I know, I know, it's almost August, which means it's almost fall, and here I am posting about shorts, the ultimate summer wardrobe staple. But hear me out: shorts are way more versatile than most people give them credit for, and late summer is the perfect time to stock up on the pairs you lusted after all summer that are now on sale. 

Lately, I've been loving shorts in vibrant prints because they're an unexpected outfit centerpiece when worn with a simple t-shirt, button-down or comfy sweater. Here are some of my favorite options, and they're all on sale! Online shopping frenzy, commence.
Loft Jagged Stripe Print Shorts, $25, loft.com
Tulle Striped Button Shorts, $45, piperlime.com

Current/Elliott The Roll Short, $87, piperlime.com
-S
Gap Ikat Canvas Shorts, $42, gap.com
Seven for All Mankind Carlie Cut Off Short in Laser Ikat Denim, $79, 7forallmankind.com
Mara Hoffman Mexican Blanket Shorts, $169, shopbop.com
 
 
what it is: Alterna Bamboo Volume 48-Hour Sustainable Volume Spray

why i love it: I don't have particularly thin hair, but I'm also never one to turn down a volumizing product. Simply put, this one is by far the best I've ever used. Just a few spritzes of this eco-friendly product on damp hair leave you with seriously noticeable volume that lasts. I let my hair air dry most of the way, then flipped my head upside down and used a blow dryer to give the spray even more of a boost. Not only will this product thicken skinny strands, but it also provides weightless lift to styles and holds curls or bouncy blowouts in place in a crunch-less way most hairsprays can only strive for. Another added bonus is the light, barely-there fragrance (which is ideal when I already have about 12 other scented sprays, lotions and products in my beauty routine). Can you tell I'm a bit obsessed?

where to get it: sephora.com, $24
-S
 
 
what it is: a goldish-greenish nail color that has begun to become ubiquitous in the nail world

why I love it: Last year, I added this Butter London color to my nail polish collection, classifying it as a bizarro gold and moving along. But when I took a closer look at it when I went to apply it for the first time, I realized just how cool the color was. It looks a little different in every light, which is part of what makes it trendy, and doesn't show wear as much as cream polish. It's a pretty understated metallic, so you could even argue in defense of it being a neutral, but one that's much less of a snooze than, say, one of those colors that could be used over a French manicure. It's got more of a punch than a traditional metallic, and since I'm someone who does typically wear nail polish seasonally (no neons in winter, no darks in summer), this is a great subtle but fun go-to that I can wear on fingers or toes all year.

Chanel came out with Peridot last year, and it quickly became a coveted shade among the polish-obsessed. Recently, I've been seeing Ciaté's version of the same shade popping up a lot, too. After a quick look, I saw that many brands made a color like this (for good reason!), so here's a round up of some of my favorites to see how they compare!

where to buy it: Chanel, $26; OPI for stores (can't buy online), $8; Ciaté, $15; Essie, $8; Deborah Lippman, $18; but you can also get many of them at Sephora, too (and Ciaté doesn't have to ship from the UK that way).
-E
 
 
what it is: Cartier Love bracelet and Cartier Juste Un Clou bracelet
 
why I love it: The Love bracelet is such a staple it can literally go with anything, which is good because you screw it on to your arm. It's the perfect elegant standalone for every day or a special occasion, and it looks great with an arm party. It's such a classic and the simple, feminine with an edge look the bracelet has is something I (can only right now) dream of adding to my repertoire someday. I want it in yellow gold (but it also comes in white and rose gold) so it can be a wear-forever deal. I love mixing metals and it's hard to beat Cartier's yellow gold, especially when you're donning an arm party.

When the Juste Un Clou bracelet was released last year, I couldn't get over how perfect it was. The design is so obvious, yet it would be hard to execute it as perfectly as Cartier did. Unlike the Love bracelet, it's not for everyone and it's not for everywhere, but it comes close. It adds a bit of elegant toughness to any outfit and, like the Love bracelet, fits perfectly into an arm party. It's so understated yet well thought out that it makes you take a second look. Wearing it alone will get that attention but amongst other bracelets the nail detail will add the perfect simple irony to the rest of your wrist adornments. 

The two are alike in their genius simplicity, but one packs a little more versatility and less trendiness into its design. It's probably good I can't get either, because if I had to choose one, I'm not sure which way I'd go!

where to get it: Cartier; Love $5,575 and Juste Un Clou $6,575
-E
 
 
Every man should own a suit, and most men probably own at least one pair of jeans, and rightfully so. But on a daily basis, if you don't have to wear a suit to work every day, you have to find other ways to mix it up. Things can get boring, so color variety down under can bring your shirts and ties (if necessary) back to life. 

The first thing you should do when you're shopping for pants, is find a pair that fits. As always, they don't have to be expensive, as long as they fit well. Which means you might have to visit a tailor. They shouldn't be too low rise, and if you can't find a length that's good for you, err long and get them hemmed. Especially for work, these shouldn't be too skinny, you shouldn't feel like they're about to rip off of you; baggy pants are also a crime, your legs shouldn't have too much room to move around inside the pant leg. And no pleats. Ever. Straight leg is going to be your best bet, because even those should taper about an inch from your thigh to your ankle. Even if you're a set size, every store's pants will fit a little differently, so find your magic pair...then buy all 6 necessary colors in that style (plus more, if you wish!).

And so for the six. In your closet, you should have the following: black (non-suit) pants, gray pants (light or dark, but both is preferable. You can do dress pants or khakis, depending on which your life demands more), darker khakis, lighter (but not too light) khakis, green (hunter, not kelly) and navy. Owning these will insure a wide variety of shirt/pants combinations, and no matter which pants you choose to wear, you will always look better than casual. These will span a range of different dress codes and you won't always look like your mom laid your clothes out for you to go to a school dance. This mix will give you neutral staples as well as updates to those so you can vary what you wear and easily give your work or nighttime attire a more stylish edge. 

Some examples:
For some good options in all price ranges, try: Express, J.Crew, Gap, Bonobos (got their start selling better-fitting pants), Mr. Porter (for the über trendy), Suit Supply. All pants pictured above are various colors of the Bonobos straight leg style.
-E


 
 
Those who know me know I love pizza in any and every form at any time of day. Unfortunately, general logic and my arteries tell me that I can't have it for every meal, so I do what I can to incorporate the same tastes into new dishes. I saw this recipe on Pinterest and knew I had to make it. With a few amendments to the original recipe, these were a very satisfying substitute (and the perfect appetizer/finger food) for the I-wish-it-was-acceptable three Artichoke Pizza meals a day.
pizza stuffed mushrooms
serves about 4 (as an appetizer)

For mushrooms:
2 packages of baby bellas
4 oz softened cream cheese
¼ cups grated parmesan
¼ cups grated mozzarella
1 tablespoon ricotta
¼ teaspoons Dried Basil
⅛ teaspoons Dried Oregano
garlic salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped white mushrooms
note: as you can see from my amendments, you can really use any pizza topping in this filling. Use what you like and forget what you don't for your perfect pizza reincarnate!

For (optional) red sauce:
can or jar of pre-made marinara or pizza sauce
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more for extra heat)
salt and pepper to taste


 
 
what it is: Zara black & lime mesh bib with gemstones

why i love it: I have been dreaming about Dannijo's collar necklaces for a while now, not to mention desperately trying to find a more affordable version that fills a similar niche. When I spotted this incredible version from Zara for such a reasonable price, it instantly shot to the top of my wish list. I love that the vibrant neon gemstones are offset with muted gunmetal chain links, and I can see this necklace looking amazing with a simple t-shirt and jeans - an instant chic-ifier, if you will. It's the type of accessory that people can't help but notice, and who wouldn't want a statement necklace that makes that statement?

where to get it: zara.com, $29.90
-S

 
 
what it is: Ciaté Caviar Manicure kit

why I love it: I love nail art as much as the next girl, but I find the elaborate designs I see everywhere on blogs and Pinterest are impossible to do with my non-dominant hand, and my manicures wear far too easily to put in the effort of making 10 mini-masterpieces on my fingernails. Enter this DIY nail art that doesn't require ambidexterity...and it's 3-D! Whether you want your nails to grab immediate attention or you want people to have to take a second look, there's a color option for you. It doesn't cost a fortune and it's the perfect thing to have on hand for those times you're bored and want more options than just the polish in your medicine cabinet. I can't wait to get my hands on my own set--the next problem is choosing which one I want! 

where to get it: ciate.co.uk or sephora.com, $25
-E
 
 
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This brown will go with anything you'd want to wear short of a dressy occasion, more versatile than even the original Sperry color.
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The laceless design and rich leather make this a slightly dressier alternative to the boat shoe, but the two are nearly interchangeable in an everyday outfit.
As men, you don't really have many opportunities to free your feet. Mandals are not universally accepted, and most other footwear requires socks. In the summer, that can get hot, and with shorts....let's not even go there. That's why it's essential to own at least one pair of sockless shoes. Now, I'm not talking about any shoes that you buy with the intention of reserving them only for sockless occasions. There are shoes that are and are not acceptable to wear without socks, and you need to at least own one pair. These are most likely going to be for casual or dressy-casual (worst dress code ever) occasions, and most basically I'm talking a boat shoe or a loafer.

Get these in a good not-too-dark brown so they can go with everything and will look good dressed up or down, with pants or shorts, the works. If you're only going to have one pair, it doesn't really matter whether you go with the loafer or the boat shoe, but the loafer is going to be able to be dressed up more. Go with traditional shapes and colors and you can't go wrong. Most men don't realize the difference opting for the sockless semi-dress shoe over the sneaker can make in an outfit. It's an across the board instant upgrade, and not only will your feet thank you for some freedom during the summer months, those around you will thank you for leaving the mandals at home.

Note: In colder months, socks with loafers (NOT boat shoes) can be acceptable. But it can also be tacky and disastrous. Study up and make sure you do it right before you jump in.
-E
Shoes: left, Sperry Top-Sider (aforementioned original color here); right, Cole Haan
 
 
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Whitney Port
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Katie Holmes
Sea salt hair sprays are an effortless and quick way to achieve perfect beachy waves in the summer (see photographic inspiration above). One of my favorites is Sachajuan Ocean Mist - which I wrote about last week - but at $28, it's a rather pricey way to look like you just spent all day at the beach. Considering the end goal is to look like you got splashed with saltwater, it makes sense that it shouldn't be too difficult to mix up your own version at home. 

I used this recipe, which is great because it contains nourishing coconut oil to protect from the dryness of the salt. It should only take about five minutes to mix up the spray, and I can vouch for the fact that it really does work!

You'll need: An empty spray bottle, 1 cup of warm water (to help the other ingredients dissolve), 1 teaspoon of coconut oil (I used this one), 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon of hair gel (I used this one) for hold. If you have especially thick or really straight hair, add a little extra salt. You can also add essential oils or a tiny drop of your favorite fragrance if you want the spray to be scented. 

Spray it on damp, towel-tried hair and scrunch hair with your fingers to build waves. If you want more defined curls, touch up with a curling iron (or flat iron!) once your hair is dry.
-S