$8 – Oral-B Toothbrush – Medium (2 ct.)
$6 – Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Cleaning Pads (8 ct.)
$10 – Jason Markk Premium Shoe Cleaning Brush – you’ll need this softer hog bristle brush if you’re cleaning premium leather or knit/woven surfaces (ex. Flyknits or Ultraboosts)
$7 – Sinland Microfiber Cleaning Cloth (6 ct.)
$16 – Jason Markk Essential Shoe Cleaning Kit (includes cleaning liquid and standard brush) – I personally love using JM’s cleaning solution and brush. I find it work’s perfectl and all his ingredients are specifically targeted to gently remove dirt from sneakers.
$9 – Seventh Generation Free & Clear Dish Liquid (2 ct.)
Instead of the cleaning liquid, you can use dish soap. Make sure its all-natural, which means it’s free from any dyes, fragrances and toxins so it won’t cause any possible yellowing.
Cleaning Just The Midsoles
If it’s just the midsoles that need to be cleaned:
- Dip a Magic Eraser sponge in water and then start rubbing the midsoles.
For stubborn or textured areas where the dirt won’t budget – use a toothbrush and some Jason Markk cleaning solution or all-natural dish soap and scrub the area. The toothbrush’s tiny bristles should be able to remove most, if not all, of the dirt stuck in the porous areas.
Wipe them down with the microfiber towel.
Cleaning the whole sneaker
1. Gather Supplies
You’re going to need a brush and some cleaning solution. If you’re cleaning premium leather or knit/mesh sneakers, then make sure to use a softer brush, usually made from hog bristles, like Jason Markk’s Premium Shoe Cleaning Brush. It’s important to be gentler on these delicate materials so they don’t get ruined.
2. Wipe Them Down
Give your sneakers a wipe down with a cotton or microfiber towel to remove any loose dirt on the surface. Paper towels also work, but they’re wasteful – hopefully you agree :).
3. Remove & Clean Laces
Remove the shoelaces if they’re dirty and/or the tongue needs to be cleaned. Be sure to wash your white shoelaces with a load of your whites (if you use bleach or not) on the hottest water setting and let them air dry. For colored laces, you can add them to your colors while washing, preferably in cold water.
4. Scrub The Sneaks (duh)
Dip your brush in water, squirt some cleaning liquid on it, dip back in the water again, and then shake off any excess water. Start scrubbing the sneaker all over – midsole, upper and tongue (if necessary). You really want to work up a lather. You can always use a toothbrush for those hard to reach areas like on the tongue in the video above.
5. Wipe Them Down
Using your cotton or microfiber towel, wipe your sneaker to remove the foam/dirt. If you’re cleaning your Flyknits or Ultraboosts, you’ll want to use a dab and twist motion on the woven/knitted surface to soak up any moisture like I highlighted in the video above. That’ll ensure you don’t fray the material.
6. Let Them Dry
Now let the shoes air dry for a few hours, re-lace them and you’re good to go!
In order to be more organized and community-driven, please post your question in the comments of my latest #AskAW video and upvote the questions you’d like to see answered in the next video.
Link to the latest video here.
4. Nike Flyknit Racer
This is a great athletic sneaker because it weighs practically nothing and the woven upper makes it very breathable. Also, these are a great lifestyle sneaker that you can wear with your casual clothes because the design is so minimal and it has a very sleek silhouette.
$150 – Nike Flyknit Racer (in Black/White or Black/Anthracite/Black)
3. Converse All Star & Jack Purcell
These are classics and super easy to wear year-round. Leather or canvas options are great – and always default to low-tops because they’re easier to wear than high-tops.
$80 – Converse Jack Purcell Tumbled Leather Low Top (in white and black)
$65 – Converse Jack Purcell Canvas Low Top (in white, navy, and black)
$65 – Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Leather Low Top (in white and black)
$50 – Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Low Top (in white, navy, and black)
2. Adidas UltraBoost
I love the minimal design of the UltraBoost. The knit upper makes it very breathable too. You can treat these as your everyday sneakers or make them your running/workout shoes because they’re super comfortable.
$180 – Adidas UltraBoost
1. Adidas Stan Smith
This one will be on my list every year until something better can replace it.
These are a great lifestyle, everyday tennis shoe. Also, they’re not expensive and relatively easy to keep clean if you give them a wipe down every week or two and don’t go hiking in them. Remember, women look at your shoes for an indication of what type of man you are. Clean white shoes = this dude’s got his shit together.
$75 – Adidas Stan Smith Shoes (with either the green or navy logo)
Notably absent in my list are basketball sneakers because those are for a very specific group of men out there who either play basketball or are crazy sneakerheads. Some guys can pull them off really well, while others end up looking immature and silly in them.
Right off the bat, I want you to understand that none of these tips have anything to do with money or being physically attractive. So for all of you poor saps out there who like to use that as an excuse, it’s complete bullsh*t and really isn’t that high on the list for any quality woman.
6. Smile more and often
People are attracted to friendliness – it instantly makes you more approachable and likable.
5. Stand up Straight
It opens your body up and makes you look confident, inviting, and your shoulders and chest look wider which women love because it signifies strength. Poor posture projects a message of lack of self esteem, which isn’t attractive to most women.
4. Workout or be physically active
Keeping yourself healthy physically also keeps you in better mental shape. People will notice your demeanor and you keeping in decent shape. So get out and be active for at lest 30 minutes a day.
3. Have a proper grooming routine
Want to be more attractive? Smell and look clean. You just beat out 30% of other men right off the top. Check out my article about the top grooming mistakes men make.
2. Choosing the right haircut & facial hair
I can’t tell you what a difference this can make on a man. The most important thing to consider in a haircut is your hair type and facial shape. Also, consider your facial hair. Some men look more masculine and mature with a beard or some scruff.
1. Get your clothes fitted
Never underestimate the impact properly fitting clothing can have on your appearance. Your suits should be tailored, jeans hemmed, and you’re buying appropriate fitting shirts. Don’t give me that BS about trying to hide your gut or skinny frame with loose fitting clothing because trying to hide it makes it look worse.
I love playing with color for Spring so I chose this pink polka dot tie which would look fantastic paired with your navy or charcoal suit.
$55 – The Tie Bar Chambray Shirt
$19 – The Tie Bar ‘Nirvana Tie’ in Wild Pink
$15 – The Tie Bar Colored Tie Bar in Cornflower Blue
$10 – The Tie Bar Outpost Paisley Pocket Square in Royal Blue
$8 – The Tie Bar Wheel and Anchor Sock in Navy
This lavender tie and floral pocket square combination instantly injects some fun into your year round suits. Pair with a light blue dress shirt (which you should already have!) and now you have a sharp, Spring outfit.
If the other two options were too adventurous in terms of color, here are more subtle tie and pocket square combinations that will not only work for your suits, but also for your more casual outfits that involve a sportcoat or brown leather jacket. Complete with a white dress shirt, some dark wash jeans, and a pair of penny loafers.
$55 – The Tie Bar Herringbone Non-Iron Shirt in White
$19 – The Tie Bar South Padre Geos Tie in Navy
$25 – The Tie Bar Scramble Silk Knit Tie in Light Blue
$19 – The Tie Bar Calico Chambray Tie in Soft Blue
$15 – The Tie Bar Colored Tie Bar in Peach
$15 – The Tie Bar Brushed Silver Tie Bar
$10 – The Tie Bar Solid Pocket Square with Border in Silver
$10 – The Tie Bar Chambray Pocket Square with Border in Light Blue
10. Skinny jeans or ripped jeans.
Quickest way to look like you’re trying to dress like a teenager.
9. Wearing dress shirts untucked.
Dress shirts are designed with long tails so that they stay tucked into your pants. You should never wear them untucked. By all means wear casual collared shirts untucked, like an Oxford button down, but never with a suit or sport coat and only if the tails of the shirt hit mid crotch/mid butt.
8. Too much jewelry.
When it comes to bracelets, earrings (never!), necklaces, rings – keep it simple. Don’t wear more than 2 items, although I prefer only one item, not including your wedding band if you’re married. Thumb and index rings especially make me shudder the most.
7. Too many patterns or statement pieces in an outfit.
A lot of men associate being stylish with wearing a statement outfit or wearing a ton of patterns. This is far from true and ends up making you looking ridiculous. A good rule of thumb is to choose only one item in your outfit that is a statement piece or has a pattern to ensure you look stylish and put together at all times.
6. Wearing old, worn out belts.
If you have quality belts, they might need to be replaced every decade or two. If you’re wearing a belt to constantly hold up your pants, you need to get the waist of your pants taken in. Belts are a stopgap solution to the problem of your pants just not fitting properly.
5. Wearing square toed dress shoes – including square toed slip on loafers.
I constantly see these shoes worn with suits, trousers, and jeans. It’s a tacky, amature look and can make an otherwise sharp outfit look terrible. Just want to point out: the square-toed slip on loafers that I’m talking about are not the penny loafers or driving mocs I listed in my Top 4 Men’s Shoes For Spring article.
4. Ties that are too wide for your body type.
I see a lot of thin to average built men wearing 3.5″ wide ties. It really makes you look skinnier than you are, which sends a message to people that you’re not professional and might be sloppy in other aspects of your life and work. Think of the ‘Messy Bed, Messy Head’ mentality here.
3. Wearing unpressed or wrinkled clothes.
It’s sloppy as hell no matter what you’re wearing.
2. Pants or jeans that are too long and end up with fabric stacked around your ankle.
Again, I see this problem at least a handful of times a day. This looks really sloppy and ends up making you look disproportionate as the stacking visually makes your legs look shorter.
1. Not wearing properly fitted clothing.
This applies to suits, dress shirts, tees, pants, jackets and sweaters. You want clothing to fit your body shape and not leave you swimming in fabric or showing off your mammal toe or the bottom of your stomach.
I want to show you how to actually start a conversation and show you the best opening topics. The goal of any great conversation is to find common ground. So you just start fishing for it, basically.
7. “Do you know where the restroom/bar/food is?”
You just need a way into a conversation, so this is the easiest opening. From there, you can talk about how hard “X” was to find.
6. “So where are you from?”
This applies to someone if they don’t seem like they’re from around here, but if you’re not sure, then you can default to “Hey! Are you from around here?” Whatever they’re answer may be, you now can talk about where they’re from or the city you both live in.
5. “That looks good. What is that? Where did you get that?”
If they’re eating or drinking something – this a great way to start talking with someone.
4. “I really like X (something they’re wearing). Who makes it or where did you get it?”
Similar to #5. Everyone loves being complimented. It makes them instantly let their guard down and then you can follow up with one of the next few conversation starters.
3. “What was the best part of your day today?”
In any kind of setting, this is an opening that will get you remembered. It can catch someone off guard at first, but then they’ll think about what an interesting and pleasant question that was.
2. “What brought you here today/tonight/etc?”
If you’re at a bar or an event that’s not hosted by someone specifically, then this is a great question to find common ground.
1. “So how do you know the host?”
This is my go-to conversation opener. If you’re at an event or party, you can always use the host as an excuse to learn about the people there.
16. White Pocket Square
Like I’ve mentioned before, every man should have at least a grey suit. Even if you only wear it once every year, you’re going to need a suit. Along with that, looking well dressed is always about the details and a white pocket square is an easily overlooked item that really does make a big impact and it’ll only set you back a couple of bucks.
15. Silver Tie Bar
This is another overlooked item. I talked about this in my article about the 12 Things Men Wear That Women Love, but a tie bar is something that adds that special touch to your outfit. It’s also so cheap to own so order it once and you’ll never think about it again.
14. Solid Black and Navy Tie
These two ties will work for any suit you have in your closet, making them an absolute must have. Make sure the width of your tie complements your body type.
13. Dress Socks
Get rid of your white socks. These socks can and should be worn as your everyday socks. If you need heavier duty, thicker socks for your job or because of the weather, there are plenty of companies that offer warmer versions.
Whether you’re a sunglass man or not, sunglasses are important because they’re going to protect your eyes from the sun, prevent you from squinting, which creates wrinkles around your eyes, and they can add a stylish, cool touch to your outfit. Check out my sunglasses story so you choose the right frames for your face shape.
11. Baseball Hat
We all have those lazy days, myself included, where you just say F it, I’m gonna throw on a hat. When it comes to baseball hats I have very specific opinions about them so I shared some of my recommendations below.
10. Black and Brown Oxford or Derby Shoes
9. Black and Brown Dress Belts
Since you’re going to own dress shoes, you absolutely need to match your leather belt to your shoes.
8. Weekender Bag
Everyone travels. Whether it’s to some exotic country, or across town, you’ll need to put your clothes in something AND trash bags are not an option. Like every accessory you own, it should not only serve it’s purpose, but look damn good at the same time. I have a whole article about weekender bags you should check out.
$965 – Frank Clegg Signature Travel Duffle (in black, chocolate or chesnut)
$800 – Killspencer Weekender 3.0 (in black leather or charcoal grey leather)
$115 – Everlane ‘The Dipped Weekender’ (in black/black, navy/black or reverse denim/black)
7. Dopp Kit
This item goes great with your weekender bag. Again, doesn’t matter if you’re traveling to another city or to the gym, a dopp kitt is essential because it’ll keep your grooming products organized and contained in a respectable manner.
6. Backpack or Briefcase with Detachable Strap
5. Casual or Dress Watch
Like the last point, which one you go with will depend on your lifestyle. Whether you’re a watch guy or not, any self-respecting man should own a watch or two.
4. White Low Top Sneakers
Everyone has casual days, and white sneakers look so sharp on every guy regardless of your age or body type. If you’re really scared of wearing white, or think that it doesn’t look right, ease yourself into it with a nice low top lace-up black or navy sneaker.
3. Boxer Briefs
All women find boxer briefs, specifically darker colors, so sexy on a man. And all men should be wearing them. Period.
2. Black and Brown Casual Leather Belts
1. A Quality Wallet
The things a man carries tells a lot about him and that’s no more true than with your wallet – check out my article to the left for bifold, card cases, and phone wallet recommendations.
The below are only a few recommendations for bifold wallets.