The beginners guide to hiking and walking

Exploring the outdoors is for everyone, and if you’re just starting to make walking or hiking a more regular thing then we have some handy facts and tips that can help you enjoy it as much as possible.

Hit the hills, don’t sweat the small stuff!

Why choose walking?

Walking is simple, free, and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier.

Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking briskly can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier.

You don’t have to walk for hours…even a brisk 10-minute daily walk has lots of health benefits and counts towards your NHS recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise.

Take yourself off to a local trail in the country and you’ll be presented with so much beautiful, open space, you won’t quite know what to do with it!

Get closer to nature

In the country, you are surrounded by the singing of the birds rather than by the noise from the traffic. The countryside is surrounded by nature which has a soothing effect on both the mind and the body. A good walk can do wonders for your mental wellbeing. But it’s not just about the occasional one-off feel good factor. Being active has a whole range of benefits when it comes to mental wellbeing.

It improves self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and it reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue.

But, what to wear?

The first question everyone will ask themselves before they head out on their first hike is, ‘what should I wear?

If you have little experience with walking or preparing for the outdoors in general, it can be daunting to kit yourself out properly on your own. Working from top to bottom, we have put together a guide to clothing and accessories for walking and hiking, so you know before you go.

Your Upper Half

Your first must-have is a waterproof jacket which will keep you protected, dry and comfortable when zigzagging through forests, hills and lakesides.

We all know how quickly the weather can change, and at higher altitudes, a sudden shift in weather can be dangerous if you aren’t appropriately prepared. Look for a good waterproofness level combined with significant breathable properties, as this will help you stay fresh when you’re on the move – ideal for brisk treks and mountain climbs.

Your mid-layer is just as important as the outer layer, as it insulates heat and can be used as a light cover-up when the weather is fine. A fleece zip-up is a good choice of mid-layer, as it is a multi-use garment and provides protection from icy winds and temperatures.

base layer will complete your gear for your upper half, wicking away moisture when you’re getting hot and sweaty from exerting yourself, yet still insulating your body heat when you’re cooler.

Your Lower Half

A pair of quality walking boots to your outfit to make sure that your feet are able to tolerate the strains and stresses of walking long distances across diverse terrain. Trainers or slip-on shoes just won’t cut it on the hills and mountains, plus varied trails below. You will need a pair of boots that has a rugged grip sole, good support around the ankle and preferably a waterproof outer layer.

From the daily commute to a day out reaching that elusive peak, our rucksacks will see you through. Each is designed with comfort, durability and performance in mind. Crammed with great details like breathable air mesh and convenient pockets they’re guaranteed to make life a little easier wherever you’re heading.

Make sure you have the best clothing and equipment possible for your walk or hike.

The beginners guide to hiking and walking high street gent

Things to consider as a beginner

First-time hikers can often forget essential things that might not be the end of the world but can maybe make life a little more difficult uphill. So, here is what to do to avoid trouble…

  • Take plenty of water with you
  • Make sure your phone is fully charged (and invest in a portable charger)
  • A traditional paper map will never let you down
  • A packed lunch and/or snacks will provide a much-needed energy boost
  • Pack some plasters, bandages and an emergency blanket (for those longer and steeper walks)
  • Do not wear trainers (more so for hiking than walking)
  • Bring a spare hoodie or fleece in case it gets cold
  • Let someone know where you are hiking before you go
  • Don’t rush it! You can go at your own pace!

Where to go?

Before you head out, ask yourself these questions to help you find the perfect trail and make sure that you’re 100% prepared:

  • How long do you want to be out for?
  • Are you going to take friends, go solo, or hike with the family?
  • Do you know the route?
  • Will you be back before dark?
  • Have you told someone where you’re going?

These questions will help you pick the right trail or route and ensure you stay safe as you go. The last question there is vitally important; before you leave civilisation, make sure that you tell a friend where you’re off to, how long you plan on being away and remember to give them your contact number.

In need of some inspiration of where to walk? Take a look at the Top 15 walks in the UK that you can enjoy with the family.

The beginners guide to hiking and walking high street gent men walking through the hills
The COVID-19 Crisis Survey for Men Reveals 100% of Those Interviewed Are Now Experiencing Mental Health Problems

The COVID-19 Crisis Survey for Men Reveals 100% Are Experiencing Mental Health Problems

A survey into how men’s mental health has been affected by the pandemic reveals that an overwhelming 100% of all men interviewed felt that their mental health had been affected. All of those who took part reported problems including feelings of depression, anger, anxiety, lack of appetite, sleeping problems and lack of sexual interest over the last few months.

The Covid-19 Crisis Survey for Men went onto reveal that over half of all men who took part (60%), have not made time to socialise with their family and friends and this has had a detrimental effect on their mental health. The research also showed that:

  • 85% of men felt that their children had been affected by the pandemic
  • 65% are concerned about their family’s financial future
  • Only 10% felt that their partner hadn’t been affected by the crisis
  • 60% felt that they had made some positive changes since COVID-19

Psychotherapist Noel McDermott explains that “from boyhood men are told to be brave and ambitious, as they grow older, they strive to become good fathers, partners and providers. Throughout the pandemic, the traditional role of man has changed and with this has come new pressures. For many men their whole lives have been turned upside down, the vast haven’t been able to go to work, the gym, play sport with a team or to the pub with pals. Men in general have fewer social and emotional support systems and the places where men used to go and talk about their problems are closed and they’ve found themselves in new, unfamiliar circumstances. For those that are fathers, they have been at home all day with more exposure to the household demands and domestic responsibilities balancing both work and family. This has created even more demands and pressures”.

What Men Fear Most

The biggest fear for many men is that they will not be able to return to full economic productivity and earning capacity and this is still a large part of men’s identity and role in our culture. Men who act as the primary breadwinners in their household feel the financial burden and responsibility within their relationship. For those that are now returning to work, many are reporting anxiety with the loss of family time and others are feeling the pressure to make up for lost earnings and secure an economic future. Numerous studies show men feel financial stresses both as a status issue and as a provider, this can lead to relationship difficulties, drinking and substance misuse and mental health issues. These concerns increase significantly during times of economic downturn and this can be seen during the lifting of lockdown.

Warning signs of mental health problems in men

Stress is a big factor in health and mental health for both men and women and these times of transition are very stressful. Typically, we see men express stress in a number of ways:

  • Sexual performance issues and loss of libido
  • Emotional dysregulation (irritability and anger)
  • Sleep issues, appetite issues
  • Withdrawal and bottling things up
  • Increased drinking
  • Mood shifts and mood swings

Self-help for Men: Stress Management Techniques

As these are stress responses the single biggest thing men can do to help themselves is learn better stress management techniques which are:

Spot it, know your signs that you are experiencing problems and have your ‘fire escape’ plan in place to ensure you manage better such as increased self-care, asking for help from others, getting professional help, talking to your GP.

Ensure general wellbeing hygiene practice to increase resilience: exercise, sleep well, good food, talk to friends and family about your worries, hydrate well, get outside regularly, ensure you do fun things!
Discuss your worries and ask for support, ensure you normalise your experiences of stress and understand everyone is feeling this and it’s not a sign of failure to be feeling overwhelmed.

Signs that there may be need of professional help are if there are problems in functioning that are persistent over a two-week period. Periodic anxiety or depression lasting a short period of time is to be expected and will generally shift of their own accord if your general mental hygiene/lifestyle is resilient. If it continues for days and weeks, then there is likely to be a problem needing proper diagnosis and treatment and asking your GP for advice is a good idea.

Noel McDermott is a Psychotherapist with over 25 years’ experience in health, social care, and education. He is the founder and CEO of three organisations, Psychotherapy and Consultancy Ltd, Sober Help Ltd and Mental Health Works Ltd. Noel’s company offer at-home mental health care and will source, identify and co-ordinate personalised care teams for the individual.

They have recently launched a range of online therapy resources in order to help clients access help without leaving home.

Beat your meat – Control the virus!

Fake news. Or is it? For us men, masturbating is a big part of our lives, but we feel we can’t talk about it and to be honest, the whole situation is surrounded with shame and uncomfortable willy talk. Why?

Back in 2018, we worked with Men’s Health and ran a survey to address the situation – you can read that survey here – but as lockdown hit, we ran another study to see if ‘pulling the pud’ could beat the virus!

From April – May 2020, we interviewed 152 men to understand their perception of masturbation, how they masturbate, how it affects their relationship, and what’s changed in restricted times.

It’s safe to say we’ve all been ‘at it’ a lot more, and boy have we been thrashing ‘em out! Luckily for you, this masturbation reality check, comes with health benefits too.

Do all men masturbate?

No shocks here, 100% of the guys we spoke to masturbate! It’s certainly deemed a must for all men. And that’s fine!

There’s often a taboo that comes with pleasuring yourself, and a shame that surrounds the act. All you need to remember is that your todger is there to please you. Don’t worry about playing with yourself, after all it’s consensual!

FACTS: Masturbation won’t cause unsightly hair to grow on your palms, but it may help you boost your immune system and beat off at least one type of cancer. That’s according to two studies that examined the effects of masturbation on the immune system and the incidence of prostate cancer. In this time of COVID-19, travel restrictions, and self-quarantines, many people are looking for every opportunity to bolster their immune systems – so get tugging!

You & your mates are all at it!

Men we asked in 2018 masturbate an average of 6 times per week, but during the virus this has grown to 9x a week. It varies massively on sexual appetite, age and relationship status.

That being said, we found men in their late teens and early forties pull their puds on average once a day!

Even men in relationships wank!

Does your relationship status matter when it comes to solo sex? No, we found singles report masturbating 21 times monthly and those in relationships masturbate 10 times per month on average.

In fact, we found men living alone (regardless of relationship status), were bashing the bishop most, clocking up 2 or 3 per day.

Turns out we look forward to doing it!

81% said they look forward to being able to masturbate at an open opportunity, with most of the chaps pre-planning when they can toss their todger and feel good.

A vast majority of men said ‘boredom’ was the main reason for reaching into their pants more times since the pandemic began, but still managed to climax every tine, during alone time whilst wrestling the snake.

How Long For?

Before lockdown, on average, men spent 20 minutes beating themselves off, with some millennials spending over an hour fondling their junk and ‘edging*’ – that statistic in lockdown has decreased to lads spending around 14 mins, but obviously an increased frequency.

When asked how quick you can bring yourself to orgasm, if aroused, our survey found it would take most men around 2-4 minutes.

Why have we been doing it more?

The most common reasons for masturbating? The survey found the top three reasons were: relieving sexual tension, stress and boredom. Sounds about right!

More 30-40 year olds reported masturbating because they enjoy it, with one participant saying “I love doing it.”

51% of over 40s and 46% of over 50s said sexual appetite and stress relief were main factors to lead them to pleasuring themselves.

Hey, we’re all human.

We’re creatures of habit

A whopping 78% percent of the men in the survey have a masturbation routine, which makes sense, because why fix something that isn’t broken?

Most men find morning or evening times in the bathroom, away from family and partners is safer. 87% use porn, 58% use their imagination, 34% think of a past experience, 26% look at pictures, and 19% use sex toys.

Caught out!

57% of chaps in the survey had been caught masturbating by a partner, parent or friend at least once in their lifetime.

3% of those were caught out at the moment of climax. *Insert awkward jizz face here*.

As we reach the climax…

It’s totally normal to masturbate! 100% of males agreed masturbation is a healthy part of their lives and of being a man.

Masturbation is good for your health, both mentally and physically. And it’s pretty much the safest sex out there!

When you have an orgasm, your body releases endorphins, which are hormones that block pain and make you feel good. The good feelings that accompany an orgasm happen whether you’re by yourself or having sex with a partner.

Plenty of research has shown the health benefits of masturbation. Masturbation can:

  • release sexual tension
  • reduce stress
  • help you sleep better
  • improve your self-esteem and body image
  • help treat sexual problems

Besides, the NHS even says that sexual arousal sends the heart rate higher, and the number of beats per minute reaches its peak during orgasm.

So if you are feeling a little under the weather, or simply want your immune system firing the way it should, simply whip out your play mate and enjoy the time indoors.

…so what are you waiting for? Go knock one out now and report back!

How to style a Men’s Gilet

Man wearing gilet and wellies walking through a field on a grey day in the countryside.

The gilet remains one of the most divisive items in men’s fashion today. But after years of bad publicity and poor styling, we’re here to champion this vital item of clothing. A gilet can prove to be one of the best items of clothing you own.

After years of being left out in the cold, the gilet has recently been brought back to life. Whilst it may remain one of the polarizing items of clothing in the men’s fashion world, its recent resurgence suggests that it’s here to stay.

Whilst being highly fashionable in several European countries such as Italy, in Britain it has often been associated with the smell of cow manure and the sound of tractors. But thanks to a sudden surge in popularity, it’s fast become one of the most sort after fashion pieces around today.

The big question surrounding it though is just how do you pull one off? Get it wrong, and you’re likely to look like you are heading down to the boxing day hunt with some chums. Get it right though, and it’ll turn out to be one of the most stylish additions to your wardrobe.

How Should a Gilet Fit?

Whilst famed for their puffy aesthetic, the gilet in recent years has undergone something of a transformation and lighter padded, slimmer fitted gilets are available in most high street stores. To get the right style, a gilet should fit like a waistcoat– cutting slim around the body with high arm holes. This will help it fit perfectly underneath a nice coat or blazer,
alternatively opt for a more padded option if you are using it as your top layer, adding plenty of insulation in the colder months.

A gilet is no longer just viewed as a casual item of clothing. However due to its adaptability, it’s often seen on the high street being worn with a suit, or smart work clothes. A lighter gilet doubles up perfectly as a waistcoat, though if you have a tailored suit it will likely go better over the top. Make sure that the gilet is shorter than the layer underneath in order to style it perfectly.

Layer up

Done right, the gilet can perfectly compliment any well layered outfit. Whilst famed for being puffy, a well fitted gilet will fit nicely with an overcoat or casual blazer. By removing the stuffiness of the gilet, it can work perfectly as a replacement for a waistcoat, or even a coat, adding a practical layer to your style without ruining your whole look.

If this is the option you go for, then opt for a colour that blends with the rest of your attire- don’t try and be garish about it because it most likely won’t work. Neutral colours tend to work better with gilets, though when used as a top layer, there is more room for extravagance.

Whatever the Weather

In Winter, the gilet can be the perfect item of clothing- proving the difference between being horribly numb and being nice and cosy. In this scenario you should try and opt for a well-fitting quilted gilet, one that goes perfectly with a good piece of knitwear, or underneath a winter’s coat. Once again, try not to be too eye-catching, use it to layer your style, not as the focal point.

On a lukewarm day in Autumn or Spring, the gilet will also work as the perfect replacement for a normal coat. When it is too cold for just a T-shirt or shirt and a coat proves far too stuffy, the gilet perfectly fills the gap; padding around the shoulders can also prove the perfect alternative to a scarf.

One of the best advantages of using a gilet instead of a coat, is that it tends to prove more portable- lighter ones are easily scrunched into a ball that will fit into a travel bag, taking up much less room than a traditional coat. There is a bit more room for experimenting with colours here, however if you are likely to be wearing it with a variety of different outfits, a more conservative, neutral approach may be better suited.

Final Word

The gilet is an item of clothing undergoing a much-needed renaissance at the moment. Having suffered from bad styling for the best part of the last decade, the gilet is back with a bang and is quickly becoming an essential part of any winter wardrobe. It’s practical, adaptable and increasingly stylish- in short, if you don’t own one, what are you waiting for?

Here we’re wearing the Walker & Hawkes tweed gilet, fantastic insulation and a nice tailored finish. You can shop more of Walker & Hawkes range at Equestrian Co.

How to style last year’s clothes this season

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Image: Charles Tyrwhitt

Although it’s come around so fast, the AW18 season is well underway and our trends have changed with it. But, what’s in style this season? And, how can we reuse our AW17 wardrobe for this season’s fashion? In this guide, we’ll cover what’s hot for men and women this autumn-winter, perfect if your shopping for yourself or buying for your other half!

Styling menswear

Charles Tyrwhitt, Shirts, Autumn Winter 2018, Autumn Fashion, Fall fashion, 3 men, dapper men, dapper dress, smart casual, shirts, blazers

Image: Charles Tyrwhitt

One of the biggest trends of AW17 outerwear was shearling — the style of suede and wool combined in one garment. And, it’s back this year. Giorgio Armani mixed up the textures further with a shearling, suede and leather jacket that looks smart yet cosy for the colder months.

You might want to dig deeper than last year’s AW clothing with one of this season’s trends. That’s because this year it’s all about throwing it back to the ’90s. You might’ve thought you’d seen the back of shell suits and full tracksuits, but they’re back with a vengeance. On the catwalk, Prada completed the look with branded bucket hats and lightweight waterproof jackets (ideal for autumn weather).

Another garment that comes out year after year is the leather jacket. Instead of the shorter bomber style though, this season it’s all about oversized leather coats that can be paired with slim-leg jeans and winter boots. Fendi, Balenciaga and Paul Smith were all rocking the look during their AW18 shows this season.

When it comes to colours, it’s autumnal brown that’s in this season, a colour you’re bound to have knocking around in your wardrobe. From brown men’s suits to oversized ponchos and shiny leather jackets, the brown colour palette is so versatile. If you don’t want to overdo this shade, you can keep it simple with brown accessories such as hats, scarves and shoes to get in with the trend.

In recent years, we’ve seen layering really take to the main stage. It’s all about bringing together different garments in an effortlessly stylish sort of way. You might not have worn a V-neck in a few years but bring it out this year and slip it on top of a roll-neck jumper for an on-trend outfit. Other ways to layer include pairing an open checked shirt (a print that was everywhere in AW17) with a graphic t-shirt and black skinny jeans.

Styling womenswear

Similar to the menswear trends, layering is on-trend this AW18 too, with designers such as Balenciaga showing their support of the fashion technique at their shows. If you’re bold enough, the best way to layer is with contrasting colour and textures. Dig out you metallic puffa jacket from last year and wear it over a fringed jumper.

Animal print was a big part of this season’s shows. While Victoria Beckham demonstrated her love for leopard print, other designers such as Isabel Marant were all about snake patterns. The great thing about this style being in trend is that you can mix and match animal print and still create an outfit that looks well put together. Leopard print has rarely been out of the spotlight in recent years — why not pair your printed cami dress with snakeskin boots and a matching clutch?

Although glitz and glam was reserved for Christmas and New Year events last year, this season they’re acceptable throughout autumn and winter. Paco Rabanne showed off their models in oversized silver sequins that brought some much-loved sparkle to the runway. Don’t wait until late December to bring your glitter dresses out of the wardrobe, embrace them in October and November too!

Oversized and chunky knit is back for the colder seasons too. The great thing about this year’s trends though, is that you can pair your grandad knit with your summer dress and still look on-trend. Miu Miu showed off an outfit that was made up of a green floral midi dress and fluffy grey knit — no need to pack away your summer clothes just yet!

Follow our top tips for getting the most out of your wardrobe this season!  

Accessories For Guys For A Perfect Classic Look

Accessories For Guys For A Perfect Classic Look. sunglasses, belt, tie, men's accessories, men's watches, men's wallet, men's belt

Accessories compliment an outfit to complete the look. They upgrade your style quotient to add something extra to your casual wear or formal attire. Though, when it comes to men’s fashion, the choices are not vast, there are a few pieces of accessories that every man must have. The kind of accessories you wear speaks volumes about your personality, and it even adds to your persona.

For some men, teaming up accessories with their clothes is easy, while others struggle. Many might think that stressing over accessories is a waste of their time. However, once you get an idea of what works for you and what does not, building up the right wardrobe is easy. If you are confused about which men’s accessories are important to get you that classic look, read on.

 

  • Watches – Let’s check off the oldest chip off the block. Want to look timeless? Invest in a classic stainless steel or leather strap watch. Watches do much more than just telling you the time. Buying a good watch is a one-time investment and really amps up your style quotient. Watches come in different shapes, styles, and prices, and there is one for every person, every occasion. Watches are the perfect style statement and can liven up a boring outfit.
  • Tie – The tie is that one accessory that pulls the entire suit together. There is something about a necktie that screams maturity and confidence. Be careful to buy good quality, sober ties that add and not distract from your attire. Buy a tie you can afford, in a shade that will go with almost all your suits and formal shirts.
  • Wallets – The best wallet option for that classic look is the Italian leather wallet. Wallets are the perfect men’s accessories that are crafted to look good and give utility along with it. Some men go on to emboss their initials in it, hand down making it the most personalised and preserved accessory. Do not be scared to experiment with colour and ditch the black wallet for a brown or navy blue one.
  • Belt – Holding your trousers and look up is the job of a classic leather belt.  A good quality leather belt comes at affordable prices and will last you longer than investing in cheap canvas ones. Stick to darker shades like black, brown, blue or grey to match it with almost every suit. These colours will give you the attention you need without you having to ask for it.
  • Cufflinks – They are a must for men who love to attend formal occasions. A well-made set of silver cufflinks suits every shade of shirt for every occasion.
  • Messenger bag – A bag is a must-have for the man who is always on the go. Go for a nice leather bag, of a neutral tone that is not too big yet fits in all your stuff easily. Vintage bags are a must-have for that classic, old school vibe.

 

People build impressions based on what they wear and how well they carry themselves. Accessories make sure that an outfit is given that extra push without making one look like they tried too hard. Choose accessories that fit your personal style and suit your pocket equally well. Keep abreast with the latest trends and do not feel afraid to experiment.

5 Summer Grooming Tips for Men

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Fellas, are you looking for some summer grooming advice? You’ve come to the right place! We’re sharing a few tips on how to keep your skin looking and feeling its best all season long, with Maximum Style.

Proper skin care is not just for the ladies. It’s an important self-care habit that everyone should adopt—no matter your gender. Of course, caring for your skin should be practiced year-round, but a few steps and products should change with the seasons…summer included. As you enjoy the season of outdoor BBQs and beach days, there are a few necessary adjustments you should make as it relates to caring for your body’s largest organ. From Broad Spectrum sunscreen to lightweight moisturizers, we’re sharing the ultimate summer skin care guide for men, ahead!

TIP #1: CLEANSE YOUR SKIN

Keeping the skin clean is a no-brainer year-round, but especially during the hot summer months when dirt and sweat build-up can dull the look of our complexion. By cleansing your skin twice per day (morning and night) with a gentle cleanser, you can help remove unwanted oils, dirt, debris, and impurities that can accumulate throughout the day on the surface of skin, giving way to a cleaner, brighter-looking complexion.

If you plan on shaving, cleansing your face beforehand is an absolute must. Reach for an exfoliating cleanser that can help whisk away dead skin cells from skin’s surface and prep the skin for a smooth shave. For optimal results, use daily as a cleanser or three times per week as a mask.

Use a clean and sharp razor too. This is key to avoiding cuts, nicks and ripping out hairs. A stainless-steel razor will be cooling against your chin and cheek whilst it warm. We’d go for the kind of razor that imitates this, view here.

TIP #2: DON’T SHAVE DRY

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Need to clean up that 5 o’clock shadow? To avoid irritation and any potential nicks, be sure to lather up your scruff with a shaving gel, foam, or cream. These products provide a slick layer of protection and can help provide a smoother, closer shave. Try Uppercut Deluxe Shave Cream, which offers an easy glide when shaving. Plus, it contains cooling menthol and coconut oil to aid in blemish free control for a fresh finish! All you should do is apply the cream to clean, wet skin. Be sure to rinse your blade after each pass.

TIP #3: MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE

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After cleansing, exfoliating and/or shaving, it’s important to hydrate your skin. Since shaving can sometimes lead to skin irritation—especially on sensitive skin—we recommend reaching for a moisturizer that considers any post-shaving sensitivity, alcohol-free balm can help hydrate and soothe freshly-shaven skin to provide additional comfort.

If you’re not shaving and prefer a lightweight hydrator and a product that resembles miracle grow,   try Tommy Riots’ Beard Moisturiser. This moisture-enhancing gel formula enriched with Vitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin without weighing it down, the ultimate benefit for parched summer skin. Feel free to use this gel as you would your regular moisturizer, or as an extra layer of hydration before finishing off with a cream or lotion.

TIP #4: PROTECT AGAINST UV RAYS

During the summer months when we’re spending more time in the sun, it’s important to keep sunscreen on hand at all times. Start your day by applying a facial sunscreen as the last step in your skin care routine and as directed before heading out the door. SPF and provides the skin with a layer of defence from harmful UV rays. To use, apply to face and neck fifteen minutes before sun exposure. Be sure to reapply at least once every two hours, every forty minutes if swimming or sweating, or immediately after towelling off.

TIP #5: STRONG HOLD HAIR POMADE TO WITHSTAND THE HEAT

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A good hair care routine is one that’s simple and effective. Arming yourself with the right tools and information about the chemistry of hair is the best first step. No matter what hair type and texture you have, you’ll be able to perform your routine quickly and have great-looking hair.

Summers are a time when your hair tends to grow much faster than usual. This works in your favour and all you need to ensure is that you prevent breakage. Make sure you wash your hair regularly and condition it well. This will keep it in good shape. Choose a product, like Mason’s Pomade, which keeps the moisture locked in, allows your hair to breath, but also lets it move freely whilst securing style. It’ll work whether you’re in town, in the pool or at the beach.

The same applies to your beard and moustache; keep facial hair trimmed or sport a clean-shaven look this summer. Don’t over-shave though! Your skin will be putting up with a lot when temperatures soar and you don’t want to damage it further by shaving every day. Stick to shaving twice a week and trimming when need be.

LASTLY, NOTHING BEATS A SHOWER.

When it comes to dealing with body odour! If you happen to perspire a lot, a daily shower is a must. You might need to shower more than once a day if you perform vigorous exercise. Showering right after your workout will help wash away sweat and prevent your skin from breaking out.

You don’t have to scrub your whole body every time you take a shower; just wash your chest, armpits, genitals, and feet thoroughly as these areas produce more sweat and are responsible for body odour.

Remember to choose mild soaps and cleansers; you don’t need to be harsh on your skin to get rid of the dirt.

Should You Shave Your Beard for an Interview?

Should You Shave Your Beard for an Interview, smartly dressed man with beard reading a newspaper, bearded man, bearded in in sunglasses, man reading the newspaper, beards for business

This is a tricky one.

On the one hand, you love your beard.

Then on the other, you probably could really do with that new job.

So the question is…

Do you take the hit on your man pride by shaving off your beard, effectively playing it safe – or do you go all guns all out – bearded, confident and dressed on point?

Ultimately, we think there are three major factors at play that you have to think about:

i) What does your interviewer think of your beard (and beards in general)?

Beards have become far more socially acceptable in recent times, that’s a given since the recent beard booms and what seems to be the undying trend.

Unfortunately, there is still a slight, albeit unfair stigma still attached to them. The typical one of course being – that a guy who sports a beard is lazy, unprofessional given that he can’t even be

bothered to shave. Harsh and largely untrue given that a good beard takes a lot more upkeep than just shaving every few days.

Of course, you won’t really know if your interviewer likes beards or not, but if you happen to know who you are going to be interviewed by, this could give you a little heads up.

It might be worth hopping on to your laptop or smartphone and do some classic ‘social media stalking’, checking out LinkedIn, Facebook – you know the drill and try and figure out if he is sporting one. If he is, it’s a good sign, he’s on your side. No beard? It could go either way.

The less risky route of course is to go shaven, if this is something that concerns you we will explain a little later why you should probably reach for the razor.

ii) Does it fit in with the ‘business culture’?

In some industries facial hair is just far more widely accepted.

Finance and law, it is almost an unspoken rule that wearing facial fur is pretty much forbidden. As with most things, there are exceptions to the rule but you best bet that those guys who sport their beards in such industries are incredibly well-kempt (again, this is something we will get into a little later).

Then there are industries that pretty much require shaven faces for health and safety reasons due to large industrial machinery or where they are a little frowned upon such as in food preparation areas (where they require you to wear beard nets and trust us on this – it just ain’t a good look).

Then there are much more beard friendly industries such as gaming design and development, photography and so on. We tend to find that with most creative jobs, they almost go hand in hand.

Ultimately, what we are trying to do is to encourage you to get your research on. Head to LinkedIn and check out the company you are applying to and other competing companies, and ask yourself does it look like many of their employees are bearded?

If so, take it is a thumbs up.

If not – it’s probably something you ought to think about.

iii) What do you think of your beard?

Of course, we know you love your beard.

What we really mean here, is do you think ultimately your beard will be working against you or not?

Whether it ‘actually’ does or not in reality, what you don’t want to happen is your subconscious screwing up your interview because you are stressing that the beard is not working in your favour.

If you are cool with it and don’t think there are any issues to be had, then that’s awesome. Keep that glorious man mane of yours!

However, if you think there potentially ‘might be’ an issue whether in fact there is or isn’t,, it could end up negatively impacting on your interview performance. In which case, we recommend you play it safe and get it shaved off. At least that way, your focus is 100% on the interview on hand.

That said, if that is the case though, we would raise the following question to ask yourself:

Can you go without your beard for the sake of your job?

I’m afraid, only you can decide that one.

iv) If you’re keeping the beard for the interview

First off, that’s awesome! We know it takes a bit of guts and we tip our hats off to you for that.

Now if you do decide to keep your beard and go ahead with the interview, you need it looking its best.

Even if your interviewer likes beards and is a beard friendly job – you still can’t turn up with it being scraggly with stray hairs sticking out all over the place. Tidy it up, apply some good beard goodies and have it looking its absolute best.

Here’s a quick step by step breakdown to have your beard looking awesome:

  1. Comb out your beard.

It’s a given, but the quickest way of dealing with tricky beard knots and generally making your beard looking neater and fuller is using a proper beard comb to help bring some order and get it all into place.

  1. Splash on some beard oil or a beard balm.

Make use of a high quality beard oil by thoroughly massaging it into your beard and skin to help moisturise and conditioning as well as to give you a great smelling odor. If you are still struggling with flyaway beard hairs, reach out for a styling balm that will help to give you some hold and control over your beard.

  1. Brush the beard and shape it up.

The final touch is just to help distribute the oils that you have applied and then helped to get your man scruff in order.

If your beard is looking particularly out of place we recommend heading to your local (and trusted) beard barber, they will help shape it up – take care of any neckbeard for you and ultimately give you a style that suits both your beard and your face. All you have to do now, is carry out the few steps we’ve just mentioned.

Like we say, it’s your call.

Play it safe and get a shave or stick it to the man and face that interview with a great luscious face forest.

Either way let us know how you got on.

A Cut Above: Dress to Impress in Any Interview

 

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The pressure is on. You’ve found your dream job and landed yourself an interview. Your new task? Impress the interviewer and prove you are worthy of the role. Easy? Not so much.

Interviews are intimidating. You’re sat in front of people whose sole purpose is to judge you and your abilities. Unplanned questions, spontaneous testing, unfamiliar faces, indistinguishable rooms — the whole process is unpredictable. Preparation may be the key to excelling in an interview, but with so many uncertainties, it can feel like you’re entering a minefield.

Thankfully, there is one thing you have complete control over: your look. ‘Dress to impress’ or ‘dress for success’ may seem like tired cliches, but like all good cliches, they are grounded in fact.

Dress for success: the facts behind the cliche

First impressions are important. An average interview may last around 30-45 minutes, but your interviewer will have already made their initial judgements about you within the first seven seconds. It may sound unlikely or unfair, but it’s the way the human brain functions. We’re a visual species. Have you ever come across a dark alley and immediately made a detour? Or decided against buying that Gucci watch from a market stall? We all use visual appearance to make snap judgements.

Your interviewer is no different. They will base their first judgements on your immediate appearance. A dirty, ill-fitting suit suggests that you’re lazy and disorganised, whilst a sharp, tailored suit suggests that you’re smart, well put-together, successful — regardless of if this is true or not.

Remember: you only have one chance to make a first impression. The rest of your interview will be an opportunity for an interviewer to test their judgements. It’s far easier to reaffirm positive assumptions than to try and disprove negative ones. Don’t believe it? In a survey by Adecco, they found that 75% of hiring managers identified bad fashion choices as the top mistake made in interviews.

Fake it ‘til you make it: the lab coat effect

Would you feel more comforted by a doctor wearing a lab coat than a hoodie? Or feel more safe with a policeman in full gear instead of jeans and a t-shirt? You’re not alone. Studies conducted in the 20th century found that certain clothes inspire trust and faith in a person’s ability. Clearly, fashion informs our perceptions of intelligence, capability and reliability. But, did you know that your fashion choices can have the same positive effect on you?

A study at Northwestern University found that when people wore a lab coat, they performed better in science tests, and when donning an artist’s smock, became more creative. The conclusion? Our clothes change our perceptions of ourselves. If you dress like a boss, you’ll trick yourself into feeling like a boss. Asserting confidence and assurance is essential in an interview. So, try faking it ‘til you make it!

Interview clothes basics: 6 fail-safe fashion tips

Every interview is different. We no longer live in a time when a black suit is the only appropriate outfit to wear for an interview. Tech companies and start-ups have changed business fashion. So, it’s important to take the time to do the research and find out what the company’s dress code is.

Still, there are a few fail-safe tips that you can apply to any interview. Follow these six steps to give yourself the best chance of nailing your interview and getting your dream job:

 

  • A tailored suit is the only way: A poor-fitting suit is never a good look. If you’re buying your suit from a one-size-fits-all high street shop, chances are it doesn’t fit properly. You don’t have to go to a tailor or spend a fortune; there are cost-effective online tailors to check out. Invest in a suit that really fits and you’ll always look your best.
  • Breathable fabric: No-one blames you for getting flustered in an interview, but no-one wants to see sweat stains. Invest in a good shirt made from a breathable material like wool or cotton to keep those sweat patches at bay.
  • Colour code: Bright, garish colours belong on the beach, not at an interview. Keep it simple with neutral colours: white shirts, tanned shoes, understated trousers and jacket. Remember, you’re the main show, not that statement shirt.
  • Get grooming: No matter how dapper your suit or how polished your shoes, dirty nails and scruffy facial hair will leave a bad taste in the interviewers mouth. Before an interview, go for a haircut at a trusted barber, clean shave or tidy up your facial hair, cut and buffer your nails. It’s the small things that count.
  • Make it your own: Accessorise your outfits. You need to stand out from the crowd in an interview. Simple accessorising is the easiest way to do this. A smart tie, customised cufflinks or a leather watch will add a unique flourish to your look.

Stay calm and collected. Follow these steps and remember the rule: ‘dress for success’.

Anthony Horner is the director of Empire Outlet: a luxury menswear company that provides high-quality suits and accessories for affordable prices that will not break the bank. Empire Outlet operates online and serves customers around the world.

How much will your lads’ holiday cost?

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Knowing how much spending money to take on a lads’ holiday is always tough. You don’t want to take too much, but you definitely don’t want to be out of pocket when your mates are all having a good time. So, how can you work out how much spending money you should be taking on 2018’s top lads’ holiday destinations?

Taking into account food, drink and travel, QUIZMAN — leading retailer of quality men’s t-shirts — has worked out an average spending money total for how much you should have in your wallet for each lads’ holiday destination.

Ibiza

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Average daily cost: £361
Hotel per person, per night: £279
Food for a day: £51
Bottled water: £9.74
Taxi from airport to Ibiza Town: £13-£15
Taxi from airport to San Antonio: £23-£27.50
Beer: £2.20-£3.50
Currency: Euro

Ibiza has been Europe’s party capital for years — and it’s still going strong. Pretty much everywhere you stay on the Balearic Island of Ibiza, you get a 24-hour party scene, incredible weather, excellent pool parties, world-renowned DJs, heaps of hilarious daytime activities, party boat cruises, and more. The clubs here are visited by people from across the world and you have a great mix of bar vibes — from sports and Irish bars, to rock/indie and chilled pool bars. Head to the San Antonio area for the best nightlife. But bear in mind, drinks and entry fees in certain bars and many clubs get extremely expensive in Ibiza.

Krakow

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Average daily cost: £54
Hotel per person, per night: £41
Food for a day: £6.50
Bottled water: £0.65
Taxi from airport to city centre: £18
Beer: £1.40-£2.40
Currency: Polish zloty

The second-largest city in Poland is now a firm favourite for stag dos and lads’ holidays. If you’re after a long weekend of bars, beers and chilled times; this city is ideal. Made up of 18 districts, your best bet is booking accommodation near public transport to save on taxi fares or bang in the centre to be near the best nightlife spots. Krakow is full of cool basement bars with great atmospheres. You’ll find hundreds of bars and clubs stretching out from the city centre, while the best clubs lie on Szewska and Florianska high streets.

Amsterdam

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Average daily cost: £111
Hotel per person, per night: £65
Food for a day: £27
Bottled water: £4
Taxi from airport to city centre: £35-£45
Beer: £3.30-£4.40
Currency: Euro

Although it’s the most expensive holiday destination on our list, Amsterdam is well worth a visit. Ideal for an easy time away, the capital of the Netherlands has a world-renowned reputation for partying and is packed with clubs that attract the best DJs on the planet. During the day, you can make the most of this incredible location by taking a boat cruise along a canal, booking a group bike ride along the winding streets or going on a brewery experience.

Tenerife

tenerife boat party

Average daily cost: £91
Hotel per person, per night: £37
Food for a day: £27
Taxi from northern airport to south resorts: £53
Taxi from southern airport to south resorts: £13.50
Beer: £0.88-£2.65
Currency: Euro

Tenerife is a seasoned pro when it comes to offering a fun and chilled holiday. The biggest of the Canary Islands and found off the coast of Africa, you have an incredible beach and nightlife scene on your doorstep. After a day round the pool or doing water sports in the sea, you’ll want to see what Playa da las Americas has to offer if you’re into bars and DJ music — this is also where the brother of football hero, Gary Lineker, has his sports bar. Clubs here last until the early hours of the morning and we recommend flying into Tenerife Sur airport in the south, if you can, for a shorter transfer.

Split

Average daily cost: £81
Hotel per person, per night: £54
Food for a day: £17
Bottled water: £0.62
Taxi from airport to city centre: £32.50
Beer: £1.70-£2.40
Currency: Croatian kuna

Croatia is a titan on the lads’ holiday stage right now and one of your best options in this east-Europe country is Split. With beaches soaked in sun, a laid-back vibe and heaps of water activities to get involved with — like jet-skiing and boat parties — Split is a top choice if you’re looking to relax, enjoy the weather and have a laugh with your mates. At night, Split comes alive with chilled terrace bars, lively entertainment and booming clubs open until the early hours.

Cancun

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Average daily cost: £80
Hotel per person, per night: £66
Food for a day: £5.30
Bottled water: £0.70
Taxi from airport to city centre: £27-£35
Beer: £1-£1.90
Currency: Mexican peso

A party-goers paradise, Cancun is one of those destinations you can have a different holiday experience every time you visit. From Vegas-like pool parties and party cruises to nearby islands, to some of the best clubbing experiences in the world and great places for local food; Cancun is a must-do at least once in your life. Although the clubs here can have expensive entry fees, some of these are world-class and the entertainment is out of this world.

Best lads’ holiday prices

Looking at the average daily cost per person of a mid-range style holiday, Krakow beats Amsterdam hands down as a city break scene, with its cheap accommodation and cheap beer prices. As expected, Ibiza appears to be your most expensive location, partly due to its popularity, while opposing beach destination, Tenerife, offered lower hotel, food and beer prices. Although, Cancun has a slightly higher average daily cost, the average prices of its food and drink per person work out far cheaper than competing beach getaway destination, Split. However, once you factor in flights, you may see the holiday cost start evening out.

Prices are per person for a mid-range holiday. These figures were taken from Price of Travel and Budget Your Trip, correct as of July 2017.