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Monthly Archives: July 2019

Modern Man. Classic Manners.

Photo by Sean Stratton on Unsplash

Being a man in the 21st century can be a complicated thing for us older guys.  The young guns are coming up in the world - some becoming billionaires in their 30s - and whether you have money or not, one thing is certain, classic manners will never go out of style, and can set you apart from the herd.

Lions like us, men who have been around, done a lot of things, made mistakes and got better with each lesson learned, have an advantage over younger guys with big degrees but no social skills.  And this isn’t confined to the business world.  We’re being judged and sized-up with every interaction we have, and falling back on what we learned as kids, back in the age where minding your manners was key, is a positive thing.
 
So what am I referring to?  Holding the door for people.  Saying thank you and being sincere about it.  Treating service staff of any kind with respect.  Asking about people with the intent of really getting to know and understand them.  Showing compassion.
 
All of these are traits that I believe the modern sage, warrior, and gentleman needs to possess and practice regularly.  They shouldn’t even be things you think about, they should be ingrained in you, in who you are, and in how you behave every day.
 
Things get rough sometimes, I know, believe me I know.  But we have to rise above that and get stronger all the time.  We have value that a lot of younger people in the world don’t understand.  A lot of companies won’t talk to you because their mandate is generally to get the youngest, cheapest talent they can.  
 
But you and I can come to the rescue of many younger people, younger men especially, and many companies.  
 
The world needs a return to manners and compassion.  Us guys over 50 can help usher this back in if we believe we can and if we try.  I’m giving it my best shot every day, in the way I talk to and mentor younger guys.  Sometimes the opportunities fall right in your lap, other times you have to seek them out, and provide the open space for that young buck to trust you and ask you things.  They’re eager to learn – well a lot of them are.
 
You have to admit that when you were 20, 30, 40 – you didn’t want to listen to anybody.  I’m raising my hand really high right now!  I thought I knew it all.  But… I had some really great mentors and although I was stubborn, some of the lessons I thought I’d never need, are with me now and have opened may possibilities for me, as I’m sure some have for you too.
 
Go to it my fellow SWG,
Jeff

5 $20 Style Tips

Style for guys

Every once in a while I’ll give you some pointers like this.  Style is personal and by following a few simple rules, and trying something new occasionally, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you discover about yourself and how your style can evolve.

So, here we go – 5 $20 style tips for you – the Sage, Warrior, Gentleman.

  1. Stretch jeans.  Most companies are starting to make these now including Levis and many of the designer brands.  I’m wearing a pair of Hudsons right now that are the most comfortable jeans I’ve every owned and worn.  You gotta be able to move, dude.
    1. Levi’s 511 Stretch – http://bit.ly/2ZgvPIr
    2. Naked & Famous Stretch – https://amzn.to/2ykqCmS
  2. If your sport coat or suit jacket sleeves fall over any part of your hand, get the sleeves shortened.  A good tailor will show you exactly where they should be.  Listen and obey. It’s also possible that the jacket is just too big for you anyway.  Buy the right size.
  3. Flat front casual and dress pants.  Pleats have been out of style for a long time now, and make you look bigger.  Get with the program and start buying flat fronts.  No matter what brands you like and buy, they all have flat front styles.
    1. Kenneth Cole Reaction – https://amzn.to/2ykCtBC
    2. Calvin Klein – https://amzn.to/2Yv1rgb
  4. Stop wearing your at-home-only duds on flights.  Just stop.
  5. Sharpen your shoe game.  You should have at least three pair of dressy to dressy/casual that you can wear to work, out for dinner or drinks, or on that first date with a new lady.  Guys – women notice this stuff.  They will dismiss you in a heartbeat if you walk in with ugly, shitty, way way way out of date shoes.  Hmmm – good pun there because you will be out of a date quick if you show up in #2 listed below.  Why put that burden on romance?  Look at these:

  1. What I mean by dressy/casual – Cole Haan – https://amzn.to/2YsgZ06
  2. Please don’t ever buy this type of shoe – https://amzn.to/2Ysiuj0

Okay, that’s it for this post.  Follow these guidelines and you’ll improve your style game overnight.  Don’t look like 85% of the guys out there who have no clue how to dress themselves.  I know guys whose wives tell them what to wear!  Learn from these quick tips and be your own damn stylist!

Now go be a modern man,

Jeff

Cost Per Use – Maximize Your Clothing Dollar

Photo by David Lezcano on Unsplash

Every purchase we make in life can be boiled down to one very simple concept:  how much it costs us to use it, and this is especially true for our wardrobe.

The Cost of “Living”

Go out to a bar and have drinks.  Polish off that Manhattan and you gotta pay up for another one if you want to keep rolling.  One use and one use only.  Right?  You drink that drink and get your shine on and that’s it.  You want to do it again – that’ll be $15 sir.  Food is the same.  You can only eat that particular Ribeye one time.  Was it worth the $35 you paid for it?  That’s up to you and only you.
 
Now how about your car – if you’re unfortunate enough to live in a place where you need one of the costliest expenses you will every incur, or, you’re just a car nut and glutton for punishment.  If you pay cash and drive that thing for years and years, just divide the price you paid – we’ll skip insurance and gas and maintenance for now – by the number of months you had/drove/wrecked the car, and you have a cost per use on a monthly basis.
 
Example:  I pay $9000 cash for a used Nissan and drive if for four years.
 
9000/48 = 187.50 per month — not bad, right?  Sell it and get some of your cash back and the number goes down further.
 
How about extending that another 2 years?
9000/72 = 125.00 per month — easy and I think you get the picture.

Now let’s talk about clothes.  Your wardrobe.  

The stuff hanging in your closet that allows you to be presentable to the world can work for you, or it can work against you – in the budget department.  And world meaning colleagues, women (GFs, wives, significant others), other dudes, loan officers, the 16 year old at McDonald’s whose first day happens to be today, small children, and puppies/kittens, etc.

Classic Fashion vs Trendy Fashion

Classic Fashion

Blue shirts.  Navy jackets.  Khaki pants.  Jeans.  Boat shoes.  Rep stripe ties.  Grey suits.
 
These are all classics and because they are so, will last forever in terms of fashion acceptance.  Of course there are degrees of fashion within each but let’s keep it simple for now – we’ll cover some of the other parts of this in another post.
 
The point to get here is very low cost per use.  Each of those items listed above can be worn over and over and over and…  A good blue oxford shirt can last you years and be worn hundreds of times.
 
Here our equation is a bit different.  Instead of a per month cost, we want a per use cost.  Wear this shirt an average of once per week for 3 years and you’ve worn it approximately 156 times.  Divide that by your cost and voila!  You have your cost per use.
 
A good pair of shoes can last you even longer because your feet stay roughly the same size for all of your adult life.  And while our arms and legs stay the same length give or take a centimeter or two, we can’t say that about our waist line can we?  
 
Dude, if you’re in your 50s and can still wear your jeans from your 20s – you are a superstar to the nth degree and we all want to know how you did it.

Trendy Fashion

Ripped up jeans.  Wearing your fucking baseball cap backwards.*  Wearing flip-flops everywhere you go until there’s 6” of snow on the ground.  Scratch that because I was in Wisconsin a couple years ago, it was snowing and raining and slush was 3” high all over and I saw a guy in a restaurant wearing flip-flops.  (*If you’re over twelve and still do this, please stop.)
 
Purple shirts.  Jeans down your ass.  Floral print sport coats.  No show socks – although this one has been around for a while.  
 
Trendy fashion comes and goes quickly so your cost per use is usually very low.  Some things you can really only wear for one season, maybe two so your $500 lime green skinny jeans, with a crotch liner made with silk from worms that only live on a tropical island in the Banda Sea are going to cost you $250 per wear if you’re lucky.  Not money well spent.  Not an investment, just a waste.
 
So, think about this before you spend any more money on clothes.  Your wardrobe is an investment to you.  You’re investing in your style and in people’s perception of you.  Don’t think I’m crazy with that.  I’m sure you’ve read that first impressions count, right?  This what it means.  
 
You walk into that meeting with a sharp outfit, groomed hair, clean teeth and fresh breath, and you greet everyone with a smile and firm handshake with eye contact, and people instantly feel comfortable with you there.  They’ll get that you mean business and will take care of their needs.
 
And while I’m well aware that there are billionaires out there who walk into meetings with jeans and a t-shirt, if you’re not him, don’t do it.
 
Go get ’em fellow SWG,
Jeff
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