8 HAIRCUTS FOR BLACK MEN THAT WILL NEVER GO OUT OF STYLE

Afro hair has a reputation for being unwilling to cooperate: more often than not it seems determined to do the exact opposite of what its owner wants. But, while obedience isn’t this hair type’s forte, there are plenty of excellent haircuts for black men to experiment with. That’s because, when treated right, afro hair can shape up sharp and has an unrivalled ability to hold shape well.

The key to keeping afro hair in check is being a good listener, because like with any other hair type it has its own unique quirks which you need to work with, not against. Once you’ve got a grasp of what mother nature gave you though, half the battle is won.

If you’re feeling follicularly challenged and haven’t got a clue how to manage your mane then that’s where we step in. With the help of some barbers who are experts when it comes to black men’s haircuts, we’ve compiled all of the tips and tricks you need to make your afro hair majestic.

1. THE FLAT TOP

WHAT IS IT?

Of all haircuts for black men in the late eighties and early nineties, the flat top went viral, sending sales of spirit levels and hair clippers soaring (probably). “The flat top features hair on the sides of the head tapered to the skin, working up towards a flat top – think Will Smith as The Fresh Prince and you can’t miss it,” says celebrity hairstylist Jamie Stevens.Though the flat top was among the most popular hairstyles in its heyday, the cut can easily be tweaked to make it relevant for the modern man. “This style really works well on afro hair and offers such a striking look that I can’t ever see it losing its coolness in one form or another.”

Flat Top

HOW TO GET IT

As timeless as the flat top is, unless you’ve got the right natural hair type you’ll be fighting a losing battle. Case in point? Simon Cowell. “The most important factor here is ensuring you have very curly afro hair, because it’s those tight curls, once combed out, that gives the style its shape and definition,” says Stevens.

“For a traditional take, have your barber skin fade the sides and back, working up towards the occipital bone [the saucer-shaped bone at the lower back of the skull]. From there, they should continue to freehand cut the shape into your hair. To give the squared flat top effect, barbers often use a flat top comb to comb the hair out to stand on end so that they can freehand cut the shape for the sleekest finish.”

HOW TO STYLE IT

Unsurprisingly (because hair doesn’t grow into neat lines) maintenance of this haircut for black men is mostly a case of getting a cut on the regular, but you can take measures to keep this geometric style looking sharp in-between trips to the chop shop.

“Invest in an afro comb; this will allow you to comb your hair into shape easier and, as the teeth are long, allows more flexibility when working through the hair. You might also find a hairdryer useful to help mould the hair if necessary, and some hairspray will keep it in place, too,” says Stevens.

Men's Flat Top Hair Styling Products

2. THE BUZZ CUT

WHAT IS IT?

Even those with only a passing knowledge of men’s hair will be familiar with the buzz cut : this all-over shorn style is as low maintenance as it gets, hence its popularity among recruits. “The buzz cut is a short military style usually taken to a grade 0 or skin on the sides of the head with only a little bit of length on top,” says Nick Campbell, a barber at Ruffians Marylebone. If you’re looking for the most minimal-effort hair situation, this is the one.

Buzz Cut

HOW TO GET IT

The buzz cut is one of those haircuts for black men that it’s theoretically possible to take a DIY approach to, but if you want to nail it properly, put yourself in the capable hands of a clipper connoisseur. “Ask your barber for a traditional crew cut, for afro hair specifically this involves running the clipper with the grain on the top of the hair in order to remove weight and give a clean finish. A zero or balding clipper should be taken to the sides followed by a ‘shape up’ which involves outlining the contours of the hair with a cut throat razor for a super sharp finish,” says Campbell.

HOW TO STYLE IT

For the buzz cut, you don’t need to worry about styling per se, think of the task of keeping your sparsely decorated head looking its best as maintenance. “The buzz cut is pretty fuss-free, but it’s best styled with a matt finishing product wax or a low shine oil which should be brushed through your hair or applied with an afro sponge,” says Campbell. Keeping the buzz cut looking fresh AF is a cinch, basically.

Men's Afro Hair Styling Products

3. THE NATURAL AFRO

WHAT IS IT?

This was, of course, the go-to haircut for black men in the seventies, (incidentally, it was a time when subtlety didn’t rank high on anyone’s list of priorities). Back then afros swerved the natural look in favour of circular styling, but today the style has gone much more organic. “A natural afro is all about working with your natural hair texture, using products to enhance your curl to create length all over without too much uniformity,” says Stevens. With plenty of length but a rugged finish, the natural afro feels a million miles away from Saturday Night Fever.

Natural Afro

HOW TO GET IT

As afro hair has a tendency to break more easily than other natural hair types it can be difficult to retain length. As such the natural afro haircut for black men is best suited to those who are able to grow 2-3 inches of hair without too much trouble. “Mid-length or longer hair is best as this will give the most scope for styling,” says Stevens. “The best example of this style is classic Lenny Kravitz; his is a great afro – the perfect shape and length to work with everything.”

HOW TO STYLE IT

As its names suggests, the natural afro should be the best version of what your mother gave you. “Apply a product designed to enhance curls to damp hair to define and boost its natural texture. You could also try mixing in some moisturising oil for a healthy shine,” says Stevens.

Thankfully, drying and styling your hair is a doddle here as the natural afro works best when things feel a little undone. “The best way to style an afro is to avoid heat, allowing your curl to take its natural shape. So, once you’ve applied product, allow your hair to dry naturally. And if you have a looser curl, try twisting small sections of your hair while damp to help define it.”

Men's Afro Hair Styling Products

4. THE SHAPE-UP

WHAT IS IT?

For those men who like their journey from shower to street to be as rapid as possible, the shape up is a time-saving haircut for black men that doesn’t compromise on looking sharp. “This is a short, sharp-edged look that traditionally means the straightening of the hairline,” says Stevens. The shape-up’s closed crop (usually clippered at grade number 1 or 2) means there’s minimal styling involved, but precise cutting at the hairline saves the style from being a complete snoozefest.

Shape-Up

HOW TO GET IT

As well as being a time-saving mop move, the shape-up is pretty democratic too, so if you’ve got hair you can get one. “There are so many variants of the shape-up that pretty much any head of afro hair can be catered for,” says Stevens. Not all shape-ups are created equal though. “To get the best out of this cut and some proper structure, ask your barber for a hard shape-up to really define your hair’s perimeter.”

HOW TO STYLE IT

Though the shape up is low-maintenance in theory, a few canny styling moves will keep this haircut for black men looking its best. “At home, you’ll want a good bristle brush to keep this look properly groomed and neat, and an oil to ensure your hair stays in good condition too,” says Stevens.

Men's Afro Hair Styling Products

5. BRAIDS

WHAT IS IT?

Though braid hairstyles have, in some form or another, been around for centuries, in relatively recent history men’s braids have reasserted themselves as a classic style worth considering again. Braids refer to any plaited style, while cornrows are braids plaited towards the head which don’t move freely. “Made up of organised rows of plaited hair, braids are a great option for guys who want a striking look while minimising day-to-day upkeep,” says Stevens.

Braids

HOW TO GET IT

No prizes for guessing that length is essential here: anything less than two inches generally won’t do, and nimble fingers are necessary, but they shouldn’t be your own. “At the risk of stating the obvious, the key to this one is getting someone who knows what they are doing. I’d recommend finding a specialist as it’s a tricky style to get right,” says Stevens. Take along a picture of the braids you want: whether that’s loose braids, cornrows or a combination of both.

HOW TO STYLE IT

Braids take a long time to fix into place, so once you get them there, you’ll need to do everything you can to keep them there. “To prevent braids from fraying or generally appearing untidy, use a hair wax to lightly hold your braids and keep them looking neater for longer,” says Stevens. Wearing a du-rag at night will also stop grime or lint getting caught up in your braids.

It’s not just your natural hair that needs to be kept in check when wearing braids either: you’ll need to keep on top of your scalp health too. “It’s essential to look after your scalp as it’s constantly on show and exposed to the elements. To minimise the weather’s adverse effects, regularly apply an oil, which will prevent dandruff and ensure your scalp doesn’t dry out.”

Men's Afro Hair Styling Products

6. DREADS

WHAT IS IT?

Most people associate dreadlocks with the sixties and seventies. The look is practically synonymous with Bob Marley, but the premise of the style stretches back thousands of years. Like braiding, dreads gather together hair into bigger strands, but unlike braiding, dreadlocks encourage the hair to grow into matted twists. “The hairstyle consists of twisted or tightly knotted hairs that over time form together to make dreadlocks,” says Stevens. Unlike braids though, dreads can’t be unravelled, so be prepared to commit or cut off.

Dreads

HOW TO GET IT

Getting dreads right should be left strictly in the hands of the professionals: making those twisted locks look uniform is no mean feat. “Seek specialist input for dreadlocks as there are many different ways to create and maintain the style,” says Campbell. “In afro hair, creating short or long dreadlocks involves twisting and palm rolling the hair with the incorporation of gel or balm sometimes even wax in order to form the dreadlocks. There are a number of specialist shops and stylists across the UK who can help you form the perfect dreadlocks.” Whether your aim to keep your dreads short or grow a longer style, you’ll need at least two inches of hair to get this style going, so bear in mind before you book yourself in.

HOW TO STYLE IT

Once you’ve got your dreads fixed in place, you’ve got a fair few styling options which all depend on the length of your dreads. “Long dreadlocks are best worn half up half down or loosely tied up at the back or even in a bun on top of the head. It is important not to put too much tension on the dreadlocks as this can be uncomfortable for the hair,” says Campbell.

For shorter dreads, you’ve got a few more options. “Short dreadlocks can be worn loose and natural or pulled up into the top in a loose bun. The most popular way to wear short dreadlocks is to undercut them which involves shaving the sides and back of your head and wearing your dreads loose on top.”

Men's Afro Hair Styling Products

7. THE SHORT AFRO WITH FADE

WHAT IS IT?

The short afro fade is an amalgamation of some of the greatest haircuts for black men, for those who want a bit of everything on their crown. “A combination of the classics, this style is both modern and versatile,” says Stevens. “It’s a great cut that can be tailored to suit both your look and lifestyle.” By riffing on the length of the classic afro and keeping things short and sharp on the side, the style is the afro equivalent to a short, back and sides : it’s never not a good look.

Short Afro With Fade

HOW TO GET IT

If your black male hair is on the short side, you’ll need to grow some inches before you can tackle the afro fade head on. “You’ll need some length on top to create the perfect contrast between the fade and your afro, but you can take the fade as tight as you like. For a sharp finish, I’d suggest a short tapered fade at the sides and back and a relatively short but still textured top.” This style looks its best when there’s a balance between what’s going on at the sides and up top: the fade should graduate into the top, which should be kept on the neater side of things for a less dramatic finish.

HOW TO STYLE IT

Adding a modern spin to the short afro with skin fades requires a textured, rather than uniform finish. “Try applying some sea salt spray to hair on the top of the head and either diffuse through the hair using a hair dryer and diffuser attachment or allow to dry naturally. Salt spray is a lightweight product that enhances texture and gives good hold – great for creating volume and defining curls,” says Stevens.

Men's Afro Hair Styling Products

8. THE HARD PARTING

WHAT IS IT?

Will.I.Am may be a relatively solitary wearer of the hard parting these days, but way back in the eighties, the sharply defined style was routinely adorning men’s heads. Although the style may initially seem like an A-list-only style move because of its sharp lines, subtler variations can easily be pulled off without a styling team on speed dial.

“A step up from a side parting, a hard parting is a shaved line in the hair. How defined it looks is totally dependent on how deep you choose to have it shaved in, with options scaling from a neat, office-friendly parting to a deeper, edgier take,” says Stevens.

Hard parting afro hair

HOW TO GET IT

While most afro barbers will be familiar with the hard parting, getting this black men’s haircut exactly how you want it will take more than a forensic explanation of angles and measurements. “Your barber should consult with you on where you usually wear your parting before clippering in and shaping the hard parting,” says Stevens.

“With so many variations available, there is plenty of flexibility – you could choose a groomed, work-appropriate style or something a little more dramatic, like Tupac’s famous Juice look. It’s worth having some examples to hand, on your phone for example, so you can work with your barber to achieve exactly what you want.” In short, because of the multiple ways to wear this style, taking along an example of exactly what you want is invariably your safest bet.

HOW TO STYLE IT

Hard parting enthusiasts take heed: this is not a get-up-and-go style, working those angles takes a bit of a hands on approach. “A comb is essential to be able to separate the parting, use [an oil] to keep your hair conditioned and, for a groomed finish, apply a touch of wax, which will give hold and a subtle shine. If your hair is particularly unruly, give it a blast with a medium hold hairspray,” says Stevens.

Men's Afro Hair Styling Products

THE LOWDOWN ON AFRO HAIR

Before you get to the business of whipping afro hair into shape, properly understanding what you’re working with will help you to make the most of your mop: here’s where it gets a bit sciency. “Curls are often dry by their nature, so without the use of products that offer intense moisture, it’s difficult to achieve shiny hair,” says Michael Lendon, advanced master creative director at Aveda “Unlike other hair types, the structure of the hair is not cylindrical, which means that it isn’t good at reflecting light needed to achieve shine. What’s more, because of this hair type’s structure and lack of moisture, breakage happens easily, so gently does it lads.

That’s not all there is to afro hair through, there’s a lot more at play which differs from head to head. “Textured hair varies between each person – no two people have the same head of hair. Curls typically vary both in thickness and how loose or tight the curls are,” says Lendon.

The bad news is that this means that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to afro and haircuts for black men. The good news is that most afro hair falls into one of three categories which will enable you to work out how best to style what you’ve got up top. To decide which hair type you have, look at a product-free strand of hair and see which of the below descriptions rings most true.

WAVY AFRO HAIR

Wavy afro hair has a loose curl pattern which forms an ‘S’ shape naturally.

COILED AFRO HAIR

Coiled afro hair forms loose or tight curls with a clearly defined shape pattern which is circular in appearance.

KINKY AFRO HAIR

Kinky afro hair has very small and tight curls which have a less defined ‘Z’ shape pattern.

AFRO HAIR DOS & DON’TS

Afro, and black male hair in general requires lots of TLC and is less get up and go than most other hair types, but by incorporating a few helpful habits into your routine, keeping your follicles fighting fit will become stupidly easy.

DON’T OVER WASH

Thinking that afro hair must be washed every day is a mistake: shampooing will strip your hair of essential natural oils and cause more dryness, so lather up once a week for optimum hair health.

DO ADD MOISTURE

Because of afro hair’s tendency towards dryness, regularly using moisturizing product is essential to ward off brittle, damaged hair and will add that all-important shine.

DON’T BRUSH AND BRUSH

Getting OCD with brushing is a fast track to terminally unhappy curly hair. Brush your hair gently with a paddle brush on shorter hair or a wide tooth comb for longer styles. Never brush afro hair vigorously or while it’s wet either.

DO CHOOSE A LOW MAINTENANCE STYLE

By choosing shorter haircuts for black men such as a crew-cut or a taper fade you’ll minimise time and effort spent on day to day maintenance, as keeping these styles in good shape is primarily down to the work of your barber.

DON’T USE TOO MUCH HEAT

Blasting afro or curly hair with heat is one of the fastest ways to cause irreversible damage so where possible, leave your hair to dry naturally or choose the lowest hair dryer heat setting when time is tight.

DO READ PRODUCT INGREDIENTS

Avoid products which offer a matte finish and instead look for products containing oils (such as coconut, jojoba or castor) which will increase shine, combat dandruff and reduce breakage. Products containing alcohol and sulphates are also no-nos for this hair type.

THE BEST PRODUCTS FOR BLACK MEN’S HAIR

Most men have to undergo plenty of trial and error before finding the best hair product but for those with afro hair, chancing on the stuff that’ll make your black hair look its best can be even more of a pain. If you’ve done your homework on the ingredients, tools and techniques to have at your disposal though, you’ll easily thwart the intentions of troublesome tresses.

SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER

No matter what cut you’re looking to achieve, before you do anything else, make sure that your washing and conditioning game is in turbo moisture mode. For this you’ll need a shampoo and conditioner (you should never skip the latter) which are full of ingredients to nourish parched locks. Avoid drying ingredients such as alcohol and sulphates and make sure natural oil and cream-based products are high up on your shopping list: jojoba, castor and coconut oils are all good shouts as is shea butter.

STYLING TOOLS

As dryness and breakage are the most common complaints for afro hair, every last strand needs to be treated gently. To reduce damage, make sure that you’ve got an afro comb and a paddle brush to hand which will go easy on your hair and will let you tame long and short styles respectively. Make sure that you invest in a dryer with a very low heat setting too which will ensure that intense heat doesn’t sap your strands of life.

STYLING PRODUCTS

The best styling products for afro hair should add plenty of moisture without weighing hair down. The golden standard here is a moisturising oil (again, jojoba, castor and coconut oils and shea butter are ideal ingredients) which will add shine without weight and can be applied to wet or dry hair. For onger hair which need to be held into place though, opt for a water-based pomade which will offer hold and a non-greasy shine.

Source: Fashion Beans

HOW TO GROW A MOUSTACHE YOUR DAD WOULD BE PROUD OF

It’s official, Tom Selleck fans, now is finally the time to put your stubble where your mouth is and try on the manliest face mask available: the moustache.

While the grooming world has been happy to pay lip service to beards for over a decade, this season it’s the turn of nose curtains to have their moment. Which is why we’ve put together a comprehensive how to grow a moustache guide,  from picking the right style for you to maintaining the beast.

So, if your idea of manual labour is chopping veg without the need for a blender, but you want to at least look like you know your way around a tool shed, this is how.

WHY GROW A MOUSTACHE?

Until recently, growing a moustache was a relic of its time. A trend started by King Charles in the early 1600s, rakish whiskers once adorned the faces of men across the globe, reaching their heyday in the 1930s and ‘40s, with leading men such as Clark Gable and Errol Flynn opting for one both on-screen and off. Spurred by Hollywood and the appeal of the armed forces British troops were at one point all required to sport one as part of their uniform the look filtered down to the general public, coming to represent hardy masculinity and a certain suavity.But along with the monocle, bowler hat and cane items that were immensely popular in their own right once upon a time the moustache fell out of favour in the 1980s, having been hijacked by the adult film industry. Soon enough it was seen as quaint, unnecessary and at best creepy, which begs the question as to why you’d want to grow one today. Well, like with fashion trends such as the cross body bag and bucket hat, the moustache is trending unexplainably.

Henry Cavill has been sporting a moustache

Perhaps it’s down to stylised films such as The Nice Guys or Netflix’s Narcos, or maybe because of the new wave of actors who’ve adopted them – Henry Cavill, James Franco; we blame you. Either way, it’s won over the style set and is now creeping down the high street, one wisp of hair at a time. So don’t let your lip get left behind.

HOW TO GROW A MOUSTACHE

Here’s our five step guide for how to grow a moustache:

STAGE 1: CAN YOU GROW ONE?

There are men in this world who were born to have a moustache Hulk Hogan, for example and those who were not. It’s important to establish early on which group your face falls into.

The aim is to have as much to work with as possible before you decide on a shape or style – it’s like pruning a hedge: you wouldn’t start cutting it into a shape before the bush is a proper size.If you already have a beard, you have a head start. If you don’t, grow one. This helps to avoid that awkward in-between stage and will reveal any patchy areas that could be a problem.

STAGE 2: PREP THE GROWTH

The main thing you need when growing a moustache is patience.

Facial hair grows at a rate of about 0.4mm a day, so it can take several weeks before you’re ready to start trimming.If while growing a beard in anticipation you find that your stubble barely grows beyond 6-8mm, it’s unlikely that your moustache will be anything more than a thin line on your upper lip.

If, though, you can cultivate a beard relatively easily, after a couple of weeks you’ll start to see which way the hair is growing so you can decide whether you want a toothbrush moustache (Tom Selleck), a handlebar (George V), or something else entirely.

STAGE 3: THE EARLY DAYS

Persevere through the early awkward stages by keeping your beard neat and uniform. This will ensure your facial hair looks good even before you get to the business of growing a moustache.

Once the hairs below your nose start to descend over your upper lip, grab the clippers and trim a line to remove the strays. Or, if you would like a handlebar and the hair further up is longer, you can train it out to each side in order to maintain the length.

Ideally you want the moustache hair growing just underneath the nose to be longest so that it eventually catches up with hair on your upper lip.

STAGE 4: ‘TACHE TIME

This is where things get serious. Where you go from here all depends on what moustache style you’re aiming for and how realistic you are being with your growth.In addition to not maintaining it, one of the biggest mistakes when it comes to lip ticklers is not choosing the right style, which will largely be dictated by your face shape As a general rule, guys with a strong jaw (see Mr Superman himself) will find it the easiest to carry off a full moustache, while others, particularly those with square- and oval-shaped faces, should opt for more subtle ‘beardstache’ instead,

FIVE KEY MOUSTACHE STYLES

1. THE FULL PACKAGE

If you’re going for a ‘tache, you may as well go all out. The full moustache shows commitment, because why do things by halves? You’ll need good length here – aim for no less than 10mm – and plenty of density for it to work. You don’t want it too shaped, however – the idea is for it to look natural and borderline unruly. Think Robert Redford as Butch Cassidy, and you’re on the right track. 

2. THE BEARDSTACHE

Grow a beard, and then take everything down to a grade one (3mm) with a pair of clippers, but leave the moustache for a rugged look with less contrast. This is a good entry into the world of growing a moustache and an easy way to sample it before committing to clean-shaved cheeks.

Beardstache

3. THE PENCIL MOUSTACHE

Grow stubble, then use detail trimmers to shave around a thin line of hair above your lip to achieve an elegant, refined moustache. This was the look favoured by golden age Hollywood stars, and is, admittedly, slightly more tricky to pull off today but is perfectly possible with a devil-may-care attitude.

Pencil Moustache

4. THE STANDARD MOUSTACHE

The moustache that you kind of don’t notice – it just is. There’s no dramatic shape or style here, it merely looks like it’s always been there. Wet shave your face every other day for a finer finish.

Standard Moustache

MOUSTACHE MAINTENANCE TIPS

USE THE RIGHT TRIMMING TOOLS

Depending on the moustache style you’ve gone for, you’ll need a good beard trimmer , a pair of facial hair scissors, or a combination of the two. Just as you would with a full beard, once you’ve grown your ‘tache to the desired length, trim it every three to four days, ensuring pesky stray hairs are tamed. Always do this when your moustache is dry, as hair expands and relaxes when wet, contracting to its original length after.

TO COMB OR NOT TO COMB

Sure, a moustache comb screams hipster – and we’re certainly not suggesting you use one in public – but for longer styles it’s a helpful tool, particularly for straighten out the hairs before trimming. It also comes into play when styling, allowing you to spread any wax used evenly while brushing the hairs in the desired direction.

STYLING

Moustache wax isn’t a necessity, but it will add definition to your ‘tache and give the individual hairs a healthy looking sheen. It’s always wise to start with a small amount, working the product through with a comb, and adding more if needed. Go overboard, and your lip appendage will look greasy and weighed down.

TREAT IT LIKE REGULAR HAIR

Just as you would with a beard, or indeed the hair on your head, it’s important to shampoo and condition your moustache regularly. Facial hair is coarse and can become dry if ignored. You should also look after the skin underneath – for shorter styles apply moisturiser to nourish the skin, and with longer moustaches use a beard oil, which will seep through the hair where a thicker moisturiser wouldn’t. Above all, keep it clean. Hair likes clean skin.

MUST-HAVE MOUSTACHE PRODUCTS

To keep your moustache in tip top shape, these are the products we recommend you keep handy to stay looking your best. 

BEARD TRIMMER

A trimmer is what you’ll need to keep your moustache hairs at a good length. It’ll help you clip hairs along your lip and keep things looking nice and tidy. You’ll also find a trimmer especially handy if you plan on dabbling further in the world of facial hair, as they’re pretty essential for beards, too. 

FACIAL HAIR SCISSORS

A small pair of sharp scissors will be your best friend when shaping your moustache, so long as you don’t get scissor happy. Keep things neat with a little snip here and there, and get an ultra precise cut with this must-have moustache product. 

MOUSTACHE COMB

For styling your moustache, you’ll likely need a comb, especially when you’re gearing up for a trim. Bonus points for a folding comb that you can keep in your back pocket for styling on the go. 

MOUSTACHE WAX

When it comes to holding your moustache in place or creating twisted tips, you’ll be grateful to have some moustache wax. Just a little bit of this product should create an all day hold, keeping each of your moustache hairs exactly where you want them.

BEARD OIL

If your moustache hairs start to get scraggly (which they will), use a couple drops of beard oil on a daily basis and your facial hair should become less coarse. Beard oil will also make your moustache smell good and considering it sits below your nose, we’ll call that a big win. Just don’t overdo it or you’ll end up with a greasy looking ‘stache. If you have a naturally oily face already, you may prefer to use beard balm instead. 

Source: Fashion Beans

HOW TO DRESS WELL: THE 15 RULES ALL MEN SHOULD LEARN

There are enough rules in life as it is. Some, however, are there to help. Like the rules that govern how to dress well. Of course, every man or woman that has an opinion on such things speaks from personal experience – and no doubt what works for one doesn’t always work for another; or what works for one is considered too pedestrian or too avant-garde by another.

So, when it comes to dressing, they always have to be taken at face value. They’re solid suggestions rather than the last word on style. But good advice is never to be sniffed at, and, as menswear becomes ever more rich and varied, ever more experimental and abundant, ever more trend-aware, in moments of confusion and self-doubt, it can help to have a valuable fall-back position that cuts through the clutter.

These ‘rules’ tend to be founded in history – they’ve worked for generations, so might well be assumed to work well today too. And they tend to be founded in the obvious, so obvious they’re often overlooked: a preference for good fit, high quality, versatility, good value, lack of extremes and keeping it sober.

There are certainly many other rules out there than are presented here. Some of these you may have already discovered for yourself. That, after all, is part of the pleasure of clothing, which no rule should hamper: trying new kit out, seeing if it suits you, seeing how it makes you feel. But, these rules have stood the test of time and, when used in conjunction, act as a failsafe guide on how to dress well today.

1. WEAR A SUIT WELL

The key to a suit looking good is fit. If you’re buying off-the-peg, focus on the fit across the shoulders because getting the chest and waist altered is a relatively easy job according to Davide Taub, head of bespoke suits at Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes. “Be cautious about wearing a period suit unless you’re pursuing a total period look because in isolation the suit starts to look like a novelty,” he adds. Classic is best and most useful – dark, two-button, single-breasted, moderate in details. “It’s not boring. A suit is a uniform. The idea is to think of this suit as a canvas to build different ideas of individuality around. It’s the way you wear it, not the label inside, that impresses.”

A man wearing a tweed suit
Drake’s

2. INVEST WISELY IN A WATCH

“A watch is like a piece of art,” argues Don Cochrane, managing director of British watch brand Vertex. “Choose it because you love it, not because you think it might make money. Watches are personal, it marks your passage through time. But you also have to be practical.” Aesthetic, functional, rugged sports models go with anything and can take the hard knocks of everyday wear. Yet, a watch still has to fit you. It should feel comfortable and be right in terms of size and depth relative to your wrist as well – 40mm is considered the ‘Goldilocks’ size.

AVI-8 Timepieces

3. DON’T SHY AWAY FROM COLOUR

Whether it’s on casualwear or formalwear, indulge in a bit of colour. “Most men are unjustly scared of it – they’re intimidated by anything that isn’t navy or grey,” says menswear designer Oliver Spencer. “But colour can be timeless too.” A green suit, for example, can look particularly rakish, while Spencer also recommends pinks, greens, mustard and brighter shades of blue as especially versatile year-round shades that will lift your entire outfit. But he adds that, when it comes to colour, less is still more: “You just need a bit of it, in one garment.”

Luca Falconi

4. WEAR IN YOUR JEANS UNTIL THEY ARE YOURS

The all-time most useful cut of the world’s most popular garment, according to Alex Mir, co-owner of Sheffield-based label Forge Denim, is ‘slim-tapered’. “It’s wider in the thigh, so it’s comfortable, but narrows, so it works with either smart shoes or sneakers,” he advises. “It’s the best year-round, wear-with-anything, dress up or down style.” The wise will wear dark, raw denim too and give the pre-distressed a wide berth. “The whole pleasure of denim is that it ages with the way you wear it. Why miss out on that?”

A Day’s March

5. LOOK AFTER YOUR APPEARANCE

It’s the kind of advice your mother might offer, but if you’ve invested money and thought in your clothing, look after it. Use wooden hangers for shirts and shoe trees for your best shoes; have your suit dry-cleaned and pressed; wash your clothes regularly and, ideally, don’t tumble dry them (it can degrade the fabric); and polish your shoes. Equally, it’s not just the skin of your leather jacket that you need to care for, the same goes for the one you wear every day. Establish a simple, but no less solid, grooming regime, brush your hair and cut your nails. After all, the devil resides in the details.

Man standing in front of mirror in white shirt buttoning cuffs

6. KEEP YOUR UNDERWEAR SIMPLE

Style isn’t only what everyone else can see. When it comes to men’s underwear, there are two rules to follow. One, novelty prints are not for grown men – “your underwear is not the place to express your ‘personality’,” as shirt and underwear-maker Emma Willis notes. And, two, heavily-branded underwear lacks sophistication. “Of all places where you might have the confidence not to have branding, your underwear should be it,” adds Willis. The style that has best stood the test of time, of course, is the cotton boxer short, likely because (as is the case with linen) they take repeated washing, breathe well and are comfortable against your skin.

CDLP

7. SPEND MONEY ON SHOES

“Timelessness is about simple design and all the more so with shoes,” argues Tim Little, owner of heritage shoe brand Grenson. “The colour, the pattern, the sole – you don’t want it fussy. Anything fussy may look good now but will look strange very quickly.” Quality shoes — the gold standard being re-soleable Goodyear welted examples — are the kind of investment that should last 15 years or more. Opt for classic styles such as brogues, loafers, or a plain, dark, five-eyelet Derby on a round-toe last. “It’s the shape of the toe that really counts – and round never goes out of fashion,” says Little. “It’s pointy toes or square toes that look obviously impractical. Nobody has feet shaped like that.”

Myrqvist

8. KEEP ACCESSORISING TO A MINIMUM

Accessories like ties and pocket squares bring individuality to classic clothing, but be careful how you use them. “It’s best to harmonise them with what you’re wearing by picking out a colour or two. Or even to juxtapose them entirely,” says Michael Hill, creative director of men’s accessories brand Drake’s. “What you don’t want is to match them up.” When it comes to curating shirt and tie combinations, wear your tie or pocket square in a darker shade than your jacket. And don’t overdo the accessories either – if in doubt, think less is more and take one element away. “You’re aiming for an air of nonchalance,” adds Hill. “You just need one point of interest.”

man wearing yellow suit with red striped tie
Drake’s

9. KNOW THYSELF

There’s are few things less stylish than a man dressed as he thinks he should dress rather than in what he genuinely feels suits who he is. There are caveats to that, of course: there are no prizes for dressing like a rodeo clown unless indeed you are one. But whatever you’re wearing, you have to own it. Genuine style icons are those who go their own way with a self-confidence that comes from their clothes being a second skin, not a costume.

man adjusting his collar with chic watch on wrist

10. DRESS FOR THE SETTING

Style is not merely about self-expression; it’s also about being dressed appropriately for your environment. Think of clothes as being codes: you need the right combination to work with the setting you’re in – and that’s whether it’s a formal dinner or a lazy Sunday in the pub. The worst style is one which is out of place. Is this a kind of conformity? No, as one of Tom Ford’s oft trotted out fashion quotes explains, it’s a mark of respect for others. And about feeling comfortable in yourself. When in doubt, overdress.

how to dress well for different settings with men and women at a disco party

11. DON’T SKIMP ON GLASSES

Invest time into finding the right spectacles for you. “People spend an average of seven minutes picking a pair that will define them for the next three or more years,” notes eyewear designer Tom Davies. “Poor choice and poor fit are why so many people learn to hate their glasses.” Buy what you feel good in, taking into account your face shape but considering the top line of the frames’ relation to your eyebrow shape – team straight with straight, curved with curved – and your hairstyle. Buy wisely too, says Davies: there’s no point buying cheap frames and being up-sold on expensive lenses because the frames will look tatty soon enough anyway.

man wearing warby parker glasses
Warby Parker

12. CHOOSE VERSATILE OUTERWEAR

The temptation may be to wear a classic style, but modern technical fabrics in darker shades and easy cuts are making coats what they should be – lightweight and breathable but also properly protective. “Changes in seasonality, the climate and buying habits are making heavy wool coats seem out of keeping now,” suggests Adam Cameron, owner of outerwear specialist The Workers’ Club. “Think of a coat instead as being your final layer – one you can wear as much or as little under as required.” A field or bomber jacket jacket is a good all-rounder but if you need to dress up, go for a short mac.

man wearing denim jacket
Percival Menswear

13. BUY A DINNER SUIT, NEVER HIRE

Occasions for the height of formal dressing may be rare, but they’re all the more exacting for that. So, while it feels like an extravagance, owning a dinner suit that fits you rather than hiring one makes more sense after years of use. “With hiring, there’s always the risk of the wearer looking almost childlike while dressed in some oversized, boxy ensemble,” warns Toby Lamb, design director of contemporary tailoring label Richard James. Own as classic a dinner suit as possible: in midnight blue, single-breasted, with satin lapels and trousers seams. And it goes without saying you should learn how to tie a bow-tie yourself.

man wearing a tuxedo

14. WITH SHIRTS, STICK TO THE CLASSICS

“It sounds silly,” says James Cook, head of bespoke shirtmaking for Turnbull & Asser, “but any men’s shirt can be made to look expensive if it’s well-pressed.” All the same, Cook is particular about the details. Strike a middle line, he recommends: avoid bold styles unless you think you can carry it off, and, for a collar that works with or without a tie, and that always sits properly under a jacket, opt for a semi-cutaway.

L’Estrange London

15. KNOW WHEN TO BREAK THE RULES

Know when to adhere to dress codes such as black tie and know when to break them. Some are there for a good reason, typically because the occasion demands it or some higher authority – your boss, perhaps – expects it. But, likewise, as Drakes’ Hill notes, “we can get too hung up about rules as well, and there’s always a case for ripping them up”. That, after all, is how style advances, little by little. “Enjoy the freedom there is now to make mistakes.”

multicolored ties for men

Source: Fashion Beans

5 Style Tips to Steal from Viola Davis

Viola Davis is one of the greatest professionals in Hollywood today. In addition to being an actress, she is a producer and director. Her talent has been recognized several times by the film industry and has received an OscarEmmy, and two Tony Awards. She is the first African-American and the youngest actress to win the Triple Crown of Acting with these three awards.

Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2012 and 2017. Also in 2017, Viola received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Three years later, the New York Times ranked her at #9 on the list of “The 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century.”

In addition to an illustrious film and television career, Davis is a prominent advocate for human rights and equal rights for Black women.

Today, the actress celebrates her 56th birthday and, to celebrate, L’OFFICIEL has selected several styling tricks Davis has used on and off the red carpet.

Statement Earrings

https://www.instagram.com/p/CNaTmLaB8Gq/embed

Matching Sets

https://www.instagram.com/p/COBud7_hJAs/embed

https://www.instagram.com/p/CLP4wRShgwt/embed

Monochrome

https://www.instagram.com/p/CORAoN4BbbV/embed

https://www.instagram.com/p/CMdgRbchRM_/embed

https://www.instagram.com/p/CKUvXsjhTPw/embed

Bold Prints

https://www.instagram.com/p/CNVpUMTBSRg/embed

https://www.instagram.com/p/CL3IkSdhofx/embed

Classic White Button Down

https://www.instagram.com/p/CM71bVohwZU/embed

Source: L’OFFICIEL

These are the best countries for sustainable shopping

A study by luxury cashmere retailer N.Peal has revealed the best countries for sustainable shopping.

The study analysed the monthly searches of 64 countries, using eight search terms centred around sustainable fashion and ethical clothing. The goal of the study was to look closer into the evolution of eco-conscious shopping, with the first steps focusing on uncovering where exactly these shoppers live.

The US came out on top with a total of 29,700 online searches every month, followed closely by the UK with 24,500 searches.

Top ten countries for sustainable shopping online

  • United States – 29,700 searches
  • United Kingdom – 24,500 searches
  • India – 7,090 searches
  • Australia – 4,950 searches
  • Canada – 2,580 searches
  • Indonesia – 1,220 searches
  • Vietnam – 1,060 searches
  • Ireland – 1,060 searches
  • Germany – 1,010 searches
  • Netherlands – 830 searches

Europe leads the way

Per continent, however, the data showed that Europe was more dedicated to sustainable choices with the largest monthly searches at 74,130. The UK topped the top ten list, followed by Ireland and Germany with over 1,000 monthly searches and the Netherlands with 830 searches.

Top continents for sustainable shopping

  • Europe – 74,130 searches
  • North America – 42,430 searches
  • Asia – 17,600 searches
  • Oceania – 5,310 searches
  • South America – 3,950 searches
  • Africa – 370 searches

Second-hand on the rise

Vintage and second-hand clothing has also become increasingly popular as an alternative to fast fashion purchases. The trend is reflected in the results for the most searched subjects, with ‘second hand’ coming in third as the most popular search term and ‘second hand clothes shops near me’ rising 5,000 percent more than the past five years.

The buzzwords ‘sustainable’ and ‘ethical’ still come out on top, however, with sustainable searches focusing on the planet’s resources, and wellbeing and ethical searches centred around social justice and worker rights.

Top global search themes for sustainable shopping

  • Sustainable – 47,520 searches
  • Ethical – 17,480 searches
  • Second hand – 8,110 searches
  • Organic – 4,970 searches
  • Eco – 2,620 searches

The rise in sustainability awareness has prompted businesses to adapt to the growing consumer demand for ethically and sustainably produced products. The results show that this global movement towards more sustainable purchase choices isn’t just a passing trend. It is a trend that has been taken on by large fast-fashion chains and small independent businesses alike.

Source: Fashion United

Dua Lipa & Billie Are Fuelling The Appetite For #Regencycore 2.0

Dust off your corset, the second instalment of #Regencycore is here. But it isn’t Bridgerton that has inspired people to dress like a debutante: Dua Lipa and Billie Eilish are the poster girls of RC 2.0.  

Marie Antoinette would surely approve of Dua’s “Demeanor” music video, which was awash with references to the French queen. The singer swapped out her typically kitsch Y2K staples for a wardrobe brimming with frills and bows, masterminded by her stylist, Lorenzo Posocco. He cherry-picked a corset from Jean Paul Gaultier’s iconic spring 1998 couture collection, entitled “Les Marquis Touaregs”, for Dua to wear in the clip, teamed with a full-bodied white skirt. Searches for corsets spiked 43 per cent, while page views for corset tops rose 31 per cent after the release of the video. 

Billie Eilish has also been responsible for the rise; her June 2021 British Vogue cover prompted a 74 per cent surge in searches for corsets. Eilish has since worn styles from Miaou, including its satin Campbell corset that she wore for her Happier Than Ever launch party, and the patterned Figaro Campbell corset she shared with her 88.9 million IG followers back in July. 

Below, Vogue’s edit of the chicest corsets to buy now.

  • Printed handmade corset from 149 available to preoder at Elliemisner.co.uk.1/21Ellie MisnerPrinted handmade corset, from £149, available to pre-oder at Elliemisner.co.uk.
  • Image may contain Clothing Apparel Tank Top Underwear and Undershirt2/21Alexander McQueenSweetheart neckline corset top, £990, available at Farfetch.com.
  • Image may contain Clothing Apparel Corset and Coat3/21Agent ProvocateurSatin corset, £395, available at Agentprovocateur.com.
  • Lace corset 950 available at Vestiairecollective.com.4/21Vivienne WestwoodLace corset, £950, available at Vestiairecollective.com.
  • Image may contain Clothing Apparel and Corset5/21AlaïaAutumn/winter 1991 corset vest, £3,200, available at 1stdibs.com.
  • Sleeveless modal camisole 81 available at Farfetch.com.6/21Maison CloseSleeveless modal camisole, £81, available at Farfetch.com.
  • Image may contain Clothing Apparel and Corset7/21Victoria BeckhamStrapless lace corset, £750, available at Farfetch.com.
  • Image may contain Lamp and Lampshade8/21AreaCrystal-embellished corset, £1,020, available at Farfetch.com.
  • Denim corset top 850 available at Mytheresa.com.9/21BurberryDenim corset top, £850, available at Mytheresa.com.
  • Image may contain Clothing Apparel Swimwear Underwear Lingerie and Bikini10/21KsubiSatin-crepe thong bodysuit, £74, available at Net-a-porter.com.
  • Image may contain Clothing Apparel Diaper and Footwear11/21MiaouCampbell corset in Figaro print, £205, available at Endclothing.com.
  • Vintage silk corset 452 available at Vestiairecollective.com.12/21Jean Paul GaultierVintage silk corset, £452, available at Vestiairecollective.com.
  • Bustier corset top 115 available at Brownsfashion.com.13/21Danielle GuizioBustier corset top, £115, available at Brownsfashion.com.
  • Image may contain Clothing Apparel Lingerie Underwear and Bra14/21GucciGG tulle boned bralette, £520, available at Mytheresa.com.
  • Grosgrain detail lace corset 560 available at Farfetch.com.15/21Kiki de MontparnasseGrosgrain detail lace corset, £560, available at Farfetch.com.
  • Image may contain Clothing and Apparel16/21Dion LeeCropped corset top, £370, available at Farfetch.com.
  • Image may contain Clothing and Apparel17/21Dolce & GabbanaLace detail corset top, £525, available at Farfetch.com.
  • Underwired corset in Italian jacquard lace 365 available at Laperla.com.18/21La PerlaUnderwired corset in Italian jacquard lace, £365, available at Laperla.com.
  • Peplum hem strapless satin top 280 available at Selfridges.com.19/21Rozie CorsetsPeplum hem strapless satin top, £280, available at Selfridges.com.
  • Image may contain Clothing Apparel and Corset20/21SpanxUnder sculpt corset, £150, available at Selfridges.com.
  • Preowned 1970s bustier top 360 available at Farfetch.com.21/21Saint LaurentPre-owned 1970s bustier top, £360, available at Farfetch.com.

Source: Vogue

Flaws as Fashion: Expression or Exploitation?

It seems all too easy to become inundated by the ever-changing fashion and makeup trends of today’s society. The internet and social media provide instant accessibility to whatever is ‘new’ and ‘trending’, and the chances of something going viral is nothing far from the usual these days.

Features such as ‘for you’ and ‘explore’ pages on social media platforms tend to thrust the latest trends to users, and the ‘endless scroll’ effect only makes this more and more compulsive. Though we are free to present ourselves in our own way with regards to fashion and makeup, it seems important to consider how we go about it, and whether following trends possibly disregards people who cannot control or change their natural features.“

There are constant changes in what is ‘on trend’, which in turn, suggests what is considered desirable and attractive in that moment

Platforms like Instagram and TikTok allow users to express and share their creativity and individuality in all types of ways. When it comes to fashion and makeup trends, social media appears to be the ‘go-to’; makeup techniques and tutorials are able to be demonstrated with pictures, videos and text boxes, and shared with hyperlinks and hashtags. This is all very positive, and ideal for viewers to learn new ideas and be provided with some inspiration.

The most recent trends in makeup have been somewhat a mimic of some people’s natural features, such as freckles, reddened cheeks and under-eye circles. Eyeliner, heavy blush and bold eyeshadows have been used to create these effects, however it can be questioned whether these seem to undermine people who naturally have such features and would perhaps feel insecure about.

That is one thing about the nature of social media and the internet – there are constant changes in what is ‘on trend’, which in turn, suggests what is considered desirable and attractive in that moment. In this sense, it is difficult to decipher whether this is a move towards body positivity or one that ignores those who perhaps, at some point, had been shamed for naturally having such features.“

It is difficult to decipher whether this is a move towards body positivity or one that ignores those who perhaps, at some point, had been shamed for naturally having such features

On the one hand, it is important to embrace and normalise features which some people may feel diffident about. Fortunately, the modern world is becoming increasingly aware of normalising people’s flaws and insecurities, and attempting to dismiss the notion of being ‘perfect’.

Makeup, on a basic level, is art, and is something which has no rules or requirements; we are free to use and wear it however we want. Therefore, these makeup trends are not necessarily something which we are obligated to follow, but rather an imaginative expression which offer a different approach to makeup styling.

The other side of the coin is that the term ‘trend’ suggests that it will at some point become unpopular, which therefore undermines people who naturally have features such as under-eye circles or rosacea. It is may read as derogatory to label their appearance as ‘on’ or ‘out’ of trend.

This can be likened to the way in which bodily features seem to fall in and out of trend, and the paradox which this subsequently causes. It is possible for people to become confused and conscious about their physical appearance, if it does not complement the current trend, and whether society considers it worthy enough. Even when the trend is eventually brushed off, it is not guaranteed that such feelings will disappear too.“

Makeup, on a basic level, is art, and is something which has no rules or requirements; we are free to use and wear it however we want

As such, it is clear that trends in makeup can spark some controversy. Whilst makeup continues to be a fantastic creative outlet for many people, we should keep in mind what trends we follow and whether they are showcased in a considerate and mindful way towards other people who may perceive them differently.

Source: Red Brick