Category Archives: Grooming

A Dapper Man’s Guide to Personal Grooming, A must read for every Gentleman

In an era where wearing designer brands seem to have overtaken personal hygeine, it is worth educating some people that, designer outfits don't make a man but his grooming habits do. In this article, I am going to throw some light on a dapper man's guide to personal grooming ; endeavor to clean the body that wears the clothes

A dapper man must follow a grooming routine just as religiously as women follow a beauty routine. Magic is needed to make a frog become a prince, and to a stylish man, grooming is a big part of that magic. As Tom Ford once said, “Fine grooming is the mark of a modern gentleman. It is the way a man presents the best version of himself to the world, which must be followed as a daily ritual, to present nothing but your best self at all times".

When it comes to grooming a dapper man must follow an almost metrosexual way of self-care, always looking for high-quality products and making sure to check himself daily to avoid not to be in his best form. Keep in mind high-quality products doesn’t mean expensive products, the key to a smart grooming is to find products in your budget that works perfectly and specifically for you. Meanwhile, you just have to keep trying new products and researching to find the perfect match for you.

Here are a few essentials to include in your grooming routine:

1. Mouth Wash

For most men, it may be enough to brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush and a freshly scented toothpaste, followed by a flossing your teeth, but for a dapper man, it isn’t. To feel completely clean and ready to take on the day, enjoy a good night of sleep, and every meal in between, using a mouthwash is essential to get ready of every remaining bacterial because after all, not much can beat the satisfaction of having a perfect smile. Moreso, that perfect smile sometimes isn't solely dependent on mouth wash and toothpaste, teeth whitenening techniques have to be employed. There are several teeth whitening products out there and other home made practices with the use of baking powder.

2. Bathing

You would think bathing and mouth washing is a human routine but experience has taught me the contrary. Coming from a home where one was always compelled to visit the bathroom before breakfast, I thought that was the universal norm until I met people who would have a cigarette in their hand instead of a toothbrush and others who replaced a morning bath with a body spray. When it comes to dapper men, showering isn’t just showering, it’s an experience. From the great scent of the carefully picked body wash to the sensation of the water hitting the skin, bathing is something a dapper man do twice a day because it is impossible to choose between the joy of showering when you wake up or before bed. A bubble bath is also a motive of joy for all of those fortunate enough to have a jacuzzi, especially on cold days before cozying up in bed.

3.   Sunscreen

What’s the skin situation that comes to mind when you think of an old person? According to researchers, that’s not how our skin is supposed to look like when we age, one of the biggest reason it does is due to our unprotected exposure to the sun. The first and maybe one of the most important thing on the list, not only prevents you from having a bad looking uneven tan, but it helps you age better. Moisturizers and serums are great, but they are not miracle products, sunscreen is. So, do your future self a favor and put on sunscreen daily.

4.    Hydration

Not only of liquor lives a man. One of nature’s most precious resources not only is necessary for life to exist in our planet, but it is also something you should drink at least 8 cups of each day, as not only dehydrated skin can make you believe to have dry skin, but can cause fine lines and even wrinkles. One technique to know if you suffering from it is to pinch your cheek gently, if fine lines appear, you are dehydrated, so keep your sunscreen close, and your water bottle even closer.

5.    Manicure

The beauty is in the details, and when it comes to nails there’s nothing worse than to present yourself to someone with dirty/uncared for nails. The idea that mani-pedi is just for women is outdated. In this century, every man’s hygiene is expected to be perfect, and stakes are even higher to dapper man. It doesn’t matter if you are wearing the most well-tailored suit in the world, if your peers notice your nails aren’t on point, it won’t only be perceived, but severely judged. So, ask your friends or Google the best place to get a manicure near your location and be on top of the game. Plus, as a dapper man, you should always get a top coat!

6.    Pedicure

The occasions you are not wearing shoes may be the ones you wish to impress the most, rather it is for having people over your house, or at the beach, always be prepared to situations you won’t be able to hide your feet in shoes by not letting your nails grow to a point of poking through your socks, make it a point to check your nails often and make sure to get a pedicure every time it is necessary, not unavoidable.

7.    Facial Hair

Whether you have a beard or not, it is necessary to either have a perfectly clean shave or to trim it to perfection. It is not a good look to have a sloppy uneven beard, it makes you look gross and not put together, so make sure to invest on a good shaving or trim kit and work it as needed.

Being on the process of letting your beard grow is not a reason not to do the occasional trim, you should aim for an intentional looking beard, not the “have been running late and have no time for self-care” one, in this case, maintenance is key. Every dapper man should also know when it is time to visit a barber shop, for professional care.

8.    Nose and Ear Hair

Not taking care of your nostrils hair may be one of the biggest mistakes a dapper man could make. The problem with it, is that unlike when you have food on your teeth, people won’t warn you about it, as this subject, in particular, could come out as rude as there’s no polite way to warn this to someone and in most situations it would just make the person uncomfortable without being able to act on it, as it is not something you can take care of in a public setting.

To avoid embarrassment, make sure to pay attention to both your ear and nose and remember plucking hair in those areas can cause infections, so purchasing a good hair trimmer designed for the job is the best answer not only because the product is designed for both duty, but is also ideal to have an even hair length. Plus, with a trimmer, you are unable to go overboard and trim more hair than necessary, as the product is designed to not be able to trim more than a specific length.

9.    Haircut

A great haircut is noticeable and might just be a signature of a dapper man. The hair is the glue that sets the look together, so choosing a haircut that works for your face and style is absolutely necessary and having a professional opinion when making this choice is highly advised. Maintaining a nice haircut is also a must, you should get a trim every 2 to 4 weeks, varying from person to person, to avoid “losing” the haircut. Think of your hair maintenance as a tailoring necessary for a suit to best suit you, and make sure to make an appointment every so often to avoid looking like “you could use a tailoring”.

10.    Moisturize

Moisturizing is what keeps your skin from looking dull and dry. A well-moisturized body and face helps with the flexibility and soften the skin by chemically reducing evaporation. It is also key to keep your skin from aging too fast. Facial moisturizers must be bought to your specific type of skin, rather it is dry, combination or oily, make sure to read labels and ask professionals for help or research the best one for you. To find out what your skin type is, you can just take any online quizzes. It is also a good idea to start using the ones with anti-aging properties one you turn 25 years old.

When it comes to body moisturizer the process is much easier, you just look for one that makes your skin feel soft and have a smell you like.

11.    Serums

The best thing about serums is that you can find one for every complexion problem your skin may have and anything you wish to improve your skin. The best choice is to stay away from anything containing drying alcohols in its formula. Give preference to antioxidants ones if you are looking to repair sun damages and peptides to improve hydration.

Pro tip: Using a face toner after you showerer is great to help close the pores. Keep in mind it must be used before the moisturizer, serums and eye cream.

12.     Eye Cream

From your 20’s it is a good idea to use an under eye dark circles remover cream twice a day. Products such as de-puffing eyes rollerballs do the job just fine but the care must increase with age. In your 30’s, you must start using creams with anti-aging properties, such as retinol and vitamin C, as that’s the age the real fight against wrinkles begin. Once you turn 40 and your skin is completely mature, start looking for products that contain both retinol and vitamin C, plus peptides. In your 50’s, add an eyelid lifter to your routine.

13.    Pubic Hair

It is just not acceptable not to be well shaved in the pubic area in this era, and there are a lot of different techniques you can choose from such as shaving or waxing, as a dapper man don’t just trim. When the area is groomed it looks more aesthetically pleasing and clean. It is also a good way to avoid sweating in the area, as the hair makes it warmer. You can choose to do it yourself or with the help of a professional, which in the waxing case is the most indicated as you can easily burn yourself. If you choose to do it yourself, do so after you shower, as the pores will be open and the task will be made easier, plus, don’t forget to use an aftershave to stop the burn and kill bacteria.

14. Scent Statement

The perfect compliment to a dapper man is his signature smell. A complete dapper man must own a perculiar smell whether being indoors or outdoors. The key to smelling good always encompasses cleaning up oneself and also polishing up with body mists and fragrances. This is far from insinuating having all the fragrances on the fashion all fragrances on fashion magazines or online stores like you will see some people do, NO. All one needs is figuring out the right fragrance that imposes one's presence. The catching tip is buying fragrance with respect to seasons. Wood and Smokey scents work well with colder weather considitions and should be the basis of Fall/Winter fragrance shopping, meanwhile Light and Fruity smells are perfect for summer and spring. 

Now you know what the essentials of dapper lifestyle are. Instead of stressing yourself too hard to get that next designer products displayed on the runways, get yourself cleaned enough to attract even those without a sense of fashion. Ladies prefer a man who smells good over a man who looks expensive.

What are some of your grooming rituals and what products you can’t live without? Leave a comment down below!

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How to dress and stay warm in Winter

Haven moved to the United States from a warm climate and living on the East Coast, at the brink of one of the harshest winter Maryland has ever experienced back in 2010, memories of my first winter experience are very far from ever fading. I struggled so hard to dresss warm and actually stayed warm once I left the house.

It took me six long months to land my first job after a 5days a week, 8am – 5pm outdoors experience in temperatures compared to that of the Eskimos of Antarctica shown on foreign TV channels back home in Cameroon. Most immigrants who arrive the western world from tropical and equatorial regions can relate.

Should I mention that the timberland boots and heavy wool overcoat that I bought from Walmart did not help in most of the days I went out job hunting? Or will it be an exaggeration if I say the cold breeze at metro stations (mostly built with concrete cement) was accompanied by a whistle? Anyone waiting for or happened to have missed the last bus at near midnight might suffer from a post traumatic stress disorder from reading this line 😊

I learned from speaking with homeless men on the streets of Washington DC where I spent most of my days job hunting the art of dressing warm and staying warm that I am still using today and have shared with others. At first, my critical mind couldn’t assimilate my few hours exposure to cold that left parts of my body numb to homeless people’s outdoor living. Simply dressing warm isn’t enough for daily survival in winter especially for hustlers who must step out every freezing morning to their career sites. Not every warm dress can keep you warm for up to 30 minutes after stepping out of your home or car. You must think about staying warm for several hours should your car break down, involved in an accident, run out of fuel, missed the bus/train etc. Those who rely on public transportation for commute can relate. Here are the tips for staying warm after leaving your house;

Layering

The key to cold weather dressing is layering.

Let me repeat that: The key to cold weather dressing is layering.

Layering basically means just what it sounds like: wearing multiple layers of clothes, one on top of the next.  Several lighter layers will keep you warmer than one very thick winter jacket/over coat. This is because once cold air penetrates, that think winter coat, the trapped cold air in the cotton or fur tend to supply the cold to your body which defeats the purpose for wearing it. But when you have multiple clothing, warmth from your body is trapped in between layers thereby surrounding you with a self-generated heat shield that insulates you from the cold. Having two warm layers makes it easier to regulate body temperature vs just a shirt and a thick, heavy coat!

Although layering seems to be the correct approach to dressing warm and staying warm, the right garments must be worn if not you might end up looking like a soccer stadium mascot but still freezing on the inside.  You must utilize the right clothing based on fabric and on your destination of course; a business professional’s appearance would be different from a construction worker by default. For purses of fashion and style which is the reason for the existence of this blog, I will incline the direction of this post towards the classy gentleman’s look on a cold winter day.

Experts break layering into three sections:

– The base layer

–  The middle layer

–  The outer protection layer

Let’s break these down further.

Base Layer

Your winter base layer which is worn directly on your skin is primarily meant to provide the first layer of insulation and most importantly deal with moisture removal. Remember you will always sweat after dressing warm so make sure your base layer is one that can absorb the sweat your body perspires because if that sweat is not absorbed immediately, its presence will cool your skin rapidly and may be dangerous in liaison to the outside temperature.

This base layer garment mostly referred to as thermal under garments are mostly made of synthetic fibers which performs a dual role;

–        Insulates the body

–        Wicks moisture away from the body to keep it dry

The lightweight thermal undergarments mostly made of fibers are flexible and fits properly underneath a middle layer which may be a long sleeve cotton dress shirt or a wool turtle or V-neck sweater.

Middle Layer

The job of the middle layer clothing is to trap in heat.

Natural fibers like cotton and wool have excellent insulating properties and make a perfect middle layer clothing.  They provide a lot of heat even though their texture seem light.  Wool can absorb 30% of its weight and not feel wet and even continues to provide some warmth when wet.

Wool sweaters are some of the dressiest options available that still provide serious winter warmth.  A good wool sweater paired with a regular cotton dress shirt makes for a functional insulating layer for a business outfit in cold days. Wool turtle necks are a better option for evening hangouts. Thick wool or fleece trousers make the best insulating layer for your legs.  Over a base layer they’re extremely warm.  Denim may appear thick and heavy but is not an ideal winter wear unless it is worn over a thermal or inner insulating layer. So, avoid jeans if you rely on public transportation or your office’s heating system is not very efficient in keeping your work environment warm enough.

  1. Protective Layer

Your outer layer is the shell that shields all the inner layers.  It’s usually a jacket or over coat like duffle coat, pea coat, topcoat, trench coat, bomber jacket etc (will make a separate post on winter coat types) which doesn’t necessarily need any insulation layer.

The protective layer plays two very significant roles;

–        Traps air and stops wind from reaching your body.  That’s the reason it is mostly meant to be worn outdoors

–        Exhales moisture out–your body from your inner layers. Outer coats made of leather can breathe an ugly smell if worn for prolonged hours

That means that most outer layers are water-resistant but not fully water-proofed.

Cold Weather Dapper Look

Need to look a little sharp and its below degrees outside? Your favorite team is playing against their rival club and you already bought the ticket to go watch the game but it’s damn freezing outside? Let me show you how you can still pull that dapper look and wow everyone like a body builder in beach wear.

Layering, as usual, is key.  Wear your usual dress shirt and tie over a long –  sleeved, moisture-wicking under layer (synthetic fiber) – cotton traps moisture well enough that you don’t want it against your body.

The Importance of Fit

Fit must be of prime consideration when dressing up yourself in layers. Clothes still must allow freedom of movement–one poor fitting layer can alter your ability to perform normally.

Your base layer should always skintight fit.  It’s there for wicking and it needs to be touching your body for efficiency purpose.  Most thermal underwear brands will do just a good job serving that purpose – keeping you warm.

Insulating layers should be stacked from the thinnest and tightest to the thickest and loosest.

Dapper Winter Accessories

Hats:  Insulated headbands for active exercise and warmer/sunnier days.  Stocking caps for colder weather and stationary or light exercise.

Scarves:  Vital wind protection.  Always have one tucked under the shell layer.

Sweaters:  A standard insulation layer.  Wool is the best–thick, natural wool with the lanolin still in it is extremely durable and water-resistant, while lighter cashmere wool makes very lightweight garments that still provide good insulation.

Wool Trousers:  Useful as both dress clothes and cold weather gear.  Thicker wools add more warmth and can handle more wetness.

Flannel-lined Pants:  Common in blue jeans and other work clothes.  Adds a layer of insulation to regular, functional pants.  Basically, worthless when wet, however.

Snow Boots:  Soft-sided boots with flexible soles and insulation on the insides.  Usually waterproof.

Leather Boots: Most cap toe boots perfect for keeping your feet warm and dry while still maintaining a professional look for the office.

Wool Socks:  Vital layer for the feet.  Can come quite thin in wool/synthetic blends, but the extra padding of thick wool socks helps trap more air for warmth.

Long Thermal Underwear:  Wool or synthetic (or a blend of both).  Makes a huge difference in keeping the legs warm.

Leather Gloves:  You want the closest fit you can have without straining the material.  A loose glove that slides back and forth won’t hold warmth nearly as well. You also need a length that fully covers the wrist, far enough up that you can tuck it completely into a coat sleeve.

All the above in one place – CEO of Stanlion Clothing http://stanlion.com/

 

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