Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dress pants - Stylish and inexpensive

When it comes to dress pants one thing has stood out for me in the '09, and that's fit. Fit, in terms of length, waistline, the taper and so forth. This is an aspect of men's dress that I aim to practice to perfection. After all this is PG, right...?

I happened to visit Fashion Fushion on Matthews Meyiwa road ( formerly Stamdfordhill rd ) today and picked up two pairs of dress pants. One I desperately need and the other I don't need at all. I'll start with the latter. It is a light grey pair of flat front pants with slanted pockets. The reason I say I don't need them is the fact that I already have the very same pair of pants which I bought at Woolworths earlier this year for R250. However due to me needing certain alterations done on them I have given up on ever getting them in the right shape, size or form. You can blame that on my ex-tailor. I have decided that I am going to have the messed up, ill-fitting pants made into shorts. I know they will be better that way.




The price of these pants was R75, very cost effective. The interesting thing about them is that they can be dressed up or down. In a pair of black leather loafers or white Jack Purcell sneakers.

The second pair of pants are a cross between the colours pumpkin and terra-cotta. I am very excited about them because I already have certain combinations I want to try with them. They came in at R120 and are a bargain I must say. For now I can safely say they will work well with a tan pair of lace-ups.





So, if you are in Durban on holiday or are resident then Fashion Fusion is definitely a place to visit because your style and fashion curiosity will be rewarded. I know, today, mine was.


PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Stylish beach wear

Summer is truly a minimalist season therefore it's only right that one comes out in the heat in clothes that are relevant to the season. You have to protect yourself from the sun's rays however that doesn't mean that you should attempt covring up your whole body because that could somehow lead to heat stroke. Ok, this is not a case of damned if you-damned if you don't. Even in extreme heat the perfect gentleman should always execute stylishly, without any hassles.

When I think summer, I always think shorts and t-shirts, and who better to demonstrate this simple style other than Pharrell Williams,  in above the knee cut off jeans, a white V neck t-shirt, espadrilles, striped cardigan and Wayfarers. The style of jeans is a little quirky however it works because of its length which is aptly observed. And, due to the unpredictability of the weather a cardigan is always a wise choice just to keep warm if it gets cooler than expected. The colour coordination is also impressive as nautical navy is well observed throughout. For myself, one who lives right by the beach this is a style lesson well learnt.







pics courtesy of theybf.com

Oh, and gents please ensure that, since your ankles and knees are exposed, they are lotioned up and everything. The PG is never ashy.


PG: Man to man, generation to generation.




Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sound Gentlemen: A song for the PG this Christmas

1988, I was only but 10 years old but I somehow knew that something was special about this song. At the time, due to the image that one of the writers seemed to project, I was under the impression that it was a love song. Without listening to the lyrics properly, I thought it was an ode to a special woman. It was a love song alright, a love song to humankind though. It was only when I got to senior high school that I realised that the song makes a social commentary and spiritual statement. And the driving force behind the it is 'love'.

I know what captivated me all those years ago, it was the rhythm, the melody, the harmony and that harmonica. After high school, which was 14 years ago, this song came back to me one night, this year, while driving back home. A local radio station was playing it and I couldn't help the nostalgia that overwhelmed me. For a second it made me long for my childhood and the long lost emotions I felt whenever I'd hear it.

Ten things I love about this song and why it's apt for Christmas:

1. It personifies love, the power of love, peacable love, love that is colour blind and transcends and stands the test of time.
2. Spiritually, good will always triumph over evil.
3. Socially, it addresses issues such as the needy child, disenfranchised people, equality, human upliftment and the cessation of wars.
4. Speaks about the power that is in human unity.
5. The song is harmonically and rhythmically mellifluous.
6. The backing vocals in the chorus as well as the lone backing vocal doing a descant after the harmonica solo are just exceptional.
7. A distinct horn that plays only in the chorus.
8. The instrumental outro.
9. That harmonica.
10. It was released in the same year that Ben Johnson won gold at the Seoul Olympics, Benazir Bhutto became the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan AND the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.


Enjoy...!!!








Merry Christmas gentlemen and may His grace shine upon you.


PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Money does not equal Style




Every now and then one is confronted with highly paid athletes across the sporting spectrum who are not well dressed at all. One would think that being a millionaire would automatically translate to being stylishly or appropriately dressed. This seems to be the exception rather the norm as many athletes seem to let themselves go as far as style is concerned. For some it is just plain laziness, others a lack of trying and others have no knowledge of style and what it pertains, and would rather faux pas their way rather than spend money on a stylist.

Style has nothing to do with how much you spend on clothes but rather, how you wear it. A suit, for every man, is a start however an immaculately tailored fitting suit is the ultimate complement. And adding personal touches is important. For example developing a habit of tying ties in different knots and coordinating that with the correct choice of shirt can always be current and distinctive. It is also important to note that most well dressed athletes are people who know their bodies and know exactly what works for them.

So even without a stylist one can still put together a meaningful wardrobe. Below is a list of well dressed and not so well dressed athletes. I'll start with the not so...



Mamelodi Sundowns Benedict Vilakazi



Lehlohonolo Seema trying his best Hamid Karzai impersonation



JRich dunks but style poor



Mike in stripes, too rich, too high and that hoop has to go



How a 7 footer is able to dress better than a 6 footer is mind boggling


Now for the well dressed...



Junior you get a pass but reserve the cravat for your actual wedding






Just great Ronaldo



Amar'e Stoudemire representing the big men



Best PG in the NBA, best casual look



Gilbert Arenas in complementary tweed



Deron Williams this look is complete sans the studs



Caron Butler in grey double breast



Nuf sed

This man, in my opinion, has set the standard though:















Lebron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers


Charles Oakley, albeit a well dressed basketballer player in his playing days, knows very little about men's fashion and style, in my opinion. See this article from Details magazine about his interesting perspective on NBA style and those who do it best and those who are umm.....lackng in style totally. Clyde Frazier gets a thumbs up from me for that mustard leather suit.


(picture credits go to: theybf.com, yahoosports.com, ViewImages.com, GQ.com, NBA.com and gameplanmedia.co.za)



PG: Man to man, generation to genration.




Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Is tailoring a dying craft, in Durban..?

I'm a bit flummoxed right now because I don't know where to begin with this post. There is just so much to write about. What I want to intimate though is something that has been a long time coming especially considering that I've experienced it since my childhood.

Tailoring. For me this aspect of men's style and fashion is of utmost importance because it is a process that involves and engages the prospective wearer from start to finish. From conceptualisation to the final product nothing is more involving and requires special attention like the tailoring of a suit, made to measure or bespoke.

This, is a rant. My tailor is the nephew of the original owner of the tailors I was introduced to by my dad. Over the years however I never really was into custom clothing as almost everything I bought off the rack was 'perfect'. However since being bitten by the style bug I have had no choice but to have some of my clothes tailored, altered and deconstructed because of the 'fit' rule.

Nephew, has not lived up to his uncle's standards. His work needs a lot of guidance, both in theory and in practice and he is not really open to suggestion. Yes, he's dogmatic like that. I mean one time I was in there to pick up an item of mine and there was an Indian lady with her teenage son, there to pick up a pair of pants. The kid not happy with the width of his bottom wanted his bottom a lot more wider. I was incredulous. The kid wanted to have his pants looking like Bell-bottoms. And, he, nephew, agreed to widen them a little bit more. In my book this is one instance where he was supposed to give some advice and guide the young buck. Which proves to me that he is not well versed in men's tailoring.

A few of my alterations have been totally messed up by him. One time I took two pairs of pants for reduction at the waist and the length. The waists were somewhat ok, but the lengths were like not done at all and what exacerbated things was that the turn ups had been taken out after I had specifically told him to leave them be. There were jeans I took to him for alterations and they all came back fitting funny. A reduction on the waist ended feeling like skinny jeans, a reduction in the taper and waist just totally sucked the life out of me and some other mishaps that needed attention but didn't get it.

Therefore based on these reaons and myriad others I am no longer going to be a customer at this particular tailor but will be experimenting with two others. One was recommended to me by a freind of mine, the other I've always walked past and have at times been intrigued by it. They are Soli Omar Tailors and NEW York Tailors respectively. After reading this article about the latter tailors I have been motivated to go out to them and experiement with one item of clothing that needs altering and from that result I will then decide to stay or go else where. In fact I will take two items to both the above mentioned tailors and see who does the precise job.

The one thing I picked up from the article is that tailoring, made to measure and bespoke clothing for men is a dying craft in Durban. Especially since off the rack clothing seems to be more prominent and always readily available. I for one have learnt that attention to fit and detail is the difference between a well dressed man and well...the ordinary bloke. It's not a resolution for the new year but rather an alternate route that I hope to stay on for as long as I'm satisfied and happy.

I still find it odd though that a suit jacket with no vents cannot be aletred, not even to allow for even a middle vent..?

Oh, I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge my inspiration for this post. An online acquaintance of mine from Made to Measure and his best visual on a tailored and made to measure to suit.



PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Friday, December 18, 2009

uMahlekehlathini

For those of you who don't know, uMahlekehlathini is a isiZulu term for a man who is heavily bearded. Someone with a lot of facial hair. The aforementioned look has formed part of my appearance for the past two years. Shaving, trimming, lining, etc, just became too much of a job for me to maintain. Therefore what started as an experiment in  December 2007 became a signature look for me for a period of time. However since the beginning of December this year I felt like a less 'congested' face and I decided to opt for...





I felt like a drastic change, which I must say feels good, at the present time. However I just don't feel right with this clean shaven look. I won't lie, I received a lot compliments ranging from "you shaved", "you look good" and "you look so young, it suits you." I can safely report right about now that I'm bringing the beard back. In full effect. The clean shaven experiment has been terminated.

Therefore while thinking about this post, I thought it vital to share on some beard growing tips, maintenance and care.

For me, I just let the beard go. I have some pretty good growth so I just let it grow all over my face. I don't shave or trim it. By letting it go I am allowing for growth.

By letting it all grow I am allowing for the hair to come out in all places possible, thus allowing for even growth. Even though my beard grows thick it isn't necessarily even through out therefore I only shape it when I know it has fully grown. And even though I may have spotty areas, such as my cheeks, when I finally decide to trim the beard a little there is that evenness through out.

At this point, when it starts growing after a shave, I still don't have a remedy for the itching. So if you have a suggestion then please do share.

Now that I have decided to bring the beard back for another extended period of time, I know a few people are goign to be happy with it. "Sakhi, utata is going to be recognisable once again."





For my basketballers, I couldn't go for the weekend and not share this descriptive video with you all.
I tell you, I have never laughed so much at a dunks video. Damon Jones's description of Lebron James's dunk on him is hilarious. I fell out. Check it out.





PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Threads Inexpensive - Relaxed dress code in the workplace

Due to the heat in Durban being unbearable senior management at my workplace has no choice but to relax the dress code for the bulk of December and January. Yes, it's so hot in Durban it feels like the sun is leaning on you. I am certainly not going to be in 32 degree heat in jeans, chinos, cargo pants, etc. I am going to execute stylishly, in, above the knee shorts, a candy stripe shirt unbuttoned a few times and some car shoes. What makes it worse is that the air conditioning isn't working due to a water shortage in the area. I just don't understand how a visibly affluent suburb such as Mount Edgecombe and its surrounds runs out of its water supply. I am incredulous.





Not only is today's look simple it is also incredibly inexpensive. My shorts were once a pair of pin stripe pants I had made into shorts, the shirt is by Dockers, the car shoes are by Pringle purchased for a mere R150.




This is a style lesson wel learnt though especially in terms of the corporate clothing I am going to purchase for and next year, that it must be compliant with the season. That means the fabric, colours and tones must resonate and reflect the season I am in.


PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Light weight

No, this is not a post about Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr, two skilled and praise worthy pugilists in the light weight division. This post is rather, about the feeling of a particular item of clothing on one's body when adorned. It's almost like when the Pacman or Money punch the air. It's light weight.




I'm talking about the Ralph Lauren classic cotton T-shirt, with the Polo logo at the left hip. I fell in love with these tees a few years ago because of their simple design and the placement of the Polo logo in a rather unconventional and unusual place. Well...in the years that I have been in love with this tee I have managed to own one. A white one, given to me by an American fellow I play recreational basketball with. It was pretty worn in and beat up so I hardly wore it because it had lost its lustre. I am, waiting, though, with baited breath for a few, in fact a total of six new ones, from a close family friend, who will bringing me in a variety of colours. The colours I opted for are white, black, heather grey and lavender. Yes, I have big plans for the lavender tee.

These tees are constructed from soft cotton, have a rib knit trim at the neck, the Polo logo at the hip and are sartorially ideal for layering under work shirts (not for me) and wearing alone with jeans (that's me). The look I'm trying to go for with these tees is the knee length or above the knee shorts and the tee. For me, the lavender would complement and coordinate well with a pair of cream white shorts and black sandals.






I told you all that I'm serious about my summer and I'm getting it on.


PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The random, quirky post

Since we're in the full swing of things, getting into the Christmas spirit, shopping, relaxing, holidaying, etc, I thought it prudent to dish to you my top 5 tips on how to stay clean, safe, germ-free, this holiday season. These tips have worked for me and I think it's only right that I share them with you.

1. Say it's something I have against public toilets, it can be public toilets anywhere BUT one can never be too careful with them. I try by all means to avoid them because there's just too much happening in them. In my younger days I was always incredulous at the queue of women waiting to use a restroom in a club. What are they doing in there..? Therefore my point is, try to understand your body and metabolism. For me going for a number 2 at a mall, or when out for dinner, etc, is not a good look. I make sure I always take care of that at home, before I head out, before I even take my bath to get ready, so to speak.

2. Toilet door handles are also a no-no for me. Even at work. Ever since I heard a story about a whole school being quarantined because of a meningitis outbreak which was found to have been contracted from a toilet door handle, from that day I vowed to 'never' touch public toilet door handles with my bare hands. When I'm done washing my hands I always make sure I use a paper towel to open the door. Not my bare hand. Can you imagine the people who are reaching for that after their business and those that didn't wash their hands...? Thought so.

3. My wife put me on to this one. The rubber conveyor belt on escalators. Everybody and anybody puts their hands on it. To hold their balance, posture, for whatever reason though, it is not advisable to always glom onto this apparatus simply because of the ease with which germs can be spread. I've tried it before and it works, you can get on and off the escalator without any kind of support. Let alone the conveyor belt.

4. Hot air hand driers, for me, have been a no-no for some years now. There's just something a little off about hands being dried using this apparatus and not thinking that they could be a cesspool for germ residue or whatever. I saw a guy from a well known food outlet using one of these after washing his hands and I thought to myself, "I'm hungry but I can't buy a two piece from them right about now." I always opt for paper towels and in their absence, I just air dry.

5. While we're still on public toilet etiquette, please stop having phone conversations while you're still in the stall. No one wants to hear you. A first for me the other day was hearing someone playing music off their phone while still busy in the stall.

These tips might be eccentric but they're sure helpful. Try them and thank me later.


PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Style Savvy - The look for overcast summer days

As promised in yesterday's post in Style Theory, today I am bringing you the practical side. So without further ado:















Black and white gingham shirt - Stephen Cole
Blue jeans - Levi's Silver Tab
White sneakers - J Exchange
Black linen sports coat - House of Monatic
Pocket square - Tailored

I'd wear such a look to a brunch meeting or the Young Basadzi Women Of Poetry Durban Performance at the BAT centre or Collections 2009 Exhibition on Florida road Morningside. Any daytime event where the outfit would be accentuated.


PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Style Theory - The look for overcast summer days

For the longest I can remember I have always been a fan of the shirt and jean or jean and jacket look. The former popularised, for me, by Damon Wayans in the film 'Mo Money'. That look goes all the way back to 1992, my first year in high school. I remember when we'd have civvies I would always try to copy the look. Even going as far as 'stealing' a tie from my father's wardrobe to complement the jean and shirt. I've come a long way since then and I now strive to have a style and look of my own albeit influenced by many personalities.

This is the first in a series of summer looks, both in theory and in practice, that I am going to be showcasing to all my readers, especially my thirty-something friends. The look in practice will always come after the look in theory. Just to create a dramatic effect with suspense.

First of, base your outfit with a black and white gingham check shirt.




Next, temper the dominant appearance of the shirt with a pair of blue jeans.




At the soles of your feet a white pair of sneakers, that complement your outfit. In this theoretical case, Converse All Star Chuck Taylor's.




A black blazer or sport coat will coordinate well with the shirt and bring that balance between all the pieces. So go with it, it is your safest bet.




To break the the monotony of the solid blazer make sure to wear a pocket square with a little colour. Ditch the conventional white one.

Tomorrow, if the weather stays gloomy and 'chilly' as it is, I will be bringing you the practical side of this very look. Stay tuned.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Scent in summer

The first time I wore this fragrance was October 2006 and, ever since then I have never changed nor worn any other cologne for long periods of time in the summer. It's a beautiful blend of scents...don't know which exactly but it surely lives up to its cool waters moniker. I remember when I still lived with my parents and I used to see Davidoff Cool Waters print ads at the back of TIME magazine covers. I was always intrigued by them and wondered what the scent was like. Anytime I wear it I don't expect to get compliments because it is not strong and doesn't overpower the me. You have to get real up and close to me in order to smell it and that's a privilege for a few.




It's also very inexpensive going for R200 at stores such as Clicks. Red Square is slightly pricy though at R350. I recommend it highly for the perfect day at the beach or the outdoors.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Trenery - Affordable luxury via Woolworths



A friend of mine put me on to Trenery, a classy and elegant brand launched by Country Road Australia through Woolworths. Their style and design can be defined as country laid back with a dash of elegant modern sensibilities. A line for both men and women who appreciate the beauty of a simple, sophisticated collection that is modern in approach and classic in style.

Trenery is definitely distinguished especially in its focus on style, quality and craftsmanship. The clothes are made to measure, form fitting and impeaccably styled. Distinguishing characteristics of the men's range is that it is largely smart casual and career oriented. The women's range is also largely smart casual but there is an air of chic elegance as well. The line is available in select Woolworths stores all over South Africa, for those who are in KZN the line is available at Gateway Theatre of Shopping and Pavillion.

 Once I can afford a pair of brogues costing in excess of a thousand rand I will definitely invest in some Trenery. For now, however, for your viewing pleasure I present Trenery.





















Trenery delivers everyday luxury; the classics that should be in every wardrobe.


PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

You be the judge




It's been a hot Sunday today. The way summer ought to be and I couldn't imagine myself in church, funking with the Lord, in the wrong colours, fabrics and patterns. The church experience is supposed to be spiritually liberating therefore I can't imagine being in clothes that are tight and restrictive. Just because it's summer though, it doesn't mean that one has to be in baggy, overly sized loose clothing. No, proper size and fit still have to be maintained. For me, casual means rolled up sleeves, form fitting shirts and pants, and, loafers. This is what I was trying to achieve with today's look. Something cool, calm and collected. Which I tried to exude as well. Can't say I look half bad in them Wayferers too.




I was trying to achieve a balance in the colours with this outfit because I didn't want one colour to overpower another. Complementing was of utmost importance so much so that I made sure all my metals, watch, wedding band, belt buckle, were of the same finish. The most striking feature however is the alarming red knit tie. I'll admit it does draw attention to the centre of my body however it brings a balance to the outfit because it complements the white shirt and the grey pants. The shoes are by Polo and they are soft leather loafers which I could've worn sockless however owing to the occassion I had to conform to the applicable style rule.

All in all, I'm loving it especially because the coolness of the outfit which jumps right at you giving you a wave of that summer heat. So...



You be the judge.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.