Men of Austen Week: Bingley Stylin’

Sadly, poor Charles Bingley of Pride and Prejudice can’t get out of his wing-man label to the overpowering personality of Mr. Darcy. Often said to be too yielding, Bingley is forever playing second fiddle to the wealthier, more mysterious, and more attractive Mr. Darcy. Take Darcy out of the equation though, and you suddenly see quite the stylish guy. Bingley, though a very eligible bachelor, never gets the celeb-status like the other Men of Austen. Perhaps because he is too agreeable, too charming, and too good, Austen leaves him be. Since he never gets the credit I think he deserves, I decided a post dedicated to him would be just the thing to say, “Bingley, you’ve got some serious style.” 

bingley style pride and prejudice

Chesterfield men’s coat from uniqlo | Monogram tie clip and cufflink | Florsheim Boots | darcy and bingley print

Besides giving him a little more publicity, I was too intimidated to figure out a modern view on Darcy, Knightley, or Colonel Brandon’s style. Those guys can take care of themselves. Getting man-gifts is one of the most difficult things in the world. Surprisingly, they’re extremely picky, and whether their style is a good one or not, they’re loathe to give it up. When I near the birthday/Christmas seasons for my guy, I always teeter paralyzed between “he would love this, or, he would hate this,” and I’m never completely assured of its success. Bingley is so content and jolly though, I think shopping for this guy would be a breeze.

When I am in the country, I never wish to leave it; and when I am in town, it is pretty much the same. They have each their advantages, and I can be equally happy in either! -Charles Bingley, Pride and Prejudice

**Want to know more about the Chesterfield coat I picked? Check out this article for lots of great info on men’s outerwear.**

shaving supplies edwin jagger black PORCELAIN shave bowl | Parker chrome and enamel vintage safety razor | Col. cronk shave soap in bay rum

There’s nothing vintage or modern about a good shave. Universally, no matter what the era, a good shave is a good thing. Recently though, there’s been a resurgence of men wanting to shave away their stubble the old-fashioned way. If your guy isn’t quite ready for the Sweeney Todd-esque straight razor, the safety razor is a good second option. Plus, you still get to use the old fashioned shaving bowl and frothy soap without the worry of  scary, too-close-for-comfort-cuts. If you’re already suffering from those cuts, check out this article for some tips on healing or this one  for tips on how to get a better close neck-shave without the ouchies.

If you’re stuck on man-gift ideas, don’t forget Bingley! He’s got some great stylin’ that still works in 2013. Classy men are always classy, regardless of the century.

– <3 A. 

quote source: Pride and Prejudice, Austen, publ. by penguin books

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Men of Austen Week

men of austen

While prepping for my upcoming Valentine’s DIY’s, recipes, and tips-for-all-things-girly, for a month dedicated to being over-the-top-sweet-and-cuddly, I started thinking, “what about the other half that makes a Valentine, a Valentine? What about the men!??”

Since Jane Austen is one of the biggest muses for this blog, and since she has a daily say in its workings, I decided there isn’t a better place to find some inspiration  for the men in your life besides the men of Austen. So, next week is a week dedicated to a few of them. One muse for each day of the week, I’m planning everything from a DIY tray made of cigar boxes, a recipe for a “manly” cocktail, gift ideas, and some man-do’s-and-don’ts inspired by the best, and one of the worst, of Austen’s masculine portraits.

Perhaps you’re thinking, use heroes of Jane Austen as a muse for the modern male? What did she know about men? It’s true, Jane’s only male interaction of the romantic kind (that we know of)  was with a suitor (Harris Big-Wither) she first agreed, and then denied, to be married to, and then a second young man, Tom Lefroy, who, by nature of his financial circumstances was never really a serious consideration for Jane despite how the 2007 film “Becoming Jane” portrays her relationship with him. Regardless of her limited interaction with men outside of her own family though, Jane managed to produce in her novels men with shockingly similar characteristics to gentlemen we see even in our modern world: Male portraits complete with a few gems,  a lot more flops, some intellectually prideful ones, the simple, kind ones, and everything in between. If you aren’t completely familiar with all the men of Austen, check out PBS Masterpiece Theater’s run down of Jane’s guys here:

men of austenOr, if you really want to get into the mood for my upcoming blog series, check out the “Bachelors of Highbury quiz” here just for fun:

bachelor quiz

I got quite the laugh with my “match,” and maybe you should see which man you should be paying particular attention to next week when I do my own run-down. Happy Friday everyone!

 – <3 A. 

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