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There’s an old saying that a good workman never blames his tools, but we’d be lying if we said the right ones don’t make a difference. When it comes to hair products, it can literally be life-changing.

The list of lightbulb moments we’ve had includes: the first time we tried John Frieda’s original Frizz Ease; when we discovered ceramic hair straighteners; that time we had a scalp makeover at Philip Kingsley; and when we learned to co-cleanse curly hair so that it actually looked good.

Much like modern skincare, haircare has evolved well beyond the basic steps of cleansing and moisturising. You’ve got options now – hundreds of them – in refined, state-of-the-art formulas that are designed to tackle every hair concern under the sun.

Knowing how to tame frizz, control curls, fix a tricky scalp, successfully de-oil greasy hair or heat style without making everything a hot mess is going to make your hair look better on the daily.

That cheap bottle of shampoo? Sure, it’ll clean your hair, but it’s more likely to strip the natural oils, making it dryer and duller over time. So, while some brands may be pricier than others, these are some of our most tried-and-trusted. And as the saying goes, you’re worth it.

Looking for more good hair days? Just click add to cart.


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Let’s start with the basics: do you have hair to brush? Ever given any thought to the type of brush you are using? Time to start.

Denman has been making hairbrushes for over 80 years. In 1938, on a visit to New York, John Denman Dean discovered a revolutionary new product, nylon, brought it back home to Northern Ireland, and started a line of brushes. In the 1960s, super snipper, Vidal Sassoon picked up the Denman D3 Original Styler and cemented its status as the ultimate styling brush.

Today, there’s a brush for every hair type and purpose. The go-to products in our kit include the Jack Dean Luxury Beech Wood Club Brush, which has super-soft, natural boar bristles to smooth and shine short, fine and weak hair and sensitive scalps. It’s so gentle you can barely feel it.

The D6 Original Scalp Massager and Shower Brush is the perfect palm styler to get right to the roots, massage in strengthening tonic or beard oil, and to detangle and comb product through wet hair or stubble. And the Jack Dean D200 Skeleton Vent handles easily without snagging or pulling, adds root lift and volume, and offers express heat styling thanks to the clever vent design.

Shop now at



Mother Nature is a cruel mistress. Unless you’re blessed in the genetic lottery, that lustrous head of hair that you take for granted will slowly wither on the vine with the passage of time. Of course, it might not – but are you willing to risk it?

Prevention is always better than a cure (which is, most likely, a Turkish hair transplant down the line). Male pattern baldness isn’t the only cause of thinning – stress and poor diet can be factors, wearing it tied up can cause traction alopecia around the hairline, and even a pesky virus can cause temporary hair loss.

Want to make more of an effort to preserve what you’ve got? THIX has got those precious follicles covered. This tight routine of shampoo, conditioner and styling paste is infused with science-backed ingredients including essential vitamins, amino acids, proteins and stimulating caffeine.

Like a super green smoothie, it provides all the nutrients the hair needs with a cocktail of plant keratin, biotin (B7), niacinamide (B3), panthenol (B5), pyridoxine (B6) and vitamins C and E.

Is it a miracle cure for baldness? Nope – and it doesn’t claim to be. Will it help your strands feel thicker, fuller and healthier? Yup – with visible root lift and a lush texture.

It’s vegan, sulphate and GMO free, comes in fully recyclable aluminium packaging, and the invigorating minty fresh smell provides a more stimulating shower experience in the morning.

Shop now at THIX

Bumble and bumble.


Every pro hair stylist has Bumble and bumble in their kit. A backstage favourite, Bumble and bumble opened their first salon in New York in the late 1970s, and quickly became known for a signature cutting style using a straight edge razor.

It launched Brilliantine, its first own label product in 1990, a best-selling oil-based styling creme to add shine and separation, and dropped its famous Surf Spray, which gives instant salty waves, in 2001. Bb. has been serving pro formulas that out perform the rest since the start, which is why it costs more than your average haircare brand.

Frequent blow dryer or heat styler? Right now, the Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer takes the top spot, with good reason: it cuts frizz, adds definition to curls, provides heat styling protection, sun protection and adds hydration without weighing hair down. You need this – stat.

For the wax and gel enthusiast, Sunday Shampoo is like a memory wipe to correct a styling gunk overload. This weekly detox will gently remove oil, grime and build-up. So, when your hair suddenly feels like it can’t get clean or your regulars feel less effective, re-set with this; it leaves the hair feeling lighter, bouncy and squeaky clean.

Timothée Chalamet’s work as the unofficial ambassador for loose, natural curls has done more for the cause than most other personalities in recent memory (not you, Timberlake). Knowing how to manage those rebellious coils it is half the battle when embracing one’s natural texture.

Whether your hair is coily, kinky or sits in tight spirals, the Curl Defining Cream is a designed to de-frizz and enhance the shape of your curls without leaving any tell-tale crunchiness.

Shop now at Amazon



French grooming specialist Horace prove that quality haircare can still be affordable. With a full range of styling aids, shampoos, conditioners (including solid bars for zero waste) and specialist treatments for every hair type and concern, you can look after your hair with a reasonable outlay.

The Wax Pomade is made with natural ingredients – beeswax, kaolin clay, sapote butter (to nourish the scalp) and glycerin – and without mineral oil, parabens and silicone. We love it because it lasts all day, looks natural, leaves no residue, and washes clean out without any effort.

When you’re dogged with an itchy, dry, flaky scalp it can be hard to find effective products that don’t make the issue worse. Unlike the major anti-dandruff brand found in the supermarket, Gentle Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is sulphate-free, so it’s less likely to irritate the skin or tax your hair. Use it 2-3 times a week for one month, and say goodbye to tell-tale flakes and bothersome itch.

Great for all hair types – especially fine, thinning or straight – the Texturising Hair Spray deserves a spot in your grooming arsenal. This salty spray has a pleasant flowery marine scent and adds much needed volume and texture when applied to damp hair.

Shop now at Horace



As a certified B Corporation, this under-the-radar Italian brand has serious environmental creds and offers excellent hair/skin solutions that’s mostly sold through independent outlets. Davines strives to be circular, using locally-sourced, botanical ingredients and renewable or recycled packaging that can be reused and refilled at your nearest bulk supply.

So, what do we love? It’s easy to navigate and find the right products for your concern. In the essential range, Volu boosts fine or limp hair, Melu takes care of breaking/damaged hair, Momo replenishes dry hair and Love Curl does what it says on the tin.

SU offers sun protection, OI is for shiny, silky hair, while Naturaltech is a complete holistic range on top. The offer is huge, and the products are a pleasure to use.

Scalp care has ratcheted up our list of priorities in recent times and the Solu Salt Scrub, from the clarifying line for oily/clogged hair, is a deep cleansing, purifying treatment made with pure sea salt that removes pollution and impurities for a revitalised scalp.

Individually sealed in wrapping paper, every time we re-up our supply of This is a Forming Pomade it’s like a gift. One of our longest serving styling products for short, textured styles, this lightweight formula adds shine and re-workable hold.

Always burning your bonce? Make sure you’ve got SU Milk Sun-Protecting Leave in Hair Spray when you’re headed to the pool or beach. This leave-in spray has UV filters to protect scalp, hair and prevent colour fade, and it replenishes the hair and skin from the moisture sapping trio of sun, salt and chlorine.

Shop now at Amazon



Kiehl’s is an 170-year-old New York apothecary that occupied corner stores in Manhattan, and originally fulfilled prescriptions by hand. French beauty giant L’Orèal acquired the business in 2000, and – we’re going to be brutally honest here – most of the brand’s best-loved, cult products are original formulas which pre-date the millennium.

While skincare innovations are the current focus, it still has a tight edit of effective hair care products that we go back to time and time again – when they have them in stock. Crucially, there seems to be persistent supply chain issues both in the UK and in the US.

To the best of our knowledge, Creme with Silk Groom was one of the first hair creams on the market. This non-greasy, conditioning styling cream is made with wheat protein and jojoba oil, nixes frizz and flyaways and gives light structure when applied to damp or dry hair. One tube lasts for ages, which is just as well, because while the brand insist it’s not been discontinued, it’s been out of stock for two years.

Needs must, so we’ve been experimenting with substitutes and highly recommend these (cheaper) alternatives: Larry King A Social Life for Your Hair, Phyto 7 Moisturising Day Cream and Bumble and bumble Grooming Creme.

We still love you Kiehl’s, and we’ll ride out this storm together. Thankfully, all is not lost, because we can still get our hands on these hair saviours: Amino Acid Shampoo, a gentle cleanser with a soft scent of coconut that adds volume; and Hair Conditioner and Grooming Aid Formula 133, a super-lightweight conditioner for all types to detangle, soften and tame.

Shop now at Kiehl’s



What began as a subscription shave club has morphed into a fully fledged grooming powerhouse. Harry’s USP is style and value for money – an appreciable bonus in these wallet-crunching times.

Harry’s still offer its original premise of subscribe and save, plus one-off purchases for the commitment-phobic, and you can source them online and offline via major outlets like Sainsbury’s, Boots, Target and Amazon.

Even if you don’t have dandruff (which is caused by a specific fungus), that doesn’t mean your scalp isn’t parched. Step forward, Dry Scalp 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner, which is designed to soothe a tight, dry skin.

For styling aids that won’t break the bank, we’ve got Texturising Putty on repeat to keep our barnet from looking a dishevelled, sticky mess. Malleable with a matte finish, this putty can easily be reshaped.

On the flip side, the Sculpting Gel offers firm hold and polished shine that won’t flake or dry out the hair.

Shop now at Harry’s


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Combining NYC cool with no-nonsense vibes, Malin+Goetz’ founding purpose was to deliver efficacious grooming products that were also fragrance-free, kind to sensitive skin, vegan and cruelty free – a big point of difference when it launched.

Scalp masks can be fiddly and/or time consuming, so we thoroughly high-five the Detox Scalp Mask. This express treatment takes just five minutes to work its foaming magic. Top line ingredients include a blend of glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid to gently exfoliate and clarify, conditioning safflower, olive oil and coconut oil, and therapeutic spearmint leaf and peppermint oil to cool and soothe. Use it once a week for noticeably fuller, thicker, softer and shinier hair that stays cleaner between washes, and a healthier, happier scalp.

On the cleansing front, the Gentle Hydrating Shampoo is sulphate-free and kinder to hair that’s washed frequently, prone to frizz, chemically relaxed or colour treated hair, with a combination of amino acids, marine algae extract and panthenol.

The brand also sell Peppermint Shampoo by the gallon (3.78 litres), so if you can stump up for it then go full prepper and you’ll save almost 50% on a year’s supply or more.

Shop now at Amazon


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Naturally, the makers of everyone’s favourite hand wash also do well in other departments, offering generous 500ml bottles of shampoo and conditioner to keep your shower stall well stocked (bulk options always offer the most economical price). Superior fragrances come as standard with Aēsop, so you can bet they smell great too.

Scalp issues? Sage & Cedar Scalp Treatment is a pre-shampoo oil for sensitive, dry or easily irritated scalps that can do with some extra TLC. This easy to wash out formula contains rosemary leaf, cedar atlas and sage leaf. Take a full pipette’s worth and massage all over, leave for 15 minutes, and shampoo away. Expect to see less dryness and redness as a result.

Dry, dull, wiry and coarse facial hair will love the Shine Hair & Beard Oil. With a herbaceous scent of petitgrain and borage, this multitasking product will give lacklustre strands a new lease of life, without any greasiness.

Shop now at SSENSE

Baxter of California

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The story goes that Baxter Finley couldn’t find any dedicated skincare products for men, so he started making his own. That was in California, way back in 1965. Now, Baxter of California has a global presence, and a barbershop on La Cienega on West Hollywood that carries his name above the door.

One of the best-known, classic products is Clay Pomade, which offers unbeatable, matte hold when applied to dry or damp hair, and a shine finish when applied to wet hair. Made with kaolin and bentonite clay and natural beeswax, it can wrangle straight, thick and short hair types into submission.

For longer lengths, straight, wavy and fine hair, the versatile Clay Effect Style Spray is a pre-styler that adds oomph, texture and semi-matte hold. You can even use it with Clay Pomade for extra grit. It only contains good stuff, like jojoba oil, bamboo leaf extract and green tea extract, and it’s seriously easy to use: spray into wet or damp hair, style with or without heat, and just get on with your day.

Daily Fortifying Conditioner gets rave reviews for it’s tingling, minty fresh scent and hair-loving ingredients of wheat protein, Vitamin E, and coconut extract. It offers weightless, silk conditioning and because you don’t need to apply generously, one bottle lasts for ages.

Shop now at Baxter of California

Hanz de Fuko

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A relative newcomer to the men’s grooming scene, Hanz De Fuko was created in 2009 by childhood friends, David Alfonso and Christopher Zent. Born in San Francisco, the brand quickly gained a reputation for cult haircare products made with natural and organic ingredients.

While the full range covers skincare and haircare, the versatile, easy to use stylers are some of the best-known and best-loved in the business, and you only need to use a tiny bit.

When it’s all about bigging up the volume, we reach for Claymation. This hybrid wax offers excellent staying power and pliability with a semi-matte finish, lending a relaxed, textured look to the hair. Just warm up a small amount in the hands and apply.

For a beach-y finish with high hold, there’s Quicksand – an ingenious blend of wax and dry shampoo. This gritty paste is like a salt spray that keeps on giving; it adds volume, absorbs excess oil and gives a dead matte finish – with the benefit of weightless texture. The experts at HdF recommend it for second day looks (wash day plus one).

Untameable hair types will meet their match with Sponge Wax. Flexible, firm and with a matte finish, use it to create slept-in, textured styles on dry hair and smooth styles on damp hair. With long-lasting, pliable hold you can change it up throughout the day.

Shop now at Mankind


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Horst Rechelbacher was heavily inspired by the science of ayurveda and founded Aveda in Minneapolis in 1978, creating his first product, a clove shampoo, over his kitchen sink with the help of two Ayurvedic doctors.

An early pioneer of holistic haircare, greater environmental responsibility, he established the Aveda Institute to train up the next generation of hair stylists, colourists and therapists.

Silver fox in the making? Bring out that badger streak with the famed Blue Malva Color Enhance Shampoo. This vivid, purple-hued shampoo is a miracle for white, grey, salt and pepper, very blonde or bleached hair, cleaning up the brassiest yellows to icy white, with noticeable pop. It’s harder to find in smaller quantities than one litre, so shop around for the best deal.

The thickening men’s hair care line, Invati, targets the achilles heel of hair loss. A solid five-star performer is the Aveda Advanced Thickening Foam. So simple to use, this leave-in foam adds reassuring bulk to the weakest of strands and uses rice protein to reinforce fragile hair, smooth frizz, add bounce and shine. Use before styling or drying naturally.

Looking for the perfect gel that doesn’t leave an oil slick? Aveda Men Pure-formance Firm Hold Gel is the holy grail of gel products. It’s lightweight, so it won’t weigh hair down, leaves zero residue, contains UV filters for extra sun protection, offers great hold and does all this without smelling like tropical bubblegum or some kind of cheap plastic toy.

Shop now at Space NK

American Crew

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American Crew started out as a professional only haircare brand founded by hair stylist David Raccuglia, in 1994. Pre-internet, being a salon-only brand was a strong sales tactic; customers got a hands-on demo from their barber, and a recommendation they could trust.

The recognisable styling ‘pucks’ are sensibly divided by the strength of hold and level of shine. American Crew Fiber has by far the most reviews on Amazon, and 68% gave it a 5 star rating. There are thousands of satisfied customers commending it for its strong, pliable hold and matte finish.

It’s suited to short hairstyles between 1-3 inches in length, which want height and texture. It also contains lanolin and beeswax, so it’s definitely not vegan.

We’re also partial to the Boost Powder, which adds grip, height and texture – especially useful when sprinkled into floppy, freshly washed hair, or fine, flat and very straight hair. Combine it at will with other products in the line.

Of the newcomers to the range, we’ll tip our hat to the Matte Clay Spray for mid to long lengths, and dirty hair, due to the oil-absorbing, dry shampoo effect. The premise is similar to Baxter’s Clay Spray – at half the price. Spray in and style with your fingers for medium hold and a matte finish.

Shop now at Amazon

Shu Uemura Art of Hair

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Originally from Japan, Shu Uemura was a legendary makeup artist who worked in Hollywood with screen idols Shirley MacLaine, Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball at their peak. In 1964, he returned home to Tokyo and opened the Shu Uemura Makeup School. His first product was a cleansing oil for the skin, which remains a bestseller to this day.

In 2007, the company launched Art of Hair, a professional first hair care line, just a year before he died. His parting gift to the world is a superior collection organised by hair type, with products that regularly nudge five-star reviews.

Taking inspiration from yu-su-ru, the Japanese ritual of bathing hair in rice water, the new Izumi Tonic range is dedicated to reinforcing weak hair. The Strengthening Energising Water harnesses this hero ingredient and ceramide to transform hair into smooth, strong follicles. It works like a lightweight leave-in conditioner that you just apply to wet hair.

Like St. Jude in a jar, Ultimate Reset Masque is our patron saint of lost causes; whether that’s overly chemically treated, coloured, chlorinated or heated, or simply parched and straw-like, this mask is like super bond for frazzled follicles. Enriched with Japanese rice extract, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals its a deeply restorative treatment that’s worth the splurge.

Art of Styling Ishi Sculpt is an extremely versatile styling aid for all hair types that can create smooth or textured, reworkable matte looks – add it to your styling cabinet.

Shop now at LookFantastic


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With the motto ‘we can do better’ Aussie brand Patricks delivers high performance grooming products in super-stylish packaging. It’s so good, and looks so cool, DC Comics tapped the brand to create an energising, anti-fatigue moisturiser under the banner of Wayne Enterprises, for anyone who aspires to live like the Gotham City billionaire/Batman.

Expect no less of the haircare formulas, which perform beyond expectation. They’ve put significant R&D into the ultra thickening range, if you’re happy to part with £68 for a shampoo. At a significantly lower price point, Lite Shampoo is far from entry level. Expressly designed for universal, non-thinning hair, it uses an impressive list of high-spec ingredients that includes scientifically-proven botanical extracts, tetrapeptides, essential vitamins and fatty acids to support the skin function and follicle growth cycle.

Alternatively, start your addiction and sample the range with the Discovery Set, which contains six travel-size versions of the SH1/CD1 Daily Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner, SH2/CD2 Deep Clean Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner and minis of the Lite Shampoo and conditioner. Take it on tour this summer and it will leave every rubbish hotel amenity in the shade.

We can’t mention Patricks without shouting out the styling range. The M2 Matte Finish, Medium Hold Styling Product is the brand’s bestseller and rightly so, because it ticks all the boxes: it promotes hair growth, nourishes the scalp, protects with UV filters, has a luxurious feel and a high-end scent to boot.

Shop now at END.

The post The 15 Best Men’s Hair Care & Styling Brands In The World appeared first on Ape to Gentleman.

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By: Jessica Punter
Title: The 15 Best Men’s Hair Care & Styling Brands In The World
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Published Date: Wed, 09 Aug 2023 08:00:06 +0000

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The Ultimate Guide to Luxurious Shaving: A Closer Look at Captain Fawcett’s Premier Shaving Gift Set

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In the world of men’s grooming, shaving is more than just a daily ritual; it’s an art form that demands the finest tools and products to achieve perfection. Captain Fawcett, a brand renowned for its commitment to traditional grooming excellence, offers two remarkable shaving gift sets that cater to the discerning gentleman: the Faux Shave Brush, Razor & Soap Gift Set. Let’s dive into what makes these set exceptional and why they should be a staple in every man’s grooming arsenal.

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The Faux Shave Brush, Razor & Soap Gift Set

Elegance and Simplicity in One Package

For those who seek elegance and simplicity in their shaving routine, the Faux Shave Brush, Razor & Soap Gift Set is an outstanding choice. This set encapsulates the essentials of a refined shaving experience, presented in a stylish and practical manner.

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What’s Inside:

  1. Razor – This set features a sleek, modern razor designed for ease of use and superior performance. Its balanced weight and ergonomic design make it a pleasure to handle, ensuring a close, comfortable shave every time.
  2. Shaving Brush – The faux shave brush included in this set is crafted with synthetic bristles that offer the softness and performance of natural hair without compromising on durability. Its design ensures a rich lather and gentle application, enhancing the shaving experience.
  3. Shaving Soap – The shaving soap in this set is carefully formulated to create a thick, luxurious lather. It softens the beard and protects the skin, facilitating a smooth, irritation-free shave. The soap’s subtle fragrance adds a touch of sophistication to your morning routine.

Why Choose the Faux Shave Brush, Razor & Soap Gift Set?

This set is ideal for the gentleman who appreciates a no-nonsense approach to grooming without sacrificing quality and style. It provides all the essentials needed for a superior shave, packaged in a way that exudes elegance and simplicity.


The Faux Shave Brush, Razor & Soap Gift Set from Captain Fawcett is exceptional choices for anyone looking to elevate their shaving experience. Whether you are drawn to the rich tradition of Italian barbering or prefer a straightforward, elegant approach to grooming, these sets offer the perfect blend of quality, craftsmanship, and luxury. Treat yourself or the special man in your life to the gift of a superior shave, and transform a daily routine into a moment of indulgence and sophistication.

Shop the collection here.

The post The Ultimate Guide to Luxurious Shaving: A Closer Look at Captain Fawcett’s Premier Shaving Gift Set first appeared on Mens Fashion Magazine.

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Title: The Ultimate Guide to Luxurious Shaving: A Closer Look at Captain Fawcett’s Premier Shaving Gift Set
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Published Date: Tue, 09 Jul 2024 12:13:41 +0000

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Ultimate Rainwear Guide: How Stylish Men Stay Dry

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man wearing a long and dramatic tan trench coat over a green tweed suit and tall brown rubber rain boots, holding an elegant wood-handled umbrella

One of the more challenging aspects of curating good style is what to do when the weather takes a downturn and the skies begin to downpour.

It’s all very well and good to have a good outfit, but what’s the use if you get caught in the rain and end up looking like something the cat dragged in?

Let’s be real for a second. Your Maison Margiela GATs may be nice, but they’re a lot less impressive if you get them (and the rest of your fit) absolutely soaked.

Thankfully, a man needn’t venture forth into the storm unprepared. As luck would have it, there are plenty of options to stay dry. The ingenuity of some rainwear may present itself through its utilitarianism, purely serving a functional purpose to protect the real clothing underneath. Other times, rainwear can be just as stylish and statement-worthy all on its own.

From good, sturdy rain boots to elegant umbrellas, there’s a whole world of options to keep you dry. The best kind of gentleman is one who is always prepared.

The following guide delves into the stuff of sailors to tasteful pieces worn by aristocrats. All of it though, will thwart the rain the way it ought to.

From the Boots on Up

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When it’s storming out, your choice of footwear can truly make or break the rest of your day. After all, there’s hardly anything worse than soggy socks. But luckily, you’ve got what to choose from here.

While there do exist waterproof leather shoes and water resistant sneakers, sometimes, your best option is going to be a good pair of rain boots.

There are several major variations of rainboot, differing in materials, height, and general aesthetics.

L.L. Bean Boots

L.L. Bean Boots

Also frequently and more generically referred to as “duck boots”, these boots are an American classic with a slightly rugged, casual appeal, though they can be paired with smart casual styles to great effect, especially if you’re trying to capture the aesthetic of the American northeast.

Constructed from a contrasting rubber sole stitched onto a supple leather upper, L.L. Bean Boots are admittedly a bit of a “Frankenshoe,” though their character is undeniably charming. They’ve retained their original design since 1912. Sewn in their origin state of Maine, these embody the spirit of New England life and look great with anything from jeans, to khakis, to corduroys. They’re affordable too, running only a bit over $100 for their signature pair.

2. Rubber Chelsea Boots

Rubber Chelsea Boots

Another smart option, these tend to lean a bit more sophisticated in their simplicity. Easy to pull on and off with tabs typically affixed to the uppers, chelsea boots work with nearly every type of outfit combination. Heck, you can even pair them with a suit. Consider brands like Totes, Barbour, Hunter, Sperry, and Blundstone.

3. Tall Rain Boots

Tall Rain Boots

As their name suggests, these are the tallest type of rain boots you can buy without getting into wader territory. Typically made from rubber, these will keep you dry in almost anything, even during periods of flooding.

To get the most out of these it’s recommended that you tuck your pants into them to stay fully dry. Available from iconic brands like Hunter, Burberry, and Barbour, these are the most effective rain boots around. Even British royalty has been known to make use of these.

Pertaining to Pants

Before we move on to raincoats, the arguably most important rainwear component, we wanted to take a moment to make a note on pants. Particularly, what kinds are best for rainy weather, and which kinds of pants to avoid.

For the most part, you want something that can get a bit wet without soaking through. These will usually be thicker, more tightly-woven fabrics. Heavier jeans will usually do the job, but corduroy pants aren’t a bad bet either. Try to avoid thin, loosely-knit fabric pants in the rain, like some types of chinos and especially linen.

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Ultimately though, this part isn’t necessarily the biggest deal, since a good rainwear outfit will almost certainly include a quality raincoat.

Picking a Proper Raincoat

This part is easier said than done. At first glance, there appear to be a myriad of options for protective rain garments. But not all of these are created equal, and some will earn you more style points than others. We’re here to guide you in the right direction – so listen up!

Trench Coats

Double Breasted Cotton Gabardine Trench Coat

Some more modern iterations have tried to cut down on the length for the sake of trends, but try to avoid these. The classic length should at least hit your knees, if not even longer.

Shorter trenches are a bit of a misfire because they feel somewhat neutered, like the coat is ashamed to be what it is.

A longer length isn’t just more effective due to coverage – it looks better, too! Worn open or closed, a long trench coat packs a ton of drama.

Some trench coats include removable linings that add a bit of warmth. While they rarely work as a true winter coat, with and without a good insulating lining, trenches can be used for three out the four seasons in a typical year.

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Classic colors like khaki/tan, black, olive, and navy go with most colors, and are just as good casually as it is with a suit.

You can find plenty available second-hand on marketplaces like eBay, but there’s nothing wrong with buying new if you can afford it. Brands like Burberry, London Fog, Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, Armani, and others are great places to look in both new and more affordable second-hand markets.

Parkas and Field Jackets

Men's Casual Jacket

While trench coats can work casually, sometimes you want something a bit more contemporary – and warm.

A good water resistant field jacket will keep you dry, while the insulation provided by a parka jacket will keep you dry and warm. Almost all parkas have a hood, as do some field jackets. Brands like L.L. Bean, Patagonia, and Brooks Brothers all carry good options.

Waxed Jackets

Barbour Ashby Wax Jacket in Olive

Arguably one of the finest pieces you can add to any smart casual ensemble, a quality waxed jacket is also an incredibly versatile piece of rainwear. The most famous one in particular comes courtesy of British brand Barbour, known for their iconic design and practicality.

They aren’t the cheapest, and there are more affordable brands for a decent waxed jacket, but Barbour models are a worthy investment to make. Most familiar in shades of brown or olive with a contrasting corduroy collar, the waxed texture of these jackets repels rainwater and keeps the wearer nice and dry.

Mac Jackets

Mac Jacket

A close cousin to the trench coat but without the double-breasted (and often belted) enclosure, mac or “macintosh” jackets are a simpler take on the raincoat, and often run a bit shorter, as well, typically ending around the knee or lower thighs.

They’re somewhat similar to the “car coat,” a type of overcoat named so due to its ease of use getting in and out of a vehicle. Classic and contemporary, you can’t go wrong with a mac.

Pack an Umbrella

Black Umbrella

Lastly, you shouldn’t overlook an umbrella! It seems that some fellas don’t want to bother with umbrellas at times because they believe they’re seen as a bit “fussy.” And truth be told, a bad umbrella will be fussy, especially as it blows around in the wind and collapses in on itself, leaving you drenched.

But a quality umbrella can make a major difference. We’re not introducing anything radical here – umbrellas work, obviously. But investing in a quality one is well worth your while. There are also umbrellas featuring luxurious materials such as finely crafted wooden handles, such as various models available from brands like Church’s and Burberry.

However, size can matter, too! A skimpy, wimpy little umbrella may be convenient if it fits in your bag, but a proper, generously sized umbrella will keep you and a potential date dry in the stories of conditions. Don’t underestimate the gentleman points you can score with the right one.

Stay Dry, Fellas

From good boots to fashionable raincoats, having the right equipment for the rain almost eliminates the restrictions that bad weather can impose. You’ll never be underprepared or underdressed, and knowing how to get suited up properly for rainy conditions is something of a minor life skill, if you ask us. No one wants to show up somewhere looking like a wet dog. So don’t!

Get yourself some proper rainwear. And stay dry, fellas.

The post Ultimate Rainwear Guide: How Stylish Men Stay Dry appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio Centeno
Title: Ultimate Rainwear Guide: How Stylish Men Stay Dry
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Published Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2024 16:32:26 +0000

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Common Mistakes Guys Make in Black Tie Attire

Man wearing a black tuxedo with a white pleated tuxedo shirt and a black bow 1

Man wearing a black tuxedo with a white pleated tuxedo shirt and a black bow tie

For most people, “black tie” is pretty much the most formal dress code there is. While technically surpassed by white tie, black tie attire is the more common, modern pinnacle of formal wear that the majority of people will actually experience on some occasions throughout their lifetime.

Whether for formal weddings, lavish galas, or opening night at the opera, black tie is all about following a fairly strict set of rules and adhering to a uniform look – and much less about standing out from a crowd. When an event calls for black tie, you want to fit in, and that means getting all the little details just so.

Unfortunately, as formal wear inches toward a more casual direction, some guys frequently make a number of common mistakes when putting together their black tie ensemble.

While some of these might seem a bit nit-picky, proper attention to detail is a fundamental principle of black tie attire. So, it’s important to be aware of common missteps one can make while ascending the black tie ladder.

Mistake #1: Wearing a Black Necktie Instead of a Bow Tie

man wearing a black silk necktie instead of a proper bow tie with a black tuxedo

You’d be surprised at how often this one occurs! For some guys who may be less familiar with the true definition of black tie, or even for those trying to somewhat “modernize” their outfit, this is one mistake to avoid at all costs.

While a black necktie is certainly a black tie in the most literal sense, the black tie dress code strictly calls for a black bow tie – made from the same silk-satin materials as the lapels of one’s tuxedo, that is.

You can’t simply swap one out for the other. We get it – you’re afraid that a bow tie will make you look dorky. But given the context of a proper black tie outfit, we assure you that the result is anything but. It looks smart, put-together, and signals that you understand and appreciate the rich history of menswear.

Just put a bow on it. And save the black necktie for funerals.

Mistake #2: Using a Black Suit as a Stand-in for a Tuxedo

man wearing a plain black suit with regular non-satin lapels with a black bow tie

This is arguably the most egregious fashion sin on this rather long list of other fashion sins, but it cannot be understated enough – do not do this under any circumstances! We have your best interests at heart here, truly.

So, you got an invite to a black tie event, but you don’t own a tux. Ah well, you think to yourself, my plain black suit should work just fine.

While we understand that not everyone will just have a tuxedo on stand-by, waiting for them in their closet, to the discerning eye, you’ll unfortunately just look out of place if you attempt this. A proper tux differs from a regular black suit in a few fairly distinctive ways, and it’ll just look off.

Mistake #3: Mind Your Waist

man wearing a black tuxedo with the jacket worn open and without a waistband or waistcoat

According to the black tie dress code, the waistline of one’s pants should never be exposed. Traditionally, men don an additional low-cut waistcoat or vest, or, more commonly, a silk-satin waist sash known as a cummerbund.

In recent years, more and more men have been neglecting this rule, and the results are somewhat unappealing.

The visual and aesthetic purpose of a waist covering is that it elongates the legs and lower torso, while preventing the white of one’s shirt from peeking out below the jacket’s buttoning point. Overall, it contributes to a cleaner, sleeker look.

Some men are a bit intimidated by the inclusion of a waistcoat or cummerbund, as they fear it will make them look old-fashioned. And while to some aesthetic tastes, that very well might be the case – that’s kind of the whole point of black tie attire. It’s about tradition!

Don’t disrupt the flow. Follow this rule, and you’ll look ten times better.

The only possible exception comes about when concerning a double-breasted tuxedo, which many feel renders a waist covering somewhat redundant.

However, if you’re accustomed to unbuttoning your double-breasted jacket while sitting, some believe it is then once again appropriate, even suggested, that you wear a waist covering.

Mistake #4: Thrown for a Loop

man wearing tuxedo pants with a satin stripe down the side, with belt loops and a belt

Some men have the privilege of designing for themselves a custom tuxedo, and while this presents many exciting possibilities and will likely ensure a great fit, it’s important to be aware of what kind of details you ought to leave off the tux.

A good tailor will suggest otherwise if you ask for them, but there do exist custom tuxedos that for some reason, have belt loops on the waistband of the pants.

For pretty much any other attire, these are an aesthetic and/or functional choice, but tux pants are traditionally held in place by either side-tab adjusters or suspenders – and often already have the necessary buttons sewn within.

Perhaps even worse than neglecting to wear a cummerbund or waistcoat is by breaking up the sleek harmony between the pants and the jacket with a belt. Be warned!

Mistake #5: Picking the Right Shoes

pair of black derby shoes next to a pair of shiny patent leather oxford shoes

While you certainly have options to choose from regarding proper black tie footwear, don’t just settle for any old black shoe. Often, men will just assume that their existing pair of black “dress” shoes are good enough to go with their tux, but sometimes, they’re a bit misinformed.

As a rule, try to avoid black derbies. While you’ve got the color right, a derby style shoe is considered relatively casual and contrasts too strongly with the formality of a tuxedo.

Instead, opt for either black oxford shoes or opera pumps.

For the former, the simpler, the better. Avoid wingtip oxfords, and certainly types with excessive detailing, such as brogues. A cap-toe is also considered to be a casualizing detail, though you theoretically could get away with it so long as the shoe is a true closed-lace oxford (though this isn’t really recommended).

Opera pumps are a sort of dress loafer/slipper hybrid, and another valid choice for black tie.

Looking to go all-in? Consider oxfords or opera pumps in patent leather, a type of high-sheen gloss finish that truly sparkles and is iconic to black tie attire.

Mistake #6: Shirking Proper Shirts

man wearing a plain white dress shirt with a bow tie and with a tuxedo  next to a man wearing a tuxedo with a proper pleated front white shirt with a bow tie

When selecting the right shirt to go with your outfit, don’t assume that any old white dress shirt will do. In fact, traditional, proper tuxedo dress shirts differ in a few ways, and even come in a few variations.

For one, they will typically feature either a pique bib or pleated front, and the top few buttons are ideally fastened with a set of shirt studs (also known as tuxedo studs).

Additionally, a proper formal shirt will always include french cuffs, to be fastened with a pair of cufflinks. It is common practice for these to be part of a matching set along with the studs, but not required, necessarily.

Lastly, pay attention to the collar. The most contemporary option is a typical spread collar, ideal for the width of a bow tie. However, some opt for a wing collar shirt, which stands up along the neck and features two “wings” that stick up in front, to be tucked behind your bow tie.

So, you’ve got options to play with. But don’t just settle for a generic white dress shirt. Get it right, and it’ll make a world of difference.

Mistake #7: Knot Quite!

clip-on black bow tie

Look, we get it. Tying a bow tie isn’t the easiest for some people, especially if you haven’t done it before. And the plethora of perfectly nice-looking pre-tied options you can find online might look tempting! But that’s just the thing. They might be a bit too perfect.

See, most pre-tied bow ties, whether the kind you fasten from behind, or their far more egregious cousin, the dreaded clip-on, feature a knot that looks too damn immaculate and hardly ever shifts.

While you might like the sound of that, the pre-tied knot’s perfection is also its downfall. It just gives it away and ends up having the opposite effect. Instead of looking sharp, it can look a bit silly.

There’s something to be said about the raw authenticity of a well-tied, but not-quite symmetrical knot, doone by hand. You should aim to get it looking as neat as you can – but never quite perfect. That’s the magic, and why it’s worthwhile to learn and practice tying your own bow tie.

Stay Sharp

black tie attire clothing items

If you can manage to avoid these pitfalls, and follow the rules, there’s no doubt in our mind that you’ll look absolutely great at your next black tie event.

While much of fashion is about experimentation and flashy expression, it’s important to understand the purpose of black tie – that is, to respect a certain level of decorum and uniform.

That doesn’t mean you can’t look great while doing it, though. On the contrary! Stick to the script, make some informed decisions, and your black tie outfit will truly shine in the night.

The post Common Mistakes Guys Make in Black Tie Attire appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio Centeno
Title: Common Mistakes Guys Make in Black Tie Attire
Sourced From:
Published Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2024 15:36:07 +0000

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