Passion for Fashion

HUGO BOSS, is a luxury fashion brand, from Metzingen, Germany, that has become a global name for aspirational style. When most people think of fashion, womenswear immediately comes to mind. However in the menswear field, there are many women who are the Hidden Figures behind many known brands. I sat down with Traci Hasley, a trailblazer for past, present, and future HUGO BOSS collections.

MST: What is your title at HUGO BOSS? What does your day to day look like?

TH: I am the Senior Buyer of Men’s Sportswear. Daily, I am managing and supporting my team. In addition, I work with my global counterparts on aligning the next assortment, provide product knowledge training, and shop the competition to ensure that we remain abreast of relevant and latest fashion trends.

MST: What opportunities have you had working at HUGO BOSS?

TH: People, Travel, and Ideas are 3 key things I have experienced. People challenge you, Travel opens up your eyes, and gives you a new perspective. That perspective generates Ideas and possibilities.

MST: What trends do you see men looking to try?

TH: We are definitely in a time of what I call “casual plus”. Clothing that can transition for many occasions has become the most valid motivation to shop, as opposed to buying for one specific event. Guys look for items that have multiple uses with a fashion flair, that isn’t too limiting.

MST: Do you wish more men would take risks with fashion?

TH: I do wish men would take more risks, even if it’s something as subtle as a new fit or color. There is a comfort level for most men, and finding that balance of product and fit is key. If you feel good in it, you will look good in it.

MST: What are three must have items for guys this season?

TH: An awesome leather jacket, denim that can be dressed up or down, as well as a “go to” soft tee that can layer or pair with anything.

MST: Where did you go to college? What did you study?

TH: I received my BAS in International Economics from American University in Washington DC.

MST: What inspired you to get into the fashion business?

TH: Believe it or not, it was my dad. I aspired to be an attorney, but after working at a law firm for a year while applying to law school, I realized it wasn’t for me. My dad told me to do what I love. In order to succeed in life, you have to have a passion for it. I ended up applying to Parsons in NYC, and began to pursue an advanced degree in Fashion Merchandising. The rest is history.

MST: Why did you choose menswear, over womenswear?

TH: While at Parsons, I had the opportunity to work several internships in both areas. Although womenswear was interesting, something clicked while I was at Armani with a Men’s Sportswear internship. In the end, menswear chose me, and I never looked back.

MST: Did you have a mentor growing up? Would you recommend others have a mentor?

TH: It may sound corny, but my mentor is my dad. He has a brilliant business mind. It’s been incredible to talk shop and bounce ideas off of him, especially when I am at a crossroads or may be considering something new. He also won’t tell me what I want to hear, but what I need to hear, which is key. I suggest that everyone finds that person you can trust with your physical and mental well-being. It allows you to truly stop and listen to your inner voice and take heed.

MST: If you saw your younger self walking down the street, what advice would you give that girl?

TH: If you believe in something, go after it. What is the worst thing that can happen? Someone says “No”? It just means, “No, not right now”.

Snowed In?

How do you spend your weekends when it starts to snow? It was a lucky coincidence that the weekend NYC got its first wintery mix, the Bearded Dapper Gents decided to have a photo walk in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

photo: Ankara Crowns


photo: Jean Messeroux

photo: Jean Messeroux

photo: Jean Messeroux


Weather like this makes me want to bundle up and drink hot chocolate. New York may not get the blizzards it did a few years ago, but the key to surviving winters out here is to layer up. Since I’ve been wearing a lot of darker colors recently, I wanted to warm things up with some earth tones.

In addition to the basic hat and gloves to keep my head and hands warm, I decided to mix in shades of camel and brown. The dark brown check shirt was a nice contrast to the donegal cardigan sweater. Keeping me warm was the wool / cashmere overcoat and a camo scarf to keep the chill off of my neck.

If you don’t own a coat that you can wear to the office or in a casual setting, now is the time to buy one. Some of your favorite stores have either a 100% wool coat or wool cashmere blend on sale. What are some of your favorites to wear when bad weather hits your area?

Camel overcoat: H&M | Cardigan: Express

Shirt: Nordstrom | Timepiece: TW Steel

Eyewear: Salt | Grooming: Scotch Porter

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Support Movember

November is half way done, and everyone is thinking about Thanksgiving dinner. I’m thinking about it as well, but my mind is also on my health.  After having a physical earlier this month, my doctor, just like yours mentions BMI “body mass index” and what my game plan is.   Like most men, we have a game plan for our finances, dinner, or if you like boxers or briefs, but what about our health.

Movember is the one month where a spotlight gets shined on testicular, prostate, mental, and physical health for men. The Movember foundation is one organization spearheading this movement.  They  raise awareness and funds to help educate and and hopefully motivate men to take there health more seriously.

Shoe companies like TOMS, which are known for its charity, donate to the cause.  For every purchase from the Movember collection, TOMS donates 5% of the suggested retail price.

If you think you’re too late to the party, and how you can help, look no further than grooming products from Harry’s.  For every purchase from the Movember shave set, $5 will be donated.

For more information on how you can support visit:

Movember

TOMS

Harry’s

What New Year’s resolution?

They say that 21 days makes a habit.  It’s halfway through the first month of 2015, and either you’ve given up on that resolution you set, or you sticking with it.  I’m going to venture that losing weight, saving / making more money & spending time with friends or family where somewhere on your list.

Personally speaking, starting the 16th day, I’ve been exercising consistently, and drinking more water throughout the day.  The biggest hurdle has always been what and how much I consume.  Lets face it, the American diet isn’t the healthiest, and if you go out for a meal, every restaurant is serving you dishes big enough for 2 to 3 people.  How lucky am I to have a girlfriend who can be on TOP CHEF, and can throw down in the kitchen.  My middle name is now “portion control” as I’m learning that not cleaning your plate, can be a good thing.

I have a different definition of style for 2015.  Some people I ask, talk about a suit they love, or new shoes they just purchased.  I’m all for that, and I love picking up a new suit with all the accessories to go with it.  My definition this year, is “health is wealth”.  When you feel good, your confidence rises, you appreciate what you have, you feel better in your own skin, and the clothes you wear.  As I head out to the gym, I’m not wavering from my 2015 goals.  How about you?

 

Sons of Anarchy meets RL

 

 

Vacation

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After  a long overdue trip to Punta Cana, I’m ready to go back.  But before you plan your trip to sandy beaches and bottomless drinks, make sure you pack accordingly.  My better half wanted to just bring a “carry on” piece of luggage, but I knew better.  For any all-inclusive resorts, you need “TRAVEL FASHION 101”.  Besides the basics, such as your toiletries, plan on bringing at least one pair of sandals, swimming trunks, sunglasses, light weight trousers, a few shirts for your evening festivities, and a pair of driving moccasins.

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My best advise for visiting any island this summer, is for the guys to pack your sunscreen and your hat.  99.9% of the guys I saw were wearing hats on the beach.  With the sun, staring you down until 6pm, you will need to keep your head protected, so keep it stylish.

What do I wear?

Speaking to a few readers, a common question asked, is what do I wear?  I’m not a suit and tie guy, what do I wear to the office?  I’m on the road everyday, what do I wear throughout the week?  First thing you have to do, is say to yourself “who am I working for?”, “what type of people will I interact with today?”

If you  can wear denim or chinos to the office, dress it up.  It’s easier for you to dress down your look once you are dressed up, and to do that,simply add a blazer.  At your discretion, you can add a tie or pocket square. Remember, the accessories will jazz up your look.

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If you have to wear a suit, make sure the tailoring is done to your specifications.  Don’t mis-represent yourself by having your trousers too long, or shirt extra baggy.  For the average guy who probably doesn’t have suits for different seasons, stick to the basics.  You should own “The BIG 3”, a black, navy, and grey suit.  With those three as your main suits, you can add your own style with different shirt and tie combinations.

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Don’t make getting ready in the morning a chore, be confident, dress to impress, and keep it simple.  How do you or your significant other get ready for work?