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Undershirt Comparison Sloane Men vs. Mr.Davis

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Undershirt Comparison Sloane Men vs. Mr.Davis

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We've talked a little bit in previous articles that skin-colored undershirts, though not ground breaking for fashion, are relatively new to men's wear and a huge asset to the business wardrobe. Normal t-shirts are uncomfortable under well tailored dress shirts and cause unsightly shadows under white buttons-up around the collar and bicep. To our salvation emerged Mr. Davis (no relation to me) and Sloane Men undershirts. We reached out to both companies and have tested their shirts extensively over the past few months so I present to you our findings. Both companies provided free samples in each size and color for an even analysis.

Mr. Davis - I'm a big fan of bamboo and viscose in general because the fabric is breathable, soft and long-lasting. In terms of cost-per-wear bamboo goes the distance and is a great investment. When I first put this shirt on I was very excited about the look and fit...my issues began after I was fully dressed and had left my house (and my ability to ditch the shirt). The biggest problem is the raglan sleeve construction. Note how the Mr. Davis shirt does not have a shoulder seam but rather has an extended portion of the sleeve that attaches near the collar, running the length of the shoulder and the down the arm. Initially I was pretty exceited about it as I expected it to look smoother under my dress shirt...while in reality it caused the undershirt sleeve to perpetually slide up and into by armpit. I felt like I was fighting with the shirt all day long. No matter how much I pulled the sleeves down they inevitably encroached on my comfort and I happily removed the shirt at the end of the day. This was not an isolated incident--I tried wearing the shirt on many occasions and in a couple different sizes with same result.

Sloane Men - I've long been a proponent of modal fabric for undergarments of all kinds. It is softer and lighter than viscose and a magical experience in comfort. The only problem with modal is its longevity; I've yet to see a modal shirt that retains its visual integrity regardless of the manufacturer past 4 or 5 washes. Moving beyond the fabric choice this is the single most comfortable shirt I own. The construction opposes the Mr. Davis with a "set in" sleeve, which is the construction you are most familiar with in your standard shoulder seam shirt. The sleeves are intentionally long enough to prevent them from riding up and the hem is long enough to stay tucked in. I also enjoy having three color options for me and my clients. Being blessed with pasty white Russian/Irish skin I have to wear the "sand" color to fully utilize the invisible benefits...the "scotch" shows a little too much. 


Analysis - I highly prefer the Sloane Men over the Mr. Davis undershirt. In terms of comfort and actually being "invisible" under a white dress shirt, Sloane Men seals the deal. I almost always disagree with one-size-fits-all type products and I certainly think Mr. Davis is underserving a large portion of their clientele, namely their black or African-Amerian buyer. However, in term of quality and longevity I think Mr. Davis is spot on with their use of bamboo. The modal alternative is luxurious but a bit of indulgence if you're counting your dollars.


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How to Hang a Sweater

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How to Hang a Sweater

It's almost time to start packing away your winter clothes until the next snowpocalypse. If you have a section in your closet for winter wear, use this guide to hang your sweaters and avoid the dreaded shoulder bumps that just make you look ridiculous. 

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How to Tie Your Shoes

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How to Tie Your Shoes

Because you've probably been doing it wrong your entire life Terry Moore is here to teach you how to tie your shoes. His knot is stronger and looks better. It's a simple lifehack that will leave you wondering why you didn't learn this sooner.


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How to Look Taller - Part 3: Proportions

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How to Look Taller - Part 3: Proportions

Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions. -Coco Chanel

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If your coat is too long, people will think you are too short. Your clothes are at fault, but you'll always get the blame. 

First, the easy part:

You basically have two sections to clothe...your legs and torso. A few other things will factor in like hair and shoes but we'll get to those in a moment. If your legs look too long then your torso may look oddly short or you'll look very lanky. The reverse is also true where a long torso will shorten your legs, forcing you to look squatty and top heavy.

So that's the basic idea: find an even 50/50 ratio between your legs and torso so that you'll look balanced and taller. Since most other men are so poorly dressed not only will you look generally better, your proportioned outfit will correlatively add that much more to your stature.

Where it can go wrong:

1. Hair - Your clothes build a shape and the hair finishes it off. If you look unkempt above the collar it doesn't much matter what you wear, people aren't going to be thinking about your clothes. But more than that--the shape of your hair can counterbalance an overly round face and add symmetry to your presentation. Don't discount the importance of a good hair dresser who can make valuable recommendations about your hairstyle that don't rely on the latest fad.

Image courtesy of  Black Lapel

Image courtesy of Black Lapel

2. Collar - There are two basic kinds of collars: point and spread. Use these shapes beneath your face to add symmetry (just like your hair on top). If you have the round pizza face, consider using a point collar to add some length and, conversely, a long face will benefit from the spread collar to open up your presentation. 

3. Tie & Lapels - Proportions are horizontal as well as vertical. It seems like most ties out there are too wide for the men who wear them. Don't get me wrong, I'm not an advocate of the ultra skinny tie or the bolo, but I do think that the size of the tie should be proportional to the size of the man. If a slim guy wears the normal 3.5"-4" tie it looks like a long bib. Try to find even proportions between the width of your lapel and the width of your tie. That way there will be some evenness side to side (Lapel-Shirt-Tie-Shirt-Lapel) and just avoid items very slim or very big.

Image Courtesy of  Permanent Style

Image Courtesy of Permanent Style

4. Sleeves - Length is key. You don't want your sleeves bunching around your wrist (where you'll be perceived too short) and neither do you want your wrists to show (where you'll be perceived too lanky). Remember what I said earlier about your clothes being at fault but you bearing the blame? This is a great example about people perceiving you a certain way even though it may not be true. If you're wearing a blazer, aim for 1/4"-1/2" of cuff to show. Less is conservative and more is fashion forward.

5. Pant rise - Simply stated, this is how high you wear your pants. Dad jeans that encroach on the navel aren't bad just by association--they give you a long abdominal pannus that unnecessarily cuts your body in half with a very short torso. And they make your butt look flat.

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6. Pants break - When you go to the tailor or buy a new pair of pants and they ask you what kind of "break" you want you'll now be empowered to make that decision confidently. You want a slight break. What does this mean? The break is the amount of fabric bunched up at your ankles. If there is a lot of fabric, you'll look like you're wearing your dad's pants and you'll look hopelessly short. On the other hand, if you ask for no break you'll get a very clean line that looks great!...until you walk around and your pants start riding up your legs like you're scared of the nearest puddle. A slight break (or quarter break) is literally a small break in the ironed crease down the front of your trousers that enables you to live in a 3-dimensional world with pants that look like they actually fit. Oh...and no cuffs. That's only for the tall guys.

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7. Shoes - Throw away any shoes in the closet that have a flat toe. You've worked so hard getting to this moment: you've fixed your hair, bought a suit with the right length, picked out a tie of appropriate width and argued with the tailor who thinks you need need a full break, cuffed pant. Don't throw all that away on shoes that aggressively punctuate the end of your silhouette. Shoes should have a round toe that help you taper off and yet again extend your height. The shoes don't have to have a European elf-point flair, they just need to be round enough to be a seamless end to the bottom of your well appointed stature.


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How to Look Taller - Part 2: Color

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How to Look Taller - Part 2: Color

Love thy neighbor - and if he happens to be tall, debonair and devastating, it will be that much easier.         -Mae West

Men want to be taller. You can read the statistics in the previous post where we talked about three ways to make up the inches: Color, Proportions, and Fit. There is a lot of crossover between the three but color is certainly one of the easiest to master...just wear black.

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I'm sort of kidding; I don't want you to go all Johnny Cash on us but there are some strategic advantages to darker colors. When you want to brighten up a room and make it look more spacious, you paint it a light color. Most people don't want to make their midsection look more spacious so wearing a darker color is going to minimize the overall impact of the area you're looking to hide. But how does this make you look taller?

Because darker areas look slimmer they also elongate. Take a look at this optical illusion. Does the figure appear taller on the left or the right?

Yes, I know it's an easy one but the image does a great job illustrating how effective darker colors can be.

Dark colors draw long lines on your body that the eye perceives to be longer than an equal line of a lighter color. So while this picture shows how a dress might make a woman taller, the same is true for men if they wear darker jeans instead of lighter ones. Couple that with a darker shirt or jacket and you look that much taller.

Courtesy of Dr. Peter Thompson

Courtesy of Dr. Peter Thompson

The longer the line is, the better. This is why people always warn about wearing horizontal stripes. Not only do they draw lines across your body, letting us know just how wide you are, they also create contrast against your height making you look that much shorter.

For more optical illusions that can enable your wardrobe, head over to Bridgette Raes' site for a more in-depth read or to the BBC to understand the "Helmholtz Irradiation Illusion" that provides the scientific backing for the 'black is slimming' theory.

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How to Look Taller - Part 1

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How to Look Taller - Part 1

Great leaders loom larger than life and women love taller men...Tall, Dark and Handsome as the saying goes.

The top 50 CEOs average just over 6 feet and 71% of women in a recent survey say their ideal partner could be as tall as 6' 6" while the average man still hovers around 5' 10". So how to make up the difference?

There are 3 main ways to look taller. I will outline them in this post and plunge into detail over the next several days.


Color

Color is one of the easiest ways to change the way you look. Solid colors, especially monochromatic colors like gray and black, can help you extend long visual lines. If there is a drastic color change between your shirt and pants it can unnaturally segment your body causing you to look shorter. 

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Proportions

No one really wants to look top heavy or lanky. Creating a balance between torso and legs, together with complimenting colors, can serve to give you a taller silhouette particularly during first impressions. This can include everything from where you wear your pants to the placement of buttons on your blazer.

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Fit

The most detrimental issue for the majority of men is poor fit. Their clothes sag off of them like hand-me-downs and create the perception they are insignificant. While nothing is further from the truth, the problems with your clothes are almost always seen as problems with you--your clothes aren't too big, rather you're too small.

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The Basics of Leather

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The Basics of Leather

Whether you're buying a leather couch or a leather bag, read this quick tutorial and know what you're getting. 


4 Basic Kinds of Leather


Full Grain

This is the best of the best. Taken from the strongest part of the hide where the fibers are tightly interlocked. There will be visible exterior scaring adding to its character.

Top Grain

Split from the top layer of the hide to mask external blemishes, it sacrifices some strength in favor of aesthetic texture. Beautiful but not as strong.

Genuine Leather

The third tier of leather, this is the leftover portion with horizontal fibers that can separate more easily. Best used as a lining where no real stress will occur. 

 

Bonded Leather

This is the pressboard of leather, where the leftover scraps from shavings are glued together in a process similar to vinyl production. Cheap and to be avoided.

I was annoyed learning that "genuine" leather was so far down the totem pole, and more pissed off that "Made with Genuine Leather" could simply mean vinyl with a leather trim. That's why it's important to do your research and know your vendor. Companies like Saddleback Leather only use the best full grain leather and they are damn proud. Their bags are also expensive and rightly so - if it means I only have to buy it once in a lifetime. It's important to invest in things you'll enjoy owning and will stand the test of time.

Since this post features Saddleback, you should go over and look at their wares by clicking here. And if you want a more in-depth education on leather, their blog is an excellent place to start.

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4 rules for Buying a Belt

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4 rules for Buying a Belt

I tend to dislike buying belts and ties. I have trouble spending the money retailers charge for what amounts to a strip of leather or fabric. I used to rummage the clearance racks at Marshall's looking for something decent in my size thinking that a belt is the most unimaginative of purchases...like tires and motor oil.

Then I realized buying the same crappy belt every 6 months was getting old and staring to get expensive. So I went on a hunt for a great belt and this is what I found:

1. Material

Leather. With very few exceptions leather is your go-to material. To quote Alex Muniz over at AskMen, "There are, indeed, colored cloth or canvas belts sold by brands like Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger. While undoubtedly of high quality, take a pass on these. Bright belt colors are fine if you're a teenager, a champion yachter or a superhero, but for everyone else, they're a fleeting trend." 

By the way, not all leather is the same. You want a 'full' or 'top' grain leather. Don't be fooled by the marketing techniques dubbed 'genuine' or 'bonded' leather. I'll touch on different leathers more in a later post but for now head over the Dave's blog and do your research.

2. Construction

One piece construction. You do not want a belt that has been assembled from leftover scraps. They are both causally and correlatively cheaper--each seam is a weak point in the band and companies who bother with these kinds of belts have nothing good to offer. 

The one exception here is shell cordovan, whose hides are rarely big enough to make a single-piece strap. Occasionally the brothers Horween will bless us with a limited run at $425 a pop. 

3. Style

This one is easy. The three basic colors of belt are black, brown and tan. Dress belts are usually polished and tend to be a little more slim while casual belts are wider and have a more flat finish.

Avoid massive buckles (yes, even designer ones. Looking a you Ferragamo and Gucci.) The hardware on your belt is kind of like jewelry: less is more. Polished nickel or gold for dress belts and a flatter brass for casual belts.

4. Size

Your belt should be one size larger than your pants. If you wear a 34 waist, buy a 36 belt. The buckle should fasten on the middle or second to last hole. "ever wear a belt with a hole that you've punched out yourself. If your waistline is expanding, a) Buy a bigger belt; or b) Join a gym."

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How to Stay Warm

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How to Stay Warm

With most of the lower 48 in the throws of an arctic blast and the national average at just over 17˚F, I've complied a few products I recommend to keep you warm and looking good.

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  1. Uniqlo Heattech - Thin and great for layering, it is far and away the best base layer I've tried. They even come in long sleeve v-necks for use under a button up.
    Starting at $12
     
  2. Uniqlo Ultra Light Down - I'm a big fan of Uniqlo for finding a nice balance between price and quality. Their ultralight down is one of the most affordable on the market and works quite well. Size down if you want to layer it under another jacket or blazer. Starting at $59
     
  3. Suit Supply - Your outer layer is important. You want to be warm while avoiding the Michelin man look. The Pure Wool and Pure Cashmere overcoats from Suitsupply are incredibly soft and warm letting you look tailored at the height of winter.
    Starting at $469
     
  4. Cashmere Scarf - You loose a lot of heat from the top of your jacket and even through the zipper. I prefer the feel of Loro Piana but almost any brand will do when warmth is your main concern. 
    Prices Vary
     
  5. Smart Gloves - Make sure the tips of your fingers have conductive threads or pads that let you interact with your mobile devices. The gloves only help if you can actually wear them. 
    Starting at $25

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3 Ways to Manage First Impressions

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3 Ways to Manage First Impressions

You may think of yourself as the unobservant type - you don't really care how others dress - but you make snap decisions about who to talk to in a crowded party and where to sit in a dimly lit bar. Here are 3 ways to manage how people perceive you in the first 5 seconds.

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1. Silhouette

This is your general shape--do you look like you're slouching or frumpy? If you're clothes are too baggy or if your coat hangs off your shoulders people will think you are small in personality and confidence. Conversely, if you look like you're busting out of your clothes because they are too tight, people will think you are self-absorbed or that your beer gut could use one less draft.

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2. Proportions

This is the ratio between your torso and your legs. Great cars approach a 50/50 ratio and so do people--you want a good balance in the overall appearance in length. Equalizing both your legs and your torso will make you look more confident and more powerful.

3. Colors

Everyone is different but there are some basic color groups of skin tone and hair. Medium contrast clothing for caucasian/blonde and higher contrast if you have dark brown or black hair for the best effect.

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Time-Lapse Transformation of a Homeless Veteran

This is why we do what we do.

After decades of struggling with alcoholism, poverty, and homelessness, U.S. Army Veteran Jim Wolf allowed a group from Degage Ministries to give him a Bond-worthy makeover. With his amazing transformation complete, Jim has had the confidence to secure his own housing and attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for the first time.

Source: Devour.com

 

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3 Reasons to Buy $600 Shoes

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3 Reasons to Buy $600 Shoes

If you read the last post on shoes you know I’m a believer in buying quality over quantity. The Allen Edmonds shoes I mentioned will last you about 10 years. But what if you really don’t like shopping?

The answer: Shell Cordovan.

 

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  1. They require next no maintenance – Rich in natural fats, the shoes are ‘self lubricating’ and simply need to be brushed on occasion to raise them to a high shine.
  2. Non-porous  – Cordovan lacks the pores of calf skin leather and is waterproof.
  3. Strong – These shoes will last upwards of 50 years in normal rotation.

Most dress shoes you’ll find in department stores are made from some variation of calf skin—this is common and probably not groundbreaking. Calf skin (leather from a cow) is porous and strong and a natural first choice for making quality shoes…and a really well made pair like the AEs will give you a decade of wear.

Shell cordovan is a step above. While most people perceive cordovan as a color, it is first and foremost equine leather from hindquarters covering the rump. In layman’s terms, that’s the covering of a horse’s ass. Because each horse produces only enough shell cordovan for a single pair of shoes, because there is a ban on raising horses exclusively for leather, and because there is only one production company worth their salt (Horween) the material cost is high.

Most women would balk at having the same pair of shoes for 50 years, but in a men's store "brown or black" can be an appropriate adage.

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I recommend the Allen Edmonds cordovan collection as a great place to start. You're paying for the quality of the craftsmanship and the level of customer service over the name. If you're in the Atlanta area, check out the Dunwoody store and ask for Lupe or Cody.

For a step up the fashion ladder, Alden makes an impeccable shoe with a New England flair lower on the customer service totem pole but higher on quality. If you're in the market for Aldens, contact Brand at H. Stockton Lenox or shop online at TheShoeMart.com.

 

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I'm a Brand Snob

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I'm a Brand Snob

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I get criticized a lot for being brand-conscious and I've heard pretty much every name in the book from label whore to snob. But we all buy brands whether it's toothpaste or cars--and if you absolutely rebel against buying any name brand whatsoever, you end up with the store brand...

So I stick with my brands for 3 main reasons.

  1. It makes shopping easier - It takes a long time to find the perfect fit. Whether we are looking for shirts, pants or shoes, finding the ideal balance between cost and fit and feel takes time. If we can find a brand that consistently fits you every time, we should stick with it and buy every color they make! Brands save you time and money helping you avoid the endless hunt.
     
  2.  It means quality - I am a huge fan of Allen Edmonds shoes and, if you've ever approached the subject with me, my 10 minute monologue left no doubt in your mind. I know that buying a pair of AE shoes means I am buying quality that will last me 20-50 years. And if something goes wrong with the shoe, I have no doubt that AE will fix it or give me a new one. I am buying their experience and their customer service as much as I am investing in their physical product. As Simon Sinek would say, I am 'buying the why.'
     
  3. Resale Value - This is probably a strange one for most people because you don't think about reselling your used clothes, but the label inside the garment does have additional attributed value in the marketplace. My $10 Target t-shirt probably doesn't have a lot of resell value, but the Burberry trench that I found for $150 marked down from $800 does. And that same trench still sells used on eBay for upward of $300. I make sure to buy most of my clothes on discount so that, when I get tired of them, I can still get the initial invest back and often much more.

To be sure, not all brands are worth their cost. I have something of a vendetta against Prada--it seems that every time I or one of my friends buys a pair of their jeans the 'A's fall off. So we end up with 'Pr_d_' jeans. But I do have a Prada wallet and a couple pairs of their shoes because the wallet was free and the shoes were about $60 each. While they have very little by way of quality, they have tremendous resell value and (while the 'A's are still attached) they look fantastic.

Don't buy an item just because of the brand. But once you've found a brand that fits these 3 criteria, its not a bad thing to be a little more label conscious. 

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Aaron x Kristen

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Aaron x Kristen

In June of this year I was challenged to create a groomsman look for a remote country wedding taking inspiration from the folksy atmosphere and soft mountain pallet while maintaining a contemporary fit. 

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Gray is a popular wedding color but I chose the shirt because it simultaneously conveyed both urban formality and country approachability. The button down collar and breast pocket differentiated this from most wedding dress shirts. Contrasted with the medium sheen of the material and an Italian rolled sleeve, I was very happy with the result.

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In coordination with the bridal colors, slim navy blue pants in the "Davis" fit from Club Monaco along with brown belt and shoes completed the outfit.

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The total cost of each outfit was under $100. 

A big thank you to J. Kelvin at Club Monaco for helping coordinate the styling and purchasing. Photography by Mikaela Hamilton.

 

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Off the Shelf Wealth

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Off the Shelf Wealth

If my time in Monaco has revealed anything it's that all wealth is not the same. The old saying tells us that money can't buy class but in an age of streamlined international trade where brand recognition of luxury goods is universal, the wants of the nouveau riche are crowding the established aristocracy. Items that once heralded class have been retrofitted and placed on a pedestal for anyone with money.

Money and class are not the same--you don't need to be wealthy to be classy and the new wealth seems to lack the class and gravitas that supposedly came with their new-found riches.

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I wrote in a post a while back that people buy 3 types of things: gender, status and group symbols. Where you live, people might all drive Range Rovers or Prius. Here they all drive Ferraris and Rolls Royce. Without a Birkin and an AP, you're no one--in fact, Hermès bags crowd the shelves of second hand stores because it'd be a travesty to carry the same bag twice. Someone might think your husband has money problems.

Your money is not impressive--I've seen and experienced the heights of what money can buy. Show me your Citation X and I'll introduce you to people who ask why you only have one. Money can buy goods, experiences and save you time. Money cannot buy class.

I don't judge people with the trappings of wealth, lots of my clients have lots of money. What I'm far more interested in is the intentions behind your spending. Anyone who has ever won the lottery can tell you how quickly you have to put up walls--amazing how many friends you'll have looking for their piece of the pie. So I understand the quest for exclusivity that is highly prized by the rich and famous and neither do I believe in the redistribution of wealth--your money is your money and I have no right to it.

There is an old Latin phrase: Esse Quam Videri meaning 'to be, rather than to seem.' For many people money can be a great aide in that quest but a lot of people find it an obstacle that sours relationships with no real concept of how to live well.

Stereotypical wealth, or what I call "off the shelf wealth" does not set you apart or impress people worth impressing. My goal as an image and lifestyle coach is to help you project your individual personality in a way that makes you truly unique...truly you.

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Buy the Why

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Buy the Why

In the last post I asked how much is too much. In this video, Simon Sinek illustrates how it all starts with a golden circle and the question "Why?" His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers ...

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How Much is Too Much?

The Monaco yacht show is in full swing here in Port Hercule featuring some of the largest private vessels ever made. From €8M sailboats to the €80M Chopi Chopi megayacht.

But all of these ships really just beg the question--How much is too much?

To the buyer of a Honda certainly a Ferrari looks extravagant--but to that same buyer, did you purchase the Honda new or used? Did you go for the Civic or Accord? At some level, everything is excess depending on your vantage point and, cue the videos of starving African children, I can even make you feel guilty for having running water.

How then do you define excess? It's easy to laugh off the billionaire and his yacht as the prime example, but you really don't need 2 pairs of shoes when much of the world doesn't even have 1. If it's having more than you need, each of us is guilty.

The capitalist is happy to see hundreds of millions spent on luxury goods because of the trickle-down effect to every worker that labored to make them possible.

How about you? How do you define excess and where is your personal line?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Why I'm an Image Coach

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Why I'm an Image Coach

My first job was for a company that bought lost mail at auction. Most people are surprised to discover you can buy lost mail; I'm surprised anything gets delivered.

If you've ever been to an auction, you know that nothing has value, at least not until the bidding. It's one place where price is determined by the participants, not an auctioneer or an MSRP. And, consequently, someone planning to resell the merchandise won't pay nearly as much as an end-user. As the primary buyer I quickly learned this lesson that nothing has intrinsic value--it was determined by our small microcosm of economy.

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I worked there about a year before I left for college and blew all my money by second semester. Determined not to work a 'real job' I remembered what I had learned at auction and started to buy and sell overstock designer clothes. There were clothes everywhere in my tiny dorm--the closet, on the floor, on my bed, on my roommate's bed. By the end of senior year, I probably had an inventory worth over $50k in Lacoste, Hugo Boss, Armani, Brioni and everyone else.

Friends started coming to me asking what to wear on dates and to banquets, they would borrow ties and buy shirts. My major was communications and I always found time for the nonverbal communication classes, but I didn't make the connection between 'my great passion and the world's deep need' until a friend of mine went through bankruptcy in 2009 walking around with the droopy shoulders and the hung head. His wife asked me to get him some new clothes for interviews and, when he walked out of the fitting room that first time, he stood tall.

See, I believe in Jesus and I have a Christian worldview. Because God created people in his own image, something called Imago Dei, we all have intrinsic value. Unlike everything I bought at auction that only had attributed value based on how it could meet my needs, people are valuable just because they are. And God, being God, made everything perfectly--He is the original author of symmetry and beauty. So when things come along that hide or degrade the intrinsic beauty of each and every person, it's our job to aide in the restoration process.

And the church has bailed--it has exited the fashion arena leaving the entire genre of personal image to a world who doesn't know the Creator. When Paul said, "Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible." he was issuing a mandate that we are, first and foremost, to be excellent communicators. If Christians are ignorant, ugly and unapproachable, who would blame you for ignoring them?

I don't have a traditional job. I'm an image coach because I can show people their intrinsic value and I help them project their worth. I give people presence and a platform from which they can be heard.

-Joshua Davis

 

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What's your Body Language?

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What's your Body Language?

Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how "power posing" -- standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don't feel confident -- can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.

Source: TED.com

 

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Stylists Are Stealing You from You

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Stylists Are Stealing You from You

Personal stylists are everywhere...every department store and wanna-be boutique has their own spin--Bloomingdales has "At Your Service" and J. Crew uses an app called "Very Personal Stylist." Well aren't they fancy.

So when people learn I'm an image coach, they ask "Like a personal stylist?"

No.

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I'm not trying to be the stuck-up a**hole with a fancy title. It's not narcissistic semantics.

A stylist's job is to make you look good, so they plan a look that may be fantastic. The problem is it may not be you. It's a hostile takeover of your body--they're the artist and you're just the canvas for their latest fabric fetish.

Take a look at this first picture. Someone styled him. Someone was paid a lot of money to style him and he still looks awful to most of us. If I styled you like that, you'd think I stole your money. But the truth is, ugly as it may be, the clothes are a style and they would be on you. Job finished.....right?

So what does an image coach do that's so high and mighty? 

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Take a look at this woman. Her name is Kathy, a client of mine, and she had medulloblastoma (brain cancer). This is not a runway look, but she isn't on the catwalk. Instead she believed that the key to getting well was choosing to feel well about herself. Part of that was how she looked going to radiation and going to chemo--so I gave her a look that helped her be comfortable. Yes, she loved the aesthetics of her clothes, but I also focused on stretchy fabrics with a soft touch, so she wasn't restricted in her movements or stuffy in the chemo chair for hours on end. Her clothes were machine washable because she wasn't allowed to drive to the dry cleaners. Her clothes make her feel like a woman when all her hair was shaved.

Each of these were immensely important to her and, I'm happy to say she's in full remission now with no trace of cancer left. 

The same attention to detail is important with every client--if you aren't comfortable (visually or physically) in the look we choose, you aren't you anymore. There is one of you, no more no less, and walking alongside to enhance what makes you unique is my goal.

A coach takes into account your lifestyle, your goals and your audience. I don't dress any two clients the same way because no two people are the same. My corporate trainers need to look approachable and knowledgable, while my clients in bespoke customer service need to look sophisticated and polished. Image coaching simply helps you figure out who you are and then refines that visual idea into the purest quality.  

So skip the fancy apps and stylists if their first question is anything but "Who are you?"

 

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