Notes of a Sharp-Dressed Man

In 2015, a good haircut, smooth skin and a versatile wardrobe are within the reach of just about anyone—whether coffee-shop hipster, health-conscious gym rat or distinguished captain of industry. From the continued popularity of beards to the return of the traditional barbershop, today’s men are paying more attention than ever to fashion, style and grooming. They’re also getting a bit more adventurous, while retaining a reverence for the classic. With a little help, you too can bring out your inner gentleman and look sharp—all summer long.

Traditional Allure, Trending Techniques
For most women, a trip to the salon for a haircut and mani-pedi is a relaxing way to spend a few hours; men, however, often feel out of place. Growing up, third-generation barber Lisa Glass made weekly trips with her father to the barbershop, where she would watch him get a shave and a haircut. Back then, the barbershop was central to the community—“a setting of great dialogue… [and] a place to converse with everybody.” Somewhere along the way, she observes, that notion became a thing of the past.

“There was none of the magic I used to see when I was younger,” she explains. Inspired to bring back that allure, Glass opened Menzoil Men’s Grooming Station & Barbershop in East Peoria last September. Menzoil is a traditional, old-fashioned barbershop, updated with trending techniques for today’s modern man. Besides haircuts and its signature service—the straight-razor shave—the shop offers beard grooming, facials, coloring, manicures and pedicures, massage and back facials.

“Men are grooming again,” Glass notes, “making sure their eyebrows are groomed… [and] their beards have a nice, clean line on them.” And with the resurgence of beards, she’s seen an increased focus on men’s facial and skin care needs. “They are more concerned with looking young.”

In addition, men are paying more attention to proper shaving techniques—heating the hair up, going with the grain—while pompadours, combovers and “Prohibition” haircuts have gained in popularity. There are also great advances in techniques to combat hair loss, she adds, from tattooing the hairline to make it look fuller to using keratin fibers to fill thinning or balding areas.

With its strong roots in the community, Menzoil takes pride in being a hometown barbershop—staying on top of the latest trends while offering its 21st-century visitors a throwback to a bygone era.

Find Menzoil on Facebook at or call (309) 613-1231 for more information.


Your Online Personal Stylist

For guys who don’t have fashion sense or the time to go out and look for the latest and greatest trends, Trunk Club offers a convenient solution. Just complete a brief style survey and you’ll be connected with a real person—imagine that!—who will handpick a selection of clothing for your size, style and preferences. After you review the items, your trunk will be shipped straight to your doorstep, and you’ll have 10 days to try on everything in the comfort of your own home.

Keep what you like and send the rest back—there's no minimum purchase, and free shipping includes returns as well. You can request a new trunk any time you'd like, and members can also shop in person at clubhouses located in Chicago, New York, Dallas, Washington DC and Los Angeles. Intrigued? Learn more at


Look Sharp, Live Smart!
When it comes to style and fashion, men often need a little guidance from the experts. Whether finding the perfect suit or explaining the dos and don'ts of wearing jewelry, GQ is the No. 1 authority for men’s style and fashion—reaching millions each month in print and online. A recent snapshot of men’s fashion trends offers the following ideas for the stylish gentlemen of your household:

  1. Khaki suits exemplify versatility! They can be worn with a t-shirt and sneakers, or dress shoes and a tie, depending on the occasion. Just make sure you pick the right shade—and get it tailored to fit.
  2. Cotton ties are a cool, comfortable alternative to silk ties. They’re lightweight and offer a different look than traditional ties.
  3. Caramel is hot when it comes to leather. More and more, men are doing away with the traditional black or brown, and selecting alternative hues for their jackets, belts, shoes and bags.
  4. Washed-out jeans are back! The denim is soft and comfortable—perfect for the dog days of summer.
  5. Flight jackets are slowly making a comeback as well, with more styles and colors to choose from than ever.
  6. Military-style watches are in... They're generally affordable, offer a classic look, and suggest a streak of adventure.
  7. Chelsea boots are the “original rock-n-roll boot,” as Mick Jagger and Kanye West both understand. Break them in and they’ll dress up a casual pair of jeans or add attitude to a suit.
  8. Tying a shirt around your waist is not just for trendsetters like Pharrell Williams and Jared Leto. Wear a t-shirt during the day, and add another layer when it cools off in the evening.

Looking for more?


Adventures in Men’s Fashion

After watching the family-owned clothing store where he worked for a dozen years “go to hell” after it was sold, Rob Francisco decided to set out on his own. In 2010, Robert Redding Menswear opened in a small space in Bloomington. (The store marries his first name and his mother’s maiden name.) In the five years since, Francisco has boosted inventory ten-fold, gotten into custom clothing, added a straight-razor barbershop and even a line of sunglasses!

Francisco attends annual trade shows in Las Vegas and Chicago to learn what’s new in textiles, fabrications, color and design—and to gather inspiration for the coming seasons. His job is not just to buy what he likes, but to determine which of these new styles will gain a foothold here in central Illinois.

“Softer dressing” is catching on in this area, Francisco notes. Many of his customers are choosing sport coats over traditional suits, wearing softer constructed jackets, and pairing them with denim or different types of pant bottoms. “Guys are having more fun with bottoms,” he explains. “It used to be just jeans or slacks, and now the bottom business is kind of crazy.” And by crazy, he means he’s seeing more guys wear red, blue and green pants, and combining them with cool, unstructured coats—with or without a tie.

Men are starting to get more adventurous, Francisco adds, applying contrasting colors and having a little more fun with their wardrobes. The new rule of fashion, he says, “is there are no rules.”

Francisco loves helping people find their best style—and soon, he hints, his Peoria customers may not have to drive all the way to Bloomington to find him. Until then, his Bloomington store is a prime destination for central Illinois’ fashion-conscious men. a&s

Call (309) 808-0553 or visit to learn more.

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