To be honest, I really did not expect such a response to the Heroes’ Handbook, the eBook we published in the first week of January in the Netherlands. And I was totally amazed that even followers from Australia responded so well, considering that the book is only available in Dutch. Wow!
Now, you may think that being European, style comes more naturally with our long history. Hopefully I won’t disappoint you, but this is not the case, maybe with the exception of some well-known fashion capitals and trendy places such as Milan, Paris, London and Berlin.
So, as owner of the all-inclusive gentlemen store LokalHeroz in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, I used my background in men’s style to think up a way to re-introduce olf-fashioned style and fashion etiquette to the modern (I call it ‘new-fashioned’) guys.
Together with some of my good friends and advisors (my ‘Heroz’), Maarten, Alfred and Filip we sat down and started brainstorming. We came to the conclusion to first write a teaser in the form of an eBook: the ‘Handbook for the New-fashioned Man’. For the introduction and promotion, we used social media, where we used the hashtag #HeldenHandboek or Heroes’ Handbook. The result was really stunning. Hey, I am now talking to you! Isn’t that great!
People who inspire me and are passionate about style and the things they do in life are Heroes. To me, a hero is someone (male or female, heroes don’t discriminate) who has an independent free mind, is authentic and dares to shine without overdoing it. I noticed that today there aren’t enough visible role models anymore for young guys who want to distinguish themselves. I am pretty sure you agree with that. The world has become a more short-term high-speed place with not enough fixed values to live a really good life.
So, in the eBook we tell you what you already know as regular visitor of this blog. Being a gentleman is good for you. A reminder of what makes a gentleman, that is what we did with the book. In addition to general tips on behavior in real life, we added some chapters on how to be a gentleman when using mobile and social media. Maybe I will get into that for you later, if you like.
At LokalHeroz, we have defined some specific thoughts about how to build the perfect wardrobe for new-fashioned gentlemen. Actually it is quite easy. Just divide your wardrobe in three sections, like this:
Section 1: the timeless classics, which are the key elements in every 21st century gentlemen’s wardrobe. As this is the essence of your look you should pick them wisely. These fundamental basics will separate boys from men. A beautifully tailored suit, a few nice basic shirts, some plain T-shirts, a cardigan, a pair of dress shoes and a matching belt and at least one stylish pair of jeans; that would be the minimum.
Section 2 makes it more personal. So here you add your personal style items. In this section of your wardrobe, you can show who you are and what you stand for. These are the clothes that make you feel self-assured and comfortable. This is where your lucky sweater and your favorite pair of Japanese selvage denim jeans or sneakers fit in. Now you are stylish and relaxed.
Sometimes you want to be the cool guy, so here’s section 3: the cool accessories and gadgets to finish off your personal look. You are a gentleman, but you are not mediocre. You are allowed to spoil yourself. No need to be functional all the time. Just being yourself, that is what makes you stand out as a new-fashioned hero! Buy the scarf, dare to wear that unique bracelet, wear a weird hat! Whatever!
So that rounds up my general advise on style heroism. On my site, we show to do it, give good examples and link to other areas that are important to new-fashioned guys: art, music, food, interior design – you name it! I would really like you to visit it (though most content is still in Dutch, please try it), and leave a message for me personally so I can learn from your experiences and questions. Maybe I can also answer the questions in a next guest blog post here.
Thanks for reading my story and a stylish salute to you all from the World Port City of Rotterdam!
About Joël Ferdinandus and LokalHeroz
Learn more about the LokalHeroz concept and meet Joël in this video:
please feel free to download our Dutch version of the #Heroes’Handbook
A heartfelt thanks to my new friend Joël for this guest post and for his support through twitter @lokalheroz