Tag Archives: Men

Monday Motivations: Fake Fashion, True Trendsetting


Monday Motivations: Fake Fashion, True Trendsetting

There are as many places on the net that will tell you what, when, why and who to wear. But there is something much more important than the latest instagram “selfie” or the latest and greatest place to find that killer look. More important than our outer appearance is the person we are each day when we “suit up,” our inner person. Have we achieved and clothed ourselves in the best qualities that will make us a better person each day? We live in a world fraught with frivolity, fifteen minute fame and superficiality. Reality TV titillates our taste buds for bad behavior and the exploitation of our women, perpetuates our propensity and toleration of the Man-child and ultimately corrupts our views of healthy relationships.

Lets get refocused. Let’s not be the social norm, let’s be true trendsetters. Let’s rally around substance over surface, selflessness over selfishness. Let’s stop trying to live the THE lifestyle and start living purposeful lives. Let’s start addressing the issues that keep us from having healthy relationships with our sons & daughters, husbands or wives, our baby’s mothers or fathers, Let’s start spending more time on the person we are on the INSIDE as we do on the outside. Let’s be character tailors, true trendsetters, let’s…

“Vestire Internamente”
(Dress Internally)

TheStyleGent

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Fashion Friday: The Resurgence of the Modern Renaissance Man


If there’s one thing that style teaches us it’s that in order to establish your individuality you need to be willing to live, not by trends, but with   pieces that will stand the test of time. Most of us know how to get those core pieces in our wardrobe, but it’s the DETAILS that make a distinction between the drab and the deft.

Tracy and Mike Xavier   hope to do this with their Accessory brand Modern Renaissance Man. Taking cues from such iconic shows like Deadwood, Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men, which have a deep history of men’s vintage fashion, Modern Renaissance Man interprets these ideas in a fresh and modern way. Looking forward while respectfully nodding to the past.

They describe their products in this way:

“Tie bars, tie clips, cuff links, pocket scarves and squares. Vintage finds & custom creations, Re-imagined accessory line for men & women. Suits make a man look great, accessories make a man more interesting.”

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One of the challenges in finding accessories for men is that it has to be well made,  thoughtful, innovative and stylish. Tracy and Mike hit all those marks, not only in the the quality of the materials but also in the execution of the design. A classic paisley silk pocket square paired with a handmade flower lapel pin and matching color accents. Innovative tie tacks that don’t pierce and damage your tie (MAG TAK) and a focus on details: fully finished silk backs for the magnets, contrasting stitching on the pocket squares and more. Tracy and Mike have also specifically chosen to use great materials that really reflect their thoughtful approach to the modern man’s sensibilities: leather, stainless steel, brass and European silk, all done (here’s the best part) with your budget in mind with most products starting under $20

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When I had an issue with one of the flower pins Tracy graciously offered to fix or replace the product for me. This is very very important to me. When you’re buying from a handmade retailer who stands behind their product it’s great to know that customers can reach out to them and buy with a confidence that their concerns are heard and addressed promptly.

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All in all I was very pleased with my experience with them and you will too. Head on over to Modern Renaissance Man and check out a unique online boutique of men’s vintage accessories with a twist.

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Fashion Friday: Whatever Happened to Style?


“What ever happened to style?” This is the question that a Chrysler commercial asks. As I watched this commercial I was inspired to write a post about personal elegance. There was a time when men like William Powell, Clark Gable, Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart, Carey Grant, James Cagney, James Earl Jones, Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte graced us with their strength of will, character and effortless elegance. Women like Gloria Swanson, Kim Novak, Kate Hepburn, Rita Hayworth, Dorothy Dandridge, Ruby Dee, Dianne Carroll, Lena Horn mystified us with their strength, class and intelligence.  Those days are gone, or are they?

Personal style is directly connected to your values. It’s about defining yourself through your actions, the way you move through life, it’s about how you exit a room, and not how you enter it. Anyone can make a grand entrance, but can you leave a lasting impression after you’ve left? It’s about the mark you leave on the hearts and minds of people you interact with each day. I’m an advocate for the behavior behind the appearance. Many  readers who follow me on twitter know that my favorite tagline “What good is a new suit if the man inside is rotten?” is more than a catchphrase for me, it is a meditation. All of these actors are/were great actors, some are/were great people outside their craft. Some chose philanthropy, humanitarianism, some were ambassadors, artists, writers etc. What made them great was the incredible lasting impressions they left on us even to this day. They arrived but it was their body of work and influence that still make us refer to them as icons.

Whatever happened to style? That’s a question that we all can answer with our body of  life’s work.

Dress internally.

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Fashion Friday: How To Choose Accessories For Men


I’ve always been willing to try something new, challenge my own sensibilities of what compliments my personality. When I look at all the trends and different looks for the season, it’​s important for me  to filter them, translate them into what makes me look and feel great. Accessories are a little tricky for men, maybe you’re a cufflink guy or a tie bar person, but whatever accessories you choose make sure it fits you. Nothing is worse that a person translating a trend that doesn’t fit their lifestyle or personality.

Trends in men’​s fashion don’t change very often, so for me the trick in staying sharp are impeccable accessories. For guys it’​s a matter of nailing down the details. Think a little outside the norm. Deconstruct your wardrobe. For example, depending on the fabric, look at the vest of your three-piece suit as a separate accessory. What else can you wear it with? Can you add a pochette like you would a full-blown suit? Waistcoats on their own are a great alternative for men to express their personal style. Never copy anyone else’s style. Remember, the goal is to draw inspiration from the things around you and develop something fresh and new that’s complementary to your personality.  It’​s all about tweaking the details…for suit guys, a pop of color and pattern in the pocket square. Start with a piped one, then move on to pin-dots or a plaid pochette or even this killer one from Drake’s of London. For guys who are a little bolder or who like a little “flash”​, try lapel pins like this  from Bowties & Sneakers and Fine and Dandy  or silk knots, these pieces give a sport jacket or blazer a little personality and depth. Or how about a dash of flair for your tie bar. Maybe you’​re a little more “​Rock &​ Roll”​,  add a natural rustic leather bracelet (in moderation and age appropriateness of course) from Novica

I like to experiment with different looks, and you should too. Don’t be afraid to take some chances with texture, colour, and patterns in achieving a killer outfit for your personality. Remember, “​Style is Internal.”​

TheStyleGent

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Monday Motivations: Shaking the Jekyll and Hyde Masculinity


Fredric March in production still from Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1931, dir. Rouben Mamoulian)

(photo by Gordon Head, via Hollywood Horror: Gothic to Cosmic)

“Man is not truly one but truly two”, is the essence of the Novella -The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This novelette written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1887- about 120 years back. It is still the widely read masterpiece today.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the two characters of the novella are but one; one body two conflicting characters, the good and evil. what I find interesting is that the attire Dr. Jekyll wears is the clothing of what gentleman wore back  then. Dr. Jekyll walks & talks like a well-groomed, well read and well-bred refined man. But as we know just underneath the surface lies something sinister, something that is nothing like the picture above. This picture got me thinking about being genuine and to question who we really are on the inside. Jekyll’s problems began with his motives and desires.

As men it’s important to aspire to refine our personality, take an honest look at our flaws and make the needed changes that will elevate us to a greater sense of self or more importantly closer to what it means to be a gentleman. No amount of clothing, acting or appearance of genteel behavior will change what we may really be on the inside. Alfred Hyde ultimately destroyed the life of Dr. Jekyll. This is a cautionary tale of how it is important for us to be genuine in our intentions and in our actions. Dr. Jekyll was a player who became a pawn in his own game. I equate Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde to “Players”, men who talk like gentlemen, act like gentlemen, dress like gentlemen, but just under the surface they are something quite different. Let’s change this. We live in a society that tells men to express their masculinity based on their clothing, possessions, sexual prowess, or their physical power. With so much emphasis on the surface and what is transient, it’s tough to really know who is genuine and who is not. In the end though what’s important is to aspire to be better, more in touch of who we are on the inside. “What good is a new suit if the man inside is rotten?”

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