The Best Running Watches To Buy In 2018

The Best Running Watches To Buy In 2018

The running buddies that keep up with you all the way to mile 26

By Richard Jones

While it might not be the first question on your mind after a punishing run (that should be whether or not you’ll ever feel your jelly legs again), you’re soon going to want to know just how fast you’ve been running. So thank goodness for the rise in running watches, which will also happen to tell you how late you are for tonight’s date while you were too busy busting a lung.

Modern running watches are like wearable coaches. They track your routes, give you split times and exertion data mid-run, and teach you how to pace yourself so you don’t embarrass yourself on the 5K you’ve signed up for. If yours has a GPS function it will also smugly tell your Facebook friends how many miles you’ve clocked on Saturday morning before they’ve even switched the kettle on.

Serious runners also want to know how well their recovery periods are going, so watches that track that your sleep can help you manage your energy supplies. Some running watches are now even able to estimate your V02 max – the measurement of how well your body is able to use oxygen while working hard, i.e. your capacity for endurance. It’s another tool in a long line of running watch functions that can show you how best to chase down your next PB.

When buying a watch to aid your running training, firstly think about how you’re going to use it. Ben Barwick, running coach at Full Potential states, “If you are into running marathons and spending four hours running on race day then certainly think about your battery life. If you do a lot of sports, and running is just one of them alongside the gym, then maybe a more generic fitness watch would be better suited. If you run to music think about a brand that lets you play music from the watch without having to carry around your phone.”

If you are more into trail running than running on flat ground, Team GB ultra marathon runner and coach Robbie Britton recommends you look into a watch with an altimeter feature: “When you’re running around a mountain like Ben Nevis, which is roughly 1300m high, the altimeter can tell you that you are at 800m. It is an important measure when you’re not training on the flat as not all miles are created equal.” Barwick does warn against getting a watch which is loaded with features you might not find necessary for your training, however. “Think about how easy the watch is to use. I say that if my mum can use it then that is a good litmus test of a running watch.”

He adds, “Finally, be happy with the ecosystem you’re buying into. Each brand will have their own way of putting the data online, that you can usually trial for free, and you may find one of them just feels nicer to move around than others.”

The Best Running Watch Brands

Garmin

Garmin has the widest-ranging portfolio of running watches on this list, and are kings of the sector when it comes to wearable GPS systems. “Asking if you run with a Garmin is like saying you’re going to Google something,” says Barwick. The American company was founded in the 1980s when satellite navigation was just starting to break into the mass market, and their first client was the U.S. Army during the Gulf War. It’s little wonder then that Garmin watches are sought after by running aficionados for their military precision.

Of course there is the risk that with so many tricks on offer you can buy a Garmin watch that has more features than you need (seriously, is your ground contact time really that important?), yet if you’re serious about racking up miles, an investment in one of these running buddies can certainly take you a long way.

Garmin Vivoacitive 3

Fitbit

Another name that has become synonymous with the human race’s quest for 24-hour fitness monitoring, Fitbit started out with simple activity trackers. Now it produces sophisticated running watches that do the hard miles with you.

The Californian company’s first three watches, the Blaze, the Ionic and the Versa, all feature heart rate monitors, sleep trackers and coaching workouts but aware that the cheaper Blaze and Versa models come without (feign shock horror) an internal GPS. If you want to track your run with these you’re going to need your phone on you.

The Versa does have a better looking, more curvaceous shape compared to the Ionic, but if you’re unwilling to track your running distances on your phone and hankering for something that will take your running to the next level, the more expensive Ionic would be a better option.

Fitbit Versa

Polar

Founded in Finland, hence the Arctic name, Polar is a podium choice if you want to make it to the finish (or should that be Finnish) line first. The company filed the first patent for wireless heart rate measurement in 1979 and three years later launched the first ever wire-free wearable heart rate monitor – now a vital gadget in any runner’s arsenal.

As with Garmin, it covers a range of products at varying price points – if a little less pricey than its American counterparts – and you can also go phone-less with Google Play music and not have to suffer with an extra device jangling around in your pocket. Also, note the beefy battery life – handy if you can keep running for multiple hours.

Polar M430

Apple

Unsatisfied with dominating the world of laptops and mobile phones, Apple decided that it also fancied taking a bite out of Garmin and Polar’s, erm, apple. Anyway, it’s providing stern competition, with the Apple Watch having the easy-to-use capabilities of its other products, while not forgetting that with Apple stores popping up in most cities it’s hardly difficult to get one fixed.

Downloaded with the Workouts app, the watches have a heart rate monitor, stop times at each mile and a GPS tracking system; however the data gathered is quite basic compared to other brands. Apple does claim to have one of the brightest screens, though, so you won’t have to stop and squint too hard to check on your pounding heart rate.

Apple watch series 3

TomTom

Another of the sat nav manufacturers that jogged into the fitness industry, TomTom is a Dutch company just a little younger than Garmin but no less dominant in the GPS world. TomTom made their foray into the running watch market in 2017, launching their first solo watch offering – the TomTom Runner. Its lightweight and comfortable fit was applauded by those in the running community, as was its relatively affordable price point when compared to Garmin.

The latest model is the TomTom Runner 3, which has all the gadgets and gizmos you need – GPS, heart rate monitor, VO2 max feedback and a built-in music player. While they might not have all the bells and whistles of your high-end Garmin watches, they are a solid mid-range offering.

TomTom Spark 3

Suunto

While the Swiss have dominated traditional watchmaking for the past two centuries, it’s the Finnish that are bringing the industry kicking and screaming into the modern day, as Suunto has proven. The company started life out at the forefront of compass technology in the 1930s, when its founder Tuomas Vohlonen invented a way to fill a compass with liquid so as to prevent wear from excessive motion.

It wasn’t until 1997 that the company started selling watches but they’ve helped revolutionise the industry, with the Suunto Vector being the first wristwatch to feature the now oft-used ABC functions of altimeter, barometer and compass. If you’re running off-road, have one on your wrist. They’re a little bulky, but with the mighty array of data on offer, you’ll soon find room for forgiveness.

Suunto Ambit3

Wellograph

Billed not just as a fitness watch, but as a ‘lifestyle’ one, the Wellograph watch links up to an app that monitors your runs, quality of recovering sleep, heart rate and general movement.

The watch boasts a 9-axis accelerometer to more accurately count your steps as well as to prevent you from cheating with a quick shake to make up for a disappointing effort. It also has the ability to save data for up to four months of running sessions so you can track your progress in the build-up to a race. With a watch this painfully attentive there is no room for slacking.

Wellograph watch

Samsung

Anything Apple can do, Samsung can do better. Or so they must be saying in the board meetings at the South Korean conglomerate, as they follow Apple from the smartphone to the smartwatch.

If you’re an iPhone fan then the Samsung won’t be for you. Although not as runner specific as Garmin, Samsung is ideal if you run with music, offering online Spotify capabilities and a rotating bezel and touchscreen on its Gear Sport model, meaning that sweaty fingerprints won’t get in the way of you finding how much you beasted that last sprint.

Samsung Gear Sport

Timex

Timex is the oldest company on this list, having formed in 1853, back when wristwatches measuring every calorie and time-split were still in the distant dystopian future. The company was on its last legs in the 1970s before it made a new name for itself in the realm of sports watches. This was thanks to the Timex Ironman, which was first produced in 1986 with the help of Ironman Triathlon timekeepers.

Timex running watches are certainly the easiest to use, taking pride in their accuracy over any fancy gizmos. Their black and white 8-bit graphics provide a bit of a throwback amongst the Apples of this world and they have that all-important GPS capability. And, if you need anymore persuasion, Bill Clinton used to sport one during the early years of his presidency.

Timex Ironman

Nuband

The general worry for any fitness aficionado wanting to up their running watch game is the costly expense that might occur. So while being worlds away from Garmin, Nuband do have the price thing going for them (leaving you more pennies to spend on the rest of your running outfit).

They’re not going to win any beauty contests, and there is no GPS, but it counts calories, tells the time and is a solid budget option in a market loaded with high-end choices.

Nuband watch

Nixon

While Nixon aims its products more at surfers and adventurous types (think falling out of a plane to chase after a peroxide blond Patrick Swayze), their durability makes them a strong, long-lasting option for runners privy to the feeling of collapsing over the finish line and onto the tarmac below.

While they’re not known for their long-lasting battery life – you’ll get roughly a day’s use before needing a re-charge – and are cloyingly bulky, Nixons do look a lot more like a traditional watch than the new age, square shapes championed by other activity tracking watches. Maybe not one for the city slickers, but if you’re a regular trail running action man, this is a worthy alternative to the more well-known brands on the market.

Nixon mission watch

Source link

Why It’s Time To Buy A Pair Of Chunky Sneakers

The Best Chunky Sneakers You Can Buy In 2018

How to step into the biggest footwear trend of the year

By Paddy Maddison

Like it or not, massive trainers are here and they aren’t going anywhere fast. Not that they could even if they wanted to, mind you.

To the casual observer, it may have come as a bit of a shock when the fashion elite suddenly appeared to be taking their style cues from Sporty Spice in a pair of Sketchers circa 1995, but it’s actually a pretty natural progression. Think of it as footwear’s answer to the loosening and widening of silhouettes we’ve been seeing in fashion for some time now.

After several years of clean, white minimalism and slim, sock-like fits in the world of trainers, it was only a matter of time before things swung around and began going in the opposite direction. The Raf Simons X Adidas Ozweego was one of the first ‘ugly trainers’ to really kick things up a gear, but it was with the release of Balenciaga’s much-hyped Triple S sneaker that this clumpy footwear craze really took flight.

“In terms of fashion, footwear was about low profile, simple shoes, like Stan Smiths, Roshe Runs or Common Projects Achilles Lows,” explains Andrew Brines, buyer at renowned premium fashion e-tailer, Oki-Ni.

“In 2015 the New York Times ran an article entitled ‘Forget barefoot: the new trendsetter in running shoes is cushioning’, focusing on a particular brand of relatively new running shoes that featured platform-esque soles. Naturally, it didn’t take long for designers to take notice of what the performance brands were producing.”

The End Of The Minimalist Sneaker?

So does the chunky trainer movement spell disaster for minimalist footwear? MatchesFashion’s Ben Carr doesn’t think so, but he’s not surprised that there has been a shift.

“While I don’t think the clean sneaker is going anywhere, there is certainly a ubiquity to their presence in modern menswear. Think about it, if you are a teenager and your dad is wearing a minimal sneaker then you’re not going to want to adopt this style are you?

“I think fashion in its purest form is always, and always has to be, a reaction to what has gone before.”

How To Style Chunky Sneakers

Chunky trainers are currently shattering paving slabs at fashion weeks across the globe, but incorporating them into a workable, everyday wardrobe can understandably present a little bit of a challenge.

“My first tip is not to wear them with a minimal look,” says Carr. “They become the sole focus [no pun intended] of the outfit and that’s never good.” He also suggests wearing several layers on top to help balance out the look and to experiment with bright colours and pieces that will distort your silhouette. He adds: “cropped trousers, track pants and oversized sportswear work well… and the chunky sneaker can anchor this.”

Oki-Ni’s Brines believes that going sockless with chunky trainers is never a good idea and stresses the importance of wearing the look with confidence. “Wear the shoes, don’t let the shoes wear you,” he explains. “If you’re just wearing them because they’re on trend, and you’re not that into them, the fashion cognoscenti will smell you out a mile away.”

So, blame Raf Simons, blame Balenciaga, blame your dad – whoever is truly responsible for the rise of the beetle crushers is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that trainers are titanic now and you should probably join the party before it’s too late.

How To Wear Chunky Statement Trainers For Men

Urban Outfitters H&M Lanvin

The Best Chunky Sneakers You Can Buy

Ready to embrace one of the most divisive trends to emerge from the murky depths of Lake Fashion since the return of the bowl haircut? These are the best sneakers at every price point if you want to join the chunky trainer club.

Balenciaga Triple S

Okay, let’s get it out of the way. You can’t talk about chunky trainers without mentioning Balenciaga. Since the appointment of Vetements boss Demna Gvasalia as creative director back in late 2015, the luxury Spanish label has become one of the most forward-thinking names in fashion and the now-iconic Triple S sneaker is without doubt its crowning glory.

Taking inspiration from orthotic footwear and the type of trainers favoured by tourists, the Triple S eclipsed its stripped-back predecessors and quickly became a regular sight at fashion weeks as well as a grail purchase for hypebeasts and high-fashion disciples alike.

Balenciaga Triple S

Reebok Insta Pump Fury

A British sportswear brand with a background in chunky trainers. This latest trend has thrust the Bolton-born label back into the spotlight and many of the silhouettes from its archives are looking more relevant today than ever before.

This innovative shoe featuring Reebok’s ground-breaking ‘Pump’ cushioning system was first launched in 1994 but in recent years has found a place on the shoe racks of fashionistos as well as Mr Motivators. The Insta Pump Fury has been reimagined by brands ranging from BAPE to Vetements and has earned a cult-like following in the process, making it one of the coolest chunky sneakers you can have in your rotation.

Reebok Insta Pump Fury

Raf Simons X Adidas Ozweego III

The Balenciaga Triple S may have kick-started this whole thing but would it have even come into existence if it hadn’t been for the long-running collaborative effort between German sportswear giant Adidas and Belgian tastemaker Raf Simons? Well, perhaps not.

The Ozweego III is the latest design in the ground-breaking Ozweego line. Maybe you love them, maybe you loathe them, but however you feel about this beautifully ugly piece of footwear, you can’t deny it’s fun to look at.

Raf Simons X Adidas Ozweego III

New Balance 991

Bostonian shoemaker New Balance has been doing its thing since the turn of the 20th century and has picked up a few tricks along the way. The brand produces the vast majority of its products either stateside in New England, or across the pond in, well, old England. The result is some of the most comfortable, highest quality sneakers available to buy – no wonder NB is such a hit with sneakerheads and athletes alike.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was onto something when he picked these bad boys out as part of his signature look. A true classic and bang on trend.

New Balance 991

Nike Air Max 95

You can’t think of sneakers without thinking of Nike. The sportswear heavyweight has been doing big trainers longer than most. In fact, some of it’s most iconic footwear designs – which could give the Triple S a run for its money in the chunkiness stakes – come from a time when Demna Gvasalia would still have been wearing nappies.

The Air Max 95 is nothing short of a classic and offers the perfect way to dip your toes into the chunky trainer trend without losing any mates in the process.

Nike Air Max 95

H&M Mesh Trainers

Swedish fashion chain H&M is known for bringing a subtle touch of Scandinavian minimalism to the high street, but as the fashion landscape continues to evolve in unexpected ways, stripped-back is out and OTT is in.

These highly detailed, chunky kicks from H&M are in keeping with the trend while still managing to look clean and crisp at the same time. If you want a pair of big sneaks that will go with 99 per cent of your wardrobe – quite an ask even for regular trainers – then these might be your best bet.

H&M Mesh Trainers

Zara Maxi Sole Trainers

If there’s something new bubbling away in the world of fashion, you can bet it won’t be long before Zara starts churning out its own version of whatever that may be. The trend for dad-esque footwear is no different and the Spanish high-street stalwart has already put out a number of designs.

With a thicker-than-thick sole and plenty of contrasting materials to the upper, it’s no mystery where this model took its inspiration from. However, with change left over from £50, this is one way to keep abreast of the trend while ensuring your wallet remains intact.

Zara Maxi Sole Trainers

A.P.C. Running Homme Trainer

Parisian label A.P.C. is famous for its high-quality, no-fuss wardrobe essentials. If we had to sum its output up in a word, it would probably be ‘understated’ – something which you probably wouldn’t have thought would gel very well with the current preference for sneakers that look like they’re on steroids.

But despite this little discrepancy, A.P.C. has churned out some of the most inoffensive, versatile and ultimately wearable chunky trainers we’ve seen. Clock the signature, subtle branding and a look that manages somehow to be both showy and restrained simultaneously.

A.P.C. Running Homme Trainer

ASOS Chunky Sole Trainer

If you’re keen to give a new look a go but aren’t so hot on the idea of signing up for any medical trials to finance it then ASOS should be your first port of call. The online fashion mecca is full of the latest styles, with bargain options from its in-house line sitting alongside designer pieces from your favourite names.

With a thick, chunky sole and vibrant hits of green and blue, these eye-catching stompers from ASOS offer the perfect opportunity to get some heads turning for all the right reasons.

ASOS Chunky Sole Trainer

Source link

15 Habits Of Well-Dressed Men

15 Habits Of Well-Dressed Men

The secrets to always looking stylish

By FashionBeans Editors

Do you get your jackets tailored? Wash your whites separately? Press your underwear? No? Then there’s a strong chance your style might be suffering as a result.

According to club menswear’s most influential opinion-makers, there are a few habits shared by nearly all the most impressively turned out blokes at Fashion Week, and it’s not necessarily having a stylist on speed dial.

In a bid to give you the sartorial shortcut to wardrobe success, here are 15 things worth adding to your daily routine.

They Know The Basics – And Stick To Them

A look is only as good as its weakest link, but then you don’t have to tell these men that. “From Steve McQueen to James Dean, all the fashion greats kept it simple,” says stylist Georgia Boal-Russell, who has worked for the likes of Tom Ford, Adidas and Jigsaw. “They rely on basic uniforms and don’t worry about making a statement if that’s not their style.”

According to a survey by online men’s personal shopping service Thread, British men on average wear just 13 per cent of their wardrobes. “My hunch is that guys return to their basic pieces time and again,” adds Boal-Russell, “which makes it worth investing in quality staples that will still look good after many wears and work with a lot of things in your wardrobe.”

Cover your bases with a few well-fitting white T-shirts, a sky blue Oxford shirt, grey sweatshirt, denim jacket and some light coloured chinos in a slim or straight fit.

The Best Men's Basics

A.P.C. BUTTON DOWN OXFORD SHIRT - click to buy SUNSPEL Crew-neck cotton-jersey sweatshirt - click to buy river island stretch skinny chino trousers - click to buy

They Shop Offline, Too

With thousands of brands at your fingertips, no queuing, and the ability to buy pants without wearing any, shopping online has revolutionised the way we stock our wardrobes. But steer exclusively digital and you might miss a trick.

“As popular as e-commerce is, I still love popping into brick-and-mortar boutiques,” says menswear writer Jian DeLeon. “You get a feel for new brands that might pique your interest and have the ability to try on clothes and feel fabrics in person. Also, stylish and knowledgeable sales associates can be a boon in helping you think of different ways to wear the same thing.”

Not only that, but you’ll also get to try the items on — saving you from enduring the special hell that is waiting in line at a post office on your lunch break.

Goodhood (London)Goodhood, London

They Take Care Of Their Underwear

Even if you’re the only one who sees them (the reason might be linked), your underwear should still be treated with the same respect as the rest of your wardrobe according to Olivia Francis, founder of luxury loungewear brand Hamilton & Hare. “Press your boxers – just like your shirts – with a hot iron and lots of steam. You’ll be amazed at how good they feel to put on in the morning.”

If that’s a little TLC too far, at least commit to keeping your underwear rotation fresh. “Threadbare and faded underwear is not a good look; you should aim to replace yours every 12-18 months depending on rotation.”

And need we say you’d be hard pushed to find a novelty pair of sausage skins in the wardrobes of Messrs Gandy or Beckham, so yours should be no different.

Best Underwear Brands For Men

SCHIESSER Karl Heinz Three-Pack Cotton-Jersey Boxer Briefs - click to buy DAVID GANDY FOR AUTOGRAPH 2 Pack Stretch Cotton Briefs - click to buy Hanro Men's Two-pack Briefs - click to buy

They Don’t Plan Obsessively

One of the most commonly pedalled pieces of advice when it comes to getting dressed is to select an outfit for the following day the night before. But this is not the way all stylish guys go about it.

“I rarely lay out clothes the night before,” says Simon Chilvers, men’s style director of MatchesFashion.com. “Unless you’ve got a strict uniform or dress code to adhere to, dressing with spontaneity is most likely to result in outfits that you feel comfortable in and that will suit your mood.”

Admittedly, you might need a bit longer for such free-styling, so having a few go-to combinations on hand is never a bad thing. “Just make sure you run through what your day looks like while you’re picking something out so you choose something that’s flexible enough for meetings or an after-work event.”

Don't plan your outfits obsessively - go with your mood sometimes

They Don’t Ignore Care Labels

There are few things in life more irritating than discovering that the new season sweatshirt you just bought is dry-clean only. Or having to devote precious weekend minutes to hand-washing delicates.

But caring for your clothing could be the difference between subpar and outstanding style. “We live in a world of disposability, but it’s still worth taking care of a garment,” says photographer-turned-menswear-influencer Jonathan Daniel Pryce.

If you’re only just getting to grips with separating light and dark colours, invest in pieces that are built to last with minimal fuss such as merino wool, which needs to be washed less frequently due to its antibacterial properties.

Mens's Knitwear And Products To Looks After It

JOHN SMEDLEY Shawl-Collar Wool And Cashmere-Blend Cardigan - click to buy THE LAUNDRESS Wool & Cashmere Care Set - click to buy Mr. Black Dark Wash - click to buy

They Only Settle For the Best Trouser Break

Aside from allowing your footwear to be on full display, nailing the trouser break is something that separates the men from the boys, and can also elongate your frame to make you appear taller and slimmer.

“If your trousers aren’t turned up or hemmed to the correct length, any shoes you wear are wasted,” says shoe designer Marc Hare. “The greatest shoes in the world have zero presence poking out from under a bunch of fabric.”

In colder weather, buy trousers that break just the right amount (hitting the top set of eyelets on your footwear at the longest) in the first instance or have them altered to suit. When it warms up, try going sockless and pinrolling your trousers slightly to show off your shoes (and ankles) in all their glory.

How Men's Trouser Break Should Look

They Don’t Wash Their Jeans

Believe it or not, in some cases it’s possible to look better by doing less. This is particularly true of jeans, which you should skip washing in favour of a swift half down the pub for at least the first six months of wear.

“We champion the habit of buying raw (or ‘dry’) denim jeans and breaking them in yourself so that they can create their own wash,” says Nudie Jeans denim designer Johan Lindsted.

“By holding off from washing your jeans for as long as possible, you can create a beautiful pair of your own without buying the wash ready-made.”

The Best Raw Denim Jeans For Men

nudie jeans Lean Dean - click to buy EDWIN ED-85 SLIM TAPERED JEAN - click to buy THE WORKERS CLUB Slim-Fit Raw Selvedge Denim Jeans - click to buy

They Stay Stocked

Buying basics may not be the most exhilarating way to part with your hard-earned cash, but it is essential to dressing well and looking good in all situations.

“Basics are the bedrock of any wardrobe,” says Sarah Gilfillan, founder of personal styling consultancy SartoriaLab. “Once you have these sorted, all other pieces will fall into place, and you can add more trend-led pieces into the mix.”

Stylish men make shopping for replacements less strenuous by taking time to find the perfect example of each, making a note of the store, size and cut, then staying stocked up. For bonus points, take a picture of the label and keep it in your phone so you can do this when out and about.

Man Organising His Wardrobe

They Take It Up With Their Tailor

Every well-dressed adult knows that the key to looking good is fit. From your basics to your best two-piece, there’s nothing that can’t be improved with a nip and a tuck.

“Whether you’ve just blown your month’s wage or picked up a bargain on this winter’s overcoat, make sure you get it tailored,” says FarFetch.com menswear editor Tony Cook. “In menswear, an inch means a mile and the slightest alteration can make a massive difference.”

So focus on the small (and therefore, cheaper) tweaks, particularly on jackets, that make a big difference: cuffs, shoulders and back.

Man getting jacket tailored

They Do The Little Things Well

The phrase ‘I woke up like this’ has misled scores of men into thinking the best-dressed guys do just that. Not the case. Far from simply throwing on clothes and leaving the house, taking time to cuff your jeans, roll your sleeves and choose the right tie knot can make a big difference.

“Style for men is most definitely in the details,” says Daniel Johnson, a stylist who has worked with the likes of Ralph Lauren, Paul Smith and Hermès. “A man’s wardrobe differs very little in terms of the shapes of clothing available, so we have to get the little things correct.”

Accessorising cleverly is another small but impactful style move worth perfecting. Just be careful not to overdo it, particularly in the case of jewellery – you should be aiming for James Bond, not Mr T.

The Best Men's Accessories

reiss ROAD STRIPED LINEN POCKET SQUARE - click to buy LANVIN flower brooch - click to buy serge denimes GUN METAL STACKING RING - click to buy

They Know The Importance Of Rotation

Building a capsule wardrobe that has you covered for every occasion can be extremely rewarding. But it also comes with the risk of quickly wearing key pieces out.

“Try to think of yourself as a something of a team coach when it comes to your wardrobe,” says Selfridges personal shopping consultant Daniel Rhone. “Rotating your clothing and shoes – like a manager does his squad – is key, especially if you have to wear a suit every day for work.”

Not only does this keep your look fresh, but reducing the strain on individual pieces by allowing time between each wear also increases their lifespan.

A Man's Suit Rotation

They Wear The Shoe That Fits

It’s not uncommon to hear people waxing lyrical about how footwear is the most important component of an outfit. And while it’s quite a bold statement, they have a point.

Shoes have the power to make or break a look, so as well as ensuring you have all the cornerstones of cordwaining to hand, it pays to swot up on what to wear with each, and where. You should have at least a pair that matches every trouser hanging in your wardrobe.

“Some of the most versatile shoes a man can have are Chelsea boots in brown, wingtips in dark tan, double monk straps and, my favourite, plain loafers,” says Johnson. “Aside from that, there’s not much else you need apart from a pair of white sneakers an and an all-rounder black shoe.”

Key Footwear Styles For Men

KURT GEIGER monk straps - click to buy reiss THORPE SUEDE TASSEL LOAFERS - click to buy suitsupply WHITE SNEAKERS - click to buy

They Organise Their Wardrobes

It’s been established that not all impeccably-dressed men spend hours meticulously planning their outfits. However, they do give themselves the right tools to work with, thanks to a spot of wardrobe organisation.

“When doing wardrobe edits for clients, I find that if they don’t have their clothes in some sort of order, they either forget they have things or feel overwhelmed by choice and only wear a small portion of their wardrobe,” says Gilfillan. “To make the most of everything, it’s crucial to have it organised in a way that makes sense to you.”

Try organising by colour, type of garment or season, and you’ll find getting dressed in the morning becomes a whole lot easier.

Organised Wardrobe

They Don’t Wear Bootcut Jeans

There’s a common thread that has long precluded the likes of Simon Cowell, Jeremy Clarkson and Paul Hollywood from best-dressed lists: their denim choices. And far from being something thought up by a fashion editor, there’s science behind the shame.

“For the majority of men, bootcut jeans are incredibly unflattering. Don’t wear them,” says stylist Elgar Johnson, who has dressed the likes of Eddie Redmayne, Travis Scott and John Boyega.

Instead, Johnson suggests slim, straight or tapered jeans that will flatter your legs – whether yours are chicken-like or #swole from chugging protein – in ways no bootcut style ever could.

The best fitting jeans for men

Gap Cone Denim Selvedge Jeans - click to buy uniqlo SLIM FIT JEANS - click to buy topan Black Coated Rigid Tapered Jeans - click to buy river island Light blue Sid skinny jeans - click to buy

They Look After Themselves

You can buy a suit, hand spun in Italy from the finest thread known to man, but if what’s underneath it isn’t up to scratch then you’re still not going to look your best.

Eating well and exercising are two of the most overlooked factors when it comes to style, but they make a huge difference to your overall appearance. Just a small amount of exercise and a balanced diet can have a massive impact on how you look and feel – just ask Lee Axon, a personal trainer at national gym chain Xercise4Less.

“Too much sugar can metabolise as body fat and on men. This sits on the lower back and abdomen area, just where we don’t want it,” says Axon. “On the other hand, exercise increases the circulation of oxygen and nutrients and releases toxins through sweat, which leads to clearer, firmer skin.”

And don’t forget to smile while you’re doing it – it’s the best exercise for your face.

Man Running On A Treadmill

Source link

Cocktail Attire: What It Means & How To Dress For It

Cocktail Attire: What It Means & How To Dress For It

Dress codes don’t get more fun than this

Image: Gieves & Hawkes

By Josh Sims

How do you define ‘cocktail attire’? Like many of the puzzling dress codes that crop up on fancy invitations now and again, the barometers are not immediately clear – at least, that is, for men. This is one of the (very) few occasions in life when women have it easier. There’s even a book on the topic by fashion writer Laird Borrelli-Persson aptly called The Cocktail Dress, which discusses in detail the dress that inspired the code.

There is no such thing for men, however. ‘Cocktail attire’ implies formality but just how smart should you go? The murky world of tailoring comes laden with its own rules and regulations – which should you comply to and which can you ignore completely?

What’s certain is that cocktail dress is occasion-wear; it’s reserved for special events and one-off evenings that require something a little different – it’s certainly not your 9-5 business suit. But it’s not black tie, either. What we’re really talking about is a good excuse to dress up, to push the boat out; so whichever way you chose to tackle it, take a cue from the fairer sex and have some fun with what you wear.

The History Of Cocktail Attire

If you were wealthy and leisurely enough during the 1920s and 1930s, there was a chance you spent a ‘cocktail hour’ or three between lunch and evening enjoying plentiful alcohol. It was the lubricant for a new kind of social gathering – and since social events were then also defined by the appropriate clothing, ‘cocktail attire’ came into fashion. Then it was a notably formal look.

It took a more relaxed, vibrant, post-war, American version of the cocktail party to admit to what the drinking of cocktails normally did: loosen everything up. And so too with men’s dress: enter jackets in fancy silk brocades. It’s essentially to this mode of dressing that cocktail attire today takes its inspiration – at the more dandy end of semi-formal style.

In the decades since, the dress code has taken cues from the styles of the day, but the intention has remained the same. It’s an excuse to dress up and show off.

History Of Cocktail Attire

What Cocktail Attire Means Today

‘Cocktail attire’ is a dress code that’s increasingly likely to appear at the bottom of an invitation – but, like ‘smart casual’, has no set definition. For some it’s still dress for a largely formal, officious event akin to a business launch. But, more typically, it’s an invitation to dress up, and decidedly not in the way one might for a court appearance.

Rather, this is dress for the party, soiree, evening drinks as a prelude to an expensive dinner or perhaps an anniversary, Valentine’s Day or wedding bash. Typically it’s something of a big celebration. “That makes the clothing you wear on the cusp of eveningwear but more colourful, a freer style but a bit flashy,” as the tailor Mark Powell puts it. “It’s dressing for what should be a fun event.”

“It’s all about being elegant and slightly louche with it,” argues designer Oliver Spencer, whose Favourbrook brand is focused on cocktail attire. Once cocktail attire might have meant respecting more rigid rules. “Now dressing up in this instance probably does still mean a smart jacket and trousers, but you can dispense with the tie, because you’re definitely not at work. Cocktail dress is an opportunity to dress in a way that’s relaxed but super-luxe. It’s about looking your finest, in some finery.”

Men's Cocktail Attire Outfit Inspiration

reiss reiss gieves & hawkes Sanahunt next

Cocktail Attire Style Tips

Think About Fabrics

Flat, woven clothes that work for the kind of clothing worn in a more conservative environment might be traditionally smart, but aren’t necessarily suitable for a cocktail event.

Instead consider cloths of interest, with a distinctive texture or sheen – the likes of velvet or silk – and patterns that might look out of place in many working environments – windowpane checks, for example. Glen checks, herringbone and sharkskin also work well.

Casual Is Good – To A Point

Cocktail dressing is about being precise but not stiff. “But, when it comes to cocktail attire, there is still definitely ‘too casual’,” argues Spencer. “You could wear a T-shirt, for example, but only under a smart jacket. Sneakers are out, no matter how jazzy they are.” Denim is typically frowned upon too.

Consider Colour

Colour is a major consideration, “because colour can go very wrong,” says Powell, “and if you’re unsure it’s better to accessorise with colour rather than wear it in the clothing.” He opts for pinks and turquoises in accessories – in which you can go bolder – but deeper richer shades of purple and green for jackets.

When in doubt, midnight blue mohair is a great go-to choice: it’s flattering to most complexions, photographs well, and looks good under bright lights. “Wear it with a beautiful white shirt and black loafers,” advises Nick Hart, founder of red carpet go-to brand Spencer Hart. “To wear cocktail attire in an incredibly pared-down way works just as well.”

Keep It Clean (Literally)

Clothes need to look fresh on, be properly ironed, neatly folded and polished, as is appropriate. There’s no excuse for looking slovenly – you are, after all, attending a special occasion.

Heed The Invitation

Although ‘cocktail attire’ may be what’s prescribed, always be mindful to read between the lines and note what the event is actually for and who will be present. “If, actually, it really is a work event and you need to impress your boss, you may still need to conform more than normal,” says Hart. “Then again, cocktail attire can be a chance to experiment.”

Keep In Mind The Time Of Year

The summer allows for the wearing of lighter colours and fabrics, such as linen (which also keep you cooler, of course). For the colder months, richer shades and layering may feel more fitting. Likewise, is it a daytime or evening cocktail event? The later it is, the more rakish your attire can be.

Details Are All-Important

Even if you’re forced to wear the same suit you wore to work, a few key details – the right scarf, a certain choice of sock, a boutonniere – can be enough that you don’t feel entirely out of place.

Key Cocktail Attire Pieces & How To Wear Them

The ‘Suit’

Separates – smart jacket and smart trousers – typically work better than a standard suit. This allows the wearing of more sober, pressed trousers and, off-setting this, an unusually flamboyant jacket or blazer. This might be in an atypical finish or shade – olive green or burgundy rather than grey.

This kind of blazer may also “have the kind of detailing not typically found on a more conventional suit jacket, the likes of a silk grosgrain shawl collar, turn-back cuffs or a low, single button fastening,” says Powell. If you choose to wear a suit, select one you wouldn’t wear to the office, either for its colour or cloth.

The Men's Cocktail Jackets

gieves & hawkes MIDNIGHT BLUE SILK JACQUARD EVENING JACKET - click to buy GUCCI Burgundy Slim-Fit Houndstooth Suit Jacket - click to buy BOGLIOLI Dark-Green Slim-Fit Corduroy Suit Jacket - click to buy

The Shirt

Like the jacket, a cocktail event gives license to wear a more glamorous style of shirt – with a more distinctive collar shape or cut of cuff. Dress shirts are not easy to pull off, however, and – Powell warns – should only be worn with an appropriately restrained jacket. Don’t wear both at the same time unless Austin Powers is your style hero.

If a more standard shirt is being worn, make sure it is white or in a block colour and the kind to hold a crisp, stand-up collar: a point collar, rather than spread, works well. If choosing to wear a tie with a more sober shirt, choose one with a point of interest, for its colour or pattern.

The Best Men's Shirts For Cocktail Attire

CANALI Black Slim-Fit Stretch Cotton-Blend Shirt - click to buy HUGO BOSS White Jamis Slim-Fit Cutaway-Collar Cotton Shirt - click to buy t.m.lewin Pin Collar White Dress Poplin Shirt - click to buy

The Shoes

The definitive cocktail event shoe of choice is the loafer – tasselled, suede or penny. A loafer that verges on the house shoe/slipper is a stylish choice: “It’s the kind of shoe you might only change into when you get to the event, but I doubt many men would do that,” says Spencer. “Certainly what you don’t want to do is turn up in a pair of brogues. No ‘country’ style should be seen at a cocktail event.”

Leather-soled Oxfords and monk strap shoes are also acceptable choices, especially when polished to a bright shine.

The Best Men's Shoes For Cocktail Attire

suitsupply BLACK DOUBLE MONK STRAP - click to buy O'KEEFFE Samuel Collapsible-Heel Suede Penny Loafers - click to buy kurt geiger ralph shoes - click to buy

The Roll Neck

The perfect alternative to wearing a shirt, the roll neck still frames the face but is inherently more relaxed, and doesn’t – unlike an open-neck shirt – sometimes look lost without a tie. Spencer recommends opting for one in cotton, silk or merino rather than traditional heavier wools. “Otherwise you’re going to end up looking rather sweaty at your event,” he warns.

The Best Men's Roll Necks

reiss OLIVE MERINO WOOL ROLLNECK JUMPER - click to buy topman Black Roll Neck Jumper - click to buy river island Cream slim fit roll neck jumper - click to buy

The Accessories

The cocktail event is the definitive opportunity to accessorise in a way that would look too flamboyant in a work scenario. “[It’s] a chance for some self-expression,” says Spencer. He suggests wearing a pin on your jacket’s lapel, using a pocket square or adding a touch of colour and pattern in the form of a silk neck scarf – he favours polka dots.

Distinctive cufflinks or a statement watch are the acceptable face of male jewellery at a cocktail event.

The Best Men's Accessories For Cocktail Events

reiss BRICKARD GEOMETRIC WOOL SCARF - click to buy ETON Polka dot silk pocket square - click to buy DEAKIN & FRANCIS Enamelled Sterling Silver Sapphire Cufflinks - click to buy mango Flower lapel pin - click to buy

Common Cocktail Attire Dos & Don’ts

Do…

Respect the dress code. ‘Black tie’ is simple. ‘Business attire’ is easy. We all know what they mean. ‘Cocktail attire’ is fuzzier but still needs to be respected if that is what has been asked of you. Don’t just wear what you like because the lines aren’t crystal clear.

“Go into a cocktail event with the right attitude,” says Spencer. “Your outlook needs to be as expressive as your outfit. Go in thinking you’re going to speak to everyone there.”

Dress within your comfort zone. “If you’re not happy wearing something you wouldn’t normally wear, don’t – because you won’t wear it well,” says Powell. It’s by no means a disaster to wear a well-tailored mid- through to dark-grey (though not black) suit, crisp shirt and understated tie to a cocktail event.

Order the perfect cocktail to accessorise a fashionable outfit has to be suitably fashionable too: the simplicity and drinkability of a Negroni always works, or, to look more sophisticated, request a boulevardier – it’s a Negroni made with bourbon rather than gin.

Think red carpet. The style of dressing for men on the red carpet now – seeking more of the attention traditionally reserved for the women – is increasingly close to that of cocktail attire, argues Powell. “There’s more of a crossover because both are aiming to make a statement, without crossing the line into fancy dress,” he says.

Don’t…

Overdo it. Yes, a cocktail event is a rare occasion when a man might dress in an uncharacteristically ornate, even baroque way. But you can still end up looking like a Christmas tree. Be flashy – but in small doses, not all over. “Just be subtle with it. Don’t be garish,” says Powell.

Ask a stranger what they do for a living. In the art of making small talk – which is what cocktail events are for, not for dancing on the tables – nobody wants to talk about, or be defined by, their work. Ask instead, perhaps, what they do for fun.

Confuse cocktail attire with black tie or dinner dress, even though you may well be dressing for dinner. Black tie is too formal: it’s about following very strict rules. Cocktail attire is less formal: it’s about breaking the rules of formality by looking like an individual.

Attempt to out-dress others, especially if there’s a guest of honour. Likewise be mindful of the tenor of the event; and, if you really not sure, there is no harm in asking – the host’s idea of ‘cocktail attire’ may be more formal than yours. Better to ask than turn up and be forever remembered as ‘the guy in the red jacket’.

Overstay. Always leave before the cocktail party is over, with your dress in the same state of elegance as when you arrived. Cocktail events are in part about peacockery – and about maintaining a certain poise and self-control throughout.

Source link

Men’s Cocktail Attire: What It Means & How To Dress For It

Men’s Cocktail Attire: What It Means & How To Dress For It

Dress codes don’t get more fun than this

Image: F&F

By Josh Sims

How do you define ‘cocktail attire’? Like many of the puzzling dress codes that crop up on fancy invitations now and again, the barometers are not immediately clear – at least, that is, for men. This is one of the (very) few occasions in life when women have it easier. There’s even a book on the topic by fashion writer Laird Borrelli-Persson aptly called The Cocktail Dress, which discusses in detail the dress that inspired the code.

There is no such thing for men, however. ‘Cocktail attire’ implies formality but just how smart should you go? The murky world of tailoring comes laden with its own rules and regulations – which should you comply to and which can you ignore completely?

What’s certain is that cocktail dress is occasion-wear; it’s reserved for special events and one-off evenings that require something a little different – it’s certainly not your 9-5 business suit. But it’s not black tie, either. What we’re really talking about is a good excuse to dress up, to push the boat out; so however you chose to tackle it, take a cue from the fairer sex and have some fun with what you wear.

The History Of Cocktail Attire

If you were wealthy and leisurely enough during the 1920s and 1930s, there was a chance you spent a ‘cocktail hour’ or three between lunch and evening enjoying plentiful alcohol. It was the lubricant for a new kind of social gathering – and since social events were then also defined by the appropriate clothing, ‘cocktail attire’ came into fashion. Then it was a notably formal look.

It took a more relaxed, vibrant, post-war, American version of the cocktail party to admit to what the drinking of cocktails normally did: loosen everything up. And so too with men’s dress: enter jackets in fancy silk brocades. It’s essentially to this mode of dressing that cocktail attire today takes its inspiration – at the more dandy end of semi-formal style.

In the decades since, the dress code has taken cues from the styles of the day, but the intention has remained the same. It’s an excuse to dress up and show off.

History Of Cocktail Attire

What Cocktail Attire Means Today

‘Cocktail attire’ is a dress code that’s increasingly likely to appear at the bottom of an invitation – but, like ‘smart casual’ has no set definition. For some it’s still dress for a largely formal, officious event akin to a business launch. But, more typically, it’s an invitation to dress up, and decidedly not in the way one might for a court appearance.

Rather, this is dress for the party, soiree, evening drinks as a prelude to an expensive dinner or perhaps an anniversary, Valentine’s Day or a wedding bash. Typically it’s something of a big celebration. “That makes the clothing you wear on the cusp of eveningwear but more colourful, a freer style but a bit flashy,” as the tailor Mark Powell puts it. “It’s dressing for what should be a fun event.”

“It’s all about being elegant and slightly louche with it,” argues designer Oliver Spencer, whose Favourbrook brand is focused on cocktail attire. Once cocktail attire might have meant respecting more rigid rules. “Now dressing up in this instance probably does still mean a smart jacket and trousers, but you can dispense with the tie, because you’re definitely not at work. Cocktail dress is an opportunity to dress in a way that’s relaxed but super-luxe. It’s about looking your finest, in some finery.”

Men's Cocktail Attire Outfit Inspiration

reiss reiss gieves & hawkes Sanahunt next

Cocktail Attire Style Tips

Think About Fabrics

Flat, woven clothes that work for the kind of clothing worn in a more conservative environment might be traditionally smart, but aren’t necessarily suitable for a cocktail event.

Instead consider cloths of interest, with a distinctive texture or sheen – the likes of velvet or silk – and patterns that might look out of place in many working environments – windowpane checks, for example. Glen checks, herringbone and sharkskin also work well.

Casual Is Good – To A Point

Cocktail dressing is about being precise but not stiff. “But, when it comes to cocktail attire, there is still definitely ‘too casual’,” argues Spencer. “You could wear a T-shirt, for example, but only under a smart jacket. Sneakers are out, no matter how jazzy they are.” Denim is typically frowned upon too.

Consider Colour

Colour is a major consideration, “because colour can go very wrong,” says Powell, “and if you’re unsure it’s better to accessorise with colour rather than wear it in the clothing.” He opts for pinks and turquoises in accessories – in which you can go bolder – but deeper richer shades of purple and green for jackets.

When in doubt, midnight blue mohair is a great go-to choice: it’s flattering to most complexions, photographs well, and looks good under bright lights. “Wear it with a beautiful white shirt and black loafers,” advises Nick Hart, founder of red carpet go-to brand Spencer Hart. “To wear cocktail attire in an incredibly pared down way works just as well.”

Keep It Clean (Literally)

Clothes need to look fresh on, be properly pressed, neatly folded and polished, as is appropriate. There’s no excuse for looking slovenly – you are, after all, attending a special occasion.

Heed The Invitation

Although ‘cocktail attire’ may be what’s prescribed, always be mindful to read between the lines and note what the event is actually for and who will be present. “If, actually, it really is a work event and you need to impress your boss you may still need to conform more than normal,” says Hart. “Then again, cocktail attire can be a chance to experiment.”

Keep In Mind The Time Of Year

The summer allows for the wearing of lighter colours and fabrics, such as linen (which also keep you cooler, of course). For more wintery months, richer shades and layering may feel more fitting. Likewise, is it a daytime or evening cocktail event? The later it is, the more rakish your dress can be.

Details Are All-Important

Even if you’re forced to wear the same suit you wore to work, a few key details – the right scarf, a certain choice of sock, a boutonniere – can be enough that you don’t feel entirely out of place.

Key Cocktail Attire Pieces & How To Wear Them

The ‘Suit’

Separates – smart jacket and smart trousers – typically work better than a standard suit. This allows the wearing of more sober, pressed trousers and, off-setting this, an unusually flamboyant jacket or blazer. This might be in an atypical finish or shade – olive green or burgundy rather than grey.

This kind of blazer may also “have the kind of detailing not typically found on a more conventional suit jacket, the likes of a silk grosgrain shawl collar, turn-back cuffs or low, single button fastening,” says Powell. If you choose to wear a suit, select one you wouldn’t wear to the office, either for its colour or cloth.

The Men's Cocktail Jackets

gieves & hawkes MIDNIGHT BLUE SILK JACQUARD EVENING JACKET - click to buy GUCCI Burgundy Slim-Fit Houndstooth Suit Jacket - click to buy BOGLIOLI Dark-Green Slim-Fit Corduroy Suit Jacket - click to buy

The Shirt

Like the jacket, a cocktail event gives license to wear a more glamorous style of shirt – with a more distinctive collar shape or cut of cuff. Dress shirts are not easy to pull off, however, and – Powell warns – should only be worn with an appropriately unswanky jacket. Don’t wear both at the same time unless Austin Powers is your style hero.

If a more standard shirt is being worn, make sure it is white or in a block colour and the kind to hold a crisp, stand-up collar: a point collar, rather than spread, works well. If choosing to wear a tie with a more sober shirt, choose one with a point of interest, for its colour or pattern.

The Best Men's Shirts For Cocktail Attire

CANALI Black Slim-Fit Stretch Cotton-Blend Shirt - click to buy HUGO BOSS White Jamis Slim-Fit Cutaway-Collar Cotton Shirt - click to buy t.m.lewin Pin Collar White Dress Poplin Shirt - click to buy

The Shoes

The definitive cocktail event shoe of choice is the loafer – tasseled, suede or penny. A loafer that verges on the house shoe/slipper is a stylish choice: “It’s the kind of shoe you might only change into when you get to the event, but I doubt many men would do that,” says Spencer. “Certainly what you don’t want to do is turn up in a pair of brogues. No ‘country’ style should be seen at a cocktail event.” Leather-soled Oxfords and monk-strap shoes are also acceptable choices, especially when polished to a bright shine.

The Best Men's Shoes For Cocktail Attire

suitsupply BLACK DOUBLE MONK STRAP - click to buy O'KEEFFE Samuel Collapsible-Heel Suede Penny Loafers - click to buy kurt geiger ralph shoes - click to buy

The Roll Neck

The perfect alternative to wearing a shirt, the roll neck still frames the face but is inherently more relaxed, and doesn’t – unlike an open-neck shirt – sometimes look lost without a tie. Spencer recommends wearing one in cotton, silk or Merino wool, however, rather than traditional heavier wool. “Otherwise you’re going to end up looking rather sweaty at your event,” he warns.

The Best Men's Roll Necks

reiss OLIVE MERINO WOOL ROLLNECK JUMPER - click to buy topman Black Roll Neck Jumper - click to buy river island Cream slim fit roll neck jumper - click to buy

The Accessories

The cocktail event is the definitive opportunity to accessorise in a way that would look too flamboyant in a work scenario. “The cocktail event is a chance for some self-expression,” says Spencer. He suggests wearing a pin on your jacket’s lapel, using a pocket square or adding a touch of colour and pattern in the form of a silk neck scarf – he favours polka dots. Distinctive cuff-links or a statement watch are the acceptable face of male jewellery at a cocktail event.

The Best Men's Accessories For Cocktail Events

reiss BRICKARD GEOMETRIC WOOL SCARF - click to buy ETON Polka dot silk pocket square - click to buy DEAKIN & FRANCIS Enamelled Sterling Silver Sapphire Cufflinks - click to buy mango Flower lapel pin - click to buy

Common Cocktail Attire Dos & Don’ts

Do…

Respect the dress code. ‘Black tie’ is simple. ‘Business attire’ is easy. We all know what they mean. ‘Cocktail attire’ is fuzzier but still needs to be respected if that is what has been asked of you. Don’t just wear what you like because the lines aren’t crystal clear.

“Go into a cocktail event with the right attitude,” says Spencer. “Your outlook needs to be as expressive as your outfit. Go in thinking you’re going to speak to everyone there.”

Dress within your comfort zone. “If you’re not happy wearing something you wouldn’t normally wear, don’t – because you won’t wear it well,” says Powell. It’s by no means a disaster to wear a well-tailored mid-grey through to dark – though not black – suit, crisp shirt and understated tie to a cocktail event.

Order the perfect cocktail to accessorise a fashionable outfit has to be suitably fashionable too: the simplicity and drinkability of a Negroni always works, or, to look more sophisticated, request a boulevardier – it’s a Negroni made with bourbon rather than gin.

Think red carpet. The style of dressing for men on the red carpet now – seeking more of the attention traditionally reserved for the women – is increasingly close to that of cocktail attire, argues Powell. “There’s more of a crossover because both are aiming to make a statement, without crossing the line into fancy dress,” he says.

Don’t…

Overdo it. Yes, a cocktail event is a rare occasion when a man might dress in an uncharacteristically ornate, even baroque way. But you can still end up looking like a Christmas tree. Be flashy – but in small doses, not all over. “Just be subtle with it. Don’t be garish,” says Powell.

Ask a stranger what they do for a living. In the art of making small talk – which is what cocktail events are for, not for dancing on the tables – nobody wants to talk about, or be defined by, their work. Ask instead, perhaps, what they do for fun.

Confuse cocktail attire with black tie or dinner dress, even though you may well be dressing for dinner. Black tie is too formal: it’s about following very strict rules. Cocktail attire is less formal: it’s about breaking the rules of formality by looking like an individual.

Attempt to out-dress others, especially if there’s a guest of honour. Likewise be mindful of the tenor of the event; and, if you really not sure, there is no harm in asking – the host’s idea of ‘cocktail attire’ may be more formal than yours. Better to ask than turn up and be forever remembered as ‘the guy in the red jacket’.

Overstay. Always leave before the cocktail party is over, with your dress in the same state of elegance as when you arrived. Cocktail events are in part about peacockery – and about maintaining a certain poise and self-control throughout.

Source link

The Definitive Guide To High & Tight Haircuts

The Best High & Tight Haircuts For Men 2018

This no-fuss style is your shortcut to a stylish summer

By Paddy Maddison

Showing your barber a photo of a film star as a point of reference is one of the best ways to ensure you get the chop you desire. Yet no matter how many times you’ve used this tonsorial trick, we’re willing to hazard a guess that you’ve never brought along a snap of Jake Gyllenhaal in Jarhead.

But maybe it’s time you had a rethink, because the high and tight is back on trend – and if you’re all about low-maintenance grooming then the military style may be the cut you’ve been looking for. Teeeen-hut.

What Is A High & Tight?

Clippered high on the back and sides and cropped close and tight on the top, the high and tight is like Ronseal, not just because it’s super-manly, but also because it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Military proponents will tell you that placing a hand flat on top of your head and shaving anything not covered by it is the only method that creates a true high and tight, but in recent years things have thankfully become a little more refined.

Sported by the likes of Brad Pitt and Ryan Reynolds, this no-bullshit style has been brought up to date with modern variants such as increased length on top, slicked-back styling and skilfully executed skin fades. What was once a hallmark of conformity is now quite the opposite.

Description of imageA modern high and tight cut with length through top
Photo: Ria Smallwood for The Bluebeards Revenge, styling by Tom Chapman

History Of The High & Tight

Like so many things in fashion – chinos, peacoats, bomber jackets – the high and tight haircut has its roots planted firmly in the military. Favoured for its no-fuss nature and the fact that the patch of hair on top could safely accommodate a combat helmet while maintaining a shaven look at the sides, the high and tight became one of the accepted military regulation cuts shortly after the Second World War.

The style went on to become a military requirement during the Vietnam War, to make grooming and cleaning easier in the field. Along with a ‘no beards’ rule, it also ensured a better fit for soldiers when using protective equipment such as gas masks.

From this point on, the look was adopted by law enforcement officials and other public safety personnel until it eventually began to permeate civilian fashion and was picked up by actors, musicians and that bloke with the thick-framed glasses who sat in Cafe Nero and designed the logo for your website on his MacBook Pro.

Is A High & Tight Right For Me?

A high and tight is a great, low-maintenance haircut, but it’s not for everyone. Before you get too comfortable in that barber’s chair, you’ll want to make sure your face is a good fit. The good news is that due to an increased amount of variations on offer these days, there aren’t many face shapes the high and tight can’t be catered for.

Round Face

Round Face Shape

If you struggle to go to the bowling alley without someone trying to put their fingers in your nostrils and a thumb in your mouth then you can probably assume that you fall into the ‘round face’ camp.

But don’t worry, a round head sounds worse than it is. All it means is that you’ll need to be clever about how you sculpt your barnet.

Opt for a variation of the high and tight with a little more length on top, which can be styled up (think quiff or faux hawk) to add height. This will give the illusion of a longer face, which is exactly what you’re aiming for.

Square Face

Square Face Shape

At the opposite end of the spectrum, if you’re the type of guy who finds that a shoebox fits you better than any sort of traditional headwear then your face shape could probably be accurately described as square.

The goal here is to soften the harsh lines of your face, which means opting for a high and tight flat top is probably not the best option. Instead, go for something soft and textured on top to break up the angles.

Heart Face

Heart Face Shape

While a heart-shaped face might sound like quite a nice thing to be blessed with, in reality, it actually makes it tricky to adopt any kind of short hairstyle. Tight cuts tend to accentuate the broadness of the forehead and the narrowness of the chin, which is the opposite of what you want.

The only solution, if you still want to try the high and tight, is to go for slightly more length on top and use it to create shape and volume to balance out your face’s proportions. Try a slicked-back style or even a mild pompadour for best results.

Oval Face

Oval Face Shape

The holy grail of bone structures. An oval-shaped face is a barber’s best friend. Pick any cut, stick it on this face shape and it will work. High and tights are no exception, so if you’re blessed with this versatile mug then advance at will.

Key High & Tight Variations

You should now be clued up on this classic military style and whether it is suitable for your needs. With that in mind, we asked some of the UK’s best barbers to break down the key variations and how to style them.

Wavy Textured High & Tight

There’s no getting around the fact that the high and tight is quite an aggressive style, and on the wrong person it can even appear a little intimidating. One way of softening the look is to incorporate some texture, which works especially well with wavy hair. Naturally, though, some elements will need to remain the same.

“It’s still got to be high and tight!” says Tom Chapman, founder of The Lion’s Barber Collective and ambassador for The Bluebeards Revenge. “That fade has to be 0 or below to at least three fingers above the ear.”

But what should you ask your barber for? Well, Chapman advises taking to social media for a helping hand. “Take a look on Instagram for a high and tight and a curly crop and show them both pictures, explaining how you want to join them together,” he says.

Wavy and curly high and tight haircuts for men

Styling

“To style, use good pre-styler, like a salt spray or a gel, then use a diffuser on the end of your hair dryer to maintain that movement in the hair. Finish with a matte paste to create separation and natural texture.”

Styling Products

AVEDA BE CURLY CURL ENHANCER - click to buy TRESemme 5543U Salon Professional Diffuser Dryer - click to buy BAXTER OF CALIFORNIA Paste Pomade - click to buy

Classic Military High & Tight

The style that started it all is simple, clean and effective. It requires minimal upkeep and has an air of authority about it. If you want your hair to make a statement then this is the chop for you.

“This style should always be skintight on the back and sides, and faded above the temples into a very short crop on top,” explains Joth Davies, founder of Savills barber shop.

“The length of the top portion may vary, usually being 5–10 mm (1/4 to 3/8 inch), but is sometimes left long enough to comb. Occasionally the back and sides of the head are shaved completely with a straight razor.”

To get the look, it’s always a smart move to take a picture with you so that your barber knows exactly what you want, but with a cut this iconic, you can probably do without.

“Just ask for a ‘jarhead’, a ‘butch cut’, or a ‘high and tight with a short crop’,” says Davies.

Classic military/jarhead high and tight haircuts for men

Styling

When it comes to styling this low-maintenance cut, you need nothing more than your fingers and a decent matte styling product. “Apply a small amount of clay into towel-dried hair, working from roots to tips, starting at the crown and moving forward to the fringe last,” says Davies.

Styling Products

Sebastian Professional Form Craft Clay - click to buy Uppercut Deluxe Matt Clay - click to buy BAXTER OF CALIFORNIA HAIR POMADE - click to buy

Slicked Back High & Tight

It might be the hipster favourite, but don’t let that put you off. A high and tight with a bit of length left on top and slicked back is still one of the most contemporary cuts a man can opt for.

“The defining characteristics of this haircut are the tight uniform length back and sides and high corners,” explains Adam Harant, senior stylist at Pimps and Pinups in London. “The differences in length leave room for styling.”

Harant stresses the importance of asking your barber for ‘high corners’. “This will ensure that the crop on the sides will come quite high up,” he adds.

Slicked back high and tight haircuts for men

Styling

“When styling at home, using sea salt spray or texturising powder before blow drying will allow the style to take its shape more naturally,” suggests Harant. “Then finish with a shine wax or pomade.”

Styling Products

American Crew Classic Boost Powder - click to buy BUMBLE AND BUMBLE Surf Spray - click to buy Reuzel Blue Strong Hold High Sheen Pomade - click to buy REDKEN BREWS MEN'S WAX POMADE - click to buy

Source link

10 Spring/Summer Menswear Essentials And The Brands That Do Them Best

10 Spring/Summer Menswear Essentials And The Brands That Do Them Best

Here’s where to buy them whatever your budget

Image: Reiss

By Luke Sampson

You’ve probably got a rough grasp of your wardrobe must-haves for spring and summer. That would be sunglasses, T-shirts, shorts, a lightweight jacket or two and a can of deodorant the size of a fire extinguisher. You know, the usual. That’s enough to keep you sweat- and shower-proof, but if you want to be truly stylish you’ll need to put some more thought into your fair-weather threads.

From the absolute essentials to the things that you didn’t know you needed (but definitely do), here’s everything to have at your disposal for the next few months plus the brands that are leading each field.

T-Shirt

Thanks in no small part to menswear types fangirling over anything and everything casual, the T-shirt has gone from weekend staple to wardrobe power player and it no longer gives a damn which day of the week it is. Heck, T-shirts are now even legit options for summer weddings such is their new-found all-rounder status. So, stock up on the soft stuff and give any decrepit dishrags the heave-ho immediately.

Entry Level: Uniqlo

The redoubtable boss of basics, Japanese retailer Uniqlo offers tees that tick every box – covering off pretty much every colour and fabric composition you can think of, from techy sweat-deflecting styles to timeless Breton stripes.

Uniqlo T-Shirts Men

Uniqlo T-shirt - click to buy

Mid-Range: Nudie

It’s common knowledge that Nudie make reasonably priced jeans of more than reasonable quality. The same holds true for the Swedish brand’s T-shirts, which are crafted from 100 per cent organic cotton and can slide into your wardrobe for less than £50.

Nudie T-Shirts Men

Nudie Jeans T-shirt - click to buy

Premium: Sunspel

Sunspel’s T-shirts have earned themselves a cult following for their supremely soft wear (even after many, many washes) and an ability to fit perfectly on the vast majority of the male population. Your search for the perfect T-shirt ends here.

Sunspel T-Shirts Men

Sunspel T-shirt - click to buy Sunspel T-shirt - click to buy

Swim Shorts

The days of choosing between swimmers which boast more square meters of fabric than a haberdashery and indecent scrap-of-cloth budgie smugglers are over. A new crop of swim shorts has arrived, bringing with them an ability to go from damp to dry in record time with the added advantages of actually flattering your physique. Choose wisely and you have a poolside pal for life.

Entry Level: Marks & Spencer

In recent years Marks and Spencer has taken directional strides towards fashion-friendly territory and that can clearly be seen in its swim shorts. Alongside pared-back trunks, there are plenty of short cuts, summer-ready prints and textured designs to dive into.

Marks & Spencer Swim Shorts Men

Marks & Spencer swim shorts - click to buy

Mid-Range: Boardies

Defying the terminally gloomy weather of Britain, London-based swim brand Boardies has a more optimistic design outlook with bold colour and print making up the lion’s share of its pool gear. Pick between mid and short styles depending on your level of familiarity with the local gym’s squat rack.

Boardies Swim Shorts Men

Boardies swim shorts - click to buy Boardies swim shorts - click to buy

Premium: Orlebar Brown

Orlebar Brown’s field-leading swim shorts are beloved in menswear circles for their aversion to excess fabric and a love of sharp cuts, so when you’re in possession of a pair of OBs, you’ve got yourself the nearest thing to quick-drying tailoring.

Orlebar Brown Swim Shorts Men

Orlebar Brown swim shorts - click to buy Orlebar Brown swim shorts - click to buy

Sunglasses

Sunglasses aren’t just for holidays, they’re for life. Okay, so the clouds won’t often part during winter, but at the very least you should be able to whip out a pair in spring or for the last days of autumn (as well as summer, obviously).

You don’t need to overload on UV shields though: with three decent pairs in your collection you should be sorted until you inevitably lose or sit on one.

Entry Level: Jeepers Peepers

Jeepers Peepers has nailed the catchy name thing, but the basic brand proposition – creating trend-led sunglasses that won’t make you miss mortgage payments – is even catchier. If you want to rock shades that make a statement once in a while, look no further.

Jeepers Peepers Men's Sunglasses

Jeepers Peepers Sunglasses - click to buy Jeepers Peepers Sunglasses - click to buy

Mid-Range: Ray-Ban

Best known for its Wayfarer and aviator styles – and probably the most named-checked sunglasses brand on the planet – Ray-Ban is skilled at producing classic shapes, limitless colour combos and robust construction, so it’s no wonder that a slavish and style-conscious following has developed in kind.

Best Ray-Ban Sunglasses For Men

Ray-Ban Sunglasses - click to buy

Premium: Cutler & Gross

Demonstrating that not all sunglasses are moulded plastic, British luxury eyewear brand Cutler And Gross makes the task of keeping premature crows feet at bay feel like an art form. Its hand-made Italian shades range from cool classics to cutting-edge and creative.

Cutler And Gross Sunglasses Men

Cutler & Gross Sunglasses - click to buy Cutler & Gross Sunglasses - click to buy

Tailored Shorts

From frame-swamping cargos to hotpants which scarcely cover a man’s unmentionables, there are some epically unflattering shorts out there. Tailored styles, on the other hand, hit the mark nearly every time and will help jettison that nagging feeling shorts are the scruffy option.

In a neatly-cut pair you can no longer be accused of summertime sloppiness – unless you try to crack them out for a wedding, that is.

Entry Level: Burton

With each pair hitting that sweet spot above the knee and in a comprehensive range of colours, Burton’s tailored shorts will keep your legs sweat-free and stylish, but mercifully don’t demand deep pockets to add to your summer line-up.

Burton Tailored Shorts

Burton Tailored Shorts - click to buy

Mid-Range: Suitsupply

Suitsupply makes the task of turning out sharp threads look like it’s no bother at all, so unsurprisingly the brand’s tailored shorts follow suit. Though these leg-baring beauties are mid-priced, they’re far from middling with crowd pleasing shades (sand, navy, grey) elevated by perfectly placed turn-ups and pleats.

Suit Supply Tailored Shorts

Suit Supply Tailored Shorts - click to buy Suit Supply Tailored Shorts - click to buy

Premium: AMI

Next to fit, the most important thing to consider when trying on a pair of tailored shorts for size is fabric. Menswear maverick Alexandre Mattiussi’s brainchild AMI nails the perfect way to frame your pins thanks to garment-dyed cotton construction and off-kilter shapes which add just the right amount of design nous.

AMI Tailored Shorts For Men

AMI Tailored Shorts - click to buy AMI Tailored Shorts - click to buy

Field Jacket

We use the term ‘field jacket’ loosely. Because while an authentic M-65 style is sure to serve you well, any lightweight, earthy-coloured design replete with pockets ticks the trend box.

Proffered by designers across the board, a field or safari jacket is this year’s outerwear non-negotiable. Good news, because it’s well-built for layering in winter but can go it alone when things get a little steamier.

Entry Level: Mango

Less about flash-in-the-pan fashion than some of its high-street competitors (in aesthetics at least), Mango Man has gone on the offensive with its army of military-style jackets.

Pick up its cotton-canvas style for something classic, or slide into summer with a design woven from a linen-cotton blend.

Mango Man Field Jacket

Mango Field Jacket - click to buy Mango Field Jacket - click to buy

Mid-Range: Alpha Industries

The oversized bomber isn’t the only outerwear Alpha Industries excels at: there’s a lot to love about the brand’s range of field jackets too. The essence of the original M-65 shape is still front and centre but tech specs like wind and water resistance join updated design for the perfect fusion of trend and tradition.

Alpha Industries Field Jackets Men

Vintage M-65 CW Jacket - click to buy REVIVAL FIELD COAT - click to buy

Premium: Private White V.C.

If Private White V.C.’s motto, handmade in England (Manchester to be precise), wasn’t enough to convince you to buy your field jacket local, then the fact that David Gandy practically lives in the brand’s designs should be enough to sway you.

The label’s annoyingly attractive Twin Trax waxed field jacket is an excellent option for spring while a lightweight linen style will cover your (sweat-free) back when the weather picks up.

Private White VC Field Jacket

Private White V.C Field Jacket - click to buy Private White V.C Field Jacket - click to buy

Cuban Collar Shirt

There are few summer style mistakes as treacherous as a poorly chosen shirt, especially on holiday. Thankfully you’ll have no such trouble when you’re wearing a Cuban collar design. Whether plain or printed, this South American import will easily give you all the Dickie Greenleaf vibes you’ve ever wanted while playing nicely with shorts, chinos and jeans.

Entry Level: River Island

A Riviera budget is no longer necessary to cop a Cuban collar, because high-street favourite River Island has backed the design hard for the months ahead. In fact, we’d go as far as to say it’s knocked up some of the best printed satin fabric takes on the style that we’ve seen for sub-ridiculous prices.

River Island Cuban Collar Shirts

River Island Cuban Collar Shirt - click to buy

Mid-Range: Reiss

While others were still toying with joining the Cuban collar shirt revival, Reiss was already well versed on the style’s merits, having championed them for a few seasons. As such, alongside easy to wear summer shades there’s plenty of inventive patterns to pick from, which is ideal for the early adopters out there who want to level up.

Reiss Cuban Collar Shirt

Reiss Cuban Collar Shirt - click to buy Reiss Cuban Collar Shirt - click to buy

Premium: Officine Generale

Taking its cue from classic men’s workwear and tailoring, Parisian brand Officine Generale is handy at serving up Cuban collar shirts in printed and textured premium fabrics which makes the thought of shutting up shop for a life closer to the equator that little bit less insane.

Officine Generale Cuban Collar Shirt

Officine Generale Cuban Collar Shirt - click to buy

Tote Bag

Backpacks may technically be more practical than tote bags, but when the weather’s not being completely awful, a rucksack has a habit of activating sweat glands in your back that you never knew you had. So for spring and summer we’ve got to hand it to the tote bag, which is practical and good-looking.

Entry Level: Zara

A free fabric tote emblazoned with your latest ethical stance doesn’t cut it in a world where Zara has less preachy, more stylish options in slick leather, tough technical fabric and textured weaves. Add to this price tags that’ll have you nodding in approval and here’s your real bag for life.

Zara Tote Bags Men

Zara Tote Bag - click to buy

Mid-Range: Herschel

In less than 10 years, Herschel has established itself as the port of call for tote bags that combine robust construction with a comprehensive choice of finishes. Whether you want a statement accessory or just something to carry your stuff, the Canadian brand will shoulder the responsibility in style.

Herschel Tote Bags Men

Herschel Tote Bag - click to buy Herschel Tote Bag - click to buy

Premium: Want Les Essentiels De La Vie

Want Les Essentiels De La Vie may sound French and specialise in discreetly expensive tote bags that wouldn’t look out of place in some Scandinavian city, but this purveyor of low-key luxury luggage also hails from Canada. Which does nothing to alter our opinion of its unbelievably sturdy and road-ready takes on the tote.

Want Les Essentiels De La Vie Tote Bag

WANT LES ESSENTIELS Tote Bag - click to buy WANT LES ESSENTIELS Tote Bag - click to buy

Lightweight Chinos

They may not top many men’s summer wish lists, but ignore this wardrobe workhorse at your peril. When you’re ready to peel yourself out of your favourite skinny jeans, a pair of lightweight cotton chinos will stride from spring to summer with ease and won’t leave you with back-of-the-knee sweat reservoirs.

Entry Level: Gap

Among all of its wardrobe essentials, Gap’s lightweight trousers are its pièce de résistance thanks to a build quality which belies humble price tags and the fact that you can pick up chinos in almost any shade you can think of.

Gap Lightweight Chinos Men

Gap Lightweight Chinos - click to buy

Mid-Range: J.Crew

J.Crew’s chinos have done a lot to convince the eternally averse that not every pair has to been shapeless and dull: sharp cuts, fabric sourced from some of the world’s finest mills and a price that’s palatable have helped the much-maligned trouser cure its case of bad PR.

J.Crew Chinos Men

J.Crew Lightweight Chinos - click to buy J.Crew Lightweight Chinos - click to buy

Premium: Incotex

Part of the Slowear group, Incotex has become something of a yardstick against which all other well-cut trousers are measured. Prioritising the meeting of design and comfort, lightweight chinos on offer from the Italian brand come with turn ups and pressed creases so sharp even the world’s biggest style pedant couldn’t quibble.

Incotex Chinos Men

Incotex Lightweight Chinos - click to buy Incotex Lightweight Chinos - click to buy

Desert Boots

A little bit casual and a little bit dressy, desert boots are one of those rare pairs of footwear that you can stick on with jeans and a tee for the daytime and smarten up with a shirt come evening.

As long as you’ve done your homework and spritzed them with some fabric protector, you can also wear and wear until you’re sick of the sight of yours, which if you’re anything like us, isn’t all that likely to happen.

Entry Level: Topman

Suede desert boots for under £50 aren’t too common (that short nap is expensive), so the fact that Topman’s range achieves this and manages to pack some sturdy construction under the hood is all the more impressive.

Topman Desert Boots - click to buy Topman Desert Boots - click to buy

Mid-Range: Clarks

Clarks desert boots have been strides ahead of their rivals since their introduction in the fifties, and though the core shape has scarcely changed through the years, classic black and sand designs are now joined by modern gum sole versions to bring the offering bang up to date.

Clarks Desert Boots

Clarks Desert Boots - click to buy Clarks Desert Boots - click to buy

Premium: Grenson

With over of 150 years of expertise at its disposal, British brand Grenson doesn’t just create some of the best-looking desert boots we’ve had the pleasure of clapping eyes on, design features such as Goodyear welt construction and hardy gum soles back up the beauty with plenty of shoemaking smarts.

Grenson Desert Boots

Grenson Desert Boots - click to buy Grenson Desert Boots - click to buy

Anorak

In an unlikely turn of events the anorak has gone from by-word for style bypass to the only outerwear shape worth being seen in. It’s a win for practicality, because what’s not to love about something lightweight, foldable and waterproof?

There’s no catch either, because this season’s all-singing, all-dancing anoraks have been given the enthusiastic nod from the vanguards of menswear, so you’re free to proceed without caution.

Entry Level: boohooMAN

Proving that tech specs need not hike up the cost of your outerwear, boohooMAN has created its own humbly priced range of anoraks which will repel rain but are sure to attract admiring glances thanks to attention-grabbing design that wouldn’t go down well on a ramble. That’s a good thing, FYI.

BoohooMan Anoraks

BoohooMan Anorak - click to buy BoohooMan Anorak - click to buy

Mid-Range: The North Face

The North Face has long been the de facto brand for a well-built weather bulwark, but once you’ve got over its scientific-sounding features, you can get similarly overwhelmed by the superficial stuff. Namely, some epic colour-block anoraks with pouch pockets that’ll render your hands invisible during the inevitable spring showers.

North Face Anoraks Men

The North Face Anorak - click to buy The North Face Anorak - click to buy

Premium: Belstaff

Belstaff started life as a producer of practical waterproof clothing almost 100 years ago and later morphed into a cult luxury brand, meaning that the anoraks on offer here have some time-tested tricks up their sleeves. You’ll get features such as ventilation and taped sealed seams for starters, as well as those all-important normcore visuals.

Belstaff Anoraks Men

Belstaff Anorak - click to buy Belstaff Anorak - click to buy

Source link

16 Ways To Look Good In The Gym

16 Ways To Look Good In The Gym

Team up with the kit that works as hard as you do

By FashionBeans Editors

You go to the gym to look good out of the gym. Or at least, you did. What was once a private communion with your own pain has become a social space, where your efforts beneath a barbell are now the background to someone else’s mirror selfies. Which means one thing: it’s time to rethink that salt-stained band tee.

Looking good while standing in a puddle of your own sweat is no mean feat, but with these 16 tips, your wardrobe can at least do some of the heavy lifting for you.

Keep Things Muted

Sports brands have a predilection for nu rave colour palettes. But what looks good on the rail won’t necessarily do the same in your gym bag.

Take a lesson from your wardrobe by sticking to neutrals. If all your kit is white, black or grey, it all matches. Which is one less excuse not to hit the weights.

If your gym membership is mothballed, the darker you should steer. “Black is your friend,” says style and fitness writer Matt Hambly. “It hides sweat patches and looks good on anyone: slimming if you’re not yet in the shape you want to be; flattering if you are.”

Black And Grey Gym Gear

H&M sports top - click to buy MARLBOROUGH DRIRELEASE V-NECK T-SHIRT PEBBLE GREY - click to buy NIKE RUNNING Flex Challenger Dri-FIT Shorts - click to buy Admiral Base Layer Tee - click to buy peak performance TECH STORM JACKET - click to buy

Don’t Look In The Mirrors

Gym mirrors are counterintuitive. Ostensibly there to help you check your form (and, yes, your guns), they’re actually bad for your performance. Canadian research found watching yourself exercise has a negative impact on body image, even if you’re confident in how you look; and a similar US study found using a mirror while squatting distorts your perception of body position, which wrecks your form.

“Too much checking yourself out also cuts into valuable training time,” adds Dylan Jones, a personal trainer and founder of P4 Body. “There are mirrors in the changing rooms too, you know.”

Russian lifters used to train blindfold to hone their proprioception – the body’s sense of where it is in space. So make like the strongmen: if you want to monitor your form, use video. If you want to monitor your other ‘form’, wait until later.

Man Weightlifting In Front Of A Mirror

Get The Right Shoes

Your running shoes are great, but only for precisely that. Cushioned trainers compress when you load up, which puts you off balance and means you can’t generate as much power.

“For weightlifting and any strength work, you need a flat, stable base,” says Hambly. “Your best bet is to take them off altogether. Just wear socks, for god’s sake.”

If your gym bans bare feet – and frankly, that’s no bad thing – you need shoes with firm soles. Converse has long been the weightlifter’s go-to, but the rise of Crossfit has popularised a new, hybrid trainer, with a flat sole for heavy metal but which also offers support when you’re running.

The Best Trainers To Wear At The Gym

NIKE ZOOM TRAIN COMMAND gym shoe - click to buy REEBOK CROSSFIT NANO 8 FLEXWEAVE - click to buy ADIPOWER WEIGHTLIFTING SHOES - click to buy

Throw On & Go Get ‘Em

In recent years, sweats have sprinted off the treadmill and into the wardrobes of every well-dressed adult. But that’s not to say they don’t still belong inside the iron paradise.

When it’s cold as balls outside, having a crew neck jumper or throw-on-and-go hoodie to hand can be all that separates you, the snooze button and, ergo, your goals.

Pick a style in a neutral colour that will wash well (particularly if you plan on showering at home or in the office) and looks just as good in the coffee shop as it does in the weights room, so you’ll never have to worry about being caught short after a session again.

The Best Hoodies And Sweatshirts For The Gym

UA Rival Fleece Fitted Full Zip Hoodie - click to buy CHAMPION REVERSE WEAVE CLASSIC HOODY - click to buy H&M sweatshirt - click to buy

Form Is Everything

The only person who appreciates you lifting more is your chiropractor. Save your money for stocking up on new kit by learning when you’ve bitten off more than you can bench.

“You might have stacked the bench press bar with all the weight in the gym, but lifting your hips until they’re almost touching the ceiling means it’s too heavy for you,” says Jones.

If your form’s off, lighten the load. Lifting less weight correctly doesn’t just make it look like you know what you’re doing, it also means bigger gains. “Get your back flat on the bench and you’ll get much more chest activation. Then one day, you’ll be able to lift that weight properly.”

Man Performing A Bench Press

Build A Heavy Lifting Wash Bag

The scourge of modern-day living is that we barely have enough time for a full workout, let alone a proper post-squat shower routine.

Just as combination exercises are great time-savers, dual-action grooming products can help avoid logging extra hours in the gym.

A 3-in-1 shampoo, conditioner and body wash, plus a face cream that soothes, hydrates and mattifies all in one go, will save time and space, making room for a high-quality hand cream that repairs damage done by heavy lifting. And don’t forget some styling product so you leave not looking half as destroyed as you feel.

Best Grooming Products For The Gym

LAB SERIES SKINCARE FOR MEN PRO LS ALL-IN-ONE FACE TREATMENT - click to buy L:A BRUKET HAND CREAM - click to buy AMERICAN CREW 3-IN-1 - click to buy

Cut The Cord

The body of research on workout music and the positive effect it has on #gains has swelled considerably in the last decade.

But this legal performance-enhancing drug can quickly have you testing positive for class A gym newb if your headphones get snagged on the squat rack or fall out after every burpee.

Cut the cord with a pair of wireless in- or over-ear headphones. Some of the best on the market even double up as fitness trackers, or sync with coaching apps to give advice in real time. So you can cut the PT and afford to splash out.

The Best Headphones For The Gym

AirPods - click to buy Beats Solo Wireless Bluetooth On-Ear Headphones - click to buy Bose SoundSport Wireless Bluetooth In-Ear Headphones - click to buy JABRA Elite Sport Wireless Bluetooth Headphones - click to buy

Don’t Just Sit There

If you take a minute’s rest between each 40-second set, then most of your session is spent sat down.

Rather than using this time to admire your new trainers, work smarter by training opposing muscles in supersets – pair a chest exercise with a back move, then perform one set of each before resting. You give your muscles time to recover and use your time more effectively.

If you struggle with mobility, switch to ‘active’ rest periods. Avoid the temptation to check Instagram and instead stretch out tight hamstrings or hip flexors. You’ll knock off that 20-minute flexibility session you always ignore – and look like a pro who doesn’t waste time.

Man Resting At The Gym

Keep Fits Trim

It’s a lesson that applies equally to your in- and out-of-the-gym wardrobe: baggy fits don’t mask a baggy body. “Your clothes should fit right so that they don’t flap around when you’re running or get caught on dumbbells when you’re lifting,” says Hambly.

Loose kit also hides your limbs, so you can’t keep an eye on how deep you’re squatting, or if your knees are tracking over your toes properly.

“Wear leggings. It sounds weird, but nobody wants to see your pasty/knobbly/bruised legs,” says Hambly. “Plus, they’ll make you feel like you’re at UFC training camp.” No matter what shape you’re in, shorts over the top are not optional.

Form-Fitting Gym Gear

ADIDAS SPORT Freelift Climachill Stretch-Jersey T-Shirt - click to buy UNDER ARMOUR Seamless HeatGear Compression Tights - click to buy H&M Running tights - click to buy

Don’t Stink

Stale sweat is an unpleasant cologne. But an unpleasant cologne is arguably far worse.

When your skin heats up, your fragrance intensifies before burning off. No one wants to work out in a cloud of oud and tobacco, so on gym days, switch to a sportier scent.

Citrus notes are fresh, light and less overpowering, so you won’t fumigate the gym. And because your body stays warm for hours after your session (if you’ve worked hard enough, that is), you won’t fumigate the office, either.

The Best Fragrances To Wear At The Gym

Issey Miyake L'Eau D'Issey - click to buy Dior Eau Sauvage - click to buy Acqua Di Parma Colonia - click to buy

Wear Enough Clothes

On the list of why people come to the gym, ‘to see your rippling muscles’ sits somewhere between ‘to catch a verruca in the shower’ and ‘to taste other people’s sweat’.

Slim-fit clothes leave little enough to the imagination, but still keep you decent. What we’re trying to say here is: you don’t need to get your nipples out.

“Racerback vests, tiny shorts and caps worn back to front are unacceptable,” says Hambly. “Unless you’re actively looking to become a gym bro.”

Man Wearing Shorts In The Gym

Get A Bag That Works In & Out Of The Gym

It was kind of the gym to give you that free bag when you joined. But it’s time it went the same way as your enthusiasm for Pilates.

If you train at work, your kit bag needs to go with your office wear. If you’re a weekend warrior, it should match your off-duty looks. And never stow grimy gear in the same backpack you take to the office. “You want to avoid your gym bag smelling like a locker room,” says Mr Porter editor Tom Ford.

As with their apparel, sports brands’ accessories tend towards neon. Stick to muted shades instead, they go with everything in your wardrobe. You’ll also appreciate wipe-clean linings the weekend you leave your bag in the boot of your car.

The Best Gym Bags For Men

Herschel Supply Co. Novel Duffle Holdall - click to buy Sandqvist Damien Holdall - click to buy FRED PERRY Saffiano Barrel Bag - click to buy

Wash Your Kit, Often

Anything that sits right next to your skin – underwear, shirts, socks – needs washing after every wear. That goes doubly if you’ve sweated through it.

“Invest in the best gym kit you can afford and treat it like you would regular clothes,” says Hambly. “Wash it after each use and don’t leave it in your bag all weekend.”

To help delay that gym bag funk, look for kit with silver sewn in – the metal’s antibacterial properties keep clothes fresher for longer. And for lunchtime sessions or days when you leave your bag at your desk, a spritz of Mr Black’s Fabric Refresh kills germs and their stench.

Mr Black's Sport Refresh

MR. BLACK GARMENT ESSENTIALS DELICATE REFRESH - click to buy

Stand To Attention

The quickest way to lose weight? Stand up. If you spend your day sat down, odds are your desk has wrecked your posture. Ditto if you work your chest harder than your back or glutes.

Focus on standing upright, with your shoulder blades pushed together and chest up. Or try methods such as pretending there’s a string attached to the crown of your head pulling you straight up toward the ceiling.

You’ll lose your belly, add inches to your upper body and look, well, like someone who knows what they’re doing. The fact you’ll eradicate all that back pain is just a bonus.

The Importance Of Good Posture

Monitor & Progress

You have no idea how hard you work. And because pain sucks, odds are you overestimate your efforts. A fitness watch tracks your work for you, so you can’t lie. And so you can see when you need to switch things up.

If your regime doesn’t change, your body learns to do one thing very well. When the weights get too easy, or your run feels manageable, tweak: lift more, run faster, or shift to higher-intensity training.

Look for a monitor with GPS and, ideally, water resistance, says Ford, so you’ve got more flexibility with your training options. By monitoring your heart rate and calorie burn in real time, you guarantee you’re working hard enough. And you’ll find out that 20 minutes on the cross trainer doesn’t buy you that stuffed crust.

The ebst gym watches for men

Garmin Vívosport Smart Activity Tracker - click to buy Apple Watch Nike+ - click to buy Polar M430 GPS Running Watch - click to buy

Gym Etiquette

The guiding principles of looking killer with a kettlebell don’t end at what you’re wearing, they also cover how you’re seen to behave — and that includes putting said kettlebell back when you’re done.

Whether you’re a seasoned gym rat or think that a ‘glute’ is something people are allergic to, you absolutely have to learn the basics of gym etiquette.

By all means, if you want to get hammer-thrown out the door carry out your non-squat activities in the squat rack, or offer that guy over there your unsolicited advice. Heck, even be kind enough to let someone sit in your sweat rather than wipe down a machine. Or, you know, you could not be a total jerk.

Weights left on gym floor

Source link

The Ultimate Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses Guide

The Ultimate Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses Guide

Why the midcentury classic still looks excellent (on pretty much everyone) today

By Murray Clark

When it comes to matters of style, we’re not ones to argue with The Blues Brothers. Or Elvis Costello. Or Muhammed Ali. Or any of the besuited criminals from Reservoir Dogs. They all redefined what it was to be cool in their own way, and all of them wore Ray-Ban Wayfarers.

That’s not a coincidence. The go-to style of sunglasses for generations of discerning gents, Wayfarers are – we hate this word – timeless. They’re like the biker jacket of eyewear, only more wearable. They suit most face shapes, men and women. They work with your suit for a summer wedding or shorts and a T-shirt at the beach, and practically every dress code in between. And provided you don’t sit on them, they’ll last.

Compared to almost any other style, Wayfarers have trendproof staying power. Only aviators really come close. Round frames, wraparounds, those small Matrix-inspired cybergoth lenses – they’re all occasionally on trend, but while their time in the sun lasts about as long as the average British summer, Ray-Ban’s signature lens has been basking for more than 60 years.

A Brief History

The Wayfarer has always been cool, ever since its 1956 inception. Created by Bausch & Lomb – the old parent company behind Ray-Ban – the man responsible was Raymond Stegeman, a designer that wanted to pivot away from traditional metal frames and use acetate. The trapezoidal shape and sturdy arms made them a mid-century design classic, worn in the sixties by the likes of Bob Dylan and Andy Warhol.

After a relatively quiet spell in the seventies, Wayfarers exploded in popularity in the eighties, partly due to The Blues Brothers and partly due to a shrewd product placement deal that saw them on everything from Miami Vice to Tom Cruise’s grinning mug in Risky Business. After this, Wayfarers meant energy and rebelliousness.

Tom Cruise wearing Ray-Ban Wayfarers in Risky Business (1983)Tom Cruise wearing Ray-Ban Wayfarers in Risky Business (1983)

The trend wheel, however, spun again. In the nineties, despite Quentin Tarantino’s best efforts, plastic sunglasses were dominated by the likes of Oakley, with wraparound styles throwing more retro designs into the shade. Bausch & Lomb sold Ray-Ban to the Luxottica Group in 1999 for $640m, and the Wayfarer was relaunched again in 2001.

Ever since, the style has been adopted by subcultures as diverse as nu rave and Pitti peacocks, its place in the menswear hall of fame fully cemented.

The Right Face Shape

This is a democratic style and Wayfarers still suit most face shapes – but not all.

“Wayfarers are most flattering for people with round and oval faces, because the square of the frame complements the wearer’s features,” says Kate Pop, style advisor at Eyewear Connection. “As a rule of thumb, you want to choose an eyewear shape that contrasts your facial features. So square or rectangular Wayfarers will soften rounder contours of your face and balance your look.”

That doesn’t mean Wayfarers are off-limits to those with angular bone structures. Ray-Ban offers an abundance of customisation choices, with different sizes a plenty. The standard size is said by the brand to correctly fit 90 per cent of people, but there’s a definite way to check: just use a credit card.

Place one edge, magnetic strip vertical, in the centre of your nose. If the other edge ends at the corner of your eye (A), Ray-Ban’s Standard size will fit. If it extends well beyond the end of the eye (B), you need the Small size. If the credit card does not reach the end of the eye, you should go for a Large size (C):

How to pick the perfect Ray-Ban wayfarer lens size

Ray-Ban Sizing

Getting the right fit for your sunglasses isn’t quite as complicated as your tailoring, but it’s not far off. If you have an old pair of Ray-Bans, look at the numbers printed inside the left temple. You’ll see three numbers on most models, a bit like a sort code (eg, 50-20-150).

The first is the lens diameter, the second is the width of the bridge across your nose and the third, if there is one, is the length of the temples (or arms) – all in millimetres.

How To Check The Size Of Ray-Ban Wayfarers

Lenses

The first number measures the width of the lens from the bridge. This should be used not only to ensure the glasses are in proportion to your face, but to prevent light and UV rays creeping in at the sides. Occasionally, the vertical length of the lenses will also be shown.

Lens Diameter Of Ray-Ban Wayfarers

Bridge

The second number in the sequence refers to the width of the bridge – the acetate section between the lenses. This is important because it will affect how comfortably your glasses sit on your nose. Typical widths are 12-26 millimetres, so measure your own nose for a close (but not tight) fit.

Bridge Width Of Ray-Ban Wayfarers

Temple

The final number refers to the length of the temple or arms. This isn’t always shown but it’s another factor worth considering because it affects how comfortably the glasses sit on your ears.

Temple Length Of Ray-Ban Wayfarers

What To Wear With Wayfarers

Strictly speaking, this is a casual style, but that hasn’t stopped them breaking out of their intended dress code. “The Wayfarer has quickly become a flexible option,” says Callan Smith-Sheerin, style writer at Vision Direct.

“The bold frames make them ideal for eyeglasses around the office, as well as for sunglasses on bright days.”

With A Suit

As Jake and Elwood proved, there’s no shame in pairing Wayfarers with a suit, but observe the usual rules when wearing sunglasses with anything formal. Keep it as relaxed as possible, opt for tortoiseshell with any tailoring that isn’t black, and for god’s sake remember to take them off when you go indoors.

How to wear Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses with a suitHouse of Fraser

Smart Casual

This is Wayfarers’ natural habitat. Whether you’re going for tailored separates, a crisp Oxford button-down or following DiCaprio’s lead in The Wolf Of Wall Street with a smart polo shirt, you can’t fail to look stylish.

How to wear Ray-Ban Wayfarers with smart casual clothesEidos Napoli

Casual

Resist the urge for statement frames or lenses. This is a menswear classic, so avoid the Club 18-30 look by sticking to darker colours and wear them with other off-duty staples such as a biker jacket or well-fitting crew neck T-shirt.

Man Wearing A Biker Jacket And Wayfarer SunglassesI AM GALLA

Pick Your Pair

Classics

As the founding father of Wayfarers, the classic shape is the very first edition, favoured by the likes of Bob Dylan. The cat-like silhouette is a little to the left of usual tastes, but these are as authentic as they get.

The Best Original Ray Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses

rayban Wayfarers classic - click to buy rayban Wayfarers classic - click to buy rayban Wayfarers classic - click to buy rayban Wayfarers classic - click to buy

New Wayfarer

Wayfarers mark II. The newest design is relatively similar to the original, yet this style minimises the tilt to the frame for a lighter wear and increased comfort. And, despite a wider diameter across the eyes than the original design, the new Wayfarers are usually a less cumbersome fit.

The Best Ray Ban Wayfarer II Sunglasses For Men

rayban New Wayfarer - click to buy rayban New Wayfarer - click to buy rayban New Wayfarer - click to buy rayban New Wayfarer - click to buy

Justin

Inspired by the original Wayfarers but larger in the frame and more rectangular in the lens, the Justin is a more casual design and very beach friendly. As such, the colour options are much wider (not that we’d strictly recommend sunset-red lenses).

The Best Ray Ban Justin Wayfarer Sunglasses

rayban justin - click to buy rayban justin - click to buy rayban justin - click to buy rayban justin - click to buy

Wayfarer Eyeglasses

It was only a matter of time before Wayfarers hit the spectacle market. Ever since, City workers and creatives alike have adopted the wider frames for a look more Mad Men than middle management.

The Ray Ban Wayfarer Opticals

Rayban Wayfarer Eyeglasses - click to buy Rayban Wayfarer Eyeglasses - click to buy Rayban Wayfarer Eyeglasses - click to buy Rayban Wayfarer Eyeglasses - click to buy

How To Spot Fakes

Be cautious of the Roy-Bins, especially if you’re buying online and not from a selection laid out on a Thai beach towel (in which case we suspect you know what you’re doing).

Yes, you have to pay more for the real deal, but full UV blocking will actually protect your vision and this is one of the most affordable ways to invest in genuine designer gear. Use this checklist to make sure.

  • ‘Ray-Ban’ should be printed at the top of the right lens, not the left
  • A small ‘RB’ should be etched, not painted, into the left lens
  • True Wayfarers have oversized metal hinges. Don’t accept anything else
  • New models should have ‘Hand Made in Italy’ printed on the inside right temple
  • Your glasses should come with a leather case complete with a round printed or embossed logo that says, ‘100% UV protection – Ray-Ban – Sunglasses by Luxottica’. The popper will also have a logo on it
  • New models come with a cleaning cloth. This will be packaged in plastic and feature the Ray-Ban logo
  • If you’ve bought polarized lenses, check by looking through your glasses in front of a computer screen and then rotate them 60° – if they’re polarized they will turn black

Source link

The Best Men’s Fragrances Of All Time

There are hundreds of great men’s fragrances, but truly iconic ones are a sniff out of the ordinary. Among all the amazing eaus, there are probably fewer than 50 (in fact, there’s 39, according to this list) that have survived fads and fashions to earn their place in the olfactory hall of fame.

“Men often judge fragrances in the way they do cars,” says celebrated perfumer Azzi Glasser. “They want sophistication, but demand reliability and performance too.” In other words, while fancy flacons and big-budget marketing campaigns make an impact, ultimately, a scent survives because men keep coming back for another sniff.

So, whether you’re a fragrance fresher looking for your first signature scent, a cologne junkie wanting to complete your collection or a significant other in search of the perfect gift, you could do a lot worse than to start with one of these – yes, we’re calling it – best men’s fragrances of all time.

The History Of Men’s Fragrances

As anyone who has ever skipped a shower knows, it doesn’t take long before you need a scent to mask a manly funk. The ancient Egyptians, fathers of modern perfume, discovered this in around 3000 BC (how, we’d rather not know) and set about producing genderless concoctions made using fragrant plant materials and ingredients such as myrrh, jasmine and wine — some of which are still used today.

Skipping over the whole mummification and communicating with the gods stuff, fragrances were further refined by Roman, Persian and Arab cultures, before reaching the Western world around the 14th century, where they became a signifier of wealth and power. King Louis XIV of France is said to have a different fragrance for every single day, while Queen Elizabeth I demanded all public places be scented since she could not tolerate bad smells (we’re with you on that one).

French perfume house Caron is credited with launching the first scent aimed exclusively at men in 1934 and the fragrance industry as we know it today took off. “By the mid-1960s men were beginning to place more importance on scent, and ground-breaking fragrances like Dior’s Eau Sauvage emerged,” says perfumer and fragrance historian Roja Dove.

Since then, each successive decade has seen new trends emerge, often in reaction to the ones that preceded them. From fougère (‘fern-like’) fragrances of the seventies, through the bombastic eighties, uber-light citrus nineties, smoky oud noughties, to the edible gourmand fragrances of today.

The big question, of course, is what to wear – no easy task given the thousands of options to choose from. To provide the answer (or at least narrow the field), FashionBeans has compiled a definitive list of the best men’s fragrances of all time: scents that stand out due to their originality, popularity or sheer, uncompromising genius. Have a nose.

The Best Men’s Fragrances Of All Time

Quick Jump: Citrusy & Fresh | Cool & Aquatic | Floral | Sexy & Spicy | Sweet & Sensual | Warm & Woody | Rich & Sensual | Crisp & Green | Fresh & Herbaceous | Expert Tips

Citrusy & Fresh

Clean, crisp and refreshing, with a timeless, understated elegance, citrus-based scents are the daytime workhorses of the fragrance cabinet, and their freshness makes them perfect for gym bags and summer holidays alike.

Dior Eau Sauvage

Released in 1966, Dior’s citrus-heavy Eau Sauvage was the first fragrance to use hedione – an ingredient with a jasmine aroma that scientists later discovered stimulates the brain’s release of sex hormones. More than 50 years on, it’s still considered one of the best men’s fragrances. “In my opinion, it’s one of the most important creations in the second half of the last century,” says Dove.  

Dior Eau Sauvage

Acqua Di Parma Colonia

Subtle and deliciously fresh, Acqua di Parma Colonia may date back to 1916, but like a crisp Oxford shirt, it’s the very definition of a timeless classic. The art deco bottle echoes the fragrance’s deceptive simplicity, characterised by top notes of citrus, a complex heart and understatedly sensual woody base. A better daytime scent you’ll be hard-pushed to find.

Acqua di Parma Colonia

4711 By Mäurer & Wirtz (Formerly Mülhens)

“The most famous cologne in the world, 4711 is the quintessential summer brightener,” says fragrance blogger Stephan Matthews of the zesty 200-year-old scent. A blend of citrus notes, rosemary and wood, “it’s a must-have for any man’s work bag and, at an incredibly low price, can be spritzed with recklessness.”

4711 by Mäurer & Wirtz

Chanel Allure Homme Sport

Chanel Allure Homme Sport has the kind of trophy cabinet even Roger Federer would envy. A gym-bag favourite since 2004, it’s everything a good sports fragrance should be – superbly crisp, zingy and energetic, with just enough warmth and sensuality to take its wearer from locker room to late-night bar.

Chanel Allure Homme Sport

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino

The star of Tom Ford’s fragrance line, Neroli Portofino’s success lies in its ability to capture a summer’s day in the Italian Rivera and bottle it for use on a chilly day anywhere from Richmond to Reykjavík.

“It takes a lot of classic materials [like Sicilian lemon, bergamot, lavender and amber] and combines them with interesting modern synthetics to create a contemporary take on a traditional masculine cologne,” says Dove. The fact that it looks handsome on the dresser is simply a bonus.

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino

Cool & Aquatic

Clean, fresh and bracing, aquatic or marine fragrances emerged in the nineties and are characterised by an ingredient called calone, which has a melon-like wateriness to it. As a result, they’re ideal for when you want your scent to fly under the radar, such as in the office.

Davidoff Cool Water

One of the most famous aquatic fragrances, this classic from 1988 heralded a new (ahem) wave of fresh scents that swapped citrus notes for pine, mint and a sense of the sea. “Cool Water was a revolution in masculine perfumery,” says Dove. “It became one of the most influential and successful masculine fragrances of all time – and the blueprint for many imitations to this day.”

Davidoff Cool Water

Acqua di Gio Pour Homme

Like Britpop, Armani’s most famous formulation might have had its heyday in the nineties but this light-yet-sensual best-seller from 1996 remains one of the best men’s fragrances around thanks to its freshness and sheer versatility. If you’re used to vanilla-heavy scents or oud fragrances, it’ll come as a breath of (sea spray-infused) fresh air.

Acqua di Gio Pour Homme

Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey

“Designer Issey Miyake famously hated perfume and wanted to create something that smelt like water falling on clean skin,” says Lizzie Ostrom, author of Perfume: A Century Of Scents. “L’Eau D’Issey offers a thirst-quenching evocation of watery fruits and is famous for its bold use of calone.” Cool and refined, it’s the kind of fragrance you’d wear with a fine gauge roll neck.

Issey Miyake L'Eau D'Issey

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue

Although citrusy with undertones of wood rather than typically aquatic, few men’s fragrances capture the spirit of summer quite like this award-winning number from 2007. Light and fresh, yet somewhat spicy, it’s perfect for holiday washbags. All you need to add is the tan, the white trunks and the David Gandy bod and you’re basically a walking ad campaign.

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue

Floral

Although notes like rose, jasmine and violet are mainstays of men’s perfumery, fragrances that lead with them are rare – which makes wearing one all the more impactful. Perfect for confident types and those that like to defy convention.

Dior Homme

Challenging traditional notions of what a men’s fragrance should smell like, this daring, floral-heavy confection is the polar opposite of most mass-market offerings. “Decidedly feminine in style, smooth, powdery iris is warmed with lavender to create a delicate, yet suave scent that celebrates the softer side of being a man,” says award-winning fragrance expert Thomas Dunkley, founder of The Candy Perfume Boy blog.

Dior Homme

Caron Pour Un Homme

Synonymous with a simpler, more gentlemanly time, Caron’s legendary lavender-based formulation from 1934 may be out of sync with the times, but it’s still widely regarded as one of the best men’s fragrances. The addition of vanilla, musky amber and cedarwood prevents it from smelling like your nan’s knicker drawer, and it’s one of Tom Ford’s favourite fragrances, so it can’t be bad.

Caron Pour un Homme

Eau d’Hermes

To those that think genderless scents are something new, we raise you this forward-thinking, intentionally unisex creation from 1951. Citrusy and spicy, with a not-too-alienating floral heart, it’s the perfect example of a fragrance that swings both ways. “Someone who wears Eau d’Hermes always scores points amongst perfume connoisseurs,” says Bernard Roetzel, author of Gentleman: A Timeless Fashion.

Eau d’Hermes

Byredo Rodeo

If there’s one thing fragrances by niche perfume house Byredo never lack it’s a backstory. Unsurprisingly, the starting point for this unisex scent was the smell of the rodeo (minus the horse sweat and manure). Instead, it focuses on leather and suede while giving things a twist by throwing in a hefty dose of violet. Think metrosexual cowboy in touch with his emotions, and you’re halfway there.

Byredo Rodeo

Calvin Klein CK One

It’s impossible to compile a list of market-disrupting fragrances from the nineties without mentioning CK One and the androgynous young waifs who advertised it. “It offered the prospect of joining a tribe,” says Ostrom of the universally appealing citrus-but-floral-but-woody scent. “Everyone had become so accustomed to the division of ‘pour homme’ and ‘pour femme’ that a ‘pour both’ perfume seemed daring and terribly modern.”

Calvin Klein CK One

Sexy & Spicy

Most scents that come across as sexy and spicy tend to be from the ‘oriental’ family of fragrances and go big on notes such as nutmeg, musk and jasmine. Punchy and sensual, they’re statement scents and perfect for evening wear.

Aramis

Over 50 years old, the longevity of Aramis as a brand is matched only by its longevity on the skin. A rich and spicy ‘chypre’ — a family of perfumes comprising fresh, citrus notes with deep woody or mossy hints — its intense sensuality makes it a fragrance strictly for grown-ups. “Though it’s inspired a myriad of masculine creations over the years, no-one has created a better version of it,” says Dove.

Aramis

Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb

When the stars align for a fragrance launch as they did for Spicebomb (great ‘juice’; great name; great bottle) only timing can spoil its success. Luckily, this muscular creation from acclaimed nose Oliver Polge appeared just as robust, spicy fragrances were becoming popular. When it arrived, it arrived with a bang, popularising the use of saffron, pink pepper and cinnamon in numerous fragrances to come.

Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb

Paco Rabanne 1 Million

Love it or loathe it Paco Rabanne 1 Million is a men’s fragrance phenomenon, with a bottle sold every five seconds. Now in its tenth year as a best-seller (a herculean feat in fragrance terms), this big, ballsy evening scent features a roll call of sensual notes – from narcotic rose and seductive amber to edible cinnamon and kinky leather. Fragrance experts are divided on how good a scent it truly is, but all are in awe of its incredible success.

Paco Rabanne 1 Million

Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit De L’Homme

In the same way many great songs have multiple writers, three well-known noses (Anne Flipo, Pierre Wargnye and Dominique Ropion) worked on this contemporary classic from Yves Saint Laurent. Fantastically versatile, La Nuit De L’Homme opens with a big hit of bergamot and cardamom before mellowing into something altogether woodier and sweeter. As the name suggests, it’s ideal for any activity after dark.

Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit De L'Homme

Calvin Klein Obsession

With more than 100 new fragrances launched each year, according to market analysts at Euromonitor, holding a space on the bathroom shelf for more than 25 years is no mean feat. That’s exactly what Calvin Klein has done with Obsession, a potent, spicy powerhouse of a fragrance, famed for its longevity in every way.

Calvin Klein Obsession

Sweet & Sensual

‘Gourmand’ fragrances are characterised by almost edible notes of foodie favourites like vanilla, cinnamon and chocolate. Associated with the pleasure of eating, they’re ideal for romantic dates. Just don’t overindulge, three sprays at most are all you need.

Thierry Mugler A*Men

A*Men is a great example of ‘everything-but-the-kitchen-sink’ perfumery. “It’s a nineties superhero, all smooth-chested and steroid-fuelled, filled with just about every robust, manly material there is – lavender, mint, chocolate, coffee, caramel, patchouli, vanilla and tar,” says Dunkley. Thierry Mugler’s bold, alien-like smell is not for wallflowers, for sure, but then you don’t get anywhere in life by being a wallflower.

Thierry Mugler A Men

Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male

Taking a chance on young and relatively inexperienced perfumer Francis Kurkdjian – now one of the world’s most acclaimed noses – French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier came up with one of the most iconic men’s fragrances (and bottles) of all time. Heady and seductive, with notes of lavender, mint sandalwood and vanilla, it’s the perfect evening fragrance. “The scent of a generation, Le Male is the defining smell of metrosexual man and still smells as good today as it did then,” says Dunkley.

Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male

L’Homme Prada

Released at a time when masculinity was in a state of flux, L’Homme Prada intentionally pits traditional masculine fougère notes like geranium and neroli against sweet, powdery iris – a note more commonly associated with female fragrances. The tension which results makes this a thoroughly modern scent that’s quirky but sexy.

Prada L'Homme

Joop! Homme

It may not have the kudos of Dior Homme or Eau Sauvage, but Joop! Homme is critical in men’s fragrance history. “It was one of the first global releases to liberate boys from the diktat that they should only wear ‘manly’ aromas,” says Ostrom. A woody-yet-floral formulation, with orange blossom, honeysuckle and a sweet, musky base, it’s delightfully challenging even today. “Years on, it’s still persuading men to embrace, without embarrassment, the irresistible smell of ‘pink’ while out with the boys.”

Joop! Homme

Warm & Woody

Warm, masculine and versatile in equal parts, woody fragrances most commonly waft of sandalwood, cedarwood and agarwood (AKA oud). Tempered with lighter notes, they are surprisingly easy to wear and have become ubiquitous because of their almost universal appeal.

Terre d’Hermes

Launched just over a decade ago and a favourite amongst grooming experts, Terre d’Hermes, with its vegetal, woody and mineral notes of grapefruit, pink pepper, geranium, gunflint and vetiver, has become that rarest of things: a genuine contemporary classic that will continue to be talked about for years to come. Every man should give it a go.

Terre d’Hermes

Dunhill Icon

A relative newcomer, this aromatic-woody and timelessly masculine scent is the work of Carlos Benaïm, a world-famous nose behind scents from the likes of Armani, Prada, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. “Opening with a burst of citrus and a nose-tingling grind of black pepper, Icon mellows into something fabulously nuzzleable on the skin,” says Jo Fairley, founder of online fragrance resource The Perfume Society. “It also happens to be housed in one of the coolest bottles ever.” Guaranteed to be a future classic.

Dunhill Icon

Boss Bottled

Creativity and originality might be traditional benchmarks for the best men’s fragrances, but popularity can also earn you a place in the olfactory hall of fame. Case in point: Boss Bottled, a blend of apple, bergamot, clove, vetiver and a trio of woods, which has proved so popular that over 60 million units have been sold since 1998. Despite countless updates, it’s also proof that you can’t top an original.

Boss Bottled

Tom Ford Oud Wood

Tom Ford’s first foray into the world of rich, smoky oud came while the designer was working on M7 for Yves Saint Laurent – a critically-acclaimed fragrance that helped kick-start the trend for oud in the UK. Less overpowering and sexier than others in the market, this one under Ford’s own label is warm, masculine and has depth – everything you want from a woody scent.

Tom Ford Oud Wood

Rich & Sensual

For times when you want to leave a long-lasting impression (for all the right reasons), reach for a fragrance big on leather, musk and patchouli to put sex and sensuality at the forefront. Overt they may be, but as they say – fortune favours the bold.

Knize Ten

The exact date Viennese tailoring firm Knize launched its famed leathery fragrance is hotly debated (for argument’s sake, let’s just settle for the early twenties), but what isn’t contested is its excellence. Rich and complex with base notes of musk, moss, vanilla and, of course, leather, it oozes hyper-masculine sensuality. One for old-school alpha males. “It’s simply sex in a bottle,” says Matthews.

Knize Ten

Guerlain Jicky

A favourite of Sean Connery, the legendary Jicky by Guerlain is often thought of as the OG of modern perfumes. Launched in 1889, its overt muskiness was considered shocking at the time, as was the use of synthetic materials like vanillin. “It was the first time fragrance would become sexual. No longer would its wearer smell of lemons or a bouquet of petunias,” says Dove. Though primarily viewed of as a women’s perfume, it has appealed to men since day dot.

Guerlain Jicky

Givenchy Gentleman

Patchouli has long been a staple of men’s fragrances thanks to its robust, long-lasting earthiness. Few handle it as adeptly as this 40-year-old classic from Givenchy. Modern interpretations abound, but it’s the original’s fail-safe combination of patchouli, vetiver, musk and a kicking leather accord, that make it one of the sexiest scents ever devised for men.

Givenchy Gentleman

Kiehl’s Original Musk

Great fragrances don’t have to come from huge perfume or fashion houses. Nor are they always all that well known, as is the case with this hidden unisex gem from Khiel’s. Floral, woody and (as the name suggests) intensely musky, it regularly pops up in ‘best fragrances for men’ lists. And you don’t need to huff it for long to see why. “Sensuous, disarming and with a sexiness that defies convention, Original Musk should come with a government health warning,” says Matthews.

Kiehl’s Original Musk

Crisp & Green

What constitutes a ‘green’ fragrance is oft-debated, but those that find their way into the category generally have a vegetal crispness to them. Think freshly cut leaves, shady woods or grass stains on your cricket whites.

Creed Green Irish Tweed

Creed began life in 1760 as a London tailoring firm before becoming the perfume powerhouse it is today. A more than deserving stablemate to the brand’s best-selling scent, Aventus, Green Irish Tweed is a punchy evocation of cut grass, wild flowers and aromatic herbs, with fans as diverse as Prince Charles and George Clooney. “Virile and elegant, with a decent sexiness on the skin, it’s a true gentleman’s fragrance,” says perfume archivist James Craven.

Creed Green Irish Tweed

Dior Fahrenheit

For an example of the kind of risks perfumers were taking with men’s fragrances in the eighties, look no further than Dior Fahrenheit. “It smells, pleasingly, like spilt petrol,” says Craven. “Imagine a luxury garage forecourt spiked with bitter limes, violet leaf and oranges.” Yeah, we know – shouldn’t work, but it does.

Dior Fahrenheit

Versace Eros

It took five years for Italian fashion behemoth Versace to come up with this punchy, in-your-face concoction of fresh, woody notes, underpinned by a combination of green apple and mint. But as the positive reviews show, it was worth the wait. “Eros is truly the DNA of the house of Versace,” said Donatella at the time of its launch. Smell it and see how true that is.

Versace Eros

Ralph Lauren Polo

The seventies is usually regarded as the decade that taste forgot, not so with Ralph Lauren’s first male fragrance offering. Startling because of its distinctive use of pine – a tricky note to get right if you don’t want the fragrance to smell like toilet cleaner – it’s been reformulated a couple of times since launch but still smells as fresh and original today as it did back then.

Ralph Lauren Polo EDT

Fresh & Herbaceous

Fougère scents (after the French word for ‘fern’) are usually built around notes of lavender, geranium and oakmoss, allowing them to resemble smells such as freshly mown hay. A mainstay of men’s fragrances thanks to their fresh and herbaceous ‘barbershop’ character, it’s also the most interpreted family, so expect many a variation on the theme.

Old Spice

Easily one of the most iconic men’s fragrances of all time, and still a steady seller around the globe, the origins of Old Spice lie in DIY Bay Rum scents invented by pirates. Spicy but floral, its safe, good-for-dads reputation is what has led to it its longevity. “It’s precisely by being Mr Average that Old Spice has kept its grip on the public imagination,” says Ostrom. “If it were ever discontinued, there would be a public outcry.”

Old Spice

Houbigant Fougère Royale

Patient zero of the fougère family, this lush, verdant creation from 1882 set the benchmark for all that have followed. “It was highly innovative at the time and made everyone long for the magic of the then-new chemical coumarin,” says Craven. As with many older fragrances, the original formula has been re-worked over the years, but it’s still worth a sniff.

Houbigant Fougère Royale

Mouchoir De Monsieur De Guerlain

Often touted as one of the first fragrances created especially for men, Mouchoir de Monsieur from 1904 is one of a clutch of legendary fragrances. Essentially a fougère, it fuses citrus fruits, narcotic floral notes and woody, musky base to create a scent that’s deliciously dandy in nature. The name itself is French for ‘gentleman’s handkerchief’ — the preferred place to apply fragrance at the time.

Mouchoir de Monsieur de Guerlain

Tabac Original

To smell Tabac is like taking a spin in the olfactory equivalent of the Tardis and ending up in the era of Mad Men. Launched in 1959 by German company Mäurer & Wirtz, it’s as cheap as chips and a mainstay of backstreet chemists. Soapy and aromatic, with a touch of Old Spice DNA, it’s the epitome of a bygone era’s notion of ‘manly’.

Tabac Original

How To Choose The Right Fragrance For You

Counter assistants can help you; friends can help you; even disapproving looks from passersby can give a steer, but ultimately a man’s relationship with fragrance is so personal that only you can choose the right one for your personality.

As with finding the perfect partner, it’s a process that involves patience, experimentation and, yes, a few regrettable flings. Helpfully, according to James Craven, a perfume archivist at London’s oldest independent perfumery, Les Senteurs, there are a few things that can help make the search easier.

Fit For Purpose

Fragrance, like clothing, is largely contextual, working best when it perfectly suits the occasion. A light, citrus fragrance is perfect for work or warmer weather, while a black tie event demands something heavier and more complex. For a hot date, you’ll want to pull out all the stops with something earthy, sexy and musky.

Dig Deeper

To narrow the field further, Craven suggests a little self-analysis. “If you don’t think about the inner you, you’ll never find the perfect signature scent.” It sounds odd to consider factors such as what textures and colours you prefer, but these are often reflected in your fragrance taste. For example, smoky ouds resemble dark colours whereas light, floral notes evoke brighter ideas.

Trust Your Instincts

As with other areas of style, the key is to follow your heart; not the crowd. “Shop on your own, when you are in the mood and don’t force things,” says Craven. “Wait for a fragrance that stirs and excites you. Scent is our last raw link with our animal origins, so search for it in an animal way. Trust your feelings and instinct.” Bottom line: follow your nose.

Fragrance Tips From The Experts

Fragrance may be an art form but choosing the right one (and getting the most out of it when you do) is more of a science.

To save you pouring money down the eau de toilet, here are five tips from the masters of musk (and other notes) to getting it right.

Know Your Notes

In the same way it’s possible to blag your way through a wine list once you know about grapes, narrowing the field with fragrances is easier with a little prior research around notes, especially when looking for a scent with stamina.

“Good lasters include tonka bean, tuberose, vanilla, amber, civet and musk; while spices, woods, and resins like myrrh, frankincense and benzoin are tenacious too,” says Craven.

Being able to decipher which notes make up your current favourite scents can also help you seek out further ones you’re likely to love in the future.

Stay Hydrated

How long a fragrance sticks around for depends on many factors, not least its strength and the notes it features, but there is one simple thing you can do to maximise its staying power no matter what.

According to Dove scents tend to last longer on well-hydrated skin, so in addition to drinking plenty of water, lather on a fragrance-free body moisturiser after showering to prep skin and eek out your olfactory efforts.

Don’t Rush Things

You know what they say: act in haste, repent at leisure – something that’s especially true of fragrance, which can smell entirely different on a piece of card in a shop (or on someone else) than on you. So be patient.

“Always test scents on your skin and allow yourself time to discover, not only what suits you but what other people respond to,” says Tony Glenville, author of Top To Toe: The Modern Man’s Guide To Grooming.

This is because top notes reveal themselves in seconds, but base notes like sandalwood take several hours to emerge properly.

Seek Out The Story

Contrary to what some might think, perfumers don’t simply throw a cocktail of ingredients together and hope for the best (that’s a surefire way to end up with the fragrance equivalent of a dirty pint). Like songs, most scents are built around a story, and getting to know it and its creator’s aims can give your relationship with it a whole new depth.

“When a fragrance has a story behind it, it makes it more real, more alive, more true,” says British perfumer Lyn Harris, founder of boutique fragrance house Miller Harris. “It gives you something more to connect with.” 

Apply Right

It’s a grooming mistake as old as fragrance itself: apply too much and you’ll leave everyone within a mile radius feeling like they’ve huffed glue.

“To get the best effect, fragrance should be applied over the skin as a light mist,” says Dove, who warns against spraying too close to the skin as this can result in an overly-concentrated puddle. “Alternatively, apply some to the palm of the hand before wiping it over the upper body as this will help the fragrance affix to the skin better.” 

As for how much, Debrett’s Guide For The Modern Gentleman suggests applying no more than two to three squirts. None of them down your underwear.

Source link