Looks of the Week!

Good Evening to you Dapperites,

Just wanted to share a few of my favorite looks from the past week, enjoy!

 

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Unstructured half lined patch pocketed sportcoat (my favorite style jacket), blue OCBD, wool/silk tie, grey trousers and of course a punch of red socks)

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2 button peak lapel Jack Victor suit, Eph Apparel custom contrast collar shirt, Brooks Brothers bright paisley tie, Tie Bar pocket square and Black/Brown brand cufflinks)

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Navy blue Ted Baker SPJ, white Zara shirt, custom Eph Apparel trousers (part of a suit), vintage tie that belonged to my dad, and Chelsea boots to round it out

Have a great weekend,

 

-The Don

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Brickell Men’s Products: A Review

Good Evening Dapperites,

Bet you thought I was gone for good eh? Well I thought I was too, I was getting busier with work, I was tired, lazy, Doesn’t matter though I’m back now dammit! And tonight I’d like to talk about and review products from an awesome company I recently discovered and that is Brickell Men’s Products. (Note, I am in no way paid by the company to review their products nor was I sent them for free, I paid my own money for any product I purchased)

Who are Brickell and what sets them apart? Well first off the name “Brickell” comes from a pretty posh neighborhood in Miami, Florida, where the two founders are from. They sought to create grooming products for men containing natural, quality ingredients after being horrified to discover that most grooming products on the market were filled with toxins and synthetic chemicals.

What products do they carry? A better question would be what don’t they carry! They have a skin care line (face washes, scrub, mask and moisturizers), anti-aging (serums, cream, eye balm), shaving line (pre-shave oil, beard oil, shave cream, aftershave balm), hair care (shampoo, conditioner, pomade),as well as body wash, body lotion, hand cream and lip balm!

So finally, what products have I tried? Well I started out by trying their “Sample Kit”, which I feel provides excellent value to introduce yourself to their brand. Free if your in the US, only pay shipping if you’re in Canada like me (came out to about $10). You get 15 sample size versions of their best selling products, they also recently introduced a feature that allows you to build your own sample kit!

I’ll say that I pretty much got the kit because I was interested in the eye balm, face scrub and shave cream. Along the way however I did end up falling in love with the body lotion with its tingly feeling and quick absorption, this will be the next product I buy from them once my current lotion runs out.

So, for the eye balm (officially called Restoring Eye Balm) I will say I absolutely love what this did for my eyes. As we get older, the first signs of aging always appear around the eyes, and as a chronic sufferer of tired looking eyes with dark circles. this balm fit the bill. Immediately after putting it on my eyes feel rejuvenated and energized. I kid you not this stuff seems to put an extra spring in my step! At $52 CAD it’s at par with most quality eye treatments for men but the quality ingredients (protein peptides, caffeine and hyaluronic acid). I’d recommend this one.

The other product I ended up purchasing was the Renewing Face Scrub. Why a scrub? Well even though we wash our faces (you do wash your face with a quality cleanser right?) it is not enough to clear off all the crap that accumulates on there throughout the week. That’s why twice a week it is recommended to use a scrub to exfoliate and purge your pores of any lingering impurities. Using a scrub before shaving as well will soften the whiskers for a closer shave. And trust me that’s exactly what this stuff does. I’ve never gotten a closer shave than when I use this beforehand. Also, the natural ingredients such as aloe vera, avocado butter, vitamin E, pumice, and jojoba beads have been an absolute delight to my complexion. You really feel and see a difference when using quality products. At $28.60 CAD, this scrub should last you a few months (only a minimal amount is needed per use). I’d recommend it.

Now, what products would I consider buying in the future? Well for someone who has sensitive skin when shaving the brushless shave cream and instant relief aftershave are ones I would probably buy. I have no need to buy them right now as I shave once a week maximum and still have product left from my sample kit. But each time I use them I kid you not, I have no redness post shave and rarely get nicked. The only reason why I would maybe not go with the cream is the fact that this is a brushless cream and I am pretty into the whole “traditional wet shaving” thing.

There is one item I am considering at the moment and that is their Daily Strengthening Shampoo . While I enjoyed the sample of this and am currently searching for a quality shampoo, the $26 CAD price tag has me a tad hesitant at the moment!

UPDATE: I ended up purchasing a Canadian brand natural shampoo, Live Clean Classic Men’s Shampoo, paraben and sulfate free from Well.ca. $13 with shipping. I’ll post a review when it arrives.

To conclude, Brickell Men’s Products definitely fit the bill for the modern gentleman looking to take care of himself from head to toe. Quality natural ingredients to help a man present the best version of himself to the world. Feel good, look good!

Until next time, stay dapper my friends!

-The Don

Old Suits, New Lives!

Good Morning Dapperites,

Recently I tried a “trend” that I got to admit I was very skeptical to try at first. Turns out it’s a great way to get more use out of the suits in your wardrobe. That “trend” is breaking up your suits into separates and mixing/matching jackets and trousers.

I have this one favorite suit of mine that has definitely been featured on this blog before.  Last week I decided to bite the bullet and see how it would look pairing the jacket separately with a different pair of trousers and the trousers with a different jacket. Well here’s how it looked:

 

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Turns out my skepticism was wrong about breaking up the suit, I find it looked great although I will admit I preferred the look of the jacket with the grey trousers than I did the trousers with the navy blazer. Guess sometimes the “trends” are good after all.

I will leave you with some tips though if you are planning on giving this a go.

  1. If your suit is patterned like mine, pair the pieces with a neutral color.
  2. Solids of different colors match together. Create that contrast!
  3. Feeling daring? Go pattern on pattern BUT the patterns must be different scales (ex. large stripes with a subtle houndstooth)
  4. Own that shit! Seriously it’s all in the confidence, if you’re not comfortable wearing the combo, it will show to observers.

There you have it my friends, a new way to wear your suits and a refreshing breath of fresh air to your old ones. Have a great weekend!

 

-The Don

The Problem with “Fast Fashion” And How to Avoid It (While Still Looking Good)

Good Evening Dapperites,

I read an intriguing article yesterday morning from Fashion Beans (a site you should be reading, besides this blog of course!). About the slowing down the fashion cycle, “Why We Need To Slow Down The Fast Fashion Cycle” and I just wanted to give my two cents on the subject as well as throw in some advice for you all.

Now there’s no denying it, fast fashion is everywhere. Look in any mall and you’ll see an H&M, Zara, Topman packed with people going to grab the latest trends, while knowing full well in a few months that whatever they buy will be tossed away because of changing trends. I can personally attest to this, working in a couple of retail stores in my lifetime, I’ve seen new things out on the floor and people rushing to get them, only to end up discounted a few weeks later for lack of interest.

As the article goes on to state

However, according to the likes of Burberry and Tom Ford – both of which have changed tack to adopt a ‘see now, buy now’ strategy in recent seasons – this window is unbearable to the modern consumer. Customers aren’t willing to wait six months for clothes they’ve seen on Instagram – they want to wear a collection the second it’s shown.

Based on this, I’d say social media is a major driving force in fast fashion. Consumers see a look from a runway and want it NOW! And of course companies like Zara (who can have a new trend on the sales floor in less than a month) are happy to oblige forcing the high end designers to do release the lines the same time of the fashion shows.

Another interesting bit

What air of exclusivity does a £1,000 coat bestow, when the masses are wearing something near indistinguishable, bought for a tenth of the price? So luxury’s response is to accelerate, producing more collections, changing styles at a pace it hopes outstrips the copycats. They, in turn, invest in bigger design teams and quicker production, to get the clothes in store first.

All of this ends up driving us consumers nuts. When we are shown new trends seemingly every week, we make ourselves crazy and our wallets thin by going out and buying what is new and fresh in the moment. But for those that like and can afford the good stuff…

Luxury fashion is sold on quality. You buy the four-figure version because it’s better made and will last longer than the knock-off. But when trends evaporate so quickly, your investment comes with obsolescence built-in.

So what are you to do to combat this obsolescence? It’s simple. Use your head and invest in timeless pieces that you know will last the test of time. I’m talking about a good  2 button navy/charcoal/grey suit, dark denim, soft knit plain tees, polo shirts, plain chinos, a good leather jacket, etc. Sure you can once in a while indulge in the trends but don’t be making a habit of it. Remember the old saying: fashion comes and goes style is forever! 

A last point I want to touch on and that is, what the hell do we do with clothes after we deem them obsolete? Well this is what happens

Fashion is the world’s third most polluting industry, after oil and agriculture. There are the enormous quantities of water, the chemicals and dyes pumped into fields, the factory fires and collapses that kill hundreds – all so we can get caught up in the cycle without going bankrupt.

We each throw away, on average, 32kg of clothing a year, because we’ve bought shoddy garments, or bought into trends we’ll never wear again, at prices that don’t make us think twice about tossing them in the bin.

Yeah….that’s a lot of clothes to throw away. And I’ll admit I had no idea fashion was such a bad culprit of polluting. Again the rule to break away from this is simple, buy timeless pieces and buy quality pieces that will last a few years (hint: some garments will get better with age like a nice leather jacket or pair of dark indigo jeans).

In conclusion, I sincerely hope that this post opens a few eyes and is able to be of assistance to anyone finding themselves caught up in the “Fast Fashion” cycle.

Thanks for reading as always.

-The Don


Source:

http://www.fashionbeans.com/article/slow-fast-fashion-cycle/

A look ahead…Your Spring/Summer 2018 Trends!

Good Evening my dapper friends,

One of the advantages I have of working in the menswear industry is access to future trends that will shape the year ahead. I’d like to share with you tonight some that you could look forward to for next summer so you can get on board and be a trendsetter!

Note: These are the trends that I personally feel will have an impact and not every trend that I have come across.

 

  •  Three Button suit 
    • Yeah, I was surprised to see this one too. But as it turns out there is not much neckwear being showcased from designers these days. So what’s the compromise? A higher button stance and super soft shoulders to be bold and stand out from the crowd.
  • Hawaiian Print Shirts
    • The cheesy vacation shirt is back! (I think I owned a few as a kid). But this time around the prints are funkier and more abstract, and the quality of fabric much better.

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  • Pleated Trousers
    • These have picked up steam over the last few seasons and don’t appear to be going anywhere! Whether single or double pleated, the fit is kept modern (tapered legs) so you won’t look like a  1990s middle manager in billowy double pleated khakis.
  • Techno Suit
    • I’ll admit, this is one that I can’t get on board with. With the rise of athleisure, the lines between classic tailoring and it have become blurred in S/S ’18. Suits made from technical fabrics such as nylon layered with activewear could be one way to make a splash. Just don’t expect me to be rocking the look!
  • I ❤ The 90s
    • In terms of sportswear, the menswear industry has fallen hard for the 1990s. This means big graphic prints, oversized logos, floral prints and oversized nylon jackets and tracksuits. Bust out the old gear or buy some new!

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  • Relaxed Trousers
    • So, pleats are back, we know that. But we will also begin to see a reversal of the skinny fit trend as cropped looser silhouettes will begin to spring up. And it’s not only limited to casual pants, expect to see dress pants loosen up as well. Let the “boys” breathe again!

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  • Who wears short shorts?!
    • This time back to the 1980s and the short shorts. Or if you ask me, just shorts. I mean seriously how were these ever considered “shorts”? The inseams have shrank back to 1980s NBA short levels when shorts were, you know, short! Get some color on those legs and make a bold style statement at the same time!

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  • The Espadrille, all grown up!
    • Ahh, the espadrille. Classic summer beach/lounge shoe. Not according to a few designers such as Ralph Lauren who has been featuring the summer shoe dressed up with suiting pieces. Also expect fabrics to be more upscale, from the traditional canvas up to suede and leather.

 

So there you have it, a few of the trends that I feel can make an impact for S/S 2018. You want to be ahead of the curve, you know what to do!

 

Stay dapper my friends,

-The Don

 

 


Sources

Garner, Stephen. “Tips from an Editor Abroad.” MR Magazine, Aug. 2017, pp. 42–43.
Fisher, Michael. “8 Must Have Trends for Spring 2018 .” MR Magazine, July 2017, pp. 38–40.
Macko, Michael. “Shoe Business.” MR Magazine, Aug. 2017, pp. 44–45.

 

Shave of the Day! August 7, 2017

Good Evening Dapperites,

Just thought I’d share with you tonight my shave of the day pic and give a little review of this marvelous classic aftershave that I picked up on my recent visit to Boston. So without further ado:

 

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This shave brought to you by Clubman and Proraso

The aftershave I am referring to of course is the classic Clubman Bay Rum. Now I had always heard great things about this particular bay rum aftershave, but remained skeptical as the only other bay rum scent I have smelled was particularly nasty (Royall Bay Rum). When I was in Boston (well Cambridge) I found this great little man shop called Leavitt and Pearce and they actually had tester bottles out with different Clubman scents. I picked this one up and was blown away. It’s a sweet, spicy scent infused with bay leaves and as an aftershave/cologne absolutely does the trick, soothes the skin after it’s encounter with a sharp blade. I actually splashed in around my body to get a little more of an all over scent. At $13 USD (which is what I paid) it’s good bang for the buck. The only gripe I would have with it is that the scent doesn’t last that long, but then again aftershaves are not meant to have long lasting staying power (and I did put my moisturizer on over it so that probably took off a bit of the scent as well). I am definitely glad I picked it up though and have added it to my rotation.

Shave dapper my friends.

-The Don

Summer Skincare Guide!

Good Afternoon Gents,

Today is July 19, meaning we are in the full swing of summer. And with it being summer, skin tends to feel a little more dirty, sweaty and oily than usual. I’ll share with you some tips from my own routine to keep your skin looking and feeling good all summer long!

Note: I can only speak for someone that has oily/blemish prone skin like myself, if you have dry or sensitive skin, there are plenty of resources out there for that as well.

Suffering from oily/blemish prone skin, which is only worsened by the heat of summer there are a few steps you need to do.

Morning: Gentle cleanse with saltwater (yes, I said saltwater). I used to think that I needed to use scrubs every morning to get rid of everything on it, but found that it only aggravates everything. Gone back to basics recently with the saltwater technique. Proven benefits include regulating oil production, drying out and healing blemishes. I usually follow this up with Kiehl’s 24 hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer , which helps in absorbing oil while keeping skin hydrated. I then follow up with an eye de-puffer, currently using Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Eye Depuffer. Best thing about this one is that I can toss it in my bag and re-apply if necessary throughout the day. Lastly before I head out the door I apply some Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen Lotion. I used to disregard sun protection for the face, but sunscreen is probably the best anti-aging product you can own, plus this one is created specifically for acne prone skin, so it won’t clog pores.

Afternoon: During the course of a day, you will probably feel your face beginning to get sweaty and oily again. This is where you need a refresher, and I like to use Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator Refreshing Toner. A couple of quick sprays refreshes the skin and restores a matte appearance.

Evening: This is where the deep cleanse happens after a day at the office and commuting back and forth. In the past few months I’ve been using DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, now while it may seem counterproductive, the cleansing oil lifts out all the impurities and leaves the face feeling clean while retaining natural moisture. Recently however I use L’Oreal Men Expert Pure Power Red Volcano Face Wash which contains volcanic minerals, zinc, menthol and acne fighting salicylic acid. I apply this wash using Clinique For Men Sonic Deep Cleansing Brush, it’s got 2 kinds of charcoal bristles, softer ones for the cheeks and stiffer ones to deep clean the oily T-zone (forehead, nose and chin). I would normally never purchase this item full price, but I somehow found it at Winners for $30, a steal! I once again follow this up with the Kiehl’s moisturizer and if there’s any spots on my face, I apply Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Spot Treatment, it’s got cinnamon bark (with known antibacterial properties) and glycocic acid (to smoothen the area).

Twice a week I will use Kiehl’s Rare Earth Pore Deep Cleansing Mask after washing to get in there and lift out all the deep lying crap in the pores.

Bonus: Don’t limit skin care to the face, after you shower, apply a body moisturizer (I use Vaseline Men), to keep your skin feeling hydrated and soft. Especially apply it if you’ve gotten some sun outdoors as it will prevent peeling and flaking, as well as locking in that tan!

Bonus 2: I do mention Kiehl’s products a lot here, as they have worked well for me, but I understand it’s not always convenient to spend that amount on products. A range that I really admire as well and that I plan to use when I run out of Kiehl’s, is the L’Oreal Men Expert range. Plenty of other bloggers have done reviews on them and seem to get similar positive results. The products are affordable and can be found at pretty much any drugstore. If you really want to look for deals, they have some (not all) of their products at discount retailers such as Winners or Marshalls.

A final easy tip I’d like to include that won’t cost you a thing is DRINK YOUR WATER! Not only will you keep your body hydrated, but flush toxins from your skin which will naturally improve your complexion.

Thanks for reading, and remember that being dapper isn’t just how you dress, it’s taking care of yourself too and that includes your skin!

Cheers to summer!

-The Don