The Gentleman’s Guide to Winning Valentine’s Day

FB_VdayNewsletterValentine’s Day is just over a week away. She’s been looking forward to this for quite some time. You haven’t planned anything yet, even though she’s dropped 29 hints. Fear not, we have you covered.  We’ve recruited our Office Manger, Eileen,  to let you in on all the secrets – what they REALLY want.

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Gentlemen. I’m going to simplify things for you. Here’s the foolproof way to finally be the hero on Valentine’s Day.

1. Get a Card. And write in it. Not just sign your name to a Hallmark card, but actually think of something sentimental and write it by hand. Bonus points if you make your own.

I-love-you-card

2. Flowers or Chocolate. Pretty simple, right. You don’t have to understand why we like flowers – we just do. So put together a decent bouquet or pick up some fresh chocolates. Neither should be purchased at the local 7-Eleven.

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3. The Gift. Oh, you thought flowers was enough? Sorry, but not sorry. Here’s the good news: we’re not looking for something expensive, but rather something with a little thought behind it. The bad news: you have to put a little thought behind it. The easy-but-effective way out: Jewelry. Check out Alex Mika Jewelry for fun but affordable options. (Get $15 off any purchase of $50 or more with code “freshneck15″)

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4. The Loophole. Want to get out of purchasing physical items that you think have no meaning? Get creative, and plan something special for the two of you. Ditch the typical pre-fixe dinner and surprise her with a cooking class or hire a personal chef.

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Follow these simple steps and you’re sure to be rewarded…

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Have some trade secrets you’re willing to part with? Let us know what you have planned.

 

FreshNeck on the Today Show!

We’ve received our fare share of good press lately, but perhaps none more exciting that being featuring on The Today Show!

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The segment was titled “Over the Top, Under $100″, and featured some great affordable gifts.

Calling FreshNeck the “Netflix for Ties,” they said it’s the perfect gift for the “Dapper Dude in Your Life.” We couldn’t agree more.

Gift Guide for the Dapper Gent

Holiday Gift Guide

It’s Holiday Season. Which means you need to empty your wallet and buy some gifts for a bunch of people, all some of whom mean a lot to you. The key to a good gift is making it personal (aka, don’t give a tech gadget to your grandfather who still uses a fax machine).

There are tons of great gift guides out there, but we’re going to focus on a certain type of individual, the Dapper Gentleman. Whether this is you, your husband/boyfriend, son, or pop-pop, we’re hoping to give you some ideas that are a bit more original than what you’re used to. The problem with buying a gift for the DG? As a man of fine taste, he typically already owns most of what he wants. So the key is, get him something he may not know even exists! And if you’re a reader of this blog, it should go without saying: DON’T BUY HIM A TIE. A 3-month gift membership to FreshNeck will only run you $60, and he won’t resent you at every family affair when he feels forced to wear that same cheesy tie.

So without further ado, here are some of our picks for 2013 at different price points.

1. A Shave Kit from Harry’s (www.harrys.com) – $15+

Harrys Truman Set

Brought to you by members of the Warby Parker team, Harry’s is a modern shaving line built upon quality craftsmanship and simple design (sound familiar?).  Skipping the middle man (Duane Reade) gives them the ability to charge affordable prices, as their two sets (handle, 3 blades, cream), The Truman and The Winston, come in at $15 and $25, respectively.

If the man in your life lives in New York City, splurge for a gift card to Harry’s Corner Shop, a modern-day barber shop on MacDougal Street. A straight razor shave plus a haircut will run $60.

2. Caskers Whiskey Club (www.caskers.com) – $179.99+

Caskers

Dapper gentlemen enjoy a good cocktail, but store-bought vodka just doesn’t pass muster. We appreciate brands that put a little love into their product, and typically go with the brown stuff.  Enter Caskers – which introduces you to unique, small-batch spirits that are not available at your local liquor store. They offer these rare spirits in limited quantities for a limited time (think Gilt-model), but the gifting jewel here are the Caskers Clubs, which are subscriptions to curated alcoholic goodies. Get that man in your life a yearly subscription, and “conveniently” drop by after each shipment to help him enjoy his gift.

3. Gift Card from Black Lapel (www.blacklapel.com) – $50+

Black Lapel

You’ve seen the name, as we’ve pimped them out in past posts. Why the repeated love? Because it’s not often you can garner a suit that looks like it cost $1,500 for just $449. By skipping the middle men, and foregoing a retail space (and the traveling salesmen some companies use), they can pass savings onto you, the customer. We’ve personally tested the goods, and one of their suits or blazers would make a great addition to any dapper gent’s wardrobe. Any he’ll enjoy the process of creating his one-of-a-kind piece. Gift cards available in any denomination over $50, and can come as a physical card or e-gift.

Bonus: Get a complimentary Gold Membership to FreshNeck with the purchase of any BL suit.

4. “The Hangover” Trilogy (Amazon) – $52.18

Hangover Trilogy

This one needs little explanation. Though they seemed to get worse and worse as the sequels piled on, perhaps there is no better way to unwind and appreciate the normalcy in your life than spending 6 hours with The Wolfpack. It seems that every crew has a Phil, Stu, Doug, and Alan, but few can replicate the amazingness that is Leslie Chow.

5. Leather Beer Holster from Walnut Studio (Etsy) – $89

Walnut Studio Leather Beer Holster

Okay, so we like our liquor around here; who doesn’t like to kick back and throw down a couple of cold ones? But the dapper gentleman can’t be walking into a party (or even his own home) with a cardboard carton full of Bud Light. He prefers something a bit more artisinal, and should carry his booze around in style. Handmade in Oregon from leather and masonite, this carrying case is sturdy, reusable, and fashionable. It weighs just 10 oz empty, comes in three colors, and can be monogrammed!

6. Beard Wash from Beard Buddy (www.beardbuddy.com) – $24

Beard Buddy Beard Wash

Beards are officially “cool.” In fact, studies have found that men with beards look tougher, more aggressive and masculine and would make better romantic partners. That being said, your bear should be seen, not smelled. Keep it “fresh” with this organic wash containing aloe.

7. Skull Ice Cube Mold (GamaGo) – $12.00

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We’re beginning to feel like alcoholics. Maybe we’ve been watching too much Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire. But we’re not ashamed to proclaim, like Ron Burgundy, “I Love Scotch. Scotchy Scotch Scotch.” And if you like to imbibe the single malt like we do, then you should be doing it the proper way – with a single cube skull of ice. Not only will your onlookers thing you’re a badass, but the large surface area of the ice will keep your liquor cold, but not watered down. At this price, get a few for yourself as well.

8. A Puppy (www.perfectpetmatch.com) – Hugs and a Donation

Perfect Pet Match

A lifelong companion. Unconditional love. Chick magnet. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving. Obviously this isn’t for everyone (or is it?), but for the right person, you can play a part in changing their life forever, while at the same time saving an animal in need. The Humane Society estimates 6-8 million dogs and cats go through shelters every year, and that over 3 million are euthanized. A new company, PerfectPetMatch, is attempting to disrupt the industry by playing matchmaker between adopters, shelters, and the animals. Perhaps you’ll have the next Menswear Dog on your hands?

9. Touchscreen Gloves from Glove.ly (www.glove.ly) – $25+

Glove.ly

It’s getting cold, so we are all ready with our gloves and scarves. In the past, however, we were forced to risk frostbite on our fingers if we wanted to use our technology. Well these days, no self-respecting dapper gent can go too long without a selfie, so the cool cats at Glove.ly created an affordable, simple, and comfortable high-tech glove that allows you to use your touchscreen without removing the gloves or fingers. Bonus: magnets cleverly hidden under the logo keep your gloves together when you’re not wearing them so you can stop leaving them in taxis. They come in a variety of materials (including leather) and colors for both men and women.

10. Membership to Eleven James (www.elevenjames.com) – $249/month

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Clearly at FreshNeck we’re all about collaborative consumption, sharing, and rentals. And we’ve often heard from our members asking why we don’t leverage our model for watches. Enter Eleven James, offering 2-month watch rentals from their awesome collection of Panerai, Rolex, Hublot, and more. They just launched, so we don’t have all of the details, but we’re pretty excited. Perhaps a collaboration is in the cards…

Have a suggestion for a gift that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

The Christmas Movie Style Guide

Christmas movies are great.  There are so many classics, but I’m sure you’ve too many “Best Christmas Movies” lists to care anymore.

Don’t worry, this is not one of those.

This is a salute to the best dressed men in the Christmas movie genre.  From Jimmy Stewart to Bill Murray, there are some major stars who showed off their sartorial side in some of the most merry of movies.

So, without further ado,  The list.

It’s A Wonderful Life

The first great Christmas movie also happens to star, Jimmy Stewart, one of the first great Hollywood style icons.  Stewart, like his It’s a Wonderful Life character George Bailey, wasn’t a flashy dresser, his style was understated and subtle.   Jimmy Stewart George Bailey wore suits everywhere (it was the 1940’s after all), tall and slim, his suits complimented his body type.  Like the three piece suit above, with a two button jacket and a conservative dark diagonal striped tie (diagonal strips must have been a George Bailey favorite).  Even when George decided to mix it up with a bow tie, he stayed with the strips (kind of like this one).  Of course, all his suits in this movie take advantage of classic fabrics, because – well – it’s an old movie, but with vintage looks making a resurgence in recent years it may be wise to take some notes.

A Christmas Story

Don’t be mad that a nine-year-old boy from Indiana dresses better than you,  Ralphie had some impeccable style.  He was years ahead of the whole hipster framed glasses thing and the whole Leonardo DiCraprio slicked back side part thing.  Ralphie was a true fashion innovator (although some of his looks have yet to catch on).  Even in the picture above Ralphie sports a skinny plaid cotton tie that would make any J Crew enthusiast proud.

Scrooged

The first two entries on this list are just about the most classic Christmas movies of all time, but Scrooged, Scrooged is the most underrated Christmas movie ever.  If you haven’t seen it, see it, it stars the incomparable Bill Murray as Frank Cross, a ruthless TV executive/ modern day Scrooge.  When we first meet him, he’s dressed in all black, black suit, black shirt, black tie, black pocket square, firing employees and trying to ring as much money out of Christmas as possible.  After being visited by three ghosts (nothing Ghostbusters related, I swear), he learns the real meaning of Christmas and shares his new holiday spirit with all the viewers at home while wearing a dark suit, a chic red tie and a mistletoe Christmas top hat.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Nothing quite captures the slight nuisances of the Christmas season like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  The putting up of the tree, the Christmas lights, the – umm – eccentric family members, it nails it all.  And no one pulls off the classic Dad style more than Clark Giswold.  The Christmas sweaters, the sports caps, the cardigans.  And, of course, the Santa hat and Christmas tie combo (above).

Die Hard

Maybe Die Hard is a reach as a “Christmas movie,” but it does take place during the Nakatomi holiday party and it does end with the song “Let It Snow!”  So, we’re calling it a Christmas movie.  Hans Gruber is one of the best bad guys in any movie and he knows how to dress.  He knows his suits and takes pride in wearing them.  We don’t get to see the full Hans Gruber collection, but the suit above tells us all we really have to know.  His flawlessly tailored black suit and maroon tie show off his professional 1980’s era style.  He’s easily the best dressed character in the film, sorry John, the dirty tank top just doesn’t cut it.