2013 May 31

New_Performance_T_104_721Start again

Most of what guys learn about fashion they learned really young, from other guys – and that’s all based on dominance and testosterone, not on the basics of appearance, style and fit. So let go of the ideas that your mates gave you about what works, and start again with the basics of fit and function.

Fit

Clothing has to fit, but many men don’t know where it should fit (T-shirts fit shoulders and arms, not bellies, jeans fit waists, or builder’s crack occurs etc) – ask somebody else to confirm the fit of a chosen new garment, as you might not really know what fits you

Function

Garments should have a purpose. This comes as a surprise to a lot of men who just wear what feels easy and comfortable. If you’re dressing for work, your clothing should reflect well on your employer and allow you to do your job, whatever it is.

Buy the basics first

A simple white T-shirt, a good pair of jeans, a smart jacket and a really good shirt will get you through most situations. Invest in those basics first and you’ll find the rest of your wardrobe falls into place around these basics, which are called the staples. Our .99 pence T-shirt deal will help!

Keep it simple

Simplicity is valuable and practical. Treat your wardrobe like a car, give it at least an annual MOT and throw out anything that looks dodgy or too worn.

Plan around activity

The one thing most guys don’t do is choose clothing based on their lives. If you work out five days a week, gym wear should be a big priority. If you hit the clubs four nights in a row, your wardrobe should reflect that – basically you should spend your money so that you could do your chosen activities, whatever they are, for a week, without having to use a washing machine (and that doesn’t mean wearing the same thing over and over until it honks!) because otherwise you become ‘that guy’ who wears the same outfit all the time.

Try something new

When hoodies came out, back in the day, most men though they were a bit weird – like a sweatshirt with a hat, was how one famous footballer described them. And yet, today, there’s hardly a bloke alive who doesn’t have at least one, even your dad! So be prepared to try some new form of clothing and find out if it works for you.


2013 May 9

sir alexSo, the most successful British football manager of all time is retiring. For many it’s the end of an era, and all those other clichés. There are also a thousand theories about what made Ferguson so great and one of them is related to clothing.

Scientists at Portsmouth University discovered that a team’s belief in their manager’s competence is related to the way the manager dresses. So Ferguson’s habit of wearing tracksuits in training, and suits and shirts for match days, creates the perfect blend of competence. A tracksuit or leggings and sweatshirt on training days suggests the ability to transmit technical skills while formal clothing for match days inspires belief in strategic competence.

Surprisingly, the effect is greater on the opposition, than the team being managed, so part of Ferguson’s longevity may be his consistent approach to always dressing like a player when coaching and a businessman when in front of the opposition – over long years of media exposure, he’s created a persona that appears to have perfect mastery of both sets of skills, creating an air of omnipotence that threatens both players and managers on other teams.

Gamegear_Tracksuit_104_282One way that this has been proved true is that in February last year, when Sir Alex appeared on TV in a suit and white polo neck sweater rather than a shirt, social media networks and sports commentators alike were agog about his apparently insignificant change of attire – and all kinds of theories abounded. Several tweets went with the line ‘The name’s Ferguson, Alex Ferguson’ referencing the famous white polo neck of James Bond and linking the two great British icons.

Few other managers have such an impact and, apart from Jose Mourinho, none of them score anything other than own goals, clothing wise. So it seems that to dress like a boss, on and off the pitch, has been part of Sir Alex’s success story.


2012 January 20

Many of us have to fly for business, and it can be quite difficult, as a new traveller, to get to grips with how to pack and what to wear, especially if you have to get off the plane, sometimes after a long flight, and get straight into a meeting, conference or negotiation.

Here are a few tips to help the novice business traveller look right and feel right and hit the ground running:

Carry your jacket onto the plane. It’s difficult to keep a formal suit looking good on a long flight, but certain kinds of jacket were made for business travel: tweet is pretty well uncrushable and looks great with a smart white cotton shirt. When you take it off and put it in the overhead locker, make sure you fold it carefully and lay it on top of your case, not beside it, or your jacket will end up crushed at the back of the locker by somebody else’s bag.

Wear a shirt with a top pocket – this can hold your passport and travel tickets but never put pens in shirt pockets because they tend to leak under cabin pressure and that’s the end of a good shirt and the way to make yourself look like a geek in a business meeting!

Put a plain white T-shirt in your carry on luggage. On a long flight you can take of that good white shirt and pull on a plain T-shirt to travel in. That means your shirt, neatly folded into your hand-luggage, stays fresh and you can relax and drop your meal down the front of your T-shirt without worrying that it will be seen by the people meeting you at the other end! And if the worst comes to the worst and you are trapped in an airport, you’ve got a change of clothes with you.

Wear zip up or slip-on boots. This means you can get your boots on and off easily for security without the hassle of laces for trainers. They look good enough for a business meeting too.


2008 November 6

Try a dry cleaning kit!

In these difficult times we’re all thinking about saving money. What about cutting your dry cleaning bills?

If you’re looking for cheap dry-cleaning, the Hagerty Dry Cleaning Kit could be the perfect answer. It works by utilising your own tumble dryer.

First you use the supplied special stain-removing cloth to spot clean any marks, on the clothing, then you simply put your garments, the cloth and the bag in the tumble dryer. The heat of the dryer activates the chemicals impregnated in the cloth and they gently clean and freshen your clothing. It can be used on virtually any item from a tie, or dress right up to a coat.

The advantages of the kit are clear: for a cost of £8.99 it can clean up to 16 items in total. I don’t think there are any high street dry cleaners who charge 56p per garment! In addition to the cost saving, there’s the time element you don’t have to go out to the shops twice to drop off and then collect your clothing. There is one downside though: although the kit will clean your clothes, you may still need to get them pressed, or iron them yourself.

I haven’t used the kit myself yet, but if it works as well as Hagerty claim, it will be flying off the shelves in the next few months.

The Hagerty Dry Cleaning kit is available from Lakeland and costs £8.99 plus delivery.

If you’ve have had a good experience with the kit please let me know and I’ll share it with other readers.