As the weather gets warmer, time to reduce the hair on your head, trim the sideburns, and clip the beard for a polished and fresh look.
Getting a haircut by your favourite barber/stylist is just one aspect of grooming most men take for granted, especially if it is done regularly. We actually forget the value a haircut adds to our look until it goes wrong. For the most part, all we have to do is show up, sit in a chair and relax whiles the barber does all the work. But does this mean we cannot up our grooming game by learning a thing or two about our hair?
Haircuts are very essential and have the potential to add extra confidence and panache to a man’s look. Not only does the right haircut make you feel good, it has the ability of setting a man’s mood for at least a few days after it has been done. I know for a fact that whenever I step out of a barbershop and know that my cut is spot on, I feel like I am walking on air. Getting the right haircut is pretty much out of your hands but there are certain things you can do to enhance this repetitive but important aspect of your look. I have listed a few tips below to help build your hair grooming game.
Know your hair
Every man who intends to take an active role in enhancing their hair grooming game should know basic information about it, such as understanding your hairline, growth pattern, density, type, and texture, and what category do you find yourself on the colour scale. Some of this information does not only come handy when you visit a new barber, it also goes a long way in helping you choose the right hair products and the type of haircut that suits you.
Care for your hair
Caring for you hair should not only come in the form of applying hair products directly on it but also eating the right kinds of food to get that extra nourishment. Just as much as we eat certain food to enhance growth and nourishment for different parts of our anatomy, we need to do the same for our hair. Number one on my list of nutritious food for hair is wild Salmon and sardine or other oily fishes. Wild salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids and also contains iron and vitamin B12 which are all good for hair growth and nourishment. Next is spinach. Spinach and other leafy vegetables contain Vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and other nutritious pedigrees to help nourish and moisturize you scalp which in turn support your hair. Poultry is a good option for protein as it is lean and has less saturated fat compared to beef and pork. Protein is essential for healthy growth of hair strands. Other great sources of hair nutrition are sweet potatoes, dairy products like low fat yoghurt, beans, nuts, and oysters.
The beauty of adding the above food products into your diet is that not only do they do wonders for your hair; they are also beneficial to your skin, nails, and eyes.
Stick to one stylist/Barber
Only change your barber when you absolutely need to. You chose your barber for a reason and that reason is because he/she understands your hair better than anyone else.
Fancy shopping for your perfect hair grooming kit, clothing and accessories whiles getting the right haircut for the season? Then head over to woodhouse clothing’s flagship store at Notting hill, London to take advantage of an exceptional experience. These guys certainly know what they are doing and will help you with style tips whiles you shop. For more details, visit their website here.
Before delving into the details about this piece of accessory, let’s have a crash course on the history, just to put things into perspective.
It is believed what we know today as the bow tie can be traced back to the 17th century, worn by the Croatian army in what was known as the thirty years’ war between 1618 and1648. The purpose of this neckwear was functional which was meant to keep the collars of their shirts together. At the end of the war, the French army turned this otherwise functional piece of neckwear into a fashionable accessory and called it a cravat. At the time, the cravat was only worn by the upper class and was seen as a sign of opulence and grandeur. With time, wearers of the bow tie diversified with university professors, lawyers, architects, and sometimes politicians all wearing it and making it a staple piece of accessory.
The bow tie has never really been out of fashion but has seen a huge increase in use in recent years as the fashion world has infused its use into the everyday look. It is now more popular than ever which means you do not have to be heading to a formal dinner party or indeed a specific occasion to wear one. Traditional or stereotypical use has been dwarfed by an ever-increasing trendy demand.
Well know men who have been seen consistently wearing a bow tie includes Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Frank Sinatra and Fred Astaire.
If you intend to wear one, here is what you need to know to help you not only have fun with it but also appear stylish.
I have classified types of bow ties into three categories:
Clip-on – The clip-on is my least favourite even though it can be used with minimum effort. It is literally a pre-made bow attached to a clip, which is in turn attached to the front of your shirt. Unless you intend to wear one for novelty purposes, do not bother.
Pre-tie – A pre-tie bow tie has already been structured and made with specific measurements and style. This is similar to the clip-on but the bow is usually attached to an adjustable neck strap for ease and comfort. This type is the most popular as it is much easier to put on than the self-tie and not as cheap looking as the clip-on. You can literally have it on in less than a minute.
Self-tie – This is also known as the freestyle bow tie and is much more organic than the two above. As the name implies, wearers need to knot this type of bow tie, which in itself is a show of commitment to this piece of accessory. This is by far my favourite. The self-tie looks slightly different every time you knot it and may also look asymmetrical which gives it character and a bit of quirkiness.
Since its popularisation, it has seen changes in function and looks diversifying its shapes accordingly. The butterfly, the big butterfly, the batwing, the diamond point and the rounded club are all shapes the bow tie come in these days.
The diehard everyday devotees aim for the eccentricity it brings to their look, which can be seen as an extension of their personalities. The question is; what’s your look?
So break the mould, present a contrarian point of view in fashion this season and don a bow tie for no reason.
Thank me later!
If there is one accessory you need to add to your collection this season, let it be the knitted necktie. Assuming of course you are not like myself who have loads of them already. In fact I have so many knit ties that I feel a bit weird whenever I put on any other tie that is not knitted. Office, night out, church, Sunday lunch, dinner parties you name it, if I am to wear a tie, it would almost always be a knitted tie.
But I understand that the knitted revolution is not for everyone, which is why I am writing this short article with the hope of convincing the orthodox tie wearers. Yes, yes, yes I understand that it would be pretty hard to pull off a knit on a tuxedo for a ball, but that is the exception right, so let’s carry on with the conversation at hand.
Ok let me bring things down a notch. Knitted ties look wonderful on a smart-casual outfit. Pair of loafers, jeans or chinos (careful with the chinos), nice shirt, and a beautiful blazer would make you walk around town with a purpose. You have the freedom to experiment with all sorts of colours and designs to give you that perfect look. As you go up the smart scale and leave the casual behind, caution needs to be applied accordingly, and of course, like all ties, consideration should be made when picking a tie colour and pattern to match the rest of your outfit.
Knitted ties will make an otherwise stiff formal suit look quite fashionable and stylish. With the right colour and make, you can add an extra dimension to your look whether it is in the boardroom or at a wedding party.
Here are a few things you need to know about knitted ties before you go out to buy one.
Note that not all ties are the same. Just because they look alike does not mean the quality is consistent and so consider the following fabrics when you purchase a knit tie.
Silk – Silk in my view is the best material for a knit tie. Not only does it look great, it feels good to the touch and can be worn all year round. Silk also gives your tie the crunchy and firm feel which gives you an extra dimension when dressing smart.
Wool or cashmere – wool or cashmere is soft to the touch which makes it feel great. Ties made from this material can be worn year round but are more suited to the colder months. Because wool lacks the crunchiness and glossy looks of silk, it is better suited for the smart-casual look.
Recently, makers of knit ties have opted to use combinations such as linen and cotton, linen and wool, and even linen and silk, all of which look decent and may even cost you less. What you should avoid if you can is ties made from polyester.
The width should be considered when choosing the right knit tie to wear with a suit or blazer. This applies to all ties for that matter. If you wear a suit with skinny lapels then you must wear a skinny tie to go with it. Likewise, if you wear wider lapels, then you have to go for a wider tie option. Get the proportions right.
The four-in-hand-knot is the best knot to use when wearing a knit tie. A knot such as the Windsor will make your tie look too bulky at the neck simply because knit ties are generally thicker hence the more folder your tie gets the more its chunkiness.
So there you have it. Have I managed to persuade you to buy yourself the ever so trendy and versatile knit tie?
Watch this space as I will be doing a blog post on how to knot your ties and bowties.