Here’s to the stylish men in our lives.
I like men, or more clearly, I like a man. What I identify as a man may not have any rhyme or reason — or perhaps there is a Freudian study with a well-defined analysis on why I am enticed by certain men and male qualities. Let me preface this with the fact that I have been married for quite some time now. I am still attracted to my husband; he makes me laugh until I snort; and he is a phenomenal father. Nonetheless, my senses have not dulled and I am still very much a woman. I am a wife and a mom, but not blind or mute. I am extremely fortunate to be blessed and surrounded by men who are great dads, providers, friends and contributing members to society and their country. These same men have and continue to support and encourage me to grow professionally, think big, work harder and smarter, and go after exactly what I want. In my opinion, that makes a man sexy as hell.
If a man looks like he was a Boy Scout, or maybe played baseball, and plays a musical instrument, I will most likely turn to Jell-O around him. This remains true to men at 20 years old or 64 years old. A man must be driven, have a sense of humor, and take dignity in his work and in his appearance. However, he mustn’t have so much pride that he takes longer than me to get ready for a date, or his Dopp kit and medicine cabinet look like the inside of a Sephora. He should look good, smell good and feel good about himself. I just do not want to compare notes on the latest anti-aging products. Understated effortless style and sharp wit will always prevail.
The Well-Maintained Modern Male
Good grooming and maintenance are certainly important and essential practices of modern masculinity, and our friends over at Paris Parker have nailed it spot on with their latest endeavor. Paris Parker recently opened its second men’s barber shop, The Parker Barber, at the Ace Hotel in New Orleans. The Parker Barber combines the traditional men’s barbering techniques, like fading and blade work, with the luxury experience of a Paris Parker salon. It’s a high-end pampered experience for the men without fussiness. Located on the first floor of the hotel next to Seaworthy Restaurant, Friend Clothing, a contemporary men’s wear boutique and Stumptown Coffee Roasters, The Parker Barber is perfectly juxtaposed alongside what is currently defining the new New Orleans’ cool.
Garrison Neill, brand manager for Paris Parker, saw the interest in men’s grooming growing and opened The Parker Barber in downtown Hammond. With the success of the Hammond location — and the timing right with The Ace Hotel, along with the assistance of veteran hair stylist Micah Nickens — The Parker Barber New Orleans rapidly became reality. The Parker Barber offers traditional services such as men’s cuts and shaves, unique gifts such as the Carry-On Cocktail Kits and new to the men’s grooming world: gray blending. “It’s not your typical hair color treatment with foils and processing,” Neill says. “This is a 10 minute in-and-out service for men that are beginning to gray and who want the salt and pepper look without a full-on hair color.” And good to know: The Parker Barber’s gift cards and gift baskets are ideal selections for the man in your life.
Not only did Neill conceive The Parker Barber — he and his wife Amy gave birth to a baby girl named Ivy Brice Neill. “I certainly have a higher purpose now,” Neill says. “I have a very supportive wife who understands that I am attempting to balance fatherhood, a new brand concept and my role at Paris Parker.” Neill is constantly on the road and traveling; having a new baby in conjunction with new business ventures is a demanding task. “When I am home, I try to be present,” he says. “I can glance at my phone, and, all of a sudden, I have 11 emails that need attention.” Being a new father in addition to work, Neill says it is easy to feel pulled in multiple directions and difficult to keep priorities straight. He is counting his blessings. “The saying is true, ‘Behind every great man is an even better woman.’ I am lucky to have my wife, Amy.”
Neill has remained true to his seemingly unintentional mode of dress from his late teenage years. His wardrobe includes basic and timeless pieces with current cuts. He is always in motion and in meetings, so his look needs to be versatile and comfortable, yet professional. Closet staples are dark wash and black denim jeans and v-neck t-shirts. “I wear Commons Project sneakers; however, I have worn a Chelsea style boot since I was 18,” he says. “They look great with just jeans or if I have to throw on a sports coat.” Neill frequents local shops such as Friend and Billy Reid, and he can always be spotted with the latest shades form Krewe du Optic.
The Parker Barber
600 Carondelet St.
Happy Father’s Day to all the effortlessly cool, hard-working, stylish dads!
–Aimée Gowland and Corrie Pellerin, ALG Style