Autumn 2013 Fashion – What are the Trends to Know About?

Autumn (or fall depending where you’re from) is the season I look forward to most – especially when it comes to fashion. Sure, it’s great to be able to spend the summer hanging out in the sunshine in just shorts and a t-shirt but there’s something comforting about being able to unpack your winter woolies from storage and rediscover all those things with sleeves.

autumn fashion

The leaves where I live are usually damper and smellier than this

But it’s not just about digging out all the old favourites, it’s the opportunity to add something new to your wardrobe too. Checking out the fall trends is something to look forward to every year – after all it pays to stay one step ahead of the game. It’s always good to be aware of coming seasonal trends before they hit the high street or mall too as that way you can narrow down which ones you want to embrace – and which ones you want to avoid.

Of course what us mere mortals will be wearing next season has already been decided by those fashion savvy individuals who attended the A/W 2013 men’s fashion shows and fashion editors and street wear style snappers with an eye for a trend who were long ago out on the sidewalks spotting recurring themes so they can tell us, runways aside, which themes are most likely to be hitting our streets this coming season.

men's plaid shirts

Don’t throw away that plaid shirt just yet

So I decided to do a little research and have been checking out what those in the know have predicted will be what any self-respecting guy will want to be wearing. Of course, not every trend is right for everyone but by knowing what we can expect we can cherry pick our nods to the up and coming men’s trends. And with this being the chilly time of year, naturally accessories play an important part, which is great as this is a budget friendly (depending on how expensive your tastes are!) way to update your existing urban wear.

It looks like plaid is going to be surviving the summer and seeing us though the year. So far it’s mostly been about plaid shirts, but next season sees plaid patterns on anything and everything, from jackets and vests (body warmers) to scarves, bags and beanies. And don’t worry if you’re a self-confessed plaid shirt fan – you don’t need to stop wearing yours as they are still very much in evidence too.

cropped pants

Hmmm

I have to admit I’m still not quite sold on this next trend: cuffed pants and shorter length trousers. I know, I know – I’m hopelessly out of touch but I just feel more comfortable in a pair of trousers that doesn’t show my ankles. But it seems that menswear is fully onboard with cropped trousers so I guess I’ll just have to get over myself as it really does seem like this is a streetwear style that’s not going away any time soon.

Here’s an easier one; backpacks. There were hoards of guys carrying backpacks outside the autumn winter shows – which is great because backpacks are useful! They hold all your stuff and they look way better than carrying a plastic bag or that free holdall you got when you signed up for gym membership. I’m happy I can now carry my shabby backpack with pride – at least for a couple of months. Army style and smart leather were the main looks on the streets.

men's backpacks

Ditch that sad free gym bag for good!

Another useful trend is scarves. Yes, I know what you’re thinking – who doesn’t wear a scarf in winter?! – but scarves are having a definite moment. This winter they’re coming in all shapes and sizes from small knotted cotton bandanas to chunky knitted scarves and from infinity style cowls to full on blankets. I’ll pick something stripy, knitted and colourful that will add a bright pop to my urbanwear outfits.

Last but not least: the ultimate in street wear – camo. I don’t think you can go wrong with camo and I must admit that I have mixed feelings when it pops up in the menswear shows every few years. I sort of don’t want it to be ‘a thing’ but I do relish the chance to wear the urban fashion that I already own and feel slightly on top of my game!

men'sscarves

Too much??

Getting dressed over the coming months should be relatively easy and I’m looking forward to trying out some of the above combinations. As urban wear evolves, men’s apparel gets more interesting and it’s great that guys can let their personality shine through just as much as the women. As for me, I’m going to start getting in the mood for autumn and start rocking my favourite tee shirts, with my beaten up old army pants, some grungy DM boots and a chunky, stripy scarf. I’m not sure if it will work – but’s that half the fun, isn’t it?!

What trends will you be embracing next season? Are you a camo fan? I love scarves but are you one of those people that can’t stand having something around your neck? And how about my nemesis the cuffed pants – I’d love to hear your thoughts on those!

Summer Trends for Men 2013: Grunge

I have to admit to being quite excited about one of this season’s trends. I can also admit that I was there the first time round, so perhaps I’m looking at this through rose tinted glasses, but grunge is back in a big way in 2013 and I for one am pretty pleased about it.

men's fashion

Everyone’s Going Grunge

But it’s not just that grunge 2013 reminds me of some of my favourite bands of all time, although of course that’s a big part of it – let’s face it, who would ever get sick of listening to Nirvana – but it’s also the fact that grunge is so easy to wear. These days it seems as if the men’s shows are just as chock full as the women’s when it comes to outfits that look, let’s be honest, really quite silly! I understand that fashion shows are there to inspire and the looks filter down to the high street or shopping mall and become more practical and less crazy versions of the high fashion looks, but with grunge you know that these are going to be easy to adopt street wear looks that aren’t going to have people pointing and laughing at you in public.

And if you’re not the sort of guy who likes to be the most showy one in the room, going grunge is the ideal way to show that you know the trends but you’re not a total fashion victim. I don’t think there is anyone who would feel a fool walking down the street in a plaid shirt worn open over a men’s t-shirt. The same can’t quite be said for some of the other looks that the designers were showing for this season: head to toe safari prints anyone? Bright blue suits? ‘Luxury’ sportswear featuring silk bomber jackets? Yeah…didn’t think so!

Doctor Martin Boots

Good Old Doctor Martin!

The other thing good thing about grunge and urbanwear is that you don’t have to spend hours puting together your outfit, then getting dressed and fretting whether you’re pulling it off. Streetwear is supposed to look effortlessly cool and grunge is the essence of not looking like you give two hoots about your clothes (even if you do on the sly!)

plaid shirts

Just Being Grunge and Hanging out in some Rubble

So what should be hanging in your wardrobe if you want to get with the trend before it’s too late? The obvious one is a checked shirt. Whether you go for cotton or flannel, the plaid shirt is the basis of your grungy closet. You can button it up but for the ultimate in ‘don’t care chic’ you need to leave it open and wear a printed t-shirts underneath. The grunge urban wear look wouldn’t be complete either without an over-sized hoody streetwear top or, if you really want to pander to your inner Kurt Cobain, a chunky wool cardigan or sweater. Holes optional.

Nirvana

The Godfather of Grunge?

Men’s jeans are still at the skinny end of the scale which is fine. Grab your oldest most battered pair and team with classic Converse All Stars or toughen up with worn work wear boots or DM’s. Denim jackets are also in this season and are perfect for adding another layer to the urbanwear look.

Finally, what about accessorizing? Well as we all know the devil is in the details and if you welcome any opportunity to pile on the accessories, street wear trends provide you with the perfect opportunity. Grab some rope or leather bracelets, invest in chunky silver jewellery and don’t forget your finishing touch – a knitted beanie. Too warm for hats? Rock that unkempt bedhead just woken up look instead by investing in some styling products.

Will you be embracing the grunge trend or do you prefer your men’s fashion to be a little on the smarter side. Let us know what you think in the guest book!

Adding Interest to your Outfit with Layering

Whilst it’s fair to say that there are many men who put lots time and effort into creating an outfit, there are just as many guys who for getting dressed in the morning means nothing more than just throwing on any old t-shirt and jeans. But with men’s fashion becoming increasingly more interesting with bright colours and eye-catching prints hitting the catwalks and stores it’s a shame that more men don’t take a little more interest in what they’re wearing.

men's fashion

Casual Preppy Layering

men's scarves

Add Accessories for Instant Interest

Even if you’re not the type of guy to leave the house in purple skinny jeans and a clashing flower patterned shirt, there are lots of easy ways to add interest to an outfit without scaring children or making your grandparents think you’ve run away and joined the circus.

In this post I’m going to take a look at layering and how getting it right can instantly transform an outfit. There are a few simple things to do to your basic outfit and, no, flowers don’t have to be involved if you don’t want them to be.

The key to layering clothing, whether it’s a smart business suit or urban wear or street wear is that none of your layers should be anything you’re embarrassed to be seen in! Think of each garment as completely separate whether you’re layering retro tshirts, plaid shirts, cardigans or dress shirts; each one should be able to stand alone as a piece of clothing. Concealing an old, worn vest under a buttoned up shirt is okay if you have no intention of undoing your shirt but if you wouldn’t be caught dead in the ‘comedy’ slogan t-shirt that you’re wearing under your shirt then don’t wear it just because you’re layering.

men's cardigans

There’s No Such Thing as Too Many Layers!

Layering up is practical and great for when the weather is cooler or for those annoying days whether it’s cold one minute and warm the next. Urbanwear works especially well when layered; a t-shirt worn under a plaid shirt with a hoodie on top looks great providing a little thought has gone into the colours and they are accessorized with a cool pair of trainers and a great scarf. This is another reason why you should make sure all your layers are ones you’d be proud to be seen in; you never know when you’re going to be hot and need to remove a jacket or a sweater – and the last thing you want is to be caught out in a filthy, torn old t-shirt advertising beer!

Talking of colours, keep your palette to just one or two very brights or patterns – if there’s a lot going on in your outfit you don’t want to look like you’ve just been attacked by a clown with a vengeance. Back to the circus references again…

 

You should also make sure your layers fit well over one another. Streetwear styles can often be big and baggy but a well cut men’s t-shirt worn with a shirt that’s the right size for you with a slightly larger but still decently fitting lightweight jacket over the top looks great. Just keep it all in proportion and make sure your outer layers aren’t too tight and your second and third layers are not too big.

Ethereal Clothing

Casual Layering with a Plaid Shirt and Tee

On a similar note you should also make sure that the hems of the tee, shirt, sweater or jacket worn under a coat don’t stick out from below the top layers. Urban wear may embrace shirts sticking out from under sweaters, but if you want a look that’s well pulled together you should avoid this.

Finally, it’s not all about shirts, blazers, jackets and coats though these are obviously necessary to building a layered look. Street wear looks just as good as smart clothing does when it’s accessorized and belts, scarves, beanies and hats all count as layers – and they’ll all help take that boring jean and t-shirt to a whole new level and say ‘this is a guy who knows how to layer!’

Any comments? Why not let us know what you think and how you like to add a certain something to a regular outfit. And if you’re looking for urban wear and original clothing with a difference, go check out our website for some inspired t shirts that are perfect worn alone or under your favourite shirt!

Men’s T-Shirts: V-Neck versus Crew Neck

There often seems to be a lot of blog posts and articles written about “how-to…” regarding dressed up men’s fashion but there seems to be less information (from what I have found anyway) about men’s urban wear and street wear. Perhaps this is because men can just throw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and walk out the door ready to face the day, and whilst nobody wants to over-complicate the matter surely there is a little more to it than that?!

v neck blue

And let’s face it, not all guys are super confident when it comes to getting dressed and there may well be dudes out there who are not sure whether to risk a V-neck t-shirt instead of their usual crew neck, for example, so today I’m going to take a look at crew neck versus V-neck and see what I can discover.

A lot of men don’t feel comfortable in tanks, vests, singlets, wife-beaters…whatever you call them in your neck of the woods. And yes, we call them wife-beaters in the UK where I’m from. Nice. But moving on, the tank (let’s go with tank…) can be a little tricky to pull off and feel confident in if you’re not totally happy with your upper body shape. And whilst tanks can be great for the beach or other relaxed scenarios they can be a little under-dressed even for casual restaurants or bars. And nobody likes getting turned away from bars (at least I don’t) so this is why I’m talking about men’s t-shirts right now. I think. Ethereal T-shirts

So, I seem to have lost the thread there slightly: it was the bar talk that did it, so where were we? Crew neck t-shirt v. V-neck t-shirt: let’s look at a few facts.

Crew Neck Tees :

  • If you don’t want to show off your manly/beastly chest hair (or reveal your lack of it) a crew neck will conceal what lies beneath
  • Because round neck t-shirts are the ‘classic’ urbanwear shape there are a lot more designs available so if you’re the sort of guy who would rather get his back waxed than go shopping (you would??) you’ll be able to grab yourself a tshirt without oo much hassle at all
  • A round neck will also work better under an open shirt if you’re going for a grungey or streetwear feel
  • They can seem a little ‘safe’ however so if you’re looking for something a little more metro-sexual you may want to consider a ‘V’

 

V-Neck Tees:

  • Been working out? Good for you. Flash a glimpse of your toned flesh with a V-neck shirt. This style tends to be a little more fitted too so not only will you be showing a bit more chest but you’ll be creating a sleeker looking outline too
  • This style doesn’t work as well as a crew neck under an open shirt but it will work nicely when layered  with a deep-V cardigan or button through sweater
  • Generally considered a more fashion forward option, you will probably find that a lot of traditional stores and online clothes shopping sites carry a limited range in comparison to the, some would say, more wearable traditional shaped tee.

men's urban wear

Whichever side of the urbanwear camp you fall in, as all stylish guys know it’s always good to mix things up a little and unless you are seriously averse to showing that little triangle of chest, dedicated  crew neck wearers might be pleasantly surprised to give the V-neck a trial run. The other thing to remember is that V-necks can be high cut or deep cut so you can always ease yourself into this street wear trend by keeping it fairly modest at first.

Other than that, play around, have fun and you may well find that you’ve added a whole new urban wear element to your wardrobe.   open necked t-shirt

What shape or cut of t-shirt do you like best? Know what suits you best or are you looking for a change? Let us know in the guest book and if you’re looking for a distinct take on designer t-shirts why not head over to our website for original clothing and streetwear t-shirts with a difference.

The London Men’s Fashion Shows: 8 Key Trends for Men in S/S14

New York, Paris, London, Milan: stylish gents everywhere have been eagerly scouring the web for the latest photos and the trends to be emerging from the men’s fashion weeks that will dictate what you’ll be wearing come spring summer 2014. Yes it might seem a long way off, after all, at the time of writing, we’re barely in July 2013, but it never hurts to be one step ahead of the fashion pack and to find out what’s going to big in a few season’s time.

london fashion week

Hitting the Runways

So let’s take a look through the fashion crystal ball and pull out a number of key themes that the London shows had to offer.

The New Trouser Cuff

The rolled up trouser cuffs of the past few seasons have disappeared and pants hemlines have risen even higher with distinctly shorter length trousers taking over. Many male models on the catwalks were spotted showing their bare ankles with too much flesh on show to even consider wearing a pair of socks. The slim fitting, tailored look was still in evidence although spring summer ’14 does look on course to see a big variation in men’s silhouettes too.

Sportswear is Back

mens fashion week

Show Us Some Leg!

Never one to stray far from seasonal trends, particularly in menswear, sportswear was also back in a big way. And when I say big way, I mean it. The London shows saw models strutting their stuff in big and baggy oversized t-shirts as well as a take on basketball style shorts. Mesh sweaters, windcheater jackets and anoraks were also in evidence although the key with the new season’s sportier vibe is to keep it luxe. Fabrics were less day-glo and synthetic than previous seasons and were definitely showing a little more sporting flair.

Prints, Please

mens london fashion week

Take a Bow for Helping Kick Start a Trend

Guys who like their shirts and trousers to stand out from the crowd will be pleased as prints were very much in evidence at the London shows. A relative newcomer to menswear, designers seem to have taken the printed theme and run with it, with this season’s bird and floral prints being taken to new levels. We’re talking printed world maps to on safari style and bold stripes and western style checks. Even brightly coloured floral trousers were spotted at one show.

On Safari

Sticking with the above mentioned safari style prints, there was a distinct all-encompassing jungle feel to some of the collections shown in London. From the animal print fabrics used to the edgy ethnic style, loose fitting garments cut from lightweight fabrics walked out in earthy muted tones of brown and dark green. This is one for all you hunters out there – just don’t forget your pith helmet!

s/s14

Too Much??

Classic meets Contemporary

Classic also met contemporary with some Saville Row tailors throwing caution to the wind and giving their traditional bespoke gentlemanly style a slightly more casual edge. Naturally suits were still the main look and they though were still tailored there was a definite modern touch to the cuts and colours, particularly in the suits which eschewed long trousers for knee length shorts.

Colour’s Sticking Around a Little Longer

Colour isn’t going anywhere and next spring and summer look set to be just as bright as this one with a rainbow of blues, greens, yellows, reds and turquoises all trying to grab our attention. We saw colour blocked pockets, brightly coloured tailoring, kitsch pop art designs and detailing in clashing colours such contrasting stitching or a green shirt with blue sleeves, collar and breast pocket. We say hold on to those lemon yellow, fire engine red or purple jeans you’ve been rocking this summer!

mens fashion shows

The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades (Dated Reference Alert!)

Looks Like Teen Spirit

Whether you love it or you’re not a fan Seattle style made a return to the fashion arena in the form of updated grunge. The usual suspects were given a fresh and decidedly stylish new make-over by some of the London designers who showed us plaid shirts, granddad cardigans, trench coats, and urban men’s t-shirts with graphic prints. The difference between ‘new’ grunge and ‘old’ grunge? The threads might have been casual but there were definitely no holes in these cardigans!

Baggy Trousers

And finally, those different trouser shapes I mentioned earlier on. Yes, slim fit trousers are still around but ultra-skinny trousers pants have disappeared with many men’s London fashion week designers making the transition from skinny to slim and others going in a different direction completely and presenting the antidote in loose fitting, slouchy trousers and shorts. Good news for all you men who are hating on the skinny jean look!

mens spring summer

New Season, New Shape

In London at least the menswear designers seemed to be determined to stir things up a little – fitting for a city that likes a healthy dollop of fun with its fashion. Whichever direction you find yourself going in in spring 2014 (or even earlier if you’re really fashion forward!) in the London collections alone you’re sure to find something to suit your style.

LFW

It’ll be Interesting to See the High Street Version…

What did you think about the collections shown at the respective men’s fashion weeks? Will you be rocking any of the above looks or did you see something you preferred in NYC, Milan or Paris? Let us know in the comments and if you’re looking for printed men’s t-shirts to stay one step ahead and embrace New Grunge already take a look at our website where our urban t-shirts are now ready to pre-order.

How to Match your Tie and Shirt: the 3 Easy Rules

If you regularly wear a suit to work, like many men you may have felt just the tiniest bit of trepidation when it comes to matching your shirt to your tie. Of course men’s shirts come in a range of colours, stripes and checks and as for ties – well the variation is limitless, so how do you get it right when it comes to pairing the two and how can you ensure that you’re making an dapper style statement and not a fashion faux pas that has your colleagues sniggering behind your back?

clashing patterns

Headache Inducing Shirt & Tie Combo

It can be tempting to stick with what you know but let’s face it there aren’t that many ways a guy can make an impact in the style stakes when in the office so paying a little more attention to your tie ‘n’ shirt combo can do wonders for your look. Let’s take a look at how to create a shirt and tie dream team because you do have several options.

1)      Plain tie with a plain shirt. This is obviously the easiest pairing to go for and a great way to experiment if this is your first foray into the wonderful world of men’s fashion. There is just one main rule to bear in mind when matching a plain shirt and tie and that is to avoid wearing either both light colours or both dark colours. Or heaven forbid, matching them exactly!

Trying out a plain white shirt or a pale blue or pink shirt with a colour popping tie is an awesome way of adding some interest to your office attire. If your shirt is white you have a whole host of colours to choose from but if your shirt is coloured you should stick within the same colour pallet to avoid looking garish. For example, pair a light blue shirt with a navy tie and you’ll be killing it at the water cooler.

plain shirt and tie

Perfectly Plain…But Not Boring

2)      Plain tie with a patterned shirt. Okay, this is slightly trickier but don’t panic just yet as you can still pull this off with panache with just a modicum of care. There is just one basic rule here: match the colour of the tie to one of the colours – or something within the colour pallet – of the shirt. For example, if you’re wearing a lilac and white gingham shirt opting for a purple tie will work well.

pink men's ties

Style Points for Wearing Pink

3)      Patterned tie with a plain shirt. This is exactly the same as above; if your shirt is plain light blue go for a tie that has a shade of blue in it too, for instance a blue and white polka dot pattern.

4)      Patterned tie and patterned shirt. Right, this is where things can get a little more complex but it’s still not rocket science so don’t abandon all thoughts of ever hoping to pull off the double-patterned look. There are three things to consider:

–          Pick a detail from your tie and coordinate it with the principal colour in the shirt

–          Watch your pattern sizes – the pattern in the tie should be bigger than the pattern in the shirt otherwise the scales will look out of proportion

striped tie and check shirt

Checks and Stripes DO Work

–          Mix your patterns up: you can rock a checked shirt with a spotted tie but don’t be fooled into thinking that you can wear a check shirt and a checked tie or, possibly even worse, a spotty tie with a spotty shirt. Unless the Coco the Clown effect is the look that you were after

So you see, making a little effort doesn’t have to be a pain in the behind and as long as you keep the basic principles about matching colour families and not going spot on spot in mind you should be just fine! Play around, have fun and before you know it you’ll have upped your game with a minimum of fuss.

What are your thoughts when it comes to pairing shirts and ties? Do you play it safe or you do you like to inject some colour and a dash of daring into your otherwise boring office apparel?  Let us know in the comments, why don’t you?!

And why not follow us on Twitter too for our occasional Tweets on men’s clothing and urban fashion. Annnnnd talking of urban wear, why not check out our new website where we’ll soon be selling our very own range of street wear style men’s t-shirts?

Belt Up: The Low Down on Choosing a Belt

I thought with this post it was time to take a look at one of the unsung heroes of men’s fashion; the humble belt. We all own belts, we all wear them but how much thought do we really give to that essential strip of leather or fabric which so admirably stops our jeans or trousers from falling down and getting us arrested for indecent exposure? I suspect not an awful lot, so let’s rectify that today and shine the spotlight on men’s belts for a few minutes. Or at least until I run out of things to say about them…

men's belts

Choosing a Belt

First of all, how should you choose a belt? This depends on the occasion because needless to say not all belts are built the same and if you think it’s okay to rock a fabric skater style belt with your office suit or a shiny leather belt with a silver buckle with your cargo pants, I’m sorry to say but you’re not quite down with this whole belt thing. But not to despair because choosing a belt is easy.

If you’re looking for a formal belt to wear with a suit – be it your work suit or something smarter for a wedding or court appearance – then aim for a belt that is between 1” and 1.5” – any wider will look too casual and should be saved for your downtime.

Don’t know what colour to go for? It depends entirely on your footwear. Black shoes = black belt, brown shoes = brown belt. If you are going for brown just make sure you get the shades as close as possible. men's leather belts

If you want something casual to wear with your jeans and a t-shirt then naturally do the opposite. Pick something that is wider than 1.5” and steer clear of shiny finishes. Matt leather or fabric will be your best choices unless you want to look mix-matched.

How Long is too Long?

Always buy a belt that is one size larger than your waist. You have a 32” waist? Buy a belt that is 33 inches. Any longer and you’ll have an unsightly tab of belt to tuck into your belt loops and any shorter and you’ll be turning blue due to lack of oxygen.

As a rule of thumb, your belt should be comfortable when worn on the third hole.

men's western belts

All Leathers are not Equal

Leather-wise, you have a number of options to go for which really depends on how much money you want to fork out. Here are the basics:

  • Synthetic leather: the cheapest option – don’t expect to be able to hand this belt down to your kids as a family heirloom
  • Bonded leather: this has internal layers of waste or poorer quality leather with a synthetic leather finish on top
  • Genuine leather: again this has inner layers of waste leather but with a real leather outer – beware though as sometimes this might not be the finest quality of leather, even though it’s real
  • Full leather: the best quality you can buy. This is high quality leather through and through. The downside to a real leather belt is that it scratches easily but if looked after well it will last you for years. Naturally this is your most expensive option

The Humble Belt as Fashion Accessory

Many gents don’t like to wear a belt, either feeling that it breaks their outfit up, or for other more personal, and undoubtedly sinister, reasons. And that’s fine – nobody says you have to wear one but try thinking of the belt as more than just a strip of leather whose only function is to keep your pants up, and consider it as an essential part of your outfit as your other accessories. You pay attention to your shoes, your watch, your choice of scarf; so why not your belt? The right choice of belt could instantly elevate your outfit into something truly dapper. And when I say ‘right choice of belt’ I’m not talking about a western style belt with an oversized longhorn skull on the buckle.cowboy belts

Looking after Your Belt

No matter whether you’ve pushed the boat out and treated yourself to an expensive full leather belt or you’ve gone for a budget friendly high street version, any leather or synthetic leather belt will last longer if you look after it properly. This means not leaving your belt in your trousers or jeans when you hang/fold/throw them on the floor at night but removing the belt and hanging it up vertically.

And on that note, I have officially run out of things to say about belts so why not let us know your thoughts in the comments box below? And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for more men’s fashion related things that are 140 characters or less, and visit our website too where our new t-shirt range is available to pre-order. Thanks!

 

Men’s Hair Care Products: Just WHAT is in those Pots, Cans and Bottles??

It’s all very well getting dressed up in your favourite men’s t-shirt and expensive designer jeans but your look isn’t complete unless you’ve taken at least a little time over your hairstyle. These days it’s not enough for the stylish guy to simply leap (or stumble) out of bed and throw on whatever clothes happen to be lying on the floor; if you want to make an impact and show the world that you care about your appearance you need to pay a little attention to your hair too.

bed head hair

The state of your hair can make or break your outfit- take a male fashion icon like David Beckham for an example. OK, you might not want to be rocking a sarong this season (sorry, Beckham but we will never forget…) and the Mohawk might not be your hairstyle of choice (unfortunately we still remember that too) but there’s no denying that the guy has got his hair care routine sorted.

But with a myriad of products lining the shelves of your local supermarket or pharmacy where does the discerning gent start? There’s a seemingly endless choice of hair products out there with new ‘wonder products’ flooding the market on an almost constant basis and if like me you’ve tried virtually every type of styling product known to man in the desperate bid for better hair – often with unfortunate results – you might be wondering where to start. Well, it’s time to stop wasting your hard earned cash and time to stop cluttering up your bathroom cabinets with half used pots of gunk and find out.

The key to finding the right hair care product for you is to understand what type of hair you have. Not all hair is created equal and hence not all styling products are suitable for your mop. It also depends on what type of look you’re going for too; are you hankering after the slicked back Mad Men look or is the tousled ‘just got out of bed’ look more your thing?

mad men

Is this what you see when you look in the mirror??

Products generally break down into three different types: those that give you a shiny or wet look finish, those that create a matte or dry look and those that add texture or hold. But which one is which? Read on as we break down the different product types so you can decide which is best for you.

First off the classic gel. Now wait a minute because I know for many of us (particularly those of a certain age) hair gel was our first foray into the world of hair care and it can bring back painful memories of being an awkward 14 year old in an ill-fitting school uniform whose hair was more of a hot (wet) mess than pop-star perfect. But hair gel has moved with the times and is no longer the electric blue, chemically scented slop in a see-thru pot of our youth, or my youth anyway. These days gel is actually a decent choice if you’re looking to add a touch of the wet look to short to medium length hair. However only those with thick hair should use gel as it’s too heavy on fine hair. It should also be used sparingly as too much will likely drip of the ends of your hair. (Trust me I know this.)

Next up, wax. Wax is also a product that’s been around for years but it is great for holding a slightly more ‘engineered’ hair style in place.  It’s much more matte than gel and will add texture too. Like gel however it works best on thicker, medium length hair. Again use fairly sparingly and warm it up in your palms first before using on your hair.

If you want to add body to thin or fine hair, mousse is your savior. Again this is seen as a slightly dated hair care product but it can still be found – companies such as Toni and Guy still produce mousse – and it definitely shouldn’t be ignored if you’re trying to add a little oomph to a lifeless head of hair. Mousse works with any length of hair too.hair care products

While we’re talking old school it would be remiss not to mention pomade. The choice of dapper black and white films stars – and granddads – this is the key to getting that slick Don Draper look. Pomade works on thin and thick and wavy and curly hair so it’s a good choice for pretty much anyone who sees themselves as a 1960’s era ad exec.

If you’ve paid any attention to hair products lately you may have been slightly perturbed by the appearance on the shelves of things called ‘clay’, ‘mud’ or ‘putty’. These are this generation’s version of wax and are similarly used to add matte texture. They are a little more pliable than wax however which makes them perfect for crafting that “I spent 30 minutes in front of the mirror this morning but I look like I’ve just rolled out of bed” look. Clays and putties can be used on all hair lengths and types from thin to thick and from poker straight to wavy.

Hair creams are a lighter option if you want a slightly more subtle finish and you don’t want to look like you’ve used anything on your hair at all. They’re good for taming flyaway or wild locks and again work on all lengths and everything from thin to thick and from straight to very curly hair.

hair spray

Not just for girls!

Finally, and stop laughing at the back, but hair spray is still knocking around and whilst you may or may not want anyone to know you have a can of your grandmother’s favourite beauty product sitting on your bathroom shelf it can’t be beaten for holding your style in place. After all you’ve gone to all that trouble, so don’t let a gust of wind destroy all your hard work the minute you step out the house!

This post was brought to you by the excellently-coiffured team at Ethereal Clothing. Check out our range of urban men’s t-shirts here and head on over to facebook to like our page and see more tips and words of (occasional) wisdom.

 

What to Wear for a Wedding

It’s wedding season! Yes, once again that time of the year has rolled round and whether you love the opportunity to get dressed up, hit the dance floor and eye up your fellow wedding guests or the thought of sitting through a ceremony, listening to interminable ‘hilarious’ speeches and nodding politely to Great Aunt Edna’s ramblings at the dinner table brings you out in a cold sweat, there’s no escaping the fact that it’s a distinct possibility you’ll get invited to a wedding this year.

For most people, and that includes guys and girls, upon receiving a wedding invite, our first thought is either something along the lines of “Yes – an excuse to go shopping!” or alternatively “$@*% – I’ve got nothing to wear!” If you’re honoured to be chosen as a member of the wedding party; best man, usher, ring bearer or the like you’ll probably have the matter taken out of your hands as the bride and groom will decide upon your look but if you’re just one of the rabble and you don’t have a stylish other half to help you get dressed, you might be wondering how on earth you’re going to cobble a half decent outfit together.

what to wear to a wedding

“Noooooooooooo! A wedding invite!”

If you don’t wear suits on a regular basis you might want to grab that one that’s hanging in the back of your wardrobe sooner rather than later and give it a once over. Yes, they can cost a lot of money but men’s suits don’t last forever and if you’ve been wearing yours to every wedding, funeral and court appearance (?!) for the last 15 years it may well have seen better days. Check the seat, the lapels and the elbows in particular for the shininess that indicates, well, that your suit’s next stop should be your local charity shop.

If that’s the case and you’re faced with the formidable task of buying a new suit there are a few things to bear in mind before you set out on your quest. First of all fabric: it may be summer but if you’re investing in a new men’s suit you might want to go for a material that can be worn all year round and avoid linen, no matter how warm the weather. Besides linen creases terribly and it won’t be long before you look as rumpled and disheveled as the bride’s drunken uncle Monty. Rule of thumb: stick with wool, or if you can afford, it a wool-cashmere mix.

Fit is crucial when buying a suit; tempting as it may be don’t just grab the nearest thing that ‘looks about right’ – after all buying men’s t-shirts is one thing but a suit is an investment. The shoulder padding in the jacket should fit your shoulders squarely and if the pads are drooping or hanging down or there are indentations in the fabric, it’s too big and you need to drop down a size.

men's suits

It’s all about the fit

The cuffs of a suit jacket are one sure fire way to tell if the suit is too big for you. We’ve all seen guys in ill-fitting suits that look like school boys trying to impress in their older brother or dad’s suit. Getting the length of the cuff right is vital if this is NOT the look you’re going for. Make sure that the cuffs hang no lower than the point where your thumb joins your hand.

You’ve got your suit but what about your shirt and tie? Contrary to popular belief, you can play around with spots, stripes and checks – just don’t go overboard or you’ll end up looking like a third rate comedian. Men’s shirts in a two-colour way check will look great with a plain suit and a bold striped tie. If you go for a stripy shirt AND a stripy tie ensure that the stripes are of different widths. Likewise if you wear a patterned tie with a striped shirt if the stripes are wide make sure your pattern is smaller or more low key – and vice versa.

men's suits and ties

A tasteful clash of stripes and patterns

Getting dressed for a wedding doesn’t have to be a complete nightmare and with a few pointers you’ll be able to relax and maybe even look forward to it! After all even the dullest sounding weddings can turn into nights out to remember. Although obviously it does help if there’s a free bar involved.

Have you got any crazy wedding stories or formal menswear fashion tips? Why not leave them in the comments or come on over to our Facebook page and share them on there? 

6 Great Alternatives to Denim

We all have that tried and trusted favourite pair of jeans we swear by but sometimes we need to switch it up a bit and get out of that denim rut. The problem is, it can be hard to know exactly how and what to wear instead – especially if you harbour the fear that you’re going to end up looking like your dad and/or an aging golfer, so read on for some suggestions for alternative bottoms to wear with your men’s t-shirts and shirts.

1)      Grey trousers: every self-respecting guy should own a smart pair of grey trousers. We’re not talking thin cotton slacks like your old school trousers or something you’d wear to the office, but a slim cut, tailored style in a good quality heavier fabric. Team with a short sleeved button down shirt and leather loafers to complete the dapper look.

2)      Linen trousers: linen doesn’t have to make you look like you’re on your way to the yacht club. Just keep the cut straight and – it goes without saying – don’t wear with a pastel lemon yellow sweater draped over your shoulders. Unless of course that’s the look you’re aiming for! Yes, linen creases, but by embracing the wrinkles you’ll achieve a slightly disheveled air of nonchalance.

Men's Linen Pants

Looking Suave

3)      Khakis, combats and cargo pants: call them what you will, these are an enduring staple of any man’s wardrobe and while they do go in and out of the fashion limelight, cargos make an easy-to-wear alternative to jeans and always look great when worn with a crisp, clean white men’s t-shirt.

4)      Shorts: you’ve got the climate, you’ve got the legs, why not forget your denims for a day and roll with shorts instead. Preppy, longer length men’s shorts were all over the designer catwalks for Spring Summer 2013 in a wide range of colours ranging from classic navy to bright orange. Play it safe with a white tee or go for a colour-clash in one of the brightly hued men’s tshirts that are also making their statement next season.

5)      Patterned trousers: another big stand out in men’s designer fashion for the up and coming season was pattern. Whether you want to go wild in bright prints and colours or play it down with an understated check, you should have plenty of options to choose from. Word to the wise: keep checked trousers to a slim cut to avoid looking like an extra from a Chevy Chase movie.

Chevy Chase National Lampoons

Hey – There’s NOTHING Wrong with Dressing Like This!

6)      Biker pants: possibly a trickier one to pull off, but since Balmain introduced their biker-style men’s trousers, other designers have been taking notice and following suit with their own more affordable versions. Cut slim and with rugged knee patches these are a directional look for the type of guy that wouldn’t be caught dead in board shorts. Wear with biker boots or a pair of slip-on Vans trainers.

So, to summarize, while it might be tempting to roll out of bed and pull on those crumpled denims that are lying on the floor, sometimes it can make a refreshing change to go for something a little different. If you like to make a statement you can be as daring as you like with this season’s men’s trousers but it’s equally possible to still create a unique look that’s a little more subtle.

Let us know what you wear when you’re trying to drag yourself out of a denim rut in the comments box and don’t forget to check out Ethereal Clothing’s great range of urban men’s t-shirts for inspiration for your top half!