New Jersey: A Guide to Residential Solar Energy

Despite falling into a bucket of states that still largely rely on nuclear energy, New Jersey has been pushing serious legislation and incentives to promote its clean energy goals. In summer 2018, for example, the state signed into law “a suite of legislation” that “vaults it into the ranks of top US climate leaders,” reported Vox.com. As of the end of 2018, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) ranked the state fifth in the country — approximately four percent of the state’s energy comes from solar. Additionally, SEIA ranks New Jersey 11th in the nation in projecting its growth over the next five years.

The solar panel systems and installation market in New Jersey has exploded since 2015. Chart via the Solar Energy Industries Association

Indeed, increased competition in the state since 2015—and the nature of the market on a national scale—means residents are primed for home value increases if they install solar panels in New Jersey. And when it comes to home value, researchers project the value of a home increases up to $ 15,000 on average, according to the Berkley Lab, one of the federal government’s national renewable energy laboratories. That doesn’t even take into consideration the massive savings solar paneling affords homeowners—or seasonal price fluctuations that make winter a possibly perfect time for your solar home improvement project.

Like every other state, New Jersey has a unique set of incentives, benefits, and challenges when it comes to investing in solar panels for houses. Read our residential guide to understand what you should know as a homeowner as you look for the best contractor to install solar roof panels under the Garden State’s nourishing sun.

A well-informed and reliable contractor will go over each detail of your installation with you, from expected savings to increases in home value. At Modernize, we frequently speak to homeowners about their home improvement projects. In our recent interviews, 90 percent of homeowners requested a checklist to help them find and vet contractors. Modernize now offers homeowners a free, digital Contractor Checklist as a simple, step-by-step guide to assist with your solar panel project.

Flemington, NJ: Solar Energy Success Stories

Ed Jenks was so excited for his home to reach a net-zero energy cost that he started a blog to document his journey.

On top of securing his house against energy deficiencies, Jenks had his solar system up and running by the end of 2018, beginning and completing his project during the colder months of the year, which means the Jenks family will be ahead of the game when the warmer months hit the region. Notably, Jenks utilized both federal programs and local ones like New Jersey’s Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) Registration Program (which we detail further down), rewarding his house based on its solar energy output.

Ed Jenks outfitted his New Jersey home with solar paneling and other renewable energy efficiencies, relying on federal and state incentives and advice from local contractors. Source: Ed Jenks’s personal blog about renewable energy.

“NJ is a great state for renewable energy.” Jenks wrote. “This June [a SREC] was selling for $ 290 each. I should get 7 SRECs a year. The price varies but I should get around $ 2,000 a year.”

Indeed, solar panels have a sizeable effect on utility bills. New Jersey residents can expect to save nearly close to $ 20,000 over 20 years.

Keep in mind this data serves as guidance for your journey to home improvement. Use it during your conversation with contractors in your area. Ask for this level of detail in your estimates and if jargon or complex wording seems confusing, ask for clarification. A trusted contractor will be glad for the opportunity to explain what everything means and, more importantly, what it specifically means to you.

When it comes to New Jersey’s solar energy, for example, existing financial incentives (like the SREC) only make it more lucrative for you to sustainably increase your property value.

New Jersey Solar Panels: Incentives, Rebates, and Other Savings

There are currently nearly 100 incentives for homeowners to increase the value of their property by installing solar panels for houses in New Jersey. Find details about each program at the state’s Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE). Solid contractors installing solar panels in New Jersey will be able to provide a list of applicable costs savings measures and help you navigate applying for and getting the most out of them. Learn enough to have a foundational understanding of these programs to best talk to your contractor about them once you’ve vetted and chosen one.

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) Registration Program

Installing solar paneling for homes will increase property value for homeowners who have invested in their houses, and New Jersey is investing right back in them. For the first 10 to 15 years after installing solar panel systems, the state essentially allows residents to sell the renewable energy milestones they hit to companies or private entities who must meet certain clean energy quotas under newly passed state law. In other words, when commercial buildings can’t reach their state-imposed goals, they will turn to you for credits to reach those goals, and pay for your own clean energy generation — it’s essentially a bartering system and you can passively earn the goods needed to trade in it

Find all the details at DSIRE’s profile for the program.

Net Metering

Since 2008, if your New Jersey solar panels collect more energy than you use, you can sell your excess energy back to your energy provider.

They have to credit you for it—in other words, you are selling them the energy collected by the solar panels powering your home. And the credits “are credited at the wholesale rate at the end of a designated annualized period.”

Find all the details at DSIRE’s profile for the program.

Other New Jersey-specific solar energy programs include:

Of course, you want to get the most out of local programs as well as federal ones, like the temporary Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, which applies to up to 30 percent of your installation. It is important to note that this federal credit is for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019. Solar Energy International reports that a typical five-kilowatt solar system installation in September 2018 would’ve dropped from $ 15,428 to $ 10,800 after the rebate is applied—but keep in mind its value is dropping and the credit could be completely gone by the early 2020s. Consult your contractor about this and other available credits and incentives to ensure your investment in the long-term value of your property is as easy on your current assets as possible.

That’s why you’ll want to find a contractor you can trust—a local professional who can get the job done and assist you with navigating local policy and regulation. The Modernize Contractor Checklist will help you vet a trusted contractor, so you can relax knowing your solar panel project is in good hands.

The post New Jersey: A Guide to Residential Solar Energy appeared first on Modernize.

Modernize

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Arizona: A Guide to Residential Solar Energy

The Arizona Supreme Court has made it much more affordable for homeowners to turn to solar paneling to power their homes. In a recent ruling that affects anyone leasing solar panels in 2019 and beyond, the court “spared tens of thousands of homeowners who lease rooftop solar panels from paying property taxes to the state on that equipment,” according to USA Today’s azcentral.com. Homeowners who bought or financed their solar panels haven’t had to pay taxes on those investments since 2006.

That is just one of the ways in the installation of solar panels in Arizona has seen a positive response and rise in recent years. As of the end of 2018, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) ranked the state third in the country — nearly 7 percent of the state’s energy comes from solar. Additionally, SEIA ranks Arizona seventh in the nation in projecting its growth over the next five years.

The solar panel systems and installation market in Arizona has exploded since 2012. Chart via the Solar Energy Industries Association

Indeed, increased competition in the state since 2012—and the nature of the market on a national scale—means residents are primed for home value increases if they install solar panels in Arizona. And when it comes to home value, researchers project the value of a home increases up to $ 15,000 on average, according to the Berkley Lab, one of the federal government’s national renewable energy laboratories. That doesn’t even take into consideration the massive savings solar paneling affords homeowners—or seasonal price fluctuations that make winter a possibly perfect time for your solar home improvement project.

Like every other state, Arizona has a unique set of incentives, benefits, and challenges when it comes to investing in solar panels for houses. Read our residential guide to understand what you should know as a homeowner as you look for the best contractor to install solar panel systems under the Grand Canyon State’s nourishing sun.

A well-informed and reliable contractor will go over each detail of your installation with you, from expected savings to increases in home value. At Modernize, we frequently speak to homeowners about their home improvement projects. In our recent interviews, 90 percent of homeowners requested a checklist to help them find and vet contractors. Modernize now offers homeowners a free, digital Contractor Checklist as a simple, step-by-step guide to assist with your solar panel project.

Phoenix, AZ: Solar Energy Success Stories

Melisa Camp makes it her business to know Arizona house values: She’s been a realtor for nearly a decade.

“There [are] more homes being sold with solar panels now because we can actually track the data,” Camp told her local TV station Fox 10, and explained that since 2013, the market share for houses powered with solar panels has been growing. “… Every single year that we have been able to measure how many homes are being sold, every year that number is increasing.”

Camp, an expert in the field, installed her own panels in 2010, “an investment she says has already paid for itself and can pay off for others as well,” Fox 10 reported, “but both sellers and buyers have to be armed with knowledge.”

Indeed, solar panels have a sizeable effect on utility bills. Arizona residents can expect to save nearly close to $ 17,000 over 20 years.

Keep in mind this data serves as guidance for your journey to home improvement. Use it during your conversation with contractors in your area. Ask for this level of detail in your estimates and if jargon or complex wording seems confusing, ask for clarification.

A trusted contractor will be glad for the opportunity to explain what everything means and, more importantly, what it specifically means to you. For example, Arizona Homeowner Associations cannot prohibit you from installing solar panels — although they can certainly sometimes give you a headache.

When it comes to Arizona’s solar energy, existing financial incentives (and policy) only make it more lucrative for you to sustainably increase your property value.

Arizona Solar Panels: Incentives, Rebates, and Other Savings

There are currently nearly more than 115 incentives for homeowners to increase the value of their property by installing solar panels for houses in Arizona. Find details about each program at the state’s Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE).

Unlike many other states, Arizona discontinued its net metering policies in 2016, but that’s had little effect on the growing number of solar panel installations across the state, according to the Phoenix Business Journal.

“We believe with smart, stable policies in place, the Arizona solar market can continue to grow,” SEIA’s VP for State Affairs Sean Gallagher told the Journal. “And we anticipate energy storage becoming an important component of the Arizona market as the transition to post net metering occurs.”

Solid contractors installing solar panels in Arizona will be able to provide a list of applicable costs savings measures and help you navigate applying for and getting the most out of them. Learn enough to have a foundational understanding of these programs to best talk to your contractor about them once you’ve vetted and chosen one.

Residential Solar and Wind Energy Systems Tax Credit

Installing solar paneling for homes will increase property value for homeowners who have invested in their houses, and Arizona is investing right back in them. Each year, Arizona homeowners can get up to a $ 1,000 credit per residence, available to taxpayers who install solar panels for their houses. More specifically, you get 25 percent back on your purchase in the form of a tax credit, up to $ 1,000. So if your purchase was $ 4,000, a quarter of that would come back to you.

Find all the details at DSIRE’s profile for the program.

Energy Equipment Property Tax Exemption

Since 2006, the Arizona Department of Revenue has exempted homeowners from paying taxes on the added value of their property caused by installing any solar energy devices, equipment, or components.

In order to qualify, you must provide your county assessor with documentation affirming the actual purchase and installation of the eligible equipment. Be sure your experienced contractor has a grasp of what that process entails. Ask who will be filing the paperwork and handling the process to completion.

Find all the details at DSIRE’s profile for the program.

Other Arizona-specific solar energy programs include:

Of course, you want to get the most out of local programs as well as federal ones, like the temporary Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, which applies to up to 30 percent of your installation. It is important to note that this federal credit is for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019. Solar Energy International reports that a typical five-kilowatt solar system installation in September 2018 would’ve dropped from $ 15,428 to $ 10,800 after the rebate is applied—but keep in mind its value is dropping and the credit could be completely gone by the early 2020s. Consult your contractor about this and other available credits and incentives to ensure your investment in the long-term value of your property is as easy on your current assets as possible.

That’s why you’ll want to find a contractor you can trust—a local professional who can get the job done and assist you with navigating local policy and regulation. The Modernize Contractor Checklist will help you vet a trusted contractor, so you can relax knowing your solar panel project is in good hands.

The post Arizona: A Guide to Residential Solar Energy appeared first on Modernize.

Modernize

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

The Oxford Shoes Guide

In the recent past, we covered various types of men’s boots and shoes, both formal and casual. In our Brogues Shoe Guide for Men, we touched lightly upon the difference between Oxford and Derby shoes, and today we’d like to focus our full attention on the Oxford, which is often referred to as the most elegant type of men’s shoe – for a good reason!

What Makes an Oxford an Oxford?

Unlike most other shoes and items of menswear, the Oxford shoe has one principal defining characteristic:  the lacing system. Sometimes people use the term Oxford to denote any smart lace up shoe, even those with open lacing, but that’s not how we will use the term in this guide.

First of all, it may seem obvious but an Oxford is a shoe with laces, and not a slip-on, monk strap shoe or Chelsea boot. Second, an Oxford shoe has a closed lace system vs. the open lace system of a Derby shoe. But what exactly does that mean? Let’s start with the basics. The uppers of an Oxford usually consist of the quarters and the vamp.

Vamp

The vamp is that part of the shoe uppers the covers the toes and instep, i.e. the front of the shoe.

Quarters

The quarters are that part of the shoe uppers that wrap around the heel and meet the vamp in the middle of the foot i.e. the back of the shoe.

How To Lace Oxford Shoes?

Oxford vs. Derby - Shoe Anatomy Explained
Oxford vs. Derby – Shoe Anatomy Explained

The eyelets for the shoe laces are generally located on the quarters (with the exception of a wholecut and seamless shoe). For a closed lace system, the vamp is sewn on top of the quarters and the shoelace eyelets facings are stitched underneath the vamp. The shoelaces are used to tie the two quarters together thus fastening the shoe onto your foot. When a shoe is new, the quarters should form a narrow V-shape and once they are worn in, the V should disappear so the quarters touch each other, and you can only see the tongue at the top end. Most British Oxford shoes today, mostly have 5 eyelet holes on each side, whereas American Oxfords often have 6. In the past 4 or even 3 eyelets per side were not uncommon, and so it boils down to personal taste.

History of the Oxford shoe

During the 17th-century men’s footwear was dominated by boots. Often high and tightly fitting with buttons instead of laces, they were worn both outdoors and indoors. More often than not these boots featured rather high heels, a style popularized by King Louis XIV of France, who was of modest height. At that time, France was the cultural epicenter in Europe and hence most gentlemen aligned their sartorial choices with the French Court, and footwear was no exception.

However this style of footwear was very comfortable and although it is not entirely clear who exactly invented the Oxford shoe,  it seems plausible that the students Oxford University popularized a “half boot” called the Oxonian Shoe around 1825.  At first, the Oxonian shoe featured narrow slits on its sides which made it much more comfortable to wear around campus than the high boots then in fashion. Slowly over time, the side slits were replaced with laces (on the sides). These side laces eventually made their way to the instep of the boot. Further changes included lowering of the heel and the height of the boot being lowered to expose the ankle. It is still a matter of debate as to whether all these changes took place on campus, which seems highly improbable.

Some claim the Oxford shoe emerged from Scotland and Ireland. Captoe Oxfords are often called Balmorals after Balmoral Castle to this day. However, what is clear is that they were a result of a quest for a more comfortable shoe and that they were first associated with university students rather than with the older generation of the time.  The timeline for these changes is not very clear, with different sources giving different timelines.

However, we do know for certain that in 1846 Joseph Sparkes Hall, the inventor of the Chelsea boot, stated in The New Monthly Magazine that “Dress pumps are the only shoes now worn. The Oxonian shoe … is the best for walking. It laces up the front with three or four holes. It is none other than high lows now called Oxford shoes.” So, at least by then, the name Oxford had caught on in public.

From there, it was a short step to being acceptable as the proper choice of men’s footwear as boots were now being relegated to being worn for specialized activities such as horse riding. Ironically, the Oxford is a shoe with origins on campus but today, it would probably be considered too formal as an everyday shoe for on-campus wear even by English students, but that’s the evolution of style.

Tan Cap Toe Oxford without Heel Cap and 6 eyelets with burnished cap toe - No 549 by Shoepassion
Tan Cap Toe Oxford without Heel Cap and 6 eyelets with burnished cap toe

Characteristics of the Oxford Shoe

In a nutshell, these are the features of a present day Oxford Shoe

  1. Closed lacing system.
  2. Low-heeled
  3. Exposed ankle.

All Oxford shoes share these essential features, and although most have the eyelets on the quarter, a wholecut or seamless Oxford are the exceptions.

Types of Oxfords

Oxfords are not always Brogues though they sometimes are and Brogues are not always Oxfords though some of them can be. It is the lacing system and the absence or presence of broguing that is the differentiating feature.   To Americans the shoes described in the article are more familiar as Balmorals or ‘Bal- type’ while to the English they are known as Oxfords. To the English, the Balmoral is an entirely different shoe (a particular type of oxford with no seams, apart from the toe cap seam, descending to the welt). In this guide, we use Oxford the traditional, English way.

Although technically the construction of the shoe has no impact on the classification as an Oxford shoe, Goodyear welted, or Blake-stitched shoes are recommended because they feature the most classic Oxford styles.

Plain Oxford

The plain Oxford basically consists of the quarter and the vamp. It features neither a leather cap over the toe box nor does it have  broguing. This style is simple yet elegant; black is  the number one choice for evening shoes, and patent leather for black tie and white tie.

If you want to refine the look of your black patent oxfords for tuxedo or tailcoat events, you should take a look into evening shoelaces. Basically, they are much wider than regular shoelaces — they resemble a bow tie and thus mirror the look of your black bow tie. Back during the heyday of classic elegance, they were really popular but today they are all but extinct, which is why I decided to create my own range of evening shoelaces, which you can find here.

Of course, some men also wear pumps, but most men wear laced shoes. Some men prefer a water polish calf leather version that is polished to a mirror shine. Patent leather is definitely more traditional but a mirror shine is fine too. Although in theory this shoe can be made in brown, you are likely to only ever see them in black.

Cap Toe Oxford

The cap toe Oxford, sometimes also referred to as captoe or cap-toe,  is probably the most widespread Oxford shoe style in existence. The most popular color is undoubtedly black, and the black cap toe Oxford is the most popular shoe for the majority of classic men’s shoe manufacturers. Of course, it is also available in tan, brown, cognac, oxblood, etc., but the black variety is the epitome of Oxford shoes.

In addition to the vamp and quarters, an extra piece of leather – the so-called toe cap – is added across the toe box,  and they also feature a heel cap. In black, the cap toe Oxford is the classic business shoe worn by elegant men with their (business) suits across the globe. If you can’t afford a separate pair of patent leather or polished calf leather plain Oxfords,  the black calf leather cap toes may serve double duty as a tuxedo shoe because it is considered by some to be the poor man’s evening shoe, although technically it is not formal  enough for traditional black tie. That being said, it is never correct to wear it with white tie.

Half Brogue Oxford in dark Brown Suede - Model Roberto by Scarosso
Half Brogue Oxford in dark Brown Suede – Model Roberto by Scarosso

Wingtip Oxford / Brogue

The Wingtip Oxford has a pointed toe cap with extensions called wingtips which extend along both sides of the shoe.  Although technically an Oxford, it is generally referred to as a Brogue. When seen from above the cap is shaped like a ‘W’ or a ‘M’ depending on the viewpoint. This style is considered a bit more casual than the Cap Toe. Learn all about Brogues here.

Brown & Tan Saddle shoe No 589 by Shoepassion
Brown & Tan Saddle shoe

Saddle Oxford

These oxfords lack any kind of toe caps and have an additional strip of leather that runs across the top of the middle of the shoes down to the sole (the width of the shoelace eyelets) in a contrasting color. They may or may not have heel caps in a contrasting color. Historically, it is an American style, but you can find them offered by companies all over the world.

Kiltie Oxford
Kiltie Oxford – phot by www.classicshoesformen.com

Kiltie Oxford

The Kiltie Oxford is distinguished with an additional fringed tongue hanging over the top. These shoes are no longer very common.

Wholecut in Antiqued Cognac Brown Leather on an elegant rounded last by Ace Marks
Wholecut in Antiqued Cognac Brown Leather on an elegant rounded last with burnished tips by Ace Marks

Wholecut

This type has an upper that is cut from one single piece of leather. Usually, shoes are made from multiple pieces of leather sewn together. The wholecut oxford has the distinctive closed lacing system and this along with the single piece construction gives it an extremely clean and sleek look. It also requires more leather to make a wholecut because it generally has only one seam at the heel. In recent year, this style has become rather popular and often features a medallion on the toe box or other broguing. It is available in all kinds of colors and is usually a bit more expensive than a cap toe or plain oxford because it requires more skill and more leather. An all black wholecut in patent leather or mirror polished calf works as an evening shoe as long as it has no broguing.

Seamless

The seamless is very similar to the wholecut in the sense that it is made from one piece of leather as well. While the wholecut has a seam on the heel, the seamless does not have a seam, making it even more difficult to produce. Also, it requires even more leather than a whole cut and it takes on average about twice as much leather as is needed for a regular cap toe Oxford. As such, it is usually only offered by bespoke shoemakers. Sometimes, the term wholecut is used synonymously with seamless simply because the term is more well known, although technically this is incorrect.

Style Guide

Strictly speaking, the Oxford is considered to be a formal shoe, however, this does not hold true anymore as they come in many colors, variations and more casual leathers such as suede and brogues.

The Plain & Cap Toe Oxfords

These days the Cap Toe Oxford is often acceptable at less traditional Black Tie events and with dark evening suits. However, traditionally these are the quintessential dress shoes for your day – to – day suits and business wear. They can also be worn when you want to add a dash of sophistication to your casual dress options like chinos and a blazer. It is not recommended to wear black with denim. Cognac, mid-brown, cherry or oxblood serve this purpose much better. For tweed, it is generally recommend to wear boots or derby shoes instead, while fresco, solaro, linen or seersucker can be worn with cap toe Oxfords, although it is recommended not to wear black with these outfits. Instead, a spectator or a solid shade of brown are a much better choice.

The first Oxford every man should own is a black cap toe Oxford. It may seem unexciting but at the end of the day, it is the shoe that can be worn to the office, funerals, weddings, evening events and maybe even black tie and as such, it is very versatile. Unlike brown, black does not come in different shades, and so you don’t need two pairs of black shoes of the exact same style. Many well-dressed men may have only a couple pairs of black shoes in their shoe closet, one of them always being the black captoe Oxford, while they have 10, 50 or 100 pairs of brown shoes. For general advice on how to combine brown shoe colors, including cap toe Oxfords with your wardrobe, please refer to the How to Wear Brown Shoes Guide.

The Wingtip Oxford / Brogue

Wingtips or Brogues are considered to be more casual than the Cap Toe. In black, it can be worn to the office but in dark brown it becomes more versatile because you may now combine them with tweed, and other more casual outfits and looks, including jeans. Especially in shades of brown, these are great for the office in non-white collar environments, sportcoat / blazer ensembles. A dark brown brogue in suede is probably one of the 2nd or third shoes you should buy after you have invested in a black cap toe Oxford.

Wingtip Oxford Shoe with houndstooth bespoke suit
Wingtip Oxford Shoe with houndstooth bespoke suit

The Saddle Oxford/ Kiltie Oxford

These are probably the most casual of the lot but certainly the most difficult to carry off. Either style is only recommended for men who already have at least 15 pairs of shoes and who want to add something unique to their shoe closet. Traditional saddle shoes often come in cream or off white, with a navy blue saddle and red rubber soles, but of course, there are many variations available today. They can work really well with jeans, colored chinos or corduroy trousers and other casual to semi-casual outfits.

Allen Edmonds Canvas Spectator
Allen Edmonds Canvas Spectator

Wholecut / Seamless Oxfords

Wholecut Oxfords are rather popular right now, and they can look particularly handsome when a patina is acquired or applied to the shoe. In plain black, they are a modern alternative for a Tuxedo, and in brown they can be worn with all kinds of suits, combinations or casual outfits. Basically, they can be worn just like a cap toe Oxford.

Wholecut with side gussets by George Cleverly with punched broguing
Wholecut with side gussets by George Cleverly with punched broguing

Where to Buy Oxford Shoes?

There are literally thousands of brands and manufacturers that offer Oxford shoes, and probably over 100 who offer quality Oxfords that the Gentleman’s Gazette would approve of. Obviously, we have not tested them all, and hence, we cannot provide a definitive list. However, we can give you a few tips.

Shoelaces – How to Change the Look of the Shoe Without Buying New Shoes?

If you already own Oxford shoes, and you want a new look without buying a new shoe, the easiest way to do that is to exchange your shoe laces. First of all, make sure to get quality shoe laces that don’t snap. Oxford laces should always be round, not flat and thin because those look more elegant.

A different color than black or brown will really create an entirely new look for your oxford, and dark grey or light grey shoe laces on a black oxford can look very sophisticated. Also, a dark purple on brown can look splendid just as can a blue with white Oxfords.

Budget Oxfords

We consider Budget Oxfords to be in the $ 250 or under range. Brands that we have experience with are Scarosso (Blake Stitched), Pediwear (Goodyear Welted), Loake 1880 (Goodyear Welted), Meermin (Goodyear Welted) and Shoepassion (Goodyear Welted).

Ace Marks Italian shoes, blake rapid stitched on elegant lasts with nice patina in classic and unusual colors. $ 320 for a Wholecut, $ 295 for regular Oxfords = great value.  They also have the occasional Kickstarter where you can get a pair of Oxfords for $ 200, which is an even better value.

Loake produces private label shoes for many companies and offers decent quality for the price.

Meermin is run by a Albaladejo family member who runs the famous Carmina shoes from Mallorca, Spain. In order to save costs, their shoes are made in China, and so the workmanship is not quite on a par with Spain, but the price is considerably lower.

Shoepassion is based in Berlin, Germany and offers a great selection of classic and contemporary Oxfords made in Spain. With good quality and good prices, I recommend them to anybody who is looking for more unusual styles like saddle shoes, spectators or lambs wool lined boots and shoes.

Burgundy Wholecut from Ace Marks in Burgundy Diablo Antique with burnished tip
Burgundy Wholecut Oxford from Ace Marks in Burgundy Diablo Antique with burnished tip

Midrange

Mid range is $ 250 – $ 700.

Crockett & Jones From England, we recommend Crockett & Jones for the classic Gentleman who wants proper English shoes with history in a great selection and variety of styles.

Carmina from Spain produces excellent Oxfords and specializes in Cordovan although these are usually more expensive than $ 700.

Allen Edmonds produces classic American style shoes and apart from an MTO program, they have many specials and deals going on, often bringing the price below $ 250.

High End

Every shoe above $ 700.

Gaziano Girling From England, Gaziano & Girling offer great shoes either MTO or bespoke. The last are often stylized and the epitome of elegance.

Aubercy from France produces very elegant Oxfords (Richelieu in French) just like Crockett & Jones Paris.

In Italy, you can get great Oxfords from the likes of Stefano Bemer, Ugolini, in Austria from Maftei, Scheer or Materna.

Of course, any bespoke maker could be listed here but there are too many to list them all.

What is your favorite Oxford Shoe? Please share your experiences and preferences in the comment section below!

This guide was written by Sven Raphael Schneider & Vikram Nanjappa.


Gentleman’s Gazette

MEN FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Look like a Gentleman, Travel in Style and Enjoy the Best in Men’s Accessories at Hook & Albert. Get 20% Off Your First Order with Coupon Code TAKE20. Shop Now!

Trilby, Homburg, & Pork Pie Hat Guide

Discover the top three hats we highly recommend you add to your hat collection. The Trilby, Homburg, and the Pork pie.

 

Wool felt trilby hat

Wool felt trilby hat

The Trilby Hat

Also referred to as a sloucher or slouch hat and named for the heroine of an 1894 novel by George Du Maurier. The trilby is sort of a little brother to the standard fedora. Like the fedora, the trilby also features a creased tapered crown with a front pinch but it’s slightly more streamlined with a shorter snap brim which usually features a simple sewn edge and sometimes a very narrow band across the bottom of the crown.

Originally associated primarily with the trench coat, the trilby evolved in the 1920s to a softer hat worn often in the English countryside and also at the racetrack. For these reasons, it’s typically seen as a slightly more informal hat than the standard fedora but not by much. In recent years, small trilbies with very narrow brims often printed in loud patterns across the hat and made from synthetic materials became a popular fashion item, however, these types of trilbies also quickly developed something of an unsavory reputation and brought the standard fedora down with them to a certain extent.

 

 

However, if you stick to wearing a classically styled trilby, as I do for most of my own personal hats, you’ll be able to overcome this stigma. Also, they do look particularly good on men with strong facial features so take that into consideration as well.

Homburgs have stiffed curled brims and grosgrain bands.

Homburgs have stiffed curled brims and grosgrain bands.

The Homburg Hat

Next to the top hat, the Homburg is the most formal of all men’s hats. It’s named from the German spa and resort town where it was first seen and also where it was popularized by King Edward the seventh when he was then still Prince of Wales, on vacation in the 1890s. Proper for both day and evening wear, the black or dark blue Homburg is worn with a dark business suit, stroller suit, or tuxedo depending on the occasion and also pairs well with a Chesterfield overcoat in winter in other various colors.

Churchill in Grey Homburg with lighter colored edge trim

Churchill in Grey Homburg with lighter colored edge trim

The Homburg is constructed with much more stiffness than the fedora and features a brim with a slight curl around the edge that’s also typically faced in the same sort of ribbon that you’ll find around the crown. Speaking of the crown, the homburg’s crown is typically very tall and also features a center dent. A favorite hat of diplomats and politicians like Winston Churchill and also featured prominently in The Godfather film series, the Homburg typically looks best on old and more distinguished gentlemen as well as men with defined facial features. You can still wear a Homburg if you have a rounder face, however, just try to find one with a slightly lower crown and a bit of a wider brim to balance things out.

Pork Pie Hat

Pork Pie Hat

The Pork Pie Hat

Also called the English pastry hat, the pork pie got its name from its telescoped crown which features a slight lip around the upper edge of the crown and therefore looks similar to a traditional English meat pie. Normally featuring a snap brim, pork pies flourished among college students in the 1930s and were also popularized by Hollywood stars like Fred Astaire and Cary Grant as well as jazz musicians like saxophonist Lester Young who was elegized by his contemporary bassist Charles Mingus in the 1959 song goodbye pork pie hat.

Lester Young

Lester Young

Pork pies also have a strong and storied association with sporting events particularly horse-racing furthermore, the golfer Sam Snead was often known to wear pork pies made from straw often in coconut and featuring bands with colorful patterns like Madras. Pork pies are definitely on the more casual end of the spectrum as full brimmed hats go and they can tend to give the wearer a slightly squat appearance. As such, shorter men and men with rounder faces should exercise caution when wishing to wear a pork pie.

There’s a basic overview of these three different styles. We’ve given you a few general tips already on how to wear each of them but here are a few more pieces of advice on how to wear all of these types of full brimmed hats with confidence.

Assorted hats

Assorted hats

Tips To Wearing Hats With Confidence:

Many men are hesitant to wear traditional full brimmed hats for one primary reason, they’ll look out of place or dated. It should be said that this fear isn’t necessarily completely without merit. If the hat doesn’t match the rest of the outfit in terms of formality, is not being worn with the proper detail like snapping the brim down for example, or doesn’t correspond well to the wearer’s face shape, it will look out of place.

Confidence is key, however, and if you pair that confidence with the following tips, you’ll be sure to be able to wear any of these styles with relative ease.

  • As these hats all have sizeable and styled crowns, they’re generally well suited to shorter men or men with a stockier build. As they elongate the face, draw the eye upwards, and overall, give a more vertical appearance.
  • As far as the brim is concerned, remember that this is the feature of the hat that should most directly correspond to your own specific face shape. In general, though wider brims typically complement long oval faces whereas narrower brims pair well with shorter rounder faces and as you may have picked up on earlier, men with strong and chiseled facial features are lucky in that they can get away with wearing pretty much any style of these hats.
Sven Raphael loves to wear hats

Sven Raphael loves to wear hats

  • In terms of pairing these hats with your outfits, you can’t go wrong and coupling them with traditional coat and tie ensembles whether that be a full suit or a combination of sport coat and odd trousers.
  • Because of the sporting heritage of trilbies and pork pies, they go well with more rustically styled outfits especially ones featuring tweed or layered with a sweater.
  • Color-wise, brown is a very safe bet for both trilbies and pork pies whereas the more formal Homburg will typically look best in black or very dark blue.

Out of the styles that we covered today, which one do you think that you might be able to incorporate into your wardrobe first?


Gentleman’s Gazette

MEN FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Look like a Gentleman, Travel in Style and Enjoy the Best in Men’s Accessories at Hook & Albert. Get 20% Off Your First Order with Coupon Code TAKE20. Shop Now!

Business travel survival guide: How and why this entrepreneur refuses to settle

TwitterFacebook

Ad content from Hyatt House hotels

Stacy Garcia, founder of Stacy Garcia Inc., a licensing and design company, travels frequently as part of her job as an entrepreneur and business owner. Her company, which focuses on interior design products, has roots in hospitality design, and today includes a collection of global lifestyle brands and product lines including textiles, carpeting, furniture, and lighting.

Part of Garcia’s success is due to her “never settle” attitude. “When I believe in something, I never settle until I’ve accomplished it,” she says. “I don’t stop just because I’ve heard a few ‘no’s.’ I’ve trained myself to hear ‘not yet’ instead of ‘no.’ This challenge is what has made my journey so meaningful, and so much sweeter when I finally get the ‘yes’ I deserve.” Read more…

More about Travel, Supported, Hotels, Los Angeles, and Traveling


Business

BREAKING NEWS:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Business Travel Survival Guide: Do more and stress less with these tips from a successful millennial CEO

TwitterFacebook

Ad Content from Hyatt House Hotels

“Behind every great woman, are great women.” As founder and CEO of the wildly popular networking platform Create & Cultivate, Jacyln Johnson practices what she preaches. With two successful businesses and recognition from Adweek, Forbes, Fast Company and Entrepreneur under her belt by the age of 30, Johnson doesn’t just have a career—she creates them

Recognizing a missing resource for accomplished millennial women, Johnson launched Create & Cultivate to empower women to achieve their career goals and become their own bosses. She started small, with a gathering of 50 entrepreneurs in Palm Springs. In response, Johnson received hundreds of emails from women eager for the next conference.“That’s when I realized there was real momentum around this idea,” said Johnson. “It feels like a dream job.” Read more…

More about Business Travel, Hyatt House, Jacyln Johnson, Entrepreneur Travel, and Business


Business

BREAKING NEWS:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Super Bowl 2019 Guide for Viewing on Xbox One or PS4

Super Bowl 53 will see the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots compete against one another on Sunday, February 3 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. With the growing popularity of streaming and less cable TV subscriptions, the question comes up of how one can watch the Super Bowl without traditional cable.

We’ve broken down where you can officially stream Super Bowl 53 without cable, whether it be from your PC to your phone, and even Nintendo Switch.

  • Xbox One
  • PS4
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Streaming Devices
  • PC/Web Browser
  • iOS and Android Devices

Continue reading…

IGN All

SHOPPING DISCOUNT UPDATE:

GameStop, Inc.

Florida: A Guide to Residential Solar Energy

There is only one state with the perfect nickname when it comes to solar energy: Florida, the “Sunshine State.” Though in the last decade it “lagged in renewable energy use,” Scientific American recently reported, “solar is about to boom in the Sunshine State as the price of photovoltaic cells and related installation costs drop to all-time lows.” As of the end of 2018, for example, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) ranked the state eighth in the country since just about one percent of the state’s electricity came from solar energy. However, SEIA also ranks Florida second in projecting its growth over the next five years.

While initially slow, the solar panel systems and installation market in Florida has exploded since 2016. Chart via the Solar Energy Industries Association

Indeed, increased competition in the state since 2016—and the nature of the market on a national scale—means residents are primed for home value increases if they install solar panels in Florida. More specifically, researchers project the value of a home increases up to $ 15,000 on average, according to the Berkley Lab, one of the federal government’s national renewable energy laboratories. And that doesn’t even take into consideration the massive savings solar paneling affords homeowners—or seasonal price fluctuations that mean winter could be perfect for a solar home improvement project. Like every other state, Florida has a unique set of incentives, benefits, and challenges when it comes to investing in solar panels for houses. Read our residential guide to understand what you should know as a homeowner as you look for the best contractor to install solar roof panels under the large, wide, and perfect Florida sun.

A well-informed and reliable contractor will go over each detail of your installation with you, from expected savings to increases in home value. At Modernize, we frequently speak to homeowners about their home improvement projects. In our recent interviews, 90 percent of homeowners requested a checklist to help them find and vet contractors. Modernize now offers homeowners a free, digital Contractor Checklist as a simple, step-by-step guide to assist with your solar panel project.

Coconut Grove, FL: Solar Energy Success Stories

Wine consultant Carol Lopez-Bethel considered her switch to solar was a “no brainer,” according to CBS Miami.

Three years after Lopez-Bethel installed solar panels in Florida’s Coconut Grove, the sun powers many utilities in her home. And while you should consider your roof when you consider a solar panel system, keep in mind hers is a 1950s-era house.

“The lights that are on right now,” she told CBS, “are free. They’re coming from the sun.  And we’re not creating any pollution. We’re not imposing ourselves (on the environment) in any negative way.”

Indeed, solar panels have a sizeable effect on utility bills. Florida residents can expect to save nearly $ 18,000 over 20 years.

This data serves as guidance for your journey to home improvement. Use it during your conversation with contractors in your area. Ask for this level of detail in your estimates and if jargon or complex wording seems confusing, ask for clarification. A trusted contractor will be glad for the opportunity to explain what everything means and, more importantly, what it specifically means to you.

When it comes to Florida’s solar energy, for example, existing financial incentives only make it more lucrative for you to sustainably increase your property value.

Florida Solar Panels: Incentives, Rebates, and Other Savings

There are currently 100 incentives for homeowners to increase the value of their property by installing solar panels for houses in Florida. Find details about each program at the state’s Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE). Solid contractors installing solar panels in Florida will be able to provide a list of applicable costs savings measures and help you navigate applying for and getting the most out of them. Learn enough to have a foundational understanding of these programs to best talk to your contractor about them once you’ve vetted and chosen one.

Property Tax Abatement for Renewable Energy Property

Installing solar paneling for homes will increase property value for homeowners who have invested in their houses, and Florida is investing right back in them. The state “provides a 100 percent property tax exemption for residential renewable energy property.” In other words, you’re not paying taxes on any of the added value of your property. And this tax exemption doesn’t just apply to solar panel systems, but also to the many components that could be required as part of the installations:

  • Solar energy collectors, photovoltaic modules, and inverters
  • Thermostats and other control devices
  • Heat exchange devices
  • Pipes, ducts, wiring, and structural supports
  • Power conditioning and storage devices that store or use solar energy

Find all the details at DSIRE’s profile for the program.

Net Metering

Since 2008, if your Florida solar panels collect more energy than you use, you can sell your excess energy back to your energy provider.

They have to credit you for it—in other words, you are selling them the energy collected by the solar panels powering your home. And the credit has to be “carried forward at the utility’s retail rate.”

Find all the details at DSIRE’s profile for the program.

Other Florida solar energy programs include city and region-specific ones:

Of course, you want to get the most out of local programs as well as federal ones, like the temporary Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, which applies to up to 30 percent of your installation. It is important to note that this federal credit is for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019. Solar Energy International reports that a typical five-kilowatt solar system installation in September 2018 would’ve dropped from $ 15,428 to $ 10,800 after the rebate is applied—but keep in mind its value is dropping and the credit could be completely gone by the early 2020s. Consult your contractor about this and other available credits and incentives to ensure your investment in the long-term value of your property is as easy on your current assets as possible.

That’s why you’ll want to find a contractor you can trust—a local professional who can get the job done and assist you with navigating local policy and regulation. The Modernize Contractor Checklist will help you vet a trusted contractor, so you can relax knowing your solar panel project is in good hands.

The post Florida: A Guide to Residential Solar Energy appeared first on Modernize.

Modernize

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Laser Skin Resurfacing Treatment Guide: Cost, Side Effects, and More

Lasers are now being used to zap everything from sun damage and skin cancers to acne scars and regrettable tattoos — and often with little to no downtime. Which ones are best for your particular skin type and issue? In this month’s Life in Plastic column, we tapped the country’s top laser gurus spell it out for us.
Allure

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

The Landlord’s Guide to Reference Checks

Have you found somebody who
you think might be a great tenant for your rental property? To be completely
sure a tenant will be a good fit, landlords should complete a thorough
reference check to find out what a potential tenant’s previous rental
experiences were like.

Reference checks are often the final stage of the tenant screening process. They’re important because they give landlords the opportunity to fact check the information a tenant provided on a rental application. Plus, you may learn something about the applicant that he/she wouldn’t disclose to you personally, like if they had a dispute with a previous neighbor or roommate.

There are obvious benefits to talking to your applicant’s
references, but what exactly should you be asking them to get the most out of
your reference check? This post covers tips for talking to references, questions
you should ask previous landlords and roommates, and the value of it all.

How to Get the Most Out of a Reference Check

References are only useful if they’re honest, clear, and
relevant. So, how can you ensure that the references you get for a potential
tenant paint an accurate picture of what they’ll look like as a renter? You can
start by following these four tips:

  1. Establish trust: Take your time
    establishing a degree of trust and confidentiality with references. It’s likely
    they were chosen because they have a positive impression of your prospective
    tenant, but to get an accurate idea of what their experience was like, let them
    know you are seriously considering this applicant and that the conversation
    will be kept private. This way, you can feel confident in the honesty of their
    answers.
  2. Phrase questions carefully: How you ask
    a question is extremely important when looking for detailed and specific
    answers. Some references may only want to sing the applicant’s praise—but you
    need to know about shortcomings just as much as you do successes. So, as an
    example, instead of asking, “What didn’t you like about this person?”, try
    asking, “What could this person improve on?”.
  3. Ask open-ended questions: Some
    questions require only a yes or no answer. This is called a closed-ended
    question and is totally acceptable in certain scenarios. But, the more
    open-ended questions you ask, the more you’re likely to learn. Asking
    open-ended questions forces a person to put more thought into their answers.
  4. Be prepared. Write down any questions
    you might have about the tenant while you are still in the screening process.
    Keep these questions and the rental application in front of you when you’re
    making calls. This will give you control over the conversation, ensure you get
    all the information you’re looking for, and reinforce your appearance as a
    professional.

Reference Check Questions to ask Landlords

Talking with the applicant’s previous landlord is the best
place to start. This person can give you an idea not only of what you can
expect, but also what the tenant might expect from you. Here are some questions
to help get you started.

Questions to ask
about the property
:

  • What is the address of the rental property?
  • How long was the tenancy?
  • What kind of maintenance responsibilities did
    the tenant have?
  • What kind of vehicle parking was provided?

Questions to ask
about the rent:

  • How much was the monthly rent?
  • How would you describe the tenant’s ability to
    pay rent?
  • What was the preferred method of payment?

Questions to ask
about relationships:

  • How did the tenant communicate with you? How
    often?
  • What could this person do to be a better tenant?
  • Why did the tenant leave?
  • Describe your overall experience with the
    tenant.

Reference Check Questions to ask Neighbors and Roommates

Neighbors and roommates can provide a deeper insight on what
this tenant is like to live with. For this purpose, you’ll want to ask these
references a slightly different set of questions.

Questions to ask
about general knowledge:

  • What is your relationship to the tenant?
  • How long have you known the tenant?
  • What was your living arrangement like?

Questions to ask
about personality:

  • How would you describe the tenant’s lifestyle?
  • How does the tenant spend his/her free time?
  • How would you describe the tenant’s living
    space?

Questions to ask
about relationships:

  • What did you like best about living with/beside
    the tenant?
  • What kind of disputes, if any, did the tenant
    have with you or other tenants?
  • How were these disputes resolved?
  • What do you think the tenant could do to improve
    as a roommate/neighbor?
  • Describe your overall experience with the tenant.

Why Tenant Reference Checks are Valuable

The information you learn during these reference checks could push you in one of two directions: either you accept the applicant, or not. The decision is entirely up to you. Though, it certainly helps to get all the information possible before officially signing a Lease Agreement Form that you might regret.

Reference checks can confirm the applicant really is who
they say they are, which will save you both time and money in the long run.
That’s why they are so important when selecting the best possible tenant for
your rental property.

The post The Landlord’s Guide to Reference Checks appeared first on LawDepot Blog.

LawDepot Blog

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Men’s Hat Etiquette Guide

Just as the gentleman should have a variety of hats for different seasons and occasions, he should also be aware of the rules for when to have his hat on and when to take it off.

Bowler Hats & Caps in 1920
Bowler Hats & Caps in 1920

A great many menswear sources, if they do offer advice on hat etiquette, will typically advise that the most basic rule to remember is to wear your hat when outdoors and to take it off indoors.

While this advice may end up working out for the wearer, let’s say 75-80% of the time, we believe that there’s a better central starting point for approaching hat etiquette which is as follows:

Pitti Peacocks by beforeeesunrise
Pitti Peacocks by beforeeesunrise

Wear Your Hat In Public & Take It Off In Private Spaces.

Stated simply, a private space is any place where people live, work, or pay a fee to enter. Anything else is generally going to be considered public. Here then are some more specific examples of this philosophy in practice.

Lobby of the St Regis Grand Hotel in Rome
Lobby of the St Regis Grand Hotel in Rome
  1. A house is a private space but the foyer or entryway just inside the door can be considered a public space. This goes back to the era when a butler would typically greet guests at the door and take their hats and coats. Similarly, an apartment is a private space but their surrounding hallways, as well as the lobby, are public.
  2. This same general rule is typically true for hotels with the added caveat that spaces reserved specifically for hotel guests such as the pool or lounge are also considered private spaces.
  3. One unique distinction for apartment buildings, hotels, and other such multi florid spaces, an elevator is considered a private space. This goes back to the days when most elevators still had human operators. As such, you would consider the elevator the operator’s office.
  4. Related to the concept of entry fees are membership dues. As such, any club with specific members is also considered to be a private space.
  5. Office buildings where the lobbies and hallways are are public spaces but specific offices are private spaces. In addition, cubicle areas are collectively treated as private, basically functioning as one large office. This isn’t limited to the specific space inside each individual cubicle.
  6. If a doctor’s office has a separate reception area, that’s considered a public space but the waiting room is considered a private space because you’re already waiting for the doctor’s services and in a manner of speaking, already in the office.
  7. Also in the medical field, a hospital building is treated as an all private space. This goes back to the days when most hospitals were still run by churches.
  8. A theater is a private space since you have to pay for a ticket to get in, however, since you have to buy the tickets in the lobby most of the time, the lobby is considered a public space.
  9. Despite usually requiring a ticket for entry, an outdoor stadium is still often considered a public space because it’s outdoors and fairly large. An indoor stadium, on the other hand, is a private space.
  10. A restaurant is a public space, in general, but once you’ve been seated at your table, it becomes a private space since, in theory, you’re paying to be there. Curiously enough, however, the bar is almost always considered a public space at all times.
  11. Stores are typically public spaces with the exception being if you’re given specific attention from a salesperson. Because you’re requiring their services at that point, the interaction then becomes more private at which point, it’s best practice to remove your hat.
  12. Places of worship are generally considered to be private spaces but of course, some religious traditions do have specific rules related to men’s headwear as well as women’s headwear. If you plan to attend a place of worship and don’t know the rules relating to headwear, be sure to ask someone in the know. Hats can also be removed at certain specific times for such activities like prayer, the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in the United States, or for the singing of hymns or national anthems.
  13. If you’re in motion, your hat should remain on regardless of the method or openness of transportation. This harkens back to the days when transportation was pretty much all done out of doors, either walking, on horseback, or in an open carriage. Even though we have many new methods of transportation and a lot of them are enclosed, the tradition of keeping your hat on while you’re moving still remains in effect.

And there you have it! Using this public space private space motto, the hatted gentleman can be sure that he’s always observing proper etiquette when wearing his hat or as the case may be, not wearing it.

The lounge at a private members club
The lounge at a private members club

Why Remove Hats In Private Spaces?

The answer is that the uncovering of the head is a sign of deference that goes back millennia. It’s usually done to signal an acknowledgment of intrusion or to show basic gratitude. In other words, the hallmarks of a gentleman.

Hat tip
Hat tip

The Practice Of Hat Tipping

The tradition of tipping one’s hat has its roots in bowing to show respect. A practice that was common across various cultures for centuries. When hats became the dominant fashion for men and bowing was still common practice, the hat would have to be removed when a man bent from the waist so that it didn’t hit the floor. Bowing would gradually become less extreme over the course of the 19th century, culminating in the simple hat tip by the 20th century. These days in the 21st century, even that practice can seem a little outdated.

If you’re a regular hat wearer and feel totally comfortable in headwear, you can give a hat tip to people regardless of gender these days too but if you feel that the behavior would seem affected coming from you, you can go ahead and skip the tip.

Straw Hats in 1958
Straw Hats in 1958

CONCLUSION

Even if you don’t commit to memory every single example we outlined in this guide, you can still be sure that by following the basic model of the public space-private space paradigm, you, as a hat-wearing gentleman, will be courteous with your stylish headwear.

Note: the majority of the information for today’s article was sourced from the writings of menswear historian Bill Thompson.

Which of the etiquette rules we covered today came as the biggest surprise to you?


Gentleman’s Gazette

MEN FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Look like a Gentleman, Travel in Style and Enjoy the Best in Men’s Accessories at Hook & Albert. Get 20% Off Your First Order with Coupon Code TAKE20. Shop Now!

The Minimalist’s Guide to Dressing for Work

The Minimalist's Guide to Dressing for Work

Ladies, is one of your resolutions to have a more minimal wardrobe for work? I’ve seen a lot of reader conversations about it, and been asked a bunch about it over the years, so I’m finally rounding up my tips: here’s the minimalist’s guide to dressing for work! If you’ve done a closet revamp (or built a work wardrobe from scratch) recently, what are your best tips on having a minimal work wardrobe? For all the readers starting to think about building a wardrobe for a summer internship or otherwise creating a capsule wardrobe for work, what would you advise them? Do you think a minimal work wardrobe necessarily means having a work uniform or being ok to repeat outfits at work?

1. Pick a consistent base.

Pick a consistent base color for your wardrobe essentials for work like pants, sheath dresses, blazers, jardigans, and more. For a lot of women that means black or gray. 

2. Consider factors like garment care, weather, and ethics.

Pay attention to thinks like:

  • care – as you’re building your wardrobe pay attention to how things need to be cared for, and what you’re wiling to do. If you have one piece that is “dry clean only,” it may get waylaid at the bottom of the drycleaning bag and be out of commission for longer than you would like.
  • your laundry schedule – in my last “single girl” apartment, the laundry was four flights down and there were only two machines, so I wound up clearing an entire weekend once a month to do laundry. Later, when we moved into an apartment with a washer and dryer (and had a baby who required constant loads of laundry!), I wondered why I had SO many workout clothes and t-shirts I never wore, and towels I never used. It took me way too long to realize it was because my laundry schedule was totally different in the new apartment!
  • seasonality and layers — how many cashmere sweaters do you really need if it rarely goes below 40 where you live? Similarly, consider whether you really need things like linen suits or blazers. A bottom layer like silk long johns may seem like it doesn’t make sense, but because you can wear it with multiple clothes it may be a better investment than several pairs of super warm pants that you only wear once or twice a year.
  • durability – the goal, of course, is to buy well made clothes that will last a long time. If you notice that your clothes aren’t lasting very long because they start to look old with pilling, discoloring, and more, it’s time to avoid that brand of clothing or fabric choice.
  • ethics — you may want to focus on slow fashion and buying things made with environmentally friendly fabrics, produced in America or other factors

3. For basics, consider buying multiples of what you love.

For example, for socks, tights, underwear, bras, t-shirts, and sleepwear, if you find one you love, just stock up — it reduces your mental load to buy duplicates of your favorite clothes. Do keep in mind the other factors, though, like seasonality, your laundry schedule, and more. 

4. Know your neutrals.

For some women that might be beige; for others it may be cream; for others it may be caramel. Pale blue or pink can often act as a neutral as well. The trick is to know what’s flattering to you, what works with the rest of your minimal wardrobe base, and importantly, what you’ll wear.

5. Pick a limited color palette for accents.

We talked about this with our discussion of capsule wardrobes for work a few years ago, where I illustrated how even if you pick bold colors like red, purple, and royal blue, you can keep a consistent look with a minimal wardrobe. If you want to get fancy, you can pick a favorite multicolored thing you own — maybe it’s a scarf, or a sweater — and pull the colors from that scarf into a color palette. You can buy a minimum number of pieces but establish a consistent, pulled-together look that transcends style or trend.

the minimalist's guide to dressing for work - have a capsule wardrobe for work

Pictured at top (white shirts): Deposit Photos / WorldWide_Stock

Hunting for the minimalist's guide to dressing for work? We're rounding up some of our TOP tips for having a more minimal, streamlined work wardrobe, whether you're revamping your wardrobe or building a work wardrobe from scratch. Great tips from the readers who've tried to make their work closets and work outfits more streamlined and minimal as well!

The post The Minimalist’s Guide to Dressing for Work appeared first on Corporette.com.

Corporette.com

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

CFDA Introduces Sustainability Initiatives to Help Guide Designers Looking for Cleaner Ways to Work

With “where to begin” being a common conundrum for many brands considering sustainability, the CFDA has launched its Sustainability Initiatives to help designers do their part to clean up the fashion industry.
In line with the United Nations’ call for the fashion industry to act on its global mandate on sustainability, the CFDA has rolled out a four-part strategy. Many designers’ questions may be answered by referencing the first edition of the CFDA Guide to Sustainable Strategies, the Sustainable Strategies Toolkit, the CFDA Materials Index or the CFDA Sustainability Directory.
While Eileen Fisher, Stella McCartney and other designers have been committed to trying to clean up the industry’s excessive waste for a while, many less established brands are examining sustainability for the first time. The United Nations Alliance on Sustainable Fashion will stage its launch event March 14, during a media event of the 4th U.N. Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya. Just as consumers have learned about the environmental farm-to-table choices, sustainability supporters are hopeful that greater awareness about the need for sustainable fashion will lead to changing the consumption and production habits.
Konstantin Grcic recently joined forces with the Aeance to create a sustainable capsule collection. Stella McCartney has been leading the

Follow WWD on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.

Read More…
WWDWWD

BEST DISCOUNT ONLINE:

Turtleneck Guide

Turtleneck sweaters, also known as polo neck, mock neck, skivvy, and so forth. Learn all about its history, how they should fit, how you can style them, and what to pay attention to when you buy them.

SRS in a brown turtleneck sweater
Sven Raphael Schneider wearing a brown lambswool turtleneck sweater from Uniqlo

What Is A Turtleneck?

Basically, it’s a sweater with a high rolled collar that is turned down and covers some parts or most parts of your neck. A traditional polo neck or turtleneck is always folded over and it’s very slim fitting in the body. Typically, the turtleneck part itself is made out of a ribbed knit while the body is generally made up of a solid knit.

A cousin of the turtleneck is the so-called mock neck. It also covers the neck yet it’s not folded over. Personally, I don’t like that style very much because it usually is more flimsy around your neck and it doesn’t drape as well as when it’s folded over.

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester wearing a doublet

Turtleneck History

They first have been worn in the Western Hemisphere in the 15th century. If you wonder why, you know once you put them on that they really keep your neck a lot warmer which is nice for the colder days of the year. Because of that, it never really lost its popularity but by the 19th century, it was primarily a garment for the working class or for sailors. Sometimes, you could also see them worn by naval officers.

That being said, it was not a garment that you would see an aristocratic gentleman wearing. In fact, it was a utilitarian garment and it didn’t become fashionable until the playwright Noel Coward wore it in the 1920s. It’s so popular that it was subsequently adopted by the preppy style movement because people wanted something that was more casual and they wore it instead of a shirt and a tie especially during the cooler days of the year. Ever since, turtlenecks have been going in and out of fashion. They were really popular in the 80s and then the demand dropped.

Clark Gable wearing an overcoat with a turtleneck sweater
Clark Gable wearing an overcoat with a turtleneck sweater

I remember I had my first turtleneck sweater about 15 years ago in the early 2000s and at that point, they weren’t really popular. That being said, in recent years, there has been a surge in popularity especially with elegant men because it’s a garment that helps you casualize the rest of your somewhat formal wardrobe. Obviously, it keeps your neck warm and it also means you don’t need to have a necktie or a bow tie which makes it an ideal winter travel companion.

Johnstons of Elgin Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater
Johnstons of Elgin Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater

How A Turtleneck Sweater Should Fit

The turtleneck is a rather slim fitting garment that is snug and reaches below your waist. Most turtlenecks are quite long so you can tuck them in without them coming out. In the 80s, sweater turtlenecks were very floppy but personally, I think it’s not a good style because you have it sit very close against your neck so it’s floppy in the body, it just looks weird.

That being said, turtlenecks usually come in different weight classes, there are some that are extremely thin and it’s a great substitute for a shirt. On the other hand, you have thicker sweaters typically made out of wool which are meant to keep you a lot warmer and you might be able to wear them with an undershirt.

Slim and very thin turtlenecks can be great to layer but wearing them on their own, they really show every imperfection of your body. Frankly, whether you wear your turtleneck tucked or untucked is entirely up to you. Personally, I like to wear it tucked with dress pants or if I combine it with a suit, I wear them on top of my pants if it’s a more casual combination.

Broan Sacawa wearing a Turtleneck & Overcoat with Overplaid
Brian Sacawa wearing a Turtleneck & Overcoat with Overplaid

How To Style A Turtleneck Sweater

  • Personally, I like to wear them directly against my skin or with a thin undershirt. I never wear a polo shirt underneath with any kind of collar and I also try to avoid any kind of dress shirt with a collar because it just looks weird and you can see it outlined from the outside. Sometimes, even an undershirt is too much and I just suggest you take a look at it in the mirror before you go out on the street because if you have an outline of a v-neck t-shirt underneath a turtleneck, it just looks odd.
  • Turtlenecks are a great way to dress down suits. In the video above, I’m wearing a gray turtleneck with a navy suit. It creates a very different look than when I would wear the same suit with let’s say a white shirt and a tie.
Off white overcoat with plaid sportscoat & red turtleneck sweater
Off white overcoat with plaid sportscoat & red turtleneck sweater
  • A turtleneck makes everything look a lot softer yet you’re still well-dressed. Some people even combine it with striped suits which, in my opinion, is over the top because the striped suit is more formal and it can clash.
Turtleneck sweaters and black tie tuxedos do not go hand in hand
  • To go even a step further, I’ve seen people wearing it with a tuxedo or dinner jackets and I find that look is rather odd because black tie lives of its formality but it looks much better like that, in my opinion.
  • You can also use a turtleneck to dress down a double-breasted jacket.
Suits with Peaked Lapels and Turtlenecks
Suits with Peaked Lapels and Turtlenecks
  • At recent Pitti Uomos, I’ve also seen men wear a turtleneck sweater that’s rather thin with a larger denim shirt on top which is topped off by an overcoat or a jacket. Obviously, that’s a more flamboyant fashion-forward look and are only recommended to people who really know what they’re doing. Personally, it’s not a look that I like.
  • Off-white is a really nice color for turtleneck sweaters especially in the winter because it contrasts with the darker colors that are otherwise usually incorporated in your outfit. That being said, make sure you get a very thick white or off-white turtleneck because otherwise, you can see your nipples, the hair pokes through, and you can see the outline of your pants which just looks really really bad.
Wax jacket with turtleneck and off white sweater with white pants
Wax jacket with turtleneck and off white sweater with white pants
  • Turtlenecks generally tend to look better with shorter haircuts. So if you like your longer hairstyle, simply don’t wear turtlenecks.
  • If you’re in to turtlenecks, you can also pair them maybe with some jeans and boots and wear them outside let’s say with a pea coat.

One of the biggest challenges for turtlenecks is to combine them with your other garments so it looks very well put together. I found, in terms of color, if you follow the concept of contrast and harmony, you always look well-dressed.

Contrast & Harmony

By harmony, I mean that you take a color that complements maybe your jacket or one of your pants. Because turtlenecks are exclusively reserved for the colder seasons of the year, it makes sense to use a more muted color scheme that creates that harmony with other items.

By contrast, I mean the colors have to be noticeably different because if everything blends in yet it’s not the same, it has this sort of monochromatic look that simply does not work.

How To Buy Turtlenecks?

Ideally, you get something that is machine washable because sometimes, you’ll sweat more if you go from a cold environment into a warm department store than you would with a different sweater. Because of that, you want to be able to clean it regularly and dry cleaners are very costly so ideally, you want to be able to wash it at home in your washing machine. That means you get something in cotton. Cotton is not very insulating so merino wool is probably the best material for a sweater because it is not as delicate as cashmere yet you can wash it on a gentle cycle in your machine at home. Because I sweat more in them, I have to wash turtlenecks more often and therefore, I get pilling more quickly and the sweaters don’t last as long.

Turtleneck
Knit Turtleneck Sweater

In terms of colors, I think gray and tan are fantastic companions for the winter season and those would be the first to invest my money in because generally, they work
well with other classic colors that are usually worn in the winter. If you want to add more, I think an ivory color is great as long as the material is thick enough so you don’t see any outline underneath. You could also play with maybe a burgundy or a dark olive green. Tones of camel and khaki are also nice but I would stay clear of black or navy because they’re usually too similar to the jackets and then it just all blends in and creates a monochromatic look I don’t like.

Uniqlo extra fine merino turtleneck

Rather than going with a stark white, I encourage you to go with ivory or off-white because they’re softer and blends in better with brown tones still creating a contrast but in a way that is more warmer and looks more well-put-together than a plain solid white.

If you’re not sure about turtlenecks and whether they’re right for you, a great place to start is Uniqlo. They provide turtlenecks with a nice slim fit even for shorter guys or for guys like me. They have a nice color palette, they offer merino wool and cotton and they really don’t break the bank. No, this is not sponsored at all. I’ve just found that Uniqlo turtlenecks are a great value so give it a try and let me know what you think.

What’s your take on turtlenecks? How do you usually combine them? Share with us in the comments below!


Gentleman’s Gazette

MEN FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Look like a Gentleman, Travel in Style and Enjoy the Best in Men’s Accessories at Hook & Albert. Get 20% Off Your First Order with Coupon Code TAKE20. Shop Now!

The guilt-free guide to being a better person in 2019

We’re all trying our best to be ‘woke’, ethical and sustainable. But then again‚ sometimes it’s hard to know what the damn rules are. Here, Francesca Hornak breaks it down

Recycling

Essential, obviously. But if only waste disposal didn’t come with so many diktats. How clean must an empty pot of Yeo Valley be to guarantee recycling? What about an empty can of sustainably sourced tuna? Is a rinse fine, or does it need to go in the dishwasher, or is that a waste of energy? Which bin does cling film go in? What about cellophane? And Jiffy bags – part paper, part plastic? These are the kind of quandaries that have seen sane people get out of bed to give the hummus pot in the green box an extra wash, for luck.

Coffee Cups

Hooray for KeepCups! So simple, so stylish! Except that every morning one of two things will happen. You’ll either realise, as you rummage for the sodding cup at the front of a long, tetchy queue for coffee, that you have forgotten it and will have to sidle to your desk with a shameful disposable cup, conscious that yesterday you were talking loudly about ‘that documentary on plastics’. Or you’ll remember the KeepCup just as you’re about to leave home, and locate it sitting in your bag, coated in stale coffee from the day before. You’ll then make yourself late washing it, and detect a hint of Fairy Liquid in your flat white.

‘Why do I never have one of my 500 canvas totes when I’m actually in a shop?’

Facebook

Isn’t there something innately unclean about Facebook? Even before fake news and all its attendant moral dilemmas, the whole place always felt grubby, posting content for likes from people you neither like nor care about. But still we can’t help ourselves stalking the girl everyone fancied at school and then cursing Mark Zuckerberg for stealing another hour of our lives.

Bags for life

Is it wrong to miss, just slightly, the time when there was always a spare plastic bag kicking around at home? Something to line the bathroom bin with, or shove your muddy trainers in? It is wrong, and you know it. As a result, you now have a huge collection of bags for life under your sink, and an uneasy feeling that these might take even longer to biodegrade than the flimsy plastic bags of yesterday. See also: why do I never have one of my 500 canvas totes when I’m actually in a shop?

Periods

Once, you could unwrap a Tampax Compak without seeing a little grenade of toxic plastic, waiting to wash up on a beach. And in a few years’ time, we’ll probably all have mastered Mooncups and Dear Kate pants (does anyone else find this off-puttingly close to a nappy?). But until then, no woman should be begrudged the occasional Lil-Let.

Veganism

Touted as the no-brainer route to a more sustainable life (assuming you can find joy in life without cheese). That is, until you Google ‘air miles from almond milk’ or ‘is coconut oil worse for you than butter?’ and feel immediately exhausted. But let’s face it, who regularly has time to roast legs of lamb anyway? You’re probably unintentionally vegan half the time out of sheer culinary laziness. Job done.

The post The guilt-free guide to being a better person in 2019 appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Style Your Home’s Outdoors with All the Perfect Additions from MacKenzie-Childs! Save on Tables, House Letters & Chairs. Shop Now!

When is it worth hiring a tour guide?

ADVERTISEMENT


Traveling the world and exploring the globe’s different cultures and cities really is something magnificent. It’s a way to step out of your bubble and expand your horizon by experiencing and seeing new things. You can explore the pyramids of Egypt, the amazing mountains of Machu Picchu in Peru, or Dubai’s spectacular skyscrapers. Unfortunately, we are not all natural explorers. Some of us have a hard time finding our way around a foreign city.

The streets and signs may lead you into a never-ending labyrinth. Even in this digital age where we can access any information, getting around and finding those hidden and beautiful spots to visit might still be very difficult. So why not hire a tour guide? It might sound old-fashioned, but tour guides really are the cheapest and best way to get yourself around a foreign city without having to walk those extra miles when you get lost, or spending an ungodly amount of money on expensive fares.

See the best sites

A tour guide is usually a well-rounded local who is familiar with every corner of the city you are visiting, and thus, is able to show you the most exclusive and unique places that Google probably doesn’t know about. You see, a local tour guide develops a natural skill of knowing the exact location of places that are truly embedded in the culture, and that might not be as “touristy.” We’re talking about places that aren’t crowded with tourists, overly expensive gift stores, or full of high-end cameras flashing you in the face. Instead, a tour guide will be able to introduce and guide you to the most interesting and sought after places a tourist could ever wish to visit that truly represent the culture.

They know the language

This is especially true when you are traveling across the world to a city where the people might not speak the English language very well. If you can’t communicate with the locals and ask questions, you’ll probably stick around the same center-city streets and see the same old buildings that every other traveler sees. Instead, invest in a tourist guide that not only takes you to the best places, but that is also able to answer any questions or concerns you might have during the trip.

They can answer your questions

Feel like asking when that building was built or what it was used for back in the day? Ask the tour guide! Don’t underestimate the value of having a tour guide who can answer questions and discuss concerns that are better off discussed, than ignored. This is even more important when you’re traveling alone. There are always great people in tour groups with whom you can bond and share experiences. You might make new friends and travel companions for your next destination!

We tend to rely so much on our smartphones and wi-fi to access for information about the “best hotels” and “5-star restaurants” in the city, that we ignore the most resourceful and insightful option we have, a tour guide.

ADVERTISEMENT

The post When is it worth hiring a tour guide? appeared first on Worldation.

Worldation

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Nintendo Switch Setup Guide, Helpful How Tos, Troubleshooting Tips, and More

If you’re just setting up a new Nintendo Switch or trying to transfer your data over to a new one, these helpful Nintendo Switch guides should make that process much easier. In this article, you’ll find quick links to popular Switch setup guides (as determined by traffic, user questions, and popular searches) and troubleshooting wiki pages.

IGN’s Nintendo Switch guide has plenty of great hardware information, but if you’re looking for more guides on Nintendo Switch games, be sure to check out these popular game wikis:

From Adam Rippon to Zazie Beetz: The A-Z Guide to Everyone and Everything We Discovered in 2018

The Year In... A-Z Guide to Everyone and Everything We Discovered in 2018Pop culture is all about the joy of the discovery.
Think about it. There’s nothing better than unearthing something new, something fresh, something you’ve literally never seen or…

E! Online (US) – Top Stories

SPECIAL TRAVEL UPDATE:
Special Program Discounts

Cocktail Attire For Men – Dress Code Guide For Weddings, Parties & Events

When you receive an invitation nowadays, it may add a dress code such as Cocktail Attire, Black Tie Optional, Semi-Formal Attire or Formal Attire, but what exactly does that mean? 

Back in the day, things were simpler: the dress code was either Black Tie for less formal evening occasions or White Tie for more formal ones. Women’s dresses were chosen accordingly. Today, for many men the tuxedo is the most formal garment they will ever wear, and it is often rented. In the following, I want to explain what Cocktail Attire For Men is all about and what options you have for weddings, parties or events when you receive an invitation that asks for it.

Video – Cocktail Attire For Men

Want to look the part at the next cocktail party? Get our cocktail attire pocket guide for men here.

cocktail attire_900x400_2

The Basics of the Cocktail Attire Dress Code

Dress Codes Formality Scale
Dress Codes Formality Scale

How Formal is Cocktail Attire and When Should You Wear It?

On the scale of dress codes, cocktail attire is the middle, a step up from business casual but less formal than black tie. It is considered on par with business attire, so it is easy to use an outfit you would wear to your office or an interview to create a great cocktail attire ensemble. This dress code is most commonly found on invitations for parties, weddings, and professional events, which are formal events.

Dark Flannel Suit with Silk Tie & TV Fold Pocket Square
A Dark Flannel Suit with Silk Tie & TV Fold Pocket Square is perfect for Cocktail Attire

Even though times have changed and style is becoming ever more casual, if a dress code is called for, you should do your best to stick with it because dressing appropriately is a sign of respect for the host and the event. Cocktail attire is likely to be one of the more frequent dress codes most men encounter because it falls in the middle of casual and formal, but it is also one of the most convenient because it is made up of garments and accessories that most men likely already own. 

Sven Raphael Schneider wearing a DB flannel suit
Sven Raphael Schneider wearing a DB flannel suit that would work for cocktail attire

Cocktail attire is also versatile in that when in a pinch, you can wear a cocktail attire with a dark suit instead of a tuxedo when black tie is called for as the dress code. It’s also appropriate for funerals and other solemn occasions when formality is required. In this case, a solid dark navy or charcoal suit can be worn if you don’t own a black one, and your accessories should be muted, such as a black grenadine tie, black leather oxford dress shoes, and a solid white shirt. Even if you wear smart casual or jeans on a day to day basis, it pays to have at least one cocktail attire outfit ready in your closet for short notice events. 

What is Semi Formal and Formal Attire for Men?

Colin Firth in Kingsman wearing a classic British suit with padded shoulders that works for cocktail attire

If your invitation states a semi-formal or formal attire, these are vague and challenging dress codes to deal with today because they mean different things to different people. In the past, formal attire was a tuxedo, while semi-formal would be like cocktail attire. These days the ambiguity of these dress codes can make them frustrating for guests.

If the Invitation Asks for Cocktail Attire, Men Should Wear:

  1. A dark to mid-gray suit
  2. A button-down dress shirt in white or another muted color
  3. A necktie or bow tie in subtle patterns or plains
  4. A simple pocket square
  5. Black dress shoes with a leather sole, such as oxfords
  6. Over the calf socks that either match your trousers or pick up something in your outfit such as a color in your tie or bow tie
  7. Of course, make sure you are clean shaven and you have a recent haircut
Opt for a dark suit for a black tie optional event
Opt for a dark suit for a cocktail attire event

Cocktail Attire Don’ts: 

  • DON’T wear your tuxedo or white tie, as that would be too formal for this dress code 
  • DON’T wear a black suit – these should be reserved only for funerals
  • DON’T wear your pinstripe suit, bright colored ties, a bold paisley shirt, or flashy accessories at home to a wedding – the couple should be the center of attention, not you
  • DON’T wear casual clothes such as khakis, chinos, jeans, polo shirts, or a sports jacket; if it would work well for business casual, don’t wear it!
  • DON’T wear casual shoes such as loafers (or any shoes without laces)
  • DON’T go sockless – this may be a trend now but it is inappropriate for cocktail attire
  • DON’T forget to wear a tie or a bow tie- it’s too casual without one

Cocktail Attire For Men at a Wedding

Navy suit with burgundy grenadine tie
Navy suit with burgundy grenadine tie

Even though the above guidelines for cocktail attire may seem a bit subdued, they will be appropriate for the majority of weddings. The result of the cocktail attire dress code is that you will be elegantly and respectfully attired for the occasion without being flashy or otherwise drawing attention away from the focus of the day – the bride and groom. Unless you have information suggesting otherwise, such as a beach or barn location, you can’t go wrong with traditional cocktail attire at a wedding. 

 If the bridegroom is a flamboyant artist or someone who wears shorts and t-shirt, no matter what, try to adjust your outfit so you will not be completely out of place: For an artist wedding, go with more colorful accessories and for a completely informal wedding, skip the tie and just wear a combination with a dark jacket and lighter colored slacks – again, it is their day so you should try not to catch much attention with your outfit.

What Should Men Wear to a Cocktail Party?

Single-breasted suit
Single-breasted suit with a bold shirt is a good choice for a cocktail party

Interestingly, most women understand the attire required for such an event due to the aptly named cocktail dress (often black), whereas it is not as clear for men what attire they should wear to a cocktail party. Unfortuntanely, the cocktail party and cocktail attire do not go hand in hand, and you will need to make a judgement about the nature of the event before you decide what to wear. 

If the event suggests a dress code, then go with it.  If not, consider that cocktail parties are supposed to be relaxed occasions, and although not wrong per se, a classic dark suit such as navy or charcoal is probably a tad too formal. During the winter, you can wear flannel, with patterns, and maybe a bow tie. Be more daring than with your business wardrobe and pay attention to accessories such as cuff links, tie bars, pocket squares, boutonnieres… but don’t overdo it and only use two accents at the most.

1

2

3

4

Sven Raphael Schneider wearing a DB flannel suit

1

Madder Silk Bow Tie in Purple with Paisley

2

Cornflower Boutonniere

3

White Linen Pocket Square

4

Sunglasses are a must for an event outside. Click to find out what shape suits you best.

During the warmer months of the year, you can go with lighter colors, such as the light blue linen sport coat below.

1

2

Pink Two Tone Knit Tie Fort Belvedere

1

A knit tie in a two tone color is perfect because it is casual yet unusual.

Click to learn more about this tie.

2

A lapel flower boutonniere makes your outfit special & fun.

For a selection of boutonnieres, click here.

Traditional Cocktail Attire in the 1930s

Cocktail Party Suits
 Cocktail Party Suits

Fashion illustrations are a window into a bygone era when every man seemed to be dressed to the nines. The following fashion illustration is from 1936, the golden age of men’s classic style,  and shows us a nice mix of cocktail attire for men that would still work today. This illustration clearly shows the evolution of women’s dress since the 30’s, since these women are wearing hats and suits that were then considered everyday attire rather than business wear. If the party is during the day or in the afternoon, you can add more color and patterns to your outfit, although the basics mentioned in the list above apply here as well. In the evening, you can wear darker suits, fewer patterns, and more muted colors. 

The Stroller With Striped Trousers for Formal Day Event

Let’s start on the very left with the gentleman in the stroller. He leans by the fireplace, talking to the lady in red. Of course, this is an illustration, but note how neatly his coat fits around the collar, shoulders  and cuffs. There are neither gaps nor excess shirt cuff fabric to be seen. His stroller jacket is the typical single-breasted, peaked lapel style with two buttons and jetted pockets in a charcoal gray (this jacket is also found in black). Instead of a pocket square, he opted for a red carnation that goes well with his buff waistcoat, white shirt, and light blue tie. His trousers are striped but instead of the more common cashmere stripe, a special stripe for morning wear that does not really have anything to do with cashmere, he chose a wide stripe in black and white. Even though his shoes aren’t visible, they are probably black oxfords to match the colors in his outfit and the formality of this look. This cocktail outfit used to be particularly popular for wear on Sunday afternoons and was often seen at the smartest cocktail bars. Today, the stroller is definitely the most formal of all the cocktail suits yet different than another flannel blazer combination or a navy suit.

Windowpane Overplaid Sharkskin Suit – Great For Most Cocktail Parties

One of the highlights in this illustration is certainly the suit in the middle, featuring a large rust brown subdued windowpane overplaid on a grey sharkskin suit. Worn as a 3-piece suit with an ivory colored shirt and navy-red club tie,  the proportions of this suit are very moderate. It has a normal lapel width and gorge, round quarters and a fairly long jacket. In my opinion, windowpane suits are one of the most underrated outfits in menswear and hence, they are an ideal chance for you to differentiate yourself without being overly loud. As a general rule, you should keep in mind that the more patterns and colors (other than navy and grey) you have in your outfit, the less formal it will be. All of the suits shown here would be appropriate attire for 95% of cocktail parties.

1

2

3

Silk Boutonnieres that look like real flowers - they just never wilt & travel well

1

Blue Cornflower Boutonniere Buttonhole Flower Silk Fort Belvedere

2

Orange Golden Fritillaria Silk Boutonniere Buttonhole Flower Fort Belvedere

3

Edelweiss Boutonniere Buttonhole Flower Fort Belvedere

Wide Stripe Worsted Flannel Suit – An Option for Evening Events

On the very right, we have a gentleman in a suit with yet another large pattern: the wide-spaced colored stripe. The red stripes inspired the rest of his dress, choosing a red boutonniere and Bordeaux tie. This three-piece flannel suit with stripes benefits from the peaked lapels, which provide a little more formality. If the lady in blue were to step aside, you would see that the trousers of this suit are without cuffs, which raises the formality bar by another notch.

Striped Worsted Flannel
 Striped Worsted Flannel

In combination with a white crisp shirt collar, this outfit would be almost bank appropriate, expect for the wide colored stripes.

Nevertheless, I think it is a fantastic stripe and hence I wanted to provide you with a picture of an authentic cloth sample. As you can see, the stripe is more subdued than in the illustration, which makes it even more appropriate for a cocktail suit that is different yet elegant.

Conclusion

When cocktail attire is called for as the dress code at your next event, now you know what you need to wear to look and feel great. At a wedding, try to be properly dressed without being too flashy and always keep the bride and groom in mind. For cocktail parties and receptions, leave your business navies and grays in the closet and add a splash of color. If you have a vest – even a contrasting one – wear it if it pairs well with the suit. I hope I provided you with some food for thought for cocktail attire for your next reception – have fun and enjoy company and drinks!


Gentleman’s Gazette

MEN FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Look like a Gentleman, Travel in Style and Enjoy the Best in Men’s Accessories at Hook & Albert. Get 20% Off Your First Order with Coupon Code TAKE20. Shop Now!

Last Minute Gift Guide 2018

You have one week and two more weekends before Christmas. And that means you better get started. Yes we’re talking to you – the last-minute procrastinators, the disorganized, the busy or the ones ‘waiting on the next paycheck before I can knock off this gift list’ types. We’re here to help – we’ve got the last-minute gift guide for everyone on your list.

No need to say thank you. – we understand. Keep in mind, online is the easiest way to order if you’ve waited this long, but check each website for their latest ordering date for delivery for Christmas. Also keep in mind these are the busiest times of the year for all retailers, so if you want to be absolutely sure the gifts arrive on time, pick them up in person, as there are no guarantees. Big-box retailers like Wal-Mart and Target will alllow you to shop online and pick up at the store.

FOR UNPLUGGED KIDS

Some of this year’s coolest gifts are not electronic, which should make some parents very happy as phone addiction is real. If there’s any gift that encourages some family time as well, then that’s a blessing since much of the time it seems like you’re talking to your kids while they’re barely looking up from their Instagram feed.

SCRUFF A LUVS PET TOYS

If your young child wants a pet but you know you’ll be the one taking care of it, get them a Scruff A Luv toy. It requires your child to wash and take care of their ‘pet’ in order to see it grow into the final product. While parents who reviewed it weren’t always happy with the scruffy toy that emerges, they did say that for the most part, their kids adored it. $ 11

DON’T STEP IN IT

If you know anything about kids, you know they love anything gross. So this game is made for them. The idea is that using a blindfold, and after scattering squishy pods of “poop” around a mat, you try to evade the piles. $ 25 and up

KID MADE MODERN

This kit made “Oprah’s Favorite Things” list. It encourages children to be creative with a full spectrum of arts and crafts supplies. Although they might still go to YouTube to figure out the how-to’s, at least they’ll be expanding their creativity with something tactile. There are also multiple options including a jewelry making kit, wooden toy making kit and a board book one. From $ 37.99

FOR THE COOL KIDS

Teens are notoriously hard to buy for, as everything you like is corny to them and everything they like is corny to you. But after you’ve bought every video game and electronic thing they want, what’s left? Here are few things they may like but don’t blame us if they don’t. You can always give them a gift card if you’re not sure.

SUPREME

 

If your son or daughter  is one of the kids who always has to have the latest, Supreme is a brand that would qualify. They have limited runs of each item so when it’s gone, it’s gone. Although the brand, which started out as a skateboard shop and line, has been around since 1994, its become increasingly popular in the last few years.

Each time the brand makes a “drop” or releases new product, there are lines around their Brooklyn, NYC, London, France and Japan stores. While a lot of their clothing becomes coveted and resold far beyond the original price, you can still pick up a shirt on their website for under $ 100. You can also check Ebay and shopping app Poshmark for cheaper options, just make sure you buy from trusted sellers with a history who have good feedback. $ 110 for this sweater, various

LUMEE DUO SELFIE PHONE CASE

 

If your teen girl (or boy)  is always looking for just the perfect filter and lighting, here’s the perfect gift – a phone case that comes with its own light. If you can’t get them off the phone, at least make sure their selfies come out well-lit. $ 63.10

FOR UNC OR AUNTIE

NFL Apparel 

If your uncle’s favorite phrase is ‘Who Dat” then we know who he’s rooting for. Or maybe’s its your auntie always wanting to call you after a Sunday game to talk about ‘Dem Boyz.” You know they’d appreciate some official gear to celebrate their team’s victories and to cry in after a loss. $ : Various

FOR YOUR BEARDED BAE

Shea Moisture Beard Kit 

 

You love the feeling of his beard when he’s nuzzling you, so you’ve got as much motivation as he does to keep it well-groomed. Shea Moisture’s well-reviewed beard 4-piece beard kit uses the all-natural ingredients that are a hallmark of the brand and includes beard wash, detangler, conditioning oil and balm. $ 34.49

FOR YOUR MELANIN QUEEN

D’IYANU

 

She may not have an actual crown, but she is a queen to you and your family. Nigerian-American designer Addie Olutola  started D’Iyanu in 2014 to provide fashion-forward clothing with an African twist. Since then, through the power of social media, the brand has become a popular choice for fashionistas looking to combine style with cultural expression. $ : Various Sizes up to 3X for women and men.

FOR MOM

Hurricane Snakeskin Boots 

The days that moms wanted a toaster or vacuum cleaner are over. Chances are, your mother has a thriving life and career and is competing with you for Instagram likes. She also likely has a mean shoe game. If that’s that case, here’s a good choice for her. Newly minted duchess Meghan Markle’s favorite boots, according to The Daily Mail, are $ 550 by the designer Dear Frances. But London-based brand TopShop makes a comparable pair for less than half the cost. Their snakeskin Hurricane boot comes in four colors and has a comfortable stacked heel. Here’s to you, Moms!

Good American Jeans 

If your mom’s not into shoes, chances are she’s into jeans. Out of all the celebrity designer brands, Good American is one of the best. The high-quality denim, various fit and size-inclusivity make them a winner. Yes, they are expensive, but that’s why they’re perfect for a once-a-year gift, especially if you have the type of mother who doesn’t believe in spending a lot on herself. Right now, a lot of styles are on sale on Nordstrom.com and you can also find good deals on the discount shopping app, `Poshmark.

FOR GRANDMOM

InstaShiatsu Foot Massager 

 

Oprah’s “My Favorite Things” makes another appearance on this list with this foot massager. If we know anything about our grandmothers, whether they are in their 40’s or their 70’s, they still work or have worked hard.

So their feet deserve a break. This foot massager is said to work miracles on tired feet, so we think Mom-Mom will appreciate it. Oprah said she heard a choir of angels sing when she used it, and who are we to question Oprah? $ 199

Eternal Fleur Flower Box 

Since Amazon doesn’t guarantee Christmas delivery on the massager, there’s another option for Grandmom. Eternal Fleur creates roses that come in beautiful boxes that last for a year. There is some secret sauce in how that’s done, but the roses are real and come in an array of colors. There are several box options from crocodile to Lucite, and you can order flowers in different quantities as well – from a single rose to a dozen. It’s like getting flowers that (almost) last forever.

FOR GRANDDAD

 

Tile Phone and Key Finder 

You love Pop but he’s always forgetting something, so waiting on him to get out the door to come pick up the grandkids is a pain. Hook him up with the Tile Finder which can help him locate his keys and his phone via Bluetooth technology. That should help him and you out. $ 59 and up

Jabra Wireless Headphones 

If he’s a music lover, then add some wireless headphones to his list as well. The best under $ 50 are the Jabra Move wireless which have a battery life of 8 hours and are surprisingly good for the price. Throw in Spotify or Tidal premium (Grandpa can share your account passwords) and you’ve got a winning Xmas gift combo. $ 49.98


HEAD BACK TO THE BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM HOMEPAGE

 

 

 

Life & Style – Black America Web

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Best Deodorants & Antiperspirants for Men – A Comprehensive Guide

Dealing with perspiration is part of the human condition. When considering the underarms, deodorant and antiperspirant are the common solutions–but what goes into these products, how do they work, and what other considerations should you have?

Various types of deodorants and antiperspirants.

Various types of deodorants and antiperspirants.

A Brief History of Deodorants and Antiperspirants

Prior to the 19th century, before regular bathing became commonplace, people used heavy colognes to mask body odors. The earliest manufacturers of deodorants and antiperspirants experimented with pastes and creams, though these were often difficult to apply. Mass-produced aluminum-based products came about in the late 19th century; the first commercial deodorant, Mum (now better known as Ban) debuted in 1888, and the antiperspirant Everdry followed in 1903, with its modern formula engineered in 1941. The market for deodorants exploded in the 1940s and ‘50s; deodorants were originally marketed primarily to women, but according to contemporary reporting by the New York Times, roughly half of men in the U.S. were using deodorants by 1957.

The back of a vintage package of Mum deodorant, explaining its uses.

The back of a vintage package of Mum deodorant, explaining its uses.

In the early 1960s, the first aerosol antiperspirant in the marketplace was Gillette’s Right Guard, and the popularity of aerosol deodorants and antiperspirants continued to grow through the 1970s. However, aerosols would wane in popularity beginning in the late ‘70s, due to an FDA ban on the active ingredients used, aluminum zirconium chemicals, and a mandate by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limiting the use of certain propellants; these actions were taken to address inhalation concerns and depletion of the ozone layer, respectively. As a result, solid stick deodorants would become the dominant choice in America in the 1980s, and remain so today, while other methods would remain popular elsewhere around the world.

Application Methods

Deodorants and antiperspirants come in a variety of forms and formulas:

  • Solid sticks, as previously stated, are the most popular form of deodorant/antiperspirants in the U.S. They typically don’t leave the skin wet after application, often contain ingredients to soothe the skin, and usually come in a solid white or clear formula. Some solid sticks tend to leave white residue behind on clothing; this can be prevented by putting your shirt on first, then applying the product by reaching inside the shirt, or by using a hairdryer to quickly dry the applied product even further. Also, if you do get deodorant on your shirt, rubbing the affected area with a dryer sheet can remove most of the product.
A typical example of solid-stick deodorant, from Old Spice.

A typical example of solid-stick deodorant, from Old Spice.

  • Gels are applied in a similar way to solid sticks, but they go on clear. The gel formula is generally pushed up through holes or slits in the applicator. Gels are wet when applied and require a few minutes to dry.
  • Roll-ons feature a ball at the top of the bottle that can be rolled to evenly distribute the product, which is usually light and gel-like, though it can be more liquid.
  • Crystals are solid pieces of antiperspirant material, most often potassium alum; you can find more information on this style in the “Natural Formulations” section below.

A gel-style combination deodorant/antiperspirant, from Gillette.
An example of roll-on antiperspirant, from Nivea.
An example of a crystal antiperspirant (labeled as a deodorant).

  • Creams and lotions can come in jars, tubes, or pump bottles, and are applied with the fingertips or with applicators. These usually require a few minutes of drying, as well.
  • Sprays come in aerosol cans and typically go on dry. The sprays available today have been reformulated, so as not to contain any of the harmful ingredients or propellants found in their 20th-century ancestors. While the American market is dominated by stick deodorant, sprays account for roughly half of all deodorant sales worldwide.
  • Finally, towelettes are an application method principally for antiperspirants. They are often individually packaged, with multiple packages contained in a box.

A jar of cream deodorant, made with activated charcoal and applied with the small wooden applicator.
An antiperspirant spray from Right Guard (one of the most popular brands in the category).
A box of antiperspirant towelettes, with one individually packaged towelette shown.

Perspiration & Body Odor: What, Why, and How

Perspiration (or more simply, sweating) allows the body to regulate its temperature; sweat glands–of which the average person has between two and four million–secrete sweat to the surface of the skin, which then evaporates, cooling the body. Sweat is not pure water; it always contains small amounts (0.2–1%) of minerals including sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium as well as natural fluids like lactic acid and urea.

There are two situations in which the nerves will stimulate the sweat glands: physical heat and emotional stress. In general, emotionally induced sweating is restricted to palms, soles, armpits, and sometimes the forehead (though other areas including the trunk may be affected), while physical heat-induced sweating occurs throughout the body. Furthermore, humans have two distinct types of sweat glands: eccrine glands, which represent the majority of sweat glands across the body, and apocrine glands, which are principally located in key areas (including the underarms, nipples, ears, eyes, nose, and genital regions).

A close-up of eccrine perspiration on a forearm, presumably from heat or activity.

A close-up of eccrine perspiration on a forearm, presumably from heat or activity.

The eccrine glands produce the watery perspiration described above, and function primarily due to heat or activity. Because all humans have various cultures of bacteria on the surface of the skin, and because these cultures are particularly fond of damp areas, any odor resulting from eccrine sweat is primarily due to bacteria congregating, metabolizing the sweat, and decomposing on the skin. Meanwhile, the apocrine glands play the principal role in emotional sweating (as they are triggered by adrenaline), and secrete an oily, odorous compound that acts as a pheromone, territorial marker, and warning signal.

A simplified anatomical diagram of the skin, showing the the location of the eccrine sweat glands, as well as the exterior pores.

A simplified anatomical diagram of the skin, showing the location of the eccrine sweat glands, as well as the exterior pores.

The quantity of sweat secreted depends on the individual, and is determined by many factors, including gender, genetics, environmental conditions, age, and fitness level (including body weight). There are some differences in men’s and women’s sweat glands; women have more individual glands, but each gland on men’s bodies produces more sweat. For people who suffer from excessive perspiration, such as those with the condition known as hyperhidrosis, the apocrine glands may be more active, and thus odor may be a greater concern. Additionally, there is a genetic component to whether your underarm bacteria will produce odor; the specific makeup of the ABCC11 gene determines the degree to which apocrine sweat will produce an odor. In particular, those of East Asian origin are much less likely to produce odorous sweat, whereas only 2 percent of Europeans can say the same.

Sufferers of hyperhidrosis must often deal with both excessive sweating and the awkward social ramifications that result.

Sufferers of hyperhidrosis must often deal with both excessive sweating and the awkward social ramifications that result.

These two issues, then–perspiration and body odor–are closely intertwined while remaining distinct. As such, there is a specific remedy for each, though these remedies are also often grouped together in the minds of consumers. In casual usage, many people collectively refer to underarm deodorants and antiperspirants by simply using the term “deodorant.” Technically, however, the primary purposes of these products are not entirely the same, as their names suggest. With that in mind, here are brief summaries of each of these types of products.

Antiperspirants

Antiperspirants use aluminum-based ingredients to create temporary blockages in the sweat glands, reducing underarm sweating. While they typically don’t mask or reduce odor directly, their impediment of both odorous apocrine sweat and bacterially susceptible eccrine sweat means that the user will likely experience less body odor as a result. Antiperspirants are often used by people who sweat profusely, such as the aforementioned sufferers of hyperhidrosis, as well as those who generally wish to avoid the embarrassment of visible perspiration. In simple terms, antiperspirants keep us dry.

The backside of the box of SweatBlock antiperspirant towelettes, listing their ingredients.

The backside of the box of SweatBlock antiperspirant towelettes, listing their ingredients.

What are these “aluminum-based ingredients?” Here’s a brief list. Note that any given antiperspirant may contain some of these ingredients, but not necessarily all; be sure to read the packaging on your chosen product for more complete information.

  • Aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex/tetrachlorohydrex/octachlorohydrex glycine
  • Aluminum chloride
  • Aluminum chlorohydrate
  • Aluminum hydroxybromide
The backside of the gel-style deodorant/antiperspirant from Gillette, listing its ingredients.

The backside of the gel-style deodorant/antiperspirant from Gillette, listing its ingredients.

Due to the presence of these more volatile ingredients, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies antiperspirants as a drug, meaning that they are products designed to serve a medical purpose. Most over-the-counter antiperspirants contain between 10 and 20 percent of their active ingredient; FDA restrictions cap that level to between 15 and 25 percent, depending on the specific type of active ingredient. So-called “clinical strength” formulas stay within over-the-counter guidelines, but aim to provide comparable wetness protection to prescription products. One additional note: yellow underarm stains on undershirts are caused principally by the aluminum compounds in antiperspirants, rather than by the actual perspiration. Non-aluminum deodorants will result in less visible underarm stains over time.

Underarm stains are decidedly not a good look; they can be avoided by using less antiperspirant, which contains aluminum compounds.

Underarm stains are decidedly not a good look; they can be avoided by using less antiperspirant, which contains aluminum compounds.

Antiperspirant Classifications

In its regulatory guidelines for antiperspirants, the FDA requires that an antiperspirant must cut down on the total amount of sweat by 20% to be considered “all day,” and 30% to be considered “extra strength.” “Clinical strength” and “maximum strength” are unregulated terms, however, and while antiperspirants using these designations may promise to keep you drier than regular antiperspirants, their higher concentrations of active ingredients make them somewhat more likely to cause skin irritation; see “Health Concerns” below.

There are also deodorants that contain some antiperspirant ingredients, which are then also regulated according to FDA antiperspirant standards. Remember to closely observe the label of any product you choose to buy, to determine its primary function, and whether or not you believe it will meet your needs.

This brand of antiperspirant towelette (now shown open) markets itself as "clinical strength," an unregulated term.

This brand of antiperspirant towelette (now shown open) markets itself as “clinical strength,” an unregulated term.

Deodorants

The primary objective of a deodorant is to neutralize underarm odor. Deodorants are often alcohol-based, and additionally contain emollients (lotions) to soothe skin, as well as various fragrances. Alcohol initially stimulates sweating, but may also temporarily kill bacteria. Other active ingredients in deodorants include sodium compounds like sodium stearate and sodium chloride (salt), and occasionally other antimicrobial chemicals. In the past, deodorants included chemicals such as zinc oxide, ammonium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, and formaldehyde, but these ingredients have been phased out over time due to potential health risks, including cancer; again, see “Health Concerns” below.

The backside of the Old Spice deodorant, showing its ingredients (as well as a humorous "summary" of its effects).

The backside of the Old Spice deodorant, showing its ingredients (as well as a humorous “summary” of its effects).

The FDA classifies deodorant as a cosmetic, meaning that it is “intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body’s structure or functions.” In other words, deodorants are not meant to treat medical conditions, and in simplest terms, they control odor, not perspiration. Additionally, the active ingredients (as well as most other key structural elements) are mostly the same between men’s and women’s varieties, with only the fragrances being significantly different.

“Natural” Formulations

Given their increasing popularity in recent years, you may also see some deodorant products variously marketed as “natural,” “organic,” or “vegan.” (As of the time of this writing, “natural” antiperspirants are not commonly available, with the exception of crystals, which have some antiperspirant qualities). Products listed as “natural” must contain some ingredients derived from nature; that is, not created in a laboratory. “Organic” products contain only ingredients that have been grown without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or GMOs. However, these terms remain largely unregulated by the FDA or other agencies, and as such, a product can freely advertise as “natural” even if some of its ingredients are artificially created, and as “organic” as long as none of its ingredients have been treated with the aforementioned substances.

An example of a solid stick deodorant (with antiperspirant qualities) marketed as "natural."
The backside of the natural deodorant, listing its ingredients and processes.

Over-the-counter products labeled as “natural deodorants” or “deodorant crystal” can contain potassium alum, and another popular alternative to modern commercial deodorants is ammonium alum. Both of these products contain aluminum, which can be a skin irritant for some people. Finally, “vegan” products don’t contain any ingredients derived from an animal, such as flesh, bone, milk, scales, or beeswax. While this term (as well as the related designation “cruelty-free”) is monitored to a greater degree, said monitoring is done by independent organizations rather than government agencies.

An example of a solid stick deodorant, marketed as "vegan" and "organic."
The backside of the vegan-organic deodorant, listing its ingredients and processes.
The backside of the crystal deodorant, noting that its principal ingredient is potassium alum.

Regarding the effectiveness of “natural” deodorants, your mileage may vary. Experiment with these products if you wish to avoid lab-created materials, but be aware that the claims of their manufacturers are less well-regulated. One natural deodorant brand you may consider trying is Schmidt’s; their “Bergamot + Lime” variety is the regular deodorant of Sven Raphael Schneider.

Alternatively, if you’re so inclined, you can experiment with homemade alternatives. Various botanical oils and extracts, such as thyme, rosemary, and lavender, have been proven to have antimicrobial effects and can be combined with solids like beeswax, cocoa butter, or shea butter with oils including thyme, rosemary, or lavender. Baking soda is also a common ingredient in homemade deodorant. Keep in mind, however, that anything made in the home will be much less specifically formulated than a mass-market consumer product. 

Beeswax can be used as a primary ingredient in natural deodorants made at home.

Beeswax can be used as a primary ingredient in natural deodorants made at home.

Scented or Unscented?

It is important to note the distinction between “unscented” and “fragrance-free”; unscented products contain fragrance additives to mask the chemical smell of other ingredients, and will therefore carry the smell of these additives. Meanwhile, fragrance-free products do not contain additives and are mostly free of any primary odor. A potential downside to scented antiperspirants (as well as deodorants) is that their scents can easily clash with cologne or aftershave; as such, if you’re a man who prefers to make a statement with these products, be mindful of whether your deodorant or antiperspirant also carries a scent.

A combination deodorant/antiperspirant from Arm & Hammer, marketed as "unscented."

A combination deodorant/antiperspirant from Arm & Hammer, marketed as “unscented.”

Health Concerns

Over the years, there have been many rumors about health risks associated with antiperspirant and deodorant, including that they cause breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Many of these concerns have been connected to the presence of aluminum in antiperspirant. Research has not determined any clear linkage, however. The myth that breast cancer (which also occurs in men, though more rarely than in women) is believed to be linked with deodorant use has been widely circulated, and appears to originate from a spam email sent in 1999; however, researchers at the National Cancer Institute and the FDA have determined that there is no evidence to conclude that these products cause breast cancer.

One ingredient type in some deodorant products which has given cause for concern is the group of preservatives known as parabens. According to the American Cancer Society, however, studies have not shown any direct link between parabens and any health problems, including breast cancer. Scientists have also not found compelling evidence to associate antiperspirant or deodorant with Alzheimer’s disease. However, research in these areas is ongoing, so some consumers may still wish to be cautious.

Headquarters of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA.

Headquarters of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA.

As mentioned above, the aluminum in antiperspirants and the alcohol and fragrances in deodorants can act as irritants to some people. Especially if you shave your underarms, this area of the skin can be particularly sensitive. If you suffer from especially dry or sensitive skin, read the list of ingredients in your chosen product carefully. If antiperspirants have given you a rash in the past, avoid applying them right after showering or shaving; that’s when they’re most likely to irritate skin. The primary active ingredient may also be the key; some people react badly to antiperspirants with aluminum chloride, others to aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex glycine, and still others have had adverse reactions to “natural” products. The method of application can also contribute to irritation.

Crystalline alum, one of the key aluminum-based ingredients in antiperspirants.

Crystalline alum, one of the key aluminum-based ingredients in antiperspirants.

You may occasionally hear that the body builds up a resistance to antiperspirants over time, though scientific evidence for this is minimal and inconclusive. It is possible, however, that some bodies may develop compensatory hyperhidrosis due to blocked sweat glands; this has been observed in individuals who have undergone surgical procedures to stop sweating in the arms and hands, who would experience increased sweating at other locations, such as the feet, groin or trunk, following surgery.

When Should I Apply Deodorant?

Deodorants without antiperspirant capabilities can be applied at any time throughout the day; morning is the most common time for a great many people, though occasional reapplication following strenuous activity at other times can also occur. While no health risks have conclusively been linked to any of the active ingredients in standard deodorants, frequent application (more than two times in one day) may be excessive.

Antiperspirants work best when applied to clean skin that isn’t already sweating. As such, many men find the most success with antiperspirants if they are applied at bedtime, since the sweat glands are least active during sleep, and the product will be able to block the pores with maximum efficiency. Some men may reapply in the morning for additional coverage, while others will apply deodorant at that time. It’s recommended that over-the-counter antiperspirants marketed for underarms only be used on that area of the body, whereas medically prescribed antiperspirant solutions may be applied elsewhere, in accordance with the individual prescription.

As with any other medical concern you may have, the best course of action regarding questions about deodorants and antiperspirants is to consult your doctor.

As with any other medical concern you may have, the best course of action regarding questions about deodorants and antiperspirants is to consult your doctor.

If you have concerns regarding any of the information we’ve outlined here in relation to the deodorant or antiperspirant you use, please consult your doctor.

Conclusion

Deodorants and antiperspirants are two closely related products that have revolutionized the world’s approach to hygiene over the last two centuries. While the needs of each individual man may vary in terms of which product will be best for him, knowing the ins and outs of each will leave him better equipped to stay fresh, dry, and confident. Still, a little sweat never hurt anybody–as Thomas Edison once said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”


Gentleman’s Gazette

MEN FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Look like a Gentleman, Travel in Style and Enjoy the Best in Men’s Accessories at Hook & Albert. Get 20% Off Your First Order with Coupon Code TAKE20. Shop Now!

Should You Wear Cuffed Pants? A Guide to Trouser Cuffs

In recent years, cuffs, also known as turn-ups, have somewhat fallen out of favor with mainstream men. At the same time, it’s a very classic look that has been around for a long time and will likely also be a part of classic men’s wardrobe for the foreseeable future.

Basically, it is a folded edge at the hem at the bottom and it looks like a turned-up edge that it’s added to the pant leg. Traditionally, a cuff is not cut but simply folded from excess fabric at the bottom hem. Because of that, if you will let out the cuffs, you could always create a longer pair of pants or trousers. When you do that, you usually don’t have enough fabric left to put a cuff back on. In that case, you simply add a faux cuff meaning it is cut separately and then sewn on to give you a little more extra room when you’re short on fabric.

Cuffed Angled Hem

Cuffed Angled Hem

For bespoke trousers or suits, you sometimes also see angled cuffs which is more difficult to do and they are always faux cuffs because you cannot have a continuous piece of fabric with a faux cuff. The benefit of the angled cuff is that you don’t have a break in the front, at the same time, the back part of the trouser leg reaches almost the heel which is very pleasing. You also reveal more of the shoe. On the formality scale, cuffed trousers are always less formal than pants without cuffs.

History Of Turn-Ups

Historically, the origins of cuffs stemmed from a time where you would turn up the bottom hem of your trouser in muddy weather. In 1890, the then Prince of Wales who later became King Edward the seventh introduced the permanent turn-up which was there just for fashion reasons and was not a necessity due to outside weather conditions.

Cuffed pants became the norm for businesswear between the 1890s and the 1940s. During World War II, there was a fabric shortage and so it was decided to forego the cuff or the turn-up so you could save on a fabric and create more garments instead.

King Edward the Seventh

King Edward the Seventh

Ever since the 1950s, cuffed trousers have gone in and out of fashion but over the years, they’ve always remained, they’ve always come back and likely they will always come back even though they might not be super fashionable at this point in time.

By the way, the British refer to cuffs as things you have on your sleeve versus on the pants or trousers, they’re called turn-ups. Sometimes Savile Row tailors also call them PTUs or permanent turn-ups. At the end of the day, they’re all the same.

Spezzato Suit Jacket and Matching Vest with Contrasting Yellow Pants and Brown Oxfords

Raphael Employing Spezzato with a Suit Jacket and Matching Vest with Contrasting Yellow Pants with cuffs and Brown Oxfords

When Do You Typically See Cuffs On Trouser Hems?

You definitely see them in suits and in Italy, I’d say the majority of suits will have the cuff. They’re also popular in white-collar professions with lawyers, bankers, and the like. Cuffs can help to make a suit silhouette look more grounded especially when you have vertical stripes such as a pinstripe or a rope stripe.

In terms of the seasons, you can find cuffs anywhere from flannel suits or tweed suits all the way up to summery seersucker suits. In the collegiate realm, cuffs are favored by people who are interested in trad style. On the other hand, if you’re more a follower of the preppy style, you’re more likely to just manually turn-up your uncuffed pants.

Very tall cuff and very short pants - if the pants would have touched the shoe it would have been perfect

Very tall cuff and very short pants – if the pants would have touched the shoe it would have been perfect

Cuffs are also often a feature on odd trousers or slacks that are worn to the office. Just think of the typical gray flannel pants with a navy blazer, for example, or other office outfits that are a bit more serious. When it comes to casual pants, you still may encounter turn-ups on chinos or khakis even though you can also find them without cuffs.

When it comes to traditional workwear such as denim or jeans, you will not find a cuff because that would simply be impractical. In this day and age, a cuff on a pair of jeans would simply look weird. That aside, you can also find cuffs on shorts, typically, they make it a little less formal so for most shorts, I don’t think they’re appropriate but it is an option that exists.

Tan Monk Strap Shoes with beige cuffed pants

Tan Monk Strap Shoes with beige cuffed pants

To Cuff Or Not To Cuff?

That is the question!

The bottom line is cuffs or turn-ups are optional and it’s a personal style choice. For example in my suit collection, I have a bunch of suits with cuffs that are a little more casual, at the same time, I have three-piece suits that don’t feature cuffs whereas others do feature cuffs.

The big advantage of cuffs is that it adds a bit more weight to the bottom part of your pants thus creating a nicer drape or hang of the trouser especially if you have pleated pants. Of course, they also can help to create a visual balance, for example, for double-breasted suits or vertically striped suits.

Cuffs definitely give you a slightly more traditional look and if you want a contemporary look with a slim fit, oftentimes, it’s better to forego the cuff for a cleaner silhouette. That being said, there’s one area where cuffs and turn-ups are always unacceptable from a historical point of view and that is formal wear. So you’ll never see cuffs on a proper tuxedo, a black tie ensemble, a white tie ensemble, or a morning coat. Likewise, you also won’t encounter it with a stroller suit.

So if you’re buying trousers that are not for a formal occasion, should you add cuffs or not? At the end of the day, if you’re undecided, I always argue in favor of cuffs because you can always have them very easily removed at the alterations tailor. Think of it as an additional fabric that allows you to be creative with the size of your cuff but if you don’t like it, you can always get rid of it.

On the flip side, if you decide against cuffs from the get-go and you later realize that the fabric is too flimsy and you would like to have a cuff in there, it’s very difficult to add one back on because most of the time, there’s not enough fabric left even for a faux cuff.

Extremely short pants with paisley crazy socks

Extremely short pants with paisley crazy socks

How  To Wear Cuffs Well

First of all, for a true cuff, you always need a plain hem and you want the front just to slightly touch the top of your shoe. In general, cuffs look best if they just slightly touch your shoe without creating a deep break or any puddling around your ankle. So when in doubt, a cuffed pair of pants is always slightly shorter than an uncuffed pair of pants. Having too much excess fabric at the ankle paired with a cuff can just look sloppy. Also, if your pants have cuffs as well as pleats, the break can interrupt the nice crease and the nice line of the pair of trousers.

When you wear dress boots, make sure that the pants have enough space so they go over the boot and don’t just get caught on it, otherwise, you always have some puddling going on that’s very unsightly.

Pants too long because they puddle

Pants too long because they puddle

In terms of cuff size, there is again no right or wrong. Historically, there has been anything from under one inch to all the way up to two and a half even three inches. As with most things in menswear, it pays to stay in the middle which is typically between one and a half inches or two inches. In the metric system, that’s about 3.5 or 3.75 centimeters and 5 centimeters. According to Alan Flusser, a traditional cuff size is 1 and 5/8 of an inch for men who are 5’10” or shorter. If you are taller than that, you should go with an inch and 3/4.

Personally, I like it slightly larger so sometimes I have a two-inch cuff or slightly smaller something that’s also slightly bigger but it definitely is a bit more noticeable and if you want to go for a classic look, this guideline hits the nail on the head.

Of course, you can also pay attention to other aspects in your suit. Let’s say you have very wide lapels, you should not have a very slim cuff because it simply looks not proportional. Also, you can look at the height of your collar in the back of your neck of your jacket and try to match that to the size of your trouser cuff.

Fringed spectator suede tassel loafer with dotted socks and slim large cuffs

Fringed spectator suede tassel loafer with dotted socks and slim large cuffs

Get Started With Cuffs

So what are some good ways to get started with cuffs?

I suggest you maybe start with a pair of chinos because you can wear them a little more casually and otherwise, you can also wear them with a suit including a solid navy suit which is quite formal for a suit but nevertheless, it can be worn with cuffs. If you don’t wear suits a lot, you could experiment with cuffs on slightly more casual pants such as flannel pants, tweed slacks, or linen pants.

So in conclusion, it pays to have cuffed trousers in your wardrobe, whether they are really casual slacks, chinos, or slacks that are a part of a suit. At the same time, you never want to add cuffs to very formal ensembles because they are simply not meant for that.

When you opt for cuffs, go with a slightly shorter trouser length so you have a nice hanging pair of pants and at the end of the day, the sky is the limit and your choice or preference decides on whether you have a lot of cuffs in your wardrobe or very few but it always pays to have at least a few pairs of pants with cuffs because it just gives you a complete wardrobe.

Do you prefer pants with or without cuffs? Please share with us in the comments below!


Gentleman’s Gazette

MEN FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Look like a Gentleman, Travel in Style and Enjoy the Best in Men’s Accessories at Hook & Albert. Get 20% Off Your First Order with Coupon Code TAKE20. Shop Now!

Tartan Guide

Given its heritage, tartan is an ideal choice for autumn and winter wear, as well as for the business casual dress code. Read on to learn all you need to know about how you can wear tartan the smart and dapper way.

Tartan Defined

In the most general terms, tartan is a type of checked pattern. As a reminder, a check is a pattern of horizontal and vertical lines that create small squares and that can incorporate multiple colors though it doesn’t necessarily have to. It can also be further enhanced by an overcheck in a different color.

More specifically, tartan is a pattern of intersecting horizontal and vertical bands in differing widths and colors and in its most traditional weave, would be considered a serge twill. Tartans alternating weave forms visible diagonal lines where different colors cross and can also give the appearance of creating new colors where these lines intersect. Tartans originated almost exclusively in woven wool but today, you can find them in a variety of other materials. And while the definition of a tartan was originally one that was made only from a woven material, you can also find tartans today that are printed instead of woven.

In traditional Scottish Gaelic, tartan is known as breacan which means multiple colors. As late as the 1830s, a tartan didn’t actually have to be made up of any pattern at all, just multiple colors but since then, the meanings of tartan and breacan merged over time to become known as a certain pattern in a certain type of weave.

Tartan Tweed

Tartan Tweed

Where Does The Term “Plaid” Come Into Play?

Especially in the United States, tartans are generally referred to by the more generic term plaid. In Scotland, a plaid is a garment, not a pattern. Specifically, it refers to a long rectangular strip of cloth worn over the shoulder usually the left and that can be folded or unfolded to be used as a blanket. Also, these cloths can be hand pleated and worn with a belt in which case, they’d be referred to as belted plaids and are worn in place of a conventional kilt which has pleats sewn in. Since these types of garments almost always sport different tartan patterns, the confusion between the words tartan and plaid likely has its source here.

The Rob Roy

The Rob Roy

Also, plaid cloths in a particular tartan pattern known as the Rob Roy became commonly traded in the American West in the 1880s. This pattern which came to be commonly associated with cowboys, as well as Lumberjacks, came to be known as buffalo plaid in the United States further cementing the confusion between the two terms. Outside of Scotland, the term plaid can now also refer to any type of checked pattern in two or more colors.

Also, here’s an important definition that we will be employing later on, the specific pattern on any given tartan is referred to as a set. The shades of color in any given tartan set can also be varied to produce different variations on the same general tartan.

tartan origins

tartan origins

Tartan Origins

The earliest documented tartan found in Scotland referred to as the Falkirk tartan dates from the third century CE and features a very simple check pattern of alternating dark and light natural wool. Tartan, as we know it today, is not thought to have existed in Scotland prior to the 16th century. The dress act of 1746 attempted to bring the warring Scottish clans under British government control by banning tartan entirely as well as other elements of Gaelic culture. When this Act was repealed in 1782, tartan was no longer just an everyday fabric but was then decided that it should be made the national dress of Scotland.

In 1842, Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert traveled to Scotland themselves and purchased Balmoral Castle there. Prince Albert personally took care of the interior design of the castle himself and he incorporated lots of tartan into it. Queen Victoria designed the Victoria tartan and Prince Albert designed the Balmoral tartan and both of these still see wide use today by the Royals and by commoners. Because of its association with British royalty and aristocracy around this period, tartan, in general, started developing an air of dignity and exclusivity to it.

Tartan from 1866 - Harris Museum

Tartan from 1866 – Harris Museum

This trope has occasionally been subverted, however, for example, the punk rock scene of the 1970s in Britain saw widespread use of tartan as a kind of mocking anti-establishment symbol. Also, the grunge music scene of the 1990s, particularly in the United States, saw lots of tartan patterns used as well. All this being said, Scotland is where tartan really took root to the extent that different Scottish clans adopted clan tartans over time.

The naming and registration of specific clan tartans began in 1815 upon a resolution from the Highland Society of London. Today, however, almost all Scottish clans have several types of tartans associated with their name and several plans also have official tartans as documented by various official societies.

Tartan Shawl Collar Dinner Jacket

Tartan Shawl Collar Dinner Jacket

How To Wear & Pair Tartan

Given its heritage, tartan is an ideal choice for autumn and winter wear, as well as for the business casual dress code. Conversely, it’s a little too rustic to be worn in a traditional white-collar business environment and while it’s too loud to be worn with white tie ensembles, conservative tartans such as black watch have had a history in Black Tie dress codes since at least the middle of the 20th century.

flannel tartan shirt

flannel tartan shirt

Shirts

In the realm of casual wear, especially in the cooler months, it’s hard to beat a flannel button-up in tartan or in a more general plaid pattern. It can be worn with denim, corduroy, or khakis and even layered under a sport coat perhaps in a fabric like a muted wool tweed.

4x1 double breasted tartan evening suit of the Duke of Windsor

4×1 double breasted tartan evening suit of the Duke of Windsor

Suits

While full suits in loud red and green tartans are available, these types of ensembles are really more at home in the world of high fashion than in traditional menswear. Instead, we suggest opting for a more subtle and largely monochromatic tartan which is to say really more of a general plaid or something that’s dark yet colorful such as the black watch set. Layers underneath the suit’s jacket should ideally be subdued and monochromatic such as a white or light blue dress shirt or a dark turtleneck sweater. Similarly here, your accessories should also be tasteful and uncomplicated so as not to clash in focus with the tartan pattern.

Tartan Plaid Sportscoat

Tartan Plaid Sportscoat

Sport Coats

Tartan sport coats can be a little bit more bright and bold than full tartan suits can. As with suits and sweaters though, it’s best when wearing a tartan sport coat to make sure that the other elements of your outfit, including your trousers and shirt, are more subdued.

Tartan Vest

Tartan Vest

Odd Vests

Also, tartan wears well as the pattern on an odd waistcoat or vest. Though if you’re wearing one of these, it’s best to pair it with a plain or very subtly patterned jacket so that the two patterns don’t clash.

The Harrison Tartan Trousers by Ralph Lauren

The Harrison Tartan Trousers by Ralph Lauren

Trousers

Tartan trousers worn without a matching jacket should generally follow the same principles we’ve just outlined for solo tartan sport coats. A subdued set paired with a muted jacket, either plain or faintly patterned, will be your most versatile option. Whereas something bold and loud in tartan patterns on trousers would situate them firmly within the realm of go-to-hell pants.

Neckwear

A tartan necktie can be even more colorful than the jacket or trousers can be but the louder the tartan pattern on an accessory gets, the more muted your other garments should be to help balance things out. A plain dark suit or sport coat perhaps in navy or charcoal will work best with a bold pattern tartan tie. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, these garments can also incorporate subtle patterns of their own though remember that balance is key.

Still within the realm of neckwear, a great way to introduce tartan into your outfits is through an accessory that’s primarily designed to be functional. As such, a tartan scarf is perhaps the poster child for this principle. As before, it’s easiest to opt for subtler tartans with more neutral based tones.

tartan pocket square

tartan pocket square

Pocket Squares

For tartan pocket squares, the same rules generally apply as for neckwear. Tartan pocket squares either in wool or silk can add a pop of color to another more muted outfit and out of all the types of garments we’ve discussed today, you’ve got the greatest liberty to be really bold with a pocket square in tartan.

tartan flat cap

tartan flat cap

Hats

Regarding hats, flat caps are a traditional choice that remains stylish today. They’re great for fall style and they come in various materials primarily tweed and also different kinds of pattern and color combinations including tartans and generally plaids.

Blackwatch Tartan Button Boots

Blackwatch Tartan Button Boots

Footwear

Some more casual men’s shoe designs might also feature tartan patterns directly incorporated. Tartan shoes aside, here are a few tips for pairing more conventional shoe styles with tartan patterned garments:

As we’ve said in the past, brown is the most versatile shoe and boot color for outfits consisting of a combination of sport coats and odd trousers. You can get away with an informal shoe in black as well such as perhaps a horse bit loafer if the tartan patterned elements in your outfit are especially bold. If you’re wearing more muted tartan accessories with a charcoal suit, however, feel free to wear a conventional black oxford shoe.

Boutonnieres

Of course, with any type of outfit, boutonnieres are a great way to add that special touch of sprezzatura. Choose a flower that isn’t too large as tartan can already be a relatively bold pattern on its own and go for something in a color that echoes something in the tartan or elsewhere around your outfit.

CONCLUSION

There are over 5,000 different individual sets of tartan available so any man should be able to find a particular tartan pattern that suits his tastes as well as the occasion, provided he follows the advice we’ve outlined in this article.

What were you most surprised to learn about the history of tartans and plaids in menswear?


Gentleman’s Gazette

MEN FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Look like a Gentleman, Travel in Style and Enjoy the Best in Men’s Accessories at Hook & Albert. Get 20% Off Your First Order with Coupon Code TAKE20. Shop Now!

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Tech, Recreation, Toys, and Games

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Tech, Recreation, Toys, and Games



Cards For All People

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: cardsforallpeople/Instagram)

 

Cards For All People is at trivia gaming company that celebrates diversity and inclusion. By infusing humor with trivia the company creates opportunities to highlight cultural micro-communities and the issues they care about while keeping it entertaining. Games include Black Card Revoked (which is now a TV show!) and Girls Night Out.












MekaMon Robots

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: Reach Robotics)

 

Co-created by a young British-Nigerian engineer, MekaMons are four-legged robots that players can control via a smartphone using a companion app for augmented reality gameplay. Multiple players can battle their bots against each other. MekaMon is available in the Apple Store and the manufacturer’s website.

 






Black Excellence Playing Cards

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: mycarddecks.com)

 

This standard deck of playing cards depicts black excellence and beauty.

 


Blebrity 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Actor and activist Jesse Williams launched the Blebrity app, the blackest trivia app game you’ve ever played.


Tip Off

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: TipOff Game)

TipOff is a fun, app-based word guessing game not only promises good times and a way of connecting with family and friends—it also raises money for scholarships to historically black colleges.


TriviaMob

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

TriviaMob, a live game show app, allows players to face off in two separate “mobs,” where they answer questions about art, science, entertainment, and more to win prizes. 


Fishing Caddy 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

 

The Fishing Caddy allows fishing enthusiasts to pack up their myriad of gear into one convenient portable caddy. It includes fishing rod holders, tacklebox, a compartment to keep fish live and fresh plus more great features.


Toys Like Me

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

 

Toys Like Me creates African American backpack dolls, emoji dolls, and even black mermaid dolls.


Ikuzi Dolls

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

 Ikuzi Dolls is a line of dolls that are sensitive to diversity and the many different and beautiful ways little girl of color can look.

 








Please note: Black Enterprise makes a small commission when you purchase one of these products via the embedded Amazon links. 

The post ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Tech, Recreation, Toys, and Games appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

EMPLOYMENT SEARCH UPDATE:

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Unique Gift Ideas

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Unique Gift Ideas



Ivy Storehouse Box

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: Ivy_Box/Instagram)

Alpha Kappa Alpha sisters will love this subscription box tailored to the tastes of this sorority’s members. According to the company’s website, The Ivy box is “a curated package of licensed Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. products delivered to your doorstep. Every month, we pick high-quality apparel, accessories, and stationery products according to a Sorority theme.”


Kiva Card

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

kiva.org

The Kiva Card is a quick, easy and meaningful gift option that gives your friends, colleagues, and family a way to support entrepreneurs around the globe. For as little as $ 25, Kiva Cards give those special people in your life the opportunity to change someone else’s — halfway around the world or even in their own backyard.


Greentop Gifts

 

Buy Black Gift Guide

(Image: greentopgifts.com)

Greentop Gifts offers unique black-themed products like this “Clarence Claus” Black Santa wrapping paper.


Luxury Vacation 

Buy Black Gift Guide

(iStock/michal_staniewski)

Dream Vacations is a black-owned travel franchise that caters to and accommodates the needs of clients, recommending destinations and resorts that make guests feel welcome.


Please note: Black Enterprise makes a small commission when you purchase one of these products via the embedded Amazon links. 

The post ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Unique Gift Ideas appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

BEAUTY DEAL UPDATE:

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses: Clothing, Jewelry, and Accessories

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses: Clothing, Jewelry, and Accessories 



Tracy Reese

Tracy Reese

Propelled to the limelight after Michelle Obama wore several of he designs, Tracy Reese is one of the brightest light in the fashion world. In an interview with Black Enterprise, she said her designs, “reflects my own vision and continually yields looks that are timeless and wearable, yet fun and feminine.”

 














 

I AM HER Apparel

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Image: iamherapparel.com)

I AM HER Apparel is a collection of unapologetic, trendy clothing that makes powerful statements.


Nubian Skin

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Image: nubianskin.com)

 

Nubian Skin launched with a carefully edited collection of lingerie and hosiery to provide the essential underwear needs to women of color. Headquartered in London, Nubian Skin delivers worldwide. (from the Sista Circle: Black Women in Tech, Holiday Gift Guide curated by Sista Circle founder, Lexi Butler, and stitched together by designer, Adanma Ojukwu.)

 














Mahnal

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Image: mahnal.com)

Mahnal is a collection of delicate and contemporary jewelry that accents the natural elegance of a woman. Mahnal takes inspiration from the places we find most meditative, exploring themes like silhouettes in nature, the repetition of lines in architecture, or how light plays against texture. Hopefully, with each piece’s organic imperfections, we’re inspired to slow down and feel again. (from the Sista Circle: Black Women in Tech, Holiday Gift Guide curated by Sista Circle founder, Lexi Butler, and stitched together by designer, Adanma Ojukwu.)


Tradition

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Image: Rae-Vaughn Lucas )

Rep your HBCU with apparel from Tradition, a collegiate and lifestyle brand.


828 Clothing

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

828 Clothing is a clothing line with a name inspired by the Romans 8:28 Bible verse. The line features versatile styles with the modern mother in mind.


Naja

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Naja)

 

The Nude for all Collection by Naja is redefining the color nude for all races and ethnicities. The lingerie line features three styles of seamless underwear with a matching bra; underwear sizing from XS-XXL and bra sizing in 32-40 with cups A-DDD–all in seven shades of nude. Nude for All is also a movement that empowers women; the products are made by single mothers or women heads of households.


Off-White

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Off-White/Instagram)

Designer Virgil Abloh’s “Off-White” label has been named as the “Hottest Brand on the Planet” by The Lyst Index, a quarterly ranking of popular fashion brands and products. Off-White is known for its extremely expensive T-shirts, hoodies, and sneakers. It’s also noted for placing signature quotes on its clothes. The brand is often flaunted by celebrities like Rihanna, A$ AP Rocky, and Julia Roberts. 


Treason Toting Co.

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Treason Toting Co./Instagram)

This Baltimore-based company’s products has caught the attention of NBA star Stephen Curry, who was seen wearing the Charles backpack from the original spring/summer collection, not to mention J. Crew and Nordstrom both having previously featured Treason Toting Co. for pop-up shops.










LaQuan Smith

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

LaQuanSmith.com

At just 29 years old, designer LaQuan Smith is making waves in the fashion industry. The native New Yorker is responsible for the sleek, body-hugging dress that Beyoncé wore as she presented Colin Kaepernick with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award at Sports Illustrated’s Person of the Year Awards in December. Smith’s signature sexy, show-stopping pieces have also been flaunted by fashion trailblazers such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Kim Kardashian West.


Pyer Moss

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

pyermoss.com

Kerby Jean-Raymond, the founder of the Pyer Moss label, is renowned for using fashion as a fierce weapon of force to address and combat social injustice








Lyfestyle 

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

lyfestyle.com

Born in Brooklyn, Lyfestyle captures the essence of New York City urban art, style, and flavor. The brand was birthed from the imaginations of four friends who loved the lavish fashion on Fifth Avenue but were limited to shopping on a SoHo budget


Abdju Wear

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

abdjuwear.com

Abdju Wear is a clothing line that sports high-end clothes and sneakers at affordable prices. The brand offers everything from polo-style shirts to high-top sneakers in traditional Pan-African flag colors.


Sassy Jones Boutique

Custom Bags (Image: Sassy Jones Boutique)

Custom Bags (Image: Sassy Jones Boutique)

Sassy Jones Boutique’s inventory consists of everything from earrings to bracelets, handbags, and much more, all customized, unique, and stylized. The boutique has also expanded its glamorous repertoire by introducing an ultra-luxurious mosaic handbag collection under $ 100. Exclusive to Sassy Jones Boutique, these bags are hand-crafted by women artisans in India.

 














Made Leather Co.

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

www.madeleatherco.com

In November 2016, Lenise Williams, an Atlanta-based mom, entrepreneur, and attorney traveled to Marrakech, Morocco, as a guest speaker for a United Nations conference. Little did she know, she would turn her newfound love of Moroccan leather goods into the Made Leather Co., a product-based business that would leave a legacy for her children and attract the attention of several NFL players.


Agbara Life

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

Agbara Life

Agbara Life creates highly functional and fashionable powered backpacks that feature a sleek matte black look complemented with gold or silver hardware and triple USB output power to keep you connected while on the go. Their Type-C with Power Delivery option allows you to charge the latest phones and laptops including the MacBook Pro.


Mo’s Bows 

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

mosbowsmemphis.com

Mo’s Bows is a line of handcrafted bow ties sewn from scratch created by teen-aged entrepreneur Moziah Bridges.




Curvy, Curly, Conscious 

These whimsical holiday sweaters feature a meditating “Santa Bae” and a meditating “Santa Zaddy.” Order them online.


The Hairbrella

Hairbrella

The Hairbrella is an innovative way to protect hair and makeup from getting ruined in inclement weather. Think of a rain hat for your hair, but the company stresses that “this is not your Grandma’s hair bonnet”






No Sweat Liner for Headwear 

The No Sweat Liners are disposable moisture wicking liners that stick inside any hat, visor, helmet or hard hat. The patented SweatLock technology offers sweat protection from sweat marks, yellow stains, and odors.

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

The No Sweat Liners are disposable moisture wicking liners that stick inside any hat, visor, helmet or hard hat. The patented SweatLock technology offers sweat protection from sweat marks, yellow stains, and odors.


Blended Designs 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Blended Designs offers backpacks and travel backs celebrating the culture.

 


Vertical Activewear

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Vertical Activewear is “a contemporary, multi-active lifestyle brand for both traditional AND alternative workouts, such as pole and dance fitness, barre, and various forms of yoga.”


SLAPS by Grace Eleyae

(Facebook)

 

Keep your hair game tight with this assortment of stylish, yet protective, satin head wear.

 














Please note: Black Enterprise makes a small commission when you purchase one of these products via the embedded Amazon links. 

The post Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses: Clothing, Jewelry, and Accessories appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEALS UPDATE:

Ultimate 2018 Buy Black Holiday Gift Guide

Black Enterprise presents the ultimate 2018 Buy Black Holiday Gift Guide. The listing includes the latest and vetted products and services from a wide-range of black-owned businesses including software, fashion and beauty products, food, tech, games, and so much more. Click on each category name (or image) to pull up each list of products.


 

Buy Black Holiday Gift Guide

(Image: mahnal.com)


 

Buy Black Holiday Gift Guide

(Image: marjanibeauty.com)


Buy Black Holiday Gift Guide

(Image: longevitywines.com)


Buy Black Holiday Gift Guide.


 

Buy Black Holiday Gift Guide.


Buy Black Holiday Gift Guide.

(Image: That Melanin Life/Etsy)

The post Ultimate 2018 Buy Black Holiday Gift Guide appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

EMPLOYMENT SEARCH UPDATE:

Here’s Your Guide to the Movie References in Ariana Grande’s ‘Thank U, Next’ Music Video

Leave it to Ariana Grande to capture the essence of the teen rom-com with her music video for “Thank U, Next.”

In the highly anticipated video released on Friday, Grande pays homage to films like Mean Girls, Legally Blonde, Bring It On and 13 Going on 30 by channeling their sweet storylines. Viewers will even spot some cameos from some of the films’ stars.

The song, which has maintained the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks as of Friday, is a widely discussed self-love anthem that arrived in the wake of much public conversation about Grande’s past romantic relationships. “Thank U, Next” was released just weeks after she and Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson called off their engagement, and two months after Grande’s ex-boyfriend, the rapper and producer Mac Miller, died from an accidental overdose.

In the video, Grande cheekily pokes fun at the public’s curiosity about her personal life, recreating the gossip sequence about queen bee Regina George (Rachel McAdams) in Mean Girls. She also channels Elle Woods (played by Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde), Torrance Shipman (played by Kirsten Dunst in Bring It On) and other pop-culture heroines, employing the references in service to her message about the challenges of moving on after a breakup.

Here, we’ve compiled a handy guide to every movie reference that Ariana Grande squeezed in “Thank U, Next.” You can thank us later.

Mean Girls

Like any true queen bee, Mean Girls takes precedent as the alpha rom-com in “Thank U, Next.” Grande dresses up in full Regina George looks, down to the Louis Vuitton purses, silver initial necklace and long blonde hair. The video’s typography and the song’s original artwork mimic that of the film and, of course, its infamous “Burn Book.”

View this post on Instagram

coming soon

A post shared by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) on

Additionally, some of the most high-profile cameos in the music video appear during the Mean Girls segments, with Jonathan Bennett returning as high school heartthrob Aaron Samuels and Stefanie Drummond as a major Regina enthusiast. Grande collaborator Troye Sivan appears in the video in a letterman jacket, while YouTube stars Colleen Ballinger and Gabi DeMartino and Grande’s former Victorious co-star, Elizabeth Gillies, round out the crew as Cady Heron and the rest of the Plastics. Kris Jenner makes a delightful appearance as Regina’s “cool mom.”

Legally Blonde

Grande went full valley girl for the Legally Blonde-inspired segments of the music video, where she sported a pink maribou feather Adam Selman tube top that would have warmed the cockles of Elle Woods’ heart. From studying on an orange MacBook Pro while working out on the ellipticals like any hard-working Harvard student to hanging out with the legendary Jennifer Coolidge, who reprises her role as Paulette, Grande portrays a woman ready to keep up with whatever life throws her way.

View this post on Instagram

new best friend …. thank u, next

A post shared by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) on

Luckily, the real Elle Woods has already given it her blessing.

13 Going on 30

Grande made a convincing Jenna Rink crashing the wedding, complete with her Barbie Dream House.

Bring It On

Grande’s been a longtime champion of the high ponytail, so it seems only fitting that she would channel the cheerleaders of Bring It On in “Thank U, Next.” Dressed up in a red cheerleading costume that reads “TUN” for “Thank U, Next” but looks quite similar to the one worn by the Rancho Carne Toros, Grande’s cheer squad faces off the East Compton Lovers, a reference to the beloved Clovers.

View this post on Instagram

that’s all for today …. thank u, next 🖤🏈

A post shared by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) on

View this post on Instagram

east compton 🍀lovers 🖤 thank u, next

A post shared by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) on

And while it seems that both the Lovers and the TNU Toros brought the heat, a number of Bring It On’s most formidable cheerleaders also threw in their bids to join Grande’s squads.


Entertainment – TIME

ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:

The Week in Movie News: Holiday Movie Guide, First Look at ‘Artemis Fowl’ and More

The Week in Movie News: Holiday Movie Guide, First Look at 'Artemis Fowl' and More

Need a quick recap of the past week in movie news? Here are the highlights:

 

EXCLUSIVE MOVIE GUIDE

The movies to see this holiday season: We highlight 21 big movies worthy of your attention through the end of the year, from holiday family fare to the most notable awards contenders. Check out our slideshow guide to this season's movies, including Mary Poppins Returns, here.

 

BEHIND-THE-SCENES REPORT

The fantasy world of Artemis Fowl: We…

Read More

Read Comments

Fandango Movie News

MOVIE APP UPDATE:

Ultimate Buy Black Gift Guide: Home, Decoration, Baby, and Pets

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Home, Decoration, Baby and Pets



Beddley

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: beddley.com)

 

Beddley makes gorgeous, snuggly duvet covers designed to cover a duvet with zero hassle.


That Melanin Life

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: That Melanin Life/Etsy)

 

That Melanin Life is a home decor and stationery shop that celebrates all melanin beauty (from the Sista Circle: Black Women in Tech, Holiday Gift Guide curated by Sista Circle founder, Lexi Bulter, and stitched together by designer, Adanma Ojukwu.)


Harlem Candle Company

 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: harlemcandlecompany.com)

 

Decorative, frangranced candles inspired by the Harlem Renaissance.




















S&S Luxury 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Instagram)

S&S Luxury is a luxury blanket and children’s accessories retailer in Atlanta’s Phipps Plaza mall. You can also order online.


Darlyng & Co.

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Darlyng & Co. is a lifestyle brand with safe products for parents and babies including the Yummy Mitt Teething Mitten.


 Enjoy-A-Bowl

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

Created by a black veterinarian, Enjoy-a-Bowl is patent-pending pet bowl design. It’s a three-part feeding system that allows pet owners to entice their pet’s powerful and unique sense of smell to stimulate their appetite.


The Unique Seat

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

This black mompreneur-created invention  is equipped with two versatile chairs that attach to bleachers, roll into pillows, and have pockets. The interconnected queen-sized blanket is weighted on all of the corners as well as a waterproof bottom to keep everyone comfortable. Perfect to carry to the beach, cook-out, or game day.


Father Figure 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Father Figure is a lifestyle brand for new dads and includes products such as the Bandana Burp Rag Set (shown above).


The DreamPad

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

The DreamPad is a pillow featuring patented sound technology to help you get a great night’s sleep.


Please note: Black Enterprise makes a small commission when you purchase one of these products via the embedded Amazon links. 

The post Ultimate Buy Black Gift Guide: Home, Decoration, Baby, and Pets appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

EMPLOYMENT SEARCH UPDATE:

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Food and Drink

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Food and Drink



Chocberry Kreations

 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: chocberrykreations.com)

Know someone who is always here for chocolate-covered strawberries? Chocberry Kreations allows them to become their own chocolatiers with this DIY chocolate dipping kit.


Capital City Mambo Sauce

 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: shopcapitalcity.com)

 

Capital City Co. is a  family-owned company based in the Maryland suburbs, owned by Charles and Arsha Jones. Mambo sauce originated in the D.C. area, according to the company’s website. Pick up the sauce is D.C. or have it shipped via ordering online.






Not Just Tea

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: notjusttea.com)

Not Just Tea offers “hand-blended teas and whimsical tea accessories.”


Longevity Wines

 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: longevitywines.com)

 

This family-owned winery is located in California’s Livermore Valley wine region. From their website, “We handle everything from bin to bottle,” says winemaker Phil Long. Current production is around 2000 cases, with plans to increase production to max out at around 2500 cases. “At 2500 cases it’s still more fun than work”. All of the wines are produced in small batches to keep a hands-on approach to quality control.”


Finally Ginger

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Finally Gnger)

 

Finally Ginger founder Carol Emeruwa started baking ginger cookies 30 years ago to please the finicky taste buds of her child when chocolate chip cookies weren’t cutting it. Now her artisanal cookies, baked with three kinds of ginger, are available in five flavors: original ginger, lemon ginger, orange ginger, chocolate chunk ginger, and oatmeal cranberry ginger. All of the flavors were hits at the Black Enterprise office; there was literally nothing but crumbs left in the reusable metal git tins. They’re sold in select stores in New York and Ohio and online as gift boxes (1 or 2 dozen cookies), snack packs (individually wrapped in sets of two), and subscriptions (for three or six months).


Just Add Honey Tea Co. 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

 

In business now for 12 years, the husband-and-wife founders of the Just Add Honey Tea Co. are serving up more than tea at their café in Atlanta, Georgia. They sell extensions of their brand online as well as tea gift sets and accessories.


My Chocolate Soul 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Mathematician turned pastry chef Ramona Thomas created My Chocolate Soul to share chocolates made from simple all-natural ingredients with the world.


Live Alkaline Water 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Live Alkaline Water is 100% natural alkaline spring water was founded by Dr. Shayla Creer and Robert McCray whose family owned the spring for more than 100 years in North Carolina. It is available in Walmart and online.


 Sweet Dames Artisan Confections

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

 

Not only has Sweet Dames Artisan Confections landed in Bloomingdale’s stores, the mouthwatering gourmet macaroons were voted one of the Top Five Desserts in NYC PopMarkets by MetroNYC and are available online.


3 Some Chocolates

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Everyone loves chocolate, but what makes 3 Some Chocolates so different? They blend three chocolates everyone loves—milk, white, and dark—combine it into one bar, and name it a “3 Some.”


 Sanaia Applesauce

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

 Sanaia Applesauce is for applesauce-loving adults.


Flaky Bakes

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Flaky Bakes ships “piekies” – miniature pies in delectable flavors including pecan, cinnamon apple, and sweet potato.


Tummy Yum-Yum

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

 

Tummy Yum-Yum makes gourmet candy apples including Snickers, S;mores, and cheesecake candied apples.


Please note: Black Enterprise makes a small commission when you purchase one of these products via the embedded Amazon links. 

The post ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Food and Drink appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

BEAUTY DEAL UPDATE:

Christmas beauty gift sets: the ultimate christmas beauty gift guide

Something for everyone

christmas beauty gift sets
Wayne Tippetts/REX/Shutterstock

It’s seriously time to start thinking about Christmas presents. Isn’t it much better to be prepared and to spread the cost of everyone’s presents over a couple of pay days?! That’s what we thought. You know what else? Everyone LOVES Christmas beauty gift sets.

However, there are quite literally too many Christmas beauty gift sets on offer this year. So we’ve been jolly helpful and rounded up the best of the bunch.

You. Are. Welcome. Happy (early) Christmas.

Tom Ford Fabulous Gift Set, £262 Selfridges

christmas beauty gift sets tom ford

Yes it does say ‘Fucking’. Give this to your most fantastic, your utterly wonderful and ‘fucking fabulous’ friend.

Buy Now

Tiba & Marl x Honest Skincare Beauty Gift Set, £60

christmas beauty gift sets tiba & marl

This set was designed with expectant and new mothers in mind, so find your favourite preggo (or new mother) friend. The soothing oil helps with stretch marks, the all-purpose balm really is all-purpose and can be used on dry patches and lips, and then candle is just for them to light at the end of the day when the baby’s in bed.

Buy Now

M&S Autograph Nail Collection Trio, £7.50

christmas beauty gift sets M&S

Do you have a favourite workmate? Give them this before the office party and you can nick it as you get ready together. A deep, dark red and glitter gold are really the only two colours you need this season.

Buy Now

Percy & Reed Stars of Wonder, £30 Marks & Spencer

christmas beauty gift sets Percy & Reed

Good hair? One of the best gifts you can give. This set of wonders (see what we did there?!) works on every hair type. So you could help condition someone’s curls, soothe someone’s dry ends or tame someone’s frizz. That’s a great gift.

Buy Now

Votary Hello Darlings Gift box Set, £105

christmas beauty gift sets votary

This is one heck of a luxurious gift set, so give this to someone who has been very, very nice this year. The Christmas beauty gift set contains their fab cleansing oil, the fragrance free Super Seed Facial Oil, that nourishes skin to make it winter-proof, their overnight Intense Oil, which helps to firm and their newest oil – the teeny tiny rollerball eye oil. Plus a soft flannel (much kinder to skin than the rougher muslin) and ANOTHER handy bag!

Buy Now

Lancome Hypnôse Drama Mascara Miniature Collection Gift Set

christmas beauty gift sets

Eyelashes with heaps of volume are a winter trend we’re 150% here for and Lancome’s signature Hypnose mascara will get you there with just a couple of swipes. This collection is perfect for the beauty geek who’s all about eyes as it brings together four of their mascaras: a full sized Hypnôse Classic and three travel mini sizes of the Hypnôse Classic, Hypnôse Doll Eyes, Hypnôse Volume-A-Porter.

Buy now

L’Occitane The Best of L’Occitane Collection, £69

christmas beauty gift sets l'occitane

You should buy this Christmas beauty gift set for three reasons. 1 – someone will get to enjoy all of these wonderful L’Occitane goodies. 2 – This box will make for very useful and smart storage in the future. 3 – £10 from each sale will go directly to Unicef to provide life-saving eye care treatment to those in need.

Buy Now

Alaïa Paris Nude Eau de Parfum Gift Set, £67 Harrods

christmas beauty gift sets alaia

It is highly unlikely that the majority of us will ever be able to afford a piece of clothing from Alaïa, which is a crying shame. However, most of us would be chuffed as anything to receive the sensual Nude fragrance, shower gel, body lotion and this buttery vanity case this Christmas. A little bit of Alaïa is far better than no Alaïa.

Buy Now

IT Cosmetics Your Luxurious Must-Haves Brush Set, £120 Selfridges 

Christmas beauty gift sets

This is a brilliant gift. Not only are IT Cosmetics brushes some of the best on the market, but LOOK AT THIS CHICER THAN CHIC CLUTCH! A winning combination.

Buy Now

Foreo Here and There Gift Set, £119 Look Fantastic

christmas beauty gift sets Foreo

Lovers of beauty gadgets will get a kick our of this gift set on the 25th December. There’s a normal-sized everyday cleansing brush, and a matching teeny tiny travel one. The vibrating tools help lift away dead skin and unclog pores to reveal glowy skin.

Buy Now

Face Gym Double Detox Gift Set, £85

Christmas beauty gift sets face gym

If you’ve ever had a Face Gym facial then you know that it can leave your face more sculpted, drained of all toxins and generally just looking about 10-years younger. Now there are sets for you to use in between appointments. Give this to someone who loves an at-home Sunday night pamper session.

Buy Now

Stila Enchanted Eyes Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow Set, £49 Fabled

Christmas beaut gift sets stila

Stila’s glitter eyeshadows – if you know, you know. These beauties are the best (and easiest) way of applying a little bit of magic to your lids. The shimmery ones work well as a base, with sparkle on top. The ideal gift for those with Christmas parties galore.

Buy Now

Surface Anti-Pollution Wash & Cream Set, £68 at Luisa Via Roma

christmas beauty gift sets

More and more brands are becoming aware of the need for anti-pollution skincare, especially when you live in a sit that’s prone to mucky air. This skincare set from Surface includes both a face cream and face wash to keep you looking so fresh and so clean.

Buy now

Sumptuous Lashes Xmas 18

Oskia Secret Book Of Beauty, £48 Cult Beauty

christmas beauty gift sets Oskia

If your friend (or let’s be honest, you) don’t know Oskia very well then this it the perfect introductory set. Four of their bestsellers, in super handy travel sizes. Find your faves and fall in love with this really brilliant niche skincare line.

Buy Now

Liz Earle Bontanical Body Care Duo Skincare Gift Set, £26 John Lewis

christmas beauty gift set Liz Earle

Bodies deserve love and attention as well you know?! Yes their Cleanse & Polish is legendary, but their body care collection is often overlooked. The Orange Flower scent of this body wash is sublime.

Buy Now

Harry Potter Swish & Flick Cosmetic Brushes, £20 Boots

christmas beauty gift sets

We all know a hardcore Harry Potter fan, who listens to the audiobooks on repeat, the film soundtrack when they clean and has been to the Watford theme park over four times. Imagine their face when they open up this on Christmas morning. Exactly.

Buy Now

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Good Enough to Steal Palette, £39

 

christmas beauty gift sets The Grinch x Pur cosmetics pallette

Yes, we love Christmas, but sometimes, our inner Grinch takes over and sentiments like ‘Christmas Whatever’ and ‘Go Away’ make so much sense. Which is why we’re still not sure if we’re going to make like the Grinch and keep this 12-piece face palette and color-changing lip balm set for ourselves, or gift it to a loved one…

Buy Now

Ameliorate 3 Steps To Smooth Skin Christmas Limited Edition, £19.50

christmas beauty gift sets

If you know somebody who really struggles with dry skin this time of year, Ameliorate’s gift set is a total lifesaver. It’s got everything you need for glowing skin including a Smoothing Body Exfoliant, Nourishing Body Wash, Transforming Body Lotion and Exfoliating Body Mitt. Packed with omega oils and designed to be deeply hydrating, you’ll want to buy two of these.

Buy now

GHD Dry & Style Gift Set, £199 Look Fantastic

christmas beauty gift sets ghd

This. Is. A. Great. Gift. Brilliant hair dryer? Tick. Incredible hair straighteners? Tick. Expect joyous smiles.

Buy Now

Crabtree & Evelyn Everyday Winter Hand Collection, £36

Crabtree & Evelyn are renowned for their luxury hand creams, which smell good enough to eat (though you probably shouldn’t). This set comes with six of their bestselling anti-ageing products including lavendar, rosewater, pomegranate and argan oil and more.

Buy now 

Medik8 Midnight Miracle Gift Set, £65

christmas beauty gift sets medik8

This is like giving someone the gift of youthfulness. Vitamin A, or retinol creams and serums, are meant to be the key to fighting the visible signs of ageing. Give this to someone and by next Christmas they’ll look 10-years younger.

Buy Now

Goldfaden MD The Glow Kit, £85 Space NK

christmas beauty gift sets goldfaden md

Another cracker of a present for post-party skin. If you have a friend who knows how to party, they’ll be super grateful for this skin saving kit. Ideal for New Year’s Day.

Buy Now

Pixi Skintreats Besties, £28 Marks & Spencer

christmas beauty gift sets

Give anyone a bottle of Pixi Glow Tonic and they’ll like you forever. Give that same person the Glow Mud Cleanser too, they’ll love you forever. Everybody is happy with the gift of glowing skin.

Buy Now

Elizabeth Arden Sparkle On Holiday Collection, £98 Look Fantastic

christmas beauty gift sets

This set is so incredible. Look at what you get inside – two eyeshadow palettes, a blush and highlighter palette, two lip glosses, a mascara, an eyeliner, four lipsticks AND a super chic red holdall. You’ve basically got yourself a whole new make-up. All of this is worth £292. Billy bargain.

Buy Now

The Organic Pharmacy Discovery Kit Face Care Set, £62 LuisaViaRoma

christmas beauty gift sets

Looking to make an eco-friendly shift in your beauty routine? This intro skincare kit from The Organic Pharmacy is a great shout as it comes with the brand’s bestsellers ranging from their carrot butter cleanser through to double rose ultra face cream

Buy Now

Away The Beauty Set, £75 (Out 13th November)

Away suitcases are THE fashion-packs go-to luggage. Why? Probably because you can charge your phone on them. Neat, eh? This Christmas sees the launch of the brand’s new beauty travel cases. In true Away fashion, the cases are filled with some incredible beauty products. No one who would be unhappy opening this on the 25th.

Buy Now (Out on 13th November)

Bioderma Beauty Essentials, £22.50 Look Fantastic

christmas beauty gift sets

This is quite literally the gift of good skin. Bioderma is a classic French pharmacy brand that delivers good results for a low price point. The micellar water is a cult classic and that little pouch of cotton pads will bring even the biggest Grinch a huge sense of joy.

Buy Now

Illamasqua Beyond Powder Vault, £125

christmas beauty gift sets

Ready to glow up? This dreamy set from Illamasqua comes with four of their most popular and super pigmented highlighters, ranging from pearlescent Frost to a bronze Epic.

Buy Now

Neom Limited Edition Beauty Sleep In A Box, £25 John Lewis

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

This is the perfect gift for someone going on a long flight soon. The combination of the eye mask, pillow mist and super nourishing face oil is sure to knock anyone out. Each one is scented with their own blend of English lavender, sweet basil, jasmine and chamomile – it’ll calm your mind and body. Even in Economy class.

Buy Now

BeautyBlender Sweet Surprise Mystery Blind Bag, £19 Fabled

 

christmas beauty gift sets

Christmas is all about surprises and not even you will know what’s inside this pouch. What you do know is that each one contains a Beautyblender sponger and a matching cleanser, but you haven’t got a clue which colour. It’s the simple things…

Buy Now

Jo Malone London Pine & Eucalyptus Scent Surround Room Spray & Scent Surround Diffuser Duo, £108

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

It’s not Christmas without a bit of Jo Malone London under the tree. Every year their gift selection sets pulses racing – you could opt for the full on cologne set or the beauty advent calendar, but this Pine & Eucalyptus duo will have any home smelling like Santa’s grotto.

Buy Now

Byredo Rose Hand Care Gift Set, £78 Liberty London

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

You could buy your loved one a Byredo fragrance, but wouldn’t you rather put that money to buying yourself a Byredo fragrance?! That’s what we thought. However, give them this stunning hand wash and lotion set and you’ll still be the most popular person in the room. (Smelling so sweetly of Gypsy Water.)

Buy Now

Rossanno Ferretti Parma Esperienza 2 Volume Regime Set LuisaViaRoma

christmas beauty gift sets

Need a little more joozh? This luxury hair care set comes with shampoo, conditioner, spray and a movement enhancer – all designed specifically for fine hair that needs a little more volume. The only problem is that the box is so cute, you’ll never want to crack it open.

Buy now

Malin & Goetz Weekender Kit, £39 Space NK

christmas beauty gift sets malin and goetz

The best Christmas beauty gift set for that annoying person who just can’t pack light. Do it for them, with this essential (under 100ml) set.

Buy Now

Emma Hardie Cleansing Kit, £30 Marks & Spencer

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

So many people don’t wash their faces properly. Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm removes every scrap of make-up and dirt and add some of the Rosehip Exfoliating Seeds to the balm and you’ve got yourself one heck of an exfoliator. Give this to someone, then give it a couple of weeks, their skin will vastly improve and they’ll have you to thank for it.

Buy Now

Elemis Frangipani Stars, £40 Fabled

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

Frangipani is Elemis’ most beautifully scented range. Whilst this set is essentially a shower gel and body oil, this is the most luxurious shower gel and body oil anyone will ever receive. Trust us.

Buy Now

MZ Skin Christmas Eyessentials Kit, £165 (Out early December)

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

If you really want to treat someone, then look no further. Dr Maryam Zamani is an Oculoplastic Surgeon and leading Facial Aesthetics Doctor with a long list of loyal clients, but with this gift box you have access to her expertise. This set includes her De-Puff & Define Contouring Eye Rescue, which will be super helpful after the party season, the Hydra-Bright Golden Eye Treatmant Mask and the brand new Tone & Lift Geranium Contouring Facial Roller that helps with skintone.

Buy Now (Out early December)

Espa The Replenishing Collection, £65 Look Fantastic

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

An ideal gift for natural skincare lovers. Not only will this help with skin that’s seen too many late nights, but it will also soothe sore skin that’s suffering with the colder weather.

Buy Now

Benefit Homemade Hotness Complete Makeup Set, £29.50 Debenhams

Christmas Beauty GIft Set

We all know a Benefit-obsessive and it doesn’t get much better than this. This is a complete make-up look in one set and it’s stuffed full of all of their bestsellers – BADgal BANG! (their new and incredible mascara), Hoola bronzer (who doesn’t love this?!), Gimme Brow (how did we cope without it?), They’re Real! Duo ShadowBlender in Brazen Bronze and They’re Real! Double The Lip in Lusty Rose. Actually, forget giving this one away. Keep it yourself.

Buy Now

Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Hand Care, £10 Fabled

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

No matter what you do, somehow you always end up involved in a Secret Santa. Don’t be that person who buys a lame joke present that no will ever use, be kind and buy this SUPER DUPER useful gift. Everyone always needs a hand cream, everyone always needs a nail file. Women and men.

Buy Now

Nars Riot Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Set, £49

christmas beauty gift sets

Nars’ Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are some of the best lipsticks on the market. They glide on, they last for ages and the colour payoff should win an award. Plus, come on you know that people can’t get enough of handy little pouches.

Buy Now

Aveda Limited Edition Rosemary Mint Gift Set, £30 Fabled

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

This gift set is for that person (maybe a housemate, maybe a lazy boyfriend) who struggles to get out of bed in the morning. The Rosemary Mint collection is invigorating and zingy. 10 minutes in the shower with these babies and it’s like a quadruple shot of caffeine for that sleepy person.

Buy Now

Sunday Riley Vault Kit, £296 Cult Beauty

Christmas Beauty Gift Set

OK, yes it’s pricey at £296. BUT the contents are actually worth £465. This way you can look OVER THE TOP generous, when actually you’ve only been VERY generous. Keep this gift set for someone you’re trying to impress.

Buy Now

Patchology FlashPatch Wink & A Kiss Set, £10 Harvey Nichols

christmas beauty gift sets

Christmas and New Year is the season of snogging – under the mistletoe and drunkenly at 12am on the 1st January – so it’s vital that lips and peepers are in prime condition. Patchology knows how to make sheet masks; the Rejuvenating Gels hydrate tired, partied-out eyes and the Hydrating Gels plump up lips.

Buy Now

Ouai Swing Both Ouais Kit, £40 Selfridges

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

Ever since Jen Aitken launched her haircare range we all now have access to Kendal Jenner’s and Chrissy Teigan’s hair. And these two products are the heroes of the collections. Nothing will give A-List hair like these, so give them to your most bouji friend.

Buy Now

Romilly Wilde x Jessica Russell Flint Silk Eye Mask & Gift Set, £110

christmas beauty gift sets

There are three wonderful things in this set – a 100% natural eye serum that moisturises the eye area to help with dark circles, a super chic eye mask to protect the delicate eye area and a matching silk bag that you can use as a knicker pouch when you travel.

Buy Now

The Body Shop Olivia the Owl, £18

christmas beauty gift sets

You can always rely on The Body Shop to delivery the cutest Christmas beauty gift sets that put the joy into the festive season. This year’s offering is no different. Inspired by the magic of the forest, each gift celebrates nature and in classic Body Shop style is committed to sustainability and minimising package waste. Not only is Olivia stuffed full of products to tend to your body’s winter skin, but afterwards you can use her as moneybox.

Buy Now

Hourglass Confession Refillable Lipstick Set, £50 Cult Beauty

christmas beauty gift sets

Yes, we know that smoking is bad for your health (blah, blah, blah), but how cool does this cigarette box-style set of lipsticks look? You get three stunning lip shades for winter – a dusty rose, a deep rose and a red currant – and two pink metallic applicators.  The applicators are chicer than chic and will look incredible when you stop to reapply.

Buy Now

Kiehl’s Limited Edition Zesty Grapefruit Body Care Set, £25 Debenhams

christmas beauty gift sets

We don’t know one person who doesn’t like Kiehl’s. These four little pots of happiness will whip your winter-worn arse into shape. Smooth, moisturised limbs are there for the taking.

Buy Now

Clarins Double Serum Collection, £63.75 John Lewis

Christmas Beauty Gift SetsHere are the four reasons whey should get this christmas beauty gift set for a dear friend (or you know, yourself). One – their Double Serum (full size) is their most powerful anti-ageing serum and has won countless awards. Two – if you’ve never tried their Beauty Flash Balm, you quite literally have not lived. This cult product should be used in place of your normal day cream when skin needs a wake up. It brightens, tightens and moisturises. Three – the Lip Comfort Oil plumps up lips better than any balm. And four – look at that jolly bag they all come in.

Buy Now

Lixirskin x Lykke Wulf Gift Set, £140

Christmas beauty gift sets

Screw everyone else, buy this for yourself. Not only do you get some brilliant skincare, but look at this super smart bag that will have you sorted for the party season. Screw them all.

Buy Now

There’s something for everyone in this list.

Or, you know, all for you… We’re not here to judge.

The post