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It’s here…..Get your Mo On!

Welcome to Movember ladies and gents!

Mo Bros, I hope you will commence the ceremonies today by taking a razor to your face and shaving it clean! As you can see I already have:

 

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Don’t forget to sign up, raise some money and donate to a great cause which you can do so here. Men’s health issues are an underrepresented cause and it is important during this month that we all work together on this. So come on and get your mo on!

As always, keep it dapper 😉

The Don

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Ottawa Tailoring Time!

So if you have been reading this blog (and if not, shame on you!!), you should know by now that I advocate having off the rack suits tailored before wearing them! This is a post about a neat little tailoring shop I found.

I have been looking around for a reputable tailor in Ottawa recently to fix up a snazzy light grey number I picked up on sale at Macy’s back in February. After plenty of online searching I found one highly rated. “Raymond Tailor of Distinction“, located at 60 George Street in the heart of Byward Market is everything I expected and more. He took my suit from ill-fitting to the fit of a custom suit, for $75. I could not be happier with it and look forward to rocking it for the first time at an upcoming wedding! (Pics will follow) He is a friendly, respectable man who takes pride in his craft, sadly, it is a dying craft. The world needs some young tailors!

In addition to alterations he provides custom suiting and sells shirts, ties, accessories and some off the rack suiting as well, all top notch quality. You can contact the shop at 613-241-4134.

Stay Dapper,

The Don

Indochino Suit Review

So about a month ago, I received my Indochino custom suit just in time for a wedding I had to attend. Finally, after weeks of you all waiting, here is my full review. So if ya wanna know where to get a custom suit at a great price, pull up a chair, grab a drink and settle in for one dapper ride!

Just as a bit of a quick run-down, I opted for the Essential Blue Suit (2 piece). With peak lapels (a touch of flair), pick stitching, ticket pocket, functional buttonholes and lapel hole, side tabs (no belt loops), red lining with monogram and pen pocket.

Upon arrival, the suit came in a neatly packaged square box:

 

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Once I opened the box, I saw that the suit had been neatly folded and fastened into place with straps.

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Then it was time for the fun stuff, opening it to check out the details and options I had added!

 

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Side tabs (sans belt loops!) to show that this was a custom fit

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Functional sleeve buttons, a sign of custom clothing

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Note the lapel flower, not possible without an open lapel hole, another sign of custom

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Custom red lining for a touch of pop with pen pocket and awesome monogram!

 

Just to show off the bright socks I opted to wear on that day!

Just to show off the bright socks I opted to wear on that day!

So how did it fit?

 

I will admit when I put it on for the first time it felt a bit weird, probably because I was not used to wearing a suit mace specifically for me, however by the time of the wedding I felt comfortable and like a million bucks in it. The pants required some tailoring below the knee to slim them which cost me about $30. But, Indochino reimbursed me the amount as they reimburse any alterations up to $75! My email was answered within minutes  The only things that felt a bit cheap on the suit were the buttons, but it is really not a deal breaker. The rest of the suit itself fit just right, meaning not baggy, yet not excessively slim, still allowing room to move while maintaing form conturing fit.

 

Bottom line, would I recommend this company to you dapperites? Absolutely! For the price I paid ($450) you cannot find a custom 100% wool suit with as many customization options included anywhere else. They also offer custom blazers, pants, and coats as well as a premium line of suits with finer wools. So of you got a big occasion coming up, consider custom. You will not regret it 😉

 

Stay Dapper my friends….

 

-The Don

 

Bonus Pic!

 

Ms Dapper by my side looking gorgeous as ever!

Ms Dapper by my side looking gorgeous as ever!

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

Devilish Details: The Dapper Guide to Accessories

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Yes he’s back! The Don is back!

By now you should all know the basics of suiting up (If not then shame on you!). The fit of your suit head to toe, what shirt pattern with which kind of tie, pattern mixing etc. But you can’t just leave it at that for it’s the little things that get you that extra glance of attention my friends. Pull up a chair, mix a drink and get reading!

 

Start from the top!

1) The Lapel Flower

When you buy a suit or blazer, you may notice a slit on the top of the lapel that does not open. You can have a tailor open it up and stick a nice colorful lapel flower in there. Lapel flowers come in a few different varieties, you can go with a crocheted yarn or a more pouffy style like this.

2) The Tie Bar

Tie bars these days comes in all sorts of colours, styles, finishes, and lengths. You can go pinch clasp or side clasp (I recommend side clasp for silk knit ties), 1 inch, 1.5 inch or 2 inch, royal blue matte or brushed silver. Don’t forget to use your contrasting here! Light tie? darker tie bar and vice versa.

Tip: Don’t let the length of the bar extend to the whole width of the tie.

3) The Pocket Square 

Ah yes the almighty pocket square. Too many times I see a suit being worn without one and it just looks well…weird to me. So many options exist as to colours, materials, patterns and folds. Just remember the colour of your tie and pocket square do not have to be  SHOULD NOT be an exact match. The pocket square should complement the tie by having one colour in common. For example if you have a predominantly aqua tie, a plaid pocket square where one of the colours is aqua is a perfect complement to it.

Tip: The most versatile pocket square you can own is a solid white one, it goes with any tie, always.

 

4) The Tie

This one is obvious, just be sure not to buy any cheap polyester ties and no pre-tied ties!!!

 

5) The Watch

Now this is not something that I particularly rock, don’t even own a really nice watch (yet). But a watch can either be a bold centrepiece accessory or a subtle touch of class. I personally prefer a more subtle clean look, minimalist dial like this.

Tip: Great thing about watches is, you can swap out the straps so if you’re dressed a little more casual swap in a colourful fabric strap for the refined leather one!

 

6) Cufflinks

One of my personal favourites! Really do not understand why most retailers do not sell cuffed shirts, anyways cufflinks are another great accessory that you can play around with. They are a terrific way to add a personal touch to your ensemble. A big sports fan? Go for some like these. A wedding around the corner? Opt for a more classy look like these. Cufflinks come in many different shapes, sizes, colours and materials so go nuts!!!

 

7) Belt/Braces (suspenders)

These are accessories one might call necessary, after all there is nothing dapper about being caught with your pants down. When you’re rocking your best suit there is only one option for the belt and that is leather, black or brown depending on the colour of your shoes. Braces (the proper term for suspenders) on the other hand, you have some freedom (unless attending a formal event, in that case go with black silk). Add a splash of colour to you outfit by going with some green or paisley braces.

Tip: Most important of all when it comes to braces, no clip ons! They look cheap and can come undone and smack you right in the face, nothing dapper about getting your eye taken out by cheap clip on braces. Opt for the looped variety that fasten via buttons to the inside of your pants.

 

And there you have it my friends, utilizing the little things to pull it all together and get that positive attention that comes from being 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