Do You Really Need Kanye to Validate Me?

Don’t wait for someone else to validate your friend’s work to support him/her. Ask yourself, “If Kanye said my homie’s art was dope, would I start supporting?” If the answer is yes, don’t wait for ‘Ye or Kim or Barack or Cardi or LeBron or Beyoncé or Cole or anyone else to say it. Just support your people the same way you support ‘Ye or Kim or Barack or Cardi or LeBron or Beyoncé or Cole. Go to their shows. Rock their clothes. Hype them up on social media.

And, while money is ALWAYS nice for artists who pour our souls into our art forms, I get it: We don’t all have bread to spend on every little thing (I blame Sally Mae). But you can click a link. You can repost a piece of work or a web address. You can have their new track playing on your Instagram Story while you’re driving up I-95. You can go hard for your homie’s business like it’s yours every now and then. If you wouldn’t buy their stuff regardless of whether ‘Ye liked the work or not, that’s cool. But if (s)he is truly your friend, still repost because art is like food: everyone has different tastes.

In short, stop killing genuine art (and, ultimately, your friends’ livelihoods) with your apathy. It’s not 1984, it’s 2018. Supporting is as easy as tapping a touchscreen once or twice. If you don’t even do the bare minimum to support, don’t expect to get put on when your talented friends make it.

While we’re on the subject of support, check out my Patreon page and subscribe to get an exclusive look at my creative process and weekly pieces that won’t hit the public.

Make supporting your team a priority.

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Looking the Part

How do you prepare for big days?

I remember, as a boy, my dad taught me to take special care of my shoes. As a young man in the professional world, when I wore shoes to work every day, I polished them at least once a week. Now that I am able to wear sneakers and loafers on some days, I polish my hard bottoms less frequently but I still pay attention to their shine.

This post isn’t about shoes. It’s about being intentional in every aspect of your presentation. Press your shirts and trousers. Be able to select the appropriate socks. Have pen and paper that say, “I believe that what I am writing ought to be written with class.” Go into a meeting knowing you can not only meet with kings but also connect with them.

Life is too short not to be able to present yourself in a manner that commands respect. I’m not saying you always have to be in a full suit and tie but at least know how to do it and look comfortable and confident when you do.

 

Make looking the part a priority.

10 Steps to a Perfectly Organised Wardobe

Came across this article yesterday and thought it would help quite a few of my readers. Though it is targeted toward men, it can certainly be adapted and made to work for ladies as well. If you like the gist of it, feel free to finish it up by clicking the link at the end. (By the way, I love reading the idiosyncrasies that come with British English, when compared to American English. Makes me wonder how we mis-learned so many apparently correct ways of spelling words.)

Words by Mr Dan Rookwood, US Editor, MR PORTER

Minimalism might be the smug Instagram ideal, but the reality for most people – those of us who like buying clothes anyway – is a wardrobe and cupboards that are over-stuffed at best and a precariously balanced landslide-in-waiting at worst.

If it’s a struggle to prise a hanger from the rail or a sweater from the shelf and doing so brings with it the garments either side, then you’re suffering from stuffocation and everything will end up looking creased. And all those items hidden away in the dark recesses? You never wear them. You’ve probably forgotten you even own them.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Clear away the clutter and you’ll be able to access all areas. Not only will that remove some low-level stress from your life, but you will open up exponentially more outfit possibilities, rediscover some old favourites and breathe new life into your everyday look.

And yes, OK, we will admit to having an ulterior motive. Because oh look, you can suddenly fit in more clothes. Turns out we can help with that, too.

 

Make remaining organized a priority.

The Ins and Outs of Dress

During my undergraduate years, chances were you’d find me with a collared shirt on 3 out of 5 days a week, a tie 2 out of those 3, and a full suit once. I was looking to break into corporate America and the corporate America I wanted to be a part of required that every day. My goals have since changed.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy putting on an impeccably tailored suit, some well-polished shoes, and picking up my attaché briefcase from time to time. I choose to do it a few times a month. But it’s just not necessary to always put on such cumbersome clothing in my current setting, so I don’t.

The culture of the American workplace is changing. It is relaxing more and more. Lines that were once drawn in the sand have been eroded by the wind and water of the beach we all hope to live on one day.

Structure has its place. When I meet with a donor whose background is corporate, I put on my best navy or charcoal suit, a crisp shirt, and a tie that conveys the message I’m looking to relay. But why burden myself on a day that I’m not in the mood to have a tight piece of silk knotted on my neck when I’m just going to be punching away at a keyboard, not meeting with anyone who doesn’t see me every day?

In addition, it is unnecessarily expensive to get senselessly dressed every single day. Dress shirts, when cleaned properly, take extra time and resources to maintain. Suits require dry cleaning. Shoes must be resoled once they’ve made it enough miles.

There is a time and place for suits and ties, just as there is a time and place for chinos and polos. Shoot, even jeans are appropriate in many settings but that’s a discussion for you and your higher ups.

Work shouldn’t feel stressful. It should feel like you’re making your life better in every way. Let’s start thinking and acting differently.

 

 

Make professional development a priority.

UnderFit > Undershirt

I was recently introduced to a brand of shirts that I can without a doubt say is ahead of the curve when it comes to men’s professional dress.  If you read my post on selecting the proper undershirt a few months back, you know I’m a stickler for details.  To me, more important than my comfort is the fact that I’m not breaking any major rules.  But it’s definitely great when you can have on the right tee shirt while still being completely comfortable in it.  That’s where UnderFit comes in.  The design of an Stay Tucked In: No more constantly ducking into the bathroom all day to re-tuck.UnderFit tee shirt is what truly sets it apart from any general brand you might find in an average store.  The shirt is wide and at the shoulder and chest as most shirts are but, instead of remaining that way throughout as most undershirts do, the shirt narrows as it approaches your waist, providing a slimmer fit that will allow your dress shirt or polo to truly shine as opposed to having unnecessary buldges.  Another feature I was impressed with was the three additional inches of material at the waist that allow me to stretch, move around, and engage in all the basic physical activity of a business day without having my shirt come untucked.  Gentlemen, if there is one thing we know, it is that an untucked undershirt underneath a suit can be a nusicance that we often have to endure throughout business meetings.  When I’m wearing an UnderFit shirt, that is one less thing I have to worry about while giving a presentation or facilitating a workshop.

I will not say that UnderFit shirts are cheap.  But believe me, the older you get, and as you begin seeing your wardrobe as an investment as opposed to a financial burden, you will begin putting your money toward more quality pieces. Not only are UnderFit shirts comfortable and soft, they are durable. I’ve worn and washed mine regularly and see no indications of wear and tear nor of shrinkage.

All in all, I would not dare put this undershirt in the same category as a Hanes or a Fruit of the Loom. It is not an alternate; It is an upgrade. A necessary one for every man who takes pride in his professional image. For more information on UnderFit’s products and pricing, visit www.underfitshirts.com.

Look the Part

Time and time again, I go to Valet for a ton of my Well-Dressed Wednesday posts because Valet has a wealth of information on traditions and trends when it comes to menswear.  Don’t sleep on them just because GQ or Esquire have a bigger market share and are more common household names.  Valet will keep you a step above.  Anyway, I say that to say this: I found a pretty good piece on Valet’s Q&A section about what to wear to different types of interviews.  Check it out below.

 

What should I wear on a job interview?

This is a question we get asked a lot. So we checked in with HR maestro Allison Nawoj of CareerBuilder.com for her thoughts: “Your attire and personal grooming are both an important part of interviewing and are necessary to selling yourself well.” Her advice? “Strive for crisp and clean—you want the interviewer to be listening to what you’re saying, not critiquing what you’re wearing.” Of course, your attire should correspond with the job and the working environment. We rounded up a few interview options for corporate and creative gigs that are both foolproof and affordable. After all, you don’t want to spend that first paycheck before you get it.

Corporate

Sharp, polished and professional. Go with a charcoal grey suit, tailored for a proper fit. A small checked shirt will separate you from the sea of drones in starched white button-downs. Finish with a simple patterned tie and subdued cap toe lace-ups.

https://i2.wp.com/www.valetmag.com/gr/daily/ask_valet/style/job_interview_attire_050312/art-corporate_job_interview_clothing.jpg

Creative

When you skip the jacket, make sure your shirt fits perfectly. Go with an of-the-moment spread collar in a subtle pattern and accent it with a textured silk knit tie (which feels less stuffy). If you’ll wear jeans to the job, you can wear them to the interview—just make sure they’re dark and clean. Ground the look with some desert boots or a pair of polished loafers.

https://i1.wp.com/www.valetmag.com/gr/daily/ask_valet/style/job_interview_attire_050312/art-creative_job_interview_clothing.jpg

Source: Valet

Name That Collar

A couple of weeks ago, Des and I were at church and there was an usher with a collar that did not go well with his tie or with the style of suit he was wearing. I have a problem of always expecting a lot out of a gentleman in a suit and I’m trying to lower that expecation but lowering expectations is something that I was told never to do so guess what: I don’t.

I say all that to say this: know what kind of collars there are. Figure out which goes best with what. And let those things work together. Also know that not every collar works for everybody/every body. Your body was made for you and there are some collars that were made for you. For instance, I don’t own any two-buton Italian collared shirts (see below) because it’s not my style. I associate it with an Goodfellas, Joe Pesci kind of guy and I don’t think embodying that personality in a board room would work for me. Every collar has a personality. What does yours say about you?

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