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!

Sailing into Venice Harbour…kind of.

This week I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to get behind the scenes at the recently unveiled City of Glasgow College campus. The new Riverside location for the College is a modern, seven story tower crammed to breaking point with the utmost state-of-the-art technology.

It should be too…

The newly revamped “world class campus” cost a massive £66m to build; and you can tell from the moment you walk in that they have raised the bar in architectural technology. From the high-security entrance-way to the cloud-based teaching styles, this campus offers learning at its most technologically advanced.

The main reason for my excitement of this visit was two-fold:

  • The location and height of the Campus building offered a view of Glasgow which I was very intrigued to experience
  • The campus’ new Marine Engineering Workshops featured Scotland’s very first Shipping Simulation Suite … and I was invited to use it!

This essentially meant that I was given the opportunity to (pretend to) steer a Super Tanker or Cruise Ship through the world’s most famous harbours!

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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:

 

 

 

Up Close With: Sam Squire

This week I was lucky enough to spend some time chatting to well known blogger, style champion, and designer, Sam Squire.
Sam is pretty much living the dream; a young guy,  running a popular (and excellent) style blog and launching his own footwear brand, Squire Footwear, over the coming months.

 

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We caught up with Sam to discuss his recent endeavor and even managed to get you a glimpse of the designs we can expect from his brand…

 

Hi Sam, its good to have you here on Gallous Lad.
Why don’t we start by you telling us a little about yourself? What’s your background? How have you got to where you are now?
 
Sure, I’m Sam – I am a 20 year old male blogger. I started my blog a little under 2 years ago, since then I have had some really amazing opportunities that have enabled me to create a really promising brand, a lot of hard work has gone in to it so it’s really exciting to see things taking shape!
 
I’m glad it’s all going well. I have been a regular reader for a while now. I was wondering where you initially got your passion for menswear?
 
I think I’ve always really been in to style and fashion and I guess it is something that really evolved into what I do now. I think it’s the same for anything, if you’ve got an interest for it and you work hard then you’ll get some wicked opportunities along the way!
 
Now you’ve had the opportunity to launch your own brand! What was your inspiration behind launching the Squire brand?
 
I think when it comes to blogging you’ve got to have something different and be able to fit in to a niche area. There’s so many great male bloggers out there and I wanted something different. I think the brand over all is about quality and passion be it for style, travel or all the bits in between and I try to reflect this in quality writing and photography. My blog isn’t all about being suited and booted, there’s so many great guys that do that already I felt I wanted to take a more casual approach, I guess I aim to appeal to the 16-30 market with it really. 
 
I totally agree. My instagram feed is full of guys who can pull off the blazer and tie look. I actually find it more impressive now when someone can catch my eye with a simple hoodie and jeans combination. So, for the launch of the Squire Brand, was there a reason you have moved into footwear exclusively? Are you perhaps looking to expand the brand into clothing or accessories at a later stage?
 
I had this really awesome opportunity to work with an Italian shoe manufacturer to expand my brand into footwear. It was one I definitely didn’t want to turn down as they’ve worked with Christian Louboutin and other huge footwear designers. The plan has always been to create really high quality handmade Italian leather shoes that fit style and comfort needs, all for under £100! I obviously have loads of new things I am working on to develop the brand and do something new, that could be clothing…who knows?! 
 
That’s brilliant, can’t really miss an opportunity that great when it comes around! … it must have been a bit daunting though, is it something you have done before? Where did you learn your design skills?
 
I have always been a really creative person and design has been something I have done all my life. I guess it was just transferring my web and digital design skills to shoes, it was pretty simple, really! 
 
What’s your process for designing your shoes?
 
It all starts with a concept, once I have a slight idea I work with the development team to make the idea a reality, they draw up concepts and we work together to approve them. All of the ideas are by me, it makes it a very authentic brand as I would personally wear all of the collection.
 
How much do you pay attention to trends? Do you attempt to bring relevant trends into your designs?
 
I think looking at trends is a fundamental part of the process, I don’t want to release something that isn’t relevant to the current season, for example this Autumn we know white soles are really popular, so we have been striving to create really cool shoes with these really cool white soles. Everything I do has got to be right, because I want this to work and appeal to people!
 
Well the designs you have released to the public so far definitely appear to have appealed to your followers. I can’t wait to see more. What’s your personal favourite piece from the collection so far?
 
I have SO many pieces that are my favourite because after all I designed them so I definitely would wear them myself. I have some cool hightop sneakers that I am a real fan of so they are probably my current favourites – they feature monochrome black and white and it just goes really well!
 
Monochrome black and white is timeless. Always goes well and can pretty much be matched with everything! I look forward to seeing that design. I’ll pick them up for sure! When you are creating your designs you must take inspiration from all manner of sources. Who would you say is your style icon at the moment?
 
I don’t have one particular icon, I have guys that I appreciate their style for different reasons. David Gandy brings a really sophisticated approach to style and I am loving what he is doing right now, Oliver Cheshire adds a youthful and fun style to some really key on-trend pieces that I think is really great and really appeals to my age group. David Beckham really rocks some amazing style, he’s another I’d say definitely goes to influencing my style choices on a whole! 
 
Can you share any shopping secrets you have discovered with our readers? Any advice or shopping hacks that our audience should know or may not have thought of?
 
Look at the mannequins! Visual merchandisers tend to be pretty good at pairing items of clothing and ensuring the mannequins are super on trend, often they work to what their HQ has decided is trending. If you take a look at the mannequins you can definitely be inspired to create an outfit that will keep your style current, knowing what pieces go together is super important! 
 
Finally, when will we see the launch of the Squire Footwear range?
…and how do I go about getting a free pair?! 
 
The collection will be dropping soon…that’s about as much as I am giving you right now! We’re working on some exciting things and I’m not going to spill it all right now am I, you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled for a launch date in the coming weeks! As for free pairs, we make the shoes as and when we get orders to make sure they are bespoke to each customer, we can’t sample them just yet but I’ll shoot you over an exclusive discount code!
 
That’s what I like to hear! I knew there was a reason we interviewed you…
Listen, thanks for taking the time to speak to us and we look forward to the launch of Squire Footwear!

 

Sam was kind enough to give us a preview of one of Squire Footwear’s designs for their launch…
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I love them, I’ll definitely be picking them up. What do you think?