Month: February 2014

Weekend Review….Off to the USA!

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,
 
Hope you all had a fabulous dapper weekend. Tonight’s post is going to be a little different than my norm. I just spent a fantastic weekend in Burlington, Vermont with my girlfriend and would like to share my experience with you all! 
 
We had the intention of leaving at 7:30 am Saturday morning but it did not happen because somebody (not me!) decided to sleep in past the agreed wakeup time of 7 am! So by 8:30 we ended up being on the road to Vermont. We reached there at around 10:30 heading straight for our favorite breakfast place there, I am talking about iHop
Chocolate Chocolate Chip pancakes, a must try!

After fuelling up it was time to browse University Mall for a while. The only good store for clothes in there is Express. As much as I love this store and was tempted by the suits and shirts, I held off as I wanted to see what they had at the stores we would check out later in the day. Another note about this mall is that they had this really cool collectibles shop selling everything from samurai swords, comics, sports cards and vintage action figures.

I finally made my first few purchases at the huge Barnes and Noble just across the street from the mall. After dropping my girlfriend off at a shop in a strip mall down the street I ventured in to the bookstore and felt like a kid in a candy store. You all may or may not know this, but I am a huge bookworm and love my history, I got quite a good haul for around $40. Next up was the TJ Maxx and HomeGoods. Nothing too impressive there, I just picked up a Michael Kors belt for 11.99 and a frame at HomeGoods for one of my favorite pics of us together.
I picked up a copy of Sun Tzu’s Art of War,  a copy of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, a book called The Confederate Nation because I love my Civil War history and instead of reading about the Union and the North, I’d like to know more about the South. Last but not least I got a nice 893 page book about my favorite painter/artist, Vincent Van Gogh. I have only learned to appreciate art very recently and am much looking forward to reading about the life of a man whose style of paintings I admire.
It was hard to drag myself out of that store but somehow I did and it was off to our hotel to check in and relax a bit. The beautiful Green Mountain Suites is where we stayed. We may have splurged paying $185 for the night but it was very much worth it. It has a very chalet-like vibe when you first walk in and of course, as mentioned in the name, every room is a suite. This was ours:
NIce fireplace in the lobby
I recommend this hotel to anyone looking to stay in Burlington for a weekend.
 
Post-laziness, we got our butts up and ready for an evening of dining and shopping on Church street. If you don’t know Church street then you need to know about it! It is the main area of Burlington, a pedestrian only street with all kinds of shops and restaurants lining it and at night, it is all lit up like Christmas.
 
 
 
For dinner, we hit up the same great spot we enjoyed last year, the Sweetwater Bistro. Located in an old bank building, this place is a true delight. I indulged in some clam chowder (when in Rome!), a locally brewed beer, and my angus burger with sweet potato fries (duh). Tip for dining on Church street, get there early because places fill up fast! We were here at 6 pm and got a table right away.
 
I love this girl!!
 
 
Original door of the old bank that used to inhabit the building, I’m a sucker for things like this!
With our stomachs now full, we were set to tackle the one day sale going on at Macy’s at the Burlington Town Center. Once again, I was like a kid in a candy store when I saw the sale on suits going on! After much deliberation, I finally settled on a splendid light grey 2 piece suit on sale for $229 original price being $495!!!! I was ready to open up a Macy’s credit card to get an extra 20% off but for some reason my application did not go through, the kind older lady working the cash was still nice enough to knock off 10% bringing my total to $206, a hell of a deal n steal for real (my one cheesy rhyme for this post). It will need some altering for the pants but for an off the rack suit, fit pretty good overall.
Post-shopping, a trip to the liquor store was in order where I bought a pint bottle of a microbrewery beer and ended the evening relaxing and watching TV with a nice cold beer.

Sunday morning I set my alarm to 7:30 a.m so we could get an early jump on the day and to catch a bit of the gold medal hockey game between Canada and Sweden. After a nice hot buffet breakfast it was time to check out and hit the road for more shopping!

First stop were the outlets in Essex, about 15 mins away from Burlington. I was looking forward to hitting up the Brooks Brothers outlet, and my other half wanted to check out dresses at BCBG. Well to her dismay, we found out that the store had closed, so we went to check out Brooks Brothers for me. Deliberation was the key word of that store because I could not decide on anything to buy, I had hoped to find a nice slim fit dress shirt on sale but there were none in my size, but I had to buy something there so I settled on a preppy looking ribbon belt which will be great for summer.

Next stop was the Marshall’s in Williston and that’s where I knew the girlfriend would have a field day! Low and behold as I was browsing the aisles a few minutes later I see her with a full carriage of shoes and purses asking me for my help and opinion. (She left with a good pair of shoes she can wear to the many upcoming wedding related occasions she has in the coming months). As for me, the selection for men was slim but I left with (drumroll)….another book! This one called Icons of Men’s Style which no doubt piqued my interest when I saw it.

Add a bag of cedar blocks to hang in my closet (Hint: cedar works great for absorbing moisture and odour for clothes and shoes) and that was that.

A quick jaunt to Pet Smart for some doggie treats for her cutie of a dog and to Wal Mart for some great priced groceries and it was back to University Mall to grab a fresh Auntie Annes pretzel and it was time to (sadly) hit the road back home.

As small of a city as Burlington is, we definitely enjoyed it, there are many things to do and see I would recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a quick weekend getaway south of the border.

As always stay dapper!

The Don

Bonus: On the road back home I had to pull over and take a picture of this old abandoned general store. It’s like stepping into a time machine when you see it.

Style Icons

 

Good evening ladies and gentlemen

 

Tonight I would like to share with you my personal style icons. Men that I try to emulate in my style that exude a timeless look that never fades from glory. Whether you admit it or not, we all have icons for the way we dress, and here are mine (in no particular order)

 

 

#1  Frank Sinatra 

 

Mr. Ol’ Blue Eyes gets a nod from me due to the pride he took in his look when appearing in public. He would never be caught out in jeans and a t-shirt, instead favouring tailored suits and tuxedos. That’s why when I go out somewhere special, I always make it a point to dress up and take pride. Of course we cannot forget his trademark fedora worn, always worn cocked at an angle because “angles are attitudes”. 

 

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#2 John F Kennedy 

 

President Kennedy was one all around cool cat. His style is part of what defined him. He could make a casual outfit look right and make a business suit look cool. Brooks Brothers slim cut suits for work and khakis, sweaters and his trademark Ray Ban wayfarer sunglasses for play. He was and still is, the best dressed President.  

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Dig this nautical vibe

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#3 David Ogilvy

 

Not too many people may know of this fine British gent, but he was a legend in the world of advertising and he rocked the British gentleman role to a T. As described from the book The Real Mad Men: The Renegades of Madison Avenue and The Golden Age of Advertising, ” He dressed for his parts. He didn’t wear a business suit. Sometimes he dressed as an English country gentleman with his brogues, a tweed jacket and lapels on his vest. Sometimes he wore a kilt, before anyone had ever seen one. Sometimes, at big state occasions, he put on this kind of purple vest that looked vaguely ecclesiastical. But he never wore a normal business suit, never” It is for this reason that he has a spot on my list, Ogilvy marched to the beat of his own drum when it came to style, yet still was not dressed so outrageous that he looked silly. And not to mention that I love that old English gentleman look!

 

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#4 Dwyane Wade/Lebron James

Besides being my favorite basketball players on my favorite team (Go Heat!) These two are also my top dressed athletes in my opinion. Both have been on the cover of GQ, (Wade even has his own line of neckties/bowties/accessories in a collaboration with The Tie Bar) Every time you see them before or after a game or at an event, they are always dressed to the nines. They take their style seriously and it shows. They’re not afraid to experiment with color either and be a little different because, why blend in when you can stand out?

 

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There is my list, short and sweet. Hope you may be able to take some tips from these fine gentlemen that I try to take tips from in my own style. Have a great Sunday night.

 

Stay Dapper,

 

The Don

Mad for Plaid!

Good day gentlemen, this post will tackle one of my favorite patterns in clothing and that is plaid.

Plaid (or tartan) was first worn by the Scots in the form of kilts in the 17th century as a sign of resistance against the empire and was banned for a few decades for this reason. For many years it was a staple of the working man’s flannel shirt until the mid 20th century when the pattern popped up on blazers, and even tuxedos  in the 1970s (thankfully we have not seen this trend since!). Plaid flannel shirts enjoyed another revival in the 90s with the grunge rock movement and people would often wear them tied around their waist.

Nowadays, you can find plaid on a number of items of clothing. Ties, shirts, blazers, pocket squares, scarves and even pants and suits! I do not recommend that you wear an all-plaid uniform, I do recommend  however, that you incorporate it into your wardrobe and wear one item in any given outfit just to give it a dash of brash confidence. Observe this example:

See how the first thing you notice about the outfit is the blazer? That’s the reaction you want! Wear it with a light colored shirt (remember, white goes with any and everything) and you got a recipe for dapperness!

Of course another way to use plaid in your outfit is by rocking a plaid tie as seen here:

Notice how it is paired with contrasting patterns and a darker color to help accentuate it’s color and pattern. Remember the basics!

And of course you can always use a plaid shirt in your wardrobe as demonstrated below:

Layered under a cardigan, it is a great casual weekend look that will make you look good without even trying!

One thing I would really like to rock one day would be a beautiful prince of wales plaid suit such as this one from Indochino. Notice the subtlety of the pattern here that allows you to mix and match your shirts and ties easier for it.

So there you have it. The next time you look at a plaid shirt/blazer/tie/scarf/pocket square, remember this post, pick it up and imagine the dapper possibilities, step out of that comfort zone!

As always, stay dapper 😉

The Don