Category: Fashion

Why it’s important to love what you do.

Truth be told, I do love what I do. All of it. Yes, even if I’m going from publishing zines to producing a line of beard oils. If I’m not having fun with things, I’m not interested in continuing.

That goes for making The Everyday Gentleman grooming oils. For me, loving it and having fun are top priorities alongside high quality. And whether one knows it or not, those feelings come across in the final product.

There’s a special quality in lining up the tiny battalion of amber bottles, ready to be filled. The gratifying feeling I get in designing and printing these unique labels is beyond compare. Not to mention blending each of the oils and hand pouring these small batches…

I take great care in making sure the blends are harmonious. To me, it’s almost like cooking. Too much of one ingredient can overpower the rest. Oh yeah, and never, ever eat fast food. (You get the correlation here, right?) The same can be said for what you put in your hair. Especially facial hair.

Gentlemen, if you grow, you know: you can’t mess around with the product(s) you put in your beard — or mustache!

Of the essential oils I currently use, Cedarwood is one of my favorites; it’s also a versatile signature scent. It has an earthy aroma, yet the way I use it, the Cedarwood is not too overpowering. I’m careful to make sure all of my beard oils are well-balanced. That’s why people love the way they smell — and feel — on a beard (yes, whether it’s their own or of someone they love).

Here are a few shots of these beautiful amber bottles – getting ready for the next shipment!

I’m looking forward to sharing more behind the scenes of The Everyday Gentleman production and more. Check back soon…

To those who have The Everyday Gentleman in their dopp kit, i hope you’re enjoying them! …and if you haven’t checked them out for yourself, please do so! Visit The Everyday Gentleman.

Cheers!
Johnny

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The Fashion Ninja.

I didn’t know my inner Fashion Ninja was going to come out, but while out for drinks one evening, I was faced with a reminder of something that some men have been doing (or not doing) for quite some time now and it just did. Admittedly, from the first moment I witnessed this years back, I knew my calling in life would be to help those in need of its rectification. (Okay fine, it wasn’t that dramatic, nor is it really my actual calling in life. But I still want to help. Something needs to be done! And someone’s gotta do it…)

Here’s the problem, in a nutshell: men leave the back vent of their suit jacket sewn shut. You know what I am talking about – the two little stitches that hold the back vent of the suit together so it stays put until you bring it home. Yeah that. Once the suit is yours, these little stitches (often called basting stitches or tacks,) need to come out.

I can tell you seeing that is one of the most irritating things for me. We spend so much effort (and money) to look good in a suit. Why are any of us going out with it as such? Gentlemen, let me ask you this: did you remember to get a tailor to hem the pant legs, or are you walking around with eight extra inches of unnecessary material scrunched up around your ankles? (I didn’t think so. Alright then, bring the suit jacket to the same tailor and have them do the full treatment to the suit jacket!)

"X" definitely marks the spot!

"X" definitely marks the spot!

Oh and that reminds me about the loose label found on the outer sleeve of jackets and winter coats; I know people leave those on as well and they should definitely be removed! (That label is only so one can tell the brand name whist shopping in the store – and not for others to see what brand name you are wearing outdoors…) Snip it.

Also, while you’re at it, don’t forget to gently open the basting stitches holding your pockets shut. Yes, they are temporary and should be opened. (You’ll see a tiny gap at the corner so you can get at the stitching.) If you are worried about the pockets “sagging” then you either don’t own enough suits and are wearing the same suit jacket too many times—don’t worry, just make sure to dry clean it after you wear it, while you look for a new suit—or you have way too many items floating around you and are afraid they’ll end up in there. Go light when you’re in a suit and carry less! An extremely important aspect of wearing a suit is your silhouette. Make sure it’s a good one!

I wanted to play Fashion Ninja that evening and slice that mother open – but I didn’t. Next time, the culprit might not be that lucky. Make sure a Fashion Ninja is not sneaking up on you…

Cheers!

It’s Cold Outside, By The Way.

I think I can say with great certainty that if you are reading this, then you know that there is some place colder than where you are. Even if you’re reading this from inside your deathly frigid, overly-air conditioned refrigerator of an office—which by the way you might agree could give Winnipeg a run for its money—there will always be a colder place. That’s why you have to take into consideration the context of your frosty atmosphere and prepare accordingly, especially now that winter is fully upon us.

bundled up

I'm not sure what direction this person is facing, but I hope there's something fabulous under there.

Cold in any city calls for a proper amount of layering that you know you can remove once you’re indoors. Just make sure that when you eventually peel these outer layers off, there’s enough winter fashion shining through. You don’t want to be unpleasantly met with the “you looked better with the anonymity of a bubble jacket” look on someone’s face when they greet you. In some ways, this outdoor frigidity is the best kind of cold, even if you might freeze before you actually get indoors to enjoy that drink. As for being cold in the office: bring a sweater you can take off; hopefully you’ll warm up with all the emails you’re writing.

As I prepare for a short jaunt up to Toronto for the holidays, I am actually looking forward to the winter and the one chance in a year I am able to wear what I’ve always known as “winter clothes,” though it is a foreign term where I currently live.

I also hope I make good on my promise to not say “it’s cold!” this season. I’ll instead opt for gracefully making my statements with season-appropriate fashion. I hope you’ll be doing the same…

Cheers!

The 2 Minute Essential: Sewing a Button

Wait! Before you turn away, I have to tell you that there’s nothing to be afraid of! And you won’t need that machine! (I included it just for better page design.) This topic is basically something I need to talk about by way of driving home a point. Today’s 2 Minute Essential is all about saving yourself in an emergency and maybe getting a little more independence in a way, but not at all about trying out for a spot on Project Runway. There’s a difference, people.

Take for example today: I spent the better part of the morning (after remaining immovable on the sofa for some time with my first cup of coffee,) readying the plaid shirt I was “feeling” and the right dark denim with suitable black high tops (and of course the socks!) As it turned out, the shirt I wanted needed ironing. Nothing wrong with that—selecting an outfit in the morning to reflect my mood of the day sometimes comes with this last-minute work needed, like ironing. But I got this. The ironing job was almost complete: the final piece was the front panel of the shirt—the side with the buttons. (Yes, I always iron the front panels last and you should, too—it’s the first thing people see.)

That’s when it happened. The third-from-the-top button unraveled and fell off. This was not good; without it, I would seem like a Tom Selleck look-alike, just without all that…hair. Or the tropical prints. (What, it’s the last day of Movember; he’s the first analogy that came to mind.)

But I digress. Going out with a button missing from anywhere on your shirt is unacceptable. I didn’t want to rethink my choice in clothing so I did the other first thing that came to mind: I was going to sew it back on.

Now, you may know a few things about me already and therefore you are quite aware that I do not brag about my sewing abilities. Of course the fact that I have none really has a lot to do with that. Yet there I was: needle and thread in hand, ready to strike the first pinch into my thumb. Just as I drew back the needle for its initial descending plunge, I started channeling my dear Grandmother Catherine—legendary for being the family’s sewing genius among other things—who, although passed away quite some time ago, still lives on in my mind (sometimes inspiring me in moments like these). Whether or not it was she who sewed on this button or if it was my sheer determination, the fact is it got done.

Minutes later, I was out the door—no one was the wiser (of course until now).

The essence of The 2 Minute Essential is something powerful enough that you are able to accomplish in two minutes’ time. So if you are traveling alone for business (hotels have those sewing kits in their rooms for a reason other than stealing as a memento) and you find yourself at a loss in the button department or at home and simply don’t want to revisit an entire morning’s worth of work for something that could have taken you two minutes, this one is dedicated to you.

For a really quick tip on how to sew a button, check this out – courtesy of our friends over at Esquire:

It doesn’t matter how you get the damned thing on—channel your Grandmother or Google it—just be sure this is something you can do. It’ll only take two minutes. Button up!

Cheers!

Fighting That Feeling.

I am contemplating something that I hope most of you will find amusing in some way. Often times, you may see my sense of humor come out in these posts. That’s not to say I will be using this as a launch pad for my stand-up comedy career (of which there is none to speak of, by the way).

First, let’s cover a basic fact: fashion for me is most definitely an expression, but it all has to look and feel good. If that unique—and oftentimes challenging—combination isn’t met, it is extremely difficult for me to walk out the door properly. (Yes, that means I would resort to the kicking and the screaming.) That said—and aside from meetings, weddings, and funerals—I usually do not have my day-to-day outfits pre-planned. It’s just not possible. Not that the scene of me getting dressed is anything to laugh at, but when it comes to taking a chance with something I am going to get creative with, it might get a little comic.

Ready for my close-up.

Let me take you to the other morning when I chose to focus on a striped cotton sweater (October in Miami = yes, we’re ready for sweaters!) Tan pants and a pair of chucks added to it. And I’m done, right? Wrong. Come now, haven’t we learned anything about the importance of socks yet?

So yes, the socks were the last element—and perhaps equally important as the obvious sweater. I had in my hand a pair that was solid red, but I wanted to feel rewarded when someone saw that I sported my black-and-red argyles. It’s that little push over the designed edge that can make or break you. As I said, it’s about standing out in great socks, so yes I was going to be fine; I knew this combination would work. And so I ran back into the closet for the argyles. For whatever reason, I couldn’t get the closet door opened—even after several attempts. Being raised almost completely with superstitions, I naturally took this as a sign. It would be no argyle socks; only solid for me. But really, who was I kidding? Was I going to let the old saying “it’s meant to be” dictate my day? Not at all. (I could see if I was buying tickets for a ride on the Titanic only to find they were sold out that I would jump up and say: “You see, it was meant to be!”) But not these socks. No way.

I gritted my teeth and pulled at the closet door handle until the damned thing gave way. As it turned out, there was a small article of clothing holding it shut. Not some Divine Intervention. Well, I wasn’t about to board the Titanic, so I think I was good. 

The idea here is that you should not count on anything so ridiculous to dictate your decisions. If argyle socks is what you are after, then grab them. Even if while getting them, you look like some barefoot maniac in a striped sweater struggling with a closet door. I know what that must look like to you—and you’d be correct. I take these things quite seriously. So should you…

Cheers!

Exceptional Design Goes Everywhere If You’re Ready

It is easy to say that good art or good design is hard to find. Of course it feels like that has to be the case, generally speaking; that idea keeps us in check. If you want something good, something meaningful, you have to be open to it—in a sense, you have to work for it. And if you are among the few of us that feels like these things come to you without your having to try too hard to find them, then it would stand to reason that you are working toward this kind of commitment to great things in some aspects of your life anyway. And yes, it’s all coming to you.

It may very well be more appropriate to say that good design is out there, only we should add that information is fragmented so much that you have to have laser focus in order to find what’s best. In addition to the horrific fragmentation and questionable trustworthiness of almost every source, you have to sort through so much ‘noise’ as well. Being open to it will bring you in contact with it, but the rest really has a lot to do with the work you put in. Building that laser focus, as it were.

Recently I was gifted the insight into something of this nature – something that incorporates into its name what it stands for and what it actually accomplishes: exceptional design. The company is called EDGE Wallcoverings (Exceptional Design Goes Everywhere) and they incorporate larger-than-life art prints into their interior designs, rich with texture and seething with color. Comfortable in their success and creative abilities in wall coverings, EDGE is now taking a leap into new territory, and the end result is as gorgeous as their wall coverings and interiors: EDGE Scarves.

Tribal Sea Diamond

Tribal Sea Diamond design by EDGE

I am very much looking forward to their new creations and watching their trajectory. I encourage you to continue on to EDGE the way you were lead to this post. And let yourself get in touch with something new and elevated. Behind the wall—and beneath the scarves—are great people doing great things.

It’s a strong belief of mine to connect and be connected. I’ll present to you more of what I come across as it happens.

Cheers!

My Five Minutes on the “2 Minute Essential”

It’s too simple to overlook and too necessary to avoid. It’s the finishing touch; what makes you polished. Standing out among the rest, even. And it could only take two minutes. That’s why I am giving you the “2 Minute Essential.”

Every once in a while I’ll be spending more or less five minutes talking about my latest “2 Minute Essential.” An Essential is just that: something you wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) do without. Something you can grab (usually at the last minute,) and go – all within two minutes.

Take today for example, when I was contemplating wearing jeans and a t-shirt. But not just any t-shirt. This one is sharp and well-designed; I didn’t want to just throw it on. I felt like I would have been half-done if I stopped there. Anyone could do that. But the 2 Minute Essential is more about getting something to go your way. (And that’s what we’re all about, right?)

So I have this deconstructed black blazer that goes great with almost everything; that went over top right away. (A deconstructed blazer is basically one that is comfortable and great-looking without the padding and lining; the fabric is usually made to cross a few seasons so it’s pretty versatile.) Now I was almost done. Almost. Whether you know it already or not, I am a fanatic for scarves. (Yes, scarves year-round and I do currently live in Miami. More to come on that soon…) The scarf I chose worked as a great balance between the fabrics and colors of the rest. I was done.

There you have it: my five minutes on a 2 Minute Essential. A season-appropriate scarf (and it should be one that matches your personality) and a deconstructed blazer can save your outfit from quite possibly a bland jeans / t-shirt combination.

Cheers!