Men’s Cosmetics: What I use

The world of men’s cosmetics can be a tricky minefield, so here is a little look at some of the everyday essentials I use…almost every day.



Wilkinson’s Sword: Shaving Soap and Brush

Nivea: Refreshingly Soft Moisturising Cream

Right Guard Xtreme Invisible Antiperspirant Deodorant

Beverly Hills White Black Formula Perfect Toothpaste

Loreal Paris: Studio Line Go Create Sculpting Spritz

BEMO: Premium Beard Oil


How To Wear Black Tie

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I’ve had a lot of formal things to go to over the last few weeks and and it seems to me that no one does black tie anymore, its all lounge suits and regular ties. Black tie is a dying thing. But if you ever thought of bringing it back here are few things that you should remember

  1. Black tie means black (with one or two exceptions). Black is elegant and chic and on most (not all) people is pretty slimming and whilst there has been a fashion for navy blue lately this really doesn’t work well in daylight, or environments where there is going to be a lot of light
  2. The Bow Tie and Lapel material should always match (as should a cummerbund). The only exception to this rule is if you are going for a velvet bow tie (which you should only really consider if you’re wearing a velvet jacket).
  3. Cummerbund vs Waistcoat: This debate has raged for decades, and while either is fine you should bear in mind a few things, waistcoats are hot, but cummerbunds are a little impractical if you have a little bit (or a lot of) a stomach.
  4. If your shirt has buttons on the cuff it is not a dress shirt, dress shirts require cufflinks and the buttons are either hidden or are replaced with studs, the point of black tie is to hide all practical points of clothing, buttons are either missing or covered.
  5. Wing collars, fashions change so don’t feel that you have to have a wing collar, but they do look good.
  6. Shoes should be black leather, whether they are patent leather or not is a personal choice, but it does add to look if they are.

I hope this has helped in some way or another, and you rock up to your next formal dressed to kill

What The Hell Is A Cummerbund Actually For?

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Men’s fashion is an ever changing thing. Actually that’s not true. Its very rare that you see something new in menswear, it is a very cyclical thing, for example skinny fit jeans were a thing in the 80’s and unfortunately have been back in style for the last few years. Another example is double breasted jackets, they come and they go and then suddenly a few years later they’re back.

One of the few unchanging things throughout the last hundred years has been black tie. Since it became popular in the 1920’s as a slightly less formal alternative to white tie, very little has changed except fastening (double or single breasted), lapel size, and material the only real change we saw was from waistcoats to cummerbunds, and this is one of those things that goes round and round and round, one year waistcoats are in fashion for black tie, and the next its cummerbunds.

Now as a gentleman with a fairly substantial gut I have been put off wearing a cummerbund as it seems like tying something around my waist would only extenuate this fact, but two weeks ago I gave in, faced my fear and bought my first cummerbund. Admittedly I only got it because I wanted the bow tie that it came with, it was a vintage (that is to say secondhand so therefore cheap) maroon velvet number from the 1970’s that came with a matching bow tie.


It did however make me think, what the hell is point of a cummerbund, they don’t offer any practicality like a waistcoat, but then neither do most of the fundamentals of black tie and men’s formal wear in general, in fact they’re designed to mask practicality. For example buttons on jackets and waistcoats will have a satin facing, shirt buttons are replaced by cuff links and shirt studs, and even trouser lining is covered with a satin stripe. So in that vain a cummerbund is designed to conceal the point where your trousers meet your shirt.

This is where cummerbunds differ from a lot of black tie, because it actually serves a purpose, the garment dates back to the British occupation of India, where the officers needed a cooler (temperature wise, not fashion wise) alternative to the waistcoat. Due to the massive temperature difference from the UK you could see why waistcoats wouldn’t work out too well, and the higher ranking Indian officials used to wear sashes at their waists so the British officers adopted them, and so by the end of the British Occupation of India in the 1950’s the trend has spread around the world.

As well as being a cooler alternative to the formal vest the cummerbund serves to hide the bunching that often occurs where you tuck your shirt in at the waist. And thanks to its pleated design acts as a crumb catcher when eating, thus avoiding any crumbs winding up on your trouser leg, and this is why the correct way to wear a cummerbund is with the pleats facing upward.

Possibly the most important feature, at least from my point of view, is that it makes men look a lot thinner, aesthetically it makes men look thinner and taller, but from my own experience I had it cinched so tight it was like some sort of velvet man girdle.

Now I don’t see them making a comeback for at least a few years, as waistcoats are most definitely “in” at the moment, but I have a few formal things coming over the summer months (a couple of weddings and most likely a few civic things as well) so I think I will be going with a cummerbund, at least until the summer is over.

Crimes Against Fashion That Should Be Tried At The Hague

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Knitted Ties


Ties are meant to be for business or for formal occasions, knitted says neither, it says my Nana made it for me. I mean a knitted jumper is ok, they’re at least functional, but the kitted tie is just ugly.

Baseball Caps

Baseball Cap

They just look stupid, I don’t know what it is about them that I don’t like so much, maybe its that most are festooned with some sort of advertising that you’ve been duped into paying to display, which is still advertising, even if they do call it merchandise.

V Neck T-Shirts


Nothing screams douche bag louder that a V neck tee. Why they’ve become so popular I don’t know, is it to show off that you get your chest waxed? Or is it to show that you go to the gym? Maybe its just because I’m stuck with the rugged (hairy) dad bod (surely that should be father figure?) that I don’t like them, but honestly I just want to hit people when they rock up somewhere in a low cut t-shirt and skinny jeans I mean seriously make some effort.

Male Uggs


They’re women’s shoes designed for little effort, need I say more.

Wicker Shoes 


These things are just hideous, and so impractical, they would last 1 minuet against the British elements, but at one point these were the height of fashion. Its like the mullet of menswear, you have to wonder why it was ever a thing. If anyone still owns a pair of these please dispose of them responsibly (don’t donate them to refugees, they have enough problems).



Chefs and doctors alike wear these because they don’t slip and apparently are comfortable as hell, but even so, No. Just No.

All of these are just a no. So don’t do it. Any of them.

The 20’s For The 21st Century

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I was watching an episode of Jeeves and Wooster earlier today, and aside from the sardonic wit and deadpan delivery of Jeeves, and the good natured ineptitude of Bertie, what I love most about the show is the fashion. The 1920’s in Britain were possibly the high point of the 20th century fashion wise (in the upper middle and upper classes at any rate).

Here are some of the things I loved most fashion wise from the 20’s:

Double Breasted Waistcoats: 


Double breasted waistcoats are just so much more elegant than single breasted, from my own experience, there is less obvious straining against the buttons if you’ve had a big lunch and the symmetry actually serves to make you look a little slimmer, not to mention the cut of the waistcoat itself compliments the look of the outfit by blending into the trousers rather than leaving a little visible shirt.

Double Breasted Suits

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In general double breasted is the way to go if you don’t seem able (or willing) to shift a bit of stomach, the cut is more flattering to the larger gentlemen, but is also warmer too, and whether worn with a waistcoat or not is always a classic look that the 1920’s were really all about, because it was the decade that a lot of long lasting trends came into existence and Double breasted suits are something that seems to fade in and out of fashion over the years, but I would much rather a decent double breasted blazer than some of this slim fit crap that people try to pass off as suits these day’s.

Black Tie

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Black tie is one of those things that has never gone out of fashion, and while it was around before the 1920’s it really took off in Britain in the 1920’s replacing the more formal white tie and tails black tie is something that hasn’t really changed much in the last 100 years, collars and lapel sizes shapes change all the time and the old argument of waistcoat or cummerbund still rages on, but its essence is still the height of chic in menswear (even if the jacket and tie are velvet).

Walking Sticks/ Canes

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I sometimes carry a cane, especially if my gout is playing up, the one I use has a bronze handle, and the amount of comments I get about it are unbelievable, from asking if there’s a sword concealed within to the more personal whether I actually need it (the answer is I have a cane because I need a cane, I have that particular cane because it looks bad ass).  But for the 1920’s a great deal of men about town of my age and social standing would carry a walking stick during the day, and then have a more formal one for once they’d dressed for dinner.

White Tie 


Although it was starting to be phased out during the 20’s for the less formal, more comfortable black tie, white tie was for the most formal occasions, and rarely exists to this day (I’ve been to one white tie event in my life) its for things like sate banquets, and formal halls and the most strict universities and is often shown on things such as Downton Abbey, and its one of those things that I hope makes a comeback.



I like how (certain) hats look, but I cant seem to pull off any hat, and lord knows I’ve tried. But in the 1920’s every one seemed to wear hats while they were out and about, from flat cap and straw boater, to fedora and top hat, hats were well represented by men of every class. And men of all classes knew to take them off when going indoors, it really annoys me seeing people wearing hats indoors, especially baseball caps, I don’t know whats worse, the lack of manners or lack of fashion sense.

Dressing For Travel 


This one seems like such a simple thing, but whether its because travel has become quicker and easier or just because the novelty has worn off, but people don’t dress to travel anymore, in the 20’s for a member of the lower classes to travel was a big deal, so they would dress to impress, but the upper classes, especially men would wear something that would travel well, but it wouldn’t matter so much if they go a little bit of the road on it. so something like a tweed suit would be rather practical, especially if travelling by train.

So those are some of my favourite fashion trends of the 1920’s I would like to see quite a few of them make a comeback if you couldn’t tell. Anyway I hope you found this little guide informative, or at the very least have found it entertaining.

How To Look A Million Dollars, When You’re Worth About £2.80

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They say that looking good comes naturally, but dressing well takes a massive bank balance. I have often found this to be the case. A decent suit will cost in excess of £200, a good pair of shoes will set you back to almost 3 digits and that doesn’t even begin to factor in the cost of, shirts, boxers, socks and various other accessories that you need in order to look like a functioning member of the human race. It isn’t easy, and it certainly isn’t cheap, to get a wardrobe from the pages of GQ. Here are some tips that should help ease up the burdens on those purse strings.

  1. Online Tailors: Using online tailors can save you an absolute fortune, to get a tailored suit in the UK, from scratch will cost you over £200, but using an online tailor, usually from the far east, you can get a completely bespoke, made to measure suit from as little as £35.
  2. charity shops: Vintage is always in, and charity shops are a great way of finding those vintage threads for rock bottom prices, to be honest, you may spend days routing through charity shops trying to find that one amazing item, and a lot of the time you will come away empty-handed, but its an immeasurable feeling when you do find that piece that is just you.
  3. Up-cycling: Sometimes you just give in and buy that hideous jacket from the charity shop, purely out of social embarrassment, Brenda behind the counter has been eyeing you since you walked in, so you snap and buy the old blazer in your size. So now in order to make this purchase wearable, you should have the thing seriously dry cleaned to get it looking as good as it ever will, then add a few elbow patches, change the buttons for some extra little bit of flash, and see if maybe you can add some sort of crest to the breast pocket and then you’ve actually got yourself something straight from the pages of Gentleman’s Quarterly.
  4. Cheaper Alternatives: Sometimes you’ll want those £4000 Brioni shoes, but lets face it, why on earth would anyone pay that massive amount for a pair of shoes? Especially when you can get a pair that look pretty damn similar for less than 1% of the cost? I mean outside of a Milanese fashion show, or a Parisian runway who’d notice?
  5. Hair care: Regular haircuts and styling your hair can go a long way to imposing your look on the world, being well turned out, with a haircut you could set your watch by is certainly a way to look like the proverbial big spender, even if you are only getting a £10 haircut once a month and using a Tesco value gel to style it between cuts.
  6. Grooming: Trim that beard, clip those nails, and for god sake pluck those eyebrows. Shave every two days, if you have a beard, define the edges regularly and don’t forget to moisturise. Use teeth whitening toothpaste and for the sake of everyone around you, please use an antiperspirant style deodorant especially if you use public transport, but remember no deodorant should ever replace a regular shower, even with 72 hour protection.
  7. Cologne: Use a nice smelling cologne, it might not make you look any better, but as any blind person will tell you, smell is a distinctive part of your image.

Hopefully these tips will help you to maintain or improve your personal look and even if you don’t quite hit the million dollar mark, at the very least you’ll probably look better than the 50 pence you feel like.

Why Men Should Moisturise

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Over the past few weeks I’ve upped my skincare game. That is to say I now have a skincare game. I’ve started using moisturiser daily. And I have to say, over the past two weeks I’ve noticed a real difference, and I wish I started years ago.

As a former smoker, and someone who drinks a little more than is good for him, my skin is pretty awful, but it took a little bit of flaking skin on the bridge of my nose to actually get me off my arse. I don’t really know why it took me so long, its probably because of the ingrained view that its effeminate or unmanly, or blah blah blah. Whatever. Here are a few reasons to try it.

  1. If you smoke or drink, you will do immeasurable damage to your skin, as both vices, whilst fun, will dehydrate your skin massively.
  2. If you spend a lot of time outdoors the harmful damage from UV rays can at least be tempered by using a moisturiser with some sort of UV protection in it.
  3. It helps fight acne. Don’t let anyone fool you and say that acne stops after puberty, because it doesn’t, it might not be as bad, but every once in a while, usually before a hot date or big meeting, you’ll wake up with a corker of a zit. Now I’m not saying moisturiser will put an end to these woes, but defence is the best type of offence.
  4. It helps fight wrinkles, I know older guys look better, I mean I’ve definitely got better since leaving my teens, but there is a point where silver fox becomes silver sphinx cat, so try and delay that as long as possible.

Those are just some of the many reasons why men should use moisturiser. So stop delaying and start using the damn stuff. It doesn’t even have to be expensive stuff, a tube of pound-land special will do, I mean no one is expecting you to go out and get a £1000 vial of stuff made from the placenta of grass fed angora rabbits raised in the shadow of the Swiss alps, but at least use the stuff that comes with the shaving kit your auntie got you for Christmas.


Quotes To Make You Look Smartified

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Quoting from literature is a key way to make yourself appear to be well read. Quotes from poems, plays, novels and various other literary ephemera can spice up your conversation and make you seem well read, so here are a few quotes, from a variety of sources, that all men should familiarise themselves with. They should also learn them by heart, because I can’t tell you the amount of arguments that have arisen from one misplaced word in a Shakespeare quote (ITS ” I KNEW HIM HORATIO” HOW IS THAT SO HARD TO GET”).

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.” Juliet, Act II, scene ii From William Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet.

“Sorrow is knowledge: they who know the most must mourn the deepest o’er the fatal truth,that the Tree of Knowledge is not that of Life.” Act I scene i from Lord Byron’s Manfred.

“England has done one thing; it has invented and established Public Opinion, which is an attempt to organize the ignorance of the community, and to elevate it to the dignity of physical force.” Part II, The Critic As Artist, Oscar Wilde. 

“From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were — I have not seen
As others saw — I could not bring
My passions from a common spring —
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow — I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone —
And all I lov’d — I lov’d alone ” Alone, Edgar Allen Poe.

“I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: — Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.” Ozymandias, Percy Bysshe Shelley.

“The offences that one does a man should be should be such that he fears no revenge for it.” The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli. 

“Every tradition grows ever more venerable — the more remote its origin, the more confused that origin is. The reverence due to it increases from generation to generation. The tradition finally becomes holy and inspires awe.” Human All To0 Human, Friedrich Nietzsche. 

“Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here.” War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy 

” A soundbite never buttered any parsnips” John Major

“Take it from me, there’s nothing more terrible than someone out to do the world a favour.” Sourcery, Terry Pratchett 

Hopefully some of these should enrich your conversational prowess, and make you seem a tad more loquacious and erudite.


A Gentleman’s Guide To Dick Pics

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Don’t, that should be the only guidance you need when it comes to sending a picture of your junk to someone. Several months ago I received a text, from what I hope was a wrong number, the text said something along the lines of “hey baby, good to meet you last night” and then underneath it was a picture of a penis, a fairly small, particularly hairy penis. My response was to reply to the chap “I think you have a wrong number, however if you’re going to start a dialogue with a young woman by flashing your gentiles I would invest in a body hair trimmer, some decent lighting and make use of the zoom function on your camera.

It made me think though. Do women get this a lot? Why and how has this become acceptable behaviour? I mean to send an unsolicited picture of your gentiles is right up there with flashing someone on the street, the only difference is the overcoat. I mean I could sort of understand if the other person asked for a picture, but even then I wouldn’t go for it.

Surely people aren’t all that easy, surely there should be some mystery, I mean I don’t delude myself by demanding wine, roses and limousines, but I’d like to think someone would work a bit harder to see me naked than “send nudes”, I mean I know I would.

Putting aside the easiness of sexual morals that have come with the internet age, there are the practical concerns of blackmail and or revenge porn. Now by pressing send, an ex with an axe to grind could potentially ruin a career and a personal life all in one fell swoop. There are already a growing number of documented cases of suicides as a direct result of this sort of thing.

This is why it’s safer to avoid the whole thing, even if asked for, have some self respect and say no, if your charm and personality aren’t enough for your intended, chances a junk snap isn’t going to sway them over, especially premanscaping and with unflattering lighting.

A Gentleman’s Guide To Handbags

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If you, like me, are a heterosexual man then you too will have no idea about handbags (purses for those across the pond), to you they will be mystical, bottomless things that can hold almost anything, including holding you up whilst the woman in front of you rummages and rifles through her hers trying to find that one thing in that bottomless abyss, that it would have been easy enough to find while queuing.

Now I didn’t know this until I started researching this piece, but apparently there’s more than one type of handbag out there, so here is a guide to the differences, so when your wife, girlfriend, daughter, flat mate etc asks where whatever type of bag is, you’ll know what the hell it is she’s talking about.

Tote: When I hear the word tote bag I automatically think of one of those canvas things they seem to give out at business expo’s or community events, but it actually means a medium to large bag with two straps and an open top, it’s the kind of big bag that women carry and seems to be filled with anything and everything usually all at once

Tote Bag

Cross-body: as the name suggests it consists of  one long strap that crosses over the body, with the bag resting at the front by the waist, a little like a messenger bag

Cross Body Bag


Sling bag: one long, wide strap that crosses over the body, with the bag resting on the back, sizes and shapes vary but it is one of the more common types of bag used by todays young ladies.

Sling Bag

Shoulder bag: any bag with shoulder-length straps, the name really speaks for itself.

Shoulder Bag


Clutch: A clutch is a bag without handles, its more formal than most, and from a mans point of view looks like an oversized wallet. They barely hold anything and at the end of a night out it usually winds up as part of interesting juggling act involving a pair of stilettos and a donner kebab and it’s always an amusing activity to see which winds up on the floor first, the shoes, the bag, what passes as the food or the person carrying them.



Gentleman I really hope this helps you in the future, Birthday’s, Valentine’s Day etc, but in all honesty I wrote this guide and I’m still none the wiser about any of this.