Male Grooming

2016 the end of the beard…? Course not! 

I’ve read in recent weeks that 2016 will be the end of the beard, if you’re reading media publications and taking what they say as gospel then enjoy following the next “fad”. This story came about after some historian has decided to run a three year research project on the beard and its cultural history, again I’m not sure how that can determine the downfall of the beard…. If you want to grow a beard, then do it. 

This is my first post in a long time, I really should blog more. In the coming weeks I’ll be looking at everything beard and male lifestyle again, think I might look at some tips for beard growers who aren’t 100% happy with what they can grow whether that’s a patchy beard or face fluff. 

Anyway, I’ll leave it there for now. Expect a proper post in the coming days. 

Beard threading and General beard care. 

Ever heard of beard threading? I’ve been looking at this method of facial grooming recently and decided to give it a go, so I thought I’d share my experience with you.

First off, it hurts like nothing else. It won’t be something I do often, I just wanted to see the process and how it works/feels. This process will weaken the folicle and prevent the hair growing as dense in the future in that area, so this is particularly good for your cheeks and neck with any hairs you are constantly trimming. You will still have to trim your beard and look after it with your normal methods. 

You will want to get a good brush with strong rigid bristles as well as some good scissors along with your beard oils. Be sure to wash and scrub your beard to remove any dead skin and keep your beard and face soft, you’ll want to brush your beard when it’s still wet and then gently towel dry your beard until it’s almost dry, then apply your oils to lock in the moisture and leave it smelling great. 

So along with this grooming and possibly getting your beard threaded you can be going into the spring with an amazing looking beard. 

Don’t be scared to go and try threading, just be prepared for the pain and don’t listen to the reports that are creeping in saying beards are on the way out… They aren’t. 

Product review – Specspost

A couple of weeks ago Julie (@specspostjulie) from SpecsPost (@specspost) sent me two pairs of glasses to choose from and a pair of sun glasses and I must say they all look amazing!

They have a really cool concept, you can order your glasses as a trial pair, choose the ones you like and return the ones you don’t like.

The glasses I received and chose to keep look great, they are called “Poco”(http://www.specspost.co.uk/catalogue/petite-glasses/poco), they are a dark brown colour and have a retro look which I’ve received positive comments about from numerous people since I’ve been wearing them and have also been asking where I have got them from. These glasses have a great fit and are comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

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I haven’t really had a chance to wear the sunglasses as of yet but as soon as we get a bit of sun (is that likely!?) i will be sure to try them out and get a post up but they sure look great!

The quality of the glasses from Specspost compared to other glasses shops are amazing, for the price you pay you are receiving a great service and product. I would certainly recommend this shop to people.

First time beard growing tips

Here are a few tips for the novice beard grower, these tips will help you get on the road to the perfect beard.

1. Let it grow, don’t start trying to trim
and shape it at first.

2. Keep it clean, it’s still hair so make sure you wash it! Might also be wise to use a beard oil from an early stage, find out how to make your own here – https://thebeardedgentlemanblogs.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/the-perfect-beard/

3. Push through the itchy stage, it only gets better.

4. Let it grow below your jaw line, chip straps are horrible, avoid any sharp lines with your beard.

5. When you do get to a substantial length after say 3 weeks, you can make it neater by making the edges a bit sleeker. You can either use a beard trimmer or scissors to rid any stray hairs. Make your beard tighter on your cheek, I tend to trim my beard on the sides and keep it longer at the bottom to give a well groomed appearance.

6. Use a beard trimmer to keep it at a fairly even length. A beard that’s uneven all over will look scruffy.

7. The most important one, Have patience! Trust me, having a beard is worth it.

A Gents Guide to Interviews

Who doesn’t need a few pointers here or there when it comes to an interview? With this post I’ll be covering everything from interview fashion to some need to know tips, as well as questions for the interviewer. I occasionally interview people for jobs within my company so I am able to give a few good pointers on what I like to hear and see.

Interview clothing

Make sure you look sharp, it doesn’t matter what the job is…show you take care of yourself! I would always go to an interview in at least a shirt and tie. If you’re going for a high end job then be sure to wear a suit, there will be something for every budget whether that’s a Topman suit for the lower budget, Hackett suit for a mid range or a Paul Smith suit for the higher budget! (I’ll link below some recommendations) i tend to stick with navy suits, black or grey can sometimes look quite silly on some people, so play it safe and go with navy. Whichever suit you do go with, make sure it fits right, a baggy suit looks awful. Another must is a good pair of shoes, do not turn up in trainers or scruffy shoes.

Topman suit – www.topman.com

Hackett suit – www.mrporter.com

Paul Smith London suit – www.mrporter.com

Interview tips

Be on time for the interview, being late is a big no no.

Make sure you know your own CV, there is nothing worse than someone who says they can do various things yet when you ask them about this they seem to be just as curious about it as you are (the interviewer).

If you’ve got a beard, be sure it’s well maintained and not all scraggly! (See my tips here thebeardedgentlemanblogs.com/the-perfect-beard & thebeardedgentlemanblogs.com/the-perfect-beard-part-2/ ) same with stubble, if it doesn’t suit you then go clean shaven, but let’s be honest… Who doesn’t suit a beard!?

Be prepared. Learn about the company you are interviewing for and find out a few facts and figures that will make you shine. By doing this you will show you’ve put time and effort into preparing for the interview and will impress the interviewer.

Confidence is key, if you walk into that room and are able to show you’re confident and can almost control the interview then you really are making yourself stand out from the crowd. Be sure to make eye contact and give a strong handshake.

No matter what you do, stay calm. Don’t get flustered and confused, and if you need to take a few seconds to compose your self.

Interviewee questions

Be sure to question the interviewer when given your turn, there’s a few reasons for this, sometimes the interviewer may forget to mention something that’s quite important or it may just be a case of you wanting to find out more about the company to see if it is actually a place you would like to work. Ask them about the company and what makes them enjoy working there, you could ask about the future of the company and how you will help achieve get it to where they want it to be. Don’t be shy with your questions but be sure to think them through before your interview, you don’t want to be asking silly pointless questions.

The Shop of the Future – The Dandy Lab

I stumbled across a new concept of pop-up store today whilst browsing Twitter today, it’s currently on a kickstart campaign and looks great!

Above is a video from the people at The Dandy Lab explaining what its all about

A few days ago, The Dandy Lab launched their Kickstarter campaign to transform their physical retail space into a store of the future. The project is revolutionising retailing with hyper-personalised, immersive shopping experiences, so that customers can discover, learn, shop and share in an environment tailored just for them.

Retail is being reinvented by the unstoppable rise of the internet. The Dandy Lab is the first-ever interactive lifestyle emporium where fashion collides with technology to tailor the shopping experience around a customer’s personal interests. The pop up concept store will launch later this year and open for six- months, following a Kickstarter campaign offering the style-conscious man a unique chance to be involved in the project and receive exclusive rewards.

I’ve taken the following directly from their kickstarter site and if reading this doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will!

These are our four main pillars that we have developed to bring you one of the most exciting concept stores to have landed in the UK:

Discover: The store will talk to you, helping you to discover new brands and products using an in-store interactive window, displays and magic mirrors.

Learn: A series of presentations delivered by the UK’s artisans will help you to understand a product’s life from workshop to wardrobe.

Shop: We will be stocking over 40 British brands ranging from established designers to emerging independents.

Share: Share your experience using the store’s interactive social corner and finish the day off with a well earned English brew.

“The Dandy Lab” really could change up shopping and I for one think that’s a great thing! Technology certainly is the way forward. The store is set for a launch during December this year in central London featuring more than 40 brands ranging from menswear, footwear to grooming and lifestyle accessories.

What I believe will make it so great is the fact that it will involve a lot of local craftsmen and deliver a new unique shopping experience.

Over the coming weeks I will certainly be keeping an eye on the progress of this project. You can follow them and find out more below…

Website – http://www.thedandylab.com/

Twitter – @thedandylab

You can find the Kickstarter site here –  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thedandylab

Wardrobe essentials for the alternative gent

This is my first proper male fashion post, I won’t be looking at the type you may see on a cat walk or the latest must have thing because a celeb has worn it. I’ll be looking at the alternative style and what you really should own, this blog is going to be about the wardrobe basics you can wear with anything. My style is a mix between the modern gent mixed with alternative grunge.
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All of the clothing I will be writing about is available from shops such as Topman, Burton, Asos… This is all affordable stuff that looks great!

1 – Simple canvas plimsol – Converse are a safe bet, they really are a great shoe… They look awesome and last for ages.

2 – Brogues – Everyone must own a pair of brogues… Every gent needs a smart shoe in his wardrobe, you can wear them with a white button down shirt, blazer and jeans for a smarter look or be a bit more casual with them and go with the no sock, rolled up/cropped Jean look with a white tee and check shirt.

3 – Jeans – I wear nothing but a skinny cut when it comes to jeans (you really don’t have to have a slender figure to rock the skinny jean look… I’m far from skinny, but I knew this style is the one for me and many others), I insist you also give them a go if you don’t already! Your best bet is to go with a stretch skinny which you can find in Topman, you should go with a blue and black colour (I prefer a more washed, distressed look Jean) so you can wear them with everything in your wardrobe.

4 – Chino trousers – I rarely wear chinos but still own them for peace of mind, I know that if I need a versatile trouser that will go with anything whether it’s for work or going out I can rely on them.

5 – A good quality plain short sleeve tee – This is something that’s obvious, you can wear this on its own or as a base for your outfit. Again you’re best to grab two, one blue and one white.

6 – The Check shirt – To me along with jeans and converse this is my other no.1! You can’t go wrong with an outfit made up of converse, skinny jeans and a check shirt!

7 – White button down shirt – You can team a white shirt with a blazer for the smarter look maybe going into town for drinks with your mates or taking someone on a date, it’s just that something that you can fall back on when no other outfits are working for you. I’d recommend a Ralph Lauren Oxford shirt.

8 – Cable knit jumper – Who doesn’t look good in a cable knit? This is that something that will keep you warm and looking great during the colder months, and can be worn casually or again if you want to look a bit smarter.

9 – Shawl cardi – This is something I would only get from Topman, they do a slightly oversize cardi in a few different colours and looks great with everything. I’ll sometimes wear it to work with my shirt and tie or for a night out with a plain white tee and blue skinny jeans.

10 – Denim jacket – This is that something in your wardrobe that is versatile, and can be worn with almost anything. Whether that’s over a hoody or just a tee, it looks great either way!

11 – Light jacket – For my light jacket I’ve gone with a thin khaki colour parka. I’ve been wearing it on the wetter days through the summer, it’s a great alternative to a big coat.

12 – Coat – My absolute favourite coat is a navy wool coat, it’s long enough and thick enough to keep you warm and dry no matter what!

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Bellow I’ll list all of my recommendations for each item with links for you to check out.

Plimsols (converse) – http://www.schuh.co.uk/mens/converse-all-star-lo-white-trainers/3401391070/

Brogues (house of hounds) – http://www.topman.com/en/tmuk/product/house-of-hounds-fischer-tan-oxford-brogues-3067503

Jeans (Topman & Burton) http://www.topman.com & http://www.burton.co.uk/

Chino (Topman) – http://www.topman.com

T-shirt (Topman) – http://www.topman.com & http://www.topman.com

White shirt (Ralph Lauren) – http://www.asos.com/polo-ralph-lauren

Check Shirt (Topman) – http://www.topman.com

Jumper (Asos/River Island) – http://www.asos.com/river-island

Shawl Cardi (Topman) – http://www.topman.com

Denim jacket (Topman) – http://www.topman.com

Light jacket (Asos/Ben Sherman) – http://www.asos.com

Coat (Topman) – http://www.topman.com

My next style blog will be on Autumn/Winter picks…I’ll be posting that over the coming week!