The Gentlemen’s Ten – Blogging (The Hard Knock Life)

blogSo, you want to enter the world of blogging. It seems simple enough – right? All one has to possess is a valid e-mail address and a password. From there, you select the appropriate blog software, and soon you will be publishing your work on the Internet. Again, it seems simple enough – right? Well, it really isn’t. I’ve been blogging since 2008 and I am here to tell you this: it is serious work. Serious work that does not reap a financial reward, well, at least not immediately if you choose to follow a monetary route. Work that is sometimes – scratch that, almost always – thankless at the start. That is, of course, until you have worked tirelessly to establish a regular reading audience. Yes, maintaining a blog is difficult. And today I’m going to share the ugly, not so glamorous side of it. This isn’t a post about how to make money (I get that a lot) or, well, how to make money – seriously, I really get that question a lot. Nope, this post is simply about the trials and tribulations I have experienced as a blogger. So, without further delay, here is what you can expect if you decided to take the blogging plunge.
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Style & Substance – Florsheim by Duckie Brown Saddle Shoe

IMG_0092Just in time for spring, I can now open my shoebox containing my Florsheim by Duckie Brown suede saddle shoes. I was able to get my hands on this pair last autumn, as they were on sale for a killer price. However, as soon as they arrived on my doorstep, so did Old Man Winter. No worries, I kept these beauties tucked under the bed until the time was weather appropriate. And with 50 degree weather on the way, I can safely announce that winter is finally going on its seasonal hiatus. Oh the joy.
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Heritage – Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm

  • Born Shirley Anita St. Hill on November 30, 1924
  • Graduated from Girls High School in 1942
  • Earned Bachelor of Arts from Brooklyn College in 1946
  • Earned Masters of Arts in Education from Columbia University in 1952
  • Director of the Hamilton-Madison Child Care Center from 1953 to 1959
  • Educational consultant to New York City’s Bureau of Child Welfare from 1959-64
  • Representative for New York State Legislature 1964-68.
  • First African-American woman elected to Congress in 1968 representing 12th Congressional District, New York, 1969-83
  • Authored Unbought and Unbossed in 1970
  • Co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971
  • Co-founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1971
  • First African-American to run for President of the United States in 1972
  • Authored The Good Fight in 1973
  • Awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Smith College in 1975
  • Purington Professor at Mount Holyoke College from 1983-87
  • Inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993
  • Chisholm died at the age of 80 years old on January 1, 2005

Standard Recommendations – The Tie Bar – Cotton Madras Necktie

The Tie Bar Madras TieThe Tie Bar has become my ultimate go-to source for quality and inexpensive neckties. Seriously. And here is some serious truth: Whenever a necktie garners my attention in a magazine or on the Internet, I immediately visit The Tie Bar online to scour the myriad of patterns, colors, and materials in an attempt to duplicate the necktie of interest. Yes, I really do that. Because, for the low price of $15.00, their neckties are ridiculously good. Given that fact, my present tie collection is heavily stocked with their merchandise; much to the chagrin of my darling wife, as she thinks I own too many neckties. But can a gentleman possess too many? Well…probably. Nevertheless, that being said, I have added another Tie Bar beauty on my must-have list. Comprised of 100% cotton and rocking an impossibly audacious of color and pattern, this offering was constructed with spring on the mind. And spring is coming – I’m just going to ignore those snowflakes fluttering outside my window right now. So, my order is being placed tonight. Those colors are just too awesome to pass up. Sorry Stephanie – I love you.

Standard Recommendations – Ted Baker Polka Dot Necktie

Ted Baker Polka DotGranted, spring may have officially arrived yesterday, but the temperatures have retained a wintry feel that echoes early January. Nonetheless, the season has technically shifted, and the gentleman would be wise to prepare his spring attire for the upcoming heat wave. Okay, perhaps that is a stretch, but it would be intelligent to get the proper gear ready. Now, despite the warm weather that will soon be arriving (we hope), it might be a little premature to emancipate the shorts and tee shirts from the closet. That being said, plenty of gentlemen will still hold fast to their suit attire. However, the dreary days of winter will soon be forgotten, and a lighter touch will be required when we decide to get suited and booted. And usually that lighter touch arrives in the form of playful, whimsical accessories that temper the seriousness of your standard business suit. That being said, I came across this fun Ted Baker necktie being offered online by Von Maur. Yes, polka dots are still popular; and the boldness of those dots, along with the vibrant colors, are just enough to loosen up a stiff suit – if just a little bit. Bonus: Currently it’s on sale for $39.00, which is reasonable given the brand and design. So, check it out. Von Maur offers free shipping with a no hassle return if it doesn’t tickle your fancy. For more purchasing details, visit Von Maur HERE for more information.

The Standard #24

BooksThe intellectual gentleman recognizes the power of education, and he champions its virtue. He fully understands that knowledge is the beginning of intellectual growth & prosperity. He understands that the proper use of his knowledge can transform distant aspirations into touchable reality. His success hinges on steadfast labor and the unequivocal dedication to achieving educational excellence. Each gentleman has this ability – the ability to set meaningful goals and accomplish an array of tasks that he has undertaken. A gentleman’s potential is but a ready seed, thirsting for the water produced from sweat, and sometimes – salty tears. What, you thought it would be easy? Nothing worth the labor expended ever is.

Seriously, educating oneself is paramount, it is key. And through education, one begins to realize that no goal is too precipitous to climb and conquer. And understand, goals do not plateau, for learning does not cease once adulthood is reached. Learning does not abruptly halt once the classroom is a faint memory or college professors stop instructing. Grow your knowledge because knowledge is strength for the body, mind, and spirit.  Read a book. Watch a documentary. Seek out educational courses offered at a local community college or center. Make every attempt to continuously exercise your mind. So gentlemen, grow your minds, pursue your dreams, make them a reality, and once you are there – don’t stop growing.

The Standard #3

harlemThe 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. He alone determines and dictates the manner in which he is presented to the world. When he gazes into the mirror, the reflection of greatness should readily greet him. It does not begin with the clothing he chooses to attire himself in, nor the vehicle he selects to navigate city streets. Not the place of employment where he makes a living. Not the amount of money presently residing in his bank account. Why? Well, because character starts with his self-worth. His esteem is not erected upon a mountain of biodegradable materialism – subject to decay and waste. No, the gentleman’s image is based on gentlemanly fundamentals that are concrete and certain. Virtue. Honor. Principle. Forthrightness. The Gentlemen’s Standard.

Just In Time – 3 Simple, Elegant, and Stylish Men’s Luxury Watches

Baume &  Mercier CliftonFinding the perfect watch for you is something largely akin to finding the Holy Grail – it’s a long journey, but one that is certainly worth taking because there are few luxury accessories that provide more of a window into a man’s sense of style than his choice of timepiece. Needless to say, owning a luxury watch is a symbol of status, but this doesn’t mean that it has to be an in-your-face type of accessory; one that everybody has to notice so you feel justified in shelling out a large sum of money on it. In my opinion, some of the finest men’s luxury watches on the market are of the understated variety – the ones which let their quality speak for themselves.

Let’s take a look at three of the best:

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Black Thought

Malcolm+in+hat“Anytime you see somebody more successful than you are, they are doing something you aren’t.”

– Malcolm X

The haunting fear of failure can certainly impede any aspiring gentleman from realizing his dreams & goals. Well, success does not arrive without crooks in the road or cracks in the pavement. However, the gentleman should never let such things deter him from accomplishing any rewarding or desired objective. Anyone who has tasted any form of success understands this completely. The successful gentleman welcomes and embodies the meaning of sacrifice. He stretches himself to enormous lengths, such lengths that maybe the next man is not willing to endure. Endless days. Weary eyes. Growing frustration. Certain disappointment. Perseverance and diligence is instrumental. Locate and recognize success. Appreciate it. Study it. Learn from it. Emulate it. Mold your path to success and allow nothing to block your progress.

Style & Substance – The Eldredge Knot

Eldredge-KnotBehold, in all of its complex pageantry – The Eldredge Knot. This peculiar knot has leisurely traveled the Internet circuit over the last few months – perhaps even longer; impressing a great deal of forward-thinking gentlemen and equally confounding a multitude of others. The opinion: a dazzling exhibition of creative artistry; or an undesirable, trendy display that is unequivocally hideous. Whatever side you fall on, the Eldredge knot is certainly a conversation starter. So, what are my personal thoughts on this seemingly complex knot? Well…

  • The Eldredge knot is unnecessarily complicated. Sure, I’ve read that once you learn the knotting process that it is simple. But the diagram I viewed revealed at least 15 steps to achieve the desired result. I can knot a Four-In-Hand or Half-Windsor in far less. And while I am not standing before a mirror for an exorbitant amount of time, knotting my neckties the old-fashioned way does require a meticulous hand to achieve a nice dimple and correct length. So, why would I want to tack on an extra 10 minutes to my routine?
  • The knotting process itself can be brutal on a necktie. Sure, your necktie could be comprised of the finest material that can withstand the beating. But why would I want to subject one of my finest neckties to a sadistic ritual of continuous twists and wraps?
  • Simply stated: The necktie looks like it has been knotted backwards.
  • And I am not sure how this knot performs if the necktie is patterned. The presentation just doesn’t look clean.
  • However, I can see how this can work in the trendy world. Alas, that is not a world I live in. This knot is simply not functional for my lifestyle, which compared to some, could be considered boring.
  • Besides, I am far from a flashy gentleman. And this knot screams look-at-me. Remember: Beware the peacock. If I want to stand out, I will do so through a deft execution of color, pattern, and fabric coordination. This just seems like a gimmick.

However, to each his own. If this looks like a fun knot to you, and you want a challenge, then go right ahead my friend and tie one one. I just won’t be in that collective rocking it with you. So, what say the gentlemen, thumbs up or thumbs down?

Wrist Managament – Colorful Watches For Less Than $75

Timex - PinkWithout a doubt, there arrives a time when a gentleman just wants to kick back. No big meetings that beg your attendance. No dinner galas that require your presence. The only thing that beckons your audience is lazy relaxation. Maybe a few cookouts. Perhaps an excursion to a beach, a park, or wherever the day takes you – you could venture no farther than your couch. And that is okay. Nevertheless, whatever you decide, you still need to track time. Last week, one of my contacts reached out and sent me an array of jazzy, colorful timepieces just in time for spring, all courtesy of Timex. Now, my experience with Timex has been pleasant. They are a trusty and reliable source of time tracking. So, I wanted to share a few pictures from their new spring collection. All the watches pictured here clock in (pun intended) at less than $75.00, and in some cases, less than $50.00. And as a bonus, the Weekender editions have straps that can be interchanged with other bright straps that fancy your mood – watch out now (corny pun intended again)! For more purchasing information, please visit Timex for details.

Please click gallery for navigation.

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