Review – Tommy John – Stay-up Dress Sock

It is perhaps unquestionable that gentlemen’s hosiery is a highly underrated accessory in your wardrobe right now. This is a safe space, feel free to submit your admission, there will be an absence of judgment in this small sliver of Internet space. Seriously, please identify another gentleman’s accessory that can be displaced or lost without a modicum of panicked concern. Displaying a posture of indifference, and a slight shrug of the shoulders, a gentleman will simply reach for a replacement pair and maybe restock his supply during a future department store venture. It is a painful, simple truth: Socks receive no love. Yet despite being taken for granted, they can become a source of intense irritability when performance is less than stellar. Whether falling victim to unraveling unseemly seams, unsightly holes in its material, or gradually losing its shape through the redundancy of wash and wear – a gentleman’s hosiery is more valuable than assigned credit.

And so, today, I explore the world of brand Tommy John. A tagline from their website: No adjustment needed. Now, I must readily admit, I have become accustomed to periodically adjusting my socks over the course of my day. In the day of the life of a sock, it is simply the nature of the sartorial beast. They may tend to sag a little, a gentleman will pull them up, and repeat as much is required. Now, one could employ the use of a sock garter to maintain the proper height for one’s hosiery, however the matter is not that serious – at least not to me. Nonetheless, sagging and shapeless sock can be a hassle, and the Tommy John brand asserts it can resolve this nagging issue with their premium line of socks.


  •  Stay Dry: Zoned ventilation keeps feet cool and dry
  • Zone Cushioning: Increased support, comfort, and extended wear
  • Light Compression: Improves and increases blood flow circulation
  • Arch Support: Light compression increases blood flow
  • InvisiGrip® Technology: Grips foot to ensure sock stays put

Directly out of the packaging, I could easily recognize that this line of hosiery was indeed premium quality. Composed of 65% Pima Cotton, 32% Nylon, and 3% Spandex; the touch was very soft and the construction was solid. I purposely allowed my toenails to grow to gauge if the fabric was durable enough to resist punctures – just joking. Nevertheless, the fabric had more than sufficient stretch and durability. Even after a routine trip in the washer and dryer, the stay-up dress sock retained its shape, color, and resiliency. Now, let’s address the original topic that this blog post commenced with – sagging. In all honesty, I read some reviews on the Tommy John website and was shocked to read that some customer still experienced sock sag.

Immediately, a gentleman will notice the difference between this sock and some mass market socks. They reach far over the calf, just below the kneecap, and I am 6 foot 1. It hugs the calf tightly and required no adjustment at all – it’s almost too good. It’s not too tight, but I definitely had to become accustomed to the snug fit. Even after washing, the fit was still snug around my calf. Regarding pricing, a gentleman is going to pay more than he would generally spend on socks. Being totally transparent, we would sooner spend dollars on a value pack from TJ Maxx or Marshals than a pair of socks retailing at $16.00. However, when considering the aforementioned headaches and hassles that arrive with mediocre product, spending more on quality is perhaps the best course of action to address your hosiery woes. Trust, it will definitely be worth it in the long run.

Gentlemen’s Standard Approved

For further information about Tommy John, please visit for details.

Style & Substance – Ford Motor Company – 2018 Ford Mustang

And then there was that time that I discovered myself, apparently slightly off-course, somewhere in Allen Park, Michigan with a 2018 Ford Mustang. Hello good people, today I will be detailing part two of my test-drive adventures with the 2018 Ford Expedition and Mustang. You see, that faithful morning at Ford World Headquarters – lovingly referred to as the Glass House – instructions were distributed among our media group directing all drivers to follow a predetermined course around the immediate area to induce a familiarity with each vehicle. Well, everything was proceeding as according to what was planned until Interstate 94 was introduced into the test-driving equation; along with a few indiscriminate semi-trailer trucks to make the situation more interesting.

Suffice it to say, I missed an exit and unexpectedly discovered myself separated from the group. Instead of lamenting and panicking about the situation, I resolved that this was a prime opportunity to examine the speed and agility of the 2018 Mustang. I did not want to stray too far away from Ford World Headquarters, so I needed to get back on track – and in a hurry. The 2018 Ford Mustang is well-suited to perform such a task. Equipped with a turbo-charged 5.0 liter V8 engine, 0-60 miles per hour in 4 seconds flat is possible. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine boasts 310 horsepower and 350 pounds of torque while the 5.0-liter V8 engine kicks out 460 horsepower and 420 pounds of torque.

The 2018 Ford Mustang has four active exhaust (equipped with quad exhausts) modes that a gentleman from which a gentleman can select. A beautiful, illuminated 12-inch instrument cluster displays the options: quiet, normal, sport, and track. The all-digital LCD instrument offers varying screen layouts, 26 color options and displays for up to eight gauges. The gentleman can take note of his favorite preferences regarding suspension, steering, and exhaust by saving them in the MyMode settings. New to the world of sports cars, I opted to drive in normal mode. First driving through residential streets, some concrete that had seen better days delivered a bumpy ride. It was not until Interstate 94 afforded the opportunity to unleash this beast on the (nearly) open road.

The Mustang did not have any issues responding to my request to swiftly accelerate around the semi-trailer truck in front of me. The handling was responsive and agile as I dipped around and emancipated it from the obstacle ahead and bolting for the nearest exit to turn myself around and get back on track. Despite its power and speed, I never felt as is I wasn’t in total control of the vehicle. I remained gripped to the road with each acceleration and nimble turn. Eventually, aided by the GPS on my cell phone, I was able to find my way back to Dearborn and Ford HQ.

2018 Ford Mustang Standard Specifications

  • AutoLamp Headlamps (automatic on/off)
  • Dual Bright exhaust with rolled polished tips
  • LED Headlamps with LED signature lighting – LED front park turn lamps – LED sequential tail lamps
  • Mirrors – body-color with integrated blind spot mirrors
  • Rear-window defroster
  • 2.5″ front brake rotors with 2-piston calipers
  • 12.5″ rear brake rotors with single-piston calipers
  • AdvanceTrac® with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) – Electronic Line-Lock (track use only)
  • Independent rear suspension – Selectable-effort Electric Power-Assist Steering (EPAS)
  • Vented 4-wheel disc brakes
  • 2.3L EcoBoost®
  • 3.31 limited-slip rear axle – 6-speed manual transmission – Standard 17-inch EcoBoost®Wheel
  • Air extractor hood vents
  • Launch control (track use only; requires manual transmission)
  • P235/55R17 A/S tires
  • Tire Inflator and Sealant Kit

2018 Ford Mustang Standard Specifications

  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Manual climate control
  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • Satin Chrome Instrument cluster, register vents and cup holder surrounds
  • Carbon zag instrument panel applique
  • Cabin air filter – Center console with full armrest – Map Light
  • Chrome-accent 4-gauge instrument cluster
  • Cupholders (2) – Driver footrest
  • Easy Fuel® capless fuel filler – Floor mats – carpeted, front
  • Illuminated, locking glove compartment – Intelligent Access with push-button start – Interior trunk release
  • Leather-wrapped parking brake handle – Leather-wrapped steering wheel with cruise and audio controls and tilt and telescoping steering column
  • Map pockets – backside of driver and front-passenger seats (N/A with optional RECARO® seats)
  • MyKey®
  • Power driver and passenger windows with global open
  • Powerpoints – 2
  • Dual Illuminated Visor Vanity Mirrors
  • Track Apps™
  • 6-speaker sound system, AM/FM Stereo with single CD
  • SYNC®
  • Two smart-charging USB ports
  • 2-way manual front-passenger seat
  • 4-way adjustable front head restraints – 4-way manual driver’s seat – 50/50 split folding rear seat – Cloth front bucket seats

Mark Schaller – Mustang Brand Manager

Gentlemanly Pros

  • The 2.3 and 5.0 liter engines both pack enough punch that will satisfy any lover of sports cars. The Mustang handles well and excels in speed effortlessly when presented with a clean, unobstructed terrain.
  • The all-digital 12-inch LCD instrument cluster is next-level technology that grants a personalized feel that is unsurpassed and does nothing but heighten the driving experience even more. It is definitely eye-catching and engaging.
  • Customized option to program your Mustang to start utilizing one of the four exhaust modes: quiet, normal, sport, and track. Be nice to your neighbor and start it up in quiet mode.
  • Beautiful interior and exterior. The exterior is sleek and confident in its appearance while the interior is modestly handsome with its approach to styling.

Gentlemanly Cons

  • Without the upgraded performance package – MagneRide – rugged streets could possibly reduce the smoothness of the ride.
  • If you are a novice in the arena of muscle cars, it would behoove you to become intimately acquainted with the owner’s manual. Given its high customization, a rookie – such as myself – will find the controls a little complex.
  • For a gentleman my size, the cockpit was a little tight. The plush interior certainly provided a measure of comfort, however, a brother such as myself could benefit from some elbow room. And no one over 5 feet would probably be able to be seated behind me, as my seat would most likely be as far back as possible.

The 2018 Ford Mustang is designed for the rakish gentleman that appreciates power in presentation and is unafraid of announcing his presence with an assertive, bullish selection for his transportation. With the ability to incorporate a customized touch with bold new technology, the aforementioned gentleman will truly be capable of making the 2018 Ford Mustang uniquely his own. The starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $25,585 is honestly quite modest given the intricacy of control and power. The price stars to climb as more customization packages are added. If you are a muscle car enthusiast, the revamped Mustang arrives with all the sexy, chiseled, and aggressive features the performance-minded gentleman would desire.

For more information, please visit to learn further details.

Style & Substance – Ford Motor Company – 2018 Ford Expedition

Sheer, utter disbelief is perhaps the best way to describe the emotions that welled inside me as I opened an e-mail correspondence regarding a personal invitation to join Ford Motor Company at an exclusive media drive program. The focus of the event: an up close and personal viewing of the all-new 2018 Ford Expedition and new 2018 Ford Mustang. The 2-day event entailed a private media dinner at The Henry in Dearborn, Michigan; presentations from the chief program engineers for both vehicles; and the opportunity to experience both vehicles on the road. And what an opportunity – a truly unique opportunity – this proved to be; driving around metro Detroit during winter would surely place both vehicles under detailed scrutiny.

Fortunately, for the event, Mother Nature was merciful and blessed the day with temperatures in the 40 degree range. If the event had been two weeks prior, we would have been in serious trouble. Nevertheless, copious amounts residual slush and unforgiving potholes still remained to present a suitable challenge. But, with an opportunity to network, capture my experience with some cool photographs, learn about these two new additions to the Ford family, and test them on the urban landscape – I could not help but accept the invitation. So, lets dive directly into the experience.

First impressions of the 2018 Ford Expedition: It is simply a behemoth, and an elegant one. Nevertheless, despite its massive body, the all-new Expedition sheds nearly 300 pounds because of a redesigned high-strength steel frame and aluminum-alloy body. The sexy result is a fuel efficiency that delivers 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the highway. A combination of both yields approximately 20 miles per gallon for the gentleman. Now, such a reduction in weight does not equate to diminished power, actually, quite the opposite. The Expedition’s new 3.5 liter EcoBoost® engine and 10-speed automatic transmission is capable of producing up to 400 horsepower and 480 foot pounds of torque. Towing capability boasts up to 9,300 pounds that can be hauled around the countryside if required.

Now, being a father of one handsome son and one beautiful daughter (much love to Ava & Miles), my natural gravitation towards the Expedition was unsurprising. An aficionado in all things concerning car seat installation & removal, diaper bags, stuffed animals & baby dolls, and any other children-related accouterments; the spacious interior teased a comfort and ease that every parent wantonly covets. And clocking in at 6’1″ and 250 pounds, the Expedition affords space that any robust gentleman can truly appreciate, especially when climbing into vehicle and securing the aforementioned car seats. The doors even open at nearly a 90 degree angle. The second row tip & slide seating allows the seat to move at a slanted pivot to grant access to the third row without removing the car seat entirely – excellent!

With pleasing interior ergonomics & aesthetics, the 2018 Ford Expedition is designed for the everyday gentlemen that appreciates utilitarian luxury. A user-friendly console provides an intuitive touch that neither confounds or confuses the gentleman. And for the technology-savvy crowd, the 2018 Expedition features wireless phone charging, a 110 volt outlet, four 12 volt power points, a 360 degree camera system, a Wi-Fi hot-spot that supports up to 10 devices simultaneously within 50 feet of the vehicle, and an entertainment system that accommodates an effortless smartphone integration. Optional: dual front row headrest entertainment system that can play Choo Choo Soul for Miles or PJ Masks for Ava.Again, a gentleman can drive this vehicle right off the lot without detailed instructions.

So, speaking of driving the Expedition off the lot, I decided to take it into the city to test the urban terrain. The model I selected was the Max XLT 4×4. With its partially plowed side streets and punishing pot holes, I wanted to gauge the smoothness of my commute when faced with a brutal landscape. Powered by their Terrain Management System (4×4 only), a gentleman can select between 2-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive depending on your preference and the road. There are seven special drive modes between 2WD and 4WD for your selection: normal, sport, tow/haul, eco, grass/gravel/snow, sand, and mud/rut. As for my travel, the ride was surprisingly smooth. Surprising, because if you have not visited inner city Detroit, the pot holes and even road can be vicious. Nevertheless, the big-body Expedition confidently absorbed every jolt that was thrown its way. It also handled the slush and snow very well with no sliding or slippage at all.

2018 Ford Expedition Standard Specifications

  • 8 person seating capacity – 3 passenger rows – front cloth bucket seats – Second-row 40/20/40 split bench manual reclining fold-flat seat with CenterSlide® and Outboard Slide Seats -Third-row 60/40 split bench fold-flat-to-the-floor seat
  • Miles per gallon – up to 17 city/24 highway – 3.5 liter EcoBoost® engine – Transmission – 10 speed automatic
  • Best-in-Class 9,300 pounds maximum towing capacity
  • ABS with Brake Assist and EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution)
  • Auto Stop-Start Technology
  • Rear-Wheel Drive
  • Fully boxed frame
  • Suspension-Multilink Independent Rear suspension
  • Electronic Power-Assist (EPAS) rack-and-pinion steering
  • Front and rear stabilizer bars
  • AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control (RSC® )
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Non-limited-slip 3.15 rear axle (4×2 only)
  • Selectable Drive Modes
  • Traction Control
  • SYNC® – Enhanced Voice Recognition Communications and Entertainment System – Audio-AM/FM Stereo, Single CD Player, MP3 Capable, SiriusXM® Radio and Nine (9) Speakers

Todd Hoevener – Chief Program Engineer – Overall Cool Gentleman

Gentlemanly Pros

  • Expedition: A journey or voyage undertaken by a group of people with a particular purpose. The 2018 Ford Expedition is household comfort mounted on 4 tires. Your commute is not merely travel from Point A to Point B, it is an experience in understated class and convenience.
  • Despite its large frame, the 2018 Ford Expedition is pleasantly nimble and agile when cruising on the highway. And because of its large frame and Terrain Management System, bruising roads are handled with confidence.
  • Bold & robust presentation without appearing too bulky and boxy. Its lines are clean and tailored; resulting in a handsome, refined appearance.
  • Large cabin for occupants in all three seating rows. The second row tip & slide seating is especially useful for access to the third row (the third row also reclines as an added bonus). In cases of installed car seats; they do not have to be removed. The LATCH System is available in the second and third rows. The dual moon-roof is a beautiful finishing touch.
  • Seamless and smart integrated technology with Wi-Fi hot-spots for up to 10 devices within 50 feet. I loved the touch screen functionality and ease of navigation.
  • Automatic lift-gate with generous cargo and storage space. With the push of a button, the 2nd and 3rd row seats fold flat, offering ample space to accommodate a gentleman’s bulky purchases from Home Depot, 60+ inch flat screen television sets from Costco, or just about any bulky item that requires transport. Groceries are kept secure from both forward and backward motion. A rear bulk head folds out and up to prevent items (basketballs, watermelons, etc.) from rolling out. And rear camera spray wash to clear obstruction from the elements outside.

Gentlemanly Cons

  • True to form, the 2018 Ford Expedition is quite massive. For the uninitiated, wielding such a large vehicle could prove to be a daunting objective. Smaller vehicles on the road may go unnoticed, however, the Blind Spot Information System can be helpful. However, the driver assist feature should not displace attention to one’s surroundings and judgement. As a personal preference, I would have loved the inclusion of integrated blind spot mirrors, as it is my instinct to look first.
  • Narrow stretches of road could also prove to be a challenge, especially in spots where vehicles park roadside. A gentleman must be totally cognizant of his spacing while driving. Navigating 6 Mile was an exercise in caution because one must be aware of individuals parked roadside and exiting their vehicle before waiting for traffic to clear.
  • As far as parking goes, it would be wise to park far, or at least moderate distance away from concentrated areas of parking. Maximizing parking lot real estate, I can imagine other vehicles swinging their doors open haphazardly and denting your doors.
  • The manufacturer’s suggested retail price, even at the most base level, may be slightly stressful on the bank account. If a gentleman begins to add options, the sticker shock may trigger a cardiac arrest. Advice: Exhibit some financial self-awareness and proceed wisely.

To be perfectly certain, the 2018 Ford Expedition will decidedly resonate with the professional gentleman that values performance & functionality in tandem with grace & sophistication, appreciates comfort, recognizes that the amalgamation of entertainment & technology affords a premium driving experience, and most importantly, demands a vehicle that satisfies the many facets of family life while commuting. Sure, the MSRP, approximately $51,695, will give momentary pause, but this full-size sports utility vehicle should grant many years of service and grow with a family. If you are in the market for a large SUV to accommodate the daily travels of your busy family, and you can do so in style without monetary stress; I strongly recommend the 2018 Ford Expedition for your consideration.

For more information, please visit details.

Review – Dooney & Bourke – Florentine Medium Duffle

“Good morning Glen. So, do you plan on skipping town after work?” said a colleague of mine as I entered the department at work. The Dooney & Bourke Florentine Medium Duffle is so robust, one has to ponder if “medium” is an accurate descriptor of the aforementioned travel companion. Now, before I venture too far ahead of myself, please allow me to rewind the story for proper context. Approximately three weeks ago, I was contacted by a public relations representative with some intriguing information: Dooney & Bourke, leading American designer of fine accessories in leather and fabric, was revitalizing and reintroducing their men’s collection from the mid 1970s. Furthermore, I could inspect and review a selected piece of merchandise for my reading audience.

Honored and overjoyed by the invitation, I perused their current inventory and decided the Florentine Medium Duffle Bag would be an excellent choice for a gentlemanly evaluation. Not too familiar with the brand with the exception of purses and handbags, I was thoroughly impressed by the exceptional quality and craftsmanship upon opening the package. After its arrival, I resolved myself to traveling with it to my base of employment to gauge the reaction of other gentlemen. Capturing a photograph with my Samsung Galaxy and sending it to a few male coworkers; it was likened to an oversized purse. Unfortunately, the bag’s true scale was not sufficiently captured by my camera phone. Full disclosure: Founded by Peter Dooney & Frederic Bourke in 1975, gentlemanly accessories were a part of its introductory collections before women’s accessories became a signature for the brand. And so, with Florentine in hand, I stepped out onto the 4th floor in my building, looking to prove the naysayers incorrect in their assumption, and examine its style and practicality.

So, first, allow me to examine a primary point of concern that most gentlemen share when purchasing a duffle bag – functionality. In other words, the duffle bag of a gentleman’s choice must be able to comfortably house all of his clothing and small personal effects – fair enough. The Florentine is billed as a duffle bag that will satisfy the needs of the gentleman traveler through any particular weekend. Perusing my own wardrobe, I thoughtfully selected a group of clothing items that would surely test the Florentine appropriately. In the interest of context, I excluded items such as socks, underwear, neckties, and other small items because it would have little to no effect on maximizing the capacity of the Florentine.

Proceeding with the theory that I am working with a three-day weekend trip (Friday, Saturday, & Sunday), I packed the following: 1 pair denim jeans, 2 pairs of khakis, 1 wool crew neck sweater, 2 cotton shawl collar sweater, 4 long sleeve sport shirts, 2 pairs of pajamas, and 1 pair of casual shoes. I wanted to pack bulky and heavy items to gauge if the holding capacity was sufficient. Of course, the selection of what one may choose to pack would be dependent upon lifestyle. I reside in Michigan, and right now the weather begs for items that retain warmth and comfort, hence the addition of sweaters and long sleeve sport shirts. The bag was full, but not tight and could still be zippered without issue.

Now, filled to capacity, a gentleman may have issues with any attempt to stuff the Florentine in an overhead bin during air travel. Although its dimensions – H 13.5″ x W 8.5″ x L 21.5″ – are less than the total allowed maximum of 45 inches, the weight may play a factor as well as the Florentine’s shape as it is packed, given the lack of fixed size like a small suitcase. It would be prudent to verify this information and travel policy according to your airline of choice. Personally, I would check the duffle bag and perhaps employ a stylish book-bag as a carry-on for smaller items, as it does come standard with a luggage tag in addition to a lock & key.

Cosmetically speaking, the Florentine boasts a buttery smooth leather exterior. Soft and pliable with no unsightly creasing, the leather has all the attributes to age with character and charm. The interior and exterior zippers are solidly constructed with a dual closure across the top. Embracing a minimalist approach with its design, the only noticeable embellishment resides with its extended zipper closure on each opposite end that button down the side. The are two pockets on both sides of the body, one zippered and the other a straight jetted pocket. The leather handles are assisted by a buttoned leather closure that affords a comfortable grip, as some duffle bags utilize velcro to keep both handles together or shun a closure entirely.

Now, I absolutely love the design of the handles, as they are not attached directly to the bag’s body, rather, the upper handles are attached to square metal links which in turn are attached along the upper sides. This should provide much-needed support surrounding this area of concentrated stress due to bearing the weight of its contents. Sporting plaid fabric on the inside, the interior is equipped with 1 bifolded compartment, a regular jetted pocket, and a zippered deeper pocket.

As for the finishing touch, the Florentine’s bottom arrives with metal “feet” or studs so your bag is never in total contact with the ground. And speaking of ground, there is approximately a 12 inch drop in strap length, so the bag is approximately 10 inches off the ground when holding the bag with one’s arm totally extended down. However, the audience should consider I am 6’1″ so that approximation will vary from gentlemen to gentlemen. So, to the unnamed gentleman that likened the Florentine to a woman’s purse; I humbly submit that you are woefully mistaken.

Retailing at $548.00, the Florentine is not an inexpensive travel companion. And many gentlemen with humble means will scoff at the price-point, and that is perfectly acceptable. Most likely, there is a duffle bag that will suit any lifestyle accordingly. Nevertheless, the Dooney & Bourke Florentine is designed for the cultivated gentleman that appreciates a refined piece of luggage that becomes more exquisite with age, exudes an understated presence of sophistication, and considers such a purchase a quiet investment in elegance. This bag should last a lifetime. After a long hiatus, resurrecting their collection of fine accessories for stylish, contemporary gentleman; Dooney & Bourke should be able recapture a market of men that will surely explore future collections with newfound excitement.

Please visit for purchasing information.

Gentlemen’s Standard Approved
Disclosure: TGS was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes only. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Review – Dolce & Gabbana – Light Blue Intense

To be perfectly honest, this particular review is woefully long overdue. Managing both my professional and personal life is still quite the challenge. Nevertheless, with the holiday season officially underway, I determined that there was not a better time to share my thoughts on Dolce & Gabbana’s aromatic offering Light Blue Intense. Intimately introduced to Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue a little over a year ago, I was pleasantly surprised when afforded the opportunity to sample the Intense version of the previous offering. For more than a few months now, Light Blue Intense has quietly become my preferred cologne of choice. Boasting a robust melody of aromatic notes, coupled with a sustained, mildly pungent presence, Light Blue Intense should be in your rotation of cologne. Allow me to provide a detailed explanation for you.


Top Notes: Mandarin Orange, Frozen Grapefruit

Middle Notes: Juniper, Aquatic Accord

Base Notes:  Amber Wood, Musk

  • Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Intense arrives in the same bottle as Light Blue Beauty of Capri – unadorned and simple. The delicately curved bottle is standard as most cologne bottles are presented. Short, stout, and dense; the transparent light blue flacon houses the selected scent topped by a powder blue cap.
  • A lively commencement of notes begin with a foundation rooted in sharp tones of citrus. Immediately, a gentleman will recognize that Light Blue Intense is definitely stronger than its predecessor. The introduction is a playful balance of bitter and sweet as the dry-down is mellow and smooth.
  • The progression toward the heart of the fragrance reveals a fresh and light personality. The fragrance definitely slows down before regaining momentum during the latter end of its notes.
  • The fragrant finish is slightly heavy with deep wood flavors. The base notes are surely pronounced, but not obnoxious. However, moderate applications are recommended. I applied too much on one occasion and later in the day, it was a little overbearing on the senses.
  • Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Intense is at its best when properly deployed for early to late evening occasions. Because of its intensity, I would recommend Light Blue Intense be saved for cooler temperatures. If you choose otherwise, please be advised that its scent will probably be greatly magnified if the environment is warm or hot.
  • Eschewing pretension, Light Blue Intense affords a touch of sophistication that should be befitting of any dapper gentleman. A gentleman will enjoy moderate to long longevity, as the spicy woody tones are robust and full. I would estimate that 4-5 applications of Light Blue Intense should suffice.
  • Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Intense 3.3 fl. oz. $88.00, 6.7 fl. oz. $125.00 – Available at Dolce & Gabbana, Macys, Nordstrom, and other fine men’s department stores

Review – Dolce & Gabbana – Velvet Cypress

Offering full transparency, my current role of supervisor in supply chain management continues to be physically and emotionally taxing. The complex universe of people management is a strenuous exercise in patience, empathy, and conflict resolution. In addition to standard family responsibilities, it feels that every facet of my life revolves around addressing a demand or providing resolution to a problem. Simply: I just need a day when I am not needed. That being stated, today I am directing my focus on a cologne that was slated for review during last Father’s Day, but product was not in stock for a gentleman’s assessment.

If you recall a few posts I wrote around that time, the theme centered around a gentleman pampering himself. Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Cypress is a perfect illustration of that point. Starting at a modest (well, perhaps not) $230.00, this is the most expensive cologne I have ever trialed for review. The latest from Dolce & Gabbana’s exclusive Velvet Collection (collection launched in 2011), Velvet Cypress promises a scent that pays homage to the late summer Italian countryside. Well, given my current challenges at work and home, I sincerely hope this is the case. Now, lets dive into the details.


Top Notes: Bergamot, Sicilian Lemon

Middle Notes: Galbanum, Clary Sage

Base Notes: Virginian Cedar Wood, Cypress Wood, Balsam Fir

  • Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Cypress arrives in a dense, rectangular flask with its top embossed with a smooth, circular velvet strip. A bronze nameplate adorns the front of the flask. The presentation exudes a simple, solid sophistication befitting of a gentleman that appreciates class and subtlety.
  • With a vibrant rush of bergamot and lemon, expect a welcoming committee of bitter and sweet citrus notes during the introductory phase of Velvet Cypress. It is a light, refreshing affair as the top scent isn’t overwhelmed by its citrus components.
  • The transition toward the middle notes is delicate, as the heart becomes ever so green with the presence of clary sage and galbanum. The experience is slightly earthy and warm. And consistent with its top note counterpart, the middle notes are neither obnoxious or unbearably strong.
  • The ending has a mellow dry-down with subtle hints of fresh spice. The woody aroma is fairly light. Truthfully, I thought the scent would be much heavier than I expected. My only complaint is I wish the fragrance was stronger. A gentleman will require approximately 8-10 sprays to enjoy the full benefits of Velvet Cypress. I would estimate a gentleman could extract 4-6 hours of performance before the scent begins fade.
  • Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Cypress is properly suited for daytime and early evening occasions. An easy-going, sophisticated scent with a moderate lifespan, business and business-casual settings are appropriate for a gentleman’s usage. Given the price-tag – as previously noted – save Velvet Cypress for those moments when you want to indulge in looking and feeling your best.
  • Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Cypress 1.7 fl. oz. $230.00, 5.0 fl. oz. $430.00,  – Available at Dolce & Gabbana, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, and other fine men’s department stores

Review – Kenneth Cole – Kenneth Cole Black Bold

kc-blackWell, to fully admit the absolute truth, I am woefully behind on reviews. With Father’s Day steadily approaching, no time seems better than the present to dive into some grooming products for some deserving dads around the globe. Therefore, let us begin with a familiar brand that most gentlemen tend to favor – Kenneth Cole. The spotlight today shines upon a Kenneth Cole offering titled Black Bold. Now, Black Bold is the evolution of the brand’s signature house fragrance for men – Kenneth Cole Black. Bold Black was launched in 2016 with perfumer Harry Fremont at the helm. I’ve actually had this latest incarnation in my collection for an extended time now. Allow me to offer a few thoughts and you can decide if this scent best suits you or that special father in your life.


Top Notes: zesty mandarin, frozen ginger, chilled watermint, and tonic 

Middle Notes: ancient cedarleaf, ground nutmeg, lotus flower, and incense smoke  

Base Notes: black & blonde woods, suede, violet leaves, soft musks, and ambergris 

  • Despite the labeling, Kenneth Cole Black Bold scent is actually quite modest and simple in its delivery. The top notes begin with a slight jolt; retaining a mild, zesty flavor from the beginning before settling quietly during the middle notes. The hints of citrus is crisp, cool, and distinct –  but again – not too powerful that the senses are overwhelmed.
  • The middle and base notes proceed hand in hand with spice and wood being the notable aromatic highlights. The dry-down is full in nature, but not necessarily heavy or weighty.
  • Arriving in a short, jet black flask with a leather composite encompassing the wider body of the body, a gentleman can calculate between 4-5 spritzes to enjoy the fullness of Bold Black.
  • Kenneth Cole Black Bold does not exhibit an extended stay after its initial application. However, I would not advise reapplying this scent as the layers may result in an unpleasant smell. Some scents can be applied twice during the course of the day, but I fear the overlap of notes presented here would not yield positive results. If you want this scent to stick with you during the latter part of the day, I would humbly advise applying it closer to evening.
  • A gentleman can dutifully deploy this fragrance in both casual and business casual settings. Due to its spicy and woody dry-down, Kenneth Cole Black Bold would probably work best if applied during the evening.
  • Kenneth Cole Black Bold 1.7 fl oz. $60.00, 3.4 fl oz. $76.00 – available at Kenneth Cole, Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, and other fine men’s department 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.

Review – Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue – Beauty of Capri

D&G Beauty of CapriDo not be mislead by the day on the calendar. Do not be mislead by the gradual proliferation of woolen and textured fabrics at your favorite men’s store. Do not be mislead by the steady progression of lessening sunlight and shorter days. True, the calendar might indicate that autumn commences September 22, 2016, however, summer is far from over gentlemen. Without a doubt, his summer has featured some scorching temperatures. The life and death struggle my grass has been experiencing these past few months is proof positive. Therefore, with summer positioned for an extended run into early October, I am examining a cologne I was introduced to in late May. General hardships associated with life have not eased for me, and a few unexpected curve balls have resulted in some blogging downtime. Nevertheless, Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue Beauty of Capri resonates beautifully today just as it did months ago. Adding it to your rotation of fragrances will yield not only immediate benefits, but it can also be placed on standby for Spring 2017 – yes, I am thinking ahead. Until then, let’s get down to business.


Top Notes: Cedrat, Sicilian Bergamot, Bitter Orange

Middle Notes: Neroli, Marine Accord, Sichuan Pepper

Base Notes: Cedar Wood, Vetiver, Myrrh, Musk

  • Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Beauty of Capri begins with a light introduction, but it does retain an energetic feel so it would be wise to exhibit restraint with applications. It is not terribly aggressive, but there is a definite presence of citrus notes that dominate the beginning. It will draw attention for all the right reasons.
  • The transition toward the middle notes is a seamless gravitation featuring a fresh, aromatic tone that compliments the top portion very well. Its presence is still very subtle and cool as it begins to deepen and settle into its base notes. Unsurprisingly, even the base notes are relatively sedate. Sometimes the base portion leans heavy and strong, but Light Blue Beauty of Capri keeps things moderately weighted with citrus notes of vetiver rounding out the overall fragrance, tempered by spicy touches of cedar. It’s a nice blend, as neither overpowers the other.
  • The presentation is clean and unremarkable. The curved bottle is standard-fare; a transparent light blue flacon houses the selected scent topped by an ivory cap.
  • Strictly a casual daytime cologne, I humbly suggest 5-6 applications, as this scent has a moderate lifespan before it begins to dissipate.
  • Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Beauty of Capri is intended for the gentleman that prefers relaxed, mellow environments that complement a quiet, smooth demeanor. Inconspicuous in its delivery, however, able to be distinguished amongst a crowd; Beauty of Capri works well during the summer and early fall. And as the temperatures begin to decline, don’t forget to put this scent on standby to be unearthed in the springtime.
  • Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Beauty of Capri 40 ml $55.00, 75 ml $68.00, 125 ml $78.00 – Available at Dolce & Gabbana, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, and other fine men’s department 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.

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.


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.

Review – Kent & Bond – Beard Oil & Body Salve

Kent & BondRegarding a product’s ingredients, my method of selection is most likely absent the nuance required when scrutinizing skin care products – that distinction is deserving of my wife. Now, my wife leans toward items that are composed of all-natural, organic components. And if she cannot locate a product that satisfies all of her requirements, she will undertake the mission of duplicating a product using natural ingredients procured by her own hand. In comparison, I lack the patience and skill needed to accomplish such a task. And then an e-mail arrived from grooming company Kent & Bond. Touted as chemical free and organic, Kent & Bond strives to connect the gentleman that cares about his grooming practices to products that are rustic and natural in origin.

Well, needless to say, Kent & Bond certainly grabbed my attention with their pitch. Of particular interest, their beard oil presented an option unlike anything I have ever stocked in my Dopp kit. Being the proud owner of a full beard, I embarrassingly admit that I have never employed any product beyond a good moisturizer on my beard and face. And so, when presented with the opportunity to trial a few samples from their inventory, I leaped at the chance to not only test their beard oil, but also their body salve. Another facet of Kent & Bond’s mission that piqued my interest is their commitment to community service. For every product purchased, Kent & Bond will donate 1 bar of soap for someone in need – very cool. Now, let’s dive into performance.


Kent & Bond IngredientsStarting with the beard oil, it has the color and feel of olive oil, but with a far sweeter smell. The instructions recommend 3-8 drops into the palm of your hand before application, but 3-4 drops would be my suggestion given the strong fragrance. Of course, this is dependent upon the length of one’s facial hair. Just keep this factor in yours thoughts if you are gentleman that regularly wears cologne. Regarding skin care, I don’t have any issues with dandruff, however, the oil should be sufficient enough to remedy flaky skin if necessary. Even though it is oil, it does not leave behind a greasy residue on your skin. It absorbs quickly and will leave your beard feeling soft. Some gentlemen may have a different experience, but the beard oil didn’t leave my beard with a noticeable shine – which is perfectly acceptable to me.

The body salve arrives in a small glass jar containing 2 ounces of the product. The body salve has a pleasant peppermint scent, but it is not too strong. Soft and solid in composition, the body salve absorbs into the skin when applied topically. There is a momentary greasy feel as it is applied, but it quickly disappears. The body salve properly addressed my skin, leaving it soft and pliable. Given the amount in the jar, I am not sure how much service a gentleman can extract if he tried to apply the salve to his entire body. It’s really not “body” lotion in that respect. The body salve would probably be best utilized for dry problem areas that require hydration. We’re talking elbows, hands, knees, heels, and any other small area that needs attention. Reapplication does not seem necessary as a small amount goes far.

Specifications – All Organic Ingredients – Beard Oil $16.00 1 oz.

  • Jojoba oil
  • Hazelnut oil
  • Sweet almond oil
  • Aloe vera oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Essential oil

Specifications – All Organic Ingredients – Body Salve $15.00 2 oz.

  • Mango seed butter
  • Shea butter
  • Kokrum butter
  • Beeswax
  • Aloe vera oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Hazelnut oil
  • Arrowroot powder
  • Coconut oil
  • Essential oil blend

If you are a gentleman that is serious about his skin care game and you prefer the added bonus using organic materials, Kent & Bond could be a brand for you. The company offers an auto-replenishment program, but goods are also offered for one time purchases if you want to trial their inventory first. I feel you won’t be disappointed.

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.
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