Tagged: It Me

I’m 30

Today is July 21, which means…

"I just realized..."

"...today is my birthday."

"I'm 30."

 

Hm.

While today is, indeed, my 30th birthday, I’m greeting the day with considerably more enthusiasm than The Great Gatsby‘s despondent narrator Nick Carraway, who rings in “the portentous menacing road of a new decade” during a contentious confrontation between romantic millionaire Jay Gatsby and brutish Tom Buchanan over the affections of Daisy, Tom’s wife and Gatsby’s former flame. (For a more in-depth look at the style of my favorite book and its multiple cinematic adaptations, check out this post from last month!)

Sam Waterston and Lois Chiles in The Great Gatsby (1974)

Sam Waterston and Lois Chiles in The Great Gatsby (1974)

Fellow July 21 birthday celebrators include:

  • Sam Bass (born 1851), an outlaw who died on his 27th birthday following a gunfight with police in Texas
  • Sara Carter (1898-1979), lead singer of the Carter Family
  • Hart Crane (1899-1932), American writer and poet who died by suicide
  • Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), American writer and adventurer who also died by suicide
  • Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), the media theorist I know best from his famous cameo in Annie Hall
  • Kay Starr (1922-2016), described by Billie Holiday as “the only white woman who could sing the blues”
  • Norman Jewison (born 1926), director of stylish flicks including The Cincinnati Kid (1965), In the Heat of the Night (1967), and The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), among many others
  • Sonny Clark (1931-1963), jazz pianist who recorded prolifically for Blue Note in the late 1950s
  • Janet Reno (1938-2016), first woman to serve as United States Attorney General
  • Edward Herrmann (1943-2014), actor who famously portrayed FDR (and also appeared in 1974’s The Great Gatsby)
  • Robin Williams (1951-2014), Academy Award-winning actor and comedian considered among the funniest people of all time
  • Jon Lovitz (born 1957), comedian and former Saturday Night Live cast member
  • Brandi Chastain (born 1968), American soccer champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist
  • Godfrey (born 1969), comedian, actor, and 7 Up spokesperson
  • Josh Hartnett (born 1979), actor who starred in Pearl HarborSin City, and 30 Days of Night
  • Paloma Faith (born 1981), eccentric singer-songwriter
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BAMF Style’s Guide to Halloween

9 Days to Halloween!

Do you wear a costume on Halloween? If so, do you go for something scary, witty, or low-key (I’m thinking three-hole-punch Jim…), or do you prefer something recognizable from pop culture?

I tend to aim for the latter, if for no other reason than I can usually dig into my own closet to find something comfortable. Usually one or two additional pieces need to be thrifted or bought online, but channeling my favorite movie or TV characters has always made Halloween costume hunting a relatively stress-free process.

With Halloween parties kicking into high gear this upcoming weekend, I want to provide a helpful guide for BAMF Style readers in search of costumes based on some of my own experience. For example, I’ve learned to avoid the esoteric (like my 7th grade Halloween costume when I was Robert Redford in The Sting) and embrace costumes with character-defining props, be it Don Draper’s pack of Lucky Strikes or Thomas Magnum’s Detroit Tigers cap.

My goal was to set you up with the elements you need for an easy, comfortable, and – most importantly – stress-free Halloween costume! (Plus… many elements from these costumes can be worn independently and thus expand your wardrobe! Win win.)

BAMF Style Halloween Continue reading

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Today is Black Friday, the annual phenomenon in the American retail world that finds many waking from their heavy tryptophan-induced slumber to save 10% on a TV. In recent years, this “holiday” has been exploited by said retailers capitalizing on in-store deals by expanding them to the world wide web on Cyber Monday for an additional day of merry marketing goodness.

Cynicism aside, with one month to Christmas Eve, today feels like a perfect opportunity to present some picks for BAMF Style’s somewhat-annual Holiday Gift Guide… whether you’re seeking to treat a loved one, a friend, or yourself!

"This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye!"

“This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f*cking Kaye!”

For the 2017 gift-giver, I created three different gift guide categories:

  • Eight relevant essentials of classic style icons and where you can find the best options based on your budget
  • Two BAMF-approved gift packages based on products that I regularly wear, use, and appreciate
  • A roundup of (mostly) new books for BAMFs and others to enjoy

Continue reading

BAMF Style: My 5 Formative Movie Suits

For my birthday today (July 21, same as Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams), I hope you’ll excuse an indulgent post as I explore the suits that grabbed my attention from a young age and stirred my early interest in men’s style. Though, given the dapper white jacket that Sean Connery wore on the cover of GQ the month I was born, I should have known what direction my life would eventually take!

While not necessarily the greatest suits to every appear in the movies, these five each contributed to my interest in menswear that led to the eventual creation of BAMF Style a decade later. Interestingly, all of the featured outfits are from period films, highlighting fashion of an earlier era (the 1930s, in more cases than not) and accentuated by a musical soundtrack designed to emphasize the character and the moment.

Warren Beatty in Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Jack Nicholson in Chinatown (1974), Nicholas Clay in Evil Under the Sun (1982), Ray Liotta in Goodfellas (1990), and Robert Redford in The Sting (1973)

Warren Beatty in Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Jack Nicholson in Chinatown (1974), Nicholas Clay in Evil Under the Sun (1982), Ray Liotta in Goodfellas (1990), and Robert Redford in The Sting (1973)

Continue reading

BAMF Style is now on Patreon!

Blogging is hard work, but the much-appreciated support, encouragement, and feedback from my readers makes it all worth while!

If you’re willing and able, please consider supporting BAMF Style on Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/bamfstyle.

Certain levels of financial support get special perks (A hand-drawn guy in a suit! A random vintage tie! Sneak peeks at new posts!), but please know that any and all support is always appreciated by yours truly.

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If you think that I’m selling out, then please feel free to roll your eyes but still explore the many great artists at patreon.com who could always use help to support their creative efforts!

Thank you!

Iconic Alternatives – 5 Favorite Bond Looks

I’m honored to have been contributed to an article posted today at Iconic Alternatives, featuring my top five favorite outfits from the James Bond 007 series. Iconic Alternatives did all the hard work of tracking down fashionable and affordable options of suits, formalwear, and casual wear worn by Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Daniel Craig in From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, The Man with the Golden Gun, Casino Royale, and Skyfall.

Check it out here if you want to find out my five favorite outfits from the Bond series and affordable alternatives as researched by the pros at Iconic Alternatives. The entire site is a great resource for tracking down individual items to help you dress like the world’s sharpest secret agent.

Image credit: Iconic Alternatives

Image credit: Iconic Alternatives

Did I include any of your favorite James Bond outfits? Feel free to share your favorites or clothing that you’ve found on your own that reflects 007!

Follower Appreciation Day 2015!

A few weeks ago, I called for the esteemed readers of this blog to Show Us Your BAMF! I received many excellent submissions from around the world, and I’m honored to present each gentleman’s look – along with a short bit written by them – in person. The submissions received prove that BAMF Style has some of the snazziest fans out there.

So, in the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I’d like to thank all of my wonderful readers, followers, and commenters. It’s hard to believe I’ve been at this for more than three years, but you’ve all kept me going! Continue reading

Show us your BAMF!

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I think all of you who follow and comment on this blog are some of the coolest dudes around. BAMF Style just celebrated its third anniversary (on September 26th, if you’re curious), and I couldn’t have made it this far without all of you.

To show my appreciation, I’d love to get the chance to highlight some of the looks you guys are sporting. Whether it’s based on a movie or TV BAMF or just a stellar combination you’ve found on your own, feel free to send a photo or two of an outfit that makes you proud to TheSartorialBAMF@gmail.com, along with a few words like the manufacturers, fabric, and even an anecdote about it.

It’d be my pleasure to sort through the submissions and get a post up – probably around Thanksgiving, since I’ll be literally giving my thanks – featuring all of your great style.

This one’s for you, BAMFs!

gatsby_tux_champagne

Also, check out this cool article by Guy Trebay for the New York Times, where Trebay talks about classic sprezzatura style icons like Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Cary Grant, and Marvin Gaye. Trebay even talks about McQueen’s somewhat anachronistic – but badass – attire in The Great Escape.

BAMF Style’s 2014 Christmas List

Having some trouble deciding what to get the BAMF in your life…or at least how to treat yourself during the holiday season? Fret no more, as I’m here with some unsolicited shilling with ten shopping days left before Christmas.

BossHoggXmas

Booze

The simplest and, often, the most appreciated gift is the one that comes in a glass bottle and has often been aged several years. Some favorite spirits that’ll help you or your BAMF affordably capture the holiday spirit:

  1. Basil Hayden’s (Bourbon whiskey)
  2. Bernheim Original (American whiskey)
  3. Booker’s (Bourbon whiskey)
  4. Jefferson’s (Bourbon whiskey)
  5. Laphroaig 10-Year-Old (Islay single malt Scotch whisky)

Although Bourbon and Scotch have always been my traditionally preferred whiskies, American whiskey is currently enjoying a renaissance with labels like Bernheim Original and Michter’s providing some excellent outings. Most of the above offerings can be found in the $30 to $50 range. If you prefer to buy a whiskey that costs less than $30, just make sure it’s in a glass bottle. That plastic handle of Calvert ain’t gonna impress the boss.

Books

As a voracious reader, I like to think that all BAMFs still appreciate the written word as much as I do. So what titles do you buy for the BAMF who reads everything?

With these books, a man can stay entertained and stylish. NB: Part of my whiskey collection is visible on the bar behind said books. I keep the "guest" whiskey out and the premium whiskey inside the curio on the left.

With these books, a man can stay entertained and stylish.
NB: Part of my whiskey collection is visible on the bar behind said books. I keep the “guest” whiskey out and the premium whiskey inside the curio on the left.

  1. Hardy Ames – ABC of Men’s Fashion (Amazon)
  2. Bill Zehme – The Way You Wear Your Hat: Frank Sinatra and the Lost Art of Livin’ (Amazon)
  3. Alfred Tong – The Gentlemen’s Guide to Cocktails (Amazon)
  4. Josh Miller & Shawn Allen – Always a Home Game (Amazon)
  5. Jim Thompson – Pop. 1280 (Amazon)

I’m very lucky to have received the first three books on this list as gifts. I received Hardy Ames’ 1964 sartorial guide ABC of Men’s Fashion as a thoughtful gift, and it has helped guide much of the knowledge in my posts. It’s a very witty breakdown from the “golden age” of men’s style and worth inclusion in any BAMF’s library.

Bill Zehme’s meticulously-researched The Way You Wear Your Hat is the perfect analysis and tribute to Frank Sinatra, to whom every Clyde and Charley should look as a style icon. I am indebted to Teeritz (of The Teeritz Agenda) for not only bringing this book to my attention but also sending me a copy all the way from Australia. If you can track down a copy of Zehme’s book, it’s a worthy read and will instruct all aspects of your life from fashion to etiquette to cocktails.

And, speaking of cocktails, Alfred Tong’s The Gentlemen’s Guide to Cocktails is one of many cocktail guides in my collection, but it earns a special place on this list due to its similar format to this blog. It is truly the guide for the suave gentleman who likes to entertain, filled with classic drink recipes from the “golden age” of cocktails, Mad Men-style illustrations, and cultural context. There are certainly other bar books with more varied recipes, but this should be a staple for every gentleman’s collection.

Sports fans – particularly Steeler fans – would appreciate Josh Miller and Shawn Allen’s new book, Always a Home Game, chronicling the ubiquity of Steeler fans and bars across the U.S. It’s as much a travelogue as it is a tribute to one of the oldest and most winningest football franchises in the country.

And, finally, I had to include my favorite book, Jim Thompson’s pulp thriller Pop. 1280. Dark comedy seeps from every page of this page-turner about a slow-witted rural sheriff who slowly reveals himself to be much more cunning and vicious than he appears. While that may not sound like the basis for much comedy, it’s Thompson’s comic answer to his own classic The Killer Inside Me as the character bemoans his continuing hunger after consuming enough to fill four Orson Welleses.

Music

Tired of hearing the same generic holiday music all season long? Switch it up and do your auditory glands a favor.

  1. Frank Sinatra – A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra (1957) (Amazon)
  2. Various Artists – A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector (1963) (Amazon)
  3. She & Him – A Very She & Him Christmas (2011) (Amazon)
  4. Ella Fitzgerald – Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas (1960) (Amazon)
  5. Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song (1960, originally The Magic of Christmas) (Amazon)

Xmas 2014 Music

Other artists like Elvis, Bing, The Jackson 5, and James Brown also have some stellar holiday output, but I’m trying to limit these lists to the top five. Plus, you know what the above five albums all have in common? No “Little-fucking-Drummer Boy”.

Also, you’ll most of these albums are from the golden age of Christmas music, 1957-1963, before things got too schmaltzy and everyone and their mother decided it was a good idea to record a holiday album. She & Him are the only modern act worth including here, and their album is a nice tribute to classic sound while adding their own quirky modern touch. Frank, of course, dominates the list with the best of his three holiday albums.

Movies

Do you know a grinch who refuses to watch Christmas movies? Ensure that said grinch turns that frown upside down with these non-traditional holiday outings.

  1. Die Hard (1988) (Amazon)
  2. Three Days of the Condor (1975) (Amazon)
  3. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) (Amazon)
  4. The Bourne Identity (2002) (Amazon)
  5. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) (Amazon)

Know the best way to make an action movie even better? Set it at Christmas. It worked for Die Hard (and Die Hard 2), Lethal Weapon, Jason Bourne, and even James Bond. Other great non-Christmas Christmas movies are Catch Me If You CanThe Long Kiss Goodnight, and The Thin Man.

Holiday Heroes.

Holiday Heroes.

My mother is the queen of Christmas movies; she owns almost every formulaic piece that Hallmark churns out between November and December every year with C-list actors, but – as I noted when I browsed her collection – it was missing some of my favorites. Last year, I was probably one of the very few sons who purchased Die Hard as a Christmas gift for his mother. To her credit, she watched it. (I also must note her appreciation for the traditional classics; she and I have a standing tradition of watching White Christmas while wrapping gifts every year.)

Manly Accessories

There are a few things I never leave home without – my wallet, my watch, a pocketknife, and a flask – usually full (or mostly full) of my preferred whiskey of the week.

Don't leave home without 'em! (Well, you could ostensibly leave home without a candle.)

Don’t leave home without ’em! (Well, you could ostensibly leave home without a candle.) Featured whiskies here are Jefferson’s Bourbon and Lagavulin 16-Yr. Islay single malt. Both are excellent (hence neither bottle being even remotely full).

The Watch

Elegantly simple with a masculine touch from its military-inspired design, the Victorinox Swiss Army Infantry is my watch of choice. With its brown calfskin strap, stainless case, and black dial, it is a fine accompaniment to my entire wardrobe, fitting equally well with suits or casual wear.

The model I own, #241563, has unfortunately been discontinued but is still available for purchase on Amazon.

The Wallet

For years, I alternated between a battered leather chain wallet (gasp!) and a Pulp Fiction-esque “BAD MOTHER FUCKER” wallet. While part of me still advocates the latter, it didn’t do very well when pulling it out to pay for client dinners. For Christmas three years ago, I received an elegant Bosca tri-fold wallet in cognac brown that has served me well. It looks like some similar wallets are still available from Amazon.

The Flask

Every man could use some booze on-the-go, and there’s hardly a classier way to carry it than in a classic stainless steel flask. This is one of the cheapest and most practical gifts you can give a man. Flasks can range from simple and silver (as seen here on Amazon) to ornate with leather and monograms abounding. In my opinion, the flask should reflect the liquor inside; something simple for whiskies like Dewar’s and Jim Beam while putting your 18-year single malt in a more individualist container… although that’s no way to treat an 18-year-old single malt.

The Knife

Finally, a knife is one of the oldest tools in a man’s trade. Aside from self-defense reasons, a knife can be wisely applied to a number of tasks from the mundane (opening a box) to the adventurous (cutting open a seat belt).

While I’m not nearly an expert when it comes to knives (instead I’ll go on for hours about movies, guns, and cars), I have found my Smith & Wesson CKTACBSD Special Tactical (Amazon) to be handy with its light weight and 3.5″ blade. Other suggestions can be found at Best Pocket Knife Today, a well-informed site that is currently heralding the Benchmade Griptilian and Spyderco Tenacious among its top knives.

The Candle

Not traditionally found on lists of “What to Get Men for Christmas”, candles are finding a newly masculine renaissance thanks to Man Cans, an Ohio-based company started just four years ago by a savvy 13-year-old guy who realized that men don’t want to smell their offices to smell like lavender and cherry blossoms. In delicious scents like Bacon, Dirt, Gunpowder, New York Style Pizza, and – my favorite – Campfire, Man Cans are an excellent choice for any BAMF.

Feel free to share some of your favorite holiday purchases – and gifts – in the comments section!