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

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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!  

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

How much will your lads holiday cost, lads holiday, lads in the sea, boys holiday, lads lads lads, ibiza holidays, summer holidays, how expensive is a lads holiday
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

How much will your lads holiday cost, lads holiday, lads in the sea, boys holiday, lads lads lads, ibiza holidays, summer holidays, how expensive is a lads holiday

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

How much will your lads holiday cost, lads holiday, lads in the sea, boys holiday, lads lads lads, ibiza holidays, summer holidays, how expensive is a lads holiday

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.

Sustainable Underwear, Tops and Socks for the Adventurous Man

Sustainable Underwear, Tops and Socks for the Adventurous Man

Bluebuck is a bold new brand of sustainable men’s underwear, tops and socks. Made from premium organic cotton, each product is robust yet refined, just like its wearer.

Founded by Pierre David, a Frenchman living and working in London, the label combines the best of French style, British cool and a global sense of adventure. Bluebuck’s mission is to craft superior ecofriendly collections with a rugged, masculine sensibility.

Bluebuck, who?

BLUE speaks of the sky, the sea and the natural world as well as being a colour closely connected to purity, while the image of the antlered BUCK is one of raw masculinity. Bluebuck is a brand for the man who combines the rugged and the natural; who has a keen sense of environmental responsibility aligned with a strong sense of self.

Eco-friendly underwear with a lower carbon footprint

Bluebuck organic mens underwear 44

A Bluebuck man takes climate change seriously. He believes he can take action to minimize his impact on the planet. Bluebuck believe this too. So at every step of design and manufacturing process they ask themselves: ‘How can we minimize our
carbon footprint?’ Bluebuck is committed to producing a truly green product.

Clean renewable energy

Bluebuck pride themselves in selecting factories that use clean energy. By harnessing wind, sun and hydro-power, Bluebuck create products with minimum impact on the environment. In fact, 75% of the electricity used in their Austrain factory and 50% in their Portuguese factory come from renewable energy sources.

To add to the mix, they are also proud that 100% of the electricity used in their London office comes from renewable sources, supplied by Ecotricity.

Made in Europe

Bluebuck organic mens underwear 33

Unlike many brands that are ‘Made in Europe’, which usually simply refers to where the product is assembled, all components are produced in Europe. The fabric is knitted, then cut and assembled in Portugal using organic cotton sourced from Turkey. Even the finer details are produced in Europe: waistbands are made in Austria and the labels are created in Italy.

Once assembled, all products are moved by road, which produces around 75% less CO2 than fuel-guzzling planes.

Last longer. Waste less.

Bluebuck organic mens underwear 26

By design Bluebuck products are made to last longer, meaning less waste. They are extremely hard-wearing, durable and reliable.

Bluebuck select the very best materials available in order to ensure quality and durability. Fabrics longevity is also woven into the very design of Bluebuck products. Don’t subscribe to collections that fall in and out of fashion over the seasons. Bluebuck design all pour products in classic styles that remain stylish and timeless

The Nautical range of briefs and trunks is available in navy, white, pink, grey or ice blue with contrasting stripes. With 95% super soft organic cotton and 5% elastane, they’re kind to the skin and flexible enough to take on the most challenging of outdoor activities.

Like the Bluebuck? Shop here.

What’s the best fragrance to wear on a date?

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We all know women love the smell of fragrance on a man. In fact, one study by the famous Kinsey Institute in America found ladies who smelled a male fragrance while fantasising about an erotic experience became more sexually aroused due to the aroma. The erotic effect of choosing the right eau de toilette, then, is far from just a marketing gimmick.

If you’re after summer perfumes to take that tinder date to the next level, it’s most certainly important to get all the senses titillated. But, remember, not all scents are created equal in the sensuality stakes. Eau de toilettes from the ‘oriental’ family of fragrances – characterised by notes of wood, gum resin and sweet notes such as vanilla – tend to be the sexiest, holding her attention in a way that bright, citrusy fragrances don’t.

Choosing the right cologne for you isn’t quite as difficult as, say, disarming a field of landmines. On the other hand, choosing the wrong cologne can blow up on you in less obvious ways, including the fact that you may offend that very individual you’re trying to impress!

You don’t want to be that guy; the one who creates actual distance between himself and others, and ruins a potentially hot evening before the flame ignites. Choose wisely. As they say, knowledge is power, and we hope to provide you with the kind of knowledge that makes your buying choice easier – and appropriate.

With that in mind, before heading off on your date and wanting to ‘woo’ her whole heartedly, here are 6 things to consider before you choose the fragrance for the big night…

  1. DO A PATCH TEST

Never buy a cologne, perfume, or eau de toilette without first trying it on your skin. It’s one thing to do the bottle-sniff test, but another to put it on your skin and allow to interact with your skin chemistry. And how it smells on your skin is slightly different than how it smells on the next guy’s skin, and the next guys, and … you get the picture.

  1. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS (AND YOUR NOSE AND STOMACH)

You can do a ton of research, read reviews, look at labels, and find out plenty of detail about the base notes and to notes of each fragrance. Not that it’s bad information, but how you react to its scent is an emotion, one you won’t find on a label. Trust your instincts.

  1. TAKE SOMEONE WITH YOU

Or, even if you do trust your instincts, why not bring someone with you, especially a significant other or trusted female friend? Let’s cut the b.s., one of the reasons you wear cologne is that it’s a seduction tool. We’re not saying that cologne guarantees that you’ll get laid, but its good to have every tool (pun intended) at your disposal. Or, bring a man. Just make sure it’s someone you trust enough to tell you that a certain cologne works on your skin or it doesn’t.

  1. COMPOSITION

“Composition” refers to the different elements that make up a scent, such as notes of leather or sandalwood, and the best colognes typically have a unique composition that separates them from the rest. It’s tough to judge composition and what you see on the label is often written by marketers.

The composition is another reason to test a fragrance with a sample that you leave on for up to 15 minutes. By then, the initial notes have gone and you’re much closer to experiencing the cologne’s overall scent – the scent that’s going to last you through the day.

  1. THE SEASON

Experts advise that you change your fragrance for each season. For example, summer-appropriate scents are fresh, fruity and floral, while wood and spice scents – the kind that “warm” you up – are best when the temperatures start to drop.

  1. WHAT YOU EAT MAY INFLUENCE WHAT YOU WEAR

Experts even suggest that the cologne you wear should complement what you eat: if you eat a lot of spicy food, you probably have a weaker sense of smell and taste than the next guy. So, buy a cologne that has a bit of spice to it.

 

The Top Reasons a Vauxhall Grandland X should be your next car

Vauxhall Grandland X, 4x4, SUV, Car in field, Car in front of Logs, New car

We recently had the privilege of working with Vauxhall when they sent us their brand new SUV and Life HaX tool, to put them through their paces in the modern world. Whilst the SUV may not spring to mind as a must have car in your twenties or thirties – we may have the answers that will change your mind.

The Grandland X

A crossover of ultimate proportion, the Grandland X is Vauxhall’s latest SUV model. Crossover by name, crossover by nature…for someone in his twenties, this car has all the sass that I’m looking for with city living, but could easily ‘cross-over’ into delivering something quite grand in the country.

The Grandland X represents the balance between the functional and emotional benefits of owning a car; it’s both a highly spec’d SUV, ideal for all kinds of family needs, as well an attractive and boldly styled car, adding a sense of ‘grandness’ to the driver’s lifestyle.

Vauxhall see the Grandland X as a car that reflects their adventurous personality – it’s primarily a lifestyle choice, though it has clear functional advantages. Yes, it’s a practical family car for your growing brood, but it’s also quite the toy for any singleton.

The Life HaX tool

Vauxhall Life HaX tool, New tool, Life HaX

Whether you’re a single tech lover or a family man who needs something to help you focus with a car full of kids, the Life HaX tool marks the launch of the Grandland X, the new SUV that was designed with modern parents in mind and has seen Vauxhall Motors look into the ever-changing role of parents to understand what life hacks can help make their lives easier.

The resulting hand-held Life HaX tool helps multi-tasking parents so they can concentrate on enjoying adventures with their family;

  • Lego un-picker – to stop you breaking your fingernails trying to unpick your children’s Lego
  • Wide-angle lens attachment – for those all-important Instagram snaps
  • Macro lens attachment – for awesome close-up photography
  • Power bank – for when your phone runs out of battery on the move
  • iPhone pin – for removing the SIM from your phone
  • Torch – for when you can’t see under the sofa or the back of the boot to find your children’s lost toys
  • Stylus – to give that extra precision when drawing on your tablet
  • Knot un-picker – for when the kids get in a tangle
  • Screwdriver – because traditional household jobs haven’t gone away

With so many tools, ideally you need a bag to carry the Life HaX in. However, if you’re the head honcho of your brood, I imagine you’d have rucksacks or bags to be able to throw the tool in.

It’s greatest bonus for me was the phone charger!

The Reasons you should consider the GrandLand X and Life Hax Tool

A stylish steer

Man driving 4x4, SUV, Vauxhall Grandland X, Sat Nav in car, inside a car

The Grandland X looks as good as it feels to drive – it’s very easy admire its elegant lines, two-tone roof and big alloys. It’s a stand out vehicle when competing for attention in a multi-story car park.

You’ll notice that the new SUV for Vauxhall has taken a slightly different approach to the recognizable style of the brand, something I think brings it into the current era and boasts hope for the years to come.

Unbeatable tech

Boasting an on-board touchscreen, which in the 8-inch configuration tested (there’s also a 7in version) has crisp graphics and is both simple and responsive to operate.

As you’d expect these days it’s all fully connected, whether it’s via Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, a simple USB lead or WiFi. The latter forms part of Vauxhall’s OnStar service, a call centre staffed by advisors who can book hotels or parking spaces for you before sending details to the satnav. Equally as useful, it will alert the emergency services if the car’s airbags are deployed.

A comfortable and spacious ride

Man getting in a 4x4, Vauxhall Grandland X, White Jeep, New Car, Car in Field

The Grandland X is certainly roomy enough to be taken seriously, as well as taller than the two-tone floating roofline might suggest. Its boot capacity is matches its competitors if not easily beats the Nissan Qashqai and Renault Kadjar challengers. What’s more, the space itself is easy to use thanks to a square shape, flat loading lip and a dual-height boot floor on all but the base model. The rear seats can be folded flat too, albeit only in a 60:40 split rather than the 40:20:40 of some rivals.

If you’ve got a big family, it may not be possible to transport everyone in one vehicle unless you drive an SUV. If there’s a darn sight more of you than some families, you need to get from point A to point B at the same time and all you own is a small vehicle, you’re going to have to make multiple trips or take multiple vehicles. One trip in a big SUV, and you’ve saved fuel, taken up less space in traffic and in the car park, and made maximum use of your resources.

The Grandland X has 1,652 litres of boot space, so you can fit all those bulky items safely away, without compromising the seating area.

Unstoppable safety features

Now, whether you’re a family man or one of life’s Casanova’s something you can agree on is road safety. From the first day of the seven-day trial we had with the Grandland X, we noticed it’s unrivaled amount of safety features. Vauxhall have emphasised the attention to safety that’s built into the new Grandland X. Driver Drowsiness Alert has been added to an already impressive array of safety features including collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection.

The dashboard includes a speed restriction notification system, and easy to use control panel near the gear stick for quick access – the number of alerts really enhance the comfort of driving.

Not forgetting the adaptable Life HaX tool, which also plays a big part in controlling the vehicle and making the driver’s life easier.

The Grandland X has an excellent diesel to mileage ration! More cruising for your money!

Back in the old days (five or more years ago), many SUVs were inefficient diesel hogs. But now, there are most SUVs that are rated to achieve over 30 miles per gallon on the highway, still retaining the capacity and benefits of an SUV.

We worked out that the Grandland X 1.6-litre diesel is the best performer, which promises 70.6mpg in manual guise and 65.7mpg with an automatic gearbox.

That figure drops a bit if you pick the 2.0-litre version – that car is auto only and weighs in with a still reasonable 57.6mpg.

Road tax for 12 months is a very reasonable £140.00.

Your dog will love the Grandland X!

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This one is true — dogs do love SUVs. Ask any dog, and they’ll tell you. In fact, a few manufacturers have even put out dog-friendly editions of their SUVS, strictly to appeal to dogs (and dog owners). Ultimately, using a few accessories, like a pet barrier or pet carriers, you can turn your SUV’s cargo bay into a safe haven for your dogs during travel. It’s not safe to allow your dogs to roam freely through the cabin of your car — they may interfere with your operation of the vehicle, or worse, become dangerous projectiles in the event of a collision.

The stats

RRPFrom £21,595

Dimensions4,477 mm L x 1,811 mm W x 1,630 mm H

Fuel economy51-71 mpg combined (44-60 city, 58-81 highway)

Towing capacity1,100 to 2,000 kg

Engine1.2 L 3-cylinder, 1.6 L 4-cylinder diesel, 2.0 L 4-cylinder diesel.

View the Vauxhall Grandland X and Life HaX tool, by hovering over the links.

Top tips for delivering the Groom’s Speech

Top tips for delivering the Groom's Speech

We suspect Harry will have a bit of professional help with his groom speech but if your wedding date is also looming, here’s a few groom speech hacks from the wedding speech experts at Speechy to help you nail it.

Cut the crap

Hmm, not very romantic but let’s face it, there’s a lot of waffle in your average groom speech. Old fashioned etiquette is partly to blame for making so many speeches generic and boring.

The only thing you need to remember is to thank

  • everyone for coming
  • both sets of parents
  • the entourage (best men, ushers, bridesmaids etc)
  • any special people like children or grandfolk

Don’t get sucked into thanking specific people who’ve travelled far or anyone you’ve paid (like the caterers or the venue). A long thank you list turns a good speech bad.

And don’t even think about giving out gifts during the speech. Deliver any gifts personally earlier in the day.

Start by making people smile

You don’t need to backref the father of the bride’s speech (unless you have something witty to add) and you don’t have to address your friends and family as ‘ladies and gentleman’. Prioritise humour at the top and get people smiling ASAP. You’ll relax as soon as they do.

Having said that, don’t resort to generic wedding gags. You’re looking for laughs, not groans.

Remember the adage ‘it’s funny because it’s true’. Have fun with the reality of the day and the people there… for example:

‘We’re so pleased you could join us on this rather special day. It took a lot of planning, negotiation and a few tears… but we finally found someone who was willing to sit beside (best man). The magnum of Champagne will be coming your way soon.’

Or

‘Can you believe it? (Bride) has finally given up her dream of marrying Ryan Gosling and realised a short, follicly-challenged Project Manager from Aberdeen is the man for her!’

Your opening lines don’t need to illicit a belly-laugh, but they do need to get make people smile.

Top Tips for delivering the Groom's Speech

Prove, don’t tell

A heart-warming tribute to your bride should be the focus of your speech but remember every groom thinks his bride is gorgeous, kind and generally amaaaazing. The only way for this to sound genuine is – prove, don’t tell.

Stories say more than words. Instead, recount the anecdotes that show your bride’s qualities in action.

Is she a library-lover, a technology fiend, a devoted foodie? Nailing her individual and quirky characteristics shows you ‘get her’ and her friends & family will love you for it.

Finally, avoid words like ‘soulmate’, ‘beautiful’, or anything that’s overused.

Keep it short

Write your first draft, then cut it in half. As Earnest Hemingway said ‘The first draft of everything is shit’. Editing it down will make it better.

Your maximum wordcount is around 1300 words but there’s nothing wrong with a speech that’s 800 words.

Stories and jokes are better if they’re punchy. No one ever listened to a speech and said ‘if only it was longer’.

Make a promise

Yes, you’ve said your vows but what does getting hitched mean on a practical level? What promise can you make your bride which will show her she married the right bloke?

Can you promise to turn up the heating? Listen to Justin Bieber? Make her favourite key lime pie? Learn to put up a tent? Whatever it is, make it something that only she would really appreciate.  

Get your Mrs involved

There’s a big trend this year for Mr & Mrs Speeches (where the bride and groom deliver a joint speech). It makes a lot of sense and it’s also a lot of fun, adding a real moment to the day.

Of course, a bride doesn’t have to do anything on her wedding day that she doesn’t fancy but suggest it to her. It means she gets to personally thank her friends & family and it also allows you to develop your double-act routine.

For advice on how to write your joint speech, check out the Speechy guide here. The good news is it involves wine!

Cheat

Probably the best tip for those grooms with a looming deadline (or grooms who want to hang out in the sun a bit longer). Take inspiration from our American counterparts who increasingly view wedding speech services as a savvy investment.  

Sure, all blokes want to deliver an original, honest and heart-warming speech but not all of us are natural writers. Speech writers are there to help bring out the eloquent genius lurking inside every groom.

And there’s plenty of ways they can help. Speechy have developed a groom speech template that’s a bit different to the norm. It relies on your input so takes a bit of thought, but it results in a unique speech that still sounds like ‘you’ (only a bit wittier).

Speechy is staffed by a team of ex-BBC scriptwriters so you can also hire them to review your speech or you can commission them to write your own bespoke speech from scratch. Which service you opt for really depends on your budget, ability and general enthusiasm.

Top Tips for delivering the Groom's speech

Prepare to deliver

A confident delivery is half the battle. Check the acoustics of the venue & hire a mic if necessary (so many speeches are ruined simply because the guests can’t hear them).

Try to memorise the speech but don’t be afraid to use notes on the day (your brain will be scrambled). Talk slower than feel natural (makes you sound more confident) & leave pauses for laughter (sometimes people need a moment to ‘get it’).

Avoid alcohol before the speech. As much as we love the stuff (we so do), the idea of Dutch courage is a complete myth. Booze has been proven to actually increase the stress hormone.

Finally, try to enjoy delivering your speech on the day. Remember you survived the stag do. You’ve got this.

If you need a bit of help, visit Speechy here.

The Quest for the Perfect Tailored Suit No Longer Needs to Ruin You

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Finding the perfect three-piece suit can be a headache for many men. Will you be able to find the right match straight off of a hanger and at an affordable price at any menswear shop? Or will you have to break the bank and pay a (somewhat intimidating) visit to a tailor in order for the suit of your dreams to fit like a glove? And when comes the time to know what fits and what doesn’t, what should you be on the lookout for?

We know finding the perfect timeless suit that’ll last you years is no small feat, but here’s the good news: you don’t have to break the bank anymore for a perfectly tailored suit. Simply follow these steps from our expert, who has provided countless gentlemen with that go-to suit for all occasions.

Picking a Tailored Suit Wisely Starts with Good Fit

Every discerning gentleman deserves a suit that fits him well, and rushing to the nearest menswear shop to buy the first suit in sight is clearly not the best course of action here.

A timeless three-piece suit need not follow the latest trends. Minimalism is the key to a classic, timeless suit. A snug fit that embraces and flatters all of your manly shapes is key to looking effortlessly dashing. Since all men are different and so many factors are coming into play here from height, to chest and torso lengths, to shoulder broadness going the tailor-made route has clear benefits. “People will notice a man of style and substance with great attention to detail in the perfect suit”, says Anthony Horner, owner of Empire Outlet, a company that provides luxury tailored suits at affordable prices for the modern day gentleman.

The perfect cut will fit every body type. It will elongate the shorter man, fit the tallest amongst us to perfection, slim down and hide any unwanted bulges for the self-conscious. A good tailor will know what is best for you — and if you trust them, the results will surprise you.

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The Colour: A Matter of Choice, but Don’t Get Too Crazy

You may think of black as the go-to colour for your first suit, but it might be too formal or severe to fit any occasion. Instead, colours like navy blue, grey, and beige, as well as light checker patterns or pinstripes, are fantastic options. These timeless options allow a three-piece suit or any tailored suit to fit any occasion. Tweed has always been a material to consider over the years, but has recently seen a further surge in popularity. Today, it’s a modern essential in every gentleman’s wardrobe and a fantastic option to keep in mind.

The lining of your suit and colour of your tie is where you can get a little more creative. Don’t hesitate to use your tie as a fashion statement, which can give your neutral suit a more current or classic twist, depending on the occasion. As far as colours go, you could pick something that matches your eye colour, or even your partner’s outfit colour. Be creative; ties are a cheap way to jazz up an otherwise classic outfit!

Quality Fabric Makes All the Difference

To look dapper and comfortable, seek out a three-piece suit that’s 100% wool — a durable and breathable fabric. Suits made out of a blend of wool and 2%-5% of elastane for added comfort and ease of movement are also a great option. Beware, however, that some luxury fabrics, such as silk, will make the suit a lot more expensive and a lot less durable. Sticking to wool really is your best bet.

A suit made of exceptional fabric quality and craftsmanship will look straight and even when hanging, with perfectly symmetrical legs and sleeves. The seams should all look even and regular, with no bulging or ripples. Always put your suit to the hanging test!

Finding the suit of your dreams is easy if you follow these simple rules, especially as online tailored suit purchasing has come such a long way in latest years. You can now order fabric samples before committing to having the suit of your dreams made. And you may be surprised to know that such a beautiful, timeless, bespoke item doesn’t need to set you back any more than £200 to £300 from the best companies.

Make sure you take care of your perfectly tailored suit! In order for your it to remain beautiful and fresh for years to come, always make sure to hang it on a padded hanger. To keep it clean, treat it like a coat. Have it aired as often as possible, and dry cleaned only as needed.

Ditch the baggy boxers and embrace the jockstrap

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What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about “jockstraps”? Do you relate it to the long ago men’s underwear traditional style that used to be an integral part of sport? Or, is it what you look up to for bringing the sizzling action behind the closed doors?

Whatever your idea of the jockstrap is, the fashion underwear style is definitely one of those which keeps coming back and straight to the hearts and the underneath of the male population. After being vanished from the face of the earth being the athletic pair, the style made a comeback as a fashionable pair and continued to please the manhood for the big games as well.

If you haven’t been a jockstrap kinda-guy, you should start considering it as an option. This article will lay out a few great reasons why the exotic underwear is making a comeback, and you should get on the bandwagon.

Exceptional Support

The very first reason for which one can consider adopting the respective style is for their undying support below the belt. The first pair was made in the late 1800s for bicycle delivery boys for the sole reason- to keep their manhood in its place! Movement is not what they desired while they moved around delivering their best. This required a pair that everything stayed where it should be without causing a lot of problem (chafing or bouncing) down there. So, when you are indulging in a field trip or running a marathon, you can look up to the support of a jockstrap.

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Undie-fying Comfort

When your todger is set in a place where it should be without letting a lot of movement, no fabric in the back or sides, how do you expect someone to feel? It is but obvious that comfort will be the key underneath. Do you remember having a pair of boxer brief underwear that rode up when you walked for a while? Probably because of the seams and wrong fabric composition. However, jockstraps are better anytime in situations like this.

Spaciousness

What can be worse than a hot summer day and a sticky back with the constantly irritating layer of fabric? Well, I even hate it when a strand of hair sticks on my face when I sweat, having that irritating feeling is what I try to avoid. Hence, jockstraps come handy here as well.

Inexpensive

It comes on very hard in a man’s pocket when he steps out spending for his basic clothing. With highly expensive pieces available at brick and mortar shops, it visibly comes down when you check for online options. At Manhood Undies you have prices that’ll blow your mind in happiness and contentment because of the inexpensive prices and luxurious designs.

Style

There are two overarching distinctive types of jocks, athletic and fashionable. Here’s the pros of both of them.

Athletic jockstraps

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Feature a sturdy elastic waistband that holds

If you are the athletic types and are in love jocks, you would know that one of the most important feature to keep everything in place below the belt is the elastic waistband. More often, the feature is broad and of has the name of the brand on it. It is available to keep the place of the pair intact without promoting any movement.

Elastic leg bands for the right grip

Keeping in sync with the waistband, the leg bands too are made with elastic fabric like spandex or elastane to keep the pouch held from the lower portion of the butt and goes all the way to the waistband.

The pouch is functionally supportive

Made out of cotton, nylon or some other sporty fabric, the pouch intends to support and enhance the visibility of the manhood. The enhancement and protection were the basic features when the style was introduced to men.

The very basic intention of these features was to keep you from chafing, rashes and getting yourself hurt while indulging in sporty games or workouts.

Fashionable jockstraps

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Waistband are sometimes flimsy

Made to be flaunted while indulging in romantic affairs or personal self indulgence, the waistband of the fashionable jocks are made with lacy fabrics or shimmery textured ones that look appeal on the body. Well, you might also find broad elastic ones as well.

Leg bands are elastic

Without doubt the leg bands are made to hold the pouch in the correct place. Hence, they are majority of the times made to hold the grip of the pair together.

Pouch is designed to appeal and support

You might or might not want support when it comes to fashionable underneath. You have options of choosing fabrics to open pouches, sexy cut-outs to absolutely no support in the front. Well, made for regular days, the comfort is definitely an essential part of the style.

We know a jock isn’t for everyone, so if you’re feeling adventurous, but not wanting to expose your arse, check out all our underwear tips here.

If you do fancy a new lease of life for your balls, which style would you opt for? Do let us know in the comments below.

Exclusive offer: HIGHSTREETJOCK will give a 15% discount on the site across everything, but it can only be used once per customer.

Shop Manhood Undies here.

Our top picks:

SUKREW – a fantastic British underwear brand, for the alternative gent. Very comfy cotton blend jocks.

Jack Adams USA – Well known for their athletic underwear and use of premium materials and high quality manufacturing. Well known for their range of jockstraps.

Gregg Homme – Known for being very sexy underwear made in Canada very much a premium brand. Its a little different, as its see through and naturally enhancing.

Garcon Model – Another Canadian brand. As you will see the buzz word here is comfortable! Great materials and made for comfort. The SO:BE Jock is a great colour combination with fantastic fit.

Andrew Christian – One of the biggest men’s underwear brands in the world with a particularly big gay following. Definitely falls under the heading of a fashion jock, stripes are always a big seller.