Friday, August 23, 2013

Style: Six Shoes That Will Last A Lifetime

I came across an article listing six pairs of shoes that will last you a lifetime; this assertion is almost solely based on quality, the history and heritage behind the brands that produce them. Not only is it a list of shoes of long lasting quality, it is also essential shoes every gentleman needs in their wardrobe. The image above is self-explanatory; I know many of us could do with a cordovan lace-up, a wholecut, some double monkstraps, the list goes. What I love about menswear is the fact that even though these shoes represent the high end market, there are also cheaper, stylish versions, that look just as good as these. So a gent is definitely spoiled for choice. The article is in depth even though it is short. It is great guide especially if one is looking for venerable companies that make shoes of the highest quality.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Setting The Record Straight

This blog has come a long way since its inception in November 2009. The journey has been many things and I am very grateful for the experiences that I have gone through because of this blog. Really, if I hadn’t started it at all I wouldn’t be where I am today, and some of the opportunities I have been blessed with thus far are largely due to this blog. I’ve taken a more objective and professional tone and I think since the relaunch this is largely reflective. I am learning, growing and empowered every day and I am of the firm belief that I have something to contribute in the menswear milieu, if not internationally, then nationally. I am very comfortable with the latter because that’s where my main focus is. We have a lot to learn. I am in no way taking anything away from the international readership I get because it surpasses the home grown readership, and for that I thank each and every one of you. I have to, however, draw the line somewhere. And today is the day.

I don’t know whether this blog comes across as cheap, low quality and makeshift, but it appears that I get a lot of commercial prepositions and people think they can just cheat me by offering me low grade, low quality, badly made stuff in return for a good review. I say badly made because there seems to be no workmanship in the products they choose to send me. What I am also confronted with are companies or individuals who think they can just throw a few dollars at me and in return they will get a post or review on my blog. Believe it or not, last week someone offered me $20 for a copy and paste post, for something that isn’t even remotely connected with the ethos of this blog. It’s not about the money, even though every man has a price, for me, however, it’s about respecting my work and not taking it for granted.

I think maybe someone needs to sit down with me and explain why the internet community is so fixated on fast results. Everything has to be rapid, instant and quick. A quick post, for a quick buck, for quick results. Unfortunately that’s not what I’m doing. In 4 years of blogging, it’s only this year that I am beginning to resonate with the commercial sector and this post is aimed at the undesirables - those who think that the Perfect Gentleman blog is here for a commercial quickie.

 Some folks are glowing, flattering and enticing behind their keyboards, yet when I receive the product they promised me it is not what they promised. And yet they expect a glowing review from me about their product. Others just want a post and will pay good money, considering the exchange rate; when I ask for a product rather than money I’m told of the distance, how far I am and how inconvenient it would be. This is why I continue to decline such requests because they imply that my blog is for sale. I learnt a very harsh lesson in the early days of this blog that it’s all about the money, nothing else. There was an instance where some PR company rep wanted me to install an advertising banner for a few days for one of his clients. I obliged and when I retorted that he should consider sending me a pair of shorts I never heard from him again. He had gotten his advertising at my expense at no cost at all.

 So this is the last of it. Something inside me doesn’t want to ‘expose’ or put people on blast but the companies or representatives who have been contacting me trying to push their product for instant gratification with no thought of establishing a relationship shouldn’t even consider contacting me. Even those who have sent me sub-par products should think about their actions. Unless it’s because I’m African that you think you can pull a fast one on me, I don’t know. But I will no longer tolerate my work or my blog being taken for granted. I can understand that for some business is business devoid of any kind of altruism, but please don’t fault me when I am also merely looking out for my best interests.

Thank you to all the brands, people and representatives that have taken the time to reach out and establish a genuine relationship that is more than commercial. To the brands that have taken a genuine interest in this blog and are in a mutual relationship with me, thank you for trusting me with your brand.
Kind regards 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Style: The On-going Stripes On Shirts Series

Part of the learning process I am undergoing in menswear, it’s very informal and self-study by the way, I find that as much as most things have a provenance some are created and named especially for identification and branding purposes. This brings us to the on-going stripes on shirts series. I have come to the realisation that there are variations of stripes and these variations are perpetuated from region to region, as well as the fact that some people refer to stripes in the way they see or perceive them. For instance some stripes are identical, think university stripes and candy stripes; however upon closer inspection they are dissimilar. Some stripes vary in width; some vary based on the weave of the stripes, and some on the thickness of the yarn; yarn being the twisting of fibres together to form a thread. I suppose that to the average gentleman who doesn’t pay much attention to details, like the differences in shirt stripes, their distinction is meaningless; however to the discerning the variations in stripes is knowledge pursued and gained. For instance a Butcher stripe is similar to a Bengal stripe but slightly wider, however, not nearly as wide as an Awning stripe. I came across these wonderful images on the forum pages on Ask Andy About Clothes, and I must say the few they have profiled are the most common and confused. I found it very helpful especially in the sense that it illustrated the differences. I hope you find it useful too.

Hairline stripe
Awning Stripe
Bengal Stripe
Dress Stripes

Candy Stripe
Shadow Stripes
Pin Stripes

Monday, August 5, 2013

Brands: Jaybird Sportsband Bluetooth Cordless Headphones

I like telling myself that I am a bellwether of sorts; back in ’98 I had an afro; crazy, wild and out there like Dr. J. Not too long after that everybody was rocking an afro. I also used to get teased because I wore a headband at basketball; I know you’ve seen Lebron wearing one too. In ’99 I used to roll to varsity with a discman and the sonorous Soundbombing III blasting through some retro looking headphones with cushioning and winding volume adjusters on the phones. They were retro, alright. Fifteen years later a far cry from my days at varsity, I present to you the Jaybird Sportsband Bluetooth Cordless Headphones courtesy of Orange. They are the next step in headphone technology; combining quality, multifunctionality, practicality and, if you’re looking for a no-strings attached relationship in 2013, you can start with the Jaybird.
The warm thumpy beats and a reduction in listener fatigue are incredibly enduring. The bass output is great because it is thumpy not pounding, therefore, you can afford to listen to music for prolonged periods at a high volume. The whole cordless Bluetooth functionality is great in the sense that it allows you to move about and not feel restrained to one spot. I was listening to some music in the midst of preparing peanut butter sandwiches for my kids, answering the door and taking pictures. And what’s really superb is that once you’ve gotten through the arduous process of pairing the headphones with your device, connecting again is as simple as switching on the Bluetooth on your device and the headphones and the connection is almost instantly established. Don’t even get me started on the battery life; because the headphones come with an usb cable that charges the headphones through your device. When I charged mine it didn’t take longer 30 minutes and that gave me more than 8 hours of listening time. Yes, I was bopping my head all afternoon without a single interruption to the battery. They are a definite must have for a road trip. Technically I don’t know what you call the effect that happens when sounds are isolated to one phone at a time but this was demonstrated really well when I was listening to D’Angelo’s ‘One mo’gin.’
Lest you think that the Jaybird works with only laptops, that’s not so. It is compatible with devices with Bluetooth capabilities, tablets, cell phones, smart phones. They also serve a dual function in that you can make and receive calls through your telephone device and speak through an integrated microphone with Clear Voice Capture technology. You can also use it for SKYPE.
Even though the Jaybird has full music and call controls and most importantly a 4-way adjustability for great fit I didn’t find the latter convincing. It is touted as being suitable for athletes; however, I found that the fit was not really snug around my head. Unless I have a funny shaped head, but anytime I bent down the headphones would come loose. Maybe they are better suited to spinning classes and working out with weights, however, what’s going to happen when you bend down to put down a weight and they fall off and the weight is accidentally dropped on the headphones? The music and volume controls on the right headphone are also a challenge in the sense that one has to take them off and put them on again in order to adjust the controls, if you can’t use the controls on your device.
If you’re the sweaty type, whether at the gym, during sports or on a hot day the Jaybird comes with a Lifetime Warranty against sweat. So damage due to sweat needn’t be a worry. The sound output, clean minimalist design, multifunctions and Lifetime Warranty make it a good product and a great purchase considering all the other high end headphones in the market.

 The Jaybird Sportsband Bluetooth Cordless Headphones retail at R1445, which translates to $147/ 96£/ 111.
Jaybird Top 10
Guess Who Loves You More – Raheem Devaughn
One mo’gin – D’angelo
Betrayed – Heels Over Head
Umi Says – Mos Def
Bad Boy – Big Bang
Miss You – Rahsaan Patterson
What U Want – King Coz ft Damien (KO), D.Rose and Donwill
Kissing Strangers – Ralf Gum ft Monique Bingham (Frankie Feliciano mix)
Everybody – The Jacksons
Vintage voyage – Dalindeo