Open Talk with PKP – January 2014

Open Talk.  Today.  Be There.

When:  Wednesday January 22nd, 2014 @ 8:00PM EST with early submissions beginning now.

Where: All questions will be answered via comments through this blog post.

How:  To submit a question, scroll to the bottom of your page, type in your name, email address, and question you would like answered.  (All e-mail addresses will remain anonymous and confidential).



  1. Why do you not support more small clothing businesses? Most of your wardrobe seems to be companies like J Crew, Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren; why not support more small businesses?

    • PKP

      Great question. I think the reason why I buy from companies such as the ones stated above is because it’s convenient for me. I know my size, I know what fits, and I know that there will always be something on the shelves that I like. With that being said, 2014 is going to be a year of change for me (details here in my New Year’s Resolution Post). I really want to be able to incorporate new brands into my blog, and wardrobe, in whatever capacity possible as I’m a big supporter of anything startup.

  2. Hi PKP–

    Hope you’re having a wonderful evening of question-answering! I was just wondering…

    1) Which is the best part of afternoon tea: the sandwiches, the scones, the cakes, or the tea?

    2) What is the most epic fashion mistake you have ever made?

    3) Oxford or Cambridge? (Careful! Your integrity rests on your answer!)

    Have a lovely rest of your night! 🙂

    • PKP

      Question 1: Interesting question. I would have to say the cakes…I have a huge sweet tooth.

      Question 2: Ha, so there’s this pair of jeans that I’ve owned for years that I absolutely love. Last year, they ripped in the crotch and I had the brilliant idea to sewn them back together. Well, let’s just say the stitching didn’t hold and they ripped again, but this time it was a bit worse (I’ll let you use your imagination). The jeans are still hanging in my closet because I refuse to get rid of them…

      Question 3: Oh man…the pressure is on! I would say Oxford. I really like that they’ve stuck with their traditions (example: wearing formal clothes to examinations) and I’ve heard the campus is slightly nice than Cambridge. Both are excellent schools no matter what criteria you use.

      • Congratulations your integrity is intact! Oxford is far better than Cambridge. Have you ever visited? If not, you should. I’m sure you would love it 🙂
        I’m sorry to hear about your jeans! There really is nothing worse than losing a favorite pair, especially after you’ve tried to fix them 🙁 Do you at least have another pair to make up for it?
        Sorry, this is probably very late. The time difference here is throwing me off! Thanks for answering my questions!

        • PKP

          *Wipes sweat off forehead* I’m glad I selected the right answer! I haven’t ever visited Oxford, however, I would go in a heartbeat if given the chance.

          I have found a replacement pair, but they aren’t nearly as good as the ones I had before. I suppose I will be on an enteral search for a replica pair…No worries about the late submission. Sending my best from the other side of the pond!

    • PKP

      Question 1: I think the best part about PKP is having the ability to interact with so many interesting people. I never thought I would be given such a large platform to speak upon, which has resulted in some of the best memories on record.

      Question 2: Starting a company (no matter what kind it is) requires passion. I don’t run PKP because of profit of “stuff” I receive. I run it because I am genuinely interested in the topics I cover and couldn’t imagine what I would do without it. In short, if you aren’t willing to wake up at 6:00AM and go to bed at 2:00AM in order to work on your company, you might want do some reevaluating.

  3. Logan

    Hey there PKP,

    Hope all is well! I was wondering – on your more casual days, what are your go to jeans? Any particular brand, style, or wash you prefer?
    Also, I am training for a half marathon at the moment and know you enjoy running as well. Any athletic clothing you recommend or enjoy wearing on your runs?

    Thank you sir! I always look forward to reading your blog.

    • PKP

      Question 1: I’m actually in the midst of finding a new casual jean because I’m about to throw away my second pair of J.Crew jeans that I bought a few months ago. For casual jeans, I would recommend either a super dark wash (Example: these) or an extremely light wash (Example: these). My preference would be the darker pair, but that’s just me.

      Question 2: That’s awesome! I’ve always wanted to train for a half-marathon, but I don’t think I have (or will have) the stamina to do it. In regards to clothing, I would just wear something simple. Typically, I run in a pair of lightweight shorts and an oversized t-shirt to keep me cool (nothing special).

  4. Renuka Wagh

    What advice do you have for someone who is still in high school, has no idea what she wants to do, and needs motivation to do work?

    • PKP

      Definitely not an easy question to answer. If I were you, I would write down or print out a collage of things that inspire you. Whenever I’m feeling unmotivated, I’ll remind myself of my aspirations in my journal and refocus my attention on things that actually matter. Since you’re in high school, I would focus on getting into your dream college. You don’t need to kill yourself at school by studying every minute of the day, but if you have something to work towards, getting back to your motivated and productive self will be much easier. Good luck!

    • PKP

      I’m not a fan of all-gold watches. Sure it’s fine to have gold accents or detailing, but a solid gold watch? I would advise against.

  5. Nick S.

    Good afternoon PKP,

    Though I am positive you will receive these compliments all through the night, I would like to say that I admire your blog and your sense of style.

    In addition to that, I just have one question: I know that you like the nautical themed clothing (as do I and many others), and I am just wondering if you have ever sailed or been on a boat yourself. If not, which is fine, I would recommend making your way to Annapolis, Maryland for a venture. Great crab, great boats, great city!

    Also: how about that new “Downton Abbey” season?

    I wish you the best of luck, sir.

    • PKP

      Statement 1: Well thank you! PKP has certainly been an exciting project to work on and I look forward to where things will go in 2014.

      Question 1: I’ve been deep sea fishing a handful of times and used to go on my uncles boat as a kid. As for legitimate “sailing,” I unfortunately have not. I was supposed to take lessons during the 4th of July while I was on Cape Cod, but we never got around to scheduling things. I would love to go to Annapolis sometime! My friend and I were actually thinking about making a weekend trip there sometime.

      Downton Abbey: All I can say is “wow.” I just wish the seasons were longer!

    • PKP

      Louis Vuitton is definitely classic – there’s not arguing over that. I always pack using my Keepall 55 (it’s an ideal size for weekend trips) and was just recently gifted a Sirius 55 from my parents for Christmas. As for clothing and other wardrobe pieces, I don’t own anything from LV. The reason why I own those pieces of luggage is because they are iconic, timeless, and (more importantly) will last me well into my adult years. Personally, I don’t see the point is spending $2k for a black blazer when I can a similar item (with the same quality) from Brooks or J.Press.

    • PKP

      I went into college with every intention to pledge, however, after rushing a number of fraternities, I decided that I couldn’t make the time commitment. I felt that there were other things I wanted to do and didn’t like the significant amount of obligations that came with pledgeship.

  6. James j.

    I am a high schooler and love to dress nicely on a daily basis. (In the cold usually khakis or Cords, with a button down and sweater) But I only have one dress watch, which I love watches I just haven’t gotten around to purchasing another one. So, could you refer me to some watches that could be used for every day wear, that have longevity and are fairly priced. Thanks!

  7. Jason

    Hey man, I bought a pair of gray dress pants, but I have absolutely no clue what to wear with them. It’d be great if you could suggest a pair of shoes (preferably not black), and a blazer/sports coat, or what ever else you may suggest. I appreciate it.

    • PKP

      Shoes: If I were you, I would go with something simple such a tan pair of Monkstraps (Nordstrom has a great selection at the moment with a number on sale).

      Jacket/Blazer: You could go with either a patterned blazer (such as this one from Topman) or a simple navy sportscoat (such as this one from Brooks Brothers). If you choose a solid shirt, go with a patterned blazer (and vice versa). Since the pants will be relatively simple, you need a piece (whether that be shirt or jacket) that has some life to it. You can always submit a Tumblr question if you need additional suggestions.

    • PKP

      I would suggest one of two options:
      i. Option 1: Go with a fitted navy suit (example: here) with a pressed white dress shirt (example: here), a brown pair of shoes (example: here) and a killer pocket square (example: here). The look is formal, but the unbuttoned shirt makes it more relaxed and casual.

      ii. Option 2: Go with a pair of khaki pants (example: here), with a patterned dress shirt (example: here), and simple brown shoes (example: here).

      These are just off the top of my head and are options that I would wear if I were in your shoes.

  8. Dominic

    Hello there,

    I’ve recently been accepted to a university with a corresponding pair of JP Crickets loafers and I’ve been contemplating purchasing them. I know that you’ve mentioned them multiple times previously, so my question is in what context do you wear your JP Crickets?

    I would like to know if you’ve found a ‘fit’ for them in casual situations, as I don’t know if I could justify the hefty price if their only utility would be a novelty pair of tuxedo slippers.

    Thank you for your input; I wish you the best!

    • PKP

      First off, congratulations of your acceptance! I’m sure it’s a relief to know where you are going next Fall. In regards to JP Crickets, I’m a huge fan of the brand. Susan Meyers, the owner of the company, is a talented and passionate individual with an eye for detail. In regards to when and where you can wear the slippers, the options are pretty broad. When the weather is cool outside, I’ll wear them with a fitted pair of jeans and a casual OCBD to class. In the summer, you can wear them with just about any pair of shorts or even a blank t-shirt if you were looking for something super casual. While the shoes are a statement piece, they aren’t limited to “just” formal situations and will make a great addition to your wardrobe. Take a look at this blog post and see how I styled them. Let me know if you need any other advice!

  9. Massimo

    I have a few questions:
    1. Where do you get your stationery? I love it!
    2. What is your opinions on loafers (not drivers) with shorts in the summer?
    3. What would your suggestions be for a good, long lasting carryall or duffel used as a carry on bag

    • PKP

      Question 1: I get my stationary from Embossed Graphics.

      Question 2: I say go for it! I wear loafers with shorts all the time in the summer.

      Question 3: It really depends on price range. Check out my answer to this Tumblr question from yesterday that has my top suggestions. You can always reply or submit another question if you need additional suggestions!

  10. David J.

    Hello, Again.

    I don’t know if you remember my previous post on the August ask PKP, but I was the boy who wanted to ditch the cargos and graphic t’s for something more “proper”. Well, I did change. I’ve been dressing more presentable, and I feel extremely confident in my presentation. I have a couple questions for you:
    1) I asked a girl if she could move out of her seat so I could sit next to my friend, and she said “you know you’re the reason I hate preppy guys”. Woah, right? I’ve know this girl for a while, and we’ve always been friendly. She went on a rant with some other student about how she hates how I dress up all the time for school. ( I usually where a dressy shirt underneath a pullover accompanied with some khakis or jeans). I in no way dress up to show wealth, but I just like to wear nice clothes. What should I do?

    2) I LOVE fall fashion and winter fashion, however I am at a loss for spring and summer fashion. Any suggestions for a teenage boy?

    Sorry if the first question turned into a rant, and thank you in advance.

    • PKP

      I most certainly do remember! Welcome back.

      Question 1: Well, it probably wasn’t the best idea to ask her to move out of her seat (that might be why we got angry). In regards to dealing with negative comments, people will always have their opinions of you (both favorable and unfavorable) and that’s something that you just have to ignore. Try and deal it with maturity instead of stooping to their level.

      Question 2: Ha, that’s a pretty big question to tackle. I would try and focus on diversifying your collection of shorts (I bought these last year). For men, we can pretty much (except for flannels and other heavy pieces) wear the same shirts from the fall and winter in the spring and summer.

      • David J.

        Thanks a lot!
        1) Yeah, I guess she was in a bad mood. Nothing I can do but shake it off I guess.
        2) I’m definitely investing in a lot of flat fronted shorts, and I guess lighter dress shirts and sweater. I guess I am set then !

        Again, Thank you so much! You helped me completely change my wardrobe and aspect on clothing and fashion. Keep on doing what you’re doing, it is great and effects people in great ways! Is the invitation for emailing you still open?

    • PKP

      It’s incredibly disappointing to see them leaving their flagship store. I just hope this isn’t an ominous sign of what’s to come in the future…

  11. Kahlil

    I will be attending a few Polo matches this summer, and am looking for a few new blazers. Do you have any recommendations for a couple seersucker blazers that I can pickup before then (preferably more than just blue). Also, for the matches do I go with loafers, oxfords, or monk straps?

    • PKP

      Question 1: Now is probably not the best time to be looking for seersucker blazers since the options are pretty much non-existent at the moment.

      Question 2: I would probably say oxfords or monkstraps depending on the terrain. The last thing you want to do is ruin your favorite pair of loafers while stomping the divots…

  12. Riley Mazariego.

    First off, I would like to applaud you for your phenomenal style and class; the way the carry yourself is truly admirable. I’ve noticed many of your tactful responses to peoples overly-personal inquiries and once again commend you for not becoming one of the typical style-turned-love/romance blogs.

    On a more style-related note, I have a question for you. I am looking to invest in a quality blazer; a Brooks Brothers blazer in particular, seeing as how a friend of mine is the manager and so can get me a 10% discount. I was just wondering what cut (Fitzgerald, Regent, or Madison) you would recommend for a preppy and classic, yet modern blazer. In addition, I was wondering if you would recommend a double or single vent, and what amount of buttons (2 or 3 on the front, and 3 or 4 on the cuffs), as well as what color (silver or gold). If there happens to be another, non-BB blazer you know of that would fit my criteria, that’s just fine. Thank you so much.

    • PKP

      Statement 1: Well thank you! I definitely don’t consider myself a pro at blogging, however, it has been a fun learning process.

      Cut: Fitzgerald – It’s slimmer and more youthful.

      Vent: When it comes to a navy blazer, I would go traditional and do single vent.

      Buttons – This one really depends on preference. Personally, I like the three button option, but that’s just me. As for the cuffs, I would say one more than the button on the front.

      Color: Gold (If you desire the “classic” navy blazer look).

      Additional Options – The only other option that I could think of would be J.Press, however, you won’t be able to purchase a slim cut from them.

  13. Paul

    PKP, what do you think about rugby shirts over a button down? And also what are some bowties that you would recommend I’m looking for some new ones. Thanks.

    • PKP

      Question 1: I don’t see a problem with it. I’ve sported the style on numerous occasions.

      Question 2: You could check out High Cotton Ties. They always have a great selection on their website.

  14. Dylan

    Just wondering what you would suggest for a career choice for a motivated young man about to go off to college? I’m definitely determined and am thinking something towards the business area.

    • PKP

      That’s the whole point of going to college! While a number of your friends may “know” what they want to me, the chances of them changing their major is pretty high. If I were you, I would take a sampling of classes from concentrations that interest you in order to figure out what you are good at. I could list out a number of career choices, however, if you don’t enjoy the subject you are studying, you aren’t going to reach your full potential. Does that make sense?

  15. Stephen Bader

    Have you ever volunteered on a political campaign? Do you personally know or have met a politician of prominence? Or heck, considered running yourself? Lofty questions I know, but just wondering. My best to you mate.

    Cheers PKP,

    • PKP

      Question 1: Ha, I actually have! I interned on a campaign the summer of my sophomore year in High School. It literally spent my entire summer in the office doing everything and anything under the sun. It was by far one of the best experiences of my life and was actually the topic I wrote about in the majority of my college essays.

      Question 2: Just my governor, senators, and local state representatives (i.e. no one HUGE like the President or something). I did go to Sonja Sotomayor’s book signing last year and had the chance to shake her hand?

      Question 3: I was really into politics in high school, however, things seemed to drop off in college. Originally, I wanted to major in political science, however, my parents were totally against the idea. I could see myself running for office in my later years, but that all depends on my success and legitimacy within the community I choose to live within.

  16. Chacho

    What do you enjoy the most about your identity as “PKP”?

    If I may, I have a minor suggestion as your company continues to develop. I would target the Hispanic market. The Hispanic market is very big and being able to give them a classy brand they can trust and identify with will increase your revenue.

    Best regards

    • PKP

      Question 1: I think the best part is having the ability to interact with so many interesting people. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gotten e-mails where the only response I can come up with is “wow.”

      Question 2: Great suggestion! It has certainly been noted!

  17. DJ


    For my birthday, I asked my parents for a light gray suit and a gray tweed blazer. I’m 18 so i’m not sure where and when I would wear the blazer (other than church of course) so i’m wondering if I should get just the suit plus cheaper accessories that I could just buy with my own money (pocket squares, ties, etc), or just stick with getting the suit and blazer then spend my own money on accessories. Does that make sense? Thanks!

  18. Joe

    Hi PKP,

    Couple of Questions:

    My sister was recently admitted to Stanford Early Action, but is also being pursued by Harvard for a specific reason. She is being pulled in two different directions and I was just wondering what your opinion was on Stanford vs. Harvard.

    Secondly, I seem to have acquired every single color of plain ralph lauren pastel sport shirts, but they now seem to be a little boring. What other casual button downs would you suggest?

    Thirdly, since spring is rapidly approaching in the South, i’m looking for a good (non-sperry) pair of casual shoes to wear with my BB garment dyed shorts. Are the ‘Air Grant’ Driving loafers still your favorite?

    Fourthly, what do you think about Patagonia sweaters as a more casual prep outerwear option to the Blazer?

    Thanks so much!

    • PKP

      Question 1: That’s amazing! Please tell her I send my congratulations. I can give you my opinion, but the only opinion that really matters is hers. My advice? Pick the school that feels right. I spent way too much time comparing numbers, statistics, and “reports” instead of listening to my inner gut when deciding what university to attend. Harvard and Stanford are two dramatically different schools with unique cultures. Whatever decision she makes, I know it will be the right one.

      Question 2: Agreed on both points (the number and the boringness). Fun-shirts are good for the spring as well as madras or unique plaids. When it comes to guy, our options are pretty limited…

      Question 3: I would have to say that they are still at the top of my list. I’m going to try and find another moc that is a little more durable this spring, however, I have a feeling I’ll be sporting the “Air Grants” on the regular.

      Question 4: I don’t own any Patagonia sweaters, however, I do own a pullover that I like to wear when I’m going to gym or working on my computer late at night.


  19. Meryl

    Were you born into a well to do family or do you believe in how you act dictating who you become? I love your blog by the way, from the style to the opinions you personify the type of person I aspire to be

    • PKP

      Question 1: I’m going to plead the fifth on question 1 because money is never really an important (or relevant) subject I like to talk about. Just a personal philosophy…

      Question 2: I will say that money has no bearing on the way I act. My parents are directly responsible for the individual whom I’ve become – not the dollar amount in their bank accounts. I’m a firm believer that money has no impact upon one’s ability to be an upstanding and moral individual.

      Well I certainly appreciate your generous comments! Thanks for the submission!

  20. To follow up on my question regarding small businesses, I would love to see a blog post about some great new startups that you’ve found. That’s how companies like Dogwood Black, formally Southern Ties, was started and became popular. Finally, I want to recommend a few websites/companies to you:
    Evans on the Waters –
    High Tide Clothing –
    Asher Riley –
    and many many more which I could share with you via email. Thank you so much for you time answering these questions all the time. You really do help out a lot of people.

    • PKP

      Question 1: I’ve actually suggested a number of new brands in my “Ten Bits of Randomness” series. For me, I prefer to be well versed in a brand’s philosophy and “idea” before I throw my support behind them. While my opinion is far from valuable, I do want to be informative in the content I relay to my readers.

      Question 2: Great suggestions! I’ve heard of a number of the ones you have suggested.

  21. Josiah

    Hi PKP,
    I was wondering what your opinion on patterns like paisley is. Do you wear it? It looks interesting but I’m not too sure how to pull it off if I ever wore it (on a tie or shirt).

    • PKP

      Great question. I agree that paisley is difficult to pull off which is why I only wear ties that have the pattern. Many of the paisley shirts are just too wild for my personal taste…

  22. DJ

    sure! if you were 18 without many reasons to wear a blazer, would you choose accessories (ex: bow ties, pocket squares) to go with a new suit, or a blazer along with a new suit because a blazer is a staple piece?

    • PKP

      Ah, I understand now. Since the suit is light grey, I don’t think it makes a whole lot of sense to buy an additional tweed blazer since tweed is a Fall/Winter fabric. If anything, I would recommend a navy (or even black) blazer.

      If you think you don’t need the additional jacket, I would go with accessories. Let me know if you need me to elaborate on anything.

  23. LM

    I am going to be starting my first corporate job here in the next month or 2. I was wondering what essentials you would recommend I buy before start. I know I need a good briefcase and planner, but what kind?
    Thanks for the help!

    • PKP

      Congratulations! It’s certainly not easy to get a job at the moment.

      Question 1: For a briefcase, I would first determine how much space you need. Are you going to be carrying a laptop? Do you just need something for files, your phone, business cards, etc.? A good place to start is Jack Spade. Their prices are steep, but the product is solid. Even if you don’t decide to purchase from them, you’ll at least be able to figure out what you like and don’t like.

      Question 2: I would suggest a simple leather planner that isn’t too big and bulky such as this one. Personally, I like to you my calendar on my computer as my planner since it’s always accessible.


  24. Joseph

    What is your opinion on Kenneth Cole? I attend Texas A&M University and work in a bank so my daily wear consists of slacks, dress shirt, and tie. Do you have a favorite online store that specializes in ties? I’m a fan of bow ties, but can hardly turn away from a nice tie of any sort.

    • PKP

      Question 1: Kenneth Cole is usually a little too modern for my tastes, but that’s just because my formal-wear go-to is Brooks.

      Question 2: I buy ties from a lot of places. You can always find a deal at RueLaLa; J.Crew has great slim ties, and J.Press always has something unique.

  25. David

    I know I’m way late on the open talk but I thought I’d give it a shot. Spring and summer is quickly approaching, what are your thoughts on your swimsuits this season? Thanks!!

    • PKP

      To be honest, I haven’t even started looking. I feel it would make me too depressed to prepare for Summer with temperatures in the teens…

  26. Sorry for the late question,
    I was wondering if you have heard anything about High Point University in North Carolina. It was ranked as the number one up an coming school in the south. I was accepted and am not sure if I wish to go there yet. The campus is beautiful and it seems like a nice school . My only concern is that it is very small. What is your opinion on the school, if you have one, and what are your opinions on how the size of a school will effect academics.
    Thanks so much! DBH

    • PKP

      Question 1: I haven’t heard of High Point University before, however, North Carolina is a great state to go to school especially if you are near the “Research Triangle” – lots of internships, jobs, etc. available.

      Question 2: So the answer to this question really depends on your own preferences. If I were you, I would first try and determine where you feel comfortable (big vs. small campus). When it comes down the academics, the size of the school doesn’t exactly have a huge impact because there are a number of influences to look at:
      – Class Size: At a smaller university, you’re going to have smaller class with the ability to build a closer relationship with your professors. Freshman intro class can be daunting and with a room filled with 200+ students, which may result in you having to be more independent in learning difficult material.
      -Class Options: At a smaller university, you aren’t going to have as many class options to choose from. If you know what you are going to major in (or even what field), I would look at the options the university has that will suit your interest. Remember, biology is biology and french is french. While there will always be “better” schools, what you take away from the classroom is really in your hands.
      -Campus Feel: At a smaller university, there’s probably going to be a little more “connection” between your fellow students. More than likely, there will only be one or two freshman dorms (instead of six or seven). Some people like this. Some people don’t. I think it’s important to take this factor into consideration especially if you like diversity.

      The most important factor you need to prioritize is your happiness. You could go to the best university in the country, but if you aren’t happy, you aren’t going to reach your full potential. While numbers and rankings are important, there are other factors to consider. Remember, college is an investment and you’re going to be living there for the next four years. Whatever you choose, I’m sure you’ll make the right decision. If you have any questions about what I said, feel free to comment back. Best of luck!

    • PKP

      Congratulations on the blog! The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to just be authentic. The blog-sphere is extremely over saturated with people pumping out the same recycled content (I’m guilty of the same crime). Gaining a readership won’t happen overnight, but if you put the appropriate amount of time into your posts, the readers will come on their own. I definitely don’t consider my blog to be well known in the slightest, however, that’s the philosophy I use when I create my posts. Best of luck!

  27. Ashton

    Hi PKP,

    I’m from Michigan, and I’ll be graduating next year. I want to go down south for college, I really love the environment, but I’m really hesitant to because I am from the north and I’m worried that I won’t fit in because of that. It’s bad to think like that, but people have warned me about the University’s down there. What are your thoughts on it?

    • PKP

      Hey Ashton,

      In all honestly, you have nothing to worry about. No matter where you go to school, there will always be people from different walks of life. Sure “Southern” school have a higher concentration of “Southerners,” however, you should feel that you’re going to be alienated simply because of the geographic region you were born. Does that make sense?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.