Have You Seen My Tie

 “Have you seen my tie,” a phrase used Sunday mornings as my brothers and I got ready for Sunday service. As far back as I can remember grooming was always a part of my life, whether it was getting ready for service, attending my mother’s wedding at 3 years old, or the weekly attire for school in my uniformed white button-down and black shoes.

Pay Attention To The Details

The things that are instilled as a child are things that we hold onto as the years pass by, and grooming is amongst the many things that are still with me. But today I use the phrase as I prepare to attend another family wedding, that of my uncle and his bride-to-be. As I prep to look as dapper as the groom–questions start to fill my mind about grooming tips. Why is this so important to so many men as we go through life? How is it that a piece of clothing or the way your nails are done can bring peace of mind along with joy? Something so simple. What is it about not only looking good but feeling good that attracts people to one another? These are a few of the many questions that linger in my mind about the power of grooming oneself.

Grooming goes far beyond what brand of shoes you wear or whether you are wearing the latest fall collection from Zara Man to Tom Ford has to offer. When one presents himself in a room, the smallest detail about him is on display down to his posture. Details such as how he smells, his spoken and unspoken words speak volumes to how others will perceive him. These intricate details that may seem minuscule accumulate to who you are as a person and drive people either to be graced with your presence or want to unsee you the moment step foot in the room.

I’m sure we are familiar with the phrase “actions speak louder than words,” and in the case of grooming this is magnified to the highest degree.  I recall having a neighbor who I would see daily on my route to my nine to five at Jos. A. Bank retailers, this gentlemen’s style, demeanor, and all the details previously mentioned spoke volumes of him before he and I even had a conversation. It wasn’t the fact that he was laced in Louis Vuitton from head to toe or the fact that he donned a different bag almost every day of the week ranging from Hermes to Supreme, and his cologne was just enough to clear your sinuses. Now fellas, if I a heterosexual male can pick these things out of another male in passing, just imagine what the women of this world take notice of whether they see you on a daily basis or just on a 15-minute train ride?!

The Learned Behavior Of Stepping Into Manhood

   “What’s up with you kid,” is what my uncle asked a 17-year-old adolescent me who was confused about what to do with my life. For as long as I can remember my uncle, Thomas Leon, was always someone I looked up to. Whether it was his contagious sense of humor, his selfless acts of kindness towards those closest to him, or the spiritual man he’s worked so hard to become, he was and still is the blueprint of how a man should be as far as I am concerned. Almost 10 years later, not as confused as I was before, I find myself using the slogan to others and even on myself when needed. Men need other men to show them how to be a man–that is something I believe in, but more so men need good men to show them how to be great. Well, how does it tie into grooming? As mentioned previously, it goes beyond what you’re wearing or your sense of style. This crosses over into who raised you or influences you. “I know your momma raised you better than that” is something most can relate to hearing in our youth and is something that reflects who we are in the most consequential matters. Think about it, if a person commits any act that goes against society, or his community–the first thing they do is a background check of the type of environment the person was raised in, what they did as hobbies and it all boils down to who influenced and raised that individual. This sentiment is no different in the field of grooming, I’m almost certain we’ve all had that classmate who came to school a bit wrinkled or spotted and the lingering question was–why would the parent or parents let them out of the house looking like they did. 

   As time and life go on we grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. Things that once seemed essential to us no longer worry us and bad habits become a thing of the past. If you simultaneously could have the same hard-headed 17-year-old boy my uncle questioned and the person I am today you would see two completely different people. Not only from the outward appearance but the person within. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink” is an example of having the knowledge and actually applying it. Sometimes knowledge is meaningless until it is applied. How one groom themselves is more than meets the eye, it’s a statement that surpasses the threads of your latest Fall collection from your favorite designers. It is a statement that translates into all languages, walks of life and introduces itself before you even utter a word.

So as we take this journey to clarify what it means to be a well-dressed man in today’s society–we will do so from a global perspective. We will see if clothes make a man, explore the obsession men have with gadgets, and great liquors and spirits. Knowing the difference between being trendy, fashionable, and showing you that the classic man is not dead. We will set you up for your wedding day and beyond–your honeymoon, date night with your wife to casual outings with your friends. Stay tuned–we have a long road ahead–buckle your seat belts. And yes, it will also involve cars… self-care, grooming products, and more.

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