30 April 2010

The Flashy Life

"Vanity...pictures of magazines and beauty queens...vanity...mirrors and cameras, so many beauty queens...vanity...it's so good to be, popular and glamorous, we love ourselves and no one else" - Lady Gaga

What is the Flashy Life? It is a lifestyle devoted to all things purely aesthetic. Flashing lights, fashion, art, design...these are our mediums upon which we paint our vanity-stained masterpieces. Our hunger is created by that which we feed on; the more we are talked about, adored, and ravished, the more we will want to be talked about, adored, ravished. We are not superficial. For we we seek to find the beauty that penetrates into the very core of what it means to be alive. We mutilate ourselves, cutting off parts of us and placing them within our works, the glittering crystal artifices that we surround ourselves with. We live by line, shape, movement, rhythm, emphasis, color, space, and imagination. We enjoy being beautiful. We are the ego monsters; we want to eat your hearts and eat your eyes as you gaze upon as drifting by like gilded gazelles. And no one has mastered the Flashy Life quite like my muse Marquis Phifer. Each day as I wake (with my laptop Alice next to me), his face is the first I see each morning. A true devotee to the Flashy Life, the exploits of his blog LateBoots display an inimitable, raw, real glamour that feeds my addiction to the flashing lights...I sympathize with the raccoon...his obsession with shiny objects is no different from mine; his scale is simply smaller. Check out my favorite shiny objects from Marquis Phifer's blog below...

28 April 2010

Jet Set Man

While you're lounging in your seat on your G-5 private jet sipping away at your Manhattan while flipping through the pages of book on a collection of Andy Warhol's best work, check out these sets that are made for the pure contemporary jet setter. Whether in Japan, Italy, France, or Spain, impeccable style speaks the same language in every country. So if you're wanting to increase your international swag, then get a hold of the items in these sets and you'll find yourself bumped up to first class in no time. Check out the sets below...

How To Be Charming: A Gentleman's Guide

I thought I would create a post that would help you to win the affection of that special someone you've been dying to take out or to help you impress your significant other on a special night. In dating, charm is often the chapter in the "Player's Handbook" that numerous men have forgotten to read. It's nice to know that your $75,00 Bugatti also functions as an estrogen magnet or that women can magically appear in your bed with a twitch of your nose, but charm is what bridges the gap between physical and intellectual stimulation. Women want to be appreciated for their beauty and they certainly do like your attentiveness in that matter, and they also like that you're educated and graduated valedictorian cum laude from Princeton. But being able to combine education with flirtation is a sublime art that can be easily learned but is more difficult to cultivate. So to help you out, we're going to go over the ten essentials of charm. If you practice these, you will be able to elevate yourself as well as those who you attract.
  1. Pick up a thesaurus. People find an expansive vocabulary extremely attractive and being able to express yourself more elegantly and eloquently will make people more interested in your conversation and more interested in having conversations with you.
  2. Give compliments. Don't rely on pickup lines or worse facetious compliments to get you through a date. Find a genuine aspect of her beauty or her personality and find an articulate way to flatter her with it. Successful execution of this tip requires mastery of tip number one.
  3. Smile often. Smiling shows that you're confident and that you're enjoying the company of your date. Especially if it's a first date, there will probably be much tension. Smiling makes you more approachable and lowers the guard of your date allowing you to go in for the kill.
  4. Be humble. People aren't attracted to someone who flaunts their achievements or someone who absorbs compliments like a sponge without gratitude. Put yourself down without actually meaning it. The key to this tip though is everything in moderation. Putting yourself down too much will make you look like you're compliment fishing whereas a man who can be humble exudes security and self-assurance in himself.
  5. Say their name often. People subconsciously like hearing their name in conversation. Once you learn that person's name use it often when you're talking to them. It shows that you're not focused on anyone or anything else and it also makes people want to listen to you more.
  6. Dress to kill. James Bond successfully seduced hundreds of women because his wardrobe was on point. Dress for your date, but wear your clothes; don't let them wear you. Your clothes should function as a part of your body; they should look natural and complement the rest of you. If you look like you're trying to hard, then chances are your date will no doubt be able to see it. Wear what looks good on you.
  7. Show your passion. No one wants to be stuck with someone who is going nowhere fast. Talking about what you're passionate and about and committed to gives your date a sense of security and it shows that you possess direction in your life. They'll be more inclined to learn about what you love and more inclined to see you again.
  8. Watch your posture. Don't slouch, walk with a limp, or barrel over to your date. If you're not sure how to sit and walk properly, then find a medium-sized book and place it on your head. See how far you can walk without dropping it and how long you can balance it on your head while sitting down. Practice makes perfect. Standing straight makes you look more powerful and poised.
  9. Be chivalrous. Open the car door for her, help her out of the car, hold the door for her, and pull her chair out for her. Many women are unfamiliar with the ways of chivalry but that doesn't excuse you from your obligation to it. A gentleman goes farther than the average one.
  10. Be interesting. Instead of just droning on about the minutiae of your day, talk about what you'd like to accomplish in the next five years or something you've always dreamed of doing. Topics like these help your date to learn more about you and also gives them a chance to become more interested in you.

27 April 2010

Street Swag

It doesn't matter if you're gallery hopping downtown musing over a piece of modern art or if you're hanging out with the girls who lunch uptown, don't leave home without a look at these casual war fashion sets for men from Polyvore.com. These looks easily make for an outfit that's far enough from formal run errands and moonlight with friends yet they still retain a noticeable air of style and refinement. So check out the sets below and advance your street swagger...

10 Books For the Successful Man

We're listing ten manuals on the essentials of success, power, style, and image that should be listed in everyone's library. No matter how old you are, whether you're a college student or a middle-aged man, these books possess the critical knowledge that will point you in the right direction for success and will refine you into the powerful and savvy man you've always wanted to be. We've included links to Amazon.com so that your Millionaire Man Library is only one click away. Enjoy...

The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli 
The Art of War - Sun Tzu 
How To Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie 
On War - Carl von Clausewitz 
The Book of Five Rings - Miyamoto Musahi & Thomas Cleary
The 48 Laws of Power - Robert Greene
Advance Your Swagger: How to Use Manners, Confidence, and Style to Get Ahead - Fonzworth Bentley 
Do You!: 12 Laws to Access the Power In You to Achieve Happiness and Success - Russell Simmons 
The Autobiography of Malcolm X - Malcolm X 
Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny - Hill Harper 

10 Ways To Be More Successful

"Sell yourself in three minutes or less--cause that's how long it takes for me to make a decision. The rest is for our entertainment...If I don't respond your email you'll see why. Priority is my fragrance and small talk I am not interested in smelling." - Marquis Phifer

What man doesn't want to be successful? Any man who doesn't should turn in his man card immediately and proceed to the incinerator for disassembly. The keys to success are not pieces of hidden knowledge kept by a secret society nor are they all held within one person like the Keymaker from the Matrix. Everything that a man needs for success and to create the life he's always wanted are within his grasp. I've listed ten helpful tips to get you going in the direction towards fulfilling your goals and making the [positive] impact on the world that you want to make. The most successful men certainly didn't get there on luck or charm alone. We're throwing you a bone to show you how to roll with the big dogs. Check it out below.

  1. Time Management - The key to getting ahead is working smarter not harder. Prioritize by keeping a daily schedule or planner, make reminders to yourself for important events, and categorize activities by their importance and urgency and then do them in order from most urgent and most important, to least urgent and least important. You'll find that you have more time to yourself and less time trying to make 28 hours out of 24. This gives you time for planning and rest.
  2. Underpromise and Overdeliver - Instead of telling someone that you'll get a project done in three days and taking five to do it, take five days and get it done in three. When you set time and work constraints that are too over-ambitious, you risk setting yourself up for a major failure. By taking more time than is necessary, you will be less stressed about your performance and your superiors will be surprised at your resourcefulness.
  3. Maintain Strong Relationships - Building rapports with influential people around you as well as your colleagues sets you up for a potential reference in the future. You never know when you might need connections from someone else, so keep your enemy lists low. Don't be a flatterer or a suck-up, this will only hurt your credibility and can cause others to take you less seriously or see you as a genuine friend. No one likes to be used, but having a set of people you can call on for support at any times is a surefire method to success. It's not always what you know, but who you know.
  4. Learn From the Masters - Find out who the best of the best are in your field. Research the strategies and theories they used in their methods and then find things to adopt as well as improve on those strategies. The best only got their by being better than the best. Being well-read and aware of those before you also gives you a chance to find out where you fit in among the competition.
  5. Passion - When you love what you do and have a drive to succeed in it, that puts you automatically in front of those who are only in it to win it. Having passion gives your a broader perspective on your area and also makes you more aware of the subtleties others may miss. Passion also makes you more productive because the risk of perfectionism is significantly lowered making you perform better and with less stress.
  6. Make Lemonade out of Lemons - Having crucial personal public relations skills is a must. Learning how to resourcefully and smartly turn setbacks into potential triumphs can be the determining factor in a job. Instead of rambling on about your not-so-good relations with your boss as your last job, simply cite your reasons for leaving as "creative differences and a need to pursue my interests in a different environment". No one likes a bad-mouther. You never know what connections your boss has so you definitely don't want to burn any bridges before they're even built.
  7. Sell yourself in one sentence - You don't have very long to make a first impression and potential employers are not interested in hearing your life story. Fine tune your personal description into one powerful sentence that highlights your most valuable qualities. It will save you less time than trying to sort through which parts you think will look best.
  8. Networking - Creating a portfolio of your work an showing it to important people in your field is the easiest way to get noticed. Don't focus only on what you have to offer, make the effort to build a personal connection with them as well. Employers will appreciate the effort and if you're talented enough, then they will be more than willing to offer you a spot in their ranks.
  9. Ask and Ye Shall Receive - If you feel that you deserve a promotion or if you're wanting to take on more responsibilities in your job, then no one's going to read your mind and give them to you. It is ultimately up to you to be your own salesman. Sometimes you have to toot your own horn to get noticed. Just don't overdo it by becoming a braggart or by trying to undercut the accomplishments of others. Nobody likes to be thrown under the bus.
  10. Be Flexible - Employers will consider you a more valuable asset if you're willing to adjust your schedule or relocate for them. As opposed to someone with a less flexible schedule, more tasks will be given to you which means more opportunities for you to shine and flex your skills. Also it will earn you a sure spot on a potential employer's team.

26 April 2010

You Don't Have To Be A Morehouse Man to Dress Like One...

Morehouse College, located in Atlanta, Georgia is a private, all-male, historically Black institution of higher learning that is responsible for producing the nation's most influential and successful Black male business leaders, activists, orators, and philanthropists. It is one of two Black colleges that has produced a Rhodes Scholar and notable alumni of the institution include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., filmmaker Spike Lee, Olympic Gold Medalist Edwin Moses, and fashion guru Fonzworth Bentley. Not only does the college have a reputation of turning out some of the finest and highest-educated Black men of any other campus, they also have a reputation for housing some of the most stylish. My favorite fashion blogger and stylist Marquis Phifer is a student as Morehouse College and is definitely an indicator of the famous adage, "You can tell a Morehouse Man but you can tell him much". So if you wanna get the look of the hottest brothers on campus, then take a look at the sets below.

Fifteen Fashion Essentials For Men

Like a house or a fine wine, your style should become more refined and accrue value as time goes on. Think of clothes as investments. You don't want to fill your wardrobe with items that will quickly go out of style, but you don't want to be stuck in the past with an outfit that's making no returns. The fundamentals of the perfect personal style begin with the fundamentals of a wardrobe. For the men out there seeking to up their game in the style department, look no further because I've got fifteen items that every man should have in his wardrobe. The pieces here are classic, simple and versatile for your styling needs.

  1. A One-Button Blazer - Select one in navy, white, or black. A blazer can be dressed up or dressed down and paired excellently with either white, khaki, or black pants. A classic item that finishes off any outfit.
  2. A Corduroy Sport Jacket - This jacket works with khakis, dress pants, or even jeans. It's an alternative to the blazer and it proves for an interesting and fantastic twist.
  3. Suits - No man should ever go without having a suit. They are appropriate for business, weddings, funerals, business meetings, dates, you name it. A navy and gray suit are the essential colors but there are hundreds of colors with different patterns such as pinstripes, paisley, striped, and solid. Every man should also have what I like to call a "freakum suit" which is a suit that you know is sure to get you at least ten compliments everytime you wear it. Going to a tailor or a formal store is the best idea to find the best suit.
  4. Cream gabardine and gray flannel pants - These two pairs of pants are the most versatile you can find. They mesh well with every color and pattern and can also be dressed up or dressed down when you need that extra ounce of formal or that extra casual touch after a workday. They are also extremely durable and make great style investments.
  5. Shirts: White and blue dress shirts are your first set of must-haves. Having a check, stripe, and colored shirt such as pink or lavender will also add more variety to your wardrobe. Shirts are the bread and butter of your style and can be great canvases on which to make a focal point for your outfit. Having a formal white tuxedo shirt is also a great go-to item for those black-tie affairs.
  6. Cargo Pants - Like khakis they can be dressed up or they can be dressed down. They're also timeless and handy if you carry around a lot of items.
  7. Jeans - Having the right fit here is important. Make sure that you get your waist and leg properly measured so that you can find the correct style that fits your body type. There are numerous washes and types of jeans including dark wash, acid wash, distressed, regular, slim, and skinny, all of which can dress up or dress down an outfit.
  8. Sweaters: The perfect sweater can add a helpful dose of charm and elegance to an outfit. A black or navy turtleneck or v-neck works for casual, business, and formal and a colored v-neck works for the warmer months. Investing in argyle sweaters is also a must for an easy, dapper go-to fit.
  9. Footwear: A good pair of brown suedes, a pair of chestnut or black bench-made shoes, and my favorite, a pair of black or brown wing-tip shoes works great. Also a great pair of low-top white sneakers, preferably Lacoste or Adidas makes for an excellent casual outfit.
  10. Socks: Argyle socks are a must-have for that gentlemanly look. You can find them in different colors to match your outfits or your shoes. Over-the-calf socks work well at keeping your legs from showing when you sit.
  11. Ties: A colorful selection of neckties is crucial to a functional wardrobe. I personally prefer either solid or striped patters. Stay away from ties with cartoon characters or sports-related items on it. You want to be taken seriously for your wardrobe choices. Bow ties add instant classic shine and sophistication to an outfit. You just can't hate on 'em. Find ones in various patterns and colors to make an outfit pop.
  12. Belts/Suspenders - Belts can be extremely expensive but they are the most versatile accessory you can find. Have one in black and one in brown. If you're willing to splurge, one in crocodile or alligator works well. Suspenders also add a classic look to an outfit if you want to forgo belts so have a pair in navy and black.
  13. Pocket Squares - Having one of these is as important as knowing how to fold them. Pocket squares come in many colors and many patterns and can add a bit of color or effect to a blazer or suit. There are numerous ways to fold a pocket square so if you find one you like, stick with it and make it your signature.
  14. An umbrella - Nothing says style like a man prepared for the rain. An umbrella can make an outfit more elegant and complete an ensemble. Go for one in black or clear.
  15. Hats - Fedoras, boleros, driving caps, kango hats, fitted caps, hats are like the cherry on a sundae; they top off an outfit. You individual head shape will determine what types of hats look good on you and which ones don't. Some people like to forgo the hats whereas some make it a point to include them in every ensemble.

Take Over The Night

The perfect gentleman knows how to enjoy the nightlife while looking fashionable and dapper. We've got the looks hot off the pages of Polyvore to get you the look that will will get you in. With some styling inspiration from these sets you'll never find yourself behind the velvet ropes again. SO check out the V.I.P. worthy looks below and you'll find out that membership definitely has its privileges.

The Men's Guide to Grooming

As stated yesterday, one of the essentials of being a gentleman is having a proper grooming regimen. It isn't simply important to wear fashionable clothes and have a successful life, taking care of your appearance keeps you looking healthy, attractive, and youthful. Nothing says swag like a brother who's got his looks together.  And we all want that for ourselves. To help out our gentleman, I've included a primer on the essentials of grooming and beauty for men provided by one of our friendly websites Homorazzi.com. The first step to building a beauty regimen is learning to stick with it. It takes 21 days to build a new habit so add these items to your morning to-do list and watch your attraction factor take off. Check it out below.

Before I get into my recommendation for your fall tune up to your grooming regime, I want to make sure you’re following the basic system you should be following year round. You should be cleansing your face morning and night every day, with a cleanser to emulsify dirt & oil from the surface of the skin. By using a gentle cleanser instead of harsh soaps, you will avoid stripping the natural protective oils on your skin. Also, every day, morning and night, you should also be moisturizing your face to protect, nourish, and hydrate the skin in order to keep your skin looking at its best. Moisturizers are necessary, even for people with oily skin – just get the right moisturizer for your skin type. For me, those are the absolute basic steps (assuming you’re also using a QUALITY shaving cream) you should all be doing. No more excuses. Once you graduate from that, you get to start using products for big boys, like eye creams that help to minimize dark circles and fine lines. Cool, huh?
Now, a few recommendations for your fall tune up…
lips-manLip Balm. Listen chaps, nobody wants to talk to you, let alone kiss you when your lips are peeling. Unless your significant other likes smooching with sandpaper and you happen to like the feeling of your lips tearing apart whenever you smile, protect your bloody lips! Solution: Men’s Health 2009 Grooming Award Winner for Best Lip Treatment – Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm (Lemon & Chamomile) SPF 25. This is not one of those chap sticks that don’t work, yet you still keep on reapplying and reapplying. It works and it tastes great. In short, it’s the balm! PS: The BRAND Jack Black has no relation to the ACTOR, Jack Black.
red-wine-glassTeeth Whitening To-Go.
With fall & winter comes holiday parties, and with holiday parties comes red wine, and with red wine comes immediate dark/stained teeth. Every talked to someone that has been drinking red wine and found their overly stained teeth to be extremely distracting? Well if you drink red wine, chances are, people have had the same experience with you. Solution: Just a drop of pocket-size Quikee, smoothed over your teeth and around your mouth with the tip of your tongue provides the perfect discreet tooth whitening, breath freshening experience when you can’t brush. Just think, with the embarrassing red wine stained teeth avoided, Quikee just may lead to a Quickee at one of your holiday parties this season. A cheesy “Axe Effect” commercial would do well for a product like coupled with a name like Quikee, don’t you think?
man-face-finger-sexyHydrating Moisturizer. Most good moisturizers ARE by nature hydrating, but some people will require a more intense moisturizer as the cold weather approaches. The cold temperature can have some harsh effects on your skin, causing it to get dry and flaky very easily- like dandruff of the face! Eww, nobody wants that. Nobody wants to have a greasy face either, so by using a more intense moisturizer, that doesn’t have to mean that your face will be oily. Solution: (MALIN+GOETZ) Vitamin E Moisturizer as your daily moisturizer or for a more intense moisturizer (or evening moisturizer) use the (MALIN+GOETZ) Cellular Renewal Cream. This intensive treatment helps build collagen and restore damage for all skin types. It stimulates cellular renewal, addresses lines, wrinkles, clarity, and firmness. Aww, it makes you look younger? Bummer! In all seriousness, I used this moisturizer all last winter and was extremely impressed on how great my skin felt and looked. The thing about using quality skin care products is that although they sometimes appear to be more expensive, they actually generally last longer, are more effective, and you aren’t paying for mass marketing campaigns like mainstream drug store brands. Quality products build their clientele by the reputation of their fantastic products.
face-wash-sinkScrub. As aforementioned, the Fall and Winter temperatures can dry out your skin. In order to help keep your skin healthy and glowing, it’s important to exfoliate your skin regularly. Gently exfoliating or scrubbing your skin helps to buff dead cells and dull build up, smooth and revitalize your complexion, and when used prior to your shave it helps to loosen up your beard hair in preparation for a closer shave. Use your scrub in place of your cleanser 2-3 times a week before you shave (if you are blessed with facial hair…or unblessed for that matter). This is an easy way to integrate it into your routine, and a great way to improve the quality of your shave (Sayanora, ingrown hairs!) Solution: Menscience Microfine Face Scrub. This is another Mens Health Grooming Awards Winner for Best Scrub. Just apply a quarter-size amount to a wet face and neck, massage with a light, circular motion for about a minute (avoid the eye and under eye area of course), then rinse.
hands-watch-cufflingHand Moisturizer. The theme is moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Your hands are no exception. If everything else is all bundled up, your hands and face tend to be the only parts of your flesh exposed when going from Point A to Point B in the fall/winter months, so their they parts that require the most love. Keep a hand moisturizer on your desk, in your bag, and beside your bed. Take it with you wherever you go, or leave it in the location that you think will the best place for you to remember to use it. Solution: Jack Black Industrial Strength Hand Healer. Without a doubt. This is the best hand cream I’ve ever tried. Conveniently, it comes in a travel size tube and a bigger size with a pump dispenser. This product is a must.
lalique-encre-noireScent. Sounds easy enough, huh? Well, as the temperature increases, so will the amount of time you spend indoors with your peers and coworkers, and what better time to make yourself stand out with your signature scent. The key thing is making yourself stand out (in a positive way). You don’t want to smell like the dweeb in the cubicle next to you do you? If you don’t want something mass produced, I have a hard to find scent to tell you about that will make your secret crush jump your bones in an instant. Solution: Encre Noire from Lalique. Part of me doesn’t want to tell you about this because IT’S THAT GOOD and I use it, and thus I’m kind of sabotaging myself with my own advice, but if you’re reading this guide on getting well equipped for fall then I deem you worthy of this fragrance. The notes are fresh and woody vetiver and cypress mix with enticing cashmere wood and musk. On that note, make sure your place smells good to if you’re entertaining with a sophisticated/sexy smelling candle!

25 April 2010

Rip Your Workplace

A gentleman's work wardrobe should be serious yet stylish. We're heading up some workplace wear for the men to give you the wardrobe that's sure to make your boss beg you for a promotion. Marquis Phifer said, "I think one should dress for life and not let life dress them". Make sure you look like you're ready for the boardroom and not like you've stepped out of the bedroom with these sets below.  

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