Saturday, April 17, 2010


I've been a firm user of handkerchiefs since I was twelve. Why? I stumbled upon one in a pocket of a suit my father bought me from a thrift store. It luckily had a monogram Identical to mine.

I loved the embroidered lion and decorative trees on the corners. It looked like it was handmade from a girlfriend or mother. I began using it because at about that time I developed allergies and was constantly wiping tears from my eyes. It came in handy. Since then I've always kept one on hand when necessary.

Handkerchiefs are interesting, they are not really used anymore in the U.S. The practice of using them is still strong in Africa and the third world parts of the world.

For a primer on them here is a link from a gent from South Africa, the country not the region. Recently I've needed to upgrade. My go to kerchiefs are all rather aged. Once the white ones go from White to Cream then to Tan you need some new ones. It is quite acceptable to let them yellow from usage. The Brits prefer them yellowed. It just means your getting your money's worth.

I usually opt for white and cream so I can easily tell when it is time to replace or deep oxiclean them. This time around I opted for a few colors to be thrown in. I couldn't get any from my usual source due to it closing down. So, I took a chance on a J.Press pack for $29.99. Shipping is heavily taxed like J.Crew so save up a few purchases because you wont want to hit with the shipping. In my pack, I received 3 purple, 2 blue, and 2 white.

When choosing handkerchiefs know that you don't have to get them with hand rolled edges. They are an unnecessary extravagance. Especially if you wipe your sweat off with your kerchiefs or dry your hands with them. Save your money for better pocket squares or other things. Another thing you should look for is decorative patterns on the borders and corners. Without these, you might want to look elsewhere; the kerchief is not of adequate quality.

Pardon the dark pictures, I can't stand taking pictures outside.

A Primer on Tie Bars

A friend recently asked me if I wear tie bars. No, not really. I have two, one was a recent purchase; Gabriel's horn in a gold tone, base metal and a sterling, Greek key motif one. I typically only wear them when I'm wearing a knit tie.

During the interview day at AT&T, I saw a few individuals wearing tie bars and noticed how suave they can be when paired with conservative outfits. I doubt I'll be wearing them that way. Why? I think that they are informal and I treat them accordingly.

Tie bars serve a dual purpose; functionality and decoration. They hold the tie in a fixed position and stop them from swaying. It also reduces the need for you to periodically straighten up your tie or tuck in the small end in the keeper by keep both ends together and pinned onto the shirt. Decoratively they allow a strong arch on the tie as it falls from neck to inside the jacket. It also can be designed decoratively, monogrammed, or placed in a decorative slanting manner. Keep this in mind should you decide to start wearing them.

Tie bars should be rather thick to avoid breaking under the stress of a thicker tie and the abuses of bending to accommodate a tie.

They should also have several spaces and clips in the center of the the clipping mechanism. This allows the tie to have space without bunching and enhances the life of the tie bar. How you ask? Well the spaces with clips allow the clipping mechanism to catch and pin the tie even if the end is loose. Thus, letting you use it without necessitating frequent repair. The space is also useful for catching the thicker ties without slipping out.

Lastly, let us discuss the designs. The classic look is a solid rectangle or one with round edges. I have a preference for the rectangular, sharp edged ones. Both will do, especially if you pair the round edge one with a club collar it adds more visual interest by echoing the roundness of the collar. The other classic look is a the same for with a brushed finish, monogram, or machined design. Sometimes all three are present. The more adventurous amongst us will choose a design that is whimsical or creative. Animals, cameos, and swords are common for the dandy to don. I try to stay away from anything sword in design because they can get very used car salesman in appearance. To those wanting something rare; go for something in the form of a rectangle, with or without round edges, but with a texture or scalloping. What I mean is a regular looking tie bar that has diagonals cut into the metal, for instance. These maintain the same visual as a classic tie bar while offering a personal touch that isn't too far out there for the less adventurous.

Now, of materials; one should choose sterling, in my humble opinion. Don't worry about the cost because they can be had for less then $10 shipped on eBay regularly. The positives to sterling silver are it shines well, it patinas, and resists corrosion better than some other base metals. The negatives are brand new it can cost quite a bit, it patinas, is easily scratched, and needs to be polished more often than other precious metals. All in all, I strongly recommend sterling silver.


In many regards I'm a glutton. I have as of last count 39 ties. About half are bow ties and half straight. Let us follow this thread a little further, of all the ties I have I have about 10 with a navy ground or a dominant navy color.

Yup and I'm adding one more. It is a navy ground with a gold pig on the bow tie. I've been wanting a pig tie for some time. The playful spirit of the pig on the tie and the symbolism of money are something I don't mind being associated with. The gluttony well, that is here to stay.


So, I didn't get the job at AT&T.

Through the process I learned a few things:
  • I have real valuable work experience
  • My resume is alright
  • I'm an natural leader
  • I like challenging work
I just need to find a company that will utilize my strengths. I've got a few tricks up my sleeve and I'm working on the next opportunity. It is a shame I didn't get my dream job but on to the next move.

I wish them the best and the individuals that were chosen over me the best as well. Good luck!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Cheapest Tie Bar You'll Ever Own!!!

I'm a big fan of accessories boy does it get crazy waiting for boxes of swag from the evil bay. I'm on the search for the next animal cufflinks to add to my collection. Even though, I always find it necessary to have back-ups and cheap alternatives.

You never know what will happen or if you will be able to find something. So, it is good to be prepared. Tie bars are essentially one of the easiest things to find a replacement for. Paper clips of medium and large sizes works best and they can be thrown away or misplaced with no worry. As common as they are they still look simple, elegant, and interesting. Just make sure you don't get too cocky about this when you out dress the metro-guy from accounting who spent a fortune on his monogrammed, custom, white gold tie bar. By the way, you can lie to him and tell him it's sterling or really tick him off by admitting you picked up from the supply closet as you strolled in this morning.

Signed The Eccentric Orange Gentleman

Today is the Big Day!

Today I find out whether or not I got my dream job. I'm expecting the phone call around noon but who knows; GST -5 or Eastern US Time Zone. But who knows. I wasn't promised a timeline just a day.

So, cross your fingers, pray, or do whatever it is you do for good luck! I'll see you on the other side.

Signed The Eccentric Orange Gentleman

Saturday, April 10, 2010

More AT&T Swag.

While I'm still up and in the mood; here is some more swag. I'm glad it wasn't your usual branded mug and pen. Instead we got some useful stuff like the pictured note book and sticky notes.

Enjoy, I know I will!!! More to write notes and GTD captures. Yep I'm a productivity junky when I'm not off work.


1 free ringtone/ business card was given out as part of the swag bag after the event.

For those of you keeping up with my career search know this; after 9 months of chasing AT&T, I'll know by Wednesday. I think I have it. I was able to build rapport with one of the executives because he was, back 10 years ago, in the same industry as me. He also was concerned with his future and is a go-getter like me. Through out the many starts and stops I showed persistence, professionalism, and experience in working in a professional atmosphere. I was able to convey my skills and honest about my experience and background. Talking to some of the candidates, many did not have but a few work experiences to draw from for the behavioral interviews. Mind you there were at least 2 prerequisites ones and 2 shotgun ones in the interview day event. This I think puts me ahead of pack.

I didn't ask many questions during the interview day event because I kept getting overlooked. I didn't have many questions but I also wanted to take the time to form my thoughts properly. When I don't sleep very much I know I say some really blunt statements. It is like my mind says things without choosing proper wording. In other words, I mean the same thing just the connotation of words I choose come out wrongly. For instance, I called someone pitiful when I meant to say that I'm saddened by the fact that they aren't competitive in any sense. I was 2 minutes late because I got lost traversing the AT&T Mobility campus. They didn't seem to mind considering others were 30- 1 hour late. After all this is Atlanta and traffic and road conditions leave much to be desired. Other than that, I think I'm a strong candidate.

A Herd of Wallets

Recently, I've been on a wallet buying binge. I guess you can call me my father's son. He used to buy wallet after wallet. He would buy a new one when the old one was stuffed full of business cards or the leather was worn out. Instead of throwing them out he kept them. I'm the same way in many respects except I buy a new one or switch when I feel the wallet has been filled up too much. Depending on what I wear, I also will change wallets.

I've got about 10 wallets: 1 bifold, numerous slim leather wallets, 1 exotic tall billfold; can hold taller non-US currency, and 1 alligator stamped leather breast pocket wallet.

So, here are the recent additions to the herd:

This one is a slim card case made from natural colored leather. Purchased on Etsy.

This last one is stingray dyed red. It is a tall billfold that can holds non-US currency.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Busy! Trying to Get a New Job.

My apologies with the gap in posting. I've got a few post in draft form. I've just been busy interviewing for my dream job at AT&T. I've got yet another interview going . This one seems to be a sort of superday thing like investment banks do.

I'm excited but ready to move on to this wonderful career opportunity. So, until all that is resolved I'll probably be limiting my posting. Sorry, but real life come first

Barima and I will be having a conversation soon sort of an interview to get another perspective on style. It will be nice to hear another African's sartorial likes and dislikes.

So, that is what is going on.

Best Wishes,

Orange Gent.

Photo Credit: AT&T Mobility


Go with the Customizable One.

Every once in a while two manufacturers use the same source and end up with the same exact items. I usually go with the customizable one.

Here are the companies:
  • Paul Stuart
  • R. Hanauer
They both make a great product and use wonderful fabrics. It would be really grand to buy some of their products. I especially love Paul Stuarts accessories. I can't afford any but I do love the way they play with patterns and colors. They always seem to push it as far as they can but still remain conservative. Every year they release the same sort of patterned socks but lightly tweak the design. The herringbone patterned socks are the ones that really catch my eye. Last year it was a pair of socks that had interlocking herring bone. It looked like a zipper-like print. This year it was a really large herringbone each; kind of like the huge Polo logo, absurdly gigantic.

R. Hanauer only makes accessories, or as they call it The Finishing Touches™. They carry a wide range of things from their staple bow ties to patterned d-ring belts. I really like the fact that their bow tie program allow you to choose your own shape. They even allow you to further customize. Most options can be had for the regular price of their products. They make them in the U.S., doesn't matter to me I prefer quality, so you can call them to discuss any specs you need changed on the fly.

Check it out.
At $55 by R. Hanauer with custom configurations gratis sounds good. $70 from Paul Stuart shipped with no customization options available, I think I'll stick with R. Hanauer. Nothing against Paul Stuart, I like the company, this time go with the customizable one.