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It’s fair to say that 2020 will go down as the year we all got to take a long, hard look at ourselves – on a computer screen. The video call replaced a multitude of social interactions, the office went virtual and even gym work outs, poker nights, birthday celebrations and the pub quiz migrated online.

As a result, it was hard to miss the areas that didn’t quite look as good as they used to; the eye bags looked saggier and the wrinkles looked deeper. You can blame the poor lighting, you can blame the barber (that was you) and the radical decline in standards (come on, shaving was passé between April and May). You can definitely blame it on the stress of living through unprecedented times, and you can certainly blame the people who keep using the word unprecedented (sorry). At times, it felt like surveying the crumbling façade of a once grand abode, and wincing at the anticipated cost of fixing it up again. And it’s a phenomenon that’s already lead to an increase in patients seeking cosmetic treatments.

Whilst we had high hopes for this year, here we are, still stuck looking at ourselves – but we do have the perfect tools to start the renovations. When the grooming gods were cooking up products, they created all the solutions we need – without a needles, scalpels or recovery time. So, if you require a little help to restore your appearance to its pre-pandemic glory, you’ve come to the right place. This is the definitive edit of the best grooming products in the world right now, so we’ll call it: 2021 you looks better already.

Quick Jump: Skincare | Fragrance | Haircare | Beard & Shave | Dental | Hand & Body

The Skincare Edit

The Moisturiser: Acqua di Parma Barbiere Multi-Action Face Cream


A multi-tasking, high-performance face smoother that absorbs easily. Hyaluronic acid keeps skin moisturised, niacinamide (B3) and Vitamin E defend skin cells from free radicals and, crucially, white horehound extract protect the skin from the blue light emitted from screens to help prevent early signs of ageing – all with Acqua di Parma’s comforting Colonia scent.

Buy now at Selfridges

The Anti-Ageing Moisturiser: Augustinus Bader The Cream


The instant cult product, Augustinus Bader is the Tesla of face creams. It contains a host of essential vitamins, antioxidants and amino acid with patented TFC8 technology to promote cellular renewal and restore the skin to its optimum condition. The original cream is formulated for oily/combination skin. Take the Rich version for dry/normal types.

Buy now at Cult Beauty

The Serum: Vanderohe Mr. Nourishing Face Serum


Face oils can invoke a little suspicion from the uninitiated, perhaps that’s why Vanderohe label Mr as a serum? More accurately, it’s a certified 100% organic, cold-pressed blend of natural oils. People often think oil = grease = spots but it’s a bit of a myth. The wild harvested plant extracts include apricot kernel, grapeseed, rosehip, cedar wood, lavender, Vitamin E and biblical gifts, frankincense and myrrh, in an enriching potion to protect and hydrate the skin.

Multi-functional, you can slap it on after a shave or use it to condition your stubble.

Buy now at Vanderohe

The Face Mask: Heath Shower Mask


This express face mask is easy to add to your shower routine. Activated by steam, it has a creamy texture that tingles with AHAs and azelaic acid to fight acne-causing bacteria as well as aloe vera and ceraphyl to boost moisture and collagen production. Skin looks brighter and feels smoother straight away.

Buy now at Selfridges

The Eye Gel: The Other Saint Eye Gel


This cooling eye gel contains arnica oil to reduce dark circles and puffiness (arnica is proven to reduce bruising) and aloe vera helps repair the skin from within, improving the appearance of fine lines. We love the packaging from the clever folk at The Other Saint – it’s made from FSC certified wood and plant material so it can be added to your green council bin for industrial compost.

Buy now at The Other Saint

The Cleanser: Aesop Purifying Facial Cream Cleanser


This time of year, skin tends to be drier: cold outside, overheated indoors. Aesop’s mildly scented cream cleanser is excellent for dry and normal skin types. It gently cleanses, using white clay to draw out impurities, leaving skin feeling supple and smooth.

Buy now at MR PORTER

The Clear Skin Kit: Zitsticka Patch It Up


Living with breakouts is no picnic. So, give thanks for Zitsticka. Utilising the same tech behind nicotine patches, Zitsticka can help spot sufferers everywhere. Along with Killa, two new additions, Hyperfade and Goo Getter, complete the triumvirate of expert blemish busting.

Goo Getter sucks the gunk from a whitehead; Hyperfade works to mute any scarring or pigmentation left behind; while preventative Killa nips any burgeoning bumps in the bud. Game changing, effective spot treatment.

Buy now at Cult Beauty

The Skin Tool: Susanne Kaufmann Obsidian Face Roller


The most effective skin cures can be the most simple. It’s easy to find the time to get into skin massaging – just do it while you watch TV. Boost blood flow and smooth away wrinkles with this serious looking roller from Susanne Kaufmann.

Using a roller will fire up your circulation and increase the benefits from an oil or serum by massaging it deeply into the skin. The cooling stone can rejuvenate and refresh tired, congested and dull skin. It costs more than a pricey cream, you say? Well, unlike a tub of moisturiser, this is one investment that will never run out.

Buy now at MR PORTER

The Supplement: Gallinée Skin & Microbiome



Troubled skin starts within, so fix it by boosting your microbiome. The gut-skin axis is recognised by scientists and by increasing our intake of probiotics we can help tricky conditions like eczema and psoriasis, while reducing redness and inflammation by introducing more good bacteria.

These daily capsules provide a concentrated dose of 25 billion probiotics to rebalance your system and improve the appearance of skin irritations.

Buy now at Gallinee

The Fragrance Edit

The Collection: Maison Francis Kurkdjian The Fragrance Wardrobe


The Fragrance Wardrobe from Maison Francis Kurkdjian is all killer, no filler. For the same price of a full size bottle, the wardrobe features eight of Francis Kurdjian’s greatest hits for men, including the cult Baccarat Rouge 540, Aqua Universalis, Amyris Homme and the latest release, L’Homme À La Rose. You’ll be seriously spoilt for choice.

Buy now at John Lewis

The Sustainable Scent: Dior Sauvage Eau de Toilette Refill


One of our all-time favourite scents just got a lot greener. The Dior Sauvage 300ml refill is served in a lacquered, recyclable aluminium can. The midnight blue finish preserves the contents from the light, while the innovative auto-stop mechanism and screw top connection ensure that not a drop is wasted.

Compatible with both the 100ml and 30ml travel edition bottles, you can hang on to your original glass flaçons for longer.

Buy now at Escentual

The Fragrance Innovation: Jo Malone Car Diffuser


Drive thru McDonald’s, wet dog, festering gym kit; our personal transportation can make for an unpleasant assault on the senses. Jo Malone has made it easy to upgrade your auto aroma with this clever car diffuser. The black grill design blends in discreetly with the air conditioning vent, so all you’ll notice is the superior scent filling the vehicle.

Pimp your ride with Wood Sage & Sea Salt or original Lime Basil & Mandarin.

Buy now at Jo Malone

The Haircare Edit

The Shampoo: Harry’s Dry Scalp 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner


Scalps often get neglected until there’s a problem. Harry’s Dry Scalp 2-in-1 helps fix dryness or mild itching, as well as clearing dirt, oil and product residue. It contains aloe, which is recognised for its soothing properties, menthol, tea tree and lavender – all of which purify. Get a happy scalp and extra-clean hair in one.

Buy now at Walmart

The One-For-All Hair Hero: Saunders & Long The Long Weekender


Nick Saunders & Jonny Long have created the ultimate multi-functional product: The Long Weekender. Streamline your grooming regime at home, at the gym and away, with this creamy foaming cleanser. It works as a rich shampoo, a light conditioner, a body wash, shaving foam and as a dry styling aid, and it smells incredible.

When the world unlocks, it will be your 5-in-1 insurance policy against forgetting the other essentials in your wash bag, you just have to remember to pack this one.

Buy now at MR PORTER

The Styling Aid: Triumph & Disaster Ponsonby Pomade


How to manage hair in-between cuts? Slick it back with the Ponsonby Pomade. It contains Dragon’s Blood, a natural healing agent from the Amazon to calm the scalp, and Harakeke Flax to hydrate the skin.

It offers a medium hold, with a high-shine finish. Water based, so it rinses out easily.

Buy now at Amazon

The Beard & Shave Edit

The Razor: Bulldog Glass Razor


While the big razor makers spend millions on adding blades, they ignore the wider impact of their plastic-heavy products. Hats off to Bulldog, who has been on a mission looking for innovative ways to make more eco-friendly razors.

In 2019, they gave us bamboo; now, fully recycled and recyclable glass handles that are sturdy, tough and make good use of sustainable materials.

Buy now at Amazon

The Multi Groomer: Philips 18-in-1 Multi Groomer


It’s all about being self-reliant for our hair cutting needs these days. Philips Multi Groomer has 18 different tools for the job: 2 stubble combs, 2 fade combs, 4 wide hair combs and 2 body combs with a body shaver attachment, precision shaver and detailed trimmers for nose and ear.

It has a 5 year guarantee and is 100% waterproof for wet use. You could probably do the dog at the same time.

Buy now at Amazon

The Beard Oil: Lumin Soothing Beard Oil


Wispy facial follicles? Lumin’s Soothing Beard Oil is designed to strengthen the hairs on your chin and prevent strand breakage to create thicker, healthier coverage. A natural blend of oils including argan and tea tree nourish the skin underneath.

Buy now at Lumin

The Beard Tamer: JOS Grooming Original Beard Tamer


Jos Gibson knows beards. Not only does he possess an impressive chin forest, but he has also spent his career training up the nation’s barbers at top London academy, Vidal Sassoon, whilst working for style titles like Fantastic Man and GQ Style, and creating looks for brands and designers like A.P.C, YMC, Sunspel and Fred Perry Japan.

Good for body and mind, the original beard tamer conditions dry, unruly hair using a blend of shea butter, nigella seed and Vitamin E. Frankincense, cedar, Japanese Hinoki Cypress, vetiver and thyme, give it a holistic, woody scent.

Buy now at Jos Grooming

The Post Shave Soother: Kiehl’s Close Shavers Squadron Ultimate Razor Burn & Bump Relief


The road back to being smooth of cheek needn’t be bumpy or painful with Kiehl’s Ultimate Razor Burn & Bump Relief. This soothing treatment contains aloe vera and willow herb to neutralise the sting and lipo-hydroxy acid works to exfoliate around the roots to prevent ingrown hairs.

Buy now at Kiehl’s

The Refillable Shave Soap: Bulldog Original Shave Soap


Cut down on plastic waste with Bulldog’s refillable shave soap. Made from bamboo wood, a fast replenishing resource, this smart-looking bowl houses the original shave soap which contains aloe vera, camelina oil and green tea.

Buy now at LookFantastic

The Dental Edit

The Easy Flosser: Waterpik Cordless Water Flosser


Whenever the biannual hygiene appointment rolls around, it’s often accompanied by a sense of dread. Time to face the dentist, like a school kid, who’s forgotten his flossing homework again. Flossing feels like a drag – but it needn’t be this way. A Waterpik device makes flossing gentle and effective using nothing but a fast jet of water to blast plaque away, leaving the teeth feeling extra clean and less plaque beneath the gum line.

The charge lasts for ages and you can expect top marks from your hygienist.

Buy now at Amazon

The Toothpaste: Horace Watermelon


Lockdown is all about finding ways to liven up the daily grind, so a watermelon flavoured toothpaste is just the ticket. Horace’s natural toothpaste contains iris and lime extract to brighten your pearly whites, anti-bacterial coconut extract to clean the mouth and silica to lift away tartar and plaque – all with the tropical tang of juicy watermelon.

Buy now at Horace

The Hand & Body Edit

The Hand Sanitiser: Gloved Moisture-Replenish Hand Sanitiser


Our hand care game was pretty weak pre-pandemic. Now, sanitiser is an essential part of the routine but we’ve often paid the price with rough, raw hands. This anti-bacterial, moisture replenishing, expertly scented (by Tom Daxon) cedar wood sanitiser will care for hands while keeping them squeaky clean.

It nourishes the skin with squalane and hyaluronic acid, and looks the business next to the basin.

Buy now at Gloved

The Body Wash: Heinrich Barth Nº.07 Mykonos Skin Softening Body Cleanser


Need a holiday? Heinrich Barth’s Nº.07 Mykonos will transport you to hotter, sunnier climes. This gentle body cleanser is inspired by the fig groves of the Aegean Islands and will leave skin feeling soft. Paraben, SLES and Peg free.

Buy now at Wolf & Badger

The Deodorant: Wild


The deodorant market has its fair share of overpowering teenage junk, rip-off designer offerings and free-from health store versions that sting like hell. So, how would a refillable, natural deodorant that actually works, looks really good and helps reduce your plastic footprint sound to you? Wild? No, really, it’s Wild: the subscription-based deodorant brand has broken the mould in sweat resistance with biodegradable refills sent straight to your door.

Served in a slick, metallic canister, you can customise the colour, slap your name on the front and switch up the scent whenever you like. You’ll never settle for dull, boring deo again.

Buy now at We Are Wild

The post 2021’s Best New Grooming & Skincare Products For Men appeared first on Ape to Gentleman.

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By: Jessica Punter
Title: 2021’s Best New Grooming & Skincare Products For Men
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Published Date: Mon, 08 Feb 2021 09:00:56 +0000




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The Complete Guide to Growing a Beard at Every Age

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Beards are not just a trend; they’re a journey. A journey that evolves with you as you age. The process of growing a beard is a fascinating blend of genetics, hormonal changes, lifestyle and personal grooming habits. Each age brings its own set of challenges and opportunities. In this comprehensive beard growing guide, we’ll explain what to expect and explore how to grow and maintain a healthy beard at any age, backed by scientific insights and grooming expertise.

Before we dive into age specifics, it is important to understand the fundamental drivers of beard growth. Some of these we can control, others we cannot.

Genetics and Beard Growth

Genetics determine the number of hair follicles a person has, including those for beard hair. The density and distribution of hair follicles are largely determined by genetic factors inherited from your parents. These factors influence not only the number of follicles but also their responsiveness to hormones like testosterone, which affects beard growth and density. Thus, the ability to grow a thick or full beard is significantly influenced by one’s genetic makeup.

Hormones and Beard Growth

Testosterone, along with its derivative dihydrotestosterone (DHT), plays a pivotal role in beard growth. These hormones are responsible for kickstarting the beard growth process during puberty and maintaining it throughout life. Testosterone stimulates the hair follicles, transforming the soft, fine vellus hair into the coarser, darker terminal hair that forms the beard.

DHT, in particular, is critical for initiating and maintaining facial hair growth. However, the sensitivity of hair follicles to these hormones varies among individuals, explaining why some men grow thicker beards than others. It’s a complex interplay between genetics, hormone levels, and the body’s response to these hormones that ultimately determines the characteristics of your beard. This is why some guys with “low” testosterone can still grow amazingly thick and full beards and some men with “high” testosterone struggle.

Diet, Exercise, and Their Impact on Beard Growth

A balanced diet rich in vitamins (like Biotin, Vitamins A, C, E), minerals (such as Zinc and Iron), and protein plays a crucial role in promoting healthy hair growth, including your beard. Foods like eggs, nuts, leafy greens, lean meats, and dairy products are excellent for supporting hair health.

Regular exercise boosts overall health and improves blood circulation, which can positively affect hair growth by delivering more nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles. Additionally, weight training can increase your testosterone levels which positively impact beard growth.

Conversely, certain factors can negatively impact beard growth. Poor nutrition, stress, lack of sleep, and smoking can all inhibit beard growth. A high stress lifestyle can particularly take a toll, as stress hormones like cortisol can adversely affect testosterone levels and, consequently, beard growth. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and a healthy lifestyle are key to promoting not just a healthy beard, but overall well-being.

Now that we have the fundamentals, let’s dive into the age specifics!

Beard Growth in Teens and Early 20s

It seems like there is always one guy in high school with a full beard that would make any man envious. Just like that one 7’ tall guy at school, this is not the norm! So if you are in high school and struggling to grow your face fur, there is not need to worry. Your beard is just getting started. This ramp up stage typically lasts until your early 20s.

During these years, genetics play a pivotal role in determining how your beard will develop. You might notice patchy areas or uneven growth, which is entirely normal. The key during this phase is patience.

Your body is still adjusting to the changes brought on by puberty, including fluctuating hormone levels. To support your beard’s development, focus on a healthy lifestyle. A diet rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals can boost hair growth. And while a healthy lifestyle promotes better hair growth, it won’t override genetic factors.

Proper skin care is crucial. Gentle cleansing and moisturizing can provide a healthy foundation for hair growth. Avoid over-trimming or using harsh products that could damage your developing beard.

At this stage you likely won’t need a beard oil but should definitely be using a beard friendly moisturizer like HYDRATE that supports healthy skin and beard growth without clogging your pores…you’ve got enough acne to worry about.

It is also important to use a pH balanced cleanser like CLEANSE that properly cleans your face without over-drying which can lead to a vicious cycle of excess oil production and breakouts.

Beard Growth in Mid-20s to 30s

Your mid-20s to 30s are often considered the golden years for beard growth. As a matter of fact, most men don’t hit peak beard growth until their early to mid thirties. This is when testosterone, the hormone primarily responsible for facial hair growth, peaks. You’ll likely notice your beard becoming fuller and more robust.

This is the perfect time to experiment with different beard styles and find what suits you best.

Establish a beard care routine that includes regular washing, exfoliating, and and moisturizing to keep your beard and the underlying skin in top condition. We’ve created a skincare line specifically designed for men with facial hair that takes all the guess work out of your grooming routine. You can learn more about our beard care products here.

Grooming tools like a good quality trimmer, a boar bristle brush, and scissors are essential for maintaining the shape and health of your beard.

Beard Growth in the 40s and 50s

As you enter your 40s and 50s, you might start noticing some changes. Your beard may grow slower, and gray hairs may begin to appear. This is due to a natural decrease in testosterone levels and the aging process affecting your hair follicles.

Adjust your beard care routine to these new changes. If you experience thinning, consider using gentle supplements designed to support hair health.

Embracing the gray can add a distinguished look to your beard. If it is not your vibe, there are beard dyes available. And while there are no pills or supplements proven to reverse the graying process, there have been several scientific breakthroughs that will hopefully lead to products that actually reverse graying.

If you’re not already using a beard oil in addition to your moisturizer, now is the time to add it in. This is because your body will start producing less sebum (oil) which leads to dry, coarser facial hair.

Beard Growth in the 60s and Beyond

In your 60s and beyond, the rate of beard growth might slow down further, and the texture can change, becoming coarser or wirier. This is partly due to decreased sebum production, leading to drier hair, and changes in the hair follicles themselves.

At this stage, comfort and health should be your priority. Opt for softer grooming tools to accommodate more sensitive skin. Keeping your beard and skin hydrated is more important than ever. If you prefer to keep the grays at bay, choose gentle, natural coloring products that are kind to your skin and hair.

Growing a beard is a personal and evolving journey unique to every man. From the first signs of facial hair in your teens to the distinguished look of a mature beard, each phase of growth brings its own challenges and rewards. Embrace each stage, care for your beard with patience and dedication, and enjoy the transformation. Remember, your beard is a reflection of your life’s journey – wear it proudly!




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By: Nicholas Karnaze
Title: The Complete Guide to Growing a Beard at Every Age
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Published Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2023 22:09:27 +0000

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Horizontal vs. Vertical Stripes | Fact and Fiction About Striped Clothing

Print and pattern color bright striped suit pinstripe red street style
man in pinstripe suit

Q: I’ve heard in the past that horizontal stripes make someone look wider and vertical stripes make them look taller and thinner. But I keep seeing studies going back and forth whether this is true. Who do I believe?

A: Three decades or so of research on this question have yielded inconsistent results. A more recent study seems to show that this is because the answer is actually more complicated than we all would like.


There’s a famous optical illusion called the Helmholtz Illusion, discovered by a man named Helmholtz in 1867.

  • Which of these squares looks thinner and taller than the other? Most people would say the left square looks thinner and taller.

But that seems to go against the conventional wisdom that horizontal stripes make a person look fatter/wider. Wouldn’t it be the other way around?

man in polo with horizontal stripes
Horizontal stripes
  • A number of studies have tested this effect and have found conflicting results. Why would fashion work differently than this famous optical illusion?
  • Three Japanese researchers noticed some interesting patterns in the previous research. They all presented pictures of models wearing either horizontal or vertical stripes. However, they weren’t using the same models: some were fat and some were thin. Additionally, they were all shaded differently. And finally, they were presented in various orders.
  • These researchers decided there were multiple factors at play here and published a study testing their hypotheses in the journal i-Perception in 2013.
  • The researchers did a number of studies testing the possibility that three factors were influencing all the previous research on this subject that has been conducted:

Whether the model is slim or fat.

Whether previous judgments of other people influence later judgments of different people.

Whether judgments are so varied between people that the whole thing isn’t very useful.

Vertical Stripes suit
Vertical stripes


  • 31 undergraduate students (63% female) were recruited for the study.
  • The students were placed in a chair and put their chin in a chin rest that ensured that their eyes were a certain distance from a computer screen.
  • A number of computer images were flashed in the screens depicting people wearing clothing with either horizontal or vertical lines.
    • The size of the images was digitally altered to be either slim or wide.
  • Two figures were shown side-by-side for 1.8 seconds. One had horizontal stripes and the other had vertical stripes. Then, participants were to judge which of the images were fatter and press a key indicating their response.
  • This method was done 20 times with slim figures and 20 times with fat figures, or with the fat figures first and then the slim figures.


So what do you think – is conventional wisdom true for fashion, or is the Helmholtz Illusion the main driving factor?

  • The conventional wisdom was not found to be true. Horizontal stripes don’t make people look fatter and vertical stripes don’t make people look slimmer and taller.
  • BUT sometimes the stripes didn’t really make a difference at all.

Which factors influenced whether the Helmholtz Illusion held true for the figures?

  • Size of the Model:
  • YES. Slender models look even thinner with horizontal stripes (supporting the Helmholtz Illusion and going against conventional wisdom).
  • But this effect was not as strong for the wide models – for wide models, the type of stripe BY ITSELF actually didn’t have as much of an influence at all.
  • Order of Presentation:
  • YES. Here’s an interesting result. When SLENDER models were shown first to people, and then wide models, the Helmholtz Illusion was strongest of all (Horizontal stripes make people seem taller and slenderer) for both groups. This applied to both fat and slender images. Again, conventional wisdom does not seem to hold.
  • When the wide models were shown first, the type of stripe did NOT seem to matter for anyone.
  • Variance Between Observers:
  • YES. Significantly, the researchers found that, even though there were noticeable results when they compared averages, there was a wide variety of results across all participants.
man in sports jacket with vertical stripes


So how do we interpret the results of this experiment? Here are some important conclusions that can be inferred from the results:

In no case was the conventional wisdom found to be true. Horizontal stripes did not, on the whole, make someone look wider. Vertical stripes, on the whole, did not make a person look taller and slimmer.

In fact, where there was an effect, it supported the opposite conclusion.

Horizontal stripes made slender people look taller and slenderer.

man in sweatshirt with horizontal stripes

On the fatter models, the kinds of stripes made much less difference.

People’s judgments seemed to be more influenced by what models they had previously judged.

For some reason (that the authors did not fully understand) when participants judged a large group of slender people first, the Helmholtz Illusion got very strong.

What does this mean for laypeople?

It means that when we view a person, we are mentally comparing them to people we have already seen.

Here’s the (very strange but scientifically supported) bottom line:

  • If a fat person is going to an event full of thin people, horizontal stripes may actually make them look slimmer and taller.

Why? The researchers weren’t sure.

Finally, there was another big take-away:

There was so much variation between participants in the study that the researchers concluded that stripes may not really, on the whole, make that huge of a difference.

This would explain why all the previous studies since the ‘80s were inconsistent.

This makes it seem like, unless you want to make a calculated, complex decision based on the results in this study, you might make your fashion selections based on other factors instead of whether the stripes are horizontal or vertical.

Whenever science doesn’t seem to go one way or the other, I say trust your own personal judgment.


Ashida, H., Kuraguchi, K., & Miyoshi, K. (2013). Helmholtz illusion makes you look fit only when you are already fit, but not for everyone. I-Perception, 4, 347-351. Link:

The post Horizontal vs. Vertical Stripes | Fact and Fiction About Striped Clothing appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio Centeno
Title: Horizontal vs. Vertical Stripes | Fact and Fiction About Striped Clothing
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Published Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2023 15:29:48 +0000

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Harvey Specter Style

harvey specter
harvey specter sitting in the office dressed in suit

There’s a lot to envy about Harvey Specter.

The outrageous confidence, the power, the prestige…

The sharp comebacks… and the ultra-sharp suits.

Harvey dresses like he does everything else – strategically.

“People respond to how we’re dressed…

So like it or not, this is what you have to do.”

Everyone’s appearance sends a message – and everything about his says loud and clear:

“I’m not about caring, I’m about winning.”

Of course, he does care – he cares about Mike, he cares about Donna, and he cares about his personal code of ethics. But that’s not the message he chooses to send. There’s nothing soft about his look.

”If they think you care, they’ll walk all over you.”

Read on to find out how to get the sharp and powerful Harvey Specter look.

Okay, let’s break this down. What are the main elements of Harvey Specter’s style strategy? Number 1, of course, has to be…

1. The Suit

harvey specter style suit

Harvey is virtually ALWAYS seen in an expensive suit. Gabriel Macht, who plays him, says: ‘He’s a man of style… we really wanted him to be this man’s man. A real masculine, strong, Steve McQueen-type of guy who could pull off a three piece suit and make it a modern thing, wide lapels and all.’

How does Harvey pull off his suits? Using two things you can learn right here at RMRS – confidence and the style pyramid of fit, fabric, and function. The fit of his suits is always on point, which takes extra effort for men with a tall body type (Gabriel Macht is 6’0.5?/183cm.) The fabrics are top quality – early season suits were mostly dark high twisted worsted wool, but recently he’s wearing silk-wool blends that add an unusual shine.

And as for function (appropriateness for the situation)? As a workaholic hotshot lawyer, Harvey lives for high-powered formal situations where a suit is required. He doesn’t suit up when it’s outright inappropriate… which means we see him in something else a good 2% of the time.

Harvey has a medium contrast complexion and dresses well for it, most often pairing gray, charcoal, and occasionally navy or black suits with white shirts. Gray and white form a sleek, classic combination that shows he means serious business.

Where a man with just one or two suits might stick to solid colors and maybe a pinstripe, Harvey has a wardrobe of different suit patterns including sharkskin, Prince of Wales checks and stripes – he prefers the bolder rope stripes to pinstripes (pinstripes are just one thread wide, rope stripes are several.)

He wears a slim fit with high armholes and strong structured shoulders – highlighting his athletic physique. Wide peak lapels give him a powerful broad-shouldered ‘v’ shape – the key to wearing them like he does is to get the gorge of the lapel not too high and not too low. If it peaks out over your shoulders, it is too much, and if it is too low it looks too old school.

Peak lapels are more formal – he sets himself apart by wearing them (except sometimes when he’s in a three-piece suit, which is more formal anyway). Because they’re more common on a tuxedo, on a business suit they suggest authority and/or arrogance.

Taking a deeper dive into suit jacket details, the big flap pockets on his jackets are a little unusual with peak lapels; jetted pockets are more normal.

You might expect to see a three-button suit on him because he’s a ‘buttoned up’ character and it would suit his tall athletic build. However, Harvey knows TWO buttons are the best choice for a single-breasted suit with peak lapels. It’s a classic elegant look that’s been around since the 1920s – two buttons leave room for longer lapels and accentuate them more.

His jacket cuffs, on the other hand, are as formal and buttoned-up as they get, with four buttons on each. The more buttons on the cuffs, the more formal the jacket, with single buttons denoting a sports jacket.

Pants are slim but not tight, with an ironed crease down the front, no pleats, no break and usually no cuffs. This suits his strict character – very neat and no fuss.

2. The Shirts

harvey specter style shirt

Harvey mostly wears plain white dress shirts – again, the most formal color. He also favors pale blue, and occasionally a gingham or stripe. The tall semi-spread collars accentuate his ‘v’ shape.

His shirts are very well fitted and always let a sliver of cuff show outside his jacket. He usually prefers simple classic button cuffs, but occasionally goes for the fancier French cuffs and cufflinks.

3. The Accessories

harvey specter in suit with pocket square

“Get your skinny tie out of my face and get to work.”

Harvey’s ties are always silk – navy grenadine is a favorite. Dark purple and black are other favorite colors. His look is VERY monochrome – it’s part of the character.

His ties vary between 3 and 3.5 inches wide, a classic width. He doesn’t wear anything too young and trendy. His wider ties and lapels contrast with Mike’s skinny ones and make him look more powerful.

He favors the full Windsor tie knot – a powerful, formal, ‘serious business’ knot that marks him out as a guy who knows how to dress and looks great with his wide lapels and semi-spread collars.

He’s rarely seen without a dimple in his ties, showing he knows how to dress and pays attention to the details. The one time his tie dimple is off center, Donna notices something is wrong!

With a tux he wears a diamond-pointed bow tie instead of the normal shape. That’s quirkier than you’d expect from him, but it’s like the peak lapels – sharp and pointed – which suits his aggressive and incisive mind.

He always wears a pocket square in a square Presidential fold, usually white or gray. A white pocket square in a square fold is as formal as they come and suits his businesslike, no-nonsense image. You won’t see him with a flower in his lapel – this is a hard and sharp look, nothing soft or romantic on this determinedly unemotional guy. To finish the look, he chooses simple and bold metal cufflinks.

Earlier in the series, Harvey was seen wearing a bold statement chronograph watch with a leather strap – a status symbol meant to mark him out as a successful man. The watch has since disappeared because of the technical constraints of filming for TV. Gabriel Macht says:

‘As great as the show is, it really doesn’t lend itself to detail. Other than some necklaces you might see Jessica wear, you don’t see any jewelry.’

#4. The Shoes

harvey specter in suit and dress shoes

Because of the nature of TV, you don’t often see Harvey’s shoes, and they’re not a big focus of his costume. He’s been seen in black cap-toed derbies, and black or brown oxford brogues – all classic smart dress shoes, although brown full brogues are a bit more casual than you’d expect from him.

5. Casual Clothing

harvey specter casual white suit

Aside from the suit, he’s been seen in a classic black button-down shirt; well-fitting jeans; a white or heathered grey henley; beige chinos; and a navy v-neck and coat over a white shirt. (Not a casual shirt, by the way, just a dress shirt like he’d wear to the office – showing his wardrobe, like his life, is mostly work.)

6. The Hair

harvey specter haircut

In 2011 Gabriel Macht said of Harvey’s original slicked-back do, “It’s supposed to be the modern version of the old-style man’s haircut, sort of like Gregory Peck or Cary Grant.”

But as more sides of the character have emerged his hair has evolved- now it’s more vertical, but still strict and structured, featuring a tight side-part (on the left side) with a subtle pompadour in the front.

To get this look, you need the sides cut short (not buzzed) and some length on top.

Run a strong hold gel (or pomade for less shine) through towel dried hair then blow dry on a low heat while combing the front upwards. The longer you blow-dry the front, the more volume you’ll get.

Then apply more gel and use your comb to cut the side-part and sculpt the front hair up and back. Fix with a little hairspray.

If you prefer his earlier slicked-back style, you want a similar cut with squared-off sideburns and a square neckline and shaved part. Again, apply some gel to your hair before blow-drying, then comb it back with pomade and set with hairspray.

I don’t recommend that every man dresses exactly like Harvey Specter. It’s a very stark monochromatic look, and for guys with more fun and warmth in their personalities, it might not suit you. You can emulate his confidence without exactly copying his look.

What I DO recommend is that you copy Harvey Specter in dressing strategically. Think about what YOUR message is, and make sure every stitch on your body and every hair on your head communicates it. 

‘Get it through your head – first impressions last.’

The post Harvey Specter Style appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio Centeno
Title: Harvey Specter Style
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Published Date: Mon, 04 Dec 2023 18:04:09 +0000

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