Category Archives: Luxury Living

Get their attention…with Robert Graham

wclectic“May I have your attention?  May I have your attention, please?”  came the call over the public address system.  A fire drill? Another safety alert?  We’ve all been trained from a very tender age to stop whatever we  are doing and listen when such a call goes out.   A siren or flashing light is also designed to get our attention, but it’s usually not to announce anything pleasant.

Getting the attention of another (without sirens and flashing lights) in a way that also generates interest, desire, and favorable action (AIDA for you savvy marketing and sales people) is not always such a simple task.  It often requires an element of surprise or delight, something impressive, something capable of disrupting one’s train of thought, if even for just a moment.

Robert Graham (Robert Stock and Graham Fowler) menswear is designed with that in mind.  After serving a wake up call to menswear back in 2001 with a line of shirts that were bold, colorful and artistic, the brand has evolved into a full range of menswear that exhibits what they call “American Eclectic.”  From shirts to pants, socks to belts, some of their pieces speak with a quiet confidence, while others sing in full-voice.   In other words, you can move from one octave to another and turn the volume up or down, all while wearing Robert Graham, and definitely feeling confident every step of the way.



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Robert Graham would be the first to tell you that their clothing and accessories are not for everyone.  They unabashedly design for the man who wants:

  • to live a more colorful life
  • to be “a cut above, not a cut-out.”
  • to have the confidence to paint his own picture.

Several of the early and most significant actors in founding the America that we know and love were men who fit that description.  They were men who had a strong sense of their own significance as well as the significance of the times they were living and what they were seeking to accomplish.  If Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were alive today they would be all over Robert Graham clothing.

Your Ultimate Super Hero: DAD

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As a child, I was impressed to no end by the caped crusader – Batman. I was especially enamored with gadgetry and powers of the Bat Cave and the Bat Mobile.

Superman held a similar and even more profound fascination, probably because of his ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound and to run faster than a speeding bullet.    My boyhood attempts to fly down the stairs, with my favorite blanket as my cape, failed miserably and painfully, so the fact that he could fly as high and faster than a jet airplane put him over the top.  In addition to those two, many other fictional super heroes, from Spiderman to R2D2, have filled up comic books and entertainment screens, providing us with a fantastical type of inspiration and first-rate entertainment.

 

As I got older I became (and still am) even more impressed by the seemingly super human abilities – whether athletic/physical, intellectual, or artistic/creative – of certain real people.   Real people doing amazing things can also be highly entertaining, with the added bonus of inspiration that isn’t so fantastical, but more believable.

 

As much as we love to see people, real or not, doing amazing things, the people who are the closest to us, who love us without condition, or who have touched our lives in a personal way that saved us from harm or raised us up to a new level of thinking and doing are our true super heroes.  For me, certain teachers and coaches come to mind.  The client who has gone out of his way to help me build my business.  Of course, a variety of emergency service personnel, doctors and nurses, and those you serve in our armed forces (though not necessarily known in a personal way) are on that list as well.  Above all others (more often than not), the people who brought us into this world, our first and most important role models, our parents, are our truest heroes.  Once as a boy and now as a man, my Dad is my ultimate super hero.  You probably feel the same way.

 

Every year, on Father’s Day, we give particular focus to that man who made it all possible, who has provided so much for us that words alone cannot express our gratitude.   Sure it’s the thought that counts, but a little gift now and then adds to the impact of those thoughts.  If you’re not sure what give Dad this year, anything from this list of truly innovative items is sure to honor and delight your ultimate super hero:

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Super Hero cuff links.   What better gift for your super hero than cuff links that will remind him of a favorite super hero from his childhood?

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Power Stays.   Does your shirt collar ever slide under the lapel of your jacket or do the collar points sometimes look like they are ready for takeoff when you’re not wearing a tie?  What if every point and spread collar shirt could be easily turned into a hidden button down collar, giving you maximum control over how it looks and behaves?  That is exactly what you get with magnetic collar stays from wurkin stiffs.

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Leather Accessories.   Most men don’t replace or update their wallets and money clips as often as they should.  This is an ideal occasion to give the gift of leather accessories from Bryant Park, all made in the USA of superhero quality for the discriminating, style conscious man.

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Business and Travel Cases by TUMI.  Innovation, quality, and reliably solving real problems are all hallmarks of the TUMI brand.  On average, someone who gets one product from TUMI ends up owning at least seven TUMI products.  If he is not already a collector, this is a great time to get Dad started.

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Sunglass Cases by Holland & Sherry Bespoke.  Sunglasses are often damaged simply because they aren’t properly protected when not being worn.  H&S Bespoke cases offer elegant, stylish protection.

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 Ties and Pocket Squares.   Last but not least, while the idea of giving a tie on Father’s Day is not new, Dad could probably use a new tie or two that look current – the right width, color, and pattern to complement his current jackets and shirts.  A lot of men are now wearing a pocket square to complement their tie or as an accent piece in place of a tie.

Follow the Tom James 12 Essentials Gift Guide and you are sure to be a hero to your ultimate hero.

 

 

A Triple Crown for You and Me

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The first leg (The Kentucky Derby) of the Thoroughbred Racing Triumvirate was run on May 3rd.   California Chrome was favored and did not disappoint, winning the race handily. Now it’s on to The Preakness Stakes (run at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland)  this Saturday, May 17 (California Chrome is again the favorite to win,) followed by The Belmont Stakes (run at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York) on June 7 in the quest for the elusive Triple Crown – a series of three specific races for three year old Thoroughbred horses. You have to win all three in the same year to win the Triple Crown. Three horses (but of course) won the Triple Crown in the 1970’s (Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Affirmed.) None have won it since. Twelve horses have since then won the first two races, but none were able to win all three.

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In 2012 Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers won the batting Triple Crown of Major League Baseball (MLB). Prior to that no one had won it since Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox did it in 1967. The Triple Crown of baseball consists of leading a league (either the American or National) in three specific statistical categories: batting average, home runs, and runs batted in (RBI) over a full regular season. As you can readily see from those two examples – horse racing and playing baseball – achieving a Triple Crown is difficult and rare!

In the world of tailoring and fine cloth, a triple crown is equally rare though lesser known. Triple Crown is a crafty way to describe a new cloth creation by Holland & Sherry that is woven from yarns with a 3-ply twist. This is significant for at least two reasons:

1. Most fine worsted wool cloth is woven from yarns that are 2-ply or even single ply. Adding the third ply (meaning three threads are twisted together instead of just two) makes the yarns and resulting cloth stronger and adds dimensional stability.
2. The 3-ply twists offer a depth of color that would not otherwise be achievable, creating cloths that are visually interesting and supremely well balanced.  Many of the cloths have a look of texture but are completely smooth to the touch.

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Woven from Super 120’s wool, the Triple Crown collection is perfect for the individual who would welcome a fresh twist on a variety of classic looks for suits, blazers, and 245520245501trousers. The range of solid colors is truly unique and particularly well suited for separates or coordinates.

California Chrome is the only horse  that still has a shot at the thoroughbred racing Triple Crown this year.  But you and I can take advantage of a unique opportunity to wear a Triple Crown.  To see the full Triple Crown cloth collection from Holland & Sherry, contact your Tom James Clothier.

Generational Style

A Legacy of Professional Consistency

Sometimes the acorn doesn’t fall very far from that old oak tree. Sometimes it falls from the tree, tumbles down a hill, floats down the creek, and rolls through the woods to an entirely other place. On the whole, each generation aspires to re-invent itself, however subtle the variance from parental influence. Putting that into practice, the more traditional the environment, the more “subtle” the difference between generations. In the case of the Smith family from Kentucky, the theme of their wardrobes and who they choose to work with is one of professional consistency.

When asked about their favorite garments of all-time, Brooken, an attorney, says his favorite item is his seersucker suit. His uncle, Raymond, genuinely enjoys French cuff shirts and well-polished shoes. And Russell – let’s just say he shall not soon be separated from his camel hair blazer.

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The Smith family has operated a family business and practiced law for three generations. The first brother, Russell, Jr., became a client in the late 70s, followed by Raymond in the early 80s. Just as their business and the law have been family traditions, so has their Tom James clothier come to be.

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