Bargain Time. #Watches

Watch

“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend”

…and on time is what I’ve spent my money. Not a lot of money, but hence the reason for this very short, but very sweet post.

Unfortunately, my trusty watch stopped at the weekend, I’ve had it for a good few years, so tasked myself with finding a new one. I wanted something suitable for work and play and more importantly not too pricey.

If you’re like me, I feel naked without my watch on, so I wanted a new one pretty sharpish…having spent 3 days looking at my bare wrist for the time. Not cool.

After browsing the first places online that sprung to mind, nothing was jumping out at me. They were either ridiculously chavy or came with a hefty price tag. That was until I remembered ASOS had sent me an email about their Men’s Watches Sale a few weeks ago, so I head on over to their site.

I found it. It’s smart, classy, eye catching and not a chunky number that screamed “rob me”.

The Sekonda Leather Strap Watch with Mechanical Detail (Item 3426.27) was mine.

The best part about it is that it only cost £39.99. Right on time.

I’ve blogged about ASOS before and how speedy their service is, it’s cracking. I ordered at 6 pm at night, with next delivery for a fiver. At 10 am the next day my wrist was fully dressed again, not catching the breeze and I could relax, ready for anyone to ask me time. (I’ve been some what walking around the office today with my sleeve rolled up, hoping someone will ask about it).

I’m my own worst enemy though, I give away all my secrets and told them how much it was.

Chaps, if you’re looking for a new watch, that looks expensive (minus the price tag) take a look at ASOS’ Watches range – with currently 70% off a lot of items, even watches, it’s top notch.

 

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.

Festival Fever – I’ll pitch the ideas, whilst you pitch the tent

With V festival this weekend, Leeds, Reading and Creamfields to name a few this coming bank holiday weekend, you’re going to want to look good right? Take the right things? All weather appropriate? That’s because you may just catch the eye of Hannah Wants, yeah?

The trouble is music festivals have long served as a breeding ground for the most experimental of us for style. The likes of Coachella, Glastonbury and Benicassim have become platforms to catapult developing trends into the mainstream and see brands we’ve never heard of trudged up and down in the mud (in good faith).

Any guide of what-to-wear for the circuit reminds us all that these are just as much opportunities to be street-snapped as chances to carouse around a field, desert or public park.

Festival fashion tips for guys, on the other hand, seem comparatively thin on the ground. Then again, do we really care chaps?

Let’s be honest, will there be beers? Yes. Will there be sun? Hopefully. Will there be unforgettable performances you’ll bear witness to and boastingly reference at parties in the future? Most likely. So, why the hell would you care about you’ve got on?

Today, festivals are just as much about flaunting your style credentials as they are about catching live performances from your favourite bands. They may not be formal occasions but they do come with a loose dress code and looking the part could be the difference between scoring a date in the midst of a mosh pit and sitting sulky, soaked and mud-stained back at base camp.

We’re slowly getting braver and braver lads. There once was a time when we’d travel light, now we take as much as we can to stay looking fly. However, if you take the right items, the bare minimum, you can mix it up a tad and know everything will be fine.

With this in mind, see below for a few outfits that are light to carry in, should be all weather appropriate and reasonably priced for you fashion conscious chaps. From weather-appropriate must-haves to the all-important accessories, here goes…

Option 1: 

Basketball Tee – Vintage Wearhouse // Mint Sweater Jumper – Tu at Sainsbury’s // Chino Shorts – Topman // Socks – Primark // Nike Air Max – Foot Asylum // SnapBack – Size?

Option 2:

Sleeveless Shirt – Cow Vintage // Grey Chino Shorts – Topman // Socks – Primark // Nike Air Max – Foot Asylum // SnapBack – Size?

Option 3:

Flannel Shorts – H&M // Cream Vest Top – Topman // Shirt – A-Hand-Me-Down // Nike Air Max – Foot Asylum // SnapBack – Size?

Option 4:

Waterproof coat – Primark // Tee – eBay // Flannel shorts – H&M // Nike Air Max – Foot Asylum

The majority of the items above I have picked, as being a festival goer myself, you want light, quick drying items that don’t leave you soggy around the edges if you get caught in the rain. Having a light weight coat is always a must!

Last but no means least, the must have, your wellies! Gents, they’ll be your best friend, your safe guard all weekend. If your feet are dry and warm the rest of you will be! Keep the toes toastie!

Happy festival-ing chaps!!

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!

 

Snapback, Flash Back – Best Summer Deals

If anyone knows me, you’ll know I’m all about snapbacks and fanny packs…not on there own, I do where clothing, to which the head and waist wear compliment.


Snapbacks and other head wear are pretty versatile to wear, I wear mine day-to-day, for festivals, for gigs, for nights out…they’re becoming more and more an item of clothing outright, rather than an accessory. There’s a huge range out there stocked by most High Street shops – however, they often come with a whacking price tag and your left deciding whether it’s ‘worth the investment?’

Believe me it is! Well, price dependent.

As you’ve read through my blog, you’ll probably see I like to keep it reasonably safe, but, throw into the mix something slightly ‘coolternative’. My snapback choices are similar. I go for something different, that’s variable with outfits and well priced.

So here’s a little guide to what I think are the Top 3, at your finger tips, where at, how to, variety of caps, hats and snapbacks that won’t burst your bank balance…

Size?

By far my favourite place to shop for caps is Size? they always have a broad range of caps, bucket hats and woolies, and always seem to have discounts or sales. I have managed to gain quite a few over the past few years, with an ever growing collection.

Foot Asylum

Ok, so it might not be the first place you’d think of to look for a hat, considering your feet are the other end of your body, but Foot Asylum do some fantastic head wear. Their summer sale is on at the moment with first reductions being up to 50% off (further to be announced).  Stocked in the sale are brands such as New Era, New Balance, Umbro, North Face, Creative Reaction, Mitchell & Ness, plus many more…

JD Sports

Similarly to Foot Asylum, JD Sports offer a wide range of hats and caps with their summer sale in full flow with up to 50% off. Note also, JD Sports offer ‘Next Day Deliver’y on all orders placed before midnight.

Just to add, there are also lots of great vintage shops on boutiques on the that often design, make, create and sell their own snapbacks at VERY reasonable prices.

If you are not Midlands based and haven’t heard of them, I’d suggest certainly checking out Cow Vintage…not only for hats and accessories but for one off pieces.

 
Remember, by grabbing a snapback, there are alternative ways you can wear them, it’s not just a ‘one-trick-pony’ item of clothing, be adventurous, wear it backwards!

Super Cool, Extra Hot, Ibiza, Rocks!

So this weekend marks the 20th Anniversary of Radio One in Ibiza and it seems like every guy and his scrunchy is heading there!

This weekend’s events mark the very peak of peak season, clubbers, so if you are in Ibiza on Friday the 31st of July you’re going to want tto look your best at the open air Ushuaïa Beach Hotel. 7000 will rave with DJ sets from none other than Disclosure and Calvin Harris, the event hosted by Radio 1 darling, Annie Mac…so stand out from the crowd!

Like every night, all season, in Ibiza, the party rages poolside from 17:00 until midnight over a jam packed weekend that is completely free of charge, a nightmare to consider what to wear though, right?!

All this comes as a bit of a blow knowing that only 2 weeks ago I was there, in the thick of it, partying on down on the White Isle, but maybe I can help…

If your like me, whilst I was there I wanted to look top notch, the freshest of fresh and slick, fitting in with the crowd, but managing to spin my own alternative style on what I was wearing. All this in 35+ degree heat. Which, with a bit of planning and knowing what to take can be achieved!

For those big nights that I hit Ushuaia, Amnesia and Cafe Mambo, I had 3 staple outfits that would keep me cool (in the heat), recognizable to my friends, and hopefully a fashionable guy to onlookers…all for a reasonable price. Which actually happened…I hope!

So if you’re actually interested and want to wear more than your swim shorts at these events, here goes:

Ushuaïa:

 
Grey Softmore Shorts, with long cream drawer string – TOPMAN £14 (currently in sale) // Vintage, light weight short sleeved short – Wild Clothing Nottingham £9.00 // White Ankle Sports Socks – Primark Mens – 5 pairs for £4 //  Grey, White, Peach Nike Air Max 1 – ProDirect (Great offers and discounts on Nikes) // Retro Punk Flip-Up Glasses – EasyPeasyOnlineStore Ebay £5.50

Amnesia:

 

Multi-coloured marble effect swim shorts – Primark Mens – £4.50 // Cobalt Blotch Poplin Short Sleeve Casual Shirt (worn open) – Topman £15 (currently in sale) // Nike Low Tops Dip Dye green & white – ProDirect.

Cafè Mambo:


White super skinny jeans (rolled up)- Asos Menswear £25 // *Rewear* Cobalt Blotch Poplin Short Sleeve Casual Shirt (worn open) – Topman £15 (currently in sale) // Loafer Burgundy Tassel Loafers – Topman £20 (Currently in Sale) // Snapback – SIZE £21.

Of course you want to keep your luggage as light as possible, so I re-wore a few key items in different ways.

Hopefully this little guide to where you can find a couple of things in the sale will help!

You also can’t beat a good best and short combo! ✌🏼️

Tees me, tees me, baby – UN:IK Clothing

“Our motivation is bringing you brand new unseen designs in order to make the best products at the best prices, all year round.” UN:IK Clothing Ltd

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I stumbled upon UN:IK Clothing on Twitter not long into starting my blogging experience, I was automatically drawn in by the varied types of tees and the chatty nature of the tweets. It feels like a ‘people’s person’ brand spot. It’s edgy, unique and hell-bent on not being like your high street shops!

Digging a little deeper I found UN:IK was something altogether different…it’s about bringing new brands to you, its their priority, but by promoting and supporting upcoming talent. UN:IK are giving the opportunity to young, extremely talented designers (most of which still in education) to get some exposure for their outstanding work and designs. UN:IK takes pride in providing the opportunity for these young designers to break into the industry and get some retail exposure.

UN:IK Clothing Ltd began in December 2013 by a young man fed up of the daily 9-5 office graft, dying to make things happen, eager to bring something new and exciting to the fashion industry. Mixing a passion for business and an enthusiasm for fashion it was about creating something fresh and unique where people could get a variety of underground garments rather than the same old you get in every corporate high street shop.

The company is set on building strong relationships, with designers, suppliers and customers. Its edge and what make’s it stand out from the crowd , is its motivation in bringing you brand new unseen designs in order to make the best products at the best prices, all year round. With a love of music, UN:IK are all about getting involved with goings on, whether it be parties, festivals, you name it.

You can tell they are all about the customer and it’s suppliers, like no other SME, it knows what we as customers want and know exactly how to grab our attention. They have some great offers, like: FREE DELIVERY ON ORDERS OVER £50 WITH CODE OV50 and Orders before 4pm get next day delivery, no extra cost! These kind of bonuses prove it’s about getting the word out there for these young designers and top new talent, whilst keeping us satisfied as customers with wallet intact. What’s not to like? Don’t rush off just yet though…
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“Own labels essentials, the best quality, minimal design, attention to detail.”Finally, I should add UN:IK stock more than just tees and have a full range of items online. Once you’ve logged on you’ll realise the prices for the high quality, bang on trend and well designed garments are ridiculously reasonable.
To stay in the loop and have a browse ‘underground’ visit UN:IK Underground Fashion.

Burton Menswear -Take me to Church, or Town, or Work…

“We put a lot of care into the cut of our off the peg suits which are the perfect fusion of quality and affordability” Burton Menswear.

Before I get on to the sale items, not all but 6 weeks ago I bought a new suit from Burton and was more than impressed, so when taking a look at Burton’s sale today, I’ve noticed the best deals are in their suit & formal wear department.

Burton’s has a great offer on at the moment for suits – whether it’s for your day-to-day work attire, a suit for a special occasion, or in fact your on the look out for that solid-key-priced blazer for a night up town, Burton will have it, I guarantee.

A few weeks ago, I was heading in to town with the daunting task of finding a new suit for an upcoming pal’s wedding, but also wanted it to be able to wear afterwards to work. I mention the next statement though gritted teeth as I always thought Burton was for the ‘older guy’ with very ‘safe’ and ‘nice’ designs and items, but nothing really for me in my mid twenties. Well, how wrong could I have been? I walked past Burton and noticed quite a striking (not to some people’s tastes) light grey, crosshatched, pattern three-piece suit in the window, and hanging behind the mannequin was a huge roller-banner print that stated “Suits From £99, including free shoes.”

Of course, the bargain buster in me hastily ran straight inside and to the suit department. I was greeted by an array of really quirky, high tailored suits and automatically fell into my element.

I firstly took a close look at the previously mentioned Grey Suit, but thought, rocking around at work wearing that would draw a lot of attention, so i should stick to a plainer suit, that had just as much charm and charisma…

After plenty of trying on and twinning up, I settled on a 3 piece, mid-blue, Skinny fit suit that more than lived up to everything i wanted. The suit was £110…but for the Trousers, Blazer and Waistcoat. Luckily, the plainer design and easy to match colour makes each item, stand alone. Even Better.

To top it off, I grabbed my free pair of shoes, that are a very sturdy, tan coloured, leather brogue! The free shoes meant I saved myself £45.


Burton currently have a Menswear Sale, including huge reductions on suits (full suits from £59), some great quirky numbers or classics, depending on your occasion or style. They also do a standard range of suits from £79 on wards.

Above & below I am wearing, the mid blue texture slim fit suit, jacket is single breasted with 2 button fastening, complete with a navy jacquard lining and white pocket insert. Twinned with the tan brogues.