Esquire

Why It’s Time to Ditch the Beard in 2017

Good Evening Dapperites,

Just when you thought I fell off the face of the Earth, I come roaring back! Hahaha. It seems rocking a bearded look has been trendy the past few years, look around you in the street and you’ll see every guy rocking a beard in one way shape or form. I too was quite fond of the look until I realized (besides the fact that my employer prefers a clean cut look), what the hell’s so unique about having one if everyone else has one??

And thus comes to decision to pick up and re-familiarize myself with the razor again! Here are a few compelling cases to do so.

  1. Clean Shaven men are more likely to get hired (and earn more too!)
  2. More likely to get the girl as studies have shown that women prefer a clean, smooth face.
  3. Promotes healthier, attractive skin
  4. It’s a timeless look, trends come and go but the smooth face is forever!
  5. Maintaining and trimming a beard gets to be a pain in the ass! (Too often I’ve trimmed too much to the point where I’d have to shave it all off and start from scratch)
  6. Wet shaving, with a brush, shaving soap and straight/safety razor will make you feel like a man. Nothing reminds you you’re alive more than a taking a sharp piece of steel to your neck every morning!!
  7. My personal philosophy, why blend in when you can stand out!!!

 

To add to point number 6. If you are curious on getting started with wet shaving here are a few things you’ll need:

  1. Safety/Straight Razor: The most important tool of course, and there are multiple options within both razors. Straight razors will set you back a little more but maintain them and they are good for life.
  2. Pre-Shave Oil/Cream: This will help protect against any irritation and lubricate the whiskers better
  3. Shave Brush: To create a lather. Preferably badger hair, again a little more $ up front but good for a long long time.
  4. Shave Soap/Cream: Never mind the canned goo you’re used to. Get some good ol’soap or cream out of a tube to create a good later. My personal favorite is Proraso (they smell great too!)
  5. Styptic Pencil/Alum Block: To stop the bleeding from any nicks.
  6. Pinaud Clubman Talc: If you really want that classic barbershop scent, give your face a dusting after rinsing off, helps soothe the skin after an encounter with the blade.
  7. Aftershave: I know most people say to avoid alcohol based aftershave splashes, but if you want that classic smell, pore tightening, stinging feeling (that means it’s disinfecting your skin btw) Then go with a splash, my favorites include classics Pinaud Clubman and Aqua Velva, but there is a selection for every taste/budget out there. I also like to apply some form of moisturizer prior to the splash.
  8. Last but not least, patience! It will take some time to get the hang of everything, techniques, etc. Browse the internet look at YouTube videos and learn. Here is a great site full of helpful people. http://www.badgerandblade.com/vb/forum.php

 

And if you’re looking for supplies, the internet is chock full of options.

In the U.S. check out ClassicShaving.com, WestCoastShaving.com.

Canada check out ClassicEdge.ca, Fendrihan.ca

Locally if you’re in the Montreal area, I highly recommend Vasco Cigars downtown. Don’t let the name fool you, they are the ultimate man shop. From cigars and accessories, to cufflinks, fountain pens, barware and a killer selection of  wet shaving gear and hard to find grooming products.

If you’re in the Ottawa area, Stroked Ego has a pretty good selection of all things wet shaving. It is where I bought my first badger hair brush and pre-shave oil, after all!

Until next time,

Keep it Dapper (and clean shaven)!

 

-The Don

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Now Back From the Dead…An Update!

Good Afternoon Dapperites,

Many of you may be wondering where I’ve been. Well the life of a last year university student in March/April really means you have no life. Buried under a mass of papers and presentations you feel like the Undertaker in a Buried Alive match.

So other than that update what can I share with you all? Well I finally had some money set aside a couple of weeks ago to freshen up the wardrobe after abstaining from shopping for a while. Check out some of my scores:

First off, got that awesome madras hat from Brooks Brothers using my employee discount came out to about $10. What can I say? I have a penchant for flashy things. Picked up a nice thick rugged denim shirt from the originators of the jean, Levis for a cool $22. Onto the next pic, grabbed a couple of these beautiful Brooks Brothers Made in Italy dress shirts (Retail tag said $305 each), but they were in my store (Factory Store) and I got em’ for $40. I’d been searching for a paisley dress shirt for the longest time! Can’t wait to rock this baby under a neutral grey or blue suit, sans tie. Again this is a lesson in smart shopping, take deals where you see them and always buy quality over quantity.

While I’m at it I’ll fill you in on another change that was made in my life recently. I must sadly report that my 4 month old beard met the straight razor and came right off! Now back to my look of old.

 

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And to top off this post, just thought I’d share some of my recent looks over the past month or so. Voila:

 

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Suited up with the Misses at a charity event.

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Classic business look, charcoal suit, striped shirt and madder pattern tie

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Some basic layering skills here with a colorful sweater under a suit giving it a nice punch.

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“Cock your hat, angles are attitudes” -Frank Sinatra

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Probably my favorite casual look in recent memory: White jeans rolled up, leather Converse shoes and a leather biker jacket with slicked hair.

There you have it folks, hopefully the weather outside catches up to what the calendar says and we start having some bright sunny spring weather so I can bust out the lighter things from the closet and have new looks to share! Until next time,

 

Keep it Dapper 😉

-The Don

Don Dapper and YOW City Style!

Good evening Dapperites,

 

Hope your holidays have been fantastic (and dapper). Tonight I just wanted to share with you some photos of my work with YOW City Style. She is a fantastic amateur lifestyle and style photographer in Ottawa. Despite the fact that she considers photography to be just a hobby, her pictures and effort she puts in makes me consider her a professional. And a unique touch she adds to her posts is that she always asks her subjects to say a little something about Ottawa, whether it is their favorite neighborhood, restaurant, etc. I had the opportunity to be featured by her a few days ago. The pictures were taken in Brewer Park in Old Ottawa South. Here are the shots:

Of course you can tell I was rocking my custom EPH Apparel Double Breasted blue plaid windowpane number, braces and my cashmere hat on top. I considered styling my hair but last minute decided on the hat since it added an old country gentleman flair.

I would definitely recommend following her site:

 

http://yowcitystyle.tumblr.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yowcitystyle/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yowcitystyle/?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/YOWCityStyle

I look forward to working with her again.

 

Stay classy and keep it dapper 😉

 

-The Don

Looks of the Month (and update!)

Hello Dapperites,

So I realized that I have not posted in a long time, reason being is my increasingly intense workload for school. This has been without a doubt the most challenging semester I’ve faced in my academic career and next semester looks to no doubt top that!

Having said that, I just would like to share some of my favorite outfits that I rocked in the month of November.

 

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Going to start with a more casual look here, but I absolutely love this sweater that was given to me by a co-worker who had it sitting in his drawer for years and years. I believe it is a 1970s-80s sweater and it is from Harry Rosen. The colors are superb and really elevate a casual look. I paired it here with dark jeans, leather converse kicks and casual fedora just for the hell of it! And while I’m on the subject of vintage clothing, you should seriously scout out some vintage shops for unique, one of a kind pieces to bring your outfit together or just to stand out of the mold. My personal favorite one is Ragtime here in Ottawa.

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Here I am in this one rocking a nice blue on blue look. The blazer was actually given to me by a friend who has a tendency to buy things that don’t always fit or that he doesn’t like, (Thanks Danial!). The subtle dots in it are a nice touch for standing out. My trusty blue oxford shirt (with collar buttons unbuttoned for that sprezzatura touch!) and my Movember mustache tie and tie bar, from EPH Apparel. The pocket square is a little out of the picture but it is a beauty army-camo pattern made in Italy, and a steal from J-Crew’s clearance section for $5 (after using my student discount) a few months back.

 

 

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This was an all-business look I had going on for work that day. The lighting is a little bad but it is a deep navy with thin pinstripes Calvin Klein suit that I had hanging in my closet at my parent’s house and almost forgot about. Was actually my Dad’s but he never wore it much, jacket fit like a charm just had to have the pants taken in and the waist extended. Paired with a white shirt and a bold red tie (Runaway Stripe from The Tie Bar) and white linen pocket square. This is one of the rare times you will see me rocking skinny ties, as I am over the whole trend, but will not just chuck out my collection of them. The look is completed by brown shoes and beige Zara trenchcoat.

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Taking it back to casual here, but preppy casual. Once again dark blue jeans are used here (dark denim is very versatile!), white Brooks Brothers oxford shirt (the best in my opinion, love the collar roll on them) layered under a green merino wool v-neck. This look was accessorized with my favorite fall/winter cap, a beautiful camel colored wool/cashmere blend from Brooks Brothers and a warm, yet thin brown lambswool scarf made in Scotland I picked up at my work (Brooks Brothers of course!) for a whole $10 on clearance!

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And we go right back to being dressy here. Now, it is not often that I wear colors like black, but gotta bust em out once in a blue moon eh? In this case I overemphasized neutral colors like black and grey (black Zara blazer, 1 button, a rarity to see! and grey trousers), a black and white houndstooth pattern shirt), white pocket square, so I was able to make my tie stand out more. While the tie may look like a Burberry because of it’s pattern, I will admit it is not, actually picked this one up on eBay a few years back for like $2 haha.

 

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This look kind of blurs the line between causal and dressy, which is why I love it. Here I rocked my burgundy merino wool turtleneck, my tartan blazer (both picked up at a liquidation sale a few years ago for like $30 total!), grey flannel-like trousers (I say flannel-like because they are actually a mix of wool, cotton and linen) and the usual white linen pocket square. The whole “turtleneck under a jacket” look is one that I fully endorse and have for years, seems that GQ is on board with this one too. I would even rock this under a suit, oh wait I already have!

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Now let me finish with my last worthy outfit of November. This is a quintessential Brooks Brothers look from top-to-bottom, probably because every item I am wearing here (besides the watch and underwear, but including undershirt) is from Brooks. We got a cotton navy blazer, timeless blue oxford, beige chinos, burgundy medallion tie, pocket square, and flashy, non matching, go-to-hell don’t give a f*ck socks all from Brooks Brothers. I guess when you work in a store you love, you tend to buy a lot from them (employee discount baby!). The watch in this outfit was a beautiful gift from Ms. Dapper’s parents. I have never been a watch guy before, but after wearing this one all weekend I have changed my mind!

To end this post, I would like to say thank you to all who donated during my Movember campaign (not too late for a few more donations though!. Here is my last day with the ‘stache:

 

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I have now shaved it off and plan to go full-out bearded from December until April, I will not touch a razor. I will be using beard oil to keep it nice and soft though, so expect a review on Dollar Beard Club coming up in the next couple of months!

As always, stay dapper my friends!

 

-The Don 😉

C-Word Comes Early This Year!

Good evening Dapperites,

So I was at work at Brooks Brothers last night, pondering what I would buy to make up my Christmas outfit (I know believe me, I don’t want to think about the C-word yet either) but we recently got in a few (3) brilliant silk knit Christmas sweater ties. Picture one of those cheesy C-Word Sweaters, but on a tie! Anyone that knows me knows I would definitely wear and pull off something like that. Now I had been planning to buy it for a while, putting it off until December. But last night I realized, why not buy it now that way in December I can focus on gifts for others and not myself (What a grown up thing to say eh?). So I ended up pulling the trigger on it. Oh and what did I get to go along with that tie? Just a pair of red cashmere socks that were 60% off. Also used my 60% regular employee discount on the tie.

Voila:

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Think I’m going to pair these babies up with my white oxford, grey tweed pants and potentially my red cardigan. That should make a hell of a festive outfit. And if anyone thinks the tie is too cheesy or whatnont, to me it symbolizes a reminder not to take yourself too seriously all the time, loosen up, have fun with a holiday look! Ok now that is the last I will mention with regards to that time of year until next month!

As always, stay dapper my friends 😉

The Don

Dapper as EPH

As many of you know, I moonlight as a personal style representative for a great company, EPH Apparel. Recently I took advantage of my employee discount to get myself that one flashy, showoff suit I’ve always wanted. I’ve always desired a windowpane pattern in a double breasted variety with wide peak lapels and cuffed pants, along with suspender buttons (and belt loops, making it versatile)  so it should come as no surprise that that is exactly what I ordered!

Since my measurements are already on file, my order came in relatively quick and I felt like a kid on Christmas morning when I got the box

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As you can see, the suit comes perfectly folded and packed and includes a garment bag (a nice touch). Also pictured is the tie I picked up which is of lovely thick silk for a perfect knot.

In all its glory!

In all its glory!

You can see that I went with a light blue windowpane pattern and the black buttons on it really make it pop against the light backdrop of the fabric. You can also see the tie that I picked up with it. A better shot of it here.

Oh, and how can I forget the funky liner I chose along with my monogram (a song from one of my idols, Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra)

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This suit will go perfect with my recent shirt and cufflink order that I recently received from EPH as well (when you have a discount, you use it!)

French cuffs, spread collar and silver knot cufflinks

French cuffs, spread collar and silver knot cufflinks

As a bonus, and to support Movember (in addition to shaving my face fully for the only time all year), I also picked up the “Rusty Mustache” tie and tie bar (we are running specials on the 2 and 25% of your purchase goes to the Movember foundation). Speaking of which, you can donate to my campaign here. (Shameless plug intended)

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Wanna see how this whole ensemble looks on me? Well check back tonight for an update 😉

Stay Dapper my friends,

The Don

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 😉