Style 101: Valentine’s Day – What to Wear!

First off, let’s get the hard part out of the way….Valentine’s Day is a pointless holiday isn’t it?

It has been pushed upon us hard by jewellery designers, card companies and those wonderful people who sell individual roses outside of train stations – but no one has yet been able to find a justifiable reason as to why the holiday exists at all.

Also … if as a couple you only celebrate and appreciate each other one day a year – then you are doing life wrong.

 

However, that doesn’t mean you can simply ignore Valentine’s Day.
Despite the holidays many flaws, sometimes you have to make that extra effort.
Maybe it’s even a first date? (eek!).

For us guys, it can be a daunting task trying to pick out your outfit for Valentine’s Day. You have to try and blend what you feel confident and comfortable in with the expected dress code for the evening. That’s before you even factor in what your date for the evening is wearing.

 

This week I’ll be giving you a helping hand with regards what to wear in different situations.
Before we get started, remember, you want to make sure that whatever you put on your body makes you feel as comfortable and confident as possible. This will ensure you keep your full attention on your beautiful date and not the fact that your tshirt is slightly tighter than you remember it being.

Let’s start with the most casual of dates and move up from there:

 

The “Quiet Night In” Date

This option is quite easy to dress for because it’s casual. You don’t want to be strolling up to her front door in a three piece tuxedo. You will definitely look creepy…and creepy is not a good look on anyone.

What you want to do is wear what you normally would for the occasion… except dress it up slightly. Normally wear jeans and a tshirt? …possibly with a hoodie on top? How about we swap out that hoodie for a blazer.

You will look smart … but in the middle of the evening when you have settled down to watch a film, you can take it off and be as relaxed as you like. Perfect.

I would say this method would also be suitable for the “Cinema Date” too. However, I can’t advise you take a girl to the cinema on Valentine ’s Day. Take her somewhere you can actually talk to her.

 

The “Let’s Go for Drinks” Date

Perhaps you don’t know the lucky lady well enough for a quiet night in?
You may, instead, decide to go out for a few drinks!

For this option, you’re going to want to look appropriate for the evening’s activities while still being able to mask the inevitable stains which come from spillages and drips on a good night out.

An easy “go to” outfit for this would be some straight/slim leg black jeans – combined with a maroon or oxblood tshirt / polo shirt / casual shirt. This can be topped off with a black leather jacket for a classic “bad boy” look!

This particular outfit would also be appropriate for a more casual meal.

 

The “Fancy Dinner” Date

You know the type of date I am referring to; the type hosted in that restaurant you can’t afford any other night of the year (…and secretly on this night too!).

If you are going to go for this option, you really need to step it up a gear.

I would recommend wearing a suit because you simply can’t go wrong with a suit. However, it’s a relaxed evening, not a boardroom meeting. Therefore, skip the tie and loosen up those top buttons.

It’s also best to choose a suit with a bit of texture – a grey tweed or brown hopsack. It will reinforce the relaxed nature of the suit wearing.

 

Remember, this article was always meant only as a suggestion. It’s best to go with your gut.

You will know best, get a feel for the expectations of you and ensure you match or surpass them!

5 Things to Learn When Starting Your Menswear Journey

The idea of “wanting to dress better” is one which many guys have spoken to me about this week.

That first step can be a daunting task, it’s definitely easy to feel uncomfortable and out of your depth.

I’ve had a few private messages on twitter about tips for someone who is at the beginning of the journey. Where to look for ideas, rules to follow etc. It has inspired me to put together this list of 5 simple facts you can learn which will help you improve your style faster than you thought possible!

 

1)The “fit” of clothes are one of THE most important aspects of your look.

One of the common misconceptions is that this rule only applies to formal wear. Yes, the fit of your suit is very important. However, this rule can be applied universally across your entire wardrobe.

A poor fit can make a Hugo Boss suit look like a £5 Primark effort; however, very solid fit can make a full Primark outfit make you look like you’re carrying around million dollars (in a good way … not a mafia way).

It really is the No.1 rule of menswear and the faster you get to grips with it, the faster your style will improve. An easy way of thinking about it: strong style is about a strong silhouette of your body; this becomes impossible to achieve if your frame is drowning in excess material.

You should always try on clothes before you buy them. Make sure they fit you properly.

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2) Self Grooming and Hygiene is as Important as Clothing

This one is a little self explanatory … but I feel it still needs to be said.
There is very little point in being dressed to the nines if you are absolutely stinking of piss.

…or have an uncontrollable monobrow.

It’s a simple fact, but it is the truth.

It’s a little sad in the modern day to hear fully grown men describe using moisturiser as “feminine”. Don’t be one of those guys.  Men’s skin get damaged the exact same way women’s do. Therefore, it is important to take care of it. You’ll thank yourself later.

 

You’ll never see the “best dressed man in the world” with a scraggly beard and monobrow.

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3) Sizes Vary Between Stores

I mentioned above that the No.1 style rule is getting the “fit” of clothes correct.

It is important to point out that the stores on the high street have different fits to their clothing, even if they are sized the “same”, e.g Small, Medium, Large.

Therefore, try not to go into each store with a pre-given size that you “know” fits you.
Try on each item before you buy it. Make sure you are happy with the way that it sits on your body.

Don’t be afraid of trying the next size up/down. It could potentially fit you better?

…and besides, it’s only you who knows what size the item is once it’s on your body!

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4) Get a good tailor

Important point, body types vary significantly, they simply can’t be broken down into the “Small, Medium, Large” brackets that modern high street stores use. (Are you beginning to see a pattern?)

When you start to consider the different body shapes you see on the street every day, it becomes unreasonable to expect most articles of clothing will fit you perfectly straight from the rail.

It’s not even a matter of your weight; it can be down to sleeve length or should width.
I, for instance, have a wide frame developed from my days playing rugby as a growing lad…but I suffer badly from T-Rex arms. Most items of clothing I buy require that I roll up my sleeves, or have them tailored to fit properly.

The art of tailoring is all about making clothes fit perfectly on your body. Find yourself a decent tailor and things get even easier. With just a few nips and tucks, a tailor can make even the most basic of pieces look like they were made for your body.

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5) Do your homework

The internet is now awash with Menswear resources. Utilise them!

If you are not sure about any topic? Google it.

 

Almost every question can be answered online!

Also … feel free to fire any questions to me on Twitter… @galluslad.

 

HIS NAME IS “PAUL”

The world famous designer Paul Smith was recently in Glasgow to celebrate the opening of the “Hello, My Name is Paul Smith” exhibition at The Lighthouse venue in the city. The exhibition was first displayed in London a few years ago; but has since spent 2015 and 2016 (so far) touring Europe. Now it is Glasgow’s turn to host…

Paul Smith, along with his counterpart Ray Kelvin, has always been vocal about his affinity with Glasgow, previously writing:

“I’ve always had affection for Glasgow based on the city’s strong art heritage and its wonderful link with creativity. Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the School of Art and just the whole atmosphere of the place is fantastic.”

I was invited down to meet with Paul and get a sneak peak at the Glasgow-leg of the exhibition, guided by the man himself. “Hi, My Name is Paul Smith” draws on Paul’s personal archive and memories, spanning from the company’s very beginnings in the city of Nottingham to the now infamous international prominence the company have built.

The first thing that was instantly noticeable as I entered The Lighthouse was the charisma of Paul himself, he could instantly be identified, despite a) facing the other way …and b) wearing a traditional blue suit and pastel shirt combination.

As he turned to address the noise of us coming through the door, his face was welcoming and content, instantly putting my nerves (I WAS MEETING AN IDOL!) at rest. There was no ego at play here, it was obvious.

I could tell this before he had even opened his mouth yet…

One of the first things that Paul wanted to clarify was the real purpose of the creation of exhibition in the first place. He stressed (almost defensively) that the aim was not to create a vanity project, or an exhibition of how fashion has developed through the years; the exhibition was put together in an attempt to inspire more young people into starting their own business. Any business, in any industry.

The exhibition was mainly recreations of essential rooms in Paul’s business history. However, also included was the “Inside Paul’s Head” room, which aimed to pull together all of the different muses Paul uses to try and inspire his creativity. There is also a room which collects the most bizarre items Paul has been sent by his biggest fan. He/She has been sending him items since the late seventies; Paul doesn’t know their identity, he doesn’t want to. However, if you are reading this, you should know…he has kept them all…

For me, the highlights of the exhibition were:

  • A recreation of Paul’s first shop in Nottingham (which measured 3mx3m!!)
  • A recreation of the Parisian hotel room in which Paul Smith sold their first collection
  • A recreation of Paul’s office (a nonsensical sensory bombardment)

There was no doubt in my mind walking around this exhibition that the Paul Smith in front of me was the same Paul Smith that was welcoming strangers to view his home-made creations in broken French many years ago. Fame and success haven’t changed him; they have simply facilitated his creativity.

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Up Close With: Jack Edwards

I have returned ladies and gentlemen!

Feeling refreshed and ready to roll after my trip to Dubai (more information to come!).

So back to what you want to see…
I am always very passionate about sharing good resources with you and I am not shy about promoting other bloggers!

I have been lucky enough to make some good friends through this blogging malarkey … and it just so happened that one of the first people to check in with me (pun intended) following my Dubai trip was the good lad Jack Edwards from The Jack Experience.

I decided to grill him on your behalf…

 

Hi Jack, great to speak to you again.

Hello!

So – I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while now…but how long have you actually been blogging? What inspired you to start in the first place?

I launched my blog The Jack Experience in September 2014 after months of tireless work on the website’s design. I tried out different servers such as WordPress but nothing I was creating felt quite right. Instead, I designed my own website entirely from scratch; a blank canvas which allowed my creative reservoir to flow freely without being confined to the boundaries of strict layouts. Although it did take a lot more time to produce, I’m really proud of the outcome.

The effort was definitely worth it … the website looks great and is responsive across all of my devices. In terms of the content though, you’ve managed to create a space where you can quite literally blog about ANYTHING you want. That can be quite difficult to achieve without readers feeling that a blog is “off topic” … is that something which was quite important to you from the offset? 

That’s exactly what I wanted!
My blog derived from a passion for writing and sharing my perceptions of the world… it’s a hobby. Writing in the real world involves lots of strict guidelines and rules – “we want you to write this number of words on this number of topics with a deadline of this number of days” – but on a blog you can write about anything your heart desires! I can write just about anything I like, and the broad ‘lifestyle blogger’ title umbrellas so many different topics. I love setting myself challenges and stepping out of my comfort zone, but I also love creative freedom. I’m like a little pug let loose from its cage which just jumps around excitedly because there are so many different places to explore and bums to sniff – or maybe not the last bit.

We don’t judge. You can do with your spare time what you like haha.
Having just left school – you are younger than most of the other male bloggers I have come across. This is a breath of fresh air in a sector which can become quite repetitive. However, I know as well as anyone that when you write …you open yourself up to serious criticism. I can’t imagine dealing with that kind of thing while at school. How did you find that?

Most comments I get about my blog or my writing ALWAYS somehow gravitate back to my age. In the blogging world, it’s important to never judge based on number of years but simply by the quality of the content; yes, I may be younger than many of my peers but that’s not to say that I cannot produce a kick-ass article for you just as well as anyone else can.

Opening yourself up to the world is absolutely terrifying – it’s daunting to completely expose yourself like that. However I can’t say I’ve received much criticism at all. In my experience, I’ve found people in the blogging world to be very accepting and friendly, so this hasn’t really been a problem for me. Of course I’ve had the odd ‘mean tweet’ but sometimes you just have to laugh – the haters gonna hate hate hate….

I think that’s exactly my point. You write as well as anyone …better than most if we are honest about it. I highlight your age as it gives a frame of reference for the level of talents you have. I’m glad you haven’t received many haters. I agree that the blogging community (from my experience) is full of really lovely people!

I always find myself laughing on your website, you write with a comedic breadth I haven’t seen on many other blogs – is comedy important to you?

I think that comedy is the most important thing; the ability to make someone laugh or smile should never be under-estimated. It’s one of the greatest feelings when someone tells me something I’ve written cheered them up or helped put a smile back on their face – what more could anyone in the entertainment industry ask for? The blogging world is so rewarding because you get to see this impact directly.

You have a very popular blog – with expectedly similarly popular social media accounts. I love your Instagram account. The photos are incredible…but I’ve noticed you DON’T have much video content across your blog or social media – is there a reason for that at all?

I’ve just launched my first ever YouTube video and I’m really excited for what the future holds with that. Stay tuned!

Very mysterious …looking forward to seeing what you come out with.
Moving on, you recently teamed up with ASOS – working with a brand as well known as ASOS is pretty much what most male bloggers strive for. Can you tell us a little about how that came about?

They just asked and I obviously jumped at the chance! I’ve been lucky enough to work with some great brands such as boohoo, ASUS, ASOS, Harrods and Goldsmiths but this doesn’t just happen overnight. You have to work hard to build up a brand identity and a positive reputation in the industry before brands start to get interested, although it may seem unrewarding at first. I focus on every meticulous detail on my blog, pouring my heart and soul into everything I upload. You shouldn’t be in this industry for the money or for the freebies, you should be here for the passion and then watch those things happen as a side-effect. If you write with passion, it will radiate from your blog like rays of light, I promise!

Great advice for all those hoping to make their mark.
You’re obviously a man with style; what shopping tips do you have for the Gallous Lad readers?

Firstly; wear what you want. Fashion is about you and your style, because no two people are the same. I’ve always tried to hear my blog away from telling people what they should or shouldn’t wear and what or what isn’t ‘cool’. As long as you’re happy and feel confident, dress however you want! My one tip would be that the best fashion inspiration comes from the streets; see what people are wearing around you and decide what you like. I love going to big cities and checking out the street-style for inspiration!

Brilliant, great speaking to you again Jack, thanks for taking the time out!

 

You can check out the debut Youtube video Jack mentioned above here:

 

 

 

Style 101: Formal Wear – Identical or Different, Never Similar.

Style is a cruel mistress, difficult to master; easy to get on the wrong side off … sometimes you must wonder why you bother?
Even the experts don’t always get it right.

Never fear – Gallus is here to teach another easy to implement lesson which can have a drastic impact on your every day styling.

The lesson today is simple – when it comes to pairing formal wear; the jacket and trousers must be identical or completely different – similar is a BIG NO. You need to remember that simple rule.

When you are buying formal wear – you must either buy it with the corresponding trousers or pair it with a suitable option in a noticeably different colour and texture.

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(Here is a strong example of the “Corresponding” option)

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(Here is a good example of the “Different” option)

The reasoning behind this rule is the two major factors mentioned above: Colour and Texture.

Choosing a pair of trousers which give the illusion of a matching suit fails to look as good every time because it will neither straight-up match or functions as separates clothing entities.

The best example I can find of this common mistake is Guy Ritchie’s outfit below from the GQ website:

As you will be able to see yourself – Guy’s outfit doesn’t really work due to the similarity of his linen jacket with his trousers. They are very similar colours … but clearly not identical. The textures of the two fabrics are vastly different too.

It’s a shame, as if it had been a better jacket/trouser combination the outfit would have been pretty strong. The colour combination between the jacket and the shirt looks good …and I like the white pocket square to match.

Guy Ritchie is normally very good with his style, but as I said above – even the experts get it wrong sometimes!