By M.J. Bale Staff
How to plan for and execute the best moments of your partying life this spring.
“When spring came,” Ernest Hemingway wrote, “… there were no problems except where to be happiest.” So true. Hemingway also added that “the only thing that could spoil a day was people,” and cautioned against making too many plans with acquaintances. We, however, are social creatures here at M.J. Bale and come alive at the first whiff of a Negroni or the opening of an envelope. But like all worthwhile things in life – especially the party season – the old adage rings true: perfect preparation prevents p**s poor performance. With that in mind, here is M.J. Bale’s spring primer: five tips to amplify your seasonal merriment.
1. No M.J. Fail: As the saying goes, a failure to plan is a plan for failure. This is similarly true for spring days and nights out on the town, on which your level of revelry success revolves around a strange alchemy involving planning and spontaneity. Spontaneity comes from being in the right place in the right time and being open to the moment (see Point 4), but you can plan for success with military precision, particularly when it comes to style. Clothes don’t maketh the man – we know that – but well-tailored & valiantly worn garments can imbue you with a sense of confidence and joy. Look at what’s in your wardrobe already from last season and can double-up this year. Can you mix-and-match jackets and trousers you already own, as in the Italian concept of spezzato dressing? What are you missing? Sometimes even a fresh new shirt or pocket square can put the literal spring in your step. If in doubt adhere to the tenets of classic style. As Cary Grant said: “Simplicity, to me, has always been the essence of good taste."
2. Respect the code: No-one wants to be under or overdressed at a wedding or spring event. Do your research on whether a dress code is in play. Black Tie is self-explanatory, Cocktail and Lounge Suit means you don a refined suit, shirt and tie combo, and wear it well (see our raffinato edit), while smart casual means dress how you like, just don’t be a slob (we say: go for tailored separates). What about the spring races dress codes? For example, Derby Day requires you adhere to the black-white theme. The most important code to respect on any night out, though, is the gentleman’s code: good etiquette, fine manners and considerate behaviour. Best of all? These last three are all free, but are more conspicuous in regards to your character than anything you could wear.
3. Party Liaison: Hosting a party at home? Set the parameters early with your mates as to how large the gathering can be so it doesn’t blow up into one of those house parties you see on the news with everyone in the street fighting in torn singlets and thongs (never advertise on social media). When it comes to cocktails, adhere to the three ingredients rule: never more than two spirits and a mixer. Speaking of booze, take more from alcohol than it does from you. Don’t be the drunkest man in the party. Don’t let the grog impair your judgement, and that includes making far-fetched plans with people you’ve only just met. Our man Ernest Hemingway had a rule for this: “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”
4. Revelry Stayer: Plan for what you can but don’t be a control freak. Nothing beats the joy of spontaneity when it comes to spring revelry. M.J. Bale’s catch-cry for the season is ‘Stay in the Moment’, and we mean it. We can’t change the past. The future is out of reach. All we can control is the present – this hour, this moment. Embrace the chaos. Read here how you can stay in the moment – both during the good and bad times.
5. Exit Signs: Stay in the moment, yes, but know when the moment has passed and it’s time to go home. Do you signal your intentions to leave the party, or just do the disappearing trick? After years of testing in the field the M.J. Bale team believes that if it’s before 12am, yes, you should flag your exit and deal with the fallout (“No, don’t goooooo”). Leaving before 12 still gives you the opportunity to wake up relatively unscathed (depending on level of revelry), and you can always say you have commitments the following morning. If it’s after 12am all bets are off. Drop the old smokebomb and make like The Usual Suspects’ Keyser Soze: “And like that… he’s gone.”