Review – Nice Laundry – Hosiery

Nice LaundryIn the interest of full transparency, I must readily and wholeheartedly disclose, socks were never a high priority when I embarked upon revamping my personal style. Socks, or if you really want to sound sartorially educated – hosiery, were never a matter of great importance. Socks, unfortunately, were the after-afterthought. And so, my sock drawer was inundated with the same monotonous collection that most likely is akin to your sock drawer: a boring medley of uneventful blacks and blues with the occasional fanciful pop of gray. Well, that situation has dramatically reversed course. My current hosiery situation: an artful potpourri of stripes, pinks, florals, greens, and almost anything your mind can conjure. What changed? Continue reading

Black Thought

WEB DuBois“Let us realize too that even we disenfranchised have our duties.”

-W.E.B. Du Bois

Responsibility. Every gentleman owns a select portion of this in his community. Regardless of his limiting socioeconomic circumstances, a gentleman must deliver the very best of his talents for the improvement of his neighborhood. I definitely understand that this may be difficult for some gentlemen. One may feel that their status in society does not meet acceptable or suitable standards. However, I say to those individuals who may feel as if life has dealt a cruel poker hand; you still have much to offer. Do not sit idle and allow your gifts to waste and rot. Your community patiently awaits your arrival. Waiting for the “right” time when everything is correct in the world is not an option. What if the “right” time never arrives? The only right time is right now. Do not hesitate. Do not second guess. You are stronger, more intelligent, and more talented than you might realize; it is your duty to improve the environment around you. You possess the necessary tools to make a difference. Act now!

Style & Substance – The Casual Nubuck – The Safest Way to Get Buck During the Summer

IMG_0174Woe unto the gentleman that stubbornly relegates his footwear collection to sneakers and, well, yet more sneakers. To shun and deprive oneself from a much-required element of variety borders on unforgivable sartorial sin. Sneakers cannot sufficiently satisfy every occasion in a gentleman’s life, and truthfully, neither can a formal dress shoe – although it comes tantalizingly close. The solution: seek comfortable middle ground. Enter the casual nubuck shoe. Nubuck is the outer layer of cattle hide that has been buffed and sanded to achieve a soft nap and light velvet touch. Similar to suede, it is actually a little tougher, and theoretically, should last longer. Perfect for casual work days. Perfect for a relaxed dinner on the weekend. Perfect for easygoing cookouts in the backyard. For all intents and purposes, it’s probably the perfect casual shoe that you are not wearing. Here are 5 reasons why you should be wearing them, like, right now.

Click pictures below to enlarge

Five reasons to wear some bucks

  • A distinguished pair of nubuck shoes can handle almost any casual environment that a gentleman may encounter during long summer months when fun is inevitable.
  • Because, when dress shoes are too strict and sneakers are far too lax, a clean pair of denim jeans require the appropriate middle ground – the laudable nubuck. And that includes khakis as well.
  • Colored dress shoes, perhaps, are too garish for an average gentleman’s sartorial palate. Colored nubucks, on the other hand, afford the slightest of flexibility for experimentation. It’s a low risk, high reward circumstance. You can’t lose.
  • Maintenance is crazy simple. Yes, shoe trees are still recommended. However, a gentleman need not worry about shoe polish and the like. Invest in a suede & nubuck protector. And invest in a brush and gum eraser. Touch up the obligatory scuff or stain as needed.
  • Nubuck shoes are relatively inexpensive. In fact, they can be readily purchased at discount spots such as DSW on the regular.

Heritage – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

  • Marguerite Annie Johnson was born April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Attended George Washington High School
  • Poet, Novelist, Civil Rights Activist, Educator
  • Actress, Producer, Historian, Filmmaker
  • Over 50 honorary degrees
  • Album – Miss Calypso – 1957
  • Actress – The Blacks – 1961
  • Northern Coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership
  • Autobiography – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – 1969
  • Poetry – Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water Before I Diiie – 1971
  • Award – Coretta Scott King Honor – 1971
  • Screenplay – Georgia, Georgia – 1972
  • Actress – Look Away – 1973
  • Poetry – And Still I Rise – 1978
  • Autobiography – The Heart of a Woman – 1981
  • Poetry – I Shall Not Be Moved  – 1990
  • Award – Langston Hughes Medal – 1991
  • Award – Horatio Alger – 1992
  • Poetry – On the Pulse of Morning – 1993
  • Poetry – Phenomenal Woman – 1995
  • Director – Down in the Delta – 1996
  • Award – Presidential Medal of Arts – 2000
  • Award – Lincoln Medal – 2008
  • Autobiography – Mom & Me & Mom – 2013
  • Maya Angelou passed away on May 28, 2014 at the age of 86

For more information about Maya Angelou, please visit http://mayaangelou.com/ for details.

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?

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