I recently met and older version of myself at a Christmas party. He and his wife have mutual friends and he was in his mid 40’s and well dressed. I wasn’t until later in the evening that I found out that he was the regional manager of Harry Rosen. I laughed and said that my dream job would be to own an old school apothecary… a cool barber shop that had unique colognes, men’s products. It would be the best thing I could think of next to the position I have right now. I had a great conversation about things that had that “old school” cool or classic element of style. So I followed that up on Saturday with a visit to Knifewear in the Inglewood community of Calgary. Now this place sells Japanese knives, but in the back they have a section of straight razors, hard to find aftershaves, badger brushes, and mug soaps. WICKED.
And this started to make me think. It was something that I would not talk about much, but I have a few little things that I love outside of my family and my career. I am not going to pretend that I have a great sense of style but I do well for myself. It started many years ago when I got my first Men’s Health magazine and took off from there. At 15 I got my first real cologne… a blue bottle of Polo Ralph Lauren Sport. And the love affair took off from there. Over the years I developed a schema of what it was to have my own personal style. Over the years I grew a love for unique colognes, and studied the components, the notes and houses that create the great colognes. I gravitated to the House of Creed, Le Labo and the newly launched Tom Ford private blend. I garnered an obsession with salvage denim jeans. I spend $60 on a cab ride in New York just to visit World Brand Jean Shop in New York where they make custom jeans. Great shoes and as some know coloured laces are just part and parcel of the ideal I have developed. I find these things fun to learn and research about. Watching Skyfall inspired me to attempt to shave with a straight razor. Now the art of shaving is a ritual, not just something that I do.
So what does this have to do with a site about performance and training? People spend countless hours training to, as one gym puts it… “Look Good Naked”. That’s a great concept and I too train to look good naked. But in reality what percent in the case of guys are you walking around with your shirt off? Yes you workout but I always look back to the little old men who get up and still put on their suit with no where to go. It is about dressing to represent you. Taking pride, and when you dress well, you carry yourself with a different swagger. You have a greater sense of confidence when you are dressed up. And I am not talking about a suit like a scene out of Mad Men. And you do not have to dress to break the bank. It is about some simple staples, like the feeling of putting on a good pair of jeans that fit. You should not have to pull your pants up or your shirt down. Tossing on a pair of old school Chuck Taylors. American classics. It is about pride. Not in a boastful but in a way that shows you carry yourself with class. And that is something that I think has taken a back seat in the past few years. Something so simple that needs to make a comeback.