Monday, 25 June 2007

Storage Tips: So easy, even we can do it Gents.

So you’ve bought the latest designer threads, and accessories and you’re looking the business, but to continue looking that way, you really have to store them properly to keep them, and you looking at your best.

This is an area where a lot of men drastically fail, and with a bit of help, those expensive items can last for years if properly stored away in the off-season.

To start off, there are three important areas to remember when storing clothes: Clean, Protect and Organise.


Clean

Quite a simple thing to remember to do before you store your clothes away eh? Wrong.
So many men forget to do this before they put them into storage, it’s unreal.

Clothes are extremely susceptible to bugs and mites, especially when dirty.
Remember, just because not all stains are visible, doesn’t mean they’re not there to haunt you when you pull your favourite cashmere sweater out of storage a few months later, only to find out its ruined, making it a very costly mistake to make.

Best bet is to wash them, or better still, dry-clean them before storage, even if you think they don’t need it.

Protect

So you’ve taken the first step to making sure your garments are clean as a whistle before storage, but it doesn’t stop there. Even clean garments need protection, and this comes in the form of wood.
Yep, you read it correctly, wood.

The most commonly effective form of wood to use to protect garments during storage is Cedar.

Cedar provides a fresh scent which that not only repels bugs and mites, but also absorbs abrasive odours from your laundry basket or that over-used gym bag.


Cedar products are available in several forms for protecting your clothes, which include hang-ups for closets, blocks for drawers and containers and cedar hangers which can be used for coats and suits.

They’re available from any good department store near you and the rubbish ones too.

Second in the laws of protection is the location of the storage.

Protection is best carried out in dark, cool, dry and well ventilated places.
Without these 4 conditions, clothes can become faded, damaged, mouldy, and musty, much like the smell associated with old people.

So, just be strategic in storing your garments in the proper places and with the proper protection to guarantee their longevity.

Organise

The final key to storing your clothes in the off-season is proper organisation, taking your clean clothes and your protective elements and applying them together.

Organisation doesn’t just mainstream your wardrobe; it also adds extra protection by storing similar garments together.

For example, the storage of hanging items in natural cotton garment bags allows you to store similar items in the same area, but it also blocks light and provides a breathable barrier for clothes to maintain them in a safe, clean and easy to locate environment.

Don’t forget about storage boxes though, as several of these add extra order and flexibility in storing items in locations such as under the bed and can also add structure to your wardrobe.

Just remember, organisation can add simplicity to life, so why not add it to your wardrobe?

Just taking into account the 3 simple steps of clean, protect and organise allows you to play the game of fashion more successfully, especially as you’ll now stand out from the crowd in your well cared for garments, making the little time and effort put into the process a lot more rewarding.

CL

Blu-Ray Disc – What’s all the fuss about?

So your thinking about buying a Playstation 3 but your not sure if your enough of a hard-core gamer? Well what about movies? Do you enjoying sitting down in front of a big LCD TV and watching the Godfather on DVD (just like pretty much every other man who ever lived)? Well if you do then the PS3 offers you another treat … Blu-Ray Disc!

Blu-Ray disc is the next generation entertainment format specially designed to show superb, crystal clear images on a high definition (HD) television. It is claimed the picture is SIX times better quality than that of standard DVDs. That’s not all, with up to 7.1 digital surround sound and the ability to offer advanced interactive content, Blue-Ray discs offer an entertainment experience that is out of this world.

I know what your thinking; “is this another Betamax”? and “how long will this format be around”? Well Blu-Ray disc has the support of over 170 leading entertainment companies including Sony, MGM, Panasonic, HP, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Brothers to name but a few. So with the biggest names in movies, video games, electronics, computing and music there seems to be a commitment to bring the best content onto the Blu-Ray format so that you have an amazing range of high definition films, TV, games and music to choose from now and well into the future.

High definition content takes up a lot of space. As such a dual layer Blu-ray Disc can store 50 GB, almost 6 times the size of a dual layer DVD at 8.5 GB. This allows a much better definition of picture quality which is immediately noticeable when comparing to a normal DVD. But to see this you’ll need to have a TV that is HD ready! Most LCD flat screen televisions are HD ready nowadays but to be sure check on the box or in the manual. Finally, if you don’t have or want a PS3, you will need to purchase a dedicated Blu-Ray Disc player available from the likes of Sony, Philips, Pioneer, and Sharp.

So thinking of making a purchase? Well with the support of so many big companies we suspect Blu-Ray will be around for many years to come, and the quality over standard DVDs is unquestionable, so KJ Beckett can guarantee you will be able to enjoy an advanced entertainment now and well into the future. Go on, go out and buy one, you know you want to!

Friday, 22 June 2007

The History of David Beckham's Hair: Part 1

MFB thought it was about time to look at the UK's most influential men's fashion icon in recent times ... David Beckham, and in particular David Beckham's hairstyles!

David Beckham changes his hairstyle more often than he changes his underwear! Indeed, since meeting the fashion conscious Victoria Adams (now his wife, Victoria Beckham), who has clearly molded his persona, David Beckham's hairstyle has been one of the most talked about things in the history of celebrity fashion.


We start off in the early days of David’s career, fresh out of the youth academy at Manchester United with this mainly un-styled, plain and simple look.
This was in keeping with the non-flash lifestyle Sir Alex Ferguson embedded into his upcoming youth team players, but little did he know this was the start of an extremely media-fuelled career.



As David’s career takes off due to often brilliant displays on the wing for Manchester United, his hairstyle begins to develop into a more slicker look as he discovers the joys of hair gel, prompting a deal with Brylcreem which increased their sales by 50%.

Flash back to the 1995/1996 English Premier League season, and to David Beckham’s famous goal scored from the half way line over a helpless Neil Sullivan in goal for Wimbledon.

This is the point where David Beckham’s career really took off as he was sprung into the media spotlight for showcasing his footballing talent, and as a result of this, his hair undertook a dramatic change with the inclusion of blonde highlights: the mark of an upcoming Superstar.

David Beckham shocked the nation with his next style taking him from media sweetheart to that of one with attitude, and promoted Barbers to up their prices for one of the simplest hairstyles in existence: the shaved head.

Hiding the ‘new do’ under a woolly hat during a Manchester United training session, David caused a media panic after a team-mate jokingly removed it revealing it to the World, causing newspapers to displace headlines just to cover it.


Next up in the collection is the possibly the one Golden Ball’s will look back on and think ‘Maybe that wasn’t a good idea.’ Yep, you’ve guess it, the mini-Mohawk.

This monstrosity of a haircut was devised shortly after David’s shaved look grew back, and prompted armies of men to copy it, creating possibly the largest fashion disaster in the history of the World.

After the success and shock factor of the mini-Mohawk, David toned it down a little and went for something less shocking with this short, darker spiked haircut.


Next up for Mr. Beckham in the Summer of 2002 was my personal favourite, the blonde, longer Mohawk. Heck, I enjoyed it so much, even I sported it for a while!

Looking much like a blonde shark, Beck’s led England to the Quarter-Finals of the World Cup Final’s, narrowly losing to the eventual winners Brazil.



After the disappointment of the World Cup, David decided to go for the European look, and grew his hair much longer, often sporting it with a continental hair band, making an item normally seen in Fame (I want to Live Forever) fashionable once again.


Blatantly annoyed with his hair always being in his eyes, Beck’s decided to cause mass media frenzy once again with a style most often seen in the Caribbean. Enter the famous cornrow hairstyle, so famous in fact that Nelson Mandela requested to meet Beck’s and the England squad during this period.
Was this influenced by this famous hairstyle? Who knows!


Check back here soon for the second part of David Beckham's Hair History, only here at MFB!

CL

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Paul Smith Socks vs Duchamp Socks – The Battle of the Socks

KJ Beckett have picked two of the leading British men’s fashion accessory designers; Paul Smith and Duchamp; and compared their men’s sock collections, putting them head-to-head in the ultimate men’s sock review of 2007! Which sock was the softest? Which sock was the most comfortable? Who had the best designs? Read on to find out…

Paul Smith Socks

Made in Italy and generally of mercerised cotton (although some pairs are high percentage wool), there’s no surprises that Paul Smith’s current sock collection is an impressive sight to all but the hardest of fashion connoisseurs. To ensure quality, Paul Smith opts for a high mix of cotton in his 2007 collection, with percentages reaching up to 100% but generally 80% mercerised cotton, mixed with polyamide.



Designs for this season include “Concertina” stripes, “Checker board”, Contrast heel and toe, dot socks, plus, our current favourite, Pencil flower socks. Of course the signature Paul Smith striped sock design is not forgotten also. As KJ Beckett have found with most designer socks, care should be taken in washing Paul Smith socks because we have noted shape is not fully retained when washed at “normal” temperatures. KJ Beckett recommend a low temperature was to keep your Paul Smith socks looking great wash after wash.

So Paul Smith socks are great, there's no argument there, but does Paul Smith win the “Battle of the Socks” in 2007?

Duchamp Socks

Well the answer is no! For us there was only going to be one winner between Paul Smith and Duchamp in 2007. As soon as we saw the eye-boggling socks collection at Duchamp we knew we were in sock heaven…a psychedelic sock heaven to be exact!

Duchamp is a world leader in men's accessories, with particular popularity due to it's funky and colourful silk ties that are instantly recognisable. The Duchamp socks collection holds true to the look and feel of the designs established by the luxury tie range. Indeed "Floral Check" socks, "Diamond Harlequin", "Linked Honeycomb" and "Overlapping Paisley" socks are bold and very beautiful.

The RRP for Duchamp socks
is £15 a pair, and like Paul Smith, you are generally paying for unique designs and branding. Whilst the quality of the high content cotton socks is good, care needs to be taken during washing to ensure the shape of your designer socks are retained. Click here to buy Duchamp socks.

Other leading socks...

Whilst Duchamp and Paul Smith make a good luxury sock, they are by no means the only option. KJ Beckett have listed another top 5 socks that deserve your consideration:

Five: Burlington Socks - German sock maker Burlington is renowned for its extensive collection of argyle socks available in a myriad colours! From business to funky to casual, there is a everyone should have at least one argyle sock in their sock drawer!

Click here to buy Burlington socks.

Four: Pantherella Socks - Pantherella are a strong British brand, making men's socks of the highest quality since 1937. Pantherella are are specialists in manufacturing socks using luxury fibres and offering hand linked toe seams to ensure the make-up of the sock is second to none. All Pantherella socks are made in England in their factory in Leicester. Click here to buy Pantherella socks online.

Four: Brora Socks - Founded by Victoria Stapleton, Brora was established in 1993 with the aim of giving classic Scottish cashmere a contemporary twist and creating a wide collection of Cashmere socks in unique colours.
Click here to visit Brora online.

Four: Corgi Socks - UK sock company Corgi, started making socks in 1893 and today hold a Royal Warrant for their quality hosiery. Corgi's casual cotton socks are renowned for their comfort and softness which makes them expensive (RRP £14) but worth every penny.
KJ Beckett recommend contrast heel and toe Corgi socks which are made in England.

One: Dore Dore Socks - Every season Doré Doré, one of Europe's top manufacturers of finest quality hosiery since 1819, make the most interesting collection of socks you can buy. The collection beats Paul Smith and Duchamp hands down! Colour, quality, fit...Dore Dore has eveything! Dore Dore socks are available in some of the world's most famous establishments including Selfridges and Harrods.
Click here to buy Dore Dore socks online.

PB



Sunday, 3 June 2007

An alternative to the Paul Smith wallet…does it exist?

Men's Fashion Blog loves Paul Smith! Look around the offices at KJ Beckett and you will see super sleek Paul Smith suits, stylish Paul Smith shoes, funky Paul Smith socks, and if you look hard enough, maybe even a pair of Paul Smith boxers! Indeed MFB are particularly drawn to the funky men's fashion brand that is Paul Smith. And why not, Paul Smith stands for cutting edge quality in the men's designer fashion world.

But what about the famous and much sought-after Paul Smith wallet? Is there an alternative that would tempt the guys from MFB to put their money, quite literately, elsewhere? We investigated the competition that Paul Smith wallets currently have…and created the definitive top 10 men’s wallets for 2007. Here's the countdown...

Ten: Mulberry Wallets

Mulberry is a famous British design label renowned world-wide for its craftsmanship and quality. The brand's backbone is an comprehensive line of luxury leather goods for men (and also women) that combine stylish, stand-out design with the finest leathers and precise detailing. A Mulbery wallet is the crème de la crème of leather wallets and any lucky owner of such an item is considered to be amongst the fashion elite!

Visit the official Mulberry website.

Nine: Ducti Wallets

Ducti wallets are some of the most impressive, wow-factor-packed items you can pull out of your pocket without being arrested! These heavy-duty duct tape wallets are much more durable than normal wallets, incredibly unique and what’s more, they cost next to nothing. MFB recommend Ducti wallets as great substitute to Paul Smith wallets for anyone looking to make a low cost fashion statement. Look out for the glow in the dark striped wallets!

To buy Ducti wallets click here.

Eight: Simon Carter Wallets

Simon Carter is a British designer, famous for his funky cufflinks that are sold in many leading stores worldwide, however his line of luxury, Italian made leather wallets are just as good. Using extremely soft nappa leather which feels fabulous to touch, Simon Carter's attention to detail is superb...indeed check out the inner lining of his comic-book wallets that feature a specially commisoned "Simon Carter comic strip".

To buy Simon Carter wallets click here.

Seven: Billabong Wallets

Australian surf brand Billabong offer an extensive range of wallets season after season. Whilst they offer some classic brown and black leather wallets, the most interesting examples are the Croc leather wallets (especially the current white Texas Croc leather wallet) and their interesting collection of low-cost canvas wallets. The designs are urban based and embody the spirit of surfing, offering a interesting way to carry your cash!
Buy Billabong wallets here.

Visit the official Billabong website.

Six: Stewart/Stand Wallets

Looking for innovative? Then choose a stainless-steel wallet from Stewart/Stand, a New York based design company that have come up with one of the most unique wallets MFB have ever seen! The stainless steel feels like silk, indeed paper is 1/3000 of an inch thick...the steel cloth used in these wallets are 3 times thinner again! Stewart/Stand offers pure stainless steel wallets but also leather wallets with stainless steel interior detail. Which ever you choose you know your friends won't have anything like it!


To buy stainless steel wallets click here.

Five: Bangers and Mash Wallets

Bangers and Mash wallets offer a similar concept to Paul Smith wallets by using photographic imagery to great effect on a printed canvas applied over leather. This has created a funky collection of men's wallets with some of the great designs including "Football", "Marbles", "Toy Soliders" and the excellent "Casino" wallet.

Four: Ted Baker Wallets

Ted Baker is the most popular lifestyle brand in the UK, and every season the company releases a myriad of luxury wallets for men. Particular favourites in 2007 include Inflect, a simple leather wallet that meets the classic man's requirements, but also Mooch and Johnny, which both offer dynamic printed leather interiors that are available in a range of colourways.

Click here to view the Ted Baker wallet collection.

Three: Launer Wallets

A million miles from a funky Paul Smith wallet, but if you’re looking for a simple and stylish leather wallet, made to the most exacting standards possible, then Launer wallets are for you. After receiving the Royal Warrant to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for their handbags, Launer of London started to specialise in making their own branded goods, designed in-house. Launer wallets are handmade by skilled craftspeople in the softest calf leather and every attention is paid to detail of their luxurious wallets.

Click here for the Launer website.

Two: Paul Smith Wallets

It was also going to be at the top of the list...yes a Paul Smith wallet is probably the most luxurious wallet a man can own. Paul Smith wallets are quality, unique, stylish, funky...they truely are fabulous. Every season Paul Smith releases a eye-boggling line of colourful wallets with photographic imagery, colourful patterns and more. Like Mulbery and Launer wallets, expect to pay big bucks for a Paul Smith wallet, but it is worth it.

For more information about Paul Smith wallets click here.

One: J Fold Wallets

Ju
st beating Paul Smith to the number one spot is J. Fold Inc., makers of the most unique and colourful collection of leather wallets that you will ever see! The collection of men's wallets that J Fold offers is incredible, with some of the coolest colour combinations ever designed. Plus the collection is massive! With a RRP of £45 in the United Kingdom they are great value for money considering they use quality 100% top grain leather for all parts and come complete in a very nice presentation tin. Particular favourites include Loungemaster, JF Roadster and Jetstream JF.

Buy J Fold wallets online.

So thats it! The top 10 wallets for men in 2007. Paul Smith comes high (as might be expected) but it is clear there are many great alternatives for a man to carry in his back pocket.

PB

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Shaving Advice for Men from Clinique

MFB have listed some of the best shaving strategies, as recommended by Clinique (2007).
General
  • Skip shaving days when possible. This gives your skin a chance to rest.

  • Alternate between a razor and electric shaver.

  • Look for shaving products that are formulated to help make beard hair softer and finer. This makes it easier to cut through the hair when you shave.
Pre-shave

  • Apply moistorising lotion several minutes prior to shaving.
Shave
  • Use a fresh razor blade thus allowing you to apply minimal pressure.

  • Reduce friction on the skin by using a rich lather.

  • Avoid foams that are high in surfactants (lathering agents).
Post-shave
  • Choose low-alcohol or “buffered” alcohol shaving products containing:
    - anti-irritants;
    - barrier restoratives;
    - antioxidants
    - aloe (to soothe minor nicks and cuts).

  • Wait a few minutes before splashing on fragrance.
MFB

Reference: Clinique (2007), “Practive Safe Shaving”, Clinique Skin Supplies for Men – Product Guide, London.

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