The Top 10 Looks of the Year

10. To start off this post we are flashing back all the way to the beginning of this year’s daily post saga! This is the first look I ever posted and the look that began this entire blog adventure! In all honesty this might not actually be in the top 10 best looks that I’ve put together over the duration of this blog, but it does have a lot of meaning and significance! Plus the picture is really one of my favorites that I had taken throughout this journey. This look does feature a few things that I do love though. First, a pair of statement shorts! As we know I love a good pair of statement shorts and these are no exception. They are floral all over, but not your typical floral print. The flowers are a bit smaller than your typical floral print and these shorts incorporate a lot of nice pops of color through the use of different flowers. I really like the pinks, reds, and even light blues that are used with these shorts and when I wear them it kind of just brightens up everything! I paired this with a simple white button down from Ralph Lauren and my ever trusty brown topsiders. It feels right that my topsiders are in a post that is ranked this high, mostly because of everything that we have been through together. And lastly, are the aviators and croakies that I am wearing to complete the look. As I had in a previous look the croakies say “Everyday Should Feel this Good,” and when I’m wearing a fun pair of shorts like this this phrase is especially true! This outfit and picture just make me smile and this is another reason why I think that this look deserves to be in the top 10!

 

 

9. The second look of the top 10 comes in the form of this little number. This outfit earned its spot as the  for a couple different reasons that I’m going to dive into. First, the vest combines what has been 2 of my go-to trends of the year, argyle and just vests in general. This look is the only one in the top 10 to feature argyle, which as I have said before, is a print that has strong ties to UNC Chapel Hill and is represented in the uniforms of numerous sports teams, the boutiques that line Franklin Street, and even the fashions that are produced in student stores. Argyle represents a lot of the same things that UNC as a school represents, chiefly, it being a little slice of Southern Heaven. Argyle is a preppy staple piece and can often be seen in Southern style, whether it be on the green or in everyday life. Vests as well can be made to be extremely preppy pieces, and for me over this past year I have loved to don a vest and wear it around campus. However, this vest is a bit different than the down vests that I wore the majority of the year. This sweater vest would be perfect for hitting the golf course or for a regular day on campus (at least for me) and is a lightweight and varying way to still wear a vest. This vest is a major component of the outfit and definitely does a lot to add complexity, however, the other elements of this outfit pull an equal amount of weight, mainly the shorts. These are a pair of salmon colored shorts, from J. Crew (shocker) and the button down is pure white and Lacoste. The shorts are what I want to talk about though. Some of you may have seen the Tumblr that is all about wearing salmon colored shorts on college campuses and how it can be stereotypical or whatever. But for me I think that while these shorts can be a bit stereotypical they add a fantastic pop of color to any outfit and are well worth putting in your closet. Lastly, are the sperrys that I am wearing. These sperrys are the classic design that made the shoe famous but with a twist. The contrasting color of the soles adds interest to the overall outfit and is a fun way to incorporate even a bit more color!

 

 

8. Outfit #8 and I am feeling good about this one! I had almost forgotten about this outfit, but I have to say that it definitely is one of my favorite of the year. I love all of the components for so many different reasons, and I think that they all really came together to create a fantastic ensemble for this day. I’ll start with outerwear in this case. The trench coat is one of the most integral pieces to any wardrobe and I know that this coat is going to be coming with me to Europe and seeing all of the sites that I will be seeing over the next year because of its innate mixture of functionality and style. Trench coats, to me, look great and can pair with a huge number of things, which gives them tremendous versatility, and the functionality of protecting from all of the elements is going to make this piece invaluable when I am abroad during the winter months. The next piece I’m going to discuss is the scarf. Scarves have been another fashion staple that I have embraced to a greater extent over this past year and I have definitively become a major advocate of the scarf for guys for many of the same reasons that I love the trench coat. Scarves can easily change up any look and add an extra element of complexity to an outfit. Plus, with this winter being even colder than usual I can’t count the number of times that I’ve been thankful to have a scarf to keep my neck and ears warm. The sweater that I’m wearing is also one of my favorite pieces in my closet and comes from the Ron Sherman collaboration with Lacoste L!VE. The sweater is a bold yellow and has contrasting navy and white piping on the collar, sleeves, and torso of the sweater. The boldness of the color as well as the sheer luxury of the cashmere make this sweater something that I love to wear and might even bring to Europe. The button down and pants I paired both use shades of blue to echo the piping of the sweater. The button down is from Joseph A. Banks and the pants are a classic navy pair of chinos from J. Crew. And of course the last piece is my trust pair of Bean Boots that are perfect for both rain and snow.

 

 

7. The next outfit on this countdown is all about the details, which unfortunately can’t be seen in this picture very well but all come together to make one of my favorite outfits of the year. First, I’ll give a bit of background on the occasion. This was my outfit for Christmas Eve when my family and I attended Christmas Mass, dinner parties, and eventually dinner at what is now one of our new favorite restaurants. Overall, my outfit is a combination of several winter and Christmas time staples such as the bold Christmas red, some Blackwatch plaid, a great scarf, and Christmas love of course! I’ll start with the scarf, which once again is a style that I have been using more and more. This scarf is pure cashmere, has a great plaid design that uses mostly gray and white but also has some red highlights that add a nice pop of color, and goes really well with the red bow tie I also wore. Speaking of bow ties this bow tie is a great mixture of classic bow tie and also hilarity. The print of the bow tie is a martini print which I think added a dash of whimsy to this outfit and really fit in with the Christmas spirit. The shirt I wore is a simple tuxedo shirt with no pleating in the front because the dinner parties we attended weren’t supremely formal. And of course with the tuxedo shirt I wore my tuxedo jacket, which I didn’t necessarily have to do since I could have easily gone with a suit but I was kind of just feeling it. Plus, I’m always for getting the most usage out of the pieces in your wardrobe and not being able to wear my tuxedo that often this seemed like the ideal scenario. And instead of going full on tuxedo I chose a pair of Ralph Lauren, Blackwatch plaid pants that I had picked up probably a week or two before Christmas, specifically for the event. I’ve been searching for a pair of Blackwatch pants for a good while and these are easily the best pair that I found (that weren’t insanely expensive and in the $500 range). These pants are slim fitting, have perfectly aligned Blackwatch, and were exactly the look I was going for. And to finish off the look I wore a simple pair of black dress shoes because I really wanted the rest of the outfit to do the talking!

 

 

6. I’ve probably said this a lot throughout the year but this sweater is one of my favorite pieces that I own! This sweater is essentially the main reason that I placed this outfit so high on the countdown because truly, it is one of the favorite sweaters that I own. It is from Brooks Brothers, undoubtedly one of my favorite brands, and is a cable cricket sweater. It is a stark white, even though is doesn’t look exactly white because of the Instagram filter in this picture (#sorrynotsorry) and has Carolina Blue, red, and navy piping on the collar with only red piping on the sleeves and torso. This sweater is also extremely high quality and has such a classically preppy look that I can’t even help but love it. I even remember the day that I purchases this sweater. It was probably a year and a half ago at the Brooks Brothers store at Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh. It was a private sale at the store that featured the brand new arrivals for that season and you had to be invited to the event. Because my parents and I shop so frequently with Brooks Brothers we got an invite and got to be the first in the area to see the new arrivals and when I saw this sweater I knew I immediately had to have it. I can’t exactly explain it but I was just drawn to it and have loved it ever since! The rest of this outfit is fairly simple through its use of a classic pair of navy dress pants by Hugo Boss and my Vineyard Vines polo that is specifically designed for Carolina students. I also wore a pair of statement making socks to add a bit more personality to the outfit as a whole and my 1901 oxfords that are to me the ideal shade of brown. And of course I finished off the look with my fav pair of Ray Bans that are pretty much my go to pair.

 

 

5. Look #5 was definitely one of my bolder and more complex looks of the year and easily earned a place in the top 10! I wore this outfit on one of the many days that I had to wear business professional dress. However, I specifically remember how I was feeling about business professional dress that day and it was not positive. I had to dress business professional every for probably the past week and a half before this day and I was getting really bored (and kind of annoyed) with having to dress up everyday and make my way around campus. So on this day I decided that I would add some personal flair to my business professional attire and not really care about not matching the bus prof standards. I still technically had all of the qualifications for this type of dress but I went a bit outside of the lines. Starting with the boldest choice in the outfit, which was the pants. These lilac and lightweight pants from J. Crew were an excellent find that I grabbed on sale when I one day popped into J. Crew for around $20 (WHAT A BARGAIN!) and I am to this day glad I found this pair. A recurring theme of the top 30 has been my love for purple and these pants fit right into this. With these pants I paired my super chic, trendy, and youthful Ted Baker blazer, which is black with an all over polka dot print that while subtle is still statement making and super cool! The mixture of this bold color and polka dot print are the main reasons that I love this outfit, but the other components did their part in finishing off the whole look. The white button down and black bow tie (both by Tommy Hilfiger) were staple pieces that were meant to tone down the statement making sportcoat and pants and they did their job very well. I wore my black kiltie, Cole Haan loafers to finish off the ensemble and create this out-of-the-box but still tremendously stylish look.

 

 

4. No we are onto look #4 and this look is from the weekend of debutanting that I did early in the year with one of my closest friends Meredith. I did a major post about debutantes in general, along with the numerous parties that we attended for the event and all the fashions that come with being a debutante and a marshall. This was the 3rd time that I was marshalling, but it was without a doubt the most fun that I’ve had doing it and I’m still extremely glad that Meredith asked me to do the honor of escorting her! This outfit was for the mid-day party on the second day of 3 days full of parties. The theme of this party was an informal garden party and it was full of colorful sportcoats, giant hats for the girls, loafers for the guys, and a fair share of colored pants. At the party I was voted best dressed of the guys so naturally this look had to make be chosen as one of my top outfits of the year! I wore my Carolina Blue blazer both because I thought it would pair well with the other pieces that I wore, but also because UNC had a football game that day and Meredith and I decided to represent Carolina through our outfits because we couldn’t be at the game. I love this blazer, but I have to say that it actually isn’t my favorite component of this outfit. What is is the button down that I am wearing. This button down is 100%. I can say with total certainty that there is not another one in the world like it because I had it specifically made for me while I was in Thailand this past summer by Brioni. The print is a gingham/plaid crossbreed with a white base and highlights of pink, green, and blue. I got my hands on the last few yards of this fabric, which apparently they weren’t making anymore of, so this print is not going to be easy to find or recreate. Plus, I got my monogram on the sleeve so unless there is another person with my exact initials, is the exact same measurements as I am, and managed to get their hands on this fabric this shirt is completely unique to me! This shirt also means a lot because I was the one who designed it so it holds a special place in my heart (along with the other ones I designed)! For pants I decided that I wanted to keep it clean and classic with this stone pair of pants, which paired tremendously well with my brown Cole Haan loafers with gold hardware. The last details of this outfit were the ostrich leather, Gucci belt that I wore along with my leather banded Rolex with gold highlights to keep the gold theme going throughout the outfit! The overall weekend and party were stupendous and I was dressed for the part!

 

 

3. Outfit #3 on the list is from another memorable night this past year, and it just so happens to have been my New Year’s Eve outfit! This past New Year’s Eve I bounced my way between 6 different parties and this outfit was a resounding hit at each and every one! New Year’s is a time of new beginnings and ringing in the new year and I have to say that 2013 was fantastic and 2014 has been continually building upon how great my 2013 was. Hopefully we can just keep going up from this point but who really knows. But anyways let’s now focus on the outfit that I wore to ring in the new year. It all started with the GLORIOUS boots that I am wearing, which are a bit hard to see but take my word for it these boots are perfection. Like I actually can’t handle how much I love them. And I mean love. Like would I marry these boots? No but I might date them for an extended period of time because they look that great. These boots were a Christmas present from my amazing sister and were perhaps my favorite gift from this Christmas. The boots are a mixture of dark brown and chestnut brown and have a wingtip design on them as well. I have yet to find a pair of pants that they don’t look good with and I don’t think I ever will! I also wore these burgundy pants for the occasion. These pants were a hugely popular color this past fall and winter and I wore them with several outfits that I liked a great deal but not enough for them to have made the top 30. But still these pants have perfect fit, are a wonderful color for colder months, and something I am considering brining with me on my European adventure. The belt I wore is brown suede with some black accents by Salvatore Ferragamo and the white button down I chose in this instance to balance out the bold color of the pants and the print of the sportcoat is by Ralph Lauren. The sportcoat I wore is a great wool plaid piece that I actually found at Banana Republic. Typically, I’m not the biggest fan of sportcoats from Banana Republic because I think that there are so many other brands out there that do tailoring better and have products that I prefer in this realm, but this piece from their Monogram collection was well made, warm for the winter months, and featured a nice plaid design that I had been searching for. And of course I can’t forget the additional accessories that really pushed the outfit over the top with New Year’s spirit! The crown is really my favorite part of the outfit because I kind of have a thing for crowns. It probably has to do with my wishing I was royalty as well as my love for Kate Middleton. The sunglasses were just an extra touch and something that I randomly found at one of the parties and decided to throw on. But really the crown. The crown just kills it.

 

 

2. So close to my #1 look of the year! But first, we need to give my 2nd favorite outfit its due respect. This sportswear outfit is something that I put together for another CollegeFashionista feature, an athletic wear shoot I did for a local boutique, and a tennis fashion post I did for my blog (3 birds one stone)! This look is my 2nd favorite because of how different it is from all of the other looks in the top 30, because sportswear is something that used to be a major part of my life and still is present in a number of ways, and also because the French Open is happening as we speak! As I said I did this feature for CollegeFashionista because they approached me and asked if I could do something regarding sportswear for men since they were aware of my long history with volleyball and tennis. I of course accepted and when a local boutique in Raleigh caught wind they asked if I would be willing to take a few pictures in an outfit of my choosing, as well as some of their offerings, for their store. Once again of course I said yes! This outfit features a lot of clean white, which is a great color to wear for tennis especially in the warmer months, and some of my favorite pieces from my tennis days. The outermost jacket I am wearing is a tennis jacket from Lacoste and is so versatile that it can go from the courts to a night out on the town. The next layer that I am wearing is a fashion hoodie that is actually straight from Roland Garros, the site of the French Open. My mom got the chance to visit the tournament grounds a few years ago and of course she picked me up a bunch of souvenirs from this iconic tennis destination. The hoodie features the logo of the tournament as well as the featured graphic for the French Open that changes from year to year. Under that I wore a Wilson tennis shirt that is the same blue that is highlighted on the Wilson shorts that I am wearing. This shirt also features some pops of color by using a neon stripes along the sides of the shirt. My shoes are Adidas Barricades, which are a classic and well known tennis shoe. I have always played with these shoes and it would just feel weird to be on a tennis court without them! They are incredibly comfortable, durable, and they come in a wide range of colors that you can customize. This pair specifically has been through quite a lot with me and they have the same blue and neon yellow pairing as the tennis shirt that I am also wearing. Lastly, my racket is by Babolat, in fact it is the Babolat Pure Drive, and is the racket I switched to after I strayed away from my Prince racket that I used in my earlier days.

 

 

1. And now for the look that we have all been waiting for! Drumroll please! Dun-Dun-Dun-Dun-Dun-Dun-Dun! Here it is! My favorite look from this entire blog adventure is this stylish, chic, fashion-forward yet still classic, statement making, and emblematic of my personal style outfit! I love every part of this outfit, every piece of this outfit, and the entire day that I wore this outfit on. This was my Easter Sunday outfit and it was a major hit! I was teetering between wearing this bold pink pants or going more conservative, but then I thought to myself, “When else is it perfectly acceptable to just throw on a pair of pink pants?” So I went for it with these pink Ralph Lauren pants that I am absolutely enamored by! I’ve never been opposed to wearing pink but even for me this pants are statement making. However, I love them and am glad that I chose to wear them. I also decided to cuff them to give a more springy vibe to the outfit, as well as to show off the brown Cole Haan loafers I wore and love! I also chose to wore my navy sportcoat, also by Ralph Lauren, which is a staple that every person should have in their closet. Everyone knows how versatile a good blue sportcoat can be, and if you invest in one than without a doubt you will not be disappointed by how stylish you will look and how much wear you will get out of it. I personally advocate for one with gold buttons because I think the contrast between the bright gold and rich navy looks really fantastic. Plus, in my case the gold buttons go perfectly with the hardware of my loafers. I elected to wear a white Ralph Lauren button down because I mean you can never wear to much Ralph Lauren right? And also because the white balanced out the bright pink of the pants and allowed for me to really wear any tie that I would want to. And I did just that with a tie that I had recently acquired from the Brooks Brothers Black Fleece Collection. The Black Fleece Collection is the more high fashion side of Brooks Brothers and this tie went so perfectly with the rest of my outfit that I just couldn’t help but wear it. It was almost like it was calling to me! The tie is green based (and pink and green is one of the ultimately preppy color combinations) and has highlights of white and pink. The sunglasses I wore were also Ralph Lauren (wow I actually didn’t realize that until now) and they are a lighter tortoise which is the shade that I actually prefer. And the very last item that made up my outfit was my leather banded Rolex that has highlights of gold. This watch means a lot to me and is amongst my most cherished possessions. It was a special day though which meant that it called for a special outfit and watch! This would be the last Easter I would spend with my family for a year since I will be in Hong Kong during next year and we all wanted to make it as memorable as possible. And it really was a glorious day full of glorious fashions!
And with that this blog is concluded! I want to thank everyone who read this, gave feedback, compliments, and even criticism! Everything from this was a great learning experience and it allowed me the chance to share something I really love with a large amount of people and show my style. It also provided me with further career opportunities, put me in contact with old friends and new interesting people, and is something I will look back on with fondness and positivity! So goodbye for now and maybe look out for a mixture of a travel and fashion blog from my year abroad. Signing off for the last time.

 

JRL

 

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *