three generations of greatness

(click on drawing for better quality!~)

hehe I’m always a few hours early until midnight but…
wowowow 26 already!? I feel like his 25th JUST happened ahh ;w;
I feel like this year has been a great year for all three generations of Sonic!
We finally got the reveal of Sonic Forces which I for one am super excited!!
The new trailers and characters ahhh I’m so happy and can’t wait to play the game! It’s something I’ve been waiting for Modern Sonic!
We also got Sonic Mania coming in August! a very beautiful Classic Sonic game for the classic fans! I love the use of vibrant colors for the game!(which is something I tried to pull off on the background here as the theme lol)  I can’t wait to try playing that game as well! It’s nice seeing classic characters getting the love ^v^ Sonic Boom tv show has been doing an outstanding job with its season 2 It even got nominated for choice animated TV Show!~I personally love the tv show the animation is wonderful as well the voice cast and the writers are very nice to talk to!

Honestly Sonic has made a huge impact in my life. I’ve met wonderful friends and artists, and improved on my art. Without Sonic, I would never have some this far at all! He keeps me motivated and I guaranteed that he’ll always hold a special place in my heart. 

So here’s to 26 years, Sonic!  Keep on running~! ♥ ♥ ~(>/v/<)~


Here we have the Malayan tapir and his super-snoot! They were hiding the last few times I visited, as is their right, so I was very excited to see them! This is the largest species of tapir and the only one native to Asia. I noticed that these animals sport disruptive coloration similar to that of the Commerson’s dolphin. The irregular pattern is a form of camouflage that breaks up the shape of the animal within its environment, helping it to hide from predators. They have ANOTHER thing in common with those dolphins. Listening to visitors guess what they are is decent entertainment. According to guests getting their first look, the tapir is in fact an anteater, a pig, a baby elephant, or a hippo. (The tapir’s closest relatives are actually rhinos and horses.) We generally let this go on for a while before we start with the enthusiastic, “Oh, what’s this?! Ah, the sign RIGHT HERE says its a Malayan tapir!!” Cue dusty neurons firing and education in progress!! On a more serious note, please be aware that disruptive coloration can hide tapirs from predators, but not from habitat destruction. Their population has declined over 50% in the last three generations primarily due to habitat loss, placing them at great risk of extinction. Their forest homes are flattened to make way for lucrative palm oil plantations. You can help tapirs and other animals, like orangutans, who are threatened by unsustainable palm oil production by being very careful about the products you buy. I swear it seems like palm oil is in EVERYTHING. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has a great app available for your phone that can help you make good purchasing decisions.

September 2017’s #quietYA Picks

Hi all! So, YA Interrobang is on hiatus for the rest of the year and I already had a lot of obligations, so I kept forgetting to put this together for y’all without someone giving me a deadline. But I didn’t want to miss out on highlighting these books since September was a HUGE month for new releases (and so is October - that list will be coming out later this week) and I want to make sure y’all didn’t miss some epicness.

The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke

Release date: September 1

When sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin, she’s caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall—but even to the balloon makers, Ellie’s time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything—including her only way home—to stop the process.

Glow by Megan E. Bryant

Release date: September 1

When thrift-store aficionado Julie discovers a series of antique paintings with hidden glowing images that are only visible in the dark, she wants to learn more about the artist. In her search, she uncovers a century-old romance and the haunting true story of the Radium Girls, young women who used radioactive paint to make the world’s first glow-in-the-dark products—and ultimately became radioactive themselves. As Julie’s obsession with the paintings mounts, truths about the Radium Girls—and her own complicated relationships—are revealed. But will she uncover the truth about the luminous paintings before putting herself and everyone she loves at risk?

Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary by Martha Brockenbrough

Release date: September 5

Discover the incredible true story behind the Tony Award-winning musical – Hamilton’s early years in the Caribbean; his involvement in the Revolutionary War; and his groundbreaking role in government, which still shapes American government today. Easy to follow, this gripping account of a founding father and American icon features illustrations, maps, timelines, infographics, and additional information ranging from Hamilton’s own writings to facts about fashion, music, etiquette and custom of the times, including best historical insults and the etiquette of duels.

She, Myself, and I by Emma Young

Release date: September 5

Rosa—an eighteen-year-old from London—is quadriplegic. Her doting (if a bit stifling) parents and charming older brother are her entire world. But Rosa yearns for more; so when a doctor from Boston chooses her to be a candidate for a risky experimental surgery, she and her family move to Massachusetts in search of a miracle. Sylvia—a girl from a small town in New England—is brain-dead. Her parents have donated Sylvia’s body to Rosa’s cause. Rosa wakes up from surgery as the first successful brain transplant survivor—by all accounts, a medical anomaly. She should be ecstatic, but she can’t help wondering with increasing obsession who Sylvia was and what her life was like. Rosa’s fascination with her new body and her desire to understand Sylvia prompt a road trip based on discovery and a surprising new romance. But will Rosa be able to solve the dilemma of her identity? Who is she, in another girl’s body?

All About Mia by Lisa Williamson

Release date: September 12

“That girl is such a mess.” “Why can’t she be like her sisters?” Blah, blah, blah. That’s all Mia Campbell-Richardson ever hears. From her parents, her teachers, and her never-do-wrong older sister, Grace. So what if she parties too hard and studies too little? Who cares if she tends to end up with the wrong guys or says the wrong things at the wrong times? She’s still a good friend (except when she isn’t). And she still knows the way things should go (except when they don’t). When Grace comes home with shocking news, Mia hopes that it’s finally Grace’s turn to get into trouble. But instead it’s Mia whose life spirals out of control.

Odd & True by Cat Winters

Release date: September 12

Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of their monster-slaying mother and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life—permanently disabled and in constant pain from childhood polio. In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all.

Water in May by Ismee Amiel Williams

Release date: September 12

Fifteen-year-old Mari Pujols believes that the baby she’s carrying will finally mean she’ll have a family member who will love her deeply and won’t ever leave her—not like her mama, who took off when she was eight; or her papi, who’s in jail; or her abuela, who wants as little to do with her as possible. But when doctors discover a potentially fatal heart defect in the fetus, Mari faces choices she never could have imagined. Surrounded by her loyal girl crew, her off-and-on boyfriend, and a dedicated doctor, Mari navigates a decision that could emotionally cripple the bravest of women. But both Mari and the broken-hearted baby inside her are fighters; and it doesn’t take long to discover that this sick baby has the strength to heal an entire family.

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

Release date: September 12

Five girls. Three generations. One great American love story. You Bring the Distant Near explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture–for better or worse. Ranee, worried that her children are losing their Indian culture; Sonia, wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair; Tara, seeking the limelight to hide her true self; Shanti, desperately trying to make peace in the family; Anna, fighting to preserve Bengal tigers and her Bengali identity–award-winning author Mitali Perkins weaves together a sweeping story of five women at once intimately relatable and yet entirely new.

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Release date: September 19

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules. Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones

Release date: September 19

The year is 1818, the city is London, and our heroine, 16-year-old Annis Whitworth, has just learned that her father is dead and all his money is missing. And so, of course, she decides to become a spy. Annis always suspected that her father was a spy, so following in his footsteps to unmask his killer makes perfect sense. Alas, it does not make sense to England’s current spymasters—not even when Annis reveals that she has the rare magical ability to sew glamours: garments that can disguise the wearer completely. Well, if the spies are too pigheaded to take on a young woman of quality, then Annis will take them on. She’ll follow the clues her father left behind and discover what befell him. She’ll prove she can sew an impenetrable disguise. She’ll earn a living without stooping to become a—shudder—governess. It can’t be any harder than navigating the London social season, can it?

Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George

Release date: September 19

After she gets kicked out of boarding school, seventeen-year-old Beatrice goes to her uncle’s estate on Long Island. But Hey Nonny Nonny is more than just a rundown old mansion. Beatrice’s cousin, Hero, runs a struggling speakeasy out of the basement—one that might not survive the summer. Along with Prince, a poor young man determined to prove his worth; his brother John, a dark and dangerous agent of the local mob; Benedick, a handsome trust-fund kid trying to become a writer; and Maggie, a beautiful and talented singer; Beatrice and Hero throw all their efforts into planning a massive party to save the speakeasy. Despite all their worries, the summer is beautiful, love is in the air, and Beatrice and Benedick are caught up in a romantic battle of wits that their friends might be quietly orchestrating in the background.

The Victoria in My Head by Janelle Milanes

Release date: September 19

Victoria Cruz inhabits two worlds: In one, she is a rock star, thrashing the stage with her husky voice and purple-streaked hair. In the other, currently serving as her reality, Victoria is a shy teenager with overprotective Cuban parents, who sleepwalks through her life at the prestigious Evanston Academy. Unable to overcome the whole paralyzing-stage-fright thing, Victoria settles for living inside her fantasies, where nothing can go wrong and everything is set to her expertly crafted music playlists. But after a chance encounter with an unattainably gorgeous boy named Strand, whose band seeks a lead singer, Victoria is tempted to turn her fevered daydreams into reality. To do that, she must confront her insecurities and break away from the treadmill that is her life. Suddenly, Victoria is faced with the choice of staying on the path she’s always known and straying off-course to find love, adventure, and danger.

A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck

Release date: September 26

Fifteen-year-old Matt Wainwright is in turmoil. He can’t tell his lifelong best friend, Tabby, how he really feels about her; his promising basketball skills are being overshadowed by his attitude on the court, and the only place he feels normal is in English class, where he can express his inner thoughts in quirky poems and essays. Matt is desperately hoping that Tabby will reciprocate his feelings; but then Tabby starts dating Liam Branson, senior basketball star and all-around great guy. Losing Tabby to Branson is bad enough; but, as Matt soon discovers, he’s close to losing everything that matters most to him.

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Release date: September 26

Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin. But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

Architecture (3): The Great Pyramid of Giza

The pyramid complex at Giza was built in the 4th Dynasty, during three generations of pharaohs – Khufu (Great Pyramid of Giza), Khafre (Pyramid of Khafre), and Menkaure (Pyramid of Menkaure).  The complex contains on a grand scale all of the architectural features associated with royal tombs.

Thousands of blocks of stone were transported along the river, and then dragged by sled to the edge of the desert, to build the pyramid. The Great Pyramid of Giza is considered the peak of Egyptian pyramidal architecture, and has been influential on modern architecture – for example, the Louvre has the same form.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the largest one – 146m high, covering an area of 52,000 square metres.  On each side, a pit was dug and a boat put in, so that the pharaoh’s spirit could travel freely.  The Funerary Ship of Khufu was reconstructed from the remains found in one of these boat pits.

Funerary Ship of Khufu; a boat pit next to the causeway, with stairs going into it.

The three pyramids lie in a nearly-diagonal line, with their mortuary temples on the east side, facing towards the Nile.  To the west, a mastaba cemetery housed the bodies of high officials.

Map of the pyramid complex.

East Field of Mastabas.

West Field of Mastabas.

The Sphinx was built in association with the Pyramid of Khafre, out of a single outcrop of limestone.  It is a lion with a pharaoh’s head, head-dress and false beard.  The Sphinx was a the guardian of the royal tombs, and it is the earliest-surviving example of this form.

The Sphinx.

The king & queen’s burial chambers, and an underground chamber, were accessed through 3 stone-lined corridors (descending & ascending).  The longest is over 100m, and they are undecorated.  They were a passage for the deceased.

Internal structure of the pyramids.

The king’s chamber was roofed with 5 tiers (each built of 9 stone slaps), one above the other, with relief chambers in between.  Above these tiers was a vault of two relieving stones.  Two narrow shafts led from the chamber to the outside.  The king’s chamber was separated from the gallery by an antechamber, which was protected by a portcullis.

The pyramids were originally cased in limestone, and the reflection of sunlight would have been dazzling (perhaps intended to associate the dead pharaoh with Ra).  A pyramidion would have capped the pyramid – a gilded, pyramid-shaped stone with prayers inscribed on it.

A pyramidion from the private tomb of Amenhotep-Huy.

The Great Pyramid’s core was made of thousands of locally-quarried blocks, weighing 2.5 tonnes each on average.  They were transported by human power to the site, and then manoeuvred into position, with the help of a thin lime mortar lubricant.

Most of Egypt’s pyramids are made of core stones which fill the bulk of the pyramid.  They were built up in tiers, making a crude step pyramid, and then masonry (packing stones) filled in the steps.  A softer stone (packing stone) was put between the core and casing; and finally the pyramid was cased in a smooth outer layer of limestone or granite.

Four relieving stones were placed on top of the pyramid’s entrance, to relieve it of much of the weight from above.  This shows that the Egyptians understood how to apply physics to monumental architecture. The entrance was then sealed and covered in limestone casing, increasing security by making it invisible from the outside.

Entrance to the Great Pyramid of Giza.  The relieving stones form the upside-down double V.

The ascending gallery leads to two levels of chambers (the king’s & queen’s burial chambers).  It is made up of seven projecting courses, each one supporting the one above it (corbelling!)  It is undecorated, reflecting the “restrained monumentalism of the pyramid with the continued use of large-scale masonry”.

The gallery.


((writing prompt from @prompt-bank))

Tyrant. Dictator. Murderer. Resident asshole. That was a short list of some of the nicer things he’d been called since the Empress had been taken by the Varelsi. A short list from a longer list of names of people who were no longer among the living. But only the most terrible, the ones with the most power to take his plan apart. Those whom the Jennerit could do without and be easily replaced with more competent people. Because he wasn’t a mass murderer. Just a strategic eliminator of those who hindered the plan.
The timid voice raised his head from the intricate inlay of cobblestones and gold beneath his feet and lured it to the scarlet-haired woman. Dressed in a cheap imitation of royal robes, she stood with the offered item for sale, a blank smile on her face as the breeze whipped at the tall, dark grasses around her. How far had he traveled from the palace to be here? Had he really been lost in his thoughts so deeply that he’d forgotten where he was going? But he knew this face, a woman with nothing to gain from the paltry toy that spun lazily in the breeze. Time had taken a toll on her, since she’d been denied Sustainment.
The name struck like lightning, splintered his senses with the imagery that followed. He’d been a young man then, the woman’s rose red lips still fresh in his memory. Scent of fresh flowers, the clock’s bell chiming the hour - late, maybe around ten? - and the touch of her soft fingers on his wrist. Exactly like silk, save for the dirt buried under her fingernails. She’d never had the time to paint them, no matter how many times he requested it of her. How could he be respected, marrying a woman of the fields?
That’s when he’d given her those robes, a gift to add a touch of class whenever they were seen together. She’d been all giggles and smiles when her fingers ran over the fine embroidery, tracing all the delicate patterns it had taken over a century to complete. A hand-me down from his own grandmother for when the right time came. For when the right person came along. He hadn’t thought it would ever happen until he met her. If only she’d been higher up the tier…
She’d looked so beautiful in them too, her hair done up in some messy makeshift of a hairstyle, hairpins sticking out every which way from a lack of practice. He’d insisted on helping her, but she refuted his attempts. As much as it chuffed him, it was the imperfection of it that made the sight of her all the more endearing.
She should have been dead by now. Or at least exceedingly old. No one who hadn’t undergone the treatment could live that long.
“Febronia…” The name left his lips, and recognition sparked in the girl’s eyes, wiping away the daze. She knew that name.
“You know my great grandmother?”
Great grandmother. Three generations… is that how long it had been since he’d laid eyes on her? And she’d taken to another, had children of her own, children who would never outlive her, doomed to the same fate she would have.
“A long time ago,” he replied as he lifted his chin, straightened his back, and pretended to be interested in something else entirely. “I was a friend of hers in school. But her parents had always hated me, said I was too…”
“… tall?”
“Risky.” The lie was unnecessary, but easy to tell. There was no reason for this girl to know that he’d been the one to break her great grandmother’s heart so long ago. It would achieve nothing now, and not even the mud she could sling at him would make him feel any better. Nothing would, but there were bigger concerns than his need to make amends.
“… you do have her eyes. Same flecks of amber in brown.” What was he still doing here then, conversing with this girl who knew him as nothing more than the current leader of the Jennerit people?
“So people have said. … pinwheel?”
He sighed and rolled his eyes, fetched some coins from a pocket and pressed them to her open palm. She dropped them into her own pouch without counting them or even offering any change, and shifted her gaze away from him to any nearby potential customers. She was done with him and moving on. A silent blow to his ego, but probably well-deserved.
Rendain watched as the wind danced with the kaleidoscope of colours… and felt nothing. Yet, he walked with it all the way back to his desk, propped it up in his empty coffee cup, and went right back to work.

Photo of Frank James Simmons in U.S. Army uniform, 1943. Photo courtesy of Simmons family.

I come from three generations of military men. My father, grandfather and great-grandfather all served in the military. For them, like many African American men and women, military service served as a vehicle of upward mobility. Here is a photo of my grandfather Frank James Simmons in U.S. Army uniform during World War II. He was among the 2.5 million African-American men who registered for the draft. He enlisted in the Army in New Orleans on February 17, 1943 at the tender age of 19 and served in the Philippines. He was honorably discharged from the army as a sergeant from Company F of the segregated 369th Infantry on January 22, 1946. Soon after returning to his hometown Baton Rouge, La., he started a family and with my grandmother raised six daughters, including my mother. Military service, like for many World War II veterans, was a formative experience for him and he would spend the rest of his life regaling us with stories from his years in the war.

Story from Jonathan Michael Square, @fashioningtheself

callette  asked:

IM SCREAMING!!! GAWAIN YOU PRESCIOUS BIRD CHILD!!! DORIAN HAS RELATIVES AND THEYRE AS ADORABLE AS HE IS!!! Fangirling aside, was Dorian's name passed down each generation? (Mattie's breaking my heart btw)

(Publishing because I want to talk about this so bad)

First of all, thank you so much!

SECOND OF ALL. Dorian’s name.

So, his sister Lillian wanted to name one of her kids after him, but she ended up having three daughters. Whoops. Her daughters knew all about Tragic Uncle Dorian, of course.

Of those three daughters, two married and had children. Lillian’s youngest daughter (Dorian’s niece, featured in the episode), had two girls. One of those girls had a baby boy, the first to be born since Dorian, and so the name was bestowed upon him, finally, after three generations!

Dorian shares a name with his great-great nephew ;-;


Chapter Thirty-five: Galahad; Part 2

The Tudor’s had been around for three generations now, gaining favor in the royal court way back when the great wars were still ongoing, and now, for once, they were to marry into the Rivervale royal family due to their incredible influence. The Tudor’s had been decedents of the great Queen Alexandrea, which made Madeline Tudor, Galahad’s betrothed, pure blooded. There hadn’t been a more beautiful creature than Madeline in Galahad’s mind, but the prince couldn’t only stick to one woman. As much as he adored Madeline, there were always others. A great queen Madeline would make, and Galahad knew he was to treat her differently than the others - of course he had to. 

Dressing Successfully

or an introduction to the man’s classic wardrobe.

Our appearances tell the world not who we are but who we would like to be. From our hair, or lack of it, adornment in jewellery, watches, the cars we drive, the cigarettes we smoke and the ping of the lighter that lights them - all tell the story of who we would like to be identified as. From how polished our nails are, or the presence of tattoos and piercings, near everything we do is a reflection of our own self image, and a projection of who we would like to be.

There are few aspects of our daily life as adaptable or as fluid as our wardrobes.

They are costumes of our idealised selves, literally a suit of armour to help us battle our way through the trials and tribulations of the professional world. Every profession has its standards, and every professional has their way of adapting that standard to themselves, be it conscious or no.

The beauty of classic menswear, and a big part of why I love it, is the fact that it is rarely revolutionary, but rather evolutionary. The changes can be tracked by decade rather than season, and it is slight adjustments that complement the individual, both physically and in less tangible ways, that takes well dressed to best in class.

Below are a few rules that should see any man aiming to build a wardrobe do so successfully and without fault.

1. Know the Rules, Understand the Context

For generation upon generation, from frock coats through to the establishment of the lounge suit as the standard of business formal, men learned the rules of dressing first from their father, then from their tailor. A boy could expect to learn the basics of dress from his father - when a suit is appropriate and when a blazer will suffice, how to tie his four in hand and bow, how to keep his shoes polished. To visit his father’s tailor was a rite of passage that many well-dressed men still remember fondly, and many great tailors will make it through three generations of a family before hanging up his shears. From his tailor men would learn how to dress for their builds, their complexions, and their everyday activity.

But something changed in the 60’s about the time JFK opted to go naked to his inauguration - hatless, at least, which was tantamount to being bare-assed in those times. Fashion started to infiltrate menswear. It was now fathers asking their sons how to dress, as the fashions of the times went from street to store, not vice-versa. A generation broke the verbal history of classic menswear, and we went from decade to decade of revolution rather than evolution.

That menswear has rules is what scares many men away - there is a lot of esoterica and obscure vocabulary that can be daunting to those uninitiated. But unlike womenswear, which sets its watch by the season and flips its priorities by the designers whim, men need only learn a few things. What is the standard, and what works for him. So a few fundamentals that are easily learned and quickly mastered;

The Lounge Suit - Easily summed up as a business appropriate suit of matching jacket and trouser. The classic palette of Grey and Navy is the most universally accepted, while Black is most often considered an evening suit in the classic tailoring world.

The sporting suit - Not often referred to in the modern wardrobe, a sporting suit is one worn for sports - primarily hunting. Patterned suit in tweeds or thorn proofs, in palettes of greens, brown and tans, things that would now be considered very English. What we have brought with us into the modern lexicon, however, is the sports coat - the odd jacket worn in non-traditional suiting colours, patterns and textures.

Formal Wear - Described below, a great rule to follow with formal clothing is that the more formal it is, the less open to interpretation. Formal clothing is something of a costume, made for specific occasions to ensure a consistent level of formality. Should you feel comfortable enough in your relationship with the host, bucking that courtesy is a risk you can take. Many a confidant dresser has adapted formal clothing to his personality successfully, but it is definitely a move for an experienced hand.

The Morning Suit - Also called a cutaway, the morning suit is the day time equivalent of the dinner suit, most recognisable as what would be worn to Royal Ascot or a formal day wedding. It is most traditionally worn with a black of charcoal coat, cutaway and finishing behind the knee. Odd trousers in a small tonal stripe, called Cashmere stripe trousers, despite usually being made of wool are worn below, although some rogues such as Prince Charles will wear matching light grey trouser/jacket combos. A double breasted waistcoat in Dove (light grey) or Buff (cream), a formal white shirt and a tonal ascot at the throat make up the majority of the habit. A top hat literally tops it all off.

The Dinner Suit - Often referred to as black tie, or a tuxedo after the famous Tuxedo club of New York where it made it’s American debut. A dinner suit is in black, or occasionally midnight navy, and worn with a bow tie, a white bibbed shirt, be it pleated (plisse) or dimpled (marcella). The dinner suit is an investment, and for those who love their wardrobes often ties the overcoat as the most significant single investment in a wardrobe. As they are worn less, and generally will last much longer, elegant men often put a little more thought, time and money in to the execution of each. A few rules for the dinner suit -

Black Tie is always worn with a bow tie. A four in hand tie with a dinner suit is fundamentally incorrect. Also - a bow tie is something that is knotted with each wear, one that is pre-tied is only appropriate if it spins or shoots water.
Matching elements on your dinner suit - your lapels, your bow, and your cummerbund should you choose to wear one. They are usually found in some form of silk - Grosgrain is often the bespoke choice, Barathea for something a little less archaic, Satin the most recognisable.

White tie - The most formal of traditional formal wear that is still commonly worn, and following that trend, the least open to interpretation. A white wing collar shirt, a white marcella bow tie and matching waistcoat is non- negotiable. A tailcoat cut short to just cover the bottoms of the waistcoat in front, double breasted but generally non fastening, with matching trousers finished, as with all formal clothing, cuffless. The most appropriate shoe is a well-polished opera pump, but a pair of plain black oxfords will do just as well in a pinch.

To quote the great G.Bruce Boyer on formal clothes:

In the early years of the twentieth century, a gentleman’s wardrobe was prescribed by the hour: morning coats till noon (or a short “stroller” jacket at a private gathering), lounge (business) suits until 6 p.m. (although swallowtails, striped trousers and top hats were still de rigueur in many professions), then evening clothes of one sort or another, depending on the occasion.

Of course, the high degree of prescription in dress was merely an objective correlative for the greater sense of rigidity and ritual about occasions. Every sport, for instance, not only dictated its own specific outfit for participants, but for observers as well. The most famous story about a breech in this etiquette took place one day in the early 1900s during the London season. King Edward VII happened to glance out a window and saw his master of the household, Sir Derek Keppel, entering the palace wearing a bowler hat. “You scoundrel!” the king yelled at the man. “What do you mean by coming in here in that rat-catcher fashion? You never see me dress like that in London!” Tough man with the proprieties, was Edward.

The king was a stickler for detail in an age of details. He once told a friend, who had proposed to accompany him in a tailcoat to a picture exhibition before lunch: “I thought everyone must know that a short jacket is always worn with a silk hat at a private view in the morning.”

Edward would be rotating in his hand-carved coffin if he could see what some people’s approach to coordinating outfits is these days. While we’re mercifully relieved of all that stifling rigidity, the downside to it is that, when the rules are thrown out, unbridled freedom often leads to chaos, confusion, frustration and terrible insecurity. Not to mention that some folks should be given warnings about assaulting the environment–you know, like obscene billboards and such.

Fortunately, there’s still one garment, the time-honored tuxedo, that prevents such fashion fiascoes. The one decidedly good thing about wearing a tux is that a man doesn’t need to make any decisions or worry whether he’s making a mistake: the prescribed outfit, top to toe, works perfectly fine. That is, works well if one knows the occasion calls for “Black Tie.” There again the Edwardians provided the rules governing the occasion by stipulating on the invitation what type of dress was expected. These days “White Tie,” “Full Dress,” “Decorations and Medals” and other such instructions are quaintly arcane at most functions. And the best place to see a tailcoat is in an old Fred Astaire film. Generally, the only men who own their own tails are diplomats and symphony orchestra conductors. If you are escorting a debutante to a fancy ball, rent.

2. Care for Your Stuff

Nothing looks better than a well loved pair of shoes, creased and polished, worn and resoled and polished a-glow again. Good clothing is an investment, and like an investment it needs some care to make sure it has a full life.

Dry cleaners are a last resort, not a regular occurrence. The method of dry cleaning is aggressive and damaging to cloth, and a well made garment is as much about the press as it is about the stitch, so regular dry cleaning is to be avoided. A good rule of thumb with tailored garments -

Rotate them regularly - When worn, cloth becomes warm and damp, the sad nature of our perspiring human bodies. Warm damp cloth is most likely to pill, to wear, and to stretch. Aim to have enough tailored garments in the wardrobe that none will be worn more than once in a working week.

Hang them warm - The miraculous nature of wool means that the fiber likes to return to its woven form. Wrinkled cloth and stretched seams will try to return to true if they are hung while warm from the body. So rather than drop your coat on the bed or on the back of a chair when you return home, put them on a shaped hanger. Your clothes will thank you for it.

Brush your garments - Dust and dirt abound, and when regular sponge and press is not an option, a good brushing will go a long way. Brushing the cloth helps return the fiber to its true direction, removes dust or dirt that may be sitting in the cloth, and will stave off the need for cleaning. The best brushes are natural bristle - horse for a softer brush, better for fine and delicate clothes such as cashmere or superfine wool, boar bristle for when you need something stiffer, such as tweeds, overcoatings, thornproofs or cottons.

Nurture your shoes - Your footwear is the most easily identified when shoddy, but also the most rewarding to care for. Like your clothing, shoes benefit from the following - Rotate them regularly. Never wear them two days in a row, and if wetted, should be offered an extra day or two to get fully dry. A solid brushing after each wear will see the need for a polishing greatly reduced, although polishing your shoes is something you should do yourself. If you haven’t learnt the method of glacage from your father, learn it  and make sure you show it to your son.

Shoe trees are to shoes as a good shaped hanger is to a suit, if not more so. Shoe trees are best when lasted, but still far better than nothing even when they aren’t modelled from the last. Put them in when the shoe is warm, before you apply the brush. Dustbags are great to stop dust from settling, but a brush is equally effective in removing it once it has.

3. Fit, Fit, Fit

Fit is to clothing as location is to property - arguably everything. A poorly fitted suit, no matter how beautifully made, will look appalling. Likewise a below average suit can be greatly improved by good tailoring. Look for these keys -

The collar - a jacket hangs first from the collar, second from the shoulder. Look at these two places when judging fit. A well fitted collar will be firm to the neck through a normal range of motion - that doesn’t include star jumps and burps, but driving, speaking on a phone, shaking someone’s hand - none of these should cause your jacket to need adjustment.

The shoulder - Extension of the shoulder is largely dependent on the shoulder pad, but ideally it should extend just far enough past the edge of the deltoid to fall straight and not divot when worn.

The chest - Despite the trend for slim and fitted clothing, there are parameters to what is slim and what is tight. A proper fitted chest on a jacket should fall to the button without creasing or ‘breaking’ as we call it in tailoring. Being practical garb, your suits should fit as you would most often wear them - if you carry a wallet in your breast pocket, your should fit it with that self same wallet.

Length - The most often mistaken are of fit on any garment is the length - particularly for those that feel they need to compensate in one way or another. Think of images of NBA players in jackets of zoot suit proportions. It does little to mask their height and instead makes them appear even taller. Likewise, many shorter customers over compensate by slicing their jackets so short as to look like a waiter in a French Bistro.

An easy rule to remember, is that most parts of a garment are made to cover certain parts of the body - a jacket should cover the torso, so ideally finishing at the base of the derriere. Sleeves cover the arms, not the hands. Gloves are for hands, not jacket sleeves! Likewise with trousers - properly fitted they should cover the legs, from just below the natural waist, falling to rest lightly on top of the shoe.

4. Keep it Simple

The most common mistake of those who are trying to build a wardrobe, and all of us who are passionate about dressing well are guilty of this, is indulging in the novel, the interesting, the different, for love of the garment and not the harmony of the whole. As Beau Brummell, that grand forebear of the male wardrobe put it -

“If John Bull turns to look after you, you are not well-dressed, but either too stiff, too tight, or too fashionable.”

The absence of colour and pattern in an outfit denotes it’s formality - the most formal, like the dinner suit, is simply black and white and without pattern. Often the very buttons are covered adding to the austerity. Likewise can be said for business - if you aim to look formal and serious, a palette of subdued colours and plain or very small patterns will serve you best. And in the great logic way that menswear tends to follow, the formality of a pattern follows directly it’s descending scale - a very fine pattern the most formal, great big patterns the least. The same can be said for textures, fine wale cord for an elegant option, while wide wale is best kept to the weekends.

5. Be Comfortable and Enjoy

You will never feel comfortable in any occasion if you don’t feel so, and nothing is more of an impediment to productivity than being pre-occupied with ill fitted or poorly styled clothing. Your wardrobe should be a cinch to dive in to of a morning, should see you through the day with aplomb, have you shoulder to shoulder with both clients and colleagues, and whisper your quirks and idiosyncrasies only to those that are listening closely.

Okay so let’s talk about Ben Solo as a child

Imagine, in the scale of the Star Wars universe, in a galaxy of literally trillions, being directly related to at least five of the most historically significant people of the past fifty years. Imagine the kind of pressure that was on him to measure up to the legacy of his family. Even if his being Anakin and Padme’s grandson isn’t common knowledge, he still knows, and everyone who knows him still knows that he’s the son of Leia Organa, general-slash-diplomat-slash-senator-slash-princess, and Han Solo, war hero and infamous smuggler. His uncle is Luke goddamn Skywalker. This kid was born into the shadow of giants. Imagine him growing up with everyone expecting him to be just as great as his parents and uncle (and grandparents). Imagine the terror he must have had of never doing anything noteworthy, of never becoming great, of being the first Skywalker in three generations not to make a name for himself.

Now imagine he goes to train under Luke, where he undoubtedly faced alienation because he was precocious and talented, the best at everything. Either he was a favorite and everyone said it was because he was Master Luke’s nephew, or Luke went the other way and treated him more harshly in order to avoid being accused of nepotism. And if he tried to underperform in order to avoid being the teacher’s pet? Luke knows he can do better, and he’d be disappointing everyone else because he’s obviously supposed to be the best, being a Skywalker and all.

Now imagine a young, probably teenaged Ben Solo, away from home, probably not a favorite among his peers, struggling with the fear of inadequacy that we know he has (”You’re afraid you’ll never be as strong as Darth Vader”), is approached by an agent of the Sith. Imagine how easy it would be to prey on his obvious fears and insecurities, how simple it would be to promise him greatness and glory if he just turns to the dark side. And imagine how fucking tempting it would be to have something that could be his in a way being a Jedi never would be- people would always measure him against Luke, and what if they found him lacking? But if he joined the dark side, the First Order, became Kylo Ren, no one would know who his family was, no one would know anything about him but what he did himself. Darth Vader is his role model, yes, but no one knows he’s his grandson. 

So tempting Ben Solo to the dark side is easy, he’s obviously ruled by his fear of unimportance, and the Sith have no qualms about lying to a kid in order to get him to join them. But then he’s not good at it. It’s hard for him to find the dark side, he struggles with the basic requirements of being a Sith. He’s doing exactly what he always feared- following in his ancestor’s footsteps and failing. More than that, he can’t exactly quit. I highly doubt Snoke would just let him walk out. And even if he did, even if he successfully defected from the Sith and the First Order and went back to the light side, what then? He’d still be of no account- Ben Solo disappeared around the time the Jedi were killed, who’d remember him? And if he told people he was Kylo Ren, they’d be disgusted, he’d be a disgrace. Probably the only people in the galaxy who don’t detest Darth Vader are his kids (and grandson). So he has to just… figure out a way to be a good Sith, because that’s the only option he has now. Do you honestly think that Kylo Ren would let himself believe for a minute that his family would just welcome him back after all he’s done? So he kills Han, because he thinks it’ll make him stronger, and, as we saw in the screenplay, it didn’t. Where can he go from here?

Basically, Ben Solo was young and terrified, he was probably manipulated into joining the dark side (the same way Anakin was, by playing on his greatest fears) and now he’s probably trapped in a life he may not even want anymore, because he made such a huge mistake, and now he’s all out of options.

"Slavery was so long ago"

No…false….my great great great grandmother was a slave. There are pictures of her as a slave, my great great grandmother was first generation free. That’s two greats… not four or five. Three generations. That’s my grandmother to my niece.