Skip to content

How to Cause a Ripple Among Seven Billion People

will smith on pain

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.

Forget for a a while that Charles Dickens is describing the climate of the French Revolution with his words in the opening of A Tale of Two Cities, and consider that he could very well be  describing the sum of each our lives instead.

Going even further, we can turn to the exact book that the main character of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 was told to memorize at a time when books were banned and the antidote to the book banning was to have members of  a secret society memorize specific books so that the book should live on in the memories of men and women…the name of the book? The Ecclesiastics, where we read that King Solomon, who had all the riches, power, success and women that he desired, in the end, came to the conclusion that in life–all is vanity.

I think that the point is, that we all want to believe in something.

And whatever that “something” may be–and even if we fall short of getting what we believe is true meaning in life–despite our failures, these beliefs remain so strong that we hold tight to them (even if not voluntarily) until our dying day. We cannot help but have our own way of viewing life, and we cannot help but to hold fast to the hope that our beliefs are true and possible–whether our dreams are realized, or not.

Still, there comes a time in many of our lives, when it becomes easier to see things as they are–and somehow, some of us find ourselves faced with a blinding light that shows us a particular path of meaning, and we feel relief in seeing a purpose in life that extends beyond pursuing Solomon-type riches, power, success, and women or men. And there is a relief in noticing where we find real meaning beyond our own ego, beyond our own self-gratification, beyond our own personal dream for our own personal selves.

Perhaps some of you may agree that one possible meaning in life can be summarized in seven words:

try to ease the pain of others

And, without being a cheerleader for helping people who won’t help themselves, or wallowing in a subject that causes a depressive tone, I try to position this thought of “easing the pain of others” as a chance to turn downward spirals of life upside-down–shifting these downward spirals into “staircases” to climb that leads to a place of hope and real results.

This is the first time that I’ve asked readers for help, and I have no clue as to whether any of my readers (around 1,250) will have an interest or want to invest time in helping to develop a list of the Top World Causes and the Five Greatest Authorities of Each Cause.

And so to begin…


(Note: This article is in a constant state of change/refinement as more information is available) 

The list is made of two parts:

1) the top causes worldwide, and

2) identifying at least five authorities or experts for each cause


I have the idea to contribute a small action that touches each of the top world’s top causes (starting by contributing $25 to, and see how my life (and perhaps the lives around me) changes for the better. While I have no idea what the outcome of such an experiment will be, I won’t think about that, and instead take action to be a part of something larger than myself, while paying attention to subtle and powerful “shifts” that hopefully take place in my life.

The list so far is as follows:


1. Clean Water

Experts:Make a Mark: Give $25 to * Stockholm International Water Institute * Technical Article on a Water Treatment Facility

Action: Donated $25 to (advocated by Matt Damon) on April 14, 2013

2. Hunger

“The Problem Isn’t Food Supply, It’s Distribution

Case Study: Distributing Rice, Beans and Oil in Kenya * Tepary Beans: Beans that Grow in Drought Conditions!

3. Homelessness

CBS News Report on The Solution to Homelessness Link

The Cost of the Homeless Link

Until the homeless can find homes, and when a shelter option is not possible, is it oversimplified to think that each homeless person could be issued an 2-second ultra lightweight tent as seen here for 97.35, and an ultra lightweight sleeping bag that withstands temperatures down to -4 C as shown here for 149.95? These items are small enough to fit in a backpack. And so while we seek solutions, for $250.00, there is a tolerable way for a homeless person to sleep at night.

4. Economic Crisis

5. Literacy

6. War Solutions / Repressive Regimes

7. Human Trafficking

8. Cancer

Experts: Ralph Steinman, physician diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, and Nobel Prize Winner

9. Domestic Abuse Against Women

Experts: Gloria Steinem Interview, Judith Herman

10. Child Abuse

11. Poverty 

Experts: Nobel Peace Prize Winner (A Plan to End Poverty) Muhammad Yunus

12. Unemployment

13. Energy Crisis (Natural Resource Depletion)

14. Terrorism 

15. Environmental Preservation

16. Mental Illness

17. Criminal Violence

18. Natural Disasters

19. Waste Management 

20. Antibiotic Resistance 

21. Education / Training

Experts: Ron Paul Link: Hey, Teachers, Leave Those Kids Alone

22. Nuclear Management

Experts: Angela Merkel (avoiding Nuclear Disaster), Ashutosh (Ash) Jogalekar

23. Tax Reform

24. Banking System Corruption

25. Pharmaceutical Scandals

Experts: Orthomolecular Medicine News Servicearchives and link addressing Pharmaceutical Regulations

26: Planetary Research

27. Autism

28. The Elderly Population – Regaining Respect

29. Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome

30. Leadership: How to Run a Country

31. Harmful Relationships

32. Endangered Species

33. Genetically Modified Foods / Seeds (GMOs)

34. Autoimmune Diseases

35. Biological Warfare

36. Cyberspace Security

37. Health Care Crisis

38. Sexual Abuse

39. Accident Trauma

Experts: Diane Poole Heller, Ph.D., Link: Auto Accident Trauma

40. Foreign Relations

41. National Debt

42. Electromagnetic Field Emissions (EMF) Disruption

43. Disease Prevention 

44. Disease Cures and Treatments

45. Basic Crisis Survival Plan

46. Children Who Need Homes

47. Infrastructure Development

48. Pollution 

49. The Existence of Personal Spirituality 

50. Protection of Personal Freedoms 

51. Recognizing Great Minds that are Outside of Societal Norms

52. Exploration of the “Love Phenomenon” 

53. Finding Purpose

Ego Depletion

54. Health Hazards

55. Addiction

56. Understanding Sexuality and It’s Influence on Behavior 

57. Birth Control /Voluntary Sterilization Availability to Control Population Growth


If you can help refine this Top World Causes List, especially suggesting authorities for any of these causes, I would be grateful if you would comment here or write me at with more information.

With Thanks,

~Sonya Glyn Nicholson


The Lapel Roll : The First Signal of a Handmade Suit

Written for Parisian Gentleman

Sometimes when we experience something magnificent, it is difficult to return to the old way of doing things. When we become accustomed to drinking good wine, it seems meaningless to drink cheap tasting wine. When we experience a job that gives us the freedom to create-at-will and brings us fulfillment, it is difficult to change to a job that lacks these aspects. In the same way, after we experience being dressed by a bespoke tailor, it feels disappointing  to return to a ready-to-wear wardrobe.

Author James Sherwood puts it well when he says that in order for a suit to be considered bespoke (amidst the battering of the word “bespoke” with commercially-driven euphemisms): To earn the label bespoke a garment must be measured, cut and sewn by hand; the pattern must also be hand-cut.

Considering that a bespoke suit is able to serve a person for a lifetime (and may even be re-tailored and passed down to someone else), we notice that most people who opt for the bespoke tailored suit do not seem interested in returning to the world of ready-to-wear suits, and it becomes clear that one bespoke-tailored suit can be valued more by its owner, than four or five of ready- to-wear suits.

What is it about the bespoke tailored suit that spoils our taste for all the others?  Of course, the answer is a long list of impressive reasons ranging from the subtle but precise shoulder construction to a smooth back with no gape at the collar, to the ineffably charming ragged-at-the-back buttonholes, to working horn-buttons on the cuff, to those magical floating canvasses. Yet, one of foremost indicators to the eye that signals a bespoke suit is…the lapel roll.

In choosing your preferred lapel roll:

1) know the two main components of the lapel roll (belly and roll line) in order to choose the correct aesthetics,  and angle/dimensions to enhance your frame, and

2) compare the results of different tailors and settle on your favorite craftsmanship work.


Lapel Roll: The fall and curl of the lapel downwards from the break (fold) of the collar to the designated button.  The term ‘roll’ applies to a softer lapel finish.

Cifonelli Bespoke (

Francesco Smalto Couture (

Manolo Costa Bespoke (

Ripense Bespoke (


Norton & Sons (Bespoke), Savile Row

Norton & Sons (Bespoke), Savile Row

Norton & Sons Bespoke (


The main components of the lapel roll include the belly and the roll line. We also notice the result of the “hollow” on a finished lapel.


The belly describes the lowest part of the turn of the lapel curve as seen below. Some tailors believe that a lot of belly is required to give the lapels the desired degree of upward angle.

As described by Sator (Sydney, Australia) on Style Forum, this is a British button-two/show-one coat (or the American version of a 3 roll 2, where only the middle button is buttoned), which has a fullness of lapel around the buttoning point because, as you can see, the belly begins at the middle button.

The 3 roll 2 is a favorite among gentlemen of substantial height (as a gentleman who is not tall should avoid too many buttons and pockets on a coat in order to avoid breaking the continuous vertical line of the suit) mainly for the reason that the third button plays a part in assisting the tailor to shape an elegant lapel belly roll. Such a roll is a clear signal of a hand-stitched lapel, for no machine-made or fused lapel is able to exhibit roll with this button in place (« Bespoke Tailoring » by Luxury Insider.)

The top button can be buttoned if an unsightly kink is present in the fabric caused by the top button remaining unbuttoned. Otherwise, to preserve a nice roll line of the lapel, leaving the top button unbuttoned is preferred to enhance the flow of the lapel roll from top to bottom.


The roll line is the imaginary line measured from the point that the lapel begins (collar section) to the point where the lapel ends (button area).


The hollow of the lapel refers to the depth of the area underneath the fold curve.

The depth of the hollow of the lapel is a matter of personal taste and may vary according to the method of construction preferred by the customer and/or tailor.


Take a close look at this nice video on the making of a lapel roll, including preparing the padding and building the roll, by Raj Singh : Rolling the Lapel


As it is preferred that the tailor will provide cleaning and care of your custom suits, at times this option is not available. It is not uncommon for suit owners to be mortified to find that some dry cleaners have pressed custom lapels on coats “flat”,  after they come off the commercial press, literally obliterating the roll. If your tailor cannot care for your suit and you opt for a cleaning service, it is best to find a professional cleaner that provides a “sponge & press” service, which requires hand-pressing the garment according to it’s original shape. But, to play it safe, maintain your lapel roll at home. 

The following excerpt from the web series: Put This On goes into nice detail on the finer points of caring for the rolled lapel on a coat:

To regain the shape of the lapel, StyleForum veteran Sator recommends the following procedure (which can, in my experience, also be roughly replicated with a steamer):

Try lying the coat down with the lapel lying flat, wrong side (the underside of the lapels) upwards.

The collar should be standing up – as when you “pop” your collar.

Place a press cloth over the roll of the lapel, near the buttoning point. A tea towel might do the trick.

Lightly dampen the roll of the lapel.

Press over the roll line near the buttoning point, ensuring you always iron with the press cloth under the iron.

You may need to put a bit of downward force on it. In the tailoring workshop you would use a heavy iron but you might just have to use a strong arm.

You may need to repeat this again the next day, especially if a heavy duty laundry press has been used on your lapel roll line.


Brioni, an example of a hand-made lapel roll success from The Rake

Each tailor has his or her own method and preferences when making the lapel roll. The roll of the lapel is an aesthetic feature that is chosen based on the pleasure it gives to the eye : Smooth and precise lapel rolled curves of different lengths and depths are offered by some of the finest tailors in the world.

And it is up to the client to decide what looks good with his own eyes.

The point is, as Albert Einstein once said “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.

Sonya Glyn Nicholson

A New Frontier for Women: The Bespoke Suit

Blue Bespoke


The words “woman’s suit” sounds a bit banal compared to the words “man’s suit”.  After all, women began wearing suits based on the frame of reference given to them by men in suits. Because of this, there is at times, an automatic association with a woman in a suit having a certain “masculine flair” about her. And while we can admit that it may sound more interesting to think of a woman in a dress and heels than to think of a women in a suit; recently, there is something fresh and new occurring  in the female sartorial world.

It may be too early to know if this more recent interest in women’s tailoring is here to stay. But, we take notice of the stir that is occurring among women who (like their great-grandmothers, albeit often out of necessity) are discovering the joy of wearing items that are hand-sewn. And we wonder if–after skipping two generations of wearing hand-sewn items in favor of the sleuth of ready-to-wear clothing–perhaps this appreciation of tailoring is resting in our DNA and now is being reawakened?

In the 1930s, 1940s, and early 1950s, women relished wearing well-fitted suits. During next 30 years following the 50s, the female suit practically dropped off the style radar. Then, in the 1980s, we witnessed  women beginning to enter management positions at an accelerating rate, while relying on suits to wear to work. These suits were usually not that notable, and knowing about the finer points of tailoring would have sounded slightly ridiculous to the typical woman. At this time, for the discerning executive woman (in the UK and U.S), “buying a suit” usually meant a trip to Brooks Brothers.

But now, women are noticing how the art of tailoring can amp up a wardrobe, and work for them in ways professionally and personally that they previously didin’t understand. In fact, it’s almost impossible not to notice something special about a bespoke tailored suit or a well done made-to-measure item. Even ready-to-wear houses are attempting more precise cuts in coats and trousers, as a direct result of a population with a penchant for bespoke tailoring.

Decades before  the 1980s…before the suit was so directly related to something worn mainly  for work and church, we are able to find some real examples of women who dressed in suits to communicate elegance and sophistication.


Marlene Dietrich, who’s preferred tailor was Anderson & Sheppard, pulls of feminine charm with her ensemble

1940s "Skirt Suits"

1940s “Skirt Suits”

As women begin to understand that wearing a suit doesn’t have to be based on the prototypes offered by her elegant male counterparts, a new world of possibilities open to her, and a woman’s style begins to take on a life of it’s own. It is no longer a “woman’s suit”…it’s simply a creation that expresses her personality.

A suit to remember, by Roubi of Huntsman, straight from Savile Row

A suit to remember, by Roubi of Huntsman, straight from Savile Row

Fully Bespoke - Eva Herzigova by Edward Sexton

Fully Bespoke – Eva Herzigova in a double-breasted suit by Edward Sexton

Yasmin le Bon in a magnificent wool suit by Edward Sexton

Yasmin le Bon in a magnificent wool suit by Edward Sexton

Rock-n-roll sex appeal. Cindy Crawford in waistcoat and trousers, again by Edward Sexton

Rock-n-roll sex appeal. Cindy Crawford in waistcoat and trousers, again by Edward Sexton


Gangster Charm, Made-to-Measure,  Hemingway Tailors, UK

Armani 2013

Sophisticated eady-to-wear, Armani 2013

As more women become aware of their option to own a bespoke suit, we can only wonder if  the industry of bespoke tailoring and made-to-measure women’s apparel will secure a real presence among fine tailors worldwide.

This is why we are considering giving regular interest on the subject…

Sonya Glyn Nicholson

written for:  Parisian

Losing Our Emotion — Is it Now Cool to be a Flatliner?

There is a noticeable decline in the amount of emotion we use when we communicate with each other. It seems that somehow, there is an accepted perception that showing feelings of sentimentality, passion, hurt, and shame is…embarrassing (even weak).

A  flatliner is a more recent term that is used to describe a person who expresses himself through emotionless communication through:

1) matter-of-fact texts and emails,

2) robotic responses by companies during a crisis, and

3) benign stone-faced speakers at press conferences dealing with controversial topics.

And so aside from the sensationalism we see in the media today, the other end of the spectrum is pressure to deal with life on a personal and professional level without showing signs of being moved emotionally. As flatliners adopt the philosophy that the purse strings and the ego are best protected by staging”Spock-like” attitudes and  Dragnet–“Just the Facts Ma’am ”  approaches, we fall into the world of  the film set of The Stepford Wives, going about our business while being numb to the world around us. The absence of emotion in today’s world has its advantages, but something is lost along the way and we may find that we miss understanding the true sentiment behind the message. We are human after all…and the capacity to experience emotion on a high level is what differentiates us from the other species.

As I write articles on style, I stop to understand how “flatliner mentality” may affect how we dress. Of course our mood and the occasion plays the main role in affecting the way we dress. If we are in a festive mood, we dress with more flair. If we are attending a more somber event, then we dress conservatively in more toned down colors. Even so, while living in a flatliner society, we watch how the flatliner way of thinking influences how we present ourselves. One result can be that we find ourselves dressing “safely and carefully” — subconsciously avoiding creating too much emotion.

I am intrigued by the idea that our clothes can also symbolize our philosophy of life. Consider the process that a person goes through to select a tattoo. Although I’m not a particular fan of tattoos, I’ve watched person after person plan for months to make sure that the image that he or she selects to display on the body conveys a certain meaning, or symbolism of who he or she is as a person. While our clothing choices are not inked onto our bodies, the choices we make can still convey meaning.

So, I reject this wave of flatliner thinking and choose to put sentiment and real feeling behind most everything that I  do. I assume the risk of being too emotional…I assume the risk of rejecting what society sometimes tells us we must do in order to be “good”…and live my life unabashedly with fully-loaded emotion-based elegance. And, if that makes me uncool, then so be it.

Elegance is all about emotion and the ability to share emotion with others. ~Hugo Jacomet

~Sonya Glyn Nicholson


The White Shirt — Telling the Men from The Boys

Written for: Parisian Gentleman

by Sonya Glyn Nicholson

Don’t deal in lies.

Don’t give way to hating.

And no matter how tough the going gets… hold on.

Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936)  gave boys everywhere expert advice on how to become a man in behavior and character in his well-known poem,”IF”.  Kipling’s dictum to young men everywhere sticks in my mind and makes me notice the “great divide” between men and boys. And the more time we spend on this planet, the more that it becomes apparent that turning age 18 or age 21 definitely does not make a man.

And who can forget T.S.Eliot’s (1888-1965),«The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock», where we visit the tortured male psyche that tosses and turns with feelings of inadequacy–the prototypical well-cultivated modern man whose social moors crack at the surface as he struggles with the dichotomy of his emotional closeness, yet distance, from the world that he knows?

While admittedly a mental stretch, I draw the analogy that the perineal white shirt is able to give clues about manhood itself. And OK, even if you disagree that a white shirt is an indicator of manhood, still–the postulate makes the topic of the white shirt a little more interesting. After all, even Dougal Munro, President of Holland and Sherry, who selected my fuchsia fabric (yes, he chose fuchsia!) for a recent suit, told me when I asked for advice on selecting a shirt fabric to pair with my suit–with a bit of a pause, a slightly crooked smile and a jesting shrug, he said…«It’s just a shirt».

The day I met Dougal Munro, President, Holland & Sherry

Still, male and female alike–we love our white shirts. The white button-down shirt is on constant duty — prepared to rescue its owner whenever he finds himself in a sartorial stupor. The white shirt is worn until its last breath, or until its color shifts to some unknown off-white shade that is only named in paint store flip-guide color palettes. We  have a certain penchant for our new white shirts. And, like a new car’s first scratch, we cringe at the first drop of red wine or salsa dip that jumps defiantly onto the front panel (of course) of our gleaming white.

Without a man saying a word, the choice and condition of his white shirt is able to give a few clues about his personality. Noticing his white shirt during the span of one week, I can’t help but have some clear impressions about whether this person is creative or unimaginative, takes care with his appearance or is indifferent to dressing well, and whether he is good at attending to details or not.

Without going into excessive explanations, we can agree that the man who shows up to a meeting with a faded, slightly wrinkled white shirt that looks like it was picked off the shelf at Wal-Mart (alongside a baguette and some shaving cream), has nothing on the man with the clean, crisp, white, well-woven shirt with an obviously selected weave, collar, cuff and placket style. And, all of this leads me to wonder…if a person decides embrace the gestures and attitudes of being the man (or woman for that matter) that he wants to be…will he become that man?

If it seems silly to elevate the importance of a white shirt, it seems less silly to do so when we realize that for many of us, the white shirt is on our backs a couple of hundred times a year. A white shirt can create emotion, even if it is just a shirt.  And if we look at shirt-making as an artform and an act of craftsmanship, then we began to sense the possibilities of making this staple…something special.  The chase to create a signature white shirt specifically designed for a man can’t help but be an intriguing adventure that yields real dividends.  And, what man or woman would not be at least curious to see such a result?

It only takes a little time to review the options in front of you before selecting a shirt…specifically your shirt, formulated by your own thoughts and preferences.

For a quick reference on choosing your ready-to-wear, made-to-order, or custom shirt, start here:


Jean-Claude Colban of Charvet gives us a glimpse into the world of fabric selection.

I recently scrutinized every shirt available (several hundred) offered by Howard’s. After more than a week of studying in detail a vast selection of shirt construction variations, I began to approach the possibility of having at least a respectable discussion about the art of shirt-making.

Most strikingly, I noticed during this review of Howard’s shirts, that by changing the type of fabric weave in identically constructed shirts, a major overall difference resulted in the appearance of the shirt, simply based on the fabric of which the shirt was constructed.

Although there is an array of fabric choices available, here are the basic fabric groups you may select from to get the look that you want.

TWILL (Includes Herringbone)

Twill fabrics include standard twill and herringbone twill. Each of these constitute a special weave that that has diagonal ribbing, or  wale. The diagonal weave causes twill fabrics to have a softer hand and fewer wrinkles. They are also easier to iron. On the downside, twill fabric is more difficult to clean if it gest soiled, and will not be as crisp as a well-pressed broadcloth or pinpoint. If you like a softer and heavier fabric with dimension,  you will enjoy a twill or herringbone white shirt. Twill fabrics are suitable for formal and informal occasion.

Standard Twill shirting fabrics

Herringbone twill shirt


The Oxford weave is much like pinpoint cotton, except for slightly heavier thread. It is the most durable, but also the most casual of the fabric choices, as it was originally designed for wear during sports. While an Oxford shirt works well for casual wear, it should not be used for formal occasions or after 6 pm.

The Pinpoint weave is like Oxford, except a finer thread and a tighter weave is used. More formal than Oxford, but less formal than Poplin (or Broadcloth), the pinpoint is highly versatile since it can shift into both the casual and the dress-up realm. Durability is the key advantage of the pinpoint, which has a formidable construction.

The Poplin (or broadcloth) weave is tightly woven fabric that has a very simple over-under weave plus a sheen that makes it quite dressy. Since poplin is thinner and lighter than the other fabrics, sometimes it can be slightly transparent.

There are other options, of course, ranging from honeycomb patterns to high-end sea island cotton constructions. But, knowing the four weaves above is basic and a great beginning to designing a quality shirt.


Master Shirtmaker David Gale of Turnbull

The collar selection may be the greatest indicator of the mood of a man. Take a look at these collar choices, as well as a few examples of the shirt-maker’s result:

An especially attractive collar style is the “cutaway” widespread collar with short points. Howard’s of Paris does this collar quite well, and gives us a nice look at this striking design.

A daring, yet strong collar choice, the extra-long points collar:

The traditional, regular length, points collar works well with a serious suit:

A unique choice, a widespread collar with extra fabric. Sometimes a simple photo says it all (© Andy Julia / Moynat / PG)

Moving into the couture realm…widespread meets regular cut with a semi-spread collar:

Thom Sweeney, London

A well-done rounded tab collar give a sense of a regal and historical penchant for style :

Hugo Jacomet wearing a Courtot, rounded tab collar Bespoke shirt.


Even with a suit coat, the shirt cuff is always visible and deserves some contemplation to get the overall look that you want. Here are eight cuff choices that offer a great starting point when experimenting with cuff cuts.

French cuff.

Barrel Cuff
barrel cuff

barrel cuff

Angle cut simple cuff.

Infamous James Bond cocktail cuff, also known as the Flowback Cuff, Neapolitan, Turnback, Milanese, or Portofino Cuff.


The placket area (or button-down area) of a shirt has three standard designs.

Plackets are almost always made of more than one layer of fabric with interfacing between the fabric layers to give support and strength to the fabric area. The placket not only is a style statement, but is also functional, as if it is sewn well, it lessens the stress on the button area of the shirt when the garment is worn. The placket may overlap to make the shirt more tactile friendly–keeping fasteners from rubbing against the skin and even hiding undergarments. Of the style choices, the plain front gives a simple streamlined look, a front placket adds dimension to the shirt, and a fly front gives the most formal result.

Plain front.

Placket front.

Fly front.


Hugo recommends these shirt-makers to pay attention to :

Courtot (Bespoke only)

113 Rue de Rennes, 75006 Paris, France

Phone:+33 1 45 48 54 86

No website.

Hugo’s personal shirt maker. Small traditional Parisian house. Warm and simple atmosphere. Fair prices.

Lucca (Bespoke only)

58 boulevard des Batignoles, Paris 75017, France

Phone:+33 1 43 87 75 10

No website.

Craftsmanship passed down through the generations, you won’t even find a website on Lucca. But the journey to this obscure and hidden shop will be worth the effort. Traditional bespoke. Fair prices.

Fray Italy (Ready-to-wear)

Not child’s play. A Frey shirt ($450.00) as featured in The Contender Magazine.

Emma Willis (Bespoke and Ready-to-wear)

66 Jermyn Street,

London SW1Y 6NY

United Kingdom

T+44(0)20 7930 9980

The only women bespoke and ready-to-wear men’s shirtmaker on Savile Row.  Adheres to traditional English shirt making techniques, using luxurious Italian and Swiss Cottons, silks and linens, many of which are designated exclusive to her collections.

The special silk above is designed by Emma Willis and is woven exclusively for her in Italy.  It is woven as Oxford Cotton, but using Silk yarn, creating a soft matte effect… Wonderful.

Dege & Skinner (Bespoke only)

10, Savile Row

London W1S 3PF

United Kingdom

T+ 44(0)20 7287 2941

The first – and still only – house to provide its own bespoke shirt facility on Savile Row. Dege & Skinner provides exquisite traditional bespoke shirts to demanding and refined gentlemen all around the world. The House’s shirt head cutter, Robert Whittaker, has won acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic.

Sonya Glyn Nicholson.


Couture Lab feature on Charvet

The Suits of James Bond, An Interview with James Cook, Turnball & Asser Bespoke

Howard’s of Paris, Spread Collar

Glammeup: James Bond, The Double Oh of Style

Plackets: OfficeDressShirts. com

Michael Caine featured in Mr Porter.

Men and Their Clothes — What Women Think (Part II)

by: Sonya Glyn Nicholson Written for Parisian Gentleman . uk


Articles that pitch how women feel about the way men dress can be met with little, if any, enthusiasm. Usually, these recycled articles are scanned for key points and forgotten within minutes after reading. In fact, when I was commissioned to write this article, I felt a little flushed, maybe even embarrassed–for fear of joining the ranks of Cosmopolitan magazine writers throwing together trite articles on sex-appeal, revealing contrived tricks on how to catch a mate.

As a contrast to the brain-numbing content of these redundant articles, I realized that spending a mere ten minutes reading a passage from books such as “The Suit” by Nicholas Antongiavanni will likely have the opposite effect on the ability to recall information after reading—and, it is a good bet that after reading a passage from such a book that the reader will be able to recall the bulk of what he or she read indefinitely.

Inspired by this same spirit of authors such as Antongiavanni, we launch into a more meaningful look at how the way men dress may affect the perceptions of the fairer sex by identifying general archetypes of men’s style with ample photographs, including specific shoe recommendations by the Parisian Gentleman for each archetype, and also discussing the general impressions that may be created by these very different categories of men’s style choices. Also added is some playfulness in stereotyping the personalities of men in different categories, if just to give a wink at these slightly ridiculous articles that we see in many women’s and men’s magazines.

A book with an unpretentious cover that gives real style direction with solid explanations behind the recommendations.
A book with an unpretentious cover that gives real style direction with solid explanations behind the recommendations.


As a man starts to become serious about dressing well, he then begins to gravitate toward one specific style choice or another, and we notice that at this point, he also starts to reveal his true persona in the process,

Persona is a term given to describe the versions of self that all individuals possess. Some men are able to recognize that when developing his persona, dressing well begins with emotion, follows with inspiration, and develops with expression of style through technical know-how and the courage to break the rules from time to time.  And put plainly, these men do draw the attention of women, sometimes getting more attention and admiration than originally intended. It is safe to say that women admire and respect a man who knows how to put himself together in dress and appearance.

Carl Jung wrote about the concept of the persona, or outer-self, even though he recognized that the outer self and inner self do not always merge completely. Jung summarized his philosophy here:

To “develop a stronger persona… might feel inauthentic, like learning to “play a role”… but if one cannot perform a social role then one will suffer”.Thus one goal for individuation is for people to “develop a more realistic, flexible persona that helps them navigate in society but does not collide with nor hide their true self”. Eventually, “in the best case, the persona is appropriate and tasteful, a true reflection of our inner individuality and our outward sense of self.

For inspiration on how a man develops his persona through the way he dresses, we turn to Cesare Attolini, a “symbol of the Neapolitan’ tailoring tradition all around the world.”  Attolini features a particularly stunning example of how a man can develop his own persona with the help of some fine tailoring. Here, from their Attolini’s 2013 collection:



casual A

This man communicates a clear message of position, power, personality, wealth, importance, good taste and a strong business acumen. In this case, the man has managed to communicate his persona that in many ways defines who he is, without requiring him to speak a word.


At least four recent studies attempt to quantify the importance of men’s clothing and how what a man chooses to wear affects the actions of women.  One recent study of 2,000 women by the detergent maker Ariel found that:

  • Poor style is a turn-off: 28% of women admit they have declined a date with someone because they disliked their clothes
  • Poor style is a deal-breaker: 60 percent of women said that taste in clothes is the top dating deal breaker (a suitor’s haircut placed second with 17 per cent, and style of shoes placed third with nine percent).

Another study commissioned by Men’s Health Magazine and conducted last year by Opinion Research Corporation (Princeton, NJ) questioned more than 1,000 American women ages 21 to 54 in two online polls and found that women ranked a man’s “sense of style” as one of the the Top 10 Traits Women want in a man.

Yet another study provided by Kelton Research (although we have not been able to locate the sample size included in the study) in 2011, found that:

  • Money isn’t everything: A vast majority (85 percent) of women think a guy who dresses well is sexier than one who has a lot of money.
  • Women will sacrifice a lot for style: Eight in ten (80 percent) women would give up something in their lives — such as going out to dinner, using their cell phone, or even having sex for an entire year — for a better-dressed partner.

A fourth study in 2010, conducted by John Townsend and Gary Levy, which received publishing rights by the Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, showed that women tend to find men who wore “high status attire” as more attractive and were more open to developing relationships with them–ranging from “conversation and coffee” to committing to marriage and serious involvement.

Also, as a side note, even the color a man wears may affect a women’s perception of him.  A study from the University of Rochester and University of Munich found that men wearing red are more attractive, desirable and are seen as having a higher status in the eyes of women. The research was based on women rating photos of a model dressed in different coloured polo shirts and framed by different shades (The Science of Attraction,

With clear indications that women are affected by the way men dress, we attempt to define seven specific archetypes of men’s style and spur thought about the personas that are created within each archetype and pose questions about whether the man is creating the message to others through his individual style that he intends to create.

This exercise is meant to examine emotions that are created through how men dress. After all, dressing well begins with emotion, and everything else in regard to style is built around this emotion. As we discuss perceptions and emotions, the examples here are meant to spawn thought and reflections on what may be communicated through how men present themselves.


As frivolous as it may sound, there is no shame in a man wanting to please his partner or his potential partner by dressing well. Aside from the neanderthal objective of a male seeking to achieve Casanova status, the intent of a man wanting to please a woman by the way that he dresses is extremely charming and endearing…and is perhaps one of the reasons that it works so well when elegant dressing is done with real emotion alongside a working knowledge of some basic rules (and a knack for doing a good job at breaking those rules).

It can be said that there are at least seven distinctive styles in men’s clothing that give others a clear idea of the persona of the man. And when any of these seven styles are done correctly, it is difficult to deny the power of a magnificent fabric, the shock of a brilliant cut, the allure of clever texture and color combinations, as well as the smiles that are created by meaningful accessories, and the emotion that is incited by a shoe that depicts true art.

The following describes the seven archetypes of men’s style and examines intentional and unintentional messages that may be conveyed in each style area.

As an added touch, the Parisian Gentleman himself has selected a specific shoe that he believes best portrays each of the seven archetypes.



Timothy Everest
Timothy Everest

The stylish pragmatic appears rebellious in spirit, but style-driven with a typically limited tie collection. Even so, his strength in choosing the correct sports coat and accessories often make up for a lack of formality, simply because he pays close attention to his casual-wear style choices. Still, unless he is careful, without wearing a tie regularly and eschewing more formal style choices, this man may find himself more challenged in his style decisions since he is operating within a more “casual realm”, which puts him in the category of the majority of the population—requiring a little more staunch and creativity to distinguish himself from others. Yet if done properly, the pragmatic can leave a lasting impression of being mod, voguish, and positively progressive. Artists, entrepreneurs, and creative directors who are not concerned with keeping with tradition, often opt for the pragmatic style.

Timothy Everest, sometimes referred to as the god of the bespoke casual movement, gives us an ultra fine taste of the pragmatic style done right in the following two images.

Everest A1Everest A2

pragmatic 5
The Intentional Message of the Pragmatic: This style communicates a clear sense of fun, adventure and tenacity. It feels creative and active…almost as if there will not be a boring moment with this type of man. He moves, he shakes, he is interesting to talk with and is open and ready to take on the world on his own terms.

The Unintentional Message of the Pragmatic:  Falling a little short on glamour and romanticism, a woman may pause and wonder if life with a pragmatic could mean life without black tie events, steal-aways to Paris or Tahiti, and the occasional wonder of being treated like a princess.

Possible remedy: Choose one other archetype style, and dress in that style occasionally, which will add serious dimension to the pragmatic man.


Hugo’s Pick for the Pragmatic Man’s Shoes: Alden Leffot Naval Boots



“Less is More” is the theme of the minimalist. He believes in owning the best of the best and does not compromise his standards. There is nothing plain about his appearance because he is crisp and polished and gives the impression that he can look fear in the face until it turns away.

The minimalist will not back down in pursuing the best in all walks of life and is a force to be reckoned with in his personal and professional life. There is only a select few frills in his wardrobe like jewelry and accessories, but there is an insatiable hunger for high grade fabrics and weaves, exceptional cuts, as well as an ongoing love affair between himself and the armful of the exquisitely made shoes that he owns.

Minimalist10David B.


Minimalist 5

circa 1800s 4minimalist7

The Intentional Message of the Minimalist: To a woman, this look is classic perfection in pure form and substance. It feels correct and beautiful and oozes balance and calm. The minimalist style says yes to class, yes to intelligence, and yes to understanding the misunderstood power of correctness.

The Unintentional Message of the Minimalist: This look is safe and sometimes not everyone wants to play it safe. Sometimes we want to at least bend the rules a little and if a minimalist is too careful, then we wonder if he is able to push the boundaries in life beyond the predictable.

Possible remedy: Break some sartorial rules from time to time and use a strong accessory to add intrigue to your style. If possible, opting for “bespoke only” suits is a sure way to carry off the clean lines that accompany this look.

saunton LobbHugo’s Pick for the Minimalist’s Shoes:John Lobb Oxfords


Dashing C

The Dashing man displays ruthless flair and upon meeting him, it feels like he just arrived from New York City, Milan, Barcelona, or Paris. He looks better in a silk scarf than most women and the drape of his clothing almost sings. He is vintage and modern at the same time and, at the drop of a hat, will be able to have an enthralling conversation about old movies, classic literature, theatre and opera.

DashingDashing 1

Minimalist 2

Dashing 2


Intentional Message of the Dashing man: This look feels educated and worldly. This man will go places in life while he achieves self-actualization. He has an electric presence and is an ideal travel companion and conversationist.

Unintentional Message of the Dashing Man: This look is not always approachable and can feel intimidating in the sense that a woman may wonder if she is being judged and measured in his presence. Unless a woman is highly confident, she may be put in a position where she feels like she needs to measure up in some way.

Possible remedy: Add a smile to your wardrobe in order to put others at ease.


Hugo’s pick for the Dashing Man’s shoes: Tony Gaziano & Dean Girling

CIRCA 1800s 

circa 1800s Gentleman

This man exudes warmth and a deep intellect. He can be taken for a professor, a history-buff, or a respected statesman with an old-money essence. He seems loyal and wise and is the most likely person to be chosen to lead a cause or to speak on behalf of a group of people. Inspiration for this look is derived from the Federal, Jacksonian, Dickens, Manifest Destiny, Victorian, Antebellum, American Civil War, Gilded Age, Gay 90s and Old West eras.
Circa 1800s 1

circa 1800s6

circa 1800s 6Circa 1800s 2

circa 1800s 20circa 1800s 11

Intentional message of the Circa 1800s man: This look is analogous to comfort food and creates a peaceful presence. This type of man is highly approachable and seems strong and composed. He creates of aura of trustworthiness and intelligence and he seems to be well equipped to provide beautiful evenings filled with great wine and real conversation.

Unintentional message of the Circa 1800s man: Sometimes it may feel like this man may live inside his own head too much and a woman may wonder if he is as interested in her as much as he is interested in old cars and BBC documentaries.

Possible remedy: In this archetype, fitness is key. A healthy frame counters the impression of being self-indulgent and a bit glutenous in the realm of cigar smoking, whiskey drinking, and culinary adventures.

vassHugo’s pick for the Circa 1800s Man’s Shoes: Laszlo Vass


Countryside Elegant

He could be a banjo player, or a rugby star…or even the distant cousin that makes a woman wish that she wasn’t related to him, because he is so adorable. This man is warm and funny, adventurous and happy-go-lucky. Everyone seems to like him upon first look, since there is very little not to like.

countryside 9

countryside elegance 13countryside elegant 8

Countryside Elegant B 

Intentional message of the Countryside Elegant man: This style feels almost bohemian, and you expect that this man plays guitar or is at least is a music aficionado. Picnics and cycling trips through the countryside come to mind when you see him. Romanticism rules with this look and there is a strong swoon-factor that is created when this elegant style is done right.

Unintentional message of the Countryside Elegant man: A curiosity is created as to whether this man is successful or struggling in life. Can his charming self pay the rent and make a good living, or is he a Robin Hood wanderer that drifts from place to place (happy to join a group of traveling gypsies or backpack through Europe again when the next season rolls around)?

Possible remedy: invest in a pair of high-end shoes that clearly shows that you are able to pursue the best in life.


Hugo’s pick for the Countryside Elegant’s Shoes: Anything J.M. Weston



The Futuristic Man is a cutting-edge force with a forward-thinking perspective. He portrays a space-age military look. He is bold and forthright, and is most likely a computer wiz with a charming geekish streak that comes through in his penchant for science fiction films and “hacking” forums. He believes in his potential to conquer the world and makes others believe in him as well. He is a combination of retro and the year 3000…perhaps the most unique of all the archetypes.

creator-profile-donato-liguori-for-brioni-made-to-measure_10futuristic 11
futuristic 9futuristic2Bur Trench coat

The Intentional Message of the Futuristic: Packed with the power of technology and knowledge, this man is a force to reckoned with. His sharp mind combined with his exquisite style with a hint of geek suave, may mesmerize the women around him.

The Unintentional Message of the Futuristic: Women wonder if the Futuristic is stuck in a forward-thinking warp and if  he is capable of being down-to-earth and relaxed without worrying about things like whether he will get dirt on his shoes if he takes a walk in the park.

Possible remedy: add a vintage watch or antique lapel pin or accessory that provides an unexpected tone of warmth to the overall look.


Hugo’s pick for the Futuristic’s man’s shoes: Ricardo Bestetti


Panache 12

“No Boundaries” is this man’s mantra. Magical and fantastical, this man is a storybook fellow that sparkles sublimely. Women look to this man for style advice and adore going out in public with him, as he feels like her best accessory of all. He is fun and only slightly quirky, which adds to his charm. The Panache man can not only pull together a complex and alluring wardrobe, but also can compose magical life projects that sparkle as much as he does, and rarely fails to impress.

The Fusion Man


panache 11Panache 2

panache 10ford-albazar

Intentional message of the Panache: Filled with imagination and innate talent, this man thinks outside of the circle, the box, the rectangle. He is aesthetic in nature, and celebrates beauty almost daily.

Unintentional message of the Panache:  The risk of coming off as “fussy” is a clear possibility for the Panache man. A woman may wonder if this man is so obsessed with his clothes, if he would eventual become a unidimensional bore who is hyper focused on clothing to the point that he may neglect other areas in life.

Possible remedy: Know the exact rules of mixing patterns and textures and make sure clothing has the appearance of being custom-cut–but most importantly, dress for the day and then forget about being perfect, since there is a undeniable charm that occurs when encountering a man of ease.

Corthay PanacheHugo’s Pick for the Panache Man’s Shoes: Corthay Belphegor


Hopefully, we have established that there is little doubt that the way men dress affects women’s attitudes toward men. And, if a man relays his emotions through his wardrobe along with having a clear knowledge of the rules with knack for breaking these same rules in a way that matches his persona, then a man is on his way to merging his inner self with his outer self. Emotion is a lofty subject to approach in the world of the wardrobe. But, once we realize that elegance is not a technical term, but instead a term that encompasses feeling and authentic expression, then we move into a realm of a higher abilities to reveal our true selves through the way we dress.

The 2013 Sartorial Storm (Part I)

written for: Parisian Gentleman

John Hamm dressed for the role of a doctor in 1934 based on the writing of Mikhail Bulgakov set during the Russian Revolution. Could this "look " now be considered irresistible?
John Hamm dressed for the role of a doctor in 1934 set during the Russian Revolution and based on the stories of Mikhail Bulgakov. Could this look now be considered “irresistible”?


The male elegance climate appears to be simmering  to a boil lately (compared to a mere five years ago). While we are seeing a boon in men dressing well with a growing penchant for style and quality, at the same time we notice a collapse in the frequency of spotting the quintessential middle management man with scuffed-up shoes and a dilapidated leather belt with belt-hole notches shaped like inverted amebas (of which he seems oddly proud to announce that his belt notches chronicle his weight loss and gain history since 1990… hence you deduce that his belt must be around 13 years old).

These days, it is more likely for a man to feel good about having immaculately polished shoes and to find satisfaction in knowing that a belt is rarely needed with a suit in the first place, since the complete body line of a man looks much better when he opts for trousers designed for no belt, thus avoiding the “cutting of the man in half” visual effect that a belt causes.

This man realizes
This man understands that wearing a belt with a suit can be passé and cut the flow of the total line of a man.

Yet even if men are speeding towards sartorial excellence at an alarming rate, we continue to see the occasional breed of the sartorial counter-culture set fanning the embers of the spirit of the 1980s “casual Friday movement”, perhaps most by those who feel trapped as time-watchers living for 5 o’clock and for the promise of another weekend—leaving us with the impression of a lost ability to feel intrigue for any day except Friday, Saturday and Sunday…with even churches replacing dress standards with the come as you are mindset.

France (even with its obvious population of sartorial-gifted men and women) gives us a more direct example of a diminishing regard for the work week by introducing “Half-Day Fridays “, or more specifically a reduction of the hours in the workweek  from 39 to 35 hours, since the year 2000. At this rate, in the year 2052, we can project an introduction of the  two-hour workday–with  potential daily perks such as Tie-Less Thursdays, Facebook Wednesdays, No Need to Tuck Your Shirt In Tuesdays, and Don’t Bother to Show Up Mondays.

This passive attitude towards how we present ourselves creates a piggy-back effect that biases these same time-watchers towards the belief that the reason dressing casually is better is because it is easier. And, once it is perceived that the daily goal is to make things easier, then the possibility of sartorial glory is lost. And, if a sartorial atheist believes that Monday through Thursday constitute corporate enslavement, forced dress-codes, and a general sense of misery, then we accept that we are unlikely to see a glowing sartorial result within this cultural realm.

However, the incredible point that may be easy to overlook, is that the sartorially-inclined man can use Casual Friday to his advantage as an optimal opportunity to come to work in business-only attire, which causes him be noticed in a way that helps communicate his own unique persona while at the same time, nurturing career advancement potential and boosting the chance for success in his social endeavors.

Not foregoing the necktie on Casual Friday sets this man apart from the others.
Not foregoing the necktie on Casual Friday sets this man apart from the others.

Dress for the job above yours…and rethink casual Friday. Business Insider, 2011

Although many may consider disregarding Casual Fridays to be somewhat hardcore, in actuality, dressing well is a moderate gesture that pays great dividends.


When considering the perpetual turnaround from style nonchalance to style concern, it is curious to consider what is causing the intensifying energy behind this sartorial revival that is winning eager converts by the hour. There are at least three catalysts causing  this resurrection of interest among men in all-things-sartorial:

First, the influence of television shows like Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire, as well as Hollywood movies featuring gangsters and spys no doubt play a pivotal role in the perception reversal from sartorial indifference to sartorial passion that is occurring among men. By simply watching episodes of shows and movies with images of men dressed in fine-tailored clothing causes our minds to take sartorial notes; and put simply, our visual pleasure centers are repetitively rewarded with images of impeccably dressed actors—which eventually results in giving us an impression that dressing well can be…pleasurable.

Sean Connery with Tailor Anthony Sinclair, London. A precursor to the male elegance media rage.
007 Sean Connery with Tailor Anthony Sinclair, London. Sean Connery’s,  fittings  finally offers the masses a peek at the world of bespoke tailoring…and provides a precursor to the current male elegance media rage.
The iconic Michael Kenneth Williams from the HBO television series "Boardwalk Empire".
The iconic Michael Kenneth Williams from the HBO television series “Boardwalk Empire”.
From the 2012 film "This Means War"---In the movie, the leading characters location is traced by a villain through a torn patch of South American vicuna , a relative of the llama shorn every three years and considered to be very rare and luxurious. The scrap of fabric is identified as coming from "Savile Row's finest tailor".  The mystery question of the real-life suit's origin? Chris Pine's suit is Ralph Lauren's Purple Label  and the Brit's Tom Hardy suit is Paul Smith (with a signature narrow lapel and slim leg).
From the 2012 film “This Means War”—In the movie, the leading characters location is traced by a villain through a torn patch of South American vicuna , a relative of the llama shorn every three years and considered to be very rare and luxurious. The scrap of fabric is identified as coming from “Savile Row’s finest tailor”. The mystery question of the real-life suit’s origin? Chris Pine’s suit is Ralph Lauren’s Purple Label and the Brit’s Tom Hardy suit is Paul Smith (with a signature narrow lapel and slim leg).

A second  pop culture influence (as covered in the PG article (A défaut de fin du monde, la fin d’un monde ?) comes from more and more ad campaigns capitalizing on the mesmerization with bespoke tailoring by featuring models in authentic, not so glamorous bespoke tailoring workshops. These campaigns create an awareness that something more exists in the world of style. Perhaps the man who gains a glimpse of the Savile Row tailor’s life in an unexpected print advertisement stops for a moment, and asks himself  “What is that??”. Once this question is posed, many men find themselves on a journey to the sartorial promise land, with the only regret being that they hadn’t started the trip sooner.

Even though for some of us, it can be funny to notice that some of these advertisements greatly exaggerate the quality and origin of many products, we can still appreciate the awareness that is created as themes such as the tailor’s dusty workshop, continues to grow among ad agencies promoting male elegance.  In the same vein, numerous ad campaigns are also promoting men’s style by featuring men who look as if they have stepped into a frame shot from another time era (usually ranging from the mid-1800s up until the 1960s) which brings on a sentiment for hand-tailoring, or at least encourages a sentiment for items that relay the spirit of being hand-tailored.

Corneliani. Yet another ad campaign with subjects photographed with the "dusty workshop tailor-at-work theme."
Corneliani. Yet another ad campaign with subjects photographed with the “dusty workshop tailor-at-work theme.”
Time Era Dressing -- Sans the vest, this man evokes the emotion of the 1940s
Time Era Dressing — Sans the vest, this Pepe Jeans model evokes the emotion of the 1940s
Timothy Everest, tailor to the upper echelon of public figures and celebrities, provides designs that particularly appeal to the more cutting-edge sartorial thinker. Here: The Town Coat, reminiscent of the beloved frock coat from the mid-1800s
Timothy Everest, tailor to the upper echelon of public figures and celebrities, also provides designs for younger brands like Superdry, that particularly appeal to the more cutting-edge sartorial thinker. Here: The Town Coat, reminiscent of the beloved frock coat from the mid-1800s

As fresh as it looks…the town coat is firmly grounded in history, owing a great debt to that forebear, the frock coat. It may surprise many, but back in its mid-19th-century heyday, the frock coat was as “it” as it gets, having come into fashion as a more subdued (and less froufrou) alternative to courtly attire — the Helmut Lang of its day. But by the dawn of the 20th century, it itself had come to personify the calcified rigor of aristocratic European society…NY Times, November, 2011

The third influence may be very familiar to the readers of PG. Men and women alike from a vast array of different backgrounds, who have experienced a sometimes unexplained interest in how men dress, are now writing about their sartorial thoughts, impressions, and experiences. And with the internet in place, these voices are now able to reach the bulk of the world, where like-minded people assimilate in sartorial thought and spirit.

The writers that are rising to acclaim realize that writing about how we dress has as much to do with emotion as it has to do with knowledge. And where there is emotion, there is meaning. This specific element of a writer evoking sentiments, combined with a scholarly approach to dressing well, appears to be fundamental in rallying the interest in male elegance by a growing population of men.

James Sherwood (in a suit perhaps reminiscent of Andrew Ramroop's first suit in 1969?).  Sherwood has gained worldwide respect for writing about bespoke tailoring with emotion, as well as scholarly detail.
A candid shot of James Sherwood (in a bespoke coat by Edward Sexton). Sherwood has gained worldwide respect for writing about bespoke tailoring with emotion, as well as with scholarly detail.

And so, as a man’s attitude sets the stage for the development of his appearance, indeed there seems to be a new awareness among men that time is short—a knowing that living life well each day is infinitely more rewarding than waiting for the perineal Friday to roll around.  Most notably, men in their 20s are recognizing that a striking sartorial style quickly sets them apart from a league of other men who have overlooked the shaking effect of developing an unforgettable persona.

Now we can say with strong certainty, that we have entered a completely new sartorial age–where quality matters and a return to style has become important in people’s lives.

Part II will examine this mass attitude shift and attempt a cultivated way to understand the emotion a man feels as he develops his sartorial persona—as well as how the women around him may perceive and react to him.


Pomp and Practicality

aaaRemember the one in school who always seemed to dress right–the one indubitably awarded  “best-dressed” by popular vote–and who won so easily that his title was never in question? I often wondered if this dapper young gent’s mum should have had the real credit for his ease and fortitude, and whether his actual award should have been that of “most obedient son”.  Or, on the contrary, did this soldier-of-style have an innate talent to present himself eloquently almost from the time of his birth? I remember having admiration for these types who gave us the impression that they were well-bred  and knowledgeable, if only through the way that they dressed.  Even decades later, I recall the tailored chocolate brown velvet blazer that my classmate, Terrisina O’Neal, wore in Grade 7, and the yellow and blue wool argyle v-neck sweater with the bronzed-yellow tie that Chels Norton paired with his tan pants and polished loafers in Grade 10.

This fascinating point of being able to recall a style choice (years later) stays with me, because of the simple fact that, if these two former classmates did not dress as they did, I doubt that I would even be able to recall their names today.  And, if dressing well causes a person to be memorable, can these well-dressed soul’s “pomp” be more practical than we could have imagined?

Of couse it’s obvious that men have a greater challenge than women when it comes to making style choices that causes them to be remembered (most preferably in a good way) because there are fewer choices available in the sheer number of accessories and clothing pieces offered for men versus women. But even so, we see men who, ever-so-slightly, push the envelope in order to nab a definitive style for themselves. Yet with men and women alike, the feeling is the same when it comes to the satisfaction of  “owning your style” and in finding your own rite-of-passage in the field of elegance.

There is a bit of a awestruck feeling that occurs when seeing men take more daring style choices and carrying off their choices with ease (perhaps because we’ve seen the epic style failures of checks and stripes that are proportionately ill-mixed, the dizzying effect of over-accessorizing, as well as the intentional clashing of colors that makes us recognize the clothes well before recognizing the man). And isn’t it true that if it looks like a man has tried too hard to pull himself together, then he appears more like a walking window display, rather than a persona in his own right? After all, while persnickety tailors can be the best of the best, persnickety men can be the worst of the worst. But still, you may agree that we can’t help but enjoy a little pomp, while being spared the act of being “pompous.”  

The word pomp can be misunderstood.  The first definition of pomp connotes “dignified”, while the second definition connotes “vanity”.  These two definitions provide a confusing (even intriguing) dichotomy of meanings.  While we can safely refer to pomp as meaning dignified, most likely we can also agree that thinking of a pompous person brings on thoughts of  someone who is “irritatingly self-important”.   The root of the word  “pomp” is the Latin “pompa,” meaning “procession”, which gives the word a regal feel. And, the phrase “pomp and circumstance” has been preserved by Shakespeare in his play Othello, Act III, scene iii with the words “Farewell the neighing steed and the shrill trump, The spirit-stirring drum, th’ear-piercing fife, The royal banner, and all quality, Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!”

What gives a man a little “pomp”…just enough to be remembered? Here are six examples that tend to leave memorable impressions.


Tie Twist, Pocketsquare, Fine Detail (red button-hole)
Tie tie-arch, the pocketsquare, and the fine detail of red button-hole stitching

There are three things that I notice right away about this style: the arched tie, the pocketsquare, and the contrasting button-hole stitching.  This look feels like it is understated but still holds a strong sense of style.  And, this combination of style elements definitely allows for focus on the man instead of his clothing.  It is not overdone, but nonetheless displays a lot of flair and individuality.  The pocketsquare itself is not a duplicate of any other color or pattern (over-matching a pocketsquare to other fabrics and patterns worn comes off as looking fussy and unimaginative), but is simply white in color with interesting stitching–a fine complement to this overall look.  A properly arched tie does not fail to intrigue…it makes me wonder how it was managed and just how one uses a tie slide…and what special twist or push or positioning caused it to look so steeped in 19th century tradition?  I adore this way of wearing a tie and it is pleasing to see this effect carried off well.  The red stitched button hole is bold and shows a willingness to take risks and seems to communicate at slight sense of adventure.

Even waist deep in hot water, Draper pulls off the ultra thin tie with ease.
Even waist deep in hot water, Draper pulls off the ultra thin tie with ease.

Another tie twist is opting for the ultra thin tie, inspired by  the 1960s era to complement a suit. Don Draper from the series Mad Men has become an icon for sporting this retro look.


Perhaps no one has carried off the rose buttonniere better than Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, whom, on the day of his funeral, caused a sell-out of roses at local florists because of the volumes of men who sought rose buttonnieres on that day in order to commemorate his memory.Former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau

Perhaps no one has carried off the rose boutonniere better than former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, whom, on the day of his funeral, caused a sell-out of roses at Canadian florists because of the sheer volume of men who sought rose boutonnieres on that day in to commemorate his memory.  This little article of nature seems to be worn by men in a class of their own. If this look is worn consistently, it is hard to imagine anyone who would not be impressed with the fortitude of the man donning a boutonniere, especially considering his effort in arrange for something fresh to be worn regularly that also gives pleasure to others, most of whom can appreciate the beauty and simplicity of a single flower.

A working lapel button-hole with a boutonniere latch

A working lapel button-hole with a boutonniere latch raises the bar in the world of boutonnieres. I find this small touch to be impossibly elegant.

scarlet carnations

One of the most understated choices for the boutonniere, the scarlet carnation. If you like to hold strictly to tradition, wear a red flower if your mother is living and a white flower if she is not, as is the custom in several parts of the U.S. and abroad.

douglas-fairbanks-jr-1933                                                                 Douglass Fairbanks Jr., 1933

a nicely worn boutonniere
a nicely worn boutonniere
A more modern twist on the use of the lapel notch.
A more modern twist on the use of the lapel notch.



Obviously, an amazing timepiece is something that can bring great pleasure to a man. Yet, it can be of benefit to a man to notice how he wears his timepiece. For example, it isn’t becoming of a man to pose for a photograph after noticeably pulling one sleeve higher than the other, thrusting his wrist forward and tilting his timepiece ever-so-towards the camera. This move is blatantly apparent to others who look at his picture. Even when a man is not posing for a photograph, constantly extending the arm forward to show off a timepiece smacks a bit of of desperation, and can be off-putting to others. However, when catching an accidental peek of a fine timepiece worn by an elegant man, that man is more likely to be viewed as a person of deliberation and success, not as ostentatious and overly proud. Conversely, a discreet man seems to enjoy functionality and style, and is more than adept at expressing himself well, even in regard to his selection of jewelry.

A discreetly worn timepiece
A discreetly worn timepiece

Finding a fine timepiece can be a memorable life experience. The research, anticipation, and finally, the reward of owning an item that is both a technical and beautiful, as well as a constant companion, can provide great satisfaction for decades to follow.


Frank Sinatra

It seems as if it would have been a waste for Frank Sinatra not to wear a hat. There can be no question that this man was made to don un chapeau.  It is also a bit of a loss for many other men who have the correct face shape and dimensions to forego placing a fine Fedora, or the likes, a top of their heads.



My father always carried a freshly laundered handkerchief in his inside jacket pocket. He would offer the handkerchief to those closest to him, should they have a slight spill, need to wipe their hands, or find themselves unexpectedly emotional. This sentiment of offering a handkerchief to someone remains with me. It is these small subtleties that causes a man to become memorable and is testimony that real pomp comes not only from outward appearances, but also from subtle and sincere gestures of grace.

A 60-Second Designer Breakfast

I’ve enjoyed this ritual for months now, partly based on a recommendation from a Parisian nutritionalist, and I have never felt better in the morning hours.  It seemed right to share this formula since it has brought so much health and vitality to my life.



Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar

There must be something miraculous about ingesting apple cider vinegar, since historical records suggest that even the father of medicine, Hippocrates, used it around 400 BC as a primary health remedy. A simple online search on the benefits of apple cider vinegar will yield a plethora of information.

1. Take a shot glass. Fill it with half water and half Bragg’s apple cider vinegar and drink it down in one gulp with your favorite supplement (my choice: kyolic garlic for disease fighting and anti-inflammatory effects).

Two tablespoons of almond butter has around 202 calories, 18 grams of mostly unsaturated fat, and 4 grams of protein. It’s an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium and manganese. It also provides fiber, calcium, iron, a few B-vitamins, potassium, and zinc.The flavor of almond butter is comparable to peanut butter only nuttier and slightly richer. It’s a tasty alternative for those with peanut-only allergies.  A recent ABC News article also reported that two-time American Olympic medalist and beach volleyball player Kerry Walsh eats almond butter and honey sandwiches, especially before she competes.”

Two tablespoons of almond butter has around 202 calories, 18 grams of mostly unsaturated fat, and 4 grams of protein. It’s an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium and manganese. It also provides fiber, calcium, iron, a few B-vitamins, potassium, and zinc.
A recent ABC News article also reported that two-time American Olympic medalist and beach volleyball player Kerry Walsh eats almond butter and honey sandwiches, especially before she competes.”

2. Take about two tablespoons of almond butter and a tablespoon of raw pumpkin seeds.  A burst of energy will soon be heading in your direction.

"Brace yourselves - pumpkin seeds contain a long list of anti-ageing ingredients, including (deep breath) zinc, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin A, B, K, manganese, protein, niacin, thiamine and omega 3 fatty acids, the combined power of which is pretty unbeatable when it comes to slowing down collagen breakdown. Take that, wrinkles!"

“Brace yourselves – pumpkin seeds contain a long list of anti-aging ingredients, including zinc, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin A, B, K, manganese, protein, niacin, thiamine and omega 3 fatty acids, the combined power of which is pretty unbeatable when it comes to slowing down collagen breakdown. Take that, wrinkles!” from

The beautiful thing about this quick breakfast is that I’m not hungry at all for several hours and not tempted to overeat at lunch; and, of course, the health benefits of balancing blood sugar levels, combatting aging and losing weight are nothing to complain about.


Endymion: A Men’s Fragrance to Remember

It is the final day in Brussels at the esteemed House of Degand, which I am attending for the book signing of the stunning talent, James Sherwood’s “A Perfect Gentleman” book (celebrating the rich history of men’s style).   Just before departing, I acquire an unforgettable men’s fragrance called Endymion, created by London’s House of Penhaligon’s…


Some may think it’s odd to get wrapped up in the thought of discovering a killer fragrance; but, perhaps you know what it’s like to search for a fragrance you love—only to discover that five years later, you are still looking?

Yet, some things are just right.  And you know it instantly.  Such is the men’s fragrance Endymion from London’s house of Penhaligon’s.


Created in 2003, Endymion is a sensual fusion of citrus, spices and leather.  It opens with a burst of sweetened mandarin wrapped gently in sage and leather, then settles and smoothes gently into a dark coffee heart.  As it warms up, mysterious resins rise up with hints of creamy nutmeg, cardamom and the softest leather.”


After being completely allured by Endymion’s discreet ability to catch my attention, later I decided to poke around online in the attempt to find a bad review on the fragrance.  One man lamented that he wanted the scent to linger longer…yet the other reviews that I read sang tabernacle-like praises about the wonder of Endymion.

In fact, most every review sounded more like a love story between a man and his cologne instead of a critique.  And, I believe that this particular fragrance is relationship-material for a man as it calls out to be revisited regularly to ritually bathe the senses in a most pleasurable scent…so that the event of putting on cologne becomes pure pleasure in a world where we crave a certain aesthetical boost, whether we realize it or not.

Only twice in my life have I been frozen where I stood by a scent. To cut a long and embarrassing story short, I followed a guy off the London underground when I had no idea where I was, to find out from him what his scent was. And I’m usually pretty shy. The scent was Endymion, and I couldn’t help but inhale it the way you inhale a lover’s scent with your mouth part open to catch every facet and reflection. Warm, earthy, dreamy yet authoritative and potent. The effect on me may have been exaggerated because the man wearing it was probably the most beautiful man I’d ever seen – either that or his scent made him seem that way. It just made me want to pull his shirt off. I didn’t tell him that bit… but I did go and buy his perfume. –a review by, November, 2012


The year is 1860; the place, London.  A Cornish barber named William Henry Penhaligon moved to London and soon became Court Barber and Perfumer to Queen Victoria.

William lived in an age of decadence, excess and flamboyance.  He found so much time to self-actualize, that he began relating experiences to fragrances.  His trade remained strong during his lifetime and was carried on by his uber-stylish son Walt Penhaligon.

In the 1940s, the business faded into oblivion, only to reemerge in the 1970s and today, Penhaligon fragrances are coveted by men who, down to their bones, feel an appreciation for the highest standard in life and living.

William's son, Walt Penhaligon displaying stunning style in 1907.

William’s son, Walt Penhaligon displaying stunning style in 1907.

There is something old-worldly about this Penhaligon fragrance.  When you breathe in the cologne, you feel the purity of the perfumery trade permeate your senses.  What I find particularly pleasing is that the fragrance seems to develop beautifully (even elegantly) on the skin and that there is no offensive reaction of feeling overwhelmed by its intensity, even if a man enjoys lavishing himself with this perineal potion.

Although Endymion is classically masculine, before it develops, it feels distinctly unisex, and I admit that I like it so much, that occasionally I’ve doused myself with this brilliant brew of woodsy orange and eventual sophisticated mix of sage with only a slight hint of lavender.

For me, the scent creates an image of an eternally stylish–yet slightly rugged man toting a leather satchel by his side, taking a clever short-cut through a patch of woods before reaching his rather elite address, simply because his sense of adventure requires him  to do so.

 Founded over 135 years ago, Penhaligon's is the ultimate ole-world perfumer with an impressive patron list including fashion God Tom Ford, Britain's great Statesman, Sir Winston Churchill and the Royal family, who long before blessing the brand with two Royal warrants from Prince Charles and his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, employed William Penhaligon as Court Barber and Perfumier to Queen Victoria.

“Founded over 135 years ago, Penhaligon’s is the ultimate old-world perfumer with an impressive patron list including fashion God Tom Ford, Britain’s great Statesman, Sir Winston Churchill and the Royal family, who long before blessing the brand with two Royal warrants from Prince Charles and his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, employed William Penhaligon as Court Barber and Perfumier to Queen Victoria.” (From

The bottle pleases the eye and is William Penhaligon’s original design: clear glass with a distinctively Victorian ribbon-wrapped top. And, as a final note, the bottle itself is of immaculate construction, as I confess to have dropped it from a 5 foot shelf onto a tile floor with no damage other than a temporarily racing-heart.

How the Necktie Conquered the World

The necktie is a powerful gesture and sometimes we may underestimate its effect.  After being commissioned by Parisian Gentleman to write about this complex “strip of fabric” that can say so much with so little, I found the necktie’s story to be more captivating than expected.

Brioni, The Regiment Tie, Purple. The Regiment Tie communicates respect for convention, seriousness, straight-talk, and perhaps a little “frat boy” churned into the mix. Serious or relaxed…a perfect choice; but, be careful not to infringe upon a regiment or club and wear a regiment tie that has been designed to represent a specific organization.

Consider the power of a rather small piece of apparel such as the necktie.  This slice of fabric can make or break a job interview, determine admittance or rejection into a fine restaurant and be a key factor in whether a man is to be taken seriously, or not.  And it is fascinating to consider that a man’s choice of a necktie may give insight into his personality.

Stefano Ricci, Lavender Gray Paisley. A nice paisley conveys boldness and when well chosen, displays a strong flair for style (and perhaps even a slight penchant for the flower power era).

The vintage Sulka Tie is now an ultra rare deadstock item that the most every tie aficionado may seek to own.

From Drakes, London: “There’s a touch of sartorial audacity in a silk knitted tie that’s oddly liberating and we’re proud that our knits continue to set the standard. Starting with the finest quality spun raw silk they’re knitted on hundred year old looms that produce the distinctive crunchy ‘cri de la soie’ hand, the true mark of quality and authenticity in knitted silk ties. Spots are sewn on by hand. Made in Germany, 100% silk, 7cm width”


The first known version of the necktie is located in the massive mausoleum of China’s first emperor, Shih Huang Ti (buried in 210 B.C and whose tomb was unearthed in 1974 near the ancient capital city of Xian).

Inordinately afraid of death, the emperor wanted to slaughter his entire army to accompany him into the next world. Persuaded by his advisors to take life-size replicas of the soldiers instead, astonishingly, his tomb contains 7,500 life-size terracotta replicas of Shih Huang Ti’s regal fighting force. Reproduced in painstaking detail are their armor, uniforms, hair, and even facial expressions of the soldiers. Each figure is different – except in one respect: all wear neck cloths.

Other records indicate the Chinese did not wear ties, so why the emperor’s guards wore carefully wrapped silk cloths around their necks is unknown.  With silk looked upon as a great luxury, the neck cloths were likely a symbol of high honor and prestige.


Hats off (or on) to Croatia for the contribution of introducing the necktie globally. As early as the mid-1600s, during the European Thirty Year War, from around 1618-1648, Croatian soldiers fought in various regions of Europe. The traditional Croatian military dress included a noteworthy scarf tied around the neck, which is very similar to the style in which the necktie is worn today.

The setting is now in Prague; the year, 1618.  Some Prague agents of the Holy Roman Emperor were in a state of dissent when a group of citizens threw the agents out of a window. The agents landed on a dunghill and happened to survive. Being foul tempered because of this angst with Prague, it is said that the 30 Year War ensued soon after. which gave way to an immediate need for Croatian mercenaries. Although these Croations were rough-and-ready fellows, they held fast to making a style statement by displaying notable neckwear.

The word “‘cravat” is a derivative of the word “Croat”. It is an enigma as to why the Croatians exacted such imitation.  Still, as these Croatian soldiers were stationed in Paris during the reign of Louis XIV, the Croatians’ overall style greatly impressed their French counterparts and French men rather quickly borrowed from their sense of fashion–most notably when it came to neckwear. “.

The tie gained entry into the bourgeois style circle of that era as a sign of elegance and the cultivated elitism, and soon after the rest of Europe fell at the cravate’s feet. Of course today we witness the power of the necktie in practically every culture, with 85 different tie methods and a wide array of materials and colors.


After a few generations of aiming towards exaggerated convenience in most every area of life, recently we have witnessed a hunger for handcrafted items. We have grown fatigued with all of the computer and machine generated merchandise.  Herbs and natural remedies often are favored in place of chemically produced drugs.  Handwritten notes are more valued than the common email.  And, a taste for meticulous custom-clothing has caused a case of amnesia when trying to remember the need for a shopping trip to the mall.

Today, the celebrated necktie has seen a specific revival in the house of Passaggio Cravatte, founded in 2010 by Gianni Cerutti and Marta Step. The shop is located in Robbio, Italy (near Milan and the Malpensa airport) and uses the rare practice of hand-cutting the entire necktie from a single piece of fabric, then the tie is carefully hand-stitched and meticulously hand-folded using a seven-fold method form the early 1900s to produce a newly made vintage piece.  Even the fabric is taken from 90 percent real vintage cloth and is hand printed with patterns that are hard to find and virtually unobtainable.

Passagio Cravatte seven fold

The result?  Nothing short of magnificent.  While a Sulka tie can be an amazing find, now there is a chance to take the pursuit of a “magical tie” a step further by experiencing firsthand the traditional necktie original construction–simply because of a dream transposed into reality by two determined Italians to return to the tried and true method of producing a work of art that can be selected, cut and sewn on demand.


And so, whether you resent having to dress for an occasion or find pleasure in doing so, we must admit that the necktie is a wondrous opportunity for a man to express himself in a way that makes people take notice.  The necktie can give a man the chance to portray power or humility, seriousness or humor, status or convention.  If more men looked at the tie as a tool (and we know how the male species loves tools), then maybe we will accelerate even further this era of a a return to style.

%d bloggers like this: