OutsideLeft's own in-house self-appointed style expert, Fancylad, has just returned from his two-month long sabbatical in Jamaica. He's tanned, refreshed and ready to answer all of your nagging questions on fads, fashion, vanity, style and the gentleman's code of conduct.
My friend says you leave the bands on cigars when you smoke them. I say you take them off before smoking. Who's right? - - Warren J., Newport Beach, CA
There are two schools of thought on this one. Being discreet to the point of affectation, I remove the bands before smoking. I've noticed that most smokers do not, apparently on the theory that "If you've got it, flaunt it." But one friend of mine says it's okay to leave them on, lest you damage the wrapper in removing the band. So is someone is calling you on when you're whipping around your Cohiba, at least you have an excuse.
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My girlfriend and I are still arguing about this one. I say "dinner at eight" means we should be there at eight. She says we should be there at eight-thirty.
- - Vini, the Baltimore area
Me personally, I show up fifteen minutes late even though my obsessive-compulsive on-time tendencies might have me driving around the block a few times. In my neck of the woods, dinner at eight means that you should probably arrive between eight-fifteen and eight-thirty. This guideline does not apply to business meetings, weddings or other ceremonial occasions when the announced time should be observed.
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Does slipping the maitre d' a tip like they do in the movies get you a better table? If so, how much do you slip?
- - Alex, San Francisco
My Magic 8 Ball says, "Don't count on it."
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Need advice? Does it concern fashion? Style? Affairs of the heart? Fancylad shoots straight from the hip pocket. Send him all of your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org‚Äîthe intern-monkeys will be sure to pass them on to him.