Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Business as usual

Recently, I went to a job interview for a pretty swanky office job. As par for the course of any interview, I dressed for the occasion. I wore black slacks, a purple button down, black waist coat, a skinny polka dot tie, and my DIY brogues. Not only was I hoping to distract the eye away from my shocking red hair, but I wanted to show that I was serious about this job. Dress for the job you want, as they say.

Once I got passed security, and was filling out my paper work, I began to notice how I stuck out like a sore thumb among the other hopefuls for the position. No, it wasn’t my hair. No, it wasn’t the fact that I took a seat in the lobby’s mock womb chair, instead of joining everyone else in the hard plastic chairs. (They looked really uncomfortable – both the chairs and the people sitting in them.) It was how I was dressed.  
Looking around, I saw a girl wearing leggings, a hoodie, and flats. Beside of her was a guy wearing jeans and a tank top, granted, he did have a dress shirt folded up beside of him. The remaining people in the room were decked out as if they were headed to the mall to buy some more faded jeans and striped polo shirts from Abercrombie & Fitch. Had the glass doors I walked through not been emblazoned with the company’s logo, I would’ve thought I was in the wrong place. The email said, “Dress in business casual.” Sure, I may have been a bit over dressed, but business casual is not a pair of dirty Toms and un-brushed hair.

Outside of how we were all dressed, I noticed a huge age gap between the other folks in the room and myself. I’d say I had a good eight years or so on most everyone in the room. It got me thinking, “Perhaps they weren’t taught what to do at an interview.” I mean, in school I learned a lot of things that aren’t being taught today, cursive hand-writing for example. If Pluto is no longer a planet, maybe wearing a tie isn’t mentioned anymore either.

So, because I’m a know it all who happens to have a blog, I’m going to do what every up-tight kid with a blog would do. I’m going to give you examples of how to dress yourself, gentlemen. This is the Handsome Savage after all.


A simple pink oxford shirt with cuffed sleeves and a pair of khaki slacks. Seems pretty standard, right? Most of us have these floating around in our closets, whether we want to admit it or not. (We all had to wear something for Easter lunch at Nana's house.) To jazz up this simple look, if you will, I'm adding in a pop of turquoise and some texture to the over all plain look. I picked the drivers for comfort, should you get the job, you want your feet to feel nice as you're running around from meeting to meeting. Now these guys are faux crocodile and will definitely get you noticed. Think of them as a conversation starter. The belt is braided, which I've always had a special place in my heart for, right beside penny loafers. Again, it's turquoise to update an old standard your dad loved. In place of a tie, wear a simple piece of jewelry, so the look will give you a fresh, modern, respectable yet fun look. 


I'm a sucker for color-blocking. I can't help it. It appeals to my inner Andy Warhol. For this ensemble, I looked to the color-wheel for inspiration. I grabbed two of my favorite complimentary colors to make an outfit my dog, Beasley, considered, "Kicky." Again, for this look, I'm taking another staple from every guy's closet, the white button down, however I'm amping it up with a bright cobalt blue pair of slacks. Adding to the blue is a canvas and chrome bracelet. If I have to sit in a boring office all day, my outfit better be a little ray of sunshine, so in comes the orange in the form of another pair of drivers (again comfort,) a retro floral-print tie, and an military inspired canvas belt.


Okay, I have to admit, I went a bit off focus on this outfit, but come on, look at that jacket! I fell in love with it the minute I saw it online, so it made its way into our third look, which minus the jacket, because your standard oxford shirt and black slacks combo with a slick belt. To add in a little color, I've grabbed up a red skinny tie. To complement the jacket when it's being worn, and to make a little change in the 1950s appeal of the outfit underneath it, you'll be wearing a pair of boots. Perfect for sending faxes and grabbing drinks with your boss later.


This is the most casual of all the outfits. This should be you showing up at an interview and not really trying, however, this is a step up and in the right direction.The key to this relaxed outfit is the tailoring and details. Cargo pants are good for interviews, you've got to carry a lot of stuff around with you if you aren't the type to be carrying around a bag. These cargos are a lot more structured than your normal baggy deal, which will help you look less rough around the edges. Topping of the look is a multi-tonal buffalo plaid button down. Notice that there isn't a tie this time, it's been replaced with another accessory, a good quality gentleman's watch. (Please wear this on your wrist and not as a tie.) Now what will you be walking in? A pair of oxfords, of course in colors complimenting your shirt and belt.

Now that you've got some ideas, go on comb your hair, put on a clean shirt and get that job.

Got some great shots of your latest business casual looks? Tag me on instagram, #thehandsomesavage 

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Jil Sander's color blocked brogues have been quite the lustful find for me ever since I saw them a few seasons ago. As someone who generally spends their time dressed head to toe in black, I liked the little pop of color in an unexpected place. The only draw back for me was the price and the number motto for my closet:

"Only pay top dollar for items that are practical and functional. Everything else is a passing fad."

I also felt that this was extremely easy to replicate myself, but I never got around to it. Yet, these little brogues kept taunting me throughout Pinterest, fashion blogs, and even Buzzfeed. I guess it's safe to say they never left my sight, and I suppose that's a good thing.

While cleaning out my closet, I rediscovered a pair of plain brogues I bought for one reason or another at a thrift shop. Being a shorty, I rarely wear a rounded shoe so I tossed them into the donate pile until it hit me; I could make those into the Jil Sander shoes, and off I went to my art supplies to jazz up the shoes.

Replicating the color-blocking was easy. I started off by thoroughly cleaning the soles of the shoes using soap, water, and an old toothbrush I keep handy for things like this. Once they had dried, I taped off around the sole of the shoe, making sure to press the tape inside the crevice between the sole and the shoe itself. Then you just paint to your little heart's desire until you have an even coverage. In case you're wondering, I used five coats of Folk Art Plaid craft paint in Violet Pansy, letting it dry between coats. Once all that had dried, I ran a coat of matte clear acrylic paint over the soles to help lock everything in. Now, I suppose I might actually take these boys out for a spin tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Downtown is just Minty

Images from a recent trip to the Mint Museum, in Downtown Charlotte, with my friend (and fellow art snob,) Caylyn.

A few selections from the Mint, including the fantastic chandelier by Dale Chihuly (bottom right)
Our first street car hotdogs of the season. However, shortly after this, a random homeless lady came up to us and asked us for money. I handed her a dollar, she then promptly asked for a twenty instead. I snatched my dollar back from her. Yeah, I'm that guy.
This had to be the opportunity of a life time. While eating our dogs, these tourists come whizzing by on Segways. I feel this si the best image I've ever captured on my life to date.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sometimes it snows in the South...

It snowed tonight, sadly, it cancelled a lovely outing, but I made the best of it by going outside and photographing such a rare phenomenon. I'm glad I did, the next morning it was all gone. A fleeting glimpse at such pretty weather.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013



Frida Kahlo is one of my favorite artists. She was surreal before the surrealists knew what was going on. She painted her feelings. She wore authentic Tijuana costumes. She had a uni-brow. She and her husband Diego Rivera might’ve eaten human flesh. How can you not pay homage to someone as interesting as her? Here’s a way to do that and fix up a stained shirt you’ve worn too frequently to your art classes.

Cotton Tee Shirt
Black Fabric Paint
Cheap Paintbrush
My Frida Kahlo Stencil
An old piece of cardboard



1.)    Download and print my Frida Kahlo stencil. For this project, I suggest that you transfer it on to a thicker type of paper. For this project, I used a piece of Bristol Board with a Vellum finish. Once transferred cut out the stencil.

2.)    Lay your shirt down on a work surface and slide an old piece of cardboard inside. This is going to keep the bleach and paints from seeping through to the back of your shirt. Place your stencil in the desired spot on the front of your shirt and tape it down.

3.)    Dip your brush into the bleach and start applying it to the stencil, working from the outer edges in. Take your time, and let the bleach develop on the shirt.

4.)    Lift your stencil. Your shirt should look like the image above (left) you can leave it like this if you want, but you really can’t tell who that’s supposed to be, so taking your bleach fill in the face and neck of Frida and touch up any spots that haven’t quite developed (right)

5.)    At this point you will go ahead and rinse your shirt in cold water. This will stop the bleaching process. If you skip this step, the bleach will continue to process and eat away not only the fabric paint in our next step, but your shirt as well, leaving a huge hole.

6.)    Once your shirt is dry, lay the stencil over top of your bleached area, sliding it a bit off to one side. This will give the halo effect you see in my shirt. You can, if you would like, line everything up perfectly. The choice is up to you.

7.)    Squeeze out some black fabric paint and, taking your brush, work your stencil from the outside edges in, in the same way that you did the bleach (left). Once you have filled in the stencil, lift your paper and touch up any areas of black that aren’t fully covered.

8.)    Once dry, follow the instructions on your fabric paint’s tube to set your paint.

9.)    Wear your fancy shirt with pride.

10.)  Tell everyone where you learned how to do this.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Play Date With Amy

Since I met Amy in my design classes, I've always wanted to paint her up and take some nice photos of her. I adore her bone structure and how she resembles Sheryl Crowe to me. Here are a few pictures from our day together.