> The Gentleman's Note | CLIFFORD FRANKLIN
May 01, 2017


Derby Day Styling For The Modern Gentleman

Nothing says Spring Styling for a modern gentleman like The Kentucky Derby.  It provides a no holds barred excuse for men to get dressed up and decked out in their finest colors and patterns.  Atlanta hosts several Derby Day events during the first weekend of May such as the Alpha Derby Day, Derby Day at Chastain Horse Park, and Madison-Morgan Conservancy Derby Day 2017 to name a few. The modern gentleman doesn’t need an excuse to tap into his style chest and shock the world. The modern Derby man takes this to another level with his vast color palette. Sun-drenched, tropical colors in bold stripes or busy plaid and bright pastels are among his arsenal. The traditional gent will hover around a more polished, classic look with the classic navy, khaki or seersucker blazer, which is always in style.


A gentleman’s pants can always be used as a statement piece of his wardrobe. I find that the pants are a great place for the Derby gent to start. Look for vibrate colors such as Red Coral, Offshore Green, Kent Blue, Banana yellow or white are great. Any one of these colors paired with the right shirt and blazer will make a statement.


The right dress shirt or polo in a complimentary color is always a winner. If you can find a gingham or stripe shirt that works with you color pallet, go for it. If you are just uncertain about what to choose, keep it simple and go with a solid.


Your jacket is what will bring everything together.  There are many options out there, but you can never go wrong with the classic navy or khaki blazer. If you want to turn a few heads, try wearing a pattern jacket such as stripes, paisley, or large gingham.  Your jacket button choice (2 button or 3 button) is totally up to you, but I recommend picking a jacket that has side vents for a more classic look.

Bow Ties & Things

I can be heard saying, “Every man is not a bow tie man.” Well, on Derby Day, every man needs to try and be a bow tie man! Bow ties can be found in multiple patterns, fabrics, and sizes. Below is a guide that you can use to help with your selection:

  • Fabrics | Silk, Cotton, Burlap, or Wood
  • Bow Tie Style | Butterfly or Batwing
  • Fabric Style | Seersucker, Paisley, Madras, Polka Dots, Floral

As the unofficial stylist for the Metro Atlanta Derby Day, CLIFFORD FRANKLIN offers an assortment of Derby-themed bow ties that will make every man look dapper and distinguished.

As far as the other things, keep your socks funky, your pocket square simple, and your lapel pin or carnation on the left side.


Your shoe game has to be one point. Ladies like for their gentleman to be put together from head to toe. When it comes to your shoe selection, you have several options to choose from:

  • Saddle Oxfords
  • Wingtips
  • Driving Moccasins
  • Loafers

If you choose to wear loafers, forget the socks.


Men's Derby hats are generally solid in color and inspired by the style from the 1920s. To complete your Derby look, top it off with a fedora, flatcap or bowler. There are several different types of fedoras. Your style… your choice.

Now you are ready to throw back some bourbon, smoke a cigar, and have a good time. The most important thing about your Derby outfit for men is to be confident and comfortable. It’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it.

July 04, 2015


Suit vs. Shoes | Visiual Guide

I found this helpful chart online that will bring some insight as to how to match up the right suit with the right pair of shoes.

December 27, 2014


The Essence of Style Every Day – Not Just Special Occasions

Written by Mr. John Rasiej

You just got an invitation for a special event – a black-tie fundraiser, an exclusive cocktail party – or perhaps a very particular business function where you need to look your absolute best.  You go out of your way to shop for that super-fashionable suit, pick up a custom-made designer tie and pocket square, and maybe even those shoes with the name everyone admires.  You invest thousands of euros or dollars because you sense how much style might matter to the people you may meet at this special event.

Many men will make a special effort to look their absolute best for such an occasion, thinking that this is when great style matters.  Exuding style matters every day.  The people you meet from day-to-day may be in a position to influence your success, whether professional or personal.   Keeping focused on your style regularly can actually make more of a difference in the long-term than going out of your way only for the rare special event.  Your entire fashion budget shouldn’t go just for those particular occasions.

"Whether married or dating, attention is often focused too heavily on special occasions."

It’s similar when it comes to behavior.  Many men will become more aware of their behavior at certain special times, thinking it is appropriate for an occasion, but then slack off a bit on routine days.  That can extend from how you dress at the office, your posture walking into a meeting or the language you use.  Perhaps a mistake in one of those areas will have already cost you the esteem of someone who may be in a position to help you, and a great appearance at the special function won’t be enough to overcome a pre-conceived notion.

Many men make a similar error when it comes to their behavior in a personal relationship.  Whether married or dating, attention is often focused too heavily on special occasions.  For example, a man may plan something particularly elaborate for Valentine’s Day.  He’ll make reservations at the most chic restaurant, and he’ll get dressed to the hilt.  He’ll be at his chivalrous best, opening doors for her, helping her with her coat, pulling her chair out at the table and even remembering to stand when she gets up at the table.

And the next day (or the next date) his polished behavior goes back into a cocoon.  It’s as if he’s done his romantic duty for a while and expects it will carry her good graces toward him until the next big occasion.  Perhaps he will dole out such largesse again for her birthday, an anniversary, New Year’s Day.  All the days in between don’t have him opening her door or pulling out her chair.  Flowers don’t arrive without any obvious reason.  Those days feel more and more mundane.

"An attentive man can strengthen the foundation of his relationship with ease."

A woman’s appreciation of her man will develop from an accumulation of how he treats her during routine times.  Of course special events like Valentine’s Day will matter to her as well.  However, if those seem to be an aberration of how she’s usually treated, she may start to believe the fancy treatment is only being done for show.  A few days afterward, if the caring behavior has gone back in the box she may even become resentful over the contrast.

A stylish gentleman will realize that every day matters.  It doesn’t mean that every day needs to involve a reservation at a special restaurant or endless flowers.  An attentive man can strengthen the foundation of his relationship with ease.  Extending chivalry in day-to-day tasks can underscore for her that he cares for her.  She’ll believe it more when it becomes engrained in the couple’s treatment of each other and it will make it easier for her to reciprocate with caring for him in sincerity.

Choose gestures of chivalry and let them become part of your daily style.  Chivalry costs so little and can be worth so much.

John Rasiej is a Chivalry and Relationship Expert who founded Bring Chivalry Back


December 12, 2014


Manners Make The Man

"Respect for ourselves guides our morals. Respect for others guide our manners"-Being Caballero


Most of us have seen or met someone, be it a lady or a gentleman with manners that appear so second nature to him or her that you couldn’t imagine that person any other way. These experts on all the finer points of etiquette exuded proper elegance merely with their presence. They never seem to need to raise their voice to get anyone’s attention or lift a finger to define their intent and yet, they possess a glaze so powerful that it could easily burn a hole through a brick wall, much less your soul, or a smile so comforting they could get away with murder. The secret behind such power and influence is quite simple: manners.

Manners are the basic building blocks of civil society and the greatest accessory any man can have after his confidence, something to be discussed on a later date. The reality is that good manners, combined with a confident smile will open more doors that money or power ever can. The same way the Samurai turned bowing into an art and the soldier turn the salute into a precision science, manners show a person’s discipline and principals with every action. It’s these small details that will define you as a Gentleman more than any suit can, although the suit does help immensely.

Manners are not about what fork to use or about how to hold your glass of wine. That’s etiquette. If etiquette is the science of proper behavior, manners are the art of social interaction. Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. It means you care enough about those around you that you respect them. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, regardless of how far you bowed or if you picked the wrong knife. Your actions and behavior must reflect your principals. If you don’t believe in them and are simply repeating pre-practiced actions, they will look forced, fake, and even insulting to any onlooker.

Holding the door open to the next person in line, helping an old lady carry her groceries or letting a lady pass; these are not signs of superiority or inferiority, but rather of manners and respect, for yourself and for the other person. It’s all about being considerate.

Many people today have chosen to ignore even the slightest consideration to social behavior, assuming that, for example, their financial status will compensate for this lack of consideration or that manners are a sign of weakness in a society dominated by egoism and vulgarity. In either case, the lack of manners simply demonstrates a lack of social understanding and further more a true dislike of self. No amount of power or money is a substitute for proper manners and no suit can hide a person’s vulgarity.

Proper manners and behavior not only show off who you are as a person, but actually have a the effect of enhancing how you present yourself, your image, the message already presented to others by your style. Consider this next time you dress up, or simply go out. Remember that no accessory you wear will cause an impression as favorable on others as proper manners.


~ Mr. Eduardo Garcia | Gentleman Coach


“It’s not about the Guy you used to be, but the Gentleman you’ve become.” - Being Caballero


*Original article can be found on the MNSWR website

September 07, 2013