It’s Almost Baseball Season, Baby!

The 2012 baseball season is just around the corner, and probably is one of the most anticipated in a while.  Lots of new kids on the block with enough swagger and talent to keeps us entertained all the way to October.  Not to mention Bryce Harper, whom some say is “the most entertaining prospect since Babe Ruth”!  Wow!

Anyway, we all love the game and can’t wait to get to the ball park for some fun games, and, of course, hot dogs ‘n’ beer (mouths watering even now).  But before that, being so sartorial, we couldn’t help but go a little Fashion Police on some great baseball uniforms as well as some…  Well, not so great.

Here are our top (and bottom) picks!

Some teams are inspired to get their colors from the flag of the city, state or country they call home. Others, like the '78 Mets, got them from former New York teams who moved literally across the United States. Mets borrow Brooklyn Dodgers royal blue and New York Giants orange in an attempt to soothe tons of broken-hearted fans. ...And in the process, accidentally end up with New York City's colors!

Keeping with the flags, we are sure mainly that was the idea here with the '82 White Sox... We must say that if Captain America had his own baseball team, he would have agreed to tone it down a bit...

The '79 Phillies looked more like Santa Claus or a certain Kimmi Kardashian wearing one of those skin-tight Herve Leger bandage dresses than a baseball team.

Chicago White Sox, August 8, 1976. During a double-header, the boys decided to ditch the normal uniforms in the sweltering heat, and opted for shorts. Quite interesting, especially if you have to slide to second. More interesting, to say the least, is the collar on the jerseys. You know how much we love dress shirts, but we're not digging the jersey version.

All aboard, please, with the World Series Champion '79 Pirates! First, we've said it before, a monochromatic look is NOT flattering at all, and it hurts the eye. The colors of the City of Pittsburgh are black and gold, and all three of their major sports teams sport those colors. But this is just taking it too far! And what's up with the train conductor hat?

The '75 Astros... Until '86. Whaaat??? Were they color blind? You would think that something this hideous would last 2 games max! We can't quite decide what is worse here, all of that hideous color, or the numbers at crotch level? They pushed the rainbow of doom to the shoulders and arms for the away uniforms in '80 and then to the home uniforms in '87, but it wasn't until '94 that this abomination was banished completely.

Oh, NYC, always pushing the envelope. We have to give the 1916 New York (now San Francisco) Giants credit: plaid baseball uniforms. Would love to know who was the mastermind behind this... Concept.

Brace yourself for the brand new 2012 MIAMI Marlins. This is quite a change from the old, standard, baseball-friendly Florida Marlins uniforms. South Beach, anyone?

What we are going to do today, '69 Seattle Pilots? Hmm.... Flying? No! Sailing? No! ...We know, let's play baseball! Geez... Unsurprisingly, they only played one season before moving to Wisconsin and becoming the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Brooklyn (now L.A.) Dodgers. Probably one of the greatest throwback jerseys of all time. A great example that less is more! Classic!

Ahhhhhh! What the heck? These alternate Pittsburgh Pirates uniforms from the early 2000s speak for themselves: they are hideous beyond words. Make the giant bad pirate man go away!

The modern-day New York Yankees, based out of NYC, fashion capital of the world! What is it about these babies? It's probably a mix of it all: the pinstripes, the authority related with the color navy blue, their global recognition, or the many, MANY World Series Championships (27!). Whether you like them or not, you have to agree it is one of the coolest sports uniforms of all time.

Spring Portfolio

A sartorial guy could never be happier.  Men’s fashion is at its peak, but with so many choices it can be at bit overwhelming.  Unless you are a Hollywood actor, a jet setter or a royal with his own stylist, read on!

Jealous yet?

The forecast is bright and bold with scattered sensitivity (dusty pastel colors) with extra style (accessorize, accessorize; we spotted even day cravats and velvet Prince Alberts).  So, for now, put your fedoras, too-tight jeans and picked pocket squares away, and forever put away designer logo belts, leather car coats, and, most definitely, square-toe shoes, hallelujah!

The fellow on the right may have taken it a BIT too far...

To start, you know spring brings beautiful, almost perfect weather, and lots of blooming, which requires lots of showers.  Dress amazingly even under wet conditions.  Our pick?  The perfect spring jacket is water-resistant.  Pick one in a bright shade for an A+ grade!

Suede shoes in grey! Pair with bright colors or revamp your old black suit, but they will most definitely be BFF with your dusty pastels.

Gather all your swag! Bright color jeans are huge this season!

The boat shoe! In its latest edition, think breaking country club rules in bright colors/patterns.

Dress shoes with too much attitude: the last element of your power suit, for sure!

Fantastic pocket squares? A+ (in a puff fold, obviously)

And last but never the least, yes, dear Mr. Sun, we are Ready. Tortoise shell sunglasses!

Perception is Power

Nobody can deny that, in today’s world, image matters.  We are bombarded daily with perfect images of perfect actors and perfect models.  More and more emphasis is placed upon looking the part and dressing for success.  That’s because we all make quick assessments based on how people look.  Only 7% of a person’s judgement of you is based on what you say to them.  The rest is based on perception.

Kennedy pretty much could've spent the entire debate claiming he was Vinz Clortho, Keymaster of Gozer, and he still would have won.

How quick do people make these assumptions?  Here, slowly count to seven.

One one thousand…two one thousand…three one thousand…four one thousand…five one thousand…six one thousand…seven one thousand.

There, that’s how long it takes to form a first impression.  Within seven seconds of meeting you, perfect strangers will make decisions about you that may have an enormous impact on everything that happens next.  Are you someone they want to work with?  Someone who can be trusted?  Are you friend material?  Dating material?  Should they buy your product?  Hire you?

Are they shallow?  Not at all.  It’s an unfortunate fact of human nature that before you even say “hello,” people form an opinion of you based on how you look, based entirely on perception.

Perception  is defined as the complex method of obtaining information about our surrounding world, specifically through our senses, and apprehending this information as beliefs.

Perception seems to have everything to do with our own selfish way of looking at everything.  It may be influenced by the culture in which we grew up as well as our personal characteristics.  It may change over time, due to exposure to other cultures, people, or continuing education.  But it’s always there.  People see things through their historically and personally tainted lenses, shaped by a combination of nature and nurture.

Psychologically, this is how it works.  The images in our mind are extraordinarily rich.  We can tell if something is liquid or solid, heavy or light, dead or alive.  But the information we work from is incomplete, a distorted, two-dimensional transmission with entire spots missing.  Your brain fills in the gaps on its own.  You can get a sense of this from brain-anatomy studies.  If what you saw in your “mind’s eye” was based primarily on received data from your eyes, you’d expect that the majority of the nerve fibers going to the brain’s primary visual cortex would come directly from the retina.  In actuality, only 20% of them do.  80% come from other regions of the brain itself, mostly those governing functions like memory.

Your brain does this all the time. Case in point: Humpty-Dumpty, who is never referred to as an egg, or as cracking in the story.

Richard Gregory, a prominent British neuropsychologist, estimates that visual perception is more than 90% memory and less than 10% from data received from optic nerve signals.  So, when we observe a single physical element or a single type of behavior in someone, we tend to assume that person has a number of associated qualities.  For example, someone may be perceived as confident simply because they have a firm handshake.  They may be seen as trustworthy because they make steady, consistent eye contact.  They may be judged as capable, professional, even wealthy or intelligent, based entirely on the fact that they are well dressed.  The reverse, sadly, is also true.

So now that you know the psychology of how your brain makes these decisions, it is important that you take the initiative.  You should game this response and use it to your advantage, so that when people see you, they perceive authority, success, trustworthiness, intelligence, capability, prosperity and anything else that sets you apart and move you up their scale of importance and impressiveness.

Since there is such a powerful image associated with how we dress, it is crucial that you understand the close connection between clothing and success.  You should always dress the part!  You should dress like the utmost authority in your field, who your prospects and clients turn to for advice.  Never less than that!  After all, you don’t question the authority of an expert, do you?

Pictured: medical experts.

Carrying yourself with authority translates to our dear brain as prosperity.  Prosperity attracts attention always, with no exception.  Moreover, a look of prosperity attracts almost universally favorable attention, because the one dominating desire in every human heart is to be prosperous, whether we realize it or not.  You can accomplish this look with perfectly tailored clothes and quality accessories.

And, well, a prosperous look will have a favorable impression on those with whom you’ll interact with, but the most important effect that attire will have is on you.  The right clothes will not just impress others favorably, but great clothes will give you an internal atmosphere of self-reliance crucial to move forward.  You will start to believe your own press, essentially.

You didn't think Daniel Craig looked this cocky and self-assured by default, did you?

So make it your business to look outstanding at all times!  It takes only seven seconds to make a first impression, but it can take a whole career to undo it.

P.S. – A great handshake, eye contact, posture, a fantastic smile and being on time are the best accessories you’ll ever have!

“Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing.  Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion.  Stand out.  Be conspicuous, at all cost.  Make yourself a magnet for attention by appearing larger, more colorful, more mysterious than the bland and timid masses.” – Robert Greene and Joost Elffers, “The 48 Laws of Power”

Weddings 201: Here Comes the Groom…

You’ve found something shiny and presented it to her in the most amazing way possible.  With your heart out and the highest hopes for eternal happiness, you asked her to marry you and she said…  “Yes!”  Well, Congratulations!  That said, we’re sorry, but you have one more bit of homework to do (doing your part of the chores around the house/apartment from the moment you say “I do” doesn’t count as homework anymore, it’s being married).  This last bit will be to find an outstanding wedding garb for yourself.

We call it “homework” because in order to succeed you must study very carefully some important aspects of the wedding.  Is it formal?  Beachy?  Casual?  Are you and your bride contemporary or more traditional?  What is the wedding’s color scheme?  Is it sultry, sexy, mysterious, romantic?  Your wedding day wardrobe should blend seamlessly with all of those pre-existing factors.  But we’re gonna go out on a limb here and say that unlike some ladies that have been planning this joyous event since their childhood, most gentlemen are unacquainted about the whole wedding fuss, and are, from our perspective, the ones who need the most help as far as making the right wardrobe decision.  But they’re often the ones who get the least help.

Pictured: no help.

We are positive that she is willing to help with all the arrangements for you to look fabulous, but at the risk of stating the obvious, she is, and will be until the last minute of the wedding day, so very, very busy.  Since you are such an incredible man (right?), you are going to free her from yet another wedding task (RIGHT??), so that she can decide other things, like Vera Wang or Monique Lhuillier, Manolos or Loubotins, organza or silk taffeta, or perhaps what the bridesmaids will be wearing.

No. Guess again.

Here we will provide you with a cheat sheet of what this one-of-a-kind, once in a lifetime (hopefully!) ensemble must have.  The most important part is that this outstanding wedding garb most likely won’t be found at first sight.  The one that will compliment her astonishing dress, the one that make you look amazing standing there waiting for her at the altar.  You and your fiancée have waited a lifetime for this day, so this masterpiece must be created.

A designer wedding gown can cost up to $18,000.  We are not implying your tux or suit should be just as expensive (well, unless you really want it to be), but it undoubtedly must be of the same quality.  It is in a custom wardrobe that you receive that quality and value (100% Super 210s wool sounds about right), and, needless to say, a perfect fit, color trim and so forth, the key pieces of your one-of-a-kind wedding garb.

The essentials of a perfect suit or tuxedo:

Number one is fit.  If the suit fits, then it will look good.  Next is fabrication.  Finally, accessories.  As far as style, three-piece tuxedos are definitely in style.  They always are, but seem to be predominantly in style right now.  Wear a necktie with your tuxedo for a young, modern look.  A classic, formal look always is the standard, with a white shirt and a white bow tie.  Not every wedding is formal, but never wear a tuxedo with a colored tie!

...Well, if you're this adorable, maybe you can get away with it.

The best style is to stay a little more classic, but to have a unique cloth.  There should be a tone-on-tone pattern that has luster and a little depth; something that is striking.  You will probably be the only one in a tuxedo, but with beautiful detailing, like a white shirt and white tie, or a unique fabric, or a vest that matches the jacket, and most definitely through the use of accessories and materials, you will ultimately stand out.

Shoes are another amazing but subtle way to stand out.  Beautiful, high-gloss, leather lace-ups are always perfect.  And for something a little more stylish and unique, a custom shoe in leather with some detailing.

Just remember, you are not alone.  It will be our pleasure to serve you on this joyous event.  Let the architect of style create your wedding day masterpiece!