Open Talk with PKP – March 2014

On Wednesday March 19th, 2014, I’ll be hosting my monthly “Open Talk with PKP.”  From college to clothing recommendations to life in general, all questions are welcome for submission! 

When: Wednesday March 19th, 2014 @ 8:00PM EST with early submissions beginning now.

Where: All questions will be answered via comments through this blog post.

How: To submit a question, scroll to the bottom of your page, type in your name, email address, and question you would like answered. (All e-mail addresses will remain anonymous and confidential).

-Dean

Comments

    • PKP

      I would definitely wear Bean Boots down South. In fact, I encourage everyone to have a pair simply because of how practical they are during the winter months.

      -Dean

  1. What motivated you to expose your personal identity? I love seeing a face behind all of the handsome clothes! Can’t wait to see what your future holds for you!

    • PKP

      There was a lot of thought that went into my decision to “expose” myself. To keep things simple, I was tired of declining offers that would put my personal privacy in jeopardy and felt it was time to take PKP into a new – and exciting – chapter. I’d recommend taking a look at this post that explains my three main “reasons” for making this decision.

      -Dean

  2. Gareth

    Hello PKP
    Gareth here again, what would you reccomend travelling long distance in? Comfort or classy?
    Thanks again

    • PKP

      I would say a cross between both. Typically when I travel, I’ll wear a pair of dark wash denim; either an oxford or comfortable sweater; moccasins in the summer and desert boots in the winter; as well as a trench or coat depending on the season. You should take a “Travel Threads” & “Travel Necessities” for a few helpful ideas.

      -Dean

  3. James j.

    Hello, PKP
    I am looking for a new pair of driving shoes that will be good any time of year, with short or long pants. Looking for a pair that is comfy, stylish, and will have good longevity. Any brands, any color, and looking for something maybe around $150ish of less. Thanks!

    • PKP

      My go-to moccasin has always been the “Gunnison” by Cole Haan. My only complaint about the shoe is that the rubber sole does wear down with extensive use, however, this is pretty common with all drivers these days. If you need some additional recommendation, take a quick look at this post from the summer that outlines a few of my favorites.

      -Dean

  4. Dominic

    With warmer months on their way,

    1) Where do you purchase your shorts?

    2) What are a few of your go-to summer looks?

    Thanks!

    • PKP

      Question 1: I purchase shorts from a number of places. J.Crew, Brooks Brothers, & Castaway Clothing are a few of my favorites.

      Question 2: In the summer, I pretty much live in an OCBD, pair of shorts, and some type of moccasin/penny/smoking slipper. When it comes to the summer, guys’ options are pretty limited.

      -Dean

    • PKP

      There have been a couple of classes that I enrolled in that I ended up not enjoying, however, I was able to drop them by the assigned deadline and enroll in another class without having an issues on my transcript. Generally speaking, Freshmen and Sophomores don’t really have a whole lot of options their first two years as most schools have mandatory classes that are required for any and all majors. Before signing up for a class, you should try and flip through the syllabus or find a friend who has taken the class before.

      -Dean

    • PKP

      Great question! Here’s the difference between the three:

      Blazer – A jacket that has a pocket on the upper left side of the coat as well as one on the lower right and left. Think “Iconic Navy Blazer”
      Sports Coat – A jacket that has flaps over the pockets.
      Suit – A jacket that is made out of finer materials. The is the most formal out of the three and is usually accompanied with a pair of matching pants.

      -Dean

    • PKP

      Question 1: I don’t quite consider myself to be “successful” as much of my “success” has been a result of encouragement from family members; belief in friends; and loyalty from readers/followers of the brand. The one thing I do know about success is that it cannot be obtained without passion, hard work, and some difficult sacrifices.

      Question 2: My “job description” at the moment would be student as I have yet to obtain my degree from GWU. In the past, I’ve held one job – against my parents’ wishes – in order to build my resume before applying to college showing that I was capable of balancing my academics, extra-curriculars, and a part-time job.

      -Dean

    • PKP

      My best tip is to buy a metro card if you’re going to be staying in the city for a prolonged period of time. The DC metro is extremely safe, clean, and easy to navigate compared to something like the subway in NYC.

      -Dean

  5. Olivia

    PKP,

    Do you have any suggestions as to how to make Sperry’s dry out and remove the smell? I have heard of putting dryer sheets in them and then using a hair dryer, which apparently makes them smell good and also dry out.

    Thanks!

    • PKP

      I most certainly do, Olivia. This is what I do: I take the insoles out, get a plastic tin, fill the tin with vinegar, and place the insoles into the tin so they are completed submerged for a solid 4-6 hours. Once this is done, I remove the insoles, throw them in the washing machine, and then insert them back into the shoes once dry. Dryer sheets “work,” however, they don’t kill the fungus/bacteria that creates the odor.

      -Dean

      • ACKlife92

        not to steal deans thunder but a really good solution i’ve found is terry cloth insoles off amazon, $8 and can be washed. Mine used to smell deadly but now are perfectly fine. your roommates will thank you

        • PKP

          No, by all! That’s definitely going to be something I’m going to have to try out myself. Thanks for weighing in.

          -Dean

  6. Mark

    Sweaters. Do you try an match either your undershirt or ocbd to the color of the logo on the chest?

    When wearing a sweater, cuff ocbd over the end of the sleeve? Ocbd tucked in or left out?

    Have you ever noticed Polo RL seems to have some inconsistent sizing? A medium classic kit on one ocbd may be different from another medium classic fit. Ever run into this problem?

    When should one cuff his pants? Is this just for jeans?

    Favorite period of American history?

    Occasional cigar?

    Sail? Id so, race or pleasure?

    Duck Dynasty fan?

    A while ago you instagramed a pic of a gift from Brooks Brothers that appeared to be a folded flag. I was curious of the story behind this. Does BB make flags?

    • PKP

      Question 1: I hardly ever try and match the sweater to the logo. My method is to try and pick a shirt that picks on the color of the piece – and vice versa.

      Question 2: I typically do not do this unless the shirt’s sleeves are too long. When wearing sweater with layers underneath, I usually tuck in the OCBD.

      Question 3: I most certainly do. Ralph has a number of different cuts so you have to pay attention to what kind of OCBD/shirt you are buying.

      Question 4: Every time I try to cuff my pants I feel like I look like a dressed up redneck. If I could pull off the look I would do it in a second, however, I think it just all depends on your height as well as the fit of the pants.

      Question 5: Hmmm….I would say the Industrial Revolution. The USA went through dramatic changes as a result of the ingenuity of a handful of entrepreneurs – and it think that’s incredible. 1920s would be a close runner up, though….

      Question 6: I do smoke the occasion cigar, however, it’s rarely once a month – if that.

      Question 7: I do not sail, however, I’ve always wanted to learn. I’ve been on boats dozens of times (deep sea fishing, day on the water with friends, etc.), however, never a legitimate sailboat.

      Question 8: I’m not a fan but that’s only because I’ve really never watched the show before. I do have respect for the individuals the show features, as they are brilliant entrepreneurs. Who knew a simple duck whistle could make you a millionaire?

      Question 9: That flag was made by Annin Flag Makers – the oldest flag manufacturer in America – I believe. I can’t remember the full story behind the flag as it was nearly a year ago…

      -Dean

  7. Anna Cook

    Hello PKP!
    What is your definition of a good college education? I am a college freshmen and have been hearing quite a bit on this topic in my english lectures, but I love to hear other people’s opinions on the subject!
    Thank you,
    Anna

    • PKP

      I think college is all what you make out of the four year experience. You could take someone who went to an Ivy League and got C’s/D’s and compare that individual to a person who went to a public school and got straight A’s. Which individual has the better benefit? The straight A student at a public school – at least in my opinion. While the name of the institution on your college diploma does carry “weight,” it is by no means a guarantee at success. I believe a good college education is an education that challenges you, broadens your mind, and allows you to find that one thing you are good at/love.

      -Dean

  8. Jenny

    What would recommend doing, eating, etc. in Manhattan/NYC? Will be down there soon and would love some recommendations. Also, I know you often stay at the Waldorf Astoria, could you tell me more about that and it’s quality as well.

    Thank you!

    • PKP

      Question 1: Sarabeth’s is awesome for brunch; The Smith is nice for dinner (especially when they open the doors in the summer); I love the Oyster Bar in Grand Central (currently closed though); Shake Shack in Flatiron is fun when the weather in nice; and Westville is awesome (make reservations though). I could name a few others if you had a specific genre in mind.

      Question 2: I really like staying at the Waldorf mainly because the staff is incredibly nice and it’s in an ideal location. I take the train (at least from DC) into NYC, which puts me at a five minute cab ride away from the hotel making it easy to get in and get out.

      -Dean

  9. Nino Chambers

    Hey Dean,

    I have three questions for you.

    1. What do think a good first car is?

    2. I am a freshman in high school, do you thinki it is too soon to start researching colleges and if not do you think that Yale is too much of a reach school?

    3. Do you have any time management tips and tricks that help you stay on top of everything you have to do?

    Thanks in advance,
    Nino

    P.S. You’re blog is one of the few I follow, and I really appreciate the time and effort and origininality that you put into your site. It also doesn’t help that you a classic and amazing style. Keep up the good work!

    • PKP

      Question 1: All depends on what you need. If I were you, I would wait till you graduate – or at least chose what college you are going to attend – before purchasing a vehicle. Going to school in Florida vs Boston can significantly influence that decision.

      Question 2: First, it’s NEVER too early to start researching schools – props to you for starting early. Second, you should definitely have at least 1-3 “reach” schools on your list and should never be daunted by the level of their prestige. I say submit an application. The worst that can happen is that they say no thanks…

      Question 3: The best time management tip I can give you is to plan ahead. Typically, I try and keep a “schedule” for the next week in front of my in order to allow myself ample time in completing certain tasks. It also advise investing in some sort of calendar whether that be on your phone or something you keep on your desk.

      Thanks for the kind compliments! It certainly means a great deal to me.
      -Dean

  10. Sarah

    Hi Dean!

    I have followed your blog for awhile now, and I admire your style and occasional recommendations for girls’ clothing. Next year, I will be starting dental school and wearing green scrubs everyday. I am wondering if you have any recommendations for thick cardigans and closed toe shoes that would be comfortable but also professional?

    Thanks,
    Sarah

    • PKP

      Hey, Sarah. Thanks for your long time readership!

      When it comes to women’s clothes, my knowledge is…limited to say the very least. The only place I know of for thick cardigans would be something like Madewell or perhaps Anthropologie (just taking a guess here)?? As for closed toed shoes, I think you would be able to make a better guess than me – maybe a pair of Walabees from Clark’s (again…another shot in the dark).

      I know the above recommendations are pretty horrible, but I would hate to steer you in the wrong direction. Best of luck in dental school and let me know if you have anything else I might be able to help with!

      -Dean

  11. Renuka

    I’m in high school and there are a lot of things I need to plan future-wise (taking the ACT, getting good grades, extracurriculars etc). It’s hard not to get overwhelmed and stay on task. How did you manage everything? Thanks!

    • PKP

      So I made a list of all the school I wanted to apply to in a word document that included the application deadline as well as what “materials” the school needed (ACTS, SATS, Number of Letters of Recommendation, etc.). By doing this, you are essentially giving yourself an overview of when you have to submit each particular application, which ultimately keeps you on track and your stress level as low as possible. In short, stay organized and don’t cut any corners!

      -Dean

    • PKP

      I would go for pastels, a few unique patterns (stripes, maybe a subtle paisley, madras, etc.), as well as the plain options (navy, white, etc.). Unfortunately options for guys are pretty limited…

      -Dean

  12. Kahlil

    Hey Dean,

    This might be a little out of the realm of your normal questions but any advice you have would be tremendous. I am currently a sophomore in high school, and was just informed that this summer we will be moving from Massachusetts to California. I cannot fathom losing all of my friends, and starting fresh in somewhere completely new. Not to mention that I have lived in my current town of 14,000 for 10 years. Our grade is only comprised of 200 people, and the bond between all of us is very close. Any advice on exit strategies, and entry strategies in California would be EXTREMELY helpful.

    Best regards,
    Kahlil

    • PKP

      That’s definitely a tough thing to go through, Kahlil, BUT it’s going to be OK – I promise. If I were you, I would think of this as a way to “start a fresh new chapter” in your life. Instead of thinking about all the negatives, think about all the new and exciting opportunities you’ll have to grow as an individual. My point is, changes like these are difficult, but you should try and look at is as something that is exciting instead of terrifying. Don’t get me wrong, you have every right to be nervous, but you can’t let that nervousness devour you. Does that make sense?

      In regards to exit strategies, I would definitely make an effort to stay in touch with your close friends back at home, however, it’s important to develop a new friend group in California in order to prevent any “decencies.” When it comes to making friends, the best tactic I know is to be outgoing and to “own” your identity.

      Feel free to comment back and I can speak more to this when I go back through the post this evening.

      -Dean

  13. Meryl

    Hello!
    I was just wondering what your favorite book is? Also, if you have any literary suggestions for someone who loves Trimalchio and Fitzgerald in general?

    • PKP

      Favorite book? I suppose The Great Gatsby (almost a bit over the book because of how popular it is after the movie release), however I really enjoyed read The Last Typist (blog post here). In all honesty, I’m extremely behind on my book list right now…I’m about to download a couple of audio books that I can listen at the gym in order to catch up…

      -Dean

  14. Colton

    Dean,

    I am attending a business casual meeting tomorrow, and I was wondering if you have any suggestions on what to wear. Blazers are optional, but I don’t ant to just be another guy wearing khakis and a white button down. Keep up the great work, I thoroughly enjoy the site. Much appreciated!

    Colton

    • PKP

      Colton,

      Have you considered to a patterned pant (windowpane slacks, maybe something with a light checkered pattern, etc.)? If that’s not an option, I would try and at least choose a shirt with something other than a solid pattern…

      Thanks for the kind words. Best of luck at the meeting.
      -Dean

    • PKP

      In high school, I think my GPA was somewhere between a 3.70-3.8? (It was awhile ago so I can’t remember off the top of my head).

      In college, my GPA is currently just under a 3.70 – Spanish and Chemistry during Freshman year were not my strongest subjects….

      -Dean

    • PKP

      Thanks for writing in, Laura.

      Before I answer this, I wanted to clarify that I did not drop out of school. A gap semester and dropping out are two completely different things. At the moment, I am still enrolled in GW, have full access to the school’s resources, and am an active student minus any class assignments.

      PKP did play a roll in me taking a gap semester, however, my main motive was centered more around the idea that I simply did not know what I wanted to do with my future. Instead of attending classes that I wasn’t focused in, I decided to “Hit The Pause Button” (full blog post about my decision here) in order to make a few decisions about just get back to solid footing.

      Do I regret my decision to pursue a gap semester? Most definitely not. In all honesty, it’s been one of my best decisions thus far. Feel free to comment or write back with any other questions!

      -Dean

  15. Nate Ryan

    2 things:

    1) Can you name a great college with a great social life if your gpa is around a 3.0?
    2) If you had a son what would his name be?
    3) what do you do for a summer job?

    • PKP

      Question 1: Picking a college really shouldn’t depend on your GPA. It should depend more upon your interests, where you want to live for the next four years of your life, as well as “what” you want to do in college.

      Question 2: That’s a tough one…I’ve always liked unique names like Callaway, Carter, Winston, or Conrad.

      Question 3: As it currently stands, PKP will be my summer job – unless I get fired.

      -Dean

  16. Nathasha

    Hi Dean!
    I have been a loyal fan of PKP and I applaud you for mustering the courage to reveal your identity. I am excited to see how the brand will continue to grow!
    Anyways, I am looking for a navy-colored watch, so what are some of your recommendations that are under $200?

  17. Alex

    PKP,

    I’m a sophomore in high school and it seems like college is coming up quick. The only thing is, I have no clue what I want to major in. I’ve considered what seems to be everything, and I just can’t picture myself doing one thing for the rest of my life. Any advice on what to do/where to look?

    Thanks,
    Alex

    • PKP

      Alex,

      I completely know the feeling, however, it’s perfectly fine – and normal – to not know what you want to do. If I were you, I would try and decide upon a field such as Business, Science, Architecture, etc in order to begin to narrow down your options. In all honesty, most colleges pre-determine your first two-years of coursework, which is why you aren’t required to declare a major until the end of Sophomore/beginning of Junior year.

      Remember, you don’t have to know what you want to do at 16/17. Most people end up changing their major at least once -if not more – in college. Hope this helps a little.

      -Dean

    • PKP

      I think showing affection is fine unless it makes others in the room/area feel uncomfortable. Good rule of thumb? Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do in front of your mother in a public setting.

      -Dean

  18. Ryan

    Hey Dean,
    I have a weird question. I was reading the article about what to do when you turn 20 or something so I came up with this question.

    I really really REALLY want to be either a dentist or a physical therapist when I graduate from college, but someone told me something that made me rethink doing that.

    For the dentist- I want to be a dentist, but my friend said nobody would come to me because I have a gap in my teeth (I never had braces). He said it would be ironic to go to a dentist that doesn’t have good teeth himself. I cant afford braces and I don’t have insurance.

    For the therapist- I want to be a therapist, but I’m skinny so my friend said who would want to come to a skinny physical therapist who is supposes to help the patient become healthy and strong again.

    He said I would be contradicting myself.

    Thoughts? Should I give up my dream(s)?

    • PKP

      Ryan,

      Thanks for writing in. Here’s what I think…

      Re: Dentist
      While your teeth may not be “perfect,” I think your future-patients are going to care more about your work than your image. While you may not be able to afford braces at the very moment, you can always get them once you’re out of college and have a little more discretionary income. In short, a simple “flaw” (I would hardly even call it that) should NOT stop you from pursuing a particular career path.

      Re: Therapist
      Same goes for a therapist – who cares how thin you are! You can’t tell me that EVERY single doctor/nurse/health practitioner is perfectly in shape (they certainly aren’t here in the South)… Some things like weight/height/waist size are simply our of our control. Don’t beat yourself up over something you were born with.

      In short, your “friend” has some pretty questionable sources – and facts – that he’s basing these assumptions off of. If you want to be a dentist because you LOVE dentistry – then do it! If you enjoy working with people, helping them get back on track, and staying fit – then become a physical therapist! Whatever you decide to do in life, don’t let someone’s fact-less opinions question your dreams and aspirations. Remember, you can do whatever you want in life.

      Hope this helps, Ryan.

      -Dean

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