My Warby Parker Experience

Review of my experience buying my first pair of Warby Parker glasses

If you don’t yet know who or what Warby Parker is, they are a new and quickly growing eye wear designer. The quick rundown is that they design and manufacture fashionable glasses for vision and sun, for men and women. Because there is no middle man, you can get designer looks without paying the high prices found in most stores. They offer a wide range of styles and have an interactive process for trying on frames and ordering your prescription online. Their prices are well below half of what I’ve seen elsewhere, their styles are up to the minute and they even donate a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair you buy. Sounds pretty great right? Well, I wanted to find out for myself and I did.

First off, this is a completely objective review and is only based on my own personal experience buying from Warby Parker. I have no connection or affiliation with the company and your experience with them may be different. If so, please leave a comment below and tell me how your experience differed from mine. With that, I’ll begin by saying I heard about WB through a friend and decided to look for myself. After visiting their site I loved what they did, and what they stood for. I must have read every page on that site and looked at almost every style. They know their product well and their mission statement is clear. To me, it seemed too good to be true. I mean they though of everything. The styles look good, the site is easy to use. The photos of most frames are shown stand alone and on a model whose face rotates as you scroll across the screen, allowing you to view the frames on a face at multiple angles. They even thought of the fact that it sounds “too good to be true”.

Possibly the coolest part of Warby’s experience is their try on feature. Yes, they do have a digital try on feature on the site and it’s actually quite easy to use, especially if your computer or tablet has a web cam. However, we’ve seen tools like this before. WB’s is good but the idea of this is still flawed. You never get a true feel for what the frames will look like on your face. Proportion can be off, as well as lighting and other small details that add up to give you an inaccurate depiction of what the frames will look like on your face. Let’s face it, glasses can be one of the hardest things to buy online, even more than most apparel. Especially because you need to pay for prescription lenses, making them hard to return. So, how does Warby Parker handle this? They will send you up to five frames of your choice to try on at no charge. I couldn’t believe it! It really is as good as it sounds.

I picked 5 frames and placed the order. I was required to enter my credit card info but was never charged. This was just in case I never returned the frames. The order arrived in about two days and came in a nice box with its own slot for each pair of glasses, they came wrapped in plastic and I felt each pair was clean. If you’re a super germaphobe you may want to wipe down the arms with alcohol. I’m super glad I got to wear them. To me, this experience beats trying on frames in a store. You not only get to take your time but you can wear them around. I wore my favorite pair to work for a day to see if I got any compliments, I did. This also gives you a feel of how comfortable the glasses will be over time.

Now you simply send all of them back and order the pair you wanted. You can really order your pair of choice at anytime but you’ll want to make sure you send back the try-ons after 4 or 5 days. When ordering your glasses you’ll need to send a copy of your prescription. I found the easiest thing to do was to take a photo with my phone and attach it. The cameras on phones are high res enough for this now, who needs a scanner? Just make sure it’s bright enough and that the flash doesn’t wash out any of the info, including the signature. They also require you to provide your pupil width, which is the space between your two pupils. This will help to prevent eye strain. Most optometry clinics hold onto this info to prevent you from buying glasses elsewhere. If you don’t have this info, WP has a cool feature that uses a web cam and credit card or any card with a magnetic strip on the back. Follow the directions carefully, but it’s easy and worked great for me.

I chose to upgrade the lenses to the premium poly for about an extra $30 which was a great deal. Most of the styles can be purchased with a prescription for $99, with free shipping. To me, that price is insane and I don’t know how they do it that cheap. I opted for a pair of titanium frames which cost a bit more. Even so, I got a great pair of unique frames that I love, with premium lenses for about $170 total.

The glasses took about 10 days to arrive but they shipped fast once they were completed. You’ll find that 10 days is standard unless you go somewhere like lens crafters who has their own lab on site. several emails followed the purchase that kept me posted on their progress. I never wondered where my glasses where and as soon as they shipped there were literally at my doorstep in 2 days.

My only real fear was that, because of the low price they wouldn’t hold up. I’ve been wearing them for a few weeks with no issues but I’ll be sure to update this post if they begin to fall apart ahead of their time. I’ve looked at the construction up close and feel like they will hold up. If you can’t tell, I strongly recommend Warby Parker. The experience was great from start to finish, which is hard to find these days. As a side note they also sell sunglasses with or without prescriptions.

If you’ve bought from them, or decide to based on this post please let me know about it in the comments section below.

Making the Perfect Burgers

Guide to Grilling and Building the perfect Cheese Burger

For starters this is not a recipe, not exactly anyway. This will serve more as a guide on how to grill burgers like a man.

Basic Essentials: Ground Sirloin 90/10, Good Buns, Good Cheese, fixins and a Grill (any grill).

Start with the meat. You want a good burger? You need to buy good meat. You can vary what you get but buy it fresh and cook it the day you buy it if you can. Never buy frozen patties. Sure, it’s convenient but so is running through the McDonald’s drive thru. This is a guide for building the perfect burger, not the easiest burger. Also, avoid buying pre-made patties, even if they are fresh. Most grocery store butcher shops will make the patties quick and make them look good and plump int he display. These are not necessarily good for grilling. You’ll see why in a minute.

I recommend making quarter pounders. It’s good patty size, not too big and not too small. When you dress up your burger with cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato etc. you’ll get a good meat to fixin’s ratio. I find that meat typically comes in packs right around 1.25 pounds. that means you can get 5 patties out of each package, this size. You’ll need to form up the patties ahead of time. To me, this is the most crucial step. It determines the size, shape and thickness of your meat, all things that contribute to how enjoyable it is when you finally chow down.

Step 1. Lay down plastic wrap, and keep some handy. You’ll need a couple more sheets of it as you go.

Step 2. Divide the meat up into 5 balls of equal size. (I’m assuming you know hands should be washed before and immediately after touching raw meat)

Step 3. To form the patty, flatten the ball in the flat palm of your non-dominant hand. Spread it out evenly, then pinch the outside edge with your finger and thumb to make it uniform. Cracks or breaks on the edge don’t look good but they can also cause the burger to tear when putting it on the grill. your nicely formed patty should be roughly 1/4 inch larger in diameter than the bun. Hold it near the bun package for comparison if needed.

Step 4. Lay your patty carefully on the plastic lined cookie sheet. Continue forming the remaining patties. Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper over the top of each patty. You can use other seasoning, but I recommend you try plain salt and pepper if you have good meat. A good burger doesn’t rely on heavy seasoning or additional flavors.

Step 5. Repeat and place a sheet of plastic between each layer. Place a final piece of plastic over the top and store in the refrigerator. Keep refrigerated until you’re ready to grill.

Tips: Try not to do this more than an hour or two ahead of grilling time, and don’t handle the meat too much. As you learn what works you’ll get faster and need to handle the meat less. The more it’s handled the harder it is to keep the patties together.

Now you’ve got your perfect patties and they should look something like this.

You’re ready to Grill!

Place the raw patties on the hot grill and close the lid. Wait for about two minutes, depending on the heat. I go for a medium-high heat. Too hot and you’ll char them and over cook them before you can get them all on and off again. As soon as the juice starts to rise out of the top, they are ready to flip. As the meat cooks the burger shrinks, which is why you made them bigger than the bun. This process forces out some of the juice. Flip immediately, but only flip the patties that have started to expel the juice. Some parts of the grill are not as hot as others.

Now the top side is cooked, but juice will still come out of the cooked top. It may be harder to see though. Once this happens pull off the grill. Some may still need longer though. I usually either bring them all the way to the front of the grill, just before they are ready to come off. They’ll cook a little more on this cooler part of the grill, but I can keep them hot without overcooking them. If you don’t have a cool spot open, place them on a cookie sheet and keep covered with tin foil.

If you’re adding cheese, do it on the grill, not after. The best time is just shortly after the first flip. I should say “First and only Flip!”. Flipping dries out the meat, you lose a lot of the juice. Remember what happened on the first flip. Juice came out of the top and you flipped it. You lost all that juice. Imagine if you keep doing that. Keep it down to one flip and you’ll hold on to that juicy goodness. The cheese on top will lock in the remaining juice before it can come out of the burger.

Now your meat is done and ready to serve.

Everyone likes their burgers fixed a different way. If you’re serving people I recommend having all the fixings out and ready so they can make their own while the burgers are still hot. The best items to have out for a classic burger are crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, red onion (raw), dill pickles, mustard and mayo.

This piece is really intended to tell you how to make great burger patties by hand and how to grill them. I know everyone likes to dress burgers their own way but I’ll finish by telling you how I dress mine. This varies from time to time and I’ll often thrown on things like bacon or jalapenos. This order from bottom to top is great for a classic burger. Bottom bun, mustard, pickles (3 slices), meat, cheese (melted on the grill), red onion (2-3 rings), iceberg lettuce, tomato, light salt and pepper, mayo, top bun. Don’t mash it! Mashing forces the juice from the meat into the bottom bun, which is not where you want it. If you have your own way of dressing up your burger and you think we should know about it please put it in the comments section below.

Shop From Your Own Wardrobe

Tips for cleaning out your closet and ending up with more options

Your closet has got to get cleaned out every once in a while, if for nothing more than to just make more room. Even if you don’t shop very often, it’s certain that new items are added to your wardrobe more often than old clothes are removed. Don’t just look at this activity as a chore though, use it as an opportunity. It’s a chance to find things that you forgot you had and a great way to piece together new outfits you never though of before. If you feel the need for some new threads, but are watching your wallet closely this can be a great way to get that fresh feeling without ever touching your wallet. Even if you plan to shop, prepping this way can be a great first move. You’ll make room for new items, take note of what you have so you can add matching items more successfully and you’ll find entire new outfits limiting how much you actually need to spend on new clothes.

First tip is to research. If you want to rush through this, don’t bother. You can easily just grab some old clothes you won’t wear or can’t wear anymore and give them to goodwill. That shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. If you want to do it right, take your time and do some reconnaissance first. Check out your favorite stores online and see what styles are out. If you have celebrities whose style you like and emulate look at recent photos of them to see what’s trending. Since fashion slowly evolves, you can often just add an accent or accessory to items you’ve worn in the past to update them. Find some looks you like and make a note of them.

Now, empty your closet. That’s right! Empty it. Pull everything out so it’s bare. Sorting them out on the bed is best. Throw anything that doesn’t fit or you won’t wear anymore into a pile, put everything that’s questionable into a different pile, then start organizing the rest so you can see everything. Any items you find that are particularly interested, like an old scarf you forgot you had or shirt that still has it’s tags, should be put where you can see them all. As you go, hold things up next to each other. See how the colors work and remember what items you might want to wear together in the future.

I recommend only keeping things you really will wear. You should also make two segments if you have the room. One is your top-level inventory, these are the items you will wear most often. The other will be items you love, but that won’t get much wear. Keep them in the closet but they can go to the back. Try keeping a fairly small bench. Because of the way men’s clothing works, most men don’t need that many items. A Good sized everyday wardrobe would consist of approximately (4 slacks, 2 dark jeans, 10 or so dress shirts, 10 or so ties, 10 or less t-shirts, a few sweaters and a few jackets) This varies obviously depending on what you wear to work but for most men who wear business casual that’s more than enough. You can literally go months without ever needing to wear the same thing twice.

Now figure out what you need to update your look. I find that ties go out of style faster than anything else in men’s fashion. Tie patterns and widths tend to vary greatly every few years but a lot of men get to a certain age and stop buying them. If you’re good in the shirts and pants department, you might just need to go out and buy a few new ties to update your look. The right tie can completely change the look of an outfit so choose wisely. Odds are most things for sale in the stores will be current but stay away from heavy patterns and super bright colors.

Try stuff on. Most men change size in their 20s and 30s, for bigger or smaller. So try things on. Some items may have shrunk and some parts of you might have gotten bigger. Look in the mirror, see what looks good on you and get rid of anything that doesn’t. I’ve bought plenty of items over the years that I loved in the store but that I never wear because I hate the way the look on me every time I decide to put them on. If you’ve been fortunate enough to lose weight, keep your nicest items and get them tailored. There’s no reason to threw out a perfectly good pair of pants when they could easily be tailored for a fraction of what new pants would cost. Trust me taking your pants to get them taken in is even more satisfying than buying new ones. If you’ve “out grown” your clothes, it might be time to work your way back into them. Fitting back into a pair of pants you love can be a great motivator for losing a healthy amount of weight.

The last time I cleaned out my closet, I had planned on going shopping after. I canceled the shopping trip and I wore all new outfits for weeks after. I just found a few prize items in the pile that worked great and I took time to figure out what pieces worked together while I had everything in front of me. I saved $100s of dollars that I would have otherwise spent, and I couldn’t have been happier with the result. I will say though, that you won’t be as successful the second time around. You’ve already culled everything out so this isn’t something that will work well year over year but you can certainly do it every few years.

Establishing Your Own Personal Style

Your personal style says a lot about you. It’s often responsible for your first impression because it’s what someone sees when they approach you or when you approach them. Someone, anyone, can immediately tell if you’re a slob or not, they can also tell how much you care about your appearance, how creative you are or how traditional you are. At least they think they can. People are making assumptions about you all the time. Don’t believe it? Pay attention to the voice in the back of your own head the next time you’re people watching. You make up little stories about people all the time. If it’s people you haven’t met, you’re only basing your assumptions on their appearance. This also happens when you meet people socially or in business. This article is not about how to make a good impression though. It’s simply about figuring out how to let your outward appearance speak to who you are as an individual.

The older you get the more important it can be to develop a personal style. This doesn’t mean you need to wear outlandish clothes to get noticed and it doesn’t mean you need to buy outfits you see in storefront displays. Neither of those options are genuine and neither can really say something about you. Also, this isn’t something you’ll pick up right away, and it shouldn’t be. This is something you should slowly develop over time. Ultimately what you should have are garments and accessories that work well together, look good on you, that say something about you and that stand out just the right amount.

My primary recommendation is to allow your style to develop and evolve over time. Don’t try to change your personal style in one shopping trip. If you don’t go broke trying that, you’ll at least be tired of what you bought within the first year. If you take your time, you’ll be slowly acquiring items that you love, rather than what’s in style at the moment. The following recommendations below are good things to keep in mind.

Fit – Buy clothes that fit well. Not too tight and not too loose. Baggy clothes can send a variety of messages, but most of all poorly fitting clothes tell people you don’t know how to dress. Consider a size down approach. That simply means you buy clothes one size smaller than you normally would. For this, you’ll want to make sure you’re still getting the right fit in the sleeve and torso length. If you’re like me, tall and thin, this can be difficult. Often times, clothes with the right fit on my body have sleeves that are just a little too short. Another option here is tailoring. A nice shirt can be taken in just a little so that it fits your body well. This adds to the cost of the garment though. I often find great dress shirts and jackets at my local thrift stores. Not old outdated ones either. I’m talking about new clothes that are barely worn. The only thing is that they tend to be on the bigger size. If I get the sleeves, length and neck right I can have a shirt tailored and still be way under the cost in store.

Match – Know your wardrobe well, and only buy clothes that will add to it. I have a bad habit of buying a nice tie only to never wear it because it doesn’t look good with any of my shirts.

Observe – Take notice of styles and elements that appeal to you. In most cases, something that really stands out to you in a positive way, is something that you’ll enjoy wearing. Watching movies and TV can be a great way to adopt aspects of your own style but don’t copy anyone entirely. I say this because you don’t want to look like you’re wearing a Don Draper costume, but you can pick elements of his style if they are appropriate for you.

Bold Accents – My recommendation is to avoid really bold clothes unless that is what you’re going for. Bold shirts and wildly patterned pants say a lot, maybe too much. So be careful here and really consider whether those elements are for you. Instead use a bold accent. If not a sharp-looking tie, something as simple as a tie bar or pair of cufflinks and personalize a standard black suit and white shirt. Maybe you adopt and wear something regularly that no one else you run into wears, like a nice pocket square. Even the fold of your pocket square says a lot about you. Pay attention to Mad Men the next time you watch it. Each main character has a different way of folding his pocket square. Don’s is typically a traditional fold. Cooper, who loves traditional Japanese culture like removing your shoes, wears his and an intricately folded design that resembles origami.

More than clothes – Your look is not restricted to your clothing. Your hair, face and nails also show how well you take care of yourself. A messy hairstyle can say something different about you than a clean-cut look. So consider which one is best for you and who you are. I prefer a convertible style that I can wear messy, or clean-cut depending on the occasion.

Everything – Let your style creep into everything. Not just what you wear and how you look, but what you carry and how you carry yourself. Everything from your wallet to suitcase to phone cover can say something about you and your own style, or lack of it.

Finally, don’t put too much pressure on yourself for this. All of these notes are simply thinks to adopt and keep in mind. Not things to obsess over.

Guys Night Guide to Billiards

A classic guys night tradition

If you’re looking for a good old fashioned night out with the boys, consider something as simple as getting together at a local pool hall. It seems like a rather ordinary choice but there are several reasons that make it such a classic option. It usually makes for a good night and it’s rather easy to pull off at last notice. Pool is a game that most men are down for playing any day of the week. Even guys that don’t play much, or aren’t very good, enjoy playing a little. If you just need a good excuse to get the guys together the tips in this post might be helpful.


Easy to get friends on board

Like I said, most men enjoy the game and because pool halls are a dime a dozen it’s easy to find one in a central location that works for everyone. There’s no real extreme culture when it comes to pool halls either. Unless you find a real gem of a down and dirty pool hall, modern pool halls are places that a wide range of guys can be comfortable. All of these things make it easier to get more people in on the party with little effort or planning.


Good Environment for Conversation

Your standing around a table for the most part. In between shots, or between games is the perfect time to talk. If there isn’t much to say you can always direct your attention to the current game without being rude or feeling awkward. Pool halls typically double as bars, or vice versa but because it’s more than just a bar, there’s no real pressure to drink if anyone in your group is trying to lay off the sauce for a bit. Although recovering alcoholics don’t fit into this category. They should either not be invited or this type of event should be passed altogether.


Get there early

At least a couple of guys should show up early to hold down a table. Get there early enough and you can get a table in a good spot and hold it down all night. No need for the whole group to show up early though. My advice is that if you’re planning this, get you and your best friend or two to show up together first. Invite everyone else an hour later or so. This gives you the chance to do a few things. You can talk a little more personally before the guys you’re not as close with show up. It even gives you the chance to warm up and get sharp so you can school the other guys later on in the night.


Have a good time

Your there to have a good time so do so. Don’t hassle guys that can’t play well. We were all beginners at one point. Unless he’s someone you don’t want back at guys night, give him some tips and encourage him so he gets better, becomes a good opponent and wants to partake in guys night moving forward. While you’re at it, don’t start fights. Pool halls are full of testosterone, hot tempers and guys are bound to bump into each other with their shoulders or cues at some point. If you go out on guys night hoping for a fight, you’re missing the point.


Hopefully this helps you plan a good Guys Night Out. It works out that this is the first post I’ve written about a specific type of guys night out but it’s also a great first guys night out with a new group of friends. Because it’s so laid back and easy to arrange you’re likely to get it planned, and then it will be easier to turn guys nights at different locations into a tradition. I previously wrote a post about the importance of a guys night out. If you found this one interesting you might want to give it a read.



Buying Gifts for a Man

How and Where to buy gifts for a Man

Most women seem to be confused when it comes to buying gifts for men. I’ll start by saying that a gift card is not a good gift for anyone you know personally. It says nothing other than “I remembered you”. Which is fine for some people, but husbands, fathers and boyfriends need and probably deserve more. A good gift can speak volumes. It not only says “I remembered” and it not only makes the person happy, it tells them how well you know them. Getting someone special something unique and special only makes sense. Now, when it comes to men there is a rub. Not all men are the same and most men aren’t really open about what they want. Anything they are excited enough about to mention out loud is likely something they will buy for themselves before you have a reason to anyway.

Tip number one is to get him what he wants. Sounds simple, and in fact, it is. If there’s something he wants just get it for him. If you’re lucky enough to fall into this situation every once in a while, take advantage of it and take it easy. No need to involve any of the following tips, really. However, this is usually rare so the other tips in this post should help a lot.

For short notice, go with guy movies. Notice I didn’t say a movie… Get him a collection of guy movies and wrap it up in a cool and creative way. Include some popcorn or his favorite movie snacks. The trick is to browse his movie collection to avoid getting anything he already has and to include a snack or something that you know he likes to eat during a movie. This helps to personalize the whole thing. I recently wrote a list of 20 movies every guy should see. Anything on that post would be a good pick. I even mentioned movies that pair well together. You can get older movies for super cheap on Amazon, so pair 2 or 3 together that have something in common.

The problem with movies is some men own every film they could ever want, some men just aren’t movie guys and some can’t sit still long enough to watch a whole movie, much less 2 or 3.

It’s hard to go wrong with something manly though. If he’s into cigars at all, even if it’s just occasionally, some great cigar gifts are always a good idea. The good thing about cigar related gifts is that most people don’t think of it, and cigar accessories come in a wide range of prices. Humidors are typically the highest, but then you’ve got less expensive lighters and cutters. To be honest, every man should have a good lighter whether he smokes or not. Even if he smokes cigars often and already has a good humidor, cutter and lighter, most men don’t have ash trays anymore. They’ve disappeared for some reason but a really nice, retro ashtray can make a great gift. On that note, so can a vintage table lighter. Talk about something that disappeared off the radar. In the days of Frank Sinatra, table lighters were super fashionable. In case you haven’t noticed, that makes them ultra hip today. A good old-fashioned table lighter is the kind of thing Don Draper keeps in every room.

Go masculine though. I don’t mean whatever you give him needs to be dripping with testosterone, I mean that it should be manly though. Leather, steel (stainless), wood etc. These are all materials that can be considered manly, in the right context of course. So gifts like this cool flask wrapped in rich brown ostrich leather, make great gifts. If that sort of style fits him well a gift like that can go a long way. Sure gift is just a flask, which seems like a boring and almost obvious gift, but the style of it is why you’re giving him this flask, right?

If a more expensive gift is appropriate, but you don’t want to give him jewelry go with a great mens jewelry box. Most men don’t have one, and it’s not likely anyone else will get one for them. Just like the previous tip though, go for a masculine style. Make sure it’s something that will wow him on the unwrap, and last for years. He’ll always think of you when he uses it. The other little bonus behind this gift is that it might send a message, a message that you want jewelry yourself. You’re not hitting him over the head with it and it’s a great gift so it’s perfect.

If none of these tips are working for you, but we are getting close, keep in mind the things that men do every day. Shaving is a big one. Most men shave either every day or every other day. Even men with facial hair are shaving part of their face or neck regularly. A nice, shaving set is a great gift that men will never think of for themselves. Just don’t give one to a man with a full beard, you’ll be sending the message that you want him to shave and you’ll ruin the gift. The shaving kits at use modern razors like the Mach 3 which can be found at any drugstore, but they have the classic stylings of traditional shave sets.

Finally, if your man likes to travel or has to travel a lot for work it’s a good idea to give him something to take with him everywhere he goes that will remind him of you. No, not a photo, he has enough pictures of you on his smart phone. I mean a really nice gift that will hold up over years of traveling. For a Husband, or really serious boyfriend a really nice leather duffel bag can be great. They’ll look good whether he’s dressed for business or play and it’ll be his go to carry-on bag. They can be pricey though, so if you’re not there yet in your relationship, or you’re on a budget a good travel kit can really do the job. Just like all of my other recommendations though, I recommend getting something leather and manly.

The great thing about the gifts on this list is that they are all things most men will love but above all, you should know the person you’re buying for. That’s part of the beauty of giving a gift. If you hit the right note with your next gift buy using any of these tips please let us know in the comments below. Hit the right note and I seriously doubt you’ll ever give a gift card again. There’s something that happens when someone opens the perfect gift in front of you.

Men’s Shopping on a Budget

How to buy Men’s clothes without overpaying

There is no real reason anyone should pay “full price” for clothes. Fashion trends change so quickly that prices fall fast. So fast that they fall before you would probably ever wear any one item twice. If an item is up front and looks good an a display or manikin, odds are whatever was on that display last month is just a few steps away on a rack. Furthermore, when big department stores need to move stuff out to make way for the new, over priced, fashions they don’t just burn them. Do they? No, they go out to closeout stores which can be great sources for mens clothes if you know where to look.

You first need to prep. Think about what types of items you might be wearing and dress appropriately. When shopping for clothes I like to look well dressed, but I do dress a little unusually. I’ll often wear slip on dress shoes and socks with jeans, and often a white undershirt with a button up dress shirt. This combination gives me a range of things I can try on. The dress shoes let me try on dress pants properly, where I can see where the cuff will land on the shoes. Because they are slip on, they are easy to slip in and out of quickly in the changing room. The dress shirt also lets me try on dress pants tucked in or jeans untucked or I can lose the dress shirt in the changing room and just wear the undershirt if I want to see how a t-shirt looks with whatever I’m trying on. The dress shirt also lets me through on a jacket or sport coat if needed. Jeans obviously are for comfort. That’s the big thing, wear what you’re comfortable in but don’t forget you’re going to be changing clothes. It’s hard to accurately fit a pair of dress pants if you’re wearing sandals.

For starters, develop an imagination. Try to imagine what you would look like in the outfit, or at least what it would look like on a manikin. For men’s clothes, they often tie back shirts and pin-up pants on manikins to look like they have a better fit. Why? Because they need to carry clothes that fit their customers, which don’t fit the near perfect figures of the manikins. they pin them back to make them look great on the manikins, but in most cases they won’t look as good on you. In that regard, what’s the difference between those clothes and the discounted ones in the back. There is none. the only difference is that the clothes in the back might be running low on sizes. If you wear a size that’s particularly hard to find, you’ll need an extra measure of patience if you’re going to find anything.

Patience is key. I can’t remember the last time I went out with an agenda when it came to shopping for clothes and if I did, it’s for one item not an all new wardrobe. People who shop like this often end up never wearing half of what they buy. They do it all on impulse and try to get things that go together but end up getting a miss matched closet full of trends that are all out of style within a month. Instead, take your time and slowly build your wardrobe maybe you only pick up an item or two every time you go out. Maybe there are even occasions where you come home with nothing, I know I do. The time to buy is when you find something you love, that fits with your personal style, that fits and is for a good price.

Try things on. If you’re like me, and like most men, you don’t like trying things on. Believe me though, you’ll save a lot of money by trying things on. I’m fairly good at choosing my size off the rack just by holding it up but I’ve passed on many items that fit, just because I didn’t like the way they looked. They looked great on the rack for some reason but just didn’t work with my build. So try things on and rule them out if they don’t look good on you. Everyone’s body is different and you need to pick clothes that make yours look it’s best. The changing room is the only place you can do this.

Don’t be embarrassed to go to low-end stores. Not being embarrassed is the main thing. You’re a man, and there’s no call for it in this situation. If you’re well dressed, your well dressed no matter where your clothes come from. Now, you still need to be careful where you go. Some low-end stores only care cheap clothes. Cheap clothes don’t last long and never really fit right in the first place. The materials used can also be uncomfortable. You want quality at good prices. Now, there are plenty of low-end stores, closeout stores, or thrift stores that carry great clothes for men. There are also plenty of low-end stores that carry nothing but cheap clothes. Avoid these places. In my experience closeout stores like TJ Maxx and Thrift Stores carry great clothes for men, but they are mixed in with cheap stuff. The great thing is that there is rarely a difference in price. It’s a treasure hunt though. That’s why you can’t plan to get much on each trip.

Don’t think that because you can only get a few items at a time, at the most, that this is a waste of time. In reality, this is how men should shop for clothes. If you want to build an interchangeable wardrobe you do it slowly and you pick simple classic looking styles.  To take your wardrobe to the next level, accent it with great looking accessories. If you find a nice dress shirt for $20 or less that fits perfectly, you would be amazed at how a sharp pair of cufflinks can set it off and make it look like you paid $200.

How to Date Your Wife

A Married Man’s Guide to Planning the Perfect Date Night

All men should know how to plan a great date night. Single men actually should be doing this less frequently than married men. Married men, really need to be planning regular dates with their wives. No, deciding to go out to eat on a Friday Night isn’t a date. That’s more like a meal decision that you make together. A Date will be something you plan ahead and take your wife on. This needs to be done for obvious reasons of keeping the romance alive. If you can’t get your head around this, I don’t know what to tell you. If you’ve convinced yourself that your wife isn’t the type of woman who’s into this, you’re kidding yourself. Even if she has said as much, trust me, she will not only love to be taken on regular dates, she’s dying for you to take her.

Now, the main focus here or keyword is “Plan.” Take the time to figure out where you will go and what you will do. Before you were married, it was a good idea to take a first date to a place you’ve been before. Now that you and the wife have been together and eaten most meals together, that’s harder to do. So, adventure is what you want to go for. With your wife, even if you get bad service, it’s not going to ruin the chances of a future relationship as it would in a first date. You still don’t want bad service though. This is why you plan ahead.

With today’s information and technology you can easily screen restaurants before going. I strongly recommend doing this. Urban Spoon and Open Table are some of my favorite resources. They have helpful sites and easy to use apps. Before you embark on a search, consider the occasion. Try to decide what kind of price range you want to be in, and what sort of food you want to go for. It’s even a good idea to consider driving distance and I strongly recommend you decide whether this will simply be a dinner date, or something more. So before you even pick a restaurant you have some homework to do.

First, are you going to do something else before or after dinner. Additional ideas could range from going to the park, to the movies, to a theatrical show. These are all more traditional ideas, but there are a huge variety of non traditional date ideas out there. If your plan is for something outdoors, be thorough and check the weather. Make sure you’re not planning to go for a romp in the park on the evening of the next big blizzard or monsoon. If it’s something that requires tickets or permits reservations, lock them in. Don’t play it by ear. That defeats the purpose.

Now you’re ready to decide where to eat. Choose a place close to the rest of the date to keep it simple. Walking distance is ideal, but a short drive can work just as well. Use sites like the ones I mentioned above to screen restaurants. FYI, on Urban Spoon a 75% rating doesn’t guarantee a great evening. Choose one of the higher rated places on the list. While doing this consider the food. I recommend going for something you and the wife don’t normally eat, but something she would enjoy. At this point the smartest thing you can do is make a reservation. Not all places take reservations though, my opinion if the place isn’t nice enough to take reservations it’s not nice enough for date night. This doesn’t mean you have to go somewhere ritzy and expensive. There are plenty of great restaurants with modest prices, that care enough about service and atmosphere to offer reservations. A more interesting place might be good for more non traditional dates. My recommendation is that even if you’ve been married for a while, but are not in the habit of dates, don’t start with non traditional dates. Go with something nice and traditional. If it’s out of the ordinary you’ll still be viewed as spontaneous. Work your way up to more adventurous dates over time. If you follow the tips above you’ll lose no points for lack of creativity when you start out. I’m putting a lot of emphasis on the reservation because getting stuck in a waiting room our outside with a plastic buzzer is a quick way to throw off the momentum of the night. Even if you enjoy each other’s company, this will put a damper on things. Plus walking into an amazing place she’s never been, with a reservation along with great service and food (that you screened) is going to be hard to beat any day of the week. Also, when it comes to screening the menu pay close attention to the types of food on the menu, especially the portions. If you think there’s the chance of ending date night with sex, don’t eat somewhere with large portions of heavy food. If you do, odds are that neither of you will feel like it when the time comes.

That brings me to my next point. Decide when to tell her. If she likes surprises, really consider not telling her in advance. If you must, for planning sake (aka. babysitters), just don’t tell here where with one exception. If it’s a nicer place, and by nicer place I mean no blue jeans, you’ll at least need to tell her that you’re going out and what you are wearing. She’ll need to base her dress off of yours. For date night, the idea is to break out of the norm and do something special, even if it’s not particularly expensive. So dress nicer than you would normally. You don’t want to overdress and be uncomfortable but if you don’t normally wear a sport coat, throw one on with a nice dress shirt.

To signify date night, and make it official. Open doors for her, especially the car door. You’re doing all of this to make her feels special. There’s something about running around the back of your car to get the door that makes her feel that much more special. If you don’t do that often, note that I said “run around the back…”. Run so you can get there before her, and go around back because it’s much smoother. She won’t see you pass in front of the headlights and you can open the door more smoothly if you approach it from the back. If you really want to go the extra mile, pick up flowers on your way home. Nothing too crazy, or she’ll think something is wrong. Just a small bunch of nice flowers from the grocery store near your house. This step shouldn’t cost more than $8.00, and it will go a long way.

To sum it up, you don’t need to be overly romantic or sappy in the traditional sense. I think that might be why a lot of men skip doing this altogether. They’ve convinced themselves that it’s just not for them. This just isn’t the case, it can be a fairly normal evening, but taking the time to plan it out is what makes it special. Just a few simple touches can elevate it depending on the occasion. Please leave comments and tell us how your date nights go. I encourage you to add to the discussion by leaving your own tips in the comments below.

Travel Light and Look Good Doing It

How to’s and benefits of packing light

There’s a perception that men travel light, and many of us do. We do it for different reasons though, often not out of practicality. This article will explain how to get away with packing light for trips and looking good while doing it. Women should get a lot out of this as well, but it is written for men. I understand most women would not be able to pack as light as I describe for men, but some of the tips here may help you lighten your load on long trips. Over the years I’ve noticed that women tend to pack everything they could ever need, at least the women in my life do. If you disagree please post a comment below. Men however, are all over the map. Some pack light because they don’t care, then they don’t have what they need. Others pack light because they don’t plan ahead and have to rush, again they don’t have what they need. I’m even guilty of over packing. To me, over packing occurs without much planning or thought. I just grab what I can and get everything I might need. I typically end up having everything I need in this case but I have to lug around a huge, heavy bag, or check my baggage unnecessarily.

You may have noticed I’ve already used the word plan multiple times. This doesn’t mean you need to spend hours planning out what you’re going to wear. It does mean you need to take a few minutes not to just count the days you’ll be gone, but how many evenings, nights, mornings and afternoons you’ll be gone. Also consider what you might be doing at those times. Are you going to a nice dinner at any point, will you be playing outside, going to a pool or the beach? What will the weather be like where you are going? All of these things should factor into your wardrobe choices while packing. So lets cover the items step by step.

Pants should be first. They fit nicely in the bottom of your bag and you can stack a lot on top of them without causing wrinkles. For short weekend trips two pair of pants will do, that’s right just two. Keep in mind you’ll be wearing a third pair as you travel so you’ll have to select total of three. Try selecting pants that can be worn in more than once instance on your trip. I’ll typically wear one pair of jeans on the trip, then pack a pair of casual pants and a pair of nicer dress pants. Stay basic when traveling to. A nice pair of khaki pants, and a pair of black dress pants are about as versatile as it gets. If you need a little more style, start there as a base then step out accordingly. The closer you stay to the basics, the easier it will be to match everything else without the need to over pack.

Shirts come next. Once you have pants and shirts you’ll easily be able to add everything else. You don’t need two shirts for every day but you’ll likely need more than one shirt per day, depending on what kind of trip you’re going on. Obviously grab a couple of dress shirts for longer trips. Make one of them white, it will be versatile. you can wear it with jeans or pop a tie and jacket on it if you need to be more formal. Then go with something a little more colorful for variety. Just like with the pants, start with basics and branch out accordingly. Each shirt you choose should look good with any of the three pairs of pants your bringing. Now add a few undershirts if you wear them, and a couple of t-shirts and/or polos for comfort. Don’t overdo it on the shirts though. 1.5 shirts for each day you are gone, counting the one you wear when you leave will be more than enough for most trips.

Now it comes down to the underwear and socks. Most people start with this first because it’s easy. Just count the days and you’re done, right? Not quite. You may one an extra pair of underwear just in case, and socks need to match your pants, that’s why I wait. If you have khaki pants in your bag, make sure you have enough khaki socks to match. No white socks unless you’re going to be wearing boots. Even then, you might as well just pack the right socks to go along with your pants.

Now, I recommend sticking with black belt and black shoes on a trip. If you can at all help it, pack one pair of shoes. If there’s a chance you’re going to a pool or beach and need a more casual shoe, pack it. Just don’t pack a pair of similar black and brown shoes. I love mixing it up and I wear different shades of brown shoes and belts all the time, but on a trip, nothing takes up more space than an extra pair of shoes. Bring two belts though. One that you wear and one to pack. If you’re traveling in Jeans or casual pants like most people do, wear the thicker (black) belt with the jeans and the dress belt goes in your bag.

Remember you were supposed to check the weather? In many climates a simple sport coat is all you will need. I like to wear mine when I travel. I’ll typically either put it on the back seat if I’m driving or wear it on the flight. If you opt to do this it saves room in your bag. The only trick is to wear one that works well with jeans and your dress pants. You should have one like this in your wardrobe if you don’t already. Even if it’s not your favorite Jacket it is more practical. If for some reason you might need a suit but aren’t wearing it on the plain, you can pack it. The think about a suit is you’re going to need to iron the pants and steam out the creases in the coat. Even if you have a nice garment bag there will be wrinkles and creases. So, If there’s still room in your carry on bag, fold it carefully and place on top. When you arrive where you’re staying, especially if it’s a hotel or rented room opposed to a family member or friends place, you can steam your jacket in the bathroom. Hang it up and turn the water on full heat, full stream and shut the door. After about 15 minutes the steam will relax all the wrinkles in your jacket. It works like magic and has never let me down. Don’t forget to throw a couple of ties in the mix. Grab a simple black or grey and a colorful option. This will give you a little range and can either dress up a casual outfit or dress down a suit depending on the style of tie. They don’t take up much room but there shouldn’t be a need for more than two or three on a short trip.

Don’t forget your dopp kit. A well packed dopp kit warrants its own detailed article. If you get a larger sized back for this and stick with smaller essentials you’ll be amazed at what you can fit inside. Just to name a few things Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Razor, Shaving Cream, Deodorant, Manicure Kit, Sewing Kit, Scissors, anti-acid, aspirin, mints, flaws, contacts, glasses etc. Sounds like a lot but like I said, if it’s packed properly you can still travel light with everything you normally use at home.

It really is a good idea to lay everything out on your bed first. Make sure the bed isn’t covered in pet hair or you might as well lay your clothes on the floor. Seeing everything at once may take a couple of minutes longer but it’s the best way to make sure you have everything and you’ll feel much better when you eventually embark on your trip. Believe me, it’s a great way to get rid of that dreaded “I forgot something” feeling. This can essentially act as your list of things to bring. I see no need for writing an actual list in addition to this but if it makes you feel better and you have the time, go for it.

The way you pack your bag will really be dictated by your bag, but hopefully some of these tips help. Make sure all pants and shirts, even t-shirts are folded neatly. I say neatly because a messy fold causes clothes to take up more vertical space. A tight, neat fold will reduce this, allowing clothes to take up less room. Pants should be folded over twice, be sure to match up the seams first though. This will help you to hold a tight crease in dress pants and you’ll simply need to iron out the crease from where you folded it later. Stack all of them. If folded well, they should make a nice neat almost square stack. For taller guys like me, the stack will be a little more rectangular but that’s fine. Place them in the bag carefully, maintaining the neat stack. I like to do this at once but if you prefer stacking them in the bag, go for it. Keep the clothes you will wear in transit out though. You’ll need to put them on in the morning. Since they are going with you, always lay them out with the clothes you are packing. This little trick will help you make selections that are more compatible.

Don’t just throw your underwear and socks in the remaining space, unless there is plenty of room. If you’re packing a carry on bag, space should be a premium though. I fold my underwear in half and roll them up tightly like a sleeping bag. When you do this, each pair will take up less room than a pair of balled socks. Stack them in the bottom next to your clothes. Now, you can just throw in balled socks if you have room for that, space is getting tight try this trick. Pair your socks and lay them flat. Then slide them down the side of your stack of pants and shirts. They will essentially take up no room this way. Your belt can sit on top of the underwear or slide down the side depending on the shape of your bag and the left over room. Ties can follow the same rule or just sit on top of your shirts if you have the headroom.

If for some reason you are having to pack a second pair of shoes in your bag fill them with your socks and/or underwear. This will cut down on the extra space they take up.

Finally, if you have an extra jacket either for cold weather or formal wear, fold it neatly and place it on top. If you’re only bringing one, don’t forget you can just wear it the day of travel.

As you place your final pieces of apparel in your bag, don’t forget to leave room for your dopp kit which you’ll pack on top or next to your clothes. If you follow the recommendations above, there should be a nice little space left for this.

Keep in mind that the more things you pack and the more you stuff in the bag, the heavier it will be. Anything that isn’t needed, leave it at home, it will only make your bag heavier. Also, don’t forget that you might buy something on the trip. Leaving a little space in your bag when you pack means you’ll have room to bring something back.

A final tip for longer trips is to store a few things in a smaller bag. If you travel with a laptop you can use a bag with a little extra space. This can be a good place store an extra couple of shirts, socks etc. If your carry on bag is one of those odd sizes that gets turned away at times you might even want an entire change of clothes in your smaller bag. This has come in handy for me on more than once occasion.

Hopefully these tips help you on your next trip. In our opinion, a MenTelligent man, packs what he needs and is prepared but doesn’t lug around unnecessary luggage. Please share some of your own tips in the comments section below.

Men’s Carry-On and Travel Luggage

20 Films Every Man Should See, and How to Watch Them

Great Movies Every Man Should See, Why, and How They Should Be Watched

Like most men, I love action movies. There is something about them that is just hard to beat. Very few “Action” movies make it onto this list though. The thing about action movies is that they truly are a dime a dozen. There are at least a couple of decent ones out in theaters and on DVD every week these days. Truly great guy movies though, they only come around once every couple of years. In my opinion only one or two great films, for men, come out each. This is a list of twenty that I think every man should see at least once, although these are the types of films that warrant multiple viewings. Before we get to the list I’d like to explain why these films, in general, are so important and how you should go about watching them. This is not a top 20 list despite the title, rather a list of 20 important films. This list has been composed for variety sake and is in no particular order.

Let’s start with the word Film. You’ll notice I’ve used it several times already. There is a difference between movies and film. Movies are what people crows into the theaters week after week to see then quickly forget about, films often get overlooked at the box office, but then last for decades as part of our history, influencing film from that point on. The films in this list center around male centric themes. Typically issues only men deal with, which is why women often don’t understand them.

While many of these films are truly entertaining, I suggest you don’t watch them for entertainment purposes. Don’t go into these movies looking for explosions, blood and boobs. All three of those are found multiple times on this list, multiple times in a single title in some cases but that isn’t what these movies are about. That’s not why they are important or why they’ve lasted for so long. Also, get over black and white. I’ve never understood why people refuse to watch black and white films. Some of the greatest movies ever made were done before color film. Why deprive yourself of the amazing content in such films simply because they are not in color. In fact, old black and white films are much crisper than anything that came out in the 60s through the 90s. Only recently has color become as crisp as black and white film.

I recommend watching them alone for the first time. You’re bound to find a day when the wife is gone, or you have nothing to do. A rainy day or a quite weeknight is the perfect time to watch one of these films. The reason I say this is because it’s likely that anyone else watching the movie with you will detract from the experience. That’s right, I said “movie”. Odds are, unless you have a film buff as a friend, your viewing buddy is going to expect something from these films that isn’t there. They are not popcorn movies and shouldn’t be treated as such. I remember the first time I saw Pulp Fiction, it was still on VHS. I saw it by myself and loved it. In fact I loved everything about it. I loved it so much that I wanted to share it with people. As you can imagine I got mixed reviews. Some friends thought it was funny, but cheap looking and others downright hated it because it didn’t have the polish that modern movies have. They couldn’t see past it for some reason and their comments throughout ruined it. I had already had my solitary experience with it, so they did nothing to tarnish my view of the film, but I couldn’t help but think how they might have warped my perception had they sat through it with me on my first viewing.

Plan to watch it when you can devote the full-time slot to watching it. Start them and finish them in one sitting. These aren’t TV shows and shouldn’t be watched as such. The writers, directors, actors and crew went through a lot of trouble to bring you a story that takes place in a two-hour window, give or take. Take the time to watch it the way it was intended.

If you’re not used to watching and enjoying movies like this, take the following hint to heart. Everything in these films is not only done on purpose, it’s carefully thought out. This may seem like an obvious statement, but I want you to really consider what this means. The position of the camera in relation to the action on the screen, the colors used in the costumes and set design, the lighting, what is said, what isn’t said etc. All of these elements and hundreds more are painstakingly thought about by creative people, and carried out when the script is written, the picture is shot and when it’s edited. Truly well-made films give you gobs of sub-text and most of it happen off the page, meaning no one says it. The sub text is in the set design, the cinematography etc. Popcorn movies on the other hand, put the camera where it needs to be to make the explosions and crumbling buildings look the best. Yes cinematography plays a role but it’s the role of wow factor rather than art through film.

Now, here is the list…

The French Connection – One of my favorite films of all times for many reasons, but mainly because it was the first time I really noticed what a director was trying to do, and liked it. It makes the list because it’s essentially the portrait of a man, what he has devoted his life to and the blindness that can result from the passion of pursuit.

Raging Bull – One of the more obvious choices. I you haven’t seen it, watch it first. Even though it came out in 1984, it’s almost all in black and white. This gives us a feeling of the era in which it takes place but also boils the film down to the essentials which is once again a portrait of a man and how pride initiates success but leads to destruction.

Goodfellas – Easily my personal favorite film of all time. It has everything and every man should see it if not every one. Regarded as the best Mob movie of all time, Goodfellas entertains just as much as it teaches us. It’s about a group of men, again all striving for success. It’s about violence, a word that can almost be referred to as an emotion for many men. It’s also about addiction. Ultimately the movie is a struggle and one of the most entertaining ones I’ve ever seen.

Taxi Driver – The first on the list not based on a true story, but the 3rd Scorsese picture. We still have two more to go. This movie is still regarded as one of the greatest of all time. It’s about isolation and how that can lead to madness. This picture really hits home if you’ve ever lived alone in a new place where you didn’t know anyone. At least the first half does.

The Departed – Our 4th Scorsese picture on the list and a great companion to Goodfellas. They have a similar pace and structure. If you have a solid 5 hours to spare they would probably be great to watch back to back. While I feel The Departed is perfectly orchestrated and directed, Goodfellas still wins out as the better picture of the two.

Mean Streets – The fifth and final Martin Scorsese picture on the list is his first, well sort of his first. Mean Streets is slow and drawn out but really delivers a punch towards the end. Any man who loves Goodfellas needs to see Mean Streets and for any man raised as a Catholic, Mean Streets is a must see. The theme of atonement for one’s sins is prevalent throughout.

Drive – The most recent picture on the list. I’ve listed drive for several reasons. One is that I just wanted a new film on the list, but also because it’s a good surrogate for classics like Bullitt, and Point Blank. Both movies that easily fit on this list. It’s also a great companion to Taxi Driver in my opinion, very different story but very similar themes throughout. If you’ve seen both and love them, try watching them back to back to study the parallels.

Cool Hand Luke – Quintessential Paul Newman. Paul belongs on this list as much as DeNiro, and Eastwood. This is arguably one of his best pictures and certainly hold its own place in terms of what it means to be a man. Take away the prison walls and Cool Hand Luke is about what it takes to be an influence in the world, and the weight that can thrust on your shoulders.

Citizen Kane – The oldest film on the list and regarded my many film critics as the greatest movie ever made. Citizen Kane is about a man, perhaps the most successful man in the world. It’s about the roots of happiness and the dangers of early success. A must watch for all film buffs as it was the first time many things were done.

Once Upon A Time in the West – I didn’t want to flush the list out with a rush of westerns, although they definitely belong here and there would no doubt be many more if this were a list of 100 titles, maybe some day. Once Upon a Time in the West is my choice for THE Western to watch. It features detailed character studies of 3 very different men and is shot remarkably well for its time.

Bellflower – The low-budget film in the bunch and a must watch. It was shot by a group of friends on basically no budget. It is literally about what it is to be a man. Notice I said what it is, not what it means. Bellflower is about the dark side of masculinity and what happens when you fail to bridle it successfully.

There Will Be Blood – Looked over, but easily one of the best films of its kind since Citizen Kane. If you’ve never seen There Will Be Blood, don’t expect much blood, but there will be some. There Will Be Blood has far too many layers to go into here, but maybe another day. It’s beautifully shot, and is about a very masculine but fairly unlikable man played by the great Daniel-Day Lewis. (His performance here is far better than his Lincoln in my opinion.)

Good Will Hunting – A great movie that most people in the late 90s saw. It has carried an audience for over 10 years though. It’s one of the most well written films on the list and about the confusion and misdirection of a younger man being forced into manhood.

Thief – One of Michael Mann’s first films, back when he was still working on the Miami Vice TV series in the 80s, Thief is a super cool story about a jewel thief. While Heat is one of my favorite movies it seemed like an obvious choice and Thief is most likely one readers haven’t seen. If you loved Michael Mann’s heat, check out Thief. A film that may have missed its moment.

Love the Beast – The only documentary on the list, Love the Beast is a great film directed by the actor Eric Bana. It chronicles his relationship with his first car, a Ford Falcon that has been built and rebuilt multiple times as a professional race car. When he’s not acting Bana is an avid racer. His documentary is a great portrait of man’s connection to machine. Car lovers one and all, men and women should take time to watch this movie.

Apocalypse Now – If it’s been a while since you’ve seen it, watch it again based on my recommendations at the beginning of the article. Also, note that it’s the only Coppola movie on the list. He made a host of films that almost made the list, “the Godfather” included, but I felt this was the best one for this list. Mainly because even if you’ve seen it before, you likely haven’t seen it the way I recommended. Watch it alone and pay close attention. Pass on the redux version, they just waste a bunch of extra time for no reason. Not only is it the only Francis Ford movie on the list, it’s the only war movie. Most critically acclaimed war pictures are ones men should watch, but this one seemed to capture elements from many of them. So, it made the list and they didn’t.

Wake in Fright – If you’re a big film buff and you’ve seen everything else on the list. Odds are you haven’t seen Wake in Fright. If you have, comment below and tell me you’ve seen it. This one is unique and a great piece of Australian film making. It’s purely about masculinity run wild. There is lots of drinking and fighting. If you pay close attention it’s an amazing portrait of the animal inside all of us.

Sexy Beast – Second to Wake in Fright, Sexy Best is another foreign film you likely haven’t seen. Yeah, it’s from the UK but that still counts as foreign, as do Australian films. If you want to get into foreign films start with the UK and Australia. You’ll feel cultured and there’s no need for subtitles, plus we Americans just love those accents for some reason. Sexy Beast isn’t what it sounds like. All I’ll say is that it’s a post mob lifestyle story and to me it was about dealing with mistakes you’ve made in the past, as they are bound to come back to haunt you. Plus it has one of the coolest opening sequences in a movie I’ve ever seen.

Reservoir Dogs – Another obvious choice, I felt that Tarantino needed to be included on the list. This is the best choice. If you break my recommendations and watch any one of these movies with a group, make it this one. It’s a good watch and stands on its own as a great indie film. If features nothing but men, and each character is wildly different from the next.

The Royal Tenenbaums – The only film on the list that could be considered a comedy. The Royal Tenenbaums, directed by Wes Anderson, is arguably one of his best works. It’s reason for being on this list is that it deals a lot with a man’s relationship with his father and how that relationship shapes him into who he is and how he behaves as a father.

So that’s the list. If you read the entire article, Thank You. I hope you at least enjoy watching some of these movies. Even if you’ve seen them leave a comment and let me know what you think.

  • Did you Like any of the recommendations? Did you not like any of the recommended films?
  • Do you have any additional recommendations?
  • Did you have a different experience if you watched any of them for the second time after reading the article?