Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Yesterday I did something…odd. I bought a set of cufflinks.
Fifty years ago, this wouldn’t have seemed so strange, although I’m guessing that even then they were on their way “out of style”. But, frankly, I like a lot of old-fashioned stuff. I’ve recently begun wearing the Bugatchi brand shirts. They’re a little bit upscale, but I look at it as investing in clothes, rather than buying clothes. When I buy cheap shirts, I don’t expect them to last very long, and they don’t. The edges of the shirt (the end of the shirt cuffs, the collar edges) begin wearing rather quickly, and it doesn’t take long before they just look old. I expect (although I haven’t been wearing them all that long) that the Bugatchi will pay for themselves in the long run in lasting longer than the others.
What I like about Bugatchi are the fashion “extras”. They often have little streaks of color under the button line, and different patterns and colors inside the collar and cuffs. One of the features is that the cuffs are designed so they can be worn (but don’t have to be) as “french cuff”. This means you can turn them up, and there are button holes on both sides of the cuff. You can use the shirt’s own button to attached the two ends of the cuff, or…
…you can buy cufflinks.
Cufflinks are not terribly easy to find these days. I bought mine from the same store where I buy my Bugatchi shirts, namely, Von Maur.
Eesh, all of these name brands, and nobody is paying me advertising money!
They’re simple oval stirling silver cuff links, but I will have them engraved with my business logo. As far as advertising dollars go, I don’t expect much to come from engraved cufflinks, but wearing them will make me feel a little more professional, and every time I see them it will remind me of what I need to do for my business.
Like I already said, I like some of the older styles. I carry a hankerchief wherever I go. People like to laugh at this, and think it’s gross. It’s like, I’ve been told, carrying your snot in your pocket. Okay, if I have to use it, yes, it is, but on the flip side of the coin, if I truly am somewhere that I cannot find another way to blow my nose (like a paper towel in a public bathroom), then isn’t the alternative even more gross? At the risk of offending some readers, I’ve seen people blow their noses directly into the streets, and that just grosses me out completely. It’s bad enough that it’s being left for somebody to step in (I realize it’s small, but it’s the principal that makes me sick), but on top of that, you really can’t control where it goes. It could just as easily land on your chin, or shirt, or worst still, on somebody passing by.
But that’s really the secondary use for a handkerchief. See, the MAIN reason that you carry one is so that you can offer it to a lady. This is also the incentive for NOT using it. If a woman is crying, or needs one because she got something in her eye and doesn’t want the tears to streak her makeup, as a gentleman, I can politely offer her…my handkerchief. I don’t do it often. No doubt I’ve gone years between doing so. But I’ll tell you this; on the rare occasion that I have done so, it definitely sets me apart from the throngs of men who refuse to carry one!
I may have written about this before, but even when I shave I’m old-fashioned. No, I don’t use a straight-razor. I’ve tried to use the old fashioned barber straight razor, but could never get the hang of it, so I do use a multi-blade traditional razor, but, I don’t use shaving cream from a can, either. Or a gel which is just overpriced shaving cream from a can. Nope, I use the old-fashioned whisk and shaving soap in a mug. Believe it or not, they still make the soap, and whisks, and probably mugs, but they certainly are getting hard to find. It takes a little bit longer (about twenty seconds, I guess) to whisk that soap into a foam, but if you wet your brush with hot water, then you are putting warm soap on your face. The softness of the brush, it’s just luxury.
These days, it seems as if people are more interested in convenience and speed rather than luxury and style. That’s okay, I certainly won’t denigrate this approach, but it’s not me. Nope, give me the slow old fashioned luxury.