There are plenty of these lists around the web, but this one will be geared towards young professionals specifically. Notice how I refrained from using the word “rules”. I dislike that rigid and soulless word. Take these 10 “things” as a overarching guide in which you can adapt to your own lifestyle. Having traveled a bit, these are just my own thoughts based on real life scenarios. Having been lucky enough to visit London, New York, Hong Kong, Dubai, Sicily, Amsterdam, Paris and New Delhi among other neat places like Valletta in Malta… I have some general advice to share.
Unlike GQ or Esquire, Mindthis is not trying to sell you something. I also want to note I do not have all these things yet.
1. The “Go to Blazer”
You were just invited to this event where little or no information was given. Sketch? NO sounds fun! You should take the offer but is it semi-formal? What does that even mean? What do I wear? Relax. A man should have that go to blazer. The one that works in most scenarios; one you can dress down by pushing up the sleaves or dress up by slapping on a pocket square. The texture and fit is up to your body type. When you wear this blazer though, you feel like well… a man and that will give you the confidence needed when attending this last minute event. Usually but not always these blazers are low in cost but highly durable and tend to be navy blue (with a more rugged feel to the cloth) since the color fits in with most environments (night or day, especially evening). At the end of the day, it’s a blazer that is as flexible as you. Trust me as you expand on your young professional lifestyle, these random vague semi-formal event invitations will increase and your time to react and prepare will decrease. You will never fret because of that go to blazer. There will be no picture provided so that you can use your own imagination.
2. A place to think
Oh man but you can’t buy that in Gucci at Holts. That’s kinda the point there kiddo. As a young professional you’re probably always on the go whether it is meeting important deadlines at work; volunteering for countless of good causes or meeting dozens of people every week. Well things can get loud, congested and above all you can forget to think about your long term goals or even forget about what it means to have complete silence. The go go go life style is not just seductive but a prerequisite for a young professional to keep on top of the world. However, you may end up in the middle of nowhere if you don’t have a place to stop, rewind, and think.
Now where is this place you ask?
Ask yourself, how should I know? It could be outside for you or maybe in the library. Considering MTG now reaches over 85 countries, the reader could be from Australia or even Burma!
For me, it’s any downtown intersection with cars and lots of people which sounds very strange. Well it sounds loud and congested but for me I like my environment to be moving it as it best reflects what’s going on inside my mind when I take a few hours to myself and think. Another place for me is on a grassy field near some water, I thoroughly enjoy the sound of water. I am sure you will one day find your place regardless of where you are.
3. Sense of Humor
Shaaz man, this list is getting too hipster for me bro. Wait my beloved reader, just hear me out.
As a young professional who must live the go go go life, there will be times where you slip, sometimes hard. Go go go, slip and then boom. A sense of humor will give you the strength to get back up again and reassess what went wrong. Misery loves company so tell it to GTFO and learn to laugh at your failures. You will have to in a few years, might as well fast forward your self pity and laugh now. Life is just better when laughing.
This one you can buy in Prada but jokes aside many men avoid them. They see it as a tool to keep oneself warm, nothing more. Well my friends, that is a highly restrictive way to view life, just unwind a bit and chill. Scarves when looped around in the right manner can make a man look more sophisticated, thoughtful, and well better looking. There is an art to wearing and matching a scarf so for beginners follow these guidelines: If you’re a large fellow, avoid knitted scarfs and focus on silk (something similar does not have to be $$$), while if you’re thin-framed, find some chunky scarfs to add more pow to your swagga.
5. Stubble Trimmer
What? No, not a beard trimmer. Most men can’t do a beard so why are you getting a beard trimmer? I call it the stubble trimmer. Maintain that designer stubble every second day, which saves you having to wait for 2-3 days to regain that perfect length. Why? You look better 98% of the time in any scenario. If you cannot grow a stubble, fear not my brother you are saving literally weeks from your life. The average dude probably spends a good amount of their lives shaving or trimming the stubble, so cheer up!
The modern man needs to keep in touch with his multiple friends and be in the know of what events are happening when. It’s that simple.
7. Facebook Account
Now this could be an article in itself, even a feature. In short, the reasons are very similar to point 6. Just helps you be in the know of events / planning events with friends, plus being connected to your international young professional network is always a good thing. Trust me, it is.
Every man should have a distinct scent. Now I am not endorsing you to spend 800 dollars on a bottle of smelly liquid with James Franco on it. Your natural body odor, the natural scent you give off when you are clean, will decide your fragrance. Bring a few good friends you can trust to tell you how bad you smell. This is fundamental to the process. Furthermore, stock up on the deodorant that comes with the fragrance as your Old Spice will not mesh well with Guilty by Gucci. Trust me, it does not. The amount of fragrance should depend on the environment you are in. At work, keep it to a minimum unless you are the boss. In a social setting keep it medium, enough for someone to note if they choose to smell you. Why do people smell you? Well if you just arrived at the dinner table, you bring an odor no matter what; so make it a good one!
9. Perfect white/black dress shirt
I have yet to find these two critical items. These shirts must adhere to the commandments of the perfect fit, which are the following: sleeves must be easy to push up; the collar must be complimentary to your face shape; the first two buttons must be graceful when undone (they should always be undone for the relaxed look); AND the lower half of the shirt must hug your V shape or potential V shape. This shirt should not go with a tie. In fact, it is impossible due to the two button commandment. This shirt belongs under a sports blazer or worn by itself on hot summer days. I have various shirts that hit some of the commandments but none that fit all of them. Even Ryan Gosling here on the right is a tad off. He is lacking the torso hug, just a bit.
10. Gym Membership
Now wait and hold on, I am not suggesting you start throwing up. However, in North America the average young professional could drop 10 pounds, while in Europe probably gain 10 pounds of muscle. While in Dubai, it was clear that the there was no average among the young professional. Some were amazingly large while others looked like they walked out of a LV runway show.Visiting New York around five times ensures me that the young professional man knows what he is doing. However, the best dressed young professionals I have encountered are based in London, England. You do not need to visit London 9 times as I did, just one visit will do the trick. Still though, they need to mind the lack of muscle, some were dreadfully skinny. Sadly in Canada, over 85% have no clue what they are doing in terms of fashion or body. If they do, they probably have been around the world and been exposed to these dapper fellows. Hit the gym and be healthy now!