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You’ve finally worked up the courage to ask out that cute barista at the café. It’s the night of your first date and you’re dressed to the nines. As you tie the laces on your dress boots before heading out the door, you see a large, noticeable crack in the leather.

While it’s not the end of the world, dry, cracked leather boots aren’t going to help you make a great first impression. 

Putting some effort into properly maintaining your leather boots is vital to keep them looking sharp and to prolong their life.

How do you keep your boots in top shape? In this article we’ll explore how to clean, condition, polish, and waterproof your leather boots

In particular, you will find:

  • Why Should Men Wear Leather Boots?
  • How Do You Clean And Restore Leather Boots?
  • What Do You Put On Leather Boots To Condition Them?
  • How Do You Polish And Shine Boots?
  • What Can I Put On Leather Boots To Waterproof?

Why Should Men Wear Leather Boots?

Clean and well cared for leather boots should be a staple item in every man’s wardrobe. 

Well-made leather boots are a great way to level up your casual wardrobe. Functional and masculine, boots help you to stand out (in a good way). In fact, a study conducted by GQ magazine showed that over three-quarters of women surveyed think that boots are the most attractive type of footwear a man can wear on a first date

Quality leather boots aren’t cheap. You can help increase the value of your investment by taking good care of your boots. Regularly cleaning, conditioning, and polishing your leather boots takes just minutes each week and can potentially add years to their life. 

This article is sponsored by Thursday Boots – comfortable, versatile, and durable boots that and just look great. Thursday Boots are designed for guys who understand quality and don’t want to pay a high retail mark-up for a great-looking pair of boots that are built to last.

They’re made with 100% tier-1 USA bovine leathers and handcrafted to the gold standard of shoe-making: Goodyear Welt Construction.

Thursday Boots is all about the highest quality & honest prices. They offer the lowest direct-to-consumer prices on Goodyear welt boots made with premium USA leather and free shipping & returns. 

How Do You Clean And Restore Leather Boots?

Your footwear is your foundation. When meeting new people, your shoes are often one of the first things that people notice about you. Not only do dirty, grimy, or salt-stained boots look sloppy, they also wear out faster than boots that are clean, polished, and conditioned regularly. 

Let’s begin by reviewing how to clean leather boots:

What can I use to clean my leather boots?

dirty leather boots
  • Newspaper or old cloth
  • Horsehair brush
  • Slightly damp rag
  • Saddle soap

How to clean leather boots the right way

  1. Remove the laces: Removing the laces makes it easier to access hard-to-reach areas of the boot such as the tongue. 
  2. Clean / replace the laces: Place the boots on newspaper or an old piece of cloth laid out flat on a table or counter. Use a horsehair brush to give the leather some light buffing.
    The goal here is removing any loose dirt or salt particles which can damage the leather over time.
    You may want to use an old toothbrush to help you to remove dirt that is deeply entrenched in the welt. Ideally, you should give your boots a quick brush after each time you wear them outside.
  3. Brush off dirt and salt. Place the boots on newspaper or an old piece of cloth that’s flattened on a table or counter. Use a horsehair brush to give the leather some light buffing. The goal here is removing any loose dirt or salt particles which can damage the leather over time. You may want to use an old toothbrush to help you to remove dirt that is deeply entrenched in the welt. 
brushing leather shoes to clean
  1. Clean your boots with saddle soap: If your boots are particularly grimy, stained, or mud-caked, you can use saddle soap for a deep clean. 

With a damp rag or small brush, rub the surface of the saddle soap in a circular motion to create a light lather. 

cleaning leather boots with saddle soap

Next, rub the suds onto the outer surface of the boots, being sure not to overlook hard-to-reach areas such as the welt and tongue. 

  1. Let the boots air dry for 10 minutes.

What Do You Put On Leather Boots To Condition Them?

While visible dirt and salt can harm leather, dry conditions are leather’s “silent killer.”

Dry, unconditioned leather can easily crack— especially when exposed to water. When leather’s natural moisture escapes due to dry conditions, the fibrous interweave will start to weaken and visible cracks form. Sadly, there’s no way to repair cracks once they form. Therefore, preventing shoe damage is the key.

cracks on leather boots

By always keeping the leather supple, you’ll avoid the tragedy of having a $250 pair of winter boots break down weeks after buying them.

Few people realize that new leather shoes and boots need to be conditioned before regular wear. I’d recommend treating them the day they are purchased because they could have been left inside a storage room, their leather deprived of oil and moisture, for months. For that reason, don’t expect them to come out of the box well-conditioned. 

What can I use to condition leather?

  • Piece of old cloth (to lay the boots over)
  • Good leather conditioner or balm
  • Small applicator brush
  • 2 dry clean rags
  1. Give the boots a quick rub-down with a dry rag. This is to dislodge any remaining dirt or tiny dust particles clinging to the leather.
  1. Apply leather conditioner / balm. With an applicator brush, apply your leather conditioner/balm to an inconspicuous location, like the tongue of the boot. Wait a few hours for it to dry.
applying conditioner on leather boots

This test is to ensure that the conditioner doesn’t drastically affect the color of the leather. 

Note that almost all conditioners can darken the leather slightly (especially for the first few days).

  1. Rub conditioner into the boot: Pour a quarter-sized amount of conditioner/balm onto the second rag (rags made of chamois or terrycloth are ideal) and rub it on the leather. Use circular motions without pushing down hard – going back and forth along each boot. You want to get the product in all crevices and creases.
polishing leather boots

Use as much product as the leather needs. If your boots seem especially dried out or you haven’t treated them in a while, you may need two, or even three applications for the boots to be fully reconditioned. However, boots that are regularly maintained may just need one quick application of conditioner. 

You know your boots are fully hydrated when the product you’re using stops soaking in and the leather starts to get damp.

  1. With a clean cloth, wipe off any excess product
  1. Let boots dry for 20 minutes. After they’ve rested for about 12 hours, once again give them a rub with a dry rag to absorb any remaining excess oils or moisture.

You should condition your boots often. As a general rule, condition them once every 3 months if you live in a temperate climate— and once a month if you wear the boots every day or live in a dry, hot climate.

How Do You Polish And Shine Boots?

After conditioning, you may wish to polish them. Polish renews the leather’s color and provides even more luster and protection. This step is particularly helpful for elegant dress boots. 

Polishing your boots isn’t always necessary. In fact, many men enjoy the patina that unpolished, rugged boots develop over time. 

wearing clean leather boots with cuffed  jeans

Materials for Polishing

  • Newspaper of a piece of old cloth 
  • Either a cream shoe polish or wax-based polish 
  • Small applicator brush
  • Soft clean rag
  • Clean horsehair brush (i.e. not the same brush you used for removing dirt)

Steps to applying cream polish:

  1. Check that the polish matches: Make sure the cream polish matches the leather. Test on the tongue if necessary. 
  2. Spread the cream onto the boot upper: Use the applicator brush to work the cream evenly over the entire boot. Start off with a small amount then add more if needed.
  3. Using a clean horsehair brush, end with a quick buffing.
  4. Let the boots dry for 15 minutes.
polish leather boots with wax

Now that your boots are shined they’re looking as good as new! 

Cream polish doesn’t provide as much shine as wax-based polish but it adds extra moisture and nourishment. It will also help bring back the natural color of your boots when the leather starts to fade.

Steps to applying wax-based polish:

  1. Get ready. Wrap the soft rag around your index and middle fingers and dip them into the wax.
  2. Apply the polish. Using small, circular motions apply the polish to the boot. Keep working until you coat the entire boot.

Leave that leather boot aside and do the same for the other.

  1. Buff the boots. Do a quick buffing using the horsehair brush. Repeat to get a really nice mirror shine.
clean horsehair brush 1

The wax-based polish should be the final layer when you’re polishing your boots (i.e. don’t attempt to put cream polish over it).

Wax-based polish adds shine and protects your boots against salt or water. It also locks in the leather conditioner so you can extend the time that passes before it needs to be reapplied.

I like to do a quick polish after every wear, however, you can get by with polishing your boots thoroughly once a week with either a cream or a wax polish.

What Can I Put On Leather Boots To Waterproof?

Properly treated high-quality leather boots are typically water-resistant. However, if you live in a cold, wet climate (like I do) you may want to take extra steps to waterproof your boots.

Using a waterproofing agent is particularly effective at combating damage from snow and salt during the winter months. Following the boot manufacturer’s instructions for waterproofing if possible will give you the best results. 

waterproofing leather boots 1

While there are many types of waterproofing agents on the market, there are two broad categories – solid compounds that are rubbed into the leather, and liquid agents that are sprayed onto the boot. Follow the instructions on the label of waterproofing products.

What to do with soaked boots?

Despite your best efforts to waterproof your boots, there’s always a chance that they will still get soaked. If that happens it is critical that you avoid the temptation to speed up the drying process. Whatever you do not leave them next to a fire, a radiator, or another type of external heat source. High heat can cause the leather to dry too quickly which can cause irreparable cracks to form.

The one safe step you can take to help wet boots dry out faster is to remove insoles (if possible) and stuff the boots with dry, crumpled-up paper towels or newspapers. Every few hours replace the paper as it becomes damp. 

Otherwise, be patient and allow your boots to dry naturally at room temperature

Check out this video for more information about how to care for leather boots like a pro.

The post How To Clean & Condition Leather Boots appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio
Title: How To Clean & Condition Leather Boots
Sourced From: www.realmenrealstyle.com/leather-boots-care-guide/
Published Date: Thu, 07 Oct 2021 11:59:00 +0000

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How to wear your watch correctly

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As much as you won’t like hearing this, you’re probably wearing your watch wrong.

It’s not your fault; you may have never been taught how to wear a watch properly. After all, there is more than one way to wear a watch.

But how do you know which way is the right way?

Don’t worry, gents; as always, I’ve got you covered. I’m here with the best way to wear your favorite timepiece properly and look as stylish as ever.

In today’s article, I’ll be covering:

  1. Origins Of The Wrist Watch
  2. What Wrist Do You Wear A Watch On?
  3. Should You Wear Your Watch Facing Inward Or Outward?
  4. The Stylish Way To Wear A Watch

#1 Origins Of The Wrist Watch

old watches

When it comes to wearing a watch correctly, it’s important to note why the wristwatch came about in the first place.

Dating back to the 1800s, the first watches modified to be worn on the wrist were primarily worn by women as accessories. One of the earliest was created by Patek Philippe as a fashion accessory.

At the start of the 20th century, watchmakers became intrigued about using a wrist-worn timepiece for men in the military. They believed it would help them tell time quickly while on the battlefield.

Watchmakers started modifying pocket watches to fit on a bracelet worn on the wrist. Men would not wear the first iteration of the modern wristwatch until well into the 20th century.

Then developed as a ‘trench watch’ for military use, the earliest wrist watches offered something the pocket watch didn’t have – convenience.

After the wristwatch became less of a fashion accessory and more of a functional tool, watchmakers would spend the next century modifying them into the modern wristwatches we enjoy today.

#2 What Wrist Do You Wear A Watch On?

man wears watch

The age-old question: what wrist to wear a watch on? The answer – it depends.

The reason it depends is that since the creation of the wristwatch, men have mostly worn their watch on their non-dominant wrist. And since most people are right-handed, you would wear your watch on your left wrist.

But this isn’t always the correct answer. You may want to wear your watch on the right wrist if you are left-handed. But you may also want to wear it on your dominant hand.

So how do you know for sure?

The most significant benefit of wearing your watch on your non-dominant hand is that you can quickly put the watch on and navigate the dial more efficiently than with your non-dominant hand.

Wearing your watch on your non-dominant hand is less likely to damage the watch as you tend to do more with your dominant hand. If you were to wear it on your dominant hand, you’re more likely to scratch or ding the watch than on your non-dominant hand.

So the rule of thumb here is to wear your watch on your non-dominant hand for the best way to navigate and protect your watch.

#3 Should You Wear Your Watch Facing Inward Or Outward?

watch facing inside

The next question is, why would a man wear his watch facing inward on his wrist instead of outward?

This trend is seen primarily in individuals who need to check their watch frequently and in the most efficient way possible. Among the many reasons you should wear a watch, one of the most common is to support you in your profession.

You will see men in the military do this, as it’s easier and prevents sun glare better than when it’s on the outside of the wrist. It also offers faster convenience to other tools on the watch in addition to the time.

Another reason you may want to wear your watch facing inward is that it can help protect your watch from scratches and dings. Again, this is just a preference.

But you’re a stylish guy looking for the best way to wear his watch. What should you do?

The answer here is to wear it facing outward, as that is the most common way to wear a wristwatch. It shows off your timepiece that you love while also still being functional.

Unless you’re in a profession where you need to check your watch quickly while managing other tasks, the best way is to have your watch facing outward. After all, you probably didn’t spend money on that beautiful timepiece to hide its character.

#4 The Stylish Way To Wear A Watch

stylish watch

Now it’s time to find out exactly how to wear a watch in the most stylish way a guy can.

Assuming you’ve selected the right size watch for your wrist, the first thing you want to do is figure out if you’ll be wearing your watch on your right or left wrist.

As mentioned above, traditionally, the watch is worn on your non-dominant wrist. So if you’re right-handed, this means wearing your watch on your left wrist. For left-handed guys, this means your right wrist.

After you figure that out, it’s quite easy. The first thing you want to do is locate your wrist bone.

You want to wear your watch face up just above your wrist bone. If done correctly, your watch should slightly peek out from under the cuffs of your shirt when wearing long sleeves.

Next, you want to tighten the strap so it’s loose enough to be comfortable. You don’t want it so loose it can spin freely around your wrist. You also don’t want it too tight, or it will feel uncomfortable, especially when you bend your wrist.

After doing this correctly, you’ll be wearing a watch in the most stylish way possible.

There you have it, gents.

Now you no longer have to worry about wearing your watch incorrectly.

There is more than one way to wear a watch, so find what’s most comfortable for you personally, and rock your favorite timepiece accordingly.

If you want to take your watch knowledge to the next level, check out this article I wrote about the difference between quartz and mechanical watches.

The post How To Wear A Watch The Right Way appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio
Title: How To Wear A Watch The Right Way
Sourced From: www.realmenrealstyle.com/wear-watch-right-way/
Published Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2022 10:19:42 +0000

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Fall Capsule Wardrobe Preparation (Buy Now and Get $$$)

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We’ve all been there – fall comes around, and you open your closet only to find you have nothing but polos and shorts.

So what’s a stylish guy to do? Pay a premium to build an entire fall wardrobe last minute? Sure, if you’re loaded. But not every guy is that lucky!

Don’t worry; as ever, I’ve got you covered. In today’s article, I’ll show you how to get the best bang for your buck when building your fall capsule wardrobe.

We’ll be covering:

  1. What Are The Advantages Of A Capsule Wardrobe?
  2. How Do You Build A Fall Capsule Wardrobe?
  3. Where Can You Find Deals On Fall Clothing?
  4. What Are The Best Fall Capsule Wardrobe Essentials?

#1 What Are The Advantages Of A Capsule Wardrobe?

man in closet

One of the most common headaches guys run into in their closet is having too many clothing options to choose from but not enough of the right options.

While more options aren’t bad, they can be overwhelming, especially when you rarely wear most items. This is where building a capsule wardrobe comes into play.

A capsule wardrobe is a limited selection of clothing items that complement each other. This means you can buy a smaller selection of items and create a larger number of outfits.

This is crucial to understand because most guys don’t have an unlimited budget for buying clothes. A capsule wardrobe allows you to purchase and use items frequently with little redundancy.

But where do you start in building your fall capsule wardrobe?

#2 How Do You Build A Fall Capsule Wardrobe?

fall clothing items

After you have put together the perfect capsule wardrobe, you can start to add a few fall-specific items. This is done by adding a few staple pieces that complement what you already have.

For most, fall offers mild temperatures mixed with slightly warmer temperatures.

This means that layering will be of the utmost importance because you may leave the house needing a jacket, but it might be warm enough by midday to sport only the t-shirt underneath.

Start with the basics when building your fall capsule wardrobe and add pieces accordingly.

Keep It Simple

man wearing coat

Fall is primetime for layering, so you only need a few outer layers and should focus more on the innermost layers.

You want to make sure that interchangeability is at the top of your list when it comes to your wardrobe. Everything should complement each other for ease of use.

With that said, having a few staples and adding additional items as you change seasons is essential.

For this reason, ensure you have the following items in your fall capsule wardrobe:

  • A dark three-piece suit 
  • A light-colored tweed blazer
  • A leather bomber or biker jacket
  • An overcoat (dark or light)
  • A formal button-up shirt (white)
  • 2 casual button-up shirts (flannel or chambray, you choose)
  • 2 sweaters (1 shawl, 1 crew neck)
  • 2 t-shirts (1 white, 1 black,)
  • 2 pairs of Jeans (1 dark, 1 light)
  • 2 pairs of slacks/chinos (1 dark, 1 light)
  • 2 belts (1 black, 1 brown)
  • 1 pair of black dress shoes
  • 1 pair of brown oxfords (leather or suede, you decide)
  • 1 pair of sneakers (plain white or brown)
  • 1 pair of military boots (black or brown)

When it comes to accessories like watches, scarves, or gloves, you can use what you have as most men won’t need all of them, so I won’t count them in.

#3 Where Can You Find Deals On Fall Clothing?

clothing on sale

As it is the middle of summer, fall will be approaching quickly.

Now is a great time to snag up some of last year’s sale items at department stores as they usually have sales on previous season items. By now, most men aren’t thinking about what to wear in the fall.

While you still might be able to find good deals on last year’s fall items, it’s usually the most optimal time to purchase these items after the season has ended. This is when retailers try hard to clear space and make room for the next season’s clothing.

When they do this, it is a great time to get excellent deals on items that have just gone out of season.

Another great option to buy men’s clothing is online at your favorite retailers, as they will often have sales and discounts on items they have in their online inventory but are not yet in prime season.

The most expensive items in your fall capsule wardrobe are the ones you want to focus on, as you can often save a significant amount of money out of season for them.

These big ticket items include:

  • Your dark three-piece suit and blazer
  • Overcoats and jackets
  • Dress shoes and sneakers
  • Boots

These items will be some of the most expensive items and can be found discounted out of season. Put these at the forefront of your fall capsule wardrobe search.

#4 What Are The Best Fall Capsule Wardrobe Essentials?

man shopping for clothes

You want to adhere to a few staples when building your fall capsule wardrobe.

Since fall weather can vary, layering will be essential. These few items are crucial as mainstays that can be layered with other items within your wardrobe.

For example, if you experience a rather chilly day in fall and need to wear a suit, an overcoat is essential as that outermost layer because you can simply remove it when you no longer need it.

When it comes to the concept of layering within your fall capsule wardrobe, you want to make sure you nail these following items.

Overcoats

man wearing overcoat

Having a good overcoat to complement your fall capsule wardrobe is crucial.

The overcoat acts as the outermost layer and will be removed whenever you go indoors. This makes for a great option as you can wear it with anything as it offers excellent versatility.

When searching for the perfect overcoat, it’s essential to know your size as they usually come in sizes of suit jackets, not regular sizing. After you’ve nailed the size, focus on color.

Dark-colored overcoats tend to be the most versatile. However, a light camel color can work as well. Stay away from patterns with overcoats as the goal is to be as versatile as possible.

Leather Jackets

leather jackets

A good leather jacket goes a long way. You can choose a leather biker jacket or a leather bomber; it’s your call.

Biker jackets can be slightly harder to pull off as most of the time, they will have a larger and more aggressive collar, but they still look great.

A leather bomber jacket is an excellent option because it looks great on all body types and often has more options than biker jackets.

For color, opt for black or dark brown, as that gives you the most versatility with other items in your fall capsule wardrobe.

Sweaters

man wearing sweater

Sweaters are to fall, what t-shirts are for summer. This means they are a critical piece as they are season specific and offer great versatility when it comes to layering.

So how do you find the perfect sweater?

You want options, so have a couple of different collar choices to give yourself the most bang for your buck.

Having a shawl neck sweater and a crew neck sweater ensures you have all your bases covered.

Make sure you choose neutral tones such as greys, creams, and tans for color. This ensures maximum versatility with other items within your wardrobe and gives you the most options.

That’s it, gents.

To learn more about how versatile this concept of capsule wardrobes can be, check out how I turned 16 pieces of clothing into 256 outfits.

The post Preparing Your Fall Capsule Wardrobe (Buy Now And Save $$$) appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio
Title: Preparing Your Fall Capsule Wardrobe (Buy Now And Save $$$)
Sourced From: www.realmenrealstyle.com/fall-capsule-wardrobe/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 23:59:00 +0000

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The Best Zara Fragrances

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We all know of Zara and I’m pretty sure the majority of us own at least one piece from them, but I’m not here to talk about their reasonably priced clothing, I’m here for their fragrance.

Not quite a hidden gem but I don’t feel that they vast range and high quality fragrance that they create is given enough air time, I’m about to change that. The fragrance game is massive at the moment, everyone from the big fashion houses all the way to footballers have a scent on the market and they all carry a hefty price tag, with some of the bigger hitters asking in excess of

£100 for 50ml.

Zara clearly understand the need for a great fragrance but also appreciate not everything has to be overly expensive. I’ve been lucky enough to sample my fair share over the years and wanted to share with you what I feel are some of their strongest.

Tobacco Collective 100ml – £16.99

This is one of my absolute favourites, it works perfectly as an everyday scent. The initial smell is strong and masculine but with undertones of vanilla bourbon help to soften it slightly.

4Qbk tFcSNbWj04S58 QXQsAx1NOGJ2EW5BgfYj4Ey67ulm5nUzJMLNq8HMNdkps3FThHVxZUbG2kK7VkQQIumuQtVN2 ww56QbpYBb3oo8vyL0js Gz4QeX1WHYq6r 2 t sNHgJEDHbdwuZg

For Him 100ml – £22.99

My current daily spray, its warm, modern and intense. It just so happens to be the perfect blend of three of my favourite scents, bergamot, cardamom and sandalwood. It’s strong yet light, never over powering and leaves a wonderful trail.

Florence 100ml – £16.24

Summer calls for a fresh fragrance and I cannot recommend this highly enough, its light, fresh and citrus scent is perfectly for those warmer days. Notes of black pepper, strawberry and guaiac wood allow this scent to sit gently on the skin with offending the noses of those around you.

Written by Tom Loughran

The post The Best Of Zara Fragrances first appeared on Mens Fashion Magazine.

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By: MFM
Title: The Best Of Zara Fragrances
Sourced From: www.mensfashionmagazine.com/the-best-of-zara-fragrances
Published Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2022 09:57:00 +0000

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