For a long time Cartier has been over looked as a serious watchmaker. Although they are a top tier jewelery design house (my personal favorite at that), and have been making fantastic watches since the wristwatch was created, for many years their name was far from the lips of those discussing haute horology. That is certainly changing as of late, Carole Forestier-Kaspi is leading the Cartier’s watchmaking department into a new era. Every year they have been coming up with new and innovative complications and creating modern, wearable watches with fine in-house calibres. The latest masterpiece is the Calibre de Cartier Diver, an ISO-certified dive watch powered by the in-house 1904 MC calibre. Continue reading
Growing up, New Years never really held a special significance for me. Mostly it just meant that Christmas was over and along with that, winter break, so school was just around the corner and the long, cold, gray trudge toward spring began. Even as a young adult I never found it particular poignant, sure I celebrated with friends, and I spent quite a few New Year’s eves in Chicago with family. That was a tradition that I became particularly fond of, it was always accompanied by fun, my favorite people, a surf and turf spread that would make a shellfish lover drool, and drinks a plenty. There was also occasionally a bottle of Dom Perignon, or some fireworks, needless to say, enough fun, food, and libation to make your head swim for a few days. Again, it was fun and exciting and I wouldn’t change a thing, but I never made it particularly significant personally.
We can’t really talk about how to look and dress swell with out addressing the basic foundation of clothing. Of course we all know that if you sweat wear an undershirt, going commando is for kids, and tightey-whiteys are way out, but there should be more thought put into your underwear than just grabbing a package of what is on sale at your local stuff-mart. Continue reading
I have fond memories of growing up with my cousins spending time at our grandparents’ house. My grandmother used to teach us how to play poker and we used buttons instead of chips, they also had a great vintage bar in their basement and a gorgeous classic car in their garage (which is now in my garage). This backdrop helped us kids to become thespians; we imagined scenes starring ourselves as mobsters of the coolest make. Of course to “top it off” we all had to have the coolest hat. In my grandparents’ kitchen closet was my grandfather’s hat. He actually had a couple that we wore, but one was always the coolest, and whoever got that one was the “Don”. His hat was the coolest trilby I had ever seen, well at least from a kid’s perspective. I have fond memories of this iconic hat, many fewer men wear hats today, but this one will always be a classic. Continue reading
Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. He had a lot to say about the world around him, as well as the people occupying it. Drastic changes were happening in society and culture in his day which helped to thrust him into the role of a great leader. After escaping from slavery, he became a driving force of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and anti-slavery writing. I am going to share with you some of Frederick Douglass’ wit and wisdom on being a man and ultimately being swell. Continue reading
Here is another swell blog for you to read. The Effortless Gent . The Effortless Gent is a site “dedicated to helping dudes figure out what looks best on them”. It was founded and run by a guy named Barron Cuadro, who also co-founded Fifth&Brannan, a menswear label based in San Francisco. EG is a fantastic analog of How to Be Swell, their forum is for men, and their personal style, whatever style that may be. They promote classic looks and themes, pieces that are timeless that will keep the women interested year after year. Most importantly the site is full of good advice on what to buy that is good quality on a fair budget. They lay out every thing in a simple tasteful manner helping men look like gents effortlessly, so check it out because to me the Effortless Gent is very swell.
There are so many options in neck wear for men today. Some have varied in popularity throughout history, and most are closely related through a common ancestor. The cravat (or cravatte) is the original neck-cloth, dating back to the 17th century Croatian military garb. Next came the Ascot, which was a more tailored version of the cravat, it was designed for casual or “morning” wear (I saw someone wearing an Ascot looking real smart just this weekend). That was very quickly followed by the bow-ties and string ties. I love bow ties as I’ve said before. Some argue that bow-ties and the cravat originated together, or are even one in the same, I believe they are distinctly different. Frome all of those we can derive the modern-day necktie. Since neckties evolved from the early cravats, their width has varied, stretching from barely an inch thick to a ridiculously wide five inches. Today, the typical tie is about 3.5 inches wide. Of course these aren’t the only options men have, but if you read this blog don’t even consider items such as the Bola tie unless you are an oil magnate living in Dallas Texas. Continue reading