Category Archives: Man Up

Man Up – Wear a Watch (but don’t let it wear you)

If I had written this post 4 years ago, it would have been hypocritical. I, like most of the guys I know only had one watch that they got for Christmas 6 years ago that they only wore when they were dressed up. That being said, 4 years ago I was just a feeble 22 year old boy still scrambling to find myself in this world.

As men, when exactly did we stop wearing watches? My grandpa wore one every day of his adult life. Most guys our parents’ age have always worn a watch. So….why did it skip us? I’m going to place the blame on technology.  First the pager (anyone born in 1990 and after – this is a pager). Then the cell phone. Now the smart phone. Hell, the logic makes sense. “Why would I wear something on my wrist, if I can get the same information from my phone?”

In the next few lines, I’m going to make a case for bringing watches back, and give you a brief “how-to” for buying a new watch.

A man is allowed very little flare. A necklace, maybe. Silver bracelet, no. Class ring, yeah (in 1978). A watch, unanimously yes. The watch is to a man what a earrings are to a woman. It’s a chance to make a statement about yourself without screaming LOOK AT ME. Do you think Don Draper, one of the most stylish characters in the history of tv would ever leave the house sans watch?

How many times a day does someone ask, “What time is it?” and immediately people start that awkward pocket shimmy to pull out their phone and check the time. Like anything in life as a man, there’s a slight sense of pride and winning be being the first to say “It’s 10:53.” Avoid the cell phone shimmy (could be a new wedding dance?) and keep the time on your wrist.

A watch should be a subtle conversation piece, but not the conversation itself. I knew a guy who had on the most disgustingly large faced white watch I’ve ever seen. It was like having a white 5lbs dumbbell hanging from his left arm. When someone asked “What doesn’t that watch do?” His reply “Tell time.” Funny, yes. But also obviously rehearsed because it clearly wasn’t the first time he’s had to answer that question. So be careful in choosing. If I see you in something like this, I promise to make fun of it and you:

A watch should have basic functionality:

  1. Tell the correct time (umm..duh)
  2. Tell the date (optional)
  3. Some sort of stop watch feature (optional)

THAT’S IT. Notice I didn’t say it should display the tides, the elevation, the next full moon, etc. When’s the last time you were out and someone asked “When’s the next high tide?” So unless you’re an astronaut or a ship captain, keep the watch function to the minimal.

When buying a watch don’t be afraid to drop a little cash on it. But before you do ask yourself this “Will I still wear this watch in 10 years?” If you’re going to drop a few hundo on a watch, you want it to be wearable for awhile. Personally I’m partial to watches that don’t have a metal band, but if that’s more your speed, have at it.

If it’s your first watch and you’re shy on dropping a ton of cash, Fossil makes some pretty stylish time pieces that are extremely affordable. Take this leather band one for <$95:

If you want drop a little more and are looking for some watches with a little more edge to em, check out Nixon. Nixon can get a little out of control with some watch styles, so when you’re navigating the waters remember “Will I wear this watch when I’m 40?” If the answer is yes (like this solid piece below) drop a little cash on it!

 

The Private SS in Black

I happen to really dig the Timex vintage field Army watch. I wear it every single day. It’s simple and classic, and if it was tough enough to issue to soldiers in a war, I think it can handle my desk job. Plus, if you ever get tired of the green band, they have quite a few interchangeable color choices.

Timex® vintage field army watch

I stayed away from talking about things like a Rolex, simply because my budget and conscience don’t (and likely never will) allow me to spend thousands on a watch. But I promise you, my wrist is gonna look classy as hell, on a budget.

Hey bud, what time is it?

tc

Man Up: “Throw your hands up and…” Dance at the Wedding Reception

Within the last few weeks me and my buddy Quint were leaving a good friend’s wedding and were discussing how much fun we had at the reception. No, that wasn’t a typo, we had an awesome time. Let me explain.

Currently we’re about 1/3 of the way through “wedding season.” Most guys (single and spoken for) grunt and groan when they see that save the date hanging on the fridge. Me? I say bring it on.

Sure, a wedding has free food and free drinks. But that’s not the key to having a good time at the reception. At this recent wedding, I knew all of 6 people of 150 before attending. When I left I knew over half of the the folks there and just as importantly…the knew me. I didn’t do it by walking around like a small claims lawyer, jingling change in my pocket and handing out my business card. Sadly, I’ve seen too many men standing on the sideline, treating this like an extension of a business meeting. Talking about stocks and news, etc. Stop it.

Get out on the dance floor and dance. Wedding receptions are a safe haven for everyone to dance. This is especially the case for white guys, who notoriously have zero rhythm. Sorry guys, but you brought this on yourself. Whether you can move like Michael Jackson or if your dance rhythm resembles a dog seizure in the middle of a thunderstorm (I have no idea where that analogy came from, but I’m running with it). Nobody cares what you look like. In fact, even if you’re ridiculously terrible, start doing some interpretive dancing and you’ll be the life of the party.

Why do you want to dance?

  1. The bridesmaids and any single female attendee is dancing. Given the choice for a one night, good time with the mildly attractive guy who is having a hell of a time dancing or the slightly better looking dude sitting around talking shop in his mircle (man circle – it’ll catch on, I swear), She’s gonna choose you.
  2. “Yeah, but Tommy, I have a girlfriend/wife.” Worst excuse ever. Do you think your woman is any different than the single women at the wedding and is not completely turned on by the love and emotion of a wedding? This is an awesome time to show her that you’re the fun, charismatic dude she fell for in the first place. And if it doesn’t pan out that night, you can deposit the night in the marriage bank, and pull it out at a later date. It works that way right? Maybe not.
  3. If that wasn’t enough of a reason, then think about all the food and beer you’re drinking and the work out you missed to go to the wedding and use this to burn calories.

To get you started, here are 3 basic songs/dances (I’ve even included the instructional video for you) you need to know that are inevitable at any wedding. They’re impossible to mess up and will get your dancing juices flowing. Once you’re out there, you won’t wanna leave. Remember, if you go out there and forget how to do it, just kindly ask the cute girl in the blue dress to help you get down. She’ll be asking you to do the same later.

1. The Cupid Shuffle – The instructions are part of the song. To the right to the right to the right to the right. To the left to the left to the left to the left. now kick, kick, kick, kick. Now walk it by yourself. If you mess this one up, there really is no hope for you.

2. Cha Cha Slide -Annnnnd, the instructions are in this song too. They even included white dancers wearing Men’s Warehouse rental tuxes to show you how to do the dance.

3. Shout (Isley Brothers) – There’s really no “dance” to this song. Just do what feels good. Luckily the guys from Animal House made it ok to just flail your body around in convulsions and its considered dancing to this song.

While all the boring shmucks are sitting back drinking their Crown and Ginger “too cool” to shake a leg, you’ll be mingling, meeting people and ENJOYING YOURSELF!

Man up and have a good time,

tc

Man Up: Time to Get Some New Swim Trunks

It’s been 90 degrees all week here in NC, and my community pool opens Saturday which means we, as men and women will be stripping down to the least amount of coverage legally allowed in public. It’s at this point, that most women go over the top with being fasionable (any ladies reading; my bet is you own 6 bathing suits +/- 2) and most men fall so short of stylish it’s embarrassing to all of us as men. Our dad and even our grandpa rocked stylish trunks, but for some reason our generation decided to break the mold and wear the most obnoxious designed trunks known to man. Sometimes your trunks still fit, but you’ve outgrown them. It’ll make more sense in a bit.

Before I go on, please answer these 2 questions:

1. When was the last time you purchased a new suit? If the answer is >3 years skip question 2 and start reading.

2. If you bought your suit within the last 3 years, does the suit go below your knees? If yes, keep reading.

The suit you wear, when you can’t hide anything else is going to say a lot about you to every lady you pass on the walk to your chair. How old is he? Does he dress well? Does he manscape? How quickly can I get those trunks off? Ok, maybe the fourth was stretch. Regardless, your attention to detail when it comes to your trunks is gonna say a lot about you as you strut your stuff around the pool.

So to help you out I’ve put together a checklist of Do’s and Don’ts about getting a new suit for this summer. I’ve also even done you a favor of giving you some links to where you can buy some new swim wear (I’ve considered all budgets when doing this).

Don’ts:

  • No beer logos. You know how trashy that chick with the Corona bathing suit on looks? You look the same, only much much more of a douche. We all like beer, doesn’t mean you need to decorate yourself in it.
  • Length – It should not be below your knees. This stopped being cool once you got your first job after college. You aren’t out skim boarding anymore because you’re not 15. You’re a man now, so check the length. See below..don’t be this guy.

  • If you look like a walking Peacock a girl is gonna think one of 2 things – “this guy is 13” or “guess he forgot how to dress after his mom stopped dressing him”.  I owned the trunk
  • s to the right when I was 18. They still fit. But I’ve outgrown them. See what I mean?
  • NO NETTING. Mostly for comfort purposes, but when you hoist yourself out of the pool do you really wanna look like you’re wearing some type of lacy, netty underwear. And PLEASE do not wear briefs under your suit, it’s like a diaper.
  • Gym shorts belong in the gym. Not the pool. You’re a grown-ass man with a job. Go buy a pair of trunks designed for the pool. Same goes for wearing trunks to the gym, but that’s another discussion.

Do’s

  • First and foremost – length. See image below for the longest acceptable length as a grown man. Shorter is certainly acceptable.

  • Keep the design simple. A plain color is fine, some stripes are fine, a basic Hawaiian flower design is ok. Minimal is the new excessive. Stick to that and you’ll be fine.
  • Have more than one pair. You don’t want to be the guy that wears the exact same, stinky trunks every weekend.

I’m gonna make this really easy on you.

Below are 4 examples of places  you can get new


trunks, and I made sure to find something t

hat fits in every man’s budget.

Man Up: Buy a suit that fits you

My esteemed colleague, Dustin Riedesel asked 2 things of me last week:

  1. Come up with a running topic that I can write on consistently
  2. Use proper grammar and punctuation, damn it!

This is my attempt to kill two whales with one harpoon (I go big – plus, who still throws rocks at birds?) My goal here is to write on stuff that, as a man, you should just do. Some of these things will be stuff my dad has taught me, other is stuff I’ve learned along the way, and some stuff I’ll just make up hoping to see someone do it one day.

Today we’re talking about getting a suit that fits you. Spoiler Alert: You can’t just buy it off the rack and think its gonna fit – you’ll need to visit a tailor. The suit doesn’t have to be the most expensive suit on the planet. In fact, if you pay more than a few hundred Benjiman’s for it, and you don’t make over 200K/year, then you probably spent too much. When you’re trying it on try to think more more Mad Men and less Michael Douglas in Wall Street. Even though he kicked ass in that movie. Here are the specs of the suit

  • Two-Buttons (why the hell do they even make 3 button suits any more?)
  • Narrow Lapels (this is the part leading up to the collar)
  • Stops at your wrists (or higher)
  • NO PLEATS IN YOUR PANTS. Unless you’re 85 lbs over-weight or 70 years old (+ or – 5 years).
  • Don’t let the pants go much further beyond the top of your shoe

So now you’re asking, “Why do I need a suit? I don’t dress up for work.” To that I say fooey. If you have a nice fitting suit of some quality, you can successfully pull off the same suit at multiple occasions through the year. Let me just list the places where a suit is appropriate.

  • Wedding
  • Vegas
  • Church (even if you just go on Easter and Christmas)
  • Dinner with your woman
  • Business meeting
  • When you feel like lookin fly as hell!

If you have a suit that fits you well, you’ll not only look like a well put-together man, but you’ll probably get a few compliments from the ladies – which is ultimately why you do anything anyway. Plus nothing says “I’m the Alpha Male and I’m here to kick some metaphorical ass” like a man who looks like he means business.

Be A Man,

tc

Next up: Man Up – Wear a Pocket Square