Gent Hints – Necktie Maintenance

Drake's Madder NecktieRitual: 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.

Cheap Thrills – Boldly Accessorize Your Look…At A Low Cost

The Tie Bar Pocket Square PlaidThe Tie Bar

Gentlemen – rejoice! Currently, we are enthusiastically enjoying a sartorial renaissance of sorts. Pleasantly inundated with a bevy of stylish options, a gentleman can attire himself in a handsome array of clothing, and he doesn’t have to break the bank in doing so. Sure, dressing great can become expensive if a gentleman allows it. And true, there are some items a gentleman cannot maneuver around without dropping some heavy coin. Nevertheless, there exists pathway to smart elegance that doesn’t include high price-tags. Deft utilization of sharp accessories can make an outfit look right-on-the-money without spending a tremendous amount of it. Here, you will find a collection upstart companies that offer insanely inexpensive, superbly stylish accouterments that can definitely elevate a gentleman’s fashion quotient without stressing your pocketbook. Continue reading

Profile – Gianni Cerutti – Passaggio Cravatte

My necktie collection is quite extensive – seriously, I probably don’t need to add any more to my tie drawer. It includes a vast array of patterns and fabrics. Colors and widths. Weights and brands. Nonetheless, none of my neckties are bespoke. Meaning all of my neckties are mass-produced and shipped to the public for purchasing consumption. With a bespoke offering, everything is custom to a gentleman’s specifications. Today, we sit down with Gianni Cerutti, co-founder of Passaggio Cravatte. A small operation located on the outskirts of Milan, Passaggio Cravatte only makes bespoke neckties. Mr. Cerutti was kind enough to share a few words on the bespoke process and what makes a custom-made necktie so damn exquisite. Enjoy the read. Continue reading

The Standard #13

African American Youth Men are not born with what one would identify as a “gentleman” gene in their DNA. Sure, some men naturally gravitate towards chivalrous, courteous behavior – but more often than not, such behavior is learned and embedded during various stages of male maturation. Conversely, some adolescents mature without said chivalrous attributes ever being instilled in their life. And that is an unfortunate reality; a reality that is shared by far too many young men growing up today. That must change. Now, as a child I would accompany my grandmother to the market for an afternoon of grocery shopping. My grandmother did not know how to drive, so we would walk to the market and I would help her carry grocery bags home. My brothers and I would actually request to tag along for such shopping excursions.

And now as an adult, I find myself helping elderly women in the market with their groceries, or helping them load bags into their car. Old habits die hard. Unbeknownst to me, the seeds of a future gentleman were being planted when I was but a youth. Furthermore, that benevolent mindset extends to other aspects in my life as well. Whether freeing a woman’s car from a snowbank or carrying a pregnant woman’s work bags to her car, I am driven by gentlemanly instinct. That is an instinct that must be imparted in young men today. It can be taught as an uncle, a mentor, a friend, or simply as a father. Chivalry. Valor. Courtesy. Politeness. Helpfulness. These are commodities that appear to be in scarce supply nowadays. If you are an owner of any or all, your wisdom is in high demand. Go ahead, there is a young man that needs you today.

Our Heritage – Railroaded Again

Tubman Sex TapeI wrote the following statement in a previous post, but in light of the latest Russell Simmons public relations debacle, it bears worth repeating: In matters of recognizing and appreciating the greatness of history, the specter of time hovers, always threatening to diminish the importance and seriousness of days forever removed. To be sure, history is a great educator; but if we allow the steady progression of time to dull its lessons, we will simply become students of profound ignorance. If you are not privy to what I am alluding to, well, Simmons launched a YouTube channel called All Def Digital. And on that channel, a vile parody was featured. Titled Harriet Tubman Sex Tape, it depicts a Mammy caricature in the role of Harriet Tubman seducing and sleeping with the plantation slave master, as another male slave secretly records the encounter from a nearby closet, all in an effort to blackmail her slave master into freeing slaves. Classy right? Public outrage followed. Cue fake apology by Simmons. Continue reading

Standard Recommendations – The Tie Clip – Apologies To Nick Sullivan

Lanvin Tie ClipNick Sullivan, Esquire’s resident fashion director, does not favor the ritual of affixing one’s necktie to one’s dress shirt utilizing the duties of the tie clip, or tie bar – whatever term you particularly fancy. I first learned this curious fact after watching a clip of Mr. Sullivan over at Mr Porter where they feature a video series titled The Way I Dress. During the brief clip, Sullivan explains his apparent dislike for the small accessory. And actually, it is not the dislike of tie clip itself, but the gentlemen that actually wear tie clips. Interesting. That sentiment was once again echoed in the September issue of Esquire in his advice section. Truthfully, his disdain for tie clips is never fully explained; aside from the reasoning that he just does not like them. Style is all about individuality, and a gentleman can maintain his sartorial preferences as he wishes. However, I cannot see tie clips as useless affectation because they actually serve a purpose. Sullivan thinks it looks too neat when the necktie is held strategically in place. What’s wrong with neat? Better than sloppy – right? Question: How many gentlemen actually blow their nose in handkerchief or pocket square? I would surmise not many, yet we wear them anyway because it affords a small, yet stylish detail to the overall ensemble. And so, in praise of the tie clip, we present 5 reasons why you should be wearing one. Continue reading

Gent Hints – Sport Coat Coordination

PS- Autumn 2012

Phineas Cole

To be sure, some gentlemen absolutely abhor the notion of wearing a suit, as they would sooner employ a sport coat as a viable alternative. So, when an occasion begs for a discreet level of business attire, said gentleman promptly retrieves his sport jacket of choice from the closet. Pretty simply – right? Well, not quite that simple. The sly substitution of a sport coat arrives with a curious dilemma of its own. Unlike the complete business suit, the sport coat quietly resides, draped around its wooden hanger without the devoted companionship of a matching trouser. Thus, the critical mission of expertly coordinating a pair of trousers becomes not as simple as previously imagined – that suit doesn’t look so terrible now. No worries, may we present to the audience, a quick and dirty guide to find the right pair of trousers for your sport coat. Continue reading

Don Lemon Logic & Sagging Pants

saggy-pantsSeriously, it was not my intent to provide commentary pertaining to Don Lemon’s logic and critique regarding societal ills afflicting the African-American community – honestly it wasn’t. However, the Internet meme that is Don Lemon Logic is compelling me to share a few thoughts. Specifically, I want to speak about the sartorial statement of sagging one’s trousers. So, let’s address this bit of business first: Don Lemon’s logic is flawed. Pulling one’s pants up to an acceptable, respectable height will not fund financially strapped schools in the inner city, lower the homicide and incarceration rate of young African-American males, or create meaningful employment in urban areas. Nevertheless, you know what other logic is flawed? It is the logic that passively defends the art of exposing one’s underwear in public. Continue reading

Coming Soon – Autumn 2013

Richard James Leaf Print PS

Mr Porter – Richard James

For many individuals, autumn recently arrived – albeit a tad prematurely, and provided a brief glimpse of what to expect late September and all of October. And what did that glimpse reveal? Automobile windows liberally covered by early morning dew. Nippy evenings that necessitated the need for an additional layer of clothing for comfort. And, we figured you have noticed, the days are steadily becoming shorter, with night arriving early, minute by minute. Soon enough, autumn will be upon us. So, what will the sartorial climate look like?  Unsurprisingly, fabrics will adopt a decidedly dark complexion, but don’t worry, tones won’t be exceedingly morose. All the bright hues and vibrant patterns of summer will step aside for conservative tones and sly, sophisticated designs. Clothing will become a touch heavier, but not burdensome. And a gentleman will have more accessories to deftly incorporate into his ensemble – without overdoing it. This season – less is definitely more. It will be the astute selection of a chosen accoutrement that will make the biggest visual impact. Sure, summer will definitely return, if not for a few weeks, to remind everyone that its time has not expired for the year 2013. Enjoy it. Because, as we move into the first half of August, we can be sure time is going to fly by. Get ready.

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