• 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
  • How To Reinvent Yourself – A New You

    how to reinvent yourself

    Reinvent Yourself

    There comes a time in every man’s life where he decides a change of appearance is much in order. Now may be the perfect time to reinvent yourself. Whether it’s for a new job, new love interest, or even a new year, there is usually some sort of driving force behind it. If you’re thinking about shaking up your signature look, check out our tips to rejuvenate yourself.

    Look After Your Skin

    Women just love skin products. If you have a woman in your life, you’ll know that their serums, lotions and potions take up most of the space in the bathroom and bedroom. Women are usually one step ahead of us men, they already know that looking and smelling good is feeling good too. We should follow suit and look after our skin too. Our skin can be even more prone to dryness and irritation than women’s. If you don’t want to dip into your other half’s strawberry puree, you could get some Nivea cream for men.

    mens nivea cream formula how to reinvent yourself

    If you have thicker, dryer skin, you might find that thicker balms and creams are more effective for you and leave your skin feeling softer and more moisturized. My all time favorite cream (after Nivea) would have to be Palmer’s cocoa butter, great smell, great feeling and great value for money.

    cocoa butter formula how to reinvent yourself
    [Photo Credit: emtalks.co.uk]

    Whether you’re on a tight budget at the moment, or not, drink plenty of water and get a good nights sleep. These two things are free, and will work wonders for your skin. You won’t get dark circles and your complexion will look clear and healthy.

    Choose Your Products Wisely

    In order to change your look, you’ll probably need to change your approach to styling and that means trying new products.

    There’s a myriad of skin and hair products for men, but choose wisely; sometimes cheaper products are more damaging to skin and do not last as long as the slightly more expensive products. No one’s saying a £50 jar of cream here, but the dubious cream from discount stores is not always worth it.

    Quality products generally last longer and actually do what they say on the tin. You can find great ones online, places like Boots, Mankind, and the Body Shop.

    Cut Or Restyle Your Hair

    What quicker way to reinvent yourself is there other than changing your hairstyle? One of the quickest and most effective ways is to change it to something you’ve never tried before. Even if it was as simple as changing what side you part your hair on, or more drastically shaving off long locks of hair. Believe me, a good trim can make you feel like a new man.

    If your hair is short, you could try growing it into a longer style, and if it’s already long, experiment with a few new styles in front of a mirror until you find something you like. You can find inspiration easily on Instagram or even Google images (old school, I know), or ask your barber for suggestions. Look up hairstyles on models who have similar face shapes, hairlines, and hair textures to you. There’s nothing worse than getting a haircut that doesn’t suit you at all.

    how to reinvent yourself barber
    [Photo Credit: thespa.steigenberger.com]

    Wardrobe

    Clear out your wardrobe, get rid of those baggy jeans you’ve had since you were fifteen and invest in new ones that will last. You can find designer labels for cheap in places like Tk Maxx and in the sale section of websites and high street stores. A quick way to reinvent your look is by swapping jeans for chinos, and trainers for boots. These two items can be tweaked to look casual or smart depending on your accessories.

    Developing a new signature look means not looking like every other guy out there, and bold accessories make it easy to really personalize your style.

    Hats, scarves, watches, crazy socks (check out my posts on them) or bold-framed glasses: knock yourself out and make them your own.

    crazy socks

    Exercise

    Getting a new body shape needs a little more work than changing your hair and clothes , but if you feel you need to size down, remind yourself of the old adage – no pain, no gain.

    Exercise is free so forget extortionate gym memberships. Go walking, running, swimming or cycling. Whatever you do – stay active. Exercise releases endorphins so you’ll start feeling good and in time you’ll have a body to match.

    Learn To Accept Your Body Shape

    While you can exercise and slim down, your natural body shape may always remain the same. The solution to this is not to attempt to squeeze yourself into ill-fitting clothes, but identify your body type to pick clothes that compliment your shape and size well.

    Find Out What Brands Work Best For You

    In order to succeed when reinventing your wardrobe, you need to know what brands suit you. Topman and ASOS favour more slim fitting clothing, whereas stores like House of Fraser and John Lewis are your go-to for more classic men’s clothing.

    Build Your Self Esteem

    Having high self esteem affects how you see yourself and how others see you. People are drawn to charismatic, confident people. Work on your posture, slouching suggests a lack of self confidence whereas walking with straight open shoulders rather than hunched ones says a lot about you. Also, change the way you think about yourself if need be, from negative to positive. Being positive and confident is the best way to pull off great new looks.

    Ask The Ladies

    You can find plenty of inspiration online for a new look, but the women who matter the most in your life – your mum, wife, or sister know you and will always have some helpful, unsolicited advice on how you look, eat, dress, sleep, breathe… you get my drift!

    Do your homework and see what’s trending, there’s some great free advice and product reviews all over the internet. Experiment with different looks, get creative, be active and in no time you will have reinvented your look without breaking the bank.

    Reinvent yourself now and you’ll be glad you did.

    how to reinvent yourself - a new you
    [Photo Credit: grafhamwalbancke.com]
    [Photo Credit For Featured Image: 123rf.com]
  • Tips
  • Getting A Job | Interview Tips

    Above The Ankles 6 Interview Tips

    Interview Tips

    I’ve had a lot of people ask me for help with landing a job and I find myself pretty much saying the same few tips every time. These tips aren’t in any order and they haven’t been verified by some top CEO or anything so don’t hold me accountable, this is just what has always worked for me and actually worked well for a few others as well. Here are my best interview tips, enjoy;

    Interview Tips #1 – CV

    My number one interview tip is don’t stress over your CV, I have handed in my CV from when I was 16 with no experience to an employer while I was 21. This CV was crap and outdated but when they called me I was in complete control of the conversation and I got the job, which I then turned down (I know right.)

    To be blunt, no one really cares what’s on your CV, 99% of the time the employer just wants to ask you questions based on your CV so they can get you talking and see what you’re really like.

    Interview Tips #2 – Recommendation/Referral

    If your friend has the job you want, or works in the company you would love to work for – ask for a recommendation. You might get one or two interview from fifty applications but you’ll get one interview from one referral.

    It’s a no-brainer really, obviously I get that you might not know that many people but with social media nowadays, you can easily get to know someone in any company anywhere in the world. LinkedIn is the obvious one but still not many people use it, search for the company you want to work for and invite some of the people to connect with you, send them a message, get the conversation going online and before you know it you’ll be sitting down with a manager being interviewed. Don’t forget, you can even do this on Facebook/Twitter.

    interview tips man suit
    [Photo Credit: optnation.com]

    Interview Tips #3 – Know Who Will Be Interviewing You

    This might seem a little weird but trust me it helps so much. Usually you will have a phone conversation with someone in the company before you have an interview. When on the phone, make sure you ask who it will be that will be interviewing you. If they ask why, just say it’s because you want to remember their name so you don’t forget it during the interview or any other silly excuse to get them to tell you. Once you have their name, Google them, have a look at them, see what their position is etc. Many times when I’ve asked who will be interviewing me, they just tell me everything I need to know; “Oh it’s James Allard who will be interviewing you, he’s the managing director of the company, he likes to meet all new people himself.”

    Interview Tips #4 – Don’t Outshine The Person Interviewing You

    Knowing what position they are will tell you how they will dress, if you find out the one interviewing you is “one of the trainers” chances are they aren’t going to be dressed that well so don’t go in your best suit and keep the colorful socks at home. If you hear it’s the Managing Director interviewing you, look sharp and on point – just minus the Rolex.

    The moment you outshine the person interviewing you, the interview is in your control and they feel nervous. They’ll start to feel like you are a threat to them and chances are they will end up trying to find whatever excuse they can to not hire you. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen many times.

    Interview Tips #5 – Do Your Research On The Company

    What ever you do, don’t ask them to explain their company. Whoever’s interviewing will love talking about their company but they’ll hate having to explain it to you. Go on Google and write down some interesting things you have seen online about their company. Ask them about it and you’ll be in their good books. You can find out everything you need to know about the company online. The more you know, the more you can talk about their company, it will impress the interviewer and show them that you are actually really keen to get the role as opposed to someone who just wants a job.

    Interview Tips #6 – Hand Shake

    When you meet the person interviewing you, give them a strong firm handshake. It does not really matter if you are nervous or not, just jump up out of your seat and shake their hand with the biggest smile you can. I love handshaking people, especially if I can initiate the hand shake. If you initiate the hand shake and then do a stronger/firmer hand shake that the person interviewing you, you have now just completely asserted your dominance over that person.

    Interview Tips #7 – Sit Up & Respond

    Don’t slouch, I have literally not hired over 50 people simply because they slouched during their interview . Just don’t do it. Sit up straight and acknowledge what the person is saying, and if they pause for a second, speak! The more you can speak the better. When I’m being interviewed, I talk more than the person interviewing me. It shows confidence & interest. Ask as many informed questions as you can and make sure whenever they say a statement that they think is interesting for example; “After many years of struggling we finally became number 1 in the UK”, I’d respond with; “Wow, is that in the whole industry?”

    interview tips man suit
    [Photo Credit: everydayinterviewtips.com]

    Interview Tips #8 – Never Ask…

    1. How Long Will This Take? – Shows you have something more important to do.
    2. What Does Your Company Do? – Tells the employer that you aren’t bothered to go and research.
    3. When Can I Take My Holidays? – Shows you are more interested in taking time off.
    4. Did I get the job? – Puts the interviewer on the spot and makes you look impatient.
    5. How Did I Do? – Shows a complete lack of confidence.
    6. What is the salary for this position? – Wait until you have the job before discussing how much pay you are going to get.
    7. How long would I have to wait to get promoted? – Shows you don’t care about the current job role.

    Interview Tips #9 – Always Ask Assumptive Questions

    Make sure when the interviewer says to you, ‘Do you have any questions for me?’ – ask something! Make sure you obviously steer clear from the above questions but probably worse than all of those questions is to not ask anything at all. I’ve seen candidates stand up before the interviews even over, it makes the interviewer feel like you are not really that interested and either don’t want the job or just want any job.

    I always ask about if I’m the top performing employee, what can I earn, and if  there any bonuses or trips available for employee of the month. I also always ask what do I have to do to get into the position they are in. One of my favorite subjects to ask about is the training structure and how it works, is it a trial and error based system or a shadowing system. All of these questions show the employer that I’m confident I already have the job and that I’m interested in doing well in the role.

    Interview Tips #10 – On Your Way Out

    Give them another firm handshake, a smile and say,

    See you soon.

  • Tips
  • Where To Put Your Sunglasses When Indoors

    where to put your sunglasses when inside
    [Photo Credit: www.gentlemansgazette.com]

    Spring has finally rolled around, yet all I can think of is summer.

    You can’t really blame me though, the past week here in England has been glorious in terms of sunshine, and I think all of us are dreaming of the summer holidays already. Before the beautiful weather fades away, I thought I’d write a post on sunglasses, and where they should go once you head inside again.

    For example,you could always hand them to your nephew so he can clean them for you.

    What else is he good for anyways? They could also go in your chest pocket or a jacket/blazer pocket like so:

    where to put your sunglasses when inside
    gearpatrol.com
    where to put your sunglasses when inside
    businessinsider.com

    Or better still, into the Pandora’s Box that is your girlfriend/wife’s handbag (that’s if you never want to see them again)

    womens handbag designer
    budgetsaresexy.com

    You could also put your sunglasses in between your shirt placket- the bit of fabric on your shirt that your buttons are sewn onto, or just leave them on your table if you’re at home. They could also go in your workbag or briefcase if you use one, or just on the top of your head.

    Now we head to the faux pas in order of decadency, no fashion article would be complete without them:

    ✘ Putting an earpiece through a belt loop or waistband

    ✘ Putting an earpiece through a trouser pocket

    ✘ Putting your sunglasses inside your cargo shorts pocket (burn those ghastly things if you own a pair)

    ✘ Around your neck on a chain or cord, if librarians can’t get away with it then neither can you

    ✘ Attempting a Masaai warrior look by putting an earpiece through a gauge earring (seriously?)

    ✘ Keeping your sunglasses on indoors

    ✘ Keeping them in a fanny pack, or even having a fanny pack in the first place

    ✘ And finally, having them on the back or your shirt or head like this:

    5-annoying-ways-to-wear-sunglasses-back-of-head

  • 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
  • Contrasting Waistcoats – Fashion Tips

    contrasting waistcoat

    There are many rules to dressing well, one of them is making sure that you match. Another rule is to make sure you do not match. Whichever you choose to follow, I won’t judge you. The rules of fashion are there to be broken – or at least bent a bit. Wearing the right suit, for the right event is a must. Equally so are waistcoats. Showing up to a board meeting in a navy pin-stripe suit and a grey checked waistcoat might not be a good idea. It’s probably best to stick to the waistcoat that matches the suit for all formal events/meetings.

    matching waistcoats

    In every other circumstance out of the boardroom, wearing a contrasting waistcoat will work wonders.

    The History Of The Waistcoat

    The history of the waistcoat is quite boring, some English King (Charles II) decided that men were not dressing correctly in the monarchy. He decided in 1666 that all men must wear a vest. It started off as a colourful royal vest and then eventually ended up over the years as a really formal waistcoat. When they became formal, they lost their colour and generally just became black or navy.

    Matching Waistcoats

    Up until recently, it was unheard of to wear a waistcoat that didn’t match your suit to the T. It would have been considered scruffy. Matching your waistcoat is still very important in this day and age. If you’re attending something formal, then it’s polite to match your waistcoat. It’s a way of subtly looking head and shoulders above all those two piece wearing people without making it look like you tried too hard. Here are some great examples of men wearing waistcoats as they we intended to be worn – matching.

    matching waistcoat

    Contrasting Waistcoats

    Thankfully for us, times have changed and people now use fashion to express themselves. Everywhere you go, every Instagram page you visit, you see people breaking fashion rules all the time. Sometimes it works, sometimes it looks horrible, live and learn. Gone are the days of plain waistcoats. Tailors are now expressing themselves with massive lapeled waistcoats and double breasted buttons. The outcome: pure beauty.

    I, like most, can’t afford to pay £250 for a waistcoat. Instead of me buying expensive double breasted waistcoats or amazingly crafted checked waistcoats, I keep it simple. I buy a black three piece suit, a blue three piece suit and a grey three piece suit. Then I simply mix and match them as I wish. This ALWAYS results in a ton of compliments by shocked colleagues and friends who consider me as some fashion innovator. The problem is they only see the mannequins in the store windows and they see movies of wall street actors in the fully matching three piece suits. When they see something in contrast to that, it’s overwhelming. Thankfully in a good way.

    contrasting waistcoat cover

  • Tips
  • Matching Belt And Shoes

    belt shoe combo above the ankles

    It’s well known and established to have matching belt and shoes. The fact that you’re even on a fashion blog in the first place means you have some understanding of fashion. Black with black, brown with brown, tan with tan and so on and so forth. I don’t wish to bore you with the basics. With this post I intend on helping you with some tips as to how you go that extra mile and really match your belt and shoes.

    2 Essentials – Black/Brown & The Tanned Belt

    Black – The black belt is a must. Don’t cheap out here. I have a few black belts but the belt I’ve been wearing for the last year is a beautiful Tommy Hilfiger leather belt. I bought it on sale from House of Fraser for £26.

    TOMMY HILFIGER Leather Belt

    Black belts go well with everything, mostly because they go unnoticed by many. Having matching belts and shoes in black is the easiest thing to do. People with a keen eye will notice your belt and they will have a new found respect for you when they see the quality of your belt. This is something that has brought about many compliments for me, I recommend grabbing yourself a nice thick, genuine leather belt, preferably with a small designer logo on it.

    Brown – There are a hundreds of different shades of brown. Finding one to match your shoes will be difficult. I solved this issue pretty easily. I bought a standard brown belt for £10 from Marks & Spencer. I’ve owned it for ages and it matches loads of stuff. If you put the belt next to the shoes, it would be slightly off but who cares. Not all of us have the money to own fifteen different belts.

    John Lewis Reversible Leather Belt, Black/Brown

    Tan – If you have a hard time matching brown with brown you will most definitely have a hard time matching tan’s. You can’t really have a tan belt that goes with everything. I wouldn’t advise having a basic tan belt, best thing to do is take your shoes with you when you go to buy a belt and just place them next to each other.

    Can You Be Too Matchy?

    Matching shoes and belt is a must. It’s never too matchy, don’t listen to anyone who says otherwise. With that being said, matching more than your belt and shoes, like the other types of leather accessories are a bad idea. Wearing leather driving gloves or carrying a leather briefcase that matches your shoes and belt will look far to pretty. If pretty is your thing, go for it.

    Extra Tips

    Leave The Belt At Home

    It’s better to leave the belt at home and go out with your brown brogues by themselves than wear an off belt with it.

    Same Store

    As with the picture above, many good retailers sell belts that perfectly match their shoes in store. If you’re buying a pair of beautifully blended oxblood/brown shoes and the same store sells a matching belt – buy it! If you let that opportunity slip you may never find a matching belt again.

    how to match your shoes and belt

    Don’t Buy A Blue Belt

    Except if you’re following the previous tip and you are buying that belt specifically to match a pair of bad-ass blue loafers, avoid blue belts. Match tan with tan, brown with brown and black with black or blue.

    Always Have Matching Belt And Shoes – You Can’t Afford Not Too.

    Matching Belt And Shoes

  • 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.