weekend

Color it up!

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New tie and pocket square from The Tie Bar! Love the nautical theme of the tie. Why blend in when you can stand out?

Don Dapper

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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.

Don’t Just Dress Dapper, Drink Dapper!

Gentlemen, by now you should have a good idea of how to dress, but you will still look ridiculous if you go out dressed dapper, sit at a bar and keep drinking like a frat boy (beer, jack and coke, gin and 7up, basically anything involving hard liquor and a soft drink). 

Step out of your drinking comfort zone and expand your palate to classic cocktails that have been around for generations, try new establishments that serve finely made cocktails (don’t expect to get a quality drink at a nightclub where bartenders will look puzzled if you ask for a manhattan or old fashioned). You want to know what makes a manly drink? Alcohol mixed with alcohol. Here are a few examples to get you started. 
1. The Martini 
Before you criticize saying “it’s a girly drink, blah, blah, blah” Spare me the bullshit and get educated. This is probably the king of all cocktails.The stuff you see women drinking all colourful and in a martini glass IS NOT a martini, just because it’s in the same type of glass doesn’t make it one! A martini consists of 3 things: gin, dry vermouth and either an olive or lemon peel garnish. It should be served ice cold in a chilled martini glass and STIRRED, not SHAKEN! Mr. Bond had it wrong all along. It should have a clear consistency if it looks clouded, send it back! It means the bartender shook the hell out of it. 
2.  Manhattan
Ah, the Manhattan, one of my favourites. Now a true Manhattan has 3 ingredients: Rye whiskey, Sweet vermouth and bitters. Like the Martini, it should be served ice cold in a chilled cocktail (martini) glass. Of course there can be some variations on the type of whiskey used depending on your personal choice. And it should be garnished with an orange zest or maraschino cherry.
Manhattan made at home by your’s truly

3. Old Fashioned

If you’ve ever seen “Mad Men” you’ve heard of this one. Not only is it Don Draper’s drink of choice it’s also Don Dapper’s! What’s in it? Bourbon, a sugar cube and bitters. Unlike the other 2 drinks mentioned above this one is served in an old-fashioned glass also unlike the others the ice cubes remain in the drink. It is garnished with a cherry and/or orange wedge. It has a slightly sweeter taste due to the sugar cube and bourbon.
4. Sazerac 
This New Orleans classic might not be on all bar’s menus, but if you are lucky to come across it, give it a go! It is quite the stiff drink, so don’t have too many of em. What’s in it you ask? Rye whiskey, sugar cube, Peychaud’s bitters and the secret ingredient, absinthe. It is served neat (meaning no ice) in an old fashioned glass and comes garnished with a lemon peel. 
5. Scotch/Cognac/Whiskey served neat.
Nothing feels more manly than savouring a glass of 15, 20, 25 or 30 year old scotch and enjoying the different flavours in them. Same goes for Cognac. 
 
Scotch, served in a proper Scotch glass on the left, and to the right, a glass of fine Cognac
Bonus: I have talked about a few different kinds of whiskeys in this post, here is a link to help you                     understand what makes each one what they are!
Enjoy the weekend everyone, try to come out of your usual drinking shell but don’t overdo it and please don’t drink and drive! As always though, stay dapper 😉
The Don 

The Don Reviews…..

Good day to all, today I will be doing something a little different, giving a quick review of a couple of my favorite products. The products of the day is Murray’s Pomade/Murray’s Hair Glo.

Now if you have the same style hair that I do (which you should! let go of that same style you’ve had since high school already!), that is a good ol’ classic side-part or slick look, you need to have these products in your arsenal. Let me explain why.

The texture and composition of these products will not leave the hair feeling hardened or stiff, but soft and pliable. These products were originally made with the idea that they will stay in for days, and this is especially true for the original pomade product. You can wash your hair out and still be able to style it the next day without re-applying. Another reason why I really love these products is because it leaves that nice slick wet-look. What I like to do it mix in both, using the pomade for hold and the hair-glo for that wet shiny look of the 50s.

The results of using both the Hair-Glo and Pomade mixed

Ingredients: 

As for the ingredients of these products, the original pomade consists of 3, petroleum, mineral oil and fragrance (which is a sweet, yet manly smell). 3 simple ingredients which have stayed the same for over 80 years. The Hair-Glo contains coconut oil and lanolin, no wax, it has a soft texture easy to rub in the hair. 
How to use: 
For the original pomade, use best on towel-dried or damp hair. Take a small amount and rub palms together to heat and soften the product (or melt it with a blow-dryer). Apply it by massaging it into your hair and use a fine-toothed comb to take out the excess. If you like, run some warm/hot water in your hair to help remove the excess. Comb and style as desired. (Tip: to wash it off your hands, use dish soap, this stuff really sticks!)
For the Hair-Glo, use on dry or damp (I prefer damp) take a small amount, rub between palms and run through hair, style with a comb. Or just use it to give a shiny coat over your hair after using the original pomade. 
Cons: 
Now of course these products are not without some downsides. For one, if you’re like me and have sensitive skin, the ingredients in the products may cause minor breakouts on the forehead. Another, for the pomade is that to use it, you need to hold a blow-dryer over it to kind of melt it in order manipulate it with your hands which can get a little annoying. 
Final thoughts:
These are both great products which have been around since 1925, so they have withstood the test of time. For the price (around 3-4$) they offer great value in comparison to modern hair grooming products I have come across so even if you try it and don’t like it, not much is lost. You can buy online directly at www.murrayspomade.com  or if you are in my area of Montreal, Pharmaprix carries it in the ethnic hair care section.
Hope you all had a great weekend and as always, stay dapper 😉
The Don

Sock it to me Baby!

Hello and a belated Happy Halloween to all! Been out of commission for a few days but I’m back now so let’s rock out with our socks out!

Today I’ll be touching upon a little accessory to an outfit that I feel is under-utilized and/or scrutinized by “rules”. Well saddle up because you’re in for a little awakening!

Too often I come across men wearing rather bland socks: black, black with argyle, black with dots, etc.
And often I hear about how socks should match something in your outfit, color of your tie, pocket square, shirt, and so on. Well I’m here to say that those rules should be thrown out the window

Observe part of my personal collection:

As you can see I have some socks that are more traditional and conservative to slightly different to what I like to call my f-you socks at the far right, because some rules are meant to be broken!!!!

So go nuts! Inject some life into an otherwise bland part of your outfit. Stand out, dare to be different….dare to be dapper 😉

The Don

Weekend Review

@$#%$%#^^$@#!!!! My feelings on the Dolphins game for earlier today.

Now that that’s out of the way, let me continue by offering up my look of the night for last night:

Not as “dapper” as Friday’s look but hey the wardrobe can’t always be full of suits! Finally got to rock my new Aldo boots from the Mr. B’s line, they are great quality http://www.aldoshoes.com/ca-eng/men/mr-bs-collection) they got some great shoes and accessories at decent prices, check them out! the rest of the outfit consisted of dark blue skinny jeans from H&M (if you’re still wearing the distressed washed denim look, please stop! and dress your age) black and white checkered casual shirt picked up at Old Navy and my military-style Jack & Jones jacket. Note the cuffed look on the jeans which is always good to rock when wearing boots, gives it a touch of flair!

After this photo was taken my Saturday night adventure began, to make a long story short there was not a seat nor parking for us at 4 restaurants we tried to go to and by the time we settled at one and ate it was past 10 p.m! At least I got to try a new whisky! Wiser’s Small Batch, a Canadian whisky with quite a smooth silky taste.(http://www.saq.com/page/en/saqcom/whisky-canadien/wisers-small-batch/11343324) Quite a night to say the least.

Now for a guy called Don Dapper, this Sunday look may shock you all:

Yup, nothing dapper about this look, but let me be clear, the only time to rock sweatpants and a football jersey is if you’re home watching the game, or at the game itself! There’s nothing cool about rocking baggy sweatpants hanging off your ass and an oversized jersey in public unless you’re in a street gang. My regular Sunday uniform consists of this as I am usually at home watching my beloved (and frustrating) Dolphins and getting things done around the house.

That’s it for tonight folks! Stay cool, stay dapper!

The Don