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Posts Tagged ‘Pens’

Saying “thank you” in black and white

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

All of us at one time or another will be guests to others or have been the recipients of favors or just acts of kindness.  Whenever this happens I strongly suggest promptly sending a thank you note in some form.  It could be in the form of an email for a casual act or encounter but for more meaningful situations only a written letter will do.

In a more professional business environment a thank you letter would most commonly be typed and in a business format.  You should write a thank you letter to the person who you interviewed with for a job, for example.  Here is a link to help you if you are not familiar with the format or how a Business Thank You Letter should look.

Now if you need to write a thank you letter to someone who entertained you as a guest or helped get you that interview I suggest getting some nice paper and a quality pen.  Opening and reading a letter written on quality paper is more luxurious and comes across as much more heartfelt.   The best pens for this purpose are fountain pens.  Fountain pens write very well and create a crisp smooth line that cannot be matched by ball point or roller ball pens.  For info on fountain pens check out my accessories post. Remember they don’t have to be expensive. You can find very nice pens at quite a discount on ebay.  For good paper look to Crane. For great paper look to Smythson. Smythson is an English stationary company that has received multiple royal warrants.  To add an additional personal touch, have your stationary personalized with your name and address.

Those who receive a thank you letter from you will appreciate it and remember you.

Remember that style and class doesn’t come from just the clothes we wear but also how we act.


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A gentleman’s accessories

Friday, August 14th, 2009

A great suit might really help to make a look but style does not rely on clothes alone.  It is subtle details such as accessories that help to refine the look and make it timeless.  These accessories are not just meant to look nice but they need to function and serve the purpose for which they are intended.

Wallet: Wallets come in many shapes and sizes but I feel that, as in most applications, simplicity is best.  I don’t like sitting on a folded piece of leather or having a lump on my backside.  To avoid this I started using a front pocket wallet.  They are thinner and have room only for the essentials (cards, cash).accessory wallet thinaccessory wallet open

This wallet is a great example of a good balance of form and function.  It’s made by Bosca who also make other luxury leather goods.

Watch:  A watch is as much a piece of jewelery as it is a functional necessity.  The criteria an individuals use when choosing the right watch for them should include their personal requirements and expectations.  Does the watch need to be waterproof, have lots of features, or only the basic simplicity of time and maybe date.  You should also go and try on watches with different sized watch faces to find the size that works best for you.

For the best of sport watches that can go from work to play while representing the epitome of class look to Breitling and TAG Heuer.  These watches are waterproof and are available with either leather or metal link bracelets.

    TAG Heuer's Monaco as worn by Steve McQueen in 1969s "Le Mans"

TAG Heuer's Monaco as worn by Steve McQueen in 1969s "Le Mans"

For a more traditional, simple elegance,  look to brands such as Patek Phillippe or Breguet.  These watches delight in the concept of less is more.  Relying more on clean lines and a well thought out layout to make an impression than an abundance of features. Patek Philippe's Ref. 3939 These watches while very nice tend to exist outside the average price range for the American man.  It is possible to find less expensive brand that have similar style cues and satisfy similar needs but for less money.  If you are lucky enough to be able to say that these watches are within your range then I would recommend the best.

The Pen: Every man should always have a pen somewhere on them at all times.  In more casual settings this may just call for a nice ballpoint for jotting down the occasional note or number but for the office or when a suit is involved I recommend a fountain pen.  Nothing can be more formal or more personal that a handwritten note written with a fountain pen.  For top-of-the-line, look to DunhillMont Blanc, or Waterman.  But from a design point of view one of the most beautiful pens is the discontinued Parker 51.

Parker 51:  Simple and elegant

Parker 51: Simple and elegant

Flask and Pocket knife:  More optional, but just as necessary in my opinion, are the hip flask and pocket knife.  Both  tend to show their real worth when you need them and don’t have them.

A flask can be a beautiful accessory that says a lot about its owner.  I recommend a vintage sterling silver flask.  They can be found on various auction websites and antique stores but if you are lucky enough to have one that has been passed down from father to son, fill it with your favorite tipple and carry it proudly.  Many a train ride home from work has been made more enjoyable thanks to a few sips of a favorite drink.

A small pocket knife has many uses from opening letters or boxes to cutting fruit.  Like the flask the most most desirable pocket knives are those that have been passed down and carry a history with them but don’t feel bad if you must buy one.  They can be extremely cheap while still looking very nice.  If you choose to carry a small pocket knife take care when traveling and make sure to keep it in checked luggage.

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