Phone/Mobile Cases

Just like with your wallets, a phone is something you’re probably carrying on a daily basis. So let’s make sure your case is as classy, well-designed and functional to meet your needs.

If you work in a more physically-intensive job, where utility trumps everything else, then use whatever case meets your requirements for the week and then grab one of my choices below for the off-hours or weekend. Because there’s nothing worse than seeing a guy with a big phone bulge in his front pocket, or worse-yet, a big ass phone clipped to his belt – yuck.

The goal with anything you carry, and especially your phone case, is to provide protection, while still looking sharp and being as small/minimal as possible. Believe me, I’ve tested a few hundred cases over the years and these are by far the best that my clients and I all agree about.

Quick note: Even though I’m demonstrating cases and showing pictures of cases for iPhones, I do my best to provide Android options wherever possible.

The Veil XT by Caudabe

Caudabe Veil XT Ashley Weston Phone Case

Buy it for iPhone | Similar for Samsung phones
This case is so awesome that not only do I recommend it to my clients, but I use it myself.

It protects the back and sides with the slimmest profile I’ve ever seen. Also, here’s a point I especially love – It doesn’t have some gaudy logo all over it.

It’s made of a flexible but hard plastic that has a rubbery matte texture, so it isn’t slippery like other cases. There’s lot of similar cases out there, but I like this one because it covers the bottom and top parts – which most others don’t. In my tests, if this type of case doesn’t cover all sides, the edges will catch on your pockets or fingers and the corners will chip off easily and become jagged, which is very annoying to hold.

The only downside to this case is it doesn’t provide any screen protection, so it’ll be sitting on the screen if you lay your phone face down. If you need screen protection, see the next two cases.

I also like that the case is still a little pliable. Most similar cases are very brittle and my clients broke a few of them trying them out for me. This one has come off and on numerous times and looks good as new and hasn’t warped yet.

Frost and Wisp are my two favorite colors.

Ringke Air & Slim Cases

RingkeAirSmoke RingkeSlim

Buy Ringke Air (A.K.A Fusion Air) | Buy Ringke Slim (both are available for Android phones)

Before I discovered the Veil, I recommended and used Ringke cases for years.

The Air case is made of a polyurethane material so it’s soft and flexible. The main advantage of this case is it has a little bit of a lip around the screen, so the screen is protected if you lay your phone face down or drop it. I also like the dust and lint flaps for the headphone and power plugs. They can be annoying if you use these plugs often, so definitely grab the Slim case instead, as it doesn’t have them.

The Slim case is the hard plastic version of the Air case, but, as I said above, without the dust and lint flaps.

I like the crystal clear as well as the smoke black colors for both because they show off the beauty of your phone without looking gaudy.

Bellroy Phone Case – 3 Card

bellroy-pcib-black-texture-web-01

Buy it here

If you’re looking for a relatively small leather case that can hold 3 cards as well, then grab the Bellroy 3 Card Phone case.

It’s made of the same leather as their wallets and feels really nice in the hand. It’s definitely the smallest phone/card case I’ve seen. They also make a version for 1 card, but what’s the point of that? And their similar case that holds no cards is just too bulky for such a single purpose item.

The major downside to this case, aside from the somewhat bigger size, is the price. It’s quite expensive at about $65, but again, it’s the best leather style case I’ve tested.

I holding one in Blue Steel in the video above, but I also like their Charcoal, Black and Java colors.
So those are the phone cases I recommend to my clients and personally use. Have any cases that you love and you’re not trying to hawk your own product? Leave a comment so myself and others can see. I’m always on the hunt for awesome products!

Best Dress and Casual Belts

This article is part of my Men’s Wardrobe Essentials series.
Every guy only needs 4 belts in his closet, ever. Even though I always say your pants should fit without a belt – they’re still a must-have item because pants will shift as you wear them and belts help break up an outfit. You’d think belts would be simple and this article and video should be one sentence long. Unfortunately, I constantly see guys crapping the bed in the belt department. So let’s fix this. Here’s the best dress and casual belts for men and other tips and tricks you should know about.

Why do you need a belt?

Most guys only wear belts as utility items to keep their loose pants from falling off. Certainly, a belt is for this, but there’s other reasons to wear a belt.

  • You want your pants to hit a certain part of your waist, depending on whether they’re jeans or dress pants. During the course of your day, you’ll be standing, sitting, and moving around – this will tug and pull at your shirt and pants, causing them to move around. A belt ensures they stay in their proper place.
  • A belt is necessary to break up some of your outfits, especially with non-suit outfits. Let’s say you’re wearing a sport coat/blazer with a dress shirt, dark wash jeans, and some oxford dress shoes, you’ll definitely need a belt to help break up the outfit in your midsection. People who go belt-less in these outfits… ugh.
  • To hold up your pants as they loosen, not because they are already loose. Please wear properly fitting pants!

The Be-All, End-All Buckle Type

I have family from Texas (these are actually my relatives) and they take belt buckles very seriously – which is what every guy should do! All you’ll ever need is some variation of the standard belt buckle with a single square frame and prong – no matter if they’re casual or dress belts. There’s absolutely no reason for having anything else – EVER.

Ashley Weston Black Leather Casual Belt

If you have any other type of belt buckle, and you’re not a cowboy, sheriff, rodeo rider or douchebag, replace them immediately. I throw up a little in my mouth when I see guys wearing those horrible box-frame style belt buckles like the guy below. Whatever you do, please, don’t be that guy!

ThisGuyFucks

(“This guy f*cks!“)

The 2 Types of Belts Every Man Needs

1. Dress belt

You need a dark brown and black leather belt with a simple, thin and silver belt buckle. Also, is should absolutely be shiny. A matte belt as a dress belt is a no-no. Look how terrible a matte-finished belt looks as a dress belt in my image below!

Width

You want the width to stay as near to 1.5″ as possible. Anything wider will be more bulky and is considered more casual. Anything slimmer than that is a woman’s or a fashion belt and that’s not what we’re going for here. Even though the width is only slightly smaller than a casual belt, it makes a huge difference in appearance. Compare this picture of a guy wearing a wider belt as a dress belt compared to the image of my model. Night and day, in my eyes even though it’s only about half an inch difference.

Proper Dress Belt Width - Ashley Weston

Material

You only want leather, but if you’re averse to leather, then get a leather substitute belt. You want the luxurious look of leather to match your dressy outfits.

2. Casual belt

Just like the dress belt, you’ll want a black and brown casual leather belt, each with silver buckle. This is where the buckles can be slightly thicker, but not by much. Gold buckles may be allowed if you really, really must have gold, but it may clash with some of your outfits or accessories, so I like to keep it simple and avoid gold all together. Also, in regards to the texture or finish of the belt, you want to avoid super shiny belts. Shiny/Polished-looking belts = dress belts. Most casual leather belts will be pebbled or have a texture or be matte-finished. That and the width of the belt is how you determine whether a belt is dressy or casual.

Width

Have your casual belt somewhere between 1 3/4 – 2″ wide. Anything more than that is too wide and will look out of place. Slimmer than that looks more like a dress belt.

UltimateWarriorBelt cropped

Material

You can go with leather, cloth, or webbed belts. I personally think you should stick to leather until you’re ready to step out and get more adventurous with your belts. That way, your casual belts will work no matter the time of year or outfit.

Be careful not to get a belt that’s too shiny – like a dress belt. They should be more matte-finished. I see guys making this mistake a lot. Look at the differences between my dress and casual belt recommendations below to see the difference between shiny and matte.

What Size Belt to buy?

This is a question more men should be asking! Please check out my fit guide for details about how to choose your belt size.

The Best Dress Belts for Men

A quick note: Allen Edmonds are my absolute favorites because they’re high quality and they match their colors to their dress shoes. A lot of companies don’t do this, but it’s very important to match your belts with your shoes and AE takes the guesswork out of matching them.

Designer Options

Allen Edmonds Poplar Dress Belt
Brooks Brothers Skinny Chino Calfskin Belt
Brooks Brothers Leather Dress Belt

Budget-Friendly Dress Belt Options

Zara Reversible Belt
Zara Leather Belt

The Best Casual Belts For Men

Designer Options

Allen Edmonds Newland Ave Casual Belt
Brooks Brothers Deerskin Leather Belt

Budget-Friendly Options

H&M Leather Belt 
H&M Leather Belt 

3 Ways To Wear

Dress-Belt-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials

Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece Merino Wool Crewneck Sweater
Brooks Brothers Non-Iron Milano Fit Button-Down Collared Dress Shirt
Levis 511 Slim Fit Selvedge Jeans
True Vintage Revival Glasses
Allen Edmonds Poplar Dress Belt
Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield 36mm
Allen Edmonds Carlyle Plain-Toe Oxfords

*NOTE: You choose the type of lenses (shaded, etc.) during checkout for the sunglasses above.

Casual-Belt-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials

Rag & Bone Jayden Workwear Jacket
Brooks Brothers Cotton Henley Sweater 
Levis 511 Slim Fit Selvedge Jeans
Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield 36mm
Allen Edmonds Newland Ave Casual Belt
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Classic

Outfit Inspirations

 

How To Tie Scarves for Men

This article is part of my Quick Tips series.

I see a lot of articles and videos about all the possible ways of tying a scarf, but honestly they’re mostly useless, ugly or both! So these are the 4 best ways for how to tie scarves for men and how I tie scarfs on my clients for cold weather events or publications like GQ & Esquire. Throw out all the other ways to tie scarves, they’re a waste of time!

A quick, note about length, material and patterns

This and socks is one of the few places where you really can’t go wrong with any choice. So I always tell my clients to have at it and choose anything they think looks great, it’s a perfect way to show off your personality. So any colors, patterns, materials and lengths that you like, go for it! You can’t go wrong here.

Here’s the 4 best ways for a man to tie his scarf.

The Drape

TheDrapeThis way of wearing a scarf is perfect for those who don’t like anything wrapped around their neck but still want to keep warm. I like it because it’s easy to do and it looks nice. It doesn’t do too much to keep the front of your neck warm, but it does keep the back of your neck as well as the side of your coat nice and insulated.

Definitely wear this underneath your jacket or coat, it’ll keep it in place. Otherwise, it’ll move around a lot as you walk.

  • Take the two ends of the scarf, have them hang equal length on either side of your neck.
  • Now simply tuck in each side of the scarf under each lapel of your jacket or coat. It seals in the small gaps between your chest and coat to keep you nice and warm.

The Wrap

TheWrap3It’s a pretty standard way of wearing a scarf. You probably wore yours like this as a kid and it’s just fine for men. It’ll do what The Drape won’t do – keep the front of your neck warm.

  • Start by putting the scarf behind your head and lowering one side to be twice as long as the other.
  • Now wrap the longer side once around your head. The ends can be equally long or uneven. It doesn’t matter.
  • Tuck the excess under your collar or lapel, if you want.

The Loop

This is my absolute favorite way to tie a scarf on a man and the warmest way to tie a scarf. When I see men on the street wearing a scarf like this, I think it just looks so damn sharp! You can’t go wrong with this way of tying a scarf.

  • Fold the scarf in half.
  • Wrap it around the back of your neck.
  • Tuck the loose ends through the loop created by the other side of the scarf.
  • Adjust to desired tightness.

The Bib

The Bib How to tie a scarf Ashley WestonThis way of tying a scarf tends to look best with longer scarves, but you can get away with it if you’re using a shorter one, too.

  • Put the scarf around your neck, making both sides equal in length.
  • Cross the two ends.
  • Push one side up and under the other.
  • Pull it tight (but not too tight—breathing is important even in winter!)

That’s it! Those are the best (and only) ways for a man to tie a scarf.