Monday, August 29, 2016

Coats and Blazers

Yesterday in London there was something of a rude awakening. The sunshine of summer faded and it looked as though the warm weather and glorious rays had been kicked to the kerb. Just wearing tees or a shirt (with jeans) to work even though the tube is packed at rush hour is not an option as I still need to ensure that I stay warm and more importantly dry as I walk from the station to my office. Coats and blazers have always been a stock item for this time of year and since I've managed to either leave or lose my other blazers I have been on the lookout for suitable and affordable replacements.

Shopping online is usually my first port of call to look at new fashions, new designs and decide what it is I want/like the look off before trudging to the high street to try something on, or in my lazier times, just order it and hope for the best!  These are the items I am currently deciding between!

Autumunal Coats

On the top row we have a Blazer from Scotch and Soda and a Navy Twill Coat from Only & Sons.

Scotch & Soda Grey Knitted Wool Blazer 

This Knitted Wool Blazer in Grey from Scotch & Soda is something I can wear both formally and informally. It features Inside pockets which are a definite must and one welt pocket to the chest left and two front flap pockets. This is a long sleeved blazer and has a two-button front. It does retail for £215 which is not cheap, but considering the amount of wear I would get from it, then I think it is good value for money.

Only & Sons Dary Navy Twill Coat
I am a fan of long coats, I think they can look pretty fantastic if they fit right. This one is Navy in colour and features and has a two pocket design to the front along with long sleeves, loose cuffs and button closure to the front. This jacket also features slip on back and Inside pocket. Again, I am a huge fan of inside pockets, they are great for disguising valuable items when I don't have my laptop bag with me. At £110 I think this is an absolute bargain and is pretty much top of my list.

The bottom two have two coats which are totally different from one another but I like for different reasons.

Minimum Charcoal Melange Allston Coat
I spotted this because it is quite unusual and not something that I would initially choose, but it drew my attention. It comes again with a two pocket design to the front and has long sleeves, loose cuffs and front zip closure, something again I am not used too because I often opt for buttons. I like the next on this coat, definitely one for those windy days when you forget (or lose) your scarf! At £210 it isn't overly expensive and it does look incredibly stylish.

Gant Navy The Riverside Pea Coat
Gant is the only brand I have been familar with within this post. This Riverside Pea Coat from is Navy and features large lapels and a double placket. There are also slit pockets at both the sides and an inside pocket with button closing. This coat happens to be the most expensive within my selections, at £350 I love that looks incredibly smart and it definitely a coat for those more formal occasions.

I now have a choice to make as to which coat to buy and how many blazers I am really going to need, I have one left from many at the start of the year in my wardrobe which isn't enough and I do need a new coat for Autumn Winter.

Which ones should I go for?

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*This is a collaboration, all words are my own.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Men's shirts from Jacamo

Shirts are an item of clothing that I used to wear nearly every day either with a suit, with jeans or with trousers and a blazer. I was really picky about my shirts then and I still am. It is very very rare that you will see me in a short sleeve shirt, I just don't find them comfortable and they remind me of a guy I used to work with who wore then, stains and all - to my former colleagues if reading, I'm "sure" you know who I mean. Any way, I digress, so long sleeve for me it is, double cuffed if I'm going to be wearing a suit. When it comes to colour, I leave that to the wife as I am colourblind, but my one rule is nothing denim and nothing lumberjack.

With that in mind, I have just de-cluttered my wardrobe and need a few new shirts to fill the gaps and Jacamo have a pretty impressive selection of men's shirts and these are the ones which have caught my eye.

While I can go casual in the office I do like a shirt for when I go out for dinner or out on the town. These shirts I think would look great with a pair of dark blue jeans and biker boots.

  • Shirts from Jacamo

    It has been a long time since ive found a French Connection shirt that I like. This floral shirt is one which I feel I can pair with smart jeans and a loose-fit blazer or on its own.

    This Mythic long-sleeve shirt from Mish Mash is perfect for your smart to formal wardrobe. Pair with jeans for a smart casual look and wear under a suit or blazer for a smarter occasion look.
  • Williams and Brown London isn't a brand I am familiar with but I like the style of shirt. Something I can wear with a suit or with jeans and still look smart, perfect for work.
  • Finally this Brakeburn floral short which is totally different to the offering from French Connection by way of design and cuff style. I like that it has double cuffs and can be worn with smart or casual wear.

Personally I have shopped at Jacamo before (it surprised my friend as she mistakenly thought they only sold ranges for the taller and larger man) and still love my Pea Coat and have just taken delivery of some summer wear which again is high quality (the Firetrap tee is awesome) and doesn't leave you feeling as though your wallet has been violated. If you have never visited the site I highly recommend that you do, they have men's clothing to suit a broad spectrum of styles.


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Friday, August 12, 2016

Mr Thickening Shampoo and Conditoner + Giveaway

Back in May of this year when I opted to move away from the boy band hairstyle (it was starting to look more Wrong Direction rather than youthful One Direction) I was given an outstanding hair makeover and hair care master class by Jamie Stevens. If you read this blog a lot then you’ll know that I have been raving about how it boosted my confidence no end and I’ve raved about the cut and style, I’ve raved about the salt spray from his Mr Range and even done my first ’in conversation’ piece with him about his background, motivation and tips for us blokes when it comes to looking after our hair. Today, yes, it’s another review of products from the Mr Range, this time I’m looking at the MR Thickening Shampoo & Conditioner.
Mr Thickening Shampoo and Conditoner + Giveaway
The first time I used this myself was a set gifted from Jamie for me to try and review and when I went and had my hair cut and styled I was given another set to take away. That set got binned at Heathrow when I stupidly packed it for a flight to Glasgow. Since then I have been and bought two more bottles of the shampoo and I have plenty of the first conditioner left. I’m massively addicted to this product and this will come through my thoughts on it below, but be assured, it is an unbiased view and as a product I’ve only one found shampoo and conditioner set either before or since that comes close to having the same exceptional results.
Mr Thickening Shampoo and Conditoner + Giveaway
Mr Thickening Shampoo and Conditoner + Giveaway
You can read about the Jamie here and get the low-down on the shampoo here and the conditioner here.

You can pick up the shampoo and conditioner at most larger Boots stores or direct from the Mr website here. For a 250ml bottle of the shampoo costs £10 while 200ml of the conditioner again costs the same, £10, which to me is really reasonable when you consider the price of other shampoo and conditioner sets which more often than not leave my fine hair feeling brittle.

The shampoo has dual active Pea Peptide and Hexapeptide-11, and it promises to remove dirt, grease and product build up. They also say that ‘MR. THICKENING SHAMPOO helps promote thicker, stronger hair that’s resistant to breakage when used in conjunction with MR. THICKENENING CONDITIONER’. Bold claim indeed, bold claims!

Every time I use this I have flashbacks to having my hair cut and the smell of Jamie’s salon in Kensington. It brings a smile to my face, and when you are using a product on a daily basis, and first thing in the morning that smile is a great pick-me-up. It’s fresh, light and gives of an air of almost sterile. As a person who loves the smell of bleach (yes, I’m weird) I love it.

It does what it says on the tin, it removes even the most stubborn of hair products, it strips out the pollution and grime that builds up on a daily basis and ewww you can see the grime in the water as it comes off. With a dab of the conditioner and a rinse my hair feels really much stronger (after using it about a month). Patting dry rather than rubbing (excellent tip from Jamie that one) does seem to have stopped the thinning on either side of my forehead and my hair is now sooooo thick!
Jamie Stevens in action cutting the hair of Beautykinguk
Styling does appear to take me a lot less time now as well which is weird as I have so much more hair to style!

Personally I really can’t see myself moving away from this shampoo and conditioner set. When applying a touch of salt spray after drying my hair has extra thickness, has greater volume and feels great to the touch. It’s the bees knees people and that is why I’m offering a set to a reader. See below for details and remember to complete the mandatory entries otherwise your entry will be invalidated and if you are under 18, ensure you have parental permission to enter because I will need your home address!

a Rafflecopter giveaway If you don’t win this set, I suggest you dip deep and go and try it. There are often deals to be had if you check out the Mr or Jamie’s own Twitter feeds.


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Monday, August 08, 2016

Men's Scuff Weave Ugg Slippers

A couple of weeks ago the other half and I ventured into central London for lunch at the amazing Burger & Lobster in Soho. The thought being that as it was her birthday we would grab something to eat and then I would take her shopping for a present. That's not what happened though, she didn't seem too keen on spending my money (result) and I spotted the Ugg store and wanted to go and see if they had the lace up boots for men in the sale. They didn't, but instead my eyes were drawn to a pair of slippers, yes, I know, I've gone all middle aged. I picked up a pair of men's Scuff Weave Ugg Slippers, and I'm rather quite pleased with myself.

Originally priced at £95, they were reduced in the sale to £45 and I thought, what the hell, I'm going to have a nice pair of slippers and I kinda thought they would keep my feet warm when the colder weather gets here.

Made from rich woven suede the slippers are lined with genuine sheepskin.

I had wanted the black but they had sold out, so I asked for charcoal, nope - they had sold out as well. I had to compromise and I went for the chestnut and I have to say, the colour has grown on me.
Men's Scuff Weave Ugg Slippers
Men's Scuff Weave Ugg Slippers
Men's Scuff Weave Ugg Slippers
Men's Scuff Weave Ugg Slippers
Men's Scuff Weave Ugg Slippers
Slippers are basically judged on comfort, how easy they are to walk in and whether they keep your feet warm and dry. I'm happy to report that wearing these is like slipping your feet into two clouds, it is comfort personified. The sheepskin feels like silk and keeps my feet toasty warm and the grip is second to none. Would I pay £95 for them? No, that's an obscene amount of money to spend on a pair of slippers, but I think I got a decent deal at £45 and I'm really happy with the purchase.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (at the reduced price)

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Saturday, August 06, 2016

Nivea Men 48 Hour Silver Protect Antiperspirant

It’s safe to say that I’m not a big fan of Nivea products and when using their deodorants in the past, particularly Cool Kick 48 Hour Deodorant, I was left massively underwhelmed. At Christmas, not knowing my borderline hatred of their products my younger brother bought me a Nivea gift set (cos I really need more grooming products) and in it was a can of Nivea Men 48 Hour Silver Protect Antiperspirant. After running out of my regular BO spray (as I call it) and with a heatwave in London a few weeks ago I hesitantly reached into the bag and tried it for the first time.
Nivea Men 48 Hour Silver Protect Antiperspirant
This is what they say about the product over at the Boots website here:

‘NIVEA MEN Silver Protect Anti-Perspirant Deodorant with anti-bacterial silver ions helping to eliminate bacteria and prevent body odour.  Delivers 24 hour confidence and anti-perspirant protection keeping you fresh and dry all day long.

With anti-bacterial silver ions helping to eliminate body odour. 24 hour confidence, anti-perspirant protection and gentle Nivea care. No alcohol or colourants. Dermatologically approved’

After applying it on the first day it did make my armpits itch slightly, in part I think due to the aluminium by-product it contains. That said, the irritation was very mild and I’ve been using it every day since with no repeat of the itching.

What the product does do is protect you from fear of body odour, I found that I didn’t get any wet patches under my arms or on my back despite the temperatures that would put Las Vegas to shame. I genuinely felt more confident wearing this and was espousing the virtues of it to every else in the office who appeared to be melting.
Nivea Men 48 Hour Silver Protect Antiperspirant
Nivea Men 48 Hour Silver Protect Antiperspirant
Nivea Men 48 Hour Silver Protect Antiperspirant
At just £2.50 for a 250ml can this isn’t going to break the bank, but those around you on public transport or in the office will thank you for your purchase. Not only has this kept me sweat free in the searing heat of London Underground and banished any hints of body odour it does actually work and works well. I don’t know anybody who would actually wear this for 48 hours to check the claims that it lasts that long, but after spraying it on at 7 a.m. in the morning, enduring over two hours on the tube and stupidly hot temperatures at the end of the day I still feel fresh. I really can’t put a price on the confidence that this gives me.

Using as an emergency stop gap has moved me away from a hatred of the brand and actually, given the results and value for money I’ll stop my self-imposed boycott of the brand and look at trying more of their products. 


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Friday, August 05, 2016

The Legend’s London Original Pomade + Giveaway

It really doesn’t seem like that long since I ventured into Holborn to have my hair cut by the amazing Darius at The Legends. They say that time flies as you get older and boy it’s true. It was actually over two years ago! Wow. Not only did I get a new haircut and cutthroat razor shave, but I also got the chance to try their excellent Maximum Strength Hair Gel. With that in mind, when I was asked if I would like to try their new The Legend’s London Original Pomade how could I say no?
The Legend’s London Original Pomade + Giveaway
The Legend’s London Original Pomade + Giveaway
This is what they say about the product over at The Legend’s website:

‘Our pomade has a high hold, a medium shine finish and is water-soluble (we don’t believe in the crispy aftermath!) You’ll get a strong grip, so lots of flexibility no matter what style you choose. It’s great to have something that works around you, not the other way around. 

Pomade is one of those super simple but essential hair care items you need in your grooming drawer. Take a small amount of pomade and apply evenly through the hair with your fingers. (A little tip is to have your hair a little damp – just a little. Imagine that drying in the sun on the beach kind of vibe and you’re almost there!) It’s also great for restyling through out the day, which is something hair gel won’t let you do.’

A 120ml tub of the pomade is available direct from their website and costs just £13.

I confess that I didn’t read the instructions before slapping this into my hair, but thankfully I always apply my styling products to damp hair. It’s just so much easier. I took probably a little too much out but the first thing to strike me just how pliable it is. It’s softer than wax and melts really quickly when it comes into contact with warm skin.

Within seconds of taking from the tub it had become just runny enough to smooth through my now long hair. A quick brush back and then the application of a mild heat from the hairdryer and within five minutes I had perfectly styled hair.
The Legend’s London Original Pomade + Giveaway
The acid test for me with my styling products is hold, how it leaves hair looking, how my hair feels to the touch (I constantly mess with my fringe when my hair is longer) and how easy it is to wash out. On the hold front I can't really grumble - it kept my style in place for well over ten hours and even when blown slightly out of place (when stood by an open window on a train, so pretty forceful) my hair was so easy to manipulate back into style.

How does leave hair looking?

Well, there is no greasy shine, and after about three hours after styling it looks as though I’m not actually using any hair product at all. I prefer this look as my hair looks naturally lighter than it does when using a paste, cream or gel.

How does hair feel?

Don’t get me wrong, you can tell to the touch that you have something holding your hair in place but it doesn’t have the clammy texture that usually comes from using a pomade.

Can you get it out?

Yes, it’s actually surprising given the ten hours plus of great hold that this provides. It washes out with minimal effort, which in my book is a massive bonus. Nobody likes to be faffing around when already late for work!

TOP TIP: If you have a styling product that is a bitch to wash out, try applying your shampoo to dry hair and massaging it in before applying water.

Two years on and I’m still using the Maximum Hold gel, and if this lasts just half as long then it’s cracking value for money. It provides great hold, is a breeze to apply (if you leave your hair slightly damp as directed) and doesn’t leave that shine that looks as though you have dipped your head into cooking oil. It’s the bees knees.


What’s even better is that those lovely, lovely people at The Legend’s have given me a tub of the pomade to give away to one lucky reader. Take a peek below and feel free to enter/share.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Men's Shoes For Autumn

Peak summer heat is upon us, but all that means for fashion enthusiasts is that the autumn season is just around the corner. In a matter of months (or weeks, depending on where you live), the weather will begin to cool off and that cosy autumn atmosphere will begin to settle in. And for those who like to update their closets in accordance with the seasons, that means it's about time for an update.

Men's Shoes For Autumn

In particular, a lot of men like to look into new footwear heading into the autumn and winter seasons. Throughout the summer, a lot of us opt for a minimalist approach, wearing sandals or slip-on sneakers whenever appropriate. But come autumn it's time once again to embrace ordinary shoes once more. So, let's take a look at some of the styles making the rounds this season.

Puffy Sneakers
"Puffy" might not be the most technical design term with regard to men's footwear, but looking through Esquire's list of trendy sneakers, it's impossible not to notice that there's a certain bulky, puffed-up quality to stylish athletic shoes these days. From the Puma X Fenty Suede Creepers (which are effectively platform sneakers) to the Nike Air Max 1 re-release, there are just a lot of sneakers that look almost cushiony, which is a nice look for fall. For sneaker heads, now is a time for shoes like these as opposed to some of the stripped-down, ultra-thin low tops that have been popular in recent years.

Chuck Taylors
It almost goes without saying at this point, but sticking with sneakers, Chuck Taylors in all shapes and colours will undoubtedly be in once again this autumn. These are universally recognised as classic choices no matter how you choose to wear them, but the fun thing is that there are always new tweaks and customisations coming out. Just recently, Lyst's page of men's sneakers featured a few different Chucks with fun, original graphics on the heels, both on low and high tops. Some fans of these shoes are even buying plain ones and having patterns drawn or embroidered onto them. In a way, Chucks have become canvasses for expression.

Black (Shined) Dress Shoes
Looking at greater men's fashion trends for the coming autumn, Vogue's slideshow of looks focused mostly on shirts, pants, and outerwear. However, one can't help but notice looking through the images that there's an unusually heavy emphasis on all-black, slickly shined dress shoes and boots. This is actually a contrast to the brown leather boots that have been at least as popular as black shoes, if not more so, in the past few years. That's not to say brown boots are out, but black dress shoes and boots—and in particular, thoroughly shined ones—appear poised for a comeback of sorts.

These are just a few of the looks for men's footwear that have materialised already. In the next month or so we should start to see more regarding popular boot styles and the like for winter. But in the meantime, these trends should help with both your casual and formal footwear as we transition away from summer.

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