advice

Today’s Tip! September 27, 2016

There are 3 types of men that every gentleman needs to have in his life to help keep him dapper from literally head to toe, they are:

#1 Barber

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You should be visiting a barber (yes a barber, in a barber shop, not some hairdresser in a salon) once every 3-4 weeks. And a good one can tell you if they think a certain crazy idea you have will look good on you or not. My to-go Montreal barber for the past 3-4 years has been Montallegro Barber Shop. Opened and still run by 2 Italian brothers, the shop is like going back in time to the 1960s, I love it! When I lived in Ottawa, my go-to spot was Roma Barbershop. Again another shop opened and run by 2 Italian brothers. And again it was a no-frills, step back in time nostalgia trip. While I am glad to see a revival of barber shops in recent years, I will not pay $40 for a haircut just because you’ll give me a beer while I wait and have all this fancy decor. Give me an seasoned old Italian barber in a no frills shop for $15-25 any day!

#2 Tailor

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Bought a new suit off the rack (shame on you, you need to check out Eph Apparel and call me!..shameless plug) and need to get some alterations done to have it fit you like a million bucks? Lost some weight and need to have some shirts taken in? Maybe you fell off the diet wagon lately and put on a few pounds and need to let out those pants. Then you need a tailor who can fix/repair/alter your garments to make them look their best on you. Just another piece of advice, don’t expect tailors to be miracle workers, if you have an event coming up go well in advance to your tailor if you need anything done. My Montreal tailor go-to is Charles le Tailleur. And my Ottawa one was hands down Raymond Tailor of Distinction. Tailoring is a dying breed so it seems, here’s to hoping more young people see this as a career and field of choice!

#3 Cobbler

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They say that women notice a man’s shoes first. If that’s the case then you better know a good cobbler for when your nice go-to pair of leather monkstraps get a hole in the sole. (Another tip, invest in quality leather soled stitched shoes, the soles can be replaced when worn out, extending the life of the shoes). Soles of your black wingtips detaching from the body of the shoe? Find a good cobbler. I can’t give any recommendations here as I have not used one yet. But do some research in your local area and go with the best! I myself am in need of one to replace the soles of my leather boots, so if anyone knows of one in the Montreal area, do let me know!

 

So there you have it, 3 men you must know to keep you dapper from (literally) head to toe!

Until next time,

 

-The Don

 

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Tip of the Day, May 7

As the temperature continues rising and your social calendar fills up with events such as weddings, baptisms and so on, leave the wool suit at home. Instead, turn to something in a lighter fabric like a cotton/seersucker or linen. Will they wrinkle a little bit? Sure they will. But you know what? Embrace the wrinkles like you just don’t care and be the coolest guy (literally) in the room!

Sit outside today, crack open a couple of cold ones and enjoy the weather.

 

-The Don

Tip of the Day!

Vintage and Secondhand store (thrift shops) can be a great way to amplify your accessories and outerwear without breaking the bank. My favorite shop in Ottawa is Ragtime Vintage Clothing on Flora St. Nothing like finding vintage designer ties for  $30. Combine them with modern tailoring and you’ll stand out in a crowd, in a good way of course 😉

 

-The Don

Hestia Tobacco: A Review

Good day Dapperites,

Now I know I have advocated against cigarette smoking in the past. And I will now come clean on the fact that I do enjoy an occasional cigarette (only when I get my hands on ones from the good old U.S of A), nothing beats a good unfiltered Lucky Strike or a Camel (hey Sinatra smoked em!). But this post today will be on a new kind of tobacco product on the market. I’m talking about Hestia Tobacco All-Natural Filtered Craft Cigars.

Do they look like cigarettes? Yes! Was it their intention to be a cigarette? As a matter of fact it was. I won’t blab on about it but you can check out their story here about the founder’s battle with the FDA and subsequent designation as a filtered cigar.

I came across their site one day and got curious so ordered a couple of packs. At $12 USD for 2 (plus shipping of course) I thought “why not” ? I’ve always enjoyed cigars and an occasional dart so let’s see what they got here.

Well I will tell you I was pretty impressed. With their only ingredients being tobacco (aged in cedar) and water, you know you’re getting a quality smoke with no BS additives in there. The fact that they come in an old school soft-pack with a cool design and logo was one thing that drew me to them. Secondly, they enclose a pretty cool card with a quote from Abe Lincoln himself, “Folks who have no vices have few virtues” along with their support for independent tobacco farmers (they give back 10% of the profits to them)….OK Time out for a second, I know this sounds like some hippy/hipster bullshit, but if you know me you know I’m far from it, I just like a quality smoke! Check out the back of the pack:

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My favorite part of the pack is their tagline, “we all know they are addictive” gotta love the brutal honesty.

As for the cigar itself, it’s long filter and tobacco wrapper really stand out. I would prefer a shorter filter for more flavor but that’s just me:

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How do they taste? Completely blew away my expectation, they taste exactly as they smell, like a high quality cigar (I’m sure it’s the aging in cedar that does it!), really get a clean tobacco taste with no nasty aftertaste. I’ve heard these are great with coffee but I’ve yet to try it as it’s currently -20C here in Ottawa. I will definitely try that combo come springtime. Anyways I highly recommend these, a great alternative to cigarette smokers and great for cigar lovers who want the taste of a cigar on the go!

Stay dapper my friends, and a Happy Valentine’s Day to All!  

-The Don 😉

Style Trends (And Why You Should Ignore Them)

Good Evening Dapperites,

I hope you all had a great holiday season with your loved ones. I’ll just share a few  sartorial pictures from my holidays to begin this post:

 

(Psst, check out the holiday sweater knit tie, really proud about that one. Some people think you can only wear it once a year but I’ll probably wear it in the middle of summer, just because I’m the Don and I can dammit!)

 

Now onto why I’m writing this post. As you know (unless you are living on the planet Jakku, there’s a bone for all you Star Wars geeks!) we are in the year 2016 and with it you can expect to be bombarded with articles from fashion mags and sites proclaiming the “trends” to look for during the year. Well I’m here to tell you read them, take them sumbitches, turn them sideways and stick em straight up your candyass! (Ok don’t literally do that, it will hurt, and some parts of the articles may be useful, just keep reading this post)

Here’s an example of one of those articles from GQ. Now what you must know is that magazines like this (or any magazine for that matter) are also flooded with ads bought and paid for by companies that want you to buy their clothing and buy into trends featured in articles. But since you’ve been reading this blog, you should have a more grounded sense of style than to just follow the newest/latest/hottest trends.

If you have good basic knowledge of style, then you just need to ignore all the perpetuated “trends” that are trying to be forced on you as though you don’t know any better. Sure you can throw a trend or 2 into your outfits, but please do not go out and buy half a new wardrobe just because some magazine told you to. You will just look ridiculous and look like you’re trying too hard. If you want some advice for the new year in style I will rattle off some of my personal style commandments for the new year:

  1. Thou shalt embrace one’s personal style and not rely solely on trends
  2. Thou shalt mix in vintage pieces with modern to achieve a unique personal style
  3. Thou shalt make use of the art of sprezzatura
  4. Thou shalt not copy ridiculously bad celebrity style such as  Jaden Smith (whom GQ has head their head up his ass for a while now)
  5. Thou shalt look for form and function when shopping for items
  6. Thou shalt buy at least one custom made suit (Yes I know cheap plug, but hey it’s my damn blog!)
  7. Thou shalt not wear sneakers with a suit, I don’t care how many times GQ tries to force this look down my throat
  8. Thou shalt eliminate (or re-purpose) items that do not fit anymore, are torn or have holes
  9. Thou shalt dress for the occasion (there is no 1 outfit fits all solution)
  10. Thou shalt dress like a grown man and not try to dress like a teenager

In a nutshell, what I am advocating is for you to be your own man when it comes to your style. Do not let it be dictated by what you see on TV, on magazines and on websites. At the same time however, do not stray off into the zone of ridiculousness:

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So there you have it folks. My take on why you should ignore what the supposed “trends” are and just build off your own basic knowledge, taking inspiration from here and there but never copy an entire trend list verbatim. You will spend waste money and you WILL look like a complete tool.

 

Stay dapper my friends!

 

-The Don 😉

 

P.S. Look for a very cool feature and event recap for my next post, can’t tell you what it is yet, just wait n read!

 

Product Reviews Oldschool and Newschool

Good evening dapperites,

Before I being this review, I feel it’s important to note that I have not been paid by either company to conduct these reviews nor were the products given to me by them for free. So with that out of the way let’s get right to it!

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The first product up for review is an oldschool hair grooming product, Jeris Hair Tonic. For those of you unfamiliar, hair tonic used to be a common product back in the day especially by barbers who would use it to massage the scalp and style the hair at the same time. Now I like to use tonic occasionally to give my hair a more natural yet structured look since tonic dries out and doesn’t have that “wet-look”. I just finished up a bottle of Vitalis Hair Tonic so when I was dragged along to Sally’s Beauty Supply, I spotted the bottle of Jeris lurking at the bottom shelf near the cash. I decided to pick it up and give it a shot. So how did it turn out? Pretty disappointing to say the least. I find that while it smells nice, it offers very little hold to the hair. At first I thought since I was in need of a haircut that it was hindering the product’s ability but even after cutting my hair thus having less of it, it was a disappointment. In other words, you practically have to carry the bottle around all day and re-apply to have a decent hold. I think I will be going back to Vitalis once this bottle is done. But I will say this about hair tonics and oldschool hair products in general, if it’s been around a long time, there’s a good reason for it. I have read that the Jeris version with oil offers a bit more hold, but I don’t plan on taking that plunge.

Onto the second product, Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Moisturizer . Now I’ve stressed the importance of taking care of your skin before on here and when doing so, I encourage the use of the best products you can afford. Your skin is no place to skimp out on. I discovered this moisturizer when I purchased my face wash from Kiehl’s and took the moisturizer as one of my samples. When my old moisturizer ran out I didn’t hesitate and immediately purchased the Kiehl’s one because I loved the sample. So why do I love it so much? Well when putting it on I immediately felt it go to work “waking” my skin up making it feel energized and ready for the day. It advertises:

“Our vitamin-enriched and energizing non-oily moisturizer wakens and uplifts dull, fatigued skin. This “facial recovery accelerator” helps skin resist the affects of environmental stress for a healthy, invigorated appearance. The formula, with Vitamin C and E, Chestnut extract and Soy, helps waken tired-looking skin and helps improve skin’s look and texture. With use, your skin will feel refueled, re-energized and revitalized!”

And boy does it ever perform. Living the student life again, it’s full of late nights and early mornings and this does the trick in the morning to help me look my best and improving the look of my skin. This is one product I definitely recommend. Remember, being dapper goes beyond just the clothes you wear, it’s about taking care of yourself too!

Hopefully these reviews will help a few of you out there make smart decisions when it comes to buying products to fulfill a dapper life. Until next time….stay dapper my friends!

The Don 😉

New Style Icon: Lapo Elkann

Lapo Elkann, Gianni Agnelli’s grandson, accomplished businessman/entrepreneur and a hell of a snazzy dresser. I’m talking extremely-wide lapels, bright colors, funky accessories and done with confidence which is always key!

Listen to some good life advice from him here:

Notice the use of bold colors, how he uses eyewear as a sartorial statement and carries himself with confidence, which pulls it all together. What I’m trying to tell you my friends, is that you gotta live on the edge and take chances when you dress, be bold, make a statement sometimes, or if you have his or my confidence level, dress like this always! Because gentlemen, the best thing you can wear besides a suit is your confidence 😉

Buona Sera, Goodnight,

-The Don 😉