8 Tips For A Better Morning Routine

Getting your day off to a great start with a solid morning routine is super important, and once you’ve set yourself up for the day in a good frame of mind everything else will fall into place. Sure, a good morning grooming routine is key, but it’s more than that. As the saying goes, “The morning maketh the day.” So wake up, let’s go!

 

 

#1 – Remove friction in the morning

A smooth morning starts with getting preparing the night before – set out your clothing, write down your to-do list, prepare your breakfast, whatever you need for a nice onramp into the day.  A little prep goes a long way.

#2 – Make your bed

It’s not just about being neat, this small act of routine helps create an early win and sets you up for mental success for the rest of the day. Yes, seriously.  Hey, this guy swears by it, and we think he knows a thing or two.  

#3 – Wake up early

Now we’re not advocating a 5 am wake up call if you’re not a morning person but it is important to set aside enough time to have a stress and rush-free morning.  Try adding 15-30 minutes for a few of these tips and see how well it works.

#4 – Meditation/quick journaling

Having some time for your mental health and reflection is a really overlooked aspect.  Whether you take a few minutes to journal like Tim Ferriss or remind yourself of what you’re grateful for like Tony Robbins, the success of these two entrepreneurs proves they’ve got the right morning routine in place.

#5 – Have a proper breakfast

Everyone’s ideal breakfast is different, from eggs to a protein shake, but starting solid, nutritious base wil fuel you both mentally and physically for the whole day.

#6 – Make a to-do list

Kicking off the day with an organizational exercise is a great way to starting thinking clearly and stay focused.  Create 1 to 3 MIT’s (Most Important Things) for the day and do those before you do anything else.

#7 – Take a tech timeout

Sure, we all do it, the alarm goes off and we immediately grab our phones.  But it’s time to break that habit and start with waiting to check your phone in the morning.  We’re on our devices all day and it’s important to start the day off with a break so skip the phone, email, and social media until after you’ve marked some MIT’s off your list or eaten breakfast.

#8 – Get the blood flowing

Whether you’re a morning workout person or not, getting the blood moving early on is great for your mental state. Hit the gym, go for a run, or even just do a set of pushups or jumping jacks, you’ll have a more productive day and start in a better mood.

10 Biggest Style Mistakes Young Men Make

As a stylist, my clients range anywhere from teenagers all the way up to men in their 60s and 70s, and these are 10 mistakes I’ve noticed with my younger clients when I first start working with them. The road to finding your own personal style is a long one but keep these in mind as you’re figuring out your own path!

10. Ill-fitting clothing

Whether you’re on the thin side or are a bigger guy, your clothing should always fit properly. A lot of times many young men try and over-compensate in either direction to make up for what their body type is, but don’t do it.  Big or small, proper fit is always king.

9. Oversized ties and knots

Buying a tie that’s too wide and using massive knots will only serve to make you look like a little kid, so make sure you use a knot that’s proportionally sized for your frame and suit.

8. Trying to be a hypebeast all day, everyday

Focusing solely on brands and labels plastered all over you is only going to send the signal that you’re dressing for the wrong reasons.  Be judicious in your brand choices and know that understated is always going to look good.

7. Dressing well means being uncomfortable

Thinking that you can’t dress well and be comfortable at the same time is something that I get all the time and it drives me crazy! A properly fitting shirt or jeans should always be comfortable and flattering.  Are they going to be as comfortable as baggy sweats and an old t-shirt? No, but ultimately if you want to be taken seriously you should always be cultivating and presenting a thoughtfully stylish appearance to the world, not one focused only on comfort.

6. Buying all statement items

This is a problem for most men looking to dress better, but more often with younger men because I notice they confuse fashion with style. Fashion pieces can be loud and make a statement, but that doesn’t make you stylish. Here or there, sure, it’s fine, but it’s important to always have basic, foundational items that are stylish and versatile as well.

5. Not having a foundational wardrobe

Speaking of the foundational basics, it’s critical to always start with the basics and get the right jeans, t-shirts, button-ups, shoes, and sweaters first. Don’t underestimate the style and power of a sharp, basic wardrobe as the building blocks of great personal style.

4. Dressing exactly like your friends and not trying different things

Going along with following hypebeast trends, I see a lot of men fall prey to dressing just like everyone else in their squad. You’re young, have fun with your clothing and style and embrace your individuality. Figuring out what looks good on you and makes you feel best is an important step in figuring out your personal style.

3. Looking good is expensive

One of my least favorite misconceptions about style is that unless you’re rich, you can’t look good, and that money matters in dressing well. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Looking good on a budget is absolutely doable, no matter how low the budget, and it just takes some knowledge and focusing on well-fitting, basic items.

2. Mixing too many patterns and colors

Just like focusing only on statement pieces, many younger men confuse being loud and wearing excessive patterns with being stylish. But in reality it’s just the opposite. Focus on more subtle details and cohesive pieces to give your outfits the best look.

1. Not caring how you look

This applies not just to clothing, but to grooming and hygiene as well. If you focus on looking relatively clean and well-groomed you’ve beaten a majority of young men out there.  Anyone that makes fun of you for caring about your appearance is a lost cause, so don’t even worry about the haters.

As I said earlier, don’t forget that personal style is a journey and like any journey, it’s bound to have a few bumps along the way, the important part is learning from your mistakes and figuring out what works best just for you.

How To Wear and Match Colors Like A Pro

I know you’ve probably experienced that sense of dread as you’re standing in front of your closet, possibly pantless, definitely shirtless, thinking to yourself “How the hell do I figure out what shirts go with what pants?” or “How do I know which colors go well together?” So before you throw your hands in the air and wear your bathrobe to the office (not recommended, by the way), take a deep breath, I’ve got you. Here are a few of my foolproof strategies for wearing color; master them and in no time you’ll be looking sharp, feeling chill, and have your morning routine dialed in.

Keep It Simple

If you don’t know where to begin, I always say keep it simple. On the dressy side of things, that means starting with a solid white shirt and a neutral black, charcoal, or navy tie. No matter your suit or blazer color, a white shirt and one of the mentioned tie colors will work every time. On the casual side, the same holds true: a white shirt never fails. Whether it’s a basic button-down oxford, one dressed up with a blazer, sweater, or lightweight jacket for a night out, or a T-shirt paired with denim or chinos, the white shirt just works.

Go Monochromatic

Here’s another approach I like to use with my clients. Going monochromatic involves pairing different shades of the same color for a complete look. This is not only simple to execute, but it looks both cool and modern.

I recommend starting with blues or greys because they work best visually and are the easiest to execute with everyday pieces. By all means, throw in some subtle patterns (like in your shirt or tie) when layering to add a visually interesting element. I also like an all-black look, but the key to making it work is layering different textures/fabrics.

Consider Your Skin Tone

Our final piece of the puzzle has to do with your skin tone. Now I get asked all the time about matching clothing colors to eye and hair color and the only thing you need to know about that is this: it doesn’t matter one bit. Women pay attention to their eye and hair color when putting on makeup because certain colors can highlight their facial features. When it comes to men, this does not apply unless you’re wearing makeup. The only thing that you should consider is your skin color in regards to clothing choice.

Yellow Skin Tones

For men of Asian descent or those who have yellow tones in their skin, you’re going to want to avoid lighter/pastel versions of the following colors: tan, off-white, yellow, and orange. They’re only going to make your skin look sickly or muted. Solid, darker versions of these colors are ok, and from there, you can wear any other colors.

Brown Skin Tones

If your skin is on the brown spectrum (anything from light to dark) you want to avoid any brown color that closely matches your skin color. Otherwise, you’ll look dull and lifeless. Choose something darker or lighter from your skin and you’ll be in great shape. I highly recommend wearing colors like reds, yellows, greens, and blues, because they’ll look great against your warmer skin tone.

White or Pale Skin Tones

For those of you who burn at even the slightest hint of sunlight, you want to avoid reds, yellows, pinks, and oranges in all shades and forms. These colors are really going to bring out the pink undertones in your fair skin and make you look flushed or washed out. A good rule of thumb to follow is that “cool” colors are good.  Wearing colors like blues, greens, purples and their variations are going to look great against your skin and complement your fairness.

My Favorite No-Fail Color Combos

Finally, I’m going to share an easy cheat sheet with you, a few of my favorite, go-to combinations and how to wear them. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing these casually or dressed up, all of these color combinations are going look great.

Navy and Brown

Both classic and modern, navy and brown go together like peanut butter and jelly.  From dark denim and a brown jacket or blazer to a navy suit with brown accents, to something as simple as tan chinos and a navy casual jacket, this combination is one you absolutely should master.  Throw a white shirt into any navy and brown combination for an easy way to bring it all together.

Blues and Greens

Speaking of rock-solid, one-two punches that work in tandem, blue and greens together are always on point. The wide range of hues gives you the option to dial up the statement level (or tone it down), depending on what shades you choose, what occasion you’re dressing for, or how adventurous you’re feeling.

My favorite ways to wear these colors together are:

  1. A navy suit, light blue shirt, and a green tie
  2. A blue oxford or t-shirt, green chinos, and brown leather belt with chukka boots

Black, Grey, and White

Simple?  Sure. Always sharp, clean, and in good taste? You bet. If you’re one of those guys who can appreciate the idea of a modern uniform or the utmost in classic simplicity, stick to this graphic combination and feel confident knowing you’re always going to look great.

My favorite outfit combos for these colors are:

  1. Grey suit, white shirt, and black tie.
  2. Black bomber jacket, white shirt, and grey pants.

Charcoal/Grey and Pastels

We’ve obviously established the awesome versatility of charcoal and grey, so it makes sense that they would also work well with pastels.  The great thing about pairing them with shades of grey is that their impact is taken down slightly. So, you get the benefit of a splash of color but you’re never going to be over-the-top preppy guy from Martha’s Vineyard or look like you’re on vacation in the Caribbean.

My favorite outfit combos:

  1. Grey suit, white or pastel shirt, and any simple dark tie (pastel shirt) or pastel tie (white shirt).
  2. Grey or charcoal casual jacket, pastel shirt or sweater, and navy pants.

I hope that was helpful and as you can see, wearing colors doesn’t have to be confusing or scary, so give it a shot!

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

$198 – John Varvatos Collection Hamptons Silk & Cotton Polo Shirt in black or charcoal (Best luxe polo shirt!)
$13 – H&M Polo Shirt Slim Fit in black (**THESE ARE THE BEST POLO SHIRTS!!!!)
$165 – J. Brand Tyler Taper Fit in slate resin (Love that the color, stitching, and hardware are similar color)
$55 – Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Stretch Jeans in dark hollow
$410 – Common Projects Achilles Leather Sneakers in white
$60 – Adidas Originals Stan Smith (colorway: white/white/fairway – Also available @ Footlocker)
$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.

3-Outfits-Every-Guy-Should-Own-Ashley-Weston-1-2

$670 – All Saints Mower Leather Bomber Jacket in black (LOVE how minimal this jacket is – definitely a BIFL!)
$88 – Everlane Cotton Bomber in black
$60 – James Perse Clear Jersey Crew in black
$10 – H&M Crew-neck T-shirt in black
$170 – Diesel Buster 0607A Tapered Jeans (I’ve bought my fiance 3 pairs of these – they’re that good!)
$55 – Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Stretch Jeans in dark hollow
$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.

3-Outfits-Every-Guy-Should-Own-Ashley-Weston-1-4

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.

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

$1395 – Burberry Modern Fit Wool Part Canvas Suit (charcoal)
$498 – Brooks Brothers Red Fleece Grey Suit
$115 – TopMan Grey Slim Fit Suit (alternative for warm climates: Topman Charcoal Linen Suit)
$280 – Allen Edmonds Carlyle Plain-Toe Oxfords (black or brown)
$120 – Aldo Bandolla Dress Shoe (black)
$19 – The Tie Bar Grenafaux Tie (My, hands down, favorite solid tie – go with 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