I have always truly believed that being ‘dapper’ is synonymous with being a gentleman. Part of being a gentleman is understanding who you are and who inspired you to become who you are. It’s often during unfortunate times where we reflect deeply on these topics, and I have done so recently with the passing of my grandfather. It took me until now to realize how much I had in common with him, and how much I aspire to share with the world what he has shared with everyone who knew him. My grandfather truly embodied what it meant to be dapper, and a gentleman.
My grandmother was one of the first woman buyers for a department store called Kaufmann’s. She was a career woman in a time when very few women were even in the workforce. My grandfather was a decorated military veteran (earning a Purple Heart while overseas), who had a career in advertising and bond sales.
There are lessons that he taught me that I haven’t realized until our family (parents, siblings, cousins, friends, and everyone else) came together to share his incredible memories. My grandfather lives on in all of us:
Love – there is no greater gift my grandfather has passed on than his ability to love. Everyone who knew him knew about the sparkle in his eye when he would look or think about my grandmother. He passed on this same love to his children, his grandchildren and everyone who knew him. He taught us all to open our hearts and allow others to get to know you.
Compassion – be there for someone when they are in need. Be that go-to person when someone is upset or having a bad day. There’s no judgment, no shaking heads. He was always that go-to guy, regardless of the hour – 2am, it didn’t matter, he was up and waiting for your call.
Creativity – his passion was with the arts, from dressing himself every day to theater and acting. There was always classical music on in their house. Yes, it was turned up way too loud, but it was always on. He dressed with the same creative passion as he did when he performed.
“He loved to dress up and he pulled it off. He had camel haired sport jackets, he owned a tux, he wore caps. He had a closet full of impressive men’s wear that made him quite the dapper professional. He had lots of ties, which many of our family members wore to honor him. Beyond all of his dapperness was his unequaled love for his wife. A 62 year commitment that can only be described as permanent. He had his last performance one recent afternoon. After a lengthy visit with his wife, he took his final bow and gracefully exited our stage”.
I have been wearing some of my grandfather’s ties as I know he is looking down and smiling. The great thing about these ties is that we have pictures of him wearing these ties! In the one picture of my grandfather in the orange waistcoat, he is styling his vintage Yves Saint Laurent tie. I decided to wear the same tie with a waistcoat as well (the first image in this post)!
The first three pictures are me styling his ties and the other seven are my grandfather. Can you spot the ties I wore in his pictures?
Who is your inspiration?