Here's a little man-crafting feel-good story for your Monday morning: Good.is reports on how knitting has had an incredible positive impact on a group of male prisoners. Whether you're well-versed in the fiber arts or not, this can't help but make you smile.
Some of the most frequent kind of questions ManMade receives are inquiries like, "I just graduated college and finally have a real income and I'd like to start investing in some long-lasting goods..." or "my fiancée's birthday is coming up, and I'd like to buy him something every guy should have..." So, in 2013, I'll be sharing my take on those essential items, offering a new collection of ten each season: winter, spring, summer, and fall.
Men often get pegged as "utilitarian" decorators - they choose things that are comfortable and work, and don't worry about how they appear. But, I'm a firm believer that we're affected by the places we inhabit, work, and live, and so your environment should be a place you're proud of.
These cold winter months, with their insane wind chills and 5:00 p.m. sunsets, are the season of curling up with a tumbler of, as Don Draper says, "something big and brown." No mixers, shakers, or bar tools required - just a heavy glass, and a quality whiskey that can stand up on its own for some serious sipping. And if you know what you're looking for, there's no reason you have to spend more than $40 a bottle. Single malts included.
We've featured a DIY technique for making your own wooden bow ties on ManMade, but if you're in the market for a high-end handmade piece created from exotic hardwoods, check out Two Guys Bow Ties.
If you're interested in purchasing one or two long-lasting quality style pieces instead of a closet full of single-seasons, you've probably heard some of the myths about selvedge denim. Like, that you should never wash it (ever), wear it in the bathtub or roll around in the ocean and sand with it, or clean your jeans by putting them in the freezer.
Last month, my nephew turned one, and he's suffering the pains of little ones everywhere - new teeth and very sore gums. He's sticking anything he can in his mouth to try to relieve the pain, so my sweetheart asked me if we could make up some dedicated teething toys, made from natural materials, for his birthday gift. And since his parents are both hilarious and always up for a laugh, we decided to go all out and avoid the monkeys and giraffes common in infant toys, and make them in humorous, tongue-in-cheek "manly" shapes.
Chances are, you've got a nice, solid stack of post-holiday gift cards sitting on your dresser or in your junk drawer. Yeah, you could save them up for something big, or add them to your account and slowly spend them on books or other goodies as you stumble across them.
Or, you can make a few wise investments in your wardrobe, and snag some of these stylish best buys, each under $100...and most much less expensive.
A classic, quality barbershop shave always includes a "hot towel," which goes on your face prior to the shaving. The experience is not only relaxing, but the heat and moisture from the hot towel serve to open your pores and soften your beard, so you can get even closer with the razor. Plus, it's all kinds of old school fun, and you can easily recreate the effect at home.
We all know the story. Most of us could recite the narrative from memory, and probably not miss any key points. But, this holiday season, I decided to snuggle up to the original, and read the whole of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
And? It's good. It's really good. Dickens is a good writer...duh. It's festive and seasonal, and the template for what many of us think of as an old fashioned Christmas...also duh. But something else happened to me, and I think you should read it, too. Not in the "let's gather 'round the fire while dad recites " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas..." sorta way, but because this is a book about men.
On cold, winter-ish mornings like these, when everything is quiet, I like to put on a button-down sweater, palm my tea mug, stroke my beard (I have one now, for the next ten days or so), and get into the vibe of the great writers of yore. Not that I think blogging is the same as writing, but there's still plenty of blank page staring. And sometimes, I think, "Man, I should get a pipe."
Everytime I have a layover at the airport, I like to walk around the terminal and watch people...guess where they're going, why they're traveling. And everytime, I inevitably walk by the shoe shine stand, sometimes occupied, and sometimes not, and I think to myself, "Someday, I'm gonna own a pair of shoes that deserve to be shined for $14 in the airport.
And, really, someday...I will.
In honor of Movember, a mustache-growing event to raise awareness and funds for prostate and testicular cancer, "classically-trained actor and fine woodworker Nick Offerman," offers his tips for properly growing his best known feature: a serious mustache.
On ManMade, we love to offer simple tips to look your best on a budget: basic advice to spend money wisely, wear things well, and invest in quality pieces that will never go out of style.
And then there are those other kinds of lists: the ones that detail the
I'll never forget the first time I saw my dad with a clump of toilet paper stuck to his face. It was a Saturday, a day he usually worked, and we were at home getting ready for some formal occasion...I think a wedding, or perhaps a funeral. I was watching The Jetsons in the living room, and here comes my dad, all clean and shiny, in his Sunday best, with not one but three little white mounds with a bright red center on his chin. I immediately ran to my mom to find out what in the world was going on.
If you're anything like me, and 95% of the other men I know, you don't use any sorts of skin care product beyond the occassional aftershave lotion and sunscreen, and perhaps a bit of lip balm. And if that's true, then you, like me and 95% of the other men I know, are terribly, terribly wrong.