If you a woman who happens to be reading this because you want to help a guy in revealing his hotness to the world— Congratulations! Now go preach the good word to him!
Parting note: Aside from their work as stylists, Norris X Thrash are doing an incredible job of shining a light on design talent in LA. They are a huge part of LA Men’s Fashion Week and also do consulting for brands. Find them here: www.norrisxthrash.com.
I’ve been wanting to write about ties for a while.
They are a fairly vital part of a man’s style arsenal. A tie can pull together a man’s look (or not), plus transmit his personal style sensibility in an instant. The location of the tie, on the heart of the body and close to the face, makes it an accoutrement that every man should put some thought into.
Even the man who purports to hate ties and dressing up and all that stuff should know he’ll be wearing a tie on some fairly key occasions in life…perhaps at his prom, wedding, while doing grown-up work stuff and, um, at a funeral. And that’s the short list of occasions where a man really should sport a tie.
Omar Sayyed, President and COO of Ties.com
Omar Sayyed is President and COO of Ties.com. He spends much of his walking hours curating lines for the upcoming season as well as developing new lines of products, like wood tie bars, which have been a big seller at his company.
He was very kind to offer some serious tie expertise to Practical Glamour. Whether you are a guy (I’m finding there are a lot of you visiting this site these days), or a lady who wants to help her guy look his most excellent, read on for Omar’s advice.
Constance: Skinny, regular or bow-tie. How does a man know which silhouette is best for him?
Omar Sayyed: Generally speaking a more slender guy should wear a skinny tie or bow tie. If you’re a little heavy up top or your have a larger body frame stick to the classic regular tie.
A bow tie is for everyone. We’ve seen a huge resurgence of men buying bow ties. Bow ties have the same popularity has ties in many parts of the country. No one should really limit themselves based on their silhouette, but rather with what looks good with your outfit.
“A bow tie is for everyone.”~Omar Sayyed, Ties.com
Constance: I love that Ties.com offers a cornucopia of ties in nearly any imaginable color, texture and silhouette. And the prices are very modest. What do you say to the guy who is used to spending more on a tie?
In other words, tell me about quality at Ties.com.
Omar Sayyed: We have been in the necktie business for well over 12 years now and we design and manufacture all of our ties in-house. Our quality is the best in the industry.
When we opened our doors, we wanted to offer a simple way for men to shop for neckties, bow ties and other fashion accessories. Along the way, we figured we could manufacture our products ourselves and pass on the savings. If you’re used to paying more, I urge you to at least give us a try once.
If you don’t like our products or think you’re still better off paying $50 – $90 at your local store, we’ll refund you’re money. We spend a great deal of time thinking of our production procedures and we’ve looked at how some name brands produce theirs and I can attest that each time you compare our products to a competitor, you will realize how much better our products, packaging and delivery really is.
Constance: Unlike women, men have a limited repertoire of garments at their style disposal (think slacks, blazer, shirt). I think ties are a great way for a man to bust out some individual style.
Omar Sayyed: I agree. Women are always accessorizing and putting the final touches on their outfits. In the last two years, men have began to do this as well.
Besides a necktie or a bow tie to finish you’re look, you can add a tie bar or a pocket square. Soon we will start carrying lapel flowers which is also a great way to finish off a menswear look.
Constance: What is a safe choice, tie wise, for the traditional office guy who is looking to bring a bit of personality and color to his everyday slacks and button-up combo?
Omar Sayyed: So all men should really carry a black silk tie. I carry one in my car, when I travel, and of course at my desk. The black necktie is to a man as a black dress is to a woman.
I will finish by saying that you can really rock a black tie almost any day of the week with the right blazer. I find that I go to my black skinny silk tie at least twice a month. For a man that has more than 400 ties, that’s saying a lot.
A few years ago, Hayden was doing what millions of other twenty-something Millennials are doing: Scraping by on a series of minimum wage jobs and wanting more.
With no shop or office space, he learned how to fix iPhones and started making house calls, ending up at construction sites and doctors’ offices where he’d fix customers’ phones on the fly while they kept working.
With an innate entrepreneurial fire stoked, Hayden continued to grow his business (myibroke.com), which led him to start another business centered on websites and online marketing.
The confidence of achievement, particularly one that’s on your own terms, has a certain affect on a man or woman. A good one.
Dawes, who previously felt the nerves while in plush, traditional office quarters, has altered little of his personal style in the face of his growing success. It’s a brand of uncontrived hipness telegraphed with a steady gaze, polished, mostly denim ensembles, and unhurried speaking style tinged with pure Virginian, despite his time in South Florida.
So I grilled him for some tips on how to keep one’s personal presentation its most authentic and attractive no matter what rung you might be on your personal success ladder.
In his earliest days: “It was nerve wracking. I had never worked in any kind of setting as a professional. I did not have nice dress clothes. I was showing up at big, baller executive suites. They would be standing over my shoulder watching me do something I had done for, maybe, the third time in my life.”
“I don’t feel uncomfortable around ‘professionals’ anymore. I don’t look like your typical business executive. I have a beard and a laidback wardrobe. In the past I felt uncomfortable but now I’m okay with this because it’s working for me.”
His ‘work uniform’: “A collared shirt and denims. A collared shirt projects professionalism.”
Dressing up: “I’ll add a seersucker suit jacket over a collared shirt if I feel like peacocking. I love seersucker.”
Favorite jeans: “Levi red tag, button-fly 501s. Original cut.”
Beard maintenance: “People think beards are this low-maintenance look. Actually, you have to take care of your beard. They are high-maintenance. I use Pantene Pro-V Brunette Expressions to shampoo it, and Herbal Essence conditioner.”
On cultivating individual style: “When people try to look hip they often end up looking weird. Don’t go out and buy jeans that look worn. Buy a pair of jeans and wear them.”
Shopping tips: “Flea markets, consignment and thrift shops. I like clothes that have a classic or older-era look to them, so these are good places for me. Even if you have the cash for it, a man doesn’t need to spend a ton of cash to have great clothes. I recently scored an Oscar de la Renta sport jacket at a thrift shop that fits me perfectly.”
Motivation tip: “Take $300 dollars out of your account, put it in your wallet–and leave it there. It will motivate you and you will carry yourself differently.”
The best part of success so far….“Not living for other people. Not living in fear.”