Pea Coat

Ahhh, my trusty pea coat. Some people may call it a navy coat, officers coat or even pilots jacket. What ever you call it, this is about the best jacket money can buy. It is an iconic piece of clothing that has remained relatively unchanged in its long history. This should be a staple in your winter wardrobe, it is my go to winter jacket, I wear it over my work dress clothes and pair it with my favorite heavy wool striped scarf and I am ready for just about anything. Continue reading

Every Swell Man Should Learn…

I read a blog post recently on The Art of Manliness called “What the Young Man Should Know” from Harper’s weekly. It was a great article from the 30s that was a list of skills or tasks that the author believed every young man should learn. It included a few A few items that are still important today, and a few that are no longer necessary (keeping a horse), practical (chopping wood), or advisable (hitch hiking), but it is a great list none the less. I thought for all of you swell readers I would update it for the modern man. I have compiled a list of skills that every swell guy should learn in their lifetime.

I think that this post may spawn a loose series of small posts about how to carry out these tasks; after all I can hardly give you a list without telling you how to accomplish it. So look for some of these items coming up in the category ESMSL, so on that note let’s begin.

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Garden and gun

A friend turned me on to this publication some time ago. He came over for a dinner party at my house and said “I know you will appreciate this, talk about being swell, well this is it it’s all in here.” Well he was right I was all in… Well once I got past the title that is. I am speaking of Garden & Gun, for those of you in the know, I don’t need to tell you how great this magazine is Garden and Gun really is about all things swell, specifically in the south. Continue reading

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

Swell driving shoes-The original Car Shoe

Car Shoe Classic driving shoeCars with nice leather and heated steering wheels may have eliminated the need for driving gloves for the modern driver, but driving shoes certainly still have a place. I haven’t put much thought into driving shoes until recently, even though I have always been aware of them. Now, I’ve found a great driving shoe that you all need to check out.

Not my car…..unfortunately

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The Proper Care and Feeding of your Summer Style

After writing on mens swim wear, I decided to continue the trend of helping men look swell in summer wear. When it is warm us guys want to be comfortable, and we sometimes have limited options depending on the occasion, so here is a guide to help – The care and feeding of your summer style.

Shorts:

There arent many items in a man’s wardrobe that elicit as much debate as shorts do.I am going to give you some help on wearing them. Shorts are a modern addition to a man’s wardrobe and thus are still finding acceptance.  Although common everywhere in North America, they are not common in many other parts of the world,even where its hot.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries there were many English words for shortened men’s pants. “Knickerbockers” were baggy pants that gathered below the knee, shorter, tighter-fitting trousers that ended at the knee were “knee pants”, and “short pants” sometimes meant knee-pants and sometimes meant shorter garments still. Outside of swimming trunks or boxer shorts most varieties were considered clothing for boys, both unofficially and as part of many school uniforms. Grown men didn’t start wearing shorts beyond a few extremely hot climates around the globe until after World War II.  Soldiers stationed in the tropics were issued short trousers both for comfort and to ration cloth, and this caught on when they came home. Continue reading

Bulova Accutron Calibrator

I am admittedly a watch fanatic, and I believe it’s been to long without a watch post on Howtobeswell. Something exciting is around the corner from Bulova that I have just got to talk about. With both mechanical and quartz designs, Bulova watches are intricately and elegantly detailed, using fine quality materials. Founded in 1875, Bulova is one of the world’s most recognized brands, and reaches a wide range of consumers with its variety of watches and clock offerings.  An independent subsidiary of Citizen Watch Company, Bulova is headquartered in New York City.
 
 At Basel World 2012, Bulova announced a revolutionary advance in timekeeping accuracy- at least for the wearer. They are introducing the Bulova Accutron Calibrator, featuring the External Fine Adjustment System (EFAS). This feature allows watch enthusiasts the ability to control the accuracy of their automatic watches, maintaining 99.99% accuracy simply, and without need for a technician. – Their claim, but from them it carries some weight. 

Mens Swim-wear

The warm weather is here, and that means its time for the waves. Since it is now the first official day of summer, I am thinking about swimming. Now, us men have many options for swim wear so that means that there is no excuse not to look swell, even at the beach this summer.

There are three main categories of modern swim wear available to men. Depending on body type each of these styles of suits have something great to offer. They are as follows: Continue reading

Chopard and the Mille Miglia….II

This is the second of a two-part piece about the storied Mille Miglia Race- the exhibition of speed and machinery, the most important auto-cross event in the world,  and the  Chopard watch that bears its name.

Part 2:

The Chopard Mille Miglia Chronograph. Chopard is a Swiss-based luxury watch, jewelry, and Accessories Company founded in 1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard. Chopard initially concentrated on developing precision pocket watches and chronometers. Chopard is regarded as a manufacture, in other words that they make many of their watches and movements in-house rather than using the base movements (ebauches) of other manufacturers.

 

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The Skinny Tie

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