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Debonair Blog

Properly Honing Your Straight Razor

Properly Honing Your Straight Razor

When you receive your razor blade, or after it's been used a bit the blade will become dull through use; you'll want to hone[sharpen] the blade to make sure you get the most effective shave out of it every time it touches your face.

How Often Should You Hone?
There is a lot of debate over how often you should sharpen your blade. I personally recommend honing as soon as you start to feel a bit of a drag across your stubble. When the blade isn't doing as good of a job on your cheeks and face, it's probably time to sharpen that blade!

Wet or Dry Honing?
A lot of other manufacturers recommend using water with their honing, while just about the same amount swear by a dry honing.  With that being said, this is the part where I tell you to decide for yourself.

Try both and see what result suits you and your blade the best. Everyone's technique is a bit different so don't be shy about experimenting and finding what works best for you personally.

How do I Wet Hone?
For a wet hone, you'll start by wetting your honing stone with water, then periodically adding more water at intervals while honing. You want to make sure that the stone is being held stationary on a flat surface to avoid it slipping around and messing stuff up for you.

With your strong hand, hold the blade with your thumb and forefinger then place the blade flat on the stone so that the blade and the spine are both touching the stone.

Using an equal amount of pressure push the razor with the edge leading until you get to the edge of the hone. It's important that you hone the whole edge with each individual stroke, so if your razor is wider that the stone you're using you'll want to move the blade diagonally across the hone.

Then when you arrive at the end of the hone, flip the blade over and push back again in the same motion on the opposite side. (Check it out below)

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Important to note when honing:
Make sure you keep the blade DEAD FLAT when honing and never allow the spine of the razor to life off while honing, or else you'll chance damaging the blade and making it blunt.  Those are no fun to shave with, I promise. Keep that thing flat, bro...

It's also just as important to complete the same amount of strokes and equal pressure on each side of the blade to ensure the best possible results.

When Is It Sharp Enough-- How Do I Know?
There are a few ways to tell if the blade is ready to go; I like to test it by placing the blade behind a single arm hair (assuming you also grow hair on your arms?..) if it cuts it cleanly without issue then it should be sharp enough to do the same on your beard.

After checking these tips off the list you can try stropping it then shaving with it. If it's still not cutting to your liking take it back to the stone and repeat these steps.

Still Not Quite Getting It? Leave It To The Experts.
I'm not a big fan of honing my own blades really. Not because it's super difficult, but more because I'm lazy and would rather let someone who does it regularly make sure it's done correctly. Don't feel bad about having someone else do it, you're still the one doing the shaving so you have that to hold on to.

Whatever you decide, take pride in knowing that you are making an effort to learn a timeless tradition that is a cut-throat shave. That in itself is something to be proud of.

Now treat yourself to a custom made Straight Razor on our shop and really take the art of the cut-throat shave to the next level.

And as always... Keep It Classy.

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5 Tips For Growing A Beard Like A Viking

5 Tips For Growing A Beard Like A Viking

I'm gonna start with 3 words: No. Shave. November.

Men have always grown beards for as long as history allows us to remember. Photos of grizzly bearded men have emerged in family portraits and history books for as long as I can remember, as well as the generations of men before me.

Yet it isn't until recently that the spotlight has been pointed directly at the beards and not the person wearing them.  No Shave November originally started in an effort to make men's cancer more known and taken seriously, but gradually became a one month challenge to see who could sprout the thickest, untrimmed face hugger in the room.

Which isn't a bad thing at all! Cancer awareness is always awesome; if being able to keep spirits lifted while spreading knowledge of such a great cause is possible, it has been with the joined forces of men and boys alike throughout the month of November!

There is only one thing wrong with designating a single month to beard growth-- it's impossible to grow a mane-like beard in such a short time...  Men rush to barber shops on December 1st in order to rejoin their regular, close shaved look.  Well, I'm here to tell you that growing a beard IS THE NORMAL THING TO DO! It should be respected as much as it should be praised by those in the proximity of the manliness it projects!

It takes special care, upkeep, maintenance, and most of all patience to grow a badass beard. Having these qualities alone and without the beard make you quite the alpha. So why not take the extra step in showing it daily and wearing it with pride on your most noticeable feature, your face?

If you're anything like me you can respect what goes into having a strong beard, so I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few tips I've picked up along my journey of growing and maintaining a savage fucking beard.

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1. First Thing's First: You gotta Let That MOFO Grow

I turned 31 earlier this year and am just now able to grow a full beard. This isn't because I was unable to before... I just thought I was. I've always had a great mustache and chin growth, but my cheeks don't really grow well, and my side burns [still] don't connect to my chin on the right side of my face.

I would try to grow it for a month or so then lose hope and shave it off again. PATIENCE... My roommate has a beautiful beard to his chest, handlebar mustache, etc, and told me "You just gotta let it grow, ya fuck!" Yea, we're that kind of friends. So with a bit of hesitation, and a few awkward and patchy weeks out of the way I started to notice the few hairs I did have on my cheeks getting longer and beginning to cover my bald spots.

At about 2 months in it still looked like hell, but it was starting to come together a bit better. Fast forward to 4 months and I had a full beard.  (I'll spare you the play by play) I still have the same bald spots, they are just now covered by the thinner hairs that I actually allowed to grow.   You see, not all of your hairs are going to grow at the same pace or thickness, and it's impossible to know how well they will come in if you don't give them the time they need to mature.

Most people say that the 3-month mark is the sweet spot to know where you stand, but if you're anything like me you'll want to give it a solid 4-5 months before you make a final decision to chop it or keep it.  As I said before this will take patience-- only the strong survive.

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2.You Have To Take Care Of Your Skin

Your follicles are like an old friend that you talk to once in awhile but probably haven't made the best effort in keeping in touch with recently. Why do you have to be such a dick? They were your friend! Sorry, got a little too real there for a second.

Really though, it's okay to admit that you don't think it's very manly to exfoliate and moisturize your face. I wasn't always up to speed on the small things that make a huge difference where facial hair care is concerned. That's why I'm telling you where I screwed up!

In lightly massaging your follicles and giving them the stimulation they need to remain happy, the skin underneath your beard has just as important role.  Whether you have dry or oily skin there are [sort of] one size fits all steps you can take to keep the hair growing strong, while not making things worse for the rest of your face.

Washing and moisturizing your face daily [twice a day for some] will remove the crap it picks up throughout the day, while also keeping it from producing excess oil and causing breakouts.  With that being said, the skin under your beard needs special attention. Special beard washes are needed to prevent drying out, as well as moisturizers like oils and balms to keep it growing at a regular pace without unwanted breakage and splitting.

dry beard

3. Keep It Moisturized

Paying attention to your beard is a key factor in making sure it stays healthy and is growing to its full potential. This isn't a "set it and forget it" scenario. It's kind of a pain in the ass until it becomes routine really. But you know this already, and want to go the distance! So make sure you keep that beard from drying out.

Moisturizing daily is the key. Getting a good beard oil and applying it 1-2 sometimes 3 times a day until you're healthy is of utmost importance. I oil once a day now, generally right after a shower, but in the beginning, I allowed my face to get really dry because I had no idea what was needed so it took a bit to repair what I had screwed up. Now after a few weeks of multiple oil applications, I'm for the most part golden at once a day.

You can use coconut oil [I do myself at times] but keep in mind that it will harden and begin to flake; you will definitely want to wash and reapply daily if that's what you choose to use. I prefer beard oil, followed by a good beard balm to tame any wild hairs I have not cooperating. I also like to use a mustache wax on special occasions to keep everything as uniform as possible, when it calls for it.

Any chump can grow a beard, but maintaining it and making sure it's healthy, shining, strong, and attractive takes time outside of just laying back and growing it. Nobody likes face dandruff...

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4.Don't Be A Bitch. Fight The Itch.

At some point when you decide to stop hacking of your lady pleaser, you're gonna hit that terrible stage... The stage that I'd imagine Satan himself takes part in. You're gonna have the itchiest face in the world for a while, but don't fret, it should only last a week or so.

When you shave your face it cuts the hairs at an angle and pretty much turns them into little spears that, when curling up, will start poking your face and neck. I'm being dramatic obviously, but I gotta make sure you want this! If you're gonna bitch out and shave it when it becomes uncomfortable you might as well shave it now-- I'm trying to save you some time.

Good news is that if you keep shampooing and moisturizing regularly it will soften the hair and make this stage more bearable as you wait for the hair to grow long enough to curl under and quit stabbing you.

It goes by fast, I promise. Combing the hair regularly, and brushing it with a boars hair brush will help train the hair as well, and help it sit comfortably on your face. This is actually training for the future and will teach your hair early on to not grow out fluffy and poofy. It's win/win.
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5.Shape That Face Up

So you've made it this far... Hmmm maybe you do deserve to have that beautiful panty wetting face fluff-- I'm proud of you. You've decided to take the time that most men only dream of in order to obtain something the majority of women dream of. Now, what do you do with it? You've kept it healthy and strong, but how do you wear it?

Well that my friend is entirely up to you... but I do have some recommendations on maintaining a presentable look. Once you've conquered the art of growing it, you'll need to take some time to sculpt it to your personal liking. I would HIGHLY recommend going to a proper barber and telling them what you want, as well as hear them out on what will work best for your growth and current style. From there you can use their initial cut and lines to maintain it at home.

The beard takes way too long to grow and is far too easy to mess up. Take the extra steps in getting it done right and following up on that. A lot of dudes are going for the full beard look yet fail to remember that it still needs to be taken care of.

Of course, regular appointments at the barber can get costly, so I will simply tell you that in order to keep it clean looking you'll want to place two fingers on the center of your Adam's apple and shave no higher than where the top finger meets your neck. Make that your base line for your neck and jaw line if you're going for the natural look.

As far as shaping your beard and taking care of any crazy rogue hairs, make sure your beard is fully dried, brushed, and combed first. Keep in mind that your beard isn't going to sit as slicked down as the hair on your head, so don't go crazy with trimming stray hairs.

This is a mistake we've all made, and I hope you take my advice and avoid doing the same. Just snip a few of the WILD hairs that look like they don't belong. I mean really wild ones because anything other than those belong there.

If you need a good razor for lining up your neck or cheek lines I'd recommend heading over to our shop and treating yourself with something of quality.  After all, you've put in all this work, so you've earned it.

Now take care of that beard, and may it grow to be mightier than any other it comes in contact with! As always, keep it classy.

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How To Dress When It's Not Your Wedding

How To Dress When It's Not Your Wedding

It's that time of year again; everyone is getting married, and you just happen to be the man they all want at their side. Sure, it can be a bit taxing during wedding season. Having to sober up after a long night of drinking and dancing-- multiply that by the 2 or 3 weddings you have that month and you're looking at one hell of a wedding season.

But that isn't a bad thing! You're the "cool guy" at the reception that everyone looks forward to seeing, or are happy to have met. Aside from the groom, you are the main man that people remember from your good friend's special day!

On the other hand, attending a wedding can build a bit of pressure even if you're not in the wedding party. You're a dapper fellow and therefore need to make your mark and shine... while attempting to not burn brighter than the groom of course. You don't wanna piss the bride off.  Trust me.

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I've attended one wedding myself so far this season and have two more to take part in over the next 2 months, so in order to truly show my appreciation for the invite I make it a point to put in just as much effort as the wedding party itself; at least where my appearance and demeanor is concerned.

But how do you dress to impress without wearing a tux of your own? The entire wedding party will be decked out like there's no tomorrow, and your options are little to none without walking in that bitch in a wedding gown of your own right?

No, no, no sweet child. That couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, if you walk in there as a grown man wearing a wedding dress I can guarantee you're going to make quite the opposite of a good impression. Let me tell you what I've done so far this season; all with the great results along the way.

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Two words: Casual Dress...

Mix your dress game with your street game. Mixing it up a bit separates you from everyone else wearing a full suit. This puts you above the dull noise of the endless Windsor knots and black suit jackets.

For example, I went to this recent wedding as a guest of the groom wearing black and white weaved pattern loafers [almost small checkers] blue and white crazy looking dress socks, dark blue slacks, a white fitted button up with small black accent patterns, a lighter blue vest, and a black bowtie.  Fleek as F*ck.

It was about 82 degrees out so I didn't wear a jacket but probably wouldn't have regardless of cooler weather. Top it off with some trendy sunglasses and a few beaded bracelets and I was close to the only guy there wearing anything remotely close to unique.

I kept it clean and upscale but didn't cop out by going with the easy single color suit, necktie, and black socks.  That's an everyday look for formal events, so you have to expect to be matching the majority if you take the easy route.

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Don't dumb down your style for their sake, just separate yourself from their look so you're not competition.

This is the most important thing to remember. If you pride yourself on being the best-dressed dude in every room you walk in, it would be offensive to be asked not to outdo someone else. You're a debonair man and strive to be the best at everything you do, so these demands simply won't stand.

Luckily when it comes to weddings you can almost expect to see tuxedos in the spotlight, therefore making your competition as a bystander slim to none, style wise.  It's not very often that you'll witness a fashion show on the dancefloor while the hourly DJ is spinning late 90s dance tracks.

You shouldn't have any problem making an impact simply by attending so long as you stick to your guns.  Then again your ability to dress and impress was never the issue here, just your efforts to kill it without killing any friendships in the process.

Just keep it classy and formal without being too predictable.  Any small accessories that would generally be considered unconventional for the setting will draw attention your way.  And he only bad attention at a wedding is you having a few too many drinks and trying to reenact break dancing moves from a movie you recently watched.

You and everyone else are expected to look your best while keeping the spotlight on the wedding party. Don't feel bad about being the most confident you're capable of and bust out that green dress shirt your ex-girlfriend always hated. Own that shit and set yourself apart by being yourself.  Everyone will appreciate the courage.

Just remember in the midst of all this excitement... Keep it classy.

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Drinking With The Guys Helps Keep You Healthy

Drinking With The Guys Helps Keep You Healthy

"What's that?!" you say...  "Hanging with the boys keeps my health on lock?... Bullsh*t!"

If you actually said that, you need to calm down for a minute.  I'm trying to hook you up with some solid reasons to hang with the guys more! No hard feelings.

The thing is that giving up drinking may actually be more irresponsible than we've been told. A new study at Oxford University discovered that going out for a few drinks isn't just fun, but pretty much essential.

The question was conducted by Robin Dunbar from Oxford University's social and evolutionary neuroscience research group. The study determined that men must physically meet with four friends, at least twice a week, in order to fully benefit from their bromance.

The benefits included a stronger immune system, releasing endorphins, and a huge decrease in anxiety. After a few drinks, they also noticed higher levels of generosity; not surprisingly-- who's buying the next round?!

bearded-men group

It's recommended that men actually "do things" while they're together hanging out; not just sit around, but go out and experience some stuff. Doing things together as a group reinforces their sense of teamwork and camaraderie.  "Bonds can be formed through a range of activities from team sports, to male banter," Dunbar claims.

The same study showed that 1 in 3 men in the United Kingdom find it hard to meet with friends as little as once a week on a regular basis and that 40% of men are only able to bro-down once a week sporadically.

Regardless of 20% spending their days interacting in other ways, such as in passing, social media, online gaming or via telephone, there is a need for men to get together in person to keep the bonds strong enough to reap the benefits of them. Dunbar went so far as to suggest having a few drinks and some good shit talkin' to achieve this. (He may not have used those exact words)

So there it is, Gentleman. Now you have an excuse to make more plans with the fellas, and throw back a few more brews than you normally would on a work night.  I always knew that the bar was more beneficial than they had led us to believe. Drink responsibly, and keep it classy.

debonair club logo no BG

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How To Smoke A Cigar Like A Gentleman

How To Smoke A Cigar Like A Gentleman

Most people don't smoke cigars regularly, and if you haven't taken the time to smoke a few yourself it can be a bit confusing, believe it or not. What's so difficult about lighting it then smoking it?

"Don't put the burning side in your mouth, suck in the smoke, then blow it out." Unfortunately it isn't that cut and dry. There are a few basic guidelines that regular smokers tend to follow to make the process easier and more enjoyable.

Now, unless your friends are assholes like mine you're probably not gonna have anyone making fun of you for not knowing where to cut the tip, or how to get a nice full draw [hit.] Though when you're at a meeting and someone whips out the humidor nobody wants to look like the newbie of the group.

In order to not leave you drowning at the butt of the conversation, I've put together a quick guide on how to smoke a cigar "the right way." Reference these tips and you'll not only look like a regular cigar connoisseur, but you'll also get a much more enjoyable experience from the first time you light up.

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR CIGAR

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Pictured: Deadwood Fat Bottom Betty (My Favorite)

If you're walking into a smoke shop don't expect that throwing down some mad cash on the most expensive options are gonna give you the best smoke. Higher prices don't always mean quality, and as a new smoker you more than likely won't immediately enjoy all the distinguishing factors a top notch stick will provide.  Go for something mild and reasonably priced and sized to start off.

HOW TO CUT YOUR CIGAR
cigar cutter
We're not smoking cigarettes here, you need to snip the end of the cigar before you smoke it. You can use a sharp knife if there isn't a clipper around, but biting the tip off should never be a thing that happens.

I know we've all seen it done by the "badasses" in movies, but all this is going to do is screw up your new cigar. For the best possible results, clip off the end with a fast, strong motion. This will avoid any tearing and unraveling, leading to a much more enjoyable smoke. Though I suppose if you're stranded with nothing to cut it, you can just bite that mother f*cker off.  A shitty cut is better than having no cigar at all I suppose.

HOW TO LIGHT IT
light cigar
There are a lot of ways to do this, but I personally prefer the torch lighter. Wooden matches are my 2nd choice, but they are a more difficult to keep lit for long. This will make things slightly trickier for beginners.  

Regular cigarette lights will get the gob done, but I would recommend avoiding them, as they do tend to affect the flavor of the tobacco. Regardless of what you use you'll want to start by holding the cigar in your hands, placing the far tip above the flame. Again, holding it directly in the flame can affect the flavor, though you may not notice the difference with no prior experience.  Just focus on getting the thing lit-- don't puff on it just yet.

Before puffing on the cigar you'll want to burn off the end in a "preparation" of the tobacco.  Spin it around as you light it to make sure it's burning even all around; once you see an orange glow it's ready to be hit [puffed]

HOW TO SMOKE IT
Man-Smoking-Cigar
Once the tip is good to go put it in your mouth and start puffin" [That's what she said]

Really though, you gotta puff on it a bit to fully light it-- Don't inhale the smoke. If you do you're going to be coughing up a lung in front of everyone within earshot.  

Here's a tip: you want to hit it like you're sucking through a straw and draw the air in with your diaphragm.  Let your mouth fill with smoke then blow it out.  You'll want to do this 4 or 5 times, or until you're producing a thick white smoke.

You can start to chill at this point as your cigar is fully lit and is going to burn for a while now. Some people are faster smokers than others, so they will puff more consistently, obviously going through the cigar faster; though this isn't necessary to keep it lit.

Depending on the size it can last anywhere from 30 mins to a few hours. And that's that. You're ready to start enjoying the social activity that are cigars. I'd give you a diploma if I could, but I'll sleep well enough knowing that you won't be making a fool of yourself if asked to join someone for a stogie.  Keep it classy, gentleman.

I've included a few personal favorites of mine that are a bit more mild and less harsh-- you may want to give them a shot whether you're a beginner or a pro.
- Deadwood Fat Bottom Betty
- Tabak Especial Toro Dulce
- Cohiba Robusto
- Avo Classic

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5 Daily Products Every Dapper Man Needs

5 Daily Products Every Dapper Man Needs

Most of the time when you think about being presentable and well-kept you may think of matching your belt with your shoes, tucking in your shirt, lining up your facial hair, etc... These are all important things to practice, don't get me wrong if I end up diverting your attention away from these-- for the love of god keep doing them.

I'm just referring to a few that one may not immediately think of when getting ready for their day.  I'm gonna list some very important (yet very small) details that you won't notice nearly as much as everyone around you does... and that's what we're going for after all.

1.) Moisturizers
moisturizer
Wait, what? I only use lotion for my night time web browsing you might say?  Well I don't particularly need to hear about those details, but more power to you. Friction burn can be a bitch.

Moisturizers are mostly used for daily upkeep believe it or not; and they're not just for the ladies! For starters they will help reduce wrinkles, and also prevent your face from getting too oily and causing breakouts.  Moisturizing your face will prevent excess oil from being produced to prevent dryness.

In addition to that, have you ever shaken someone's hand and felt their dry, cracking palm scraping your palm on the release? No one likes that shit... Lotion your hands regularly.

2.) Hair Products
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This is a given to most, but that doesn't mean we can leave it out. There may be some messy headed dudes who think wearing a hat is their saving grace. *wipes tear*

Hats are cool, I dig hats, but you can't depend on them to cover up your lack of care for a silky smooth, well kept man mane. Whether you prefer a slick backed top or a messy head, you still need to use the right type of hold to prevent looking like you make it a point to be electrocuted throughout the day.

Loose hold pomades will keep your head looking messy and natural, while taming all the strays that separate the dapper from the homeless.  Just as a firmer hold gel or putty will allow you to mold that mane like you're chiseling the head of a Greek statue.

3.) Fingernail Kits
manicure kit

Okay so here's where we have to suck up our testosterone and accept the fact that guys sometimes need a nail file.  Pretend it's for a future prison break if you need to, just make sure you have one on hand.

No woman is going to thank the gods that your hangnail got snagged on her scarf while you were trying to get hansy. "So manly, OMG Paul Bunyan please scrape that callus on my ass cheek next." <-- This will never be a thing that happens.

You gotta keep those nails smooth; not only for others' sake, but as well as your own. Filing the points off of freshly clipped nails will prevent ingrown nails from happening on your hands and feet. Helping avoid infection and the ever hated nail snag on silk bed sheets.

4.) Cologne
cologne

Ahh yes, the man's perfume-- what separates us from our beastly ancestors, and initiates the double take head turn from passerbys.

There is a lot to say about when to wear cologne and what kind to wear, and for which occasion.  That's all somewhat relative to what you like personally though. I myself wear it everyday-- a light mist in the morning after my shower and I'm golden.

I prefer a lighter, fresh scent as a daily wear, and a heavier woodland scent for meetings and business events. Think of it as a power tie in the form of a scent: the intensity needs to equal the impact you are trying to make with your choice.

Nonetheless, you want to find your signature scent that works well with your body chemistry and make that your daily brand.  Just don't overdue it.

I was gonna end it there, then thought I'd give you a little bonus.

5.) Beard Oils and Balms
beard balm oil

This won't apply to everybody, yet I felt the need to include it since a good portion of you gentleman do rock some facial hair.  Beard oils are great! ...That's it.  Was I supposed to say more?

Okay fine, beard oils are excellent at making sure your face doesn't dry out after being covered by your beard all day.  The oil allows it to penetrate through the coarse hairs and get deep down into your skin to moisturize the skin and hair, while helping promote growth and strength-- most of them smell awesome too.

The balm helps moisturize and strengthen as well, but also acts as a less constrictive wax; keeping your rogue hairs in place, and allowing you to shape your beard, style your stache, and give it a slight shine.

Take these tips as you need them, and do your best to be the best along the way.

debonair club logo no BG

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Welcome To The Debonair Club

Welcome To The Debonair Club

Here at the Debonair Club, we feel that it is imperative that you, and us alike, look and feel our absolute best day after day. A number of men who wake up, throw on an old t-shirt, brush their hand through their hair, then head out the door is unfathomable.

A lack of pride where personability is concerned off the freakin' charts. When did men stop taking pride in the fact that we too have special nuances reserved especially for us and no one else? Your ability to stand out among your peers, as well as gain the attention of all around you simply by carrying yourself properly is yours to take, and should be cherished as such!

Whether you have your dress game on lock, or have somehow misplaced your swagger somewhere along the way, we're here to give you your power back; to give you the info you need to be the best possible version of yourself.

Keep it classy, gentleman. Join the movement. #DebonairClub

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