Is Your Suit Strong?

Helping professional men transition and refine their lives in terms of apparel is one of many goals we strive for at The Gent Life.  This make’s Strong Suit Clothing an ideal fit (no pun intended… or maybe).

In a recent blog called Success 101 StrongSuit positions itself as the quintessential clothing company for such transition with heritage fabrics, canvas construction and tailored fit at an affordable price (under $600).

We agree with StrongSuit that a great place to start is with a navy blue suit. It can be worn to almost any affair short of a black or white tie event. A white or light blue dress shirt should be a staple in your wardrobe, as you will find they compliment any suit you own.

StrongSuit also offers some flexibility in your style statements with a variety of patterns in their suits, shirts and ties. This floral pattern for instance can work with your suit or dress it casual with a pair of jeans.

FYI- StrongSuit is an American company based in Little Rock, Arkansas. #USA

Get this Look: 

Elan Blue Stripe Shirt

Espirit Light Blue Floral Shirt

Cheers, Gents!

Three ties dad doesn't have

Same dilemma, different year: what to get the old man for Father’s Day. We realize that not every dad will be up to speed on current trends or make it a priority to refresh their wardrobe which is why we’ve picked out some not so “fatherly” ties to consider this year.

Solid color ties can make an outfit elegant and sleek, however Dad most likely has plenty. When looking for a tie take into consideration patterns and color combinations. Check out this Salt + Dapper (Long Island, NY) tie that will surely give your father a pop of color to any one of his ensembles.

If your father prefers more neutral tones you can still maintain a refreshed pattern with this tie from Cotton Brew

For for a more conservative dad, you can go for something more subtle in terms of design. (Twillory, Est. 1892)

Let us know what type of tie you choose to refresh your father's collection.

Cheers Gents! 

73 YEARS AGO… TODAY: NORMANDY, FRANCE

The Northern French coast is absolutely gorgeous. A crisp breeze, greenery as far as one can see in one direction with vast ocean in the other. Every few miles you can find a town that seems untouched by time… unless you look very carefully.

73 years ago today, the allies (Great Britain, Canada and the United States) invaded Normandy’s coast by air and sea with over 150 thousand soldiers in an effort to liberate France and Western Europe from Nazi occupation in 1944. This assault was a pivotal but costly undertaking code-named “Operation Overlord.”

With boys as young as 17 running into hails of gunfire, the Normandy invasion has left this 50 miles of stunning coastline with stories of valor, heroism and the ultimate sacrifice. Today, few know the history, terrain, and the inhabitants (including veterans) like historian and resident Stuart Robertson.

Stuart has published books on the subject, worked for the Ministry of Defense as a civilian archivist and served as correspondent for networks like CNN and Fox News. It’s his tour, “Normandy Battle Tours” that you really feel and experience Stuart’s passion for the subject.

Our tour begins in Sainte-Mere-Eglise, one of the first towns liberated by US Paratroopers. (The museum there is a must-see). From there it was Utah and Omaha Beach where the US forces would encounter horrific resistance from German artillery and machine gun nests. The tour concluded at American Cemetery where the entire story came to life with the names and graves of over 9,000 real people. Some of them clearly still visited by loved ones today.

Stuart offers many different types of tours up and down the Normandy coast and we highly recommend him. He bares the responsibility of carrying the story to the next generations and you’ll see… it’s a responsibility he carries out with immense passion.

Stuart Robinson's Normandy Battle Tour

Cheers Gents!

 

GENT LIFE GENERATION, MEMORIAL DAY: OUR CONNECTION TO AMERICA’S GREATEST GENERATION VOLUME 1

Every writer of Gent Life has a divine connection to the Second World War. Through grandfathers and great uncles, we hear stories of commitment and sacrifice that have traveled through decades of time filling us with pride and inspiration. The unfortunate part is we’re all losing this generation fast, leaving only our parents and soon ourselves to carry their story of contribution during the world’s greatest conflict. On this Memorial Day, we focus on one such story:

James E. McAleer: Quartermaster PO1 US Navy 1943-1945

Memorial Day

Born in Brooklyn, NY and growing up in Whitestone, Queens, James E. McAleer didn’t finish High School (not uncommon in the 1930’s as the United States was still recovering from the Great Depression with no child labor laws). Following the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941, James was drafted into the US Armed Services. He served in the US Navy as Quartermaster for the USS Scott Destroyer Escort 214.

Memorial Day - James

After procedures to determine sea-worthiness the USS Scott departed Curacao on October 29th, 1943 for her first transatlantic convoy voyage to Derry, Northern Ireland as flagship of Escort Division 17. The biggest enemy for James wouldn’t be the Germans but the rough weather of the North Atlantic. In an effort to avoid German U-Boats (torpedoes are ineffective in the high seas at the same time unable to recharge their batteries at the surface) James upheld the daunting task of navigating the convoy through the North Atlantic, assembling his own weather reports based on wind, sight, and communication with other ships through code.

USS Scott Destroyer Escort 214

It’s difficult to paint the chilling picture my father told me when describing my grandfather’s constant bouts with North Atlantic storms where the entire bow of the 1,400-ton ship would submerge, only to fight its way out just to crash under the next wave again for hours. One such account was something to the effect of ‘wondering if we would emerge on the other side’ of every wave. After days under these conditions sailors would manifest on the deck to remove enormous collections of ice that would form on steel plates, making the ship top heavy… a dangerous and unwanted attribute of the North Atlantic seas. The USS Scott’s convoy crossed the ocean a total of 16 times without incident delivering valuable resources safely to fight the war in Europe.

USS Scott 01.jpg

On one mission, the USS Scott picked up what appeared to be an enemy ship on radar not far from the convoy (thought to be the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen). Thankfully, the German cruiser never altered course. James had said later they were never equipped to fight such a battle as they only had what he described as “a pea-shooter.”

On November 1st, 1944 Scott was detached from a slow convoy in the Mediterranean to assist the USS Frament, which had been damaged in a collision with the Italian submarine Luigi Settembrini. After searching for Italian survivors she then escorted the Frament back to Boston arriving in December.

Memorial Day Tribute

My father has said to me “Pop Pop” loved the navy and was requested to remain at his post when the war in Europe was over to support the effort in the Pacific. However, his loyalty was with his wife Anne (who gave birth to my father in July 1943, probably while James was at sea in shake-down procedures). By war’s end, there were 2 McAleer boys and a sister on the way.

Writing this post has made me realize I’m documenting a detail in not only my family history, but, the history of the world from a micro-perspective that will carry my family’s legacy and story for generations to come. Unfortunately, James “Pop Pop” McAleer would pass away in 1981 when I was only 2… these stories are all I have. He’s now buried with his wife Anne at the Calverton National Cemetery in New York.

Cheers, Gents!

Brian McAleer

Co-Founder, The Gent Life

Miami Beach, 1941: The Gale South Beach & Regent Hotel

After decades of real estate busts and the Great Depression, the United States economy finally began to turn around thanks to World War II’s defense spending. Miami was certainly no different as tourism and real estate investment boomed erecting several coastal hotels including the Gale South Beach and Regent Hotel.

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The Gale Hotel

The two hotels were both similar in their Art Deco design, however weren’t linked until 1964. Naturally, South Beach exploded with residential and commercial real estate development over the next several decades, Gale South Beach and Regent Hotel faded with neglect until 2012 when it was renovated and managed by Menin Hospitality. Today, it pays tribute to its roots donning photos of wartime Miami and 1940’s glamour.  In fact, the lobby includes a framed proclamation: “The rebirth of these two famous Art Deco hotels, Gale and Regent, is dedicated to the United States of America World War II armed services personnel who occupied these properties immediately after their indoctrination and training. We honor these patriotic men and women who were part of the fighting forces that led to America’s victory in World War II and the freedom of the world.”

The Gale South Beach

The back entrance of the hotel (The Regent hotel entrance) opens up to the Regent Cocktail Club with its stained wood panel walls and classic leather furniture. They specialize in classic cocktails like gimlets, old fashioned’s, Manhattans etc. If you time it well you might even see some live music!

Gale Hotel South Beach

PS: The Regent Cocktail Club was the inspiration for launching our Instagram account some ways back!

Cocktail Club