Friday, August 11, 2006

Suavity: Not a Haircare Product

Suave: having a sophisticated charm, smoothly agreeable, and smugly convinced of their respectability. What an absolutely wonderful word. It is something that everyone should strive towards. Few men in our day have mastered the art of being completely debonnaire. When you have achieved this rakish element, women melt at the mere sound of your voice. Being handsome/well dressed usally goes along with this attribute, which is why I've decided to talk about it. Personally, I think that being suave is most simply broken down into two parts: wit and confidence. It is about knowing when to say something and knowing that when you say it that you are going to get a preset response, thus you are never off your game. Recently I decided to take it upon myself to help a fellow worker out with his suavity due to his complete lack thereof. His personality is amazingly agreeable, but the charm factor was just lacking a little bit. We began by talking about a specific situation where he struggled to find the correct words to use. By going back over the situation and presenting other alternatives he is now equipped if another situation should present itself. Being charming to the opposite sex is something that is not innate in most men, so it is a skill that needs to be honed and practiced until the desired outcome is achieved. Final verdict: get out and practice this lost skill and you may be surprised by where it can take you...items off your dinner receipt, good customer service, or just plenty of smiles.

Troegenator III: Rise of the Troegenators

Recently I decided that I wanted to mix up my beer taste and try something completely new. I drove on down to the closest distributor that carries exotic and "off the beaten path" beers. After speaking with the owner for a bit about my tastes he recommended Troegenator Double Bock. It is a dark, strong lager with a bronze to brown color. It tastes somewhat similar to New Castle Ale, but with a heartier taste and more of a microbrewery feel. The beer is amazing and goes down very smooth, although you need to watch how many you have due to the 8.2% abv. The style, Double Bock, dates back to about 100 years ago when Monastic brewers would fast (without solid foods) and rely on stronger, richer beer to fulfill their nutritional needs. The Double Bock was basically known as liquid bread. In 2006 the Troegs Brewing company claimed the bronze medal in the Brewers Association World Beer Cup with the Troegenator. This is an impressive award to receive due to the field of 2,221 entries from 540 breweries in 56 countries. Final Verdict: if you can find it, pick up a case and enjoy the rich flavor of the Double Bock.

The Dress Shirt + Accessories

So for all of you out there in reading land who wondered where I went, I was working on the next batch of fashion, trends, movies, etc. articles. And first up we have the dress shirt. To be quite frank, the dress shirt actually has very little to play in this topic. I am more concerned with the pairing of it with its eternal mate: the tie. Personally, I really don't understand why this is such a hard concept, but what I have noticed over the last 8 months or so is that men (and even about 60% of women) seem to have a hard time pairing the two. Now I'm not talking about pairing a basic tie with a solid shirt. I am referring to matching patterned shirts with patterned ties. This can be anything from stripes on stripes to matching a wide checked shirt with a smaller checked tie. First off, the main rule that you have to think about is the rule of 3. This simply refers to the fact that 2 out of 3 things that you are wearing can be the same pattern. For example: if you are wearing a pinstriped suit then either your tie or your shirt can be striped, but not both. When it comes to patterns, you want to watch that the patterns aren't too similar in size. This goes with stripes as well. The stripe widths need to be different or it looks too much like you cut a piece of your tie/shirt/suit and made the other striped piece. For checks on checks, I often opt for a large box check for the shirt and use a smaller pattern for the tie. Sometimes it is nice to mix up the direction of the checks as well. A small diamond shape on the basic windowpane is a nice classic look.

If you really have lots of trouble with the matching, pick up a magazine and cut out the pictures that you like and use them for shopping. In a recent interview with the CEO of Armani, one of the main things that was talked about was how he finds it stupid that men don't use their resources for shopping. There is nothing wrong with taking your favorite pictures and trying to replicate them within your wardrobe. Another thing is to find a sales associate who seems to be very knowledgable and take their advice. When worse comes to worse, just shop off the mannequins. They are probably "store set" which means that they were picked out by people with a degree in visuals.

Finally, what is the deal with men only knowing how to tie one knot. That is just stupid. Every man should learn how to tie (at least) the basic three knots. They all have a different time to be used. Most men learned how to tie the only knot that they know from their father. There is nothing wrong with that, but one knot isn't good for every occasion. Oh, and if you are the kind of man that leaves your tie tied when you are not wearing it, please stop. All that does is press permanent wrinkles into the tie. So back to the knots...the first knot that we come to is the four-in-hand. This is the most basic of knots and makes the smallest of knots. It is used with forward point and button down shirts, or if you want to be very Euro, a wide spread collar. Next we come to the half-windsor. This is the lazy brother of the windsor knot but works well when the larger knot doesn't fit. Finally, the full windsor knot (probably named after the Duke of Windsor) is the most elegant knot and, as consequence, the most formal. Regardless of what type of knot you tie, the dimple must be present in the tie just below the base of the knot. This "crease" should be centered and pulled tight. Now that you've mastered all the knots, take the time to learn to tie the bowtie. Final verdict: get out there and master a couple knots then expand your shirt/tie combinations. Every girl's crazy about a sharp dressed man...just remember that.