Woe to the gentleman that employs the exclusive services of black or navy hosiery – perhaps even both. Well, rejoice my friend! The time has arrived for the gentleman to emancipate himself from the dark, brooding hosiery that grant coverage for the feet and ankles. It’s time to put some spring in your step. Gentlemen’s Standard Approved: Brighter and more courageous socks are now totally safe to wear. Trust me on this one gents. Rocking a pair of colorfully patterned socks is an inexpensive method of injecting some personality into your presentation. And personality – the good, vivacious kind – is certainly endorsed here. So, over the course of the past few months, I have steadily procured of modest collection of spry socks for the spring and summer seasons. I wanted to share a few pictures, and hopefully you will be inspired to take the plunge and proceed forth in purchasing a cool variety of your own.
First, allow me to offer an earnest apology, as the following statement can probably be filed under “too much information” – I’m sorry audience. Really, I am. So, with that bit of written remorse on the record, I want to tell the audience this: Sometimes, my feet perspire. Yes, sometimes, they can get downright sweaty if the weather aids and abets the process. Now normally, a little baby powder proves to be an easy remedy for this problem. However, there exists another solution for this bothersome dilemma. And that solution, wait for it – deodorant. More specifically, an antiperspirant, of course, to deter sweat. Thumbing through my newly purchased Big Black Book Spring 2013, I came across this nifty problem-solver in one of the articles. Intrigued, I retrieved a stick of Dove deodorant from my dresser drawer after a hot shower, and I put Esquire’s advice to the test. I didn’t use gel because the thought of gel on my feet didn’t seem at all appealing. I wanted something that would roll on dry. Starting at the toes, I applied the deodorant the length of both feet with extra attention granted in the middle. And so, after a few days of my experiment, it really worked. And when I really think about it, why wouldn’t it? It functions the same way as if it were under your armpits – reducing sweat and neutralizing odor. So now I have two sticks of deodorant: one for the pits and the other for the dogs. So, if your feet have the propensity to generate undesirable amounts of sweat, I highly suggest re-purposing a stick of deodorant to combat the problem. You won’t regret it!
Resistance is futile. The inevitability of persuasive assimilation is real. So, please accept my humble concession. In the face of my apparent, transparent condemnation for fashioned camouflage, I am finally forced to acknowledge a perfectly executed offering of camouflaged style. And that would be the mirror-like, impossibly polished whole-cut oxfords you see at the top. This is one slick pair of dress shoes. Can we even call them dress shoes? It doesn’t matter, the wearer of these bad boys – I don’t know whom manufactures them – can call them whatever the heck they want. No arguments from this peanut gallery.
To be sure, some gentlemen absolutely abhor the notion of wearing a suit, as they would sooner employ a sport coat as a viable alternative. So, when an occasion begs for a discreet level of business attire, said gentleman promptly retrieves his sport jacket of choice from the closet. Pretty simply – right? Well, not quite that simple. The sly substitution of a sport coat arrives with a curious dilemma of its own. Unlike the complete business suit, the sport coat quietly resides, draped around its wooden hanger without the devoted companionship of a matching trouser. Thus, the critical mission of expertly coordinating a pair of trousers becomes not as simple as previously imagined – that suit doesn’t look so terrible now. No worries, may we present to the audience, a quick and dirty guide to find the right pair of trousers for your sport coat.
- A few years ago, popping one’s collar on a polo top was quite the popular trend amongst preppy circles. And now, you have probably noticed that trend has migrated to the sport coat. Well, that popped collar actually yields a subtle hint regarding the color of your trousers. The collar of your jacket is lined (well, it should be lined) with fabric that should provide a nice color contrast. Take note of this color when searching for trousers.
- Likewise, the lining of the sport jacket itself may offer clues as to what hue your trouser should be imbued with; so open it up for dutiful inspection and match your pants accordingly.
- And don’t forget to take a look at the buttons; they also have the tendency of being fastened in a coordinating color that can be quite suitable for your bottoms.
- If you’re lucky, perhaps your sport coat is embellished with a colored pattern, and said colored pattern can be smartly synchronized with the color of your trousers.
- Or, a gentleman may opt for a monochromatic presentation. For example, a navy sport coat can be paired with a lighter shade of blue. Not that adventurous, but sartorially correct nonetheless.
- When in doubt, a solid colored pair of trousers is the best option to select. And combining two different patterns, meaning a checked sport coat and striped pants, that is a big NO. Of the two elements involved, being your jacket and pants, one should be solid and the other patterned – if you so choose to introduce pattern into the equation. This rule can be ignored if your name is Russell Westbrook.
- Take notice of the fabric. An autumn corduroy sport coat paired with summer linen pants is just wrong. Stick with fabrics that are appropriate to each season. For example, a cotton sport jacket wisely matched with linen trousers. Or, a corduroy jacket married to a pair of fabulous flannel bottoms. Boom!
- And when all else fails – ask your wife or girlfriend. Trust, her coordination skills just may be better than yours.
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Failure. To be absolutely certain, the possibility of failure sometimes negates the action of risk. But without risk, albeit intelligent and calculated risk, the beauty of success cannot be viewed from above if one willfully settles into deep valley of fear. Now fear, of course, can be a powerful and intense emotion that dictates behavior and conduct. A myriad of promising dreams and aspirations have collapsed under the immense weight of fear. Fortunately, your broad shoulders are blessed with the strength to not only bear the doubt, the trepidation, the uneasiness; they are also strong enough to press its worrisome mass high and toss it aside with relative ease. Why? Well, because friend, your character is constructed with a firm confidence and fortified with unwavering faith. Even when others cannot see the entire picture, your vision is broadened by belief, hope, and trust – in yourself. And you understand that your vision is a vision of success. The path is set, the destination is clear, all you have to do is take the first step. And don’t fear, we’re all walking this road together.
Update: And they are open for business! Check out the latest story Food For Thought right over HERE at NBC.
In a slight continuation from the last post, I present another pocket square selection from my collection. Now generally, my sartorial tastes lean heavily towards the conservative side of the aisle, even though my political beliefs are decidedly liberal. But that aside, my personal wardrobe is a reflection of stylish convention and moderation. I never get too crazy. Nevertheless, on certain occasions, a fashionable furnishing will attract my attention, such as the Eton pocket square pictured above. The soft burgundy square beautifully edges with contrasting white border, rakishly dotted with a naughty skull & crossbones motif, possessed the precise amount of bad boy charm that could add a jazzy jolt to my otherwise tame closet. I scooped this silk square, along with another version in deep ocean blue, from Esquire’s CLAD e-commerce site before it shuttered its door. It was on a deep discount, so I took a chance. If you are a relatively conservative gentleman such as myself, adding a few unconventional pieces to your stock is an easy way to keep your look fresh, interesting, and appealing. It could be a bright pair of socks, an ambitiously patterned shirt, or a ballsy pocket square. Whatever the case may be, give it a try, you just might surprise yourself with the results.
If you have been consistently following this blog for an extended period of time; the fact that I hold a distinct affinity for the venerable pocket square is not lost on you. With comparison to other stylish accoutrements in a gentleman’s repertoire, the pocket square is a relatively inexpensive accessory that can add a bold hint of flavor to an outfit. Always ready to expand my collection, I ordered this woolen wonder from Suit Supply back during the dog days of winter. Sure, the current forecast is begging for the trusted companionship of cotton, linen, or perhaps a delicate blend of both. Nevertheless, pocket squares are not required to adhere to the strict rigidity of weather dictated style. Therefore, this light and airy piece of woven cloth will remain in rotation, even though sunny days are on the way. Punctuated with a repeating medallion pattern, the charming combination of olive-green and burnt orange is certainly a winner – no matter what the temperature is outside.
So, you want to enter the world of blogging. It seems simple enough – right? All one has to possess is a valid e-mail address and a password. From there, you select the appropriate blog software, and soon you will be publishing your work on the Internet. Again, it seems simple enough – right? Well, it really isn’t. I’ve been blogging since 2008 and I am here to tell you this: it is serious work. Serious work that does not reap a financial reward, well, at least not immediately if you choose to follow a monetary route. Work that is sometimes – scratch that, almost always – thankless at the start. That is, of course, until you have worked tirelessly to establish a regular reading audience. Yes, maintaining a blog is difficult. And today I’m going to share the ugly, not so glamorous side of it. This isn’t a post about how to make money (I get that a lot) or, well, how to make money – seriously, I really get that question a lot. Nope, this post is simply about the trials and tribulations I have experienced as a blogger. So, without further delay, here is what you can expect if you decided to take the blogging plunge.
Just in time for spring, I can now open my shoebox containing my Florsheim by Duckie Brown suede saddle shoes. I was able to get my hands on this pair last autumn, as they were on sale for a killer price. However, as soon as they arrived on my doorstep, so did Old Man Winter. No worries, I kept these beauties tucked under the bed until the time was weather appropriate. And with 50 degree weather on the way, I can safely announce that winter is finally going on its seasonal hiatus. Oh the joy.
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- Born Shirley Anita St. Hill on November 30, 1924
- Graduated from Girls High School in 1942
- Earned Bachelor of Arts from Brooklyn College in 1946
- Earned Masters of Arts in Education from Columbia University in 1952
- Director of the Hamilton-Madison Child Care Center from 1953 to 1959
- Educational consultant to New York City’s Bureau of Child Welfare from 1959-64
- Representative for New York State Legislature 1964-68.
- First African-American woman elected to Congress in 1968 representing 12th Congressional District, New York, 1969-83
- Authored Unbought and Unbossed in 1970
- Co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971
- Co-founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1971
- First African-American to run for President of the United States in 1972
- Authored The Good Fight in 1973
- Awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Smith College in 1975
- Purington Professor at Mount Holyoke College from 1983-87
- Inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993
- Chisholm died at the age of on January 1, 2005
The Tie Bar has become my ultimate go-to source for quality and inexpensive neckties. Seriously. And here is some serious truth: Whenever a necktie garners my attention in a magazine or on the Internet, I immediately visit The Tie Bar online to scour the myriad of patterns, colors, and materials in an attempt to duplicate the necktie of interest. Yes, I really do that. Because, for the low price of $15.00, their neckties are ridiculously good. Given that fact, my present tie collection is heavily stocked with their merchandise; much to the chagrin of my darling wife, as she thinks I own too many neckties. But can a gentleman possess too many? Well…probably. Nevertheless, that being said, I have added another Tie Bar beauty on my must-have list. Comprised of 100% cotton and rocking an impossibly audacious of color and pattern, this offering was constructed with spring on the mind. And spring is coming – I’m just going to ignore those snowflakes fluttering outside my window right now. So, my order is being placed tonight. Those colors are just too awesome to pass up. Sorry Stephanie – I love you.
Granted, spring may have officially arrived yesterday, but the temperatures have retained a wintry feel that echoes early January. Nonetheless, the season has technically shifted, and the gentleman would be wise to prepare his spring attire for the upcoming heat wave. Okay, perhaps that is a stretch, but it would be intelligent to get the proper gear ready. Now, despite the warm weather that will soon be arriving (we hope), it might be a little premature to emancipate the shorts and tee shirts from the closet. That being said, plenty of gentlemen will still hold fast to their suit attire. However, the dreary days of winter will soon be forgotten, and a lighter touch will be required when we decide to get suited and booted. And usually that lighter touch arrives in the form of playful, whimsical accessories that temper the seriousness of your standard business suit. That being said, I came across this fun Ted Baker necktie being offered online by Von Maur. Yes, polka dots are still popular; and the boldness of those dots, along with the vibrant colors, are just enough to loosen up a stiff suit – if just a little bit. Bonus: Currently it’s on sale for $39.00, which is reasonable given the brand and design. So, check it out. Von Maur offers free shipping with a no hassle return if it doesn’t tickle your fancy. For more purchasing details, visit Von Maur HERE for more information.