Join Instict's Fashion Director For An Exclusive Holiday Shopping Event At Rockefeller Center

We're just days away from the Rockefeller Center tree lighting and to help kick things off, Instint's fashion director, Eric Launder along with photographer Vincent Dilio hosted an evening of drinks and shopping at the Onassis store in Rockefeller center. Check out our exclusive video of the event:



Here are a few of our fashion director's favorite things from Onassis this holiday season. Each perfect for gift giving— so perfect in fact, you may want to keep them for yourself.  And with 40% off all purchases this Cyber Monday, why not get 2?! Head on over to to get all of these fashionable goodies! 

Wool Bow Tie, $58

Zip Around Wallet, $118

Flannel Plaid Shirt, $128

Heather Quilted Zip Hoodie, $228


Happy Cyber Monday shopping, Instincters!

Behind The Scenes: Instinct's October/November 2013 Issue Fashion Editorial

Curious to see what an Instinct fashion editorial looks like on set? Well, we got you covered Instincters! Our Fashion Director, Eric Launder, takes you behind the scenes of the October/November 2013 Issue fashion editorial—"Legends of the Fall"—shot by Vincent Dilio at Root Studios in Brooklyn, New York. Enjoy!




SWEATPANTS! ... And Four Other Trends You’ll Probably Regret In A Few Years.



With last fall forcing us into delusions of simple living by way of un-ironic moustaches and side parted hair — this year is a leap in the opposite and much more playful direction!

Children of the '90s will rejoice with the latest street trends for fall looking like the strange love children of Kid n’ Play, Zach Morris and Downtown Julie Brown. Fall trends have a new hypercolor aesthetic that's all about a playful ease with just a touch of throwback hip hop flare. Think big statements that require at least an extra helping of swagger to make your own. And if  anyone has swagger, it's the Instinct audience!

Get into it and read on to find our top five must have trends of the season and how we promise you can get away with wearing your sweatpants outside of the gym.


Trend 1: No Strings Attached

Spanish style Espadrilles and surf inspired slip-ons are the only way to go this fall. Typically a summer look, these sensible slippers are moving their way into the fall by adding a casual note to any outfit. Smart and style-y boys can be seen rocking muted canvas options with easy cotton suits and a polo. It’s a positively preppy look that’s ready for anything, day or night.


Trend 2: Hear Me Roar

Time to channel your inner kitty purry — animal prints are officially in. Whether you go full roar or serve your jungle realness in subtle embellishments and accents, this wild look is sure to draw attention. The best versions of this trend are found in unexpected color treatments and blended in to a tone on tone look(see the tie above). If you’re feeling the jungle fever, go for it! Just remember that too much can sometimes be too much.


Trend 3: Drop It Like It’s Hot

Generally the one trend that people either love or completely hate, Harem pants (also known as the drop crotch) have been showing up everywhere from the New York runways to Justin Bieber’s stage show. Known for their typically tapered  leg and lowered crotch, the look offers a casual almost slouchy vibe. I prefer the style paired down into almost loungewear and worn with a simple t-shirt and flip flops. Embrace its urban dance roots by rocking out some vintage sneakers and a distressed denim vest, or play with volume by adding an oversized cable knit sweater to the already fabric heavy piece. While definitely a lot of look, wear your harems like jeans and mix them into any ensemble.


Trend 4: Totes Amazing

Life in the big city isn’t for the weak of heart and certainly not the unprepared. For the last many years urban men have favored briefcases and over-the-shoulder messenger bags to help transport their daily needs from point A to point B. Those options were fine for those who needed little more than a lap-top and a file or two, but for today’s gay on the go, where’s a boy to put his new blue camo weightless trainers and lulu lemon yoga pants? Despair, right? No way! City gents from San Fran to Sydney have taken to bigger more functional weekenders and carry-alls to fit their extra loot. The trend is romantic and a bit flashy leaning toward iconic wovens and polished leathers. Unlike our purse obsessed sisters, the man bag is to be treated like a seasonal staple and not an interchangeable accessory. Pick a style that suits you and rock it all season long.


Trend 5: Jersey-licious

(Image: ScoutSixteen)

I know what you’re thinking - Sweatpants? Really?! As it turns out, the (fashion) gods must be lazy because jersey is definitely the darling of fall. While designers like Alexander Wang and Band of Outsiders have been literally hitting us over the head with fashion forward jersey styles for years, the idea of wearing “sweatpants” has until recently never made it past the bedroom. This new tapered, slim and often color treated version is not only “public” appropriate, the look is actually quite fresh and significantly more sophisticated than one might think. Pair them with sneakers and clean natural fabrics like cotton or wool to achieve an easy casual aesthetic. A pair of grey jersey pants with a nice crisp white oxford can’t go wrong. Even if you’re doubting me here, don't! We’re telling you it's ok to wear your sweatpants in public. Comfy and chic. Unless you’re crazy you better go get yourself changed. 

Individually these trends might seem a little out there and disjointed, but when looked at with a wider lens, there's a definite common thread. Traditionally fall trends have a more serious tone, darker colors, heavier fabrics and so on. This season is about not taking ourselves too seriously and to having fun — even if the weather gets a bit gloomy. Don’t be afraid to take risks. If leopard print pants aren’t in the cards, try a pocket square or a pair of socks. You'll be glad you did.


About the author: Michael Gonsalves is a prominent San Francisco- based trend spotter and style influencer known for his sardonic take on fashion and design culture. Keep up to date with his work at

Tour Project New York with Instinct's Fashion Director Eric Launder

Instinct's Fashion Director and resident style star, Eric Launder, takes us on a tailored tour of Project New York—The premiere fashion event where buyers and retailers gather from around the globe to check out new collections and place orders for the upcoming year. 




Plan to grab any of these threads in the new year, Instincters?

Surf In The City

The TOP 5 beach culture trends taking over downtown this summer 


The boys in Venice Beach have switched out their hoodies and smart cars for tanks and long boards, turning our heads and hearts with every step they take. But as we city folk descend onto the streets of whatever beach town we’ve chosen for the season, all we can do is pray, Dear God. Please let at least one of these bouncy beach boys play for our team! Let's admit it, surfer guys are just a breed of a different kind. They don a casual coolness rarely seen in our inner-city lives that is both alluring and unnerving. Is he wearing ... gasp! ... flip flops? Probably so. The common thread? Surf Culture — a trend that's not just for the beach anymore, and we like it!


Trend 1: Big Wave Hair

Say goodnight Don Draper. The trend this summer is all about big tousled locks. The messier the better. To keep this look masculine consider growing out your beard a bit too. No need to get all Tom Hanks in Castaway with it, but a little scruff will go a long way here. Achieve the beachy saltwater kissed look by styling only with your fingers and letting your hair air dry. Products like Bumble and Bumble’s “Surf Spray” are also an easy way to look like you’ve been surfing all day without ever leaving the office. 


Trend 2: The Five Panel Hat

While your pops might still be sporting his panama hat and zinc oxide to the beach, the surfer bro’s have been rocking this baseball cap alternative for years with unparalleled style.This casual go anywhere look is quintessential So-Cal style especially when sported in funky patterns and prints. Brands like Supreme and Huf have all kinds of great options. Don’t be afraid to go too wild. A truly bold print like a floral or a polka dot can often be so extreme that it counterintuitively can function as a neutral and go with just about anything.


 Trend 3: Suns Out Guns Out

Tanks, like Hillary Duff,  are so yesterday. This trend is about achieving that same sex appeal with a bit of a harder edge. Take your favorite fitted T-shirt and cut the sleeves off at the arm hole. Please resist the temptation to turn your shirt into a sideless whisper of garment — it’s supposed to be a shirt, not a bib. The added bonus is that when you make one of these from an old rock tee, you can rest assured that you won’t wind up in a “who wore it best” duel to the death with your neighborhood rival stylisto. 


Trend 4: Friends Forever

… Or at least until the end of the summer. Probably our favorite of the surf-inspired trends is this throwback to the days of middle school when we used to collect friendship bracelets by the dozens. He with the most bracelets won. This time around it’s just about the same. Throw anywhere from three to ten on at a time, and wear them in a variety of colors and styles. We like the combination of leather hook styles with beaded and metal options. This playful flair gives a fun juxtaposition to otherwise serious looks and gives a welcome punch of color to more understated city styles.


Trend 5: Wiped Out Denim

Forget that American work-wear trend we have all been rocking the last few years. Trade in your dark denim for stone washed, ripped up - down right destroyed denim in styles that are slim but not skin tight. The key is casual comfort with a devil may care personality. Don’t be afraid to pair these bad boys with a striped tee under a navy blazer or with a chunky turtleneck sweater on those chillier summer nights. While inherently irreverent, distressed denim can work its way into just about any situation and look right at home.  

So there you have it — our top five beach trends for city boys. Remember, loosen things up and let these looks work regardless of your age or your location. It’s all about mixing in a little casual cool to whatever is your personal style. Start with a bracelet or two and go from there. What’s the worst that could happen? You end up living in an airstream trailer somewhere out in Malibu with Camila Alves? We think you can handle it.  


About the author: Michael Gonsalves is a prominent San Francisco-based trend spotter and style influencer known for his sardonic take on fashion and design culture. Keep up to date with his work at  

Top 10 Sunglasses for 2013

O.K. boys, summer is in full swing and you know what that means—barbecues, beach days, tea dances, Pride parties and all other sorts of outdoor activities.  Sunglasses are essential for these hot and hazy days upon us. The perfect pair of sunnies completes any outfit and especially when shirts come off, are the outfit itself. Needless to say, finding the perfect pair is crucial.  This season, tried and true shapes with a modern update are the biggest thing in eyewear. If you're throwing a little shade, here are the 10 best you don't want to miss for the season:


1. Wayfarers 

Paul Smith Limited Edition “Seaton” sunglasses, $395.00, available exclusively in Oliver Peoples Boutiques


2. Aviators

Thom Browne “015B”, $650.00, available at


3. Shield Shapes

Versace “2140” sunglasses, $190.00, available at


4. Rounded Shapes Oliver Peoples “M-4” sunglasses, $425.00,  available at


5. Tortoiseshell stylesOliver Peoples “Jannsson Sun” sunglasses, $405.00, available at


6. Transparent frames

Lindberg “8571” sunglasses, $469.00, for retailers visit


7. Ombre LensesDita “Mercer” sunglasses, $500.00, available at



8. Color Lenses

Ray-Ban “3025” sunglasses, $159.95,  available at


9. Colorful Frames

Burberry “Splash” sunglasses, $220.00, available here


10. Vintage 1960’s Shapes

Thom Browne “006A”, $675.00, available at

A Style Chat: Ernest Alexander’s Ernest Sabine & Instinct's Eric Launder



I recently attended a Summer kick off party thrown by Ernest Sabine, designer and founder of Ernest Alexander;  A New York based line of menswear, bags and accessories. The event was held on a rainy June evening at Ernest’s beautiful Chelsea loft where mint juleps were served. The party was packed with editors and stylists from across the industry, all willing to attend despite the terrible weather. Attendance like this on a night like that is no small feat for a menswear company barely five years old. However, when you consider the attention to detail on an Ernest Alexander bag or the company’s commitment to keeping manufacturing alive in America, it’s no surprise at all. Here’s what Ernest had to say about Ernest Alexander.



Who is the Ernest Alexander man?

That’s a tough question because I think we have such a wide range of people who buy our products.  I think the Ernest Alexander man is a person who appreciates today’s fashion, but is truly interested in buying a quality piece that has a story behind it. Our customer is someone who appreciates craftsmanship and wants to know about the ‘hands’ that went into making each piece. It’s someone interested in class and understated style and the finer nuances of life.


What is your greatest source of Inspiration when designing?

The greatest source of inspiration I have is just living in New York City. Everyday I walk out of my apartment in Chelsea and immediately my head is on a swivel; my eyes fixating on all these interesting people and things around me. I always get my best ideas walking from my place down 7th Avenue towards our store in SoHo. 



What is the least likely place you’ve found inspiration?

Inspiration is very unpredictable. It can come from anywhere and at pretty much any time. I think my kids have been the least likely place I’ve found inspiration in recent memory. They are so uninhibited and naturally creative and curious, just watching my son or daughter play sometimes leads me down a path to a great idea.


Who are your style icons?

It may sound a little cliché now, especially with the menswear movement that’s emerged over the last couple of years, but my grandfather is probably my biggest style icon. I didn’t get a chance to know him well, but anytime I visit my family we always go through pictures of him when he was in his 20’s and 30’s. I’m always amazed at how impeccably dressed he was. It’s hard to find an image of him not in a perfectly tailored three-piece suit with beautifully polished shoes. My family actually still has most of his clothing. It’s neat to be able to rummage through things from decades past and look at how he might have put an outfit together back in the day.



What are 5 essentials for stylish men?

            1. a great bag (of course)

            2. a navy blazer

            3. fun/interesting socks

            4. worn-in, everyday sneakers

            5. confidence


All your products are produced here in the United States of America. What made you decide to keep production local?

Both of my grandmothers were seamstresses. I can remember growing up, visiting them at their home, and seeing how hard they worked. Every piece they made or seam they tailored involved incredible attention to detail and such a labored effort. 

When they came to the U.S. they worked hard sewing in the garment district for 30+ years. Now that I have my own line, I think producing here is partly homage to them. 

In addition to that, there have been tremendous benefits for us during the brands initial inception and development especially in terms of quality control. It’s great now to be able to support local business and be a part of helping revive the once thriving manufacturing business here in New York.


You began by designing men’s bags. What do you think about when designing a bag and what are some of the unique features found on your bags?

It’s great to be able to design a bag that looks cool but, at the end of the day, is still practical for everyday use. Whether it’s a convenient slip pocket on the outside, an extra zipper or two, or working buckle closures, it’s important to make a timeless, functional piece. Obviously, our wax cotton is one of our signatures, but I think it’s the way we manipulate the fabric and the little details we add to each bag that make it feel a little more expensive. Stitching all our leather pieces all-the way around, double reinforcing our handles, and adding full linings to all of our bags help differentiate us from the competition.


Bedford Chocolate Wax Overnight Bag, $465.00


What luxury do you indulge in?

I’m not a very indulgent guy! But when I do reach for something a bit more luxurious it may be on something like a great pair of shoes or, hey, maybe even a nice bottle of scotch.


Any other exciting news to share?

Things are going well. We were nominated by GQ recently as one of the Best New Menswear Designers of the year, which is super exciting. We are in the middle of working on a collection with the Gap as a part of the nomination and simultaneously working on continuously developing our bags and getting our ready-to-wear pieces set for New York Fashion Week.


Where does Ernest Alexander retail?

You can find our entire collection at or at our retail location in SoHo at 98 Thompson Street. For a complete list of our stockists check us out on our website.


The Skivvies Bare It All

By Mike Ciriaco, Photos by Augusten Burroughs, Monica Simoes and Michelle Blake


The Skivvies are all about stripping down. The New York-based music duo of Nick Cearley and Lauren Molina perform stripped down, acoustic covers of popular songs while stripped down to their underwear. This unique act has attracted the attention of high profile collaborators, like Tony-award winner Daisey Eagan and critically acclaimed writer/photographer Augusten Burroughs. Cearley and Molina recently exposed their souls to Instinct, revealing the origins of their band, their aspirations, and of course, performing publicly in their undies.


Where did the concept of The Skivvies originate?

Nick: In our pants. Kidding. Not really. Lauren and I have been creating music together for 10 years, wearing clothes, but performing this style of stripped down covers/mashups, plus originals.

Lauren:  We were getting sandwiches at the corner deli near my apartment and the song "We Found love" by Rihanna was playing.

Nick: I remember saying to LoMo, "God, this song drives me nuts. It’s just digital noise."

Lauren: So we went back to my apartment and dissected the song. We liked what we did with it, making it a waltz march by simply changing the time signature on guitar and ukulele. And we thought we would record a video for the YouTube.

Nick:  Lauren was deciding what to wear, standing there in her bra, and shouted to me from her bedroom asking what she should wear and I said "Just wear that!"

Lauren: I was like, "Well, we are doing a stripped down version of the song...that's pretty hilarious, to take the musically stripped down element to the next visual level" Thus, The Skivvies were born. Nick loves being in his underwear and we are both theatrical actors who have often had to appear in our underwear onstage. So it just seemed right. And ironic. Covers, uncovered.


How does playing in your underwear influence your performance?

Nick: Its freeing. I'm self taught, so when I learn an instrument, I am usually in my living room in some sort of state of undress figuring it all out. Putting on clothes to play instruments feels so weird.

Lauren: When we are actually in performance, there's a natural vibe the audience gets by seeing people in their underwear. It makes you appear very vulnerable and it instantly helps the audience to be on your side. Also, if I make a mistake, they are generally more forgiving.

Nick: Yes. Our straight male and lesbian fans are very happy when Lauren makes a mistake. She usually drops something and picks it up off of the floor to make up for it.


Do you have a 'lucky pair' of undies?

Nick: I like to wear Andrew Christian, not only because he has been very kind to give me dozens of pairs, but I also feel they are very kind to my naughty parts.

Lauren:  I like wearing Victoria's Secret brand though they have not given me a damn thing. 



What was the most interesting aspect of shooting your music video 'Hardbody Hoedown' with Augusten Burroughs?

Lauren: Augusten is an incredible photographer and he has the ability to find beautiful interesting shots in the unusual.

Nick: He is also has a very generous heart.  I was fortunate he was able to take my wedding pictures when I was married last June to my husband, Eric Lesh, who is a lawyer at Lambda Legal.


In your Rockwell show in LA, you were joined by a very pregnant Daisy Eagan, also in her undies. Did this set the bar for your live shows? Have you ever done anything more unusual?

Lauren: Oh yes! She really raised the bar in all departments.

Nick: We have both been fans of Daisy since we were kids.  I remember watching the Tony Awards the year she won her Tony for The Secret Garden and I remember saying "I want to do that. I will do that." I never played Mary Lennox, but boy I tried really hard.

Lauren: We first got the idea to ask Daisy when we were reading her blog and following her on twitter and realized her sense of humor is also our sense of humor.  We simply wrote her after reading a particular jawdropping entry about healthcare in America and her being pregnant. She replied with a big fat “yes!” within seconds.

Nick: That's what so great about bringing in guests to play with The Skivvies. Everyone has a sense of playfulness and unique creativity and that we can build off together.  Each arrangement is specific for the guest.  Another aspect of individuality is in what each guest chooses to wear. 

We have had Tony Nominee heart throb Will Swenson in a G String dedicating his tune "Get Low" to his mother. The cutest was Barrett Foa in Rocky Balboa boxing get-up singing a mash-up of all songs 'Stronger.' 



How did you guys first meet?

Lauren: In 2003,  Nick and I were cast by TheatreWorks USA, a children's theatre company that tours across the country. 

Nick: We played the grandest cafetoriums in the land.


What is your ultimate goal as a duo?

Nick: The Dream! We have always been a large fan of shows that incorporate sketch comedy with music.

Lauren: "Portlandia" and "Flight of the Conchords" are recent inspirations that are similar to what we would like to be doing.

Nick: I have always been inspired by The Monkees and how they were able to incorporate these aspects so seamlessly as well.


What kind of impact are you aiming to make on the gay music scene and the music scene in general?

Nick:  I think what we are doing is truly original.  We take some of the best songs and put our own spin on them. The fact that we are in our underwear is inconsequential.

Lauren: It has been so great to be embraced by the gay crowd. Because of our backgrounds, they seemed to notice us first and give us so much love and attention.

Nick: Wit and irony seem to always be embraced by the gay scene. Look at Oscar Wilde.

Lauren: He also was the first to say "All art is truly useless."

Nick: Well, I think an underwear clad duo singing cool mashups on cello and ukulele, with comedic undertones, is a pretty useful asset to any music scene.

Brand Yourself


Everybody knows Lee. You either are him or you know someone like him. He’s that smart, handsome, generally affable gay in the office that everybody loves or at least enjoys living vicariously through. He wore pomade when everyone else was still rocking gel. He flung himself into the fancy sock trend like a midwestern mom with a Beanie Baby obsession—must. collect. all. Be it his perfectly waxed caterpillar eyebrows or his general defiance for any outfit that might seem “regular” the dude has balls, if not actually any definable style.

Despite all this “character” and attention, Lee has been in the same position in his career for more than five years. At 36 years old he’s frustrated with the fact that he can’t seem to get past the #2 role on his team. He has stood by and patiently watched his coworkers get promoted to positions that he knows should have been his. Instead he trains his new bosses in the intricacies of the industry and quietly waits his turn wondering why that couldn’t have been him. Time and time again, Lee gets praised for his efforts and passed up for the job.

No one would want to believe that a guy like Lee was passed up for a job because of the way he looks. The truth is—he probably was—at least to a more significant degree than he thinks. While Lee’s constantly changing hair styles, ever shrinking T-shirts, bright socks and over-all edgy attire fit right in with the playful and wild personality he bares on the weekends with friends, they say nothing about the hard working, generally serious and passionate man he is at work. His office world sees Lee as a sort of little brother-best friend—great to have around and totally likeable, but not necessarily the guy who is going to lead us into battle. Whether he knows it or not, his fashion is undercutting the message he is trying to tell about his professionalism.

As a style columnist I am very aware of people like Lee. They are everywhere. These are great, hard-working guys who deserve to be taken seriously but who are constantly being overlooked because they don’t see the real implications of not placing enough importance on the image that they put out. Your personal style at work needs to say so much more than what your tastes are in fashion. Your clothes are the packaging in which you wrap your professional brand. 

This isn’t to say that every man needs to go out and invest in Hugo Boss suits and Bruno Magli shoes in order to appear competent. If Lee were working in graphic design, then his fashion-forward hair, tight T-shirts and colorful pants would tell exactly the right story: “This guy is on the cutting edge, he’s creative, cool and confident.” If he were to be in finance, it would tell a different story: “This guy is delusional.” It’s all about honing in on the right message. 

Take Steve Jobs for example. Steve stood at the helm of one of the world’s most successful companies and wore jeans, a black turtleneck and a pair of wire-rimmed glasses in nearly every public appearance he ever made. Believe me when I tell you that this was no accident. His look became iconic—a clear and defined indication to the world the he and his company were about simple, relatable experiences that pushed the status quo. What he wore mattered. 

If you want to be recognized as a smart, serious yet energetic ad sales manager, dress in clothing that reflects this. If a serious, dedicated and traditional type is the man you aspire to be, mold your appearance to more classic and tailored styles. Equally important, as with any good branding campaign, consistency is key. You can play with style but be sure to stay on message when at work. If you show up as a rock star on Monday and a humble book worm on Tuesday, the only thing people will think about you is that you suffer from multiple personality disorder. You’ve got to commit.  

This will help psychologically as well. Mama Oprah talks about envisioning yourself in the space you want to be. You have to act as if you are the person you want to be until you actually are that person. Just as actors tell of not being able to fully get into character until they put their costumes on, and audiences are unlikely to believe an actor in the role of Hamlet if he shows up in jeans and a T, if you aren’t dressing the part in your real life you can’t expect anyone to believe that you are the right guy for the job.  

The answer to Lee’s troubles isn’t just in putting in more hours or waiting his turn. It isn’t switching companies for more opportunity either. What Lee needs is to recognize the importance of investing in himself and his personal brand. By reclaiming his public identity Lee will be able to brand himself as the person he not only is but wants to become. We should all take inventory of our professional attire at least once every six months. Are you sending the right message?