Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The power of suggestion

Since we are gradually inching closer to autumn/ winter, I think it's time I reunited with my cologne of choice for the said seasons.

I've been inspired since 2002.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Monday, March 29, 2010

South African gospel music and the shiny suit movement

You know I have been watching and marvelling increduously at this fad. I call it a fad because since its inception I have always been of the view that some day it'll fade. There has, however, for quite a few years been no stopping it. When Mase left Bad Boy back in 1999, the consensus was that the shiny suit era, ushered in by Puff Daddy, had come to an end. Its poster child, the golden boy, had decided to turn his life around and commit himself to the Lord. At that moment Puffy didn't really have someone at his disposal to carry the torch, like when he tutored and passed it on to Mase. Even Mase's lyrics referenced his learnership under Puffy "I was murder/ P-Diddy made me pretty". Without a torch bearer and the evolution of the rap game the shiny suits were forced into extinction. Or so I thought.

How the gospel industry in my country managed to get this suit back and in regular rotation is something I just can't figure out. Maybe it might be a misinterpretation of the scripture in Isaiah 60 v 1: "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you."

And I mention the gospel industry because they seem to be the biggest and most conspicuous perpetrators. In downtown Durban this suit can be found at clothing stores owned by foreign african nationals. Maybe its ressurection can be attributed to the african nationals.

When I see such fashion faux pas I ask myself some questions: Where are the stylists..? Where are fashion gurus..? Image consultants..? People who actually know that this kind of suit is not a good look. In any colour.

I guess it helps having good quality photography equipment. I can imagine the glare the suit creates against the flash of a camera.

Something has got to be wrong somewhere for people not to find this trend disturbing. A shiny suit, a silk shirt, an equally shiny ascot and pocket square. Talk about the spotlight personified.

Trends are seriously nothing to mess with. I was aghast when I saw a clip of the brother above, Lungisani Ntuli, the winner of 'I want to sing gospel', in this shiny terra-cota shaded suit. A navy suit would've diverted so much attention from his physical disproportions. The shiny ensemble highlighted all of them.

The creator of 'I want to sing gospel', in a shiny, ill-fitting suit himself. If the South African Broadcasting Corporation commisions a show of this nature then surely a budget must be allocated for stylists and wardrobe.

The rest of the music industry is not immune from this trend, however, the gospel industry seems to be the most affected.

I rest my case.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

You be the judge

There is still no abate to the overcast weather. It is also slightly chilly with a light breeze, and, you know what..? I'm not complaining. My sartorial education and senses were somewhat stunted by the summer heat. Therefore getting up this morning, preparing myself and heading off to church was not a difficult task at all. You know when I put an outfit together I always think of other options and alternatives, i.e. jacket or a waistcoat, the type of fabric, etc. This morning was no different.

In terms of the colour scheme one would say this is an outfit better suited for an evening out, however, I think the grey dress pants and grey candy stripe shirt negate that idea.

Going back to options and alternatives, they definitely lingered. I thought I could go with a velvet waistcoat because of the conspicuously dormant heat and humidity. I decided to go with this black linen jacket, for the obvious reason of it being light weight and not a conductor of heat. A black velvet jacket was also out of the question because of its weight and me not wanting to look like Braylon Edwards. I also wanted to go with burgundy shoes since the pants have beautiful hints of burgundy but I decided that these black mocassins by Pringle would be the real deal.

The final outcome. I rarely feel complete without a pocket square therefore this crisp white one completed the look. In another post, on another day I will share and give you a close up of the pants I am wearing. They have a perculiar shape, colour and fit but I love them so much I I said on another day.

Finishing touches inspired by well dressed.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Somewhere in between

I say this because today's outfit is inspired by the confusing weather. Nothing like Cape Town though. It was a very overcast morning, then somewhere between getting ready for my morning and reaching my destination, the weather went from overcast, to partly cloudy and sunny, then some drizzle and now finally a little windy. I'm not one to watch the weather report but when I saw the overcast weather I thought I'd go with the below combination.

As a personal rule I never allow my upper body to get or be exposed to the cold, which explains the long sleeve white shirt and the navy coat. Since I was attending an event where shorts weren't allowed I went with these jeans in a rusty shade.

My feet also needed to breathe a little which explains the bright blue driving mocassins. And, true to their name, car shoes are very comfortable to drive in.

Finishing touches.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This shirt, has a name

Sometimes it is always best to stick with what you know. What works best with you and on you. It's best to stay away from the stuff that comes across as trying too hard and distinctive in the wrong way. This shirt whatever it is called is one such item I will stay away from for the longest time.

You have a short neck or none at all, yet you wear a shirt with such a high collar that one wonders whether you're in a neck brace. I don't like this shirt one bit. Not only does it look irregular but, a tie is totally out of the question. There are many variations of it, some come with a button on the collar base, some come with two or more buttons on the collar front band and, they seem to be so heavily startched on the collar base that it seems as if they're perpetually erect.

We live in a society where perfection in all respects is strived for but when that 'perfection' borders on a faux pas of sorts then something has to be wrong. This shirt and look has Tom Ford wannabe written all over it.

My recommendation: Buy a regular quality shirt and, invest in some collar stays.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Human Rights Day

Fifty years ago, on 21 March 1960, the apartheid police force killed 69 people and injured many peaceful protesters who were struggling against the apartheid pass laws and apartheid in general. The commemoration of the Sharpeville Massacre became to be known as Sharpeville Day. Sharpeville Day is now called Human Rights Day, a day in which South Africa is supposed to reflect on issues concerning all aspect of human rights.

Fifty years on the question still surfaces: what exactly happened on that fateful morning?

The story is simple. The PAC (Pan Africanist Congress), which was 16 days short of its first birthday, had called on African men to leave their pass books at home, go to the nearest police station and demand to be arrested for not carrying the dompas. The apartheid pass laws humiliated African men in particular. Every indigenous African male above the age of 16 had to carry the dompas on his person day and night and produce it on demand by the police. Failure to produce, forgetting the pass at home, or not having the right stamp, meant arbitrary arrest and jail.

When the police in Sharpeville saw the masses marching towards them, they panicked and opened fire, killing the 69 and injuring hundreds. The country went up in flames as anger spread through townships across the country. More were killed in the days after Sharpeville.

An outraged international community, such as this crowd gathered outside South Africa House in London's Trafalgar Square, turned against the Nationalist Party government. The struggle had reached a new level on the long road towards the country's democratic elections on 27 April 1994.

The ANC-led government chose Sharpeville as the venue to launch South Africa's new Constitution, signed by its first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, amid much fanfare on 8 May 1996.
In 2001, the government marked 21 March by unveiling the Sharpeville human rights memorial on the site outside the police station where the 69 men, women and children were shot. Their names are all displayed on the memorial plaque.

The 46th anniversary of Sharpeville Day was also the 10th birthday of Human Rights Day and the signing of South Africa's Constitution - 10 years during which a number of laws have been enacted to protect basic individual rights in the country. Among these are pieces of legislation that significantly provide for gender equality, and give citizens access to the equality court in the event of any form of discrimination. Statutory institutions such as the Commission for Gender Equality, the Human Rights Commission, and the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural and Linguistic Communities, also now exist.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I do this for my culture, to let 'em know...

I have said it before and I'll say it again, Jay-Z's transformation from rapper to savvy businessman is nothing short of remarkable. The man has truly made significant strides. One thing you can never take away from him is his affinity to hip hop. As a musician the man has established his own style and one thing I thought he would stop doing is wearing hip hop clothing. He owns a clothing line inspired by hip hop culture, so there is no way he would stop wearing the clothes. But, I think a major reason why he will never stop adorning himself in hip hop clothes is the fact that he came up within the culture. The culture made him and therefore by maintaining the dress code he is maintaining the links he has to the music and the culture.

It comes as no surprise that at a recent gathering to mark the breaking of the ground for the new arena for the New Jersey Nets in Brooklyn, New York, he came to the gathering dressed to the nines. See for yourself...

What also didn't surprise me, and had me chuckling a little bit, was this...

Three piece suit, checkered contrast collar shirt, crisp white pocket square and a construction hat, for safety...cocked to the side. How much more proof do we need that this man will forever be hip hop first. I just couldn't overlook the construction hat cocked to the side, reminded me of my days with fitted caps.

Now that's more like it. What's a rapper without a screw face.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Shade sheist

There is a slight anomaly with the colouring of these dark brown cap toes from Woolworths. It's nothing for me to want to sue them over though, as a little dying and colouring can rescue them. The shoe on the right is slightly darker than the left. I don't know how that came about but I do know that I'm taking them to a cobbler on Friday, have them kept for the weekend, and get back in a dark brown/ chocolate shade by Monday.

I hope you can see the difference because I sure can. I doubt however that people me have noticed. Following a video I saw on Image Granted on how to antique your shoes, which seemed to be a practical tutorial on the show dying process, I hope my shoes turn out something like what is in the video.

Here is one last look before the transformation.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"For the love of gingham"

Since I'm on this gingham vibe lately, has been like this for a long time. I have always loved this pattern. It is only in recent years that my love for it has been manifested. Above is a pic of the various types of gingham shirts I have. Black is the dominant colour and that can be attributed more to buyer's ignorance. I know now that colour is an important factor in a man's wardrobe.

This red gingham I bought from Woolworths for R199, a week before the current sale. I saw a black and white, and a purple and white gingham yesterday both going for R120 each. I'm mulling whether the purple would be a wise investment. Maybe if I were to scour the streets and hit up my favourite factory shops I can find the same shirt for half of that sale price.

This is one of my favourites. Purchased last May for R299. It is contrast collar with french cuffs. I rarely ever wear it. However I have found a way making it work with grey pants and a black waistcoat. This was also a Woolworths purchase.

Buyer's ignorance: Same shirt as above, different maker, different price BUT really no need for it. Given to excess, YES. Frivolous, YES. I now know better. This is a shirt I bought from a factory shop called 'Grab-a-Garb'. A high end retail store specialising in men's and women's clothing called Stuttafords initially carried this shirt, selling it for a whopping R400. It must be the name. Stephen Cole. When I bought it from Grab-a-Garb, it cost a paltry R60. I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to expand my gingham collection.

The oldest in the group. This shirt was given to me by my brother some years ago. Maybe 5 years ago. It's very fitted, tight fitting and goes well with a slim fitting pair of jeans and some driving mocs. A pair of black shorts is what I really want to work it with. And since the warm weather doesn't really cease in Durban I will try it some time. 

Just thought today would be a good day to showcase the gingham-ness in me.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Woolworths Sale: What I came away with

Yesterday afternoon Woolworths was abuzz with activity particularly shoppers. In-store demos, perfume exhibitors and sales people. As a man I know what I would normally want or short of and I wasted no time heading straight to the men's section to see what was on offer. A colleague of mine had given me word on the shoes on sale and that's the first place I looked. I am short of various kinds of shoes in my wardrobe however I couldn't pass up the opportunity to pick these dark brown cap toes. I picked up three pairs. One for my brother, another for a good friend, and one for me.

These shoes cost a mere R274/ 26 Euros/ 36$. It's just hard passing up such a bargain I just had to put some of my brothers on. I think they'll complement my winter wardrobe really well. I urge all PG out there to visit a Woolworths nearby and partake in this wonderful sale. I am definitely going back as long as it's still on.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Woolworths is having a massive 50% off sale right now. Check for a flagship store in your region. There are three flagship stores at my disposal in KwaZulu-Natal: Gateway, Pavilion Westville and Musgrave centre. However throughout the whole country you can find a store and enjoy a number of products on sale. I was just there a few hours ago. I will show you tomorrow what I came away with.

I don't call myself the 'King of Bargains' for nothing.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Style Theory: My love of gingham...

is unparalleled. I'm just in love with the fabric and design. I'd like to say that my love started way back in primary school when I learned to play chess but that's not so. Gingham check is quite a unique and somewhat fun pattern to sartorially play with. Not much, seemingly, goes into the gingham check. It's just normal blocks of two colours and this is what appeals to me. It's simplicity. Usually made from cotton or a blend of cotton and synthetics, gingham has been in existence since the 17th century. It's unbelievable how gingham is used for many household products and its use for clothing gets a mention as a last option.

I would now like to divert your attention to the picture above. I have mentioned this before, that I am given to excess. Please believe it, I wouldn't mind having all these shirts. I would find different uses for them, styles and settings. One combination I like is pairing a gingham shirt with a knit tie. Two diferent fabrics that meld effortlessly and beautifully. The shirts above are by Alexander West, an online shirt making company, which really takes time and effort in producing quality shirts. Right now I won't lie I am very much tempted to get maybe two more, in either two shades of pink and bright blue. But if I could I would get the whole gang. Frivolous...I know.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Threads Inexpensive

A little experimentation with colour is never a bad thing. It's only right that the PG takes the time to go through his colour scheme to deduce which colours work best on and with him. Today's post is inspired by my one and only pair of terra-cotta dress pants. I just feel like this pair of pants allows me to really play around with colours and see what works with it. Not only that but I get to play with colours of different kinds of clothing. The foundation however remains the pants.

I guess inspiration was all round today. I decided to venture outside of my place and head on to my wife's workplace. A school for special kids. Their music class is where I decided to pose for the pictures. In and amongst my wife's work implements.

My latest acquisition is this red gingham shirt. Purchased from Woolworths for R199. A pure silk green striped tie also from Woolworths purchased for R140. The most I have ever paid for a tie. When it comes to a bright coloured shirt one's tie ought to be brighter or take on a different form. In this case I chose to temper the bold and bright check of the gingham with the green striped tie. It's a combination that works. I used to be reluctant to try different patterns with a shirt and tie. I'd always opt for the safer option of a solid tie with a patterned shirt. That's all in the past now. Another thing I discovered while experimenting a few weeks ago is that three solids are correct and even appropriate however they make a very bland combination.

A closer look. The thought going through my mind at that point: "I wish I could play a musical instrument."

The waistcoat definitely needs a little tweaking. The lesson I have learnt is that a waistcoat has to fit snug. The baggy and bulgy effect created by an ill-fitting waistcoat will only be exacerbated when a jacket is thrown on top.

Behind me, to my left..? Yes, I upgraded my attache game once again. I had to get another case in tan.

The heat in Durban is still crazy. We're going on the end of summer but the mercury seems to be still rising. I think what I wanted most was to wear a dark navy jacket, single breast with gold buttons as oppposed to the waist coat. However it came out all good. This is not the last you see of experiementation with colour, there's more to come.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Shoe maintenance: 'Achilles heel'

I've always wondered why it is that all my shoes tend to wear at the heel. I have come to the realisation that this has something to do with the shape of my foot and my step. I know there is a biological term for the way that I walk and step. It's just escaped me for now. Therefore needing to wear my tan cap toes to work I rose up early this morning to rush to my cobbler so that the heels could be fixed.

I shouldn't have left these shoes to wear at the heel in this manner. At the fist sign of wear I should have taken them to my cobbler. It is not a train smash though as within 4 hours I had my shoes back with fixed heels.

These shoes are in constant rotation however since they are my favourite I tend to wear them alot more than the others. Things needn't deteriorate to such an extent though.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Friday, March 5, 2010

'Trash' bag

This was totally out of left field. Someone actually mailing me to plug their product. It was very much unexpected. Very flattering at the same time. Anyway this is about an online company called Travelteq for travellers which is as the name suggests all about travel and supplying the traveller with products travel related. I think I have an affinity for colour, bright colour too. Which is why I fell in love with this bag the instant I laid my eyes on it.

Yep, that's the beautiful, stylish, and unique laptop bag called the 'Trash'. There is just something about the colour tan and its other complements such as yellow. I tell you I can already see myself lugging this bag around. It looks so compact and portable. You just have to love it. I think its aesthetic and allure is the fact that it doesn't have much going on. It's minimalictic in all regards. I just love it.

Seeing that I've upgraded my attache case game drastically by purchasing another attache in light brown/ tan. This black 'trash' would fit in perfectly in my bag arsenal, since black is the only colour missing.

Beautiful and bright nylon lining, which is water resistant by the way. I wonder what colour lining that black 'trash' has.

Travelteq really came out on this one. I would've called that orange or burnt orange but according to them this is red. The colour combinations are really interesting.

There are so many pros to this bag:

Two zipper compartments as well as compartments for a phone, sunglasses, tickets, laptop, cigar tube or pen, business cards and a transport band for a trolley case. Not forgetting a big zipper compartment and two other smaller compartments.

The only con, it costs almost a whopping R4000/ 395Euros/ 539$. I definitely cannot afford this bag just yet but as a sample freebie Travelteq can hurl it my way anytime.

Gentlemen I think it's time you upgraded your laptop bag game especially because this is not your conventional looking laptop bag. Nondescript doesn't get any better than this.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.