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.  




24 Feminine Things That Men Do

All men can admit it: There are things we do/have done that whether it’s while performing the act or afterwards, we realize that it may have been a little fem.  Fem being girly, weird, uncharacteristic, and so on.  After some research and some interviewing here are some things that you aren’t alone on:

1. You love belting out Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus.  Chances are you’ve done it in public.  But that’s kind of in that ironic way that you’re doing it with everyone else at the bar.  Little do they know, you are still belting it out in your car on XM radio and it’s giving you the chills.

2. You dance around in your bedroom when no one is there.  

3. You absolutely loved The Devil Wears Prada 4. You try on multiple outfits before you go out.

5. You go from one mirror to the next… To the next and to the next hoping you’ll look better each time. 6. Get a manicure/pedicure.  I’m still not completely sold on this but apparently lots of men do it.  I still think they should not admit to it.

7. You cry during movies.  Being emotional is by no means something to shun away from.  The film 50/50 makes me cry like a baby every time I watch it.

8. You’ve Worn Makeup: So you got an untimely bastard of a pimple you wish you could beat the living fuck out of and you hid it with some cover up?  More men do it than you think.  9. Enjoy a spa day.  Everyone loves a good massage.  You’d take it from literally anybody. 10. You wish you were friends with Taylor Swift.  Not saying you want to “Bang her” to youre friends, rather that you want to hang out with her and ask her about Harry Styles and John Mayer.

11. You read celebrity magazines or girly mags:  I might enjoy looking through US Weekly and People more than I do ESPN magazines these days.  Wait.  Check that.  I do. 12. You love cuddling.  

13. You use more pet names than your girlfriend.  It’s okay, the last two just mean you’re close with your spouse.

14. You use your spouses lotions, facial cremes, and shower supplies.  I think the fruit scented stuff smells better than the man scented shit.  Judge me.

15. You sing in the shower.  Not my thing but I can’t tell you the amount of videos I see of girlfriends harassing their boyfriends as they belt out Mariah Carey in the shower.

16. You file your nails.  It prevents them from scratching and getting caught on blankets…

17. Your DVR does not scream “Masculinity!”  I have been the guy to go through friend’s DVRs who live by themselves and it is legit embarrassing.  But we aren’t here to judge.

18. You’ve used a face mask before.   19. You enjoy a fruity drink.  

20. You shop when you’re emotional. 

21. You love gossip:  Finding out things before other people do and knowing things you shouldn’t know gives you a guilty satisfaction and always leaves you wanting more.

22. You love taking selfies.   23. You want to be wined and dined.  It’s kind of like those Flip Side videos.  You wish the girl would spoil you more often.

24. You admit to other men being attractive. 

Spring Break Style Tips

Spring Break is getting to the point where we are almost able to use the words, “Around the corner.”  I think we who have experienced this Polar Vortex this year are ready to get away as soon as they humanly can.

Whenever you are able to get away and escape from this repugnant weather, here are some tips so you can get by as smoothly and stylishly as possible.

1. Don’t look like a tourist/traveller: Sometimes it can be a bit too obvious that you’re from Buffalo, NY when you end up in tropical climate areas.  You are the one wearing shorts and a tank top on 60 degree days.  My advice is to pack for cooler days as well.  Southern states have been experiencing more cold weather this winter, so don’t look like a shmuck.  Wear pants when needed or throw on that sweater to be nice and comfortable.

2. Swim Wear: Swim wear has evolved for men (stylish men).  We have stolen roots from the Euro-style and it makes sense.  The drawn-out knee-length (or below-the-knee length) board shorts have lost their lust.  Stylish men are now wearing shorts that are hemmed up a bit higher and show off some thigh.  It’s time for you to not look so ridiculous when you are naked and to have a little more tan to those chicken legs.

3. Pack a nautical sweater: Hopefully you will find yourself at or near a beach.  In this case, the striped sweater is a stylish and appropriate item.  Make it a light and breathable sweater so you can wear it with no undershirt or even wear it with your swim shorts.

4. Take Advantage of the Fact That No One Knows You There: This is one major opportunity where you have the luxury of dressing however you want to dress.  Too insecure to wear your trendy new gear in the suburbs of Clarence??  No problem.  Dress the way you see the celebs dress, the way style magazines promote, and the way you’re too worried about how judged you would get back home.

5. Cut Your Toe Nails: Seriously.  As men, it’s something we pretty much forget to do until our big toe nails get caught on our blankets, socks, and pants.  Get rid of the nasty big toe nails before someone spots them.

6. SPF Moisturizer: Skin care is a big issue now days.  Don’t go fry yourself at the first sight of the sun.  Wear at least SPF 15 on your face and sensitive skin spots.  It’ll keep you looking younger, longer.

7. Utilize the casual undershirt: Suits aren’t just meant for button downs underneath.  Wear that henley shirt your wore to the beach under a sport coat out to dinner one night.  Maybe with a piece of jewelry around your neck and a solid pair of chinos.

8. Find Hot and Trendy Spots: Whether it’s secluded beaches or hip restaurants, find some fun stuff.

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Something You See, But Don’t Do

A lot of guys have mentioned the fact that in magazines, on models, and on celebrities, they see men rolling up or pushing up their suit sleeves, but that they never see it in actual life.  The question for this matter is, “How would one sport this look and what type of jacket would it require?”

I have a few jackets that this look is doable with and that I have sported.  One of the jackets has a pattern on the inside of the jacket, so when I roll the sleeves, it seems even more relevant.  The other does not.  The jacket does not need sleeve pattern in order to pull this look off.

When attempting to pull this look off, I highly recommend doing such with a sport jacket rather than a suit jacket.  This look will diversify you from every other Tom and Joe who wears a sport coat.  Be careful though, and make sure you have the right type of jacket to do it with.  The jacket should be unstructured and slim fitting.

Ways to pull this look:

  • With a Button down underneath: If you are wearing a button down underneath the sport coat, you should roll your jacket sleeves first and then roll your button down sleeves over the jacket cuffs, exposing your inner button down cuffs.  This way, if there is cuff detail, it will be noticed.
  • With a short sleeve shirt: Whether a T shirt or henley, you have two options: A. Roll one sleeve on whichever arm you are wearing your watch, to show it off, and leave the other full length. B. Roll them both and show some skin. 
  • Go all out: Pop the collar on the jacket as well as rolling the sleeves.  Some jackets have collar detail.  What better way to show it?

Things Men Should Know

Whether you’re a big drinker, casual drinker, or non-drinker, it is a beneficial attribute to have a basic knowledge and understanding on wine and common grape types.  If you’re out to dinner with clients, or with your boss, and they put the heat on you to order a bottle for the table, it is nice to have some sort of an idea what it is you’re ordering.  Without further ado, here is some basic knowledge on wine that can come to your benefit:

Common red grapes and their components: 

1. Cabernet Sauvignon:  A “Cab Sauv” is meant to be a full-bodied wine.  Meaning it will be thicker, heartier, and fuller than most wines.  It is meant to give a warm, toasty taste and is often a wine people enjoy with steak.

2. Merlot: A Merlot is normally a decently full-bodied wine, but not as heavy as a Cabernet.  This wine is meant to be smooth with a plum-like taste.

3. Pinot Noir: My personal favorite grape for a red wine, is a lighter red wine, with hints of cherry flavors and earthy hints.  If you don’t want the heaviness of a cab, go for pinot noir.

4. Zinfandel: This type of wine is usually a wine preferred by women.  It’s fruity, more sugary and sweet and is often used to make rose wines.

5. Syrah: A grape the Aussies have seemed to conquer, is usually meant to have a hint of pepper taste to the wine.  Another red that can be enjoyed greatly with steaks.

Common white grapes and their components: 

1. Chardonnay: A common stripper name…  But a better enjoyed white wine that is usually best when the wine has a certain buttery taste/feel to it.   A chardonnay is going to be a very full-bodied white wine and will have a much stronger and recognizable taste than any other white wine.

2. Pinot Grigio: A white wine that is meant to be dry, crisp and refreshing.  Pinot Grigio is meant to be lighter and is often enjoyed in warm weather times, however, should not be put away for cold weather seasons if you’re going to treat yourself.

3. Riesling: Riesling is normally a sweeter wine that can often times have a peachy taste.  It’s light, sweet and sugary.

4. Sauvignon Blanc: A wine that is meant to be citrusy and a bit acidic.  This wine is going to be a bit dry and have a bit of that leafy/earthy taste to it.  Not an overly sweet white wine, but a great choice.

Temperatures wines should be enjoyed at:

Red wines: The common and appropriate temperature for a red wine is 65 degrees F.

White wines: 50 degrees F is the norm for a white wine, but I enjoy it at a temperature a bit lower than that at times.  Most people won’t complain about a white wine being too cold, but remember that it does take away from the win if it is too cold.

Champagne: 40-45 degrees F is a safe play for this wine.

How To Utilize Your Tweed Suit

First and foremost if you haven’t bought a tweed suit yet, you should get on it.  This time of the year, tweed is so fashion forward, it keeps you nice and warm, and you can utilize it in so many ways.  There are inexpensive tweed suits out there, you just have to do your research.

Look 1: Wedding/Formal/Work: If you are headed in to any of these situations/destinations, a tweed suit is a perfect option to look your best and stand out.  

Look 2: Lose the Jacket: Breaking a tweed suit down is almost mandatory if you own one.  Pants or jacket, you can’t go wrong.  When you lose the jacket, keep it dressy up top still.  Throw on a nice wool sweater/cardigan, a shirt and tie.  Make sure you select the right shoes as well.  Don’t let anything look too “matchy.”

Men's bags and Tweed pants for Fall 12

3. Casual Layering: Cardigan, striped shirt, scarf, pair of jeans and sick kicks and you are in for your Friday night.

Things Men Should Know

Every Monday, we at J. Norman are going to attempt to continue this “Things Men Should Know,” segment.  With it, we are going to include basic things that will help boost men’s knowledge on manly topics.  Today’s topic:

How to select a good cigar:

1. Calculate the strength of the tobacco: Many tobacco specialists will agree that the best tobacco comes from the Caribbean.  

2. Evaluate the wrapper: The wrap should be smooth and should feel oily.  This ensures that the cigar is still fresh.  Cracks in the cigar show a staleness.

3. Texture: A cigar with bumps and soft spots indicates that it was not filled properly and it will not smoke as well.

4. Filler: A cigar with long, bundled leaves should ensure that the cigar on’t break apart in your mouth.

5. Length and Thickness: Length and thickness are personal preferences.  A smaller, shorter cigar can be enjoyed in moments where you may be a bit strapped for time.  I enjoy a smaller cigar.  I think they look sharper anyways. 

Parting Your Hair Left Vs. Right

What does your hair say about you?  After some extensive research (a couple Google searches) this is what I was able to discover about The Effects of Hair Parting on Social Appraisal and Personal Development:

Men W/Left Part: This is natural for men, usually works well for them. Perceived as popular, successful, strong, traditional. Can be out of touch with the feminine side of themselves. Examples: John Wayne, Tom Brokaw, John F. Kennedy, Edward M. Kennedy.

Men W/Right Part: Usually unnatural for men. Can create an uncomfortable image; can cause social shunning, sometimes leading to unusual or eccentric behavior. Perceived as atypical, open, radical.Can work ok if the man is very confident, attractive, or striving to be respected in a non-traditional male role. Examples: Al Gore, Rush Limbaugh, Robert F. Kennedy, Charlie Rose, Tom Snyder.

Men + Women W/No Part, Natural for men and women. Perceived as balanced, trustworthy and wise.

Most of the possible choices generally do not negatively affect perceptions of the individual, but the individuals who are potentially put in the worst position are men who part their hair on the right and who are also striving to be assessed positively within a traditional male role.  Observations have shown that the right part on a man may interfere with positive social situations and personal development. We focus in this article on these right-parting men because they seem to exhibit the most consistent correlations and also because they could benefit the most from this information.

A highly illustrative place to observe hair parting and perceived personal attributes is in film and television characters. Consistently, directors, casting agents and hair stylists appear to be choosing a left or a right part for characters that exhibit the characteristics identified with the left and right sides of the brain, and a center part, no hair part or baldness for those characters who have balanced personalities.

The most striking example and perhaps the most illustrative of The Hair Part Theory, is that when Christopher Reeve played Clark Kent, his hair was parted on the right. As Superman, his hair was parted on the left.


Notice earlier, that modern day Superman parts his hair to the left (right hair part).  Everything is acceptable and everything works.  This article was for laughs.

This article should not be taken serious and I hope my readers understand the irony of all of this and that it makes zero difference to which side you choose to part your hair…

Credit to this article goes to TrueMirror @

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.