So of course, it was a huge honor to get to interview him and obtain some great answers from him. I’m truly excited to share this with you all!
Chuck shared his point of view about personal care, men’s interest in looking their best, his own personal style, suits and much more interesting stuff.
Believe me, you can hardly find someone as nice and elegant as Chuck.
Read the complete interview:
MDS: Hello Chuck, and thanks so much for accepting this invitation to get interviewed for the My Dapper Self blog. I really appreciate it you taking the time to answer a few questions.
As Vice President of Creative for a major cosmetics/ personal care company, you are what we can consider a guru when it comes to beauty and grooming, which goes hand in hand with personal style, both for men and women. Do you see this connection between both fields?
Chuck: As head of creative, I am definitely concerned with the image of the brands that I work with and how these brands can help to enhance the self esteem and well being of the consumers who use them. I think anyone who is conscious of personal style naturally wants to present themselves as a “total package” beyond just clothes and shoes to the way they wear their hair, the finish of their nails and hands and the health of their skin.
MDS: The latest trends in menswear show that men are increasingly interested in their personal appearance and the way they present themselves to the world, is this trend also occurring within the beauty industry?
Chuck: Definitely. Men are now much more conscious and feel much more free to engage in the conversation around grooming and image. They have strong opinions and are more involved in creating trends as opposed to just following directions as in past decades. Millennial men engage in personal care and grooming in a very nonchalant, but very involved way– it has become a part of their normal routine. They also look for products directly targeted to men and to the particular lifestyle that they have or aspire to. There is huge interest in traditional “masculine” outlets and rituals such as barber and shaving shops, shoe shines, bespoke tailors and the like.
MDS: You also worked for Esquire for one year. Did this influence the personal style you have these days?
Chuck: Working at Esquire was a dream come true for me. I had always been an avid reader and fan of the magazine and I was very excited to be a part of it in any way. Esquire holds a very unique point of view for men and it was great to see that story developed and brought to life once a month. As a creative it was amazing– the magazine has such a rich history as being one of the best-designed books out there. I also love clothing and style so it was a bit like being a kid in a candy store for me.
MDS: What is your opinion on men paying more attention to their personal appearance?
Chuck: I think its great. To be aware of how you present yourself to the world and to show respect to yourself and to those you interact with by putting you best face forward is something every man can aspire to. I also think that the “ritual time” time spent getting that great barbershop shave or however you take care of your appearance is a great way to unwind and focus on yourself. You also look great when you leave!!!
MDS: And what’s more important: how big of a role does personal appearance play for you?
Chuck: Look, you can have on a $5,000 suit and $2,000 shoes and if your nails are a mess and your hair looks shaggy (not on purpose) then, what’s the point?! So I try to keep my beard in line with regular trims at the barber (some things are better left to a professional!) I try to schedule regular manicures to keep my hands in shape (and pedicures in the summer) other than that I wear sunscreen and have a moisturizer (day and night) that I use regularly. I also almost ALWAYS wear fragrance– Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford is a favorite, Poivre Samarcande from Hermes and Mediterraneo by Carthusia in Capri are my go-to scents. All that is just as important as the clothing!
MDS: I need to say this, I am a huge fan of your personal style. It’s quite obvious you pay very close attention to the way you present yourself, how did this journey of exploring men’s fashion started for you?
Chuck: first of all Thank you, its very kind of you to say that. I DO pay a lot of attention to my wardrobe but its really more of a hobby as opposed to an obsession. I just enjoy clothing. I also enjoy the process of selecting it, working out patterns and color combinations, and whenever possible to work with a great tailor to develop and create something unique. I like several large stores and designer brands, but I also love working with a small independent tailor. It is important to me to support the craft, the industry and the individuals with such passion for what they create. And you get something truly personal that no one else (or very few others) will have– to me, THAT’S personal style.
MDS: You seem to favor bold outfits over classic business wear. Do you see the latter as “boring” or “dull”, for lack of a better term?
Chuck: I like to strive for (hopefully one day I’ll reach it)– elegance. And I don’t mean something stuffy and stiff. I think there is a grace and elegance to a beautifully fitted garment and the way that you carry yourself when wearing that. It can be more understated or really out there, its fun to try to balance something a little outrageous with something more traditional. If my suit is more understated, I play more with the accessories, if the suit is bolder, I might tone down the tie. I think you should try to have fun with it, but also be appropriate to the situation you’re in. As I’ve gotten older (and made a LOT of mistakes) I’ve become smarter about what works on me.
MDS: I’m sure you get a lot of attention from strangers due to your authentic style, has this ever been a problem for you? Do you have an interesting story to share?
Chuck: There’s an old saying “it’s when they STOP noticing you that you need to worry”. I always dress first for myself and if someone else appreciates that or enjoys it or even finds it humorous then that is just an added value. I also think its really important when we see someone on the street that we think looks great to acknowledge it – positive reinforcement and encouragement can go a long way to making the world a better dressed place!
MDS: The blog has many followers looking to improve their own style and adopt a sharper style for themselves. As a true expert in the field, what would be the most important advice you would share with them?
Chuck: Invest in the best quality that you can reasonably afford (there’s great stuff at all price points) because it usually lasts longer. Dress for yourself first, the situation second and other people third. Also, Learn from others whose style that you admire, but never be afraid to try something on your own, your gut instinct is usually pretty sharp.
MDS: Bow tie or tie? Belt or suspenders? Why?
Chuck: Tie! Always. I think bows look great on others, but for me I think a necktie elongates the silhouette and creates more visual interest. And personally I like wider ties, I always say if you’re going to wear a phallic symbol… bigger is better! I wear a bow tie only with a tux and ONLY a bow tie then. Side adjusters on suit trousers so neither a belt or braces, and a belt with casual pants.
MDS: Chuck, once again, thank you so much for responding to all of my questions. Anything else you would like to add?
Chuck: Thank you. And congratulations on your blog. I will look forward to following you!
MDS: Thank you!