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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.

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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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