‘Octopath Traveler’: The Job System Explained

While Octopath Traveler drew the eye of an abundance of gamers for its stunning visual direction and musical score, what sealed this game as a must-play for many was its robust job system. Like many classic JRPGs, Octopath Traveler utilizes a system of character classes to expand the abilities that any single character can use and create an absurd number of team compositions in battle.

Experimenting with the different possibilities allowable in this job system is sure to provide hours of fun, although this mechanic can be a bit overwhelming to those new to the genre or this kind of game design. Here is everything you need to know about Octopath Traveler’s engaging job system.

The Mechanics


What everything does and how to best use them.

Similar to other JRPGs like Bravely Default, characters in Octopath Traveler have a primary set of unlockable abilities and skills and can equip a second selection of techniques to unlock. Octopath’s protagonists cannot change their main job under any circumstance – Therion will always be a Thief and Primrose will forever be a Dancer – but they can freely equip and alternate their secondary job once it’s unlocked. This happens outside of battle through the main menu and playing around with different job combinations is almost required to deal with some of the game’s more difficult enemies.

The way new skills unlock in a specific job is also a bit unusual compared to other JRPGs. Each battle yields ability points which a player can spend to unlock the abilities in a role in any order, although you cannot access a job’s ultimate ability until all other skills are usable. Each ability unlocked in Octopath is either an active skill that’s usable in battle or a passive ability that provides benefits in the overworld. It’s important to note, though, that unlocked passive skills are available to equip at any time while active skills are only at a character’s disposal when they are using a specific sub-job.

How to Unlock Sub-Jobs in Octopath Traveler


To gain employment in ‘Octopath,’ you just need to go to a shrine.

There are 12 possible sub-jobs in Octopath Traveler, eight that correspond with the jobs of the main characters and four additional hidden sub-jobs. To unlock each sub-job, a player needs to visit a corresponding shrine that also hints at a bit of the game’s lore. The eight main shrines are in the beginning areas of the eight protagonists. So the Warrior shrine is found in the Highlands where Olberic begins his journey, the Cleric shrine is in the Frostlands where Ophilia begins her journey, and so on.

The shrines to unlock the hidden sub-jobs Rune Master, Warlord, Enchanter, and Augur also require the player to defeat powerful bosses. These bosses are too tough to take on until the last third or so of the game, and the shrines themselves are hidden away in the furthest corners of the game’s world. The trial is definitely worth it, though, as these sub-jobs offer some of the best abilities in the game and further expand the creativity available in designing your team.

Suggested Job Combinations


Where to start in mastering this enticing game design.

While a lot of the fun in Octopath comes from figuring out which job combinations and team compositions work best for an individual’s preferred playstyle, a little direction can go a long way in planning out an adventure. Here are some suggested class pairings to try out, and if you need more info on how sub-jobs affect character stats, there are plenty of resources available. 

One job combination that has a ton of potential is giving Therion the Dancer subclass. As a thief, he can inflict damage based on his speed stat, and the Dancer secondary-job boosts speed more than any other job in the game. If you’re looking for more of a defensive combination, giving Olberic the Apothecary sub-job can turn him into an HP tank capable of efficiently healing himself and his teammates with ease.

Another exceptionally potent combination involves giving the scholar Cyrus the Cleric subclass. Cyrus is the most adept magic user in the game, and Cleric abilities allow him to use light elemental magic on foes and reliably heal teammates as well. Giving Tressa the Thief subclass enables her to steal both items and money from enemies. This will make her an even more reliable source of income in the game and gives her access to the snatch ability that increases the number of items or amount of money she steals.

‘Octopath Traveler’ Review: A Love/Eight Relationship

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‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ Post-Credits Scenes Explained

SPOILER ALERT: Warning, this article contains major spoilers from Ant-Man and the Wasp post-credits scenes. Proceed at your own risk.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to be released after Avengers: Infinity War. Like all other MCU films, it contains post-credits scenes that provide glimpses into the future of the franchise.

This article focuses on the first post-credits scene, which drops hints at the yet untitled Avengers 4.

In Ant-Man and the Wasp, the title characters team up to rescue Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), the wife of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and the mother of Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly).


Ant-Man and the Wasp Hope van Dyne Hank Pym
Hope and Hank learn Janet may still be alive in the Quantum Realm.

Janet has been trapped in the Quantum Realm for three decades, after sacrificing herself to stop a Soviet nuke during a Cold War mission. With the aid of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), Janet’s is successfully reunited with her family.

During her years trapped in the Quantum Realm, Janet learned many of its mysteries, including its powers of restoration. “This place, it changes you,” Janet explains. “Part of it is evolution.”

She uses her superhuman abilities to heal Ghost, a woman stuck in a state of molecular disequilibrium after being exposed to quantum energy.

At the end of the movie, Ant-Man embarks on the mission back to the realm via a quantum tunnel built in the back of Luis’ van. Hank, Janet, and Hope help Scott navigate from a station next to the van.

Scott goes subatomic and begins to collect quantum healing particles for Ghost, when communication cuts out. Cut to the real world, where fans see three pillars of dust disintegrating in the wind. The entire Pym-Van Dyne family falls victim to Thanos’ snap, which wipes out half of the living beings in the universe.


Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantum Realm
Janet warns Scott of the tardigrades … and time vortexes.

As a result, Scott is trapped in the Quantum Realm … with no means of returning.

But all is not lost. Right before she disappears, Janet warns Scott about the time vortexes. What she meant as a warning, may actually end up saving him. We know that Ant-Man will be in Avengers 4, as production photos reveal Ant-Man alongside the team during the Battle of New York depicted in Avengers. Will Scott use the time vortexes in the Quantum Realm to find the Avengers in the past? Fans will find out when Avengers 4 hits theaters on May 3, 2019.

The second post-credit is little more than a visual gag, with a giant ant playing Scott’s drums in his San Francisco home.

Ant-Man and The Wasp is currently in theaters.

Review: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ Is Marvel’s Strongest Family Film

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Every 2018 World Cup Team Name Code, Explained

With the FIFA 2018 World Cup underway, fans less familiar with international soccer may take a look at the score and wonder: Wait, who’s playing in this game?

In most cases, World Cup team names take their scoreboard acronyms, also known as FIFA codes, from the first three letters of their name in English. But there are a handful of exceptions. Here’s a complete list of the FIFA codes for all 32 teams competing in the 2018 World Cup, along with explanations when their origin isn’t immediately clear.

  1. ARG: Argentina
  2. AUS: Australia
  3. BEL: Belgium
  4. BRA: Brazil
  5. COL: Colombia
  6. CRC: Costa Rica. Because Costa Rica’s name is two words long, the FIFA code takes the first letter from each word instead of the first three letters. The second “C” is from the “C” in “Rica.”
  7. CRO: Croatia
  8. DEN: Denmark
  9. EGY: Egypt
  10. ENG: England
  11. FRA: France
  12. GER: Germany
  13. ISL: Iceland. In French, “Iceland” is spelled “Islande.” The FIFA Code refers to the French spelling.
  14. IRN: Iran. The International Olympic Committee country code for Iran is “IRI,” which stands for “Islamic Republic of Iran.” The FIFA code removes the “a” from “Iran,” abbreviating the name to IRN, in line with the country codes set out by the International Organization for Standardization.
  15. JPN: Japan.
  16. KOR: South Korea. FIFA refers to South Korea’s soccer team as the “Korea Republic national football team.” The team code is the first three letters of that name. North Korea’s FIFA code is “PRK” for “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” though only South Korea is playing in this year’s World Cup.
  17. MEX: Mexico
  18. MAR: Morocco. The name refers to the French spelling of Morocco, Maroc.
  19. NGA: Nigeria. The country code “NIG” belongs to Niger, so “NGA” is used to distinguish Nigeria.
  20. PAN: Panama
  21. PER: Peru
  22. POL: Poland
  23. POR: Portugal
  24. RUS: Russia
  25. KSA: Saudi Arabia. KSA stands for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  26. SEN: Senegal
  27. SRB: Serbia
  28. ESP: Spain. ESP comes from the French spelling for Spain, Espagne.
  29. SWE: Sweden.
  30. SUI: Switzerland. The FIFA abbreviation refers to the French spelling of Switzerland, Suisse.
  31. TUN: Tunisia
  32. URU: Uruguay

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Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 3 Timeline Explained (UPDATED)

SPOILER ALERT: Warning, this article contains spoilers from the complete Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline through Avengers: Infinity War. Proceed at your own risk.

An original version of this article appeared on December 13, 2016. It was updated on April 30, 2018 to reflect the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, and Avengers: Infinity War. See subheading “Wrapping Up Phase 3” for the newest info.

The juggernaut franchise that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe launched Phase Three of its plan to dominate cinema in 2016. The year began with the massive superhero slugfest that was Captain America: Civil War, and ended by introducing magic and mysticism in Doctor Strange. Looking ahead to 2017, Phase Three continues with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Thor: Ragnarok. With another five films scheduled for Phase Three, the MCU will stretch to twenty-two individual films by the end of 2019.

Over the course of fourteen films starting with Iron Man in 2008, numerous interconnecting storylines have been weaved through the narrative. It can be hard to keep them straight, especially when the concepts jump films. Which Infinity Stone is which? How many are there? Who is Thanos? What happened to a certain character? What exactly is shawarma? As 2017 approaches, we look at where the Marvel Cinematic Universe currently stands, and what we can expect in the films to come.

The Avengers


marvel-avengers-lineup

United in their common goal to defend the Earth from alien threats and the scourge of HYDRA, the Avengers soon faced a product of their own (well, mainly Tony Stark and Bruce Banner) creation: Ultron. Although they ultimately won the day, it marked the start of the Avengers’ downfall. In the wake of the battle, the Hulk went missing and Thor returned to Asgard, worried by a vision he had. And both Tony and Clint Barton effectively retired from the field. Steve Rogers organized a new Avengers team with himself and Natasha Romanoff as the core. They were joined by Sam Wilson, James Rhodes, Wanda Maximoff, and Vision.

A disastrous mission to Lagos caused international outrage as many considered that the US-based Avengers were operating unilaterally on foreign soil. This led to the creation of the Sokovia Accords which called for the registration of all super-powered individuals and vigilantes. The Accords also called for regulation of the Avengers under the auspices of an international oversight committee. The signing of the Accords split the Avengers along philosophical lines as they decided to be either pro- or anti-registration. During the signing of the Accords, the meeting was seemingly bombed by the Winter Soldier, killing the king of Wakanda, T’Chaka.

Steve’s refusal to sign the Accords and his insistence that the Winter Soldier was not behind the attack led to a Civil War between the Avengers. By the time the dust settled, the Avengers were torn apart with one major casualty – James Rhodes suffered severe spinal injuries that left him paralysed. Tony also found out that the Winter Soldier was responsible for the deaths of his parents, and that Steve knew the truth, leading to an almighty battle between the three of them. Now, the Avengers Facility stands virtually empty, home to only Tony, Rhodes, and Vision.

Captain America and the Winter Soldier 


captain-america-and-winter-soldier

In the wake of the Avengers Civil War, Steve Rogers has given up his shield. As Tony pointed out at the end of their fight in Siberia, the shield was made for him by Howard Stark. The same Howard Stark who Bucky Barnes – the Winter Soldier – assassinated. And since Bucky is (literally) Steve’s oldest friend, he refuses to abandon him, knowing that he was brainwashed into committing murder. Tony considers him unworthy to wield the shield, and Steve agreed.

But Steve is still Captain America. And Captain America does not leave comrades behind. Because they supported Steve in the Avengers Civil War, Sam Wilson, Clint Barton, Wanda Maximoff, and Scott Lang were imprisoned in the Raft. But Steve could not let them remain incarcerated, and broke them out. Now they are fugitives, but Steve promises Tony that the Avengers will be there when the world needs them. Which, with Thanos after the Infinity Stones, will probably be sooner rather than later.

Appropriately enough, Bucky Barnes lives up to the name of the Winter Soldier once more. Despite being free of HYDRA, Helmut Zemo proved that he was not free of their influence. Using trigger codes, Bucky reverted to the mindless assassin that HYDRA created. Afraid of what he might do if anyone else obtains his trigger codes, Bucky voluntarily returns to cryogenic suspension under the watchful eye of Prince T’Challa in Wakanda until he can be free of HYDRA’s influence.

Black Panther and the nation of Wakanda


black panther 1

Wakanda has come out of its own self-imposed isolation after Vibranium was used by Ultron to create both Vision’s body and his own upgraded form. One of the Wakandan’s outreach missions was in Lagos, and eleven relief aid workers were accidentally killed by Wanda Maximoff as she tried to contain the explosion from Brock Rumalow’s bomb vest. The tragedy in Lagos set into motion the creation of the Sokovia Accords. During the signing, King T’Chaka was killed in a bombing perpetrated by Helmut Zero and blamed on the Winter Soldier.

Prince T’Challa has now taken the mantle of King of Wakanda after the death of his father. Not only is he now ruler of Wakanda, he is the superhero known as the Black Panther. He initially blamed the Winter Soldier for the death of his father and sought vengeance. Eventually, T’Challa discovered that the true culprit was Helmut Zemo. Seeing how the vengeance Zemo held against the Avengers had consumed him, T’Challa refused to follow the same path and let go of his own.

King T’Challa now leads Wakanda as they move into the international community. He has also provided refuge for Bucky Barnes, cryogenically freezing him at his own request to prevent him from being used again to hurt and kill.

Ant-Man and the Wasp


scott-lang-and-hope-van-dyne

By the end of Ant-Man, Scott Lang had found a sense of peace. He was a burgeoning superhero, a real hero to his daughter, Cassie, and finally on friendly(ish) terms with his ex-wife and her new husband. Scott was no longer a wanted man and had paid his debt to society. He was embarking on a romance with Hope van Dyne. And Sam Wilson was looking for him since the Avengers were interested in his abilities. Life was getting pretty interesting for Scott.

Scott’s association with Sam Wilson and the Avengers led to him siding with Steve Rogers during Civil War. During the battle, he demonstrated a new ability to grow to giant-sized proportions. Like all of Steve’s allies, he ended up imprisoned in the Raft after the battle at Flughafen Leipzig-Halle. Steve broke them all out at the end of Civil War, but Scott Lang is once again a man on the run. How that will affect his new relationships is yet to be determined.

Hope van Dyne pleaded with her father, Hank Pym, for years to let her wear the Ant-Man suit and was furious when he passed her over in favor of Scott. But now, Hank is finishing the suit he intended for his wife before she was lost in the Quantum Realm. Hope will become one of the newest superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – the Wasp.

The Guardians of the Galaxy


Guardians Of The Galaxy - The Video Game

A group of ragtag misfits and criminals – Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot – were united by a common love of money and vengeance. They became the Guardians of the Galaxy and lived up to their name. They defended Xandar and the rest of the universe from the machinations of Ronan the Accuser and the Power Stone. But it was not without cost. Groot sacrificed his life to save his comrades. Pardoned for their previous crimes by the Nova Corps, the Guardians resolved to do something good. Or something bad. Or a bit of both.

Ronan may have been the main villain of Guardians, but it was Thanos who set events in motion. Thanos, known as the Mad Titan, is seeking the Infinity Stones for his own ends. Through his machinations, he has now tested the mettle of the Avengers and the Guardians. Thanos is now heading for a confrontation with the assembled superheroes. But not just yet.

Armed with an entirely new soundtrack, the Guardians are joined by unlikely new recruits Yondu, Nebula, and Mantis. They are heading back into adventure, and this time, Peter Quill will be meeting his father. Oh, and Groot? He’s kind of still alive. Or a version of him is, at least. And he is adorable. The biggest question though, will be whether Cosmo the Spacedog will join the team. Or if Howard the Duck will make another cameo.

Thor, Loki, and Asgard


thor_odin_loki

Following the Dark Elf assault on Asgard that left Queen Frigga dead, Asgard stands at a crossroads. Thor left for Earth to be with Jane Foster and generally pal around with the Avengers. Loki was seemingly dead, slain by Kurse in Svartalfheim, and Odin was grieving for his wife. In reality, Loki sits on the throne of Asgard, disguised as Odin after faking his death and returning to Asgard in secret. Whether Odin is dead or alive is currently unclear, and will most likely be cleared up in Thor: Ragnarok.

Loki has his own agenda, and no one on Asgard is any the wiser that their king has been replaced. But Thor knows doom is coming to Asgard. Wanda Maximoff used her powers to give him a vision of Asgard and Heimdall claiming that Thor would lead them all to their deaths. Thor sought clarity in the Water of Sights, and learned that at the time that four of the Infinity Stones had been discovered. Following the defeat of Ultron, Thor returned to Asgard seeking answers.

From the post-credit sequence of Doctor Strange, it becomes clear that Thor learns of Loki’s survival and (presumably) his impersonation of Odin. The brothers come looking for him in New York City, and enlist the help of Doctor Strange. Thor’s absence from the events of Civil War were explained because he was on vacation in Australia, taking some “me time,” and rooming with Darryl. He was not idle however, investigating the Infinity Stones and Thanos (purple, magic glove, doesn’t like standing up).

The Masters of the Mystic Arts


masters-of-the-mystic-arts

The Masters of the Mystic Arts, led by the Ancient One, have protected the Earth from extradimensional and mystical threats for centuries. While heroes like the Avengers protect the physical world, the Masters protect everything else. Their order is secret, spoken of in whispers. But they stand as Earth’s defense against the likes of Dormammu.

Doctor Stephen Strange has now joined their ranks, showing remarkable talents that allowed him to harness the power of the Time Stone to defeat Kaecilius and Dormammu. However, the battle to stop them resulted in the death of the Ancient One. With the Ancient One gone, Doctor Strange now stands to inherit her mantle as Sorcerer Supreme. But while he is now the protector of Earth from mystical and extra-dimensional threats, he is still learning to be master his new powers.

Doctor Strange may be one of the new superheroes to surface in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but he is quickly becoming a player. Now in charge of the New York Sanctum Santorum, Strange maintains a watchlist of otherworldly threats to the Earth, which includes affably evil Asgardian schemer Loki.

Spider-Man


Iron Man Spider-Man homecoming feature hero

Captain America: Civil War introduced not only Black Panther, but was the debut of one of the most popular Marvel superheroes – Spider-Man. Fresh from the deal with Sony allowing Peter Parker and his webslinging alter-ego to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the latest incarnation of the wallcrawler has firmly established himself as a fan-favorite.

Spider-Man: Homecoming will follow Peter’s adventures as he attempts to establish himself as a bonafide superhero and prove himself to Tony Stark while presumably keeping him away from flirting with Aunt May. This is no origin story, though. Peter is already well-established as Spider-Man, and soon faces his greatest threat to date: Batman Vulture. Also, high school.

The youngest hero to date in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spider-Man: Homecoming promises a departure from the standard superhero story. In much the same way as Guardians of the Galaxy introduced the MCU to vastness of the galaxy, and Doctor Strange introduced the mystical and magical, Homecoming looks to show what happens when an average person gains powers. And the responsibilities that come with it.

The Infinity Stones


Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Tying the Marvel Cinematic Universe together are the Infinity Stones – six gems of extraordinary power. In the fourteen films so far released in the MCU, five of the six stones have been discovered. The Space Stone, introduced in Captain America: The First Avenger as the Tesseract; the Mind Stone, introduced in The Avengers within Loki’s scepter and now residing in the forehead of Vision; the Reality Stone, introduced in Thor: The Dark World and known as the Aether to the Asgardians; the Power Stone, introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy and now safely held by the Nova Corps; and the Time Stone, introduced in Doctor Strange and encased in the Eye of Agamotto.

With the reveal in Doctor Strange that the Eye of Agamotto houses the Time Stone, only one Infinity Stone remains undiscovered – the Soul Stone. Viewers have kind of seen it already in Guardians of the Galaxy, and we know one thing: it is orange. But that’s pretty much the extent of our knowledge. Where it will show up, we can only speculate at this point. Considering Thanos is after all six, we can assume that it should make its debut before Avengers: Infinity War. Of all the films in Phase Three, the most likely film for the Soul Stone to debut in is probably Thor: Ragnarok.

In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor learned that four of the Infinity Stones had been discovered, and knew their discovery in recent years was no coincidence. He believed that someone was playing their own game, and they were little more than pawns in his scheme. One thing is sure: once the Soul Stone comes on to the board, Thanos will make his move to secure the stones and assemble the Infinity Gauntlet.

Wrapping Up Phase 3


Avengers Infinity War War Machine Captain America Black Widow

The bulk of this article has covered the earliest events of Phase 3, mainly the films Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange. However, A LOT has happened since then. Asgard was completely destroyed in Thor: Ragnarok, as was Mjolnir, Odin, Hela, the Warriors Three and a large amount of Asgard’s population. The survivors of Ragnarok were almost completely wiped out during the first few minutes of Infinity War, including Loki and Heimdall, which means Thor is currently without a family, without a planet, or without a people.

Spider-Man is currently an Avenger. While he wanted to keep a low profile in Spider-Man: Homecoming, he was “knighted” as an Avenger by Tony Stark during Infinity War. The events of Homecoming grounded Peter, they humbled him, they also taught him the valuable lesson of how to be a hero when the mask isn’t on.

The Guardians, who are currently MIA after the events of Infinity War, except Rocket, lost both Yondu and Peter’s father, Ego during Guardians Vol. 2. Star-Lord’s father turned out to be a self-obsessed galaxy killer, so Peter and the Guardians took him out. Sadly Yondu was lost in the battle. Nebula and Gamora also healed the rift between them during the film, which set up one of the most emotional moments in Infinity War: Nebula’s torture and Gamora’s surrender of the Soul Stone to Thanos.


Avengers Infinity War Mbaku Okoye

That brings us to Wakanda. During the events of Black Panther, Wakanda came under siege from Kilmonger — T’Challa’s cousin. Kilmonger succeeded in becoming the new Black Panther, but not for long. At the end of the film, T’Challa and Shuri agreed to open Wakanda’s borders to the outside world. In Infinity War, Captain America brought Vision to Wakanda so Shuri could separate him from the Mind Stone. This proved unsuccessful and Vision was killed by Thanos when the Mad Titan ripped the gem from his head.

That leaves us with the aftermath of Avengers: Infinity War. Thanos used the gauntlet and wiped out half of the universe, including half of the Avengers. The only Avengers left are Black Widow, Captain America, War Machine, Iron Man and Bruce Banner. The only Wakandan leaders left are Shuri, M’Baku, and Okoye. As for the Guardians, only Rocket and Nebula are left. Even Nick Fury and Maria Hill vanished at the end of the film, which brings us to the final stand-alone movie of Phase 3: Captain Marvel. Her logo appearing at the end if the film signals that she will be a key part of Avengers: Infinity War.

The next three films in the phase are Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel, and Avengers 4. Hopefully each of these films will bring the right sense of closure to what has been the most unpredictable phase yet.

Ant-Man and the Wasp hits theaters on July 6 2018, Captain Marvel on March 8th 2019, and Avengers 4 on May 3rd, 2019.

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Non-Spoiler Review: Marvel Delivers On Every Promise

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Smart Casual Dress Code Explained

Even 20 years ago, dress codes were much more defined and people clearly understood what they meant, however, in recent years, fashion and clothes have become more casualized and because of that, new dress codes have evolved.

The term casual today can be anything from gym clothes or athleisure, all the way up to something that’s office appropriate such as a dress shirt and chinos. Now obviously, there is a big disconnect and just having the casual dress code is no longer enough. So if you get an invitation with a dress code smart casual, I hear your pain.

What Exactly Is Smart Casual?

Historically, the term was coined because people showed up overly casual and the smart implied that you can’t show up with joggers and trainers. If you look at the urban dictionary, it defines smart casual as a nonsensical dress code that people slap on to events, parties, and workplaces. Completely down to interpretation, this always causes confusion and often spectacular results. The mixture between smart and casual should not be taken literally. So while it’s hilarious, sadly, it’s not very helpful.

First, the urban dictionary got it right by saying don’t take it literally. That means, don’t wear tennis shoes with a dress shirt, or combine sweatpants with a blazer. So in a nutshell, smart casual is not about mixing different pieces of clothing from different degrees of formality but rather to pick something that is in between a very casual outfit and a formal or businesslike outfit. A hoodie would be too casual and pleated wool dress pants would be too formal, instead, if you go with chinos, they are less formal, as well as a polo shirt, you hit that perfect sweet spot of smart casual.

Personally, I like the idea of a smart casual dress code because it allows you to use lots of colors and to combine different things that you may not have combined otherwise. Ideally, you always want to avoid looks at the extreme end of the spectrum, that means no jeans, no trainers, no hoodies, or no sweatpants. At the same time, it also means no neckwear, no suits, no pleated pants, and no black dress shoes.

Where Do You Encounter Smart Casual Dress Code?

It’s not at the office because there are different terms such as business casual. You can usually find smart casual dress codes in a social environment such as cruise ships, restaurants, or resorts. The whole idea is to look neat and presentable without being overly stuffy.

So let’s say you work in a white-collar office and you have an invitation to a smart casual event afterward and you usually wear dress shirts, ties, and pinstripe suits, you definitely want to bring a change of clothes. If you’re a bit more flexible at the office, you can get away with wearing a blazer and chinos for example, as well as a tie, but when you go to the smart casual party, I suggest to take off the tie, add a bold pocket square, maybe a boutonniere, have some bolder socks and shoes and brown tones or more colors such as dark red, dark green, or navy, and it just creates a more fun outfit that is not as boring or stuffy formal as you would usually know from an office environment.

Should You Dress Up Or Down?

So if you’re unsure whether you should dress up a little more or dress down, I suggest you always dress up because that way, you don’t embarrass yourself. Of course, always stay within that smart casual range which means below business wear.

Smart Casual Clothing Items

A tweed blazer with chinos for a dapper yet modern take on a classic

A tweed blazer with chinos for a dapper yet modern take on a classic

A Stand Out Blazer Or Odd Jacket

On the formal side would be an odd jacket or a blazer. Odd jacket meaning it has a bolder pattern, another color, and it doesn’t match the pants. You don’t want to wear a suit, a combination at most. Also, that means, don’t wear orphaned suit jackets from your pinstripe suit with a Nantucket red pair of pants because it’s simply odd and doesn’t work together.

Harrington Jacket Racing Green Baracuta

Harrington Jacket in Racing Green from Baracuta

Of course, if you want to be more casual with your jacket choice, you can absolutely do that. You could go with a Harrington jacket in cotton, maybe a linen jacket such as this green one, I would even argue you could wear a bomber jacket or maybe a leather jacket if that suits the overall outfit.

Checked Collared Shirts

When it comes to shirts, you should definitely stay clear of t-shirts but you can wear dress shirts. That being said, I suggest not to wear plain white or solid light blue dress shirts because they’re true business formal. Instead, go with checked shirts in a collar. You can also go with bolder checks, smaller checks may be a small houndstooth or a bolder stripe. It all works, just make sure there’s some contrast, there’s some color, and it’s not too stiff. If you live in a warmer climate, linen shirts are perfectly fine. Personally, I would always stay clear of short-sleeved dress shirts and instead go with polo shirts because it’s more natural and works better.

Corduroy pants are an exceptional way to add sophistication to a casual outfit

Corduroy pants are an exceptional way to add sophistication to a casual outfit

Cuffed chinos offer a casual balance when paired with a jacket and tie

Cuffed chinos offer a casual balance when paired with a jacket and tie

Chinos, Corduroys, Seersucker, & Linen Pants

When it comes to pants or slacks, don’t wear jeans and don’t wear pleated pants made out of worsted wool because that’s office wear and both of them are too extreme. Instead, go with chinos, maybe corduroys in the winter, seersucker or linen in the summer or something with a bit more texture that’s interesting and it could also have a pattern such as a small houndstooth for example.

Colorful Accessories

When it comes to accessories, color is your friend. You can be much bolder than at the office and you can experiment and simply have fun. I suggest you skip bowties and regular neckties. if you want to have something around your neck, maybe an ascot can be the perfect item.

If you decide to wear a blazer or an odd jacket, I strongly recommend you wear a bold pocket square or maybe a boutonniere that is just contrasting, it’s a pop of color, it’s different, and it’s fun. Definitely, avoid the white linen pocket square in TV fold, that’s fine for a job interview or the office but not for smart casual.

Another way I like to spice up smart casual outfits is to use colorful socks. You could be bolder, you can experiment, you can go really out there, or you can be a little more subdued. Personally, I want a subdued side.

If it’s cold outside and you need some gloves, I suggest to go with fun colors such as dark green, maybe a light tan, blue, or red, and stay clear of the traditional black gloves, or just boring brown gloves. That being said, if you want to stick with those colors, make sure you get two-toned gloves such as the black and red gloves by Fort Belvedere or the brown and blue gloves which are definitely not your Grandpa’s gloves.

Stick With Leather Shoes

When it comes to shoes, I suggest you stay with leather shoes. They can have a leather sole or a rubber sole but they must not be black because that’s too formal. Instead, go with brown tones or tans but you can also venture into green, maybe off-white, or dark burgundy red. All these colors are acceptable but I urge you to choose a style that is more casual with more casual details. As such, spectators work. You can go with woven leather, or maybe a linen insert, suede is also good.

Brown Derby Shoes with Light Blue Shoelaces by Fort Belvedere - Before & After

Brown Derby Shoes with Light Blue Shoelaces by Fort Belvedere – Before & After

Just get something that’s more casual than a traditional business shoe. That being said, derbies are more appropriate than oxfords but there are oxfords that would be just fine for smart casual as long as they are not too dark and they have maybe a full brogue pattern.

Fringed two tone tassel loafer

Fringed two tone tassel loafer

Apart from that, I think two tone tassel loafers are great or maybe just regular penny loafers, some people even like driving moccs even though I think they wear very quickly if you wear them on a daily basis but they work from a concept point of view.

Classic boat shoes

Classic boat shoes

On a very casual end, I suggest shoes go with boat shoes because they are still leather and they’re still relaxed and you can even wear them barefoot. While it’s clear that tennis shoes and trainers are too casual, a lot of people like designer sneakers or leather sneakers and in my opinion, they’re in a gray area. Personally, I wouldn’t wear it because I find it too casual but I know other people who would probably find a sneaker still appropriate.

CONCLUSION

At the end of the day, it’s your call. Personally, I’d always urge you to get a little bit more formal within the smart casual dress code because that way, you always look dapper and properly attired. No one will turn you down, everyone will respect you, and they will know that you understood the smart casual dress code.

What do you usually wear when the dress code says smart casual? Share your favorite

looks below!


Gentleman’s Gazette

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The highest paid TV actress just explained how to negotiate pay

‘When you’re asking for a raise, you’ve got to be willing to walk out the door if you don’t get what you want.’

Grey’s Anatomy’s Ellen Pompeo is the highest-paid actress on a primetime drama, with her new two-year-deal with the show earning her £414,000 per episode – that’s over £14 million a year.

But according to the 48-year-old actress, this was a long time coming – reportedly fighting for equal pay for years.

That’s right. Earlier this year, the actress told the Hollywood Reporter that even as the show’s main character – you now, playing Meredith GREY in GREY’s Anatomy, she had to fight behind the scenes to be treated as an equal to her male co-stars.

‘They could always use [Patrick Dempsey] as leverage against me – ‘We don’t need you; we have Patrick’ – which they did for years,’ she explained of her male co-star, referring to his exit from the show as a ‘defining moment’. ‘I don’t know if they also did that to him, because he and I never discussed our deals,’ she explained. ‘But there were many times where I reached out about joining together to negotiate, but he was never interested in that.’

She continued: ‘At one point, I asked for $ 5,000 more than him just on principle, because the show is Grey’s Anatomy and I’m Meredith Grey. They wouldn’t give it to me.’

Eventually getting her pay rise in the end, she is now calling for other women to rise up, giving her own advice on how to negotiate a pay rise.

‘The only time you ever really have power in asking for anything is if you’re willing to walk away,’ she explained. ‘When you’re asking for a raise, you’ve got to be willing to walk out the door if you don’t get what you want.’

She continued: ‘Be 100 percent honest. No, no, no, no, no, wait, wait — 98 percent honest. One hundred percent honest with yourself, 98 percent honest with the rest of the world. In being honest, it’s best to sort of start with the positive. Find something positive and lead with that, and then get into the more truthful parts of it.’

Her final piece of advice? ’Stop trying to be perfect. Nobody’s fucking perfect. I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect, and no one can expect us to be. The closest we can get is to be true and respectful to each other. Be okay with your flaws. We all have them. Stop trying to speak perfect, look perfect, act perfect. Men don’t try to be perfect.’

Here, here, Ellen Pompeo.

The post The highest paid TV actress just explained how to negotiate pay appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Blockchain (hopefully) Explained, Blockbuster Video is (barely) holding on, &… Beaker

EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE, 24/7/365:

(thank you)

SNAP CRAP: It is painfully obvious that the folks in big tech know a whole lot about many important things and not much about many practical things. This is just something.

THE PROBLEM WITH BITCOIN: To be specific, the latest problem with the cryptocurrency.

SPEAKING OF CRYPTOCURRENCY: What is all this about Blockchain anyway? Here you go.

THIS IS NOT AMERICA: This is not only insanely dangerous, it’s, well it’s just all around not good.

POUR A 40? Ladies and gentlemen, have we come to the dying days of sarcasm?

ME 24/7/365:

(thank you)

STRANGE ANIMALS ARE THE BEST ANIMALS: And these guys are as strange as it gets. Which makes this all the more interesting.

SWORD STORIES: And by now you are fully aware that these rarely go well for anyone involved.

THERE ARE SOME VERY TERRIBLE PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD: Truly tragic. And to just because of who it happened to. Elder abuse is one of the worst things people do to each other.

STOP MAKING SCENTS: The stinking of America. 

THE SYMBOLIC PEW PEW PEW:

(thank you)

Fresh from ripping up the course at his most recent enduro race, our Senior VP of Lightning Chasers Eric H has shared a few things for you guys this week.

WHAT THE ACTUAL PT BARNUM BALONEY IS…this?

CONSUME: (food stuffs) I believe Eric sums it up well: The ultimate food information. Questions answered. tl’dr – Eat more plants, less meat, no processed food and forget about carb classification.

THE CURE FOR EVERYTHING: Sometimes you just need to peep a sweet pup. 

INCOMING: The notorious RGB.

ME ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS:

(thank you)

AUTONOMOUS MAYHEM? The main reason why I give the side eye to self driving cars is because I have control issues. Then there’s this.

DOSSIER UPDATE: At this point I’m the first to admit that this is bordering on overkill, but here’s another Pharma Bro story that he probably doesn’t want people knowing about. 

MEANWHILE, AT THE NORTH POLE: Santa’s elves are not happy about this. Not one bit.

LIFEHACK OF THE WEEK: If you’ve purchased a one-pot (which my mom used to call a pressure cooker), this is relevant to your interests.

INCOMING!

Tim Johnstone is Dappered’s music correspondent as well as our resident gatherer of all things interwebs related. He doesn’t really hate people. Mostly.


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Steven Spielberg explained why ‘Ready Player One’ only references the original ‘Star Wars’

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As an unabashed homage to geek culture and 80s nostalgia smorgasboard, you probably assumed Ready Player One would be dripping with Star Wars references.

You’d be wrong.

While the marketing for Steven Spielberg’s upcoming movie showed zero restraint when it came to pop culture references, the director said he was actually careful about name-dropping Star Wars. Or rather, which Star Wars movies he included from the ever-expanding movie franchise.

“We didn’t want to use the main cultural icons from any of the Disney Star Wars films, because those are ongoing. That’s really part of our contemporary world right now. And even though it began in the ’80s, it is so much a part of our real life today in the 21st century. So we asked for some of the smaller items, and Disney gave us everything we asked for,” Spielberg said at a SXSW interview with Fandango. Read more…

More about Entertainment, Star Wars, Steven Spielberg, Ready Player One, and Entertainment


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9 of the Best Soccer Easter Eggs and References in ‘Early Man’ Explained

It may have escaped your notice, but the latest stop-motion Claymation film from the Oscar-winning Aardman studios is a sports movie in disguise. Presented as a prehistoric animated comedy in the same vein as other Aardman films including Chicken Run and The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists, Early Man quickly morphs into a film about a team of misfit underdogs taking on the big-hitters. The movie climaxes with a soccer match upon which everything’s at stake. It’s not a coincidence that the film is released ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

But if you’re coming to the film without an in-depth knowledge of footy – and in particular, the British game – you might find that some of the references soar over your head. And given that director Nick Park and the Aardman team have gone to great effort to embed them in there, you’re going to want to understand them. That’s where this guide comes in. Here’s an explainer of all the best soccer Easter eggs and references we found – with Nick Park himself contributing his insight exclusively for FANDOM in the video above.

Goona


Early Man Goona
Goona’s name references the fans of a London soccer team.

Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams voices a character called Goona. She’s a Bronze-Age girl who meets Stone-Ager Dug and befriends him. A talented footballer, she finds herself at the mercy of sexist attitudes that prevent her from playing for the Bronze Age team, which is populated by European-accented prima donnas. She finds her place as player-coach of the Stone Age team – aka the Stone Age Brutes – and helps them in their pursuit of victory. The Easter egg here is in Goona’s name – ‘gooner’ — is a slang term for a fan of London-based Premier League club, Arsenal.

‘Early Man’ United

Nick Park explains that he pitched the film as exactly this. Which clearly did the trick, as it got its funding and is about to hit screens. It’s an amalgamation of the name of the film and Manchester United – or Man United as it’s frequently shortened to – a football club based in the north of England that has seen a lot of success over the years. They’re one of the most famous teams in the world.

The Robot

During the football match, you’ll see Hognob, Dug’s wild boar companion, pulling out some moves on the sidelines. He’s mimicking a famous goal celebration by an exceptionally tall football player named Peter Crouch, who famously made ‘The Robot’ his own. He first pulled out the move during a pre-2006 World Cup friendly match, and reprised it when he scored his 100th Premier League goal.

Queen Oofeefa

The Queen’s name is a reference to association football’s governing body FIFA. The letters stand for ‘Fédération Internationale de Football Association’. It’s French: the organisation’s headquarters are based in Zurich, Switzerland. As Nick Park explains, they couldn’t use the name ‘FIFA’ for legal reasons, hence the reason it’s spelled differently.

The Iconic Vuvuzela

If you watch closely as the film reaches its grand finale, you’ll seen Queen Oofeefa reach for a long, narrow horn to pipe out a sound. This is the humble vuvuzela – a controversial musical instrument of sorts that became a mainstay in the stands during the 2010 World Cup, held in South Africa. Used by fans to rally their team, it emits a loud, buzzing sound when you blow into it. Fans, players and broadcasters cultivated a love-hate relationship with this unassuming plastic horn.

Commentary Team


World Cup
Alan Hansen sits bottom row, left; John Motson stands top row, right in 1998.

As with many sports comedies, there’s a commentary duo to crack jokes and help jolly the proceedings along. In Early Man, the twosome is made up of a couple of characters British football fans will find familiar – although the actual voices are provided by comedy actor and impressionist Rob Brydon. He’s mimicking former Scottish international-turned-pundit Alan Hansen, and legendary commentator John Motson.

Football Chants

As you watch, you’ll hear the crowd chanting ditties while the game is played. These are actual fan chants that have grown from humble origins on the terraces at football grounds to become extremely widespread and well-known. In Early Man, the words have been tweaked to make them funny and relevant to the time-period and storyline. For instance, “You’re going down the mine” is a jibe by the Bronze Age fans to the Stone Age team that they’re going to lose, and consequently end up working down the mine.

Classic Commentary

If you’re watching, and you get to the end, and you really don’t get this line: “The giant duck is on the pitch! He thinks it’s all over! It is now!” allow us to explain. It’s a reference to a classic line of commentary that’s dear to every English football fan’s heart. The original line goes: “Some people are on the pitch! They think it’s all over! It is now!” It was spoken by BBC broadcaster Kenneth Wolstenholme, just as Geoff Hurst thumped the ball into the back of the net in the dying moments of the game. He was commentating on the 1966 World Cup Final in which England historically beat West Germany 4-2. It’s the only time England have ever won a World Cup Final.

Early Man hits screens in the UK on January 26 and in the US on February 16.

‘Game of Thrones’ vs Marvel: Who Said It — Arya or Loki?

‘Early Man’ Review: All the Claymation Charm But Slightly Off-Target

The post 9 of the Best Soccer Easter Eggs and References in ‘Early Man’ Explained appeared first on FANDOM powered by Wikia.

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‘Justice League’: Cyborg’s Powers Explained

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains very mild spoilers about the Justice League film and the character Cyborg. Proceed with caution.

The Justice League has some pretty heavy hitters, but its most powerful member may be the half-human, half-machine Cyborg.

The character (played by Ray Fisher in the new film), was introduced via cameo to the DC Extended Universe in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Character Origin

Footage of his “creation” was found in the files Wonder Woman hacked. Before his transformation, Cyborg was Victor Stone, a star football player. He was mortally wounded in a car accident, with much of his body beyond repair. Victor’s father, the scientist Silas Stone, was able to salvage his son’s head and upper torso. (Sharp-eyed fans will recognize Silas’ portrayer, actor Joe Morton, as the cybernetic scientist Miles Bennett Dyson from Terminator 2.)

Unwilling to let Victor die, Silas developed a cybernetic body, but couldn’t complete the project. With the help of an alien Mother Box, Silas was able to connect Victor’s human consciousness to an extremely powerful robotic body. Batman and Wonder Woman need extra firepower to combat Steppenwolf, so they recruit Cyborg into the ranks of the Justice League.

Cyborg’s Powers Explained


Justice League Cyborg
Cyborg commandeers an even bigger bot.

So what exactly are Cyborg’s powers?

His cybernetic body grants him superhuman strength and durability. It houses sophisticated systems that allow him to interface with other computers, and also create tools and weapons.

Cyborg’s “organic and biomechatronic body parts” (as Wonder Woman describes them) give him a variety of combat options. His primary weapon is an arm-mounted sonic cannon. He’s able to create a jetpack for flight, and additional armor to cover his human (aka vital) areas.

One trailer shows the hero taking control of an even bigger, heavily armed mech — adding to the League’s firepower.

Justice League opens on November 17 in the U.S. and U.K.

Are Jokes All That ‘Justice League’ Really Needs?

The post ‘Justice League’: Cyborg’s Powers Explained appeared first on Fandom powered by Wikia.

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Tupac Shakur’s Unsolved Murder: Music’s Most WTF Conspiracy Theories, Explained

The unsolved murder of Tupac Shakur is to this day one of the most widely debated homicides in music history – even now, over 21 years later, people still speculate about what exactly happened that night.

This is what we know for sure: On the evening of September 7th, 1996, Tupac Shakur and Suge Knight, the then-CEO of Death Row Records, attended a Mike Tyson fight at the MGM Grand in

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Tupac Shakur’s Unsolved Murder: Music’s Most WTF Conspiracy Theories, Explained

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Paul McCartney is Dead: Music’s Most WTF Conspiracy Theories, Explained

The bigger the name, the weirder the theory.

Paul McCartney became a household name when he rose to prominence as part of the Beatles in the 1960s, and his star power has held steady ever since the band broke up in 1970. But some conspiracy theorists believe that the Paul we know and love today is not

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Paul McCartney is Dead: Music’s Most WTF Conspiracy Theories, Explained

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‘Assassin’s Creed Origins’ Crafting Explained

Some of the usual techniques are still in play in Assassin’s Creed Origins crafting, but the big difference is Senu. This video walks you through how crafting is linked to hunting.

As one of the eagle’s many uses, it can see icons for all the animals from its birds-eye view. This is a quick and easy way to hunt down the extra materials you need for upgrades. You don’t even need to know which animal your hunting. Just match the icon!

Of course you’ll want to take note of the more dangerous animals. Sometimes those icons will lead you straight into shallow water — where the territorial hippos and hungry crocodiles linger. But before long you’ll be able to take them on easily enough.


Senu in Assassin's Creed Origins helps find resources

Weapons are also upgraded a little differently to gear. In our short time with the game so far, we received weapons more commonly as rewards. These would scale with your level at the time you got them. Expect to replace these often. If you get a legendary weapon at a certain point, after a few levels you might start seeing better ones elsewhere.

Gear, however, seemed less common and is meant to be upgraded with the resources you find in the world. I saw only one shield drop, but had the chance to level up my chestplate and bracers to give myself more hitpoints and damage.

The post ‘Assassin’s Creed Origins’ Crafting Explained appeared first on Fandom powered by Wikia.

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“This Is Us” just explained where Kate’s mystery dog came from, but we still need to know its name

“This Is Us” just explained where Kate’s mystery dog came from, but we still need to know its name


“This Is Us” just explained where Kate’s mystery dog came from, but we still need to know its name

The moment was brief, but This Is Us just answered one of our *burning* questions in tonight’s episode! If you haven’t seen Season 2, Episode 3, “Deja Vu,” now might be a good time to skedaddle because #SPOILERS. Last chance, because we’re about to get into plot details…

This week’s This Is Us saw Rebecca take Jack out on a romantic date to try to work through some of their marital difficulties.

She makes a move, but he rebuffs her advances so the pair head back to their home pretty quickly. Once there, Jack tells Rebecca that it’s been difficult to open up to her as of late, but that he wants to keep talking to her. Rebecca throws their burgers into the grass, and follows him back into the car so they can continue their date.

That may seem like a little detail about the burgers, but as we’ve learned time and time again…there are NO small details on This Is Us. That burger attracts the attention of a dog, who starts chowin’ down. And not just any dog. No, no, no, this is the dog we saw Kate clutching at the end of the Season 2 premiere. This is the dog that appeared out of nowhere, but is a potential clue about Jack’s death.

“Hey, looks like someone got to enjoy the burgers tonight,” Jack says upon finding the pup.

Rebecca wonders if it’s a stray, and Jack picks the dog up. It looks like love at first sight if you ask us, which means there could be a lot of sentimental value attached to that dog, WHICH MEANS Jack could, IDK, be willing to run into a burning house to save it??? Just some food for thought…

this is us
NBC

Our guess is that the Pearsons adopted the dog in this moment — or pretty soon after. In any case, we finally know *where* the dog came from. Now, can we learn its name already? And we need to know what connection, if any, this pup has to Jack’s death. But also, can we learn its name already?! For now, we’re just going to think of it as Sparky Pearson.

And here’s hoping we learn that darn name when This Is Us returns to NBC next Tuesday.



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Loafers Explained: How To Wear & Style Loafer Outfits in Fall & Winter with Jay Butler

If you recall, a few months ago we had a conversation about how to style loafers during Spring/Summer season, and today, we’re going to let you in on how to combine loafers for fall/winter outfits that rock!

Outfit 1: Corduroy

Outfit 1: Corduroy

Sven Raphael Schneider: Alright, next up we have green corduroys.
Justin Jeffers: Yeah, so it’s kind of like a Christmas look here.

SRS: For holiday parties.

JJ: Yeah, you could wear it for a holiday party, or if you’re going to a Christmas party, maybe that’ll be a sweater party, and me personally, I’m not a fan of ugly sweaters. I don’t know if I see you wearing ugly sweaters.

SRS: Maybe, if it’s a themed party, why not? Probably not as a joke or something.

JJ: Yeah. So, the idea here is to create a great holiday look, but it’s truly a great fall and winter look. We picked the green and red because of Christmas, and we kind of brought down that theme or toned down the theme a little bit, with a navy cashmere sports jacket and a navy tie loafers. It creates a really conservative, really classic look, and you can easily swap out the green pants for brown pants, or you can even maybe do a white corduroy or a cream colored corduroy, it’ll still be a really nice looking look.

SRS: We’re a little more colorful again, you like bolder colors which is nice.

JJ: Yes.

SRS: We’ll show the full spectrum here.

Outfit 2: Resort Look

Outfit 2: Resort Look

JJ: This is a very playful winter look. This look is not for a lot of guys; it’s very colorful, very neon, very adventurous. Kind of a throwback to the 80s with the neon colors and the fleece.

SRS: Resort look kind of.

JJ: Yeah, so this is like your apres ski look. Maybe you’re on the mountain, and you’re sitting by the fire, you want to kind of just relax, or maybe you’re at home and you want to take it easy, you’re having a night in with your girlfriend.

SRS: And you want to stand out from the crowd in a bold way.

JJ: Yes or maybe you’re going out to the bar or the corner store, you want to show a little bit of leg or you want to have fun with your look. We chose a caramel, lighter brown colored shoe to go with this look because it kind of plays off the beige and the yellow of the lining of the pullover, and also of the pants. Again, it’s not a look for everybody but I love this look, I wear it out, it catches a lot of looks and ladies always ask about it, which is an added bonus.

SRS: Yeah, next look, I mean fair isle sweaters, I really like them. Very classic, Prince of Wales’ well known for his picture.

JJ: Yeah, he kind of made that famous when he was golfing. It’s a great classic look and what’s awesome about a fair isle sweater is you can pull on a lot of different colors from the sweater.

SRS: Yeah and the sweaters only work because they have this nice mottled yarns and they are actually many different yarns so it’s very easy to combine because it picks up on all kinds of colors.

Outfit 3: Fair Isle

Outfit 3: Fair Isle

JJ: Exactly! So what we did here was we took the fair isle sweater and we took the suede shoes and we have two different options for the pants to show that you know you have the shoes and you have the sweater but what are you going to do in between? Well, you could easily do a navy blue pair of pants, corduroys, chinos or a brown pair. I think it’s important for guys to realize that the looks we’re showing here are not regimented. You can swap out any given item for anything else.

SRS: It’s inspiration. It’s food for thought.

JJ: Yeah!

SRS: Like showing you something that you might not think about.

JJ: Yes.

SRS: So it’s all about food for thought. It’s like show you something that you might not have thought about otherwise.

JJ: Yes and the other thing going back to our early points is the setting. Maybe during the day, you want to wear the brown corduroys but maybe at night you want something a little more formal, a little darker, so you go with the navy blue corduroy.

SRS: Right the next look is a little bolder, a leather jacket in here.

Outfit 4: Leather Jacket

Outfit 4: Leather Jacket

JJ: Yeah so again we have a little more fashion-forward look. It’s not something that I would wear and or something you would wear but for a lot of guys, this is a great look. You know we’re here in Los Angeles at the Art of Charm headquarters this would be a great look for Los Angeles or maybe New York or perhaps Miami. We took a leather jacket, a beautiful black leather jacket with a Henley shirt. You know sometimes I wear a Henley without any other shirts, I think it’s a great look. It’s a more rugged look. For the pants, we have kind of a black – it’s kind of a cross between a jogger and a chino. And then, of course, we put black shoes with that. We went with the Shipley Tie loafer in this case because I think it paired best with the rest of the look. But you could easily swap out those the tie loafers for a penny loafer.

SRS: Alright.

JJ: Keeping with the black theme, we stuck with a black sunglasses and black wallet.

SRS: All black.

JJ: All black everything.

SRS: You know sometimes guys want a slightly more modern look.

JJ: Yes.

SRS: Right now, camos are fashionable especially for younger people.

JJ: So this look there’s kind of two focal points. It’s the camouflage as Raphael alluded to and there are the white jeans. In the old school, you don’t wear white between Memorial Day and Labor Day. There’s no such thing as winter whites. In the new school thought the more modern look as you spoke of, you can wear white in the winter. So we took a white denim jean here and we paired it with a…

SRS: A thicker fabric probably.

JJ: It’s nice thick fabric with a great quilted Navy top and the camouflage jacket which is kind of combination of a couple of different trends. But it ends up being a very classic kind of preppy look but with a different twist on it. More kind of a new school prep look.

SRS: Definitely.

JJ: In the wintertime it’s great, you can throw on a hat and you know we have the navy suede penny loafers that really bring in the color of the camouflage jacket down to the shoes to really again frame the pants that you’re wearing.

Outfit 5: Camou

Outfit 5: Camou

SRS: It’s that common concept – framing the pants.

JJ: Yes.

SRS: Using the loafers and the jacket.

JJ: Yes.

SRS: It’s a theme that we’ve seen across many different outfits.

JJ: Yes.

SRS: Whether it’s Spring/Summer or Fall/Winter.

JJ: And what you’re doing a great with your outfit right now you have kind of the orange in your pocket square and the orange in your shoes which the watchers can’t see, but it’s a great orange boat shoe that Raphael is wearing.

SRS: Next we have a good flannel outfit. It’s not your Grandpa’s flannel outfit.

JJ: No, we changed up your typical gray or navy flannel and did a lighter blue flannel. I think it’s a beautiful fabric. To me, tweed and flannel are the two fabrics of the winter and fall season. Flannel is the more formal of the two. So we started with the flannel suit, and we wanted to do a monochromatic look, so we took a light blue shirt, navy blue suede bit loafer, and then the Navy knit tie which I think may actually be a Fort Belvedere tie. You guys have some great knit ties.

Outfit 6: Flannel

Outfit 6: Flannel

SRS: Thanks! We usually say monochromatic. To me, monochromatic invokes this like you know all gray, gray, gray with very light variations. Now technically navy is a shade of blue and so is a blue suit. But to me, they are so contrasting that to me it won’t be quite monochromatic. You know what I mean?

JJ: Yeah. The same you know the color family but yeah it’s different enough but the same. I think it gives off a very sophisticated, very elegant air and also shows that you’re very much in control of your own personal style.

SRS: Absolutely.

JJ: Which I think is very important especially when you’re wearing a suit.

SRS: Yeah. I mean with this suit, it’s definitely a little lighter in color which makes it bolder, so you toned the rest down. You took the tie then it kind of match the shoes so you can frame everything which is that recurring theme we’ve been talking about with the outfits.

JJ: Yes and blue is also great because it works well with a lot of guys, you know with complexions and hair colors. So I think this is a very flexible look it’d be great if you’re maybe having a dinner party or a night out, a nice date, maybe an anniversary or something like that.

SRS: Next up we have like a sweater. A lot of guys like to wear sweaters. So thick ones, 6-ply, ply yarns. What did you do here?

JJ: So we actually found the sweater and fell in love with the sweater. It, as you’ll see in the photo, has a lot of different shades of brown that are in the sweater that is woven through. It has a nice chunky knit, and the Raglan sleeve is also kind of unique. We ground that with a brown khaki and then the brown penny loafers. It’s a very simple kind of very minimal look. It’s different enough that it’s not plain, it’s not boring. We have the texture of the sweater which is really really nice.

SRS: And it’s just like a more muted outfit. You have the mottled winter white yarn and going with the green-grey pants and then just go a shade darker for every item towards the bottom basically.

Outfit 7: Sweater

Outfit 7: Sweater

JJ: Yeah and if you know if you wanted to change this outfit up, you could easily throw on a navy blue cable knit sweater or a burgundy v-neck sweater under maybe a white oxford cloth button down. It’s a really flexible outfit with the brown shoes and the brown pants you can almost do whatever you want on the top color-wise which is really nice.

SRS: Personally, I’m a big fan of dinner jackets and while I would not necessarily wear a pair of loafers with them, maybe a pair of slippers or velvet slippers. What’s your take on it?

JJ: Obviously, I’m biased on this one because I design loafers and I love loafers. I wear them eight days a week and any chance I have to wear loafers; I’ll wear them. A lot of guys may not be for them. They want to wear you know when you said a Prince Albert slipper or lace up, or an Oxford. I think this look; the idea was to create a look that is very nonchalant, very elegant, very masculine. So we took the velvet jacket, it’s that nice deep burgundy color which looks great on a lot of guys. It’s unique. The women love that feel of the velvet and the look of the velvet.

SRS: Because of the light – the artificial light, it sparkles. It’s just a unique look, and you will get lots of compliments wearing that.

JJ: Yes, a lot of compliments and of course it’s one button on the front, and it’s peak lapel which is very important. We did everything else there is quite simple. I mean the black…

Outfit 8: Dinner Jacket

Outfit 8: Dinner Jacket

SRS: Shell color would work too.

JJ: Shell color also will be great.

SRS: And no notch.

JJ: No notch. Never notched. You also see some sort of jackets that have the shawl lapels which is great or the frog closure on the front which is also a great look. The idea with pairing the tie loafer with this look was something that’s playful- adventurous but still masculine but kind of played off of the unconventional nature or the less common nature of the velvet jacket on top. So I think the penny loafer will work with this look. The bit loafer would work with this, but the tie loafer is really great because it is to me the most kind of playful of our shoes and really of any loafer type. You can even see an Italian gentleman wearing a black driving shoe with velvet jacket if you really wanted. I think the look like this is great if you’re at awithss formal black tie event, maybe a black tie optional event or if you’re hosting a black tie event at your house or an art opening or something like that. I wouldn’t wear it to a wedding or more formal black tie event but those that are less formal I think this is a great outfit.

SRS: I mean for most people black tie is very formal, but there are some, where you can have these more casual black ones. I mean I wear dinner jackets at home or for parties sometimes in winter. I like them, they’re fun, but I’m also like a dressier guy so having these dress codes make it fun for people to experiment.

JJ: And some guys get bored just wearing a tuxedo at the same time, every time over and over again. It’s nice to change it up little bit.

SRS: Last but not the least, we have a nice a sports coat outfit here.

Outfit 9: Tweed

Outfit 9: Tweed

JJ: This is a great look. I think it’s a great Fall/Winter look. This look I think is a great fall and winter look. It’s a nice heavy tweed jacket. We started with a jacket and said okay what can we pair with a jacket, it’s very bold strong statement. This jacket you have there, the kind of the rusty brown color with the light blue check. It’s not a common color combination, and you really have to pair it down and pair it with other neutral and earthy tones. So we took the cream-colored cashmere turtleneck which when you don’t want to wear maybe a tie or an open-necked shirt like I’m doing right now I think a turtleneck is a great alternative especially in the fall and the winter. It looks very sophisticated, very composed.

SRS: It’s really popular now. You’d see a lot with people having the turtleneck. I personally am not super fond of it. It can look good, it’s a personal thing, right? It’s more casual than having the tie. I like wearing neckwear. If you get a cold easily, I think turtlenecks can look good.

JJ: Yes, I agree on that and great point. At the bottom look, we took an olive green flannel pants. It’s a really heavy flannel. It really pairs well with that thick heavy texture and kind of muted look of the tweed.

SRS: It’s beautiful.

JJ: Thank you, and at the base of that, we took the caramel penny loafer. The caramel obviously ties in really well with the color of the jacket and the penny loafer. I think, given the strength of the jacket and also the turtleneck something very simple at the feet is really what you wanted to look like this. I think this is a very sophisticated, elegant look and one that you can easily change out the colors but keep the principles the same. You have a great tweed jacket maybe have a brown or navy or red tweed jacket, maybe switch out the green pants for a gray, or navy pants. I think you have a really great look it’s a more of a higher level look. It’s a little more adventurous, a little more out there. I think it’s a great look.

SRS: Awesome, I agree. Previously we already discussed how we can combine loafers in Spring/Summer as well as in Fall/Winter and if you haven’t already done so please check out our loafer guide and if you want to go to Justin’s website where should they go?

JJ: You can find out more about Jay Butler at jaybutler.com, and you can email us at help@jaybutler.com, and if you have any questions we’d be happy to answer.

SRS: Absolutely. Awesome. Thank you!

JJ: Thanks, Raphael.


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Kanye West and David Bowie: Music’s Most WTF Conspiracy Theories, Explained

Kanye West wasn't wrong to appoint himself Yeezus back in 2013, but according to some ardent music conspiracy theorists, his destiny to become one of music's most innovative, controversial figures was determined long ago. Say, back in 1972, exactly five years before he was even born.

That was the year when the late David Bowie released his seminal rock-opera album The Rise and Fall of

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Kanye West and David Bowie: Music’s Most WTF Conspiracy Theories, Explained

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Cashmere Explained

Cashmere, like many other fine materials, is easily taken for granted in today’s globalized and commoditized world. It is generally easy to find and it is more affordable now that it has been in the past. However, this exceptional fiber is worth a deeper dive, because so much important information is obscured by the clothing industry that you need to know to be an informed consumer.

If you want to appreciate one of the finest fabrics in the world, it pays to learn a little bit about it. The easy accessibility of cashmere today belies the fact that it is still one of the rarest, most prized fabrics in the world.

Cashmere goat

Cashmere goat

What is Cashmere?

Cashmere is the general term for fibers and fabrics that are constructed from the fine under hair of the cashmere goat. That’s right, a goat. Each animal grows a double fleece which is comprised of thick, coarse guard hairs that overlay a fine down insulating layer of hair. This unexpected source, on average, produces a mere 150 grams (0.33 pounds) of cashmere fibers annually per goat. It takes 2-3 animals to produce a sweater, for example, and 5-6 animals to produce a jacket. The annual world production of cashmere hair is estimated to be 15,000 to 20,000 tons, and once the hairs are processed to eliminate everything but the under hair, the final yield is estimated to be a mere 6,500 tons.

According to the definition set forth by the US government in the Wool Products Labeling Act, not all fibers from the cashmere goat are considered to cashmere. They must be:

  • Originating from the fine, dehaired undercoat fibers of the cashmere goat
  • The average diameter of the fiber is less than 19 microns
  • Cannot contain more than 3% by weight of cashmere fibers exceeding 30 microns

A micron is equal to one-millionth of a meter. For reference, a human hair is about 100 microns wide, so cashmere fibers are exceptionally fine.

History of Cashmere

Kashmir Region

Kashmir Region

Cashmere has been a luxury product for nearly all of history. In recent times, the term “luxury” has evolved to mean many different things, but for most of the history of the production of cashmere, it has meant that the material was only accessible to society’s rich and elite. “Cashmere” is the anglicized version of Kashmir, the region in Asia from which cashmere production originated. The region now falls in parts of India, China, and Pakistan.

Paisley shawl craze in Europe

The paisley shawl craze among the rich in Europe fueled demand for cashmere

Though cashmere production has been around for thousands of years, the modern formation of the industry is traditionally believed to have started in the 15th century in Kashmir. Cashmere was woven into shawls that featured a paisley pattern, and this particular garment dominated the industry until the industrial age. Imported genuine cashmere shawls were rare in Europe, and due to the high demand, Europeans used other fibers to produce imitation shawls for centuries. By the 1800s, Europeans had imported cashmere goats from Asia and were spinning cashmere yarns on the continent. The cashmere industry particularly flourished in Scotland, and the country continues to be a center of European cashmere production to this day. Cashmere was introduced to the US on a large scale for the first time in 1947.

Cashmere remained an expensive, rare commodity until laws liberalizing international trade passed in China in the late 1970’s. The once-restricted industry was now far more open to development, and demand helped push cashmere further into the mainstream in the following decades. Cashmere cultivation expanded rapidly, ushering in an era of mass production that caused prices to steadily fall. Only serious environmental degradation of the goat grazing lands has forced the price of cashmere back up in recent years as fewer herders can find food for their animals.

Today, cashmere is considered an attainable, disposable luxury. Big box retailers order hundreds of thousands of pieces of cashmere every year, and prices for a sweater can be as low as $ 50 to $ 100. Prices that low and volumes that high beg some questions: Can you still find real, high-quality cashmere that is worth investing in? Is cashmere sustainable in the long term?

How is Cashmere Created?

Cashmere goats

Cashmere goats

Cashmere is called the “diamond fiber” in China, where 70% of the world’s production of fibers is centered. Mongolia produces 20% while all other nations make up the last 10% of production. The climate in central Asia is extreme in terms of both heat and cold, which causes the cashmere goat to grow a thick warm coat that is then molted in the spring. The under hairs are only collected once a year during this spring molting season.

Combing cashmere fibers in Mongolia

Combing cashmere fibers by hand in Mongolia

The fibers can be collected using one of two methods:

  • Combing is done by hand, and while it is far more labor intensive, this collection method results in purer cashmere with fewer guard hairs
  • Shearing removes both the under hair and guard hair layers at the same time, resulting in a lower yield of pure cashmere fibers
Combed under hair cashmere fibers

Combed under hair cashmere fibers

Combing is the preferred method in China and Mongolia, while shearing is more common in the Middle East, New Zealand and Australia. Once collected, the fibers are sold to processors who then sort the hairs, washes them, and spins them into threads. The threads can then be twisted together to form a composite yarn, the thickness of which is indicated by the ply of the yarn. Two twisted threads are referred to as 2-ply, and three threads 3-ply, and so on. Since cashmere is a hair, it particularly benefits from the increased structure in the twisted thread. The higher the ply, the more durable the yarn and the less likely it is to pill, fuzz or unravel.

Sand dunes where grasslands once were in Mongolia

Sand dunes where grasslands once were in Mongolia

Environmental Consequences of Cashmere

The vast majority of cashmere is still produced by poor, nomadic herding peoples in high plateaus of central Asia, such as Mongolia. Traditionally, these nomads herded yaks, camels, horses, and sheep in addition to goats over vast expanses of high, arid grassland. Camels and yaks are minimal impact grazing animals, but goats tear up the ground surface with their hooves and pull grass out by their roots. The destabilized soil then blows away in the wind, leaving sand behind. As the demand for cashmere (and prices) soared in the 1980’s and 90’s, herds became increasingly dominated by goats. As a result, in the last 20 years, the traditional grazing lands have been subject to aggressive overgrazing and desertification. As much as 65% of Mongolia’s grasslands have been degraded. Sand and dust storms now plague large parts of Asia, affecting the health and livelihoods of its citizens.

Like most natural products, overconsumption of cashmere has had a far-off, though very real, impact on the lives of the people who produce it. While much of the control of the industry lies with the Chinese government, responsible consumption of cashmere by consumers can go a long way to curb the excesses of the industry.

Spinning cashmere threads

Spinning cashmere threads using traditional methods

The Best Quality Cashmere

The best qualities of cashmere are generally:

  • Sourced from combed goats
  • From goats raised in China and Mongolia
  • Made from the thinnest (14-16.5 microns) and longest (up to 50mm) fibers
  • The higher the ply, the better

Cashmere from Iran, Afganistan, and other small Middle Eastern nations is less desirable because the fibers are thicker (16.5-19 microns) and contain more guard hairs, which makes the finished product rougher to the touch. Longer, thinner fibers can be more tightly woven, and the resulting fabric is not only softer but it is also more resistant to piling.

Cashmere spinning machine

Modern cashmere spinning machine in China

How to Buy Cashmere

Most retailers provide frustrating little information about their cashmere offerings. For example, this sweater priced at $ 645 from Neiman Marcus is only labeled with “cashmere;” there is no indication of country of origin, the ply, the micron width or the fiber length. It’s shocking that companies expect consumers to spend that much money with so little information. This sweater could be the same quality as this $ 99 sweater from Macy’s.

Most retailers are happy to share information about the quality of their cashmere if it is better than average; buying anything else requires that you accept that the quality of the cashmere is a mystery.

Neiman Marcus Cashmere V-Neck Sweater

Products only labeled as “cashmere” should be viewed with skepticism

In this case, use common sense; $ 100 cashmere sweaters are unlikely to be the best quality. Look for ply info if you can find it, the higher the ply the better, and test cashmere to see how it resists stretching. Pull it between your fingers a bit, and if the fabric springs back, it is tightly woven and likely to be a higher quality. If it doesn’t, don’t buy it. Look for a generous return policy and utilize it if the product begins piling after only a few wears.

Like all products, do your research!

Our Cashmere Buying DOs and DON’Ts

  • DON’T be fooled by “gauge” claims. Gauge measures the closeness of the knit, but note that this says nothing about the quality of the actual cashmere. For example, here J Crew claims that a 14- gauge knit is “softer and lighter”, which it is, but in fact, a low gauge indicates that the product uses LESS cashmere and as a result, will be very thin and likely to lose shape over time. There is not much point to buying a super thin cashmere sweater.
  • DO expect that retailers should have to show you the value for the asking price of a cashmere product. If they won’t,
  • DON’T buy cheap, disposable cashmere. Considering the environmental damage that industry has caused, you can support a healthier cashmere industry by purchasing quality with the intent to keep and wear a garment for years.
  • DO invest in classic cashmere pieces. Trends come and go, but a sweater in a classic cut and color can serve you well for a decade.
  • DO consider the cost per wear when purchasing a cashmere product. We say this about every purchase because it’s a way to measure the long-term value of your clothing investments. A $ 500 sweater you wear once a month for 10 years (in the winter) equals $ 8.33 per wear, while a $ 100 sweater you only wear for a season will cost $ 16.67 per wear.
  • DO buy cashmere for products that will best utilize the unique characteristics of the material. Sweaters, vests, robes, and scarves will employ the softness and warmth of cashmere to greater effect than harder-wearing items like socks.
  • DON’T buy cashmere blends. Cashmere mixes can contain less than 5% cashmere, and mixed cashmere is rarely high quality.
  • DO consider buying cashmere from heritage producing countries, such as Scotland, Italy, and Japan. Scottish, Italian, and Japanese producers of cashmere have long been known for producing quality fabrics, and many producers from these countries have been in the business for 200 years. While heritage is no guarantee of quality, they will be much more concerned about protecting their reputation than no-name cashmere.

Sources for High-Quality Cashmere

Even forthright retailers of cashmere will not always offer all the product details that would be useful to a cashmere buyer. Frankly, any brand that stipulates the ply count, the micron width, staple length, OR the country of origin are sharing more than the average retailer. Here are a few sources that have good reputations for cashmere that make an effort to share more detail about their products. You may be surprised by some of the prices you see, but the reality is that good cashmere comes at a price.

Loro Piana Cardigan

This classic blue Loro Piana Cardigan retails for $ 1215

The Italian house Loro Piana is the largest global manufacturer of cashmere, and they focus on high-end products. Their cashmere averages 14.5 microns from adult goats and 13-13.5 microns from baby cashmere. Their fibers are sourced exclusively from China and Mongolia and woven in Italian mills.

Johnstons of Elgin Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater

Johnstons of Elgin Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater $ 469

In Scotland, Johnstons of Elgin, a 200-year-old knitwear company, offers classic cashmere sweater cuts in 2-ply Scottish-knitted cashmere originating from Mongolia and China.

Solid Cashmere Scarves Made in Germany - Fort Belvedere

Scarves, like these from Fort Belvedere, are a perfect choice for cashmere. They can be worn for decades, and are soft and warm on the neck.

Finally, at Fort Belvedere, we are fanatical about providing you real information about the products we offer. Our cashmere is sourced from Mongolia and China, is 14-16.5 microns in width and has a long staple length of 35-50mm. Each scarf is thistle-finished for an exceptionally soft feel.

How To Care for Cashmere

Cashmere can last for years if properly cared for. It’s best to avoid washing it more than necessary. First of all, never dry clean or machine wash cashmere. Both cleaning processes are too rough on the fabric, and they risk stripping the protective natural lanolin from the fibers. Purchase a low-alkaline detergent for delicates, or use baby shampoo as the cleaning agent.

  1. Fill a basin with warm water (80-85 degrees is ideal) and add a small amount of soap.
  2. Gently swirl the cashmere garment in the water for a couple minutes, taking care not to rub, stretch or pull the material.
  3. Empty and refill the basin to rinse the item. Repeat as needed until no more soap is detectable.
  4. Gently squeeze to remove excess water, and transfer the item to a towel. Blot dry.
  5. If the item is still very wet, roll it gently between two fresh towels to remove excess water.
  6. Allow the item to dry flat on a mesh drying rack or on a towel until dry.

Conclusion

Cashmere is worth the praise and admiration that has been lavished upon it for centuries. It’s ultra-soft, finely textured, and warm qualities make it worth owning and wearing for the long-term. What cashmere pieces are on your shopping list?


Gentleman’s Gazette

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Interband Beefs Explained: Fifth Harmony, Journey and More

Interband beefs are an essential part of rock and pop lore. Such tensions are currently plaguing acts young and old, from hitmaking girl group Fifth Harmony to prog veterans Yes. Read on for a rundown of who's currently at odds.

Journey's Neal Schon vs. Jonathan Cain
The story: Just months after Journey entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, guitarist Neal Schon began

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Interband Beefs Explained: Fifth Harmony, Journey and More

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Post breastfeeding tissue remodelling explained by new research

A ground-breaking study into the changes that occur in a woman’s breast, from growing into one that provides milk for a new-born, and then back to its normal state, has discovered that milk-producing cells are, in effect, cannibalized by other cells following the period of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding News — ScienceDaily

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Big Shakeup Explained: Why One Character Left and Another Made a Major Life Decision

Crazy Ex-GirlfriendCrazy Ex-Girlfriend has never been a show that pulls punches when it comes to flipping things on its head, and it did just that in “When Will Josh and His Friend Leave Me Alone?” when it…

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Putting Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s Divorce Drama in Context: The Accusations, Rumors and Ugly Evidence Explained

Amber Heard, Johnny DeppIt’s always darkest before the dawn, right?
With settlement talks reportedly at a standstill and a hearing scheduled for Wednesday, the evidence that things were going horribly wrong…

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Your Virginia Wills, Trusts, & Estates Explained Simply

Your Virginia Wills, Trusts, & Estates Explained Simply


Few people want to think about what would happen to their families if they become disabled or die; however, planning for these occurrences in advance will reduce potential stress on your family later in life. The right plan can protect the value of your estate and spare your loved ones unnecessary hassles and legal conflicts. This book will take the guesswork out of planning your estate and help you finally understand the complex processes. Your Virginia Wills, Trusts, & Estates Explained Simply will help you glide through this complicated process. This book has been adapted to offer Virginia residents state-specific advice for estate planning. Author Linda C. Ashar, attorney at law, has crafted an estate-planning primer that allows Virginia residents to become more informed and more involved during the process. Your Virginia Wills, Trusts, & Estates Explained Simply will provide all the information you need to choose, set up, and execute a will, trust, or estate. You will learn the legal terminology, including beneficiary, probate, trustor, trustee, assets, guardianship, and executor. You will also learn about trust agreements, trust property, settlement costs, life insurance, durable powers of attorney, marital deductions, gift splitting, survivorship deeds, gift tax issues, generation skipping transfer tax, tax deferred accounts, and advance directives. Atlantic Publishing is a small, independent publishing company based in Ocala, Florida. Founded over twenty years ago in the company president’s garage, Atlantic Publishing has grown to become a renowned resource for non-fiction books. Today, over 450 titles are in print covering subjects such as small business, healthy living, management, finance, careers, and real estate. Atlantic Publishing prides itself on producing award winning, high-quality manuals that give readers up-to-date, pertinent information, real-world examples, and case studies with expert advice. Every book has resources, contact information, and web sites of the products or companies discussed. This Atlantic Publishing eBook was professionally written, edited, fact checked, proofed and designed. The print version of this book is 288 pages and you receive exactly the same content. Over the years our books have won dozens of book awards for content, cover design and interior design including the prestigious Benjamin Franklin award for excellence in publishing. We are proud of the high quality of our books and hope you will enjoy this eBook version.
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This Woman Explained Why She Doesn’t Need to Smile on Command. Then the Rape Threats Started.

“When you say something like this to a woman, you have no idea what she’s been through.”

Lifestyle – Esquire

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Your Wills, Trusts, & Estates Explained Simply: Important Information You Need to Know

Your Wills, Trusts, & Estates Explained Simply: Important Information You Need to Know


Most people find thinking about the possibility of disability or death extremely unpleasant; however, planning for these occurrences in advance will reduce potential stress later in life. With the help of this new book, you can take the guesswork out of planning and finally understand the complex processes. The Complete Guide to Wills, Trusts, & Estates will provide you with all the information you need to choose, set up, and execute a will, trust, or estate. You will learn the terminology, including such words as beneficiary, probate, trustor, trustee, assets, guardianship, and executor. You will also learn about trust agreements, trust property, settlement costs, life insurance, durable power of attorney, marital deductions, gift splitting, survivorship deeds, gift tax issues, generation skipping transfer tax, tax deferred accounts, and advance directives. Furthermore, you will learn how to protect your financial privacy, how to plan for long-term care, how to reduce or eliminate taxes, and how to choose beneficiaries and executors. By reading this book, you will understand the differences among living trusts, 529 plans, limited term trusts, life insurance trusts, estate freeze trusts, qualified personal residence trusts (QPRT), privacy trusts, A/B trusts, qualified terminable interest property trusts (QTIP), child’s trusts, and irrevocable trusts. You will know which will, be it holographic, nuncupative, self-proving, statutory, simple, joint, living, mutual, ethical, electronic, or video, fits your needs. In addition, you will be provided with estate planning strategies in easy to understand language that will make the task seem much less burdensome. Whether you are writing yourwill, establishing a trust, or planning your estate for the first time or you are updating or revising your previous plans, The Complete Guide to Wills, Trusts, & Estates will give you all the tools and knowledge you need to decide where your assets will go when you die and to whom.
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Jiggered: The Healthcare Insurance Industry; Unraveled, Explained And Exposed

Jiggered: The Healthcare Insurance Industry; Unraveled, Explained And Exposed


No matter what type of healthcare insurance coverage you have, Jiggered will help you understand where you fit into the overall scheme of things, how your specific type of insurance works and how it will be affected in both quality and quantity over the next few years. You''ll find that the only real crisis in healthcare is the one caused by the Federal government''s inability to fiscally control and monitor itself.

Who is being jiggered? Who is being unethically manipulated for someone else''s gain? It''s probably you and everyone like you. You have a job, pay your taxes, feed, clothe, educate and insure your children, own a home or are saving for one and generally behave in a lawful, fiscally responsible and upstanding manner. You''re an ordinary upper or middle class American. Some of you have made it through the daily struggle to realize your dreams and have found financial rewards and others of you are still working at it. You all have one thing in common. You''re part of the solution, not part of the problem. Are you jiggered? You figure it out.
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Citizens United, Explained With Dogs

It is an antiquated rule banning cameras from the Supreme Court, when they are public proceedings affecting all Americans. John Oliver was right to challenge this seclusion from the public eye on his recent episode of Last Week Tonight when he had no choice but to dramatize courtroom proceedings with a bench of jurist dogs. Clearly a better means of public information is necessary for the highest court in the land.

Until then, here is a case that is often mentioned, though is still not clear to all: Citizens United vs. FEC, which said that corporations have the right to spend unlimited outside money in elections. Working with interviews compiled for my documentary exploring the Citizens United decision, PAY 2 PLAY, I have re-mixed the footage to include the Supreme Court of Canines.

This election cycle shows that the impacts of Citizens United are no laughing matter, with more anonymous money flowing through our elections than ever. While our campaign finance laws may have gone to the dogs, our democracy does not have to. On Election Day, use your voice at the polls, because you don’t want just any old hound dog representing your needs.

Learn more about Citizens United, what people are doing about it, and what you can do where you are at pay2play.tv
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Krav Maga Self Defense Explained

Krav Maga Self Defense Explained


Not a comprehensive instructional guide, this book rather aims to serve as an introductory primer that educates the general public and traditional martial arts enthusiasts about the Krav Maga system of self defense, fighting and fitness.The purpose of this book is to serve an invaluable complementary resource to the excellent instructional Krav Maga self defense books and DVDs out there.Here’s a small sampling of what you will learn from this book:• What Krav Maga is and why it is the ultimate self defense program for everyone.• A brief history of Imi Lichtenfeld and how he founded Krav Maga.• Why Krav Maga is not a traditional martial art.• The basic principles and philosophies of Krav Maga.• Rules and laws of self defense that you need to be aware of to protect yourself legally.• Why Krav Maga World Training Centers are the absolute best way to learn Krav Maga.• Three proven ways you can learn Krav Maga at home.• Three Results You Can Expect From A Krav Fitness Program … Guaranteed!!!• What Every Parent Needs To Know About Stranger DangerThis book is a must have for anyone searching for a personal self defense system for themselves or their children.

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