style

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.

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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.

The alternative guide to Autumn/winter fashion (5 things to invest in)

This is just a short post on winter/autumn style essentials. This year there will be a smarter look in general with brogues, overcoats and slim leg trousers continuing to take centre stage.

Below are my 5 key winter items.

1. A big, holdall type bag – what a great item to have which you can use year round (this is just a style essential, not only a winter one) you can use it day to day and are able to keep anything you may need in it, from your laptop to your gym gear. You will always have everything to hand.

2. Slim leg trousers – there seems to be a slight change in the a trousers fit this year, the leg seems to be getting slightly looser so go for a slim leg fit rather than skinny. You can add bigger upper body layers to finish the look, maybe a cable knit jumper under a winter coat.

3. Green and blue colours – there will be a lot of green and blues this winter which works well as they look great together. I’d recommend a cable knit jumper in either colour.

4. A long overcoat – a classic cotton/wool over coat will do perfectly. It will look great with a slim leg trouser, your coat and a tartan scarf teamed up with a good brogue.

5. A blanket scarf – what winter outfit is finished without a scarf?! This is a must! Not only will it keep you warm with the winter freeze but it will also look great.

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!

The perfect beard

I really want to share my enthusiasm for good beards, I’ve been growing mine for around 4 years now (with the obvious occasional trim). Some people think having a beard is easy and for lazy people, but let me tell you that is far from the truth, so much time and care goes into maintaining a good beard…Nobody likes a scraggly beard.

Some quick tips for the perfect beard –

1 – WASH YOUR BEARD – your beard needs the same type of attention as your head of hair, make sure you keep it fresh and clean with shampoo and occasionally you can condition it to keep it soft and healthy.

2 – FACE SCRUB – be sure to use a good face scrub that will exfoliate the skin under your face rug, I’ve been using clinique face scrub which you can get from boots for £19. It will lift the oils away from your beard and remove any dead skin

3 – MOISTURISE – I use a L’oreal moisturiser that’s actually recommended for stubble, but I feel it gets into my beard and reaches my skin beneath to leave my skin soft and fresh.

4 – BEARD OIL – in my opinion this is the most important part of beard care, a good beard oil that will turn your rough beard into the soft perfect beard which will also smell great! I actually make my own beard oil (which I will explain later in this post) which not only leaves me better off in my pocket in the long run as beard oil can be very expensive but I can also make the beard oil smell and have the exact effect I want it to have by using certain different oils.

5 – TRIM – Be sure to trim your beard every so often, i trim mine around every three weeks using a pair of hair scissors and just snipping away any out of place, messy hairs!

How to make your own Beard Oil

All of the items i use are from Holland & Barrett and in total it costs me around £35 for 4-8 batches worth depending on how strong you like your oil (you could always go with a pre made shop bought one at around £15-20 for 10ml). You will also need some sort of container to mix which you can get from Superdrug/Boots for around £2

First off you need to make a base which consists of Jojoba oil 30-50ml (£15.99) & Almond oil 30-50ml (£5.89)

This isn’t a base ingredient but i always add Rosemary around 2ml or a few drops (£5.19) which adds a fresh, uplifting herbal hint to it

Then you can start experimenting with smells! I’ve gone with a citrus scent for mine and i have used Sweet Orange around 2ml or a few drops (£4.99) & Grapefruit around 2ml or a few drops (£4.99)

Other Combinations – you could go for a woody smell and replace the orange and grapefruit with Pine Oil & Cedarwood Oil or maybe a fresh scent using Vanilla Oil and Lemon Oil

Just experiment and have fun! You can also contact me on twitter @beardedgentblogs if you need any help or instruction on how to make your own oil or anything else that you may want to know! 

Below are the links to the products i have used.

Jojoba Oil –  http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/product/holland-barrett-jojoba-oil-60017068?c=jojoba%20oil

Almond Oil –  http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/product/miaroma-sweet-almond-oil-60060103?c=almond%20oil

Rosemary Oil – http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/product/miaroma-rosemary-pure-essential-oil-60060124?c=rosemary%20oil

Sweet Orange Oil – http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/product/miaroma-sweet-orange-pure-essential-oil-60029066?c=sweet%20orange%20oil

Grapefruit Oil – http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/product/miaroma-grapefruit-pure-essential-oil-60029071?c=grapefruit%20oil