The Standard #51

To be sure, the thoughtful gentleman understands that every moment of significance carries meaning. Moments matter. This is especially true for the gentleman that has embarked upon the journey of fatherhood. Understandably, the journey is an arduous one, replete with important occasions that beg the focused attention and participation of a father. This is non-negotiable. Hopefully, this active role fosters an intimate relationship between father and child grounded in an appreciation and love exclusive to both involved parties. For example, approximately three years ago, my daughter was experiencing respiratory distress that prompted an expeditious visit to the emergency room. My wife needed to be home with our newborn son since, ironically, a hospital isn’t the best spot for a newborn outside of the initial birth. So I stayed with my daughter through a series of evaluations and treatments until she was discharged.

During the entirety of the event, I provided a calming and reassuring presence for her, as you can expect the circumstances would be quite frightening to a two-year-old. Now, some may think it odd, but I took pictures and videos during our stay in the hospital. I wanted to capture this moment in time; this moment that further strengthened our bond as father and daughter.  To her, I was her protector – a source of depended comfort and safety. To me, she was my ward – simply my little baby girl. I had to be there for her. And every now and again – three years later – I still look at pictures and videos from those days we shared together. And upon viewing them, the emotions from that day come flooding back – in a positive way. Despite the circumstances, I cherish that time we shared together.

Now, I don’t assert that a father and child need to experience an extreme event to form a healthy, caring connection. However, I am asserting that a father should never shy away from moments with his kid(s), no matter how large or small. And he should embrace opportunity fully and make the most of it. Sure, a gentleman probably won’t engage in every waking event, but an honest effort is definitely demanded. There possibly can be a myriad of chances at a gentleman’s disposal: attending a recital, helping with homework, attending children’s school events, etc. Do not be mistaken, inaction is actually a conscious action. Gentlemen, as fathers, ensure the present-day with your kids isn’t a missed opportunity that becomes a distant past that you regret in the future. Make the most of your moments now!

Black Thought

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”

-Booker T. Washington

Sure, it would be easy enough to become enamored by the seemingly authoritative, accomplished status of a wildly successful individual. The mere presence of seductive visuals – such as expensive status symbols – has tremendous influence as they elicit, sometimes, misguided deference from the admirer. However, I challenge the reader to momentarily ignore such material objects. Instead, please divert your attention to the process that granted such accomplishment possible. What did that individual experience during their journey to success? Trust this: The strength of a gentleman’s character is forged on the anvil of adversity. Through weathering distress or difficulty, prosperity is procured by he who believes a challenge is an opportunity. An opportunity to steel your will and seize achievement despite any obstacles you might encounter. Don’t be impressed by person’s materialistic results. Those are nice and fine to look at. Nevertheless, be more impressed with the vanquished adversity that withered in the face of impending success. And then go forth and forge your own.

Gentlemanly Review – Jesse Jimz – Prime Cut Rinse Free Shave Oil

Regarding my wet shave, I don’t require much to satisfy modest expectations for a pleasant experience. At the top of my list of expectations is a close, smooth, irritation-free shave. Due to skin sensitivity, I never utilize a blade directly on my face – no matter what a brand guarantees in terms of touting an irritation, bump-free experience. I simply cannot take the risk. Therefore, I only shave my neck area just beneath my chin. This area isn’t nearly as sensitive as my face. Nevertheless, I still administer care as I shave because ingrown hairs are still a distinct possibility. Typically, I shave during a hot shower so my skin is soft and pliable, and I employ the usage of a good shave gel. The thicker and slicker the lather, the greater the barrier between the blade and my skin. Jesse Jimz Prime Cut – a shave oil I am current trialing – aims to eliminate the need for a shave gel altogether. Founded by Jesse Jimenez, Jesse Jimz is a premium line of skincare products for discerning gentlemen that desire more from their grooming products. Prime Cut is formulated with ingredients such as jojoba oil, vitamin E, and apricot kernel oil to help sooth and nourish the skin for an irritation-free wet shave. Without the presence of a robust lather, I was curious how my skin would react to just a shaving oil. Now, let’s talk performance.

Quick Observations

  • Jesse Jimz Prime Cut is a lightly scented oil that is noticeable fresh, but not terribly overbearing. The shaving oil rinses scent-free after a gentleman is done shaving.
  • As advertised, the shaving oil will not clog your razor blade with bothersome goops of hair and lather. However, there is a slightly oily residue that remains on the skin after your shave has been administered. A gentleman should wisely ensure that the targeted shaving area is thoroughly rinsed thereafter.
  • Now, although I did not achieve the closest shave possible using Prime Cut, it did perform adequately on light to medium stubble. However, I fear, for more substantial beard growth, Prime Cut may not perform as well. Thicker beards may require the presence of a considerable lather to provide sufficient protection from a blade’s edge. A quality shave cream or gel should not need repeated reapplications, whereas Prime Cut would most likely beg additional pumps of oil to replenish itself on the skin. Prime Cut provided a slick enough surface to protect against nicks and scrapes, but I could still feel the sensation of the blade sliding against my skin, much more so than when I use a shaving gel. My skin didn’t suffer from post-irritation, but it is something a gentleman will have to become accustomed.
  • I would definitely recommend Prime Cut as a complement to a gentleman’s preferred shave cream or gel. Using Prime Cut alone may not be sufficient for gentlemen with coarse, curly hair. It is my hope that the addition of a shaving cream or gel is added to the Jesse Jimz line of products.
  • Jesse Jimz retails for approximately $24.00 for a 2 oz. bottle, which should last a lifetime when used in conjunction with a shaving cream or gel.

Gent Hints – The Professional – Just Answer the Damn Question

Without question, interviewing for a new position can be a source of tremendous stress and anxiety. And it is this stress and anxiety that can cloud one’s thoughts, disrupt critical thinking, and impair the ability to communicate coherently. I have conducted or participated in a ridiculous amount of interviews during the past 5 years, and without question, not answering an interview question ranks very high amongst possible interview missteps. For clarification, I am not referring to a candidate simply refusing to answer an interviewer’s query. I am referring to a candidate missing the mark and not understanding what is being asked so a proper response can be formulated. It occurs all the time – trust me. If I am really trying to obtain information required to make a fair assessment, I will ask follow-up questions to unearth some nugget of valuable content. And again, sometimes, the candidate swings and misses for a second time. If you are reading this, and nerves get the better of you in interviews, or you simply need a little more polish – keep reading below for some helpful guidance.

  • Relax. Really – relax. Easier said than executed right? I would advise performing a calming exercise an hour or so before you actually sit down for the interview. When I am nervous, I tend to breathe faster and my heart rate quickens. Sometimes my stomach feels queasy. Most people don’t know this, but I am self-conscious regarding how I sound when I speak. Yet I’ve been in situations that required me to talk. And if I talked how I felt, my words would stumble and trip over each other. So, I intentionally have to slow my thoughts and rate in which I speak down. Pace your thinking. Pace your response. It is hard work. In a weird way, you have to unconsciously separate yourself from other individuals in the room and proceed as if you are having a relaxed, comfortable conversation with someone you feel the most ease with – yourself.
  • Now, for the first point to be performed flawlessly, one must be prepared. I suggest practicing with someone that you find comfort and will be able to offer constructive feedback. It would also help to educate yourself about the company and position that you are seeking employment. Misstep #1: Blindly applying for a position because you are desperately trying to escape a current work predicament. Never walk into an interview clueless. It can be viewed as insulting, as you are wasting valuable time that could have been afforded someone else.
  • A gentleman should never be afraid to bring a writing utensil and paper to an interview. You should ensure that you note key points of important questions for thoughtful analysis and response. Your interview should have enough allotted time for the interview itself and questions you may have for the interviewer. So don’t feel pressured to rush. Generally, interviews that I have participated in have been at least an hour, but candidates fly through and are done at the 25 minute mark. Misstep #2: Don’t leave that much time on the table! Use that time to think about what is being asked so you can give the best answer possible.
  • You should definitely engage in active listening to comprehend what is being asked of you. Misstep #3: Answering a question before the interviewer has even completed the sentence. Misstep #4: Talking over the interviewer while he or she is talking.
  • If the question is not clear, ask that the question be repeated or rephrased. Ask for clarity. Don’t be ashamed to ask for a better understanding of what is being asked.
  • If a gentleman struggles with a particular question(s), it would be wise to request a temporary postponement of a response and then circle back to the inquiry after you have (hopefully) collected your thoughts.
  • If you honestly cannot answer a question, well, respond honestly. You should never mislead your potential employee by dancing around the question with superfluous chatter laden with fancy words. A good interviewer will be able to see through your nonsense. And if you happen upon a really good interviewer, expect follow-up questions that will flummox and rattle you. And if you draw a really, really good interviewer; expect follow-up questions to an answer you provided 5 questions ago. We want to see if your story demonstrates consistency. Therefore, don’t feed BS to the interviewer – we’ll know.

Have you ever interviewed or hired someone? Chime in. We want to hear from you.

Gentlemanly Review – Ain’t No Half-Steppin’ – The Cole Haan Stitchlite Oxford and the Redefinition of Business Casual Footwear

The professional gentleman has always had a complicated, love-hate relationship with the concept of business casual. It is somewhat of an oxymoron is it not – business, yet casual? Business was business, and casual was casual. Nevertheless, the backend of the 20th century introduced an amalgamation of a business and casual option for gentlemen. Now the lines were strangely blurred. The ambiguity resulted in decades of indecisiveness regarding menswear and dress codes within the confines of corporate America. To be fair, there were some gentlemen that successfully navigated these new uncharted sartorial waters. Meanwhile, a bevy of others stumbled through the exercise quite literally with mixed outcomes.

And while the clothing component usually landed with a standard pair of khakis and a sport shirt; footwear really struggled to find its footing (see what I did there) in this new business casual environment. It wasn’t entirely the gentleman’s fault. The industry performed a disservice by offering some truly awful, unattractive selections for the already befuddled gentlemen. You can still spot a few on lonely shelves at a local DSW. However, in 1988, Cole Haan was acquired by Nike, and so began the infusion of urban contemporary style into men’s footwear that provided much-needed clarity. The early 2000s witnessed the introduction of the LunarGrand collection. The brogue and wingtip aesthetics of a traditional dress shoe was placed atop Nike’s proprietary Lunarlon cushioning system for the ultimate fusion of business and casual. The gentleman was afforded the appearance of a standard dress shoe for the office with sneaker-like performance.

Subsequently, Nike divested Cole Haan, but the company continued its innovation with their Grand.OS technology. Enter the Cole Haan ZeroGrand. Stylish. Comfortable. And insanely lightweight. To be honest, years back, I was a skeptic of this hybridization of formal and informal. Well, approximately 7-8 pairs later, I am definitely a ZeroGrand enthusiast. I receive consistent compliments whenever I wear my ZeroGrand oxfords in and outside of work. Cole Haan’s latest work is the ZeroGrand Stitchlite. It is the same innovative technology, but this time the upper receives the sneaker treatment with a woven knit construction. The woolen texture is a handsome standout, and for temperatures that hover between 30-50 degrees, it is a great complement for seasonal changes this time of the year.

To be absolutely certain, the Cole Haan ZeroGrand Stitchlite is ridiculously lightweight. In all seriousness, the accompanying shoebox literally feels empty when you pick it up. Why? Well, the ZeroGrand Stitchlite jettisons the leather, welt, cork, stacked heel, and whatever materials that lend weight to a gentleman’s shoe. Instead, the ZeroGrand Stitchlite employs construction that would generally be associated with an athletic sneaker. First, the Stitchlite’s upper is constructed with the following materials: 23% wool, 7% baby alpaca, 40% nylon, and 30% polyester. The fabric has incredible flexibility and breathability. It is water-resistant, but not waterproof.

The midsole is constructed of ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) and the outsole is rubber. The EVA midsole provides flexibility, cushion, and is shock-absorbent. The segmented rubber outsole provides more flexibility, traction, stability, and resistance to wear. The GRANDFØAM footbed offers yet more cushioning with an almost spongy feel. I attended an event – Donuts with Dads – at my children’s school which required me to divide time between both kids. Logistically speaking, one child was located at one end of the floor and the other child on the opposite end. Therefore, I spent the entire morning walking back and forth between both kids so I could participate in each class activity. And I must admit, the ZeroGrand did not disappoint. I cannot endorse playing basketball in the ZeroGrand, but it does offer comfort and on-the-go agility normally not offered by regular dress shoes.

After Donuts with Dad, I drove to the office to begin my workday. A quick word about the office: sitting at a desk all day can be hazardous to a gentleman’s health. A sedentary lifestyle in the office can lead to obesity, high pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar. Health experts recommend that a workforce trapped within the confines of a cubicle environment should dedicate time during the day for periodic standing and walking. It is not uncommon to see fellow colleagues switch out their standard dress shoes for sneakers as they take walk breaks during the workday. However, with the ZeroGrand, the requirement to switch shoes is all but eliminated. You can perform periodic walks around the office and look great in the process. Now, let’s dive a little deeper with what may be deemed as favorable or unfavorable for the gentleman.

Potentially Unfavorable

  • The ZeroGrand Stitchlite is water-resistant but is certainly not waterproof. Speaking plainly, it would be best to avoid torrential rainfalls or burly snowstorms. For gentlemen residing in specific locations, the Stitchlite is very much a seasonal shoe.
  • I did not experience any accidents, however, I do not believe the knit upper will be as forgiving to dirt or stains as its leather counterparts. It would be wise to address any grime or mishaps promptly.
  • Because of the unstructured nature of the knit upper, the Stitchlite may feel a little large. There is a lot of “give” to the shoe. Nevertheless, thick to moderately thick hosiery may resolve this issue by filling out excess space.
  • Depending on the model, the ZeroGrand oxford collection retails for $180-230. However, Cole Haan offers a tremendous amount of sales throughout the year, so procuring a pair below retail should be easy. However, even retail represents a great deal for a quality shoe in my opinion.
  • Depending on your locale, the Stitchlite may only be suitable for the Fall and Spring, although late summer is definitely a possibility as well. It is definitely not constructed for inclement weather.
  • Given the Stitchlite has a sneaker bottom, having it resoled will be quite cumbersome, even perhaps for an experienced cobbler.

Favorable

  • The ZeroGrand Stitchlite is incredibly stylish. The woolen upper is a unique interpretation of the traditional dress oxford. As a highly polished leather dress shoe adds dignified grace to a gentleman’s presentation. Here, the woolen texture of the Stitchlite adds depth and richness to the upper. The knit upper insulates nicely against chilled temperatures without making one’s feet sweat.
  • Insanely lightweight, the ZeroGrand is perfect for travel and commuting. Boasting a sneaker-like feel, a gentleman does not have to worry about comfort or cushioning. The midsole and outsole are extremely flexible; bending and molding itself to the gentleman’s unique gait.
  • Historically, Cole Haan has always offered a beautiful array of color combinations that can perfectly complement any gentlemanly ensemble. I especially like the color choices for their soles. I missed out on a pair of sandy cream Stitchlites with a brick red sole. As soon as that pair went on sale, the stock was completed depleted. Damn.
  • Unlike leather, creasing has not been an issue due to the construction of the woven knit upper. The knit upper has a lot of flexibility and give, but it reverts back to its original shape. I would still recommend shoe trees, although the shoe paper that they arrive with will also suffice nicely.
  • Some gentlemen may not want to admit it, but there is a certain level of vanity that coincides with purchasing and wearing attire. Everyone likes to look and feel their best. The Stitchlite will definitely make you stand out. The odds are in your favor that no one else in your immediate area will be rocking the same pair of ZeroGrands that you are wearing. They are fashion-forward and will surely garner compliments. I receive praise consistently regarding my ZeroGrand kicks.
  • The ZeroGrand Stitchlite represents business casual the way it was envisioned – start with a formal aesthetic and slowly add informal elements to the mix. Conversely, one can start with a casual foundation and then introduce formal details. The Stitchlite was made for pressed khakis, crisp sport shirts, cotton or corduroy sport coats (pocket square optional), and some natty socks. And given its versatility, the Stitchlite can, of course, be worn with denim jeans on strictly casual days.

Gentlemen’s Standard Approved
Disclosure: TGS was not financially compensated for this post. Item was purchased for personal use. The opinions expressed are completely my own based on my experience.

The Standard #30

A man who fails to meet or exceed the level of expectation that he smugly demands of others should abstain from such demands in the first place. Intoxicated by grandiose delusions of false importance, said individual will never earn a modicum of respect from his peers, as he will be viewed as a fraud lacking substance and depth. Effective leadership does not consist of hollow rhetoric and anemic work ethic. Effective leadership does not belittle or ignore other viewpoints. An acolyte of arrogance, a practitioner of presumption and pretentiousness – please expect the absence of any deference from other individuals. You will duly receive what you give. A gentleman shall be judged by his deeds and examples. Ensure that you uphold the same standard you will hold others accountable for. Otherwise, a gentleman will never be an owner of credibility. Own your standard. Reinforce your credibility. Rightfully earn respect from your peers.

Black Thought

“The true accolade was not only my father saying he was pleased, but that my grandmother would have been proud of me.”

William H. Hastie

Whether it is chronicling my adventures as a father here on this blog or being acknowledged by an individual while out in public, I generally receive positive affirmations regarding how I carry myself as a father. I am not so arrogant to bask in imaginary adulation and admiration, I receive any compliment humbly and move on. Nevertheless, after watching the latest ESPN 30 for 30 about the life and times of Dennis Rodman, I began to ponder about what attributes does a man require to be considered a good father. What drives some men to be good fathers while others falter? Why do some men from similar backgrounds embark upon dissimilar paths? A tearful Rodman expressed the want to be a good father and admitted his shortcomings. Yet that penitence did not offer comfort or solace to his children that yearned for fatherly love, for his contrition was absent meaningful action as a father.

Now, it is my sincere belief that no man, when faced with the prospect of becoming a father, willingly and consciously wants to fail as a parent. Rather, I believe some men are woefully equipped mentally, emotionally, and intellectually prior to becoming a father. We are all flawed. And the stress and pressure of fatherhood only work to exacerbate those human flaws. Nevertheless, I humbly consider myself a good father. I have been asking myself why lately. I check all the proverbial boxes for environmental conditions that should be a strong indicator of failed fatherhood. I was born in Detroit, Michigan and raised in a single-parent household that relied upon public assistance to make ends meet. There were other extenuating circumstances, but I will retain some simplicity here for the audience. My point should be clear to the audience – growing up as a young black male in a large urban city had some challenges to be sure.

So, how did I become an exception and avoid becoming a negative statistic? Well, after a few days of thinking, I surmised that the foundation of being a good father is constructed upon sound moral character, fidelity to responsibility, and a clear understanding of sacrifice. The two most prominent figures in my life – my mother & grandmother – fashioned the template that formed the man that I am today. With the aforementioned attributes in my mind, I was mainly driven by two directives: I never wanted to bring shame or disrespect to my family and I wanted to be the type of man that they could view with pride. And now, that way of thinking is extended to how I raise my children. This is what drives me to be the man and father that they will view with love and pride. Gentlemen – what motivates you to be the best father to your children?

Gentlemanly Review – Acqua Di Gio Georgia Armani – Profumo

Well, autumn 2019 has settled in nicely here in Michigan. Greeted by cool morning dew on his lawn and perhaps his vehicle, the seasonally prepared gentleman moves to convert his summer style to one that fully embraces fall. Aside from employing progressively heavier outerwear and thicker fabrics, recruiting a fragrance that embodies the current season is important too. Now, my personal taste in cologne generally gravitates towards heavier, robust scents with somewhat of an earthy personality. As of late, I have been testing and trialing Acqua di Gio Profumo by Giorgio Armani. Released in 2015, Profumo is the follow-up to the wildly popular Acqua di Gio that was launched in 1996. Now, while Profumo retains the original’s aquatic sensibilities, it introduces a batch of floral greens and incense to offer a contrasting depth and richness. Is it the perfect fall cologne for you? Well, continue reading below and decide for yourself.

Observations

Top Notes: Bergamot, Aquatic Notes

Middle Notes: Sage, Rosemary, Geranium

Base Notes: Patchouli, Incense

  • The presentation of the glass bottle is simple, almost identical to its predecessor, except Profumo arrives in a slightly opaque black flask. The metallic spray nozzle is topped by a black top that matches the body. The brand’s name is featured in metallic silver across the body of the bottle. The glass is moderately thick and has a good weight to it.
  • Acqua di Gio Profumo starts with a moderate explosion of bergamot. It’s a nice little pop, but it is subdued. The citrus tones are nicely balanced by clean, fresh aquatic notes as it begins a smooth transition to the middle and base notes. Again, the beginning isn’t terribly strong, but a gentleman should proceed with caution and demonstrate restraint with his applications. Targeting the chest, abdomen, and shoulders yielded the best results regarding projection for me.
  • The heart and base notes consist mainly of sage, rosemary, geranium, and patchouli – a collection of soft, aromatic greens that blend well with the strong temperament of incense. Regarding application, I estimate that 3-5 sprays should be more than sufficient, but I suggest that you wisely experiment with what works for you. Depending on the application, a gentleman should be able to extract 7-8 hours of performance. Its projection is decent and not terribly offensive. Profumo is an Eau de parfum – meaning a higher concentration of aromatic compounds versus eau de toilette – so care should be taken during application. I went overboard one day with about 7-8 sprays and it was too much.
  • In my humble opinion, Acqua di Gio Profumo is meant for the mature gentleman that loves an earthy, mildly spicy scent that starts with a mild burst of citrus but quickly settles into deep and warm territory. Profumo is touted as a fragrance that can be worn year-round. However, I think Profumo is better suited for the fall and winter. I believe Profumo is also best suited for affairs during the evening as well. Nevertheless, Profumo is fine for day affairs and can be worn both casually and professionally. It is a solid fragrance, but I wouldn’t label it as an exceptional standout. However, if your cologne collection is bare, it is worth checking it out for possible purchase.
  • Acqua di Gio Profumo can purchased in the following sizes: 1.35 oz. ($70.00), 2.5 oz. ($98.00), 4.2 oz. ($135.00) – Available at Macy’s, Nordstrom, Sephora, Von Maur, and other fine men’s department stores.
  • Gentleman’s Rating: 3.75/5.00

Gentlemen’s Standard Approved
Disclosure: TGS was not financially compensated for this post. Item was purchased for personal use. The opinions expressed are completely my own based on my experience.

Daddy Diary – Be a Father to Your Child – 10 Essential Parenting Skills & Responsibilities That Every New (Or Not So New) Father Should Embrace

My opening statement may be slightly harsh. However, to be perfectly frank and candid, some men just are not built for this thing called fatherhood. Unfortunately, this thing called fatherhood does not come a written manual. And, if you were to query a large sample of individuals, they would assert that parenthood itself is not suited for everyone – regardless of gender. Sure, there is no shortage of books on the market that provide some informative, smart, and well-intentioned guidance.

Nevertheless, every possible action required by a parent cannot be anticipated or scripted. Some of the parenting knowledge that I have extracted over the course of the last 5 years has been trial and error. There are some things that cannot be learned from a book. I have learned that fatherhood owes much to natural instinct, forethought, sacrifice, and sometimes just plain common sense. Nevertheless, I would be misleading the audience if I allege to have never referenced a book or scoured the Internet thoroughly for parenting information. Generally, the exercise is hit or miss. I found a lot of lists missing in-depth information for new fathers.

Therefore, I have decided to compile a detailed list of skills and pieces of advice for the gentleman; information that may not be readily available in a book or compiled on the Internet. This list is by no means an exhaustive list; as parenting is an organic and ever-changing journey. Becoming a new father can be absolutely terrifying and petrifying. Trust me, there is grit and grind to parenting. It is involved and it is exhaustive mentally, emotionally, and physically. To quote Furious Styles (G-rated version): Any fool with a penis can make a baby, but only a real man can raise his children. Again, many men aren’t built for the grit and grind to come with being a new dad. So, let’s explore some essential responsibilities every new father should take up. Continue reading

Black Thought

“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.

What I’m Wearing – Style & Substance – Stetson Plaid Wool Driver Cap

At its core, a gentleman’s style is fiercely intimate; it is a sartorial expression of one’s personality and identity. It is a representation and presentation of self. More than a decade ago when I made the conscious decision to overhaul my look, I was very mindful regarding my selection of men’s clothing and accessories. Being quiet and reserved, I wanted my attire to typify my character with an appreciation for modesty, grace, and class. That being said, it is very important that a gentleman adopt a level of consistency, as in a signature look that identifies him readily to the public. Underrated, but an item that can definitely be classified as a signature is the gentleman’s hat. Think Samuel L. Jackson’s Kangol. Ne-Yo’s fedora. Walter White’s Heisenberg pork pie. Or Cam Newton’s…wait…scratch the last example; but you get the point.

And so, given my struggle with stubborn hair follicles, hats were an easy choice to incorporate into my burgeoning ensemble. Much like Samuel L. Jackson, I hold an affinity for the driver cap and schoolboy cap. This particular style of hat is a perfect business casual and casual companion. Generally, I don’t wear hats in the summer because of my propensity to sweat, and an additional garment layer only increases my body temperature. Autumn, early winter, and spring present the perfect opportunity to showcase a stylish brim. Pictured here is a birthday gift from my wife – a plaid wool driver cap from venerable brand Stetson. The Stetson brand has been making fashionable hats since 1865, and this hat is not any different. I spotted this handsome selection in Von Maur during a leisurely stroll during my lunch. I am a simple man, so birthday gifts for myself aren’t terribly difficult to select. Appropriate for the season, this grey wool driver cap boasts an all-over plaid with hues of olive, purple, blue, and burgundy.

For this much style, the driver cap is a very affordable $30.00. Treated properly, this hat should provide dutiful service for many years to come.

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