Gentleman Essentials – Kirby Allison’s Hanger Project – Wooden Suit Hanger

Hanger ProjectYour suit jacket rightfully deserves a support system that mimics a gentleman’s shoulders when it has been retired to the closet. Wire hangers are too meager to provide the proper drape. Maintain the body of your suit jacket, upgrade the hangers in your closet – if you have not already. You will be pleased with the results.

Kirby Allison’s Hanger Project

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.

Review – Lacoste – Lacoste L!ve

Lacoste L!veOnce again, I have the distinct pleasure of reviewing a new offering from the Lacoste brand – Lacoste L!ve. Launched in July 2014, Lacoste L!ve promises to deliver a fragrance that embodies an irresistible energy that bustles with creativity and uniqueness. Housed within a six-sided, multicolored cube; the modern design is intended to compel the user to step aside, step back, and see life from a different angle. Now, before I humbly submit my opinion regarding Lacoste L!ve, I must first state that the flacon’s presentation belies its fragrant composition. Sure, the design appears to be playful and jaunty, but the scent is actually more serious than one might anticipate. So, with that bit of information on the record, let’s dive into details shall we?

Observations

Top Notes: Lime, Saffron

Middle Notes: Green leaves, Aquatic accord

Base Notes: Guaiac wood, Sandalwood, Dark licorice

The top and middle notes are very light and gentle in nature, as they seamlessly transition, almost unnoticeable, from the top note to the middle note. The lime is the most distinct scent during this introduction, as the citrus stands out without being too overbearing. The base note is definitely the strongest as it arrives at its destination swiftly and remains anchored to the wearer for a good portion of the day. The hints of wood are very pleasant, although I do solemnly swear that subtle notes of cinnamon are tucked away in there as a surprise note. I could be mistaken, and it is simply my body chemistry working in tandem with the base notes to produce the sweet notes of cinnamon. Nonetheless, the results are most welcome. As previously mentioned, the overall scent is more sophisticated than the bottle might lead you to believe. Lacoste L!ve would probably work best during the afternoon and evening times. It is very understated, so one can be liberal with the application – test and gauge what best works for you. If you are in the market for a new summer cologne, Lacoste L!ve deserves your perusal.

Lacoste L!ve 40 ml $42.00 and 100 ml $69.00 – recommended retail price at Macy’s, Dillards, Kohl’s, Sephora, Lacoste boutiques, and http://www.lacoste.com/

Gentlemen’s Standard Approved

Disclosure: TGS was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes only. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Style & Substance – The Black Cap-toe Oxford

A&E Park AvenueIf by chance you are an adult male, and it can be safely assumed that you are living an adult life, one can logically reason that moments will occur that demand adult, sartorial tools to satisfy the adult situation at hand. To be sure, a gentleman will likely experience a job interview, wedding, and funeral during his lifetime – which is just the bare minimum. If one factors the high probability of miscellaneous events such as graduations, formal dinners, or church services into the equation – then sir, you seriously need to equip your feet with an indispensable style accoutrement: the black cap-toe oxford.

Yes, we have been recently spoiled with contemporary footwear offerings, wildly varying from wingtips boasting a kaleidoscope of color to multiple strapped monks bearing a sweet suede armor. To present the current climate bluntly: The options are nauseatingly endless. Nevertheless, sometimes a gentleman must reintroduce himself to the basics. Because, despite the irresistible charm of blue suede monk straps, a job interview probably is not smartest venue for a stylish showcasing, or a funeral for that matter. And so, for life’s moments that beg for you to be the adult in the room, forgo the distractions on your feet and embrace the sophistication of simplicity. Black. Clear of any elaborate brogue or perforation. A simple cap stretching across the toe. Two pairs – desirable. Three pairs – outstanding. Invest well, you’re an adult, you have a lot of life to live; embrace each moment accordingly.

Nordstrom – Anniversary Sale – Now Until August 4th

Burberry Gray & Blue Necktie

Burberry

And so, the plethora of sales continues. Now until August 4th, a gentleman can take full advantage of fabulous reductions either online or at his nearest Nordstrom department store. The selection of well-respected brands is varied and plentiful. Upgrade your shoe rotation with a dignified pair of burnished cap-toe oxfords courtesy from Allen Edmonds or expand your necktie game with a choice from Ted Baker. Certainly, there is a bargain waiting to be discovered. Happy shopping gentlemen!

For more information on the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, please visit their site HERE for details.

The Standard #14

football playA successful gentleman understands that he does not approach life insufficiently prepared for what might arise. He has a carefully devised strategy. He has meticulously formulated a plan for his future. The better the preparation, the better the ability to handle adversity. No crisis or dilemma will seem insurmountable. Think about it: A coach does not haphazardly send his players into a game without a game plan. Even football audibles, though deviating from an original set play, have a purpose. Sure, a play may be broken, but an intelligent player makes the necessary adjustments and adaptations. Life will not perfectly proceed as you might imagine. A gentleman will encounter setbacks. A gentleman might face innumerable obstacles. Nevertheless, a smart gentleman has a mission. He has a vision. He has a plan. He even has a contingency plan even when the original plan doesn’t go according to plan. He has strategically placed himself in position for optimal reward. You can do the same-if you have a game plan. So, do you have one?

Paul Stuart – Spring Sale 2014

Paul Stuart SaleIf you are gentleman that actively participates in the procurement of stylish clothing, but budgetary limitations place hard restrictions on your shopping excursions, constructing a dapper wardrobe in the off-season is a necessity. Off-season meaning one season is fading into the record books, and companies have commenced with discounting old merchandise to accommodate incoming seasonal attire and accessories. Currently in the midst of their annual spring season purge, Paul Stuart has discounted select merchandise both in-store and online. Understandably, even at reduced prices, products offered at Paul Stuart may still provide monetary complication. Nevertheless, if you are a gentleman fortuitously positioned with his funds, Paul Stuart may be worth a perusal.

Check Paul Stuart out online HERE, or stop by if you are in either Chicago or New York.

Review – Cole Haan – ZeroGrand

Zerogrand PromoMy attempts at loving the Cole Haan LunarGrand were devastatingly futile. I poured over image after image of the uniquely manufactured offering from Cole Haan. I scoured the Internet, perusing press releases and reviews. I even went to a store to evaluate the shoe in person. And when presented with the opportunity to receive 30% off an already reduced price, with another 50% chopped off that total, I still could not summon the courage to relinquish my credit card to procure the goods. The issue: The LunarGrand was just far too aggressive, even for my liberal sartorial leanings. So now, newly launched globally on July 7th, Cole Haan has bestowed upon the masses their latest sneaker/dress shoe hybrid known as the ZeroGrand. Can the ZeroGrand capture my adoration in such a way where the wildly popular LunarGrand failed? Let’s see. Continue reading

Black Thought

esq-james-meredith-0113-lg“What any human being can do in life depends upon the foundation laid between birth and age five.”

 James Meredith

We are teachers – in some form or another. Now, perhaps a majority of the reading audience are devoid of the appropriate formal certification, but we are indeed teachers nonetheless. Knowingly or unknowingly instructing through our behavior, language, and actions; we shape and mold young, virginal, and formless minds. That cannot be taken for granted. We are, first and foremost, the foreman of fashioning intellectual promise, building emotional stability, and framing principled character. During those early formative years, our guidance and instruction is needed – no – it is desperately crucial to a child’s development. Their future hinges on what we teach them in the present. And that is where we should be – present; never absent from their growth and maturation. It is time for us to lead by example. We are the models of morality. We are the cultivators of character. We are the installers of integrity. We enable enthusiasm for education, and we advocate the accrual of astounding accomplishments. The foundation is ready to be laid. Let’s not wait any longer.

Review – Bevel – Bevel Shaving System

BevelFor better or for worse, the contemporary gentleman has been afforded the indispensable luxury of convenience. As we must stubbornly recognize our modern societal environment, we have been conditioned to accept that life is decidedly hurried. Every facet of life is now burdened with the absence of time. Thus, natural routines are now subjected to increasingly narrow time constraints. Our method of communication, the manner in which we prepare meals (if we even prepare meals at all), how we get dressed, and how we groom – it has to be swift, uncomplicated, and painless. At least, that is how our psyches have been molded to accept as fact.

So, speaking of said grooming, let’s examine the delicate art of it by way of sharpened blade, affectionately known as shaving. With each successive year, today’s gentleman is seductively bombarded with an array of new & improved razors that promise to deliver the closest and most comfortable shave known to humanity – in less time. More and more blades. Blades empowered with a lubricating strip. Blades that artfully pivot up & down, and now side to side. Blades that surprisingly vibrate during shaving. The gentleman’s razor has been equipped with a bevy of bells & whistles required to get him in and out of the bathroom as swiftly as possible, with the least amount of blood spilled as possible. Now, every gentleman has a preference, and with so many unproven promises monopolizing commercial airtime between games of the week, it really is a toss-up to determine which company adheres to its claims. Continue reading

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