Fashionable Fellas: Plenty of Ways to Look and Feel Your Best!
Aug 28, 2017 03:43PM
● By Kevin
Bomber jackets have been big the last few seasons and fall 2017 is no exception. Take this must-have item to the next level with a vintage leather version that’s bound to impress even the most cynical stylists. Photo courtesy of Little Skull Photography.
We may not be New York, may not be Milan, but there are still plenty of ways to look your best and—most importantly—feel your best when it comes to your wardrobe.
CAPE BOYZFor guys, if your T-shirt game is strong, chances are you’re acing everything else in life! Lucky for us, there are some cutting-edge T-shirt designers in our own backyard. And that’s not the only thing that makes Cape Boyz of Cape Coral unique—there’s also plenty of “brotherly love” in their designs.
“Our style is visionary,” says Frank McNeal. “Our concept was to represent our interpretation of individuality. As brothers, we are different, but share a common thought.”
Yet it’s about more than just fashion for the McNeal brothers. For Frank, who is of mixed-racial background, it’s a chance to open minds, break down walls and spread ideas. “Being biracial has proven to be a lesson in tolerance,” he explains. “We want to break free of the stereotypical looks and create clean designs that could be worn by everyone. The apparel industry is our vehicle to start a movement of acceptance, breaking free from titles and perception.”
Although lots of planning goes into the designs, McNeal says it’s not all what you think. For him, spending one-on-one time with his brothers and co-designers, David and Mario, is most important and helps get the creative juices flowing: “We understand that nothing is guaranteed, so making the effort to meet is a constant motivation. Everyone wants to be validated.”
And no better validation than seeing people wear your clothes! Cape Boyz doesn’t have a hard time being unique. “Creating our own paths keeps the designs fresh and present. We’re not limited to market standards. … If we continue to allow each brother to submit a design without judgment, the creativity is limitless.”
But these guys aren’t just the designers—they’re also the manufacturers! “Right now we describe the conversation in our circle as ‘business with humor.’ Laughter keeps us grounded and having a large family support is a true blessing. We have in the family a graphic designer, Tyler, and sisters Angelena and Elena, who are responsible for the clerical and courier side of the company. So labor is cost effective and in abundance!”
And if that wasn’t enough, three members of the team are also full-time students at Florida Southwestern College.
CANNED HAM VINTAGE
That really cool friend is owner Ashely Rogers. “My rule of thumb is buy what you love, so that’s my rule when curating Canned Ham Vintage,” she explains. And eclectic doesn’t even begin to describe it: There’s clothing from the 1940s to 1970s for dapper dudes (and their lovely ladies.) There are even home furnishings.
So what kind of man wears these clothes? “Our customer is a creative, free thinker that questions fashion but has undying style,” Rogers says. “We have customers of all ages and backgrounds. But one thing they all have in common is the craving for unique beauty in fashion.”
She describes the experience as shopping in her grandparents’ closet and says it’s not hard to provide customers with unique pieces. “Every piece we carry is one of a kind. I also use antique displays that keep the time capsule vibe intact. I collect wooden hangers from old hotels, and luggage and dress forms. I use all of that in the shop to personalize and add whimsy.”
Rogers, who’s looking for space to set up shop in the Fort Myers area, says Canned Ham Vintage “feels like home”—a welcome retreat from typical retail experiences where sometimes customer service is lacking or you feel obligated to make a purchase.
If you haven’t been, picture the most spacious, deluxe closet you’ve ever seen, complete with velvet couches so you can rest in between all your exciting fashion adventures! It features 20,000 square feet of high-end, ready-to-wear men’s and women’s clothing—and that’s not all.
The coolest part about The Webster is its history. Housed in a circa-1939 classic Art Deco building, it highlights everything we love about Miami—the designs, chic clothing and amazing setting. (The Webster boutiques are also in Bal Harbour, Florida; Costa Mesa, California; and Houston.)
And The Webster in South Beach also doubles as a party venue. There’s a rooftop used for hosting events—with unbeatable ocean views and people watching. You can feel the warm sea breeze cascade across your face.
Concerning men, The Webster leaves no stone unturned! It features everything from backpacks and bracelets to loafers and lace-ups—the definition of a “one-stop shop.” You can get your business suit and bathing suit just feet away from each other. And because it’s Florida, use both in the same afternoon!
Gucci, Valentino and Dior are just some of the top designers you’ll find at The Webster. The clothes aren’t cheap, but neither is the quality. If you’re looking for a classic piece that will never go out of style and last a lifetime, The Webster’s got you covered.
And if you can’t make it there, don’t worry: The Webster features one of the most extensive online collections of any boutique around.
TAILORING BY RHONDAShe has decades of experience, works around the clock to get the job done and brings some of her European past into her Floridian future. Rhonda Erol, who hails from Cyprus, has been tailoring clothes for so long it’s safe to say she’s a good “fit” when it comes to styling men.
“Women have so many different styles,” Erol explains. “But men really have a lot of the same style, maybe just changing the fabric? Because there is not too much variety, the fit is so important.”
For 30 years, Tailoring by Rhonda has been a staple in Fort Myers, located across the street from the Edison Mall. Erol has been around the fashion block and has seen styles come and go, but a trend she sees more and more of is slimmer-fit, European-cut suits.
“The slacks are more narrow and are tighter fitting,” Erol explains. “I prefer to see men wearing those slim-cut suits because it makes you look like you’re wearing pajamas if you still have the pants with the pleats.”
As Southwest Florida becomes more cosmopolitan, Erol sees influences from major cities seeping into the local fashion landscape: “It’s all starting to trickle into Fort Myers. Even the older men are coming with their pants with the big legs and pleats and asking me to taper them. It’s not just the younger generation,” the tailor adds.
WHY STYLEWho says having a personal stylist is only for the rich and famous? Naples-based Sarah LaMont, owner of Why Style, makes fashion fun, flirty—and reasonably priced.
“It’s really affordable to anyone, whether their budget is $500 for the season or $5,000,” she explains. “Imagine having someone who completely understood your lifestyle, budget and fashion goals and made them a reality for you.”
LaMont brings years of experience styling men and women, serving as a key member of Nordstrom’s style team before branching out on her own: “I started my business to help people feel empowered by what they wear and to create functional closets that are full of pieces they love and understand—as opposed to chaos!”
And it’s in that closet where LaMont likes to start her fashion makeovers, trying to see how clients can pair existing pieces with new pieces, or see what’s lacking. “While working in the industry, I witnessed too many people buying something new … but then not knowing how to pair it with their existing closet and perpetually falling into the same rut,” notes the personal stylist.
Unfortunately, most men fall into that rut (this reporter included). LaMont says the problem lies in guys’ focusing on clothes purely as functional instead of fashionable. “As a man, it’s important to pay attention to the details,” she adds. “Are you cuffing your jeans and throwing on your slide sneakers without socks? Are you mixing patterns by throwing a floral pocket square on with your plaid sport coat? And pinstriped button down?”
Those aren’t the only autumn 2017 trends LaMont has her eyes on. Overall, she’s seeing a return of more formal attire for men, including a re-emergence of neckties for casual occasions, and double-breasted suits. But she explains it’s also mixed with the casual—such as a slick pair of sneakers that can go with pretty much anything.
Written by freelance writer Nick Ciletti, a frequent contributor to TOTI Media. He works as an anchor/reporter in Phoenix and spent three wonderful years in Southwest Florida.
CAPE BOYZHome base: 2529 SW 13th Ave.
Cape Coral, Florida
CANNED HAM VINTAGEHome base: 1435 7th St.
Sarasota, Florida 34236
THE WEBSTERHome base: 1220 South Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
TAILORING BY RHONDAHome base: 1919 Courtney Drive #10B
Fort Myers, Florida 33901
WHY STYLEHome base: Naples, Florida