Confucius The Ninja Of Balance

confucius_careo

“More than mere fortune cookie wisdom…”

Exorcising the mean sounds like witchcraft or a Sergio Leone movie. Nobody tackles this better than Confucius. Given today’s economic climatic, you have to wonder. Business as usual is not the way forward. Confucius offers us a cogent alternative.

Now, I know what you are thinking. This guy’s been at the Moo Shu again. Quite the contrary. The teachings of Confucius are perfect for our times. Understanding and navigating change is not tied to one culture. Confucius has the power to challenge your perceptions and deliver some down to earth answers. Management is a rough and tumble game. There are rules. However, there are players who are happy to break the rules. Here is a snip of Confucius to give you a broader picture:

“When happiness, anger, grief and joy are not expressed, this is called the Mean; when they do find expression in a restrained and balanced way, this is called Harmony. The Mean is a great root of the world, Harmony is the great Way of the world”.

Sounds like quite a mouth full. The term harmony concerns balance. It also entails compromise. Forget the gunslinger’s approach. The mechanics of teamwork are always subtle. Individuals on a team project do not have to like one another. They should however, work together effectively. Do not confuse chemistry and personality with performance. Great teams are not composed of “yes” men and women. They are built with distinctive individuals who have unique qualities. This is the true definition of harmony.

Understanding this principal, will give you a better handle on managing team environments. When it comes to exercising judgment, there is a thin line. One of my colleagues calls this “walking on the edge of a razor blade”. Don’t worry about results. Results will manifest.

Do not be fussed by the methodology either. Use what is appropriate for your situation. Appropriate does not mean committing the “Discourses” of Niccolo Machiavelli to heart. Nor does it mean tattooing his descriptions of conniving and cunning to your chest. It entails avoiding the extremes. Remember Confucius was not pedantic. He walked the talk. Born a meager, impoverished young boy, he recognized that the way forward was based on values most people hold dear. For this reason, Confucius put so much stress on ethics.

Confucius also promoted the ideal character: modesty, honesty, and unity through education in action. His fundamental belief was that all individuals should have the same educational rights. Confucius coupled this teaching to the values of community. He was not keen on the dog eat dog approach.

In theory, education releases a business leader’s potential to make good decisions for the community. With his guiding hand, Confucius proved in practice that people could create and exploit opportunities. See reality as it is not necessarily how you would like to see it. When favorable or unfavorable outcomes are put aside, this is the Mean. Now you can decide with authority and take action. Tackling these choices is done from a position of rationality and sustainability.

By understanding the mechanics of your own heart, you are ready for true leadership. Working and guiding others with harmony will be as easy as listening to the gentle sound of the wind through wisteria. After all, Confucius was not adverse to a good cup of Pu-erh.

Article Title: Confucius The Ninja Of Balance
About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on | Talent Development | Career Management | Personal Brand Management | MBA Admissions | Life & Career Coaching |

Let Careo start by celebrating your success story. We hold to the principle that it is not how good you are, but how good you would like to become. We are honored to have been recommended across the French media in – Le Figaro, L’Express, Capital – and by Success & Career in Switzerland.

As Mahatma Gandhi stated, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”.

For further inspiration
Visit Whitefield Consulting Worldwide

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Pursuing Full Abundance

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“From this angle, things are looking up nicely…”

Yves Saint Lauren might have said, “From this angle things are shaping up nicely.” Full abundance in any career is an attitude. It has nothing to do with possession. So where can you find full abundance? In the void of your heart.

Do not be frightened. Contrary to naive beliefs, the void is not a negation of identity. It is an inner space. Many sages in India describe this phenomenon as sitting under the wish-fulfilling tree. Under the branches of this tree lies full abundance. Best of all, you will discover there is no need for possession.

To experience this phenomenon gives deep satisfaction. It sounds so easy, and yet we make it difficult. Our problem is simple. We have conned ourselves into believing that we are incomplete. We feel ownership means full abundance.

Here’s a silly example. You are walking down the rue St. Honore. You spy a vintage Daytona Rolex in the window. Your heart palpitates. You recognize the watch will look better on your wrist than sitting in the window. Now the unthinkable becomes doable.

You enter the shop, clasp the watch to your wrist and feel complete. You become giddy with pride like a child with a new toy.

However one day, the newness wears off. We entertain incompleteness again. The mind goes in search of the next acquisition. The mind loves filling this bottomless pit. It finds pleasure in personalized heritage collections. This exercise can go on indefinitely. Then one day something happens. It can be an ailment, loss of a loved one, or loss of a job. You feel empty. This time the emptiness comes as a relief.

We have discovered that we feel ephemeral like the objects we preciously covet. Our mistake comes from the failure to distinguish among our dependencies arising from external phenomena. Recognizing our dependency is a great leap forward. It leads to an independence of being. It is bracing like a stiff sea breeze. Coming to this realization we see the dynamics of cause and effect. Every effect has a cause whether it bears immediate fruit or not.

Use this season to rebalance your full abundance equation. Find a quiet place. Take a few minutes and sit down. Close your eyes. No one is watching. Breath deeply and methodically. Feel your own presence. The energy is already within you. Feel the vibration mount and you will begin to understand the meaning of emptiness. In the void of full abundance, you are already complete.

Article Title: Pursuing Full Abundance
Photograph: archival, curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on | Career Management | Personal Brand Management | Talent Development | Life & Career Coaching | MBA Admissions |

Let Careo start by celebrating your success story. We hold to the principle that it is not how good you are, but how good you would like to become. We are honored to have been recommended across the French media in – Le Figaro, L’Express, Capital – and by Success & Career in Switzerland.

As Mahatma Gandhi stated, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”.

For further inspiration
Visit Whitefield Consulting Worldwide

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Social Enterprise Gently Shaking The World

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“More than passion is required…”

In the midst of challenging times, building a social enterprise can be the best way forward. Forget the naysayers because they can make you feel like Forest Gump. To forget his pain, he runs from one end of America to the other. He runs until his sadness is burnt out. Is this what we are doing?

Just read an interesting article about an American jean manufacturer based in Arizona. In addition to making great selvage, the firm is based on a new version of the 3Ps: people, planet, profit. We tip our hats to these endeavoring individuals for their commitment to bring home manufacturing jobs and provide clients with great products at reasonable prices. If they can do this, reason dictates that Europeans can still manufacture as well.

In Paris, young professionals are also concerned by social entrepreneurship. They recognize the hard issues. Since under employment is not going away, ethical business practices are taking center stage. From our standpoint, social enterprise is gaining traction as a responsible career choice as never before despite the odds and the non-progressive fiscal policies.

In this respect, social enterprise models have been morphing with respect to economic realities. Generation X Europeans have grown up in a culture of moral materialism. Diverse forces such as working and extended stays overseas continue to shape their sensibilities. When they return to France, and many don’t, they want to take positive action.

Recently, I chaired a conference on the power of social media and its influence on social enterprise. Discussions were intense. Clearly, Generation X is tired of being conned by bureaucratic smoke.

Entrepreneurship is about launching profitable ventures. However, profitable organizations can have a social conscience. Outsourcing to the developing world is seen as a misguided strategy. The good news is that renewal is on the way. Every generation finds its voice. They strive to tackle life’s questions. Demographics are shifting too. Although not as rapid as in the States, societies are more diversified.

Where we are going will be determined by the reality that an individual can make a difference. The EU can start by making Europe entrepreneurial and tax friendly. Belt tightening is a dead policy. The time has come for swift and inspired change. We the people, to borrow a phrase, should push government to make the right decisions, which foster prosperity and social enterprise, not kill our dreams with excuses or scapegoats.

Article Title: Social Enterprise Gently Shaking The World
Photograph: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on | Talent Development | Career Management | Personal Brand Management | MBA Admissions | Life & Career Coaching |

Let us start by celebrating your success story. We hold to the principle that it is not how good you are, but how good you would like to become. We are honored to have been recommended across the French media in – Le Figaro, L’Express, Capital – and by Success & Career in Switzerland.

As Mahatma Gandhi stated, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”.

For further inspiration
Visit Whitefield Consulting Worldwide

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For Your Career Eyes Only

eyes_career-management

“Everybody needs a check list…”

Career change makes the best of us stare out the window. What we see are people in a rush. Yet where are we really going? Our agendas are crammed with appointments. Our actions are routine and executed unconsciously. Call it a rut. You feel restlessness like electricity, and it can be contagious. Consequently, time slips by. Changes in your career are put on hold. What however, are we waiting for?

Ruts are counter productive to career management. You dig deeper, but you still need to become unstuck. How often have we all heard people lament with the following career management chestnuts:

“I must earn more money.”

“I am stressed out of my mind. Better change jobs while I still have a mind left.”

“I want to be happy.”

“I wish I were in Tahiti.

The climate is getting my goat.”

As the traffic and crowds float by, these thoughts permeate the atmosphere with discontent. This is where a shift in perception becomes essential if career guidance is to become a proactive engagement.

Imagine holding a beautiful Ming Dynasty jar in your hands. With your eyes, you caress the form and shape. The blue and white pottery holds a timeless fascination. You begin to speculate who created this lovely object.

Furthermore, a lid covers the jar. Unless you put something in the jar, it is empty. Actually, the pot is filled with air. If the jar suddenly slips from your hands, it shatter on the floor. So, what happened to the air inside?

It merged into its surroundings. The form of the jar gave us the illusion that it was separate from its surroundings. The air represented our aspirations for career change.

Now, pretend. You are that container. In fact, the human form is just a jar, more precious than any fabricated during the Ming dynasty. We use our bodies to perform many types of actions. In theory, we have control over this organic and constantly changing entity. Through the body we experience pleasure and pain. It also goads us to take action. However, when you go to sleep, what happens to your body?

Can you take the body with you as you glide into a state of sleep? Of course, you don’t even if you would like to. It remains nicely tucked up under the blankets. You retrieve your body in the morning when you open your eyes. Now you are ready to tackle the day’s activities. Recognizing your responsibilities, you head for the espresso machine. For the moment, your compassion for your self is unconscious. To sustain your activities, it must be conscious.

What disintegrates minute-by-minute can not be undone. Focus on what is constant. Listen to the sound of your breath and see it like the ocean tide. Identify all that can change as impermanent and let go. Do you recognize yourself or just your reflection?

Now repeat to yourself: I forgive my self. I love my Self. I am happy and complete. If you engage and convince your mind that this is your real state of being, you will enhance your creative thinking, leadership & managerial capabilities. It is so simple, but you must take the time to do so. By re-booting your inner software, you update your hard drive programing for maximum contentment in both business and pleasure.

Article Title: For Your Career Eyes Only
Photograph: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on | MBA Admissions | Career Management | Personal Brand Management | Talent Development | Life & Career Coaching |

Let Careo start by celebrating your success story. We hold to the principle that it is not how good you are, but how good you would like to become. We are honored to have been recommended across the French media in – Le Figaro, L’Express, Capital – and by Success & Career in Switzerland.

As Mahatma Gandhi stated, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”.

For further inspiration
Visit Whitefield Consulting Worldwide

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The Essential Parisian Kit

cinfonelli1_menswear

“Knit one, pearl two.”

Pursuit of the ideal suit or sports jacket was always a game of fox & hounds. With all the talk of Parisian elegance, male style mavens don’t generally come to this city for their sports coats or suits. With the disappearance of Old England and Arnys, what do stylish guys do in this town?

Good question, which I put to a round table just last week. A handful of bespoke tailors came up. Nobody it seems wants to divulge who cuts the cloth on their backs. There are quite a few luxury brands about, but for the most part gentlemen with a refined sense of aesthetic well-being avoid such establishments. Too plebeian was the term bandied about. Ironically, Paris is principally known for women’s haute couture and ready-to-wear street styles. Despite the city’s reputation for feminine luxury, there are treasures to entice the masculine customer of good taste. It is just a matter of digging them out.

So why is the French gents scene so different?

Well, for starters, there is no one district in Paris to investigate. Menswear stores of pedigree are scattered about. Certain tailors worth visiting are not at street level. You must either be introduced or have the address. The big three are Cifonelli, Camps de Luca, and Starck & Sons. Camps de Luca for example, is located at Place de la Madeleine. The French are also quite a discrete lot when it comes to clothes. In general, people do not discuss their tailors or where they have their shirts made. Cognescenti know by the notched lapels, the width of the trouser leg or the collar of the shirt. Experts among experts, you might say.

Another interesting factor here is a question of style. The English have developed a unique style of cutting a wasted jacket. The Neapolitans and Milanese are known for their soft shoulders. French tailors however, have borrowed ideas from both traditions to articulate their own Parisian voice. Therefore, it is harder for a layman to identify. Suits jackets with that certain je ne sais quoi are for the purists at heart.

Secondly, there is the issue of cost. French tailors charge a pretty penny. Not that English or Italian tailors are inexpensive. They are not. However, French tailors are some of the priciest in Europe. Stark & Sons is a rare exception. They clearly deliver value for money.

Another example I highly counsel for its outstanding good sense of aesthetics and moderate pricing is Husbands up in the ninth at 8, rue Manuel. Nicolas, the owner, is fashion savvy and quite the gentleman. This summer they are featuring some nice linen and they can always be counted on for an excellent blazer. His clothes have an updated 1960s feel. The attitude is both preppy and Italian. You will certainly leave here with bounce in your step.

For more formality and bright colors, check out Cifonelli. Hugo Jacomet of the Parisian Gentleman is a big fan and so is Stephane. Located on the rue Marboeuf in the eighth, their window will pull you in like a magnet. The bespoke section is one flight up through an adjacent hallway. Right now, this place has been receiving a lot of media attention in top men’s journals, and rightly so. Craft and attention to detail really do matter here. Their work is keen and the selection of fabrics appealing. Let Massimo guide you and you can’t go wrong.

Hugo recently stated: “In the last five years, the scene has changed. Houses such as Cifonelli have had an influx of young customers. They are highly educated about bespoke. I put his down to more mainstream media coverage. A dusty trade has become aspirational again.”

His last few words are key, “aspirational again”. An attitudinal shift is in place. The younger set have started to care about their appearance. French tailors do have distinguishing features worth investigating. They have a fanatical attention to minutia.

One rainy afternoon, Stephane gave me a lecture on Rousseau, one of France’s greatest tailors, who used to occupy Ciffonelli’s current premises. At Stephane’s atelier in the wilds of the seventeenth, he unbundled a pile of Rousseau suits cut in the 60s and 70s. I examined the stitching on the inside of a blazer. Even the button holes and the corner of the sleeves were cut and sown with distinction.

Cifonelli inherited Rousseau’s business when the former tailor retired from his location at 33, rue Marboeuf off the Champs Elysees. As Lorenzo Cifonelli has said on many occasions, “Paris is a town know for its haute couture. The delicacy of the work is our signature and trademark”.

Lorenzo runs Cifonelli with his cousin Massimo. Together, they have a stylish shop at street level with pret-a-porter to die for. The colors and style are contemporary. Their workshop is one floor up and is a tribute to the tailor’s art. Clients have a tendency to prefer lightweight cloths with little structure. The roped shoulder tilted slightly forward, very Roman in style, is a Cifonelli hallmark.

Each coat is cut clean, fitting the chest and waist. Eager to experiment with a more youthful approach to clothing, Lorenzo has come up with designs featuring different pockets, trims and fastenings. These details fascinate the young professional. They clearly make Cifonelli easily recognizable at 100 paces. Whether you like all these bells & whistles is a question of personal taste. One thing is certain: Here is a straight shooter, no chaser. Perfect for the essential Parisian kit.

Article Title: The Essential Parisian Kit
Photograph: Cifonelli

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on art | food | fashion | music | travel |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

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Fluent Paname Spoken Here

rosa2_paname-style

“Dancin’ the night away…”

Forget the bourgeois prison of Neuilly-sur-Seine. Rent a room in an eighteenth century pile deep in the unexplored parts of the Marais where Chinese wholesalers in tat now sit side by side with trendy cafes like MG Road or galleries, featuring avant-garde photographers.

Better still find a place in the Tenth before the rest of Paris decides this is where cool is. Here you will find would be actresses and models weening their pins, Turks, Africans, and multi-cultural bars. The next thing you know, you’ll find yourself on a one-way ticket to Brooklyn. The New York vibe is quite strong here.

The more you explore the Eastern flank of Paris, the more you realize that this town is in a state of intense change. Regret nothing. Embrace the change because its with us whether you like it or not. Change is what makes a city real. I for example love the area known as the Marche des Enfants Rouge. Yes, people have been discovering this place perhaps more than I like, but they still feature an organic market, Japanese bento and one of the best Moroccan couscous joints in town.

If you are looking for something so old fashioned that it is now fashionable, try dining at Quincy, 28 avenue Ledru-Rollin. My dear friend Stephane adores this place. Says, it’s the real deal when we roll out the door stuffed to the gills and well lubricated with 2 cognacs. The freshest ingredients and prepared to perfection.

Another thing you will find trundling about is that the trendy are not just French but a rather cosmopolitan bunch no matter what their mother tongue. Everyone is speaking English in an attempt to prove that Brooklyn is their psychological homeland. I can’t imagine what Walt Whitman would have thought of this current turn of events, but he would have loved the young and earthy vibe. Like in every major city worth its salt, different neighborhoods draw certain tribes more than others. None are exclusive. With an open attitude, you can glide among them.

Here’s one of our latest favs:

Rosa Bonheur
37 quai d’Orsay 75007 Paris
This place started out on 2 Avenue des Cascades in the nineteenth on Butt Chaumont. Great place to hang out if you are up in this part of town. However, when it is warm and balmy like now, it seems more festive to join them at their outpost on the banks of the Seine. It’s very Paris-Plage. Fluent Paname is definitely spoken here to a young and lively cosmopolitan crowd.

rosa_paname-style

“Why settle for less…”

The actual establishment is on a barge and features high class tapas such as lomo, pata negra, sardinillas, octopus, and tarama. The bread is artisanal and the beer on tap is some of the coldest I have every drunk in Paris. It will slide down your throat like a river in spate.

In the evenings they crank up the music with a live DJ. Just across the way they run a pizza place with a wood oven. Prices are moderate. Come and celebrate and you will feel as though you are an extra in a Fellini movie.

The new rive gauche reopened to pedestrians in 2012. From the Pont d’Alma to Concorde, Parisians have another worthy setting in which to spend an agreeable evening. Every night here is party time. The quay is literarily chock-a-block with guinguettes. Perfect to dine, snack and sip cocktails. Great atmosphere. Just think, you never know who you might run into…

Article Title: Fluent Paname Spoken Here
Photographs rosabonheur

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on art | food | fashion | music | travel |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

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Crystal Blue Persuasion

road_MBA-admissions

“When life is more than a road movie…”

Imagine you’re headed over the cliff driving a vintage Vet. Tommy James is on the radio singing, “Crystal blue persuasion, it’s a new vibration …” Is this what we need to do to get career clarity? You know that if nothing is done, there will be fanfare but not fluttering banners and trumpets. Take five is the logical thing to do.

You want to stop or at least slow your emotions down. Somehow your nerves freeze and you cannot find the control panel. This is the exact predicament professionals find themselves in when it comes to career change. They are afraid to call out. Further education is indicated according to reports in the press. The MBA is the perfect way forward. We just need a nudge in the right direction. The process kicks off with positive career positioning. What we mean is begin with changing your attitude.

Start by giving thanks for what you have and who you are. Self love is not narcissistic. It demonstrates self appreciation. Visualization techniques are quite persuasive. Ask anyone who practices yoga. If you know where you would like to be, then you can navigate your Ferrari to any destination with safety.

One of our clients said recently that she wanted to move into management consulting but was afraid that her background in operational marketing was inappropriate. From the start her problem was clear. She had not convinced herself that her goal was attainable. She was even unsure whether an MBA was the best way forward. If you don’t convince yourself, how do you expect to convince somebody else? The fine art of persuasion as they say, begins at home.

At our first meeting, we talked through her goals. By cutting away the emotional dross, she saw the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Not only was there a solution; there were several. Afterward, we trained and she regained her self-assurance. Did she loose her self confidence? Not really; but it was misplaced. By clearing her mind, her vision became tangible.

Now, she could taste success. It was just a question of enacting an action plan. Her bridge to nowhere had no real foundation. Since it had been self-imposed, it was easily be destroyed. It was nothing more than a shadow. If you find yourself at a similar crossroad then answer the following question: Where does the source of your vision come from?

The answer lies inside your heart, but we often need a catalyst to make our vision materialize. Don’t make the cardinal mistake that Nasruddin did. He went out of his house looking for light in the pitch of night while he held a torch in his hands. The right catalyst enables you to build a strategic road map. An actionable plan delineates developmental needs. It also highlights your strengths for future success.

Any one can point out what you might have done, but this is a fruitless exercise, which creates a state of dependence. By expressing your career goals in a concise fashion, you gain the root of leadership, which lies at the core of all professional activities. You will feel a sense of freedom and lightness of being. After that applying for a top MBA becomes a snap.

Article Title: Crystal Blue Persuasion
Photograph: thecollegeprepster

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on | Life & Career Coaching | Career Management | Personal Brand Management | Talent Development | MBA Admissions |

Let Careo start by celebrating your success story. We hold to the principle that it is not how good you are, but how good you would like to become. We are honored to have been recommended across the French media in – Le Figaro, L’Express, Capital – and by Success & Career in Switzerland.

As Mahatma Gandhi stated, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”.

For further inspiration
Visit Whitefield Consulting Worldwide

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Where Brunch Meets Givenchy

claus2_brunch-paris

“Brunch fit for a princess…”

I hate to drop names to brunch like in Grazia, don’t you know. However, I just can’t resist. Let me share with you one of my latest must go-to places in Paris. You can brunch, buy coffee, and even eat muesli. The place reminds me of some of my favs in the hip parts of Brooklyn.

Talk about style. My gosh, if that isn’t Heidi and Christian. Maybe, I’ll have another jolt of espresso.

I discovered Claus quite by accident after investigating the latest collection at Carhartt. The Detroit based brand in American workwear has teamed up with Work In Progress and their fab Japanese sense of vintage. I was making my way to the Passage Vero-Dodat to investigate a ukelele dealer. OK, so I’m a bit eccentric. Along with the Cafe Nemour at Palais Royal, it is perfect to people watch and share intimacy.

Clearly this place is a smash success with the Fashionista brunch crowd. No wonder, when you recognize that this place is run by Claus Estermann, the former press agent at Givenchy. Claus Epicerie is located on the rue Jean Jacques Rousseau, which is off the funky end of the rue Saint Honore. This neighborhood is chock-a-block with the Bobo vibe. Just think, this neighborhood features Christian Louboutin’s shoes to die for, Bisonte, and a woman trafficing in Peruvian alpaca.

Victoire, an independent French clothing emporium is just up the street and are happy to outfit you with their certain je ne sais quoi. Clothes are bright and playful. They are easy to wear and clearly exude the French Touch. So if you are inclined, you can just strut across the street like a lama in search of guava. The In crowd come for espresso, fabulous cakes, and plenty of hot fashionista gossip.

Claus is quite an eclectic establishment, which would account for the store’s clean aesthetics and interior design. When you enter, you see a rectangular station set up like a kitchen workshop. Lining the walls are pleasantly displayed product lines which include lime blossom honey, coffee, Orezza mineral water from Corsica and porridge fit for Scottish royalty. There is even an agreeable tea room on the first floor.

Who knows, you might well decide that this brunch place will serve as your local cantina.

Claus, 14 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau 75001

Article Title: Where Brunch Meets Givenchy
Photograph ES for RedHerring

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on art | food | fashion | music | travel |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

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The Preppy Style Essentials

tie_preppy-style

“Tied up for any occasion…”

alden_preppy-style

“Walkin’ in glory…”


Pure preppy style begins with the essentials. You need no longer flounder like a monkfish. Most guys should start by torching their belongings. If your girlfriends or wives have been buying your clothes, this is the moment you have been waiting for. The time has come to re-examine your persona as it is presented to the world.

Why not take a few style cues from Cary Grant or Grace Kelly. Whether you are dancing like a dervish at La Cadière-d’Azur or parading down the boulevards of the old Metrop, preppy style essentials will give you élan.

Oscar Wilde once stipulated: “My taste is simple. I only like the best.” He did not mean that you should be a male show pony. He meant that the world begins its assessment of you by what you wear. You have your dignity and respect to consider. So what are the rules?

Rule No. 1: Preppy style demands that “to thy own self be true”. I have a friend in London who dresses like Lord Byron. He looks fabulous.

Rule No. 2: Understatement & Understanding
Despite this dictum, every environment demands a uniform. There are options, but use your judgement.

Most essays on preppy style give me lumbago. Take for example the length of your coat sleeve. If it is too long, you feel awkward across the palm of the hand. Sleeve length should show just enough cuff to highlight a flick of the shirt and that present you received last Christmas from Tiffany’s.

Rule No.3: Trouser length has its own rules
Some say that the trouser break should be just over the shoe. Others claim that you should show a bit of the sock or bare ankle with the shoe just below. This is quite a trendy act of insouciance, and very Neapolitan.

Style mavens love their trousers north of the ankle. I myself am quite taken with this look in the summer. Thom Browne loves it all year round. If Brooks Brothers thought this take was louche, they never would have hired Thom.

Fashion photographers are now featuring preppy redux, and it has genuine street cred. If you are fortunate to live in the States, you must pay a visit to JPress in New York. Their clothes are a testament to good taste. You can order online, but you will miss all that “bulldog” glory that only a real visit can provide.

York Street, the hip version of JPress on Bleeker is so hot at the moment that their clothes work well in Milan, Florence, and Tokyo.

St. Germain in Paris is a great place to catch French version. Saw this chap last weekend with his vintage 501 Levis, cuffs turned up showing the selvage. His jeans were topped with a white polo shirt and a fab Tweed sports coat. The cut of his coat was flawless, bespoke evidement. The tweed sported shades of burnt brush with a golden yellow over check. His socks were phone box red, and his brown brogues were Alden.

Never wear trousers too long or they will sweep the floor in their wake. Not a pretty sight nor elegant to say the least. Trousers should sit nicely over the hips. Some men are fond of braces and others belts. I myself do not care for braces because I feel encased. I am also not a great admirer of belts, although nobody wants their trousers to fall down. Why not experiment with an old school tie to wrap around your waist aka Fred Astaire?

Rule No. 4: Concerning Suits
You do not need 25 suits. Three is fine depending on your budget. I personally recommend Anderson & Sheppard in London, Camps de Luca in Paris, and Gennaro Solito in Napoli.

If you do not want to go bespoke, visit Al Bazar in Milan. Lino Leluzzi can outfit you from head to claw in timeless style. His elegant pieces are sourced from local Italian manufacturers of the highest quality. Lino will tell you that dressing well is about your inner voice not about fashion statements. Be guided by his charm and charisma. This guy knows his stuff so come prepared with an empty suitcase.

In Paris, pay a visit to Stephane in the Batignolles neighborhood. Stephane is a compendium of good taste. One word of caution: you will probably love everything you see. Better bring a donkey. Stephane does not deliver.

What role should color play?
Color is great if you know how to manage well. The Duke of Windsor knew how to put together different patterns, and he was able to pull this off with great flourish. Ralph Lauren has been much inspired by the Duke and you can see this in his shops. Bold colours and patterns can work. If you need help, speak with one of his style consultants. Ralph’s staff has been well trained. Getting the right preppy look was never easier.

Some guys think that trousers should always be dark. Give this a serious rethink. Real guys do love color. Why not go for Nantucket red trousers. Once you get going feel free to add Kelly green, straw or egg shell blue. Twinned with a blazer and a pair of moccasins from Quoddy, you are set for a wild evening at the Claremont Hotel in Southwest Harbor.

Concerning Black
The only time a gentleman should really wear black is to dinner or a formal occasion where a DJ is required. Yes, I am not blind and know that black is always trendy. However, why be so unimaginative. Personally, I feel that the “absence of color” is to be avoided unless you would like to be a gangster or an extra in the X Men. Saw a guy last weekend dressed in a black DB pin stripe suit. He was holding court in a pizza joint buried in Le Panier quarter of Marseilles. I know what your are thinking; He actually was the neighborhood Godfather.

The “little black dress” for men is a single-breasted midnight blue suit, 3 or 2 buttons down, and 4 working buttons on the cuff. “Kissing buttons” are great if you are in Italy. In Anglo-Saxon environments, it is seen as naff. Just ask Jeremy Hackett. Jeremy has been trying to teach men how to properly dress for years. Although the original Hackett no longer exists, you could do a lot worse than going to the shop which bears his name for your wardrobe stables.

The second suit should be gray. Both Cary Grant and George Clooney are perfect examples of how well this colour suits men. Charcoal is ideal. Silver grey is fine for spring. Most men seem to prefer single to double breasted. Double breasted can be worn formally as well as casually. I have seen many guys in Milan wearing DBs. They pull it off without effort.

In Italy, shades of camel, caramel, natural linen and ivory work well in the warmer months. Choice depends on your personality. Give yourself a new aura. Remember, clothes are meant to be fun not incarcerate your body. The drape style is best. If your clothes are too tight, you won’t be able to breathe, let alone sit down.

The third suit can be pin strip, chalk strip in navy or charcoal. If you are up to it, try the timeless Prince of Wales check. I absolutely love this pattern, but I also recognise that this is not to everyman’s taste.

Rule No.5: The Art of Casual
This rule concerns causal clothes. I like t-shirts and ripped up jeans as well as the next fellow. However, I only wear these bits when I am repairing my motorcycle or working in my rose garden. When you float through the streets of our more urbane environments, you need to put in a wee more effort to look smart. Shirts should be simple, and fit properly. Feel the material and make sure that they are soft to the touch, button well at the throat, and the sleeve length is in proportion to your arm and coat. There are many excellent shirt makers from which to choose.

If you desire oxford button down shirts, just send an email to David Mercer at Mercer & Sons. They are based in Maine, and without question make the best preppy shirts I know. Their quality is impeccable and the styling still allows you to eat and not go on a starvation diet. Order a dozen and walk in Agnelli’s footsteps. Not to miss out on the “Made in the USA” trend, Brooks Brothers is once again manufacturing their iconic oxford button downs in North Carolina.

In Paris, I recommend Charvet and in London Turnbull & Asser. Both stores feature ready to wear as well as bespoke. Quality shirts last and represent comfort and a solid investment. They become softer with age, and even when the collars become frayed, they still look smart.

Rule No.6: Blazers
No coat is more preppy than the blazer. It can be worn formally or casually with jeans. Blazers always look great in either single or double-breasted. Inspired from the Navy, it is one of the essential preppy pieces you shouldn’t be without. Traditional ones feature brass buttons. In Italy, I have seen fellows wearing single breasted with mother of pearl buttons. The feel is more relaxed, and is ideal in Portofino. It can be paired with smart polo shirts from Smedley. If you crave a sack cut blazer, visit JPress.

Rule No.7: Shoes do more than cover your feet
Shoes can speak volumes and give the show away. Bespoke will spoil you forever. For ready-to-wear classics, you will be hard pressed to match anything by either Alden or Edward Green. Alden still make shoes in cordovan and best of all they are manufactured in the USA. Although their loafers are timeless, why not choose the model they designed for the USN in black.

Trainers should be worn only on the pitch or in the gym. If you want something for the weekend, why not visit Tod’s and put on a pair of those hand-stitched driving moccasins once only worn by the racing fraternity. They fit like gloves, great barefoot, and look even better when beat up.

Rule No.8: Patience My Precious
Building the right wardrobe takes time and patience. Feel free to experiment, but after a while you will find your own sartorial voice.

Once someone told Cary Grant how much they admired his excellent taste, simplicity, and true prep style. He responded by saying, “Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I wanted to be Cary Grant!”

Don’t we all.

Article Title: Preppy Style Essentials
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on art | food | fashion | music | travel |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

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Trousers That Walk The Talk

pink_trousers

“Where style is effervescent…”

Just yesterday, I flitted through my closet to see which trousers were appropriate. Since the weather in Paris swings like a monkey on a tree, I am never quite sure, which trousers walk the talk. Now, there’s a tall order.

I had the strangest thought this week: If you arrived somewhere in your birthday suit into which town would you care to find yourself?

Too much bad weather can do this to a gent. The brain becomes water logged and you begin to dream of Hawaii. The closer you delve into the subject, other choices present themselves. While you are considering this point try to picture a place in which you can acquire the wherewithal to give your gait the allure and inner swagger of elegance?

Were I a woman I would choose between Milan or Paris. In my view, men have similar issues when it comes to finding the appropriate clothing cut to accommodate the human form. Finding the right trousers for most men is a perpetual bugbear.

When you are unsure, the question becomes existential. Trousers in the ready-to-wear department are either too tight in all the wrong places or too baggy. My experience has proved that in general, trousers will not flatter the wearer unless they are expertly cut and tailored. I recently visited some outfitters in hopes of finding a nicely cut pair for the weekend. The offerings made me squirm. With all due respect, the ready to wear collections I tried were all abominations.

There are times when a gentleman needs a slightly different persona, leaner in scope but does not want to be cramped for space. Here the option should put you on a plane to that Mecca of the bespoke tailoring and sartorial wonder world, Naples.

For the judicious man of immaculate taste, a visit to the city by the ever-present brooding Vesuvius is a must. Naples provides an underworld of elegance. I use the term “underworld” not as a reference to the dark side of crime but to the fact that the city teems with sensational artisans. They are off the beaten path, hidden, and inevitably up flights of steps in buildings whose facades have seen better times. Don’t let your surroundings fool you.

On these streets you will find the father and son team of Antonio and Salvatore Ambrosi, master trouser makers. When you meet them for the first time, you will be surprised not only by their workspace and technique but also how quickly they size you up with the glance of an eye. Tape measurements will ensue, and before you can say “caffe latte”, it will be a done deal.

When you witness their craftsmanship, you will be stunned. First, there is the intimate attention to detail, the hand stitching, 8-button fly, and shirting fabric around the waist. Then there is their hallmark narrow cut that will willow your frame with the utmost flattery. The trousers will never feel tight, but give you an elongated sensation almost like floating. In essence, these trousers will probably become the best trousers you have ever put on. Trust me on this and you will emerge a new man.

To find the atelier where Ambrosi works will be a bit of an adventure. It is like plunging into the depths of a 1960s Vittorio di Sica film. When you go, leave all you value back in the hotel vault. Go inconspicuously to via Giovanni Nicotera. It is recommended that you make an appointment so that one of the Ambrosi’s will be waiting for you at the well-worn iron-gate. Have no worries at this stage. You will be well-escorted upstairs and enter a realm of the real artisan. Let Ambrosi guide you. Their taste is faultless. When you try on your first pair, you will wonder why didn’t you come here before.

The trousers are almost weightless and will add to your poise and stature. When asked about this, Ambrosi smiles and justifies your question by talking about the height of many Italian men who are shorter than their Northern European counterparts. The elongated look enhances, never pinches or binds. You will spring forth with panache. The lines are clean and represent a slight of hand. Call it the magic of the cut. Nobody else seems to wield a scissors in this magical fashion with the lightness of a wand as these guys do.

I have saved the best point for last. You probably think that these trousers will cost you a small fortune. You will be quite wrong; the price is extraordinary value for money. So indulge. Buy yourself a new fedora, perhaps some new shirts at Anna Matuzzo, ties from Marinella, and walk this intriguing Southern Italian city with dignity. Feeling bucked up like a bull, you will undoubtedly want to set sail.

Why not bask on an island retreat like an emperor? Did anyone say Capri!

Article Title: Trousers That Walk The Talk
Photograph curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on art | food | fashion | music | travel |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

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