Style & Substance – The Field Jacket

Field Jacket- Jack SpadeThe military inspired gentleman’s field jacket has witnessed a noticeable reduction in popularity this season, which is quite surprising given its ubiquitous presence last autumn. Nowadays, options are particularly scarce with the venerable pea coat standing tall once again. And that is an unfortunate turn of events, as the field jacket is probably the most underrated piece of outerwear that many gentlemen don’t have in their possession. Primarily based on function, sexy aesthetics are not of tremendous importance here. Nevertheless, let’s be frank, when the temperatures gradually drop to long john appropriate levels, sexy is the furthest concept from a gentleman’s mind. Sometimes what is required is a burly, no-nonsense type of coat to handle the dwindling digits in the forecast. Please don’t misunderstand, pea coats are up for the task as well, but they are a little more refined and dashing. Here, with the field jacket, what is needed is a coat that is constructed for active duty – welcome punishment that inclement weather may bring. So, if you can still locate one on the market, I highly endorse its procurement. I purchased two field jackets last year, and I love both of them. Stay stylish gentlemen.

Black Thought

Frederick Douglas“Believe in yourself; take advantage of every opportunity; and use the power of spoken and written language to effect positive change for society and yourself.”

-Frederick Douglass

The most wonderful thing about authoring a blog is it allows an individual to project a voice that otherwise may not be heard or recognized. I blog because I strongly feel that I have something constructive, positive to share; and I also enjoy writing and interacting with the reading audience. Now, let us be perfectly candid, there is a bevy of warm garbage circulating around on the Internet right now. Some of these individuals who write need their laptops and computers immediately confiscated and discarded into the nearest incinerator. Words should have a meaning. Words should have a purpose. Instead of adding to the gluttony of mindless, destructive Internet banter; choose to use your voice as an instrument that imparts wisdom, uplifts the spirit, and encourages thoughtful dialogue. And you can certainly have fun doing so. Right now, the landscape is wide open, anyone can create a website nowadays. If you just happen to be that one, just ensure that you add something positive to the conversation. We have more than enough trash out there, please don’t add to the pile.

Review – Hugo Boss – Hugo Boss Bottled & Bottled Night

Hugo Boss Day & NightTouted as the perfect fragrant accompaniment for the successful gentleman, Hugo Boss Bottled and Hugo Boss Bottled Night is at the center of a joint collaboration between Hugo Boss and the National Football League. The collective campaign, Success Beyond the Game, strives to highlight gentlemen whom have attained success beyond their designated discipline. Featuring the New York Giant’s Victor Cruz, Denver Bronco’s Demarcus Ware, and Green Bay Packer’s Clay Matthews III; it is a celebration of success, style, and confidence. Admittedly, my celebrity pales in comparison to the aforementioned athletes, but I have amassed a decent collection of accomplishments in my little corner of life. That being said, both selections from Hugo Boss is under examination today. Let’s get started.

Observations – Hugo Boss Bottled

Top Notes: Apple, Bergamot, Cinnamon

Middle Notes: Geranium, Clove, Tagete

Base Notes: Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Veltiver, Olivewood

Hugo Boss Bottled Night

Top Notes: Birch Leaves, Lavender

Middle Notes: Cardamom, African Violet, Jasmine

Base Notes: Lauro Amarelo, Sandalwood, Musky Notes

Beginning with Hugo Boss Bottled, it is clearly apparent that this scent was produced for the purpose of daytime wear. Overall, the fragrance is clean and sweet from top to bottom. Although it is not listed, I detected faint traces of vanilla after the quick burst of apple began to settle down. Extremely light, the Hugo Boss Bottled is great for an office environment because the scent is fairly subtle. So subtle in fact, a gentleman might forget he is wearing it. The longevity is moderate; possible lasting a conventional workday, but not much longer thereafter.

Conversely, the Hugo Boss Bottled Night is much more aggressive. Each progressive note is stronger than the last. The woody highlights are intense and heavy throughout the entire body. It should definitely be worn during the evening, and a gentleman should definitely ease off the number of applications. Whatever your selection, understand that each offering is lifestyle driven. If you are a gentleman that primarily operates during the day, the Hugo Boss Bottled is for you. If you favor the evening, then the Bottled Night is recommended. However, both can be favored if you function during day and night. Preferably, the Hugo Boss Bottled would be my choice simply because I’m an understated sort of gentleman. Ultimately the choice is up to you.

Recommended retail price: Hugo Boss Bottled and Bottled Night: 100 ml $75.00 and 50 ml $60.00 – available at Nordstrom, Sephora, and of course Hugo Boss.

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 Compelling Case for the Briefcase

Polo Briefcase

Ralph Lauren

Now, for purposes of clarity, the following passage is not an exercise in chastisement, rather, it is a passionate appeal to your sartorial senses. If you rightly categorize yourself as a professional gentleman, one that routinely operates within a professional environment, I strongly urge you to resist the temptation of haphazardly slinging a bulky book bag across your suit jacket laden shoulders. Trust me on this gentlemen. As the title suggests, book bags are meant to house, well, books and other random supplies that may have originated from Staples. So, if you have already settled into your permanent place of employment, and the atmosphere is unmistakably business, it is probably safe to retire the last remnant of your cash-strapped college years when you lugged around 4 inch thick Calculus books.

The reasoning is reasonable: 1) You’re not a student anymore. 2) Over time, the weight of that book bag (large straps and all) will ruin the shape of your suit jacket. 3) If your belongings does require something substantial to handle the load, a leather or canvas duffel bag would be a better option. 4) You’re not a student anymore. Apologies, but there is just something off when I see a sharp suit paired with a grungy book bag. And if you’re not a suit wearer – see reasons number 1 & 4. So, in lieu of your trusty book bag, introduce yourself to an old gentleman’s companion – the briefcase. And let’s be honest, 75% of the contents in that book bag can most likely be discarded, much like the contents of your wallet, but that is another blog post for another day. Your business accoutrements could probably benefit from a thoughtful trimming down. Most briefcases are large enough to accommodate your work life anyway. Besides, how much room does a tablet, cell phone, some folders, and a tube of ChapStick occupy? Ditch the beat-up book bag; select a carrying companion that complements your career. You’ll be glad you did.

Review – Psycho Bunny – Necktie

IMG_2484If you have been following my blog for any considerable length of time, you probably recognize that I have an unhealthy love affair with neckties. I readily confess, the quantity of neckties in my collection is dangerously bordering on insanity. Nevertheless, one might observe that I collect neckties just as a stamp collector procures stamps, or a sports card collector amasses his assortment of trading cards. At least that is how I rationalize the insanity with myself. With consideration towards material, pattern, and style; I am always on the hunt for that one necktie that conveys both sophistication, character, and charm. That being said, I was presented the opportunity to scrutinize a most unusual necktie under the Psycho Bunny brand. Now, you may ask: What in the world is a Psycho Bunny? Well, I am happy that you asked. Let’s jump into some background. Continue reading

The Standard #7

denzel_washington_01Strongly influenced by meager beginnings, his character has been wisely steeled with sincere humility – resistant to the caustic nature of arrogance and hubris. He understands that his current elevated status does not preclude reflection and deep thought. Thoughts that include a former reality burdened with struggle and tribulation. It is this remembrance that grants an appreciation for what he has and not lamentation for what he does not have. His wisdom dictates a comprehension that recognizes happiness is not predicated on monetary reward. And happiness is not sustained by perpetual monetary fulfillment. Because when allowed, wealth possesses a peculiar proclivity for nurturing a vanity that slowly erodes a gentleman’s character. Therefore, his heart is absent conceit and pretension. Family. Friends. Community. Serving his God. Those are the things that make him whole. Those are the things that give him joy. Those are the things that keep him humble.

Black Thought

carter-g-woodson-2“Real education means to inspire people to live more abundantly, to learn to live with life as they find it and make it better.”

- Carter G. Woodson

To be absolutely sure, a gentleman’s life earns new significance when he not only identifies his purpose, but he also cultivates that purpose into something tangible that benefits other individuals. It is tragically irresponsible when an accomplished gentleman attains a certain degree of success, only to be miserly and penurious with his blessings. For the blessed gentleman that enjoys prosperity and favor, it is critical that he utilizes his influence to encourage, empower, and educate the under-served, often neglected sects of our society. When benevolence and compassion no longer exists in the hearts and minds of men, the quality of life for both the fortunate and less fortunate gradually diminish. And the best quality of life is something we should all strive to achieve – for everyone. So, operating within your domain of achievement, I urge the gentleman to re-purpose his purpose and seek to promote excellence and success in the lives those whom are underprivileged. And going forward, hopefully, they will perform the same charitable act for someone else.

 

Gent Hints – The Interview Timepiece

Longines HeritageIt is a rite of professional passage for any gentleman seeking employment. It is the rite of passage that calls upon the gentlemen to extol the merits of his expertise and character while being analyzed and examined for final judgement. It is the job interview. Whether or not you earn the position will hinge on a myriad of factors. Today, we’re talking about a small factor, but nonetheless, an important factor. During that crucial, pivotal job interview; credibility is an asset that is absolutely paramount during the hiring exercise. From your resume to your professional references, the totality of your presentation must articulate trustworthiness and a seriousness befitting of a future employee. So, let’s assume that the resume and credentials are all in place. Check, check, and double-check. The job is yours to claim, but one misstep can ruin a sure thing. And it can begin with a misstep with a small accessory – your watch.

That being stated, I must implore the aspiring job seeker to leave the gaudy timepiece at home. This is a job interview and not a dance club. Potential employers will not be impressed by your obnoxiously over-sized timepiece. You know the one we are speaking about. It’s the one with the abundance of diamonds – real or imitation. It’s the one whose width is greater than your wrist. All attention should be directed solely on you and your credentials. Not that monstrosity on your wrist. Go dark and go discreet. Stainless steel. Leather strap. Black or dark brown. Your sartorial mission on this interview is to be understated – not overstated. Keep the accessories quiet and allow your credentials to speak the loudest. Afterwards, if you want to show out a little, go right ahead, but in moderation. But we’ll talk about that another day.

Review – The Art of Shaving & Bolin Webb – The Body Razor

IMG_2462For all intents and purposes, the intimate ritual of shaving does not hold the type of reputation that can be confused with a luxurious experience. The process is quick and dirty; a necessary act designed to quell the testosterone driven fuzz that sprouts abundantly en masse on a gentleman’s body. Alas, perhaps this practice of grooming should hold that reputation of luxury. However, the modern gentleman is not conditioned to pamper himself with such trivial matters, although the exercise of gliding a sharpened blade across one’s skin should not be considered trivial. But I digress, yes, we are not encouraged to pamper ourselves – it’s just not manly. Well, if spending a little more time in the mirror threatens the delicate balance masculinity and effeminacy, you are going to love – I’m being sarcastic here – today’s subject of review: the new Gillette BODY razor. Continue reading

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