For some of us, cis and trans, No-Shave November was another month of patchy hair and itchy faces. Before sitting down to write this article, we decided to do some research about why it comes in in patches and what you can do to help it grow. Our research resulted in the basics - Take your vitamins, keep your face clean and of course, testosterone. For those of us in the patchy category, the good news is that those kinds of things change. Where you were once bald, beard-wise may not always be the case. As your body develops on your new hormone, your hair follicles in more and more places will kickstart into action. What should also be mentioned here though, is that it has a lot to do with genetics as well. If none of he cismen in your family can grow a decent face coat, chances are you won't be sprouting one.
Now that we've talked about the hows and the whys, lets welcome in December by shaving it off.
The Trim: If this year was a hairy one, it might be beneficial to you to give it a little trim first. If anyone can remember shaving their legs once upon a time, we'd remember that the longer we'd waited, the more bic razors we plowed through. Same thing. Grab your hair clips, electric razor or even just a set of scissors and be careful. After this step, if you're digging the 5 o'clock shadow… Stop there.
The Prep: If we're ready to move on, we would suggest hopping in the shower or washing your face with warm water and applying a warm wet towel to your face for a couple of minutes. Both of these soften your facial hair and make it easier to get a closer shave. Never shave cold and dry unless you're into razor burn and skin irritation! A trick to getting them to stand up more is to wet your hands with cold water and touch the back of your neck. Anything to give you some goosebumps!
Fun fact: In the animal kingdom, animals get goosebumps to trap cold air under their fur and warm it with their body heat to keep their bodies warm. This is why your hair stands up when you get colder.
The Lather: "The primary function of the shaving cream is to lubricate your face so that the
razor will glide smoothly and effortlessly across the surface" - m
en-uusa.com. What we're looking for here is a creamy consistency, whether you use gel, cream or balm. A shaving brush is always a good idea and it makes you look and feel super fancy! When using a brush, a circular motion against the grain will raise the hair away from your face and make it ready to be cut.
The Razor: Before you put that thing to your face… Look at it. How do the blades look? Are their clumps of old hair in between them? Is the moisture strip dried out? If you said yes or made a nasty face at it, change it or get a new one. Replacement blades can be expensive, if you or your family has a Wholesalers club membership it might be better to get them in bulk.
(If you've took our advice and changed the blade, make sure you remember that. Go easy on your face and be careful because it's sharp!)
Ideally, at this point we are lathered up, razor in hand and ready for December. Some things to think about quick are: Do I want it all gone? Should I see what I look like with a mustache, so that if it looks awful I can just keep shaving? Where do I want my sideburns to stop?
The Shave: When we say "with the grain" we're talking about the direction your hair is growing. This is the way to shave if you're looking to avoid ingrown hairs and red bumps. Start from the top (by your sideburns) and shave down and into the center of your face. Of course by preference you can start and stop anywhere you'd like. When you tackle your neck beard, switch around and shave up toward your chin for a closer shave and less potential irritation.
The Rinse: Warm water all the way through… Presoak your face in warm water, rinse your blade in warm water and rinse your face in warm water. Many sites we've been to for research have recommended washing your face after with a product with tea tree oil or witch hazel to stop irritation, break outs, followed by the ever popular and effective - aftershave.
Something to think about: Everyone has hair on their face. The difference is the thickness/color and the length. If you're looking to appear more masculine, it would be a good idea to shave the peach fuzz. It also can be very gender affirming to just perform the task of a morning shave. Just consider that if there isn't a lot of hair, you run the risk of causing yourself some razor burn.
With that said, happy clear cutting! And welcome to December.
Measuring and Sizing
Dress shirts have two measurements: your neck size and the length of the sleeves. Getting the sleeve length measurement is crucial because having sleeves that hang over your hands or even down to your fingers is the quickest way to de-age yourself. My mum, who’s a seamstress for my alma mater’s theatre ensemble, says nothing makes young men look like pre-teens than too-long sleeves. I’m inclined to believe her wisdom so be sure you’re measuring carefully!
Sleeves: To measure your sleeve length, have someone measure one of your arms with it hanging straight at your side. Measure from the center back of your neck, over the top of your shoulder and down to your wrist. You can also split these two measurements to get a more accurate number; measure the length from the middle of the upper back to the stitching located at the shoulder of the shirt and then measure the length from the top stitching on the shoulder to the bottom of the wrist before adding the two values together and dividing to find the average. You should get a value between 32 and 37 inches.
Neck: Measure around your neck just below your Adam’s apple, or whichever part of your neck has the most width. Now, this is the actual neck size but dress shirts add half an inch for comfort so you can go ahead and do that. This new number will be your neck size. It will most likely fall within the range of 14-19 inches.
Have these two numbers memorized when you go dress shirt shopping and finding your right size will be simple. You’re always welcome to try different neck and sleeve sizes to see which combination creates your desired effect.
In the event that the shirts you’re looking at have generic sizing instead of measurements, here’s a chart of what each “size” entails
14 – 14 ½
15 – 15 ½
16 – 16 ½
17 – 17 ½
18 – 18 ½
The fit of a shirt is an important as any other aspect. It doesn’t matter if you have the perfect measurement, if the shirt doesn’t suit your body it won’t look as good as you deserve.
There are three basic types of fits: Athletic or Slim, Regular, and Full
Athletic/Slim is well tailored and suited best for slighter builds – it’s the narrowest of men’s dress shirts.
Regular is your typical fit, a little looser than the athletic fit. If a men's dress shirt doesn't have a fit listed, you can assume it is regular fit.
Full is the loosest of all dress shirt fits, this is appropriate for people of a larger stature. Full-fitting men's dress shirts are also usually a little longer.
I find that regular fit shirts have too much fabric around the waist area for me but that the slim fit is too narrow around the chest so I often compromise based on the collar, fabric, and value of the shirt. Each designer and company will tailor their fits differently so be sure to try them on if possible before making a decision.
Matching and Ties
Ties aren’t a necessity with a dress shirt – often times, a bare dress shirt can create great contrast – but formalwear generally dictates a tie to accompany a shirt. This is where your creativity and personality can come out. There are a few important things to remember about ties:
Something that a lot of people overlook when picking out a dress shirt is the collar. It’s one of the most essential pieces of the overall aesthetic of the shirt, as it is the part that frames your face. The collar should fit the shape of your face or at best be in proportion to your face and look good under your chin (if the collar is coming up to your chin and cutting off your neck entirely, you need to try a different collar shape).
Straight Point collars are a V-shaped collar that suit most face shapes and are very popular in formal wear at the moment. Most likely if you own a dress shirt it has a straight point collar.
Tab collars have a higher and smaller spread, which works great for gentlemen with longer necks.
Spread collars are cut to form a longer, wider angle, spreading out and away, unlike those of a standard collar. This kind of collar gives the impression of slimming and compliments round-shaped faces.
Button Down collars tend to come on more casual shirts, such as an Oxford shirt. It is generally fashioned from softer fabric and pressed with a smaller amount of starch to increase the casual look and feel of the shirt. The collars are looser so they hang away from your neck and chin, complimenting almost every type of face shape. Button-down collared shirts are great for summer gatherings.
It’s important to try out various types of collars, the one’s I’ve listed above are nowhere near exhaustive, and figure out which ones work best for you. The collar shape can make or break how a dress shirt frames you.
Cuffs and What to Do With Those Pesky Sleeves
Firstly, the three major types of cuffs you will encounter on your dress shirt adventures: Barrel, French/Double, and Convertible
Barrel cuffs are the most typical and also known as a button cuff because they close with at least one button, and possibly more than one. If there are multiple buttons, these can be used to adjust the fit.
French/Double cuffs have fabric that is long and folds back. These are closed with a cufflink or silk knot. French cuffs are generally seen to be much more formal than barrel cuffs so you don’t need to whip these out for just any occasion.
Convertible cuffs can be closed with either buttons or cufflinks.
If you’re in a situation where you can roll up your sleeves (literally), I’m all for it. While rolling up the sleeves on a dress shirt detracts from the overall formal appearance of your attire, a rolled sleeve often times makes your forearms appear much more masculine than when they are covered.
Rolling up the sleeves is also a good way to detract attention from an ill-fitting shirt. If your sleeves are too long (as mentioned above in Measuring and Sizing), the easiest way to hide that is to push them up your arms. Experiment with rolling length; most style guides recommend two or three rolls but it depends on the fabric, actual sleeve length, and occasion. Use your best judgment.
Most upscale formal dress shirts (like those for tuxedos) won’t have any pockets but lots of everyday dress shirts do. Pay attention to placement! Shirts with two chest pockets are considered to be less formal. In addition, dress shirts with button-down collars are more likely to have a chest pocket. Shirts worn with a vest (or with suspenders) should not have pockets so that your chest does not appear bulky. This is especially important to remember if you’re binding under your dress shirt and want to maintain the illusion of a flatter chest.
A Word on Binding
Working around binding is stressful under any fashion circumstance but can be another situation entirely when it comes to dress shirts. Because lots of dress shirts are made of thin, almost translucent, materials and colors it is important to know what can and can’t be seen through them. Try your new dress shirt on at home before wearing it out on the town to check if your binder is visible underneath. If you find that the outline and color of your binder is showing through the shirt (this often happens with white or other light colored cotton dress shirts) try putting a white undershirt (v-neck, crew, or a-shirt is completely your call) underneath to cover up the binder. Having the outline of a short-sleeved undershirt is totally acceptable, as most men (and women) wear some sort of undergarment with their dress shirt.
Dressing up should be cool and enjoyable so don’t get burdened down with all of these details and tips! Use them at your own discretion and have fun playing around with different styles, color combinations, and fabrics. Remember that light colors and fabrics like twill, linen, and cotton are perfect for summer so you can dress to impress until Labor Day (when you’ll sadly be forced to retire those all-white pants).
Being virile young men, we are somewhat expected to be reckless in our nature. Perhaps we don’t think everything through before we do it. Or maybe we do things in excess. But if there’s something a well-dressed young man who at least looks put together can do, it’s get away with most anything he desires.
There are, however, universal rules. While we individually may not be guilty of these infractions, we collectively as young men have experienced them. This goes beyond wearing socks with sandals, gentlemen.
The golden rule. There’s too big, too small, and just right. If a man was to wear clothes too big for him, it looks sloppy. And because I assume none of us are looking to be in a Cash Money Records music video, it just doesn’t make sense. The same can be said of wearing clothes too small. I hope all of us are finished with scream-o band T-shirts and lip rings, because no woman can take us seriously if we’re pulling at everything we have on just so we have enough room to breathe. Plus, it’s hard to have a conversation when you’re trying not to stare at how tight someone’s pants are.
There are times when a hat is necessary: when it’s sunny, when it’s cold, when you’re a NASCAR driver or Indiana Jones, and when you go back in time to the ’40s and ’50s. Other than that, wearing a hat is mostly useless and, honestly, tasteless. Unless you’re hiding a bad haircut or something incriminating, being a young man and wearing a hat immediately screams unnecessary. And by that, I mean the guys who wear flat-billed, backward hats with sunglasses on. This in itself is a paradox. Now, as a Twins fan—well, a Kirby Puckett fan, mostly—I did enjoy my time with my Twins hat. But you don’t want to be the guy whose hair flares out where the hat ends even if he isn’t wearing the damn thing. It’s not a hard thing to learn: wear a hat when it’s sunny out. With purpose.
Aside from Alan Rickman in the original “Die Hard,” I’ve never seen anyone able to specifically point out the maker or brand name of a solid garment. Although this is something about fashion mistakes of times long past, the gut-wrenching explosion of both Ed Hardy and Affliction has prompted me to take into account two things: Not a lot of people are MMA fighters. Not a lot of people are tattoo artists, either. But, from what’s impossible not to see, a lot of guys want to be. Wearing a shirt with a huge design or brand name logo on it distracts people from what you want them to see—your smiling, beautiful face.
All right, look. I love The Rock and Stone Cold as much as you do. But there comes a time when a man must draw the line. Those YouTube highlight videos are all that’s left. We must move on, sadly. For those shirts featuring still-prominent figures, it’s the same as the logo. You don’t want to be remembered by someone as, “You know, what’s his name? That guy with the Young Jeezy shirt.”
It’s important to stress this point. Hosiery is an oft-neglected part of a man’s wardrobe. It is, however, a medium to express yourself—for better or worse. Although it has been explained in detail—and something you should know already—do not, I repeat, do not wear athletic socks with anything but an athletic get-up. There are certain implications of a man who wears ankle socks or white tube socks with nice shoes. Socks are socks, sure, but, as with most things we wear, there are times and places for everything. And it’s not when you’re wearing a suit.
It’s like putting a bow tie on a trash bin. Wearing a wrinkled shirt—and this doesn’t apply to the whole “distressed” thing I never understood—is instantly a cue that you’re wearing something only because you have to. Every man should know how to iron a shirt. The point is, if you wear a wrinkled shirt to an interview or a date or something where you are being at least partially judged by the way you look, go the extra mile. Not even. Hell, go the extra inch, and iron your shirt. Even if you don’t think you need to, do it. A shirt always looks more dignified freshly ironed or pressed.
It’s cool in a sort of hot-rod kind of way. But, unless you’re Ricky from “Trailer Park Boys,” those short-sleeved button-up shirts with the flames, dice and skulls on it are just synonymous with being a d-bag. And just to show how, how should I say, “versatile,” those Ed Hardy shirts are, I would put them into this category, too, although they’re not technically embellished. So, unless you’re looking to go out as a character from a certain shore from a certain state this Halloween, it’s best if we all join forces to finally deep-six these obscenities for good.
I remember long, long ago when a game called “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater” came out, there was an option to wear a slim-fitting suit with sneakers as an outfit. Now, this was a shameful, shameful part of my past, so I thought, “Man, that’s really stickin’ it to those Wall Street suits.” Luckily, I’ve since shed that mentality and have actually adopted the nickname Wall Street. Funny how that worked out. Anyway, stick with this adage, gents: Your hair tells people how you want to be perceived, but your shoes show how you actually are.
You’re ripped. It’s hot outside. Too hot for anything with sleeves and not ribbed. However, wearing the ole ‘beater outside, regardless of the weather and how ripped you are, makes everyone uncomfortable. People may think “Did… did he just forget to put a shirt on over that?” And while you may be the talk of the town for your free tickets to the gun show, wearing a tank top while not in the gym or before you put on another shirt should very well be counted as public indecency. Four words, men: Think about the children.
This final part may be somewhat bias. I met someone, a person who couldn’t have been more than two years younger than I was, who called me a suit. A suit. Of course, he was wearing girl pants, a beanie when it was at least 65 degrees outside, a lip ring and a V-neck shirt at least two sizes too small. The modern-day hipster has destroyed so much of what we’ve worked so damn hard to achieve. Hipsters have a funny thing about them. They can take things like the V-neck, which, if worn properly, is always a good basic addition, and wrong them. Burn it with fire and dance on the ashes.
- Primer Magazine (Source)
These articles brought to you by Primer Magazine.
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In the binary world, there are many things that females do when they're getting dressed up. From make up, heels, dresses, hair, jewelry and everything underneath, it can be a rather remarkable finished production. To mirror that, there are simple rules to male and masculine fashion that should always be followed. Always.
In this article we'll give you the basics to build off of later, the building blocks that will get you looking like a self made man of any kind.
Lets do this head to toe.
There was a commercial that was run for Axe hair products that made it look like he had jumped into the ocean, come back up with fish stick through his spikes. This kind of pointy, hard hair is actually because his hair was styled while it was dry. The best time to add product to your hair is after it's been towel dried. Still slightly damp, put the product into your hands, rub it together so it's looser and evenly coating your fingers so no clumps are focused in one area. Work it throughout your whole head and then get dressed, let it dry before you try to sculpt it into that perfect 'do'. For this, and for life, we recommend not using those big bottles of LA looks gel with the bubbles in it. Those are guaranteed not only to leave those hard spikes no matter what, but also to flake off once it's dried and cause you to look like you've got a serious case of dry scalp.
Moving down, there has been this awful rumor going around that to pass as male one needs to have a unibrow. There really isn't anything to say about this other than it's not true.
Buying the right button up - is all about measurements. First, hold your arm straight out, then bend at the elbow in toward you, all at about 90 degrees. Take a tape measurer or piece of rope and then measure with a ruler from the center of your back (you may need help) down the back of your arm, across your forearm to your wrist. That number is the size of your shirts. Add the measurement from around your neck and you've got your shirt size. For example - 32-33 / 15 is 32 inches from your back to your wrist, and 15 inches around your neck. This is typically a small. Next you've got fits... Wide, Regular, Slim, Fitted. In that order from widest to thinnest. The best way to find out which is for you, is to simply try them on. (Additionally, paying attention to the points of your collar is important as well. longer points make your face look longer, etc).
Quick tie tip: The tip of your tie should hang halfway down the width of your belt.
Quick belt tip: You should always wear a belt.
There are many little tips and tricks to dressing, and when it comes to personalized style most of these tricks can be carried throughout the genres. Whether it's a metal studded belt, or a black to brown reversible. Whether it's a bright pink tie, or argyle it should hang the same length. However, when it comes to simple things that work, a watch should never be underestimated. A buddy of mine used to wear one that didn't even work because he knew this. An accessory, specially when trying to attract the attention of a potential significant other is a way of saying, not only can I take care of myself... But I can treat myself to things. A classy, inexpensive watch can be bought at WalMart for around $10, we recommend a neutral silver or black band. Try it, watch our tips in action.
Lastly, and this is a quick trick... A banana peel can be used to shine dress shoes. Yes that's right, the inside of a banana peel, that white stuff no one eats, if you rub it on your shoes and then wipe it off it'll leave an all natural chemical free shine.
Now don't forget these basics.