BOUTONNIERE                                                                                                                                                                                    By Anthony T. Eaton | JUNE 2018


Definition of BOUTONNIERE
: a flower or bouquet that is worn in a buttonhole

The word boutonnière is French for the buttonhole which is found on the lapel of a man’s suit jacket.  Located just above the heart on the left side, it is designed for no other purpose than to hold a flower which has long been an accessory to a man’s style as the broach has to a woman’s. Once a symbol of status or affiliation, it is now an expression of uniqueness and individuality.

Although boutonniere has never gone out of style for formal occasions like weddings, funerals, proms, and homecomings with the resurgence of traditional styles from bygone eras the lapel flower or pin are being seen as a stylish accessory the same way cufflinks, tie clips and handkerchiefs are.

Today there is a multitude of choices for the lapel beyond a fresh flower. Now you will find a wide array of stylish lapel pins from the traditional to the modern and avant-garde. Regardless of what is chosen, it should always be appropriate for the occasion and a reflection of personal style.


 THE BASICS                                                                                                                                                                                      

By Anthony T. Eaton | MAY 2018


Man or woman you need to have some basics in your wardrobe regardless of if you are just starting out or have an established career. These essentials will enable you to present yourself as the professional you are. 

Men you need to have the following: 

•    White Button-Down Shirt
•    Blazer and  Sportscoat
•    Blue, black and brown dress slacks
•    Black and brown shoes
•    Brown and black belt
•    Dress socks
•    A couple of good ties
•    A good watch

A must-have for women:

•    Blazer
•    Dress pants
•    A skirt that hits at or just above the knee
•    Button-up  and neutral patterned blouse
•    Cardigan sweater
•    Heels and flats
•    Handbag/purse
•    A good watch 

These essentials will allow you to mix and match and you can add to them as you go. When you buy go for quality, you will pay more, but it will last. If you don’t know how to use an iron find a good dry cleaner, it will cost, but it is worth it. Both men and women should have a lint brush and polish your shoes, believe it or not; people look at your feet.


 SHOES                                                                                                                                                                                               

By Anthony T. Eaton | APRIL 2018


Every man needs to have at least two great pairs of shoes that don’t include sneakers or a loafer. With an array of styles the dress shoe can elevate a pair of jeans and a blazer and add an anchor to dress pants or a suite. 

The classic of dress shoes is the Oxford but there is an array of choices including the Derby, Monk Strap, Dress Boot, Chelsea Boot, and Chukka Boot.Additionally, there are also an array of styles for different shoe types from toe finish to stitching, strings, and clasps. There is also a wide range of colors available but every man should have at least a black and a brown pair that will coordinate with almost anything. 

There are three key elements to choosing the right shoe. First and foremost is fit because a shoe that is too or too loose can injure the foot. Second is coordination with what you wear. While there are few hard and fast rules you don’t want to look like you chose your shoe style in the dark. Lastly, is how it makes you feel; if you don’t really love it a bad shoe will make you uncomfortable and affect your self-confidence. 

While the prices of shoes vary, remember, you get what you pay for and quality comes at a price. This does not mean you have to break the bank, but if you spend a little more on a good shoe it will last and you will ultimately save in the long run. The other consideration is the material the shoe is made from. Always go with a natural product.  With the right fit, real leather surpasses anything that is 
man-made
because it will last and allows your foot to breathe helping to prevent odor and fungus. 

As with anything you wear your shoes make a statement and are a reflection of you. As a leader, your shoes should say you care about substance and quality. If you’re looking for more in-depth information on men’s dress shoes I recommend
THE GENTLEMANUAL.


CUFFLINKS                                                                                                                                                                                        
By Anthony T. Eaton | MARCH 2018

In my last post, I talked about the classic white shirt that every man should have in his wardrobe. Coming in a variety of styles, the most classic is the French cuff that has button holes on each side but no buttons, thus requiring the use of cufflinks.

Like the white shirt, cufflinks come in a variety of styles made from a wide range of materials from glass, stone, metal, wood, and so on. Most common cufflinks secure using toggles or reverses that are folded into position to secure it. Cufflinks can also come with chains or a rigid bent rear that holds it in place.

Cufflinks first appeared in the 1600’s but did not come into common use until the end of the 18th Century. Prior to this, cuffs were held together with simple ribbons. The modern cufflink came into popularity in the mid-19th century and 
were
worn by middle and upper-class men. With the onset of the industrial revolution, cufflinks began being mass-produces and were thus available in a wide range of price categories. While briefly falling out of favor with the end of the 1950’s, traditional cufflinks began to see a renaissance in the 1980’s and remain popular today.

The French cuff shirt and cufflinks will elevate your leadership and everyday style. Offering the finishing touch to the formality of a suite, they also add that something special to a pair of jeans and sports coat. If the French cuff shirt is your style the choice of cufflink should complement everything else you wear and be a representation of your own personal style. 


THE CLASSIC WHITE SHIRT                                                                                                                                                            

By Anthony T. Eaton | FEBRUARY 2018


The white shirt is to men what the little black dress is to women. The difference is that unlike the little black dress which finds its origins in the mid-20th century, the white dress shirt has been around for some 200 years.

The classic white dress shirt will never go out of style and it should be a staple of every man’s wardrobe no matter what he does for a living. Once a symbol of wealth and class, today the white dress shirt can transform Joe the plumber into Cary Grant; well almost
.At a minimum, it can give him a sense of refinement.

While most notably associated with the world of business, today the white shirt can take you from the boardroom to the pub and transform a pair of jeans and loafers into something hip and stylish. But don’t be fooled, every white shirt is not the same and it is important to know the difference so you can not only pick the one that is right for you but in some cases, the one that is right for the occasion. There are a number of things to consider when choosing.

  • Fit
  • Style
  • Collar
  • Cuff
  • Hem


There are a number of choices to each of these and if it seems a little complicated, it’s not. A great guide to all of these details can be found on the Gentleman’s Gazette. Then, there is the price. The price of a white shirt can go from under $20 to literally thousands. No matter what your price point, the key is to buy the best quality you can afford because you get what you pay for.

Lastly, keep your white shirt looking crisp and clean by taking it to the dry cleaner. If you can’t afford the dry cleaner then make sure you know how to not only was it but press it, with spray starch. The latter will help keep your shirt wrinkle free during the day an avoid stains from setting if rinse them right away.


THE POWER OF THE TIE                                                                                                                                                                  

By Anthony T. Eaton | FEBRUARY 2018


The necktie originated in the 17th century with Croatian mercenaries who wore a piece of cloth around their neck as part of their uniform. These served the function the function of tying the top of their jackets but also had quite a decorative effect. King Louis gave this early version of the necktie the name “La Cravate” which is the name for necktie in French to this day. What we as the tie today did not appear until the 1920s and has gone through many changes.

Once a must 
in formal circles of class and the business world, today, the tie is less of a requirement but no less a staple of men and women’s fashion. While not necessarily a requirement, the tie can be the accessory that set’s a leader apart distinguishing them from those they lead. Today the tie can be paired with the less formal business attire of jeans and a blazer as well as the traditional suite. Any leader can be well served by knowing how to tie a tie and chose one that accentuates their own sense of style.

A great leader never underestimates the power of a tie!


SOCIAL EASE                                                                                                                                                                                    

By Anthony T. Eaton | FEBRUARY 2018


The ability to have social ease in any situation will set you apart from the masses. So what does it mean; simple, the appearance of being comfortable and confident with yourself no matter where you are and who you are with. Obviously, we all find our selves in uncomfortable situations, but it is how we appear to others that matters.


How we hold our selves physically, sitting or standing up straight, shoulders squared but not rigid. The tone of voice and inflection; steady, not too loud or too soft with an even pace. The use of pause without appearing to have lost our thought.


Not being intimidated by others you admire or perceive to be smarter or have authority over you, but also not being arrogant, loud or dominating with your presence. 


Social ease has as much to do with the ability to read a room, observe and listen as it does with how you carry yourself. The former is the foundation for the latter.   


Here are a few tips that can help in advance of being in situations that may make you uncomfortable.


  • Do some aerobic exercise, deep breathing, meditation or yoga – these activities help with relaxation and reduced anxiety.
  • Imagine the social situation going well. Try visualizing things going smoothly.
  • If you're feeling anxious in advance of a situation, call your BFF for a calming pep talk.
  • Even if you don't feel confident, acting like you are can trick your brain into believing it. Fake it till you make it.


Preparation and practice over time will enable you to be naturally at ease without giving it a second thought.

LEADERSHIP COUTURE

Lead With Style

By Anthony T. Eaton   |   

[  "You don't need a title to be a leader - and having a title doesn't make you one."  ]

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