by Borderstan.com June 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm 1,302 1 Comment

"Shorts for men"

The shorts a man needs for summer in DC. Details below!

From Khelan Bhatia. Follow Khelan on Twitter @KhelanB or email him at khelan[AT]borderstan.com.

Happy Summer, Borderstanis! Okay, I get that the season doesn’t officially start till June 20, but I’m wearing white below the waist and no socks with my penny loafers, so close enough, eh?

Seeing that we’re past Memorial Day, gents, it’s time to have a serious discussion about a whimsical part of the wardrobe. And in case you couldn’t figure it out by the title of this column, I’m referring to shorts (BTW, I’ve been accused of burying the lead too often in these columns. I promise that I’m totally trying to get better at it).

For many, shorts tend to be an afterthought. We all know at least one person who’s sporting cargos from Old Navy circa 2003 in his regular rotation. Today’s the day we stop the madness. Build a bonfire in your backyard, on the street, etc. and burn them in effigy along with those ratty old flip flops.

Ahem. Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

The 6 (or 7) Pairs of Shorts You Need

Regardless of what anyone tells you, there are only six pairs of shorts a man needs to get by in the warmer months. Can he have more than six? Sure, go nuts! Less than six? I wouldn’t advise it. (In addition to the collage at the top, you can click on my links below for a close up of the items in my collections on polyvore.com.)

  1. Classic white shorts: Chubbies. As I said earlier, it’s past Memorial Day so get yourself a pair of crisp white shorts (cotton or linen) that literally go with anything. Well, except for a white top. Thanks to my friend Chris, I recently discovered a brand called Chubbies that emphasizes form and function with a sense of humor (check out their site, it’s pretty entertaining).
  2. Khaki chino shorts: Steven Alan – The West is DeadNow that we’ve got the white ones out of the way, it’s time for another staple: the khaki chinos. I really dig this pair, “The West is Dead” by Steven Alan.
  3. The navy shorts: Stanton Tie-die Indigo shortsFilling out the classic trifecta (besides the white and khaki shorts) is a pair of navy shorts. But a fun variation on a simple navy pair are these tie-die indigo shorts from J.Crew.
  4. The bold pair: Steven Alan Boyscout Short. And now things start to get interesting. You’ve got the basics out of the way; it’s time to show off that personality a little. Pick a bold color that suits your personality (and your skin tone). It can be pink, orange, Nantucket red, electric blue, whatevs. I’m partial to this green pair of “BoyScout” shorts by Steven Alan.
  5. Cargo shorts. Nah, I’m just kidding. Remember… burn them in effigy. (As an aside, no one and I mean no one needs to wear cargo shorts in the city. If you absolutely must carry around your entire life, don’t stuff it in a plethora of extraneous pockets. Man up and invest in a messenger bag.)
  6. The subtle pattern: Oliver ShortJust like the bold pair, let your imagination take over. The beautiful thing about a subtle pattern is that it’s almost as versatile as a solid pair…with a little extra personality. Love the “Olivers” also by Steven Alan.
  7. The louder pattern: Gant Rugger Checked Shorts. Obviously, not nearly as versatile as the subtle pattern, but they’re intended to make a statement. Check out this plaid (surprise!) pair by Gant Rugger.
  8. Addendum: Jorts. Jorts, or jean shorts for the uninitiated, have risen in popularity over the last couple of years, especially in the slim/skinny variety, but they’re really not for everyone. The taller and slenderer (y’know, thin) a guy is the better these will look on him. Shorter and stockier guys should avoid them.

That’s it for me this time around, folks. Talk to you next time.

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by Borderstan.com May 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,929 0

Borderstan, Rehoboth Beach, Alejandra Owens

Headed to Rehoboth or another East Coast beach this weekend? (Photo from Alejandra Owens)

From Khelan Bhatia. You can follow Khelan on Twitter @KhelanB. He lives in the U Street area and writes about style for Borderstan.

The following column ran last year in the run-up to Memorial Day weekend, when Washingtonians flock to the Atlantic beaches. The advice is still sound!

Bonjour, Borderstanis. Glad to see the whole Rapture thing was a false alarm… especially ’cause I just bought a few new articles of clothing. And I doubt any of them would work with a halo (or more accurately, in my case, horns and a pitchfork).

More importantly, I’m excited that we’re still here in the material world since summer is almost upon us. I’m sure many of you are heading to the beach this weekend. Fellow Borderstan contributor, Food Editor Alejandra Owens, and I have some suggestions for the ladies and gents on what to take for your trip to the coast.

For the Ladies

  • Rock a big floppy hat! Not only does a big hat scream confidence and chicness, it also protects your face and shoulders from the searing sun. I am currently in love with these floppy hats from BHLDN. It’s an investment piece, yes, but this is a hat you can wear for summers to come.
  • Big sunglasses are a must. Not all of us can be Nicole Richie but a pair of Ray-Bans (or knock offs, I’m not judging!) protect that delicate skin around your eyes from harmful rays. Also, no one will see the dark circles incurred from a night of dancing and drinking on the beach.
Khelan Bhatia, Borderstan

Khelan Bhatia writes about style for Borderstan. He is wearing a plaid shirt by Life/After/Denim and a pair of Ray-Ban Clubmasters.

  • Easy-to-wear dresses are a must at the beach, and one that can take you from day to night is a bonus piece in your wardrobe. I suggest packing three types of dresses for the beach: a beach cover up that you can also putz around the house in, a colorful short dress and a maxi dress. These three dresses can take you from the beach, to the boardwalk and to a dance party all weekend long.
  • In case you couldn’t tell already, nautical stripes are all the rage this summer. A word of caution here ladies. Not everyone can wear a shapeless tshirt dress and belt it and look great — be aware of your body shape and go with classic fits that flatter you. Also, pay attention to the width of the stripe — smaller stripes versus larger stripes might do different things to your hips and bust… and not always good things.
  • The dreaded swim suit. Every woman is different. But, I have to say that I am completely sold on bottoms that tie on the side. I think for most women the hardest part about bathing suits is the inevitable pinching the bottoms do. Hello muffin top I didn’t even know I had. Tie-side bottoms mitigate the damage and put you in control. And as you can see from the Victorias Secret option I mentioned — a tie-side bottom does not always mean string bikini!
  • On to more fun things: shoes! A couple pairs of sandals like these and maybe these will do you just fine. Some sexy but comfy espadrilles for dinner and evenings out are also essential.
  • Sunscreen is a must! My favorite for years now is Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock. True to the name it goes on light, dries quickly and is never oily. I am always weary of putting new lotions and potions on my face, but I’ve never broken out or had any problems with this sunscreen!

For the Gents

  • A couple of pairs of swim trunks. Personally, I love t. christopher’s swimwear. In fact, I have this great pair I purchased last season (last season? the horror!) that fit somewhere between board shorts and a square cut suit. Unless you’re on a swim team or vacationing on the French Riviera, I’d avoid a bikini cut.
  • A pair of shorts for when you can pull yourself away from the beach. I recommend the Maldives Chino Short from Life/After/Denim.
  • A pair of chinos for the evening (if you don’t feel like wearing shorts). I’d go with the Levi’s 511 poplin trouser.
  • A couple of polos (at least one white and one primary color: red, blue, or yellow); I prefer Lacoste.
  • A chambray shirt; blue, if you’re feeling more traditional, or red, if you’re feeling more adventurous. J.Crew’s chambray utility shirts are fantastic.
  • A white oxford shirt. Again, can’t go wrong with J.Crew. However, if you’ve got the money to spend, I highly, highly recommend the Naked and Famous Oxford.
  • If you’re heading to a locale that gets cool in the evening, you should probably think of grabbing a light, cotton cardigan. You could get a relatively inexpensive one at Urban Outfitters or Club Monaco. Or if you’re feeling a little Francais, this nautical t-shirt is fantastic and will keep you warm during those cool beach evenings.
  • A pair of sunglasses. I love the retro style of these Ray-Ban’s Clubmasters (just bought a pair this past weekend)
  • Like Alejandra hinted at earlier, lobsters aren’t sexy. Be sure to take sunblock and moisturizer with SPF 15 (at least). I recommend Anthony for Men’s Facial Moisturizer.
  • Flip-flops. Can’t go wrong with Havianas.
  • Boat shoes. Can’t go wrong with Sperry Top-Sider.

That’s it for us this week, folks. A huge thanks to my friend and collaborator, Alejandra. She’s as fashionable as she is beautiful.

Have fun and be safe this weekend.

by Borderstan.com May 24, 2011 at 7:12 pm 1,629 1 Comment

Borderstan, Rehoboth Beach, Alejandra Owens

Headed to Rehoboth or another East Coast beach this weekend? (Photo from Alejandra Owens)

From Khelan Bhatia. You can follow Khelan on Twitter @KhelanB. He lives in the U Street area and writes about style for Borderstan.

Bonjour, Borderstanis. Glad to see the whole Rapture thing was a false alarm… especially ’cause I just bought a few new articles of clothing. And I doubt any of them would work with a halo (or more accurately, in my case, horns and a pitchfork).

More importantly, I’m excited that we’re still here in the material world since summer is almost upon us. I’m sure many of you are heading to the beach this weekend. Fellow Borderstan contributor, Alejandra Owens, and I have some suggestions for the ladies and gents on what to take for your trip to the coast.

For the Ladies

  • Rock a big floppy hat! Not only does a big hat scream confidence and chicness, it also protects your face and shoulders from the searing sun. I am currently in love with these floppy hats from BHLDN. It’s an investment piece, yes, but this is a hat you can wear for summers to come.

Big sunglasses are a must. Not all of us can be Nicole Richie but a pair of Ray-Bans (or knock offs, I’m not judging!) protect that delicate skin around your eyes from harmful rays. Also, no one will see the dark circles incurred from a night of dancing and drinking on the beach.

Khelan Bhatia, Borderstan

Khelan Bhatia writes about style for Borderstan. He is wearing a plaid shirt by Life/After/Denim and a pair of Ray-Ban Clubmasters.

  • Easy-to-wear dresses are a must at the beach, and one that can take you from day to night is a bonus piece in your wardrobe. I suggest packing three types of dresses for the beach: a beach cover up that you can also putz around the house in, a colorful short dress and a maxi dress. These three dresses can take you from the beach, to the boardwalk and to a dance party all weekend long.
  • In case you couldn’t tell already, nautical stripes are all the rage this summer. A word of caution here ladies. Not everyone can wear a shapeless tshirt dress and belt it and look great — be aware of your body shape and go with classic fits that flatter you. Also, pay attention to the width of the stripe — smaller stripes versus larger stripes might do different things to your hips and bust… and not always good things.
  • The dreaded swim suit. Every woman is different. But, I have to say that after discovering this little number this year that I am completely sold on bottoms that tie on the side. I think for most women the hardest part about bathing suits is the inevitable pinching the bottoms do. Hello muffin top I didn’t even know I had. Tie-side bottoms mitigate the damage and put you in control. And as you can see from the Victorias Secret option I mentioned — a tie-side bottom does not always mean string bikini!
  • On to more fun things: shoes! A couple pairs of sandals like these and maybe these will do you just fine. Some sexy but comfy espadrilles for dinner and evenings out are also essential.
  • Sunscreen is a must! My favorite for years now is Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock. True to the name it goes on light, dries quickly and is never oily. I am always weary of putting new lotions and potions on my face, but I’ve never broken out or had any problems with this sunscreen!

For the Gents

  • A couple of pairs of swim trunks. Personally, I love t. christopher’s swimwear. In fact, I have this great pair I purchased last season (last season? the horror!) that fit somewhere between board shorts and a square cut suit. Unless you’re on a swim team or vacationing on the French Riviera, I’d avoid a bikini cut.
  • A pair of shorts for when you can pull yourself away from the beach. I recommend the Maldives Chino Short from Life/After/Denim.
  • A pair of chinos for the evening (if you don’t feel like wearing shorts). I’d go with the Levi’s 511 poplin trouser.
  • A couple of polos (at least one white and one primary color: red, blue, or yellow); I prefer Lacoste.
  • A chambray shirt; blue, if you’re feeling more traditional, or red, if you’re feeling more adventurous. J.Crew’s chambray utility shirts are fantastic.
  • A white oxford shirt. Again, can’t go wrong with J.Crew. However, if you’ve got the money to spend, I highly, highly recommend the Naked and Famous Oxford.
  • If you’re heading to a locale that gets cool in the evening, you should probably think of grabbing a light, cotton cardigan. You could get a relatively inexpensive one at Urban Outfitters or Club Monaco. Or if you’re feeling a little Francais, this nautical t-shirt is fantastic and will keep you warm during those cool beach evenings.
  • A pair of sunglasses. I love the retro style of these Ray-Ban’s Clubmasters (just bought a pair this past weekend)
  • Like Alejandra hinted at earlier, lobsters aren’t sexy. Be sure to take sunblock and moisturizer with SPF 15 (at least). I recommend Anthony for Men’s Facial Moisturizer.
  • Flip-flops. Can’t go wrong with Havianas.
  • Boat shoes. Can’t go wrong with Sperry Top-Sider.

That’s it for us this week, folks. A huge thanks to my friend and collaborator, Alejandra. She’s as fashionable as she is beautiful.

Have fun and be safe this weekend.

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