Stylish addition by way of intelligent subtraction. This winter season, demonstrate a little discipline and abstain from loud, gaudy patterns and colors. Stripped down to the polished basics, a gentleman can still exude a stately sophistication, even when his chosen sartorial palette is quietly unassuming.
The gentleman should never underestimate the magnitude of a cheerful, happy disposition-especially when that attitude is displayed towards his children. Sure, discipline is a vital function required to raise children. However, the totality of child rearing must be equal parts discipline and equal parts love. He cannot levy seventy-five percent discipline and only twenty-five percent love. And that discipline cannot be driven by anger. That would be unwise. Listen, a gentleman cannot walk around with a scowl etched on a rigid face of granite all the time. Smile. Laugh. Sing. As a father, it is incumbent that he sets the appropriate tone and atmosphere for his household. Children need to witness him being more than that guy who trudges to and from work. Tired. Irritable. Unhappy. Trust this: children are much more perceptive than you award credit, and they absorb the negatively charged climate that you have helped create. Stop. The time has arrived for you to glide through the door and welcome your family with a fresh, joyous attitude. They deserve it. You deserve it. Will it be like that everyday? Probably not. Nevertheless, trust that your efforts will not give audience to blind eye. Your children will definitely notice, and they will love you even more. Feels fantastic doesn’t it?
Fantastic news friend, that sartorial bandwagon for Now-And-Later flavored footwear is still stationed outside, so now is the perfect opportunity to procure a ticket and hop aboard. Honestly, the foreseeable future appears to be stocked with an array of colorful kicks for gentlemanly consumption, so purchasing a cool pair seems less risky than, say, a year ago. Having invested in a few pairs myself, I have concluded that shoes not tinted in standard shades of black or dark brown are actually worthy investments. They smartly afford an outfit added depth and new perspective. So, instead of reaching for those tried and true hues, now a gentleman can complement a faint hint of green in his sport shirt, pick up the shade of burgundy in his watch band, or synchronize with the light blue in his pocket square. Boom – dressing has never been this fun in quite some time. Take advantage gents – take advantage.
There are few words that can be used to adequately define grey — sartorially speaking that is. Graceful. Dignified. Regal. Stately. And although many gentlemen treat grey as an afterthought, or an unwanted alternative to black, grey actually affords a myriad of fashion options for any guy willing to incorporate a little in his wardrobe. So, how is grey capable of this? Well, grey isn’t exactly just grey. Meaning, there are numerous shades and tints which constitute grey in general, which in turn allows for varying levels of intensity. It could be a light, soft heather grey. Conversely, it could be a dark, solemn charcoal. Therefore, a gentleman’s presentation is never at risk of being tediously monochromatic. Trust, grey has its rewards. Here are a few ways to wear it smartly.
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It is not unusual for a gentleman to liberate a pair of newly purchased oxfords from its box and discover that they are a little snug. Of course, it would be wise to try said oxford on in the shoe department before you submit payment. However, say, you are in a rush, or you ordered a stylish pair from an Internet site. Well, taking your kicks for a sartorial test drive really is not an option. In those circumstances, “breaking in” your footwear may be required. Now, your brogues may not be excruciatingly tight, but a little room or flexibility would be welcome. And so, I have employed a little routine that I utilize for fresh kicks out of the box. For the record, I am referring primarily to dress shoes for this blog entry. So, before I even think about sliding into my leather soled purchase; I retrieve a nice, moderately thick pair of white athletic socks. As best I can, I carefully put on my shoes and walk around the house – as if they were slippers. Now, as they are new with the sole being untouched by the outside elements, I don’t have to worry about transferring dirt to the carpet – or getting admonished by my wife. So, I walk around a bit to afford them a little ease, a little give to the leather. And by the time I wear thinner dress socks at a later date, the fit is just fine. Alternately, you can visit a shoe cobbler and have them stretched professionally. I prefer my method – it’s cheaper.
Granted, it can be reasonably argued that extensive ruminations of Spring 2013 are tad premature. Okay – really premature. For many areas, winter has yet to commence its blustery, wintry assault on the local populace. Nonetheless, The Tie Bar has released a tantalizing preview of color imbibed necktie clips that every well-dressed gentleman should mentally note for future considerations. Utilizing a palette of vibrant pastels, these nifty little clips are loaded with whimsical style. I already own a few clips myself, but none in this array of wonderful color. And if you are wondering about performance, these necktie clips are supremely sturdy. I have never encountered any issues with the bar slipping, falling off, or even breaking. In short – these accessories are a solid investment and ridiculously inexpensive at $15.00. So, maintain a watchful eye towards February 2013; 6 colors and three lengths: 1 inch, 1.5 inches, and 2 inches. I must demonstrate some discipline and self-control and not purchase all six!
During my younger years, which feels like ages ago, I was a white tube sock kind of gentleman. I would make a trip to Kmart to purchase a few value packs of white socks and was good to go. Of course when the occasion begged for a dressier alternative, I recruited a trusted pair of basic black or blue hosiery for the job. However, as I grew older and started to explore more stylish options, I began to gravitate toward brighter colors and more interesting patterns. Now, striped hosiery surged in popularity, at least to my recollection, approximately 5-7 years ago. I added a few pairs to my dresser drawer and have been hooked ever since. Still popular, I have noticed that the stripes have increased in width with a more audacious color offering. Nevertheless, I still employ options with narrow widths too. Trust me, these are not for the serious conservative. Utilize these socks only when the finishing touch requires that you stand alone from the pack – where you should be.
Understandably, today’s sartorial entry may elicit a faint feeling of perplexity and bewilderment, as the audience may have grown accustomed to the occasional focus on a myriad of gentlemen’s furnishings that bear a hefty price-tag. And as that may warrant a slight hint of truth, nonetheless, I am not a devoted slave to popular brands or expensive sticker prices. I am more drawn to what is visually satisfying, competent and proficient in performance, and soundly functional in utility. Sure, I have a few pricey items in my wardrobe, but I also have just as many that reflect frugality.
Now, one of those excursions into frugality has brought me to my latest purchase – the Timex Easy Reader. Clocking in, pardon the pun, at an insanely low price of $65.00, this was a purchase that I could not ignore. Coupled with the fact that I also received 20 percent off the retail price; this was really a no-brainer. I was compelled to act.
Simplistically elegant in its design, this basic timepiece is the perfect companion for both business and business-casual attire. I opted for both the black and brown selections for versatility. The face appears to be a tad big, but I’m a big guy myself, so I don’t see any problems that may arise. Now, I know some gentleman are devout followers of more expensive timepieces. However, oddly enough, I have never been big on watches myself. So, this basic beauty, complete with large numerals and indiglo lighting for my compromised vision, is just right for me. Can’t wait for shipment!
- William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born on February 23, 1868
- Graduated from Great Barrington High School in 1884
- Earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Fisk University in 1888
- Earned his Master of Arts from Harvard University in 1891
- Earned Doctorate in History from Harvard University in 1895
- Assistant instructor in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania 1896-97
- Professor of history, sociology and economics at Atlanta University
- Editor of The Crisis Magazine at the NAACP
- Authored The Negro in Business in 1899
- Authored Souls of Black Folk in 1903
- Co-founded The Niagara Movement in 1905
- Authored Voice of the Negro II in 1905
- Co-founded the NAACP in 1909
- Authored The Negro in 1915
- Awarded Spingarn Medal in 1920
- Authored The Gift of Black Folk in 1924
- Authored Black Reconstruction in 1935
- Awarded Lenin Peace Prize in 1959
- Du Bois died at the age of 95 on August 27, 1963
- A few months before my wedding, my grandmother suddenly passed away due to a heart attack. Emotionally, it was the most devastating event I had ever experienced in my life.
- I don’t think one ever recovers from a significant loss like that; I think you just learn to cope and handle the reality better as time progresses.
- I still allow myself to grieve. I allow for quiet moments by myself and I cry. The whole notion that men should not cry is foolish. Real men cry for things they love dearly. And I will always cry for my grandmother.
- I don’t try to focus on negative imagery or thoughts. Things like what happened at her funeral…the casket…the burial…I don’t think about things like that. My tears are only reserved for the remembrance of the good times we shared together.
- That being said, one also has to make room for laughter. My brother does an uncanny imitation of my grandmother’s voice, and his mimicry of her disapproving chastisement blended in with select biblical passages is hilarious. Yes, you have to find a way to laugh.
- I’ve never been angry about her passing. You cannot be angry with reality. And the reality is we are not promised immortality. If anything, I’m more saddened by fact that I can’t sit with her one more time, rocking back and forth, side by side in dual rocking chairs on her porch during rainstorms.
- Besides, it’s always better to smile. Looking back, I have to smile. I was blessed with the kind of grandmother that some people didn’t or don’t have. Yes, I am extraordinarily thankful.
- Nevertheless, and this is the selfish part of me, I sure do miss those holiday dinners, complete with all the fixings: ham, turkey, greens, sweet macaroni & cheese (yes, you read that correct – sweet), string beans, yams, cornbread, sweet potato pie, red velvet cake, and the list goes on and on. Yes, grandma could burn in the kitchen.
- To this day, I’m still trying to regain my holiday spirit. From childhood into my adult life, she had always been there. And now it’s just a void. But spending time with my family, along with my brother’s spot-on voice replication, I’m managing. And that’s about what we all can do – manage; in the best and positive way we know how.