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READ: What Women Think of Men’s Summer Fashion

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By HIHEELZbrooke · September 4, 2015
Even my most stylish, put-together guy friends have at one point come to me for fashion input. Male inquiries like, "Do you like these jeans?" or "What are your thoughts on short-sleeved button-downs?" don't come my way because I'm a fashion writer (okay, maybe that's part of it). Really, these guys want my female opinion because they're asking a bigger question: What would girls in general think of this look?

Chances are, if you're thinking of trying a new fashion trend that's slightly out of your comfort zone, you'd first consult a woman in your life, be it a girlfriend, friend, or sister; you might even take her to the mall with you. Why is this? Because even when you're dressing for "you", deep down, you have to admit—you're still cleaning up in hopes of garnering glances from the opposite sex. (Surprise—us girls do the same thing!)

If you're looking to spice up your look this summer, I love your enthusiasm, but it's important to know that not all trends are created equal—there are some high-fashion getups that may be considered "on trend," but I promise you that the wide-leg pattered trousers from the Etro runway at Fashion Week will not help you get that blonde's number.

So before you go swiping your plastic at Bergdorf's, here to help is the Lady Panel—a group of gals from all over the U.S. offering their unguarded commentary on 7 menswear fashion trends. Read on to find out what's hot and what's horrible for Summer 2015.

Decorative Dress Socks

"If you meet a well-dressed guy who's got polka dot socks in his shoes, it probably means he doesn't take himself too seriously…and that's always a good sign." – Haley H., 27, Santa Barbara, CA

"Nothing makes me crack a smile more than when a guy props his leg up at his work desk, and socks with an unexpected pattern like lobsters are peeking out from under his pant leg. They're like statement necklaces for men." –Courtney S., 35, Saratoga Springs, NY

"Decorative socks are a fun way for a guy to show that he is playful and flirty without going overboard—it makes me think that there is more to him than first meets the eye. Also, they make for a great conversation piece on a first date." –McKenzie B., 33, Houston, TX

"Surprisingly sexy for something that should remind me of midgets dancing with lollipops. It says you like to look good but that being whimsical won't cramp your style." –Meagan D., 30, NYC

Overall Consensus: Go for it—they're a great way to jazz things up and showcase your personality when you're in a stuffy business suit.  

Seersucker Suits
"Seersucker suits are for boating events and Kennedy weddings—definitely not for everyday." –Jordan S., 27, NYC

"Are you playing croquet with your aging aunties this weekend? If so, your seersucker suit will surely get you all the cheek pinching you can handle. Otherwise, it would be very appropriate for your toddler." –Emily N., 28, Kansas City, MO

"Like with any suit, the most important thing is that the cut is tailored to fit the man's physique. But honestly, if I saw a guy wearing full-on seersucker, I would probably think, 'You're trying too hard, buddy.'" –Christine N., 29, Providence, RI

"No, I do not want to buy that Buick from you. And you're making me dizzy. Just put on a regular suit." –Meagan D.

Overall Consensus:
Even if you're summering on Nantucket, you'll be walking a fine line of dapper and douche. Tread lightly.

Bucket Hats

"I would leave a date if he showed up in a bucket hat. Though the 'bucket' part would at least make a convenient barf bag." –Jacqui S., 29, Chicago, IL

"Show me someone looking sexy in a bucket hat and I'll show you a liar." –Jenny P., 27, NYC

"Dude, bucket hats are not a replacement for sunscreen…and they're definitely not an acceptable fashion statement. Lube up and leave the floppy hat at home." –Cristin G., 34, Boston, MA

"If you're wearing a bucket hat, you can just throw it in the trash…along with any chances you had of getting laid." –Morgan G., 24, Baltimore, MD

Overall Consensus: No.

Cropped Pants

"Getting cropped pants right is all about the right slim fit and right footwear. I think tapered khakis look great with driving loafers." – Jenny P.

"'I would love to see more man ankle,' said no woman ever." –Meagan D.

"It's casual, but adds a little edge and style to a guy's look. With a tee, or even a button up and some kicks, it makes for an effortless summer look." –Kara S., 29, NYC.

"Why do cropped pants ever need to be a thing? If you need free ankles, just roll up your pants—otherwise you're purchasing an item that is useless a majority of the year. Also, chances are, your ankles aren't as attractive as you think they are." –Emily N.

Overall Consensus: It's all about the right fit and the right shoes. Disclaimer: Steer clear if you have cankles.

All Denim Everything (aka, Canadian Tuxedo)

"Denim on denim is everything! I'm obsessed with this look, but I do feel that either the top or bottom needs to be a lighter shade—I don't like when they match exactly. But yes, thank you Canada for this gift." –Kara S.

"The only time I'll approach a dude in double denim is to bum a cigarette then peace out." –Morgan G.

"Maybe living in the Midwest has given me a real soft spot for farm boys, but I think double denim is a beautiful thing. Throw me on the back of your moped and let's head to your favorite fishin' hole." –Emily N.

"Britney and Justin tried this once and we all know how that ended." –Haley H.

Overall Consensus: Depending on how you execute this trend, you could look straight off the farm from Iowa, straight off the plane from Europe, or straight off the streets from godknowswhere. Whichever look you're after, attempt it with contrasting denim shades. There's a 50-50 chance your girlfriend will hate it, but if you're a glass-half-full kind of guy and you rock it with conviction, what really matters is that you think you look good, right?


"Men are allowed one pink clothing item (shirt/sweater or pants/shorts) without me questioning their sexuality or fashion sense. But to be fair, the same rule applies to women and me judging them." –Jacqui S.

"Real men wear pink, but only real jerks wear all pink. Pick one: shirt or pants." –Julie P., 28, Augusta, GA

"Pink can be sexy! But you should only be wearing one piece of pink clothing at a time…and that one piece of pink should not be tight fuchsia pants, unless you want women to think you're gay. Or an asshole." –Giselle C., 28, Tucson, AZ

"When it comes to pink, it's tough to toe the line between 'sexy' and 'good lord, take that off immediately.' A tie or a T-shirt is the perfect pop of pink; anything more than that makes you seem high maintenance because you think you can pull off all-pink-everything. Spoiler alert: You cannot." –Meagan D.

Overall Consensus:
Contrary to popular belief, pink can actually demonstrate confidence and manliness, but moderation is key.

Statement Florals
"Florals are fab, but it's a style that must be worn sparingly to avoid looking too Tommy Bahama, which, let's face it, is never a good look. Think: floral sneakers, a pocket square, or socks." –Kara S.

"I'd prefer that my flowers stay in a vase on my table and off of my man's clothing." –Christine N.

"Florals work great as an accent, but anything more than that I find distracting. Also, if the pattern looks like came off of my great aunt's couch, it'll make me think the guy is moldy." –Lizzie B., 27, NYC

"Floral bathing suits are a 'yes', but floral short-sleeved button-downs are a 'no', unless worn in partial jest at a Jimmy Buffet concert." –Lindsey S., 31, Washington DC

Overall Consensus: A little bit of floral goes a long way. Flowers on beachwear is more than acceptable, but flowers on pants should only be in your girlfriend's closet…otherwise, she may ask to borrow them.

READ: Getting Over Summer Sadness

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By HIHEELZbrooke · September 4, 2015
While I'm really excited that Labor Day Weekend starts in a mere 4 hours (yaaaas vineyard time!), I'm just as sad that that the date unoffically marks the end of summer. Personally, I am not ready to wave buh-bye to beach season and prepare for snow (at all), but believe it or not, some people are actually more depressed by sunshine and summertime—this condition is a certain type of Seasonal Affectie Disorder, and I wrote an article on it below.

Summer is often thought of as the most carefree season of the year, filled with sunshine, beach days and BBQs. However, for many people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a condition in which your mood is affected by the seasons, summertime is not when the living's easy—about 10-25% of America's 500 thousand SAD sufferers fall into their deepest depression during the summer.

...Head to ThirdAge.com, where Dr. Nzinga A. Harrison MD, Chief Medical Officer for ANKA Behavioral Health Inc. describes what causes summer sadness, five common symptoms of the disorder, as well as lifestyle tips for coping and prevention.

RUNNING IN HIHEELZ: Skylines & Sunshine: Bicoastal Besties Reunite at the Starting Line

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By HIHEELZbrooke · July 16, 2015

Posing with our bling after running 13.1 miles through the vineyards."I live my life through my friends."

My friend Haley said this over the phone the other day, explaining to me why sharing stories and experiences with friends is the only way she wants to live her life. Why travel to Hawaii alone if you can go with your BFF and discover you suck at snorkeling together? Why wallow in solitude over the text message you got from your crush when your bestie is sitting right there to help you nit pick his use of "Yes" vs. "Ya"?

Some may agree to disagree, but I am totally Team Haley on this one. I excitedly reminded her of the new life story we were in the process of penning together: training for our first half marathon bi-coastally (I'm based in New York City; she's out in California)—the Destination Races Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon on May 9th.

Even more thrilling—at the starting line, we'll be reuniting for the first time since we met four years ago.

Haley and I met back in 2011, on one summer night in Boston. Funnily enough, neither of us were even living there at the time—I was in town from upstate New York visiting an ex-boyfriend because I was 24 and impractical, and she was hailing from the suburbs to see college friends and a new love interest (who also happened to be my said-ex-boyfriend's best friend. Of course.) Needless to say, Haley and I began as perfect strangers when we found ourselves barhopping together on Landsdowne Street with a grab bag of mutual friends and former/current flames; we both ordered Pinot Grigio, commiserated over our lion-like humidity hair, and quickly realized we were already long-lost-twins-kind-of-friends.

You know that super-exciting feeling when you meet an ah-mazing guy at a bar with whom you have everything in common with, and ohmigod where could this go?! Meeting Haley was better, because I knew she'd actually talk to me again. (Zing. Sorry, boys.) Our mutual interests included, but were not limited to: country music, creative writing, coffee-by-day, wine-by-night, running, reading, biting wit, and even February 16th birthdays one year apart.

Fast-forward to 2015: Since our first time bonding in Boston, Haley and I have kept in touch and involved in each other's lives mostly through social media, crazily enough. As someone who hates on Facebook far more often that not (seriously, people—no one cares what you had for lunch, nor do I want to see that 84th photo of your infant), I never thought the words, "thank God for social media," would come out of my mouth. But thanks to Facebook chat, witty Twitter exchanges, and our mutual affinity for artistic and adventurous Instagram photos, it's been easy for us to keep up with each other.

But social media is certainly no stand in for real life. Since 2011, together, Haley and I have been through five boyfriends, four years, three cities, two years in grad school…and one unanimous decision that it was finally time to reunite in a big way.

So that's why we decided that signing up to run 13.1 miles through a vineyard together, and training for it for three months together-but-apart, was the best idea we've ever had. Just "meeting up" wouldn't do our friendship justice. Training is all part of the shared experience.
Finish line celebrations.

Even for someone who enjoys running, prepping for a half marathon is no small feat. The training schedule Haley and I follow requires us to go running at least five days a week, and let me tell you—waking up at 8am before brunch plans on a Saturday to do a 10-mile training run sounds a lot cooler than it actually is. It's exhausting. But the main thing that helps get me up and out from under my duvet is this: Even though I'm pounding pavement in Central Park and Haley is kicking up sand at Shoreline Park, I'm not doing this alone. Sometimes we'll even exchange training run Snapchats of city skylines and beach sunshine as motivational reminders.

In a way, training up to this big event is the fun part because we're running for something bigger. A friendship. A reunion. A new and shared life experience.

Oh, and the wine tasting station at the finish line.

Celebs: Look For Less: Khloe Kardashian

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By HIHEELZbrooke · June 27, 2011

Happy 27th Birthday to Ms. Khloe Kardashian! If I could take a wild guess as to how this gal is celebrating tonight, it's definitely going to be all out and in style. We're talking the entire Kardashian clan in tow, plus copious amounts of Krug and Dom Perignon at one of LA's hottest night clubs. Real-life mini horses bedazzled with glitter a la Lisa Frank are not ruled out, either.

And since I'm probably not going to be invited to this soiree, instead, I'm going to honor Khloe's special day by talking about how much I love her beachy outfit. One of my favorite looks ever is pairing long sleeves with shorts—it's so subtly sexy. Ms. Khloe uped the ante even more and sported a pair of wedges with her cuffed daisy dukes. Her cream-colored crochet cover up is gorgeous—it doesn't show too much, but it's lightweight and semi-see-through, so you can still catch a peek at her adorable string bikini. Two points for understated sexiness! KK finished off by accessorizing with a big gold watch and of course, her gargantuan engagement ring. (Hopefully she has her floaties packed in that lemon yellow tote, because she actually might sink wearing that thing!)

Lovin' the birthday girl's summer look? You can head to the beach donning the budget-friendly but just as cute version of Khloe's outfit—check out my finds above. :)

Read: Five-Minute Health Fixes

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By HIHEELZbrooke · June 26, 2011

In the time it takes to microwave a bag of popcorn or wait for the commercial break during the Law & Order: SVU marathon to end, you could have just bettered your health. (Not to make you feel like a guilty blob or anything...) But in truth, if you have five minutes, that's all it takes to do your body good. As your penance, check out my article for some super-fast and super-easy ways to revamp your lifestyle!

How much time do you spend taking care of your health each day? Sometimes it seems as though we don’t have even a few minutes to do that. 

But you can do yourself a lot of good by incorporating these 10 quick health fixes into your daily routine:


Head to ThirdAge.com to read up on all 10 of my five-minute health fixes!



September 2015
July 2015