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Standard Recommendations – The Merona Knit Cap

I have always been cautious of discount retail chains, such as Wal-Mart and Target, that have aggressively entered the market of selling serious clothing merchandise. Beyond the standard collection of tee shirts, underwear, and socks; it feels slightly strange retrieving a gallon of milk from aisle 16 and then selecting a merino sweater from aisle 12. Prejudiced by the simple reality of kitty litter being a few feet away, I always suspected that the clothing sold was cheap. And not cheap as in price, but cheap as in cheaply constructed. One spin in the washing machine would surely send your sport shirt to a premature state of fraying and tearing.

Nevertheless, I have heard whispers that clothing from stores such as Target was actually good. In a concerted effort to offer quality products at an affordable price, Target has teamed up with various big time designers to offer such selections, as well as offering their own house brands. So, that brings me to one such brand – Merona. In search of a good cold weather cap, the thought of slapping down $50 to $70 for a cap wasn’t too thrilling. And so, I found myself in Target doing some light shopping when I spied the Merona knit cap. Now, for approximately $3.99, the risk was minimal and the reward would be tremendous if it performed its duties.

Offered up in a myriad of colors, I promptly grabbed a black, charcoal gray, and green knit cap. It’s not 100% wool though. It’s actually a blend of predominantly acrylic and some spandex for stretch. That didn’t matter. My only concern was would it keep my bald head warm. And it does. The fit is comfortable. It doesn’t lose its shape. And it keeps the dome nice and toasty. For $3.99 a pop, a gentleman can’t beat that. Sure, it’s not wool or cashmere, but I’m not trying to win on style points here. Not when arctic blasts are threatening to take off my ear lobes. Thus, the Merona knit cap passes the test. With the colors offered, it’s a great way to accessorize your look with a little color, stay warm, and do it on the cheap. This cap is a winner. And I’ll probably be back at Target to pick up a few more. There’s an orange one with my name on it.

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Style & Substance – The Field Vest

Big Sean – GQ – Tom Schirmacher

Okay, first, allow me to address the obvious: Big Sean isn’t “big” at all. If I were a betting gentleman, I would wager that Big Sean weighs somewhere in the universe of 150 to 170 pounds. I could be incorrect. Nonetheless, the fact remains unchanged – Big Sean is a gentleman with a slender frame. And thus, I find this month’s endorsement by GQ mildly amusing. In a pictorial showcasing down field vests, Big Sean is modeled with the aforementioned vest layered comfortably under his sport coat. Apologies, but for an average gentleman with a modest amount of weight on his frame, this look is preposterous. I understand what GQ is trying to achieve here, but if “Big” Glen tries to squeeze a down vest under his sport coat, he would probably suffer two collapsed lungs from the subsequent pressure being applied. My advice: forgo the business jacket and secure yourself a toasty hat and pair of gloves to keep warm. Better yet, how about wearing, say, a regular cold weather coat over your ensemble? Because, cramming yourself into a blazer or sport coat for the sake of layering, can be really distressing. And when it’s cold outside, we have better things to worry about than shifting around uncomfortably in our gear. What say the audience?

Welcome To The New Gentlemen’s Standard

And we’re open for business. Welcome to the brand new, streamlined Gentlemen’s Standard. The move was tough, but necessary. I had outgrown Blogger and needed a change. Thus, I decided to make the move to WordPress. It has been a long time coming. Trying to keep up with regular blogging, working my regular job, and working this site was very time-consuming. But, I am pleased with the work. There is so much more to come, as I still have tons of content to add. I just ask for your patience, and I hope you are happy with the new site as well. Check out the new sections, as I have attempted to streamline some of the more popular content from my old site. So, tell a friend, we’re back to blogging – and we’re new and improved!

Style & Substance – The Checked Shirt

Brooks Brothers – Black Fleece

So, I took a brief excursion out to the Off Fifth Saks outlet at Great Lakes Crossing Sunday morning. In dire need of a new winter cap, I armed myself with a 30 percent off coupon, hoping that I would score a great deal. Well, I did score a great deal, but it was not for the hat that I was in search of. Nevertheless, I got a great Michael Kors heavy woolen field coat for only $120.00 – discounted from $400.00! More on that in a future post. Today, I wanted to share an observation. It looks like the trend for shirts this season is leaning heavily towards checked patterns. Seriously, there were checks everywhere. And not just any check, we are talking big, boisterous cotton checkerboard offerings. The patterns were certainly pronounced, but they weren’t visually obnoxious to the point of inducing nausea. It’s funny, stripes were were all the rage a few years ago. But I digress; maintaining a modicum of shopping discipline (I did, however, snatch some hosiery while I was there), I departed the store empty-handed – save for the aforementioned coat and socks. Nevertheless, I think I will buy a shirt or two with a bold check if I am at Kohls or JC Penney – no need to break the bank on sport shirts, that’s just a personal rule of mine. So, how about you – pass or grab?

Gent Hints – The Watch Battery

Timex

I readily admit my shameful guilt for the following offense: leaving a dead battery inside one’s timepiece. Be it negligent forgetfulness and inexcusable sloth; abandoning your timepiece with its deceased life source inside can be risky, and perhaps expensive, business. In the deep, far crevices of my mind, I knew this fact. And yet, I continued with my neglect until certain circumstances necessitated the need for usage. I had long fallen into the nasty habit of simply retrieving my cell phone for time consultation. However, now I needed, for appearances, to have a watch on my wrist. So, I visited my neighborhood watch store to replace the battery. Side note: always go to a certified watch store. In my early days, I went to, I think, Target to replace the watch battery. And as I watched in terror, customer service began to fumble and pound on the underside of the watch, futilely attempting to open the casing. I vowed – never again.

Anyway, as I strolled into the store, there was another gentleman at the counter who was also guilty of leaving a dead battery inside his watch. Overhearing the conversation, I listened to customer service tell him that the battery was corroded and had leaked inside the watch – it was destroyed. Nervously, I watched as my salesperson disappeared into the back to change out my battery. Would she return with the same diagnosis? Sure, the watch was inexpensive, but that wasn’t the point. My careless procrastination could cost me a perfectly good watch nonetheless. Alas, she returned with a healthy, ticking watch – with instructions to return in a year or so when it is time for a change. I’ll be there like clockwork.

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