One to watch: Wolf State Clothing

Welcome to the new kids on the block. The tee shirt makers from the West Midlands have relaunched their brand and we’ve thrown them into our hot seat to do some digging.

We thought you chaps would want to know how you go about starting your own label, why, where you start and so we can find out the truth behind Wolf State Clothing…

Wolf State started in early 2015, with a small collection of two shirts. These shirts sold incredibly well for a small independent brand and we sold quite a few to America and Europe, which was incredible and highly inspiring.

Towards the end of 2015, they decided we needed a little bit of a rebrand, they spent around 4 months in total coming up with ideas, planning, designing and sampling.

Wolf State wanted to make sure they could deliver a quality range and for a re launch it had to special. They recently launched their re brand and have a phenomenal response, orders were being taken just a couple of hours after the site went live. “It’s such a good feeling to see people having belief in our range and supporting us.”

The chaps at Wolf State haven’t really slowed down in terms of planning and designing, they’re still really keen to progress and move the brand forward! They have a few goodies set to come out for AW16 however right now the focus is on the launch collection “Explore the Unknown”.

Question Time!

Both Adam & Ryan from wolf state took a bit of time out of their busy day to answer our top 10 questions for every start-up brand…

1.What made you start up Wolf State?

We started up Wolf State because we wanted to start something new. We wanted to create something new and exciting and to express our creativity through clothing. We’d admired brands such as Horizon Bay, Represent, and STAG clothing, and wanted to replicate with our own design.

2. Was it easy creating the brand logo/identity?

We found our brand relatively easy to come up with. The name Wolf State was decided as we are Wolverhampton based. The logo and strap-line for the launch capsule ‘Explore The Unknown’ followed as we were exploring the unknown with what we were doing.

3. How did you decide what you were going to stock?

We decided we wanted to stock three tees to give people a choice. People have different styles and opinions so we came up with three designs that were different, but all fitted with our style. We had quite a few designs knocking about, but with help from a few close mates and colleagues, we narrowed down our choice to the three now on sale.

4. Tell us a little more about “Explore the Unknown”

Like we mentioned in the 2nd question, Explore the unknown is as much a strap-line for everyone else as it is for us. Its about wanting to get up and go, do something different, try something new, which is exactly what we were doing when starting the brand.

5. You mentioned you wanted to expand. Is there anything you’re dying to create/stock?

We would like to expand. The tee’s are selling well, but we would like another line of tee’s out, potentially some hoodies and sweaters soon. We’re going to keep doing what were doing at the moment. AW16 is on the horizon though.

6. Do you each have a favourite tee that’s in stock? Which would you choose?

We both have different favourites. Ryan’s is the Original Wolf tee, whereas mine is the Explore Tee.

7.Is it exciting to see the hard work paying off?

It’s great to see people wearing and appreciating the work that’s gone into our tees. We get a sense of satisfaction knowing we have created them from scratch, from the design, sourcing the tee supplier, the printer and all the other hard work that’s gone into it.

8.How would each of you describe your style, and do you think this influences the brand?

I would describe our style as contemporary with a slight old school twist to it. We have many people who influence us; P&Co, Represent, Horizon Bay, Stand Tall Amongst Giants, Inspected.

9.Where do you see Wolf State in 2 years time?

In 2 years time, we would like to have a few lines out and be relatively established.

10. Where would you Wolf State to be in 5 years time?

In 5 years, we would like to have many lines out and to have developed the brand. We’re taking it step by step for now though, little steps.

Discount

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Adam & Ryan have been extra generous and let you guys have an exclusive 15% off discount code if you want to buy one of the Wolf State ‘Explore the Unknown’ tees.

Simply quote HIGHSTREETGENT15 at the checkout.

A huge thanks to the gents at Wolf State Clothing for answering our questions and hooking us all up with a discount. To view the full Wolf State Clothing range, please visit www.wolfstate.co.uk

One to watch!

 

Climb out the ManCave during Winter

Winter means skin brutality, especially for your face. And it’s winter now, so we’re going to talk about how to take care of that moneymaker of yours. And no, there’s absolutely nothing unmanly about making sure you have cracking skin. But that doesn’t mean you should adopt your girlfriend’s daily 10-step anti-aging, herbal-infused, citrus-scented, green-masked facial cleaning ritual. It’s really much simpler than that.

After all, imagine that you are about to approach a pretty girl at a bar / lounge / club. You’re well dressed, confident and ready to charm. But one small problem, you just stepped inside and the tolls of the cold, windy day have cracked your lips, made your cheeks red and irritable, and your nose blotchy and dry. Not a good look, no matter how smooth you are. So don’t handicap that charming personality of yours by not taking care of your style and your skin. From the dimple in your tie to the pimple on your face, remember that your entire appearance is sending a message.

I’ve blogged about my firm favourite when it comes to grooming ‘ManCave’ before, it’s great. Versatile.  Worthwhile. Proven. And, a little goes a long way.

So in this post, we’ll cover the 3 essential steps to help you ensure that your face not only survives winter but your complexion stays as fresh as your chosen attire, and all by using ManCave’s range of grooming products!

Step 1: Identifying Your Skin Type

Have a read below and see what you are, I have quite sensitive skin so I’m reluctant usually in using any products.


The first step to properly caring for your skin is knowing your skin type. Caring for your face without knowing your skin type is the equivalent of shopping for pants without knowing your waist size. Everyone falls into five general skin types:

  • Normal – Consider yourself one of the lucky few. This is the least problematic skin type. Skin is neither oily or flaky and is supple and smooth to the touch.
  • Dry – Tight skin, often showing flakes of dead skin. Typically associated with small pores.
  • Oily – Shiny skin, characterized by a layer of oil that can be associated with larger pores.
  • Combination – The most common skin type where the skin is oily in the “T-zone” shown above and normal to dry in other areas.
  • Sensitive – Reacts easily to products and irritations (both external and ingested), often turning red, itchy or developing a rash.

Back to the product…the best thing about ManCave products is that they use natural active ingredients, such as the effective amino L-Arginine – followed up with 12 essential oils, then each product is completed with a signature key ingredient, ranging from Caffeine, Panthenol, Shea Butter, Borage Oil to the captivating scent of Cedarwood. As the scent is natural, there are no chemicals to irritate or dry your skin out.

Step 2: Cleansing

“I’m fine using soap.”

 

Soap?! No, you’re not fine. The problem with using ordinary soap to wash your face is that it dries your skin more than liquid cleansers. Dry skin not only looks bad, it can clog your pores and cause acne. A cleanser should remove accumulated dirt, excess oil and not contain harsh chemicals or detergents that strip away essential moisture. That moisture is what you need to protect you against the elements.

It’s all about balance. Choose cleansers that will balance out that your natural skin oils or lack thereof, and leave you refreshed. For example, if you’re someone with very oily skin you’ll want to use a lightweight cleanser that doesn’t leave your face feeling like a mucky saucepan. If you’re someone with very sensitive skin, you’ll want to avoid cleansers with harsh chemicals that’ll cause irritation and breakout.

And once you choose a cleanser, the ManCave ‘Face Wash’ or ‘FaceScrub’ for example, is there a proper way to wash your face? Yes, here’s how:

Splash warm water on your face. Warm water opens up your pores and helps you to clean deeper. Using chosen product, lather your face using a gentle circular motion. Scrubbing harder does not equal being cleaner – it will only cause irritation.

Remove the cleanser by rinsing with warm water. Never use hot water on the face as it dries out your skin.

When finished, gently pat your face dry with a clean towel. Avoid rubbing your face as it promotes wrinkles.

After the use of the ManCave FaceWash or FaceScrub, which is simply applied in the shower, your skin will feel fresh and airy (believe me I use it daily). That’s because ManCave’s Willow Bark FaceWash combines natural extracts to refresh, waken and purify skin leaving a fresh, healthy appearance – without drying your skin. Or, ManCave’s natural FaceScrub hydrates and uses Olive Stone to exfoliate your skin helping reduce the occurrence of blocked pores, blackheads and ingrown hairs.

Step 3: Moisturizing

 

Yes, men can moisturize. No, it doesn’t make you any less of a man. You should moisturize – especially during the winter – because your skin is prone to dryness…especially when those cold, bitter winds can make it feel like someone took a piece of sand paper and scrubbed your face with it. So aim to moisturize once or twice a day, especially right after you wash your face.

As with cleansers, make sure you consider your face type when choosing a moisturizing / face lotion. You don’t need to with ManCave. ManCave’s innovative natural oil-free face moisturizer is enriched with bioactives and UV filters to create a soothing easily absorbed formula, thats’ light and suitable for most skin types!

The Final Scrub Word

ManCave definitely delivers on its promise of providing quality, masculine bathroom products for men at a price that few can argue with. We strongly recommend checking out the full range on their website to find all the ingredients and product details so you can buy with peace-of-mind. You can also check their reviews on Boots and see hundreds of other UK customer lauding their quality and fragrance. Thanks to ManCave we have changed from cavemen to gentlemen in one trip to the bathroom.

Perfect your Autumn, and Winter will follow

As we’re all aware, we’re right in the thick of Autumn now, and personally I love it…’thick’ and ‘Autumn’ being the operative words. Take heed. It’s the perfect opportunity to grab some inspiration from the weather (as we all do) by layering up and choosing warm colours, that are perfect for this season!

It’s a great time at the moment in the shops as we’re in between so there’s lots of Autumnal items on the racks, but being inter-woven into the shelves is the upcoming Winter ranges. This helps a lot. Many of the items you can buy across season, so the thinner items, such as shirts, denim wear, cardigans, typical of autumn can be twinned with thicker outerwear items of winter like jackets, coats or scarves until its time to ditch all the other items and pull out the thermals.

As ever, I’m going to try and save you a bit of dollar by pointing you in the right direction of some cracking deals that are out there on the high street.

Jacket

The best rain jackets smartly blend function with fine design, so you can stay dry without looking like an awkward tourist. Top of the shopping list should be styles that are 100 per cent waterproof, come equipped with ample pockets and are also easy on the eye – you needn’t worry about anything techier unless you’re planning a mountain trek.

Picture is a burgundy trench coat for a whopping £30.00 at Primark. It twins the autumn colour of burgundy and is perfect for layering.


Knits

Nothing keeps you warm like a quality knit. For most of us it’s still a little early to break out the big guns, so stick to lighter gauge knitwear until winter hits in earnest. Jumpers and cardigans in temperature-regulating merino wool, breathable cotton-blends and unbeatably plush cashmere are all worth considering.

If you’re looking to invest, then prioritise versatile colours such as navy, grey, brown or beige, which will match with everything in your wardrobe. If you’ve already got your neutral bases covered, consider acquiring a more autumnal option in burgundy, bottle green or burnt orange to give your cold-weather looks a seasonal lift.

Pictured are 2 jumpers, the black roll-neck is a thin but dressy piece from Primark for a bargain £6.00. Whilst, the navy jumper is a staple wardrobe item that’s versatile from Tu at Sainsbury’s for £10.00.


Trousers

Not all trousers are created equal. While colour and cut might be the most common considerations, fabric should also rank high on your list if you want to keep your crown jewels from the cold.

To ensure longevity, opt for a slim – not skinny – cut instead and wear with a shirt and blazer for buttoned-up occasions or a white tee and leather bomber jacket for an on-point high-low combo.

Colour-wise, these usually look best in timeless black, navy and grey, but shades of deep green and burgundy also work well. To add some textural interest to your lower half, keep an eye out for a flecked or melange designs.

The thick chino trousers pictured were originally light grey from Topman Sale, I bought a black dye for £4.80, to turn them darker for Autumn. They have an alternative edge with the grey cotton seam still visible, blending tones and keeping it a one-off!


Shoes

Looking good underfoot isn’t much of an issue when the sun’s shining, but you’ll need to rethink your footwear strategy once the leaves start falling. For something that’s smart and stylish but won’t wither through rain and snow, look to add a pair of well-built brogue, Derby or Chelsea boots to your shoe rack.

Not only do boots offer more coverage than a pair of shoes, they’re just as versatile: dress them up with a smart trouser or even a suit and they’ll fit in just fine at most formal events, or keep things casual by teaming with a pair of selvage jeans with the hems rolled up.

The boots pictured are from H&M for £25.00. For quality on a budget, try Marks & Spencer and ASOS, or go premium with a pair from storied British shoemakers like Cheaney, Church’s, Tricker’s or John Lobb.


Accessories

Autumn weather is tricky to predict. Despite visible breath when you leave the house, the sun’s still strong enough to have you sweating by the time you hit your desk. A lightweight scarf lets you layer up against the chill but stows easily in your bag if things heat up.

Try tartan or a bold print to give your outfit that stamp of approval from your personality. Scarf pictured is from eBay £3.25.


The secret to dressing well for autumn is keeping your style adaptable. Add this dream team of versatile pieces to your line-up and your season’s already off to a good start. Plan ahead and these items can also slip into your winter offering.

140 Characters away from a new wardbrobe

Man holding up iPhone displaying the Twitter App in a City with Sky Scrapers

Did you know Twitter could become your newest fashion tool. It’s an app a huge percentage of us have already got, but have you noticed how down played the power of Twitter is as a fashion tool?

There are a vast amount of companies, brands, back street shops, designers, artists and textile companies battling it out on Twitter for a bit of lime-light and your custom, all to for your benefit.

In doing our bit to keep your wallets protected, we’ve got a few handy tips on how Twitter can help you save a little money…

Start by following as many of your favourite fashion brands and bloggers as possible to broaden your horizons so the places you purchase from are easy to find. With tweets from the brands, the deals will automatically seek you out and you’ll know where to get things for a bit of a bargain.

Not only will our favourite brands use those 140 characters to keep you updated on the new trends, newest stock and top picks…they’ll also notify you when they have some great sales on! This means we’re all carrying around a guide to sale items around in our pocket gents. It’s all there at our finger tips! Come on, we check our phones on the reg; on our lunch break, on the loo (yes we all do it) or when we’re bored – and it’s worth following our favourite shop just to get that valued information delivered to us without doing anything, its a free service!

But, hold the phone, that is not all Twitter has to offer…  By following an array of small brands, upcoming and local stores, you’ll often get a Direct Message (‘DM’ for you cool kids) with discounts and offers just for following them!

We’ve worked out 92.3% of 178 small brands over the passed months have dropped us a DM with discounts. It’s a clever marketing tool used for saying “thank you for the follow” and probably for the reason we mentioned above…the stores come to us now, it’s up to them to prove to us we’re worthy of their custom.

Standard offers usually include:

  • 10% off your first order
  • Free Postage & Packaging
  • 25% off selected ranges as a new customer
  • Free returns policy
  • Buy one branded tee get one half price

We’d therefore recommend when you’re treating yourself on payday or any-day – take a look on Twitter first.

Try and find the item through an independent store, you may be able to save yourself a few pennies! In the process you’ll be helping the small business man too and still be looking good, with a bargain on your shoulders!

Denim Deals, Denim Discounts

“I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes.” – Yves Saint-Laurent

Denim. We all wear denim, we all own denim, its a timeless classic, an everyday, every kind of occasion material. Whether its for trousers, jackets, shirts or shoes, we all wear it.

The trouble is, and I’ve noticed time after time, some people get it SO wrong….well in my eyes anyway. Its either really ill fitting, the wrong colour, or downright disgusting!

I’m not saying I get it right every time, but I’d like to think I give it a damn good go! I have a few key denim items that hopefully will inspire you – here goes, it may give you a little bit of an idea how to wear them as well….and of course all reasonably priced!

Look out at the bottom of the page for links to the Top 5 places to bag yourself the best denim deals that  are on at the moment.

Top menswear denim essentials:

Jeans

The pair below are from TOPMAN’s ‘Stretch Skinny’ range, however I grabbed both these pairs in the sale at £20 a piece! Dark blue or a light blue jean complement almost any occasion and are a good wardrobe staple item. 
Shirt

As above, this ‘Acid Wash’ effect denim shirt is from TOPMAN. It’s an easy to wear shirt, it suits being worn open with a vest underneath, buttoned up or even twinned with smarter wear for a formal occasion. 
Jacket

A few years old now, but this Jacket from TOPMAN keeps the style a little alternative with the cotton Aztec paneling. Its good for any season and always in the forefront of my wardrobe! 
Bomber

A more modern take on the denim jacket as Bomber’s are well and truly back in fashion – I found this one in ARC Clothing. The jacket cost me £40.

Shorts

These ripped and frayed denim shorts are from H&M – a denim short is essential for any guy during the summer season. These were a steal and currently still in stock for £9.99! Twinned with a tee, vest or shirt, they add the ‘punky’ edge to your outfit. 

 

To Cheat The Street, A Treat..

I may have stumbled upon something rare and exotic that I have to share with you…

FasionBeans.com have collected a wide range of fashion discount codes for some of the biggest online retailers available in order to give you the chance to not only look great every season but also to save money while doing so.

Whether you are looking for that key piece for an upcoming event or simply want to freshen up your look in line with the latest trends, they can help you to find the best discounts possible, pushing your money further than ever before.

Simply find a retailer that interests you by visiting their A-Z of discount codes, head directly to the store via the retailer menu at the top of the page or simply browse the fantastic offers, discount codes and multi-buy deals that FasionBeans have to offer.

So I know this just a menswear blog, but FashionBeans doesn’t just cater for menswear either, they have full discount code listings available for women too, so it maybe your Mrs birthday, your anniversary or you want to treat her…she doesn’t have to know it’s discounted!

Take a moment to think about the retailers you love and go find out what discounts and offers they have in place with them but hurry, some of those offers won’t be around much longer!