5 Ways To End A Conversation That Work

Since we talked about 7 Conversation Starters That Actually Work last time there has been an overwhelming response by you guys out there for us to do an article about how to end a conversation. I have my fiancé Dorian joining me again as we go over the 5 ways to end a conversation.

The goal is to end the conversation gracefully and to not be patronizing to the person you are having a conversation with.

1. “It was nice to meet you”

or “It was great chatting with you.” This is called the roadblock. I use this one constantly whenever I’m in a conversation I want to get out of, or the person is not allowing me to talk in a conversation or are just rambling.

2. “I’m just going to go say hi to the host. It was nice to meet you.”

3.“Have you met…”

If someone I know comes by and I want to get out of the conversation, I’ll grab them, introduce them to the person, let them say their pleasantries and then excuse myself and just never come back.

4. “I’ve got to X, but it was really great chatting with you.”

You can say anything from – grab another drink, grab some food, or use the restroom.

5.“I’ve got to take this.”

No one can tell if your phone is on vibrate.

3 Outfits Every Guy Needs

My articles and videos almost always center around a specific piece of clothing or accessory, so I thought it would be fun to switch it up and talk about 3 head-to-toe foundational outfits every guy needs. Once you have these 3 outfits, you can build an entire wardrobe around them. And here’s the beauty of them: from these 3 outfits, you can switch things in and out to add your own personal touch and truly make them your own.

Outfit 1

The first outfit is a casual one, comprised of a black polo shirt, a well-fitting pair of dark wash jeans and some white low top sneakers. This is a solid casual outfit that will always look great and put together on every man, regardless of your age or body type.

3-Outfits-Every-Guy-Should-Own-Ashley-Weston-1

$40 – J. Crew Broken-In Slim Polo Shirt in black
$10 – H&M Polo Shirt Slim Fit in black (**THESE ARE THE BEST POLO SHIRTS!!!!)
$228 – J. Brand Tyler Taper Fit in blue hood
$70 – Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Stretch Jeans in blue flame
$410 – Common Projects Achilles Leather Sneakers
$75 – Adidas Originals Stan Smith 
$415 – Tom Ford ‘Snowdon’ Sunglasses
IWC Portugieser Automatic Watch

Outfit 2

I like to call this outfit ‘dressy casual’ because it transitions well from day to night. Throw on a leather or cotton black bomber jacket with a black t-shirt, dark wash jeans and black leather chukkas.

If you’re thin to average build, you can also wear a white t-shirt. However, if you’re a broader man that’s not in shape, and you decide to take off your jacket, then a white t-shirt will actually spotlight how big you are (and not in a good way). Also, the reason why you want to go with black chukkas is because black is the dominant color in your jacket. I went with leather chukka boots over suede and lace-up boots because the latter options won’t look appropriate for every season.

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$620 – All Saints Zeno Leather Bomber Jacket in black
$200 – Zara Leather Jacket
$90 – James Perse Clear Jersey Crew in black
$30 – Armani Exchange Pima Crew in black
$170 – Diesel Buster 0607A Tapered Jeans
$70 – Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Stretch Jeans in blue flame
$175 – Johnston & Murphy Conard Cap Toe Chukka in black

Why a bomber over a blazer?

A bomber is a very stylish, modern alternative to a blazer that works in almost all the same occasions and looks great for every man, regardless if you’re a teenager all the way to a retiree. A younger gentlemen in high school or college, for instance, wouldn’t necessarily need a blazer, so that’s why I’m not recommending it over a blazer. If the occasion does call for a sport coat or blazer, in a pinch, you can use the jacket in my next recommendation and dress it up like I did in the picture below.

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Outfit 3

Lastly, my classic go-to formal outfit is a charcoal or navy suit with a white semi-spread collar dress shirt, black or charcoal tie, white pocket square, and oxford dress shoes. If you’re going with a charcoal suit, then pair with a black tie and black dress shoes. For a navy suit, pair with a charcoal tie, and dark brown dress shoes.

I love these two suits because it’s very easy to go formal by adding a tie or dress them down by forgoing a tie or swapping in a t-shirt instead of a collared shirt.

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$1395 – Burberry Slim Fit Wool Part Canvas Suit (navy)
$425 – J.Crew Navy Ludlow Suit Jacket in Italian Wool (navy and charcoal)
$225 – J.Crew Navy Ludlow Suit Pant in Italian Wool
$90 – TopMan Grey Slim Fit Suit
$280 – Allen Edmonds Carlyle Plain-Toe Oxfords (black or brown)
$275 – Johnston & Murphy Hyde Park II Cap-Toe (black or brown)
$19 – The Tie Bar Grenafaux Tie (black or charcoal)
$10 – The Tie Bar Solid White Cotton Pocket Square

How To Clean Dirty Sneakers Tutorial

I’ve been getting a lot of emails and requests to do a video and article about how to clean your dirty sneakers so here it is. This method is for your canvas, leather, and knit/woven sneakers (like your Ultraboosts or Flyknits).

Tools Needed

Shoe Cleaning Tutorial Items Ashley WEston

$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:

  1. Dip a Magic Eraser sponge in water and then start rubbing the midsoles.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

Top 4 Sneakers For 2017

I want to talk about the Top 4 sneakers for 2017. These are 4 sneakers I highly recommend if you’re looking to put together an intentional sneaker collection that’ll cover you for some of the different aspects of your life. For example, working out, traveling, or just needing an everyday, lifestyle sneaker.

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.

Flyknit Racer Ashley Weston

$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.

Converse All Star and Jack Purcell Ashley Weston

$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.

Adidas Ultra Boost Ashley Weston

$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.

Adidas Stan Smiths Ashley Weston

$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.

6 Tips To Be Better Looking

There’s a lot of misconceptions and confusion out there about what women find attractive in a man and how they define a “good looking” gentlemen.

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.

Smile More 1 Ashley Weston

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.

Good Posture Ashley Weston

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.

Work Out Ashley Weston

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.

Grooming Routine Ashley Weston

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.

Hairstyle and Facial Hair Ashley Weston

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.

Fitted Clothing Ashley Weston

Top 10 Style Mistakes Men Make

Over the years, I’ve been witnessing men make the same style mistakes over and over again so I put together a list of the top mistakes I consistently see. I also have a free ebook about the 10 Most Overlooked Men’s Style Mistakes that are completely different from this list and that I’ve never seen discussed before.

10. Skinny jeans or ripped jeans.

Quickest way to look like you’re trying to dress like a teenager.

Ripped Skinny Jeans Ashley Weston

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.

Untucked Dress Shirts Ashley Weston

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.

Too Much Jewelry Ashley Weston

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.

Patterns Ashley Weston

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.

Old Worn Out Belt Ashley Weston

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.

Square Toed Dress Shoes 1 Ashley Weston

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.

Ties That Are Too Wide Ashley Weston

3. Wearing unpressed or wrinkled clothes.

It’s sloppy as hell no matter what you’re wearing.

Wrinkled Clothing Ashley Weston

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.

Clothing That Doesn't Fit Well Ashley Weston

7 Awesome Conversation Starters That Don’t Suck

Being a great conversationalist can be challenging, but the hardest part and often overlooked is the way to get INTO a conversation in the first place. You’d never walk up to someone out of the blue and ask them “What’s happening”, you already know exactly what’s happening ‘cus you’re at the same f#$ckin place! It drives me nuts when I see articles and videos peddling horrible advice like this because I have struggled with this in the past.

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 Accessories Every Man Needs

These are, to me, the 16 accessories every guy needs to own, regardless of your age, occupation, and lifestyle. Some of these items you may not wear often, but there will be an occasion, as a grown man, when you will need them and you’ll be thankful that you thought far enough ahead to take care of them before it’s too late and you’re scrambling at the last minute. I’ve also included my favorites for each of these items below. But these points below are just skimming the surface compared to the much more through Men’s Essential Accessories Series I did recently.

Have questions? Curious what others think?

Join us in the comments section of the video above.

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.

White Pocket Square Ashley Weston

$175 – Tom Ford Solid Classic Silk Pocket Square
$60 – Boss Solid Silk Pocket Square
$10 – The Tie Bar Solid White Cotton Pocket Square

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.

Silver Tie Bar Ashley Weston$15 – The Tie Bar Silver Shot Tie Bar
$70 – J. Crew Sterling-Silver Tie Clip 

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.

Black and Navy Tie Ashley Weston

$19 – The Tie Bar Grenafaux Tie (available in black and navy)
$60 – J. Crew American Wool Navy Tie
$60 – J. Crew American Wool Black Tie

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.

Solid or Patterned Dress Socks Ashley Weston

$4 – Uniqlo Argyle Socks
$20 – Brooks Brothers Egyptian Cotton Jersey Knit Crew Socks
$15 – J. Crew Tipped Microstriped Socks

12. Sunglasses

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.

Sunglasses 1 Ashley Weston 2

$415 – Tom Ford Snowdon Sunglasses
$98 – J. Crew Jack Sunglasses
$95 – Warby Parker Winston Sunglasses 

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.

Baseball Cap Ashley Weston

$48 – Gents ‘The Directors’ Baseball Cap
$22 – Flexfit Blank Snapback 2014

10. Black and Brown Oxford or Derby Shoes

Not only do these oxford dress shoes look great with your suit, but they also look nice with chinos, jeans, and trousers when you want to dress up a more casual outfit.

Black and Brown Shoes Ashley Weston

$395 – Allen Edmonds Carlyle Plain-Toe Oxfords
$750 – Prada Plain-Toe Bluchers
$175 – Johnston & Murphy Melton Cap Toe Oxfords

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.

Black and Brown Dress Belt Ashley Weston

$98 – Brooks Brothers Leather Dress Belt
$98 – Allen Edmonds Poplar Dress Belt
$25 – H&M Leather Belt

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.

Weekender Bag Ashley Weston$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.

Dopp Kit 1 Ashley Weston 2

$148 – Jack Spade Mason Leather Zipper Top Dopp
$300 – Shinola Travel Kit
$200 – This is Ground Tech Dopp Kit

6. Backpack or Briefcase with Detachable Strap

Depending on what you do for a living, if you live a more casual lifestyle or you’re a student, then a backpack is great. If you are in a more professional environment, a briefcase is best.

Backpack Briefcase Ashley Weston 1

Backpack

$800 – This is Ground Venture Regular Backpack
$210 – Cõte & Ciel Rhine Backpack
$120 – Aer Fit Pack Backpack 

Briefcase

$990 – Frank Clegg Zip-Top Briefcase
$895 – Shinola Slim Briefcase
$325 – Uri Minkoff Pebbled Leather Fulton Briefcase 

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.

Casual and Dress Watch Ashley Weston

Casual Watch

$7,000 – Rolex Submariner 114060
$3,400 – Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
$375 – Orient Diver Mako USA II

Dress Watch

$12,700 – IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser Automatic
$532 – Hamilton Intra-Matic Silver Dial Leather Watch
$195 – Tissot T-Classic Tradition Silver Dial

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.

White Sneakers 2 Ashley Weston

$370 – Acne Studios Adrian White Leather Sneakers
$75 – Adidas Stan Smith Sneakers
$65 – Converse Jack Purcell Classic Low Top

3. Boxer Briefs

All women find boxer briefs, specifically darker colors, so sexy on a man. And all men should be wearing them. Period.

Boxer Brief Ashley Weston

$26 – Exofficio Give-N-Go Boxer Brief
$13 – H&M 3-pack Boxer Shorts
$6 – Uniqlo Supima Cotton Boxer Briefs

2. Black and Brown Casual Leather Belts

Whenever you’re wearing jeans, chinos or shorts, throw on a casual leather belt because it’ll add a visually nice touch to your outfit.

Black and Brown Casual Belts Ashley Weston

$98 – Allen Edmonds Sun River Casual Belt
$295 – Salvatore Ferragamo Reversible Leather Belt 
$18 – H&M Leather Belt

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.

Wallet Ashley Weston

$195 – Shinola Slim Bifold Leather Wallet 
$525 – Louis Vuitton Slender Wallet
$80 – Bellroy Low Down Wallet