Men's Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

Friday, 27th May, 2016

Euro 2016 Kit Guide

Don’t know your Turkey’s from your Iceland’s? I have made this Euro 2016 kit guide if you aren’t too familiar with football!

I love international football competitions, I always have done since I was a kid. Whether it’s the Euros, World Cup and even Confederations Cup or Copa America in it’s hay day, there’s just something that little bit more special when it comes to International tournaments.

A big part of it is of course the football kits. They can be a talking point, and usually are for one reason or another. In the last World Cup, the Spanish FA were forced to created a brand new 3rd kit, because FIFA decided that each team should have one light kit and one dark, and deemed both of Spain’s kits dark, so an all white kit was specially created for one match, and never, ever released. FIFA dictated strict rules to the nations and kit manufacturers, and wanted teams to play in all one colour, with Spain playing for the first time ever in all red. Euro 2016 is not controlled by FIFA, and when the new kits were released, they came with a more traditional feel, at least for some nations.

Most of the kits come from Adidas and Nike as usual, and both have gone down different routes. Most of the Adidas kits are the traditional blocking of colours, with the shirt and shorts different colours, and socks being either a third colour or matching the shorts. Nike have gone a different route, with teams such as England and France having the same colour shirt and shorts, and an alternative colour socks. This means England are playing with white shirts and shorts with red socks, with France playing in blue shirts and shorts with red socks, both are unusual and not traditional.

Other kit manufacturers include Umbro who make Republic of Ireland’s kit, Errea for Iceland, Macroon for Albania and Joma for Romania. The third biggest kit supplier behind Nike and Adidas are Puma with 5 kits. Adidas have 9 kits, and Nike have 6.

Here’s the home and away kits of all 24 nations at Euro 2016.

euro2016-kit-guide-home-away-shirts

Thursday, 26th May, 2016

Lab Series Multi Action Face Wash And All In One Treatment

Lab Series Pro LS All In One Face Treatment And Face Wash Review

I have not tried anything from LAB Series for quite some time, so when House Of Fraser said they wanted my thoughts on a couple of products I had to say yes. The two products in question were the Multi Action Face Wash and PR LS All In One Face Treatment.

LAB Series has a really easy system for their products; They’re labelled for the job which they do. These two carry the CLEAN and TREAT statements, which make it really easy for an guy to understand if you’re not too familiar with products, which can get overwhelming since there’s so many.

The face wash is really good, it’s fairly unscented and works well. You don’t need a whole lot of this for your face, so it should last a fair while. When I first used this I used too much, you will too, as you really only need a small amount for full face coverage. It’s a scrub, and so exfoliates, cleanses and conditions the skin. For a scrub, I would usually only use this 3-4 times a week, I’ve always thought that a scrub type of wash shouldn’t be used everyday, however this is not too abrasive so could be fine for light daily use.

Next up is the PR LS All In One Face Treatment. This is like a daily moisturiser, however LAB Series say this is an all in one face treatment. It soothes, moisturises, repairs and mattifying for your skin. This can be used daily, and should be used after shaving, since I already use an aftershave balm, I will use this well after I have used the aftershave balm, or possibly even miss shave days.

The Pro LS All-In-One Face Treatment costs £28 for a 100ml tube, with the face wash coming in a 100ml size too for £18.50 here

Thanks to House Of Fraser for sending over these products
Tuesday, 24th May, 2016

What To Wear At Prom For Guys In The UK

Tips on what to wear at prom for guys in the UK

Suit up boys, it’s time for Prom! Back in the good old days it was the school dance, but in the UK we’re taking on American culture and calling it the Prom, and occasionally the leavers ball or summer ball. As the school year is ending, you’ll be gearing up for your prom, so you need to make sure you get your clothing right, it’s time to fix up and look sharp and make sure you’re looking on point for the night. For a girl it’s about a prom dress, quite straight forward, but for a guy the choice is for more varied, and you’ll want to get it right so you not only look good but feel confident in what you’re wearing. Check out some fashion advice, tips and ideas on what to wear to your school Prom.

Follow The Dress Code – Black Tie Or Black Tie Optional

If there is a dress code you should follow it. Black Tie does not mean wear it black tie. A black tie prom means a tuxedo/dinner jacket, pleated style shirt, bow tie, it’s pretty much the full works. In the world of dress code black tie is actually considered semi-formal, but being 15-18 it’s probably going to be and feel like the most formal style of clothing you’ll wear (unless you’re really posh and attend white tie events a lot!). Black tie optional is self-explanatory, don’t feel obliged to go for a black tie and a good suit is a valid choice. You will still need to “dress up”, a prom is no place for casualwear. Let’s look at the dress code in more detail.

The Black Tie Prom

Proms in the UK tend to be more informal than those of the USA. You’ll have seen all the films with prom, everyone wearing tuxedos and the one guy who’s wearing something really crazy and bright with ridiculous colour combinations. Unless it’s stated, or you (and your friends) decide on it, a black tie is usually optional.

Should you wear a tuxedo aka dinner jacket for prom?

Rent A Tuxedo

A tuxedo, or dinner jacket with trousers, is something which is probably going to be worn only for the night, unless you’re the type of person who’s going to a lot of formal-type of events in your teens. Buying a tuxedo would then be a waste of money, because you’re still growing, it’s probably not even going to fit in a few years if you do attend another formal soiree. The jacket should have a peaked lapel with velvet finish, with the matching trousers having a velvet stripe down the sides. These should be held up with suspenders and will be loopless so you can’t wear a belt with them, so make sure you try them on and they fit.

You’ll want to wear a white pleated shirt, aka a dress shirt or dinner shirt. This should have a fold down collar rather than wing-tip, which is worn with white tie. It comes with studs rather than buttons, and it should be a French cuff (double cuff) which means you’ll need to wear some cufflinks too. This is worn with a cummerbund or vest which traditionally should be black in colour. Shoes should be black and formal too, and don’t forget to make sure they’re spick and span.

If you’re going for the tuxedo look then I would suggest going for the classic and traditional look of black and white. There’s other colour combinations available, but unless you want to look novelty and cheesy, they really aren’t an option. As already been mentioned, unless you’re prom states black tie, or you do want to go to it more formal, then this is optional.

A few suit ideas for men for prom in the UK

Wear A Suit

The advice would be to wear a suit. Wearing a suit gives you a ton of options for colours, shirts and styles, which will set you apart from everyone else but still keep you looking sharp. The options for a suit are two-piece, which is simply a jacket and trousers, or three-piece, where you can add in a waistcoat.

The first step is to pick a style between the three piece and two piece. If you’re going for a three piece then this will give you more options when it comes to styling your suit in terms of adding some colour, which can be used for matching your date, depending on what she’s wearing. A two piece is still a viable option, it will still look just as smart, with your jacket buttoned up there’ll be little difference, and with an open jacket you’ll draw attention to your tie.

Suit Colours

If you’ve never bought or worn a suit then you may assume that black is the best colour. It’s a good option, but it can be a bit cold and may be too classic. You can look very sharp and on trend wearing a colour other than black. Midnight blue and navy blue are two really good options for suit colours. With a lot of guys opting for a “safe” black colour, you’ll stand out but look really smart in either of these colours. Another option would be greys. Light and mid greys work fine, and a dark grey or charcoal is another option similar to black which will keep you looking sleek.

Shirts

You should choose a shirt colour which is complimenting to your suit. If you’re wearing a dark colour suit, then a light colour shirt will compliment this well. White will go with everything, but if you want to style things up that little bit more, light blues, pale and pastel colours and even shades of pink can work well. Don’t rule out wearing a black shirt either, it can work with other colour suits, and I think an all black outfit looks very modern.

If you’re going for a French cuff (double cuff) remember you’ll need some cufflinks. The collar should be a classic or cutaway collar, and remember if you’re wearing a tie (and you should) to button all the way to the top.

Footwear – Smart Shoes

There isn’t a lot to be said about your footwear, other than they should be smart shoes. We’re talking about Oxford or derby shoes. Black is usually preferable because of their versatility they go with pretty much everything, but brown or wine could be considered, depending on what colour suit you’re going for. Make sure to polish them and they’re clean, shoes are always something girls notice, so you’ll want to make sure yours are up to scratch.

Ties, Pocket Squares, Cufflinks And Accessories

Everyone will be wearing a suit and looking their best, but it’s the small details which can set you apart from the others. You should always wear a tie, even if you don’t wear it the entire night you should start your Prom wearing a tie. If it becomes more of a casual affair later in the night you can always take it off, but not wearing one will mean you don’t have one to take off, and you’ll start off sloppy. Choose a colour which is complimenting to your suit and shirt options, and you may want to match your date too (more on that in a bit).

Pocket squares are another item which can set you apart. As for the rules of matching or not matching with a tie, there’s some which will say they should match, others will say it’s a good way to show off more style and be distinctive, so there isn’t much to worry about and you should pick out something you think works, even if it’s just a plain white handkerchief.

If your shirt is a French cuff (double cuff) then you’ll need cufflinks. Stay away from novelty ones, and choose something which is classic and will go with your outfit. Standard silver or gold colours should work fine, if you’re wearing a shirt with button cuffs then it’s not something you need to worry about.

Other accessories you may consider could be a tie bar. It will add just a little bit of something extra, and draw attention to your tie.

Matching Your Date

Your date will be wearing a prom dress, and it’s a good idea, but not required, if you match her. That doesn’t mean wear a matching colour suit, but what it does mean is incorporate something in your outfit which matches her colour. This could be something as big as your waistcoat, or usually something smaller, such as your tie, pocket square or both. It’s therefore a good idea to ask your date what colour she’s wearing before picking out your accessories, and then you can match up accordingly. It will look cute and she’ll love it.

Don’t Forget The Grooming

Since you’ve spent all this time, and possibly money getting your outfit right, you’ll want to make sure you’re grooming is on point. That means getting your hair cut and styled, you should get a hair cut no longer than a week in advance, but the shorter timescale the better so it’s looking fresh. Make sure you’re wearing deodorant although this should be basic hygiene, and when you’re wearing a fragrance make sure you don’t over do it; You want it to be noticeable but subtle.

Tips On What To Avoid For Guys At Prom

These things should go without saying, but I’ll say them anyway. The things to avoid when getting ready for prom. No casual wear – No jeans, no trainers, no street wear, nothing. It’s a time for dressing up, not for going casual. No novelty suits or cheesy gimmicks of any kind, you’ll be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

I hope this gives you some tips for dressing for your Prom guys. Remember to stay looking sharp, and rock your Prom and you’ll be Prom king, of style at least 😉 If you’re looking for other tips on style, check out more in the men’s fashion advice blog.

Inspiration And Ideas On What To Wear For Prom

prom-tips-for-men

Shopping Ideas & Tips

Where you go to pick up your clothing for prom depends on your budget. There’s plenty of options available, from regular high street to premium high street and then even higher end. Here’s some ideas on where to pick up your threads.

High Street

Premium High Street

Premium / Luxury

Saturday, 21st May, 2016

Nike Air Max Mercurial R9 Inspired By The Original Ronaldo R9

Air Max Mecurial R9 Trainers Released

I used to love Ronaldo, the real Ronaldo, not the Portuguese fella. Back in the 90’s and 00’s he was one of the best players in the world, and is rightly considered one of the best players of all time. He rose to World prominence when he moved from PSV to Bobby Robson’s Barcelona in 1996, despite the big list of stars, Barca did not win the league the season he was there, but did pick up other silverware. At the 1998 World Cup he was billed to be the biggest star, and he was, lighting up the tournament all the way to the final, where we all remember that odd moment that the best player on the planet was on the team sheet, then wasn’t, then was, and we later learned that he suffered from fits. His boots, the Mercurial R9 became infamous footy boots that all the kids wanted, many of the pros today confess to wanting the expensive boots, with most not getting them.

Nike has now released the Air Max Mercurial R9 inspired from the original football boots, which look really good in the black or blue colours. If you love football from the 90’s and prefer a more sporty looking trainer, these should be somewhere near the top of your list.

These trainers have just been released yesterday, and for £110 you can get yourself a pair at a Nike shop or at Nike online here.

What do you think of these?

Ronaldo And his Original R9 Football Boots

Friday, 20th May, 2016

What To Pack For A Weekend Away – For Guys

Tips And Advice On What To Pack For A Holiday For Guys

I’ve now had myself a fair few weekends away, from staycations in London to long weekends in Barcelona, Reykjavik and super fast weekend getaways to places like Copenhagen. Packing for these short journeys can sometimes be a bit of a head scratching issue…What do you take, and in terms of clothing, what do you pack? It comes down to a couple of things, where and when you’re going, your general lifestyle and your budget.

Hand Luggage Only

If you’re only going away for a weekend or even three days, you may be able to get away with hand luggage only. The key here is to use the biggest possible case which is counted towards hand luggage, and packing smartly, effectively and as light as possible, only taking the bare essentials. Different airlines allow different size hand luggage, so it’s always best to check with your airline provider, but the general sizing is: 56x45x25cm Skyscanner actually have a really good guide for the airlines which you can see here, but if in doubt, check on the official airline website or contact them direct.

Using only hand luggage may mean losing out on taking some luxury items such as electronics. I am a gadget geek,  (not to mention a blogger!) so I can’t be without mine, I always take my big DSLR camera and maybe an extra lens, iPad, compact camera and a few other bits and bobs, so I have never gone for only hand luggage, but if you’re only taking clothing, it’s definitely possible.

Take A Small Suitcase

I would recommend taking a small suitcase. The biggest downfall of this is the cost. Airlines charge for everything these days, that usually includes the cost of a bag stored in the hold. The good news is that you usually get more allowance than you’d actually need, so you’ll have plenty room, and if you really want to save money, share a case with a mate. Taking a one with wheels is a given these days for obvious reasons, you’ll have to carry it around with you.

Know The Climate – Check The Weather

The weather forecast is never right, but it could give you at least a bit of a hint. If it says it’s going to be sunny for a week, it’s unlikely to rain, and vice versa. You should also know the climate of where you’re going, and pack accordingly. Going to Scandinavia in December and going to the South of France in August is going to be completely different and you’ll obviously be packing different things.

Consider What You’ll Be Doing & Activities

If you’re going hiking, or even just a lot of walking, you’ll want a good pair of footwear such as trainers for walking around. What if you’re going out somewhere posh or nicer on an evening such as a restaurant? You’ll want some smarter footwear. If there’s a beach which you plan on going to, then you’ll need to get some flip flops and swim shorts, and don’t forget a towel.

The Bare Essentials

What should you be taking with you no matter where you go? Here are the bare essentials you should be taking with you.

Underwear & Socks – Very easily forgotten, but should never be. Underwear and socks are quite obviously the most bare essential you could think of, and something you should be putting in your bag. My advice would be taking a pair for days and a pair for nights, as well as one spare. This is especially true if you’re going somewhere where you’ll be hot and sweaty. That means 7 pairs of socks and 7 pairs of underwear for a 3 day weekend. Remember even if you’re going sockless for summer you should be wearing invisible or trainer socks.

Grooming & Hygiene – You’ll need deodorant, toothpaste & toothbrush, razor and shaving products, your favourite aftershave and shower gel. You can get travel size products to save yourself some space, and if you’re staying in a nice hotel there’s usually products provided for you.

Documents, Money, ID, Passport – Don’t forget these essentials! You’ll not get very far without your passport, money or travel documents. Also remember to take out adequate travel insurance, and have your EU health card if you’re travelling within the EU.

Travel Packing Ideas – The City Break In The Summer

Going away for a city break in the summer is such a great experience. You can stroll around a city in the day time, taking in all the sights and everything which the city has to offer. By night you can check out the nightlife, maybe go to a restaurant, bar, or go clubbing. If you go somewhere coastal there’s always the possibility of heading to a beach too. Here’s my recommendations for what you should be taking for a summer break in the city.

An Extra Pair Of Jeans Or Chinos – You’ll probably be travelling in a pair of jeans or chinos, so you can take an extra pair if you need to. You can mix this up, so if you’re travelling in jeans, take a pair of chinos in a different colour, or you can do things the other way round.

Chino Shorts – Chino shorts are smart, and will not look out of place strolling around the city, as well as keeping you relatively cool you’ll get your legs tanned too.

Smart T Shirts – Smart plain T-shirts are great because they work through the day strolling around in a casual setting, and will be smart enough to wear out during the night, depending on where you’re heading to of course. You can smarten the look up a bit more by wearing a polo top instead, or if it’s a cooler night, pack a smart jacket and wear it with the tee. I would advise taking 3 or 4 T-shirts of various colours, possibly packing a nautical tee which look really good in the summer.

Shirts – Unless you’re going to be doing something for business or super formal, I think packing shirts should be done sparingly. If you’re having a big Saturday night out then you might want to pack one smart shirt, you can also add in a casual shirt to give yourself an option for a casual day or evening.

A Jacket – To Take Or Not To Take – It’s always the conundrum, do you bother packing a jacket when you’re heading for a warmer climate for only a couple of days? I think it will depend on what you plan on doing and exactly where you’re going. If you are going to be doing more formal things or attending dressy occasions, then taking a blazer or smart jacket could be required. If you’re not, then you might decide to leave it at home.

The Footwear – Shoes – I would imagine you’ll be travelling in a pair of trainers, they are far more comfortable to wear for travel, which is what you’ll want. If you’re heading out on an evening, then a pair of shoes may be preferable, so take a pair.

Sunglasses – How can you forget a pair of sunglasses? You can’t and shouldn’t. My personal preference is always Ray Ban, and it’s usually a case of deciding whether you prefer wayfarers or aviators. They’re both classic and timeless and will look the part for this getaway and many more in the future.

The Beach Holiday

If you’re heading for a few days in the sun to relax and chill in the daytime, and party the night away, there’s a couple of things you’ll need to remember to take. These types of holidays to places like Ibiza are usually a much more casual affair, and it’s about chilling out and relaxing during the day, and going to bars or clubs on a night.

Swim Shorts – They can double up as shorts through the day, but they’re made for chilling by the pool and going in when you need a dip, or going to the beach and in the sea. A few pair of swim shorts should be taken, they’re small and light, so it’s not going to eat into your suitcase space.

Graphic Tees – There’s no need to be super smart when relaxing by the pool, you’ll probably not be wearing your tee for very long anyway if you’re sunbathing or you’re in the pool or sea. Still, you’ll want to keep it reasonably tidy, but there’s no need for formalities.

Smarter Tees & Shirt For Going Out – If you’re off out to bars or clubbing  on an evening dress how you would do back in the UK in Summer. It could be a going out shirt or smart tee, you’ll want to make sure you look good, but not over doing it. Smart-casual for summer is the best way for describing it, and remember the higher end clubs abroad may have a dress code just like the UK ones do.

The Winter Getaway

If you fancy a skiing holiday or just a getaway in the Winter and prefer the cold cool countries to a hot humid city, you’ll definitely want to take a suitcase, because there’s a lot more to take.

Winter Coat – You’ll need to take a winter coat, and I would suggest wearing this for travelling to save space in your luggage.

Hat, Scarf And Gloves – Depending on how cold it is and how warm you want to keep, you might want to make sure you’ve got a few winter essentials which you probably would have in the UK.

Sweatshirt & Knits – You’ll want to replace most of the T-shirts from the Summer ideas with sweatshirts or knits. The key with Winter clothing is layering, so you’ll not want to abandon T-shirts altogether, but they’ll be used more as an undershirt rather than be on show, depending on the temperature and weather of course.

Verdict

Going away for the weekend, especially abroad is brilliant, so I hope these tips for what to pack on your epic weekend away takes the stress out of packing, remember to have fun, make memories and pack smart, because you don’t want to be looking back at your holiday snaps thinking, “what the hell was I wearing!”. 😉 For more tips and advice, check out the men’s travel blog right here on Michael 84.