• Reviews
  • Stiffies Review – Magnetic Metal Collar Stays

    White TM Lewin Shirt With Stiffies

    Reviewing anything related to suits is the most arousing thing since lasagne, almost enough to give you a stiffy, pun intended. As much as I like black socks, I can’t be bothered writing about them. New innovations like these from small start-ups is what I’m all about. It’s simple, it’s cheap, its cheerful, just what the doctor ordered. This review I’m going to have some fun with and try something new. In the first half of this post, I’ll review the magnetic collar stays before wearing them, just giving my initial thoughts on the product, idea, price, appearance etc. Then I’ll give them a spin for a week and then write the second half of this review. Which will be my exact true thoughts on Stiffies and if its worth buying them or not.

    Before Wearing Stiffies

    I recently lost a lot of my collar stays in a trip to the dry cleaners and was planning to buy a pair of metal ones from TM Lewin or John Lewis. So the email asking me to review a pair of Stiffies came at the perfect time. I’d like to thank the guys at Stiffies for sending me these, as always I’ll be brutally honest and mention all the good & bad, hopefully they don’t mind.

    The Idea

    The concept is simple, they’re metal collar stiffeners, that go into your collar and then you place a magnet under your shirt that pulls your collar towards it and holds your shirt collar firm in place.

    Price

    I’m a price man, I’m all about price and saving money where I can. I love looking good but I refuse to be wasteful with my money. Thankfully £20 isn’t a painful amount of money. Having metal collar stiffeners (collar bones) is an absolute must for me and should be for you so the fact these are metal is a big deal for me. Never will plastic do as good a job as metal!

    Delivery

    The delivery was super quick, took two days to get to me. I didn’t pay for my delivery so I’m not entirely sure on the delivery charge but it looks like it is free.

    Magnets

    I’m not a fan of having a small magnet on me, I just get the feeling it can easily come off throughout the day, if that happens you’d have to buy replacements which are sold by Stiffies. To be fair to them, it looks like they supply some spares in the package. I suppose that tells us they’re aware the magnets may be easy to lose. The idea behind it being magnetic isn’t something that has sunk in with me yet and I’ll go into more detail about how the magnet works and is used once I get my head around it all.

    There are actually some health and safety rules about these things which I’d definitely recommend reading; here.

    A Week Later

    Well what a difference a week makes. I’ve gone from being a doubter to being a possible lifetime customer. I’ll elaborate…

    I’m a skeptic, I look at adverts and think, yeah right, does it really do that or is this just over exaggerated. The trick with collar stays is if you wear a cheap shirt with nothing in the collars, then add in some plastic £2 collar stays, the collars would look much better. That’s what I thought was happening here. I’m glad I was wrong.

    I took Stiffies to work everyday for a week, except on casual Friday, while wearing my normal plastic collar stays for the first half of the day and then the Stiffies the second half. The results were pretty impressive, here’s an example of one of my shirts;

    Me With TM Lewin Plastic Collar Stays - Stiffies Review
    Me Wearing My TM Lewin Shirt With Plastic TM Lewin Collar Stays

    TM Lewin Plastic Collar Stays Abovetheankles

    Me With Stiffies Magnetic Collar Stays - Stiffies Review
    Same Shirt Now With Stiffies Magnetic Collar Stays

    I had some reservations as all my shirts are from TM Lewin, I know they’re made very well so my collars look good even without wearing any collar stiffeners. I did not expect Stiffies to improve the look of the shirt. With my collars placed firmly in place and me never having to readjust them meant I realized just how much I touch my collars throughout the day. On one day I touched my collar seven times over 3/4 hours. The novelty hasn’t quite worn off yet, so I’m still aching for someone to comment and ask my shirt looks so damn good, unfortunately no compliments or questions yet.

    How It Works

    How the magnet works is simple. You place the magnet underneath your shirt and then position the collar where you want it to stay and the magnet will click onto your collar from under your shirt, thus holding everything in place. Probably the best bit about this is the fact you can take off the shirt and the magnet will stay attached so as long you don’t lift up your collars.

    Silver Stiffies - Magnetic Collar Stays

    Was I Able To Lose Any Magnets?

    I wanted to see what it would take to lose the magnets so did a few tests to see if they would survive. In my first test, I decided to do some running, not like miles or anything, just sprinted for the bus and stuff. I purposely ran kind of all over the place to see if it would fall but to no avail, 1-0 to Stiffies .

    Next I decided I would wear my duffel bag across my shoulder (I normally carry it in my hand.) I fidgeted about with my bag while it was on, I took the bag off and then on a few times expecting for the magnet to fall down my shirt during this process – it stayed put. 2-0 Stiffies.

    Third and final test, I decided to leave the magnets on, take off the shirt, roll it up and throw it in the wash basket. Now I would never advise rolling your shirts up, I always hang my shirts up, even dirty ones. Anyways I threw it into the wash basket and needless to say, the test went in favour of the Stiffies. 3-0.

    Magnet Strength Fading

    In terms of magnet strength fading overtime, I’m not sure if that’s possible. I’ve only had these little over a week so this isn’t something I can comment on.

    The Two Sizes

    Of the two sizes, I use the smaller ones, the longer pair didn’t work at all. The longer pair looked ridiculous in my shirt. I wear a 15.5/16-inch collar with relatively long collars so I’d expect the longer pair to fit. I’m not sure I’d ever need the longer pair but for now the small ones are perfect.

    Silver Stiffies - Magnetic Collar Stays

    Metal Quality

    To be honest, I’m more of a fabric kind of guy, metals are not my thing so discussing how good the metal used to make Stiffies is, is pointless. I have no idea if it’s strong enough to build a house with or survive extreme heats so if you’re planning on going near a volcano, to be on the safe side, leave these at home. I will however say that they are definitely aesthetically pleasing.

    A Must Have Or A Luxury?

    I can’t say that an accessory is a must have, the reason why is because your shirt doesn’t need collar stays, especially if you wear a tie. Most shirts come with plastic collar stays so you could just use those. You could also buy normal metal collar stays. Then we come to the question;

    Why Should I Buy Stiffies?

    I’ll attempt to answer whether you should buy them or not in the most simple way. If you work in an environment where a tie is required, then just pass on these. If the shirts you wear are worth less than £20, then I wouldn’t advise spending £17.99 on collar stays, makes more sense to invest in a decent collection of shirts.

    If like me, you don’t wear a tie to work, and you own good quality shirts with decently made collars – then yes, get these and don’t delay. Honestly just in terms of confidence, it’s worth the £17.99. Not to mention you can go about your whole day not worrying about your collars moving, even a little.

    I’m incredibly pleased with Stiffies, companies like these deserve the recognition they get. They have found a way to improve every mans outfit without breaking any bank accounts and with little effort. I personally will be ordering another pair myself as a present for a friend. I would recommend you pick some up for yourself.

    Hope you enjoyed my review of Stiffies and if you have anything to add from your own experiences then please comment below.

    Get Your Own Magnetic Collar Stays Here – Stiffies!

    White TM Lewin Shirt With Plastic Collar Stays

    White TM Lewin Shirt With Stiffies

  • Tips
  • How Long Should My Socks Be?

    How Long Should My Socks Be 2

    No Sock Look? How Long Should Socks Be? Socks Bunched Around Ankles? Let’s touch on some important points here and some not so important points. Here’s everything relating to socks.

    1. Should I Try The No Sock Look?

    Some could also ask should you wear socks at all, the simple answer is, if you’re employed – yes. The no sock look is great for walking around on holiday or relaxing in a park somewhere but at work, socks are an absolute must. If you insist on the no sock look then give your colleagues their right to odourless air by wearing invisible socks.

    Should I Try The No Sock Look?
    [Image Credit: forgetfulgentleman.com]

    2. Whats The Deal With Stretched Out Socks?

    Quality is important in every aspect of your wardrobe, from your suit to your shoes. It’s a widely accepted assumption that the more expensive the item, the better the “quality”. Since more expensive materials were used then the item must be better for the user. This may be the case in general but just because your socks cost the price of most peoples shoes doesn’t mean they are actually good quality.

    Many socks lose their tightness (elasticity), thus resulting in the sock rolling down your leg and bunching up around your ankles. The sock can also bunch up in your shoe which can easily make you uncomfortable when walking. I’ve found this most commonly in cheap cotton socks but it still definitely happens with the expensive branded socks that are made cheaply.

    This can be easily resolved by getting a pair of socks that are a blend of cotton and lycra. It will cost you slightly more in the short term but you will end up buying less pairs of socks thus resulting in everything balancing out.

    3. How Long Should Socks Be?

    Now onto the discussion of how long your socks should be. If you are going to take anything from this then let it be the following. Keep all the hair on your legs hidden at all times. When you sit, your trousers will raise and your sock should at all times prevent your lovely hair legs from being on show.

    How High Up Should My Socks Be

    The issue of white socks is well established so I’ll mention it briefly, if you’re an Michael Jackson fan and couldn’t care less what some humans think about you, then go for it.

    Regardless to how beautiful your legs are, they are not appropriate for the work place. Save them for the beach when you can really turn some heads.

    Also bear in mind, none of these rules really mean anything, enjoy yourself and have fun with your socks. Trial and error is the way forward my friend.

    Until we meet again,

    Hamed.

  • Tips
  • What Colour Shirt Should I Wear With A Grey Suit?

    grey suit what colour shirt

    Figuring out what colour shirts go with what suit can get a little overwhelming sometimes. I learnt mainly through trial and error. Grey suits are fantastic and are now widely accepted as work appropriate. I remember one of my bosses many years ago advising me not to wear grey, as it was “too informal” – ridiculous.

    As I stand outside, with no blazer and the sun beating down on my near bald head, I’m happy to say it’s pretty much spring. With spring comes colour, the time for dressing dull and quiet is leaving us quickly. Grey suits make us men look a lot more friendly and approachable. As with all light colours, grey suits are most appropriate when the sun’s out. This doesn’t mean you can only wear a grey suit in spring and summer, however it’s preferred. Which brings me to the colour shirt we should pair with it.

    grey suit blue shirt instagram

    Quick side note: By “grey suit”, I intend a light grey suit, one that is fashionable and looks great like the above. Not those horrendous dark grey suits some people wear.

    The grey suit is almost like the jolly cousin of the firm/strict navy suit. To keep up that joyful look, wear a friendly light colour shirt with the suit. Think of a spring colour palette, all those soft light colours. If you’re thinking, light blue, light purple or pink – you’re on the right track. These shirt colours will keep you looking young, jolly and free.

    grey suit pink shirt coffee

    For many of us we want to be approachable, we want the world to like us and one great pathway for that is through what we wear. Get the right combination of grey suit, pink shirt, loafers & a big smile and everyone will be chatting away with you like they’ve known you for years.

  • Blog
  • How To Dress Well As A Man With A Big Belly

    Above The Ankles how to dress well with a man with a big belly

    Bloated stomach? Eaten a little too much recently and you can now feel the few buttons around your belly on your shirt clinging together for dear life? I know the feeling all too well.

    Here are some amazing tips that will help you look great and hopefully feel better.

    Of course I could turn this into an article about eating healthy and looking after yourself but I doubt you’d be interested in that. We all are prone to putting on a bit of a belly every now and then, even the sex icons of the world.

    james bond big belly
    david beckham big belly

    Accept Reality

    The first step to looking great is to accept you are the way you are. Unless you’re planning on eating healthy meals and exercising you better get used to this belly. Stop trying to squeeze into those old suits or that old pair of Levi’s you haven’t actually worn since 2012. Give them to a charity and accept your thighs are just not as slim as they once were.

    This is probably the hardest part of looking good and the thing I struggled with the most. Trust me though everything is onward and upwards from here.

    No More Grey

    If you already own some great suits then fair enough, you can keep them but don’t buy anymore.

    Everyone knows black is slimming and white is fattening, I don’t know the psychology behind it but I know for sure its true. For this reason, as a gentleman aspiring to look good with a big belly, its so important you minimize how often you wear white and grey. If you need to for work purposes then there are some tips that will help.

    Wear Patterned Shirts (check, striped etc)

    White dress shirts may be the most common dress shirt in the world but chances are you don’t have to wear one everyday. There are some other options available. One great tip to using your shirt to look slimmer is to wear solid colour shirts like blue, purple, pink and the likes of them. One step further is to wear patterned shirts, whether striped or checked.

    checkered shirt big belly

    Opting for a blue/white/green checked shirt and the likes of it are one of the best decisions you could make. Firstly, they look great obviously and secondly, the patterns remove some of the attention from your belly, thus creating the perfect camouflage.

    Wear An Undershirt

    Please gentlemen, whatever you do – you must wear something underneath your shirt. Whether it’s a tight fit undershirt, a wife beater vest or a plain t-shirt. The worst thing you could possibly do is show everyone your hairy stomach. Keep the belly button covered lads.

    Wear A Waistcoat/Jumper

    Adding a waistcoat or a jumper to your outfit will massively boost your look. Anything that covers your belly is a good thing and waistcoats/jumpers allow you to look great and slim at the same time. You will naturally feel better about yourself once you put on the waistcoat or the jumper.

    waistcoat big belly

    If you’re struggling for breathing space in your shirt, it may be a good idea to open the bottom two buttons of your shirt. As long as you have your jumper/waistcoat on, no one will be able to tell you have your shirt undone. Now you’re free to eat to you are unable to move and still feel comfy.

    Purchase New Shirts

    If you’ve had your shirt for awhile and they are now way too tight, hang them in your wardrobe and leave them there. Wearing really tight clothes will make you look fatter than you are, they will show every curve and as you eat your lunch, you’ll feel incredibly uncomfortable for a few hours. Go purchase some new shirts, that are tailored fit, so they don’t wrap them selves around your stomach. I’d recommend TM Lewin Slim-Fit range. You’ll feel much better about yourself and people will automatically think you lost some weight.

    One Dapper Gent

    I hope he doesn’t mind me saying but there is one guy who’s incredibly dapper. The Big Sartorialist is definitely someone who if you are on the big side, can be an inspiration for you.

    big sartorialist

    If you have any tips that I missed, leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to get it added.

  • Tips
  • Is The Waistcoat Size The Same As The Jacket Size?

    waistcoats cover photo

    Waistcoats aren’t worn nowadays as much as they should be. With six months of cold ahead of us, layering up makes sense and wearing a waistcoats is a great idea. How do you know your size?

    How do you know your waistcoat size?

    Is the waistcoat size the same as the blazer or jacket size?

    The model David Gandy wearing a bespoke suit by Henry Poole & Co

    Waistcoats are sized by our chests, the same as the suit jacket sizes. If you wear a size 40 blazer then you should follow suit accordingly with the waistcoat size. There are a few things to consider before purchasing a waistcoat.

    Waistcoat & Your Stomach

    If you have a large stomach then you need understand that unlike the suit jacket, the waistcoat will be done up all the time. It’s best to order one size up in the waistcoat if this is the case. It will give you more room to breathe, especially if you’ll be eating.

    Copy The Suit Cut

    Many suits come with waistcoats however some don’t. All suits and waistcoats are cut in different sizes. If you’re going to be buying a waistcoat from a company your not used to, go one size up to be safe.

    Remember: Leave the bottom button open.

  • Tips
  • Winter Coats – What To Wear This Winter?

    what to wear this winter

    All of those blessed enough to live in hot countries, can get away with wearing their blazers throughout the year. Those of us that have to grow our hair for a few months just to have some extra insulation, know all about wrapping up this time of the year. The cold in the UK is no joke, and wrapping up is essential, but so is looking good.

    TinieTempahstreetstyle

    The Perfect Winter Coat

    Most of us don’t give a monkey’s about comfort, we just want to look great. With winter in full effect, and every other day the rain beating down on my hairless head, there shouldn’t be a doubt in anyone’s mind that for you to look great this season it’s all about the coat you wear. There are many different types, some will suit you perfectly and others you may look out of place. Regardless of the type of coat, the most important thing you need to get right is the combination of three;

    – Fit
    – Warmth
    – Style

    Fit

    Having a coat that fits, is imperative. Its the same with all outer garments. When out shopping we sometimes fall too deeply in love with something and are willing to sacrifice how well it fits. This is pretty much always a bad idea. If you’ve tried on both the Medium & Small and they’re not quite working for you, as much as it hurts – move on. We’ve all been there, trying to force our way into an item we love, then a week later we end up hating it. Be patient.

    Warmth

    Now the coat fits, you need to make sure it’s actually worth wearing. No point wearing a thin layered coat that won’t keep you warm or dry. Get yourself a nice thick jacket that will be your saviour on that rainy day, so when you get back in from lunch you won’t have to sit at your desk dripping wet. Not only that but who wants to get ill?

    Style

    Realistically, we are all here to look good, if the jacket keeps you warm and dry and fits well but looks like it belonged to your grandmother – eww. I recommend two coats this winter; the bomber jacket and the trench coat.

    Undoubtedly trench coats are the way forward this season. They cover your top-half as well as most of your bottom, so if you ever get caught in the rain, your coat will bear the brunt of it. The wool trench coats will keep you warm from the blistering winds, plus most come with added fur for that extra softness. They go perfectly well with the office look and will set you levels above the rest. A good trench coat should cost around £100, while the more designer ones are upwards of £500.

    Bomber jackets are fantastic for the casual look, the days I wear chinos and a shirt, I usually complete the look with one of my Zara bomber jackets. Most bomber jackets will keep you dry through light rain but once the amazon showers start, you’re likely to get soaked. You’ll pick up a good bomber jacket for around £50.

    A great winter coat, should keep you dry, warm and make you look fantastic. Don’t compromise, spend a little more, you’ll thank yourself in February when you’re standing in the snow.

    Reiss Unstructured Wool Overcoat

    ASOS Double Breasted Overcoat In Black Boucle

  • Blog
  • Now’s The Best Time To Grab Yourself A Bargain

    Who doesn’t love a bargain? Genuine quality items are rarely discounted. Why would Gucci need to put stuff on sale when they’re guaranteed to sell at full price? So when’s the best time to grab the best deals?

    shopping for men

    Easy answer – when the seasons change. Autumn and winter seasons clothes begin being sold in August but summer clothes like shorts are still sold until October. After October retailers don’t mind taking a hit on revenue just to make a small profit on leftover stock from summer.

    Here’s where you come in; check around your favourite websites. All of them will have a “new in” section. Skip past that. Go straight to the sale tab. What you’ll find are mostly items best fitted for the hot weather. Thin linen/cotton suits, slip-on loafers, button down collars shirts and chinos.

    You can usually pick these up for around half their retail price. ASOS is my favourite company for doing this. I grab my best bargains around October and March. I simply do the opposite to most people. I buy winter stuff when everyone’s buying summer gear and vice versa.

    My latest buy are these Frank Wright brown loafers which I picked up for £23 down from £75, definitely a bargain if you ask me. They’re comfortable and most importantly beautiful.

    Frank Wright Leather Tassel Loafers

    Break a habit and shop the opposite way round, you’ll get some great deals.

  • Tips
  • Two Fashion Mistakes Some People ACTUALLY Make

    business men in shorts - fashion mistakes

    You cannot make a mistake when it comes to style, style is who you are and what you choose to do with your clothes, so feel free to express yourself in anyway you see fit. However, when it comes to fashion there are MANY mistakes and I mean MANY. Some of the well known “fashion mistakes” I disagree with and this is evident in my own style. There are on the other hand some mistakes you can’t afford to make.

    Two of which I have seen today and want to try and hopefully prevent you from doing them.

    bad fit suit

    1. Badly Fitted Clothes

    Badly fitted suits are horrible, whether they’re too baggy or too tight. Clothes should make you feel comfortable and look good. If you’re uncomfortable, your clothes are probably too tight. If you feel like you’re in bed, your clothes are way to big.

    I saw some incredibly baggy clothes today. They looked like they were handed down through the generations. I remember when I went to my first interview, I wore my dad’s suit and oh my God, I looked horrible and everyone could tell.

    If you find it difficult finding clothes that fit you properly, then either branch out of your comfort zone and try out new stores or build a great relationship with your nearest tailor. You’ll be surprised what tailor’s can do.

    2. Short Sleeves With A Tie

    Fast food restaurants want their managers to look the part so they ask them to wear ties. Obviously they can’t wear a tie without a shirt so they get them to wear a shirt. The problem arises when you have someone wearing a shirt, getting sauce and oil all over their sleeves. Which obviously leads to this short sleeve/tie combo we see today.

    short sleeve shirt with tie

    Now unless you’re a manager in a fast food restaurant, why would you ever wear a short sleeve shirt with a tie? Please don’t. The short sleeve/tie combo is associated with low paying jobs and unless that’s the look you’re going for, avoid it.

  • Tips
  • Match The Knot Of Your Tie To Your Collar

    match tie knot to collars

    If reading the title confused you a little then good, it confused me the first time someone said it to me. Thankfully it’s pretty basic and once I explain it, you’ll just do it subconsciously. If you have been wearing suits awhile – you may already be doing it.

    The size of your tie’s knot should be in proportion to the size of your collar and vice versa. In layman’s terms; big & thick ties for large collars and skinny/thin ties for small collars.

    The style in which you choose to tie your tie matters. I haven’t worn my tie in any other way except a full Windsor for over five years. I find it perfect for me as when I choose to wear a tight fitted shirt with small collars and a tie bar, my skinny tie and Windsor knot looks fantastic. Equally as fantastic are my TM Lewin big wide collar shirts with my thick standard ties in a Windsor knot. However, I have seen some people doing some crazy knots, making patterns out of it all, this is fine if it suits you but make sure that you haven’t wrapped your tie around your knot 15 times on a shirt with small collars.

    If you are unsure as to whether your tie’s knot will be big or small then simply look at the width of your tie. The more material in the tie the larger your tie knot will be.

    michael fassbender gq cover
    Skinny Tie With Small Collars
    david gandy gq cover
    Regular Tie With Large Collars
  • Tips
  • Shop Around For The Best Deals – Google It!

    sartorial 7 menswear bloggers

    With every company in the world now online and more and more people buying their favourite clothing labels from the comfort of their sofa. I’m definitely one of them, I’ve been buying clothes online myself for around eight years. I first started on eBay, buying g-shock watches and superdry products back in 2006. I remember wearing the first Superdry polo-shirts, they were around £60 at the time but I grabbed all mine for around £25.

    Shopping online is amazing, especially if you’re not one of those who shop in the high end retailers. Walking around in Louis Vuitton or D&G is always a pleasure, however Next, H&M & Topman can be extremely annoying. I’d much rather be sitting down on my sofa flicking through my favourite stores than walking around stores crammed with people.

    I’m flying out to Morocco in a few days and I needed a camera. After some googling to try and find out which one was most suitable for me, I decided on this nifty little camera called Canon IXUS 160 Digital Camera. Initially I was going to buy it off Amazon for £135, which I figured was a decent price for a good camera. Thankfully I did some googling and found the same camera for £67 from John Lewis. Saved £72 by being patient and having a look first.

    Depends how bothered you are about saving money but you never know how cheap you’ll be able to pick up that suit or patent shoes. Obviously if you’re buying a Mark’s & Spencer suit from their site then there’s no point googling it. It may take a few minutes to find the same product you’re interested in, but if you can save £5 you may as well. The only time I pay more for an item is if I’ve had a bad experience with a company, even if they’re cheaper I’d rather have my stuff delivered in one piece.

    Google it, eBay it & save some money.

    lets google it