Students Engaged in Living Fashion presented the first “Year of the Gentleman” show in the Smith Student Center Wednesday evening for young male professionals to learn how to dress for success, and discover the proper way to maintain their appearance.
It’s no secret that men’s fashion doesn’t get as much coverage in the media as women’s fashion does said senior Public Relations major, Tyhira Stovall, 21, who was interested in organizing an event geared towards young men to get them interested in fashion and how it can benefit their career.
“A man’s appearance is just as important as a woman’s,” Stovall said. “Especially if you’re going to go get a job, your appearance is the first thing we see and get judged on.”
Stovall and her organization collaborated with the fraternities on campus and were able to secure the help of The Art of Shaving, Brooks Brothers, and the former fashion editor of the Post-Gazette, LaMont Jones Jr. People were gathered at the event to hear presentations from Jones and the store manager of The Art of Shaving, Sam Haybarger, speak about each of the elements important in maintaining a man’s appearance for each aspect of his life.
Jones, 47, spoke first about the basic pieces that every man must have in their wardrobe including a crisp white shirt, black lace-up shoes, and a timeless navy suit. He also stressed the importance of accoutrements, including a straw hat for the summer months, pocket squares to add a finishing touch to a suit, and when it’s appropriate to wear jewelry.
“Being a gentleman is a tall order,” Jones said. “Clothes can add or detract from that. Every time you get dressed in the morning you send a message.”
Appearance goes deeper than the ability to carry a suit, attitude and manners are also an important part of becoming a gentleman.
A man’s clothes matter, but they aren’t the most important part of the entire package, attitude matters too, he said.
Sam Haybarger, 39, a Slippery Rock alumnus, spoke next to the attentive crowd consisting mostly of young men, about how to achieve the best shave possible and the products that every man can use to do so. He shared the four-step process that every man should remember when shaving, namely preparation, lathering, shaving and moisturizing.
“Shaving is truly an art form,” Haybarger said.
Whenever men come in to The Art of Shaving, consultants ask questions about their skin care routine and fit them with products they can use to improve their skin. Haybarger also noted that employing proper shaving techniques, specifically razor pressure and noting the direction of facial hair growth can lead to a perfect shave.
Among the young men in attendance at the event was graduate Criminology student, Corey Fraction, 24, who stared in a video education with those in attendance on how to find an inexpensive suit and transform it into a tailored masterpiece. Fraction went to a local thrift store and purchased a suit for $7.99 and had it adjusted to fit his frame for just $40. Fashion is important to him in all walks of life, in particular when it comes to dressing for the workplace.
“It’s important to have a good image at work, especially when working with youth,” Fraction said. “Outside of work my style is more laid-back.”
He also said he enjoyed each of the tips and tools he learned at the event, in particular the shaving advice he learned from Haybarger.
Fraction said washing his face before shaving was the best tip he learned, and that he will be going to The Art of Shaving for a consultation in the future.
Junior Emerging Technology and Multimedia major, Ira Ritter, 20, attended the show because his fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha was one of the sponsors of the event. He walked away with many valuable tips about fashion from Jones, he said.
“I liked LaMont Jones Jr.’s presentation,” Ritter said. “He gave in-depth reasoning and tips on what to wear and how to wear it.”
Ritter was thankful for the advice shared from industry professionals, he said feeling that the young men of SRU now have the knowledge to dress for the workplace and make major strides in their careers.