Weekend Observations: When Pompous is Good

I’m not one for too much formality.  Especially when it comes to religion.  It’s the Jewish New Year and that comes with a lot of praying, socializing and synagogue-going.  And believe me, the more laid back, the better for me.
And yet, I’m oddly appreciative of a VERY formal tradition that my synagogue refuses to relinquish.  And that’s the uber-formal dress required of the Rabbi and “top dogs” of the synagogue .  Every week, not just on the New Year, the men who sit on the stage (usually the big shots of the synagogue, i.e., president, VP, etc.) must wear black shoes, matching blazers and morning coats, and black shiny top hats.  It’s a German-Jewish tradition that dates back over a hundred and fifty years.
So why do I appreciate this over-the-top grandiosity given my informal preferences?
Maybe it’s that the MEN do it.  While the rest of the men of the synagogue wear the typical suit, women get to relish in dressing up for the weekly pilgrimage to synagogue.  But, those on the stage can also look really special.
Or maybe it’s that fact that among all the other rituals we partake in on any given Sabbath, we also put care into how we look.  It DOES matter what we look like.  It’s a sign of self-respect and respect for our community.  Wearing nice clothes isn’t just some nice, fun activity.  It has value — for men and women.
The Jewish community has held on to many traditions over the centuries.  The fact that top hats is also one of them is kinda cool.

Week in Review: 2/5-2/11

Check out what intrigued us this week on Beautyskew:

In time for the Superbowl, we recognize the beauty of play Weekend Observations: The Beauty of Play

A marriage between Cole Haan and Nike produces a cool love-child for all you men out there Pic of the Week: Some Cool-Ass Shoes for Guys

Wow, Karen experienced some major progress!  What happened? 30IN30: Make Me Proud!

Hey you ambitious, brilliant women out there, an interest in fashion isn’t something to be ashamed of! Can We Just Stop Judging Women Who Love Fashion

Sit back and get enthralled in some fascinating beauty-in-culture reading More to Love: Additions to the Reading List

Have a splendid and restful weekend!

Pic of the Week: Some Cool-Ass Shoes for Guys

The LunarGrand Wingtip

I love it when guys get opportunities for self-expression.  Now that watches have become unnecessary thanks to smartphones, computers and our tablets letting us know the time anytime, anywhere, guys are exploring their style via cool sneakers.  No coincidence that this new style is a love child child of Cole Hann AND Nike.  For more viewing pleasure, see these pics curated by Coolhunting.
Gentleman, Enjoy!

More to Love: Additions to the Reading List

Can’t get enough beauty-in-culture reading?  Check out the Additions to the Reading list below:

  • The Muppets become a source of fashion trends


  • Unisex clothing, fragrances and jewelry is all the rage, again


  • Understanding the luxury customer, not as a consumer, but as a human being with a system of values and a sense of self


  • Holy Moly, face creams with real diamonds in them?!  And they sell like hotcakes!


  • Good news for cancer patients, a way to curb that rapid weight loss


Comment or tweet me your thoughts and additions to the reading list @Beautyskew


Finally some great fashion advice for 50ish men

When I saw this post I jumped for joy!  The Huffington Post published a piece, “Men’s Fashions in Your 50’s.” It recognizes the quagmire many 50ish men feel regarding what to wear.  Obviously they’re not the sneaker set anymore but they don’t want to look uptight either.  The post then goes on to list guidelines as to how to take care of oneself, e.g., stay healthy and fit, maintain your skin, spend on your wardrobe, keep your suits up-to-date, stay clean and chic and don’t neglect your casual clothes.

None of this is brain surgery.

So why did this excite me so much? No shit that there’s tons of beauty and fashion advice for all sorts of women: young women, older women, pregnant women, skinny women, heavy women, and the list goes on.

But not so for men.  In our culture, men aren’t supposed to “care” too much about their appearance, right?  Won’t it make them seem like sissies?  So not only isn’t there too much “out there” in terms great beauty/fashion advice for guys, but also many men don’t want to ask for it either.

For a while now I’ve been bemoaning this reality.  Not because I wish the dudes around me dressed better (though that’s not so bad) but because I think if men were given more liberty to express, explore and converse about their appearance, perhaps more of them would connect more strongly with their bodies.  And in doing so, they would appreciate their bodies more, not just as markers of physical prowess, but as beautiful, amazing things that should be nurtured and cared for.  And I truly believe if they were to be more connected and appreciative of their bodies, they may take better care of their health.  We all know the stats about men’s willingness and speed to see doctors versus those of women.  Men sorely lose on that score.  And it has major repercussions, like diagnosing disease when it’s too late.

So I applaud any guys out there who help other guys feel good about how they look.  In the end, guys may benefit in even more, critical ways too.

Comment or tweet me your thoughts @beautyskew