ballsy [pt. 2]

Yes, I just pulled an Usher with that title–channeling my inner love for Confessions pt. II.  But really, 2012 has been a ballsy year for me and I can’t believe everything that I’ve done.  In 2012, I began writing for Trend and isdstyle, I chopped my hair off, I’ve dated (I don’t date), I’ve been the one to ask a guy out, I’ve been social, and just all around trying to have more fun.  November has been particularly crazy for me.  I’ve managed to balance five group projects, going to classes and work, and maintaining a some-what interesting social life this month.  I’ve also been on three dates. Say what? Yes, three.  And they weren’t all the same guy. No way!  Yes way.  Two different guys.  Granted, they were all just coffee dates, but hey, that is something for me.  As I’ve previously mentioned, I just don’t like to date.

This week has been particularly stressful for me.  I’ve been working on group projects, I did a big presentation for a semester-long project in Product Development (A+, baby!), I’ve been sick, and I had my Trend launch.  It’s been a busy week!  Oh, and is it overkill that I mention my date one more time?  Yes?  Probably.  Alright, back to the Trend launch.  As you most likely know if you’re a frequent reader, I am a menswear writer for Trend Magazine at Iowa State.  I love writing about men’s fashion–it’s seriously the best.  I basically describe my dream man and boom–done!  Last night was a big release party for the Fall issue.  I wrote this giant article that was basically a “Men’s Guide to Everything.”  Stylistically, it was going to be very “blurb-y” and just tips and things that every man needs to know.  Menswear didn’t get many pages this semester and so my extremely long article was going to be cut down to fit two pages.  Two pages is fine–I can work with two pages.  Later, it was decided that my article was going to be product-based with a lot of pictures and very little text.  Even more was cut.  At this point, at least 75% of my article was cut, but, my favorite section that I am most proud of, “Chivalry Today” did remain, so I dealt.

Well, I’ve been quite sick for the past week.  I don’t even know if it’s necessarily “sick”.  I’ve had no appetite whatsoever–but I’m hungry.  I’m starving, but all food makes me nauseous.  Needless to say, it’s been a miserable week.  Yesterday, I was stuck on campus over lunch, but I could not bring myself to eat campus food, so I skipped lunch.  Then, I had my date (Sorry, I just had to bring it up one more time–in my defense, it is relevant to the story this time.), and was on campus until almost 6:00.  I was supposed to pick up my friend, Richard, for the launch at 6:45, but I still needed to shower.  That 45 minute period is a total blur:  I was so dizzy and so nauseous and my face was so green.  I know I should’ve stayed home and not gone to the launch, but I had already bought a super cute dress and some forest green tights and I just had to see my final article!


The Menswear Staff!



Brianna and I. Very fancy!

Brianna and I. Very fancy!

Feeling like total death, Ian (my fabulous editor) and Richard (my hot date for the night) escorted me to the launch, making sure I made it alive.  I was so excited to see my article, but my excitement quickly diminished.  My article had been cut down to one page.  Not only was it cut down to one page, but it was cut down to less than 200 words–and only half of them were mine.  A last minute interview that was not conducted by me was half of the article.  I already was feeling horrible, and at that point I just wanted to cry.  Don’t worry, later I did.  The worst part?  The best part of my article was completely cut out.  I could have died.  I had been so proud of this story and I spent so much time on it.  What remained was not good quality.  It was filler writing from the sections of the article that I disliked most.  And believe me, I totally get things getting cut down–but the remains did not showcase my writing skills.  I really felt like a bad writer.

I’m still pretty upset about it, but I really think that someone should get to read my full article.  And since all of you blog followers are such lovely folks, I decided that I would share the full length article with you.  It’s long, but I really liked it.  Enjoy!

Master Of All Trades

The Men’s Guide to Everything

Style Lingo

Feel out of the fashion loop?  These fashion terms are crucial to your style knowledge.

chambray. [sham-brey] A lightweight, balanced plain weave commonly used in shirting.

You know that denim shirt your girlfriend has been rocking?  Well, it’s not. It’s chambray.

chic. [sheek] Fashionable or stylish.

Don’t make the common mistake of pronouncing it as “chick”.  If you do, you won’t be getting any chicks.

double breasted. [duhb-uhl-bres-tid] A coat that overlaps in the front, enough for two rows of buttons.

Get your mind out of the gutter.

monk strap. [muhngk-strap] A dress shoe without lacing, but rather closed by a buckle and strap.

Other shoes do exist besides boat shoes and your favorite tennis shoes.

oxford. [oks-ferd] A low shoe laced over the instep; a long sleeved, woven shirt with a collar.

Not the university.

How To Tie A Bow Tie

I know what you’re probably thinking, “I am not the type to wear a bow tie, so why do I need to know this?”  But as Oscar Wilde once said, “a well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.”  He was right– even if it’s not for your personal style usage, at some time in your life you will have a wedding, be in a wedding, or go to a formal occasion where it is necessary.  It’s not as hard as you might think, just follow these 6 steps!

  1. Flip your collar up and wrap the tie around your neck, making the ends even.
  2. Cross left over right and tie it like you would with a shoe lace.
  3. Fold one side in half and then center the bow at the center of your neck.
  4. Take the loose end, wrapping it over the top of the the bow, under, and then pull it through the loop in the back.
  5. Tighten the bow by loosening and re-tightening the edges repeatedly.
  6. Flip the collar down and look absolutely dapper!

Fancy and Fine

You need to own at least one three piece suit. Don’t pick up the first sports coat you see at Sears.  Invest in a tailored suit.  If anything, you can wear it without the jacket to look dapper for less formal occasions.  You’ll thank me later.

Dress shoes aren’t just for formal occasions.  Pair them with some fitted cargoes or your favorite jeans casual look full of class.

When layering, a basic rule of thumb is wearing darker colors for outerwear and lighter colors for inner garments.  For example, try an ash button down with a charcoal sweater vest.

Own non-athletic socks.  They can be the focus of an otherwise simple outfit if you pick a bold color matched with a polished loafer.


Green Tea.  This “super drink” not only lowers your risk of cancer and heart disease, but also tastes good too!  If you’re not a tea drinker, no worries– it comes in flavors too!

Avocados.  This unusual fruit contains oleic acid in the monounsaturated fats, which helps to stifle your hunger.  Eat a quarter or half an avocado a day to melt your belly fat away.

Chocolate Milk.  Chug a little chocolate milk after lifting weights to enhance your workout.  It’s high protein content will promote muscle growth in a more natural way than your go-to protein powders.

Pomegranates. Not only is this superfruit full of antioxidants, pomegranates are also suspected to prevent erectile dysfunction.  So perk up–eat a pomegranate.

Fashion Don’ts

It is never okay to sport athletic socks higher than your ankle.  Nor should they be worn with any type of sandal.  It’s an unflattering cut on the ankle, and let’s be honest, it looks like you got dressed in the dark.

Never buy clothing too large or too small.  This seems like an obvious one; if only it were so simple.  A lot of men buy clothing too large to hide flaws, but that will only drown your body.  Don’t buy too small either.  The tight tee isn’t doing you any favors, regardless of your muscle mass.  The key to looking slimmer is wearing clothing in the correct size.

Athletic shorts aren’t the answer to everything.  There is such a thing as, you know, denim shorts or even some cargo shorts.  You can still be dressed down and comfortable, but in a stylish manner.

Chivalry Today

Caring Creepy
Watching her as she walks to her car at night. Watching her through her bedroom window at night.
Calling her within 48 hours. Adding her on Facebook within 48 minutes.
Anonymously paying for a stranger’s cup of coffee. Knowing her usual drink order, without knowing her name.
Checking in to make sure she got home safely. Following her home.
Holding a nearby door for a woman. Sprinting across central campus to hold a door for a woman.

Dapper Dining

Always leave a good tip.  At least 15%.  Even if the food isn’t the best, it may not be your server’s fault.  If you can’t afford to tip your server, then don’t go out to eat.

Know your wines.  Even if you don’t drink it, your lady might.  Rule of thumb:  White is for fish, red is for pasta and poultry.

Raising your voice with your server won’t get you better service, but it may get you spit in your food.

Laundry Lessons

Always hang your pants and fold your sweaters.  Otherwise, pants will wrinkle and sweaters will stretch.

Never put anything other than towels and pajamas in the dryer.  Not only will they shrink, it could also destroy the fibers.

Use fabric softener.  It makes your clothes–drum roll please–softer. It does make a difference. So spend the extra five bucks every three months and you’ll look and smell a lot better.

Attack of the Colognes

If you prefer spicier, musky scents, go for Hugo by Boss.  It has been one of the best selling men’s colognes of all time for a reason.  This distinct, classic scent will be sure to impress the ladies.

If spicy isn’t your style, and you prefer going for something lighter, try out Acqua Di Gio by Giorgio Armani.  This scent is masculine, but fresh, making it great for day and night use.

Girl Talk

Here’s a small list of those preposterous words that girls frequently use and what they actually mean.

bandeau. [ban-doh] A strapless top formed by a band of fabric around the bust.

You know that lacy thing she’s wearing under her game-day tank top? That’s a bandeau.

booties.  [boo-teez] Women’s ankle boots, generally with a heel.

Mentioning their “favorite booties”, will now have a whole new meaning.

clutch.  [kluhch] A small handbag with no strap, often used for formal occasions.

Don’t get too excited.  “Grabbing the clutch” has nothing to do with cars.

ruching. [roo-shing] The pleating or gathering of fabric as a trim or finish, frequently on dresses.

Don’t ask why her clothes are all bunched up. It’s intentionally that way.

Quick Tips

Eat fruit to cure your hangover.  The vitamins will give you energy to replenish your body without the caffeine.

If your lady is cranky, do not, under any circumstances, ask if she is “PMS-ing.”  Regardless of if this is true or not, you’ll definitely be sorry you asked.

It’s okay to ask for directions.  I promise.

FYI: Bra sizes are a proportion of the band measurement to the bust measurement.  So if your petite girlfriend says she’s a 32D, don’t argue, because she’s probably correct.  The D you’re thinking of is a 38D, and believe me, that is not the same thing.

Wear a red tie to a job interview. It conveys power.


I know, ridiculously long.  I knew some would get cut, but I also didn’t expect that 90% of it would be gone.  Well,  I hope you at least enjoyed it!




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