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Seven Reasons Not To Shop This Holiday

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

 

 

1. Lines

In every long line there is that self-righteous person on their cell phone, talking loudly about who knows what, dreaming they are the only person in the room. The conversations are never important either. It’s not a business call, or a trip to the emergency room, or a sick child…it’s normally about why Suzie’s husband left her, why you’re mad at Suzie, or why Suzie didn’t offer to come shopping you with even though she’s sick and husband-less. By the time you’re two people away from the check-out you realize that you know almost every detail about Suzie’s waking life and are tempted to throw down your merchandise, walk up to Ms. Self-Righteous, hang up her Metro PCS phone, slap her with your holiday shopping bags dangling from your arm, and tell her to just “LEAVE Britne…I mean Suzie alone!!” and run off crying.

RELAND 1 PENCE CELTIC BIRD COIN CUFF LINKS Bird Cufflinks

3. Slow Clerks

“How you want to pay for that? Credit or debit? Would you like to sign up for our email list? Would you like to give your phone number to win a 1,000 prize? Would you like to complete a survey regarding your shopping experience today? Would you like to donate $5 to the Gifts for Children fund? Would you like this gift wrapped? Do you have our special weekly coupon? Do you know your fly is down and you have mustard in your beard?” All of the above is said in the most aggravating, monotone, “I-hate-working-retail-but-I-need-the-extra-cash-for-my-five-disgruntled-children-at-home” gesture and look (especially when folding your newly purchased products). Then they stare at you with a vague gaze and mumble “Happy Holidays” and apathetically say “Next!” like you are cattle.

Enamel Hotdog CufflinksEnamel Hotdog Cufflinks

4. You Always Get Hungry

You pass the roasted nut booths, Starbucks, the smoothie stand, McDonalds, the Chinese place is giving out free little pieces of chicken, you smell fried chicken coming from somewhere else, you walk by a man with a chocolate cake and wonder where he got it, you smell peppermint everywhere, and every single time you pass Bath and Body works you get hungry because your mind doesn’t know the difference between Apple Spice Lotion and Apple Spice Pie. (What’s with this pseudo edible scents anyways, you wonder…) That’s right. Go spend another $10 on a coffee and muffin to assuage your hunger…you’ll be at it again in another 20 minutes. Shopping always makes you ravished.

5. Never Wear The Right Shoes

Men, women, children. You all do it. Take that long journey downtown, or to the mall, or wherever you go to shop, and you never seem to wear the right shoes. If you take someone with you, they manage to complain about their feet within the first hour. And of course, you resort to the “Why did you wear those shoes when you knew we were shopping all day” response, with a roll of the eye. Then you have to spend more money buying another pair of shoes for ______ (said person), by which time everyone is exhausted and just wants an ice cream, and you wait in line for that for 45 minutes and by the time you know it, you don’t even want to shop anymore and the stores are closing anyways!! Uh. Whew. Simply put, wear the right shoes.

Dutch Shoe CufflinksDutch Shoe Cufflinks

6. Shopping With Your Significant Other

“What should we buy Dad?” “I don’t know.” “How about this hat?” “Its proportions are slightly off, it’s only a small percentage of wool, and honestly, I think it’s two dollars cheaper across the street.” “We’re getting the damn hat.”

7. Pesty Sales People

Conversation goes something like…”Oh! Let me HELP you! Try this and this and this…oh that’s not good? Try this! Oh he’ll love this! Oh it’s for a lady? She’ll LOVE this! Best price around! Want me to wrap it for you?”  “I just picked up this scarf…I just wanted to…touch it?”

8. So-Called Sales Prices

Ever see something that is “marked down” from an astronomical price and it’s obvious that it’s “original” price is really the sale price? Really grinds our gears. Just have the prices at what the merchandise is! Yes, yes, we’re all attracted to a “Sale” but please department stores, do a better job at it to salvage our holiday sanity.

These Round Checked 50s Throwback Cufflinks are ALWAYS $25 bucks. No sale, they just are what they are..

Round Checked 50s Throwback CufflinksRound Checked 50s Throwback Cufflinks, $25

 

*Note Number 2. is missing from this because the Reason Number 4 ate it.

Seven Holiday Gifts for Dad

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

 

 

I’m thinking of something….

….Thoughtful
1. Heartfelt Card
There’s nothing like an honest heartfelt card around the holidays. Just make sure it’s not too honest—you don’t want to go bringing up old tiffs and trysts with Papa Bear now. Tell him how much you appreciate him, how invaluable he is, and include a little personal memory that only you would remember.

…..Pocket Sized
2. Swiss Army Knife
Every man can use a new pocket knife. Think of the one dad already owns? Crusty old thing. Throw it out! Get him a new one! Of course one of the most trusted brands is The Swiss Army Knife and even comes with the little plastic toothpick for those unsightly “gum food”. Get the guy something handy.

Wenger Evowood 11, $59Swiss Army Wenger Evowood, $59

….Functional
2. Cufflinks
Think about it—it’s quite simply a no brainer. He can wear them to work, golfing, formal dinners, meetings, at your child’s christening and graduation…they will come in handy very soon. We have a range of moderately priced cufflinks to fit your budget and Dad’s style (or lack there of) and we have a cufflink set for literally every Dad personality out there. Choose from Homer Simpson Cufflinks, Navy Cufflinks, or Hand Painted Animal Cufflinks

Navy Cufflinks, $49Navy Cufflinks, $49

HOMER SIMPSON - YELLOW SIMPSONS CUFFLINKS

Homer Simpson CufflinksKING CHARLES CAVALIER SPANIEL CUFFLINKS

King Charles Spaniel Cufflinks

…Fashionable
3. Tie
Duh. Every year. He needs another tie.

Black Super Stripe Silk TieBlack Super Stripe Silk Tie

…Handy Dandy
4. New Tool
Right before the holidays, tool kits and individual tools normally go on sale. Keep an eye out on the Sunday ads, online sales, free shipping deals, etc. A simple drill, or 10-in-1 kind of tool is always good.

Craftsman Evolv Evolv 18.0 volt Drill/Driver 11383, $39 at SearsCraftsman Evolv Evolv 18.0 volt Drill/Driver 11383, $39 at Sears

 

….Appealing to the Male Ego’s love of sound and projection
6. Surround Sound System for Home
Let’s face it—dad’s hearing is going a little haywire these days. (Think: “What? What?? What?? I can’t hear you! Turn up the TV!). Yes, his ears are going bad. But don’t worry! He can still enjoy his Monday night football and episodes of David Letterman with a surround sound system. And he doesn’t need to have a giant plasma fancy pants TV to go with it, you can simply use it with almost any set you already own. (Not sure about the rabbit ear kind of TV though…)

…Sporty
7. Tickets to a sports game in the New Year
What’s his favorite? Baseball? Soccer? Hockey? Pre-pay for tickets or give him an IOU for his favorite team’s sporting event.

Manchester United Football Club Cufflinks

Manchester United Football Club Cufflinks

What To Put In A Homemade Gift Basket

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

 

 

 

Fruit, Pie, or Baked Good

The classic fruits like oranges and apples, accompanied with a fresh baked apple or pumpkin pie. Nothing like a warm, toasty pie for your neighbor or family friends. Homemade biscottis, cookies, and muffins are relatively easy to whip up as well, plus you can make batches to put in other baskets.If you’re not a baking kind, local bakery is fine or just a nice jar of country jam or preserves will do!

Think Outside the Basket

Think Outside the Basket

Apple Pie RecipeApple Pie Recipe

VINTAGE ARKANSAS RAZORBACK CUFFLINKS

Orange Cufflinks

Chocolate

Who doesn’t love chocolate? At least someone in every family will positively love you for adding this gift basket essential. For extra quality, try to get/order chocolate that is from a single location/country. For instance chocolate from Guatemala, using local cocoa bean and sources make it extra special.

Cufflinks and Tie Bars

Commemorative tie bars and cufflinks from your family’s favorite NFL team will make their season. Don’t forget, there will be a football game on Christmas Day. We have all your NFL goodies and gifts at Cufflinksman:

Baltimore Ravens Tie Bar $34Baltimore Ravens Tie Bar $34

Country Club Silk Knot CufflinksCountry Club Silk Knot Cufflinks

Coffee and Tea

Self explanatory. Any kind of freshly ground coffee from Starbucks, Marshalls, or Dean& Deluca. Tea from Teahaven or local store. Get tea in bags, unless you know they have a tea strainer in the cupboard.

Ribbons

 

 

 

 

Holiday Ribbons!!

Holiday Ribbons!!

 

 

 

 

Festive ribbons make everyone happy.

Gardening Lotion

After all that holiday cooking, gift wrapping, and monkeying around the house, people need a little lotion. Plus skin gets cracked and dry during the winter season, so these miniature lotions make great gifts.

 

 

 

 

Hand Therapy Gardener's Lotion from Crabtree and Evelyn

Hand Therapy Gardener’s Lotion from Crabtree and Evelyn

 

 

 

 

An Ornament

It could be a homemade ornament from one of your children (or yourself…), a collector’s item, a picture frame, or a little memento from the city you live in! These add a personal touch to the generic gift basket, especially when it’s thoughtful and particular to who your giving it to.

Enamel Reindeer Cufflinks

 

 

 

 

Enamel Reindeer Cufflinks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Trend Report 2011: Numero Dos

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

 

 

Here are a couple of hand picked trends for this season, featuring beautiful photography and a reinvention of classic looks. Magazines like Esquire show how it’s possible to rework the fashion image of your favorite icon, like James Dean, and bring it into 2011. Also let’s not forget the importance of accessories, in this case, ties and new shoes.

Man in Charge: Bring Back the Suit

Wool suit ($648) by Banana Republic; cotton shirt ($595) by Brioni; silk knit tie ($105) by Thomas Pink; leather shoes ($860) by Fratelli Rossetti.  Photo by: Tony Kim of Esquire Magazine

Wool suit ($648) by Banana Republic; cotton shirt ($595) by Brioni; silk knit tie ($105) by Thomas Pink; leather shoes ($860) by Fratelli Rossetti. Photo by: Tony Kim of Esquire Magazine

Pair it with this set by Daniel Dolce:

Cufflinks Sets: Daniel Dolce, diagnal stripe with hematite, onyx, and mother of pearl

Cufflinks Sets: Daniel Dolce, diagnal stripe with hematite, onyx, and mother of pearl

Tips from Esquire: Get the Right Fit

If you’re a member of the one-size-up, I-like-my-jacket-roomy club, the DB suit is not for you. The jacket should hug your sides, the sleeves should be cut slim, and the shoulders should have as little padding as possible. The close fit you get with most of today’s double-breasted suits is essential for pulling it off.

Cashmere coat ($4,150) by Louis Vuitton; camel-hair suit ($2,095) by Versace; cotton shirt ($340) by Salvatore Ferragamo; silk tie ($195) by Brioni; leather shoes ($825) by Dolce & Gabbana. Photo by Tony Kim

Tips from Esquire: Give the DB Suit a Chance

Used to be that wearing a suit to work was an act of submission, of following a code. But today it’s more like an act of aggression — that in a world in which suiting up is increasingly seen as optional, wearing a suit, much less one of the new breed of slim-cut double-breasted suits, brands you a maverick. The DB suit is swagger incarnate.

 

Style Icon: James Dean

Rebel Without a Cause  Jacket by Michael Bastian, t-shirt by Patrik Ervell, jeans by J. Crew, shoes by Rag & Bone.  PHOTOGRAPH BY John Jannuzzi

Rebel Without a Cause Jacket by Michael Bastian, t-shirt by Patrik Ervell, jeans by J. Crew, shoes by Rag & Bone. PHOTOGRAPH BY John Jannuzzi

How can I work plaid in with a tie?? Here’s how:

Shirt and Tie (Plaid)

PLaid Shirt with Tie

Plaid Shirt with Tie

Get it from CLM: It is true that you can’t have enough ties in your wardrobe. The important thing, however, is having classic, good quality ties that will not fall away (or out of style) due to the impetuous tides of fashion.

Purple Clover Tie, 100% Italian Silk Neck Wear from Daniel Dolce

Purple Clover Tie, 100% Italian Silk Neck Wear from Daniel Dolce

And where would we be without shoes? I’ll tell you one thing, you wouldn’t get very far. Don’t be afraid of a little color in both the shoes and the pant. We personally love this bright-ish brown hue of these loafers with the blue pants:

Leather loafers ($218) by the Frye Company; cotton moleskin trousers ($1,100) by Salvatore Ferragamo. PHOTOGRAPH BY: JEFFREY WESTBROOK/STUDIO D

Leather loafers ($218) by the Frye Company; cotton moleskin trousers ($1,100) by Salvatore Ferragamo. PHOTOGRAPH BY: JEFFREY WESTBROOK/STUDIO D

Loyal Reader, we’ll be back soon!