Johnny Nines The work of a delightfully mad, gentleman designer. Wed, 26 Aug 2015 18:03:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 These Three Pairs of Shoes Should Be The Foundation of Your Wardobe! Wed, 26 Aug 2015 01:14:40 +0000 Let’s start with the bottom and work our way up. Since we are new at this and all, and by we, I mean me. Shoes are a very important element to any style.  It really does not matter what you do daily, your shoes are something you should give a bit more thought to. I promise I will not promote dressing up in fancy shoes everyday. However, shoes can make an outfit, and in some occasions add a bit of playfulness to your style.

I think every man is best served by a foundation when it comes to shoes. Three good pairs of shoes is really what every modern gentleman should have in his closet. Think of these as the base. The staple items if you will. There are many different styles of shoes for many different occasions and situations. For this essay, however, I am sticking to just three of the basics. Black semi-dress shoes, brown semi-dress shoes and sneakers/trainers.

Black Semi-dress Shoes

Sealed in the foundation of wardrobes across the world. Black semi-dress shoes are good for almost any suit or outfit. I say semi-dress because this does not have to be something that you only wear with a suit. They are the easiest shoe to pair with different outfits either casual or more formal. Because black shoes are so versatile, you will find that there are ALL KINDS of black shoes. The choices in styles can be really staggering. My recommendation is to stay away from the more casual looks, like say, Sketchers. Any black shoe that looks like it may be a sneaker should be overlooked for something more stylish. I mean c’mon. You are better than that! And stay far FAR away from patent leather. Unless you own your own tux or have super spy capabilities. Then stay the hell away from them. You really want to look for shoe with a little personality. Nice leather upper with a thin sole and hard heal. Something sharp to augment, not only your style, but to show that you take more into consideration than just your comfort.

Simple Black Kenneth Cole Loafers Black Steve Madden Wingtips Black Kenneth Cole Loafers
As for pairing black shoes with colors and outfits—that’s easy because they go with just about everything. I personally never wear them with navy blue, but I have seem some guys pull it off. Specifically, I wear them with grey slacks, black belt and white button-down shirts. They also go fantastic with brown/beige chinos and a light blue polo. Casually I can be found wearing them with well fit jeans, a white v-neck tee, and fitted leather motorcycle jacket. It’s great for that casual night out with my girl.

Brown Semi-dress Shoe

You can go with wingtips, captoes or just plain oxfords but the brown semi-dress shoe is a versatile style element. Brown shoes look great with jeans as well as that three piece you have in your closet. They pair best with blue and gray slacks and can even look great in the summer with a pair of khaki chinos and a simple white button down shirt.

Brown Kenneth Cole Oxfords Steve Madden Wingtips Kenneth Cole Loafers

When looking for brown shoes it is about the shade of brown. You will find that there are many different shades ranging from very pale, almost sand colored, to dark chestnut. That is fine, the color choice depends on other elements in your wardrobe but I can tell you that medium to light brown shoes are the most versatile.  Go too dark and they get harder to pair with certain things.  Too light and they look bad with khakis and light colored chinos. I also recommend shoes with polished leather uppers, thin soles and hard heals.  Nubuck is too casual for my taste and not as compatible with my professional lifestyle. As for suede, well…that is a gamble.  Some suede brown shoes are very sharp, however wearing suede shoes requires you to consider weather and environment conditions before you choose to wear them; as they are hard to clean and should not get wet too often.

Stick to the all leather upper and lets start from there. You will not go wrong.  Trust me!

Casual trainers, sneaker, tennis shoe, whatever…

I have lived in a few places and this form of footwear is called many different things.  Here in Philadelphia we call them sneakers.  This is my blog, and I am in Philadelphia, so let’s just call them that for now.  Okay?

Now that is out of the way, this may be one of the toughest in terms of style. Most people do not think about sneakers as stylish, however we do care very much how they look. Sneakers can serve many purposes they can be used to train at the gym, or just to slip on to get to the coffee shop on Saturday morning. Since a sneaker can serve two functions, one for performance, and one for style, I think we should stick to one track. For this article I am going to focus on the function of style. If you want to be stylish at the gym, then I praise you, for now let’s stick to subjects outside of our workout.

Blue Pumas Red Chuck Taylors Gray Ben Shermans

A sneaker is effectively used for comfort but can be used for both style and activity. If you are the type to wear the same sneaker everyday; that is most likely going to be one beat up shoe. If you do wear them every day, I will venture to say that you probably do not clean them very often either. So, you are basically wearing a shoe that is comfortable and easy, but not going to impress anyone. This is totally fine, but would you wear that same sneaker to, let’s say a date?

If you said, “yes”, there is an upcoming post on dating I suggest you read.

If you said “no” then good on you but you should still read on.

Being comfortable does not mean you have to wear something beat-up. A nice pair of Puma’s, Adidas, or even Chucks can be purchased and used for those occasions where you want to be very casual but still look put together.  Sometimes a well chosen pair of trainers gives an outfit a bit of cheek.  Red sneakers seem to be the most popular for this, as well as light blue and also white. Depending on what you are wearing of course.
I have a pair of red suede Converse One-Stars that I love to pair with light gray slacks, white button down shirt, purple tie, green v-neck and a sport jacket. It looks super sharp but playful. Normally I am just slipping on my pair of Puma’s to run out to grab some take-out or when I am doing things around the house on the weekends.

Where Do You Find Them

Did you think I would leave you with just a rant about why you should own these three shoes.  How about we go shopping for some.  I have had friends ask me, where I get my shoes and this should be no different.  I make no money from adding these links and I have no affiliation with MyHabit or Amazon, but if you want a great deal on some fantastic shoes, here is the list of the examples above and where you can find them for an affordable price.

Black Semi-Dress shoes on MyHabit:

Brown Semi-dress shoes on MyHabit:

Sneakers/ Trainers on MyHabit and Zappos:

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Welcome! I’m Johnny and I want to be a gentleman. Sun, 01 Feb 2015 19:30:58 +0000 Continue reading Welcome! I’m Johnny and I want to be a gentleman.]]> There are many constants that exist in my life, and one of the most prevalent, has been my quest to be a gentleman. My inspiration for this began with Carey Grant. when I was maybe 5 or 6 years old. My mother was watching To Catch a Thief while I sat and ate a some kind of sandwich.  It was a Saturday on the cusp of spring and summer. There, on the screen, sat Carey, picnicking in the south of France with Grace Kelly, and it forever became my image of a man, sharp as a blade and all class. At that young age I was unable to really express that, I did not have the outlet but I was hooked. I wanted to be this person, I wanted to be this kind of man.

Since then I have lived by a personal creed to be a gentleman at all costs. This is a constant evolution, however, it has certain defining principles that i try and live by.  Some are known; hold the door for a lady, pull out a ladies chair, look a man in the eye when you shake his hand, etc.  This code of conduct has roots that I am all to fascinated with but not too keen on boring you with. Here is the short of it, dear friends. The code of conduct for a gentleman as followed by yours truly, came out of the Anglo/Franc chivalric systems and was the root of the aristocratic ranks. The foundation of any man in society back then, started with being a Gentleman. It was a way of life. The first attribute needed to function successfully in society from the Pauper all the way up to the Prince.

 The Gentlemen’s Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness, published in 1860 describes the reason to be a gentlemen as:


“You may set it down as a rule, that as you treat the world, so the world will treat you. Carry into the circles of society a refined, polished manner, and an amiable desire to please, and it will meet you with smiling grace, and lead you forward pleasantly along the flowery paths; go, on the contrary, with a brusque, rude manner, startling all the silky softness before you with cut and thrust remarks, carrying only the hard realities of life in your hand, and you will find society armed to meet you, showing only sharp corners and thorny places for your blundering footsteps to stumble against.”

My personal site was previously used as a place to show my design work. There may be a few originals that end up here but for now this site is about my exploration.  I am making it public mostly because friends and family have told me I have a voice.  This is my attempt to prove to myself that I do.  My opinions here are only that, opinions.  I welcome your feedback and only ask one thing.  Help me become a better modern gentleman.

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Style Yourself Sun, 25 Jan 2015 17:30:08 +0000 Continue reading Style Yourself]]> Being a fashionable man is not for everyone. I recognize that. Fact is, there are certain barriers to entry when caring about men’s style. I am not quite sure what all of those barriers are, however I know they are there.  I think some of these barriers can be removed by finding your personal style, then putting together a good foundation in your wardrobe.  You never know…you may actually find out you like it.

Style, in my mind, is a personal journey. What works well for some may not work well for others. There are men out there that look quite fashionable in double breasted suits. I do not. You have to be open to explore the possibilities. Style can be many things but what is most important is that you feel confidence in it. This is admittedly a difficult task. However, if you are able to establish a good foundation, it is very rewarding. Finding your style has the ability to change a person.  Mostly for the better I think.  Just because you are doing it from the outside in does not mean it cannot be good.

When I think of style I do not just think about sharp suits and wingtip shoes.  A man can look stylish in jeans and a t-shirt if worn correctly. I know that may seem a little silly, but once your eyes are open to style, you will know when something is worn incorrectly.  For example, a striped tie against a striped shirt makes you look like a pillock, trust me.

Style is also more than clothes, it is about the elements of your life that make you interesting.  Your hobbies, likes, dislikes, how you work or play games, etc.  It’s how you carry yourself.  Your walk, talk, and most importantly how you treat others. Take the time to find your style and I promise the experience will be rewarding. The outer expression of your inner self, is your style and it should never be a second thought.

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What the hell, might as well Sun, 25 Jan 2015 17:29:19 +0000 Continue reading What the hell, might as well]]> I am not an authority on food.  I am probably a moderately good cook in the kitchen and have a few key recipes I can go to.  Recently I have been attempting to record some of them with more precision in an effort to publish them here.  It is harder than it seems.

- Please recheck your ID.

There is a certain groove you get into when cooking in a laymen’s kitchen.  There are also some simple essentials you should have.  Here is a list that should be in every laymen’s kitchen:

  • Decent to good 10″ chef knife
  • Composite cutting board
  • Wood cutting board (Bamboo is the best!)
  • Paring knife
  • 8 to 10″ cast iron skillet (this is the swiss army knife of easy cooking)
  • 10 to 12″ sauce pan
  • 2 to 4 cup measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • A pastry brush
  • A blender or processor

Everything listed above can be acquired cheaply.  You certainly get what you pay for when it comes to knives an cookingware, however you can get a good amount of the items above at your local kitchen supply shop and I do not mean Kitchen Kapers!  Some where near you should be a professional chef’s supply store.  Lots of the things in these types of stores need to be bought in bulk, however, the kitchen supplies like basters, cutting boards, pots and lids can be significantly cheaper than buying from expensive retailers.

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Hello world! – Well not really hello, more of a “Hey, it has been a while.” Sat, 12 Jul 2014 14:28:26 +0000 Continue reading Hello world! – Well not really hello, more of a “Hey, it has been a while.”]]> My first post to this totally new blog is a test post.  That is somewhat sad and awesomely rewarding.  I suppose, since I am a forever optimist, I will say that it is rewarding to get something, at least, started.

So here and there you may see this kind of thing below.  Essentially, I am live updating the site. I mean, why not?  Who the hell am I and who the hell will be on this site right now.  This moment for this “test post”.


I am thinking that number is small…

Anyway, if you are here then I advise you go google some awesome thing like “this week in science” or just hit the random button on Reddit because it will be a hell of a lot more interesting than what is going on here.

And now…the lorem ipsum…

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem eum fugiat quo voluptas nulla pariatur? At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas

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