Social Skills Every Guy Should Know

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Everyone needs to master the appropriate social skills to survive in work, school, and life. The way you act in certain situations can change, and you have to adapt to the setting. I’m sure you know some people out there that could use a bit of help with their social manners. But maybe you’re thinking, I don’t need this. Well, there are plenty of tips out there that can come in handy during special situations.  So what are the basic skills you need to know?

You may not be aware of it, since you can’t see yourself, but the way you move your body, stand, sit, and walk can say a lot about you. You can appear confident, timid, scared, nervous all through the way you position your body. Have you ever tried working on your body language? Here are some tips to help you master the art of posture, conversation, and first impressions.

  1. Avoid touching your pockets
    Keeping your hands in your pockets can be a sign of nervousness or feeling uncomfortable. By hiding part of yourself, it can give off the impression that you want to hide. Also, hands in the pocket can lead to slouching. Rather, you should put your hands on your hips.
  2. Look forward
    Eye contact is a huge deal! It can be nerve-wracking to look someone in the eye. But by looking down or away, it can indicate that you don’t want to interact. Stand and walk with your chin up and eyes looking straight. Practice in the mirror, it may be silly but it will help.
  3. Master the handshake
    A weak handshake can be off putting to some people, especially because a handshake may be someone’s first impression of you. Go in for a firm grasp, but don’t try and crush their hand or hold it too long.
  4. Don’t move around so much
    Fidgeting is an obvious sign that you’re nervous. It’s not a good look for anybody, but it can be a habit you may not even be aware that you’re doing. Have a friend mention each time you fidget so you become more aware of it and can keep it under control.
  5. Refrain from crossing your arms
    You may think crossing your arms exudes power and confidence. But think about the muscular bouncer at a night club, would you want to go talk to him? NO! That’s what people will think of you if you stand and cross your arms. It may make you seem unapproachable.
  6. Stand straight
    It’s easy and comfortable to slouch, but it just doesn’t look right. Standing straight with your shoulders back slightly gives off an air of confidence. Practice!
  7. Smile!
    You may forget to smile! It’s ok, but try throwing one in every so often during a conversation. You can’t see your face, but your conversation patner sees it the whole time. Practice with a friend or in front of the mirror to see how often you’re smiling.
  8. Groom properly
    We have another blog on grooming habits. It’s important to come up with a grooming routine that works for you. You don’t want to meet someone and look a mess. Even if you know you’re an excellent conversationalist, that first impression can leave people thinking you’re sloppy.
  9. Listen!
    If you are having a conversation, it can be tough to remember to stop and listen to the other person. You want to get all your thoughts and ideas out there. But if the other person has no time to talk, or feels that you aren’t paying attention, it will leave a sour taste. Show you’re listening by responding to what they’re talking about, nodding your head, laughing, and smiling.

 

 

The Essential Everyday Carry Gear

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Everyday carry, or EDC, is just what it sounds like. It’s a term referring to the items you carry everyday. This can mean your cellphone, wallet, keys, pens, some people even have tools like knives and flashlights.

EDC has become a bit of a community, with tons of blogs, sites, and forums dedicated to people (mostly men) sharing pictures of their gear. Some people consider everyday carry to be just what is in your pockets, while others include their bags and the gear within as well.

What’s the point of EDC? Think of it kind of like a convenient system. You will start thinking of the items you carry around with you in terms of their necessity and utility. Maybe you used to always carry a set of keys and your phone, but now you realize that carry a small pocketknife would be useful as well. Some people will think of their EDC items in terms of disaster preparedness, their occupation, safety, wilderness. It all depends on your circumstances and needs.

Everyday carry can become a habit. Once you sit down and really think about the items you’re carrying, you will realize what you do and don’t need with you. When you start noticing times when you needed a pen, or a flashlight, you will remember and look towards getting one. Rather than just grabbing whatever is on the kitchen table as you leave for the day, you will have your essential items that you know will come in handy.

It’s also about minimalism. If you don’t carry a bag, how much can you really fit in your pockets? Maybe a phone, wallet, keys, and folding knife. You have to really think about the items you need versus the items you want, but that aren’t necessary.

Common Everyday Carry Items

There’s no all encompassing everyday carry kit, it’s up to you to create one that fits your needs and style. And once you’ve caught the EDC bug after looking at everyone else’s photos, you will start finding items you really want to carry.

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Essentials

Phone
Whether you still rock a flip phone or have the latest smartphone, they’re pretty indispensable these days. You could get by without carrying one, but why put yourself through that? A smartphone is a combination camera, flashlight, map, watch, and notepad. Instead of carry all those individual items you just need one phone to do all those tasks.

Keychain
Let’s face it, you probably have way too many keys, reward cards, and other doodads on your keychain. It’s time to start pairing down that key collection to just the essentials. Get a nice keychain like a leather key fob. Or check out this article from Everydaycarry.com on the best keychains.

Wallet
This is probably your biggest headache if you find your wallet is constantly stuffed to the brim. Think of George’s wallet in Seinfeld and how he could barely fold it closed. If that’s you, it’s time to slim down. Many of the items in your wallet are unessential. Those rewards cards you barely use, the 3 extra credit cards, the business cards. They can all stay at home, you don’t need them daily. Find a nice slim wallet for a little cash, your ID, and one or two credit cards. The Everyday Carry website has excellent reviews on wallets.

Extras

Watch
This is one of the EDC items that doesn’t need space in your pocket. A watch not only helps you tell time without needed to pull your phone out of your pocket every few minutes, they also add to your style.

Notebook
It has been shown that taking notes by hand, as opposed to on the computer, helps us remember better. Carry around a tiny notebook (some just contain a few pages) to help you remember thoughts and reminders you’d like to keep fresh.

Pen
No notebook is complete without a decent pen. You don’t have to go out and spend hundreds on one, but get one you know will last and not dry up too quickly.

Multitool
Multitools come in many different forms, and they’re one of the EDC communities favorite items. You can get credit card sized ones, or full on Swiss Army type tools with knives, pliers, and the works.

Flashlight
Your cellphone flashlight may only go so far, and it’s also bulky. There are many small, high powered flashlights that will fit in your pocket and on your keychain.

Knife
If you want a credit-card sized multitool, it probably won’t come with a knife. In this case, you’ll want a small dedicated knife. You’ll start noticing how often it comes in handy once you bring it with you.

Resources

Everyday Carry
Reddit.com/r/EDC
Everyday Carry Blog

Never Know How to Match Your Suit, Tie, and Shoes? Say no more!

Matching a suit is one thing. You have to pick the right jacket and pant color, then the dress shirt, followed by the tie. Now add shoes into that mix and you could be a walking fashion faux pas at your next event.

How could that be? Well, for one thing, wearing anything but black shoes with a black suit is not a good idea. A good rule of thumb is that black shoes go with nearly every color suit from brown and black to white and gray.

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Via r/malefashionadvice

This excellent chart from the /r/malefashionadvice subreddit shows you the proper suit color and shoe pairings. A black suit is perfect for formal events, especially paired with a wholecut oxford shoe. A more casual look is a light grey suit with a black or dark brown Brogue Monkstrap with Medallion Cap Toe shoe.

Once you have the suit and shoe down, you need to worry about matching your shirt and tie to complete the whole outfit.

This article from Fashion Beans gives examples of great shirt and tie combos from white shirts to striped shirts. Take a look to get some inspiration.

Next, this blog from Art of Manliness shows you the art (or is it a science?) of matching shirt and tie patterns. Starting off easy, you should go for a solid color or semisolid when it comes to neckties. Once you get more confident you can branch out into bolder patterns. You don’t want to be matching your tie too closely with the shirt, so don’t wear a similar striped tie and shirt combo.

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Via Beckettsimonon.com

Also starting off easy, you should have a conservative-colored dress shirt. Usually white and light blue are the most common, as well as pastels.

Next come the suits. Dark colored suits, says Art of Manliness, go with most tie colors. But be careful when you try to match a dark tie with a blue tint with a dark grey or black suit. Blue ties are much better suited for navy blue, or light colored suits. Light suits go well with dark ties.  There are many other great tips and rules to help you match your next suit, so check out the article.

This is a quick primer on matching suits, shirts, ties, and shoes. It takes some practice to get used to matching these colors and patterns, but you’ll get the hang of it! So find some weddings, business meetings, or networking events to attend and make sure your suit game is on point.

How to keep your shoes clean

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In honor of Mario Bemer’s recent visit to our showroom, we wanted to discuss the topic of footwear. Specifically, we want to help you keep those new Mario Bemer shoes as clean as the day you got them.

Long gone are the days of a shoe-shine on every street corner, now they seem like a luxury for the wealthy business traveler in the airport. If your shoes get scuffs or dirt marks, you could always take them to the cleaners, but why not just learn to do it yourself and save some time and money?

First off, you need the tools of the trade. These include:

  • A tin of wax
    polish
  • Shoe brush
  • Shine cloth
  • Shoe leather conditioner

Shoe polish will depend on the color of shoe you have. If you have black, get back wax, if you have brown you may want a neutral polish.

The shine cloth doesn’t need to be anything fancy, even just an old t-shirt is fine.

The shoe brush should be made of horsehair. It will be used for removing the extra polish and buffing the shoe to make it nice and shiny.

The leather conditioner can be found almost anywhere, it will be used for cleaning the leather off.

Getting Started

Before you get started, make sure you are in an area that you don’t mind getting dirty. Maybe head outside or place some newspaper around the floor.

Using the cloth, wipe the shoe clean of any dust or dirt, then apply the leather cleaner to a clean cloth and rub it on the shoe leather. Work it into the whole shoe and then set it aside for 10 minutes. After that time, use another cloth to buff it.

 

Now that the leather is clean, it’s time to polish. Use a small amount of wax at a time. If you use too much, it can be hard to remove. Now rub the polish around in small circles with the cloth. Take your brush and removed the excess, you can put some elbow grease into it, it will not ruin the shoes. Lastly, take a clean cloth and run it along the toe of the shoe in a fast motion (like you’ve seen in the movies) and on the heal.

Here is a video to help you see the process in action.

 

 

Dress to Kill for Your Next Interview

The resumes is polished and sent out, now it’s just time to wait to hear back. Don’t get discouraged during the job hunting process. There will be many positions that won’t respond and let you know of a rejection. It’s important just to keep at it and not to take anything personally. In the beginning, HR reps and hiring managers are solely looking at what you have written on your paper. As hard as you try, it is tough to showcase your unique personality and skill set to your potential new employer.

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A classy interview look. Just watch the facial hair. It’s a judgment call but you may be safest just shaving it.

That’s where the interview comes in. You have to nail every aspect of the interview to get the position (no pressure!). That means working on your answers to common interview questions like “What are you biggest strengths and weaknesses?”. It also means presenting yourself appropriately with your manners, body language, and style.

I hate to say it, but one wrong move during an interview, such as being late, can make or break a hiring manager’s decision if they have many candidates lined up. Today, we’re here to help you perfect your interview outfit.

One of the first things you need to do when deciding on an outfit is to assess the company’s culture. If you’re applying to be a host or hostess at a family, chain restaurant, you probably will not require a suit. But that also doesn’t mean you should show up in shorts and flip flops.

One of the best outfits for men to wear is a pressed button down shirt, slacks, and nice dress shoes. This outfit is dressed up, but not too formal. The button down should be a conservative color like blue, white, or black. The pants should match the shirt well. Good colors include navy blue, black, or tan. The shoes should be either black or brown. Here are some good pant and shoe color combinations for your outfit.

 

Black Pants | Black or Navy Blue

Tan Pants | Light brown, Dark brown, Navy blue

Navy Blue Pants | All pants colors

If you’re unsure whether to go more dressy, bring a sport coat with you. A sport coat will help dress up your button down and slacks. But if you find that other interviewees are not going formal, you can lose the jacket and just carry it with you.

Madagascar ammonite & Sterling, Tigers eye laughing Buddha & Sterling, obsidian skull & Sterling

Now it’s time for accessories. This is were you can add a bit of your own style to the outfit. Go for some unique cufflinks or a watch. These subtle items can add some flair to your otherwise conservative outfit.

You’ve got all the items you need to kill it during your next interview. Just make sure you give yourself an hour or so the night before to do some last-minute grooming like shaving or plucking hairs (for those sporting the unibrow).

There you have it! Your complete style guide to look professional during your next interview.

Alexandra Reboul at Joseph Wendt Custom Clothiers March 23

Yeah, you read that right. Not only are we hosting Mario Bemer, renowned in the footwear industry, this month, we’re also hosting women’s fashion designer Alexandra Reboul. Alexandra will be at our 5th Avenue showroom March 23 to meet visitors and to presell her Fall 2016 collection. We hope to see you all there!

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Alexandra Reboul (alexandrareboul.com)

Here’s a brief introduction to the designer:

“Alexandra Reboul began her education in fashion as a young girl immersed in a Franco-American lifestyle. Dividing her time between New York City and France, she observed the careful balance of femininity and sensibility in the way women dressed. Her education continued at prestigious design institutes such as FIT, RISD, Parsons Paris and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. Alexandra went on to work with such masters as Oscar de la Renta and Diane von Furstenberg. She learned that with great attention to fit and style, the right dress could make a woman feel beautiful, feminine and powerful. Alexandra Reboul launched her namesake collection in 2015. Much like her own experience with fashion, the collections of Alexandra Reboul seek to be highly collaborative – drawing inspiration from a unique featured artist each season.”

Her ready-to-wear collections “offer an unprecedented collaboration of fashion and art – drawing inspiration and direction from a unique featured artist each season. Exclusively designed prints and palettes add modern distinction to timeless silhouettes. The look is fresh, creative and inherently feminine.” Her 2016 collection conjures up a vision of wearable art. All of her pieces are made in New York City from textiles sourced in France and Italy.

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Alexandrareboul.com

Her Fall 2016 Collection features a collaboration with artist Jonathon Glass, known for his work in pen and ink drawing.

Jonathon Glass artwork

Original Artwork by Jonathon Glass (alexandrareboul.com)

Jonathon Glass artwork rendition by designer

Artwork manipulated for Fall 2016 Collection (alexandrareboul.com)

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Collaboration with Artist Jonathon Glass (alexandrareboul.com)

 

Mario Bemer Trunk Show at Joseph Wendt Custom Clothiers

From Florence to Florida. Esteemed, bespoke footwear designer Mario Bemer will be at Joseph Wendt Custom Clothiers March 18-19. Those in attendance will be able to get fitted for made to order and bespoke shoes. This footwear will form to your feet perfectly, and is especially useful for those with large, narrow, or wide feet, for whom buying footwear can be a challenge.

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You can schedule your appointment with this world famous bespoke craftsman by calling Joseph Wendt at 516-816-3085 or email joeystylesu@msn.com.

We hope to see you March 18 & 19!

Joseph Wendt Custom Clothiers is located at 400 5th Avenue, Naples.