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Entries in tips (91)


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

Just picked up this gem and it's a breath of fresh air. Finally, a lifestyle improvement book that doesn't hinge on flowery, non-sensical, anecdotal phrases about turning lemons into lemonade or some other fruit into a tasty beverage. This book tells it like it is. "F**k positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it."

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life. It's pretty inexpensive and pretty enjoyable to get through. I highly recommend picking it up.

But if you prefer, feel free to read through some hot garbage like The Secret so you can just pretend life is full of rainbows and unicorns. Your call.


- James


don't screw your do.

here are some tips on getting the best from your next haircut. These tips come from a handful of respected barbers, so we're pretty confident in recommending them to you.

learn the Language.

If you want your hair to look a certain way, it's important that you're able to describe it eloquently and efficiently. Asking for "just a trim" can mean something completely different than what you have in mind to a barber you've never worked with before. This will make sure you're on the same page and save you some ebarassment. undercut, hard part, fade, rounded, textured, etc...

bring a Picture.

It's a lot easier to imagine what you want by looking at an example rather than translating your words into a mental picture. It's much easier to start with a picture and explain how you want it applied to your dome. 

stay off your phone.

don't be a dickhead. getting your haircut is a social and participatory experience. make eye contact and have a conversation. This makes the eperience more enjoyable. What you don't want is an angry barber.

avoid peak times and don't rush.

make sure your barber is able to take the time required to perfect your cut. don't come in on a busy saturday while the walk-in line is out the door, tell the barber to hurry up, and expect to walk out of there with the best cut you've ever had. It's an art and art takes time.

watch and learn.

observe the changes and techniques and feel free to ask questions. That way you'' be able to explain what worked or didn't work thennext time you come in. This will also help you to understand the lingo and better explain what you want in the future.

trust your barber.

Ideally, you're building a relationship here. You want to find a soulmate barber who just gets it. Consistency means you can confidently get what you want everytime. When your barber gets to know you and your mop, they'll be able to make better recommendations, and you'll be comfortable enough to accept those recommendations.

tip well.

i shouldn't have to say this, but i will anway. This is a sign of respect and gratitude. a job well done deserves a tip well given. it also helps ensure you'll get a good cut next time as well. 


- james


13 rules for manhood.

1. Most people, most of the time, judge you by what you're wearing, and if you care about what people think (or care about being successful and respected), you should care about what you wear. Life doesn't get much simpler than that.


2. Wire hangers should be used only for breaking into cars.

3. Except on the golf course, golf umbrellas are unmanly.

4. If a man is wearing a class ring, do not respect him.

5. If a man is wearing a pinky ring, do not f*ck with him.

6. Navy is the most flexible suit color you can buy. Followed closely by charcoal and medium gray.

7. Your tie knot should always conceal the collar band behind it. If it doesn't, it's tied too loose.

8. There is a difference between water-resistance and waterproof. This is usually learned the hard way.

9. A watch should be worn securely around your wrist. It is not a bracelet.

10. A man can never own too many pairs of socks.

11. If you are uncertain how much cologne is enough, you are not allowed to use cologne.

12. No novelty neckties. No novelty anything — novelty has the tendency to wear off.

13. Pull yourself together. Always. Everywhere. Whether you're going to the deli or on a date, every occasion has minimum standards. Try to meet them.

Thanks to Esquire for pulling together a list of 24 manly rules from which I chose the only good ones.


- James




garb critique #1.

occasionally, other websites get sponsored (receive ca$h monies) to put together a look using pieces from companies looking to advertise. What that means is that sometimes those websites suggest a look that may or may not be complete/finished/ideal/realistic/practical/appealing/fashbionable/good at all.

One thing we can promise you is that we will NEVER suggest something to you so that we don't completely stand by just so that we can collect a check. Never.

That being said, allow me to critique some looks thrown together by websites who do not make that same promise, in the first installation of a series I call 'garb critiques'.

love love love this jacket, and both chambray shirts (all three come from American highway). However, the backpack is ridiculous for this kind of outfit and looks like something Kanye would suggest. I also think  the color of the chinos is too bright and playful and far from brown to be taken seriously. I'd ditch the blue tee and replace it with a white one as well. Those bowers and wilkins headphones are prime and put out amazing sound, and the mophie juicepack is a good idea but only if you're going on a trip or something out of civilization which this outfit is not suited for. lastly, the lanyard/keychain thing is gross. super gross.


the flight jacket.

also known as the bomber jacket, the flight jacket is this fall's trending style. Originally designed to keep pilot's warm during flight time, the jacket goes back as far as 1917. The flight jacket can come in a million different looks, fabrics, and styles, but should always have the same fit and features: shorter length, a shorter collar that does not fold down, and a roomier fit. check out some examples before running out to find one that fits your look. 


- james



fashion profile - yego moravia.

yego moravia - designer, teacher and entrepreneur. creative projects at Hella Crisis. Graphic Arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

"fashion is really just the thing you say without opening your mouth; the thing you say by how the clothes lay on your body and what textures and rhythms, and even words, say on your clothing."


"i think style is curation -- i think it's choosing the parts that tell your story best. it takes a little bit of effort to dress yourself in a way that reflects who you are as a takes a little bit of care even though you want it to look like it's no big thing."

"you have to take a little bit of a stand of are you gonna be the type of person that dresses like everyone else, or is there something about you that might want to express yourself a little bit...?"


- james


get smart.

let me first start by saying there's nothing that can compare to a classic timepiece. That being said, there's no problem with using multiple watches for multiple occasions and purposes. I'm not saying you should strap on 6 watches on your arm at once like a shady street vendor. I'm saying, you should have a respectable watch collection in order to coordinate colors, occasions, and needs. 

Assuming you've already started your collection with a a classic piece, let's take a look at the functionality realm of the watch world -- Smart watches.

apple watch

moto 360

asus zen watch and vivo watch

lg g watch r


sony smartwatch 3


- james



10 travel tips.

1. Hang your jacket when seated -- If driving, you should take a couple hangers with you and utilize the hooks in the back so your jacket(s) won’t be pressed and wrinkled when seated.  On a plane – I usually wear my jacket to my seat and then take it off and fold it / store it right before sitting.

2. fold, then roll -- folding your clothing means you're probably going to end up with wrinkles and creases. Wrinkles and creases mean you're either going to havr to iron your shuff, or look like a giant fool. bundle 2-3 items of clothing together, fold them into a rectangle and roll them up. This will cut down on wrinkling and creasing, and actually save space in your luggage. 

3. Shoe Storage -- Underwear, socks, and belts can be rolled up and placed inside your shoes to save space and prevent the tops of your shoes from caving in and losing their shape. I also recommend putting your shoes into bags within your bag, to prevent the soles from dirtying your clothing -- shower caps work perfectly for this purpose.


4. Pack light -- If you're telling yourself, “I want to make sure I have some options,” you’re really just being indecisive and convincing yourself it's okay to bring 3 extra shirts, 4 pairs of jeans, and both of your "good" running shoes which means you should probably just bring another bag. Translation: you're being ridiculous. Traveling in style means being able to move around unencumbered just as much as it means looking good while you do it. At most, you should be bringing a duffel and a backpack.


5. stay healthy -- as a traveler, your propensity to get sick isn’t just linked to hygiene; you’re also changing your diet, breathing in new air, and, most likely, ditching your exercise routine. Pack vitamins to keep your immune system on track, and running shoes so you can still go for that morning jog. Ask the flight attendant for a full bottle of water, rather than having to beg for refills in that tiny plastic cup. 

6. playlists -- make sure you've got some killer jams to pass the time while you fly or drive. If you're going to be driving through nature, make that playlist cater to the scenery like a soundtrack. Not only will you enjoy the music, but the music will make you enjoy the scenery and experience even more. If you need help with this, ask us and we'll make sure you're covered. 

7. Be Flexible -- give yourself some cushion between planned activities instead of trying to cram a millon things into one day. Don't underestimate how tired you may be, and don't force it. This is a vacation, so give yourself some time to take it all in, relax, and enjoy it. If you see something incredible that you just can't pass up, allow yourself the flexibility to move things around and explore. This will cut down on stress, and allow you to really enjoy your trip(s). 

8. Sunglasses, breathmints, and wet wipes -- just trust me on this one.

9. Dress well -- "Opportunity awaits the traveling man who dresses in style." Seriously, they don’t offer that unexpected opening in first class to a man who looks like a bum. Unless you're traveling to Sportstown, USA, where they wear running shoes and mesh shorts all day everyday, you should look good, and dress appropriately to your surroundings. 

 10. Travel Often. Travel with the right people. Have fun. Make it memorable. 


- James


the timberland trench.

yeah, but this jacket though...


Crafted from 100% British Millerain® waxed cotton twill for water-resistant durability, these trench coats feature a statement collar, lots of pocket space for storage, a sleek silhouette and flattering waist. 





Check them out here.


- james



how to find a quality barber.

We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get a good haircut, and rightly so. A good haircut can give you surprising bumps in confidence. Don't act like you've never had one of those amazing hair days where you feel like "oh man, people need to see this." The key is finding a barber you like, and sticking with them long enough to get into a groove. They know what looks good with your hair type and skull shape, and they know what you like. And in return, you trust them. This can be a difficult thing to come by, as well as a stressful trial and error process. So I came across this article (from finding a quality barber and added some of my own thoughts. 

*side note, if you're in southern california, the only barbershop you need to know is Danckut's. No joke. 


Look for a Place that’s Busy

If you’re passing by a shop that’s empty most of the time, it’s not a good sign. Sure, it might provide the convenience of right-here, right-now service, but it’s probably going to result in a cut that you’re going to need to hide under a cap for a few weeks.

If you see a guy with a haircut you like, ask him where he got it. We know that may sound like a strange prospect to some, but we’re proponents of guys actually talking to each other about style and grooming. Enough with awkward stoicism; he’s not going to accost you complimenting his cut, and it’s a simple way of finding a new shop to try.


Cost doesn’t always translate into quality

A decent men’s haircut (for relatively short, classic styles) should cost you between $20-40 [not including tip] in most cases. Of course, this changes slightly depending on the city, and even the neighborhood you’re in, but a man shouldn’t have to choose between paying his rent or growing dreadlocks.

A good way to ensure you’re not overpaying for a cut is to go to a barber. This article is titled ‘How to find a quality Barber’ for the specific reason that a salon probably isn’t where you need to go. Unless you’re getting layered highlights [don't ever get layered highlights], all you need is a man or woman who’s skilled with scissors. [Okay, a beard trim and a hot towel on your face is nice, but maybe take a pass on the Tahitian cucumber water or simultaneous pedicures.]

*This isn't to say that all salon-type "hairstylists" are unskilled, but let's face it, a salon is designed to pamper a woman and [in the old days] provide a forum to share juicy gossip. A barbershop is dedicated to men's grooming and style.


You should never feel rushed by a barber.

If you notice a barber pushing through clients before you, and feel like he’s going to give you the same bum-rush treatment, don’t be afraid to just make an excuse and get out of there (a fake phone-call works wonders). Yes, it’s not the course of action, but a rushed cut or a surly barber is something no man should be paying money for.

A good barber should be attentive, interested, and engaged: asking you what you want, and taking the time to confirm the details or suggest new options. 

*A haircut at a barbershop is an experience, not a task on a checklist. The process should be give and take--you get to know each other and communicate until you're both on the same page.


You get the cut you ask for

If you’re not crazy about your cut when you walk out the door, remember that barber’s will cut your hair to maximize your value, so it will be about a week before it has a chance to grow-out and take it’s shape. Unless he has clearly done a complete hack-job, tip him fairly, and wait to see the true results of his skill emerge in time. 

*Worst-case scenario: you wear a hat for awhile and find a new barber in a couple weeks to try again.

If you’re getting a haircut within a week of a specific function or event, ask the barber to cut it to look a little grown in and more natural. Ideally though, you should time your cut a week or so before an event in order to look your best. If the haircut never ends up meeting your standards, you don’t have to return.

*My own experience has taught me that the best way to achieve the right "look" you're going for, is to bring in a few pictures on your phone. Chances are, your spur of the moment description of this haircut you saw in a magazine may not translate into your barber's mind the way you've intended. So take some pictures off the internets to talk through with them. 

*find a shop that fits your style. 

I'm pretty sure that 99% of barbershops can handle your basic fade or whatever cut you're looking for. Yes, certain shops will specialize in certain types of cuts, or certain types of hair; but a barbering license is supposed to mean that your barber can do it all. What's more important is making sure that you're confident in your barber, and that you feel comfortable in their barbershop. Find one that fits your own style. Find one that you think looks cool. Find one that makes you pumped to get a haircut. If you go to a dumpy shop in sketchville, USA, chances are you're gonna hate your haircut no matter what it looks like. 


- James