Summer? What summer I hear you say. Admittedly, we’ve not had the best run of the sunshine this year. And with more inclement weather on its way, you’d not be mistaken in thinking that this year has been a bit of a washout. Don’t let it dampen your spirits -cover up cool in a lightweight summer jacket. Here are 3 key lightweight jackets to layer on during those drizzly or chilly days.
1. The Mac or Trench
Instantly smarten up your attire in a showerproof Mac or belted trench. While they’re perfect for pretty much every season, these lightweight jackets really come into play during the downpours of spring/summer. Layer over your formal work gear during a shower or with jeans and a smart shirt when you hit the bars. Dark colours are way more practical and show up less dirt than the brighter hues. And for a nod to style icon Humphray Bogart, try a belted Trench Coat in stone.
2. The Harrington Jacket
As worn by the King of Rock’n'Roll himself, Elvis, the Harrington Jacket is going through a bit of a revival which means you can relive the glory days without even trying. If you really want to go down the rock star route, wear your Harrington Jacket with a smart polo shirt and skinny jeans. Or take a tip from James Dean who wore a Harrington Jacket in the classic Rebel Without A Cause. Pair your summer staple with washed denim jeans and plain white tee. You could even keep it sharp in plain grey trousers, an Oxford shirt and brogues. Adopt your own Harrington style and use it to cover up on those chilly days.
3. The Bomber Jacket
Versatile, easy-to-wear and ubiquitously stylish, make a lightweight Bomber Jacket part of your summer inventory. It may come from military roots but there’s nothing uniform about this season’s classic Bombers. Wear casually thrown over a pair of black jeans and plain tee or team with a smart white shirt and formal trousers. Don’t worry about the variations of the Bomber, as long as you stick to the boxy silhouette, you’ll be able to wear it now or on those warmer winter days. Choose a muted shade such as black, burgundy, navy or stone to go with just about anything in your wardrobe. And if you want extra protection in the rain, chose a shower resistant Bomber and don’t let the drizzle get you down.
Chances are you’re heading to foreign shores this summer, so ensure it’s a faff-free one by making use of the range of apps available on your mobile phone. From helping you create the ultimate packing list to instantly translating text, here are 5 Apps to help you on your holiday.
1. Packing Pro (available on iOS), £2.29
If you leave everything to the last minute or simply need something to guide your packing choices (see also 10 Essentials For A Week Away), download Packing Pro on your iPhone or iPad. Simply select from the huge catalogue of over 800 items organised into categories such as essentials, clothes and accessories, to create a to-do list, which you can then check off as you pack. you can also use the app to estimate helpful information such as the total weight (always useful) plus share your list with friends and family (and perhaps share the load).
2. Tripit (available on iOS and Android), Free or $4.09 a month charge
Instead of searching through endless pieces of scrappy pieces of paper for your plane tickets, hotel reservations and any other holiday-related admin, store it all in one place – the Tripit app. No nonsense and easy-to-navigate, the free version allows you to organise your travel plans and share them with your party. Upgrade to the Pro version (first month free, followed by a $4.09 a month) and you’ll also receive real-time flight alerts, the ability to locate alternative flight plus a bunch of other useful stuff.
3. Google Translate app (available on iOS and Android), Free
Forget ridiculous arm gestures and pointing furiously at the menu to order your food, if you want to communicate when abroad download Google Translate. Available in up to 90 languages, Google Translate helps you get the message across succinctly and accurately. Plus you can now use your camera to translate English to (and from) French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Russian and Spanish. Simply point at the text on the page, click and voila, this handy app will translate for you.
4. XE Currency (available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone), Free
It’s always good to have an accurate track of your spending on holiday, even if the majority of your budget does go on that local beer you’ve developed a taste for. Free, easy-to-use and totally on the ball – XE Currency uses live currency rates – this is probably the best currency exchange app on the market. Don’t leave home without it.
5. Sunscreen (available on iOS), Free
Lobster on a plate, tasty. The lobster look, not so great. Avoid this scenario by slapping on the sunscreen, a hat, covering your arms with a shirt when the sun’s at its strongest and downloading the nifty sunscreen app. Not only will it use your current location to detect the UVI rating, the sunscreen app also includes a countdown timer that will alert you when you next need to apply sunscreen. Just provide your skin type and SPF factor then Sunscreen will do all the hard work for you.
The devil is in the detail…And when it comes to style essentials, accessories can be just as important as staples and can instantly update your outfit without costing the earth. Not too sure where to start? Here are the 5 key accessories your wardrobe shouldn’t be without.
Whether you have to dress formally on a daily basis or are heading to a special occasion or wedding, the tie is a must-have accessory. And remember, the bigger variety of ties you own the better. If you do fall into the bracket of having to wear a tie to work every day, ensure you have a selection of plain to more colourful styles. Style up an everyday shirt or suit with a tie. As a rule of thumb, always have at least two plain ties for those more formal occasions and one printed tie, just in case you’re feeling a little more daring on the day.
No longer just worn to hold up your trousers, through time the belt has become one of the biggest style statements. It can tell a lot about your personality and what you’re into. So choose a belt that will tie together your whole outfit, whether that be casual, formal or novelty (think coloured, studded, beaded or snakeskin). A plain leather belt in the shade of black or brown is a good place to start. Perfect for when you need to sharpen up a suit or add a polished finish to any smart casual outfit. To have more options and create your own signature style, invest in different shades of brown, navy or even experiment with woven belts which can also look very sophisticated.
Is your wallet looking a little worn out? You’re not alone. Most men go for years without replacing their old faithful wallet or clearing out a cluttered one. If it’s time for an upgrade, choose a classic style with enough compartments to store your cards and your cash. Not a fan of a bulky wallet? Opt for a card holder, which can be stylish, convenient and slip easily into your jean or trouser pocket.
You may not use a holdall everyday but it’s definitely a handy piece of kit to have in your wardrobe. Not only will it come in use on a weekend away but you could take it as hand luggage on a plane or even replace your old gym bag. Invest in a strong and stylish holdall and you won’t need to buy a new one for years plus you’re guaranteed to look good carrying it.
These everyday essentials are more important than you think. While you may want to play safe in a pair black or white socks, you could look way more stylish in colour. Men have become even more confident when it comes to coloured socks. Why not pair your timeless suit or smart casual clothing with a pair of coloured socks to add personality? Make sure you have a range of stylish socks in your wardrobe and your shoes will never be bored again.
All hail the humble t-shirt. Available in just about every colour under the sun, the t-shirt is a wonderfully reassuring piece of kit. Every man owns at least one if not 10 of them and tends to stock up on them in bulk. Whether worn effortlessly with jeans or layered under a blazer, the faithful tee will not let you down.
That being said, choosing the right tee is not as easy as it first sounds because there are so many different styles. Crew neck, v-neck, slim fit or loose, with so many options on offer how do you make the right decision? Well, we’ve kicked off a guide to show you how to wear your t-shirts with our first blog post focused on the crew neck and v-neck.
Crew Neck T-shirts
As sported by Hollywood icons James Dean and Marlon Brando, the white crew neck t-shirt has become synonymous with style. And some would say there’s nothing better than a simple white t-shirt teamed with a pair of blue denim jeans. The term “Crew neck” actually comes from the shirt styles worn by crew or oarsman working on the boats.
Versatile and effortless, you can wear your crew neck as a layer under a suit or crew neck jumper. It’s the perfect choice for weekends or for those off-duty days. Pair with a bomber for an evening down the pub or even under a blazer if you can get away with it for work.
The crew neck can work particularly well if you are slight or have sloping shoulders as the shape draws the eye to the top part of your body creating the illusion of squarer shoulders. You’ll appear instantly broader and better proportioned.
Unless you’re completely comfortable with the plunging v-neck and showing off your chest, it’s probably best to avoid it. Instead, opt for a classic V-shape that can straddle the balance between smart casual. Pair with your blazer and smart trousers as an alternative to a shirt or wear simply with casual bottoms.
The V-neck is a great shape for shorter or stockier men and can help balance out wider face types and the shape does a great job of framing your face.
Finally, as a rule of thumb, match the necklines of your layers. Going for a crew neck jumper, wear a crew neck tee underneath. Throwing on a shawl collar cardigan? Team with a v-neck t-shirt.
From craft beers to good old fashioned real ale, there’s never been a better time for beer so take the opportunity to ponder over that question you’ve often asked yourself when standing in a beer garden on a hot summer’s day: why do pubs use different glasses for different brews?
You may well think it’s all some ploy dreamed up by some brewery’s marketing team. And to some degree, it is. But beer glasses are designed to enhance the colour, aroma and taste as well as help develop a good head. Yes, that’s right, glasses are crafted to make the most of your favourite brews.
So what if you want to make the most of your latest microbrewed cold one at home? What glass should you choose? What even are the different beer glasses called? Well, we asked our pals at Beers of Europe to give us a brief guide to glasswear to help answer some of those important questions. Here goes:
Best suited to: American wheat beers, Weizenbock, Kristalweizen, Dunkelweizen.
Silhouette: Usually a tall glass which is narrow at the bottom and wider at the top.
How it improves your brew: The shape allows aroma to escape and leaves room for a thick head.
Best suited to: American Barleywine, American strong ales, Fruit Lambics, Belgian dark ales
Silhouette: Similar to the balloon shape of a brandy glass.
Why drink out of a Snifter? Use a snifter to enhance the aroma and retain a good head on your ale. To get an extra kick of aroma, swirl your beer around the glass.
Best suited to: Dubbels, Tripels, Belgian IPAs.
Silhouette: Thick stemmed with a wider body.
Why drink out of a Goblet? The Goblet is designed to maintain head and keep your beer fizzy.
Best suited to: Pilsner, Porter, Bitter, Lager, Stout.
Silhouette: Round, squat and thick in shape.
Why drink out of a Stein? You hold this traditional and iconic (think Oktoberfest and beer festivals) glass by its handle so your hands don’t warm up your brew. Crafted from either glass or stonewear, the Stein can hold up to a litre of beer which means fewer trips to the bar.
Best suited to: Gueze, Lager, Pilsner.
Silhouette: Resembles a champagne glass with a shorter stem.
Why drink out of a Flute? The elegant shape of the Flute showcases the colour and enhances carbonation.
Best suited to: Pilsner (pretty obvious huh?)
Silhouette: A tall, thin glass which tapers at the bottom.
Why drink out of a Pilsner? The shape means you can see the colour and light carbonation of the lager as it fizzes to the top. You can also retain a good head on your lager, trapping in the hoppy aromas.
Best suited to: Stout, Bitter, Mild ale, Porter.
Silhouette: One of the most common shapes around, the pint glass is wider at the top.
Why drink out of a Pint glass? The Pint glass is versatile and allows a good head to form.
Best suited to: Imperial IPAs, American Dubbel, Barleywines
Silhouette: The clue is in the name – a bulbous body with top that flares out.
Why drink out of a Tulip glass? The shape helps to trap aroma and maintain head retention.