Krystyn and Dapper Dan

A young woman from the South offers her take on men’s hair in the Pacific Northwest:

Contrary to the perseverant ideals of short, clean, and dapper men’s hairstyles on the east coast, the Pacific Northwest is leading the way for longer and wilder manes with individual twists, depending on personal taste.
Growing up in the south, as a woman up here now, I am pleasantly surprised when the eccentricity is pulled off with sophistication. Often you’ll see a man bun or top knot with fades on either side or as special form of undercut.
To distinguish between a man bun and a top knot, a bun generally rests on the back of the head and requires a full head of super long hair.
A top knot, on the other hand is medium to long hair pulled into a tight knot on the top of the head, often with the sides and back shaved.
Fades require more attention to detail on part of the barber, so guys, choose wisely! Rarely will supermarket chains or Sport Clips be able to provide you with a quality fade. The signature of a good, read: fresh fade capable, barber is the ability to blend graduated lengths of already very short hair.
Another perk of finding a great barber for contemporary and edgy styles, is the ability to cut designs into that perfect fade. While this is huge right now, and extremely sexy when used appropriately, this is not for everyone, and it can easily come off as cheesy. So again, choose carefully. Less is more here, in my opinion. I’m not a huge fan of exuberant designs in men’s hair, but I’m also considerably more conventional in that respect (I attribute this to my southern heritage; Clark Gable is basically my male hair archetype).
One thing is most certain, and worth mentioning if you’re single: Please, PLEASE care for your hair if you decide to go long and luscious or for top knot and bun styles. You have to wash and condition it, and plan to have it trimmed regularly. Long hair is more vulnerable to damage, which makes the hair look unattractively unkempt, dirty, and unhealthy when not given proper attention. Accordingly, these styles are preferably for men who don’t mind being a little more high maintenance. And as a woman, I am beyond naturally inclined toward a man who cares of himself a little extra ;)
If you aren’t quite the demographic inclined to go with the wild length, I encourage any young man to incorporate a fade into short styles, even the classic high and tight. Just that single touch can bring a high class edge to your comfort zone!
SG says: Attention to detail is critical in all facets of personal style. This includes your hair. Guys, pay attention to it!
For more on men’s style and the gentleman’s lifestyle, follow @SterlingGent

Men’s Fall Fashion

Guest Blogger Krystyn offers her take on men’s fall fashion:

Fashion is very deeply influenced by the culture that surrounds it. Being a country of luxury and individualist tendency, American fashion ultimately follows suit. For men, the Fall 2015 runway pulled from all the hot topics that you’ve likely followed in the media, including (in my interpretive opinion): Fifty Shades of Grey, gender fluidity, a shift from form fit to loose and more inclusivity to different body styles, hip hop culture, and the persistent fixation on anything Retro. This lineup was interesting, to say the least, but not completely unwelcome.

Dark greens and any and all hues of grey are the colors of the season (money and sex – 50 shades allusions, anyone?), and for men, these are always classic! The colors themselves are reminiscent of the changing seasons, and always find their place among fall lineups, but to be seen in such heavy focus is refreshing and sexy (considering my interpretation of their inspirational origins), especially in men’s fashion, as both are almost universally flattering.  Despite my personal proclivity for money and sex, I do absolutely think that the focus on grey has everything to do with our nations’ obsession with the infamous book series that brought taboo sex to the suburbs! I, for one, could not be happier about this. We do not live in the fifties anymore; please do introduce some of that subculture into the mainstream so everything does not have to be SO shocking and offensive! While you’re wearing your grey trousers, don’t forget that silver tie…the ladies will automatically tune in to that channel mentally.

Oversized fit was quite common on this line, as well this year. Where we have usually opted for a closer fit in male clothing, high fashion has integrated “street” styles with baggy trousers, and oversized – even slouchy – overcoats. While designers were rumored to be channeling the days of Zoot suits (prohibition nostalgia, anyone?), the end result simply appeared sloppy. While I cannot speak for everyone, I do not prefer a man in baggy, slouchy, or otherwise oversized clothing. A man who looks as though he put minimal effort into his look, I assume will be equally lackadaisical in his relationships…and in even more personal areas.

That being said, I do give props to designers for what I believe to be their attempt at making fashion more body-inclusive, albeit a far-fetched and narrow attempt through oversized structure, but the attempt is there, and that is a start. Men, as women, come in a variety of body sizes and shapes, none superior to the other and all more than deserving of a unique and polished style. It is no longer an obsessive trait of the fashion industry to design for waif thin models or perfectly square male physiques. Runways are often over-exaggerated versions of reality, so the outlook is bright for greater acceptability of different body forms.

One cultural shift that I did not expect to have such an immediate influence was androgyny or gender fluidity. Of late, more and more individuals are ditching the ridged constraints of masculine or feminine and experimenting with elements of style from both camps! This is quite revolutionary in our modern culture, where sexism and conformity are ironically rampant, considering our vehemence on “freedom.” The fall lineup for men boasted one-piece suits (‘jumpers/rompers’ as we ladies know them), in a variety of colors and materials, and accessorized with ties, belts, and even button down shirts (worn underneath) to help personalize the look. The color-block fad that invaded women’s lines several seasons ago has also made a reemergence in male fashion this season; with large square patterns and mixed media embellishments. Interestingly, both of these gender neutral adaptations, as well as the Shearling obsession in this fall lineup (which I refuse to acknowledge, because it is overdone and horrid in my opinion) also have roots in the Boho trend that incorporates seventies/hippy-era elements into womenswear. Perhaps this is an indication of what’s to come next for the guys?

It should be nothing less than interesting to see what men on the street do with the trickle down from the runways. If we can make these staples sleek and classy, this fall will be on point! Nevertheless, we should all find solace in the fact that our culture is moving toward greater freedoms and focuses on equality, and communicating those themes to the masses not only in media, but in the ways we style and represent ourselves. You must BE the change you wish to see in the world, right?

For more on men’s fashion and the gentlemen’s lifestyle, follow @SterlingGent

Guest posts are welcome — get in touch on twitter and we’ll talk!


What’s the Difference Between a Sportcoat and a Blazer?

Well, what is the difference between a sportcoat and a blazer? Is there a difference?

The short answer is for modern purposes, there’s really not much difference.  I’ve seen the two words used interchangeably quite often.

But, there IS a difference.

A sportcoat is a fairly casual affair — as the name suggests, originally used for sporting occasions.  Think of a hunting tweed, for example.  Sportcoats used to (and still do, sometimes) have leather patches on the elbows and even on the shoulders.  Think of the stereotypical 60s college professor.  Worn with khaki chinos or even with corduroys, it’s a nice way to dress up an otherwise casual outfit.


A blazer is the more formal of the two.  Think of navy with brass buttons.  The kind of coat you might wear after work or on weekends with a pair of grey slacks.  It’s dressing down, but not too much.

So, there you have it. The subtle difference between a blazer and a sportcoat.  Go and choose wisely, gentlemen.

For more on men’s style and fashion, follow me @SterlingGent 



The Gentleman’s New Shoes

So, I went shoe shopping this past weekend.  And bought a delightful, brogue-detailed pair of Cole Haan black dress shoes.  I don’t remember exactly their name, but I already rather enjoy them for both comfort and stylistic appeal.


Here they are:


A Gentleman’s Clothes Always Fit Well

Yes, it is important to have nice clothes.  But even more important to wear them well.

Here, we get some advice on clothes and fit.

The point is:  Your clothes should fit.  They should fit YOU.  They should fit you as you currently are — not as you imagine you are or as you may well be after months of training for a half marathon.

Buy basics and buy high quality.  The best made pair of pants, a well done blue blazer.  Quality ties that work with basic shirts. 

This is how it starts.  You buy well and what you can afford and you build. 

Men especially benefit from the keep it simple rule.  You can have a small collection of high quality basics and look great every day.  IF your clothes fit.

Not sure if your clothes fit well?  Take a trusted friend (probably a female) along with you and ask her opinion.  Or, talk with the sales associate where you shop and get their feedback.  Honest feedback from a retailer is priceless.  They know that if you are happy with how you look when you leave, you’ll come back.  So, ASK. Don’t just buy a shirt that you think looks nice — try it on if you’re not sure and GET AN OPINION.

A gentleman takes sound advice in stride and uses it to his advantage.

So, again, buy and wear clothes that fit.  A basic premise of being a gentleman.


The Valentine’s Day Event

I previously posted about what a gentleman should give his lady on Valentine’s Day.

Of course, getting the right gift is only part of getting Valentine’s Day right.  There’s also the even that is Valentine’s Day.  The date night.  The activity.  The spending quality time with the woman you are wooing.

And so, for suggestions, you may turn to our friends at OfIronandOak.  They offer five unique suggestions for making Valentine’s Day a hit.  Our personal favorite involves cooking for your lady.  A gentleman knows his way around a kitchen, even if it is not his first love.  So, make her a meal.  Light some candles.  And show her a wonderful Valentine’s Day.


What is the Sterling Gentleman?

The Sterling Gentleman is the man who aspires to dress well.

This is the professional man, the working man, the man about town.  No matter, he dresses well.

If you wear a suit and tie to work each day, this is for you.  If you aspire to wear suits and ties, you will also find it useful.  And if you’re just searching for general advice about clothes, shoes, fashion, and how to be a gentleman, this site is for you.

Of course, if you’re a woman seeking to find ways to improve your favorite gentleman’s style, you’ll also appreciate Sterling Gentleman.