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  • Don't Be a Tube Sock

    Don't Be a Tube Sock

    Do you have white tube socks in your dresser, drawer, or wherever it is you keep your socks? Well, you shouldn't.

    Hi, this is the Bellwether Project and we're here to tell you that socks, yes socks, can make or break an outfit. We know, those trusty white tube socks have been there for you, through thick and thin, but it's just not a good look, fam. You've got a nice blazer on, paired with your favorite t-shirt and your favorite jeans. You're wearing a nice hat from Goorin Bros. You've got your favorite wingtips on. You sit down, cross your legs and *collective gasp* you've got WHITE TUBE SOCKS peeking out. Just think about it, such a waste.

    If you've been committed to the tube sock, we understand this may be disheartening. You're not a wasteful person, you're not just going to burn your collection of socks in the backyard. Luckily for you, we live in the sock era. Yes, I called it the sock era. Sure, there are always a litany of dress sock options, argyles, wool, the whole nine. Always cool, always better than a tube sock. Us personally though, we like to keep it funky. There are hella sock companies popping up left and right, many of whom take chances with their designs.

    This allows you to dress an otherwise formal outfit down to your liking. Let em know you like cats, weed plants, dolphins, malt liquor, the Virgin Mary, paisley print, _____, ______, .....

    Don't be a tube sock, homie.

    Jorge Courtade

  • 4239a2eabd8401b8-NightOUt.jpg

    We speak on the power of presentation often. I mean, it’s kinda our job. What we haven’t done is give you tangible examples of what you can expect when you’re styled and fitted. Last night, the Bellwether Project was invited out to an event we planned on covering. If you’re wondering, well there wasn’t much to cover (hence the subject matter of this story). That being said, we’d all put outfits together, outfits designed to stand out. The way people treated us is starkly different to anything I’ve felt in a while. Here’s the rundown.

    From the Muni stop to Market Street from the Thai restaurant we ate at to the bar we ended up at, people will stare. Heads turn when people walk by. People will look at you as if they’re trying to figure out who you are and what on earth it is that you do.

    People are waaaay more likely to speak to you. The waitresses were kind. Once we all left each other, I received two comments on my blazer.

    You will feel more important (than you really are) and people respond to it. We’re all regular guys but you wouldn’t guess it from how people look at us, treat us, etc. I felt like I had a 401k and dental insurance. I felt like I had hiring power.

    Imagine that.

    Jorge Courtade

  • Feeling Like A Polar Bear On Thin Ice

    Feeling Like A Polar Bear On Thin Ice

    It’s getting cold again and we’re not mad about it at all. Sure, come January we’ll probably long for a glimpse of the sun. Hell, I’ll probably be the palest shade of brown possible.

    About a week ago (cue Bobby Shmurda, Shmoney dance, hat in the air, all that), the weather was abnormally hot and it became a sartorial struggle. It’s October, you wanna bust out some of your favorite fabrics, throw on a couple layers, wear deeper, darker colors.

    I mean, it’s only right. Instead, it’s the middle of fall and our only options were henleys, light denim, and, in my case, Hawaiian shirts and guayaberas.

    We already thought climate change sucked when we saw those videos of polar bears jumping off of thin slabs of ice that used to house them but now climate change is really killin it – you’re messing up our groove, dawgy, and that’s not okay. Maybe one day climate change will render all seasons unrecognizable. Until then, though, we’re going to enjoy the sartorial opportunities that the colder weather opens up. Layers, foooool, layers *chunti voice*. Wool, tweed, and all of the other #itchyboy fabrics you can think of, it’s their time now. Welcome to fall, boi. Or is it autumn? That sounds more fancy.

    Jorge Courtade

     

     

  • Secret Meetings at Undisclosed Locations

    Secret Meetings at Undisclosed Locations

    The Bellwether Project recently sat down at a secret, undisclosed location to discuss plans for the future. Very important business, indeed. Legs were crossed, words were written, chins were held, all that.

    The trio of personal stylists, as you may have noticed, have begun to jump into the world of production. Next month, the Bellwether boys will be dropping their first product, the "Ego" bag (a collaboration with Berkeley-based Aegis Handcraft).

    The team discussed this collaboration at the very secret pow wow - essentially, Dario could not find a leather portfolio. Or, better put, he couldn't find a leather portfolio that was durable, economically sound (fancy way of saying not hella expensive), and aesthetically pleasing. With that in mind, they just decided to make one themselves. It's that entrepreneurial spirit that marks the people that drive culture, separating them from those who find themselves immersed in culture but hardly shape it. In a world of instant gratification, saturated markets, and pointless products, it can be easy to shy away from jumping into the marketplace. Instead, The Bellwether Project saw a gap in the market, identified it, and come next month, will fill it. I mean, they tryna get paid, fam.

  • Protect Your Nether Regions At All Times

    Protect Your Nether Regions At All Times

    Anyone that knows me knows that burgundy, wine, bordeaux, etc... That's my color family. Together we make up one big, less-dysfuntional-than-normal family, you know one that actually work in harmony. I wear the hell out of them and they, well they get to compose half my wardrobe. Recent weather in the Bay withstanding (currently hella hot but I’m still wearing a jacket because fashion), it’s been a struggle working deep, rich colors into my daily outfits. You might be going through a similar struggle. Do not fret for I have drawn two conclusions from this tragic trend in climate.

    1) I/You/We have a certain collective consciousness when it comes to season-appropriate attire. Don’t get me wrong, the uncoordinated and unconcerned version of myself (a bit younger and a bit misguided) still has urges to wear deep colors in the heat and vibrant, hyphy colors when it’s cold. There’s a rebel in all of us, to be sure. But there comes a day in every young man’s life when he wears a black ensemble in the deathly heat and realizes that it’s not worth the swampy effect it has on your nether regions. Sometimes conventional wisdom just plain works… even for the nonconventional.

    Okay so this whole self-realization thing is all good but yo what do I do now while I’m baking in the heat lol. This leads me to the second conclusion

    2) Don’t pigeonhole yourself into one color family, which, of course, exactly what I’ve done. Don’t get me wrong, burgundy and it’s more obscure siblings, cousins, and are-we-even-relateds will always be my preference. That being said, there has to be room in my closet for the pastels, neutrals, bright blues, hella hues, all that. I shouldn’t look in my closet and cringe at the thought of wearing 80% of my wardrobe during San Francisco’s infamous Indian (*yikes*) summer. Neither should you.


    Cool, now go out there and be somebody!

  • Hors d'oeuvres, yo.

    Hors d'oeuvres, yo.

    So I'm perusing (love that damn word, I imagine the top of someone's head and two eyeballs above a fence everytime I read it) through my email, looking for stuff to delete and waiting on the million-dollar email I know won't be there, when I see that The Bellwether Project has been invited to a luxury watch company's VIP preview event. They're talking refreshments, fam. Hors d'oeuvre, yo. That's very player, very fire. Indeed, indeed. Pinkies will be out. Indeed.

    I thought to myself, is that what being an "influencer" feels like? Are we beginning to taste the fruits of our labor, the spoils of being hella stylish?

    We are at a crossroads. I'm not going to lie to you, my room is currently a mess, rent is crazy, and parking tickets and college loan payments are about to start pressing me for funds like Stewie did Brian.

    That being said, we will be the best-dressed at the luxury watch event. We will provide the best coverage of said event and we will continue moving forward with our plans to raise the threshold of menswear in San Francisco.

    See, you're either moving up or falling off - I know which direction we're headed.

    --- Jorge Courtade thinks humility is a beautiful thing but is often overrated.

  • Buzz Balls, Paella, and VIP Wristbands

    Buzz Balls, Paella, and VIP Wristbands

    There comes a moment in every man's life when ... LOL just kidding about all that existential talk. All jokes aside, me (aka Jorge aka Pupusa Papi aka your second- or third-favorite menswear blogger) and Dante Wright were invited out to the 2nd annual Oakland Music Festival. I was already planning on going but comped tickets and a red carpet treatment? V down. I don't know about you but VIP wristbands are my favorite accessories, boi.

    Crazy thing about it is, it took a few shots of Hennessy, two trips to the closest liquor store and some ridiculously flavored Buzz Balls (I need that sponsorship, B) to realize that, this, THIS, this, speaks to who we are the same as any street style shot or press write-up (keep those coming, tho).

    We are no less 'gentlemanly' because we gig to 'Try Me' and 'Lifestyle.' Or, maybe we are. Fact is, we don't care, we do it anyway because that's who we are and we're doing this our way. We're here, in the illustrious words of Yeezus, to up the taste level. Sometimes that means being polite and holding decorum. Sometimes that means ruffling a few feathers. Sometimes that means cooling out in the smoking section. Sometimes that means being mistaken as performing artists as opposed to the gawdly menswear bloggers we are.

    So be it.

    Jorge Courtade

    P.S. The festival was dope. Love Oakland, love the Bay, love rap music, love good vibes. Shout Out random paella food vendors. Shout out Tumblr girls with curly hair. Shout out drink specials.

    Peace. Bless. All that.

  • When You're No Longer Under The Club Lights and Her Outfit Sucks

    When You're No Longer Under The Club Lights and Her Outfit Sucks

    This is a menswear blog. Hopefully, this is not news to you. That being said, we’d like to touch on the fairer sex, their fashion, and how we complement each other.

    Imagine the scenario; you meet a girl at the club, her hair’s right, her dancing looks inviting under the club lights. You get drinks, she’s impressed by your fire outfit. Eventually, you step out together and, to your dismay, she has no style at all. Her colors clash, her outfit looks like it’s straight out of a Mervyn’s catalog, she has no grasp of texture, pattern, or palette… You suddenly reconsider your life choices.

    See, men dress (well) for a variety of reasons. Some just like the feeling of throwing on a steezy double fishtail coat or maybe they enjoy the utility that comes with RiRi zippers or perhaps that wool knitted cap is a bit fashion and a bit function…. But, let’s face it, a lot of it has to do with attracting women. That’s why the concept of a poorly dressed woman is so disheartening. Womenswear is an ocean compared to the pool of menswear. Because much of our industry is geared towards women, we have (unfair) expectations of how well they should dress.

    Ladies, we love you. We buy drinks to talk to you. We love your flair, the way your hair shines under the moonlight… just don’t let us dress better than you.

    Jorge Courtade




  • Avoid Sweaty Pits At All Costs

    Avoid Sweaty Pits At All Costs

    The back of my shirt was damp, an inevitable result given the circumstances. It was the first day of fall… and it was still hella hot. San Francisco, as you probably know, is a city of microclimates. I leave my house in the Avenues wrapped up like a menswear empanada just to disrobe, layer by layer, the further Downtown I go. I’m sure you can recall similar experiences.

    Recently, that familiar quandary was multiplied by the shift in seasons – you know, those arbitrary parts of the year which will probably lose relevance the more this whole “climate change” thing plays out. So, while I troll the comment sections of other not-as-cool menswear blogs, I often find myself a member of the Sad Boyz Club when I scroll up and see the fire pieces dropping for the season. I just imagine myself drenched in sweat as I stubbornly keep that wool sweater on.

     

    Never one to despair, there is some maneuvering that can minimize the back sweat. In true Bellwether fashion, we are here to help. Namely, wear dark, fall-inspired colors to stay in season – just make sure your pieces are lightweight and breathable. Think bordeaux/navy/off-white henleys and lightweight denim.

    Hell, you can probably get most of this stuff on sale now as retailers gear up for the colder, holiday season. The come up never ends.

     

    You’re welcome.

    -Jorge Courtade

  • Asking For Help Is For Grown Ups

    Asking For Help Is For Grown Ups

    I went through a variety of outfits. Imagine jeans, shirts, hats, shoes, haphazardly sprawled out in my room. Mirrors were checked, things were taken off and then put back on. Meanwhile, The Bellwether Project’s own, Dario Smith, watched TV in another room with a disconnected interest in what I was doing. I didn’t want to ask him style questions.

    As a man, one that likes to think of himself as ahead of the ‘style curve,’ there is a staunch stubbornness that is hard to shake off. I like to acknowledge that I’m a big boy now, all growed up, you know? I can dress myself. I know I’m not the only one. I’m often reminded of this when the Bellwether Project approaches a man about personal styling. That approach can be seen as irreverent, a direct affront to all notions of steeze you thought you had.

    Men reply,

    “What are you trying to say?” or maybe “Are you saying I can’t dress?”

    These are natural reactions. I actually, totally, wholeheartedly get it.

    Then I remembered, these are my homies, man. I bucked up and asked Dario what he thought, gave him some options I had in mind. He lent his expertise, knowing what I like to do and what I do well. I ended up with an outfit that was tasteful, casual and well put-together. Nothing I wouldn't have done on my own, it just took some guidance to get there.


    I guess what I’m trying to say is, I understand why you might not want a personal stylist, you’ve dressed yourself since your mom stopped putting you in overalls and sailor shirts.

    You’re an adult. A second eye doesn’t hurt, though, and neither does having friends that care about your appearance. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re not stylish - it means you know enough about style to know you’re not always right. It mean you care enough to get it right. Ain't nothing wrong with that, dawgy.

    Jorge Courtade