Rules Were Made to Be Broken

With the every day struggle to be stylish, only so many advancements and modernizations can be thrown into the game.  We’ve pretty much peaked at inventible items for wear, so now what?  There are simply no more original ideas in fashion.  So everyone goes retro when looking to be considered more stylish.  Certain unwritten rules have been made for the fashion world, and now days we are seeing these rules get smashed by celebs, hipsters, and businessmen.

1. Always Leave Your Bottom Button Unbuttoned (on your suit): Now days we get a lot of our style advice from what we see on TV, red carpets, movies, and magazines.  Unfortunately this is one of those circumstances.  A little less than a year ago I saw that Leo was wearing a two-button suit at a film festival and he was strapped up (both buttons buttoned).  Honestly, I’m not a huge proponent of it.  I don’t think it looks all that swell, but hey, give it a try.

2. Don’t Wear Blue With Black or Black With Brown: A lot of uneducated stylists will look at you when they see you wearing any of these “Clashing Colors” and will immediately critique.  Respond like so: “Fuck You.”

3. Always Wear a Belt: What people fail to realize is that a suit looks split in two when you wear a belt (sometimes).  In order to go beltless your pants will need to fit you remarkably well.  People preach, “If there are belt loops, wear a belt.”  I say “naaah”.  Just make sure your pants fit.  




Things Men Should Know

It’s Monday, at that means we are back to our Things Men Should Know segment.  Today’s topic:

How to Fart in Public and Get Away With It:

Face it, it happens to all of us: Men, women, children, babies, we all are faced with this discomfort from time to time.  If you are unable to escape to a private area, here are some pointers:

1. Move to the most crowded/most noisy area you can find.  This way if it’s loud, chances are there will be much less of a chance it is heard.  With the larger crowd of people, it almost makes it fun to start seeing people react and start blaming one another.

2. Be talking while you release your bomb.  If you’re mid conversation/making noises it distracts people, therefore leading them to think of someone else as the culprit.

3. Do not exit the area too quickly.  It is obvious when you walk through a crowd of people crop dusting the place like a wildebeest.  Be coy about it.  Sneak away, but do it candidly.

4. Make a game of it.  Start joking about who done it, blame children, be obviously hilarious and then maybe fess up.  At that point it’s funnier than anything.

22 Things to Do This Fall: Be Fun and Trendy

Fall is a season to try and experiment all sorts of things from fashion to fun.  Don’t stick to your everyday routine this fall.  Mix things up and stay young, fresh, and trendy as long as you can with these tips:

1. Get a Hipster Haircut: They’re in style now and may not be for too much longer.  Do it while you can and say you lived in the moment.

2. Drink Fancy Beer: Be that guy or that girl at the bar that is too sophisticated for Bud Light.

3. Watch Indie Movies: There’s something about watching movies that people tend to hate or that have a more artistic sides.

4. Grow facial hair: Participate in Movember and grow out a hipster mustache.  If you can’t commit to a stache, grow a beard and then trim it and play with it and eventually have 1 day with a mustache.

5. Drink pumpkin flavored teas/coffees: Nothing gets you cozy like a warm, flavorful cup of deliciousness as you watch one of those movies.  

6. Listen to New/Trendy Music: This type of music isn’t what you’re going to hear on your everyday radio stations.  This is that music you’ll hear in the trendy areas of Manhattan or in high school kids basements.

7. Dress up for no reason: Make tonight fancier than last night and dapper up.

8. Make fancy fall booze concoctions:  Gold Rush Cocktail

Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with a cherry.

  • .5 oz Gentleman Jack Tennessee Whiskey
  • .25 oz Elderflower cordial
  • .5 oz Simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water)
  • 1 oz Unfiltered apple juice
  • .5 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 dash Bitters

Garnish: Apple slice

Glass: Rocks

9. Have Sunday Fundays with friends: Football can be boring alone, find excuses to make unhealthy food and enjoy it with some laughs.

10. Buy something way too trendy for your liking: Buy a sport coat or pea coat that is just too slim or too fashionable to what you’re used to.  It will be your ice breaker to breaking out of your shell.

11. Find a new favorite restaurant: Find that hole in the wall place you see often, but never go to and be amazed.  I went to a small Italian place in the city a bit ago that was so tiny and compressed, but it ended up being perfect.  I felt as if I was in New York in one of their 80,000 restaurants.

12. Bring your mattress into the living room and be so lazy: Easier solution: air mattress.  Movies all day, eating in bed, and maybe some wine at the end of the night.  Boom!

13. Find a new favorite TV show: Fall is my favorite time to watch TV.  When I think of fall I still think about the show Bored to Death.  I miss it so much.  I may have to watch it again.

14. Be spontaneous: Go do something you weren’t planning on doing.  Whether it’s a road trip, visiting wineries, or heading up to see your old college friends, try it.

15. Wine taste: WNY has some great areas to wine taste and find beautiful scenic areas.  The Finger Lakes are perfect.

16. Get out of your comfort zone: Make a video of yourself, try some daring event you’ve always wanted to, or experience life like you’ve wanted to by opening up.  Often people don’t say things they want to say to people, bosses, friends, or someone they are attracted to.  There’s no reason not to say the productive things on your mind.  Tell her/him how you feel.

17. Watch the World Series:  There is no better time to get into baseball than right now.  Not a fan?  Watch this series, pick a team, and roll with it.  Playoff baseball is easily my favorite playoff sport of the year.

18. Diet with cheater days: The health kick is huge these days, but who’s to say you can’t enjoy a large pizza to yourself on Sundays?

19. Write a detailed thank you note to someone who has once in their life helped you out.

20. Dance in the street: You’ll think it’s cheesy but she won’t. 

21. Carve pumpkins: It’s a cliche but it’s a fun one.

22. Enjoy this weather before the snow!  Get outside.  Bring blankets, scarves, flasks, coffees, or whatever will keep you warm and enjoy this time.  

What’s To Come…

Today is a bit of a teaser for our store: J Norman & Co. Men’s Shop and Lounge.

image-1Rumors are escalating around and about our shop and we wanted to confirm some of them to the public.  Here is a list of things to expect from our men’s shop coming soon…

1. We are building a bar: We are building a top notch bar that will serve customers day in and out with some of our favorite selections of beer, wine, and liquor.  The bar will be in the back end of the store and will be 25 feet long and is there for men to come watch games, relax, dine from our limited food selection and more.

2. We are building a man cave: This man cave will not be your normal man cave.  It will consist of a top notch bar, the highest end televisions, exquisite furniture, dining and poker tables, a gym, and more!

3. We are starting our own line: J Norman is becoming it’s own private label line and will consist of the most stylish apparel in both casual and dress wear.  We have started with our belts and laces but there is MUCH more to come!Just JN

4. We will be hosting events and parties: With this new store and man cave, we will have space to hold events like beer tastings, wine tastings, liquor tastings, cigar rolling, sport game parties, cocktail parties, poker tournaments, shopping events, and more.

5. We are changing our image: We want men to know they can now come to us for their most sartorial of needs!  We also want them to know that they can still come to us for their most casual of dress-wear as well.  We are doing so by bring in our own custom suiting line, our own private label, and new, trendy and affordable lines this fall and spring!


Why A Comb Over Isn’t A Comb Over Anymore

For years men who rocked the comb over were seen as nerdy, unstylish, and flat out someone you may not want to have a beer with after work.  Usually these type of comb over victims were the ones wearing short sleeve button down shirts with ties as they headed off to work.  However, with the evolution of style, and the resurgence of retro style, the comb over has had a face lift and is now the style of choice for fashionable men these days.  Let’s have a look:

The Inspiration: TV and movies are the culprit for many of these trendy style statements.  Shows like Suits, Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men and movies like The Great Gatsby, Crazy Stupid Love, and Inception have really let men everywhere see that they should give a shit about how they look.  

The Look: I’m going to trademark this look with the title the “Slick n’ Suit”.  It’s that fresh and clean haircut, the perfect style, and the appropriate attire to match the do: A nice suit. 

The Cut: When I get my haircut, I show my barber a picture of exactly what I want it to look like.  Do yourself a favor and do the same thing.  The key to this cut is the fade.  You can go extreme with the fade and embrace your inner hipster or you can style it like our men featured above.  Tell your barber you’d like a high-3 fade with enough length on top to slick it back or comb it over.  If you want to look more like Harvey Specter, avoid the clippers and tell your stylist to fade it bottom to top with some flow on top. 

The Do:  I always vote for the slick/comb over to go to your favorable side.  There is something a bit too “Growing Up Gatti” about slicking it straight back.  Pushing it to one side just enough let’s you like stylish and professional.  

  • Wet your hair
  • Comb or brush your hair straight back
  • Part on the side that your hairline is stronger
  • Slick up and over
  • Put in some sort of creme or gel product and comb it through again
  • Let dry and harden

The 21 Most Stylish Actors

Movies from now and then have been inspirations to men everywhere about stepping up their style game.  Let’s give a little credit where it’s due and applaud these men:

21. Daniel Day Lewis: Can anyone wear a better mustache than this man?

20. Paul Newman: All I remember him in is Slap Shot, but he gets credit for a lot of other work.

19. Alec Baldwin: It’s Complicated is still one of my all time favorites and his hatred for paparazzi just makes me like him more.

18. Bill Murray:  Not normally what you think of when style comes to mind, but he did make the cover of GQ, and has dressed well in and outside of movies.

17. Joseph Gordon-Levitt- Dude looks like a boss on every red carpet.

16. Jude Law (and Robert Downey JR.)- Been a style icon since Nam’.

15. Christian Bale- Bruce Wayne.  Enough said.

14. Michael Cane- Batman.  Enough said.

13. Jimmy Stewart- The guy was a G.  Looked sharp and clean all the time.

12. Brad Pitt- Lots of guys dislike him, but back in his prime, he could swing it. 

11. Gabriel Macht- Harvey Specter.

10. Robert Redford- Legend

9. Andrew Garfield- Kid looks sharp 97% of the time.

8. James Franco- Funny (in movies- who knows about real life) and stylish.  Today’s James Dean.

7. Daniel Craig- James Bond.

6. Steve McQueen- This picture alone proves it.

5. George Clooney- This generation’s Carey Grant.

4. James Dean- The guy died in his early 20s and still is talked about like Elvis.  

3. Humphrey Bogart- I remember watching old classic films of Humphrey Bogart and watching him suck down cigarettes and cigars like they were nothing.  He inhaled both.  Think he died of lung cancer…

2. Carey Grant- Stud.

1. Ryan Gosling- Am I really giving #1 to our generation’s man of style?  Yup.  Have you ever seen Crazy Stupid Love?

The Ageless Fashion Piece All Men Should Have

With the evolution of style, your “average Joe” has even found ways to stand out in a more recognizable wardrobe.  Even after seeing style continuously developing, many men are still too scared to wear more fashionable pieces than they are used to.  Here is one item men should consider investing in that will be used for the rest of their lives.cd15a80c8250eb05bd870ebf5a3451f0

The Umbrella.  The umbrella is a timeless piece of fashion that has been “In” since the day of it’s creation.  When I think of an umbrella used for fashion, I think of a man back in the 1920s, wearing a black tuxedo, with a black bow tie, a black top hat and a black umbrella.  The simpleness of the item is what makes it attractive.  A nice, classic, black umbrella will really put a nice touch on whatever it is you’re wearing.  Whether it is raining, or there is a possibility of rain, you should consider keeping this piece with you.  An umbrella looks great when it is folded up and carried as an accessory, but only under certain circumstances.  If it is sunny without a cloud in the sky, by all means, keep it in your car.  But if there is some overcast or trickles of rain, be bold and bust out your stylish black umbrella.2134313774_73293dd508_z

The don’ts of an umbrella: 

  1. Don’t use when it is sunny
  2. Don’t use just any collapsable umbrella
  3. Don’t use the tacky umbrellas with the big golf logos on them when going anywhere but the golf course

The Do’s of an umbrella:

  1. Do look for an all black umbrella
  2. Do use it as an accessory and as a water repellant
  3. Do look for a contrasting handle (black umbrella/brown wooden handle)

Call Your Dad

You know who you are.  If you’ve got beef with your immediate family, you’ve got to be the strong one, the bigger man/woman, the brave one…  Holding on to grudges with any family member is not how things are meant to be.  I can’t tell you how many people have told me their siblings haven’t spoken in twelve years, or their dad is an asshole so they haven’t communicated with them since they were a child, or any other sad story.  I have sympathy, I do.  And I am not Doctor Phil, so I apologize for stepping into some unwanted territory… But you know that feeling when you just performed a spontaneous, well-timed, good deed.  Whether it is for a complete stranger or your best friend.  That feeling of self-satisfaction is pretty hard to explain and even harder to replicate.url

I think that if you have any struggles with your crew life (family) and you find the courage to reach out and just say, “Hey.  This is stupid.  How are you?” you’ll at least have the relief that you broke the ice/made the effort/took the step to make sure that your family is not your enemy.  Make amends when you can, it’s a great feeling.  The ability to forgive is an admirable trait.



We’re all guilty of opening a bag of chips or cookies to enjoy while watching some television and the next thing you know the whole bag is gone, or almost gone.  Don’t even try to pretend you haven’t done this.  And if you haven’t, well you haven’t lived.  One way to control this is to break down large bags into smaller portions.  For example, take a bag of pretzels and ration the entire bag into Ziploc bags, each bag containing one serving size.  Portion control is the name of the game when it comes to a healthy diet and weight loss.