Style & Substance – Rampley & Co. – Pocket Squares

Because, for the discerning gentleman that appreciates a polished presentation, the true characterization of personal style is based upon the intimacy of detail. It is the thoughtful approach to coordinating the discreet sartorial elements that comprise one’s ensemble. The separation of thought is clear. There is a defined distinction between a deep consideration for one’s appearance and the act of merely selecting clothing from a nearby clothing basket. Subtle details grant the biggest differences in a gentleman’s outfit. The turquoise imbued shoelaces. The incredible softness of a cashmere necktie. The elaborate motif belonging to a silk pocket square with hand-rolled edges. Or, in other words, a pocket square from the Rampley & Co. collection.

Photo credit: Glen Palmer for The Gentlemen’s Standard

 

Founded with the guiding principles to offer eye-catching designs built on exemplary craftsmanship and superb materials; Rampley & Co. embraces the mission to bring British luxury to the worldwide marketplace. Partnering with prestigious museums, institutions, and artists; Rampley & Co. offers unique patterns and designs on premium fabrics such as linen, silk, and tweed. Because of its distinctive design, the best attribute of a Rampley & Co. pocket square is the varied look each fold presents when housed in the breast pocket.

Photo credit: Glen Palmer for The Gentlemen’s Standard

 

With its undisclosed details known only to the wearer, it is the aforementioned intimacy of detail that grants a gentleman the projection of sly confidence. That is what I desire the most – being proud of an artful ensemble. Trust, a well-coordinated outfit often exudes personality and charm. A silk pocket square adorned with a large hummingbird in the center with a smaller identical motif sprinkled throughout, well, this square screams nothing but personality. It’s light. It’s vibrant with color. And it’s large enough so it does not feel paltry in a gentleman’s breast pocket. The only downside: It’s going to cost you. Most times, being stylish does carry a monetary requirement – the scope of financial strain varying from gentleman to gentleman. A pocket square from Rampley & Co. will cost approximately between $64.00 and $97.00. I humbly suggest you take a look at their offerings, as their collection is quite striking.

Photo credit: Glen Palmer for The Gentlemen’s Standard

https://www.rampleyandco.com/

Standard Recommendations – Wurkin Stiffs – Magnetic Collar Stays

I am old friends with Wurkin Stiffs and their famous magnetic collar stays – we go way back in the day. Well, at least the earliest days of my adventures in blogging, when my preferred blog-publishing service was Blogger. The year was 2008. I spotted an advertisement in Men’s Vogue – yes, that was actually a magazine for gentlemen years 2005-08 – that touted the benefits of securing one’s collar with its power stays. Now, standard collar stays are intended to provide structure and weight via the underside of a gentleman’s shirt collar. Collar stays help keep the gentleman’s collar in place and resists the collar’s unintended nature to curl at the tips. Unruly, wayward collars can be annoying and ruin an otherwise elegant presentation. Finer shirts arrive with simple plastic collar inserts. Some, however, come equipped with metal collar stays providing strength and much-needed longevity.

Wurkn Stiffs stepped up the game by offering magnetic collars – guaranteed to hold a gentleman’s collar neatly in place. The collar stay slides into the collar insert as per usual, and then the collar stay is held in position by a strong magnetic “button” that is placed underneath the shirt. The shirt collar can be adjusted per the gentleman’s preference. Now, perhaps you are thinking: Securing one’s shirt collar with a magnetic accessory is an unnecessary exercise in affectation. However, this small measure of prepping your collar provides a tremendous visual benefit to your appearance. It only takes a few seconds, and adjustments throughout the day is minimal – if any adjustments are required at all. Three lengths are available: 2.0, 2.5, and 2.75 in pairs of one or three.  One pair will retail for $20.00 while 3 pairs retail for a cool $39.50. Ten years later from my first introduction, the Wurkin Stiffs power stays are still a must for a gentleman’s collection of style accessories.

For more purchasing information, please visit https://wurkinstiffs.com/ for details.

Standard Recommendations – Anthony Facial Scrub

Humbly offering full disclosure to the audience, the concept of exfoliating my face was completely foreign to my skin care regiment. As a matter of complete truthfulness, I cannot exactly define my skin care regiment as a meticulous regiment at all. The absolute bare minimum entailed a rudimentary scrub and rinse by way of bar soap; followed by a complementary application of body lotion – not the most gentle, skin-friendly routine in the world. Nevertheless, I was an average gentleman, ignorant to world of pampering of one’s skin. Pamper is perhaps a slight exaggeration, however, dutiful attention to detail is something I did not embrace in regards to my face. However, over the course of past years, I have slowly incorporated skin care products and tactics to properly address my skin concerns.

One such tactic is the process of exfoliation. In regards to the skin, it is the process of removing old, dead skin cells from the epidermis. When skin cells regenerate and old cells skin die, the accumulation brings about a duller complexion and the likelihood of acne increases. Exfoliation removes the collection of these dead skin cells and dirt, thus affording a brighter, cleaner look for the skin. Exfoliation can be achieved with various methods, however, this post explores the utilization of granular facial scrubs. Due to the skin sensitivity of one’s face, I generally employ the services of a light exfoliating agent as anything abrasive can deliver more harm than benefit.

An excellent choice for such a task is the Anthony Facial Scrub. It contains algae, aloe vera, chamomile, and vitamin C – all the skin nourishment a gentleman’s face begs for. Unlike other scrubs I have used in the past – such as St. Ives Apricot Scrub – this scrub is not overly granular. And pleasantly, it generates a generous and rich lather upon being worked into the skin. It is almost akin to a skin cleanser. The scent retains a fruity hint but it is not obnoxious. As with other exfoliating facial scrubs, I would humbly recommend utilizing this product 1-2 times weekly. And remember, since you are performing the process of stripping away a superficial layer of skin, follow up with a good moisturizer to replenish hydration and our skin’s natural oils. I am trialing a moisturizer from Kiehls currently, so those results are to follow. The Anthony Facial Scrub is a little pricey – $36.00 for a 8 oz. bottle – but the experience and results are well worth it. Anthony Facial Scrub or any of their products can be purchased from their website, Sephora, Nordstrom, or any other fine men’s department store.

Standard Recommendations – Jack Black – Turbo Body Bar Scrubbing Soap w/ Blue Lotus & Lava Rock

Alright, allow me to address a significant detail that could prove to be problematic for some gentlemen: The Jack Black Turbo Body Bar is going to cost you $15.00 per bar. Yes, there is not a need to reload the page and read the previous sentence again – you read it correctly the first time. Now, I won’t gloss over the price-tag and pretend that this would not pose an issue for the average gentlemen. Because, in all likelihood of a gentleman’s standard shopping practice, he can procure an 8-10 count of regular soap for far less and utilize it for far longer. Without any doubt, the Jack Black Turbo Body Bar is a specialty soap. So, what makes this soap so special that a gentleman is willing to drop $15.00 on a single bar? Well, I am happy that you posed that question, let’s discuss the why in more detail.

As I have become more comfortable, relaxed, and confidant with my grooming regimen; I have settled upon the reality that it perfectly fine for a gentleman to pamper himself. Disabuse yourself of thoughts that include fanciful affectations accompanied by a long, drawn-out preoccupation with a mirror. Seriously, it is not that serious. Caring about one’s appearance need not be complicated; it only requires thoughtful, detailed attention to hygiene and health. Now, regarding the Jack Black Turbo Body Bar, this is one of the best body bar soap that I have ever used. First and foremost, the lather that it generates is absolutely incredible. It is wildly rich and ridiculously foamy. With only 3-4 circular rotations in your washcloth, a gentleman will certainly enjoy a lather that builds and builds during his entire time in the shower. The bar itself is gigantic – it didn’t fit into my meager plastic soap dish. It is double the size of average bar soap by far.

And with its brawny body, the soap’s fragrance is powerful and robust without being too heavy. Its pungent aroma will surely dominate your bathroom, but in a good way. The exfoliating qualities arrive with a modest granular texture that isn’t overly abrasive, however, a gentleman can expect soft and smooth after exiting the shower. It is gentle on the skin, but it gets the job done. Now, the label does tout the ability of this soap being a pain exfoliant, but I cannot attest to that fact. At the time of usage, my back was really sore, but I did not enjoy any noticeable difference in pain levels after using this soap. Nevertheless, the Jack Black Turbo Body Bar will leave no doubt that it is working hard, generating a superb lather, and dutifully scrubbing away dirt without leaving any nasty residue. And actually, I did notice the absence of soap scum that sometimes builds up from regular soap.

Now, let’s revisit that price-tag. One can argue that $15.00 for a bar of soap is steep. In the interest of full disclosure, I was able to use a single bar for approximately 1 month before I had to open another bar. Sure, your standard soap from Target will perhaps last longer. However, as I stated before, this is a specialty soap and there is nothing wrong with a gentleman that pampers himself. The Jack Black Turbo Bar would make a great Father’s Day gift or really a gift for any occasion. This is a product that I definitely recommend for a gentleman that wants to experience an invigorating washing experience – you won’t regret it.

Product Specifications

Natural Lava Rock: gently polishes skin, leaving skin supple, smooth and clean

Blue Lotus and Ginkgo Biloba: help combat fatigue and stimulate the senses

Murumuru and Shea Butters: nourish and hydrate skin

Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Palmate, Water, Potassium Palm Kernelate, Fragrance, Palm Kernel Acid, Pumice (Lava Rock), Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Glycerin, Potassium Palmate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Sodium Gluconate, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Protein, Sodium Chloride, Palm Acid, Nymphaea Coerulea (Blue Lotus) Flower Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Bran, Avena Sativa (Oat) Bran, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Echinacea Angustifolia Extract*, Cymbopogon Schoenathus (Lemongrass) Extract*, Juniperus Communis Fruit Extract*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract*, Alvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract*, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Extract*, Rumex Cripus (Yellow Dock) Root Extract*, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Petroselinum Crispum, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Tetrasodium EDTA, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492) *Certified Organic

For more product details, please visit Jack Black HERE for information.

Face Time – Natural Skincare – Brickell Men’s Grooming Products

BrickellContinuing our coverage of skincare products specifically targeted toward the gentleman concerned with Father Time ravaging his skin wrinkle by wrinkle, today we explore Brickell Men’s Products. Offering a full array of products formulated to pamper a gentleman’s face and body, Brickell was kind enough to extend samples of their products that address the gentleman’s face. Touted as organic and all-natural, this is my second experience with such a product line. And truthfully, given the company’s mission to offer an organic alternative to its chemical brethren – why would I want to slather toxins on my mug? My skin needs all the help it can get. I’ve never been dedicated to organic products, but I am starting to change my stance on the matter. That being said, let’s examine how Brickell performs.

Observations

Beard Oil – Presented as an oil, but the feel is not greasy at all. Its fragrance is rather robust, definitely masculine, but not too overwhelming. The scent does not linger when applied to one’s beard – and that is a great benefit because the after shave has a scent all of its own. I don’t think both combined scents would be a problem, but if you use another after shave, the fact that the oil’s smell dissipates is nice. Application requires 3-4 drops into your palm as very little is needed to fully address your beard. Of course amounts will vary depending on the thickness of one’s growth. To fully benefit from the oil’s conditioning and hydrating capabilities, I humbly recommend utilizing it in the morning and in the evening.

Instant Relief After Shave – Light and masculine, the faint hints of coconut present itself with a warm welcome when applied to the skin. Once again, a little will take a gentleman a long way in terms of usage. Actually, I would really suggest that you monitor the amount you dispense, as I poured too much on one occasion and it required a good deal of rubbing before it was absorbed into my skin. Other than that, the after shave really is soothing to the skin, and will leave it very soft and pliable.

Renewing Face Scrub – Now, the face scrub is truly interesting. It is gelatinous in form and has a very strong, robust fragrance – almost woodsy in tone. The promise to energize your senses is a promise kept as the coffee extract and green tea have a very pronounced scent. It is a little too strong for my taste, but fortunately it does not linger once washed again. This particular scrub is also very granular, so if you have sensitive skin, the exfoliating grains may be bothersome. However, I know people who don’t feel as if they are really cleaning unless they can feel the product working. If you are this type of person, then this product is definitely for you. It should also be added that despite its extremely granular texture, Brickell promises that its scrub is still be suitable for sensitive skin.

Smooth Brushless Shave Cream – The interesting thing about the shave cream is it has a very light lather – it’s almost nonexistent. That may surprise a gentleman that is accustomed to shave creams that produce large, rich lathers. With the lack of lather, I was really concerned that my skin wouldn’t have the protection needed during shaving. Surprisingly, my skin was fully protected and my wasn’t left irritated at all. It seemed a little strange, but I surmise I have been psychologically conditioned to feel the need for big lathers. Brickell has succeeded in dispelling that notion.

Product Specifications

  • Aloe Vera is one of the best things you can put on your skin. It penetrates the skin to supply moisture to the tissue. Countless studies show how it does everything from fighting skin aging, treating acne, to healing irritated skin.
  • Jojoba naturally softens, moisturizes, and protects skin by creating a protective cushion on your skin. It reduces skin water loss, allow the skin to naturally heal itself after a shave or a long duration in the sun.
  • Shea Butter is a 100% natural cream chock full of vitamins A, E, & F. It’s a natural fat with moisturizing properties to help alleviate dry skin.
  • Fresh coconuts due to it’s amazing deep moisturizing abilities. It also strengthens your underlying skin tissue, in addition to removing excess deal cells on your skin’s surface (which make your skin look flaky in texture).
  • Vitamin E is one of the most critical antioxidants and free-radical killers known to man. It helps to heal and protect cellular membranes from free-radical damage.
  • Green Tea is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown in studies to slow down and potentially reverse some of the signs of aging.
  • Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally produced substance by the body which gives skin its volume and fullness. It’s the ultimate moisturizer capable of binding 1,800 times its own weight in water.
  • Olive Oil is a natural fat which gives skin a fuller appearance with a combination of Vitamin E and A. Studies have also shown it’s a powerful anti-aging agent, helping to fight free-radicals.
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) is found naturally in sugar cane. A large amount of research has shown AHA helps fight skin aging by facilitating the removal of dead skin cells.

I recommend Brickell grooming products for the gentleman that appreciates a sophisticated grooming regimen with a natural, rugged appeal. Brickell offers either a direct one-time purchase or a subscription service. I cannot speak to their subscription service, but I like the fact that you don’t have to lock yourself into a subscription service if it is not desired. There are a few products that I will be purchasing on my own accord to trial, more specifically – the purifying charcoal men’s soap. Yes – a charcoal bar of soap. Check back to read how that experience unfolds.

For more information please visit Brickell’s Men’s Products for further details.

Standard Recommendations – Anthony New York – Anthony Fresh 5

Anthony Fresh 5If your grooming regimen closely resembles my grooming regimen from approximately 10 years ago, you would probably agree it consists of the basics: soap, water, and body lotion. In my early 30s, I resolved myself to allocating the proper attention to my standard grooming routine and introducing a few upgrades to my bathroom flow. Moisturizers, exfoliating scrubs, cleansers balms, etc. were all married into my newly established lifestyle of hygienic care. Now, if you find yourself weighing whether or not your medicine cabinet or dopp kit requires a bit of retooling; the Anthony Fresh 5 Kit is a fantastic introduction into the curious world of men’s grooming.

The Anthony Fresh 5 kit will introduce you to a few quintessential grooming products that will instantly supplant your bar soap as the king in the shower. Because, for all intents and purposes, your bar soap is probably functioning as your body wash, your shaving cream, and your shampoo. Not good. A well-groomed gentleman requires specific hygienic tools to perform specific hygienic tasks. And this brings us to the Fresh 5 kit. The standouts in the Anthony Fresh 5 Kit is definitely the facial scrub, cleanser, and moisturizer. When used in tandem, my face was left with a feeling of freshness and softness.

The facial scrub and moisturizer both had a pleasant fruity scent that lightly faded away soon after application. The scrub had a light grainy feel, but not too rough where it irritated my skin. I was surprised that the facial scrub actually produced a moderately rich lather when worked into the skin, much more so than the cleanser. The cleanser, odorless by all accounts, washed away cleanly without any evidence of residue. The same can be stated of the facial scrub. The body wash is best used with a body sponge (or loofah if you’re that particular) to maximize its lathering capabilities. It has a mild woody fragrance and the eucalyptus really does wake up the skin. The shave cream had a light lather – I wish it was a bit richer – but is did provide more than sufficient protection for my skin during shaving. All in all, this is a great starter kit to own, give as a gift, or accompany you during travel.

Product Contents

  • Facial Scrub 2 fl oz
  • Shave Cream 1.0 oz
  • Invigorating Rush Hair + Body Wash 3.4 oz
  • Glycolic Facial Cleanser 1.0 oz
  • All Purpose Facial Moisturizer 1.0 oz

Retails at $30.00 (a $55.00 value) and is available Nordstrom, Sephora, Anthony.com, and other fine men’s stores

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.

Standard Recommendations – Victor & Rolf – Spicebomb Digital Art’ Eau de Toilette (Limited Edition)

Spicebomb Holiday 2015-1Just in time for the holiday season, Viktor&Rolf pixelizes camouflage to embellish the bottle of its iconic men’s cologne Spicebomb. Serious and masculine in tone, this warm and spicy fragrance is suitable for the sophisticated gentleman at the office or off the clock. This digital art limited edition of Spicebomb offers not only a fantastic fragrance, but it also presents to the wearer a uniquely designed bottle in the form of a contemporary pixelated design. This is a fragrance that wins our endorsement.

Gentlemanly Observations

Top Notes: Bergamot, Grapefruit, Elemi, Pink Pepper

Middle Notes: Cinnamon, Saffron, Chili

Base Notes: Leather, Tobacco, Vetiver

  • The introduction of the top notes is resoundingly deep and spicy. The warm scent can definitely be characterized as a heavier fragrance, but it is not too heavy to be deemed as overwhelming.
  • Slowly transitioning into the middle notes, the distinct presence of cinnamon, accompanied with faint hints of vanilla, can be appreciated for an extended period of time.
  • The scent settles nicely with sweet tones of tobacco and leather. However, the fragrance begins to slowly disappear after a few hours. Honestly, I wish the cologne’s finale lasted a bit longer.
  • Given that fact, a gentleman will be tempted to administer a few extra applications in the beginning. I would strongly dissuade a gentleman from taking such extreme measures. Given the relative strength of the top notes, applying too much in the beginning with aspirations of attaining a long-lasting ending will only result in a headache inducing nausea.
  • Therefore, I recommend dispensing 4-5 sprays from your glass replica hand grenade, and reserving its utilization for moments that don’t require an extended performance – a late evening engagement would suffice. Trust, it is a seductive scent, but don’t expect it to last from the early morning to late evening.
  • Spicebomb 3.4 oz $115.00 retail – Available at Nordstrom, Macy’s, Sephora, Von Maur or any fine men’s department store.
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.

Standard Recommendations – Nice Laundry – Hosiery

NiceLaundry_PrepsterLet’s exercise some gentlemanly candor here; residing on the hierarchy of sartorial importance, hosiery most likely hovers near the bottom. On the most basic level, the primary function of one’s hosiery is merely to act as a protective layer between one’s feet and footwear. However, some men have even relieved their hosiery of that obligation. Socks – a minute detail in style born out of necessity. Nevertheless, for the select few of sophisticated gentlemen, there is a working belief that every detail holds significance. Details thus make the stylish gentleman, as each detail carries an individual weight that reveals a gent’s character. And so we arrive at today’s endorsement – Nice Laundry. The Gentlemen’s Standard is no stranger to their excellent work – check out the review HERE.

NiceLaundry_PrepsterTrioPrices begin at $49 for six pairs of their standard stock. Their Exec offering is $59 for 6 pairs. And if you want to totally reinvent your sock collection, $99.00 will fetch you 18 pairs to kick-start your new hosiery endeavor. Patterns vary from reserved (solid colors) to adventurous (camouflage). The premium blend of cotton, nylon, and spandex guarantees supreme durability and comfort. After 1 year of wearing, washing, and drying (not recommended, but alas I did not commit full attention to the instructions); Nice Laundry delivers a high quality sock without blowing up your wallet. So, for this holiday season, if you’re rolling with the ubiquitous gift of hosiery for that special gentleman in your life; Nice Laundry is a fantastic gift for Christmas.

NiceLaundry_Prepster Bag

For ordering information, please check out Nice Laundry HERE for more details.

Standard Recommendations – The Nose Hair Trimmer

Panasonic TrimmerA gentleman’s grooming regimen usually entails the obligatory cadre of routine bathroom rituals: the fundamental shower or bath, the brushing and flossing of teeth, hair management, and the required application of moisturizers and deodorant. However, there are certain grooming requirements that largely go undetected or ignored. And as a gentleman ages, these grooming requirements can become problematic if left neglected. Case in point: A few months ago, I was experiencing a slight tickle inside my right nostril. Quickly surmising that I needed to blow my nose, I proceeded to relieve my nose of any mucosal debris, but alas it did not resolve the issue. Further inspecting my nose in the mirror, I was horrified to discover a long strand of hair swaying back and forth like a kite in a gentle wind.

Panicking, my mind raced – how many people had I spoken to with this unsightly, giant hair hanging out my nose? The resolution was simple: Go forth to a department store and purchase a nose hair trimmer. Sure, I incorrectly thought only men that served in World War II required the use of such a device, but now was not the moment to be prideful. No one would have to know what goes on in my bathroom – although now you do – just as long as I didn’t have hirsute nostrils come the next morning.

So there, I present to you an embarrassing moment in my mid-adult years. If you have this issue, trust, it only takes a few seconds to address, maybe once a month. The investment – the money and time – pales in comparison to the notion of having Cousin It camping out inside your nose. A gentleman can go all out and spend up to $50.00 for one or be frugal and procure a trimmer from a discount department chain such as TJ Maxx. I remember my electronics instructor from 11th grade, he had hair protruding from his both ears and nostrils. Not to mention that his chest hair was on a jail break from his dress shirt, but that is another blog post. But, anyway, I cannot allow myself to go out like that. You should not either.

Standard Recommendations – The Long Handle Shoe Horn

Long Handle Shoe HornRegarding our footwear, at one moment or another in our lives, we have probably committed the same sartorial shoe sin: haphazardly cramming one’s feet into an unsuspecting pair; unfairly treating them like worn, downtrodden slippers. Nothing can ruin an otherwise dapper presentation more than a dubious association with run-over kicks. So, in the spirit of simplifying a gentleman’s life, along with maintaining the appearance extending the life of his shoes, I highly recommend purchasing a shoe horn. Well, not just any shoe horn, I am espousing the virtues of a long handle shoe horn – preferably one with an ergonomic, rubberized handle and spring-aided, flexible head. Excellent for gentlemen with compromised ranges of motion, one can slip in and out of his beloved wingtips without crushing the counter and beating up the quarters. Relatively inexpensive, a long handle shoe horn can be procured at any reputable retail store or fine men’s department store. Definitely a wise investment, your back and your shoes will thank you immediately.

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