5 Lessons of Love, Style, and Modern Manners with Sabir M. Peele and BIC Flex 5

Philadelphia Street Style - Sabir M. Peele

According to Philly.com, there are about 70,000 more single woman than men in Philadelphia. That’s 1,074 single ladies for every 1,000 single men. So ladies, if you are feeling slightly love challenged in this city of brotherly love, you're both technically and mathematically on to something. It sometimes seems impossible to understand what’s going on in the minds of men in Philadelphia. Luckily, thanks to Sabir M. Peele and BIC® Flex 5™ teaming up, we don’t have to. 

You may recognize Sabir from his wildly popular menswear fashion website Men’s Style Pro or from AskMen.com. This summer, with the help of Survata, BIC® Flex 5™ conducted a Modern Manners survey that surveyed 502 Philadelphia-area Millennial men (ages 18-34) about etiquette, dating and personal style as part of their Smooth Up campaign. Basically, this survey gets to the heart of the issues that modern men and women stress about constantly. Sabir is partnering with BIC Flex 5 to get the word out about how there is finally empirical evidence about how Philly men think, dress, and Smooth Up. And some of the findings might shock the 70,000 more single women than men in Philadelphia.

For example, “Put down the foam finger and pick up a cheesesteak sandwich. Even in such an incredible sports town, Philadelphia guys think the best date is going out to a restaurant, not the ball game.” or the most shocking finding of all “Only 8 percent of Philadelphia millennial guys admit to checking a dating app on their phone…while on a date. That’s actually under the national average of 15 percent.” Well done, gentlemen.

Last week I had the chance to talk with and photograph the ever so dapper Sabir. I wanted to know what he thought about the findings and how people can use them to style up, Smooth Up, and ultimately love up. So here are 5 Lessons of Love Style and Modern Manners from Mr. Smooth himself.

 Sabir M. Peele of Men's Style Pro - Photograph by Sola Onitiri

Sabir M. Peele of Men's Style Pro - Photograph by Sola Onitiri

1. Modern manners matter.

“The guys who were surveyed really highlighted having manners as an important part of being a gentleman. 86% of the guys we surveyed, said that guys, and the world, need manners. The more you think about it, as kids we learn that you need manners, then as you start to get older you kind of rebel a little. But I think that the guys that were surveyed said look, this still resonates with us because we want people to know that we should be kind and we should be nice.”

2. Forget Clean Shaven vs Bearded; It’s all About Being Well Groomed.

“Guys here in Philly understand that being well groomed is a sign of being a gentlemen. Philly is so much a beard city, but even some of us that are more clean shaven like me, understand that the most important thing is to be is well-groomed. And I think the actual name of the campaign really resonates with guys; The Smooth Up campaign. Because you hear smooth and you think, oh my dad was a cool cat or this guy was smooth. But smoothing up doesn’t mean I’m going to shave and be smooth. I’m going to Smooth Up my character, I’m going to be a cool guy but also I’m going to have character behind me and be well thought out. I’m going to be well kept in what I do not just how I look.”

3. Ladies, good conversation is the key to romance.

“Guys, they want to talk to you. So coming in with an open mind is cool. But also for the whole Smooth Up campaign, not judging a guy by his smoothness. From a guy’s perspective, the first date and being smooth is really hard, so give a guy a little credit for taking the first step. For guys, the main thing to think about is being comfortable and confident. Because if you see that a guy is confident and comfortable you might feel comfortable to make a move yourself. It's ok to switch it up. It doesn't always have to be the guy initiating.”

4. Fellas, the “Philly Style” isn’t all sports jerseys and sweatpants.

“Philly is a style-conscious city. What you’ll learn about Philly is that it doesn’t have one style. So, you can be the sporty guy but that guy is paying attention to the guy who’s into traditional menswear. So they’re taking elements from that and injecting it into this Philly style and vice versa. You’re seeing every style starting to meld. But what you’re seeing consistently from a true style perspective is that everything is becoming a little bit more tailored but it still might have the same kind of Philly swagger and attitude. Which I think is good. There’s not one way to be a modern man but I think for Philly guys it’s all about finding your fit, because fit is key. You can tailor your style to fit and that doesn't always mean put on a suit.”

5. The Perfect First Date and first date outfit for guys.

“Take stalk in where you’re going. Any first date should never be a dinner. If you can, you should do a daytime brunch or a light meal. When you think about a first date is always really hard to have like a late dinner and go to a movie, your date is going to a place where things are assumed. So go during the day. For the Philly guy, depending on the weather, if you want to show your best self, I would do a blazer and jeans, but not a button down shirt. I would do like a sweatshirt, something that’s more sporty. Philly’s a sneaker town so a pair of black or white sneakers, a tailed jean, a sweatshirt, and a blazer - something khaki or navy blue. Something that says, look I know how to dress up casual wear. Something that’s not too in your face but also something that’s not like you’re hitting the field. It’s all about hitting different balances. Also, that’s non-threatening - if you come in too loud it’s saying ‘Look at me I’m a peacock,’ and that’s not smooth. You want to come in and say ‘This is about you, I’m here to see you’. Also keep your phone away, and be engaged. But pretty much, be smooth fool.”

Philadelphia Street Style

Huge thanks to Sabir, his team, and BIC Flex 5 for chatting with me. This was a whole bunch of fun. Catch Sabir on Instagram and BIC Flex 5 wherever razors are sold. 

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