If you want to know about a man, look at his shoes (and his watch, but we already talked about that). A couple of things to note are the type of shoes a man is wearing, and the condition of the shoes. The devil is in the details, and the shoes tell a story and offer information, not all of it good.

It’s important to emphasize that I’m not concerned with the “cost” of one’s shoes, necessarily. I’m more impressed by a man in well-tended Florsheims than a man in neglected Ferragamos. It’s about the presentation.

Whether in Aldens or Jack Erwins, a man with conditioned and polished uppers and well-tended heels tells us that the wearer has self-respect, that he hasn’t lost hope and that he gives a damn.

When it comes to shoe care, I defer to a man named Kirby Allison, founder of The Hanger Project, specializing in clothing and shoe care.

In addition to selling some of the finest hangers and other garment care essentials you can buy, Kirby is an expert on shoe care. He has taken the time to produce extremely useful information – both in written word and on video – about how to take the best care of your shoes. From getting started to what products to use to cleaning and conditioning, his collection of videos on the fundamentals of shoe care is indispensable.

Saphir creams.
In addition to the fundamentals of good shoe care, Kirby also introduced me to Saphir, a French heritage brand of superlative shoe care products. There are wax polishes, creams, suede treatments… you name it. Saphir makes the best shoe care products you can find, hands down. My favorite product in their line is called Renovateur. It’s the Fountain of Youth for shoes. (Kirby, of course, sells Saphir and all the shoe care products you could ever need on his site.)

Take it from this not-so-recent graduate—these can be the best years of your life. Or the worst

I have no regrets about my college years, at least none that I remember. As much as times may change—no internet, e-mail, or cell phones when I went to school, and much of our music was on cassettesone thing does not: College is a unique time in your life. In many ways it resembles something like the Camelot legend, a fair time that cannot last, or maybe even Band of Brothers, a very intense and insane period spent in close quarters with good people smelling bad… and then it’s over.

Point being, and you’ll hear this often from aging farts, enjoy it while you can.

Now, back to those regrets I said I didn’t have. Not regrets, per se, but there are a few things I wish I knew then that I know now. That’s a classic daydream, of coursethe ability to go back to a time of naivet with a killer arsenal of life wisdom and confidence and just dominate like LeBron James at a pickup game.

So give the following things some thought. You’ll be twenty years out of school in no time at all, wondering what the hell happened to… just about everything.

1. Don’t take young relationships so seriously.

I was a pretty healthy social animal in college (though some I knew would question the word “healthy;” more like “relentless”). And when you’re that, you encounter a lot. Sex is everywhere. Some guys found girlfriends freshman year and later married them. Some guys slept with 10 girls a month. But no matter how we handled it individually, myself and every straight guy I knew were constantly engaging the opposite sex. With purpose. The sexual/relationship dynamic was ever present in every situation.

I wouldn’t change that. But in retrospect, I could’ve been less… intense about it. When I would stumble into a relationship, that intensity caused my personal buttons to be larger and easier to push than usual. And guys, if you don’t yet know that women love to push a man’s buttons, well, they do. Like a hyper-texting 13-year-old with her first smartphone.

Chase the women. But as you do it… chill. It’ll make life easier, trust me.

2. Use the summer to make as much cash as you can.

I was fortunate to have my degree paid for by my parents. A vast majority of kids don’t have that luxury. But no matter your situation, now is the time to learn how to make money in short windows of time without using a bookie or a pimp. Even though dad wrote the tuition check, any other personal expenses were on me. So I worked full-time all summer long. That kind of sucked, considering I worked in a textile factory and started at 6am every day. I unloaded trucks, stacked 50-lb hanks of fabric, and pushed a spreading machine up and down long tables all day for barely more than minimum wage. This is not a regret. I learned a lot and made good cash. But I wasted so much earning power. I just didn’t know any better.

Here’s how I learned: During a typical summer, working those hours, I’d save up a couple grand that I’d have to ration during the school year on concerts, cheap beer, and other important stuff. Meanwhile, as my senior year starts, it comes out that one of my buddies is sitting on ten grand of summer earnings. And he was living large, drinking Michelob. “Who’d you kill for that kind of cash?” I asked. He and a couple friends started a house painting business for the summer.

Damn. Equal effort, higher margin. See, shit like that never occurred to my tiny lizard brain back then. And I missed out on Pink Floyd playing JFK Stadium in Philly because I didn’t want to spend the money. Man, they opened with “Echoes,” for Chrissake.

Maximize your earning power in short windows of time, guys. You won’t have to give up once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

3. The majority of your adult artistic tastes will be cemented in college.

I don’t know why this is, but it’s true, especially with music. I went to school during the transition from hair metal to grunge. So I was there when both Guns ‘n’ Roses and Nirvana broke big. The other musical monoliths of my college years: the aforementioned Floyd, The Alarm, and Neil Young. They still dominate my playlists today. Later on, I found the blues and jam bands. But looking back, I wish I’d listened to more Miles Davis and the Grateful Dead. Trust me, a very desirable breed of woman loves the Dead. And Kind of Blue is the greatest hangover record of all time.

Had I known these things, college would’ve been better.

4. Chase as many internships and real jobs as possible.

If you’re not in need of some specific professional training like engineering, or medical and law school, I question the value of a college degree. Classes don’t teach you much that’s of use in the real world. So as soon as you can, and as often as possible, get your ass into the real world of your chosen field. When it comes time to nail down a job after graduation, experience and networking are the only things that matter. That’s just the way it is. The biggest steps I’ve taken in my career have come from referrals. And once in the door, my experience and skill kept me there. This is not a time for self-righteousness about being judged on your grades, or character, or potential. No one cares. In fact, 99.9 percent of the resumes you send out will be ignored. Not rejected. Ignored.

You’ve never been ignored, have you?

Well, it’s a big world and you’re not special, so be prepared for that. The real questions are: Do you have experience to do the job, will you fit into the staff culture, and can you help the company make money? Don’t be cynical. Be useful. Get out into your field at a young age and be willing to do humiliating things to prove your worth.

Kind of like pledging a good fraternity. Speaking of which…

5. Question authority with authority.

I was president of my fraternity, and yes, we were very much the Animal House of the campus. We were on probation for 9 out of the 12 months of my administration (we were beer drinkers, the deans were not). And I learned something that has stuck with me more than any highlighted textbook passage. Bureaucracies that are based on a brand live in mortal terror of two things: A financial threat and bad publicity. Understand that and you understand what will be expected of you in an unspoken way when you enter the working world, be it corporate or government. But when you’re in school? Mess with that dynamic early and often. Drive those damn deans to drink.

The patois of bourbon has developed over centuries. During that time, the language mostly stayed within the confines of distilleries. But now a rekindled obsession for American whiskey is pushing the jargon into the mainstream. Chalk some of it up to a more sophisticated market, and the rest to promotion.

Visiting bourbon country makes one thing inherently clear: very little separates one distillery from another. It’s a game of technicalities. Every bourbon distiller is in the business of aging corn-based whiskey in barrels to put into bottles, but distinguishing their product amid a sea of tempting amber liquids is a different art form entirely. Understanding a few core terms can help any curious whiskey fan understand what they’re buying, and even why the they like what’s in their glass. We asked employees in the bourbon industry to arm us with a basic vocabulary.


“Whiskey must follow a specific set of legal requirements to be called a bourbon. It’s unique to the United States and must be made here — but it doesn’t have to be from Kentucky. It must be made of at least 51 percent corn and feature no other flavor additives beyond water. It must be distilled at 160 proof or less and barreled at 125 proof or less in only new charred oak barrels. It must be also be bottled at a minimum of 80 proof. If it doesn’t meet all of those rules, it’s not a bourbon.” – Elizabeth O’Neill, Master Taster for Woodford Reserve

Rye Whiskey

“A rye whiskey has to be at least 51 percent rye in its mash bill. The composite of the rest of the mash bill can be made from either corn or barley. Bulleit Rye is 95 percent rye 5 percent barley. There are some ryes that are merely 51 percent rye. Rye has a very high starch content, so you’re gonna find that a lot of ryes are going to contain malted barley, which breaks the starch down in the rye for the yeast during fermentation. American rye has to be aged at least two years to become a straight rye whiskey. It has to be aged in new charred oak barrels as well. Canadian rye has to meet an entirely different set of parameters. It has a totally different legal definition. They can add artful colors and flavors. So American rye is really where its at.” – Brian Downing, Bartender at The Silver Dollar Louisville, staffer at the Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience at Stitzel-Weller

Bottled in Bond

“In the early 1800s people were putting anything in a bottle, any kind of spirit, vodka, gin whatever. They were flavoring it with or coloring it with iodine, tobacco, licorice. Whatever they could find to color it or flavor it to make people believe it was bourbon. Well, it was killing people and making people sick. So the government stepped in and created the Bottled-in-Bond Act. Today Bottle in Bond means, by government standards, it is a minimum of four years old. It will always be bottled at 100 proof. It must also be distilled by one distiller. It sounds crazy, but it is legal to get bourbon from multiple distilleries and put it in a bottle and call it bourbon. But to call it a Bottle in Bond, it has to be one distiller. And it has to be one distilling season — from January to December of the same year. So you’re looking at a very high-quality product. When you see ‘Bottled in Bond’, what you see is quality.” – Sheila Osbourne, General Manager at the Bourbon Heritage Center Heaven Hill Distilleries

“In 1897, Colonel E.H. Taylor, who is a distiller, helps pass what’s called the Bottled-in-Bond Act. The Bottle Act is the first consumer protection act in United States history. It states a handful of things to make a Bonded Spirit. It must be aged at least four years. It must be bottled at no greater or no less than 100 proof, exactly 50 percent alcohol. It must come from grain produced in one season. It must be distilled at one location and aged under U.S. Government supervision. Now what’s interesting is that while there’s a handful of Bottled-in-Bond bourbons, it doesn’t actually only apply to bourbon. Any spirit can technically be Bottled in Bond.” – Brian Downing, Bartender at Silver Dollar Louisville, staffer at Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience at Stitzel-Weller

Small Batch

“The definition of small batch is very vague. It basically means whatever the distillery that it comes from says it means. There’s no set-in-stone definition. From our perspective, when they first put Four Roses Small Batch together, they took 17 barrels. They put together a formula and it required 17 barrels of the four different Four Roses bourbons’ mash bills in the correct proportions. So that’s what we term a small batch. Now, honestly, does that mean every time we produce this we only dump 17 barrels? No. but every time we dump barrels it will be in increments of 17. So we keep the same formula every time.” – John Rhea, Chief Operating Officer at Four Roses

“While there is no legal definition, general industry standard is around 150 barrels or less. What that means is we’re really choosy about what goes into that batch. It delivers a more premium experience for the consumer.” – Hunter Davis, Tour Guide at the Jim Beam Distillery

Two new Cuban cigars will be released during the upcoming Feria Internacional de La Habana, a multi-industry trade show held each year in Cuba. The cigars, a Romeo y Julieta Club Kings and a Partagás Capitols, will be sold in metal five packs. The cigars are known as Línea Retro because they are based on packaging designs from the 1970s.

Both cigars measure 5 inches by 42 ring gauge, a size known in Cuban cigar factories as a mareva. Habanos S.A. says the size is considered one of the benchmarks for the Cuban cigar industry. For the Partagás brand, it re-establishes the mareva as part of the brand’s regular portfolio of cigars.

In a press release, Habanos S.A. says that the metal five packs of marevas will eventually appear in all the major Cuban export brands. However, the Cuban tobacco monopoly declined to say how soon the five-packs will actually reach international retail markets.

A clean shave is a feeling quite unlike any other. While it’s something many can manage with in the comfort of their own homes, I’ve found that for the best experience, nothing can top the thrill of a shave in a barber shop. Granted, the old-school barber shop experience might be something of a less common occurrence in the 21st century, but there are still a fair share of shops across the country that are keeping the tradition alive and well (albeit with some modern twists).

Old Town Barber Shop

When it comes to carrying on pre-1950s barber traditions, there are few places that can match Old Town Barber Shop in the All-American town of Monrovia, California. The charm of the 40s is palpable here, from the vintage appearance of the building to the antique curious on display inside. In addition to great finds like classic straight razors and an olden-time lather machine, vintage memorabilia like a camera and movie projector adorn the shop’s front window.

Beyond the classic appeal of this barbershop, though, what makes getting a shave here great are the master barbers who work here. Their adherence to tradition is reflected in the techniques they use, their work ethic, and their approach to barbering in general–that the barbershop is more than just a place to get a haircut. It’s a community cornerstore and time-honored social institution as well.

Blind Barber

Though there are several Blind Barber locations scattered across the country, I’d like to draw attention to their East Village location in New York City. Nestled away behind an unassuming white door, the shop’s low-key exterior disguises the cutting-edge hipness that lies just inside. Staffed by a diverse cast of unique barbers, these masters of the trade exude style and provide a quality service. The experience here is further enhanced by the fact that the Backroom houses a cozy bar–the perfect follow-up to a perfect late-day shave.

Groom Theory

These hair-specialists in Florissant, Missouri, operate under a simple principle: expressing a unique style. Groom Theory owner, Haven, has developed his signature approach over a career spanning fifteen years. Honing in on providing a “focused” experience, cuts and shaves here are delivered with unparalleled precision and the inimitable quality of self-styled master.





More Than a Razor: Tools for the Perfect Shave

Facial hair aficionados know that getting the perfect look for your facial hair is more than just having a razor. My personal collection of male grooming products takes up a whole shelf in my bathroom.

Your Reflection

How can you shave well if you can’t even see yourself? Sure, some use the standard bathroom mirror that came with their house or apartment, but I prefer using a mirror specifically designed for shaving. The close-up view helps me get every detail I want in my look. A fog-free shower mirror is great for anyone who prefers to do their shaving in the shower. It will stay clear and ready for a shave while you get clean. There are also backlit mirrors so you can see your strokes even better.

Brush It Up

If you use shaving cream or soap to coat your shave, using a shaving brush will make it a much more pleasant experience. Not only does it aerate shaving cream, making it creamier, but it exfoliates your face and helps to open up your pores by applying gentle heat. A good quality brush is great for your skin and it looks pretty elegant too, if you ask me.

Those with long beards will find a beard brush indispensable. It detangles the hair and keeps it looking lush, in addition to spreading wax or oil products evenly throughout the hair.

Wax and Oil

A beard or mustache can be greatly enhanced with a bit of wax. These products are known as beard balm, mustache wax or beard oil. Many people condition the hair on top of their head but completely neglect the health of their facial hair. Waxes and oils not only protect your hair and keep it looking great but also give you options for styling.


Shaving is a somewhat abrasive process. Dragging a razor across the skin isn’t always the best for your post-shave glow. I like to use a pre-shave gel, which puts a thin layer of moisture in between the razor and my skin. After shaving, I wash my face and then I sometimes do an after-shave mask. This clarifies the skin and removes any oil remaining on the skin. Of course I have my handy styptic pen in case I slip up and need to tend to any cuts.



Like defining a classy woman, defining what being a classic man means is not an easy task. There is probably no one clear definition or one trait or quality that makes a man classy. However, there are several specific characteristics that you have to have in order to be considered a classy man. Some of these factors are more basic than others, but they are all important and make a man overall more attractive and desirable to quality single women. Below are eleven of these key factors that make a man classy or at the very least more classy than he would otherwise be, that you should consider developing, if you would like to become a (more) classic man:

1. A classic man does not try too hard.

Have you ever heard someone say “wow, he is really trying way too hard” in reference to someone being too flashy or tacky with his clothes, his car, watch, jewelry, hair gel, being too loud in public and/or too drunk, etc… I assure you that it wasn’t a compliment. When a guy tries too hard, and usually in all the wrong ways, it’s hard to imagine how he could possibly be considered classy by a woman who is smart enough and experienced enough to know class and real confidence when she sees it. This doesn’t mean that you have to be a wall flower. But, when it looks like you are trying way too hard to be noticed, it necessarily means that you are way too eager to impress those around you and to draw attention to you at any cost, whether it’s true or not, and that’s very unattractive. Surely, anything that you do that would make it look like you belong in “Jersey Shore” show does not make you classy. Too many muscles, tattoos, piercings, hair / skin product, and too much of anything will make a guy as trashy as the girl who would do the same. It has been suggested in the PUA community that peacocking is one effective way to show confidence and to attract women. However, more often than not, an attempt at peacocking would make a guy look more like a clown than anything else.

2. A classic man is smart.

Some might discount the importance of book smarts, but there is a correlation between having a higher academic education and being more classy. Street smarts are just as important, and surely school doesn’t always make you smarter or more confident or more interesting. However, all things equal, a degree from a known school is likely to add to who you are. A classic man knows how to write and how to speak properly. This doesn’t mean that you have to go to the best and most expensive school or sound like a pompous ivy school graduate when you talk, or that you have to be as good at public speaking as Obama, but it does mean that you have to know how to write and speak properly and coherently – whether you learn it in class or anywhere else doesn’t make difference, as long you do. The best women out there are impressed by guys who are eloquent, articular and know how to express themselves in writing. This doesn’t mean that you have to talk non-stop around women or write long e-mails to them, but it does mean that when you do – you should do it right.

3. A classic man has basic manners.

This doesn’t just apply to basics such as opening doors to women, putting your coat over her shoulders when it’s cold out, and having proper table manners. This also applies to how you conduct yourself in difficult situations – i.e. when you are angry or are supposed to be angry, when you lose, when you confront someone, when you are tired and frustrated. Ask yourself why Roger Federer is considered such an exceptionally classic man. In large part it’s because he knows how to handle adversity in tennis better than the vast majority of other tennis players. He knows how to lose with grace. He doesn’t get angry or rude on the court and he doesn’t make up excuses. This shows both class and incredible inner strength. Being strong and knowing how to handle challenging situations doesn’t mean you have to act like a robot or not have feelings. But it does mean that you are able to make the most out of difficult situations, and you don’t let those situations drag you down emotionally.

4. A classic man is reliable and not flaky.

A classic man does what he says he will when he says he will. He does not waste the time of others or his own. He follows through, and he is not a flake – socially, professionally or with girls. He does his best to keep his promises, and he is not in a habit of over-promising and under-delivering. He expects the same from others and he doesn’t settle for second class behavior such as flaking, or cancellations with short notice for no good reason.

5. A classic man doesn’t have victim mentality.

A classic man doesn’t walk around bitching and complaining about how difficult his life is and how many unique challenges he is facing. He doesn’t think that his boss and his co-workers, his friends and everyone else has conspired against him to make his life miserable. He handles the problems he has without blaming the world around him for having those challenges, and he understands that the difficulties he experiences day in and day out are a natural part of life.

6. A classic man is not bored with his life.

A classic man is occupied with doing the things he likes and wants. He has specific plans for the present and the future. He also has hobbies and interests that make his life interesting. He can maintain an interesting conversation beyond the small talk and the pleasantries on many topics. He also knows how to listen actively and respond to what he hears in a way that makes a conversation more stimulating and interesting.

7. A classic man leads a healthy lifestyle and knows the value of moderation.

Having class necessarily means not drinking or smoking or gambling excessively, and not letting common addictions or other bad habits take over your life. Moderation doesn’t mean being boring or lacking in sense of adventure. It means balance and inner stability.

8. A classic man is not flashy and is not into bragging and chest beating.

Arrogance, chest beating and bragging, and being classy simply don’t go together. The most vivid example of how being flashy kills any class is the hip hop culture, where the stars show off their cars, jewelry and are otherwise being laughable despite their huge bank accounts.

Nothing accentuates being classy more than any kind of success or accomplishment which is coupled with being humble and modest about it. You will come across as much more classy when you have something to show for yourself but you don’t make a big deal out of it. Don’t try to impress others with what you have or what you have done. Instead, let them form their own positive impressions of what and who you are based on what they see.

9. A classic man knows his way with women sexually.

Although everyone has their own unique ways of behaving in bed, a classic man has the basic understanding of what it takes to please a woman and to make his intimate time with her special and exciting. He doesn’t do things that ruin the moment, and he knows how to create and maintain romantic and sexual tension with the right person at the right time.

The above list might just be the starting point on your journey toward becoming more classy. But it’s a good place to start looking at some of the major aspects of your behavior and personality and ask yourself candidly – where are you lacking and what could you improve about yourself in order to become a more classic man?

10. A classic man knows when and how to apologize when he is in the wrong

Being able to say that you are sorry is a major sign of strength, whether you apologize to woman, a friend, or anyone else. Having an ego that prohibits you from apologizing can be a serious obstacle to handling routine disagreements.
11. A Classic man Knows How to Handle Losses and Disappointments

It’s easy to win and celebrate, but it’s so much harder and more impressive to take defeats and disappointments with grace, without letting anger and frustration take over. Knowing how to handles difficult situations and losses is a sign of both masculine strength and class. This doesn’t mean that you should strive for being non-human. It’s perfect normal to be angry and upset. It’s how you handle and overcome those negative emotions that define your masculinity and class. Do you take your issues on others? Do you make up excuses? Do you try to drown your problems in alcohol? Or do you go to the gym or a dance floor to blow off some steam and unwind?

It’s easy to needlessly pay top dollar for big name sticks, and it’s even worse to get a “deal” … Packaged in beautiful cedar sleeves, this cigar could fool you into thinking it’s a $10 stick.Donec vitae hendrerit arcu, sit amet faucibus nisl. Cras pretium arcu ex. Aenean posuere libero eu augue condimentum rhoncus. Praesent ornare tortor ac ante egestas hendrerit. Aliquam et metus pharetra, bibendum massa nec, fermentum odio. Nunc id leo ultrices, mollis ligula in, finibus tortor. Mauris eu dui ut lectus fermentum eleifend. Pellentesque faucibus sem ante, non malesuada odio varius nec. Suspendisse potenti. Proin consectetur aliquam odio nec fringilla. Sed interdum at justo in efficitur. Vivamus gravida volutpat sodales. Fusce ornare sit amet ligula condimentum sagittis. Read more