Facial Hair in the Workplace

I was raised with the understanding that if you want to be seen as professional and presentable, you shave your face.  Times, they are uh changing.  Rules once consisted as such:

  1. If you are employed, you show up clean shaven everyday
  2. If you are interviewing, you show up clean shaven
  3. If you attend a private school, you shave
  4. If you want to look presentable and professional, you shave
  5. When in doubt, shave

Today’s Rules:

  1. Fuck every rule above

I turn on the TV and I see ESPN reporters like Jesse Palmer and Tim Tebow rocking the 5 day beard like they’re hung over and on their way to their basket weaving classes.  Or Matt Lauer and Carson Daly on the Today show looking like they’re on their way to a 420 rally.  It’s just so different from what I was used to growing up.  If someone came into school or work with a 5 o’clock shadow they were forced to either shave with cold water and a rusty razor or would be sent home for the day.  Now days it seems like it’s acceptable for reporters and employees to show up to work looking as if they have just been on a 5 day bender with some stink left on their face.  And am I complaining?  Absolutely not.

Working in fashion over the past years I have learned to abide by anything BUT the rules I was brought up with.  Do I agree with them?  Absolutely?  I think it makes a statement when a man shows up to work looking clean cut, clean shaven, and professional.

Am I being a hypocrite?  Probably.  Having to shave your face everyday does some serious wear and tear.  I don’t think men should have to be subdued to that kind of demand.  But I do think when you look at a guy in a suit who is clean shaven, you think, “Lawyer.  Banker.  Insurance Salesman.  Professional.”  To many people those professions can be better translated to: DOUCHE.  But to many, it symbolizes that you’ve got your shit together, whereas a guy in a suit with some scruff could be seen as, “Someone who cares but doesn’t actually care.  Someone making a failed attempt as a male model.  Someone who is so high up he just doesn’t give a shit and can do what he wants.”  Or better yet, a guy seen with scruff constantly can be viewed as, “A regular guy.”

Guys don’t like shaving so frequently and I am honestly glad to see the media and work places ease up on shaving policies.  I have buddies who grow beards left and right with work.  I always ask, “Doesn’t your boss get pissed with you showing up looking like a broken hearted, breakup victim who is too lazy to shave?”  Their response, “Nope.”

I love it.  However, I still admire seeing the old school natured folk like the Yankees and most news networks who demand clean shaven at all times.  It just kind of feels right.  The decision is yours folks.  Business owners all over are changing policies.  Where do you stand?

… I’m writing this article wearing a 2 week beard.


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.  



The Dimple Has Seen Its Days

dimpled-necktie-knotThe classic tie look is a 3 inch wide tie with the dimple directly in the middle of the tie.  This look generated many years ago but has been carried out as a classical piece of business appropriate style.  I’m here to put an end to it… For now.

This is one of those trends that will always come back around, however, in today’s modern world of style, the dimple in the tie look is dated.  With the evolution of neck ties, we are seeing of a trend of slimmer ties.  Most guys who know me, always use the term, “Skinny tie” when referencing my tie collection.  This is not the appropriate use of wordage.  There is such thing as a skinny tie, yes, but in order to be stylish, yet contemporary in the business world, we are seeing men reduce their tie widths.

Going from a 3-inch tie width to a 2.5 or 2 inch width can be tough for the older generation of men to adapt to.  Something I’ve realized through the people I work with, is that the older the man, the less likely they are to make style transitions.  Kind of the “Why mess with a good thing?” saying.  But for me, my generation, and even those who do not wish to change, I think that allowing yourself to do so can really inspire a bit of positivity in your life.  It may make one a bit insecure at first (understand that I am not just talking about tie dimples here but rather, style, overall), but after making a transition, it can be exciting to flirt with new trends.unnamed

So whether you’re wearing a 3-inch width tie, a 2-inch width tie, or a “Skinny” tie, my advice to you, to seem more up to date in the fashion world, is to ditch the dimple.  Rather than poking your finger in the middle to make the impression on the tie, round the slack of the tie.  A tie that is rounded where the dimple once was, looks great in a suit.  The dimple sometimes says, “I’m trying to be a bit like Harvey Spector in my pinstripes.”  unnamed-1

It’s such a simple and subtle change, why not just try it a few times.  It will make you appear a bit more fashion savvy and up to date with modern trends (this one I am taking full credit for).

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?

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.

Your Favorite Affordable Winter Jackets

In need of a stylish winter jacket this cold season, but not willing/wanting to spend the big bucks.  Schott USA is an American made product line to focuses on winter jackets such as peacoats, down jackets, heavy sweaters, as well as winter hats, and leathers.

I personally own three Schott peacoats, and they are all amazing.  My favorite part about them is their affordability.  Not only are they remarkably stylish, they are available for anyone with their pricing.

J Norman & Co. is holding a current inventory of around 10 styles of Schott product with more to come.  Like any of these photos?  We have it all.  

From big name celebs, to small town Buffalonians, they are being seen everywhere…

Stop in at 5110 Main Street and check out our selection of the American made product that is Schott, and assure yourself a more stylish cold season. 

J. Norman’s 10 Grooming Tips

Grooming Tips from J. Norman:

1. Trim Your Beard:  Whether you have the facial features of a Greek god, or the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, trimming your beard will really allow your face to seem more chiseled and look neater.  It looks like you are trying, which is important these days.

2. Use Cologne: Spray your neck, your chest, your balls, your butt.  You don’t want to remembered as the smelly guy under any circumstances.

3. Keep Your Nails Clean And Trimmed: I have had guys I know confess to me that they’ve had manicures.  By no means am I telling you to do this, but I am saying cut them regularly and file them afterwards.  

4. Use Eye Cremes and Other Treatments to Avoid Puffy Eyes: A cold wash cloth eliminates puffiness and keeps you looking more awake.

5. Use Hair Product: The frizzy, “I’m naturally good looking”, look speaks to people that you don’t give a shit.  Apply product to wet or damp hair and dial it up.

6. Hair Up Top: Long hair is not in style right now.  Sorry for the surfer boys and stoners.  Today’s in look is the 50s style cut.  Short and tight on the bottom with some length on the top.  

7. Chewing Etiquette: I cannot emphasize how obvious it is when people chew with their mouths open.  Please be aware of this.  Also, you should not chew gum at public affairs.  It makes you look a little, well…  You get it.

8. Our Natural Scents are Sometimes Not Our Best: Deodorant is kind of that item that we use to cover up our natural scent, which is a bit unnatural if you will.  However, that B.O. scent is not your finest.  Deodorant may be a smart option.  Find healthy options.  Some deodorants have been known to have a material in it that causes Alzheimers.

9. Nose Hair:  Get rid of it!!!

10. Body Hair: As I stated with facial hair, you should keep it maintained.  Nothing wrong with chest and body hair, just keep it neat and tamed.