The Mission: The Gentlemen’s Standard is dedicated to promoting and disseminating positive media content for gentlemen of color. Utilizing style and grooming as a conduit, our objective is to present material that cultivates integrity, pride, dignity, and overall gentlemanly conduct in the community.
Daddy Diary – I Was Wrong, I Miss My Children’s Childhood Already
Well, good people, life is still unbelievably insane. My work-life balance still suffers from a burdensome imbalance, work days bleed profusely into home-life, and meaningful rest remains a distant hope. I find solace by understanding my labor helps provide for my family. Burning my candle at both ends is an observation offered by a coworker. It’s tough. However, I try to find bright moments. Sporadically, during varying occasions, I purchase surprise gifts for my children. The items are never elaborate, however, my children are elated with their unexpected presents nonetheless. Their unblemished happiness is a small sliver of joy that I can extract from this current state of affairs called life. My previous post detailed the struggle of balancing a new management position with the birth of my son. Often I would think aloud how eager I had become for these turbulent times to pass.
The same coworker gently reminded me that this time can never be revisited, and it was very important that I enjoy my children to the fullest during their childhood. Tenured parents often remark that I will long for these times, but it is difficult to grasp when you are in the parental trenches so to speak. Nevertheless, I’ve granted some thought to the subject and compiled a list of parental experiences that I will certainly long for as my children grow older. There are some duties that a parent performs daily and consistently; these tasks become ingrained within your person. Speaking for myself, this includes, but not limited to: packing lunches, ironing school clothes, morning school preparation (shower, dress, breakfast), school drop-off, teaching ABCs or 123s, bedtime wind down, etc. When these activities cease, only then will I probably feel that tremendous void. It’s like empty nest without them leaving the nest. So, enjoy, maybe someone will appreciate and relate to this compilation of early childhood happenings I will surely miss.
Review – Dolce & Gabbana – Velvet Cypress
Offering full transparency, my current role of supervisor in supply chain management continues to be physically and emotionally taxing. The complex universe of people management is a strenuous exercise in patience, empathy, and conflict resolution. In addition to standard family responsibilities, it feels that every facet of my life revolves around addressing a demand or providing resolution to a problem. Simply: I just need a day when I am not needed. That being stated, today I am directing my focus on a cologne that was slated for review during last Father’s Day, but product was not in stock for a gentleman’s assessment.
If you recall a few posts I wrote around that time, the theme centered around a gentleman pampering himself. Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Cypress is a perfect illustration of that point. Starting at a modest (well, perhaps not) $230.00, this is the most expensive cologne I have ever trialed for review. The latest from Dolce & Gabbana’s exclusive Velvet Collection (collection launched in 2011), Velvet Cypress promises a scent that pays homage to the late summer Italian countryside. Well, given my current challenges at work and home, I sincerely hope this is the case. Now, lets dive into the details.
Carter G. Woodson
“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
Style & Substance – J. Crew – Cashmere Cable Beanie
To be perfectly honest with the audience, I simply cannot understand how some gentlemen are capable of confronting the elements, of course referring to bone-rattling glacial winter temperatures, without dutiful protection of some form of headgear. I quietly, painfully observe my fellow gentlemen commute across frozen, urban tundras; their cranial follicles crying out for a warm, merciful intervention. Alas, toasty relief is but an unfulfilled dream of comfort. As a bald gentleman, venturing into frosty weather is definitely not – and I passionately repeat – is definitely not an option. I can vividly hear my late grandmother now: Boy, put something on that head before you catch pneumonia! Therefore, my winter wardrobe is stockpiled with the necessary accessories to combat plummeting temperatures.
With absolute certainty, the mantle of leadership demands a fidelity to integrity, responsibility, wisdom, and truth. Leadership is an exhausting exercise in guiding others, often thankless, yet undoubtedly needed. It requires a steadfast commitment to exemplifying a righteous standard, a model for all to glean its best virtues. However, do not mistaken, a person charged with the supervision of others may not necessarily retain the aforementioned leadership prerequisites. Trust, regardless of an individual’s station in life, or designation of a title, everyone is not suited to be a leader. Someone that disseminates disinformation and displays a craven hunger for chaos cannot be considered a true leader. A leader’s actions are dictated not by what is popular, rather, a gentleman’s actions are guided by what is just, reasonable, and logical. In the midst of tumult and tribulation, a leader exudes calm and steadiness. Typified by cohesive communication and unambiguous direction, the servant leader is driven not by emotion. Ideally, he embraces a pragmatic approach based on informed, selfless decision-making in the service of others. He recognizes personal faults; and exhibits a willingness to improve, learn, and mature. His mind is open to differing ideology and thought; always ready to compromise on points that are sensible and rational, as serving others is never lost in his actions.
“The knowledgeable gentleman comprehends that his image does not begin with how society views him. Rather, the gentleman’s image begins with how he sees himself.”
Gent Hints – Necktie Maintenance
Ritual: a detailed method of established procedure that is faithfully or regularly followed.
Now, with respect to a gentleman’s wardrobe, maintaining a set of rituals can be greatly beneficial, especially with regards to preventative maintenance. Nothing can subtract years off the life expectancy of a particular item in your closet more than neglect and ambivalence. A gentleman must adhere to a rigid, set rule of practices that ensure proper upkeep and preservation, or he may witness a wardrobe that prematurely succumbs to irreversible disrepair. Today, we are focusing on the necktie. In the following paragraph, you will find a tried and true method that will definitely extend your necktie’s longevity. Every evening after work, I follow the same ritual as I remove my necktie. Trust, it works.
Now, neckties are delicate creatures to begin with, and the continual knotting process can administer a brutal toll on its fabric. Therefore, it is paramount that a gentleman develops the habit of rolling his necktie after he has finished wearing it. First, it is wise to loosen your necktie and carefully reverse the knotting to return it to its untied form. Next, and this is the important part, start at the narrow end and tightly roll along its length. Given that I have enough neckties to endure until the following week, I usually leave my neckties coiled until I unroll them, smooth out the remaining wrinkles, and either hang or place in my dresser drawer. The timetable is up to you. Nevertheless, the key is rolling your necktie nice and tight to hammer out those wrinkles. And never, and we mean never, leave your necktie knotted when you’re not wearing it. You’ve been warned.
Striving While Black – Navigating the Corporate World as a Gentleman of Color
I’ve been in this game for years, corporate life is an animal, it’s rules to the game, so I wrote me a manual. It’s a step by step e-booklet for you to get your job on track – not your career pushed back. Yes, the corporate world can present quite the challenge for anyone, but for the gentleman of color, this world can be an entirely different animal. And for the uninitiated, the wrong moves can render a career stuck in neutral, or worst yet, gifted a box of your belongings and shown the exit.
Trust, there will be landmines that must be expertly navigated if career success is the objective. Your patience and resolve will be tested. There are so many times you can be confused with the other black guy in the office before it starts to wear on your nerves. You can only hear black slang from 1985 resurrected in 2018 as if it is brand new so many times before you want to scream. You can only hear the expressed fear from your non-melaninated colleagues about venturing into an urban area (which they never visit anyway) before your eyes roll out of the sockets.
Never mind that you go to work everyday where a mass shooting could pop off at any moment by a disgruntled, middle-aged white male. Oh yes, I’ve had active shooter training, and law enforcement confirmed the standard profile of said gunman. You bite your tongue. You grind your teeth. But I digress, to survive the corporate office, you have to learn how the game is played. And then you must play it effectively.
The Standard #1
An honorable gentleman fully comprehends the concept of exhibiting class, sympathy, and compassion. During episodes of great tragedy or human misery, the humane gentleman believes in charity and generosity. It is second nature. The considerate gentleman does not greedily seize upon the opportunity to criticize, politicize, or monetize unfortunate realities. His moral fiber is fortified with virtue and humility. He understands that the weight of life may prove too great for some individuals to bear. Alas, he has been blessed with robust shoulders that can bear life’s burdens, and that fact is not lost on him. He is blessed to be a blessing to those in need. Because, benevolence is a character trait that is not foreign to him, nor is it casually minimized. It is far too easy, agonizingly too simple to take what life has pleasantly afforded us for granted. Sometimes, perspective becomes distorted when the lens has become clouded with prosperity. Allow your wisdom to correct your focus. Your current situation could be dramatically different-and not in a good way. Be thankful. And always remember to assist others who may be in need. It could be you that requires the empathetic generosity of a stranger one day.
“Humility. The act of possessing a modest opinion of one’s importance, understanding the complex context of life, and respecting the reality that other individuals may be better at some things than yourself.”
Lincoln Motor Company – Lincoln First Listen – Ne-Yo – Good Man