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The Casual Booting

Timberland Earthkeeper Boots

Manolo says, it is no secret that the Manolo loves the casual boots, indeed, owns and very much enjoys wearing the Timberland Earthkeeper boot shown above and which he purchased in Argentina several years ago at the outrageous retail markup price.

However, there is the other casual boot that the Manolo considers absolutely essential for the wardrobe of the man, the desert boot. Here, from the Manolo’s friends at the Scotts, is the Nicholas Deakins Fenrir desert boot.

This is the sort of quality, chukka-style boot that every man looks good wearing with either the jeans or the khakis; casual, but not so casual that you would feel as if you were dressed like the teenager.

Old School Kicks for The Men

Manolo says, the Manolo makes no secret of the fact that he likes his tennis shoes old style, indeed, he believes that where the kicks are concerned the tried-and-true is still the best. Here are three classic tennis shoes of which the Manolo approves.

Converse Ox Leather

What could be better than the classic Converse Star Player Ox in white leather.

Puma Clyde

Perhaps the Puma Clyde, in the classic black.

Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66

But, wait, here is the Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 in blue for when the Manolo feels the uncontrollable urge to rock it Japanese style.

These and other such handsomely classic shoes are available from Size Mens Clothes.

The Monkey-Tail Beard

A Jackass with a Monkey-Tail Beard

Manolo says, witness the latest trend in facial-hair stupidity, the monkey-tail beard.

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Costello & Tagliapietra: Among The Most Stylish New Yorkers!

Jeffrey Costello & Robert Tagliapietra

Jeffrey Costello & Robert Tagliapietra, Stylish Bears

Manolo says, finally, there is hope for ordinary American men!

While their clothes they design for others are beautiful, no one would accuse the fashion designers Robert Tagliapietra and Jeffrey Costello of being anything other than burly gay bears, but they are good enough

But, perhaps if you were the burly, big-bellied straight man who wished to claim the mantle of stylishness, you could do worse than emulate these two.

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Manly Men Doing The Very Manly Thing

Manolo says, it is all about the self-confidence.

Great Moments in Manliness: Sledgehammer Fireworks

Manolo says, manly good fun in the Mexican town of San Juan de la Vega.

Every year on the Tuesday of Carnival (which fell on Feb 5th this year), the residents of San Juan de la Vega get together to “recreate” the great battle of their patron saint (San Juan de la Vega of cours) and the government. The story is that this Juan was a bit of a Robin Hood character and stole from the rich to give to the poor. During Carnival, there is a little bit of a recreation of the story of some thieves stealing gold, but not all making it out. The captured thieves are then offered up for a ransom that exceeds the amount of gold stolen. Money is collected, but apparently not all goes according to plan and there is the resulting battle with the government. This isn’t a small recreation though. Tons of potassium chloride and sulphur along with many thousands of people gather to set off these explosive hammers.

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Great Moments in Manly Charm

Manolo says, there is the reason why many man-oriented bloggers consider Silvio Berlusconi the sort of role model.

“Ah! Bellisima! Look at you! You are so beautiful and tanned!

“Now, come to the embrace of Silvio!”

“Please, touch the hand of Silvio so that you may feel how warm he is in your presence….And now you are blushing like the little school girl. Silvio has won your heart, no?”

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The Power of the Photoshop Makeover

Manolo says, behold the power of the photoshop makeover!

Hey Vato, What Happened?

And, what would motivate such dramatic potential changes? It is all about the Benjamins!

Richard Rodriguez, the gang member who was kicked in the head by an El Monte police officer after a televised car chase, has filed a $5-million legal claim against the city. But before he appears in court, he’ll possibly be undergoing a serious makeover.

Rodriguez’s attorney, Nick Pacheco, has suggested that his client ditch his thuggish look (seen in his mug shot on the left), in favor of a more conservative — albeit less eye-catching — visage (seen in the photoshopped version on the right).

In the booking photo, Rodriguez’s head is shaved, and the name of his gang hangs over his lip. Tattoos climb his neck. In the “after” rendition, he’s wearing a black suit with a metallic gray tie, neatly combed hair and a lush mustache.

Pacheco hopes Rodriguez’s makeover will allow the jury to be sympathetic to Rodriguez, who claims to suffer headaches and blurred vision as a result of his arrest.

“People get past looks when you put on a suit and your hair is grown,” said Pacheco.

Even with the “lush mustache” Mr. Rodriguez is no George Clooney, but still, his lawyer is essentially correct: the power of good grooming (and the necessity of avoiding facial tattoos) is perfectly self-evident.

Man-Scara? Guyliner?

Manolo says, here is the idea whose time has not come.

I admit it: I like guys in makeup.

Not just any guy, though. I’m a sucker for those sexy, bird-flipping bad boy rock stars in their skinny jeans, smudged kohl eyeliner and just-rolled-out-of-bed hair. Think Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day or Good Charlotte twins Benji and Joel Madden. Better yet, picture a deliciously sinuous Scott Weiland from the Stone Temple Pilots, for whom I’ve always nursed a distant crush.

But my guy in makeup? Well, why not. According to Jane McKay, senior makeup artist with M.A.C Cosmetics, he wouldn’t be alone.

“There is a trend emerging from the rock world that’s filtering to the street,” says McKay. “When you look at people like Adam Lambert from American Idol, he’s androgynous and willing to wear makeup and shows men that other men look quite good.

“Men in eyeliner is not as bizarre as you’d think. In evolution, a lot of animals have a dark rim around their eye. It’s just evolved from nature.”

Evolved from nature, just like prehensile tongues and using long sticks to extract termites from their mounds.

The entire trend towards the man makeup is misguided and unlikely to endure. Indeed, the Manolo agrees with Guardian writer Paul MacInnes

A man wearing makeup is like a toddler with a mortgage. It’s unnatural and likely to end in disaster.

Good haircuts, clean teeth, proper skin care, and the moderate fitness regime, this is all the average man requires to look his best.

What Not To Wear on the Casual Friday

Mom jeans.

The President is the elegant man who looks very good in the suit, but he definitely needs the casual clothing makeover.

He looks like Urkel X.

There are plenty of traditional and manly designer jeans that would provide the better fit and the better image. Perhaps something from Paper, Denim & Cloth, or Seven for All Mankind, or the Manolo’s current favorite, Earnest Sewn.

Fifteen minutes of trying on the jeans in the presence of the properly-trained male clothier would have saved us from having to talk about this subject.

From the Manolo: Reader Survey Time!

Manolo says, for the next week the Manolo for the Men blog will be conducting the survey of the readers for our internet friends at the Coutorture Network. If you would be so kind as to please fill out the survey in the column to the immediate right, the Manolo would be most grateful.

The Berluti

Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s many internet friends has forwarded to the Manolo the article from the Times of the London about the Berluti, the swank English bootery.

Olga Berluti makes the most beautiful men’s shoes in the world — and if you don’t believe me, take a peek in one of Berluti’s London branches. You’ll gaze in awe at the elegant lines and the burnished deep, layered finish and go: “Wow! When I’m rich that’s what I’ll wear all the time.” Then you’ll walk away sadly because you’ll know it’s never going to happen. Not when a basic pair of ready-to-wear shoes costs a minimum of £470 and a pair of bespoke ones upwards of £2,200.AlessandroAccording to Berluti, though, when we meet in her Paris atelier, there are quite a few non-rich people out there who buy her shoes. “Today young people with no money save and save till they can afford them,” she says.

It’s Berluti’s view that a shoe isn’t a proper shoe until it has been worn for at least 20 years — the point when it takes on its owner’s personality. So even for your bespokes, you’re paying only £110 a year.You’d agree it’s worth it if you tried on a pair – as I did in Berluti’s atelier. To wear they’re like ballet pumps. The fine calf leather has been tanned to such feathery lightness you could almost be barefoot — and the fit is perfect.

[…]

In the early days, when the company’s clientele included everyone from Toulouse-Lautrec to the Duke of Windsor, 80 per cent of its shoes were black and the rest chestnut brown. It was Berluti who introduced the more experimental finishes — smoked blacks, blue greys, yellow-browns, and grey-greens — and styles (tattooed with calligraphy; scarred like African tribesmen, etc) for which the shoemaker is renowned today.

The polishing techniques she invented herself and they are a closely-guarded secret. She keeps all her magic ingredients in old Guerlain perfume bottles in her atelier, watched over by a dummy dressed as a samurai, and her personally decorated wooden lasts (ie, the blocks from which bespoke shoes are made) of famous old customers.

They include Richard Burton, Mr Royce (of Rolls-Royce) and Toulouse-Lautrec; Warhol is the only customer with five lasts because he kept changing his mind.

The shoes of the Berluti are indeed truly marvelous, and in the fact, many of them are among the most beautiful shoes for the mens the Manolo has ever seen; absolutely gorgeous shoes.

Sometimes, however, the Olga Berluti she takes the quest for beauty and novelty too far, such as with the collection she has named Rapiécés-Reprisés.
Duo LacedDuo
These shoes the have, according to the Berluti website, the distinguished artistic pedigree.

One day, Andy Warhol asked Olga Berluti: “I would like my right loafer to be patched. And it needs to be visible! It needs to be very Andy Warhol!’. 40 years later, Olga Berluti applies to Ready-To-Wear models the techniques of patching and darning traditionally reserved for clothes.

Yes, it is possible to admire such shoes for the superb quality of their workmanship, and for their cultural value, but they are to the mind of the Manolo almost unwearable, especially by those wish to be taken seriously. If you are the dandy, or the rich artist, then perhaps yes, but otherwise, almost certainly no.

Still, what is there not to love about the company that adores the shoes and the art of the shoes so completely?

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