lifestyle

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

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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 😉

(Layered) Look of the Day

Perfect example of layering in the frigid months right here:

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Colorful V-neck merino wool sweater to liven up a neutral grey suit and neutral colored tie. A little layering goes a long way in making a dapper impact!

Dappering in the Summetime: Your Guide to Staying Cool in the Summer Heat

Yes Yes I’m still here, just got a lot going on in the world of the Don, big changes coming in my life to prepare for but I am here and here is the latest post:

 

So it’s that time of year again, the dog days of summer are here where the humidex makes it feel like 40 degrees out and sweat drips from every pore of your body by just standing still. So what’s a gent to do if he wants to stay looking dapper without having the sweat patches everywhere? Well grab a cold one, sit back and learn!

#1  Take care of your birthday suit

What do I mean by this? I mean invest in a good anti-perspirant (I like the Arm&Hammer branded one) to stay cool n dry in the pitts, and talc powder (I use Pinaud Clubman or Gold Bond) to avoid SCS (sweaty crotch syndrome) and on your feet so you don’t smell like you walked through a swamp at the end of the day.

 

Keep your man-parts cool n dry with this classic barbershop staple!

 

#2  Meet your new friend, linen!

This is definitely my material of choice when the humidex hits 40+. They sell everything in linen these days, from shorts, shirts, pants and even suits and ties! (Love my all-white linen suit). It’s comfortable and light as hell. There’s a reason why so many people in the tropics and from hot climates wear a lot of linen!

The Don in Miami, rocking the white linen suit, circa 2012

 

#3 You don’t gotta wear a suit to be dapper in the summer

*Gasp* Did he really just say that? Yeah I did. Summer is a time where I like to experiment with my look a little bit. From white jeans with a shirt and tie to a blazer with a t-shirt underneath and some relaxed footwear and maybe an ascot thrown in there for good measure, go crazy! Just be you, be confident you’ll be awesome 😉

 

#4 Let those feet breathe! 

There are so many options for summer footwear, beach shoes, loafers, boat shoes are all a little looser than your typical dress shoes, so let loose and still stay lookin good.

Picked these bad boys up back on Boxing Day, paid $100, reg price $250

Picked these bad boys up back on Boxing Day, paid $100, reg price $250

My favorite summer shoes! Riveria Leisure Shoes, canvas and cotton mesh let your feet breathe in a shoe that screams ’50s flair. Wear to the beach and the streets

 

#5 Cover up that melon of yours!

I do not mean wearing one of those snapbacks like the kids are trying to be all cool. Invest in a Panama hat or simple straw fedora. They will keep the sun out of your face as well as keep you 10 degrees cooler by eliminating exposure to the part of your body that gets the most of it. Practical and adds to your style all in one.

 

Burt Reynolds rockin the classic Panama hat

 

 

#7 Your other friend in the summer is Cotton!

How could I forget the other natural lightweight fibre, cotton! Cotton chinos are a personal favourite of mine as their looser weave allows for more airflow. Pair em up with a cotton or linen shirt and a lightweight sport coat and you got a recipe for success. And for those summer weddings, consider a cotton suit so you won’t be like the rest of the folks sweating buckets in a small church with no air conditioning.

 

Bonus! Swimwear tip

You still rocking the knee length shorts you had since you were 15? Good for you, now take them, roll them into a big ball and chuck them into the garbage! It’s time to step up your swimwear game to something a little more mature and stylish. Aim for the short length type that are maximum halfway to the knee or even a tight boxer-brief style suit. The advantages? You’ll get more of a tan on your legs, if you work out you’ll get to show off your athletic legs and the most practical of all, these swimsuits dry faster so you could get to the beachside bar quicker and chat up that hottie you seen staring at you 😉

Go for this

 

NOT THIS!

 

BUT NEVER EVER EVER THIS! UGH, JUST NO!

And so now you know how to keep your cool when the weather gets hot, you’re good for the summer! Till next time, stay dapper!

 

The Don

Smoking Dapper

Note: I am not encouraging people to take up smoking in this post, however if you do enjoy the occasional smoke or are a smoker, tune in because there’s a more classy way to do it 😉

 

Let me start by saying this, if you can’t get enough of your cigarettes that you’ve smoked for years and years, I say man up and throw em out! As we all know regular smoking is harmful to your health, but occasional smoking can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience and that’s why the dapper way to do it is to switch to cigars and/or pipes. Pipes? That’s right I said pipes and I’ll tell you why in a bit.

 

First off, a quality cigar is a work of art, hand-rolled and assembled there is nothing quite like it, anyone can get a cigarette rolling machine and make their own, but to assemble a cigar from tobacco leaves? Yup not happening for any common folk. The flavours that are in a premium cigar mesh so well with a nice glass of scotch, rum, or whatever your favourite cocktail or spirit may be. Hell, even with a fine espresso a cigar goes good with. Also the size of a cigar forces you to smoke it slowly and enjoy it, take your time there is no rush! Bask in the company of great friends on a nice summer evening on a patio and appreciate the product of craftsmanship that is a cigar. A couple of tips for smoking cigars, light them with wood matches or torch lighter, (though the hardcore way to light it is with a lit piece of cedar wood) and when you are done, don’t butt it out, just let it burn out on its own. To enjoy a cigar without buying a box, visit a cigar bar in your area. My personal favourite in Montreal is Whisky Cafe but for a less expensive choice you can’t go wrong with Stogies! If you do decide to buy a box, don’t store it in the freezer like many people do, it does nothing good! Buy the proper humidification tools and store them with care.

 

The Don's personal stash

The Don’s personal stash

 

Now onto the pipes. When you think of a pipe I am certain you picture an old man in a rocking chair near a fireplace puffing away, they seem relaxed right? Exactly! That’s the point. Pipe smoking is a relaxing activity that involves taking your time to enjoy the essence of it. Make yourself a cocktail and fill your pipe with fragrant tobacco (I like black cherry) and puff the time away. Now since pipe smoking requires a few things, if you want to try it out, order an inexpensive corn cob pipe from here or pick one up at your local flea market like I did for $25. As for your pipe tobacco, depending on where you live you can order online or check out a local specialty shop. In downtown Montreal there is a joint called Blatter and Blatter that have been around over 100 years in the pipe business, that’s where I picked up mine. There are a few techniques on how to pack your pipe with tobacco for it to burn evenly, I am not an expert in that (yet) so check out this video found on YouTube

 

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Pipe and bag of black cherry tobacco

 

So by now I hope you have all learned that there is a more refined way to smoke, to actually enjoy and appreciate the flavours of different types of tobacco and yes, you will look a hell of a lot more dapper smoking these over cigarettes!

 

Enjoy my friends….

 

The Don

 

 

Different Side of The Don

Now I know this is a menswear/lifestyle blog, but tonight will be a post of a different kind. An emotional one for myself personally as I will recap my weekend watching the return of Major League Baseball in Montreal with the 2 Blue Jays-Mets spring training games.

I have always been a big sports fan (baseball included) and spent many a day in my early teens at the Stade Olympique catching Expos games with my younger brother. My 16 year old heart was shattered 10 years ago when my team left and there is still a hole that remains to this day. When it was announced that the games were coming here back in November, I did not know how to feel exactly. I despise both teams (Montreal-Toronto rivalry duh!) and did not want to go at first. It was only after my brother pointed out to me that Expos Nation would be encouraging fans to show up in Expos colours cheering like it was our old team back on the diamond to show to MLB that this is still a baseball market that I decided I wanted to attend. Then when it was later announced by the Montreal Baseball Project that the 1994 Expos “best team in baseball” who’s incredible season, on pace for 110 wins and a shot at a World Series, was cut short to the players’ strike, would be honoured it sealed the deal for me.

 

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autographed Orlando Cabrera jersey out of a near decade long retirement!

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Note the shirt and tie under the jersey 😉 ok it wasn’t done on purpose I went straight from work!

So all the months of anticipation led to the first game on Friday night (gotta love free tickets!) Although I have since gained a disdain for public transit since the last time I rode the Metro down to the Big O for a ball game, it felt just like old times. The closer we got to our seats the greater the anticipation rose and finally seeing that field again, all the memories rushed back….watching Vladdy hitting 3 home runs in a game in 2000, seeing him shoot for 40/40 in 2002, the home opener in 2001 when Tim Raines returned as an Expo, Wil Cordero’s walk off blast against the Phillies in 2003, blowing out the Phils in August of ’03 in the midst of Believer Feverrallying from 5 runs down against the Blue Jays..I was 15 years old again! Prior to the game was another emotional moment as the late great Gary Carter was honoured in a pre-game ceremony with his wife and daughter present. The game itself I could have cared less for except for the “Let’s Go Expos!” chants that broke out, we left in the 7th inning to go grab some real food at a restaurant (did not feel like pigging out on the Big O grub).

 

 

Saturday morning we left the house bright and early at 10:30 to get some free parking around the stadium and to soak in the experience. The one thing I always hated about the Big O, is that it’s so far out of the way no matter where you park, what a hell of a walk to find the damn upper entrance! Once inside and settled in though, it was comforting to be back there in the upper reaches of the stadium with a great view of the field. At 12:40 the ceremonies got under way and all the 1994 team present were introduced, from Larry Walker, Marquis Grissom, Moises Alou, Darrin Fletcher, Ken Hill, John Wettland, Cliff Floyd, Rondell White, Lou Frazier and more. The biggest ovation however, came for the manager, Felipe Alouuuuuu! As they were standing on the field, we were treated to a presentation of Montreal’s own Annakin Slayd’s tribute song to the ’94 team, 94 FallIt was difficult to fight back the man-tears as it played and wondering what could have been, for that team would have been the saviours for baseball in my city. Once again the game itself was secondary to me although it was nice to watch a good old pitching duel of a game. It was all so surreal just watching baseball in the Big O again and the attendance, wow! over 46,000 on Friday and 50,229 on Saturday, the first time in my life I seen the upper bowl completely full for baseball. MLB I hope you’re taking note, give me my team back!

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just like old times, the bros at a ball game

just like old times, the bros at a ball game

 

One day, they shall return and I will introduce my future kids, to the same experiences I had in my youth….

 

The Don

 

The Modern Gentleman

What exactly makes a gentleman these days? Has the true definition of a gentleman been tossed out the window in this day and age, and if not how does one be a gentleman? Sit back, grab your favorite cocktail and cigar and enjoy this read because I’m going to tell you!

1.    Is properly dressed and groomed, shows respect for himself and for others around him.

2.    Treats everyone, especially women, with respect but is not afraid to stand up for himself

3.     Does not gossip, because there are more important things to do.

4.    Is chivalrous, who ever said that it was out of style?

5.   Has family values, never forget where you came from because it made you who you are and will shape the family you will one day have.

6.  Knows how to handle a conflict with class and dignity, will never escalate a situation but de-escalate it.

7.  Takes responsibility for his actions, can admit his shortcomings without blaming anyone else.

8.  Has a passion, whether it be history, art, sports, movies etc, lives his life with a fire in his belly!

9.   Stays true to himself, will never pretend to be someone he’s not just to appease someone’s view of him.

10.  Always strives to better himself, complacency=apathy=lazy. Whether it be going back to school, working towards a promotion, learning a new language or skill.

So you see, being a gentleman is not as hard as it may seem. It requires mostly logical thinking and behaving (something we see too few of nowadays) but it’s time to step up and bring it back, men, you can do this! Ladies, you’ll thank me for this post 😉

Always stay dapper and always…be a real man! be a gentleman!

The Don