Category Archives: Man Up

Man Up – The Office is a “No Sandal Zone”

Regardless of who you are, any sane person can agree on some basic truths in this world. Murder is bad. Personal hygiene is good. Feet are disgusting. Especially the feet of men. Unlike women who take care of their tootsies with pedicures and nail polish and just overall care for what their feet look like, a male’s feet (like other parts our bodies) are purely for function, not beauty.

Fellas, where is it OK to bare your piggies? The beach, the pool and a backyard cookout. Where is it not OK? Everywhere that isn’t the beach or the pool or a backyard cookout. The end.

Working in the ever increasing casual office environment, where every day is “Casual Friday” I’ve seen way too many dudes taking advantage of this and rocking their flippy floppies daily. It’s like once there are 2 consecutive days of 75 degrees, guys are trading in their other acceptable forms of footwear for sandals for the remainder of summer. To be clear I’m mostly referring to flip flops in this post. If you’re asking “What about Teva’s? Are they OK?” then you’re issues will not be resolved by reading this post. Explaining why Teva’s are not acceptable, ever, in any situation would be an entire post all by itself.

All you dudes out there are shouting a collective “Why not?” Well for starters, no one wants to see your unkempt, calloused white feet and long-ass toenails. There’s no sand for you to bury them in or pool to dangle them in.  As a result the rest of us who think your feet look like eagles’ talons that got caught in a mouse trap that was on fire, are subject to have to see them all day. It’s like having to look at someone all day with a booger dangling from their nose. It’s gross and no one wants to see it.

You look sloppy with flops on. Have you ever seen a dude wearing flip flops and thought to yourself “Man, that guy looks like a professional. He must be headed into work today”? No one’s ever looked at you in flops and thought that either. Sandals are intended to be worn in leisurely places where you freely spend your money, not where you’re grinding to make your money. Some simple math: If flops are for leisure and work is NOT leisure, then, flops are NOT for work.

Since Roman times, have you ever seen a grown man lead others while donning his toes in thong sandals? (Jimmy Buffet is not a correct answer. He’s on a whole new level of awful).  Do you think  George Washington was stomping out British in a pair of Rainbows? Maybe under the podium, Martin Luther King Jr. was freely wiggling his toes in a pair of sandals during his “I have a dream…” speech? It never crossed your dad’s or grandfather’s mind that they would bare their walkers in the office. Don’t disappoint pop-pop.

Leave the flops at home, Parrot Head.

Man Up – DO NOT dress like Michael Jordan…oh and Happy Birthday MJ!

Michael Jordan did many things great. Dominated the NBA. Dominated the Olypmics. Dominated the Monstars. Posted respectable numbers in baseball (have you ever tried hitting an 80 mph curve right after seeing a 96 mph heater?). Commandeered the most sought after shoe line ever. And with ESPN and everyone else wishing today was an MJ Bday Holiday, he even turns 50 better than anyone else. Happy Birthday MJ.

People have said MJ is the greatest competitor of all time which was seen in his play on the hardwood, golf course, playing poker, tying his shoes faster, etc etc etc. But one thing that the G.O.A.T. has yet to figure out is how to dress himself like a multi-millionaire, respectable adult male. If he took his competitive nature to dressing we might see him looking classic like D-Wade or Kobe Bean Bryant.

Unless MJ is competing to be the worst dressed athlete on the planet, he is failing miserably at the style game.

So, Happy Birthday MJ, and use some of that birthday cash to do the following: Step 1: Buy a book of matches.

Step 2: Burn all of your current wardobe

Step 3: Hire a personal stylist

Step 4: Let them buy everything for you. Don’t get involved…at all!

Thanks to http://wtfismikewearing.tumblr.com/ for the images. Check out their site for dozens more!

tc

What should you wear to your company Holiday Party?

A Sad Farewell to the Office

I was once told by a very interesting, cultured man to always dress like you have somewhere nicer to go when you leave wherever you are. It keeps people wondering what interesting place you might be headed next, and “damn that guy looks sharp!” This is especially important in today’s super business casual work environment (I wear a t-shirt 3 out of 5 days a week). When you get a chance to show the people around you that you have some class, you do it! It’s always nice to hear “You clean up nicely!”

Below are 5 essential items you’ll need to look your best as you get a little saucy at your’s and your girl’s company holiday parties. (P.S. if you read all the way through I’ve left a little surprise Christmas song for you at the bottom since today is number 3 in our 25 Days of Christmas…Music countdown).

In case you have no idea what a herringbone blazer is…

1. A blazer. Ideally, you own a suit at this point in your life and even if the invite says “business casual attire” you wear the full suit. Every man looks and feels his best when he’s rocking a fresh suit (here’s how it should fit). If you’re not feeling the full suit, I suggest a blazer that’s either wool or herringbone (it’ll probably be cold), with either khakis or jeans. You can pick one up at Gap or Nordstrom for less than $100; that’s a small price to pay to look sharp.

2. If you don’t own/don’t feel like wearing a blazer it’s time for you to introduce yourself to a cardigan. If you’re just now figuring out that cardigans are in style again, you may need a little more help than this blog. A few quick tips about rocking the cardi.

  1. This is not your grandpa’s cardigan.
  2. The sleeves should be slim around the arms.
  3. The sleeves should stop at or just above your wrists.
  4. The bottom should end no lower than 1″ below your belt line.
  5. Leave the bottom 1 or 2 buttons undone.

Exhibit A. Actually, if you don’t feel like being creative, you could just wear exactly what this guy’s wearing and be solid.

3. A tie. If you think you’re too cool to rock a tie to your holiday party, then you’re not cool…at all. A lot of room for flexibility so I won’t try to box you into what I like, but use the tie to be festive. Here are a few pictures of one’s that I like:

Buffalo check cotton tie

Buffalo Check Tie; J.Crew $59

Solid tie

Wool tie; The Gap $29

Plaid silk tie

Red plaid; Banana Republic $59

4. Tie clip. These don’t only look rad, they also serve a purpose of keeping your tie in place and centered on your shirt. Here’s a few rules for how to wear the tie clip:

You can even go shorter than the tie width.
I’ll give 5 Schrute Bucks to anyone who can name the celebrate pictured here.

  1. It should not be as wide as the actual tie. If your tie clip extends past your tie, you’ll look like an idiot.
  2. You don’t want it to be too high or too low. General rule of thumb – somewhere between the 3rd and 4th button of your shirt.
  3. Don’t wear that weird, gaudy tie clip with the odd chain hanging below it. It’s not cool.

uhh…this is awkward. wtf is that? and why was that ever in style?

5. Pocket square. The classic, final touch that will really make your jacket. Here are some pictures of ways to rock a pocket square successfully. Personally I’m biased to the basic fold job.

My personal preference.

Can’t really argue with this either. And if you did, he’d kick your ass.

So there you have it. Don’t be basic at your Holiday Party. Use it as another opportunity to look your best. Besides, your crush in accounting will definitely notice.

tc

And, as promised, here is DMX going REALLLLLL hard with his rendition of of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, because when you’re DMX…..you always go hard. My favorite part “Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say ‘COME ON.'” I’d like to believe that on that foggy Christmas Eve Santa was way more hyped, like Drew Brees pregame than the movie and song lead us to believe. By the way, this only has 11k views on YouTube when I published. YOU can be the one that shares this with an inner office chain and say YOU discovered it!

Man up: Grandpa’s Book of Style – The Member’s Only Jacket

Your grandpa was (is) a fly dude. The man fathered at least 1 (probably more) kid, fought in a war and has fixed just about anything under the sun with his bare hands. You know what else he did, and probably still does well? Dress like a stylish mo fo (no idea why I used that noun, but can’t take it back now). When I first started to write I was going to list off a few things. But as I thought about it, your gramp’s closet is full of so much awesome swag, I’m going to devote a post to each piece. 

Now that Fall is in full swing, it’s an excellent opportunity to layer up with some of your gramp’s favorite swag.

What do type of jacket do you put on before you go to work? To the bar? Tailgating? If your answer to all of the above is “A Northface jacket!” and its the same one for all 3, read on.

First on the list is the Member’s Only jacket; something he’s been rocking since the 1980‘s, and is still making it look good 2 decades later. And why not? It’s timeless and versatile. Since you already know what it is, let’s talk about how to rock it in 2012.

The natural fit for the Member’s Only jacket, is to throw it over your favorite tee with some jeans for a night at the pub or a ball game. Dresses up the tee just enough, but also gives you some warmth when the temperature starts to dip after the sun goes down.

Wait, what’s that? You’re headed out on a date? Yeah, the Member’s Only jacket can be your best friend. It says to your date “I’m a man of class, with old school style that thinks outside of the box.” But you won’t be throwing this over some basic tee. No no. Put it on with a white oxford button up (down). If you really wanna class it up, treat it like a blazer! Knot up a tie and put a pocket square in the top pocket. It’s stepping out on a limb a little bit, but trust me, you’ll like how it looks.

Ok so it’s Sunday evening and you’re headed to the store. Just like grandpa does, your Member’s Only jacket works perfectly with your sweat pants. No fashion here, just function. One word of advice, make sure you don’t embrace full on grandpa style and go sans drawers (pronounced drawls).

“Where can I get such beautiful gem of a jacket?” Here’s a list, pick your favorite:

  • Zappos
  • Target
  • Urban Outfitters
  • Amazon

You don’t actually have to be a “member” so  get your jacket.

tc

 

 

 

Man Up and Sock it to em

Well fellas, it’s that time of year. The time when sundresses become less and less, days are shorter and the temperature gets progressively cooler. This time of year means no more sandals/flip flops/tevas/etc and “sockless summer” is over. If you wear flip flops when the temperature is <70* because you claim “you’re lazy” or “it’s not really that cold,” I’ve got news for you; lazy = slob and it is that cold. No one wants to see your Casper white feet and vulture talon toe nails this time of year.

What point am I trying to reach? Now is the time of year to rock the sock! Not only does it keep your feet and ankles warm, but I promise you it’s going to attract some positive attention from the lady folk. Ever hear a girl talk about having to go the the mall to get a purse that matches her earrings, which complement her heels, which are a perfect color for her skirt? OK we mostly block that stuff out because, damn it, the games on!! The point is women are all about attention to details. As a guy, we’re not wearing 30 bracelets, earrings and heels, so we need to show some consideration for the details where we can.

Now enter your socks. Whether you’re headed to the office, dressing up for a wedding or just rockin’ some jeans out for drinks this weekend, some flashy foot coverage will amp up your style. Besides you really have no excuse. You can get so awesome styles for cheap from Target, Gap, JCrew, Urban Outfitters, etc. Not Wal Mart, never Wal Mart (or as my Grandma calls it The Walmarts).

Let me start by saying that if you don’t show even a small fraction of socks when you sit down then your pants are entirely too long. I’m not saying you should be walking around like Steve Urkel, but you should be shedding some sock when you sit down.

If you’re like most guys I know any time you dress up you’re probably wearing some plain, boring black socks. They’re probably the one’s you got for free when you rented your suit from Men’s Warehouse or After Hours in the mall for your 12th grade prom or your buddy’s wedding. Or, even worse, you wear your ankle cut gym socks with your new dress shoes. If this is you, you probably also have at least one cell phone clipped to your belt loop; please read on with an open mind.

Like no other part of your wardrobe, your socks are an article of clothing you can really take some chances. I own some pretty ridiculous socks (including socks with cartoon crabs on them: kinda like these) and every time I wear em I get dozens of comments from the ladies. Not only are they grabbing their attention, but they also say “Hey, I’ve got some style, I pay attention to the details and I like to have a good time.” The aforementioned black socks say “I look like your Grandpa when my pants come off.”

What I’m going to do below is start a little more conservative and advance to the much more bold. Start slow if you feel the need, but also don’t be afraid to throw on something with a little more flash. You won’t regret it. Scout’s honor (Disclaimer:  I was never a Boy Scout, so that meant nothing).

The Argyle: This is the classic dress sock. Comes in hundreds of colors and should be an essential part of your wardrobe. In fact, if you only have one pair, you’re losing. The argyle sock is an easy pull with a pair of oxfords or wingtips, but try switching it up and wearing them with a pair of Chuck Taylor’s or even a pair of casual New Balance.

The Stripe: This is one foot in, one foot out. You can find some pretty tame colored stripes which might be a nice entry point for you guys who’ve been stuck in the world of black dress socks. You can also find some pretty bold colors which take the striped sock to the next level. The stripe just let’s the people know you’re hear to have a good time.

The Polka Dot: This is the 3rd degree of flash. Don’t really have to say too much here. I think you get the point. Try throwing on a pair of yellow socks with white polka dots next time you suit up for a wedding and just count the number of compliments you get. Friendly wager – you’ll get more comments and compliments than the number of dots on your socks.

The Pattern: I’ve seen socks with mustaches, anchors, sharks, etc etc. These are not for the faint at heart. It’s a bold statement. It’ll get some positive laughs from the ladies (laughing like you made a killer joke, not like you just farted and picked your nose in public). If you’re not sure, just go for it.

Remember, the sock doesn’t necessarily have to match everything else you’re wearing. In fact, its better if it doesn’t, it’ll look like you’re trying too hard if it does! Try a blue and white plaid shirt with some jeans and a pair of red and green striped socks.

Sock it to em,

tc

Men’s Office Bathroom Etiquette

Guys, let’s face it, the Men’s bathroom at the office is a dangerous arena. You’ll notice I’m not referring to it as a “restroom” since that’s the absolute last thing you’d want to do in there. I mean, how do you “rest” when you’re trying to hold your breath for your entire visit to the can? Especially when you’re following behind one of the guys from Engineering and…(we’ll censor it there).

We’ve all seen Saved by the Bell and (insert any 90s teen show here) so we know the Ladies’ Room is complete with gossip, flowers and comfy couches. We don’t have that luxury. Just like the office place itself, the Men’s room comes with a set of very strict rules that shouldn’t (nay), WILL NOT be ignored. Lately I’ve noticed that guys in general have gotten pretty lackadaisical (I had to consult my roommate on that spelling – you don’t wanna know my initial spelling) on these rules. As a result, as a friendly reminder, I’ve outlined the rules that every man needs to know before you stroll in for your morning “break.”

Rule 1 – You’ve been taught that in the business world eye contact is essential for establishing respect and trust. Once you cross that tile threshold (or you’re eating a banana), this rule is turned on its head. Whether you’re making #1, washing your hands or exiting the room you do not, in any circumstance lock eyes with your fellow employees. It just creates an awkward situation for everyone. You, him, the janitor cleaning the sinks. Everyone.

So, where should I direct my eyes? Up. Down. Straight-ahead. To the right/left, if there’s a full wall. That’s it. No side-glancing. If you’re looking at me and talking to me while I’m taking a pee, and I don’t look at you, I still know you’re looking at me and you’re making me uncomfy.

(The exception – if the CEO is looking at you and talking business with you, damn it you lock eyes with that man and chat it up).

Rule 2 – The middle stall is just there for decoration. If that’s the only stall left, you have 2 options.
You can hold it and wait, or go to the other office bathroom. Close proximity makes this a difficult process for all parties involved.

Rule 3 – Nobody is impress with “Look Ma No Hands!” True story, there was a guy reading the paper hanging on the wall with his arms crossed and one hand on his chin like he was deep thought, admiring a piece of art. Nobody cares and in fact I was terrified to stand next to him for fear of pee on my shoes. When you were a kid, riding a bike with no hands was cool, but peeing with no hands does not make you Miles Davis. And don’t think that disobeying Rule 3 makes you exempt from Rule 4.

Rule 4 – Wash your damn hands with soap. Putting your hand under cold water for 1.58 seconds is not cleaning your hand. You know who you are.

If you’re like me, and are annoyed with the unsanitary, non-hand washers, take this diagram and hang it on the mirror in the bathroom.

Rule 5 – Remember that knit sign in your aunt’s bathroom that said “If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie wipe the seaty.” This rule still applies. And if you don’t follow it, there are cameras in the bathrooms, and you will be tracked down. I’m kidding, there aren’t any cameras, but clean up.

If you don’t like any of these rules, or feel the need to break any of them, my one piece of advice so that people don’t look at you like you’re a weirdo…become the CEO of the company. The rules don’t apply to you anymore.

Follow these rules and let’s bring civility and “rest” back to the Men’s room.

Staring straight-ahead,

tc

Man Up: Stay Away from Tanning Beds

 

I was in the gym this afternoon (I work out) and heard 3 guys arguing over who gets the stand-up tanning bed. One proceeded to say “Yeah, I’m not gonna wear the tanning goggles” like he was some sort of rebellious bad ass. As a man who has never, and will never set foot in a tanning bed, I feel justified in venting about this.

I blame this all on Jersey Shore. Who ever decided to GTL (gym tan laundry for those new to the program) before that show ever came into existence?

Tanning beds didn’t even exist when your grandfather was our age. But he rocked the hell outta a farmer’s tan like he was a star character in “King of the Hill.” Yet he was still able to woo your grandma and now you have 7 uncles and 5 aunts and your grandpa is still a boss (RIP Pop Pop).

Your dad would rather be set on fire than ever set foot in a tanning bed. But he got your mom and they did it at least twice (or more depending on how many brothers/sisters you have). You know how your pops got a tan? He went outside during the day! Scary thought for those guys at the gym who only come out of their house for 2 reasons. Go to the gym. Go to the club with their Affliction t-shirt drinking vodka-Red Bulls because “We’re raging bro!”

I’m not arguing that being tan is a bad thing. In fact, in general people look sexier when they’re tan. As my buddy Stout famously said “If you can’t tone it, tan it. Even fat looks better tan.” So I thought it would be helpful to list for you some ways that our fathers got tan and still maintained their manhood. Feel free to try any of the options below:

  • Wash your car (not enough?)
  • Wash your 70 year old neighbors car
  • Hang out with friends at the pool/beach
  • Throw the frisbee (football, baseball, etc) at a park
  • Go for a jog (soft “j”)
  • Do some yardwork
  • Walk your dog (easy way to meet a girl, I promise)
  • Walk your neighbors dog

I could go on for days (that’s what she said) but I won’t because you get the point. Besides, do I really need to go into all of the health reasons for not going into a tanning bed? So lather up in some SPF 15 (or 30 or 50 depending on how opaque your skin is) and do something outside.

26.75 years tanning bed free,

tc