Fashion Find – Ted Baker Plaid Cotton/Silk Necktie

Ted Baker Cotton PlaidPlease believe me when I tell you this: The Ted Baker necktie that you see above will not last too much longer. Seriously. We are speaking of a Ted Baker offering, woven in a beautiful blend of cotton and silk, discounted down to an absurdly low $19.00. Yes, you read that correctly – a ridiculous $19.00. Originally retailing for $79.50; this is quite a bargain. I own more than a few Ted Baker neckties, particular cotton & silk selections, and I can certainly attest to the quality. Bonus: Plaid is killing it this season. Bonus II: Green is killing it this season. A gentleman cannot lose with this one.

Grab this beauty before it is gone!


And the stock has been depleted. You know I ordered mine. Hope you were as successful. Pictures to come.

Standard Recommendations – The Mesh Laundry Bag & Drying Rack

Laundry AssistantsIt is an inevitability that every individual will painfully experience in their lifetime. Naively you will ready your soiled garments for a routine wash, rinse, and spin inside your trusted high-efficiency washing machine; completely oblivious to the dangers that await your modest load of hosiery that have tagged along for the adventure. Immediately following the completion of the cleaning phase, it is now time to sufficiently remove the resulting dampness from your load. Into the dryer they go. And when that is complete, you will readily retrieve your shirts, khakis, jeans, hell – even your underwear.

They all make it out fine. But not your socks. Yes, 10 socks enter, only 7 make it out alive. The laundry room, call it the Bermuda Triangle of Hosiery, because you can be damn sure you’ll lose some of your favorite socks. Therefore, may I suggest a possible resolution? It involves two items that can be procured at a Target, a Wal-Mart, or whatever store that tickles your fancy. May I present to you: the mesh laundry bag and the drying rack.

The solution is simple. Toss your socks into the small mesh laundry bag and zip it up securely. Toss that bad boy into the washing machine and remove it when the cycle is complete. Now, instead of throwing those clean socks into the dryer, unfold your drying rack and have them dry naturally in the open air. Boom! Every sock is accounted for. You no longer have to lose a beautiful pair of striped wool socks because one vanished – never to be seen again. Neither item takes up much space, and both are inexpensive to buy. Trust, it is a worthwhile investment. Unless of course you like wearing mismatched socks. I didn’t think so.

Style & Substance – Armstrong and Wilson Pocket Square

Armstrong & Wilson PSBecause in a world of safe, neat pocket squares dominating the gentleman’s marketplace; sometimes a fresh reworking of a classic is needed. Read on.

  • The Who – For the discerning gentleman that appreciates the contribution of unexpected, distinctive accessories that bolster the sophistication quotient of his presentation as a whole.
  • The What Armstrong and Wilson, an independent menswear company founded by Ontario Armstrong and Clifton Wilson, specializing in creative variations of classic menswear accessories – please see the killer pocket square above.
  • The When – To be worn during times that cry out for next level style and grace.
  • The Where – Great for the office. Boardrooms may be tricky, so survey the business environment beforehand and style accordingly. And when the workday is complete; feel free to rock out with supreme confidence, as no one will look as uniquely dapper as you.
  • The How – These squares are usually cotton, linen, cashmere, or wool; so an irregular square fold is recommended. Ensure that the button detail is situated for maximum visibility.
  • The Why – Because of all the pocket squares you own, most likely, none are endowed with an elegant button detail. And if you do own one, perhaps you could use another – for variety of course.

Global Projects – Jordan Clemons – Mission Campaign (Update)

Hello everyone, today I wanted to give a brief update on the status of Ms. Jordan Clemons. Well, she was able to meet her financial goal and raise the money needed to fund her mission to Uganda. She departed for Uganda yesterday, and I hope you all can join me in sending out some blessings her way for a safe, productive , and uplifting mission. Thank you so much to anyone that contributed to her mission. You are truly appreciated!

Standard Recommendations – Deodorant – Apologies to Tom Ford & GQ

Dove-Mens-Care-deodorantYou can file the following under dubious advice of the month. Tom Ford is not a believer of deodorant. As a matter of fact, he favors the natural aroma of perspiration. He thinks it is sexy. No – seriously. I read it in the November 2013 edition of Gentlemen’s Quarterly. Apologies, I meant GQ. Anyway, as I flipped through a pictorial featuring wardrobe upgrades from Mr. Ford himself, I found myself amused by a set of grooming commandments that accompanied the article. Checking in at #10 – resisting the temptation of utilizing deodorant. Now truthfully, I don’t know if someone is supposed to take this bit of wisdom seriously, but I did not see anything that alluded to humor in parentheses.

Therefore, allow me to present my own nugget of grooming wisdom: Gentlemen, please employ the services of some form of an antiperspirant. Yes, sweat may look sexy on a glossy fold-out of a scantily clad Beyonce, but we all know better. Trust, unless you discover yourself within the throes of passion and your sweat is a natural byproduct from all that bed-rocking, it would be wise to apply a few strokes of Right Guard under those pits. This is especially true if said pits are abundant with bushy hair; those follicles will lovingly marinate in all that funk and musk. What is the point of a clean, stylish presentation if squiggly rays of funk are radiating off your person like a smelly character from a comic strip? But I digress, it is really simple gentlemen, sweat and funk does not work in your favor. Groom accordingly, use some deodorant. Sorry GQ, but it had to be said.

Standard Recommendations – Forsyth of Canada Neckties

Forsyth 2Contrary to popular belief, a good gentleman’s necktie does not have to be terribly expensive. Nor are they mandated to bear the name of an esteemed luxury brand. Trust, many quality neckties fly silently under the radar, as they are overshadowed by larger companies with better advertising and wider distribution. True, material and construction are key components that should not be ignored, and both components ultimately determine the asking price by the designer. So, it is not unlikely to encounter a necktie that is well above the $200.00 mark.

Nevertheless, there is level of diminishing returns as one pays more and more for a necktie. Sure, an expensive necktie may knot better and drape better than most economy level neckties. And some individuals may even try to shame you for wearing one that costs less than most affluent brands. But that is just silly. For an average gentleman, neckties that clock in at the price of a car payment is not sensible. If you want to treat yourself every now and again – go for it. However, if you plan on paying $200.00 per necktie on the regular, then prepare to have 5 neckties in your closet – maximum.

Now, I am not a devout follower of any particular brand, as I am willing to give any company a legitimate chance. And so on a shopping excursion at the mall, I discovered Forsyth of Canada wool neckties. They were pretty impressive. Beautiful patterns. Great weight and thickness. Soft, yet incredibly resilient. And the price was respectable, retailing at approximately $60.00 – a fair asking price for a quality wool necktie. The department store of choice was Lord and Taylor, so they were pleasantly on sale. Combined with an online coupon for 15 percent off (almost always available on their website), the retail price was effectively reduced to around the $25.00 mark. So, as you can see, a gentleman can score a well-made, stylish necktie at a very affordable price.

If you are in the market for a few new neckties, I humbly suggest you check out Forsyth of Canada, as they are high quality and reasonably priced. Von Maur and Lord & Taylor carry a variety of selections, so I suggest you begin your search there. Lord & Taylor in particular has what seems like a perpetual sale going on, and combined with an online coupon that you can either print or use on the website, the savings can be substantial. Happy shopping gents.

Brotherly Love

Suit Supply Pea CoatThe indomitable pea coat…immediately thoughts summon the visual of a rough and ready autumn/winter coat, more than ready to engage the impending onslaught of cooler temperatures. Fashioned with its signature double-breasted construction, heavy woolen fabric, and broad lapels for added wintry protection; the pea coat is a piece of outerwear that every – yes, every – gentleman should have hanging in the closet. Here, with the assistance of one sharp brother, Suit Supply shows you the how and why. Boom!

Black Thought

frederick_douglass“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard on incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and incur my own abhorrence.”

-Frederick Douglass

At the close of the regular business day, a gentleman is who he has to live with. If he constantly compromises his ideology for the appeasement of others, he is at risk of losing his identity. He is at risk of losing his credibility. Remaining true to your character is what makes you unique. Authenticity is paramount. It is essential, it is vital to a gentleman’s character. While it is often terribly difficult not to follow the crowd, you will receive the respect & admiration from people for standing on your principles. Most important, you will respect yourself. A gentleman should never acquiesce, he should never tacitly sacrifice his core beliefs because he is fearful of public derision. Stand firm. You are a gentleman of strong character and substance. You may incur differing amounts of ridicule, however, rest assured that those individuals admire your strength and resolve. And they should.

Heritage – Carter G. Woodson

carter g. woodson 2

  • Carter Godwin Woodson was born on December 19, 1875
  • Graduated from Douglass High School in 1897
  • Became principal of Douglass High School in 1900
  • Earned his Bachelor of Literature degree from Berea College in 1903
  • Earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Chicago in 1908.
  • Earned doctorate from Harvard University in 1912
  • Historian, educator, author, publisher, and journalist
  • Founder of Association for the Study of African-American Life and History in 1915
  • Authored The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861 in 1915
  • Founded The Journal of Negro History 1916
  • Became Dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Howard University in 1920
  • Founded The Associated Publishers in 1920
  • Authored The History of the Negro Church in 1922
  • Established Negro History Week in February 1926, which later expanded to Black History Month
  • Authored The Mis-Education of the Negro in 1933
  • Founded the Negro History Bulletin in 1937
  • Died at the age of 74 on April 3, 1950

Fashion Find – Florsheim by Duckie Brown Suede Loafer


Duckie Brown LoaferOne of the best times to score a serious deal is in the off-season. Meaning, if winter is approaching, a gentleman should steady his eye towards targeted sales for summer merchandise. You might be rewarded with a few days of warmth, but most likely your sartorial steal won’t get any play until a few months down the road. Nevertheless, since men’s style changes ever so slowly, last season’s purchase will still be fresh and new by the time you get to wear it. Warning – this does not apply if one chooses to dive into trendy waters, as trendy fashion is fleeting fashion. Stick with the classics and you will be fine. So, that brings us to a bargain I saw on the Internet this past weekend. Featured on the newly minted Saks Off Fifth website, these loafers from Florsheim by Duckie Brown are absolutely killer. Retailing originally at $230.00, these suede loafers are now a cool $111.99. Available in grey, navy, red, and turquoise; these killer kicks are perfect for spring and summer style. If this tickles your fancy, check out the link below, plenty of sizes are available right now. Happy shopping gents!

The Standard #7

denzel_washington_01Strongly influenced by meager beginnings, his character has been wisely steeled with sincere humility – resistant to the caustic nature of arrogance and hubris. He understands that his current elevated status does not preclude reflection and deep thought. Thoughts that include a former reality burdened with struggle and tribulation. It is this remembrance that grants an appreciation for what he has and not lamentation for what he does not have. His wisdom dictates a comprehension that recognizes happiness is not predicated on monetary reward. And happiness is not sustained by perpetual monetary fulfillment. Because when allowed, wealth possesses a peculiar proclivity for nurturing a vanity that slowly erodes a gentleman’s character. Therefore, his heart is absent conceit and pretension. Family. Friends. Community. Serving his God. Those are the things that make him whole. Those are the things that give him joy. Those are the things that keep him humble.

Gent Hints- Fun in the Details

Neumok GreenSure, as burgeoning gentlemen of style, we are instructed to carefully adopt a safe, conservative aesthetic to lay the framework for a future wardrobe draped in sophistication. And that is most certainly understandable; learn the basic rules first, and then smartly implement the necessary modifications that best characterize your individuality. Suffice it to say, I am at that stage of personal expression that sometimes eschews the convention from which my style was erected upon. Hence the spinach green wingtip lace-ups. And the mossy socks sprinkled with sunny yellow polka dots. And the cobalt blue shoelaces. So, even those gentlemen with a predilection for tradition, shaking up your style every now and again should be welcomed. Style shouldn’t be too stiff; style should be fun. Here are a few pointers to help you achieve that goal.

  • Don’t divorce yourself from the basics. Yes, my shoes may be green, but for all intents and purposes, they remain true to the natural aesthetic of a classic brogue wingtip. Embrace tradition, but remix it a little.
  • Color, color, and yes – color. Now, I cannot fully endorse wearing blinding amounts of it, but adding a smidgen here or there can be very beneficial.
  • Have fun with the details. Begin injecting life into your presentation by way of using accessories – socks, neckties, pocket squares, belts, shoelaces, tie bars, etc.
  • Of course, a polka dot suit (sorry Mr. Wade) is far too garish. Save the polka dots, paisley, and other unconventional patterns for small venues like the accessories mentioned above.
  • Confidence. If you are going to rock a pocket square adorned with cute little butterflies, a gentleman better have a copious amount of confidence oozing from his pores.

Black Thought

paul-robeson“Having been given, I must give.”

-Paul Robeson

Sometimes, when sequestered within moments of quiet solitude, thoughtful ruminations reveal how incredibly fortunate I am. Fortunate, not in regards to monetary value, rather, fortunate in regards to the many blessings I have reaped tremendous benefit. Yes, I have been given much. Now, I understand that some individuals hold fast to the belief that they earn everything with no, if not minimal, assistance required. Well, sometimes success acts as a vanity whose reflection never grows tiresome to the person looking at it. Look, one cannot be merciless, yet expect mercy. One cannot embrace avarice, yet expect generosity. One cannot espouse hate, yet expect love. Only speaking for myself, I have been granted favor and opportunity. I have been afforded mercy and forgiveness. I have been given love and grace. And because of those realities, it is of the utmost importance that I give back. Giving back – it could arrive in the form of your time, an inspirational word, a much needed hug, or an important professional opportunity. No one ever truly does it on their own. Someone, right now, needs you. And you may need someone. Go ahead, give of yourself and surely you will be given.

Style & Substance – Bold Pattern & Color

Tie Bar PlaidBecause, in a sartorial landscape that highly favors muted color and restrained pattern, the unspoken rule of conservative attire begs to be broken. And any stylish gentleman will confess, the occasional introduction of aggressive color and dynamic pattern is what really designates him as being well-dressed. To be well-dressed, a gentleman must be well-rounded with his style. A wardrobe bereft of color or pattern is a wardrobe that lacks much-needed vitality. So, go ahead, stray from the comforting confines of familiarity. Break from the status quo. Trust me, your presentation will flourish from the injection of energy.

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