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How to care for your summer whites

White  linen shirts, cricket whites, a simple cotton white tee, it goes without saying that white is a key summer shade. And as the temperature rises, you’ll want to swap those darker colours for lighter shades. Not only will you be more in tune with the season but white reflects the heat away from your body, keeping you cooler and less sweaty.

White shirt

The only problem with the colour white is its tendency to a) show up any mishaps or spillages in terms of food, alcohol, grease from your bike etc. and b) become slightly dingy after one two many washes. How many times have you pulled out your favourite white polo from the back of your wardrobe only to find it’s less than Wimbledon-ready? Those cuffs and collar of your favourite formal white shirt are now tinged with what a DIY paint store would call off-white  (yep, yellow). As for that essential white tee, well, it will now make a great buffer when cleaning your car.

white shirt cuffs

Let’s face it, keeping your whites bright is tricky business. While we may not have all the answers / be able to stop the occasional spillage, we do have a few how to care for your whites tips:

Wash whites separately 

As anyone who has had a white shirt turned pink will tell you, red socks and whites do not mix well in the washing machine.  Not only can colour transfer occur but contact with black, greys and bolder colours will make your whites appear dingier. White clothing is also more likely to pick up fluff from darker coloured items when washed together so keep them separate to keep them looking clean.

Turn up the heat

Check the fabric beforehand to ensure it can handle the heat but try and wash your whites at as high a temperature as possible. This will remove any germs or heavy soil and help keep your whites bright.

Stain reaction

Try as you might to avoid them, accidents will happen and we bet you’ll be wearing a bright white shirt when they do. Take action quickly to achieve the best results. The sooner you spot a stain and start to remove it, the more effective you will be. Don’t wait for it to dry into the fabric nor use abrasive rubbing action to shift it as this can embed it further and ruin the fabric. Instead dab at the stain to minimise it spreading further.

Only wear them once

The best place for that white shirt you wore yesterday is the washing basket. Wear it again and you’ll risk turning the cuffs, underarms and collar yellow, thanks to your own body oils.

Boost with brighteners

Take advantage of the new advances in laundry care and choose a whitening product or washing powder with brightener added. Or you could always go old school and try lemon juice or white vinegar. One of the best ways to remove yellow stains is good old fashioned bleach, although use only as a last resort as you could risk damaging the fabric of your favourite white shirt. If the weather plays ball, dry your whites in the sunshine as ultraviolet rays can have a brightening effect.

Well rinsed 

Make sure you rinse your whites well to thoroughly remove any grime. Take extra precaution by keeping your load light and leaving room in the machine so your whites can move around freely. Make sure you clean your washing machine every so often to remove the risk of any dirt being transferred to your whites. Yes, it’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it, and it’ll prevent any marks from appearing on your favourite pieces of white clothing.

Update your whites with a new shirt

How to dress smart in warm weather

 

 

 

 

 

 

Men’s Sunglasses to Suit Your Face Shape

We’ve had a week of fantastic weather which can only mean one thing: it’s time to invest in a new pair of sunglasses. Obligatory for your summer holiday and just plain nice to have for a sunny weekend in a pub beer garden, a decent pair of sunnies should be on hand all summer long. We’ve applied a bit of science on how to pick the perfect pair of sunglasses to suit your face. Just pick the face shape that most resembles yours and scroll down to find the most complimentary pair for your face shape.

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Heart

clubmaster

Your face is wider at the hairline and thinner at the jaw. You should go for a pair of Clubmaster sunglasses as they have a small, neat frame at the same time as being fairly rectangular. The good thing is the angles are softened slightly so aren’t as harsh looking as some frames, whilst still doing a great job of balancing out your more pointed chin. These are a retro frame and really look best worn with a classic 50s inspired look of a neat polo or oxford shirt with simple chinos and boat shoes or loafers.

Square

Aviator

You have s strong jaw line and wide cheekbones too. You’re really going to suit a pair of aviator style frames, or anything that is soft and rounded, nothing with harsh angular lines as this will accentuate the hard lines of your face shape. If you’ve got large, masculine features then go as big as you like on the frame, but if they are more refined and neat then watch out for choosing a frame too large as it will overwhelm your features.

Oval

keyhole

Lucky you. The ideal face shape, any sunglasses will technically suit your face so it’s all down to your personal preference. Might we suggest a pair anyway? These keyhole style sunglasses are a classic shape, subtle and not too ‘shouty’ but with just the right level of detailing that makes them a cut above.

Round

wayfarer

If you’ve got a round face shape with fuller cheeks and a softer all over shape then a wayfarer is the style for you. They’re nice and angular which is a complimentary contrast to your face shape. Choose a pair that extend out just slightly wider than your face to elongate it slightly and give the illusion that your temples are higher too. This is a timeless shape which goes with almost everything. If you’re wearing them with a black suit by no means pull on a trilby too. Think Reservoir Dogs NOT Blues Brothers.

 

Shop all our men’s sunglasses now.

Wimbledon, Henley Regatta, The Ashes…what to wear to this season’s sporting events 2015

Embrace the sporting season with an outfit that you can wear at centre court, down the pub or to watch the action on one of the big screens at venues across the country.

Whether you’re lucky enough to have Wimbledon tickets or are making a day of it at the Henley Regatta, prep your kit to ensure you look the part at some of the season’s top sporting events.

We’ve put together a guide to dressing for this season’s key sporting events so even if you don’t get the results you want at least you’ll score in the style stakes.

Sporting summer look

Our picks

When it comes to summer sporty events, think smart, practical and something you’ll feel comfortable in whatever the weather. And you couldn’t get more Wimbledon than the perenial polo shirt. Remember it’s not just at the famous tennis event that you can team this summer staple with chino shorts or chinos to look smart and feel comfortable. Wear to a day at the Henley Regatta with a pair of brown leather boat shoes to sharpen up your style.

As for accessories, don’t forget your sunglasses as no one likes having to squint during those crucial sporting moments. A timeless Trilby-style hat may also be worth taking for when the weather decides to play ball. When the heavens open and the weather decides to be as unpredictable as the game, you can always layer up in a lightweight jacket such as the Harrington. Lastly, you’ll want a bag to carry all your essentials including water and sun cream. ​

For more inspiration, read our Relaxed Smarts feature

Our top tips on how to look smart in the summer

What is an Oxford Shirt?

A classic staple for many years, you’ve probably worn one or two Oxford shirts in your time. After all, the Oxford shirt straddles the smart/casual line making it a worthwhile addition to your all-year-round wardrobe.

If you don’t own an Oxford shirt, there are many reasons why you should. Not only is it easy-to-wear, you won’t feel out of place wearing one to the pub or office. But what is it really that makes the ‘Oxford’ such a versatile piece of kit? And does it actually have links to the University town of Oxford?

Below we answer some of the key questions about the Oxford shirt as you never know when info like this may come in handy (pub quiz anyone?).

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What is an Oxford shirt?

Let’s kick off with the name – it has nothing to do with the type of shirt and, shock horror, the shirt wasn’t even made in Oxford. In fact, the Oxford shirt is so-called because it is constructed from a fabric using a unique basket weave, which originated from Scotland in the 19th century. The story goes that a Scottish mill named four fabrics after the four famous institutions: Cambridge, Yale, Harvard and most importantly Oxford (hence the name). What started off as a long sleeve shirt worn by polo players during their matches is today worn for a preppy and smart casual style.

 

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What is the difference between an Oxford Shirt and a Formal shirt?

Back in the 19th century formal shirts were quite expensive and as the cheaper and more versatile alternative for the rising middle-classes, the Oxford shirt had its time to shine. While the original version also had detachable cuffs and collar, the main difference today is down to the fabric. Classic formal shirts are usually made from cotton or polyester which is a “fine” material that tends to be more resistant to wrinkles compared to the Oxford cloth which is thicker making it that bit more casual.

 

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What can I wear it with?

The best thing about the Oxford shirt is that it is very versatile and easy to wear. This core piece can be easily mixed and matched with other items to create a smart or casual look. If you’re going for the latter – simply pair with jeans or shorts and a stylish pair of shoes such as boat shoes or loafers. Take advantage of the warmer weather in a short sleeve Oxford shirt or roll the sleeves up for a much relaxed look. Want to look sharp at the weekend? Simply pair your Oxford shirt with chinos, stylish brogues, a blazer and add a knitted tie for an extra smart touch.

Shop All Oxford Shirts Now

5 Outdoor Games To Play With Your Mates

When the sun is out and the beers are on ice, there’s nothing better than an afternoon spent outside with your mates putting the world to rights.

So why not head to the local beer garden, park or anywhere with adequate outdoor space (we’re talking enough room for a 5-a-side footie match) and organise an outdoor game with friends. And if you’re stuck for ideas, check out our picks of 5 outdoor games to play with your mates. They’re all relatively faff-free to organise plus you’ll get potential bragging rights if your team wins.

1. Five-a-side Football

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As long as you have bottles or clothing for the goals, a football and enough players, you can have hours of entertainment (or 45 minutes at least) trying to emulate your footie heroes. Who cares that you never made your lifelong dream of playing at Wembley, you can still have your moment of glory in the sunshine. Showcase your tackling skills, chip the ball up the line and score a hat trick in the ever-popular ball game this summer.

2. Touch Rugby

Touch-Rugby-600

With Johnny Wilkinson sphearheading a countrywide tour of Touch Rugby up and down the country, we’re sure to see a surge in take-up of the game. Check www.in2touch.com/england for information on local tournaments with your mates if you fancy a challenge. Not quite sure what Touch Rugby is? Well, essentially it’s a lighter version of the game. Instead of going in for a physical tackle, you touch your opponents on the hands, body or ball to win play. It’s fast, furious and a great alternative to footie plus you can have up to six players per side, which means no having to hang around on the sidelines.

3. Rounders

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Hands up if you can remember the rules of this classic school game. We think that as long as you remember the basics then it really shouldn’t matter. In short, the pitch consists of four posts that a batter has to run around (normally placed in a diamond shape), you get one chance to hit the ball then you have to run, you can’t stay at the same post as the next batter and you score a rounder if you manage to reach the fourth post in one hit (a half rounder if you haven’t hit the ball). With up to 15 players per team, this is definitely one for a party in the park. You’ll need a rounder’s bat and ball, a few jumpers for the stumps and light refreshments then spend your afternoon clocking up the numbers.

4. Ultimate Frisbee

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Test out your Frisbee skills (or lack of ‘em) and see if you can score a point in this team game of seven players. The pitch is divided into three sections: two zones at either end with a much larger middle zone sandwiched in between. Each team starts at opposite ends of the pitch with the aim of getting the disc into the opposite zone to score. Once the disc is in play, it can only be moved by passing so the player has to stay stationary or pivot on one foot. This is probably all you need to know for a game in the park of what The Guardian called ‘the most aerobic team sport’. No pressure there then.

5. Giant Beer Pong

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Think Beer Pong only bigger and better. You’ll need six buckets or dustbins and a volleyball to play this adaption of the popular drinking game from the States. It works on exactly the same principles – you want the ball to land in one of the buckets. Whether you choose to drink when you complete the challenge is entirely up to you but you could always keep a tally of who has the best aim and treat them to a mucky pint at the end of it all.

Top tip: If you’re heading to the post, keep it casual in a pair of jogger shorts, printed tee and plimsolls.