The Shearling

Brass monkeys more than describes the last couple of days, it’s been ridiculously cold right across the country and wrapping up has been a must…or just staying in doors and eating cake till 9pm 🙄

I have wanted a shearling coat for ages now, something warm and casual that I can chuck on over a jumper or shirt and a pair of jeans. Shearling is great for styling up or down so it’s definitely a versatile piece to have in your wardrobe.

ASOS Shearling Jacket | Sam Squire UK Male fashion & lifestyle blogger

I hadn't found the right one, I knew exactly what I was looking for as I had a really particular style in mind. When browsing ASOS one day I found the exact jacket I had been looking for, slim fitting and plain on the outside with a soft tan colour, and super fluffy on the inside to keep me warm.

ASOS Shearling Jacket | Sam Squire UK Male fashion & lifestyle blogger

I have to say I am actually really impressed with just how fluffy it is inside! Often brands will just put a little bit of fur lining round the cuffs, ASOS have packed this bad boy full of the stuff, right up the sleeves and all inside the body, it’s super warm and really comfortable. It’s super thick and is perfect for this time of the year, especially on these ultra frosty mornings!

ASOS Shearling | Sam Squire UK Male fashion blogger

I paired the jacket with a simple pair of Topman spray-on skinny jeans in black, some Nike Stefan Janoski’s in khaki and my gradient blue to grey M&S jumper from their always-stylish Autograph collection.

Guest: Styling Tips For Men

Have you noticed that whenever you look in the mirror you always fixate on the bits you don’t like?

That’s only natural, but when it comes to deciding what clothes to wear you gotta get out of that habit and take a different approach to how you see your body. Use your wardrobe to flaunt what you’ve got, rather than hiding what you don’t. You’ll look and feel your best when you wear stylish clothes that are comfortable and flattering, and we’re gonna tell you how.

Lowes menswear | Sam Squire | UK Australia male fashion & lifestyle blogger

Get the perfect fit
Wearing clothes that fit perfectly is the easiest way to improve your look and help you feel confident in your body. However, let’s face it, most of our bodies are different and not many people can afford to have custom-made shirts and suits. Our best tip for getting the tailored look without the hefty price tag is to buy items that fit the largest part of your body and then get your local alterations specialist to make some simple and cheap adjustments. For as little as £20 you can make a £30 shirt look like a £200 shirt.

Try stylish shorts
Dress for warmer days with a pair of shorts in a flattering classic cut. If you’ve hit the shops lately, you’ll know that men’s shorts come in all sorts of colours, patterns and fabrics now, so you’re bound to find something that you like. The best shorts for guys are ones that rest just above the knee, cos they’re freeing enough to let you move around, but aren’t so short that they’ll cause a scandal. P.S. I know baggy running shorts are super comfy, but do yourself a favour and leave them at the gym, they look sloppy anywhere else.

Proportion with pants
If you’ve seen those guys walking around with their pants practically down around their ankles, you’ll know that the rise of your pants is important. By defining your waistline, the rise of your pants proportions the two halves of your body. While low-rise pants can be pulled off if you’re wearing casual jeans, don’t confuse these with short-rise pants which are great for shorter guys as they fall at the natural waist and flatter shorter legs. On the other hand, mid- and high-rise pants are perfect for all the tall guys out there cos they create the best proportions between your legs and torso. For a more detailed guide on how certain styles of pants should fit, check this out.

Frame your body
If there’s only one thing you’re gonna take away from these tips, let it be this – get a structured jacket. A blazer, suit or sports jacket is a wardrobe staple. These trusty jackets can easily take you from a day out with friends to a dinner party at night. When picking the right jacket for you, keep in mind that single-breasted ones are slimming, while double-breasted jackets give your torso more bulk. Taller guys should opt for three-button suits while smaller men look great in a classic two-button. Finally, customise your jacket with some badass shoulder pads to give your body more definition, and to class it up for formal situations.

Wear suitable fabrics
You know how your mum’s always nagging you to bring a jacket so you don’t catch a cold? She’s right, mate. Dressing for the weather is always a smart move, and it’s best to do this with seasonal fabrics. Lightweight fabrics like cotton and linen are great for keeping you cool on warmer days. As natural fibres, clothes made from these materials let your skin breathe and give you a classic look. During winter, stand out from the crowd by experimenting with different heavy fabrics for example with a leather, corduroy or even velvet jacket. Chuck these over a wool sweater for a stylish outfit that’s also practical enough to make your mum proud.

Utilising patterns
Want a quick and easy way to add some excitement to your outfit? Pick clothes with interesting patterns! Patterns have different associations which you can use to your advantage (or peril). If you’re lucky enough to be on a tropical holiday you might just be able to pull off a loud Hawaiian shirt, but for an everyday outfit, you’re much better off going with casual plaid or whimsical polka dot elements. You can also use patterns to bring out the best in your body type. Big and tall guys look great in smaller, understated patterns like paisley and light checks, while men on the smaller side should definitely try out vertical pinstripes or patterns with larger elements for a bolder look.

Combine colours
Like patterns, colours have varying meanings so mixing and matching the right items in your wardrobe can drastically improve your look. Remember that the more colourful and bright your outfit, the more casual it’ll seem. So if you’ve been dying to make a fashion statement at work but you’ve got to stick to the dress code, try subtle pops of colour. Create an eye-catching outfit by sprucing up one of your plain suits with accessories in different shades of the same bright colour – for example, a grey suit with a coral shirt and orange tie.

Go dressier
When in doubt, always choose something dressier over a more casual get-up. For minimal effort but maximum results, fill your wardrobe with clothes that have interesting cuts over more plain items – for example, skip a common t-shirt and go for a polo shirt. Also, layers always make it look like you’ve put some effort into your outfit and the easiest thing to layer with is a black v-neck because black goes with pretty much everything (nice!). Finally, for the icing on the top, throw on some accessories. As a reward for sticking it out to the end, here’s my number one tip: a good hat will elevate nearly anything you wear from an outfit to a ‘look’.

 

John Lewis: Autumn

As you guys know from a couple of blog posts ago, I am a real big fan of John Lewis’ AW16 collection. Autumn seems to be well and truly here, leaves are falling and I am sat snug in a jumper by a radiator as I write this post.

The folks over at John Lewis got in touch and let me know about a couple of new launches over on their site and I wanted to share them with you. John Lewis seems to be positioning themselves in a slightly different way with some of the new brands they are bringing on board, if you read my Harvey Nichols blog post, I would say that John Lewis has definitely taken a leaf out of their book!

Libertine Libertine are the latest new brand to launch with John Lewis, their autumn//winter 2016 collections feature earthy colours and textured layered looks.

Libertine Libertine | John lewis Menswear | Sam Squire UK Male fashion blogger

Some of my favourites from the collection are the Libertine Libertine Logo Sweater which would be great for chucking on for a really casual look, the Turbo Affect Wool Mac Overcoat which I think would finish off a suit on a chilly or damp autumnal morning perfectly, and finally the Bruce Hunter Shirt which is a really nice asphalt coloured shirt, great for completing a casual, laid back look.

Libertine Libertine | John lewis Menswear | Sam Squire UK Male fashion blogger

The Libertine Libertine prices are definitely higher end and the John Lewis collection ranges from £50 for a top up to £255 for the Turbo overcoat, but they are a luxury brand and you definitely get what you pay for when it comes to a quality brand like this.

I would say the collection is well worth checking out and there are some great staple pieces for the season ahead. Click here to have a browse of the collection! Don’t forget to let me know what you pick up from the range!!

An Autumnal Affair

Can you believe how quickly autumn has crept up on us? Honestly, it feels like spring was just a few weeks ago, and this up and down weather certainly doesn't help when deciding what to wear for the day. I tend to update my wardrobe with some key pieces each season to make sure that I have all the latest trends to mix and match throughout the season.

Samsoe Samsoe | John Lewis | Sam Squire UK male fashion blogger

This autumn I have been checking out John Lewis, I am sure I don’t need to do any introduction for the UK’s most famous department store, but I have been seriously impressed by the effort they have put into their menswear collections, adding new brands and making sure they’re on the very top of the seasonal trends.

One of their latest additions comes in the form of Scandinavian brand Samsøe & Samsøe. The luxury brand offers some chunky knit jumpers, smart-casual shirts and easy to wear jackets make for a fantastically versatile collection, I especially like the Shields Jacket, a black jacket with really cool gold zip detailing. It’s the type of jacket that you could wear during the day for a really casual look, or dress up with a shirt and smart shoes in the evening for a comfortable yet smart night out.

Samsoe Samsoe | John Lewis | Sam Squire UK male fashion blogger
Samsoe Samsoe | John Lewis | Sam Squire UK male fashion blogger

The fall collection is perfect for updating your wardrobe, with lots of earthy, neutral tones that you’ll definitely want to wrap up in as the cooler mornings - I love a flannel shirt, their Liam flannel shirt comes in a pearl blue colour, a great colour for layering, like the Kronos crew, team these with a pair of black jeans and some Chelsea style boots and you’ve got yourself a really good look.

I’ve got to say I am really impressed with John Lewis, they’ve got a great collection together with Samsøe & Samsøe and I’ll certainly be picking myself up some items from the collection if you want to shop the full range, click here and take a look! Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Men's Guide to Autumn Fitness

Men's lifestyle writer, Peter Minkoff guest writes on everything a men needs to ensure his Autumn fitness routines are the very best!

A man’s body is highly responsive to the outside conditions, which means that training in different seasons affects our organism differently. Therefore, in order to stay healthy and improve our bodies, we need to adapt to this new set of circumstances. This means that, when the autumn arrives, we need to adjust our exercises, our diet and even our training clothes to it. Here are a few tips and tricks about autumn fitness that I managed to pick up over the course of years.
Taking Advantage of the Weather

Men's Autumn Fitness routine | Sam Squire UK Male fashion & lifestyle blogger

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about autumn fitness is a morning beach workout. You don’t need gym machines for a quality strength training and you can do squats, lunges, push-ups, sit-ups and scissor kicks literally anywhere. Seeing how the summer is already gone, not a lot of people will be on the beach, which leaves you with a unique opportunity to find solitude and dazzling landscape in one place. Whenever it’s not raining, you can always go jogging, walking and hiking as a form of cardio and discover something new about your city along the way.

Autumn Fitness | Men's Fitness | Sam Squire UK Male fashion Blogger

Outdoor Group Activities
One of the greatest advantages that the autumn holds over the summer is that the weather is overall better for outdoor activities. If for example, you wanted to play touch football in the park with your friends, you would either have to get up early in the morning or wait for the sun to come down. Needless to say, in the autumn, you don’t have to worry about this. As a cardio, it’s irreplaceable, seeing how it is extremely physically arduous Also it’s infinitely more interesting than running or cycling. On top of it all, you get to socialize with people. A clear and undeniable win-win scenario.  

Seasonal Diet
Training properly means that you will go through your food reserves quite quickly. Replenishing them takes proper nutrition and supplementation. On the other hand, sometimes, you get the opportunity to join these two in a single meal, which often turns out for the best. My personal autumn favorite is a smoothie with rice protein powder. Seeing how rice is already highly nutritious, protein powder is not there to complement, but only to enhance its effect.
In 2016, with modern greenhouses and import/export policies, we can basically eat apples, oranges and tomatoes anywhere in the world, all year-round. However, our biology simply can’t keep up with this rapid agricultural progress, which means that our body knows the difference between what’s in season and what’s not. Personally, during the autumn season, I try to eat pumpkins and squash seeds as much as possible. Apart from my personal preference, pumpkin flesh is filled with carotenoids that have a strong anti-ageing property. The most important thing, however, is that according to the Middlesex University research, the enzymes in pumpkin seeds may also reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Autumn Workout Clothes
Another thing you need to worry about during the autumn is what to wear during your workout. Putting on too much can restrict your movement and make you overheat while wearing too little can make you freeze, which is again a hazard for your health. This is why you need to dress in layers, which will allow you to prepare properly for any situation.

Conclusion
As a season, the autumn is quite good for athletic endeavors. What more can you ask for than moderate temperatures, seasonal food diversity, and landscapes that seem purpose-built to draw you outdoors to exercise? All in all, those willing and ready to nurture their physical side during this part of the year, have all the conditions to do so efficiently. They only need to learn how.

Pure Vintage Fun

So much more than ‘one for the girls’

This right here is the 2016 New Fiat 500. Recently the folks from Fiat got in touch and asked if they could send me a car to drive around for a week. On the proviso that there wasn't a pastel colour in sight, I agreed! Now, don't get me wrong, I was super dubious that the Fiat 500 might be deemed as slightly feminine but comfortable with my masculinity, I put it to the test over a week long period.

New Fiat 500 | Car Review | Sam Squire uk male fashion & lifestyle blogger

For 2016 the Fiat 500 has made like Jeremy Clarkson and got punchy. We’re talking redesigned headlights and brake lights, new colour and sticker options, and a naughty little turbo engine…you’re going to be seriously impressed. The model I was sent is the range-topping Fiat 500 Lounge - this came with their clever little twin cylinder engine, the TwinAir is a 900cc roughty petrol engine that has more bang for its buck than you'd imagine. I was sceptical about the power the car would have, especially when you look under the bonnet and see just how dinky that little TwinAir engine is…however thanks to a whole lotta turbo, the 500 has bags of power.

The car is extremely responsive to drive, when your right foot hits the floor it really does rocket…whilst this is a huge selling point, for me it also comes with a huge negative. Whilst the speed is great, the engine is extremely loud, initially you would just see it as part of the vintage charm…but seriously, it’s annoying. Even the loudest radio setting would struggle to cover the noise and your conversation turns into a shouting match over the loud grumbling engine.

Anyway, let’s head inside the car. I’m really impressed by the overall size and feel of the car interior, I am around 6 foot 2 in height and pretty broad across the shoulders, even though I'm tall, it doesn't feel cramped at all, plus thanks to the clever placing of the gearstick, you wont be accidentally changing great with your passengers knee…that’s a whole other car share!

New Fiat 500 | Car Review | Sam Squire uk male fashion & lifestyle blogger

There’s a simple to navigate 5” touchscreen infotainment system with full bluetooth and aux-in meaning this truly is a stylishly connected car and you can have the latest music on the go. Surprisingly there’s rear parking sensors which for such a diddy car, you wouldn't imagine would be a standard feature on the model…I guess they come in handy, buy being a dab hand at parking, I saw them as a somewhat non-necessity. Inside there’s also height-adjustable seats which help to get a nice and comfortable ride, I would say that the height adjusting lever and handbrake are not only the same shape…but also are dangerously close and numerous times instead of stopping, I ended up 2 inches closer to the roof - perhaps a slight design flaw.

New Fiat 500 | Car Review | Sam Squire UK male fashion blogger

Fiat are treating the 500 like a fashion collection, which is actually a pretty cool way to look at a car in my eyes. The ‘second skin’ is a vinyl sticker, this season they have 6 different options, the car that I was sent has the camouflage second skin…this in my eyes is surprisingly the biggest thing wrong with the car.

So, they look relatively cool these second skins, however a thought came into my mind one day…how long do they last? They’re a vinyl sticker so surely they will degrade and peel at some point? I noticed on the car I was sent which I would guess is maximum 6 months old, that many of the individual camo stickers starting to peel, personally if I was spending an additional £460 for the second skin, I’d want it to be sticking around for a pretty long time. Also, after these have peeled off, what is the next step? I’m not personally too sure, but if I bought a Fiat 500, I’d just go for a standard paint colour and avoid the stickers.

So, you’re probably thinking that this is all well and good, but let’s talk cash. For this model you’re looking at just over £13,800 basic retail, on top of that you’ve then got the stickers and any additional extras you might want to add. It’s not a cheap car, so is it worth it?

New Fiat 500 | Car Review | Sam Squire UK Male fashion & Lifestyle blogger

In my opinion it’s a great little car, it’s nippy and perfect for a small family, I’d even quite happily do a longer journey in it. The quality inside the car seems really good, the finishes are nice and whilst they’re plastic, the gloss is nice to the touch and really easily cleaned, again, perfect for having kids in the car! Outside it looks great, especially in black it gives it a really sporty, beefed up look…on the flip side if you’re looking for something cute and colourful, this is also the car for you with a huge house of colours, it’s really quite impressive!

New Fiat 500 | Car Review | Sam Squire UK Male fashion & lifestyle blogger

If you had to choose between the Fiat 500 and its rival, the Mini I’d outright say the winner is the 500, the Mini looks tired and dated with complete lack of thought, especially next to the fun, vibrant little 500 - there’s been some thought behind it, it’s an icon that’s easily adapted to suit modern times…and you’ve really got to give kudos to Fiat for that. Overall it was actually a really fun week driving around in the 500, not only is it economical and really nippy…it’s pretty comfortable and stylish, too!

You can find out more and configure your New Fiat 500 by clicking here!