Style Icons Who Have Nailed it in Their 40's

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Yes I'm coming for you 40's. Though I'll forever have one foot in my 20's. I'm in the embers of my youth as Frank would say, but have never felt better. I'm in better shape now than I've ever been and currently writing this under a palm tree in Whitsundays, killing an hour before I head out chase down the sunset on my paddle board. Life is good. 

Before I do I wanted to highlight the style icons in their 40's that I admire. I'll do a series of these overtime as the generation thing, how people dress as they go through the gears of life fascinates me. 

DAVID BECKHAM 

David Beckham is the gift that keeps on giving for influencers and bloggers. Annotating his different outfits can certainly kill a slow news day in fashion. He's a wonderful ambassador cum-co-owner for Kent & Curwen, a British heritage brand with now a flagship store in Covent Garden. 

He traverses the line of style and statement effortlessly. Wearing some beautifully pared down pieces that will get anyone noticed without screaming 'look at me'. Exactly the line a man in his 40's needs to know. 

CHRISTIAN BALE 

Readers of my blog might have guessed that one was coming. I love Christians red carpet game more than his casual out-of-office style. Which is about as non-descript as it gets but hey-ho. Lots of cargo pants and non-logo denim shirts from what I've seen in the press.

He is obviously on good terms with Brioni however because Christian's always immaculately turned out at black tie events. His Brioni tuxedos are styled with black silk shirts and matching black ties to emphasise his mysterious quality. 

He is after all Bruce Wayne still in my eyes. He is an enigma of an actor taking on crazy roles for independent movies like The Machinist. That film was bananas. 

JUDE LAW

The thing I love about Jude Law is that he has a natural eye for a decent casual game. He has a very English style, loves his braces and his Donegal tweed. Well before he took on the role of Watson in Sherlock Holmes. 

He is a big proponent of wide brim hats are Brooklyn-esque beanies. I've read online that his style varies from Topman to Hackett London. As a resident Londoner it's no surprise that he's an indigenous shopper. 

DERMOT O'LEARY 

He has an awesome line of aftershave does Dermot, be sure to check out my blog reviewing his fragrances exclusive to M&S. He's regularly touted as being one of the UK's best dressed style icons in their 40's 

He has had some turbulence in the fashion industry. Investing and apparently losing £70k in former Savile Row tailor Spencer Hart. 

Dermot has a very unfussy style, fan of roll necks and a modern look. His lapels often suitably narrow, nipped in at the waist with a slight flair in the skirt. Very Doug Hayward of the late 70's. 

SADIQ KHAN 

If it's ever been possible to completely dislocate ones feelings of a person; their political agenda from their personal style, Sadiq Khan is that man. 

Seemingly out-of-office during the Climate protests. Knife crime at a record high. Cross Rail not delivered and the infrastructure for transportation has been somewhat wanting in London of late. All of which I can't hold Sadiq personally accountable for, but I just don't know what the man is doing other than looking swathe in his blue suits. 

He makes off the peg Zara (reportedly his go-to) look like tailor made costumiers. Sadiq dresses perfectly for a man in his late forties. His height is also a factor. He has a diminutive body (carriage) so low rise trousers work well.

High rise with inverted pleats would distort his frame. His shirts fit snug but not sprayed on. Never a tie so I think he wants to relate to the man on the street. He looks like he's about to roll his sleeves up and get stuck in. If only he would.  

 

 

The Royal Wedding Menswear Review | Who Wore it Best

Photo Credit: REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

Photo Credit: REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

It was a dead heat between Idris Elba, David Beckham and the guy behind George Clooney for best dressed guest at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle over the weekend. But rightly the groom Prince Harry was not to be eclipsed in his worn the frock coat uniform of the Household Cavalry's Blues and Royals. 

Indeed, I was out of the morning of the wedding and overheard a woman at the till giddily spurt 'I must dash, I want to see the dress'. Of course referring to the much anticipated Givenchy dress worn by the bride.

Menswear might be on the rise according to every male fashion bugle, but I'm not sure that you'll hear any male say to a sales assistant, 'bag that up quicker for me love, I gotta see what Becks is going to wear on the red carpet'. 

Photo Credit: GETTY/GARETH FULLER

Photo Credit: GETTY/GARETH FULLER

It was made by Savile Row tailor, Dege & Skinner who have a 150 year history in crafting military attire. Their cutters visit the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst on a weekly basis to measure and fit uniforms for the British Army Officers of the future. 

Dege & Skinner also tailored the uniform for TRH Prince William when he was commissioned into the Blues & Royals. However, whilst this widely known, they still adhere to a modest unwritten rule of client confidentially. There is zero mention of this on any of their social channels, only their INSTA seems relatively active. 

Photo Credit: REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

Photo Credit: REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

Away from the groom I had a lot of time for Idris Elba's Birdseye weave navy 3-piece. The trousers are flat fronted with a high rise; the shoulders are roped a distinct hallmark of a Savile Row suit. Crisp peak lapels stretch over a slanted breast pocket, although the two flap pockets are straight. 

We know that Idris is well known for his style, he even launched his own Superdry capsule collection, but little is known about his tailor. 

George Clooney on the other hand is well known for his connection to Armani. His style is actually quite divisive amongst tailors, especially by Soho tailor Chris Kerr who cites on his blog 'Clooney isn’t well dressed: he invariably wears utterly boring dark ready-to-wear clothes, his suits are usually made from overly-shiny fabrics with little visual interest'. 

Photo Credit: GETTY/CHRIS JACKSON

Photo Credit: GETTY/CHRIS JACKSON

Clooney had to play second fiddle to his wife Amal who looked utterly redolent in a bright yellow dress cut by Stella McCartney. Clooney wore a light grey glen plaid suit, mildly reminiscent of the infamous Kilgour glen plaid suit worn by Cary Grant in North by North West.

Clooney also opted for slightly less ostentatious peak lapels though with hand stitched edges. His sleeve hems are sloped with 3 buttons on the cuff. He has neatly paired his orange chevron tie with his pocket square neatly poised in a 3 stairs fold. Furthermore, look in the background on the above image and excuse me for not knowing who it is behind Clooney but the morning suit combined with a camel coloured double-breasted waistcoat is great mix-and-match style. Personally I would have opted for a crisp white shirt and navy tie as I feel there are just too many colours at play with the purple tie. But think about this: If David Beckham wore that suit combination we would all be talking about that right now as the best styled outfit.

Photo Credit: STEVE PARSONS

Photo Credit: STEVE PARSONS

Of course, any menswear blog is redundant without the mention of David Beckham. Haven't seen much press about Victoria's dress but I guess I'm not plunging far enough into the Daily Mail comments. 

Becks stepped out in Dior Homme designed by Kim Jones. According to the press release David David Beckham wore "a Dior Homme charcoal grey super 130's wool twill morning coat and pants, a light grey super 150's wool twill double-breasted waistcoat, a white 200/2 Egyptian cotton poplin shirt, a grey silk satin tie, a grey silk satin pocket square and derbies in black calfskin leather."

The morning coat is quite something, however the trousers are too trendy with an exaggerated low rise, and extremely fitted around the thigh. He looks happy, that's the main thing. In his defense Becks does have this perfect male model block of 50/50 proportioned body and legs. So a low rise will give him that symmetry and the fit will draw the eyes to the crotch. Which is what we all want to naturally, if not subconsciously. 

How I Get Ready For a Date | Men's Grooming & Fashion Advice

You're getting ready for the biggest date of your life, or week, depending how much of a woodsman you are.

I've just uploaded a new tutorial to my YouTube channel, giving you run down on how I get myself in the groove. In this article I'll give you the highlights reel on the MUST DO's to get you ready for that big first date

I've also teamed up with Base London to give my readers a chance to win a Base London £100 Gift Card and a Carl Thompson first date grooming kit.

I've included all the details at the bottom of the article but first, guys let's get you prepped. 

Get in the mood with ..  

I want to get in the mood, put a little Marvin Gaye on Let’s Get it On. Only joking. Normally I go for a bit of Jacko, I want to Rock with you or something equally as cheesy, don't ask me to sing it. Or how about a bit of Bobby Womack, Across 110th Street? Yessss now we're talking.

Make sure you're bopping around to a song that empowers you and gets you relaxed.  

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What's in my grooming kit? 

OK give the cash register a nice facial scrub. I currently using one from Lab Series, they're riding the crest of a wave at the moment these guys and I can see why. Makes my face feel really fresh, wakes me up! 

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Not all the girls like a man with a beard, so I make sure mine doesn't look to scabrous. I tame the beast with a bit of American Crew Beard serum

Moving onto the skin, I use the Clinique Maximum Hydrator moisturiser.

They say the eyes are the windows to your soul right? So got to have a little window dressing. Eye contact on dates, so important. I have been using Perricone MD for as long as I can remember. 

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What about my hair? 

You need something that is going to do your hair a solid service for the date, especially if you're going straight from work to the date. 

I use David Beckham's House 99 Pomade; it can give a decent enough hold for 8-9 hours before it starts to lose its lustre. 

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And the best Aftershave for a First Date? 

Keep that aftershave light and fresh, you don't want to overpower the poor girl or else she'll want to dine on one of those tables from that Bruce Wayne used to entertain Vicky Vale.

(That is a timely reference from 1989 and if you get that gag, then let’s go out for a beer). 

The best first date aftershave out there right now is Tom Ford Noir de Noir. It's pushy, but not assertive. 

Why I dress casual on a first date

Suits are too stiff for a first date, that's why I dress light

What’s the most important rule for light dressing? Go easy on the white wine vinegar but plenty of turmeric. Oh you mean clothes? Gotcha, (I have better jokes, haha) light dressing.

You should wear something that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. Dates can be quite nerve racking; you don't want to feel rigid in an outfit you hardly wear.

I have my go-to outfit. 

Before you leave the house remember? 

If you've met her online give her profile one last eyeball before heading out. Look for some veiled clues, like if she's been traveling we can talk about places she's been that I might have been also.

Some people call that semi-stalkery, I call it good old fashioned research.

 

COMPETITION TIME FOLKS

As I promised you, here is your chance to win a Base London £100 Gift Card and a Carl Thompson first date grooming kit. Competition closes 31st May, UK Entrants Only. Enter by clicking this link https://mailchi.mp/683daaf6009a/07k68...

T&Cs blurb for competition:

Gift card can only be used at www.baselondon.com and cannot be exchanged for a cash alternative. Competition only open to UK entrants. Prize will be for one £100 Gift Card and a selection of men’s skin care and grooming products which will be delivered to the winner’s UK address. 

This competition is in no way sponsored, administered or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Lab Series, American Crew, Clinique for Men, Perricone MD, or David Beckham’s House 99. By entering, entrants confirm they are 18+ years of age, release Instagram, Facebook & Youtube of responsibility and agree to Instagram’s, Facebook’s and Youtube's terms of use. .....phew! 😓 Good Luck!

 

HOUSE 99 Male Grooming Products Created by David Beckham in Partnership with L'Oreal

HOUSE 99, is a complete collection of 21 grooming products created by David Beckham in partnership with L'Oreal.

'Lovely party, pity I wasn't invited'. Remember that from Ace Ventura? That would have been me watching every other blogger under the sun attend the launch of David Beckham's new grooming range House 99 on my social news reel if I wasn't invited, lucky I was! The launch was down in Knightsbridge earlier this month, but I didn't get time to trial the products on the night so I've decided to try out some of his new products over the last couple of weeks and create a more meaningful review.

What's with the name? 

The name 'House' is his idea of community and 99 is the year when he won the treble for Man United, got married, had a child (Brooklyn) and it also mirrors his philosophy that we can always do one better.

It's not a question of why has Beckham released a grooming range, more like why has it taken this long? When you think the male grooming industry was worth $50 billion in 2015 and has seen steady incremental increases since then. I know from personal experience that the grooming reviews and vlogs draw many people to my site. US online magazine Primer that writes about practical style and grooming advice for young men boasts numbers like 1.5m monthly page views. So there is an audience, has been for quite a while. It belies his seemingly omnipresent persona, but it could be a genuine case of Becks simply not having enough hours in the day to do everything. Why hasn't Becks played James Bond? Why hasn't Becks released a rap album? Why hasn't Becks saved the rainforest?

House 99 by David Beckham.jpg

So let’s get one with some product reviews. Up first:

Smooth Back Shaping Pomade £15 90ml,

According to Harvey Nichols this is a personal favourite for Beckham who cites 'there is no shine to speak of, which is important when you’re looking to get a natural look, and the hold is good. It’s very thick, so a little goes a long way.'

The packaging isn't as bad as other bloggers have made out. I saw quite an excoriating review by another blogger on the packaging and it's really surprised me. In my mind it's inoffensive, passable, risk averse. It's not as perfunctory as LQD or as lavish as L'Occitane, it's middle of the road, where it should be for this price point.

There is a slight scent but by no means invasive, very creamy to the touch and easy to apply. I got some good definition and as it's water based it was easy to wash out. However, after about 6-7 hours it ran out of puff and lost some of its lustre. It doesn't hold like a wax and a pomade won't, but it's something to note if you're thinking of going straight out after a day’s work.

Going Big Thickening Daily Shampoo 250ml

This shampoo is infused with styling polymers; designed to instantly purify and thicken hair. It has peppermint notes and comes out black (that's the charcoal) which is a funny colour for shampoo but gives the verisimilitude of containing something 'sciencey'. Truth is, and I hate to brag, but I have a lustrous head of hair, thus it's not a product that really speaks to me. I'd be interested to know why there isn't an accompanying conditioner with this also? Take two bottles in the shower? YES. DO! It makes sense, always has.

Bold Statement Tattoo Body Moisturiser 

David Beckham has 40 tattoos! One every year, where's he going to put them when he runs out of square footage? I've only used the Tattoo Body Moisturiser for a couple weeks and it's hard to tell if it's had any effect reviving any discolouration on my tattoos. I'll be honest and say it's imperceptible if it has, but it's a non-greasy formula, attacks the skin well and doesn't feel like I need to jump back in shower to get the residue off. It's a spray lotion, with SPF 30 so will protect you against the elements.

That’s it for now, if I get any more products from House 99 I’ll be sure to review them here. I’ll be interested to know if you have any thoughts, maybe you’ve tried a few. Let me know in the comment bar below.

David Beckham Launches House 99 Exclusive at Harvey Nichols

On the 31st January 2018 the day after announcing his Miami MLS Soccer team venture (football to us Brits), he flew into London to launch the men's grooming brand House 99 which is currently exclusive to Harvey Nichols. Attending the event was an extremely well groomed guest list. Alongside HOUSE 99 founder David Beckham, a multitude of celebrities, models and the best men's fashion, lifestyle and grooming Influencers and YouTubers attended the star-studded event. Including some of my friends including Gwilym Pugh, Craig McGinley, Rowan Row, Darren Kennedy, Ali Gordon, Ben Heath, Carl Cunard and many more of the ever expanding House 99 influencer community.

Guest made full use of a bar serving the best Haig Club Clubman cocktails including my personal favourites, the Haig Club Espresso Martini, Haig Club & Coke and Haig Club Whiskey Sour. On top of that their were skilled barbers on hand to offer expert advice while encouraging guests to step out of their comfort zone and try a new look.

Among the new products, guests discovered House 99 Seriously Groomed Hair & Beard Balm, Soft Touch Beard Oil and the already famous Bold Statement tattoo moisturiser. Taking over Project 109 within the Harvey Nichols menswear department, the event space was transformed to create a modern grooming parlour with specific references to London’s barbershop culture.

To celebrate the launch, Harvey Nichols has transformed its windows along Sloane Street as well as the corner windows on Knightsbridge for the House 99 brand. House 99 will also be available at all Harvey Nichols stores regionally in the UK and Ireland as well as on harveynichols.com.

Earlier this month David Beckham announced the launch of his first global grooming brand, HOUSE 99, a complete collection of 21 innovative products to conquer every style ambition. The launch was created by David Beckham in partnership with L’Oréal Luxe to provide all the tools men need to experiment with their look in order to express their own evolving style and unique identity. HOUSE 99 takes a holistic approach to grooming, merging British barbershop culture and style with hair, skin beard to build a home for every man’s next look. The brand is available in the UK and Ireland, exclusively at Harvey Nichols, from February 1st 2018.

Shop my top picks from the collection below:

Top 5 Celebrity Mens Fragrances

Why do celebrities launch fragrances? 
How much do they earn? 
What are my top five male celebrity fragrances? 

Celebrities can earn an obscene amount of money cashing in on their name and status. Reports suggest roughly 1/5 of the fragrance industry can be accredited to celebrity fragrances. Elizabeth Taylor wasn’t the first actress to release a ‘celebrity’ fragrance back in 1991, but she made more money from her fragrance 'White Diamond' (grossing more than $1million dollars and counting) than all of her films combined. Depending on the size of the celebrities’ cache they can earn on average earn 5-10% of sales for licensing their name including an initial bunce of £3 million.

Here are my top five celebrity menswear fragrances.

1. Vetiver & Cedarwood - by Dermot O'Leary

Dermot has released two fragrances this summer, in a collaboration with master scent creators and Marks & Spencer’s. Why has Dermot released a fragrance? It's a lateral move and a bit of a no-brainer as his skincare range with M&S was a huge commercial success. He's been a member of the British Fashion Council for years and regularly features in GQ's listicles for stylish men of the year.

The difference between the two scents? Bergamot & Basil is fresh and aromatic whereas the Vetiver & Cedarwood is a contrasting warm, silky and spicy blend to suit your mood and style. Day/Night.

My personal favourite out of the two is Vetiver & Cedarwood as it really packs a punch, it's sophisticated and masculine. This fragrance leads with invigorating top notes of pink grapefruit and mandarin combined with deep accords of black pepper, clove and geranium on a warm and woody base of Cedarwood, amber and vetiver.

They are beautifully styled with minimalistic packaging and bottles which will look fantastic on your grooming shelf at home. All for £22, outstanding effort Dermot.

2. Intimately Beckham Men by - David Beckham

How can we leave out ol’ Golden Balls? Intimately Beckham Men is modern, spicy with some warm notes of cedar, sandalwood and resins. It has a nice mix of florals and the finish is fresh, exotic and dignified. Some good longevity, (or Sillage as they say in the trade) approx. 5-6 hours. The only downside is that it’s a little middle of the road. Got the feeling he played it safe on this one to widen the appeal.

3. Blue Seduction - Antonio Banderas

It’s a nice sporty-fresh fragrance for men and is well suited as an everyday fragrance. You’ll get an instant miasma of melon and mint followed by faint wood notes. It’s not a going out fragrance, more fresh out of the gym or walk around the park fragrance. The best thing is the price £17! Worst thing, does smells a bit like melon bubblegum.

4. Unforgivable - Sean John

It’s fruitier than a bathtub of skittles. Very citrus-y, some may find it a little overloaded on the fruit notes, but I don’t mind that. It's fresh but also a bit dark, it has a bit of mystery to it. Good for casual wear and second opinions tell me it appeals to a younger age range. One negative; doesn’t give you a lot of sillage, expect to top up after 2 hours. 

5. 007 Bond Perfume

Well not really a celebrity but what the heck. Let’s start with the positives, (perhaps the only one) the bottle is fantastic with its cross hatching reminiscent of a Walther PPK. It does have staying power, much like the Bond franchise. If you think that the first Bond Dr No was released 55 years ago. Sadly, it's a bit of a missed opportunity, it's got apple, it's generic, it’s not nearly masculine enough to be worthy of the Bond stamp. Could have done with some leather notes, maybe gunpowder, you get my point.

But Bond never wore aftershave himself if you read your Fleming. 

 

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