Sunday, December 30, 2012

Loving Him Was Red

Shades: Ray Ban | Watch: Adidas | Peacoat: J. Crew | Button Down: J. Crew
 | Belt: Express Men | Jeans: American Eagle | Socks: J. Crew | Loafers: Aldo

Like I said before, you can never go wrong with a pair of bold, colored pants. I incorporated this scarf -- which was hand-knitted by my dear friend's lovely mother -- to supplement my use of red as an accent. I decided to be a little more liberal with my use of color with this look, as I mixed several different neutrals within this single ensemble -- a navy, pin-striped button-down; a black peacoat; tan dress-socks and dark brown loafers. Sometimes too many colors can hinder the cohesion of a look. However, I feel like this final product portrays a look with an well-compiled, business-casual feel. Mixing several neutrals in one look is a trend that I'm definitely going to be periodically rocking in the foreseeable future. Tell me what you think!

And a big thanks to some of my best friends and fellow bloggers, Peyton and Madison Dalton, for taking these pictures and helping me with some blog formatting.
Check out their incredible blog right here: Identical Ideals

Blue skies!
Brett Westmoreland

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Black & Gold

Not only does my friend Julianne rock a middle part, but she also exemplifies utter perfection in this monochromatic ensemble. She makes use of an array of patterns and textures in a way that conceals the fact that her look is entirely composed of black articles. The use of floral leggings and a patterned scarf as well as the incorporation of colored accessories bring a sense of creativity and liveliness to this chic day-to-day look. The use of gold as an accent is consistent throughout her various jewels and is even embodied through the monogram on her shoulder bag. To me, this outfit exemplifies both a look of class and the ever-sought indie, hipster look. Tell me what you think!

Leggings: Cotton On | Flats: Steven Madden | Necklace: Tory Burch | Shirt: Ann Taylor Loft | 
Shades: Target | Shoulder Bag: Marley Lilly | Scarf: Henri Bendel

I'm soon going to get with some blogging friends to improve the look of my page by adding some spiffy links and such. Until then, find me on Instagram at @killthemwithculture. I absolutely love to follow new blogs -- make friends and become inspired.

Blue skies!
Brett Westmoreland

Friday, December 28, 2012

Camo Christmas

As I've previously stated, thrifting is one of my all-time favorite hobbies. As a Christmas present to myself I thought it would be only necessary to indulge at the local Goodwill. Among many other treasures, I left with a questionably authentic Army camouflage jacket. 

Shades: Ray Ban | Button down: Pacific Sunwear | Watch: Michael Kors | 
Jacket: Goodwill | Jeans: H&M | Shoes: Vans 

Camo triggers a wide range of reactions among both those involved in the fashion industry and your average clothing consumer. However, regardless of dissenting public opinion, both celebrities and I alike enjoying using the pattern as a rugged addition to any casual day to day look. Plus, the pattern is versatile -- ideal for any male or female ensemble. And as a side note, I will add that there is a difference between Army camo and hunting camo. I simply can not bring myself to purchase an article of hunting camo, and so far living in the south has not yet influenced me so do -- not saying that the pattern can't offer some fashionable value as well.

Here are a few celebrities rocking a camouflage jacket out on the town. Tell me how you feel about these looks!

Photo courtesy of Red Carpet Fashion Awards

Blue skies!
Brett Westmoreland

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Going Green

Sweatshirt: Cotton On | Watch: Michael Kors | Boots: Aldo | Pants: ASOS | Shades: Ray Ban | Scarf: Aldo

It's always nice to incorporate an accent into a look -- whether that entails a scarf, a necklace or a whimsical cardigan. Adding a bold pant to any outfit is one of my favorite methods of accenting a conservative winter look. And how can you go wrong with green around Christmas time?

Blue skies!
Brett Westmoreland

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boots, Bags and Bracelets

Any outfit is not complete without proper use of accessories -- especially in winter. Accessories are key to supplementing any layered look for a winter day out on the town. 

Emerald Necklace: Francesca's Collections | Pearl Bracelet: XXI Forever | Cross Bracelet: Loxx Salon | Watch: Michael Kors | Combat Boots: XXI Forever | Bag: Marc Jacobs

The beauty of accessorizing is that you don't necessarily have to match your accessories to your outfit or even to other accessories. Grace, above, made use of both her emerald necklace and her scarlet shoulder bag as accents, bringing an essence of vibrance and warmth to her winter outfit. Dianna, below, chose to remain neutral with both her combat boots and hand bag. However, she incorporated a little Christmas spirit through the addition of her Santa-red scarf and fuzzy green-topped socks.

Scarf: Abercrombie | Hand Bag: Michael Kors | Watch: Fossil | 
Socks: Target | Combat Boots: Steve Madden

When accessorizing during the winter one should always have a pair of faithful combat boots within reach (both males and females). Whether you're looking for the soft, lighter look like Grace or the darker, more rugged look like Dianna, here is where you can get your hands on a pair of chic combat boots for the winter.

Blue skies!
Brett Westmoreland

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas and holiday season! I've been reluctant to contribute much to this blog as I have until recently been taking all of my pictures via iPhone 4s. However, today marks the genesis of a new era. Santa was generous enough to send both my step mom and me new Canon EOS Rebel T3s. We've been playing with them all Christmas morning and afternoon, using our family as subjects. I can't wait to master my new gadget. I'll be on the road to blogging my soul away!

If you've found yourself with an excess of holiday gift money I recommend you check out the Canon Rebel T3 or even the T4i. It's definitely a great after-Christmas gift to give to yourself. Check it out here at

Happy holidays and blue skies, my friends!
Brett Westmoreland

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Confidence Is Key to Self-Expression

Have you ever had one of those days where you wake up with a specific outfit in mind for the day -- an outfit that's been specifically engineered by your mind to serve the purpose of starting your morning off on a positive note? After all, the motto is "look good, feel good," am I right? For some, this outfit involves taking risks -- bending rules -- breaking barriers. From past experiences, I've concluded that there's a direct correlation between the better you feel about your outfit and the more negative comments you receive about it, because, as if on command, you can always count on that one friend who carelessly throws out the comment, "Are you really wearing that shirt with those boots?"
And my reply is always a peeved, "Yes. Yes, I am."

When faced with these situations I remind myself to reflect on the words of Oscar Wilde: "Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn." In my mind, he couldn't be more correct. Fashion is just an extension of one's self-expression. People are beings of emotions, desires, experiences and dreams. We define ourselves (and our emotions, desires, experiences, dreams) through cultural outlets -- food, dance, drawing, and songwriting, to name a few. Many people don't realize that to some fashion is simply an expression of identity.

So this is where the not giving a damn factor comes into play. If you truly use fashion as a method of self-expression, it's important to remain confident in who you are and what message you're conveying to those around you. It's imperative that your fashions serve a purpose. Someone once told me, "You can only break the rules if you know them." You'll undoubtedly fall to all criticism if you don't recognize that you're making a fashion risk while standing assured in the message you're trying to convey. With this in mind, if someone doesn't appreciate how the pattern of your shorts "clashes" with your cardigan, so be it. Everyone has deviating opinions when it comes to artwork. After all, Van Gogh wasn't recognized for his brilliance until many years after his death -- that is if you believe he possessed any brilliance at all.

Here are some examples of rule-breaking outfits that are more or less susceptible to criticism.

This here is Dianna rocking an outfit perfect for a typical Floridian winter day. Some see the combination of dark denim jeans with a light denim button-up as a fashion "no-no." However, Dianna only breaks the rules because she knows them. And may I add that she breaks them effectively.

This was an outfit that I wore a few weeks ago. I can't tell you how many people asked me why I wore a black scarf and boots with a brown leather jacket -- actually I can: three. But the truth is, black and brown can go together if my heart so desires. I'm not sure if anyone appreciated my outfit, but I did, and that's what really matters, right?

At the end of the day this concept applies to businessmen, fashionistas, and politicians alike: If you don't whole-heartedly believe in the ideas you're pitching, no one is going to buy it. Express yourself. Break the rules. Accept criticism. Break more rules. Remain confident in who you are, what you want to say, and don't give a damn.

Blue skies,
Brett Westmoreland

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lana Del Rey -- Newest Inspiration

It seems that at some point throughout life, everyone is faced with the question, "Who inspires you?" -- whether that be by a potential employer, a family member or even yourself.

To some an idol has been identified since day one: "I've watched Oprah every weekday since I was four!"  To some inspiration varies depending on the situation: "I want to be Kendall Jenner when I grow up. Did you know her dad was in the Olympics? I would give anything to run as fast as he can."  To some (like myself) identifying with others as a living and breathing example has always seemed to reign impossible. Until recently.

I first encountered Lana Del Rey about a year ago. I fell in love with her first single -- a love ballad --  titled "Video Games" released on her sophomore album Born to Die. I possessed an acute knowledge for Lana, her persona or any of her other music, and for some reason was too naive to seek education. It wasn't until this past month when talk of the brilliance exhibited by her most-recent album Paradise had made its way to every social media forum within my possession. Intrigued, I purchased it.

I really felt a connection to the records of this album -- both lyrically and melodically. In this album, Lana writes of pain, of curiosity, of longing, of love, of freedom, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. I found it impossible to quarantine my mind from the infectious melodies of "American" and "Blue Velvet" -- songs that document the ordinary intricacies of life that only a brilliant poet could portray so realistically.

Just yesterday I decided to look Lana's name up on YouTube, simply to confirm whether or not she had produced music videos for her singles. I clicked to view the video for a song titled "Ride" on her album Paradise. I expected to watch the usual monotonous, meaningless mess of a music video that most artists these days find compelling to produce. Instead I came across a short film that contained symbolism, purpose, creativity, and overall poetry in the rawest form. I encourage those who appreciate art to watch the link below, as I found it to be utterly compelling.

I think that this music video alone spiked my interest in Lana as both an artist and a person. I began to search for interviews, performances, any and all footage of her that I could get my hands on. The more I encountered her through my computer screen the more I realized she was becoming an inspiration.

In a recent interview Lana stated, "I had a vision of making my life a work of art, and I was looking for people who also felt that way." I suppose it's safe to say that I've always been a visionary. I've always wanted to impact the world on a grand, history-altering scale. I've always wanted to live a life that could serve as an example for generations to come as a life of importance -- of innovation. I've always wanted to make my life into a work of art. After all, what is life undocumented? No one remembers the legacy of the great Abraham Lincoln through word of mouth.

I've decided to build on Lana's philosophy. I will strive to make my life into a work of art. I don't have to leave behind a reservoir of melodies and poems -- but a legacy that is unique to me and the life I am living. And whenever someone asks me who inspires me, I'll know what to say.

Blue skies,
Brett Westmoreland

Photographs courtesy of Tumblr.