Tag Archives: blogging

Monday Motivations: The Power Of Simplicity


Most men like to keep things simple, uncomplicated and uncluttered. I am NOT a simple man. I’m long winded, passionate and at times maybe even a little too serious. People who know me say that I can take 30 minutes to tell a 5 minute story. I will cop to this. I like details, embellishments, I like to hear and see all angles of a subject before I form an opinion. Sometimes though, only a few ideas or facts are needed to move us forward. With that said I’m learning to embrace the power of simplicity. It’s a work in progress but I’m getting there.

When I think about the climate of the world, I think we all could use some of that simplicity today; simple living that keeps us from spiritual, emotional and financial trouble. Simple living that helps us in times of adversity, simplicity that doesn’t resign itself to mediocrity but finds honor in living with charity, responsibility and clarity.

Simplicity allows us to let go, to strip things down to its natural essence, see things for how they truly are. It doesn’t mean that it will be easy; it just means that it is easy to understand. My grandparents & great grandparents were humble people with simple values; “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” was the adage that they lived by. My grandfather (90yrs) once  called himself a “Blue Collar Gentleman.” I laughed but found that incredibly cool. “Work hard, provide for your family, don’t live outside your means and have a little fun in between.” was his only advice to me. Simply put, powerful words, wise advice.

My life will always be filled with changes, stops, starts, fits, failures and successes, but through it all as I get older and raise my family, I slowly realize that the collective wisdom of my grandparents & great grandparents and the simple wisdom they lived by could be of tremendous help for us today.

See? I got this post done in fewer than 500 words…progress!

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Fashion Friday: Style As A Meditation


I am attempting to live this philosophy everyday: Style as a meditation and not a mere regulatory affair.

I recently did a post on The 7 Habits of Sylish People and most of the advice was character driven. I believe 70% of style is Character and the other 30% is Clothing. Most  think clothing is important. And I tend to agree, I live and love them. They can take you places, give you access to certain environments. Yet, if you don’t have solid character to back it up you’re like a boy in his fathers clothes. You’re only playing “dress up” and that’s called “acting.” Dressing to enhance vs dressing to hide are two different things. The goal should be deeper than that. It’s about motive and intent. Let’s deepen the conversation from how we look and who we wear to how we act and why we should care.

“Elegance is a question of personality, more than one’s clothing.” Jean-Paul Gaultier

Nothing is worse than arrogance dressed in elegance. Substance always trumps surface.However, a Twitter user reminded me:

“there are far worse things than arrogance dressed in elegance, arrogance dressed in ready-to-wear would be one. A good suit is worth plenty on a rotten man! It’s usually the ONLY thing he’s worth, so he may as well look fabulous!” –  Alexander Stacey

I think he is right in of those statements, there are far worse things a person can be (I know his intent was light banter)  but I think there is something to be said for a person who gives the appearance of refinement but proves false to this by the way he acts toward people. ( I cover this topic in a previous post) what good is a new suit if the man inside is rotten? We must not use clothing as a way to deceive others by hiding who we really are on the inside.

For example: A man hires a stylist to help him pick out clothes for an interview. Together they pick an appropriate shirt and tie, pair it impeccably with a tailored suit, possibly even stir within him the confidence he needs by means of coaching and direction beforehand so that he actually lands the job. Granted, the boss/interviewer is impressed with his résumé and his interviewing skills. But soon after the boss notices things that may make him question the hiring decision. His constant tardiness, failure to meet deadlines, incomplete or inaccurate reports or even laziness may make him more of a liability. Sure, he nailed the interview, made a good first impression and was a convincing candidate. But an awesome wardrobe won’t cover-up bad work ethic. He may be the topic of discussion and even the resident expert around the office on how to pair this with that. However, his sharp suit won’t be enough to save him from a pink slip.  Even if he has entrepreneurial aspirations his behaviors won’t get him very far.

Clothing should enhance our persona, but we also need to do the work that is required to change traits, habits or more importantly, behaviors that may be counter productive to our personal development. How? Think about the last conversation you had with your boss about your performance, your good friend or significant other about your relationship? Were you listening closely to the things you needed to tweak or even change to become a better or refined version of yourself? Or did you scoff at their suggestions? Stylish people should balance what’s in their closet with what’s in their head. They know that teachers come in the form of people they meet, places they go and in events they experience. Thus, when we go out into the world dressed up or move through life rocking our killer “look” it will be far more than just mere sartorial elegance.

Start from the inside & the rest will follow. Less “clothes maketh the man” more “the man maketh the clothes.” – Dublo

Thank you MyrtleTakesTeadublonothing for inspiring this post and engaging me in some brisk debate on style.

TheStyleGent

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Fashion Friday: Woman’s Style: A Gentleman’s Perspective


Fashion has taken many twists and turns through the years but the one thing that hasn’t changed is people’s need to express their personalities through clothing. Women and men do this slightly different. For years, men have dreaded even going into the store let alone trying on clothing. While most women keep up on the latest trends going on in style and fashion (I see a lot of women with a killer shoe, handbag & accessory game) most men prefer to “just get on with it,” picking just the basics in clothing and move on.

Things have changed in the past several years. Men have been become more and more interested in style and fashion. No longer does she have to say: “Are you really going to wear that?“ Blogs and magazines have set out a roadmap to help us to become proficient at matching, accessorizing and generally better companions when it comes to dressing. Translation: we won’t embarrass you anymore.

As a Gentleman I offer this as a message to the ladies: With this newfound interest in fashion some of us have gained we want you to know that even though we may enjoy flipping through Esquire, GQ and the many other magazines and books on style, for us it’s still sexy just to watch you strut your stuff and rock those killer Spring or Fall looks. We appreciate those A-line skirts, those peep-toed sling backs, the stacked heels, the dresses from Stop Staring, the way you turn heads when enter a room, or the way you grow your hair out in luscious natural curls or flowing straight wisps. we like you curvy, we like you confident, we want you to shine. And now that we have fashionably come into our own, we just want to look as good as you do when we step out with you on our dates, have that first inevitable meet & greet with your friends (we know you rate us when you excuse yourselves to go to the bathroom) or even one day meet the parents, we want to fashionably complete not compete.

This means we might have to negotiate closet space. As our interest gets larger, so does our wardrobes. So don’t be surprised if we want to go shopping. Of course you’ll have wait for us now while we go into Brooks Brothers, Sax or Nordstrom. But that’s a small price to pay for the both of us to look fly.

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Transformations: Blog Awards


If you’re a blogger, you know the hard work that comes with writing and producing content for your site. You spend time revising and getting the words as clear as possible so that your readers actually feel the intent behind your topic. Since our community is so large, even if only a few people read your work it’s gratifying to be acknowledged.

Recently, I was given The Candle Lighter Award, an award that acknowledges writing that is uplifting and encouraging. Fellow blogger Ms.Lee Stormlover,  http://lifeinthedashlane.wordpress.com/whose blogging I find to be intellegent, funny (I’ve found myself laughing many, many times) and heartfelt, was kind enough to give me one. Make your way over to her wonderful blog. Here’s one of my favorite posts: http://lifeinthedashlane.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/to-my-future-husband-thank-you-in-advance/

I’m nominating her for the The Candle Lighter Award because of her honest and entertaining blog. Thank you again Ms. Lee.

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Transformations: Monday Motivation – Ten Things to Remember and Avoid This Week


A good friend sent this to me about a year ago in an email and I thought it would be a good idea to frame a post around it. As we all start our week, it would be a great way to reinforce good habits  that have gotten us to where we are now, but also shine a microscope on things we may need to improve on.  Life for most of us has become ever so stressful and for some of us maybe even difficult, but if we can focus on these ten do’s and dont’s it may help change at least the way we feel about ourselves and improve our relationships with others.

Ten Things To Remember:

1. Do kind things for others without expecting a reward
2. Always improve yourself
3. Take responsibility for your own shortcomings
4. Complement yourself when things go well
5. Nurture friendships and relationships
6. Be aware and pay attention
7. Meet new people and try new things
9. Slow Down
8. Look up
10. Believe that good things can happen to you.

Ten Things To Avoid:

1. Don’t hide behind emotional walls
2. Don’t judge others
3. Avoid self-pity
4. Never forget that there will always be greater and lesser gifted people than yourself
5. Never let fear stand in your way
6. Never let your inner voice put you down
7. Avoid negative people
8. Try not to be suspicious of others without good reason
9. Don’t put yourself down in front of others
10. Don’t be a tool.

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