Friday, April 30, 2010

Pete Kuzma

This is one accomplished dude. I first heard this particular song, 'high and dry', on a mixtape on a site called Laid-Back. Laid-Back is out of Belgium and their work is very innovative and creative. Their knowledge of music is very good and enlightening. Anyway back to Pete Kuzma. He is a producer and, the road pianist for musicians such as Jill Scott. I thought for a Friday I'd slow it down a little and, not leave you high and dry. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Five ways to get the right attention in a bank

This post is inspired by my experience at the bank today. It is amazing how a little attention to personal manner and detail go a long way. You're well received, you get the right looks from people, and, you're taken seriously.

Here is my top 5:

1. Dress presentably. This entails, hygiene and grooming as well. It goes an amazingly long way, when you're dressed presentably, smell good, hair in place. You're bound to grab the attention of all the bank's employees and they'll be glad to assist.

2. Be organised. Carry an attache or briefcase to carry all the paperwork you will need at the bank.

3. Walk confidently, chin up, confident stride and movements.When seated observe your posture, you might be passed up simply because you are slouched in one of their comfortable couches. I think this is most important when even drawing money from an ATM. If you look confident then no one is going to want to mess with you or your money.

4. Know your story. As much as you're there on your own business know what it's about. Avoid other selling points from sales people, otherwise you might sign up for something you didn't even come for. I was there for a bank statement and that's all I needed. Offers to sign up for a credit card were politely declined and I was out of there in max 10 minutes.

5. Smile. Greet. Maintain eye contact. Speak clearly. Keep your cool. Express gratitude. Call again.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Patch Pocket Serendipity

I have always wondered how and why the term patch pocket exists. And after having posed this question to a fellow blogger, maybe two months ago, I still didn't feel satisfied with his answer. My question: Why is this particular jacket called a patch pocket jacket..? Today I got my answer, self answered, serendipitously. While browsing an interesting men's style and custom clothing blog I came across the said patch pocket jacket.

This jacket is called a patch pocket jacket because the whole pocket is sown and visible on the outer side of the jacket. As if it has been patched on. Think about when you apply a sticky plaster/ band aid to a cut. In essence you're patching the cut. The same way with a patch pocket jacket. Patch pockets are almost always done on the side and breast pocket. Just to give it that uniform look. What I have seen, which is interesting, is a  ticket pocket that is patch. Sounds incongruent but it does work and can be pulled off.

Flap pockets with the breast pocket as patch.

A patch ticket pocket.

Patch pocket in action. Notice the English hunting collar.

My very own grey flannel patch pocket jacket.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

You be the Judge: South African Music Awards

This is an annual event having taken place for the 16th time. Congratulations to all the winners.

My only lament this time is fit.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Seasonal sale: HIDESIGN

Only one day left. I surely wish I was in Joburg this weekend to attend this sale, especially to pick up a black briefcase.

Since it's seasonal I will make means to attend the next one. No Hidesign in Durban.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A time and place for everything

I have been, for a while too, witnessing how a cravat and its matching waistcoat have been sartorially misplaced in terms of their dress code. I shudder to think of the day I see a gentleman wear the combination to a job interview. In my book he'd get 10 points for effort, I mean he came to an interview presentably dressed, however there is a time and place for all things. I say a cravat is misplaced because of its pervasive and conspicuous presence at South African award shows. You would think that certain gentlemen just came from a wedding reception and headed straight to the show. Gents, please, a cravat and matching waistcoat at any place other than a wedding, in my opinion, is highly misplaced.

Personally and aesthetically a cravat isn't for me. I don't think I could be able to pull it off. The rules as to how and when to wear one are so intricate that I wouldn't have the patience to go through the trouble of wearing one.

Pick the right occasion to wear your cravat. Formal events such as balls or weddings are the ideal time to try a cravat. Wear these with a suit and shirt with a wide, stiff collar. Colour match your cravat to other accessories or outfits. At weddings, the groomsmen's cravats can coordinate with bridesmaids' dresses or the color theme of the wedding. Cravats also seem to be some type of uniform for certain occasions therefore some uniformity in the way it is worn is also important. I have seen other accessories such as a pin to tie down a cravat as well as different ways of tying a cravat. Therefore presentation of a cravat has endless stylish possibilities. As for me, I'd rather just opt for no cravat at all. Just maintaining a safe distance.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tweed = Fabric, Herringbone = Pattern

If there is a fabric that has been as confusing to me as ever it's got to be tweed. I have always thought that tweed is anything and everything in a somewhat heavy and checkered fabric. Over time I have been exposed to different fabrics, patterns and, reading material and have been highly enlightened but flummoxed at the same time. To the point of frustration.

This is a jacket I bought at a thrift shop in Joburg for R20. Why do I say it is tweed..? is made from a woven woolen fabric and it is in the most common pattern, herringbone. Tweed fabric can be particularly difficult to categorise simply because it is available in so many different forms. If you're confused as much as I was, I will add to your confusion with the fact that, tweed also comes in silk, although more prevalent in high end pieces of clothing.

This pattern is herringbone. The name is derived from the bone structure of the herring fish with what looks like stacked V's. The V's can either be of the same colour, or alternating colours depending on the desired look. Because the process of creating a herringbone pattern creates a rather thick piece of fabric, this style is traditionally used in outerwear and suit coats.

I can unequivocally say that I have learnt something about tweed and I hope you have as well. As stated above, this jacket cost me a mere R20. It's still in good condition even though it needs some work. I need to add some buttons and since there aren't any on the cuffs as well I will go for the working cuffs before buttons are added. Since the pattern is non-descript from afar I am going to mix this pattern with a Prince of Wales check.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fit is everything

The t-shirt section of my wardrobe needs some serious organising. Sometimes, in the absence of an iron, having neatly folded garments helps because you can just pick and choose the clothes you want without fear of finding them all wrinkled and shrivelled up. Just like in clothing stores. A disorganised wardrobe however negates all of the aforementioned and forces you iron your clothes everytime you get them for wearing.

While rummaging through the t-shirt section I came across some old white t-shirts that came and were influenced by hip hop culture. I wore these tees as recently as 2006. Heavily immersed in the culture I always felt a sense of validation by wearing the latest in trends. Don't get me wrong I did have formal clothes I just didn't wear them much, except for church and work. Looking at these tees now I just can't believe I wore them and actually felt comfortable and good in them. My wife sometimes sleeps in them because they are so ridiculously large. They came in 4XL and 6XL, you can imagine.

Yes, my daughter is coming out with a new sleep wear range for third graders.

Most of the tees I wear now are in this size. They fit well, tight, snug and coordinate with everything. This is not necessarily for the hip hoppers but more for the sartorially lost and misguided. Check your fit because it is of the utmost importance.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

If thrift shopping was a sport...

I would get on a plane, cross the Atlantic, all so that I could shop at a flea market in New York. This pic taken from the latest post from the BKc had me raving. I couldn't believe that I was seeing what appears to be a pair of tan Chelsea boots and, what had me more incredulous: what seems to be a pair of velvet slippers. See below.

I'm sure those shoes were inexpensive in all the ways I can imagine. And, it makes me wish I was there to scour, sample and indulge in all these great sartorial treats. Flea markets in my town are not as varied and substantial and the prices are not synonymous with the purpose of the event and the patrons. This however has not put a stop to my bargain hunting ways. But looking at the above pic I know I'd do damage in NY.

That's why I call myself the King of Bargains because if thrift shopping was a sport I'd be a perennial all-star.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pocket square vs Handkerchief vs Kerchief

For the whole of last week I was pondering upon this post, especially, to ensure that I deliver the corerct information. On the surface it sounds and looks easy, a pocket square, handkerchief and kerchief. I will admit that I have always made the mistake of using my handkerchiefs as pocket squares. It's a rule that can be broken. However the right thing is to distinguish between the three items, their origins, uses and purpose. I ,for one, am glad that I now know what their names are, so as to avoid a situation where I embarass myself thinking I know something when clearly I don't. We will start with my favourite item.

                                                                Pocket square

This clothing accessory has the power to transform the overall image of men in any formal setting. The pocket square has been in usage for generations with their prevalence only increasing with time. The pocket square originated with the idea of combining the functionality of the handkerchief with a style appeal.  Till the present day, the pocket square is a handkerchief folded in a particular way and inserted into the left breast pocket of a coat. Therefore the pocket square is for decorative purposes only.

These accessories are rendered with a wide variety of colors and designs. Even the materials from which these accessories are made differ. While silk pocket squares are the most popular due to their sheen, pocket squares are made of other fabrics too like linen, polyester, or cotton. Two main considerations govern the choice of materials; looks and durability. While most materials are soft, this requirement is especially true in the case of hand-folded pocket squares where the edge-rolling process needs a soft material.

One of the key concerns when donning a pocket square is the folding technique. The way the pocket square is folded is important as this decides as to how the portion of the square that is visible above the coat pocket looks. The folding technique incorporated depends on the material of the pocket square, its size, and the depth of the pocket.


A handkerchief (also called handkercher or hanky) is a form of a kerchief, typically a hemmed square of thin fabric that can be carried in the pocket or purse, and is intended for personal hygiene purposes such as wiping one's hands or face, or blowing one's nose. The material of a handkerchief can be important to the  user, not only because some materials are more expensive, but because some materials are more absorbent and practical for those who use a handkerchief for more than style. Handkerchiefs can be made of cotton, cotton-synthetic blend, synthetic fabric, silk, or linen.


A kerchief (from the French couvre-chef, "cover the head") is a triangular or square piece of cloth tied around the head or around the neck for protective or decorative purposes.

Interesting facts:

In Victorian times, as a means of flirtation. A woman could intentionally drop a dainty square of lacy or embroidered fabric to give a favored man a chance to pick it up as an excuse to speak to her while returning it.

Handkerchiefs were sometimes scented to be used as a way of protecting those who could afford them from the obnoxious scents in the street.

From now on I will wear a pocket square and carry a handkerchief for all its practical purposes. No more using toilet paper in public restrooms for wiping my hands.

                                        PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Autumn is finally here

I woke up this morning to a very windy day. Feeling very good, a big weight lifted off my shoulders. I have also been yearning for cooler to colder weather for the longest time. Therefore today's slightly chilly weather is quite fortuitous. Planning what to wear on this glorious day was no challenge at all.

White V-neck tee: Stone Harbour, Light grey one button jacket: Easiwear, White pocket square with baby blue trim: Woolworths.

Woolworths is a place where I find some common things at low prices. This pocket square is part of a set of five, with different trims but predominantly in white. It is a blend of cotton and bamboo.

Faded baby blue jeans: Joburg street find at a ridiculous price of R20.

Converse All Star Chuck Taylor lo's.

Style rule: Always button your jacket, that's the first step in keeping things together.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Marsalis also sought to alter the personal styles of musicians. Ridiculing the dashikis, occasional face paint and general informality in the way musicians appeared onstage, he insisted on a suit and tie dress code that reinstated the elegance of Swing-Era bands. Marsalis was the ultimate Reagan-era jazz musician ... Highly intelligent, impeccably groomed and fiercely outspoken, he changed the discussion in jazz from world, popular and classical music to the strict interpretation of jazz parameters, insisting that jazz had to swing with particular regularity.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.