from the BeingManly blog | Vir Beātum on: Sportswear

It cannot have escaped your notice that professional sportsmen of various stamps are once again showing up to games wearing suits and ties, and leaving afterwards similarly attired.

THE England football team went to the last World Cup in grey three-piece affairs, and that was the best thing about their performance. This is all to the good, but something odd has happened.

England’s ‘footballers’

I was reflecting the other day on the origins of certain forms of sporting dress, namely that worn for cricket, tennis and snooker. Cricket whites, or creams, were originally cream slacks, white shirt, and wool sweater (sleeves optional), worn with sporting blazer and cap. The blazer and cap were removed prior to play, and made for the accidental uniform of the sport. This is still the case, as seen in the fine-looking captains of England and Australia, below. But when all this was taking shape, men of all stamps who went to look on also wore jackets and ties, and hats.

Ponting and Strauss, this week

Eton v. Harrow, Lord’s 1906
The tennis story is remarkably similar, as anyone who has seen old footage of Fred Perry playing will testify. The uniform of the sport was simply the uniform of the gentleman, but slightly unbuttoned. And the crowd spectated in collar, tie, and headgear.
Fred Perry
Snooker, which is now sinking into a mire of sad populism, owes its uniform to gentlemen’s evening wear, the dinner jacket being removed to leave simply a waistcoat, dress-shirt with bowtie, and dress trousers and shoes. Things devolved into the lounge suit, but basically remained attached to gentlemen’s formal attire. And those who watched the game would have looked much the same. Until the 1980s, the front rows of the audience at the World Championship wore black tie.
Joe Davis
More generally, the sporting audience of yesteryear went into the public gaze in appropriate clothing regardless of the sport. Baseball audiences of the 1950s, and even football (soccer) audiences up until the 1960s were suited, booted and crowned (and I’m talking of working-class audiences in the main). So why, when so many sportsmen are returning to the suit, do the watchers of sport now attend the fixtures of their favoured sports wearing the clothes in which modern athletes perform? What logic is there in wearing basketball gear to a basketball game? Or a football strip to a football match? So many sporting uniforms owe their existence to a distant relationship with gentlemanly (or at least respectable) sartorial standards, it now seems odd that sporting attire – with all its utilitarian considerations of comfort, the wicking away of sweat, and optimal performance for elite professionals – is informing what Mr. Public wears in the street, around the house, and to sit and watch.

Baseball crowd, Cleveland 1957
The explanation is perhaps wrought through an understanding of who reflects what. The amateur gentleman sportsman of old reflected the values of his society when he took to the field of play. Professionalism was a dirty word, and had nothing to do with the spirit of play. Now, professionalism is everywhere, and its crass tendrils infect us all. Celebrity, wealth, branding: these have become aspirations, and as such society attempts to reflect what it sees on the field of play. This inversion has little to redeem it, so let us hope that sportsmen’s return to decent clothing off the pitch ultimately has some influence on those of us who watch them on it. -VB
Vir Beātum writes for his blog BeingManly @
“I’m a professional historian with more than an academic interest in manliness and masculinities. I’m heartily glad you dropped by.”

The Most Benevolent Cuban Cigar Field-guide presents: The Partagas Culebra


Type: Figurado specifically: culebra

Origin: Cuba

Brand: Partagas

Background: Partagas was founded in 1827 and is often credited with being the first proper cigar factory.


THE lore of why Culebras are braided together range from “so the employees couldn’t steal more cigars”, to “making it difficult for employees to sell their unique daily stipend of cigars on the black market”.

Who knows what the truth is but I, for one, just care about the uniqueness of the cigar itself.



The twisted truth...


The Taste:

Cutting the end I take a few cold draws:  It’s a nice and easy draw and as far as the flavor is concerned I only detect the slightest hint of barnyard shine through. I quickly toast the foot and take a few soft draws. The first third of it hits me with a shot of spice and a very mild earthy flavor. Two-thirds into the cigar things get interesting with a very strong woody almost cedar-like essence and a persistent hint of earth.

The last bit of the cigar unfurls hefty notes of leather with bits of cocoa and coffee which never seem to be overwhelming.

The beautiful grayish/black ash never lasts more then an inch at a time, partly due to the fact that the cigars had been severely manipulated by twisting them together but if you are looking to make a statement at your next event I highly recomend this Partagas Culebras to be the life of the party. –RT



Ron Tulotta, a Staten Island Native and trained Chef has worked in the kitchens of some of the America’s most renowned restaurants and lends his discerning palate, sacrifices it really, for TGG’s newest column, posted every other Wednesday: The Most Benelovent Cuban Cigar Field Guide”.

TGG Welcomes it’s newest “Segment” : The Most Benelovent Cuban Cigar Field-guide

In the world of Cigars no stogie is morerevered than those which bare the much-coveted “Hecho a mano en Cuba” (made by hand in Cuba).


The Seal

WHILE a forbidden fruit in the United States, Cuban Cigars are the norm in the rest of the world and since The Guide has subscribers all over the world, particularly the UK, Australia and India it is only beffiting that our efforts to inform today’s gentlemen on the pleasures of Cigars include Cubans (or Habanos as they are known) alongside some of the best smokes coming out of the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Honduras.

Ron Tulotta, a Staten Island Native and trained Chef has worked in the kitchens of some of the America’s most renowned restaurants and lends his discerning palate, sacrifices it really, for TGG’s newest column, posted every other Wednesday: The Most Benelovent Cuban Cigar Field Guide”.

The Sacrifice...

Stay tuned! Next-up:  Partagas Culebras!


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Manual to Incessant Faux Pas: A Forgotten Valentine’s?s

It happens… life is what happens while you are making plans, and somewhere between work, your sanity and the occassional cigar or Scotch you are left in the frigid cold with a sick feeling in your stomach that reminds you that you completely forgot Valentine’s Day.

Hopefully it’s not too late… but maybe it is. If that’s the case then you need to up the ante (we’re saying it upfront… it’s going to cost you). But, if for whatever reason, she hasn’t caught up to the fact yet then there’s still hope… Remember, at this point… it’s too late for chocolate!

Top Three Gifts for a Last-Minute Valentine:


1- Spa Day

The Recovery...

Why: Because a soothing massage never gets old and there is nothing which will make them forget sooner than half a day being pampered. Check local luxury or high-end Hotels in your area, call them up and don’t skimp on the extras. When they’re done , meet them for a drink at the restaurant and make sure to make it champagne.



2- Personalized Fragrance (by Le Labo)

The personal scent...

Why: Because everyone likes something with their name on it, and unlike other monogrammed or engraved things this one takes no more than a couple hours. Le Labo names every single scent after the recipient who will be enjoying it, what’s more their fragrances are intoxicating and one of a kind. Let them know this is a rush gift and they will expedite accordingly… (tell them The Young Gentlemen’s Guide sent you…)



3- Something Cashmere

The source...

Why: Because there is no fabric as sexy… where does your Valentine spent most of their time? On the sofa? Cashmere throw. In bed curled up reading= Cashmere robe. Do they get cold easily= Cashmere sweater. BUT all cashmere is not the same… any of the above should be coming in the vicinity of $350USD or more– the best cashmere comes from the longest fibers on the goat of the same name. TGG’s Cashmere Kings: Loro Piana, Bottega Veneta, Ralph Lauren.



Top Three Gifts for a Forgotten Valentine: $$$+++

(Step one: Tell them their gift is either a) on it’s way or b) being made or c) both)



1- Trip to Paris


The perfect place...

Why: Because there is no city in the world that is more resplendent, romantic and timeless. See our “Gentlemen’s Guide to Paris” for more info. (Alternates: Siem Reap, Cambodia and/or Napa Valley, California)


2- The Gift Vault (by Ralph Lauren)

The hook-up

Why: Because these are truly unique pieces which, according to the Website, are assembled by a small team of individuals who scour the world for them. Register to the web-site for more pricing information.




3- Set of monogrammed Rawhide Hard Luggage from T. Anthony

The standout

Why: Because. “I swear by T. Anthony,” says Alejandro Ortiz, TGG’s Editor-At-Large; “They’re durable, functional, stylish and unique… you’ll never have a problem identifying your bag and they are understated only a few inductees can tell when you have a T.Anthony bag.” All T.Anthony bags are handmade and monogrammed- the raw-hide collection features hard-wood framed cases are finished in goat-skin and feature interior pockets, clothing ties, combination lock and polished nickel hardware. Moreover their guaranteed for a lifetime. These are as good as heirlooms and they are available (here) in a variety of sizes, from a carry on, to a full wardrobe trunk on casters and everything in between (make-up and hat boxes…).




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Where did we go?

Unfortunately even the most pious of gentlemen are handed an, ahem… crappy hand from time to time:

Our servers may have crashed and our content a bit behind- but no worries dear readers TGG is back on-line!

Coming up this week:

-5 Things
– New York City gentlemens guide
– The debut of our sister-blog “Man-Can-Wine”

Stay tuned!

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