Thursday, May 26, 2011

Not Nattering: Jefferson's Ten Rules

There is value in codifying a list of rules to guide your future behavior.  You probably do it all the time without realizing.  These days, it seems we make more to do lists for the completion external endeavors. For instance, I make to-do lists daily and weekly.  I do this for personal and professional tasks.  To do what Jefferson's has above requires quite a bit of introspection and reflection to know even where to begin.  

It would behoove us to reflect then write down areas where we can improve based on past behavior.  Make a quarterly appointment with yourself to sit for quiet introspection about how you can improve.  Jefferson's rules are a great starting point for everyone.  George Washington, Ben Franklin and others took a crack at it also.  MT and I have a framed copy of TJ's rules in our office at home above where we keep our house keys.  Once in a while, I find myself breaking the rules.  In particular, the first and fourth rules seem to sneak up on me from time to time.  The point is I recognize it.  I have begun to question myself in the moment.  Sometime between TJ's and our own, we discarded the goal of perfecting ourselves  (or maybe it's just me).  We are caught up in our profession, or like affairs, instead of the business of self-actualization.  Let us no longer forgo this noble ambition.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Article of Affection: My Double Monks

Yes, these are the much discussed Sid Mashburn Double Monk straps made by Alfred Sargent.  Yes, they are mine.  Yes, I love them.  No, I don't sleep with them on my feet.  I procured them in late January this year to mark the conclusion of a very significant program I completed at work.  They feel as good on my feet as it does to know that program is over.  I have long been fascinated by monk strap shoes especially the clean simplicity of their design combined with their unique functional charm.  My father introduced them to me when we were on vacation in England and Ireland.  There I acquired a pair of Church & Co. tan brogue monk straps until my foot sadly grew.  If those shoes ever cross my path, there won't be a hesitation.  Having seen the post on A Headlong Dive, it occurred to me I needed to share this purchase here.  

The Pavlovian Response may have had me at this point.

Fresh from the box.

Unlike Mr. Simmons of AHD, I did not call Sid Mashburn to place my order, but instead joined Taigan, where Sid Mashburn has an online store.  After placing my order, the genial and obliging gents at Sid Mashburn called me to confirm my order.  They wanted to make sure I would be satisfied and had ordered the correct size, which was a half size down per their recommendation.  The purchase has been more than satisfactory.  Perhaps the only issue is it left me wanting more...

The initial shine to protect them with my go to penny loafers bottom right.

More on the belt and shades later.

Despite the current trend to leave shoes in disrepair, I will be taking care of these excellent shoes for many years to come.  The shoes were made by Alfred Sargent in England.  The company's blog has many brilliant pictures of their quality products.  Without question, I will go back to them for more.  Mine are breaking-in nicely.  I love wearing them with just about anything.  They always attract a comment or approving glance from the well turnedout.  Classically styled quality footwear will always get the job done.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tie Tuesday: The Ascot

Recently, MT and I were in Italy for a much needed holiday.  Among the items procured, an ascot/cravat.  A curiosity had long been building in my mind about them and I caved.  Here is the result...

And I may need never recover from this youthful folly.  The simple truth is: who doesn't want silk around their neck?  I also learned that the ascot worn as above is known as a day cravat.  Apparently, ascots are also the name for the article worn on the outside of the shirt under the collar for more formal occasions, like weddings, which I had thought was a cravat.  (I still prefer the bow tie for formal occasions.)  Far from an expert on this, I'll refrain from expatiating on the history of the garment's evolution, but suffice it to say it was interesting research.  In any case, I have since found the ascot to be a sensible and stylish alternative to the open collar, albeit unconventional and best applied irregularly. Not to mention a comfortable choice.  Who else has been known to wear such attire?


Sure there are some less exceptional Ascotists, but don't let that dissuade you.  Give it a go, even if only in the privacy of your own home. You may never go back.



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