How To Wear Patterned Shirts

Whether you want to level up your business casual and weekend wardrobe or complement dressy looks, the right patterned shirt can do wonders. No matter if I’m dressing my clients formally or casually, I rely on patterned dress shirts to add both style and visual interest to whatever they’re wearing, and I’m going to show you how to do it so you look great – every time.

First, a quick word on formality.  While it’s not a hard and fast rule, in a basic sense, the bigger or bolder the pattern, the less formal the shirt is. For most of you dressing casually or in business casual, you’re home free, most patterns will definitely work. But, for some of you guys that work in more formal office environments or if you’re dressing up for a fancy wedding or evening event, keep in mind that the more subtle patterns will be much more appropriate. So now that we’ve got that established, let’s get some patterns in your life.

Stripes

Stripes can come in all manner of widths, from wide (sometimes known as Bengal stripes), to medium (pencil stripe), to thin (pinstripes) and since they tend to lean a bit more conservative, they’re also an easy place to start if you’re new to the game.

How Best To Wear Striped Shirts

As a general rule, the wider the stripe, the bolder the statement, and just like matching colors, the bolder the choice, the more simply you should approach the rest of your look. For casual and business casual looks, a simple pair of chinos or dark denim is a great option.  I also like stripes when worn with solid-colored or textured suiting and under a solid v-neck sweater with dress pants, denim, or chinos.

Checks

The world of checks is a wide one, but there’s no better way to add some instant personality to your shirt arsenal than with a few carefully chosen checked shirts.  There are many different options available, but, in my opinion, the three with the most versatility and style are windowpane, tattersall, and gingham. Both windowpane and tattersall feature types of graph patterns that can range in size and thickness and gingham goes one step further with a bolder, thicker check pattern that often combines a base color like white and one other color.

How Best To Wear Checked Shirts

As with stripes, the level of statement can vary, but my go-to rule remains, keep the rest of your look simple.  Dark-colored denim, chinos, and dress pants are the ticket, and if you’re going to dress them up, I recommend solid-colored suits and solid or subtle ties. On the tie front, I think geometrically patterned ties can look a bit too matchy-matchy with checked shirts, so be wary. Protip: for a less formal tie option, try a knit tie in a solid, complementing color. The texture and slightly less formal nature of a knit tie work really well with blazers, chinos, and denim for a dressy hybrid that’s great for business casual or a dressed-down Friday.

Geometric and Floral Prints

Now more popular than ever, print shirts are a great way to add a cool, modern edge to your casual looks and even suiting and dress clothes. Small-scale geometric prints are a great place to start if you want to keep it subtle but, I definitely recommend trying a bolder floral print too, it’s an easy, fun way to add a bit of stylish personality to your vibe.

How Best To Wear Geometric and Floral Prints

The printed shirt is all about letting the shirt do the talking, so I highly recommend denim or dark chinos in navy, tan or gray, especially if you’re going with a floral print, and finish with sneakers or loafers (I like driving mocs). Don’t be afraid to dress up a printed shirt too, pair it with a slim dark suit and some penny loafers or dressy leather sneakers for formal-but-not-stuffy settings like a cocktail party, fun summer wedding or night out. For a black belt-level move, try rocking the air tie (top button buttoned, no tie).

Plaids

When you’re talking plaid shirts, usually the pattern involves multiple colors and lines/boxes and the more things happening with the pattern (color, width, etc) the better suited the plaid will be to casual dressing. Be warned, though, it’s a slippery slope to full lumberjack hipster, so chop firewood at your own risk!

How Best To Wear Plaids

Ultimately these patterns are busy, and I recommend keeping plaids casual and subtle, so try them with denim, chinos, and shorts in solid colors, and finish them with shoes like sneakers or chukka boots. You can always “turn down the volume” of a plaid by layering it under a solid-colored sweater, lightweight jacket or pairing it with a dark-colored blazer in dressier situations.

Now that you’ve got some know-how and a few tips in your pocket, have confidence and make these patterns work for you! Your shirt rotation (and your wardrobe in general) are about to get an upgrade.

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!

How To Shave Your Testicles

This video about how to shave/trim your testicles or balls to not gross women out and ensure you don’t look like a caveman or “bush baby” as my friend Indigo says in the video or like a pre-teen boy (shudder).

The Best Tool For The Job

$40 – Wahl Elite Pro High Performance Clippers #79602

I love and only recommend these trimmers by Wahl because:

  • This is what all my groomer friends, mentioned in the intro video, use.
  • Wahl has been around for a long time
  • Include a lifetime warranty (5 years on the blades, too)
  • Made in the USA
  • The kit comes with everything you could ever need
  • They’ll last decades with proper care

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.

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!

5 Most Common Hair Styling Mistakes Men Make and How to Fix Them

Over the years, while working with my clients, I’ve learned a lot of great tips from their hair stylists when it comes to getting the perfect hairstyle. So with their help, I put together this list of the 5 most common hair styling mistakes men make and how to fix them. I also thought it would be fun to have my friend, Jordan O’Brien from The Gentleman’s Cove Youtube Channel, give his awesome input about these hair styling mistakes since he’s kind of awesome with hair.

 

Mistake 1: Selecting the wrong hairstyle

Wrong Hairstyle Ashley Weston

1) Won’t work for your hair type

So maybe you really love a certain hairstyle, and you want to replicate it on yourself. Unfortunately, trying to style your hair like someone who has a different hair type than yours will result in something that never looks quite right.

Fix

You really need to be honest with yourself when choosing a haircut based on the type of hair you have and take your barber/hairstylist’s advice.

2) Choosing a hairstyle that doesn’t fit your lifestyle

If you’re opposed to using a blow dryer, you are probably not going to want to choose a pompadour or quiff, as they usually require some time with the blow dryer in order to get the necessary volume.

Fix

If you don’t want to spend a lot of time styling your hair, then don’t choose a high maintenance haircut and get something more in-line with the time you’re willing to put in with your hair. 

Mistake 2: Using the wrong product

Using the wrong product will often result in not getting the look or hold you want.  For example, when men with fine or thinning hair use gel or pomades in their styling routine — big mistake. Gel clumps your hair together and reveals more of scalp, making the hair look even thinner. A lot of men will keep adding more and more product, even when it’s not designed for the style you want to accomplish. Another big mistake.

Wrong Product For Hair Type Ashley Weston

Fix

For thinning hair, use mousses, matte texture pastes and conditioners to provide fluff that is more natural.

If the look or hold isn’t up to your standards, the worst thing you can do is double the quantity of product used. Start with a small amount of product and add a little more, if necessary. If that doesn’t work, then you’ve got to find a better product that’s designed for your hair type and style.

Mistake 3: Going too long between haircuts

The longer you go without a haircut, the longer your hair becomes and the more difficult it is to style your hair properly, which usually results in having to use a lot more product.

Too Long In Btwn a Haircut Ashley Weston

Fix

A fresh cut can instantly give you a put-together look, and the more it becomes part of your regular grooming routine, the fewer styling products you’ll usually need.

Mistake 4: Not using product properly

Start with HALF the amount of product of what you think you need, then apply to your hair. You can always add more, but if you put too much, it all goes downhill from there and you’ll either have to wash your hair and start over or use a lot of dry shampoo to get it back to a semi-normal hairstyle.

Not Using Product Properly Ashley Weston

Fix

To really activate a hair product and apply it effectively you need to:

1) Heat it up in your hands by rubbing them together so it warms up and then distributes easily into your hair.
2) Then, using the the full surface area of both your hands, work in the product starting from the root.

As a general rule of thumb, creams and paste should go into hair when it is damp. Pomades or softer waxes should go in when hair is dry.

Mistake 5: Not washing well

Not washing well and using quality products. Can you get away with using the drugstore 2-in-1 products? Maybe, but all the hairstylists I talked to said this is the one thing that guys overlook that has a big impact on being able to style your hair properly. It’s like putting low-grade gasoline into a rocket ship – it won’t work well.

Not Washing Your Hair Enough 2 Ashley Weston

Fix

Take at least 2 minutes to really scrub your hair and massage your scalp. Your scalp needs to be stimulated and massaged to get the blood flowing into the area and keep the best version of your hair growing long into your life, which also means your hair will be more manageable and easier to style.

And as for quality products, it’s really going to make a huge difference after you’re done showering and when it’s time to style your hair. If you don’t believe me, you’ll only know what I’m talking about when you try.

I’ve included some great shampoos and conditioners that are best for your hair type that my hairstylist friends highly recommended. If you’re using products not designed for your hair type then you really won’t see the benefit that I’m talking about.

Thinning Hair

Nioxin System1 Cleanser & Scalp Therapy Duo Set Ashley Weston

$34 – Nioxin System 1 Cleanser & Scalp Therapy Duo Set
$20 – Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo
$20 – Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Conditioner 
$20 – Redken Cerafill Retaliate Shampoo
$20 – Redken Cerafill Retaliate Conditioner 

Fine Hair

Kevin Murphy Stimulate Me Wash and Rinse Ashley Weston

$78 – Kevin Murphy Stimulate Me Rinse and Wash Duo Set 
$34 – Lush Veganese Conditioner
$14 – Bain de Terre Green Tea Thickening Conditioner 
$12 – Bain de Terre Green Tea Thickening Shampoo 

Curly or Coarse Hair

New Wash Hair Story Ashley Weston

$40 – New Wash Hairstory
$21 – Kérastase Discipline Bain Fluidealiste Shampoo
$21 – Kérastase Fondant Fluidealiste Conditioner  
$18 – Ouidad Curl Quencher Moisturizing Conditione
$16 – Ouidad Curl Quencher Moisturizing Shampoo 

Normal Hair (Straight or Wavy)

Kevin Murphy Hydrate Me Wash and Rinse Ashley Weston 1

$90 – Kevin Murphy Hydrate Me Wash and Rise Duo Set
$30 – Mister Pompadour Peppermint Shower Experience 
$24 – Moroccan Oil Hydrating Conditioner
$23 – Moroccan Oil Hydrating Shampoo

Top 12 Turn Ons for Women

Before I begin, I want you to take notice of the fact that this list will not mention anything about attractiveness, because, to a woman, it’s obviously something we like, but it’s not a deal-breaker requirement for most women and it’s not the only thing that can turn us on. So let’s get into the things that EVERY man does or can do that turns women on.

1. Decisiveness

2. Prompt & Punctual

3. Well-Mannered

Has good manners (i.e. holds door open for a woman, knows to not eat before a woman/others at the table, polite to others). You’d be surprised how uncommon a well-mannered man is.

4. Smiles a Lot

This indicates a man is friendly.

5. Good sense of humor

6. Maintain a nice conversation

7. Good Listener

8. Stable

A man who has his finances in order and keeps good relationships with family and/or friends.

9. Confident

Being confident in yourself and everything you do is a huge turn on for women. This can make up for lacking in the good looks department.

10. Constant Learner

11. Takes Care of Himself

i.e. grooming, healthy lifestyle habits, being well-dressed.

12. Ambitious & Passionate

In all that you do, including your career.

5 Most Attractive Men’s Hairstyles Women Love

In this article and video, I wanted to discuss the 5 Most Attractive Men’s Hairstyles That Women Love. I’m always amazed to see content like this that’s done by men, talking about what women love, which doesn’t really make sense since these are dudes, not women, talking about the best hairstyles for men according to women. It seems a little counter-intuitive to me. The ultimate goal of your hairstyle should be having a woman want to run her fingers through it, regardless of the type or quantity of hair you have. So let’s get into the 5 favorites.

 

1. New Pompadour

It’s a modern take on the classic Pompadour (make this a link to a classic pompadour pic) but there’s still going to be that signature volume on top. I find this hairstyle very sexy, especially when the hair’s finger-combed back so that it looks a little “piecey” and not so perfect – every woman will want to run her hands through your hair.

Characteristics of the New Pompadour

  • When the cut is tight and tapered on the sides, but longer and textured on the top.
  • The top will be either swept back, like the James Dean picture below OR back and to the side, like the Justin Timberlake picture. You’ll maintain this direction and high volume on top with a blow dryer and some wax or pomade.

2. Freeman’s Cut (Undercut)

When I see this hairstyle on a man, I instantly think he must be a badass and could give two shits. This haircut isn’t for someone who wants to blend in, so it’s actually a really easy way to fake being cool, or add a dimension of personality that women will be attracted to.

Characteristics of the Freeman

  • When the hair is cut really short (using a 1 or 2 on your clippers) or shaved on the sides and back of your head, but left about 2-4 inches longer on top.
  • The top of your hair is going to be swept straight back. The styling is really quick and easy.

3. The Crew Cut

This haircut is also known as the “Ivy League Cut.” It always looks great and is super low maintenance, so it’s a favorite of a lot of men, and I don’t blame them.

Characteristics of a Crew Cut

  • Tight on the sides with a natural fade of the sideburns and back of the head. The top will be a little bit longer and even length across the whole top of the head.
  • In terms of styling, there’s really not much to do except brushing the top front area up.

4. The Quiff

  1. There’s lots of different variations of the quiff, from short to longer versions, and a cleaner, more controlled styling to a messier, tousled look. This is another haircut that makes me want to run my hands through your hair. I love when it’s styled a little messy because it looks really sexy, masculine and cool.

Characteristics of the Quiff

  • When the top of your hair is on the longer side and the sides and back can vary in length but it should always be kept shorter than the top so there’s a definitive contrast.
  • This kind of haircut will work perfectly on men who have naturally curly or wavy hair.
  • To achieve the volume on top you’ll want to blow dry the top of your hair and then add some styling product to push the hair back and to the side.

5. Classic Businessman

Also known as the Don Draper haircut from Mad Men, it’s a classic taper haircut with a side part hairstyle. I love this timeless and formal hairstyle which looks great in all settings.

Characteristics of the Businessman

  • The top is left up to 2 inches long and the sides and back are tapered with scissors or hair clippers.
  • To get the hairstyle, take your hair product of choice and run it through your hair while it’s still damp. Take your comb and create your side part. Then create a small wave on the front of your hair by combing your bangs up and back towards either side. Comb back the sides of your hair.
  • If you want a little messier than use your fingers as a comb when pushing the top of your hair to the back towards the either side.
  • If you want a wet finish, use a pomade with a bit of shine to it.