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That casual Friday look

Friday is one day in the week which seems to bring a sigh of relief to many especially those who work Mondays to Fridays. Its means the weekend is finally here and we can afford to do the things we enjoy doing (with people we love) and when we want to do them. We can even put our feet up and do nothing at all if we so choose. Amazing isn’t it?

Friday is that one day we can actually walk into the office with a pair of chinos without raising eyebrows. But wait, there is a name for it and it’s “Casual Fridays”.

In the spirit of casual Friday, let me share a few looks on men I came across in London over the past three weeks or so. These looks fit perfectly into the work environment depending on what you do.

– The first look is by Sez, a look I’ve being channelling all summer. Blazer over shorts!

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Sez, outside the apple store, Regent street, London
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Sez, outside the apple store, Regent street, London

Blazer – Burberry
T Shirt – Ralph Lauren
Shorts – top man
Loafers – Alexander McQueen
Pocket square – Ted Baker

– Second is by David and here is what he wore.

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David at great Portland street tube station
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David at great Portland street tube station

Blazer – Asos
Shirt – Reiss
Jeans – Top Man
Shoes – Aldo

– The third shows a couple of mates sitting in a park enjoy lunch. The honest truth is that I actually forgot to ask what they wore so you will have to forgive on the details and just enjoy the vibrance  of the summer  colours in the pictures.

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Justin and his friend at St Pauls Cathedral
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Justin and his friend at St Pauls Cathedral
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Justin and his friend at St Pauls Cathedral
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Justin and his friend at St Pauls Cathedral

Tell me what else would work well for “Casual Fridays” in the comment section below.

Have a wonderful weekend.

The Freetown Peninsular – beautiful beaches and more

Freetown! What can I say about this beautiful city that has not already been said? Apparently there is a lot more but I’ll save that for future posts as I have so much more to share with you all.

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For now, I am just going to share a few photos I took during one of many family vacations to this wonderful city. Before I leave you to enjoy the pictures, here are a few facts about this historically rich and important city.

– Freetown is the capital city of Sierra Leone.
– European explores first reached Freetown in the 15th century
– Freetown was had the first colony of freed slaves in Africa, dubbed the “Province of freedom”.
– Has the largest natural harbour in Africa
– Has West Africa’s oldest university, Fourah Bay College, established in 1827
– Population of a little over 1.2 million
– In a recent research, Sierra Leone is listed second on the list of countries with the best diets in the world.

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This is what lonely planet has to say about Freetown. “And it might just be the only capital in the world where when you emerge from the airport, blinking after an overnight flight, you find yourself standing on the wooden deck of a port flanked by a backdrop of mountains, beaches and palm trees so idyllic you wonder if it’s real. Well it’s all real, all of it – the chatter and the chaos and the colour and the dirt and the lush lobster dinners and the devastating war history – and those lovely white sands too”. Need I say any more?

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So when planning your next holiday, think outside the box and consider Freetown. The fact that it might not be the obvious choices for first time visitors makes it even more thrilling and satisfying to anyone that makes the leap of faith.

Just a quick note to say that the photos below do not cover the entire city and were taken at only two out of many beautiful beaches that dots the Freetown peninsular. Come back soon as I will be sharing my experiences with a bit of rich history of Freetown and its surroundings backed with beautiful pictures.

Fitness away from home – The elastic band

Ok, I am going to dive straight into this but first, I would like to apologise for the slight “neglect” of the fitness section. Here’s hoping you going to see my fitness side a bit more regularly.

It is the holiday season and some of you may have already booked holidays overseas or somewhere far away from homes. Or should I say far away from your beloved gyms. Anyway it’s a fact that our visit to the gym increases a lot just before we head off to a holiday (especially a beach holiday) to make sure we look our best.

Whiles some ladies may opt for that special diet that will work wonders in no time, the guys cannot stay away from the gym, in our quest to convert a one pack into six packs. Guys you know exactly what I am talking about. You have been sitting on that couch 360 days in a year eating crisps, whiles knocking back the six packs from the corner shop. All of a sudden, you have an epiphany to swap the six packs from the store for the one on your abs. It’s a lot to ask from your body don’t you think? Anyway this is not a post on how to work out a miracle abs before holiday. This is about maintaining the fitness levels you already have with the use of “The Elastic band”.

The elastic band is very useful fitness tool/equipment that is massively underrated by many. If used well, it could be your best workout partner. It is one of the best toning and strength building equipment out there. It also helps with increasing muscle mass, endurance and reduces body fat. The elastic band provides training by increasing the resistance as the band is stretched.

Its portable and versatile nature means you can fit it anywhere including your hand luggage, bags or even pocket if you so desire (but please don’t put it in your pocket). Basically you can take it on holiday using next to no space at all. I can carry on about the huge benefits of the elastic band but I’d rather keep this post relatively short. So now that you have no excuse to work out on holiday using the elastic band, AugustChild and I have put together a few routines to show you some of the things you can use it for.

  1. Bicep Curl

With one foot forward and the other slightly apart and behind, pass the elastic underneath your front foot making sure the elastic is properly balanced. Firmly step on the elastic to prevent it coming undone. With a nice grip in both hands, pull the elastic towards your chest as you would when using dumbbells. Do as many reps as possible

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2. Tricep

Find a strong and firmly fitted bar or surface that is at least the same height as you and wrap the elastic around it so you are facing it. With slightly bended knees and a straight back, pull firmly but gently downwards as you would with a cable extension at the gym.

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3. Lunges – with elastic in front

Do lunges as you normally would but with the elastic stretched in front of your chest. With stretched back leg, go down with your front let whiles pulling the elastic across your chest as shown in the picture. Make sure to keep the movement as one motion.

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4. Lunges – with elastic at the back

Perform the same action as in number 3 above but only this time the elastic should be on your upper back. So you would pull across your back with arms stretched wide

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5. Overhead Tricep extensions

Wrap the elastic around an object above you making sure it is behind you. Gently pull over your head in a forward motion. Go back to the start and repeat several times.

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6. Side pull-downs

Again with the elastic tied to a strong object overhead, pull the elastic firmly but cautiously down towards one side and then back to the start. Repeat this several times before swapping to the other side.

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7. Push ups

Push ups are just amazing. By themselves they work out several muscle groups including chest, arms, shoulders, back and neck simultaneously. They are part of an exercise regimen that helps strength the upper body and shoulder with stability to the torso. Push ups are self-sufficient and do not require any equipment or elastic.

In normal push ups, you lower your body towards the ground with arms apart and then push back to the start. Repeat several times and rest.

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Yoga push ups on the other hand words slightly differently. There are three stages in one a push up. The start where you create an arch with your body with your bum sticking upwards, the middle where your body is in a parallel position with the ground, and end where your torso is higher from the ground compared to the rest of your body. You connect all three in one go.

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Phew! Typing this makes me feel like I have been working out some muscles. Sideye. Please pack one of these bad boys into your travel luggage as you head off somewhere exotic. I hope you continue using it at your local park when you get back from your holiday.

Anyway I hope the above helped and gave your insight into using elastics but please speak to your gym instructor for a detailed explanation especially if you have not done this before. The above steps works for me, hopefully they will for you too.

Top 5 men’s footwear for the summer

Before the summer ends, I thought I should put together a quick list of footwear every gentleman should be wearing right now. If you are here and are thinking you are going to see trainers/sneakers and the likes then I suggest you close your browser and walk away now. Simply put, you are in the wrong place. 5, 4, 3, 2……..1. By the way that was me counting. Are you still here? Phew, thank goodness you stayed. I appreciate that. Right let’s get straight into it.

One thing men sometimes find challenging when it comes to putting a look together is finding the right pair of footwear to go with the rest of the outfit especially during the summer months. I mean I have seen guys pulling all the stops from the right type of blazer to the right length of chinos only to look further down to discover a disappointing pair of footwear. Let’s be honest guys, we have it much easier than the ladies. For the most part, we don’t even have to worry about squished up toes or the prospect of walking on six inch heels. Do you agree? Please say yes otherwise I seriously worry about the kind of shoes you have been wearing. Errmmmm anyway as I was saying, we have it easy so really and truly there are two main things we need to consider when shopping for footwear for the season. Practicality and functionality in relation to the weather, in this case hot weather, and looks in relation to the rest of what you wear it with. With this in mind, here are my top 5 picks for this season.

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  1. Penny Loafers

The fact that its summer does not mean you cannot or shouldn’t dress smart. These Penny Loafers from Tommy Hilfiger are perfect for the office and evening out afterwards. They are versatile enough to be worn sockless and classy enough for a night out requiring a tie.

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2. Boat Shoes

Boat shoes are a man’s best friend when it comes to pairing with chinos. No other footwear goes better with chinos. You can get these from Tommy Hilfiger.

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3. Slip on

Some may refer to these as monkfish shoes but I’d rather just call them slip ons. These are very light weight and comfortable which means you shouldn’t miss your trainers/sneakers at all. I bought these last year from Russell and Bromley.

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4. Tasselled loafers

These black tasselled loafers made by Bass have served me very well. I get a complement every time I wear these and are one of my favourites.

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5. Suede Loafers

Suede shoes in general commands a sense of maturity from the wearer as they require extra care and attention for their upkeep. I went for a more casual option with these blue Northern cobblers. They are colourful enough for the season.

There you have it, my top 5 pick for the season. Leave a comment below if you disagree or want to add to the above.

Meanwhile, if you are interested in handcrafted shoes that will last you for a long time and get people talking for all the right reasons, then head over to gracill and get yourself a pair of these bad boys. Gracill is a growing shoe brand which means you satisfying their customers is very important. This company is headed by a friend of mine which means I can personally vouch for them. Check them out and see what you think.

Stylist – Digital Curator – Blogger