Standard Recommendations – Colored Shoelaces

1901 Shoelaces 1Gentlemen, it is officially summer, and the time has arrived to lace up with some colored shoe laces. And by colored – we mean brightly colored. Beyond the rudimentary selections that you are accustomed to – you know – the unenthusiastic shades of black and brown, there exists a bright brave world of sprightly shoestrings ready to secure your kicks to your feet. The vibrant colors can add a bit of playful charm to a gentleman’s presentation. Totally unexpected, but undoubtedly stylish. This endorsement is not surprising, as I have championed the utilization of jazzy hued laces before. So, to further drive the point home, I decided to photograph a pack of 1901 shoelaces that I purchased from Nordstrom. This 7 pack of organic waxed cotton laces is not only great for summer play, but I can see these making a surprise cameo in the fall. However, let’s not rush autumn in prematurely. We still have plenty of summer days to enjoy.

1901 Shoelaces 2 1901 Shoelaces 3 1901 Shoelaces 4

The Standard #18

Jesse OwensFirmly standing upright under an unrelenting, blistering storm of vitriolic contempt and caustic distrust, the successful gentleman remains undeterred in his journey towards triumph. Triumph – born of an unwavering resolve and complete assurance in his abilities; this gentleman cannot be denied what he has tirelessly striven for. And despite ardent attempts to trivialize his work, undermine his legitimacy, or boldly question his intellect; ignorance and hatred will be trumped every time. Believe it. No amount of mockery can shake his confidence. He is resolute. He is intelligent. He is courageous. More importantly, he recognizes that there exists individuals consumed with hubris and guided by conceit, which ultimately hastens their downfall. So, he stays in his lane and does what he does best – win. Are you a winner?

Sounds of Blackness – The Whispers – In The Mood

I am not exactly sure of the precise moment; that moment when popular mainstream rhythm and blues became crude and crass. Lyrics that once championed affection, devotion, and good old-fashioned intimacy have been supplanted by sexual vulgarity masquerading as love. And I cannot, at least totally, berate the youth today for their selection of music. Not when they are presented with images of rap & blues crooner Drake on the cover of Gentleman’s Quarterly, and with the media constantly anointing dubious celebrity figures as role models. Seems like today, one has to exhibit an offensive, coarse attitude and demeanor to be a contemporary gentleman. Seriously, men, do you really want another man referring to a female family member as a bitch/hoe and holding aspirations of “beating that up”? That being said, please disabuse yourself from the sad reality that is the current state of rhythm and blues. A gentleman can still be rakishly charming, unabashedly sexy, and effortlessly smooth  – without calling a woman out of her name in the process. Fact: Being a gentleman is not mutually exclusive with being boring. And so, I remind the audience today, with the help of The Whispers, that there are gentlemen still in existence that believe in proper manners, treating a lady respectfully, and loving her as she deserves. Trust me, every lady wants that.

Standard Recommendations – The Gentleman’s Umbrella

UmbrellaDuring those dreary days of rainy, inclement weather; it is not unusual to find me carrying a trusty umbrella on my way to the office. My umbrella – a perpetual target of soft ridicule and surprising bewilderment. Bewilderment because no one really carries an umbrella as large as mine nowadays, and ridicule because, well, no one carries an umbrella as large as mine nowadays. But please forgive me, I am a gentleman with a moderate amount of girth on his frame, a dainty and frail umbrella just won’t cut it. I require more than adequate coverage when the day threatens to unleash a torrential downpour. And besides, on more than one occasion, I have found a companion, male or female, ducking under my umbrella because it was more than sufficient at handling the job. And they probably left their umbrella in the car. The benefit of owning a sturdy, hefty umbrella? First, the pros: maximum coverage, resists hurricane (not quite) winds, almost impossible to misplace, and you’ll look damn gentlemanly providing shelter for some umbrella-less soul in danger of being drenched. The cons, well, there aren’t any. Invest in quality one and stay dry.

Gent Hints

  • The canopy – the part that provides coverage – should fall somewhere between 40 and 50 inches in diameter. Any bigger and you are entering golf umbrella territory.
  • For your umbrella’s material, the canopy should be taut and made of nylon.
  • Durability is vital, therefore, we prefer a frame composed of steel. However, fiberglass and aluminum are also options that a gentleman can consider.
  • The shaft can also be made of the aforementioned materials, or a gentleman could select a wooden shaft for a touch of elegance and class.
  • The shaft should complement your height. In the interest of providing a reference point, I am approximately 6 feet tall, and end-to-end, my umbrella hits me right at the hip. It provides comfortable clearance for my head.
  • The handle should be ergonomic for easy handling. I prefer a textured rubber hand for secure gripping.

Standard Recommendations – The Duffel Bag

Suit Supply Duffel Bag

Suit Supply Duffel Bag

Sure, my leather portfolio bag provides adequate transportation for my laptop, but sometimes I feel as if I require a bag that is more robust in nature. During my commute to the office, I may pick up a bottle of 32 ounce Gatorade. Or, I could be carrying a 64 ounce water bottle. If the weather is dreary with the threat of a thunderstorm, a hefty umbrella may be a side companion. For late evening trips to Fitness 19, workout attire would either be stashed in the car trunk in a separate bag, or tossed on the backseat until it was time to change. All that being said, I am steadily leaning towards investing in a large, sturdy duffel bag to house all of my belongings. Especially in the winter when boots are a must, dress shoes can be neatly tucked away, shielded from the salt and muck that accumulates on the sidewalks and streets. Preferably, a combination of leather and canvas duffel would be ideal. Both canvas and leather are hard-wearing, with the leather adding a touch of tough elegance to the overall aesthetic. If you are a gentleman that requires a bag with a spacious interior, whether it be for trips to the office or a weekend trip away from home, investing in an appropriately sized duffel bag could prove to be a wise decision. If you are sure that it will sustain a moderate to substantial beating, ensure that you select a bag comprised of tough material, be it canvas or leather, that will withstand the punishment. In my case, I desire the best of both worlds. And so, the hunt commences.

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