Review – Sebago – Crest Collection Docksides

IMG_3010It was an interesting concept that I had to ready my mind to absorb; I never fathomed that the intersection of luxury and a boat shoe was attainable. A boat shoe was, well, a typical boat shoe – a preppy staple reserved for outings on bodies of water or outings on land with a smoking barbecue grill nearby. Simply stated: It is the ultimate casual shoe with a small touch of style in some rare cases. Now, casual and luxury are not exactly synonymous. Nonetheless, Sebago is making the case that a boat shoe can be dipped in luxury by benefiting from rich materials and well-crafted construction. The Sebago Crest Collection strives to create an amalgamation of both casual and luxury with polished details and impeccable, tactile elements. Given the opportunity to slide into a pair, today we’re going to determine if the Sebago Docksides boat shoe is as good as advertised. Continue reading

Review – Jack Black – The Defensive Line Anti-Aging Triple Play

Jack Black Defensive LineFull disclosure: I entered this fatherhood game at the tender age of 36 years old. Now, given that Father Time will eventually visit me pretty soon (if he already has not), and coupled with the reality of raising a newborn this late in life; a brother is going to require all the assistance he can get to fight back the impending reality of  burgeoning wrinkles. Even before the arrival of my daughter, I had committed myself to a robust grooming regimen with a complete overhaul of my skin care products. Jack Black was one of the first skin care brands that I decided to trial. I instantly became a huge fan.

Fast-forward to the here and now, I have been afforded the fortuitous opportunity to test and evaluate the Jack Black Defensive Line Anti-Aging Triple Play leading into Father’s Day. Consisting of Jack Black ProSeries offerings Protein Booster Skin Serum, Protein Booster Eye Rescue, and DIY Power Peel Multi-Acid Resurfacing Pads; this collective promises to address a gentleman’s face with the desired result to produce healthier skin. A great value at $100.00 (purchasing each separately will cost you $140.00), this package is a great investment for a gentleman seeking better looking skin. Let’s see what this set has to offer. Continue reading

The Standard #18

Jesse OwensFirmly standing upright under an unrelenting, blistering storm of vitriolic contempt and caustic distrust, the successful gentleman remains undeterred in his journey towards triumph. Triumph – born of an unwavering resolve and complete assurance in his abilities; this gentleman cannot be denied what he has tirelessly striven for. And despite ardent attempts to trivialize his work, undermine his legitimacy, or boldly question his intellect; ignorance and hatred will be trumped every time. Believe it. No amount of mockery can shake his confidence. He is resolute. He is intelligent. He is courageous. More importantly, he recognizes that there exists individuals consumed with hubris and guided by conceit, which ultimately hastens their downfall. So, he stays in his lane and does what he does best – win. Are you a winner?

The Standard #37

MountainRest assured, the successful gentleman is never content with static movement in regards to his professional career. He continuously seeks opportunity for advanced growth that will cultivate and promote an ever-expanding, internal knowledge base. Moreover, rest assured, the successful gentleman is never an active participant in his own professional or personal limitations. Being average – at best – is never a standard that is tacitly sought or readily accepted. Eagerly accepting a personal challenge for greatness, he sets the standard by which all others will be measured against, as he is devoutly dedicated to adding value to his life. And empowered with a clearly defined purpose, he ensures that his education never succumbs to restriction and halts. Constantly learning, constantly evolving; this gentleman understands the sacrifice that is required. It may mean accepting projects foreign to his current job description. It may mean late evenings filled with laborious research and reading. It may mean forgoing some sleep or outings with friends. Nonetheless, your trade must be perfected and your personal best must be cultivated. Plying your craft, increasing one’s knowledge in a given profession is paramount. With each drifting day arrives another prime opportunity to learn anew. So, what have you learned today?

Review – Tommy Bahama – Island Life

IMG_3042Continuing with our coverage of summertime cologne, today we are testing Tommy Bahama Island Life. Now, in the full interest of transparency, I have long favored Tommy Bahama during the summertime, as a personal favorite of mine is the 2005 Tommy Bahama for Men. It is my hope that Island Life does not fall short of my high expectations. Described as sexy and masculine, Island Life promises to offer an aromatic retreat that infuses tranquility and a peaceful escape from busy everyday life. So, let’s dive in and see if the claims are indeed true.

Observations

Top Notes: Bergamot, Tarragon, Artemisia

Middle Notes: Nutmeg, Geranium, Patchouli

Base Notes: Cedarwood, Ambrox, Vetiver

  • Starting with the presentation, Tommy Bahama Island Life arrives in a heavy, seriously thick container with a wicker band encircling its indented surface. The cologne itself is a cool light blue – most likely a visual nod to its name Island Life.
  • Figuratively and literally, Island Life commences with a quick sweet start. The bergamot and tarragon combine to produce a refreshing introduction. Probably emboldened by the artemisia, the top notes start out the gate with a deceptively strong pace. I say deceptively strong because the fragrance does start with an aggressive tone, but it immediately mellows out as it transitions toward the middle notes.
  • The middle note is my favorite part of Island Life. The light spicy note of the nutmeg balances the sweet beginning beautifully. The longevity of the middle note is sufficient, but perhaps due to my bias, I wish it was slightly longer.
  • Island Life ends in a chill and relaxed manner – indicative of its namesake. In truth, Island Life should conjure up images of an aquatic surrounding. However, this really isn’t an aquatic fragrance. Instead, I am reminded of a luau, surrounded by plenty of foliage with the smell of smoke dissipating in the air as food cooks on the grill.
  • The application of Island Life can be generous. Again, don’t be fooled by the robust introduction. It softly unwinds as time progresses. I would estimate 8-10 sprays should suffice. If applied in the morning; don’t be afraid to freshen up your scent with a few more hits. Normally I would not recommend this procedure, but the scent doesn’t stick to you as an unwelcomed guest.
  • Tommy Bahama 3.4 oz $70.00 – Available at Tommy Bahma, Macy’s,Von Maur or any fine men’s department store.
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.
 

Daddy Diary – Coping With a Child in the Hospital

IMG_2961

Seriously, it is a parent’s worst possible fear: A son or daughter experiencing some form of illness or malady. As a parent, you diligently guard and try to protect your child from any hurt, harm, or danger. Unfortunately, as mere mortals, as best as we might attempt, we cannot shield our children from everything. And at the 16 month mark of my little girl’s life, Stephanie and I have 3 emergency room visits and 2 hospitalizations under our belt with our ladybug. Trust me, our unexpected trips to the hospital with our little one elicited heart palpitations and surely gave rise to a few more gray hairs. Nevertheless, all is well, and we are all back home doing just fine. As a father, you will definitely enjoy some great moments with your offspring. However, there are going to be some not-so-great moments like hospital visits. Here are a few key points to remember if you find yourself dealing with such an experience. I am no expert, but hopefully some of these points will help. And if you have some advice of your own, please share. Continue reading

Style & Substance – Fear of the White Dress Shirt

J Crew Cotton Linen

J. Crew Cotton-Linen Button-Down

In all seriousness, when employing the services of a white dress shirt during moments of formal dress, well, the exercise should be relatively  foolproof. Given its blank slate demeanor, a gentleman would be hard-pressed to unearth complications when coordinating varying elements of his ensemble. However, there are some gentlemen that opt for the most unusual colors when selecting a dress shirt. Burnt orange. Neon green. Hot pink. Well, perhaps the white dress shirt is overwhelmingly too simple. So simple in fact, a gentleman can be misled into a train of thought wrought with complexity. And then again, perhaps, a simple white dress shirt screams boredom. Allow me to present this appeal: Step away from the loud dress shirts and embrace the unspoiled benefits the white dress shirt has to offer. It is a clean canvas that a gentleman can practice his sartorial art upon without fear of a fashion calamity. It’s safe. It’s readily available. It’s timeless. It should play a vital role in your wardrobe. Gent Hint: Since we are approaching warmer weather, select a lightweight fabric such as poplin, linen, or a cotton/linen blend would be just what Mother Nature ordered. Gent Hint II: Skip the necktie and opt for a button-down dress shirt without the neck apparel.

Review – Vince Camuto – Solare

Vince Camuto SolareWell, it is certainly that time of the year. It is that time of year when spring is well underway, summer is right around the corner, and Father’s Day is on the horizon. Therefore, this perfect storm of events have given rise to a prominent influx of grooming review requests from my friendly public relations connections. This month has been especially busy, as two unexpected trips to the emergency room with my daughter, all within a 2 week span, have accelerated the rate of gray hairs growing in my beard. Alas, the life of a parent. Nevertheless, between trips to Beaumont and still fulfilling my employment duties at Trinity Health, I was able to carve out some much-required time to shower, groom, and test products. And thus, let the reviews begin! Today, we are placing Vince Camuto Solare under the examination light. Launched this year as a follow-up to Vince Camuto Homme – which I enjoyed immensely – Solare arrives with the promise of introducing creativity and vitality into a gentleman’s grooming lifestyle. Let’s see if it delivers on that promise.

Observations

Top Notes: French Lavender, Juicy Mandarin, Red Apple

Middle Notes: Cardamom, Wild Sage, Pimento Leaves

Base Notes: Sensual Musk, Tonka Leaves, Cashmere Woods, Creamy Blonde Woods

  • Vince Camuto Solare swiftly commences with a sharp burst of citrus that is unabashedly sweet and fresh. The notes of sweetness endure for a surprisingly extended length of time before finally settling down into the middle portion. Fleeting hints of apple will be the last distinct note you will be able to discern before the top notes are finished.
  • Now the middle section of Solare shares the same sweetness as the introduction, but not as sharply defined. Its temperament is slow and steady. Nevertheless, the tandem of the top and middle notes work in concert to comprise a majority of the scent’s dominant smell.
  • Given its sweet nature, Solare appears slightly fade over the course of the day. And given that fact, a gentleman can be seduced by the thought of dispersing additional applications – please don’t. Solare will adhere to your clothing far longer than it will to you. Therefore, I recommend addressing your pulse points – the neck and wrists – with a spritz of 4-6 hits. Depending on your body chemistry, a gentleman could perhaps apply a little more. I would steer clear of spraying your body unless you don’t mind the scent sticking to your clothing.
  • Now, as sweet as the top and middle notes were, the bottom notes carried the same theme, but with darker undertones. There is a faint woody flavor present, but not really overt. And if a gentleman decides to bathe himself in Solare – as I previously warned against – those undertones will be overwhelming and haunt you – and your clothing – for the rest of the day.
  • Vince Camuto Solare is best suited for light casual affairs where a gentleman might find himself around a pool or body of water. The atmosphere should be as clean as possible, as heavy scents, such as the smoke from a barbeque grill, will surely overpower Solare. Solare is a fun fragrance; energetic, yet sublimely subtle.
  • Vince Camuto Solare 3.4 oz $70.00 – Available at Vince Camuto, Macy’s,Von Maur or any fine men’s department store.
Gentlemen’s Standard Approved
 

Style & Substance – Eton – The Floral Pocket Square

Eton Floral PSTo be absolutely certain, the much-anticipated arrival of pleasant weather will necessitate the process of temporarily jettisoning apparel indicative of fall and winter seasons. And with that short-term separation, a gentleman will surely divert his sartorial selections toward men’s accoutrements that welcome the sensibilities of spring and summer. Assuming that the venerable necktie will be rarely beckoned for professional utilization – depending on your lifestyle – a pocket square is a viable alternative that lends unique character to the dapper gentleman’s breast pocket. Now, extending beyond the mere practice of rocking a standard pocket square in lieu of a necktie during the summer, I want to take the time to endorse the pocket square bearing a floral design. Fun, lively, and charismatic; a floral pocket square pops with gentle personality. It is an understated way to inject some softness into a masculine demeanor. Stock up on a few and employ when needed.

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