Man like Shoes…

Real men like shoes. Real men care what’s on their feet, and why shoult he? He’s on his feet most of them time.

Men at Work

Ask a woman what she looks at on a man first?

Answer: Shoes.

The derby with attitude...

We like: Cole Rood and Haan; Cole-Haan’s new Grandpa Cool line of shoes.

The man's boot

TGG Answer Corner: Q & A

It seems the Young Gentlemen’s movement is gaining some steam. In our Q & A forum we have received questions and queries from Gentlemen-in-Training and the Established-Gentry alike. The most persistent theme being: Being A Gentleman; how do I do it?

A: Keep reading the blog, spread the word, and remember: “Classic is timeless” paired with “Less is More” (and a dash of “substance over brands” is a good start and a mantra to keep with you.

Okay, let’s get to it!

Dear TGG,

I am in a bit of conundrum. I feel somewhat abashed writing to you about this, but hopefully you can offer me some insight… I am an aspiring young gentleman at the age of twenty-three. I think to disclose this fact to my comrades would make me feel somewhat ostracized. It is unfortunate that we live in a society that feels a resentment for those who are concerned about appearance and live the hedonistic lifestyle. How do you think I could practice being a young gentleman without giving off the notion that I am snobbish or dislocated from my peer group? Or do you feel that this challenge that all gentleman today have to face? On that note aside, do you happen to recommend a good reference book that I can follow to improve myself and learn more of the art of being a gentleman.

Sincerely, Aspring Young Gentleman



1. The pursuit of pleasure.

2. The ethical theory that pleasure is the highest good and proper aim of human life

WAIT, what’s wrong with that? Nothing.

Some people don’t get it, but it would also be a glaring oversight to not note that many religious dogma carry a footnote on Hedonism: Don’t do it. But, this is silly, the pursuit of pleasure is as unique as the grooves on the tips of our fingers which make up our fingerprints. For Mother Theresa (if I can continue on this tangent) her cause was her hedonism. For others that pursuit may be different in nature but never in aim.

If this is your life’s philosophy, why disclose it at all? This is your life, live it and pursue what is ultimately excellence in everything you do (eat, wear, drive, are a part of, believe etc…)— if genuine (and grounded in substance) people will recognize this. If one’s intentions are not grounded in substance or are false, then such aspirations will come off exactly as that; aspirational, snobbish, and obnoxious.

How we define what it is to be a Young Gentleman answers the second part of your question: is a Young Gentleman A) a male fashionista who indulges in reflecting the world’s runways and indulges in all things Gucci while donning an Hermes belt with a huge “H” on the buckle; B) a ‘dandy’ who walks around in innocuous social situations (at the Café, pub, or relaxing with friends) in monogrammed velvet slippers and owns a collection of pocket squares and cravats which are all worn generously OR C) is a Young Gentleman one who understands that life is a mix of pursuing pleasure and dreams while simultaneously understanding our obligation to the world and those around us never forgetting to indulge in celebrating life’s occasions with the best the world has to offer.

We think a little bit of B and a whole lot of C (we can attest to our Editor-in-Chief’s large collection of custom-made cravattes and his yearning for velvet-slippers). All men who wish to care a little bit more about what they wear and spend a little more time worrying about what they look like will always face certain amount of consternation- this depends largely on what part of the world you live in.

Go to Capri or Napoli in the summer and the endless cascade of pinks, light blues, and faded yellows on men wearing close-fitting pants and cropped jackets will amaze you (all straight macho-men by the way). Try to dress like that in Detroit, Michigan or in Podgorica, Montenegro and you may seem somewhat out of place and ripe for the picking. To be a Gentleman is, yes, to dress… but to dress timelessly, to have a style which is the most understatedly apparent in the details; and those details (all of them) are never forgotten; what’s more those details extend to every corner of your life.

So, Aspiring Young Gentleman, go forth into the world follow your bliss and forget what anyone has to say about it- for your happiness is, ultimately, your own private pleasure.

And remember… Although it may have taken you 45 minutes to get ready a man should never look like he took more than 5 minutes to do so. Anything else comes off as contrived (i.e. trying to hard).

PS- Alejandro’s personal favorite (and we agree with our dear Editor-in-Chief) is GENTLEMAN: A TIMELESS GUIDE TO FASHION (Ullmann) by Bernhard Roetzel which you can find here:

5 Things of the Moment: 2011 Resolutions

Five Resolutions for the New Year

The Resolute Man (from The Sartorialist Blog)

Why Five? We don’t know, we just like that number…

SO… Gentleman of the world, repeat after us: “I will…”

1) …buy at least one great pair of shoes:

Believe it or not, buying a pair of GREAT (and yes, expensive) pair of shoes a year, for three or four years, will save you lots of money in the long-run. Polish them regularly, roate usage over the course of a week, don’t jump into the pool with them and they will last you a life time! Start with lace-ups first: brown or black, keeping in mind brown (not an exotic type of brown) is the most versatile as it can be worn with just about anything, including a grey suit or a nice pair of jeans.

The Basic Shoe (Leffot)

  • We like: Tod’s, Peal & Co. (Brook’s Brothers), Leffot and Cole Rood & Haan

[check out Leffot for some of the best shoes…  here]

2)  … acquire one well tailored sports-jacket or suit:

The difference between a skillfully constructed jacket and the full suit is often 100USD-200USD so our logic says, spring up the extra couple bucks for the whole thing—but not just any suit; here we are exclusively talking about what will be the most versatile suit you ever buy: a navy suit. Why navy? Navy suits are handsome, can be work with anything from suede loafers and a grey polo underneath (for a casual feel) to a more formal configuration with a  crisp oxford shirt and chocolate-brown lace-ups and just about any tie you throw at it. Better yet, should you be on business for a day or two it’s the only suit you need to take. The jacket can be worn on its own with grey trousers or, for a night out on the town, jeans and a pair of boots.

The Navy Suit (Ralph Lauren)

What to look for:

  • Expensive DOES NOT usually mean better: but in the world of shoes and suits, those without flashy logos, it usually does- get ready to pay well over $800USD for one. (OR check out Brooks Brother’s which still has the industry’s best off-peg suits… for a trim look  try the Milano fit. J.Crew also has Loro Piana wool suits in their Ludlow line). Look for drape. Drape is the way the fabric hangs on your body- this is truly the biggest difference between a ‘good’ suit, and a ‘great’ one.
  • One or two buttons. Unless you’re in the American NBA player or are an African dictator, four to five buttons is never necessary… two are just enough as one (the bottom) remains unbuttoned. Which is why, should it have one button, we’d recommend it even more.
  • Wide face? Peak lapel. Skinny and long-ish face? Notch lapel. Or so goes the wisdom. Shawl collars are for smoking jackets and velvet frocks.
  • Construction: live in the tropics? The Carribean, Miami, Singapore, or the Philipiines? Stick to light cottons or twills and, if you can find it, a deconstructed jacket (i.e. one that is not lined and therefore ‘cooler’. Everywhere else try a multi-seasonal wool or wool blend. Scrunch it up in your hands; the fabric shoucl bounce back and not leave wrinkiles. If it does wrinkle, it’s cheap… keep walking.
  • Fit. TRUE FIT gentlemen is not waollowing in a jacket. The shouldders should be snug but not tight. Armholes high; cuff should not cover your hand and the jackets buttons shoulc cinch slightly at the waist. A great suit it supposed to give you a better figure (that’s silhouette in girl-speak) than you actually have… you’re not supposed to make the suit look worse than the shape it actually is. AND don’t cuff your pants…

Navy Suit! We like:

The Navy Suit revisited...


  • International: Ralph Lauren Black or Purple Label, Brooks Brothers, Zegna (***), Kitton, Canali and Loro Piana.
  • US: Billy Reid, Freeman’s Sporting Goods, Tomas Maier (trust us…) and by extension Bottega Veneta, and Tom Ford (should you want to part with part of your kids inheritance…)-(they are unforgettable suits however).
  • For the ‘fuller’ man: Brook’s Brother, J.Press (US only), Ralph Lauren, and Paul Stuart.
  • For the ‘rakish’ man: John Varvatos, Thom Brown… and by extension Black Fleece (Thom Brown for Brooks Brothers), and Phineas Cole (Paul Stuart).

3) … not smell like every other guy I  know:

Due to the passion of some (ahem) this blog, at times, has seemed as more of a fragrance blog than anything else.  A recent piece on the New York Times confessed that mos men’s sale of Colognes were in the guise of Bleu (Chanel) and Polo’s multi-colored and numbered creations: both rehashes of a much more refined Cool Water and a mis-match of old (boring) standards respectively. Live a little- smell different! Men are afraid of buying cologne, why, we don’t know… perhaps it’s because a man walking into a store and having something sprayed on him and then carefully smelling it conjures  a trifecta of paranoias of manlihood, vanity and foppishness that makes most men queasy. Fine we get it. If that’s the case try our friends at Luckyscent ( – you can search for your next fragrance by what you currently wear or by components such as “citrus”, “fresh” or “aqua”. Find a couple you like, order small samples at $3.00 each and try them in the privacy of your own man-space- try each on for a day or two (on your skin, this is important) and find the one you like! If you happen to be in New York check out Aedes de Venustas ( on 9th and Christopher Street.

We like: Memoir Man by Amouage, Feuilles de Tabac by Miller Harris (fantastic!) and Fiquier by Heeley (all available at Lucky Scent).

The scent for the Season...

For more “commercial” fragrances a few stand-out. Most large department stores both in the US and Internationally carry colognes from Creed and Santa Maria Novella… all worth trying as both houses make great stuff. The quintessential men’s cologne? Chanel’s Pour Monsieur Eau de Parfum (NOT the Eau de Toilette, not the Eau Concentree but the Eau de Parfum… trust us!).

The Archetype...

4) …Discover great champagne:

There’s seems to be something inherently effete about Champagne- perhaps it’s the bubbles or the endless tirade of images of scantily-clad women (and androgynous guys) drinking the stuff, but champagne has been relegated to the realm of feminine products. Rest assured there is nothing “precious” about drinking champagne; one of champagne’s biggest champions was Winston-Churchill and who’s going to argue that the boozy womanizer was not masculine? Churchill’s passion for Champagne was such than in one of his rallying speeches to English forces in World War II proclaimed “…remember Gentlemen, we do not do this only for France, but for Champagne!”

The Man

The problem is that many champagne houses are now owned by fashion houses, the very same peddling women overpriced bags, shoes and accessories (not to mention make-up). Case-in-point: Louis Vuitton, whose parent company, Louis-Vuitton-Moet Hennessey (LVMH) owns Chanel, DKNY, Dior, Pucci, Marc Jacobs, Aqua di Parma, Sephora, along with Chateau Cheval Blanc, Chateau d’Yquem, Hennessy Cognac, Champagne Krug, Moet-et-Chandon and Dom Perignon… to name a few of course. What this ultimately creates is Champagne being sold as a fashion accessory, the next “it bag” as opposed to what it really is: a wine. Champagne, the wine, is first and foremost a wine, one that has bubbles. It’s effervescence is at the same time both incidental and part of its magic. The wine, can only come from the hilly and remote region of Champagne in France, hence its namesake. This region, dotted with dozens of funny-sounding villages, produces a handful of wonderful and fabulous wine every gentleman should know and keep in his fridge, ready to enjoy and either celebrate a special occasion or make any occasion special.

The Bubbly... Cuvee Louis by Tarlant

What we like:

  • “Casual Bubbly”: Billecart-Salon Brut, Tarlant Zero, Bollinger, Pierre-Peters, Jaquesson, Roederer and Delamotte.
  • “Champagne for Romance”: Billecart Brut Rose
  • “Serious Celebratory Effervescence”: Krug Grande Cuvee, Dom Perignon Oenotheque Series 1979, Krug Clos de Mesnil 1990, Salon 1995, Billecart-Salmon Nicolas Francois 1988 or Vilmart et Cie “Cuvee Creation” 1997 (trust us…)

oh, and PS: ditch the flute and ask for a white wine glass instead…it’s wine, not a cocktail.

5)… learn to cook one new dish…

[From our friends at MAN-CAN-COOK]

Any woman will tell you a sexy man is one who can cook… and while the way to a man’s heart may be his stomach the kind of vivacious women worth holding onto have the very same gastronomic detour to their hearts.

Want to try something great? We like:

Pasta all’amatriciana

The indispensable dish...

(adapted / inspired by “Hosteria Oswaldo” in Rome)


  • 1 x 1lb can of “San Marzano” Tomatoes (ask the clerk…)
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1Tablespoon of red pepper flakes
  • 3 strips of bacon (fatty bacon), chopped (for authenticity’s sake one should use pancetta)
  • 2 Tablespoons of cream
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pecorino-Romano cheese
  • ¼ lb / 100gr. Dry Spaghetti or Spaghetti Rigatti (TGG reccomends Barilla)


  • 1 small to medium sauce-pan
  • 1 large pot for boiling
  • 1 blender (or food mill should you be inclined)
  • cheese grater
  • knife

The method:

  • Small saucepan: with of olive oil on medium heat stir around the chopped shallot of and garlic until soft (but not brown).  Add the Red pepper flakes.
  • Add tomatoes and crush them with a spoon; and let the sauce sit until it bubbles a couple times. Turn on low—let it simmer away (on low heat) for 15 minutes.
  • Place in blender and liquefy. Clean the pot and put it back on the heat.
  • Now, on medium heat, add another tablespoon of olive oil and the bacon. Cook the bacon a bit but not to a crisp. Add the puree of tomato, the cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. On low heat bring it back to a simmer for 5 minutes and then turn it off!
  • Fill big pot with water, bring it to a boil, and add enough salt until it tastes like seawater. Follow the packaged instructions for an al-dente pasta (usually 7 minutes).
  • Once done, drain the pasta (reserve 1 cup of the liquid); and put hot pasta in a bowl. Add six or so tablespoons of the hot tomato sauce with bacon and two tablespoons of grated cheese. Toss.
  • Serve in two bowls and spoon excess toss from the bowl on top and grate some cheese over the two portion.
  • You’re done… enjoy!
  • Rosso di Montalcino or a Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, while not local, are you’re best bets…

2010 Gift Round-up

WE at the Young Gentlemen’s guide recognize the importance of a good gift; one that is well-thought out, refined and appreciated. A good gift is one that is not inevitably necessary but superfluously essential: one that you would not buy yourself but would happily receive.

Gentleman’s hint: these gifts work well for the other Gentlemen in a Young Gentlemen’s life…

For Him

iPad Folio (from Temple Bags)

The only iPad folio you’ll ever need- sleek, stylish, comfortable and will age gracefully. There are quite a bit of choice out there but we like these from Temple Bags.

A scent to bring that special someone near: Figuier by Heeley

The Fig Leaf

Ethereal, from our Editor-at-Large and lead Perfume Critic; Alejandro Ortiz: ” This was truly magical, i couldn’t take my nose off of it… it hits immediately with a beuaotful note of  freshly-shaved fennel and fennel seed with whisps of green tones which unfurls into waves of powderiness before settling into soft citrus tones- perfectly balanced, delicate and nuanced and yet present, serene. This Heeley at its best! -AO”

Find it at Lucky-Scent

Corduroy Tie by Alexander Olch

Cord Tie

Understated yet bold; a tradition of hand-crafted, hand-folded ties in a laid-back fabric. But this isn’t teenage corduroy- this is thin wale, Italian corduroy that is butter soft. We recommend navy or burgundy colors to truly bring out the vibrancy of the fabric. Get it here.

Cigars from Nat Sherman:The VIP “Baron Selection”

The Smoke(s)

There is no more gilded name in the world of American Tobacconists than that of Nat Sherman.  Nat opened his doors in the 1930’s and made a name for himself and his cigars selling to Gentleman’s Clubs in New York City for over 75 years.

This is a selection of their VIP line of Cigars originally “names for the captains of industry… that helped to shape the face of…” New York. The cigars are beautifully creamy and lush. Dominican and South American Tobacco. Find it here.

Rum dressed as Cognac: Ron Zacapa XO

The drink

From ‘Ministry of Rum‘:

Brown rum distilled from sugar cane syrup. Blend of rums aged from 6 to 25 years. in used whisky and bourbon barrels.

Like the other Zacapa rums XO is aged in a combination of bourbon, delicate sherry and Pedro Ximenez wine casks to create a unique depth of flavor and character. After three years the used barrels are emptied and then recharred while the contents are married with other rums in the first part of the Zacapa solera system. Scraping and recharring the used barrels give the rum a sweeter flavor from the newly charred wood.

The premium rum from Zacapa, XO is aged in used specially selected cognac barrels for an additional two years giving it a slightly drier flavor and finish compared to Zacapa Centenario Reserva.

PS- Try it with the cigars!

For Her

A wise man once said: “As a gift, you only buy a woman two things: jewelry or lingerie otherwise you don’t know what you’re doing!”

For this we need to take out the big guns; four things we like:

Family Jewels-

Jewelry is not skimping territory, but that does not mean that you can’t make an impact with what you get that special woman in your life, be it your significant other or your mom. Van Cleef and Arpels, Cartier and many other players carry more trinkets than most men know what to do with- but no color or name makes a woman heart skip as much as Tiffany’s so with that in mind we bring you two options; the first for under $250USD whilst the latter falls below $1000.00USD- either way, they both say “I care and I appreciate you…”

The Silver Bracelet by Tiffany’s


A Classic



(above) Medium twist bangle in sterling silver. Size large, fits wrists up to 6.75″ in circumference.

The glimmering necklace by Tiffany’s


Tiffany Diamonds included…



(above) Tiffany gets to the heart of the matter. Pendant with round brilliant diamonds in platinum. On a 16″ chain.

A little Sexy…

For men, buying lingerie can be a dicey game; often the divergence comes in what a man finds supremely erotic and she finds, well… whorish. The idea here is, Gentlemen, to get her something that will make her look beautiful (not like a porn-star);  if it’s early on in the game, stick to nighties and little silk numbers that cover just enough… but not too much.

Our picks from one of the best houses around: La Perla

The Safe bet: The Nightie (aka The Babydoll)…


(above) get it here

Sexy but Playful...


(above) Get it here

Either way… A gentleman gives without expecting to receive; It’s about celebrating life, celebrating the art of living.

Happy Holidays from TGG

Gentlemen Unite!

A new blog for today’s Gentleman!

Today’s Gentleman (TG) is a site for all those that believe being a true Gentleman is as important now as at any time in history. TG holds that behaviours that used to be taught to young men need to be brought to life again. Those simple, courteous and respectful behaviours, particularly in how men interact with women, seem to have been lost in today’s society.

Whatever happened to:

  • – Giving up your seat for a lady?
  • – Holding a door open for a lady (BEFORE you walk through it)?
  • – Lending a helping hand when you see someone in need?

It’s these little things that shape our society, and make a big difference in peoples’ day.

So TG is a site for those who believe Chivalry is alive and well, and if we all lead by example we can make a difference. A site to debate these topics and recognise examples of real TG conduct.

< Check it out! >

Americana International Inc. From New York Times Magazine

JUNE 18, 2010, 4:55 PM

Wanderlust | Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold

Erik Thor

Now that there’s a Red Wing concept store in Berlin, you can buy Filson in Paris, and scarves from Brooklyn’s Hill-Side have made it to Amsterdam and Trieste, it’s clear that the fetishization of American “heritage” style is no longer just for American men. And few shops in Europe are more faithfully dedicated to heirloom denim and classic work wear than the new Stockholm shop Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold. The name alone, taken from a Townes Van Zandt classic, is like Carharts incarnate. The shop, in Södermalm, the city’s answer to Brooklyn and the only party of town that could be called gritty, is outfitted almost entirely in unfinished knotty pine boards; they line the walls and form blocky benches and tables for merchandise that includes Mr. Freedom work shirts, Quoddy moccasins, Pendleton blankets and Wesco motorcycle boots. And true to the cult of craftsmanship, the narrative behind every company the store does business with is highlighted on its Web site. The expertly focused selection of brands includes plenty of international origin — canvas satchels from Brady Bags of England, founded in 1877; Grunden rain gear (Sweden, 1926); jeans by The Real McCoy’s (Japan, 1990) — but the effect is nonetheless a mashup of styles that feels unmistakably American. Easy rider meets California gold miner meets New England stevedore, all crammed into your dad’s tool shed, circa 1976.

Manual to a Young Gentlemen’s Wardrobe: The Navy Blazer

The Navy Blazer

FEWER things in a man’s wardrobe as indispensable, with exceptions like socks and underwear, as a navy blazer. As hinted at by the New York Times coverage of Pitti Uomo (here), the world’s most important mensware event hosted yearly in Flrocence, Navy blazer’s popularity and future hipness and ubiquitness is here to stay. Not only that- but every major designer has versions of the venerable article of man’s fashion.

The blazer’s origin can be found somewhete in the realm between mythological legent and perpetual fact. It is said that Queen Victoria was once upon a time set to review her Navy. On her tour was the the ship HRM Blazer; the captain embarrassed at the condition of his crews uniform and eager to make an impression is said to have ripped down a navy-blue said and had a local tailor fashion jackets out of them thus creating an everlasting sartorial meme: the navy blazer. (another story contends that the term originally belonged to the ‘blazing red’ jackets the rowing team from one Britian’s gilded schools wore).

Indeed the word ‘blazer’ technically only refers to a navy-colored jacket and for true purists one that is double-breasted and bedazzled with brass buttons. For today’s definition we will cindlude the other ‘modern’ standard of two or three-buttoned jackets: everything else is a sportscoat.

A Gentlemen’s Guide to Sartorial Minutia: The Jacket

  • Matching jacket+trousers= suit
  • Jacket with different color trousers= sports jacket
  • Single or double-breasted navy jacket (with brass buttons)= a blazer
  • Navy jacket with black or brown buttons= a sports jacket

The definitive look

As with any jacket one needs to keep it simple, especially if it’s your first rendition of said article of clothing, so we recocmend that you start out with a two-button notch-lapel blazer (with or without brass buttons). Hint: the standard brass buttons blazer comes with are meant to be replaced with those emblazoned with the family crest, initials or the sumbol of your regimen… of course many of these things simply don’t apply anymore. So, instead you can keep them on or replace them with silver ones or perhaps peruse the selection at your local flea market or ebay.

The Fit

The downside of the navy blazer is that it’s been around for a long time and like anything that is somewhat ubiquitous, and in this case a fashion-commodity, most renditions re there are bad, boxy and poorly made. SO look carefully and try a blazer on, walk around the store, sit down, look at it with the buttons open, with the buttons closed etc. There is nothing effeminate at posing at the mirror, remember others will look at you far more than you will look at yourself, so make sure the jacket fits right. It should sit comfortably on your shoulders without the seam going far beyond your shoulder proper, and no shoulderpads, ever. If you are a young man, or have a slim frame, stick to model with higher armholes, narrower arms and a bit of a shorter cut (unless you’re tall of course). Tall men would benefit from three buttons, shorter, talkier guys with two to even one. Men of medium or “rpund frames” should still stick to a narrower cut and the width of the lapels should match the width of the face. Have a wide face or a large frame? Opt for wider peak lapels. But, whatever you do, whatever your frame pick the right size, you shouldn’t look like you’re wearing a sack (it’s not complimenting).

(photos courtesy of The  Sartorialist )

The Navy Blazer: The Advantages

  • Very versatile: can be worn with a button shirt, tie or no tie, a polo shirt, or if you’re the hip type a white v-neck t-shirt or Henley. You can wear with jeans (the wash needs to be lighter than the jacket), khakhis (warning, you can look like a shclepp in the pants are too baggy or pleated), white pants (for a very modern look) down to adventurous things like pastel yellow, striped blue, red, or seersucker. Moreover, for a more formal setting, a navy blazer with grey trunks looks incredibly smart.

A Versatile combo...

  • Can be dressed up: grey trousers, repp tie; ready for business.

The Office

  • Can be dressed preppy: red pants and a white polo? White pants and a bottle of champagne. Foppish, hell no! (more on this later).


(photos courtesy of Esquire and The Sartorialist)
  • Can be dressed down: v-neck t-shirt and jeans.

(photo courtesy of GQ)

  • The ultimate business-trip jacket (see above).
  • It’s hip but, moreover and infinitely most importantly: It’s timeless.

    Cool, safe, unpretentious, preppy- masculine.

The Navy Blazer: The Disadvantages

  • It’s popular and sartorially ubiquitous which means there are many styles out there with special renditions, features and atributes in order to distinguish one from the other. For the first one: Keep it simple! Start basic, then go from there (you know, the blazer with white piping? That’s level 5).

The next level.

  • The Khaki conundrum. It seems natureal: navy blazer with kahki pants. Right? But this is a the problem, it’s so ubiquitous and overused by schkleppy banking types and no-nothing frat-boys that the look, often an oversized sack-jacket and baggy pants, has gotten a bad wrap. It’s a good look and a classic one, but it needs to be done carefully, see below:

The unfortunate archetype: too big, too baggy, too schleppy

The right way to do khaki+navy blazer.

  • Choices. There are simply too many choices so let’s go to our buying guide:

TGG’s Navy Blazer Buying Guide

  • Start Simple and basic for the first Navy Blazer:
    • Notch lapel
    • Two button
    • Standard Navy color
    • Light wool (so it can be used year-round)
    • Lined
    • Slim cut: should be slightly pinched at the waist, narrow arms, higher armhoples. Dapper and proper.
    • Be willing to spend; you only need one right? So do it right. A good Navy Blazer may cost anywhere from $120USD to $900USD. A notable exeption is Uniqlo’s unlined Navy blazer which is, in short, fantastic.


  • Pocket squares: silk, cotton and linen- don’t be afraid. Go from simple white linen to colorful prints: Make it count.

The diversifier... (courtesy of the Sartorialist)

  • Different materials: the summer one (unlined, linen, cotton) to winter (wool, velvet, tweed) down to the stylish and unique (knit, patched, etc… see above picture).

Some ideas:

Navy Blazer cool (from the Sartorialist)

A stylish Combo (from

Top 10 for Navy Blazers

  1. J. Press (sack suits- get the a size smaller and have them tailored)
  2. J. Crew
  3. Brook’s Brothers (Black Fleece is slimmer)
  4. Uniqlo (fantastic- lightweight and inexpensive)
  5. Zara
  6. Etro
  7. Cucinelli
  8. Ralph Lauren
  9. Zegna
  10. Kitton

Basics of a the Young Gentleman’s Wardrobe and Style

This guy's cool...Why are so many men (Americans and their Pacific counterparts, Australians, especially) so sartorially -backwards? Or, to put it bluntly, fashion retarded? The response is obviously a multifaceted and complex one, and therefore not one we’re going to get into in here.

For starters, culture i.e. “civility” and the trappings thereof, have relaxed quite a around the world, but especially in the land of the free and the home of the brave ( see the morons in pajamas on any domestic airline)—standard uniforms that once set a person aside from his or her neighbor became increasingly homogenous, goods became cheaper and consumers reacted by simply wanting them to be cheaper still (bless us). Add to that our good-ole American nature to be a bit slobbish and you have a recipe for disaster. Enter cheap retailers selling square-cut baggie clothes with absolutely no respect for style, size or dimension. I’m thinking of Gap and Old Navy, Target, etc.

But does that mean a man has to spend a week’s salary on a pair of pants and a shirt? No. There is a big difference here, and that is the difference between fashion and style. Fashion and style go hand in hand but are not mutually exclusive.

Fashion is shaped by the world around is, it is trends and runway shows while style is an inherent part of who we are. It is inside of us and cannot be marketed (the way the penchant for young men in white belts running amok in Italy in 2004 became a global sensation in 2006 when every fashion house had half-naked models in white belts strutting their stuff and made billions in sales of white leather belts). The fact that perhaps you could pull off a white belt tastefully PRIOR to that attests for a certain sense of style.

I belive most people (MOST) have a sense of style. For some of us it is bubbling right at the surface, for others it is buried deep within. For most men its somewhere in between. But if you have always work sneakers/trainers, shirts that were two sizes two big and baggy jeans then it doesn’t all come naturally to shift into proper-sizes and slimmer silhouettes. For this a man needs to know a bit about fashion. By this I don’t mean knowing whom John Galliano is or that Mr. Burberry invented the trench. But he does need to know some basics and that knowledge is informed, not inherent.

Many of today’s sartorial laws (not rules, they can be broken) have been passed down to us from a long line of history’s quirks, needs and hundreds of years of, mostly, English men’s sartorial wisdom and tradition. Of course, Italians have made a big impression on the fashion landscape as of the last twenty years and that cannot be ignored and moreover Italy has bequeathed to Italian men’s fashion the ability of a man to be sexy and still dress like a gentleman (not a dandy).

To develop your own sense of style one must understand certain basics of a “Gentlemen’s Style” as well as the basics one must live by (i.e. how to tie a knot, the idea of pocket squares, types of shoes, the proper blazer etc etc etc. )

This is what Italian men called “Sartoria” the art of dressing like a gentlemen. In the year 2009 that certainly doesn’t mean a three-piece suit (although current runway shows and a Madmen hysteria would say otherwise) but it does mean donning a look that is classic yet modern and up to date, flattering, and unique.

The ultimate goal? To look good and dress well because it feels good and allows you to express your sartorial individuality (plus the girls like it!).

You may just be coming out of college and need a wardrobe updgrade to get you knee-deep into the adult workd of an ovvice and real responsabilities. Perhaps you are a late-bloomer and want to trade in your baggy grunge look for something more sophisticated. Maybe, you;ve started to read GQ and Details and your girlfriend likes the rsults. Whatever the reason this small top-ten is for you.

If you had NOTHING in your closet and a bit of cash to burn then the following are a gentlemen’s must haves as basics to his primordial wardrobe. They key here is “classic” and therefore timeless.

Keep in mind: for the young man ‘cut’ is everything, this means higher armholes, slimmer arms and legs, lower rise on pants etc. no baggy, no square. If your hefty, such touches actually makes you look slimmer, so chill.

Ten items a man needs in his wardrobe                                                (in no particular order):

1) A plain white oxford (a white button long-sleeve shirt)

Why– because it is and will be the most versatile piece of clothing you will ever own. Wear it with shorts, jeans, slacks and a blazer you name it you got it… it’s also easy to accessorize (which isn’t a bad or “gay” term, think of it as “pimpin” your look) with a vest, jacket or sweater. Remember, no logos!

  • The Basic: J. Crew, Zara or Topshop
  • The Classic: Brooks Brothers (slim-fit), Hugo Boss, Banana Republic
  • The Upgrade: Lanvin, Zegna, Charvet
White Oxford Shirt

"The Shirt"

  • The Next Step: Other colored shirts

2) A Navy blazer (sans the brass buttons)

Why– because it is a classic and never goes out of fashion and adapts to a million different styles. Remember that oxford above? With a slim cut plain one or two-button navy blazer and jeans, with white or khaki pants and a polo or simply with a t-shirt and shorts, whatever the style or occasion the navy blazer has a place.

There are some things to keep in mind: thin face, thinner lapels, rounder face, and bigger lapels. Keep the first navy blazer a simple basic one; i.e. single-breasted, little to NO shoulder pads, slimmer cut so that there is a just a bit of tension in the middle button (the one that aligns closer to your belly button) and is of a material that can be worn year-round. Nothing fancy on this one. Most blazers come with brass buttons, but they are meant to replaced, do so.

  • The Basic: J. Crew, Zara or Theory
  • The Classic: Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger
  • The Upgrade: Dunhill, Burberry, Tom Ford
The Navy Blazer

The Navy Blazer

  • The Next Step: Slim double-breasted as well as lighter cotton-versions

3) Kakhis (the non-pleated or baggy type)

Why– They are the quintessential pant-on-jeans in America. Because you need something that’s less scratchy and a bit more “breezy” than jeans. Kakhis can come in two ways; relaxed and washed as well as dressy; you’re better served, initially, with a casual pair that you can throw on with a t-shirt and sweater or with a button shirt, whatever you do goes well with khakis as they are versatile and get better with every wash. AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD forget pleats, no pleats, ever at all.

  • The Basic: J. Crew, Gap, Dockers (they have a new slim fit, flat-front line)
  • The Classic: Ralph Lauren, Seven for all Mankind, Rogan
  • The Upgrade: John Varvatos, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace
The Khakis

The Khakis

  • The Next Step: White chinos, cords and other pants…

4) Brown loafers (without tassels)

Why– because a man needs good brown shoes and more often than not brown shoes are more cutting edge and cool than staunch and dressy. Leave the “fancy” shoe category for black shoes (and for the evenings), at least initially, and use your brown shoes to show a bit more of personality and flair. Loafers or drivers are perfect for this, they’re relaxed and casual but can be dressed up with a brown or blue suit (not drivers through) or worn with kakhis or jeans in the summer (and ditch the socks)

  • The Basic: J. Crew, Aldo, Zara
  • The Classic: To Boot, Kenneth Cole, Mezlan
  • The Upgrade: Tod’s, Gucci, Berlutti

The Brown Shoes

  • The Next Step: Berlutti custom made shoes

5) Black Oxfords

Why– because you need proper shoes. I adhere to the standard that brown shoes are for the day, black is for the evening. While sleek slip-on black shoes seem quite stylish your first true pair of shoes should/need to be black. The “oxford” happens to be the most popular style (we can get into what makes an oxford an oxford versus other styles, but that’s another post). Black, leather, laces. That’s it, no bits, no bling, no pebbled or snake-skin finishes. Black, leather, laces. Avoid square and chunky, particularly if you have small feet.

  • The Basic: Zara, Kenneth Cole, Bruno Magli
  • The Classic: Gucci, Peal and Co., Church’s, Allen Edmonds
  • The Upgrade: Vogel, Zegna, Jon Lobb

The Black Shoe

  • The Next Step: Pebble-grain and other leathers as well as pricey black slip-ons and patent leather for when you need to wear a tux

5) Nice Jeans

Why– because most guys don’t have “nice jeans” they have either dad-jeans or a torn mongrel version that was undoubtedly “weathered” off the peg and pricey. By nice I also mean a straight-fit cut (even if you have big thighs or are on the heavier side, it’s ok, they stretch and make you look slimmer). By nice I do not mean: designer, pricey, welted, worsted or full of bling. Personally, go to the denim guys, I will never wear a pair of jeans that’s not Levi’s; they’re the denim people, jeans is what they do. Oh, and by nice, I mean dark-ish blue and fairly even wash (you know, they type you’d wear with a nice grey jacket, a white oxford and a tie).

  • The Basic: Gap
  • The Classic: Levis
  • The Upgrade: Diesel, 7 for all Mankind, Dolce & Gabbana

The Jeans

  • The Next Step: ?

6) A Grey Suit

Why– because this (and a navy one) are really the only suits you need (initially). A grey suit is incredibly versatile as you can use just the jacket as a blazer with jeans (See above) or the trousers as grey pants should you want to not get too dressed up. A grey suit works for the day (light blue oxford, a tie and brown shoes) as well as for the evening (white oxford shirt, slim black tie and black shoes) and so it is extremely versatile. It really does not get any better. I belive in paying for suits i.e. upwards of 500USD but alas there is hope. Treat it nice and keep it away from the dry cleaners! Steam if you must and give it a day’s rest between each use. Light wool for all seasons is a best bet, not too light a color however.

  • The Basic: Zara, J.Crew, Banana Republic
  • The Classic: Brook’s Brothers, Massimo Dutti, Hugo Boss
  • The Upgrade: Phineas Cole, Freeman’s Sporting Club, Zegna

The Grey Suit by Freeman's Sporting Club, NYC

  • The Next Step: Custom: Tom Ford anyone? As well as other fun stuff like Prince of Wales check.

7) Linen Pocket Square

Why– because it’s all in the details. Okay, this one seems a bit foppish (i.e. gay) but really it’s not. A nicely folded pocket square sends a message, you care about the details, you neat, clear, organized and understand what you’re about… and because it’s not some pink and blue polka-dotted mess pouring out of your jacket pocket it does not say that your vane and affected.

  • Where to find: Brooks Brother’s, Nordstroms, J.Press

The White Handkerchief

  • The Next Step: Silk

8) Four Well-thought-out ties

Why– because there are still places that call for proper decorum and a tie does not have to be a hassle nor an afterthought and can be a reflection of who you are. With the exception of black or white, ties should never be a solid color especially if they are of a similar shade to the color for the shirt you are wearing. Forget dumpster diving for ties, a huge selection of great ties exists at most specialty retailers and vintage stores are also a great resource. If ties are a new thing for you, avoid prints or anything too fancy and start off with stripes. Repp (stripes) ties hearken back to the regimented days of prep-school for a small percent of the population but for most of us they are nice, easy to wear and match easily to a wide array of situations and looks. The overall width of a tie, like lapels, have to be in relation to the overall width of your face so if your’re a skinny dude a huge and wide tie that covers your entire mid-section is a bad idea! Too slim a tie and you look like a druggy rocker or Hedi Slimane’s midnight fantasy, somewhere in the middle is good.

  • The Basic: Gap, Gant, Zara, American Eagle Outfitters
  • The Classic: Brooks Brothers, J Press, J Crew
  • The Upgrade: Alexander Olch, Phineas Cole, Ralph Lauren Purple Label

The Tie(s) by Alexander Olch

  • The Next Step: Bespoke ties by Alexander Olch. Cool prints, and cashmere numbers…

9) A V-Neck sweater (okay two)

Why– because it’ll be one of the most reliable items of clothing you own. Jeans and a white shirt is one thing but throw on it a v-neck sweater and it smartens the look considerably. While traveling it becomes a useful go-to companion for cool airplane cabins and can add quite a bit of looks when packed with a suit, kakhis, jeans and a couple shirts as it can be works with a suit for a formal put together look in chili weather and yet can be worn with chinos and or jeans. Merino wool and above, anything else will levae a ton of ‘stuff’ and lint on your shirts, wear it around the house a bit so it looses a lot of the fiber’s filaments and doesn’t put you in an embarrassing situation when a lint-brush is nowhere to be found. Cashmere is nice if you can afford it but plenty of reliable merino wool and cashmere-cotton blends are available. Have fun with colors although initially stick to grey and navy, or black and navy (but remember, black at night only and not with another black jacket or shirt, unless you are going for a dot-com millionaire artistic look) and stick to non-chunky sweaters.

  • The Basic: Zara, J. Crew, Gant
  • The Classic: John Varvatos, Burberry, Gilded Age
  • The Upgrade: Zegna, Hermes, Dior

The V-Neck by J.Crew

  • The Next Step: colors, prints, chunks etc; and cashmere cashmere cashmere.

10) A Cotton Polo Shirt (or 20)

Why– Because it’s timeless and about the most versatile item in your wardrobe… ever. There is nothing better than a polo, they come in short sleeves, long sleeves, light cotton, warm cotton, pique, plain, clean, vintage and in every color imaginable. Personally, should you have $80 in your pocket I’d say go for the all-time classic Lacoste Polo (they guys who invented it) as a good old fashioned Lacoste can go with anything, shorts, jeans, chinos, linen pants, swim trunks, under a jacket to dress down a suit or with trousers with a blazer for a Sunday afternoon. Whatever the occasion nothing beats a polo. Moreover they pack easily into a small carry on and are the perfect thing to go into a weekend bag. It doesn’t start an end with Lacoste, there are hundreds of Polo Shirts out there but I like the original. Buy them, buy a lot of them, in as many colors as possible and rotate them well, dry clean if you want to keep the colors bright or in cool water to develop a soft patina.

  • The Basic: J. Crew, Gap, Polo by Ralph Lauren
  • The Classic: Lacoste
  • The Upgrade: Zegna, Brook’s Brothers, Etro

The Lacoste Polo