The Most Amazingly Swell Men’s Skivvies Money Can Buy

charcoal-orange-300x300We 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

A Swell Guide to Growing up Already, and Being a Man.

oliver-strewe-man-and-boy-watching-work-oriomo-plateau-western-papua-new-guineaWelcome to my 100th Blog post on How to be Swell! What better way to celebrate 100 posts than to go back to basics and discuss what it takes to be Swell! I stumbled across a great list of what it means to be a man the other day, I found it on Business Insider, feel free to read it in its entirety. I was inspired by some of what was there to compile my own list, maybe you could call this post “finally the follow up to Frederick Douglass on Being Swell” . Nah, I like a Swell Guide to Growing up Already.

So I co-opted this list read from  @GSElevator and John Carney (@Carney) of CNBC.com  and edited it to suit my swell readers and added some quotes that are meaningful to me as well We’ve all seen and perhaps grown tired of guides and lists that are full of tedious clichés and humdrum regurgitated meme wisdom.  so, here is a swell look at what it means to be a swell man today loosely categorized, now Grow up already. Continue reading

The French Cuffed Shirt

With Pearls

I am a man who like jewelry. Of course I would, I am a gemologist, I run a jewelry store, and I blog about mens fashion and jewelry. Unfortunately there is a limit (contrary to what some men believe) to how much jewelry men can wear. I am not going to lie, there are some days I push that limit, but if you do it right and subtle you can get away with just a little extra. Here is where the french cuffed shirt comes in . Now that is sort of tongue in cheek, I don’t wear frenched cuffs just to wear extra jewelry, that’s a bonus.20121206-182004.jpg Continue reading

I’m Bringing Paisley Back

paisleyAhh My favorite pattern, If Justin Timberlake can Bring Sexy Back, I can Bring Paisley back! Well it never actually left, it seems to be in a perpetual state of renaissance, as much of an oxymoron that may be. The Paisley pattern is one of the most enduring in textiles. Its name is derived from a town of the same name in central Scotland. Paisley (the town) was where a huge surge of textiles bearing the design were manufactured in the early 19th century, to meet the demand of the returning colonial soldiers who had seen it in the far east. It is English for a design of eastern origin. Resembling a twisted teardrop, the kidney-shaped the design is known as Boteh Jegheh and it has been used in Iran since the Sassanid Dynasty (AD 224 to AD 651).express-paisley-button-down-1

HandlerImports from the East India Company in the first half of the 17th century made paisley and other eastern patterns popular. It was thought to ward off evil demons. Paisley was also particularly popular during the sixties identified with psychedelic style and the interest in Indian culture promoted by the The Beatles trip to India in 1968. At that time Fender even made a pink paisley version of their Telecaster guitar, by using wallpaper on the guitar bodies.

Today you can find it in all sorts of great clothing and accessories for men and for women. It is so much more than just some design you once saw on your grandfathers handkerchief. contrary to what the uninitiated may think it is a very masculine design, representing strength and fertility. Although that thought never enters my mind when I wear it, I just like the look. A quite a few mens designers have incorporated it into ties, pocket squares, shirts and even jackets! And for women the options are endless.

bow tie

shortsA few designers have done a great job with this; Indochino has a nice assortment shirts, ties and accessories, and Bertigo offers some beautiful shirts with contrasting color cuffs, but one of my favorite conceptions of it is in the extra slim fit shirt from Express. It’s done in a black and white paisley pattern. Cut in a slim (athletic) fit and is 100 percent cotton, so it is comfortable and durable. The make it is a few patterns, and they are all great, and if you hit them during a sale (which seems like all the time) you can get a nice quality, great looking dress shirt for pretty little.

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The Trilby Fedora

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