Meet Steven of Straight Function

| Manly Mondays are back, with a new weekly series, featuring my favorite Men Bloggers from all across the globe.  Each Monday, you’ll get the inside scoop on the different trends, tips, and of course the man behind his blog.   If you are interested in being featured in my Manly Monday’s series, please email me |

Meet Steven of Straight Function

Steven graduated with a bachelors degree in Fashion Marketing, and is currently working for Chicago Scene Magazine and The Tie Bar. Steven's goal is to help men who want to suit-up and dress the part to be successful. He also wants to be an influence in the men's fashion world. 

1) What made you want to start your blog and how would you describe your style in 3 words?
What started my blog were the college students in my school. I would always dress in a suit or blazer, of course, but the guys would always ask me why I did it. I told them you never know who you will meet downtown, on the train and life is a giant surprise.

3 words to describe my style: dapper, gentleman and business

2) Who is your fashion inspiration?
Tom Ford style and craftsmanship. How he looks at a suit and sees a blank canvas.

3) What's the one wardrobe essential you cannot live without?
I would say a "Tie Bar". I am always wearing a tie from the Tie Bar because it keeps my tie straight all hours of the day.

4) What is your favorite thing about blogging?
I would say my favorite is the responses I get back, the feedback from people telling me I did a great job is super rewarding. It's a great feeling when I know that someone or my audience is inspired by the looks I created; it makes me so humble about growing my blog.

5) What is a quick fashion tip or advice for men?
Never feel over-dressed, if you feel like wearing a shirt and tie everyday, go for it. I would like every gent to be in a suit.

6) Do you have any favorite stores or brands?
Zara, Topman, The Tie Bar & Combat Gent

7) What would you say is your favorite fall/winter trend?
A nice over coat is something every gent needs to keep his eyes for this winter. Something simple but it keeps your suit looking nice. Also I see more men wearing scarves more.

I couldn't agree more, men should always be in suits, well said Steven! Steven is the first menswear blogger (that I am aware of?) in my city, and I am super impressed, we definitely need more menswear bloggers in Chicago! Come on men! :-)

See more of Steven's style by visiting his blog and Instagram!

Meet more menswear Bloggers here.
And don't forget to check back next Monday for more!


Happy Cyber Monday! Here are the top 'Fellas' Deals today:

JCREW // 30% off with code: MONDAY | 40% off  select styles | +40% off sale
TOPMAN // 20% off everything
BANANA REPUBLIC // 40% off with code: BESTCYBER
Nordstrom // everything on sale + double points
Express // 50% off everything + free shipping
Bloomingdales // take 25% off regular price

Shop Similar Styles:

Have a happy Monday guys, and enjoy the sales!!!

Tips to #AvoidingHolidayWeightGain

Hi All! How was your Thanksgiving? Hope you guys had a wonderful holiday and did lots of shopping! I, on the other hand, have done barely, but did snag a few good ones online (can’t wait to show you!). In honor of one holiday feast down, I wanted to get a head start on my New Year’s Resolutions; one being to be and stay healthier. It’s been two years since I’ve committed to working out on a weekly basis; and not just a 1 month – I’m over it kind of deal, I mean I’ve kept a routine, a lifestyle, and it’s definitely a huge positive first step in my life. But the one thing that cancels out to my fitness routine is my diet. It’s definitely a struggle, and believe it or not it’s even more of struggle around the holiday season.

Today I want to share with you 5 great tips on how I’m #AvoidingHolidayWeightGain (and you can too!) –

1) Stay Active.

I recently took the plunge and signed up for a gym nearby, and have been loving it ever since.

If you don’t want to spend money on a gym, you can easily workout at the comfort of your own home! #NoExcuses! Some of my favorite in-home workouts come from people I follow on Instagram, @workoutprograms, @sarah_bowmar, @flatbellyguide and @missk_J6 (awesome protein recipes). Do at least 30 minutes of these exercises every other day… Trust me you’ll feel better!

2) Eating healthier, pick better foods to consume next time – 

Yes I am not the Queen of eating healthy, in fact food is my weakness, and eating healthy is just something I have been horrible at doing, and let’s be honest, who isn’t? Instead of trying to go on a diet, I am going to make it a lifestyle, and my first step is meal prepping each week. Having a handy “already made snack” will make saying no to the bad stuff easier.

Yes, the cookies, cake and candy are everywhere; and no you don’t have to stay completely away, but before you take a dive at the dessert table, maybe think about eating a small snack (carrots, yogurt, etc.) beforehand, that way you won’t end up over-indulging and regretting it later.

Here are some websites I have found that have great meal prep recipes – OrganizeYourself Skinny or GirlsWalk into a Barbell.

Shop for cheap mason jars here and tupperware here.

3) Thanksgiving just ended and your weekend feast continued all weekend long..Feeling bloated all the time? Consider trying detox or weight loss tea (can be found at your local grocery store). 

I have been drinking mine since a few weeks ago and I have been feeling great!

Here are some great options: Get Clean Tea (great tea!), SkinnyMint

4) Body wraps might help speed up the process. I am about to try out a body wrap called “It Works!” 

Not sure if it “really works,” but we shall see… I will update you with the results!

5) And last but not least… Be confident. 

Not saying you can’t indulge in the holiday feast, but stay strong, if it helps write down and keep track of everything you eat daily, and remind yourself that the biggest battle you are fighting is yourself.

Shop Post Here:

How are you guys keeping healthy this holiday season? Comment below, would love to hear some tips!  

Fancy Nancista

Black Friday Sales

Happy almost Turkey day! This will be my first Thanksgiving away from home, my friends and family. I moved away to fulfill my dreams and though I am thankful, sometimes I feel all alone; and believe it or not moving to a new city is hard, especially in your mid-twenties.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, (yes a time to stuff our faces), but it allows everyone to get together, and realize the good things in life that they are thankful for. It’s a wonderful time to give thanks to everyone and everything.  So even though I am thousands of miles away, I am thankful to have a place where I can call home. I am also thankful to have friends and family that live here, so that I am not completely alone. :D
We all know what the day after Thanksgiving is? Black Friday. Though I am not much of a wait-in-line in the crack@$$ of dawn type of gal, I have come up with a list of fantastic deals that you definitely cannot miss.

For The Gals:
Get Reddy Nail Polish // Julep $14.99 ($48.00 value)
ASOS [Up to 70% off casual looks for men and women with code: BLESSED]
Sam Edelman OTK // Nordstrom $229 + Free Shipping
Nasty Gal [Get 30% off select styles]
Burberry Bracelet Watch // Nordstrom $464.98 ($695)
Tory Burch Pebbled Mini // Nordstrom $318.25 ($475)
Alix Knit Jacquard Dress // BCBG $149 ($298) [Up to 70% off sale]
High Heel Beaded Ankle Sandal // BCBG $125 {$250)
Kate Spade ‘embellished owl’ phone case // Nordstrom $26.98 ($45)
Crystal Necklace // JCrew  $109.99 ($138) [extra 40% off sale styles, use code HOLIDAY]
Majesty Pea Coat // JCrew $199-$239.99 [use code HOLIDAY for additional 40% off]

For The Fellas:
Michael Kors Wallet // East Dane [Up to 25% off your order with code GOBIG15]
Button Down Shirt // Need Supply Co. [Extra 25% off sale items with code BLACKWEEKEND]
Herschel Supply Co. Backpack // Urban Outfitters [Take an additional 50% off of sale until noon on Black Friday IN STORES only]
Rib Cuff Glove // Club Monaco [Use promo code THANKS30 for 30% off sale online and in stores]
Boot Cut Jeans // Levi's [Take 40% off until noon, 30% off after]
Bow Tie in Paisley // ASOS [Up to 70% off casual looks for men and women with code: BLESSED]
Mr Porter [30% off select styles]

For The Electronic Geeks:
Apple Watch // Target $349-$599 + $100 Gift Card
Apple iPad Air 16GB // Target $399 + $100 Gift Card ($499)
Xbox 360 E 4GB Console // Amazon $184.48
22” LED LCD Monitor // OverStock $89
Canon Digital SLR Camera // Kohls $449.99 – comes with bag, 18-55mm Lens & 75-300mm Lens ($799.99)
Amazon Echo // Amazon $149 – ($179)
Touch Laptop // HP $249.99

Shop Post:

Wow, there is a lot of great deals, I can't wait to go shopping myself. What are you guys thankful for and what do you plan on buying this Black Friday?

Stripes on Stripes

Blazer: Zara {similar here and here} | Pants: Cameo {similar here and here} |
Top: inakoita | Sunglasses: Kaitlyn {similar} | Shoes: ASOS

Pattern blocking can be tough sometimes, especially when pairing two of the same prints in one look. 

For today's look, it's all about the stripes!! Stripes have always been in for as long as I remember, they are a great print to have all year long. This stripes combination is a way to evoke boldness from top to bottom. Finish off your look with a white tee, and a solid colored heel.

Photography by Saad Hameed

Shop this look:

How would you wear your stripes?

Wood Watches Review

"Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters."

A watch has more value to it than just telling you how much time has passed; it's a way to allow yourself to enjoy the time you have, to express yourself and is a staple to your everyday look.

Watches are definitely one of my favorite easy-go-to accessory; besides the typical gold and silver watches that we can use in our everyday lives, I recently discovered a watch so unique and unheard of called Jord Watches. Jord Watches are watches that are handcrafted from natural woods: Maple, Bamboo, Koa, Zebrawood and Sandalwood. Jord Watches carry a wide variety of beautiful pieces for both men and women, with watches that are very unisex.

Surprisingly enough, the watch I chose to review was a men's watch (Dark Sandalwood and Blue Carbon). It's unusual because my style is very girly and flirty, but I found that the men watches were more versatile within my closet. Another favorite watch that I absolutely loved, was the Ebony & Copper watch, which I wish I was able to review instead, because I found that the Dark Sandalwood was a bit too bulky in person than it is online - which actually would be perfect for a man to wear.

The watches overall are very unique and different, which is one of the reasons I wanted to work with them in the first place. I love working with brands that are not like everyone else and can offer more than just a watch. These watches are great because you have the option for them to resize the watch prior to shipment. Jord Watches are also very light and though this one I chose was bulky, it's very easy to carry and is not too heavy to wear.

Shop my look //

Have a Happy Monday!

The Carmel Vest

Dress: Topshop (similar here and here) | Vest: C/Meo Collective | Purse: (similar) | 
Shoes: c/o Ami Clubwear (similar) | Sunglasses: ASOS (similar here and here)

Vests are a great layering piece to complete any everyday look. It's a piece that takes any normal outfit to the next level. 

I have been obsessing over with vests lately, and I am in love with this c/meo collective one, the carmel color makes it easy to match with a variety of different ensembles in your closet!

In my look today, I decided to style it with a snakeskin printed dress, with all nude accessories. This look can also be dressed down, with some black oxfords and a black handbag. What do you guys think? How would you style your vest?

Photography by: Saad Hameed

Shop the Look:

Meet Nicholas of Plus De Soleil

| Manly Mondays are back, with a new weekly series, featuring my favorite Men Bloggers from all across the globe.  Each Monday, you’ll get the inside scoop on the different trends, tips, and of course the man behind his blog.   If you are interested in being featured in my Manly Monday’s series, please email me |

Meet Nicholas of Plus De Soleil

Nicholas's interest in fashion has progressively grown over the years ever since he started his blog, Plus De Soleil. It has defined the person he is today and highlights the path that he took to get where he is today. "I love minimalism, however I never turn my nose up to texture, color and a simple pattern," Nicholas also states that he loves all animal embossed handbags, (Givenchy in particular) like crocodile and ostrich. Nicholas gets the inspiration from his surroundings, but he believes the best 'inspo' comes from travel and social media. Social media records every moment lived so it is perfect when searching for some inspiration later on in the future after travelling. 

1) What made you want to start your blog and how would you describe your style in 3 words?
At the naive age of fifteen years old I decided to start Plus De Soleil. Not only as a hobby, but to share the evolution of my personal style and taste. I was truly mesmerized by the beautiful pictures of Tumblr and I guess that's where Plus De Soleil started. I would describe my style as neutral, textural and edgy.

2) Who is your fashion inspiration?
I have multiple inspirations in fashion, however the one who stands out the most would be Pelayo Diaz. His wise words and authentic style is truly inspirational.

3) What's the one wardrobe essential you can't live without?
My bag is my life. From handbags, backpacks to cross body bags, I'd say I would be pretty close to nothing without these babies!

4) What is your most favorite thing about blogging?
Honestly, I just love creating beautiful photographs. Plus De Soleil is basically a giant visual diary where I store my favorite outfits and inspirations. I love how each blog post is different in regards to it's colors, settings, backgrounds, lighting, etc.

5) What is a quick fashion tip or advice for men?
Don't be afraid to experiment. I think men become tangled up in the expectations of the traditional men's attire. Society's portrayal in fashion is misleading and I think we need to push the barrier down between masculinity and femininity to reach new levels in fashion. My style would not be where it is today if I didn't experiment. My style may not be to everybody's liking, but to find what you truly like as person, experimenting with color and texture, anything that stands out to you, no matter what anyone else thinks, I encourage you to try it out.

6) Do you have any favorite stores or brands?
My list is endless, I really appreciate a good quality garment and so it would be natural for me to say a brand such as Givenchy. In relation to accessories my all time favorite brand would have to be Louis Vuitton. I find it quite funny that my middle name is actually 'Louis'. Coincidental? I think not.

7) What would you say is your favorite fall trend?
Coat's. Lots and lots of coats that resemble cocoon's. I just love the feeling of being completely wrapped up in wool. I feel that without a coat, a fall look is incomplete. They really do make a difference to an outfit- they add another dimension and texture.

If you want more of Nicholas's intriguing looks, make sure to visit his blog and follow him on Instagram

Thank you Nick for participating! 

Meet more menswear Bloggers here.
And don't forget to check back next Monday for more!

Via Veneto Review

This past October was filled with birthdays, vacation and family and friends visiting me. It was definitely a memorable October! One of the highlights of this October was when my good friend and also fellow Chicago Blogger came to visit me. You guys might know her; she is seriously the sweetest and kindest person you’ll ever meet, Joanna of Grace in Style.

We got to explore and try a variety of LA's food scene around town. One of the nights Joanna was here, we had the honor of trying one of Santa Monica’s favorite Italian dinner spots, Via Veneto.

Via Veneto is located on Main Street in Santa Monica, a cute and lively street filled with many boutiques and restaurants.  They offer valet parking but if you’re lucky, you can also find meter parking as well. As we entered the restaurant, the first thing that caught our eye was the gorgeous chandeliers; the restaurant itself had very dim lighting and set the tone for a more romantic setting, perfect place to go on a date.

We were instantly greeted upon arrival, and were seated right by the window. The Via Veneto menu had a wide selection to choose from, instead of deciding ourselves our server suggested many recommendations to try and Joanna and I decided to go with whatever he suggested.

The server presented us with three appetizers to start off with (left to right): Cooked Octopus Salad served over Olive Oil and Lemon Dressing, Ahi Tuna Tartare with a cute heart-shaped garlic bread, Portobello Mushrooms served with Fried Arugula and thin slices of Parmesan Cheese.

The dishes were plated beautifully, and my taste buds were going out of control, in a good way of course. Each appetizer was filled with a burst of flavors, we easily finished all plates in minutes. My most favorite dish out of the three has to be the portobello mushroom dish, the mushrooms were grilled to perfection, with the perfect amount of crunchiness to the arugula and topped with a thin layer of parmesan cheese, which created a tasteful and mouth-watering combination that instantly drawn you to want more. (Ah, I wish I had some right now!)

After this dish, our tummies were just getting started and totally ready for more!

The 3 Raviolis: Pumpkin, Lobster and Zuccini. Mm, Mm-Good. Is basically how I feel about this dish. Joanna mentioned that this pumpkin ravioli was one of the best she'd tried, and as this was my first pumpkin flavored ravioli, I would say that it was delicious! 

Third course was the Langostini Special on a bed of Spaghetti and the Sea Urchin Spaghetti. I wasn't too fond of the Sea Urchin pasta because of the slimy textures, but they both had wonderful flavors.

Next was the Branzino, aka Seabass, very buttery and flavorful, but a tad bit dry. If you get this- watch out for the bones! 

And last but not least, was dessert, no matter how full we are, somehow we can always save room for dessert! We got to try the Panacotta and Profiteroles dessert, which definitely satisfied my sweet cravings! 

Overall Joanna and I had a delightful experience. I have never been to Italy before, but according to Joanna, Via Veneto's atmosphere and dishes are very similar to the restaurants in Italy.

The hospitality, flavors and overall presentation of Via Veneto are truly satisfying. I rate this restaurant 5 stars, and would definitely come back for more! 

Via Veneto is located on 3009 Main St., Santa Monica , CA 90405

What are your favorite Italian dinner spots in LA?