Standard Recommendations – Victor & Rolf – Spicebomb Digital Art’ Eau de Toilette (Limited Edition)

Spicebomb Holiday 2015-1Just in time for the holiday season, Viktor&Rolf pixelizes camouflage to embellish the bottle of its iconic men’s cologne Spicebomb. Serious and masculine in tone, this warm and spicy fragrance is suitable for the sophisticated gentleman at the office or off the clock. This digital art limited edition of Spicebomb offers not only a fantastic fragrance, but it also presents to the wearer a uniquely designed bottle in the form of a contemporary pixelated design. This is a fragrance that wins our endorsement.

Gentlemanly Observations

Top Notes: Bergamot, Grapefruit, Elemi, Pink Pepper

Middle Notes: Cinnamon, Saffron, Chili

Base Notes: Leather, Tobacco, Vetiver

  • The introduction of the top notes is resoundingly deep and spicy. The warm scent can definitely be characterized as a heavier fragrance, but it is not too heavy to be deemed as overwhelming.
  • Slowly transitioning into the middle notes, the distinct presence of cinnamon, accompanied with faint hints of vanilla, can be appreciated for an extended period of time.
  • The scent settles nicely with sweet tones of tobacco and leather. However, the fragrance begins to slowly disappear after a few hours. Honestly, I wish the cologne’s finale lasted a bit longer.
  • Given that fact, a gentleman will be tempted to administer a few extra applications in the beginning. I would strongly dissuade a gentleman from taking such extreme measures. Given the relative strength of the top notes, applying too much in the beginning with aspirations of attaining a long-lasting ending will only result in a headache inducing nausea.
  • Therefore, I recommend dispensing 4-5 sprays from your glass replica hand grenade, and reserving its utilization for moments that don’t require an extended performance – a late evening engagement would suffice. Trust, it is a seductive scent, but don’t expect it to last from the early morning to late evening.
  • Spicebomb 3.4 oz $115.00 retail – Available at Nordstrom, Macy’s, Sephora, Von Maur or any fine men’s department store.
Gentlemen’s Standard Approved
Disclosure: TGS was not financially compensated for this post. Item was purchased for personal use. The opinions expressed are completely my own based on my experience.

Standard Recommendations – Nice Laundry – Hosiery

NiceLaundry_PrepsterLet’s exercise some gentlemanly candor here; residing on the hierarchy of sartorial importance, hosiery most likely hovers near the bottom. On the most basic level, the primary function of one’s hosiery is merely to act as a protective layer between one’s feet and footwear. However, some men have even relieved their hosiery of that obligation. Socks – a minute detail in style born out of necessity. Nevertheless, for the select few of sophisticated gentlemen, there is a working belief that every detail holds significance. Details thus make the stylish gentleman, as each detail carries an individual weight that reveals a gent’s character. And so we arrive at today’s endorsement – Nice Laundry. The Gentlemen’s Standard is no stranger to their excellent work – check out the review HERE.

NiceLaundry_PrepsterTrioPrices begin at $49 for six pairs of their standard stock. Their Exec offering is $59 for 6 pairs. And if you want to totally reinvent your sock collection, $99.00 will fetch you 18 pairs to kick-start your new hosiery endeavor. Patterns vary from reserved (solid colors) to adventurous (camouflage). The premium blend of cotton, nylon, and spandex guarantees supreme durability and comfort. After 1 year of wearing, washing, and drying (not recommended, but alas I did not commit full attention to the instructions); Nice Laundry delivers a high quality sock without blowing up your wallet. So, for this holiday season, if you’re rolling with the ubiquitous gift of hosiery for that special gentleman in your life; Nice Laundry is a fantastic gift for Christmas.

NiceLaundry_Prepster Bag

For ordering information, please check out Nice Laundry HERE for more details.

Standard Recommendations – The Nose Hair Trimmer

Panasonic TrimmerA gentleman’s grooming regimen usually entails the obligatory cadre of routine bathroom rituals: the fundamental shower or bath, the brushing and flossing of teeth, hair management, and the required application of moisturizers and deodorant. However, there are certain grooming requirements that largely go undetected or ignored. And as a gentleman ages, these grooming requirements can become problematic if left neglected. Case in point: A few months ago, I was experiencing a slight tickle inside my right nostril. Quickly surmising that I needed to blow my nose, I proceeded to relieve my nose of any mucosal debris, but alas it did not resolve the issue. Further inspecting my nose in the mirror, I was horrified to discover a long strand of hair swaying back and forth like a kite in a gentle wind.

Panicking, my mind raced – how many people had I spoken to with this unsightly, giant hair hanging out my nose? The resolution was simple: Go forth to a department store and purchase a nose hair trimmer. Sure, I incorrectly thought only men that served in World War II required the use of such a device, but now was not the moment to be prideful. No one would have to know what goes on in my bathroom – although now you do – just as long as I didn’t have hirsute nostrils come the next morning.

So there, I present to you an embarrassing moment in my mid-adult years. If you have this issue, trust, it only takes a few seconds to address, maybe once a month. The investment – the money and time – pales in comparison to the notion of having Cousin It camping out inside your nose. A gentleman can go all out and spend up to $50.00 for one or be frugal and procure a trimmer from a discount department chain such as TJ Maxx. I remember my electronics instructor from 11th grade, he had hair protruding from his both ears and nostrils. Not to mention that his chest hair was on a jail break from his dress shirt, but that is another blog post. But, anyway, I cannot allow myself to go out like that. You should not either.

Standard Recommendations – The Long Handle Shoe Horn

Long Handle Shoe HornRegarding our footwear, at one moment or another in our lives, we have probably committed the same sartorial shoe sin: haphazardly cramming one’s feet into an unsuspecting pair; unfairly treating them like worn, downtrodden slippers. Nothing can ruin an otherwise dapper presentation more than a dubious association with run-over kicks. So, in the spirit of simplifying a gentleman’s life, along with maintaining the appearance extending the life of his shoes, I highly recommend purchasing a shoe horn. Well, not just any shoe horn, I am espousing the virtues of a long handle shoe horn – preferably one with an ergonomic, rubberized handle and spring-aided, flexible head. Excellent for gentlemen with compromised ranges of motion, one can slip in and out of his beloved wingtips without crushing the counter and beating up the quarters. Relatively inexpensive, a long handle shoe horn can be procured at any reputable retail store or fine men’s department store. Definitely a wise investment, your back and your shoes will thank you immediately.

Standard Recommendations – Fabric Shaver

 

EvercareEvery now and again, certain woven fabrics are susceptible to pilling – the development of tiny balls of fibrous fuzz on a garment’s surface. Wearing one’s clothing on a routine basis will ultimately bring about customary abrasion; resulting in stray fibers breaking free and forming those small unsightly balls of fabric nearly everyone abhors. The more expensive the fabric or the longer the fiber being woven, the likelihood of pilling lessens tremendously. Nevertheless, even these factors cannot totally negate the possibility of pills forming on your garment. To combat this clothing defect, I recommend investing in a fabric shaver. This small simple accessory removes unwanted pills and lint by way of spinning blades underneath a ventilated metal guard. Your garment can be returned to nearly fresh condition when employing the services of a fabric shaver. Readily available at store chains such as Target or Bed Bath & Beyond, a gentleman can expect to pay no more than $10.00 for a fabric shaver. This small investment will be well worth the cost, as adding this battery-operated accessory to your clothing maintenance will reap long-lasting benefits.

Standard Recommendations – Merona 4 Pocket Wool Utility Coat

Target Field JacketIt was but a short time ago – September 18th to be exact – that I proudly proclaimed my adoration for the gentleman’s field jacket. A robust option employed to engage gradually declining temperatures before they totally bottom out, I declared the field jacket as an essential piece for fall/winter outerwear. That being said, I would like to direct your attention to Merona’s stylish interpretation of said piece of outerwear. Wait – Merona? Yes – that Merona.

Now, before I offer my unsolicited endorsement to the audience, I would like to address a misguided belief circulating throughout the style universe for men. Some dapper gentleman will have you believe that if you’re not wearing an expensive, brand name article of clothing, somehow you cannot be stylish. That is simply nonsense. Yes, in the midst of our renaissance of sorts for men’s style, style snobs have become rather aggressive with their critiques of what is and what isn’t stylish.

Granted, there will be occasions when a gentleman will have to lay down some serious coin for quality and aesthetically pleasing menswear. Nevertheless, true style is more so the how a gentleman artfully arranges his ensemble rather than the what he is arranging. And now, back to that Merona jacket. Yes, it is a Target house brand. And yes, it is probably manufactured in China. However, those facts do not disqualify this jacket from being a great jacket. I know this from first-hand account.

True, I have items in my closet that can be considered expensive. However, I am not a gentleman that will shun any particular brand due to its origins. This offering from Merona is a fantastic choice for moderately cold weather. It delivers in the department that it was manufactured for – warmth. It is neither slim or bulky, but it is sufficiently heavy. The construction is tight and is excellent at blocking out arctic wind, or as some people like to call it – the hawk. With a heavyweight wool & polyester twill shell, this jacket will definitely keep you warm when the temperatures fluctuate between the high 20s to low 40s.

And for style, the shoulder epaulets and 4 pocket design certainly lends an air of no-nonsense masculinity. It doesn’t have a hood, so ensure you equip your person with a hat and scarf. Offered in charcoal heather, ebony, and dark grey; this jacket can be obtained for a ridiculously low $79.99 with 60% off a second jacket if you choose to splurge. Don’t allow the price, or the fact that it is a Target jacket mislead you, this is a great value. If you are in the market, at least afford yourself the courtesy and check it out if you happen to be in a Target. You won’t regret it. Stay stylish gentlemen.

Standard Recommendations – Wool Pocket Square – Suit Supply

IMG_2525Gentlemen, it is quit remarkable that autumn has officially commenced, and before you can blink your eyes, winter will be touching down shortly as well. Now, I understand that is a conversation many gentlemen care not to entertain, but the reality is inevitable – winter is coming. Now, with these truths proven to be self-evident, fine department stores are bolstering their inventory accordingly with cold-weather appropriate menswear. Therefore, anticipate that the usual regiment of seasonal woolen offerings will inundate your local shelves. And speaking of woolen, again, I have to endorse this year’s wool pocket squares from Suit Supply.

Offered a few months ago, I recklessly procrastinated, and the result was a stock that was instantly depleted within weeks. To clarify, the wool pocket squares in question were a dynamic tandem, both light blue squares edged with a cream hue and speckled with either burgundy or navy dots. In affairs of the pocket square, Suit Supply stays winning. Luckily for me, both became available once again a month or so ago. And as a treat for myself, on my 38th birthday, I scooped up both pocket squares. Lightweight. Soft. Impeccable design. I cannot complain. I understand some gentlemen may scoff at the $45.00 price-tag, but I’m a pocket square lover, and sometimes one has to pay for style and quality. Once again, I am a satisfied customer. Stay stylish gentlemen.

Standard Recommendations – The Belt Keeper

Belt KeeperGranted, the concept of actually owning a belt keeper, especially one that rotates, can be perceived as slightly anal. Yes, a gentleman may cast a gaze of appreciation from a safe distance, but surely he would not dare own one. Well, I am here to roundly proclaim: There is absolutely nothing inappropriate with being orderly and organized. It’s just an intelligent practice. Hurried mornings rife with frenzy and panic – perhaps heightened by the unfortunate circumstance of a misplaced belt – can be tempered via the employment of a belt keeper. Now, maybe, you only own 1-2 belts maximum, then a belt keeper probably would not be feasible. However, if you are a gentleman with an unspecified (a lot) amount of belts, this smart accessory will definitely serve as a smart addition to your closet. Eliminate the search and rescue for missing belts; this inexpensive investment (the Woodlore offering above retails for $14.95) will reduce time allocated for getting dressed, and possible negate headaches related to hunting down your gentlemanly accoutrement. Next  – securing the location for those pesky, wayward socks. Those bad boys can be anywhere.

 

Standard Recommendations – Tend Skin

tend-skin-liquidMy first introduction to Tend Skin occurred during my college career at Michigan Technological University. A close friend was experiencing a severe case of acne along with razor bumps, and he was desperate for a solution to remedy his skin woes . During one summer – myself along with a few friends remained up North to work – my friend stayed with me and my roommate as he commuted back and forth to work in a nearby town. One morning, I quietly noticed my friend’s grooming ritual as he was applying a clear, pungent liquid onto his face in the bathroom. When I asked him about the product that he was liberally administering to his face, he informed me that the tart liquid was called Tend Skin. Now, I am not sure how it came to pass that he knew of its reputation, but he swore that it was working wonders for his skin. And after a few months, the appearance of his skin was quite noticeable. Tend Skin had cleared up his acne and razor bumps!

Now, if you take a gander at the Tend Skin website, it clearly states that their product is a solution for unsightly razor bumps, ingrown hair, and razor burn. Nonetheless, I am here to inform the audience that this product also works magic for acne as well. Just a week ago, I had an unusual breakout across my brow. I summoned my bottle of Tend Skin from the medicine cabinet, applied a few drops to a cotton ball, and addressed the area of concern during the morning and at night. And at the conclusion of approximately 5 days, my minor acne eruption was vanquished.

Again, this product is marketed for razor bumps, but another added benefit is it relieves acne and breakouts just as well. Of course, results may vary, but Tend Skin has never failed to resolve the random bout of acne during my adult years. I say adult, because Tend Skin (if the smell is any indication) appears to be a pretty strong product, so I would not recommend it for adolescents. So, if your skin is prone to breakouts or you experience an occasional bout with acne, I strongly recommend Tend Skin. It’s tough to find in stores, so ordering direct from the merchant may be the best course of action. You won’t be required to order a ton of product, as a little really goes a long way. I think I bought my bottle nearly 5 years ago. But then again, I don’t have ongoing issues with acne, so you will have to gauge your needs and order accordingly.

Tend Skin now sells their product as a gel, lotion, and roll-on. I haven’t used Tend Skin in these varying forms, so I cannot attest to their effectiveness. I am surmising that it cannot be any different from the liquid form. Nevertheless, Tend Skin does offer a small liquid sample at only the cost of shipping. Take a visit to their website HERE and judge for yourself. You probably won’t be disappointed.

Standard Recommendations – Suede & Nubuck Cleaner

Suede Eraser BrushYes, it is official, the time has finally arrived when the gentleman can confidently retire his snow boots; at least until Polar Vortex 2014-15 commences later this year. However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, now is the time to welcome and appreciate our current spring weather. Sure, it will be a little rainy, but given what some of us experienced from December 2013 until late March 2014 – we won’t complain. That being stated, stylish gentlemen everywhere are more than ready to emancipate their suede walking companions from their shoe boxes, priming them for daily jaunts around the city. Now, more likely than not likely, a few scuffs and smudges will discreetly materialize over the course of your many excursions around the block. As with your calfskin leather kicks, the necessary maintenance must be employed to keep your suede looking fresh and new.

Readily available at any reputable shoe store or department; a nubuck & suede cleaning kit should be able to properly address the occasional scuff. Because, as you very well understand – scuff happens. The kit should contain a small brush with stiff bristles and a gum eraser – sometimes both are offered as a combination 2-in-1 tool. The eraser is equipped to clear away marks and scuffs, and the brush is purposed for fluffing the nap and removing dirt. The result: suede that looks almost as good as when you first lifted your shoes out of the box. If you have suede shoes (we’re sure you do with the plethora of colors out now), it would be wise to have this nifty kit in your possession. It will cost you no more than 6 to 8 dollars for this gentleman cleaning essential. And that is small cost in the promotion and extension of healthy suede, so ensure you have a kit in your possession if it is not already there.

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