Monthly Archives: September 2015

Express your chest

In the world of things I love there are many legends.
In comics there’s Batman, Wolverine and the Hulk.
In video games there’s Mario, Ryu, and Solid Snake.
In Star Wars there’s Han Solo, Chewbacca and R2-D2.

Now, I’ll never interview Batman. I’ll never rub shoulders with Mario. And I’ll never shake hands with a Wookiee. But I have another love: clothes, shirts, ties, pocket squares and blazers to be specific. And amongst this love,  legends exist too. One such legend is the perfectly named @thedressedchest. Without a doubt, the most prolific and widely known chest on Instagram. I assumed he too would be elusive, lost to me like the Hulk and R2. But  I was wrong!Grid collage

This man wasn’t just someone who had put together countless shirt an tie combinations. He wasn’t just someone who was sharing his love of dressing up. He was kind and generous as well. I mean, why else we agree to an interview? I guess he could be crazy… I didnt really think of that. Well, crazy* or not, I got to interview him (via email) and he was awesome!

@thedressedchest is more than a man playing dress up. He is someone who has taken his love of dressing up and made it a fun experience all his own. Whether he’s showcasing his signature “chest steezes” or his unique take on grid pics, his love of fashion and fun are always clear. He currently has over 114,000 followers and once you click on his feed it’s easy to see why. He’s got the best chest in the biz. He is Instagram’s @thedressedchest!

*@thedressedchest is NOT CRAZY, that was a joke. I know not everyone gets jokes…like infants, Canadian Geese and people who needed this particular clarification.

So please take a moment and see what nonsense I asked a legend. I tend to squander my opportunities…


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The name thedressedchest is pretty perfect for someone posting magnificent chesties…how did you come up with that and can we trade names?

NEVER! The IG handle is mine! Go take “_thedressedchest_” or something, haha.

In all seriousness, originally my IG name was something very hard to read and pronounce (my first and last name), so I had to change it. I figured I always put up pictures of my dressed chest, and I liked how the two words kinda rhymed, so I went with it.

Your pun game is as strong as your chest game. So what takes longer to come up with, the clothes or the words?

It’s a bit of both… Sometimes I come up with a clever quip and I spend a whole lot of time staring into my closet, looking for an outfit that encompasses that pun (I’m still looking for the perfect “Smokin’ Tweed” outfit). Other times I have a great outfit and I find myself staring blankly at the ‘Edit Post’ screen of an IG post for the longest time, trying to come up yet another pun for the color blue.

How fun was it coming up with your own ties and working with the Brooklyn Tie Co.?

Definitely a great experience! It’s crazy seeing my name (or at least my IG handle) on a necktie. And it’s awesome seeing fabrics I picked out get turned into ties. The guys over at Brooklyn Tie Co. are also really cool to work with, and very supportive of my inexperience through the whole thing.tiesDo you have a favorite tie? What is it?

I have too many ties to pick just one! I know that the maroon striped tie that I made with Brooklyn Tie Co. ranks pretty high up there (it looks great on you, by the way). Also the navy blue knit tie and the black knit tie I have from J.Crew, since they are so incredibly versatile. The navy blue floral tie I got from QP Collections has got to be one of my favorite floral ties, while the autumn brown glen plaid tie I got from Humanscales is one of my favorite Fall/Winter ties.

I would venture to say your favorite tie bar is the beautiful white whale…is there a story behind that?

Yes! It’s a Valentine’s Day gift from my wife. I love it because first and foremost because it’s from her, but also because it’s simple, casual, doesn’t catch too much attention, but looks really nice. It’s the kind of tie bar that says, “I like to dress up, but I don’t take myself too seriously.”


When you reached 100,000 followers, did you fist pump, high five, scream wah hoo or something else entirely?

Mostly I just fangirled out, going “OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG”. It’s still unreal to me to know that I have 100k followers… I didn’t think I would even get past 1000, to be honest with you. The support I get from my followers and friends I made on Instagram is amazing, too, so I am infinitely grateful for each and every follower.

Do people ever recognize your chest on the street and ask to take pictures with it?

Not even once! I get a few compliments on my outfit here and there, but no one has ever stopped me and asked if I was @thedressedchest. That’s understandable though… I don’t think I have many followers in the Bay Area besides friends and family, and even so I guess it’s kind of hard to recognize someone without seeing their face. That’s perfectly fine with me though; I’m a terribly shy and awkward and tiny guy in person, so it might be for the better that people don’t recognize me from my Instagram.

Do you prefer blazers or sweaters?

I guess it depends on the occasion. Blazers are a little more on the formal side, and I love that I can stuff pocket squares into them. The major problem I have with blazers though is that I can never find my size. The smallest I’ve seen blazers go is 34s, and even those are large on me (that includes J.Crew’s Ludlow and H&M’s suiting).

On the other hand, I love the textures on my shawl-collared cardigans. I obviously cannot wear them on formal occasions but they’re so soft and cozy and let really let my tie and tie bar shine.


And now Five Signature Questions with Christian:

Who is your Favorite Superhero or Villain?

I was a huge fan of Captain America back in the day. My family and I would play Captain America and the Avengers the arcade game and I’d always be good ol’ Cap. Gambit is really cool, too; I love his trench coat. Spider-Man is pretty high up there, also. I used to have this one action figure that was a crossover between Spider-Man and Deathlok. It was easily my favorite action figure, right next to my Sargent Savage action figure.

Who wins in a fight Batman or Superman?

Superman, easily. He can just shoot his eye beams at Batman from like a mile away. Done.

Which Star Wars Character would you be?

Gotta be Darth Vader! My second son’s name is Luke (I tried to talk my wife into making his middle name Skywalker to no avail), so that automatically makes me Vader. My wife is Amidala, and my older son is a Stormtrooper. At least, that’s how I’d arrange my Star Wars family decal stickers on the rear window of our car.

What’s your Favorite cereal of all time?

I get tired of cereals pretty quickly, so I rotate cereals a lot. One that stays fairly consistently good though is Honey Nut Cheerios. And Special K.

Are your dirty clothes on the floor or in the hamper, right now?

Dirty clothes are in the hamper. Clean clothes on the floor and in the closet. 

Hankee Pankee

You may already know this, but here it goes…I’m a big fan of pocket squares. There, I said it! It feels so good to get that off my chest. It’s like a weight has been lifted. If you can’t relate think of it this way: It’s like if there’s weight on you all the time, and then someone removes it! I know I know, I’m super good at explaining things.

Well anyway, what I was saying is that I love pocket squares. I have a few favorite places to get them. One of those places is Mr. Hankee. (Yes you read that correctly).

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Mr. Hankee takes fun, affordability and fashion, throws them all into a Vitamix and pours out, inexpensive, innovative, pocket squares! With no pulp or chunks, of course. Want to know more? Take a look at our interview with the man himself…

Mr. Hankee…please tell us the origin of the name?

Just like each one of our Pocket Squares I wanted the brand to have a personality.  Rather than being boring and having a designer name, I thought it would be fun to have a brand that can grow in character as it matures.  So I named this personality Mr.Hankee since Hankee is short for Handkerchief and he’s a man with his own style.  And just to clear the air, the brand is certainly not named after the Christmas poo, even though Hidie Hoe would be a great catch phrase.

You make a diverse array of pocket squares and they are all uniquely named. How do you decide on the name of each square?

The naming of the pocket squares is definitely a fun process.  I love to name pocket squares that evoke some sort of memory or correlation to an attitude based on the color scheme or pattern.  Then based on the name I like to create a unique personality for each of them.  Just like people, our pocket squares are unique and have their own personas.

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Eight dollars for a pocket square is really inexpensive. AND you do free shipping! So I guess the question is why are you so awesome?

Well we definitely try to be, haha.  Our goal is to have everyone able to look fashionable regardless of their pocket book.  Fashion doesn’t have to require stacks of cash and we prefer that our products help inspire people’s creativity versus being a status symbol.

We will be launching a higher end pocket square in the near future where we source specialized materials from around the globe, but our focus is going to remain on helping inspire regardless of the higher price point.

How do you come up with the designs? Is there a team you consult or are you just like: “I love this. Hope everyone else does too!”?

Honestly it’s more of the latter.  I love fashion and I want Mr. Hankee to represent my taste.  I love the crisp and clean looks versus the super loud and gaudy.  So I tend to stick with more geometric patterns and solid lines.  Plus if you don’t like my taste you’re probably wearing Tommy Bahama or something.

When did you know that you were going to start a business?

I think it just hit me one day when I was driving home from work.  I’ve always had this artistic side of me that’s itching to get out.  So I decided to give in to the monster, dug up some graves, went to my laboratory, waited for some lighting, and hence Mr. Hankee was born. hankees 3

Everyone makes mistakes…so let’s have it. What’s the ugliest pocket square you’ve ever made?

Ugly is definitely a hard category as one man’s ugly is another man’s beautiful.  To each his own I guess even though I am extremely opinionated, ahem, Ed Hardy, ahem, crap, ahem…

We spend quite a bit of time to ensure we only release fashionable products that meet our standards.  The Crapper Pocket Square fortunately was not released to the public, haha.  At the same time, we try to be fashion forward at times which can occasionally result in The Crapper status.  In addition, we are always looking for feedback.  We’ve started some reddit threads to see what people think.

You’ve told me that you’re a fan of the arts, can you elaborate? What kind of arts are we talking here, performance, visual, martial?

I love the visual arts.  Sketching and painting has always been a hobby of mine.  Right now my favorite artist is Lora Zombie.  She’s one of the most unique on how she uses watercolor.  Plus she always incorporates a punkish subject which is always amazing. 

On your website, you say you’ve assembled a team of pocket square X-Men, so which X-Man are you? Also if you’re looking for a Wolverine I’m available! But if we’re being realistic, I’m more suited to play Jubilee.

That’s got to be Cyclops.  I like to lead and shoot things down with a deadly stare.  Plus I get Jean.

I noticed that in the pictures you take, you don’t show your face. Is it for the same reason I don’t show my face, you’re afraid of getting arrested and charged with excessive handsomeness? Or is there another reason?

Hiding my face is the only way to keep all the love letters from piling up as I’m sure you know, haha.  Honestly, I like to keep the focus on the suit combinations and let folks be able to imagine how it would look on them regardless of their body type.  Though we definitely aren’t opposed to other forms of modeling and we’ll probably expand in the near future.

Why should men or even women for that matter, wear pocket squares?

To me, Pocket squares are the only real sign of personality in dress wear.  Mostly because it’s an optional item.  It allows you to choose to express yourself.  Do you have an interesting personality?  A Pocket Square answers that question with a Heck Yes.

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And now Five Signature Questions with Christian:

Who is your Favorite Superhero or Villain?

I’m an Anime geek so it’s definitely Saitoh Hajime from Rurouni Kenshin.

Who wins in a fight Batman or Superman?

My heart says Batman but my brain says Superman, well unless Batman’s got a kryptonite suit.  Then definitely Batman.

Which Star Wars Character would you be?

Han without a doubt, he was the bad@$$.

What’s your Favorite cereal of all time?

That’s a tie between Cinnamon toast crunch and Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds.

Are your dirty clothes on the floor or in the hamper, right now?

Of course, how else do you know what’s in the hamper.

What I wore: 16 Bit Serenity

There are many things I enjoy. But of my actual hobbies, the only thing to even come close to rivaling my love of comics, is my love of video games.

Of course, it’s a love-hate relationship. I mean, they can be frustrating! Like, throw your control at the TV and EVERYTHING BREAKS, frustrating! But they can also bring feelings of joy and accomplishment. Like when you triumphantly jump from your chair, screaming in excitement, as you bravely save the world. That’s usually followed by a quick reminder of how lonely you are as there is no one else in the room. And you’re forced to high five yourself.

It’s not the best existence but it’s the one we chose! And you know what, once in a while…a very long while, the real world rewards you! Like Mr. Hankee has rewarded me by naming this gamer inspired pocket square, The Forbes!


Thanks Mr. Hankee! But I do this to save lives, not for recognition; just to save the lives of the fake men and women (really just the fake women) of the fictional world I happen to be unsuccessfully navigating my vehicle thru. If I wanted to play a driving game, I would play a DRIVING GAME! THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING!

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Empire strikes back!

The SprezzaBox for the month of August was the Empire Box! I know, I was excited too. Of course, I did think I would be getting star wars stuff. I mean, the only empire I know of consists of the Emperor, Lord Vader and a lot (and I mean a lot) of guys in white with E-11 Blasters that couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. That’s an odd saying right? I mean are there a lot of people trying to hit barns on their broad side.


Anywho…I was way off on the whole Empire thing, but not disappointed! The contents were awesome and I thought I’d show them off in three ways.

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ROMANS! They had an empire!!! BA-BAM that’s two Empires I know about…I’m like a walking encyclopedia.