Ape to Gentleman https://www.apetogentleman.com Men's Grooming, Living & Style Wed, 26 Jun 2019 16:43:34 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 https://www.apetogentleman.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/cropped-Ape_logo-32x32.png Ape to Gentleman https://www.apetogentleman.com 32 32 The Dangers Of The Hair Transplant Industry (& What’s Being Done About It) https://www.apetogentleman.com/dangers-hair-transplant-industry/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dangers-hair-transplant-industry Wed, 26 Jun 2019 08:30:45 +0000 https://www.apetogentleman.com/?p=45592 A recent hair loss industry event has put charlatan operators on notice.

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Hair Loss Industry Event Puts Charlatan Operators on Notice

There’s a new era unfolding in the hair transplant surgery industry, and it’s about time. Those of us involved in it – whether as medical professionals, influencers or other – who actually give a damn about the patients signing up for this surgery, have been deeply concerned for a long time. It’s no exaggeration to say that the industry has been rife with charlatans for years. It’s become flooded with unqualified, money-hungry, maiming amateurs, hell bent on filling their pockets at the expense of their hapless patients. As Dr John Cole states, “This industry is in more danger now than its ever been!”

Dr. John Cole presenting a sincere speech on the state of the hair transplant field and the much-needed change required.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: hair transplant surgery is a last resort – and once you’re cut, you’re cut. I also abide by the mantra, “trust no one”. I stand by both those statements every single day. When it comes to hair transplant surgery, it’s a case of “buyer beware”. You must do your due diligence because there are some very dark and shady operators out there. You don’t get a second chance to have a good, safe, effective first hair transplant. Considering you will probably need more than one transplant over the course of your lifetime – that’s the nature of it, thanks to the hair’s natural growth cycles – that very first one sets the foundation for all ensuing ones. I will say though, for those poor gents who’ve been on the receiving end of some botched surgeries, there is hope.

A foundation of trust, confidence and optimism

I recently spoke at the 8th Annual FUE Europe Conference in Manchester, a collaboration between FUE Europe and the International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons. The event brought together pretty much a who’s who of industry superstars as well as passionate newcomers and everyone in between. What each individual had in common was the deep desire to do right by patients. FUE Europe and the IAHRS exist to preach best practice, promote accountability and provide a community that invites, supports and encourages ethical players to attain and maintain supremely high standards. You could think of it as an exclusive club that only admits members with the best intentions, who genuinely want to see this industry thrive and who truly care about patients’ rights, needs and results.

A presentation at the 8th Annual FUE Europe Conference

The event played a vital and much-needed role in generating awareness of the many terrible things happening out there across the world. I was invited to present my views on the state of the industry and believe me, I did not hold back. Happily, my points of view were extremely well received, due in no small part to the fact that I myself have been the recipient of no less than 13 hair transplant surgeries. If anyone knows this game, it’s me. I’ve been “that guy’”who has suffered at the hands of greedy amateurs and I’ve got the scars to prove it. Today, I’m a success story but it’s been a hard slog soaked in actual blood, sweat and tears.

My role as a patient advocate, influencer and trusted spokesperson is one I don’t take lightly. My presentation at the conference was quite passionate and animated but I make no apology for that. I’m angry that so many hair transplant patients have been so poorly treated that their already low self-confidence has been destroyed. I’m angry that countless healthy albeit thinning scalps have been traumatised by, effectively, butchers. I’m angry that the bad guys have gotten away with this for so long.

Draining the swamp of the hair loss industry

What I’m extremely heartened to tell you today is that although the cogs have been turning for a while behind the scenes at FUE Europe and the IAHRS, the conference basically put the bad guys on notice. In fact, it sent a strong, clear message to even those who might be fence-sitters.

Not all wolves in sheep’s clothing wear the full costume. There are those who might be tempted to cut corners, relax their standards or coerce patients into procedures they don’t need, even though, for all intents and purposes, they seem as though they’re doing everything by the book.

One of the most important themes of the conference echoed the old adage, “United we stand, divided we fall”. Those who genuinely have the industry and patients’ best interests at heart are rising up to stand together and rehabilitate the field of hair transplant surgeries. We are issuing a challenge: “You’re either with us, or against us; part of the solution or part of the problem.” And believe me when I say, those who are against us will not prevail as the army of very driven, ethical and honourable hair transplant surgeons are getting their industry back under helm.

Renowned surgeon Dr. Alan Bauman was unable to attend the meeting but it didn’t stop him from sharing his experience, providing an excellent remote video presentation from the US in order to show support and help educate the conference attendees.

For me, it was very special to bear witness to the new wave of young physicians whose enthusiasm can truly help steady the ship and get it back on course.

The role of the patient in building a safer, healthier hair transplant community

For patients, education, awareness and responsibility are key. If you’re in the market for a hair transplant – or think you might be – do your research. Seek a second (informed) opinion, ask around, look up reviews, join forums, participate in conversations and become a regular listener of The Bald Truth podcast and listen to Joe Tillman, Spencer Kobren and myself. Hell, even pay attention to your gut; you know when something doesn’t sound or feel right. Take responsibility for your wellbeing and safety and look beyond price and pretty promises.

Likewise, help us to help you. Be vocal when you smell a rat or, in fact, meet one. Blow the whistle on dodgy operators, even if what happened to you was a long time ago.

IAHRS leading hair transplant surgeon Dr. Scott Boden from Connecticut, USA presenting a powerful talk to the audience on Donor Area Anaesthesia at the conference.

The role of hair transplant operators in restoring integrity in their community

Operators who are proud of their work often maintain a dignified silence, which can make them harder to identify. What they don’t do is hide behind slick marketing campaigns, make outlandish promises or change their trading name and/or move premises on a regular basis.

Only ethical, high-benchmark medical professionals can be found on the membership rolls of FUE Europe and the IAHRS. They may also be found not yet on the rolls but we’re working to change that. Membership is not mandatory but operators who are not members will, through our awareness campaigns, increasingly be seen by consumers as ones to avoid.

Founder of the IAHRS, Spencer Kobren interviewing hair transplant lifetime achievement award winner Dr. Bradley Wolf on aspects of the industry and seeking his opinion on the state of the field today.

At the June conference, it was abundantly clear that these two organisations are leading the way in their combined mission to create a cohesive community. This collective community serves two main purposes: 1) to support and nurture the goodwill among the industry’s diligent and reputable surgeons and clinics, and 2) to protect and guide men and women who have been, are currently, or will be looking to have their first or subsequent hair transplant surgery.

As Spencer Kobren pointed out: “This event is potentially the catalyst for the greatest expression of collective change.” You know what? Change is already happening and there are going to be interesting times ahead.

Visit spexhair.com for further information and or to contact the writer of this article – Spencer Stevenson, Ape’s resident hair loss expert.

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Electric Evolution: Audi e-tron (2019) Review https://www.apetogentleman.com/electric-evolution-not-revolution-audi-e-tron-2019-review/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=electric-evolution-not-revolution-audi-e-tron-2019-review Tue, 25 Jun 2019 09:00:19 +0000 https://www.apetogentleman.com/?p=45488 The e-tron is far from the most radical or even interesting electric car on sale, but if its job is to encourage drivers out of their diesel SUVs and into electric ones, it should do a fine job.

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Making the switch to an electric car is not an easy one so Audi is attempting to ensure the transition is as painless as possible with its new e-tron SUV.

The e-tron is perhaps the most technologically advanced vehicle Audi sells; millions upon millions of euros has been poured into its development – but you wouldn’t think it by looking at it.

It looks entirely familiar, like a slightly shrunken Audi Q7 with a new set of headlamps. Yet that is precisely how Audi wants you to view it; the German brand doesn’t want to alienate its customers by selling them something as wild as a Tesla Model X. Instead it’s played it safe and sensible, going for evolution rather than revolution.

That’s a theme mirrored inside, too. If you’ve spent any amount of time in a Q7 or Q5, you’ll feel entirely at home in the e-tron. A mass of digital displays on the dash is your gateway to all of the car’s core functions, which operate with traditional Germanic efficiency.

Where the e-tron does differ is with the way it drives. A light “ping” from the car lets you know it’s alive in the absence of any engine noise. An enormous 95kWh battery – weighing 700kg alone – nestles beneath the floor and powers an electric motor on each axle for four-wheel drive. In total it develops a hefty 402bhp but because of the car’s sheer weight, 0-62mph takes 5.7 seconds. And you’ll get about 200 miles on a full charge in the real world.

On the move, the etron marks itself out from any Tesla with its effortless and luxurious approach to getting around. Its agility is hamstrung by its sheer heft, so it’s not the most entertaining car to drive but the blissfully smooth and silent power delivery encourages you take it easy. At times it’s often easy to forget your driving an electric car at all.

The e-tron is far from the most radical or even interesting electric car on sale, but if its job is to encourage drivers out of their diesel SUVs and into electric ones, it should do a fine job.

From £71,520; see more at audi.co.uk/models/e-tron.html

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Going For Bronze: This Year’s 5 Best Bronze Watches https://www.apetogentleman.com/best-bronze-watches/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=best-bronze-watches Mon, 24 Jun 2019 08:00:46 +0000 https://www.apetogentleman.com/?p=45324 Bronze is trending hard in horology, with almost every marque jumping on the bandwagon. To save you wading through the mud-coloured mire, these are the models you need to know.

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The watch world revels in the archaic; need proof? How about the fact that they’ve only just entered the bronze age. At least, that’s what it’s starting to feel like given that the alloy has been the focal point of the last six months in watches.

OK, so there are some genuine plus points to bronze – even if it is 5,019 years old. It’s corrosion resistant, relatively hard-wearing and most importantly, gives a cool, steampunky twist to most watches. It also has the unique trait in watch cases of gaining a patina over the years.

That lauded patina is the metal oxidising and will change according to how you wear it, when you wear it, what it comes into contact with and myriad other little factors that are impossible to recreate from watch to watch. In a very roundabout way, that patina makes each watch unique.

On a more technical level, the fact that bronze is an alloy, it allows each watchmaker to customise it for their own needs. Sure there needs to be copper and tin mainly, but you can always shake things up with other metals to change the specs or colour of the metal. Brands will take any opportunity to formulate some new, “proprietary” material, even if it is just putting % more nickel in the mix.

Still, the way the majority of watchmakers has jumped on their favourite new zeitgeisty metal is almost alarming; there’s nary a brand without some flash of metallic brown somewhere in its collection. So, to save you wading through the mud-coloured mire of bronze, here are a few of the best out there.

Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Anniversary Edition

Even if you’ve not heard of the specific watch before, all you need to know is that the Big Crown Pointer Date, Oris’ flagship pilots’ watch, is now 80 years old. I’d hesitate to call it iconic, but it’s edging towards it. Either way, it’s one hell of a watch for the money at the worst of times; at the best of times you get this stunning bronze edition.

Now, it won’t be the only time you see the bronze case/green dial combo; IWC and Montblanc put it at the centre of their collections at the beginning of the year. That doesn’t mean it’s not a great one though, especially with that little flash of red on the circumferential date indicator. Finished with a fluted bezel, if you’re after a retro pilots’ watch you could do a lot, lot worse.

£1,500; oris.ch

Panerai Submersible Bronzo

Want your wrist to feel like it’s strapped to a Jules Verne marine explorer? Look no further than this 47mm hunk of metal. It takes a certain kind of guy to be able to pull this particular watch off, but it’s worth if it you can. Daily weightlifting aside, it’s actually a reissue of the watch that popularised bronze in the first place.

Panerai weren’t the first watchmaker to use bronze – that would be the inimitable Gerald Genta – but when the original Luminor Submersible Bronzo came out it led the charge to where we are now. Here Panerai have kept things relatively unchanged on the outside and simply equipped this new model with a far superior movement, namely their own P.9010 in-house calibre with a three-day power reserve. It’s not a subtle watch and that’s why it’s awesome.

£13,900; panerai.com

Zenith Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Extra Special

Not nearly as pricey as the Panerai but almost as chunky (bronze seems to suit largely-proportioned watches), Zenith’s 45mm classic pilots’ watch is about as perfect a canvas for bronze as you can get. That said, I might be a little biased, given that I’ve always had a soft spot for the Type 20. Everything from the curvaceous hands to that incredible, overcompensating fluted crown gives the steampunk-y impression of a converted Victorian-era pocket watch.

It comes with black and green (of course) dials, but for my money the blue is the coolest. Whichever you opt for, the movement is the same, which is a massive point in the Type 20s favour; it contains one of the finest chronographs ever built in the form of Zenith’s legendary El Primero movement.

£5,900; zenith-watches.com

Tudor Black Bay Bronze

Tudor is one of the better value-for-money propositions out there, leaning on the heritage of their older sibling, Rolex, while giving themselves room for some more modern divers. I mean, you wouldn’t see Rolex use bronze. Instead we have the latest iteration of the Black Bay Bronze, this time with a lovely slate grey dial.

Granted, it’s not a huge departure from the previous version with a simpler black dial, but it’s still a decent enough difference, particularly when worn on the bronze-striped fabric strap. It has everything a diver should have – unidirectional rotating bezel, lume and decent, 200m water resistance – and happens to be the watch of choice for Mr. David Beckham (featured image, top). You know, if that’s your reason to buy a watch. I won’t judge.

£2,910; tudorwatch.com

Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph Limited Edition

Want to pass your shiny new watch off as vintage? Montblanc’s historically-inspired 1858 might be just the ticket. Based on the watches produced by Minerva, the chronograph specialists that Montblanc absorbed when they got serious about watchmaking, it’s pure 1930s style, right down to the original Montblanc logo.

Of course I had to include another green-dialled bronze watch – I can’t say it’s a domineering trend without proving it now, can I? – and the khaki colouring here is a perfect fit with the piece’s militaristic roots. I’d pop it on a proper canvas NATO than the fabric strap it comes with but either way, it’s a fine timepiece that looks a lot older than it is. It’s a problem I know all too well.

£4,200; montblanc.com

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Stripped-Back Kicks: Why You Need A Pair Of Minimal Sneakers https://www.apetogentleman.com/best-minimalist-sneakers-men/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=best-minimalist-sneakers-men Fri, 21 Jun 2019 09:00:59 +0000 https://www.apetogentleman.com/?p=45342 Simple sneakers are the "trend" that never died. Here's why every man should have a pair on his shoe rack.

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Of all the considerations when shopping for a pair of sneakers, versatility is perhaps the most important. The adaptability of a shoe dictates the amount of action it will see and when it comes to your outfit, less tends to equal more.

Let’s face it, a well-made pair of sleek, minimalist sneakers is always going to trump trend-baiting beetle crushers in terms of bang-to-buck ratio. Not to mention the effect on your long-term style credentials. Because while maximalism may be enjoying a surge in mainstream popularity, once it’s dead, it’ll be these modest staples gleefully kicking their way through the ashes.

Simple sneakers are the “trend” that never died. Eternally stylish, effortlessly adaptable and one of the irrefutable must-have styles on any self-respecting, modern gent’s shoe rack.

Here we delve into the minutiae of these bona-fide contemporary classics. From what to buy, to the reasons why you simply can’t be without a pair.

Why Go Minimal?

Oliver Cabell

The best way to ensure old photos can be looked back on in years to come without you cringing in horror is to steer clear of short-lived trends. Instead, aim to clad yourself in the exact opposite. Timeless essentials. Articles of clothing and footwear that look as good today as they did 50 years ago, and will continue to do so another half-century down the line.

Minimalist sneakers fall firmly inside this category. They’re clean, uncluttered and can be legitimately worn past the age of 35 without alluding to a midlife crisis.

Then there’s ease of styling. Simplicity of design allows pared-back kicks to slot seamlessly into the bottom of almost any outfit. There’s even a case to be made for wearing them with tailoring, provided the setting is informal enough.

The Best Minimal Sneaker Brands

From Novesta’s laid-back canvas designs to the artisanal Italian wares offered by Common Projects, these are the best brands to shop when it comes to minimalist sneakers.

Spalwart

Key Model: Marathon Trail Low

Marathon Trail Low, €270 >

At its core, minimalist footwear is typified by a lack of aesthetic detail. However, Luxury footwear label Spalwart manages to tread the line between eye-catching and OTT to masterful effect. Still, what else would you expect from the Swedes?

Bar a simple canvas pump that gained huge popularity with denimheads in Japan, the brand is probably best known for its Marathon Trail Low silhouette. This shoe is a retro runner for those who like their sneakers understated, with more than a hint of wabi-sabi. Perfect with athletic shorts in the summer, or cuffed chinos during cooler spells.

spalwart.com

Converse

Key Model: Chuck Taylor All Star 70

Chuck 70 Canvas High-Top Sneakers, £70 >

It’s impossible to overstate the impact Converse’s All Star sneaker has had on the world of footwear. The most popular and recognisable silhouette on the face of the earth, its century-plus history puts most other sports brands to shame.

All of this from a shoe that’s about as technologically advanced as a wooden spoon. But therein lies the All Star’s beauty: sneakers don’t get simpler than this. It does everything it needs to, nothing it doesn’t and looks great in the process.

converse.com

Common Projects

Key Model: Achilles Low

 

Common Projects Original Achilles Low, £319 >

Not everyone gets the fuss that has enveloped New York-Italian brand Common Projects since it first hit the market back in 2004. We assure you, though, it is justified.

At first glance, the label’s renowned Achilles Low is just another minimalist sneaker. Upon further inspection, however, it’s obvious that CP has essentially reinvented the wheel. The Achilles is the ultimate – the benchmark for all other stripped-back kicks to live up to, and so far none have even come close. Check out the slightly sportier B-ball model, too, for a different take on the label’s trademark simplicity.

commonprojects.com

Adidas

Key Model: Stan Smith

Stan Smith Leather Sneakers, £90 >

In any conversation regarding the most iconic sneaker designs of all time, Adidas’ Stan Smith is bound to come up early on. This crisp, white tennis shoe has been a common sight on streets, courts and even the front row of fashion weeks for a very long time now.

It is arguably the definitive white leather sneaker, having sparked countless imitations. Still, in terms of looks, value for money and timeless appeal, it is so far yet to be matched.

adidas.co.uk

Novesta

Key Model: Star Master

Novesta Star Master, £49 >

Straight out of Slovakia, heritage footwear label Novesta has been doing its thing for not far off a century. And by “thing” we mean crafting some of the sturdiest canvas shoes money can buy.

Characterised by its oversized eyelets and heavily treaded rubber sole, the label’s Star Master shoe is undoubtedly the main attraction. But for something a little more aerodynamic, the brand’s Marathon Model is another great minimalist option.

gonovesta.com

Nike

Key Model: Cortez

Nike Classic Cortez, £80 >

Oregonian sportswear brand Nike is hardly the unsung hero of the footwear world. In fact, the very concept of sneaker culture comes as a direct result of its work.

While it may all be about technical fabrics and state-of-the-art production methods today, the company has its roots in simple design. Take the Cortez, for example – it’s a classic example of a retro running shoe that’s beautifully uncluttered and bearing nothing of the unnecessary.

nike.com

Oliver Cabell

Key Model: Low 1

Low 1 Jet Black, $178 >

The Common Projects Achilles Low is all well and good, but it’s a simple fact of life that not everyone has £300 to spend on a pair of shoes.

This is where Oliver Cabell comes in. The independent brand’s direct-to-consumer approach offers a means to get luxurious, handmade sneakers, minus any nasty markups. The result is a sleeker shoe rack and fatter wallet. What’s not to like about that?

olivercabell.com

Spring Court

Key Model: G2

Classic G2 Midnight Blue Canvas, €79 >

There are few things the French can’t make more stylish. Turns out tennis shoes are no exception.

Spring Court has been kitting out athletes and style aficionados alike for the best part of 100 years. In that time its designs haven’t changed much. But then again, why should they? This is minimalism at its finest – a clean white canvas interrupted only by a tasteful glint of colour courtesy of that iconic tricolour flag to the tongue.

springcourt.com

Church’s

Key Model: Mirfield

Mirfield Calf Leather Classic Sneaker White, £320 >

As far as Northamptonshire shoemaking heritage goes, it’s hard to imagine a better-established name than Church’s. The historic company is known for making the finest dress shoes on the planet. However, having been purchased by Prada in the 1990s, it’s since turned its attention to contemporary styles, too.

That’s good news for lovers of luxurious trainers. Church’s age-old manufacturing techniques and trademark attention to detail have resulted in a jaw-dropping array of stripped-back sneakers. The Mirfield, for example, is undeniable proof that you really can teach an old dog new tricks.

church-footwear.com

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Best (Dressed) Man: What To Wear To A Summer Wedding https://www.apetogentleman.com/summer-wedding/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=summer-wedding Thu, 20 Jun 2019 08:45:13 +0000 https://www.apetogentleman.com/?p=38577 With the right know-how, any man can pull it off and defy the heat.

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For the average sartorialist, a summer wedding is nothing short of a dream come true. However, if you don’t happen to be the type of gentleman who knows his voile cloth from his wool blend then it can pose a rather sweaty dilemma. Aside from being the most popular time for nuptials, the key thing about summer is that it tends to be rather hot. Far from ideal conditions to be getting wrapped up in a dark, three-piece suit and a heavy cotton shirt, to say the least.

Attending a summer wedding looking stylish and without melting into a puddle before the speeches commence is something akin to an art. In fact, it can seem like witchcraft to the uninitiated. But supernatural it is not. And with the right know-how, any man can pull off a summer wedding.

summer wedding
A stylish wedding invitation from letterpress.co.uk (with no dress code)

The Dress Code: What Does It Mean?

The most important thing to take into consideration before selecting your summer wedding attire is to pay close attention to what it says on the invitation. Generally speaking, there will be a dress code stated, giving you a marker against which to gauge what is and isn’t appropriate. Given the sheer number of these codes, it can be tricky to know what’s what. Helpfully, there might not even be a dress code on the invite. So, before you turn up to a smart casual ceremony in your dinner suit, here’s a quick crash course in the fundamentals.

Black Tie

Black tie is the most formal type of dress, aside from perhaps white tie. It’s unlikely you’ll find this on a summer wedding invite. But if you do, this is what you need to know: black tie means dinner suit (or tuxedo, if you’re American). Don’t turn up in anything else. The issue? You’ll likely sweat.

Aside from that, you’ll want a pressed dress shirt with a bib front, a pair of black, well polished Oxford shoes (patent leather is an excellent way to stand out subtly) and, of course, a black bow tie.

Formal (Black Tie Optional)

One of the more confusing dress codes. Black Tie Optional really just means your hosts will be wearing black tie but are courteous enough to understand that you may not wish to. To play it safe, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and go in a dinner suit (see above).

If for some reason this isn’t an option, a normal two-piece suit worn with a tie is perfectly acceptable. Just make sure it’s dark and as close to a dinner suit as possible (think peak or shawl lapels).

Summer Smart

Congratulations, you’re not formally required to burn to a crisp in a dark, wool suit. Summer Smart is a popular dress code for warm-weather weddings as it allows guests more freedom to play around with colours and materials.

Tailoring in light, neutral or pastel shades works well here, as does navy. While opting for a linen or seersucker suit in place of wool or cotton will enable you to remain cool and classy throughout. Team with a pair of loafers in a complementary shade.

Smart Casual

Feel free to ditch the jacket as another way of keeping cool. Or, if you feel it may be necessary to keep the sweat patches hidden but don’t want to be the only guest in a full suit (you probably wouldn’t be anyway), you could choose to wear separates instead.

Footwear wise, you aren’t confined to leather Oxfords, Derbies or monk straps; loafers and brogues, as well as suede or even canvas construction, are all perfectly suitable too.

Casual Dress

It’s rare but a casual dress code on your invitation means you can more or less wear whatever takes your fancy. Even so, it’s always best to keep things on the right side of relaxed. In other words, it’s probably not wise to show up in a T-shirt and flip-flops – regardless of how hot it is outside.

Instead, go for something along the lines of chinos or smart trousers worn with an Oxford shirt and some desert boots or minimal leather trainers.

Cocktail Attire

In short, cocktail attire means tailoring with a twist. For example, wear that patterned two-piece suit but perhaps swap the shirt for a plain white or printed tee.

Again, separates will work just as well as a suit. Try wearing a statement jacket with pared-back trousers and an unassuming shirt. Remember, no two items of clothing should ever be fighting one another for attention.

Key Summer Wedding Looks

As you may be beginning to realise, dressing for a summer wedding can be a complex affair, but it needn’t be. There are a few classic outfits that will work every time. If you don’t quite feel up to experimenting, these are the go-to combinations that will always see you right.

The Linen Suit

 

Tailoring traditionalists may sneer and, it’s true, it isn’t for everyone. However, linen – in all its crinkled, crumpled glory – is the perfect fabric to get you from church to end-of-night chariot sweat-free and feeling fresh. For the unadventurous, navy is the safest option. Wear it with a white shirt, black monk-strap shoes and, from a distance, nobody would be able to tell the difference.

If you’re happy to try something different (and the dress code permits it), a beige or sand shade is the classic colour for linen tailoring. Opt for a white or light blue shirt (chambray is an excellent choice here) and brown leather loafers to anchor.

Summer Separates

A contrasting dark and light separates combo is a surefire winner year-round. During the warmer months, consider going for a lighter hue on your pants (stone, white, beige) and a darker shade on the jacket. In winter, vice versa.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to matching footwear with separates. But generally speaking, most traditionally “smart” silhouettes will work.

Breathable Two-Piece Suit

You’ll likely have one of these in your wardrobe already, which is fine – but be warned, if it’s a wool version then it will be much warmer than something in a cotton or linen blend. Colour wise, mid-to-light grey, navy or beige are your best bets here. Stay away from black as A) it can come across as a bit morbid, and B) you will be very, very hot.

Your shirting choices rest with the dress code but a white or light blue Oxford is a fail-safe option for pretty much everything bar black tie. Keep the accessories clean, remembering not to match your tie and pocket square, but feel free to let a bit of personality shine through. Further south, your footwear should be smart and classic. Try a double monk-strap or Derby shoe to keep things refined yet not too formal – you’re not going to a board meeting.

Key Materials For Summer Wedding Attire

It’s extremely tricky to look suave and sophisticated when your face has taken on a sort of beetroot colour and you’re sweating from every pore on your body. Aside from periodically dabbing yourself with your napkin and hoping none of the other guests notice, there is one thing you can do to alleviate it.

The key lies in a bit of forward planning – AKA picking the right materials for the job. Male model David Gandy may swear by a navy wool suit, but even he knows that there’s a limit to what it can do. And, unfortunately, keeping you cool in 30°c heat doesn’t fall under its remit. The solution? Be clever with your choice of fabrics. Here’s how.

Linen

A linen suit is the perfect breezy option but some men can be put off by the ageing hippy connotations (Richard Branson, we’re looking at you). But wear it right and the results will speak for themselves. The secret lies in making sure the fit is immaculate, while adding contemporary touches with your choice of shirt and accessories.

For example, a will-fitting, sand-coloured linen two piece may sound a bit bland. However, team it with a chambray shirt, a patterned pocket square and some laid-back suede loafers and you’ll soon change your mind.

Seersucker

Next to linen, seersucker is one of the definitive warm-weather fabrics. It’s light, it’s cool and it lends itself perfectly to spring and summer wedding suiting.

The material tends to come in striped or checked patterns that look great on laid-back, unstructured tailoring. However, plain options are also available, meaning it is still possible to do the classic navy suit without bursting into flames.

Chambray

Denim shirts are a key fashion trend at the moment and they can look great when paired with suit separates or casual tailoring. The problem is they’re not exactly the most breathable option when the sun comes out. Chambray is a slightly lighter alternative, offering a similar look from a much more breathable fabric.

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From Ape To Gentleman: The Art Of Manscaping https://www.apetogentleman.com/anatomy-manscaping/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=anatomy-manscaping Wed, 19 Jun 2019 08:45:50 +0000 http://ci01c4633880002a83 70% of men in the UK wish they had less body hair.

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We’re bound to say it, but when it comes to transforming yourself from an Ape to a Gentleman there’s no better place to start than with a bit of body hair removal, also now unfortunately known as manscaping. After all, nobody should have to guess where a man’s haircut stops and where his back begins. Or wonder whether he’s harbouring a Wookie down his underpants.

“Men now spend twice as long on hair removal than women and also spend more money on it, with over half removing leg hair, chest and back hair and nearly as many grooming their eyebrows on a weekly basis.”

And we’re clearly not alone in thinking this, because so popular has manscaping become in recent years that according to a recent survey by Fragrance Direct, men now spend twice as long on hair removal than women and also spend more money on it. Over half regularly shave their leg, chest and back hair, and nearly as many groom their eyebrows on a weekly basis. A survey by Cosmopolitan, meanwhile, revealed that 90% of men trim or completely remove their pubic hair regularly.

The Benefits

Removing body hair can help enhance muscle definition

The benefits of manscaping are multi-fold: as well as helping you feel cleaner, more confident and sexier (the top three reasons cited for hair removal according to a Braun survey on the subject), it also enhances muscle definition if you work out regularly. It’s no coincidence that the Braun survey also revealed that men who visit the gym at least once a week are 63% more likely to trim or completely remove their chest hair.

But with nipples to navigate and “Private Ryan” to protect manscaping is one male grooming activity that needs to be carried out with care and attention. On a very basic (and in some cases quite literal) level, it’s gorilla warfare: a man has to be armed, ready and experienced to fight the fur. So, here’s a top-to-toe masterclass in body hair removal – one that that will help turn even the most uncoordinated of body groomers into the smoothest of operators.

Your Manscaping Choices

There are several ways to remove unwanted body hair. Some straight-forward; some plain eye-watering. Below are your best options.

Waxing

Waxing rips hairs out from the root and offers longer lasting results than shaving (you’ll be reasonably hair-free for around four weeks). And because hairs grow back with fine ends there’s less chance of itchiness and irritation. If it sounds too good to be true that’s because it is – grown men have been reduced to tears by a back wax.

Sugaring

An ancient hair removal technique which uses a sugar paste to remove hairs. Sugaring is a bit like waxing – though generally a little less eye-watering – and is good for larger areas. Though home kits are available, it’s best done by a professional.

Plucking

The manual removal of individual hairs with tweezers. Plucking is ideal for errant eyebrows but isn’t a technique you want to employ near your nether regions.

Shaving

Fast, simple and inexpensive, shaving is probably the easiest way to phase out the fur. But, as with shaving your face, you run the risk of razor burn, cuts and ingrown hairs. If you’re shaving down below you’ll also need a steady hand and nerves of steel.

Depilatory Creams

Effective and simple to use (apply, leave on for a few minutes and wash off) depilatory creams contain chemicals that weaken hairs at the root so they just fall away, leaving skin super-smooth. What’s more, Veet claim their depilation creams result in up to 80% fewer ingrown hairs. They’re especially useful for chests, backs, shoulders and legs but should not be used on your man bits unless you have a high pain threshold or an excellent sense of humour.

Body Groomers

According to Braun, 21% of men now own a body grooming tool, and you can see why. Easy to use, trimmers give total control over how much hair you remove, get the job done in a matter of minutes and rarely cause nicks, cuts or irritation.

Laser Hair Removal

The best option for long-term hair removal and manscaping, this treatment is especially good for problem areas like the back and shoulders. Best done by a professional, it’s the most expensive and time consuming option as you’ll most likely need several sessions to get the job done. And though treatments often permanently reduce the number of hairs they don’t stop regrowth altogether.

Epilators

Using an epilator is a bit like having your own private army of hair pluckers waging war on unwanted hair by removing them from the root en masse. As with waxing, results last around a month. Although women have been using handheld epilators for legs and armpits for years they’ve never really taken off with men. Possibly because, like waxing, epilation isn’t entirely painless.

The Best Way To Remove Unwanted Hair – Wherever It Sprouts

Eyebrows

Eyebrows are great. They keep sweat from dripping into your eyes and are perfect for showing Spock-like scepticism. They just happen to look better when there’s two of them rather than just the one.

Luckily, managing a monobrow is simple. You can simply shave the area using a gadget like the Philips OneBlade (the shaving head is the perfect width for removing hair between brows in one go), pluck out the hairs with tweezers (do this after a shower to open the pores, place the ends of the tweezers at the root and pluck hairs out one at a time in the direction of hair growth), or wax the area using eyebrow strips. Alternatively, try R.E.M’s Spring Facial Hair Remover: a stainless steel spring that catches hairs and pulls them out with a gentle twist of the fingers.

Rogue eyebrow hairs can be snipped off with round ended scissors like Tweezerman’s Facial Hair Scissors. Or you can simply whizz over the entire ‘brow with a beard/body hair trimmer or specialist tool like Braun’s Precision Trimmer, which features a special attachment for eyebrows.

Alternatively, consider “threading”. An ancient eyebrow-shaping technique that uses cotton thread to remove the hairs, it’s increasingly popular with men wanting an eyebrow tidy. It’s available at many beauty salons, department stores and in some barbers too. 

Ears & Nose

Like a love of golf and a taste for fine wine, errant ear and nose hairs are generally something that come with age. But unlike golf and fine wine they’re both annoying and unwelcome. Although scientists still aren’t 100% sure of the cause, it’s thought changes in the hairs’ sensitivity to male hormones like testosterone as we age acts as a trigger for uncontrolled growth.

Plucking can lead to follicle damage and, if you’re unlucky, infection. Ditto waxing. You’re better off snipping off unwanted hairs with rounded ended scissors or by using a specialist gadget like the Philips Nose and Ear Hair Trimmer.

Remember, though, that while it’s an inconvenience, nasal hair is there for a reason: to trap dust and pollution from getting into your lungs. So don’t remove too much and don’t go too deep into the nostril either.

Of course, there’s always hair singeing – where ear hair is burnt with the help of a cotton ball soaked in alcohol. It’s a technique widely practised by experienced barbers in Turkey. And one best left to experienced barbers in Turkey.

Armpits

You’d have to go way back in history to find a time when having fur-filled pits was actually useful. Scientists suspect it may have played a role in helping attracting a mate by trapping the “irresistible” sweat our pits produce and acting as a primitive amplifier.

These days we have eau de toilette for that so, unless you’re attached to your armpit hair for aesthetic reasons (and plenty of men and women still find it attractive), it can happily take a hike. Not only will reducing or removing pit hair rob the bacteria that cause BO of a home, it’ll also make it easier for your body wash and antiperspirant to come into contact with your skin, enhancing their effectiveness in the process.

The simplest (and least itchy) option for manscaping your pit hair is to cut it back to around 2cm or so in length using hair clippers, a beard trimmer or a body groomer. Shaving with a razor is the most straightforward way to remove hair altogether (hack it back with a trimmer to the shortest length possible first to make shaving easier) but will leave you with itchy regrowth. And if you think that’s bad on your chest just wait until you experience it under you arms.

A much better option if you’re after a super-smooth finish is paying for a professional underarm wax. Not only will the results last longer, the regrowth, when it starts, is finer and softer so not nearly as itchy. Expect tears when you have it done though.

Chest

Trimming chest hair is probably most men’s introduction to manscaping. Mainly because it’s where body hair is most prominent and prolific. Not only will trimming chest hair help show off hard-won pecs if you’re a gym-goer, it can make you feel cooler and fresher too and even improve the line of T-shirts, ensuring they don’t look lumpy and uneven.

Shaving, waxing and sugaring are all options if the look you’re after is alabaster, but a simpler option is to keep it neatly clippered. You won’t get as smooth a finish but you’ll still be able to see muscle definition beneath and if you trim hair to a centimetre or so in length you’ll to avoid the itchy regrowth associated with shaving.

Trim your chest with a gadget like the Philips Bodygroom when hair is dry (it’s easier to see how much you’re removing, plus hair relaxes and lengthens slightly when wet so you might end up cutting it too short otherwise). Trim up to the edges of the nipples rather than going over them to avoid accidents. And keep stomach hair the same length to create an even, balanced look.

If you’re feeling creative, you can contour your chest and stomach hair to create various different looks. Removing the hair below your pecs but leaving the stuff that’s on them longer can make the chest look slightly broader. While you can create the optical illusion of a more V-shaped body by trimming chest hair into the shape of an elephant’s head and trunk.

For a completely smooth chest you’ll need to wax, sugar or shave. If shaving, always begin by trimming hair back as short as you can with a body groomer or beard trimmer first. Shave with the direction of hair growth and apply an aftershave balm or lotion afterwards to soothe skin.

To minimise the risk of ingrown hairs exfoliate twice weekly with a body scrub. Products designed to minimise ingrown hair growth on the face, like Tend Skin Solution or Anthony Ingrown Hair Treatment, are also perfectly safe to use on other parts of the body you’ve shaved.

Back & Shoulders

While sporting a full on a chest rug is rarely a hindrance (Sean Connery, Hugh Jackman and Henry Cavill have no shortage of admirers) a hairy shoulder is rarely anything other than a scary shoulder. Hairy backs, meanwhile, often crop in top 10 turn-off lists, even though a survey of male members of Mensa found that the hairier the back the more intelligent the man.

If you’re after a baby-soft back you could try trimming it (extendable body groomers exist to allow you to trim your own back hair), but your best bet is a back wax, performed by a professional in a salon or, if there isn’t too much hair, a willing partner using wax strips. Nad’s For Men Body Waxing Strips are designed for tough male body hair, easy to use and come with cooling wipes to calm post-waxed skin.

The good thing about waxing is that you’re much less likely to experience itchy regrowth (truly maddening when it’s on your back or shoulders) and you shouldn’t need to wax again for around a month or so, saving money and time with a more efficient manscaping routine.

Another option for backs and shoulders is a depilatory cream like Veet for Men Hair Removal Gel Cream or Nad’s For Men Hair Removal Cream, which dissolves hair at the roots. It results in a smooth finish but again you’ll need to enlist a not-too-squeamish assistant.

To avoid irritation follow the instructions to the letter (foolish is the man who doesn’t as anyone who has used hair removal cream will tell you). Rinse thoroughly and apply a little antiseptic cream or tea tree spray afterwards to minimise irritation.

Groin

The pubic area is one of the most popular manscaping destinations. This probably has less to do with the fact that a tidy trunkline is aesthetically pleasing or the fact that numerous surveys show people prefer their partners to be neat and tidy downstairs as it does with the fact that trimming is thought to add an extra “optical inch”.

If you still want to prune your pubes, a body groomer is your best option because they’re designed not to cause nicks and cuts to your nether regions. The Philips One Blade Hair & Body’s tagline is “cuts hair, not skin” – which is extremely reassuring. They’re great for trimming hair so it looks neat and tidy (the most popular option) but can also be used to remove it altogether if you opt for the shortest setting or remove the trimming comb.

If you also want to shave your balls, use the trimmer to cut the hairs back first and then tackle them with a wet razor. As with shaving your face use plenty of shave cream, take your time (obviously) and splash your boys with cold water throughout to keep skin taught as you shave. It goes without saying that you’ll want to do this while sober.

Since the shaft of the penis tends not to have too many hairs, the best (and safest) way to remove them is to snip them off individually using safety scissors. Simply pull the hairs away from the skin with your fingertips and snip the hairs off as close to the skin as you dare. It’s a time-consuming manscaping process but less risky than hacking away at it with a razor.

Once you’ve finished manscaping downstairs, apply an unscented aftershave balm to soothe any skin you’ve shaved and think about wearing briefs rather than boxers for a few days afterwards – they help prevent prickly regrowth from irritating the skin around the testicles. Products like Anthony’s No Sweat Body Defense can help minimise discomfort in the days after manscaping too.

Legs & Feet

Cyclists shave their legs to make them more aerodynamic; swimmers do it to reduce drag and for the psychological boost feeling smooth and sleek in the water provides; while some rugby players do it to make them slipperier customers during tackles. But with the Fragrance Direct survey revealing that 53% of 25-34-year-old men groom their leg hair it’s clear not every man shaves his legs for sporting reasons.

If you’re manscaping other parts of your body it makes sense to bring the legs into line, hair wise, of course. Shaving is the simplest solution. Do it after a shower or bath to soften the hairs and apply a fragrance-free aftershave balm afterwards as you would if you were shaving your face. The Philips OneBlade is another solution for legs because it doesn’t cut the hairs quite as close as a traditional razor so reduces the risk of irritation – and nasty nicks and cuts.

Further south, Bilbo Baggins might be able to rock a pair of furry feet but it’s much harder for a bloke in sandals to pull off the look, especially if his toe hair is thick and dark. Hairy toes are actually a sign of good health (it shows there’s decent circulation to your extremities), but if you want to remove the hair for aesthetic reasons then use a depilatory cream (a small amount is all you need) or wax them with a home kit (cut larger strips meant for the chest and shoulders into toe-sized slivers and rip off in the opposite direction of the hair growth). Avoid shaving with a razor as this will leave the hairs with unsightly blunt ends that will make it obvious you’ve been trying to hide the fact you’re a Hobbit and manscaping adverse.

Popular Body Hair Styles

So, if you’re looking to leave your hair as nature intended, what are the most popular body hair styles for men currently? Well, Fragrance Direct’s survey offered up the following.

1. The Tree (20%)

The typical version of The Tree involves shaping a moderate amount of hair on the upper chest with a small trail leading down to the stomach. Most popular amongst the “younger generation” (21%), this evergreen approach to manscaping allows men to proudly display a standard growth of hair all year round.

2. The Top Heavy (15%)

These manscaping heroes rock a well-trimmed mat of hair on the top half of their chest but keep the stomach area smooth. This look was popular across the board, sported by men of all ages.

3. The Rug (14%)

This look epitomises old-school alpha male masculinity with celebrity supporters including Tom Selleck. Fans of this style tend to be 25 years and over, with a chest full of hair to be proud of, keeping the look defined with a quick trim over the summer.

4. The Snail (11%)

This notable male landscape is common amongst younger men who want to keep any hair above the belly button at bay, with a small trail of hair across the stomach.

5. The Woolly Jumper (11%)

Most impressively, but not for the faint at heart, these hirsute gentlemen channel their inner cavemen externally in a style which is most popular amongst those 31 years and over. To keep this look under control, trim hair to a suitable length on a regular basis.

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Fountain of Youth: A Man’s Guide To Anti-Ageing Skincare https://www.apetogentleman.com/best-anti-ageing-men/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=best-anti-ageing-men Tue, 18 Jun 2019 07:00:39 +0000 https://www.apetogentleman.com/?p=45292 Here's to a younger-looking you.

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Time flies, that’s for sure. It wasn’t so long ago that creepy hair transplant ads and pension funds were just things we dismissed as irrelevant. Then comes the day when we look in the mirror and our lifestyle has suddenly snuck up on us: the grey is creeping in, the hair is creeping out and there’s a new a frown line there or an extra eye crease here. Of course, not all of us look any different to how we did 10, or even 20 years ago. Hollywood celebrities like Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt are officially ageless. Compare recent photos of actor and Gucci muse Jared Leto with his younger self: his face is almost untouched in relation to the years he’s clocked up. The secret? These stars might claim clean living, but we’d wager these actors are more familiar with discreet cosmetic procedures than they let on.

While not all of us have access to a Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon, or necessarily want to, it doesn’t mean we’re going to start letting ourselves go – just yet. Over the years increasingly sophisticated skincare science has thrown up some super hero ingredients that are proven to help the skin retain elasticity, smooth out lines and maintain firmness – along with some rather baffling jargon. We break down the key anti-ageing players here.

UV & SPF

Genes play a huge part in how we age but we can’t underestimate the impact of epigenetic (i.e. lifestyle and environmental) factors. These external influences can influence how our genes express themselves. A fair-skinned person from the same family will age more quickly if they live in Australia than if they live in Ireland, for example, due to the climate and impact of stronger sun exposure.

One of the biggest factors in ageing is sun damage. UV rays compound ageing in the skin so your first line of defence is wearing a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor all year round. A high SPF is best (30-50 on the face), and always apply it before going outside. Simply screening out harmful rays can go a long way in making your skin more future proof.

Retinol

The one ingredient that can arguably make the biggest difference to de-age your skin is retinol. Retinol is a form of Vitamin A and can be listed as retinoic acid. When applied topically it has a proven ability to help promote cell turnover, enhance collagen levels, shrink pores and smooth out lines – and forms a key part of acne treatment. It’s a potent, unstable ingredient (hence the opaque packaging to block out light) that can irritate, so it typically has a concentration of 2% or less in non-prescription formulations. It can make skin appear more red, feel dryer than usual and even causing mild flaking but these side effects should lessen as your skin becomes used to it.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronan is naturally present in the human body and one of its main lubricants, occurring in connective tissue between joints. Hyaluronic acid is a major component in the skin, where it is responsible for tissue repair and regeneration and works as a “free radical” scavenger (see below). Many face creams can deliver this super-plumping agent to your skin (which can carry 1,000 times its weight in water).

Free Radicals & Antioxidants

We like to think of free radicals as kryptonite for smooth, supple skin. These short-lived, highly reactive molecules are by products of oxygen metabolism and damage living cells, proteins and DNA, causing “oxidative stress”. The vitamins and minerals that counteract oxidative stress are known as antioxidants. Resveratrol is one such antioxidant that’s currently being hailed for its anti-ageing benefit. It’s a natural phenol that occurs in plants when under attack by pathogens like bacteria. Nutritionists love to harp on about eating an antioxidant-rich diet as they have disease-proofing abilities and help protect the skin.

Collagen

Elastin and collagen are what keep skin soft, firm and smooth. Levels in the skin decrease as our body produces less and it breaks down, leading to sagging and wrinkles. There’s been an explosion in drinkable collagen supplements, but we prefer to take ours the old fashioned way.

Laser & Light Therapy

Topical ointments can only go so far in terms of penetrating the upper epidermis. Laser and light therapy can go deeper into the skin and work on improving hyper pigmentation, sun damage and overall ageing concerns on a deeper level. Light therapy face masks are a relatively new sector in the world of home grooming, while professional clinics such as Skinsmiths, Sk:n Clinics and EF Medispa offer courses of treatments, as well as cosmetic procedures.

Cosmetic Enhancements

With deeply entrenched wrinkles (frown lines and smile lines) no amount of serum or moisturiser is going to make a significant difference. The two main ways to dispatch with a deep furrow is with invasive treatments: injections and dermal fillers.

Botox costs a couple of hundred pounds and works by paralysing the local muscles so that the motion that creates the wrinkle is frozen. This allows the wrinkle to relax and drop out like a crease falling out of a cloth. This semi-permanent procedure will wear off after a couple of months, allowing the muscles to move again and the wrinkles to return. However, the movement in the muscles can be permanently altered, it can make the brow feel heavier and longer term use has been linked to reduced emotional perception. It’s also interesting to note that, for example, babies learn to read emotions by reading faces, and they have difficulty reading a face that doesn’t move. In general, it does work and is fairly subtle, if used with a light hand.

Fillers, such as Juvederm, can be used to plump out smile lines from the inside. Again, this is usually a semi-permanent fix and needs to be topped up. There are risks and possible side effects with any cosmetic procedure so always seek professional advice before undergoing any treatment to establish how it might affect you. Thoroughly research the clinic beforehand too.

Age Spots

Youthful skin is typically unblemished, but as we age, damage from sun exposure or hyper pigmentation triggered by shaving or scarring becomes more likely to leave us with darker patches on our cheeks, neck, chest and backs of the hands. Vitamin C is a key ingredient in the fight to get rid of these “stubborn stains” and minimise their appearance. You’ll need to religiously apply a corrector day and night, and be extra diligent with the SPF.

Facials

FaceGym NYC Studio

Frequent professional facials will quickly improve the look of your skin and act as an insurance policy to keep the Peter Pan years going for longer. Spa facials might be relaxing, but if you want results head to FaceGym. The FaceGym facial (£50) is like a bootcamp work out for your chops. By exercising 40 facial muscles it seeks to sculpt, tone and firm the skin – and the best bit is that your therapist will do all the work, you won’t break a sweat.

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Thinking Out Loud: Why Talking To Yourself Is The Best Way To Manage Stress https://www.apetogentleman.com/how-to-manage-stress/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-manage-stress Mon, 17 Jun 2019 07:30:59 +0000 https://www.apetogentleman.com/?p=44617 Conversation with yourself is an extremely powerful tool. You are hearing about yourself in the real world and the message is clear: this is the problem and here is what I’m going to do.

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Every April since 1992 we have celebrated Stress Awareness Month. It’s a sobering exercise, taking myself back to 1992. Those days of dial-up modems and palm pilots (I was a geek then as well). How things have changed: the definition of stress in 1992 was something entirely different to today. For starters, I had no idea what my friend down the road was doing; I didn’t know what he was eating, what music he was listening to and who he was spending his weekend with. It actually never occurred to me to want to know. Consequently, I didn’t feel pressure to compete with him. When we met, we would talk about what had been going on, I might listen to a few of his new cassettes and we might arrange to play football with our other friends. I was in the park recently and I saw a young girl, no older than 5 years old, riding a scooter whilst FaceTiming her grandma.

Stress education is available to anyone with a smartphone

So, what can I tell you about stress? Well I happen to be very experienced in the subject. Most of my workload is directly or indirectly related to it. The overweight diabetic who eats for comfort; the middle-aged hypertensive who promises to cut down his working hours next week; the young student who is housebound due to panic episodes; the new mum who has been scouring forums about her baby’s feeding habits. Time and time again we see the devastating effects of stress, but we do little to prevent it in the first place.

How To Manage Stress

So, how can you reduce stress? How can you manage your stress? It’s anyone’s guess. In my clinical practice I have tried a number of methods and I’ve been paternalistic, non-judgemental and prescriptive. I’ve advised exercise, prescription drugs, talking therapies and time off work. When I try and distil everything I’ve learnt through practice and theory I’ve ended up with a simple piece of advice which I think can help anyone struggling with stress: talk to yourself.

Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) in American Psycho infamously stressed with social pressures

OK, before you call me crazy, let me explain. There is a lot of research pointing to the idea that group education and therapy regarding stress puts an individual in much better stead to manage stress in the future. In the modern era where we might not have time to participate in group therapy, we should use what we have at our disposal. Stress education is available to anyone with a smartphone. I could wax lyrical about the use of mindfulness apps, the evidence behind yoga and breathing exercises, the benefits of physical exercise, the effect of sleep and diet on your cortisol levels. But you know all this already.

There’s something about talking to someone about your stress which is of paramount importance here. Since we’re not talking any more, we can improvise and talk to your past self.

How To Do It

Activate your selfie camera and start recording a video
  • Find a quiet place and put your phone into airplane mode so you’re not disturbed
  • Set a timer for 2 minutes
  • Activate your selfie camera and start recording a video
  • Start talking about the physical signs that you are stressed – how your shoulders hurt, how you’ve got headaches or how that rash has come back.
  • Then talk about why you’re stressed. Tell yourself about the run-in with your colleague, or how your toddler drove you up the wall. Talk about how you’re worried about the holiday that’s coming up.
  • Finally, try to talk about how you’re going to fight back. How you’re going to be more organised, get a massage, go running or finally send that email you’ve been putting off.

When the alarm goes off, you’re done. Save the video and forget about it. Set a reminder in your phone to watch it tomorrow.

This conversation with your past self is extremely powerful. Not only can you see your face, your posture, your eye contact with the camera, but everything that has been bothering you is out in the open. You are hearing about yourself in the real world and the message is clear: this is the problem and here is what I’m going to do.

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Style Maturity: How A Man Should Dress In His 30s https://www.apetogentleman.com/how-to-dress-in-30s-men/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-dress-in-30s-men Fri, 14 Jun 2019 08:30:09 +0000 https://www.apetogentleman.com/?p=44579 This is the decade that will define your personal style - for better or worse.

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We all know it – 30 is not the watershed age it used to be. For all that it might feel like it, just wait until you’re 40, or 50… Recent years have seen stalled generations: expectations of where youngish people might have expected to be have been thwarted. Income is generally low. Home ownership for many is a distant dream. Work just looks confusing. Small wonder that it would be tempting to buy into one’s situation and delay growing up a little longer.

But turning 30 is as good a moment as any to get ship-shape, at least with your wardrobe: it is, as Shakespeare had it, time to “put away childish things”. Likewise, though he didn’t say as much, it may be time to retire the board shorts (unless you’re at the beach) and the oversized skater hoodie (unless you’re dealing drugs).

Time For A Style Re-evaluation

Perhaps some projection is in order. There’s the old adage that you should dress for the job you want. It’s somewhat dated, given that career trajectories and dress codes seem to have little to do with age these days. But you could perhaps dress for the man you want to be. Take a trawl through your wardrobe: anything that fits poorly, that looks tired, that is “ironic”, that could conceivably be worn by a large seven-year-old – get rid of it. Start to think about a few replacements. Start too to think about your clothes buying in a new way: make quality the watchword of all the pieces you buy from here in. Buy less and better.

Buy less but buy better. (Image: Stitch Fix)

Your second watchword should be “classic”. Don’t panic. It doesn’t mean ignoring trends – your 30s are still a decade in which you can dress with at least one eye on fashion. But it pays – in terms of the way you’ll be perceived – to at least start moving your wardrobe over to dependable staples: dark selvedge denim (out with anything spray on or overly distressed), merino knitwear, good plain T-shirts and sweatshirts, crisp shirting, easy tailoring (a unstructured navy blazer can take you a long way), investing in proper suits and shoes (which might mean trainers in some instances, just not the kind of trainers that look as though they were designed for a sci-fi movie) and the occasional investment accessory (the likes of a good watch). Repeat this to yourself daily: basics are not boring.

You’re in half-way house territory now: buy most of your clothes in the more sober menswear shades of navy, charcoal, white – saving pops of brighter, bolder colour for the occasional accent; steer clear of excessive logos and novelty graphics – unless they’re very, very clever (only you can be the judge of this); make sure that everything fits well – that it doesn’t drown you or pull over that proto-paunch you’re working on – but still feel free to experiment with proportions occasionally and gently. Stop thinking in terms of being dressed down and dressed up. Start thinking in terms of being just dressed well.

A sober palette looks good on all men and can be mixed and matched with ease. (Image: Buck Mason)

What we’re talking about here is like the good diet for your wardrobe: get your greens (your classics) but otherwise eat everything in moderation (without the binging). It’s healthier for your bank balance too. It offers the chance of getting better value from your wardrobe – and with those serious benchmarks of adulthood possibly coming your way over your 30s, the likes of marriage and parenthood, trust us, even as your income climbs, you’re still going to feel poorer – in money and time. Each clothing purchase should add to the sum total of your wardrobe’s potential.

Define Your Personal Style

This isn’t always easy. It’s likely that over your 30s you’re still finding your own style. But this is the decade you should aim to do just that in. This is to say that onlookers will still afford you the very occasional glaring error, but that most of what you wear should be moving towards those garments that a) make the best of your actual shape (not the one you dream of having should you ever actually make it to the gym), b) that make you feel like you (that are to your taste, rather than chasing trend diktats, and that express you, rather than the coffers of some marketing campaign), and c) that make you feel good about yourself (that make you feel comfortable and presentable). Learn both what suits you and what you like, and buy this over everything else. By the middle of the decade you should have taken command of your own cool.

Don’t obsess over trends; focus on being well dressed. (Image: MR PORTER)

Giving up youthful ways is not easy, of course. But if you want to be respected – to be looked on as the peer of those older than you, rather than just looked on witheringly by those younger than you – you have to respect yourself. This may well mean keeping in shape – and, as this only gets harder the older you get, it’s a wise man who starts to watch his weight and up the ante on his fitness when his 30s come calling.

Don’t Neglect Your Grooming

What it certainly means, however, is shaping up on the grooming front too. Much as you will have come to terms with the clothes that work for you, you need to do the same with the products that work for you. If you don’t already use a moisturiser, really (really really) this is the time to start; you’ll thank us by the end of your 30s. It’s also time to start cutting your nails regularly, buffing the rough skin, adding the occasional dollop of self-tan to your pasty face, getting frequent haircuts and beard trims. It’s time, in other words, to look as though you care.

Yes, none of this is very rock ‘n’ roll. It doesn’t really stick it to the man. Your rebel spirit may feel a little, well, repressed. But welcome to growing up. It’s a new phase in your life. Time for a new you to go with it.

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Great British Boltholes: 9 Unique Places To Stay In The UK https://www.apetogentleman.com/great-british-boltholes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=great-british-boltholes Thu, 13 Jun 2019 09:30:24 +0000 https://www.apetogentleman.com/?p=44998 Situated in scenic countryside, there’s an array of modern, perfectly-placed, Wi-Fi-free huts and cabins out there that make for the perfect escape from everyday life.

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When was the last time you had peace and quiet? A time you felt genuinely relaxed in surroundings that put you at ease? Fresh air, the embrace of nature soothing your stress-addled mind, and picturesque surroundings as far as the eye can see. Truthfully, when did you last experience that? You certainly don’t get that on a city break. Hell, you don’t even get that on a beach break these days when considering the stress of air travel.

So, if you’re looking to really recharge your batteries, consider one of these unique luxury UK properties below. Situated in scenic countryside, there’s an array of modern, perfectly-placed, Wi-Fi-free huts and cabins out there that make for the perfect escape from everyday life.

The Round House, Cornwall

Situated on an organic farm near to Penzance, The Round House is a unique, authentically-constructed Celtic Roundhouse kitted out with modern comforts and surrounded by dramatic countryside. A king-sized four poster bed awaits guests, with goose-down duvets and an organic hand-sprung mattress. Wooded glades in the vicinity provide endless walking potential and an unspoilt canvas of stars provides the night’s entertainment. Take ample charcoal for the Weber barbecue and relax with a glass of something special.

From £180 per night; canopyandstars.co.uk

Faraway Treehouse, Cumbria

Who wouldn’t want to stay in a treehouse if they had the chance? Especially one worthy of an episode of Grand Designs. The Faraway Treehouse in Cumbria is a truly magical escape, placing you up in the canopy with a vista to die for. Both bed and bath are blessed by remarkable views of surrounding forest and if for some reason you’re tempted to leave, pubs and restaurants are a welcome march away, rewarding mileage with delicious food and drink. If it were us though, we’d just sit in the bath, mesmerised by that view – beer and book at the ready.

From £165 per night; canopyandstars.co.uk

The Woodsman’s Treehouse, Dorset

This one actually did appear on Grand Designs and it’s not difficult to see why it was nominated for House of the Year. It’s one thing having a spiral staircase, top deck sauna, open-air hot tub, outdoor shower and hammock, but it’s another to bring all of these things together in such a beautiful, architecturally-stunning package. Located in private woodlands, the treehouse caters to your every want and need (and then some). If you don’t fancy cooking in the stunning kitchen or on the barbeque, some of Britain’s finest eateries are a short trip away including The River Cottage Canteen & Deli and Hix Oyster & Fish House. If you do fancy whipping up a storm, the local produce is second to none and will take your go-to dishes to the next level.

From £455 per night; mallinson.co.uk

Buck’s Coppice, Dorset

Another stylish retreat in Dorset – this time a minimalist, Scandinavian-style cabin overlooking a private lake. If kicking back is your thing, pull up a seat on the deck and lounge till your heart’s content, taking the time to look up from your book to spot the odd deer or otter. Brisk walks are also rewarded here. Forty per cent of the county is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty, whilst 25 miles of the Jurassic Coast (National Heritage Site) awaits. Of course you are allowed to swim in the private lake, it would be rude not to.

From £145 per night; canopyandstars.co.uk

Black Shed, Isle of Skye

One of the more remote hideaways on our rundown, Black Shed should be top of your list. Available for weekly lets all year round, no matter what time of year you visit you’ll be treated to stunning scenery and a spot next to the roaring fire. Overlooking Loch Dunvegan and four miles from local amenities, it’s the perfect base for exploring the island. There’s even Apple TV too, but that’s cheating.

From £159 per night; blackshed.co.uk

Hazel Cabin, Herefordshire

Impressive design meets luxury glamping in this stunning wooden cabin. Boasting underfloor heating, LED mood-lighting, inside woodburner and an outside fire pit, floor-to-ceiling windows provide yet another stylish and invigorating touch. Perfect for romantic retreats, the cabin is a sanctuary of relaxation with nearby meadows and forest adding to a calming atmosphere. Set up the fire pit, crack open a bottle of fizz and stargaze until your heart’s content. With the world’s largest second-hand bookshop in nearby Hay-on-Wye, there’s no better place to grab an old classic.

From £165 per night; canopyandstars.co.uk

Dragon Cruck, Powys

As much of a piece of art as a forest retreat, Dragon Cruck is an ode to craftsmanship of the highest order. Made with locally-sourced timber, a local tree surgeon and his team have meticulously crafted every inch of this structure, which sits proudly among wooded surroundings. What results is a uniquely airy and open space, with open plan living connecting a fire pit, kitchen and king-sized bed. Soak up the atmosphere as solar lights and lanterns fill the forest clearing with a gentle glow. Stargazers are in for a treat, too.

From £105 per night; sunnylea.co.uk

The Raft at Chigborough, Essex

If you thought treehouses were as inventive as it gets, think again. The Raft at Chigborough is a Huckleberry Finn-esque retreat sitting atop a quiet lake in Essex. This two-floored floating cabin (tethered to the lake floor) is accessible by a chain ferry system and also comes with a personal rowing boat. A private, wood-fired hot tub on the nearby shore is available for use day and night, and in-keeping with the raft’s eco-credentials, biodegradable soap products are provided. With a kitted out gas kitchen and vintage telescope, The Raft makes for an ideal chance to hide away.

From £195 per night; coolstays.com

Caban Cadno, Powys

To be pencilled under “digital detox”, Caban Cadno is a quaint and cosy cabin sat among rolling Welsh hills, overlooking picturesque greenery and thriving wildlife. Modest but beautifully finished, with a gas burner for cooking, outside wood burner and solar-powered lighting, the cabin provides an idyllic affordable escape with nearby trails offering some of the best in the country for mountain biking. Meanwhile the coastline is a short distance away and well-suited to a host of water sports and outdoor activities.

From £90 per night; canopyandstars.co.uk

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