GEAR GUIDE 2017

 Walk into 2017 like this guy…like you know something that others don’t.

Walk into 2017 like this guy…like you know something that others don’t.

It’s a new year and it’s time to think about how we can make 2017 our best year yet.  I made a list of my favorite things that I’ve came across this year that I think will help you in your quest to be the best version of you.

Anytime I can get an edge to improve how I feel, enhance my knowledge, or simply enjoy life at a deeper level, I’m always down.  I hope this list will do that for you.  So here it is…

My Top 10 Must Haves for 2017:

#1.  Off the Chain Pant, from Lululemon

I love these pants for so many reasons.  From 2014-2016, it was all about the ABC pant from Lulu.  ABC stands for Anti-Ball Crushing.  Love these pants.  I just might have all the colors. They have 4-way stretch, are comfy, and fit me real nice.  Having a butt and quads, its tough finding a slimmer fitting pant that is still comfortable.  With that said, 2017 is all about the Off the Chain Pant.  This is a new and improved version of the ABC.  It has a little leaner and tighter cut, but still has room in all the right places.  I can dress these up or dress them down.  I’m obsessed!!!  Oh, and as I write this they are on sale right now at Bellevue Square as well as online (last I checked they were on sale for $68!…a steal!).

 Forgive me and my selfie…I’m doing it to help you!  Love my Off the Chains & Neff beanie…see below for my #2

Forgive me and my selfie…I’m doing it to help you!  Love my Off the Chains & Neff beanie…see below for my #2

 Here are a few reasons why you need these babies

Here are a few reasons why you need these babies

#2.  Neff Beanie

Being that it is winter in the northwest, and 70 + degree weather is nowhere in sight, I love keeping my noggin warm with my fav beanie from Neff (see photo above).  Sometimes wearing a ball cap does not do the job.  Why I like it: it has the perfect mix of the right length (some beanies are either too long or too short…the Neff is spot on) and also it is the perfect material.  It’s not itchy, but really comfortable and it has the perfect amount of stretch.  Finally it’s not too warm, but does the job.  I hate walking outside where it is cold and warrants a beanie, then when I get inside I have to take my beanie off because I am too hot and my hair looks all messed up (so I’m vain..sue me).  This game changer keeps me warm when outside and not too hot inside…I can rock it with comfort inside and out. 

#3.  H & M Collared Shirts

If you are looking for an affordable dress shirt in a variety of styles and colors, H & M has got what you are looking for.  You might like to go to Nordy’s and drop $100 plus on a dress shirt, but I like to get more bang for my buck.  These shirts have a more athletic European cut, which I like, and I’ve had several for multiple years, so the quality does the job.  If you are looking for 4-way stretch, my honorable mention goes to Mizzen and Main (check them out)…shout out to my boy Mike Ike. 

 NBD, just me taking a family pick with one of my H&M buttoned collard shirts

NBD, just me taking a family pick with one of my H&M buttoned collard shirts

#4.  Zara Blazers

Every grown man needs to own a black suit and a multi-use blazer.  The reason why I like Zara’s blazers is the way they are cut (slim) and because most of them have a comfortable stretchy material (are you seeing a trend here?).  The other reason why I like them is because they offer a high quality jacket for a reasonable price.  Pair your new blazer with a clean t-shirt for a more relaxed look.  Check them out…Zara is now in Bellevue Square as well as downtown Seattle (they have legit kids and women clothes as well).

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#5.  Nike 3/4 Zip

These Nike 3/4 Zip tops are my go to whether I’m going to the gym, or going to a meeting.  They are so comfy, look great, and can be used in multiple settings.  Rock them to get your workout on, or when you go business casual with a polo underneath.  Stick with black and gray, and add a pop of color with your polo.  You just simply can’t lose with this wardrobe staple.

 These are a little too tight for my taste, but you get the point.

These are a little too tight for my taste, but you get the point.

#6.  Cole Haan GrandePro Tennis Sneaker

This single pair of Cole Haan’s will transform your look overnight.  I am really into rocking a more sporty shoe with my blazer or even suit.  The rules have changed.  Maybe its the athlete in me, or the look that says, “I mean business, but know how to have fun too,” this is the look for 2017.  There is not a lighter or more comfortable shoe out there — and they come in many colors.  Whether you travel, are on your feet most of the day, chill at a desk, or want to stay current or ahead of the curve…add this shoe to your repertoire and you will be closing dates and deals all in the same day.  Check out Charles Woodsen on ESPN or Kenny Smith on TNT for inspiration. 

 What can I say…I’m a shoe guy

What can I say…I’m a shoe guy

#7.  32 Degrees Heat Performance Mesh

I love to feel warm.  With the colder weather and the fact that I travel to eastern WA, Alaska, and Montana, I need an extra layer.  My go-to is 32 Degree Heat shirts and long-underwear from Costco.  The shirts come in short sleeve or long sleeve.  I opt for the long sleeve.  They are very comfortable and you can’t beat the price (wait for it…they run about $8 a piece…seriously?!).  You can even wear the long sleeve top  under your blazer.  I like the cut of the neck…it’s in between a V-neck and basic crew.

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#8.  Nike Joggers

If you are like some people I know, you are rocking pants like its 1999 (RIP Prince)…or like you are the 6th member of N*SYNC.  Gangster rap, grunge, and boy bands were cool many years ago — so were baggy pants.  It’s time to step up your casual game with a pair of Nike jogger pants.  Whether you go for cotton Dri-Fit or more of a polyester feel, your gear game on Saturday and Sunday will be turning heads…for the right reasons.  Pair your slimmer looking bottoms with a flashy color of Nike running shoes and please don’t be that guy that rocks Adidas, Nike, and Under Armor all in the same outfit…pick one brand and stick to it.

 You can never go wrong with black…NEVER.

You can never go wrong with black…NEVER.

#9.  Jordan Brand Long Tights

About a year ago, I found myself stuck in a tough place at the gym.  I was too hot in pants and too cold wearing shorts…my legs didn’t know what to do.  Thus, I made a strategic change that has taken my look, comfort, and swag to the next level…I’ve been rocking long tights under my shorts.  I used to wear spandex under my football pants for years, but it took me a while to adopt this approach to the gym.  I’ve tried many different brands, but I love the cut and style of any Jordan spandex…for some reason there is more room for the boys downstairs than Nike long tights.  Give this approach a try…you’ll thank me later.

 Long tights under shorts are the perfect blend for the perfect workout.

Long tights under shorts are the perfect blend for the perfect workout.

#10.  Wireless Headphones

Have long tights transformed my workout game?…yes.  But, nothing has taken my workout experience to the next level quite like my Beats by Dre wireless headphones.  Do you ever listen to music with your phone in your pocket and your cord gets in the way?…Or when you are attacking dumbbell bench and your phone constantly falls out of your pocket?  Take this frustrating practice away by investing in headphones without a cord (the new iPhone doesn’t even have a jack, so this is where the future is going people).  I love listening to podcasts or YouTube videos of inspiring people and stories while lifting and doing cardio…this is made possible by sticking my phone hidden in the corner while I move around without a care in the world.  If Beats head phones break your budget, there are a ton of other brands that are more affordable.  Start working out like it’s 2017, not like you did in 1997 with a disc-man and head phones with a cord.

Here’s a list of top brands.

 Be a beast like LBJ…get rid of the ball and chain of traditional headphone chords.

Be a beast like LBJ…get rid of the ball and chain of traditional headphone chords.

Look good, feel good, play good.  This progression can be applied at work and other areas of your life as well.  Try some of my favorites and let me know what you think.  Hit me up with your must haves for 2017 and lets make this year the the year we truly take our look, production, and joy to the next level.