I’ve not long been back from the sunny island of Crete…and the holiday blues have well and truly set in! Whilst I was out there living my best life, I got a few shots of different outfits that sum up my summer wardrobe.
I am all about keeping cool and adding a pop of bold colour into my wardrobe during the summer months, all whilst wearing the minimum amount of clothing required to be acceptable in public. I thought I would split this into two posts, part 2 will be live next week!
I travelled super light with just a carry-on suitcase, so taking a few staple items that could be used in different looks was imperative…
If you haven’t been to Chania, I highly recommend it, it’s a Venetian harbour city based in the northwest of Crete, great for just wandering the little narrow streets and steep steps!
It was a boiling day, well into the mid-high 30’s, so I decided to go for a simple tee and shorts combo. My t-shirt is from Guess and whilst they no longer stock this exact colour way anymore, they have a huge selection of really cool stripe colours. Urban Outfitters exclusively stock their Sayer stripe tees, which I am definitely going to pick up! Click here to shop.
My shorts are just a simple light-wash denim short from Topman with side-tape detailing. Click here to take a look at the huge range of side-tape shorts that ASOS currently has in stock, the perfect holiday addition.
Shoe-wise I chucked on my super-breathable Adidas x Pharrell Williams fly knit sneakers. They currently have a sale on the Pharrell collection, meaning you can cop them for just over £37, rather than almost £80!
I took a trip over to Lake Kournas, which was a little touristy in places, but the lake surrounded by the mountains was absolutely incredible! I wore my white tee with pink flamingo back print from Converse, I love Converse t shirts as they sit a little longer lined - ASOS has a huge collection of Converse t shirts, they’re also made from a really nice material - click here to check them out!
I paired the tee with my grey Orlebar Brown swim shorts, which I have had for the last couple of summers and they’re still going strong! They do have a higher price tag, but they are so worth the money! Click here to shop.
It’s nice to dress up a little smarter for an evening meal, however I still want to be cool and comfortable. I went for a simple pair of military green denim shorts from Boohoo, which I am extremely impressed with the quality of! I paired these with a shirt from Boohoo too, it’s got a nice pop of colour and a revere collar which really helps to keep you cool on those warm summer nights. Click here to shop.
It’s a pretty tragic state of affairs, but at the ripe old age of 24…I am officially going grey.
I’d say I first noticed a sprinkling of salt and pepper going on in my hair a little while ago, I convinced myself that they were in fact blonde hairs, sadly that wasn’t correct and more and more greys started sprouting. I have tried all the different techniques to get rid, including getting my hair bleached and rocking that blonde trend (Zac Efron, I’m glad I could inspire you, buddy!).
Currently I have my hair faded to a 1.5 on the sides and back to try and eliminate as much of the grey as possible, it’s the one thing I am actually really self conscious of, so it’s a good option for now…but what if I wanted to have my hair a bit longer on the sides without looking like I’ve given up all hope?
About a month ago I was having a little browse of the internet, searching for the best way to get rid of grey hair without having to cut it shorter. I came across Alpecin - it’s not the first time I’d heard of them, but I always thought they were for the folically challenged among us…however upon closer investigation, their Tuning shampoo is for those of us with a bit of salt and pepper hair.
I thought for £8, it’s a bit of a pricey shampoo when you look at the shelves in Boots, however I’m literally at the point where I’ll do anything to cover the greys. I read online that it takes around two weeks to really notice the different and see you greys start to fade. I have officially been using the shampoo for over a month now, and I can pretty confidently say this is a con.
Not a single speck of grey has been tinted. The shampoo comes out looking like tar, it’s thick and dark, and probably uses the placebo effect to make you feel like your greys are being hidden, purely because you’re using a dark shampoo. The fact of the matter is it doesn’t work, it’s left my hair feeling dry and it doesn’t smell amazing either, if I were you, I would take my advice and save my pennies.
Alpecin Tuning Shampoo definitely doesn’t get my seal of approval!
It may be full steam ahead to the next Bank Holiday weekend, but I’m turning the clocks back in this blog post to the last one. I made the most of the incredible weather (what happened to that?!) and hopped over the water to Ireland. It was a mix of a trip, getting away to the countryside, seeing family and doing a quick spot of sight seeing. However, what kind of men’s fashion blogger would I be if I didn’t share a couple of outfits with you?!
We took a quick trip into Limerick, the closest city to my family’s village to grab some lunch. When the ultra-warm weather comes out, so do my pale little ankles…it’s just how it works.
I teamed my Topman cropped suit trousers with a simple black t-shirt from H&M - they make my favourite tees and I actually go for the cheapest ones…the fit is always so nice!
Footwear wise, I donned my go-to trainers, my pink Axel Arigato Clean 90’s. These are my pride and joy for sure, they add a nice bit of colour to most outfits and can either be worn super casual, or dressed up a bit smarter…who said guys can’t wear pink? Sadly they don’t seem to stock these exact croc-effect sneakers anymore, however the Clean 90 style is so comfortable and great for spending the day walking around the city. Click here to check out the Arigato collection.
I am pretty sure I have posted this denim jacket before, it’s actually just a cheap one I got from BoohooMAN, I don’t often shop there, but from time to time they do have a good find!
I paired it with a new striped embroidered tee, which it has been pointed out to me looks like Harry Potter merch, so there’s that. I picked up the t-shirt a couple of months back from River Island, stripe have been pretty popular for the last year or so…which is why this particular tee is now sold out. However, you can find some alternative options here.
It has been a hot minute since I last posted here. If you follow me on socials then you’ll know that I’ve been busy moving jobs AND moving house...I don’t do things by halves! Anyway, my life is pretty on track and I’m back with loads of new content!
You’ll know from previous posts and pictures that I’m a glasses wearer, in fact I am pretty bloody useless without them...borderline dangerous! For years I just wanted to be able to wear sunglasses that looked normal, I’d get Ray-Ban frames, but have to have tinted lenses put in, rather than the originals with the Ray-Ban etching.
That was until I noticed that Ray-Ban now produce their own prescription lenses. Honestly it has changed my life! I decided to pick up some new sunnies as I’ve been in dire need for a while. I went for my favourite style of frame, the Clubmaster (RB3716). These ones actually have a metal frame, rather than the traditional plastic, which I actually think looks a lot better and the quality feels loads better, too!
The best part about these? They come with exactly the same lens finish as the non-prescription originals! Mine have the silver flash lenses, which I think look good offset against the tortoiseshell. Most of their sunglasses and eyeglasses can be customised to being prescription, their lenses are a really nice quality and come complete with the Ray-Ban etching, which is great as it doesn’t detract from the quality of the brand!
A slight downside, I have a medium strength prescription, I’m not a total mole but without my glasses I’m useless. That does mean that the lenses came quite thick, I did ask for them to be thinned down but my guess is that they maybe can’t thin lenses down as much as an optician would be able to.
Ordering them was really easy, you literally place the order online after picking your frame and lenses, then you’ll get an email asking to provide a photograph or scanned copy of your prescription and they’ll go ahead and place the order. It’s simple!
They aren’t cheap, as you’d expect! That’s one annoying part - the frames aren’t too deer, but adding prescription lenses can bump the price up. Mine should have cost £346, however I found a corker of a discount code which gave me an £89 saving. Click here to check out the Ray Ban range!
I absolutely want to get some more frames from Ray-Ban now I know they can make them bespoke, however as highlighted above...they aren’t cheap and apparently moving house was quite expensive (*sweats profusely*) so I might have to wait a little longer!
This is an opinion piece and not an advertisement.
With so many cars to choose from, it can be a bit of a minefield - which has the best range, which gives you all the features you want, and ultimately which is the best quality. Jaguar kindly sent me one of their E-Pace SUVs to try out for a week so I could report back to you guys and give you some honest thoughts. Whilst Jaguar loaned me this car, these are all my own views, hopefully that’s enough disclosure to keep the CMA off my back…
To give you a bit of background, the E-Pace is the little sister to the larger F-Pace and has borrowed its platform from its cousin the Range Rover Evoque. It’s taken on a sleeker, more sporty design than that of the Evoque as Jaguar tries to pitch itself towards a younger audience and ditch the ‘old man car’ image. Whilst the E-Pace starts from around the £28k mark, I was sent the R Dynamic SE, which is a top of the range model and has all of the bells and whistles, which has an OTR price of £42k.
Inside and Out
The E-Pace is nicely finished inside, with quality surfaces throughout and a tonne of storage spaces for cups, phones and more. The large touch screen display is easy to use and extremely responsive, unlike that of the Evoque. Options like heated seats and a heated steering wheel make for a comfortable drive, even on chillier January days. The leather seats are soft and comfortable and have a clever system that adjusts the seat depending on who’s driving based on the key being used and any Bluetooth devices being used.
The back seats feature average leg room, if you’re of the taller type like myself, you may find it a bit cramped, however with a large boot you’ll easily be able to chuck your bags and coats in there for a bit more space.
Outside you’ve got sleek lines, a large aggressive grille, and headlights that wrap themselves around the front of the car, making the E-Pace look sporty, even for its size. Keyless entry and locking make it quick and easy to get in and out of the car without needing to scramble around finding your keys. A reversing camera makes it simple and easy to park, and if that isn’t easy enough, it can even parallel park for you (because who actually enjoys parallel parking?!).
Under the bonnet
Under the hood you’ve got a few engine options, mine came with the 2 litre Ingenium 250ps Petrol, to be fair it went like an absolute rocket thanks to the turbo. This engine runs on a 9-speed auto transmission, and coasts nicely at high speeds, even giving you little more punch when you kick down the accelerator, perfect for confident overtaking.
It’s actually very comfortable to drive, my only complaint would be that the suspension is a little stiff, what that means for your journey is the E-Pace almost seems to seek out every single bump or dip. When you’re up to higher speeds on motorways and main roads, it sits comfortably on the road, on winding back roads it feels fun, nimble and tackles corners and bends with ease. The auto transmission is silent and smooth which is great for creating a smoother ride.
It’s definitely a nice car, the Firenze Red colour is eye-catching and adds a sporty look to the car. It’s nippy and fun when it needs to be but also sits firmly as a serious SUV. The petrol motor has good range and allows for a smooth journey whether long or short. Having not driven a lower model of the car, I would imagine the comfort is made better by going for a more expensive model, and at £42,000, you’re talking about some serious money. The car I was driving came loaded with a lot of extras, so I would definitely advise trying out the model you can afford before going ahead.
Would I buy one? To be blunt, yes. I currently drive a Range Rover, and whilst the size is very similar, the Jaguar E-Pace felt a bit sportier, and a bit more fun. You get a very similar quality of car, but it just feels to me like Jaguar gives you that little bit more to enjoy.
Okay, be honest…who promised themselves they’d get fit this year but are yet to even get a gym membership? It happens, every year guys make resolutions to start training, get fitter and get that body positivity going…life happens, plans fall by the wayside and let's face it, January isn’t the most motivating month.
I’ve teamed up with San Diego-based fitness influencer and published model Weston Boucher to bring you a bit of inspiration to get your motivation levels back up again. Weston has a tonne of knowledge and has had a keen interest in fitness since he was a teenager, now 39, he’s out to defy age and hit his peak physical fitness levels.
Getting fitter and healthier really shouldn’t be seen as a huge deal, but for so many it’s this big daunting challenge.
5 things that are keeping you from being in elite physical shape.
Weston has broken your new routine down into 5 bite-sized and easily maintainable chunks, taking his advice will help you to achieve better results and achieve your fitness goals in 2019.
1. DRINK MORE WATER!
One of the most important but often neglected habits you can adopt for your health is drinking at least a gallon (4.5 litres) of water per day. Beyond the plethora of internal health benefits, this will aid tremendously in your appearance over time by way of keeping your system constantly purging toxins and ridding the body of so much of the bloat that the average person mistakes for body fat. You'll see a huge difference in your skin, your body and even your facial features will become more defined and youthful looking. Additionally, your body will be properly hydrated for training each week. Water is life. It is, after all, up to 60% of what we are made of...so to neglect hydration is to expect your car to run efficiently with very little motor oil or gas in the tank.
2. THINK OF FOOD AS FUEL
Your body is an incredibly efficient and intelligent organic engine, so start to think of how foods can compliment and support how it runs each day based on where it's going and what it's doing in a given day or week. For example, if I am going to have a meal prior to a workout or sport, I'm going to incorporate a good portion of healthy carbs such as steel cut oats and a banana or steamed rice. Think of carbs as muscle energy, think of protein as a muscle repairer, sustainer and builder and fats as an additional energy source for cognitive brain function and hormone support. All are essential, so don't completely neglect any of them, but adjust your balance of them throughout the day based on your lifestyle and level of physical exertion each day. If you workout 5 days a week for example, you'll put more emphasis on carbs and proteins, while slightly less on fats. If you have a more sedentary lifestyle, you'll have more emphasis on fats and proteins, while pulling back on carbs to some degree. Check out my What I Eat In a Day video for more inspiration.
3. ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN
Despite the saying, it's amazing how stubborn most people are about actually taking it seriously. It couldn't be more true, as you can't out-train a bad diet. I'll see so many people exhaust themselves and dedicate so much time into their workouts but never really change much aesthetically. The problem is that they never reveal all of the hard work and muscle they've been working on because there's a layer of bloat and stubborn fat on top of it. If your macro nutrients (CARBS/FATS/PROTEINS) and calories are just a guessing game each day, you'll never get the high definition look that comes from discipline in the kitchen.
I highly recommend tracking your calories and macros for just one average day of eating in the free app MyFitnessPal to at least see where you're at. As you just may be at a caloric surplus or deficit without even realising it, and a slight adjustment in your diet + or - "x" amount or so of calories may turn things around for you. In addition, switch to a whole food diet and watch how much better your body responds to utilising natural fuel over the processed stuff.
4. YOU'RE NOT EATING ENOUGH PROTEIN
The #1 thing I notice in people's diets who ask for advice when they're struggling to make progress is the lack of protein. It's NOT a bodybuilder thing, it's science– and it applies to everyone IF they want a certain aesthetic. For example, I eat at least 1g of protein per 1lb/0.45kg of my body weight each day. So roughly 195g of protein. I'm 6' 1", 39 years old. With protein being at the forefront, you are more satiated and fuller for longer. Protein will make the appearance of your muscles tighter, denser and support sustaining, growing and recovering after workouts. Most people are eating way too many carbs and fats each day, while neglecting protein significantly. Of course it's not easy to eat this much protein initially, but your body will acclimatise and a protein shake here and there will help you hit those numbers in the early stages of this new habit.
5. CARDIO IS NOT A MYTH
I used to solely focus on weight training and think that cardio was just for runner type dudes and girls. I couldn't have been more wrong. But you have to compliment your weight training with the right pairing of cardio; which would be fat burn or HIIT cardio. High Intensity Interval Training or Steady State Cardio will specifically target fat loss because it either makes your heart rate fluctuate strategically or keeps your heart rate in a zone that doesn't go into a full cardiovascular state. I recommend doing cardio before or after every weight lifting session– as it will significantly assist in fat burn and purge bloat from all of the sweating that comes with it.
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO THE GYM — The Top Things You Need To Know - YouTube
In the gym
Everyone’s a gym newbie at some point, don’t let that get to your head. Check out Weston’s video below, it covers everything you need to get started at the gym, from how to choose a gym to setting your goals, it’s the perfect quick guide to starting your road to fitness.
20 MIN FAT BURN HIIT WORKOUT – Cardio doesn't have to be boring! - YouTube
Once you’re feeling comfortable in the gym and you’re ready to give some workouts a try, give Weston’s speedy 20 minute HIIT cardio workout a go, it’s the perfect way to start a day, get the blood pumping and burn that belly, as he said in his 5 tips, cardio isn’t a myth and workouts like these are perfect for hitting your body goals.
Click the download button below to download your free ‘How to Eat, Train and Supplement Like a Male Model’ Guide
Weston is always around to help inspire you to hit your goals. Give his Instagram accounts a follow @westonboucherfit and @westonboucher…I guarantee you’ll be like me and want to sprint to the first gym you can find. Click here to subscribe to Weston on YouTube, visit his official website here, and finally check out some of his awesome resources and ebooks here, perfect if you’re looking for a plan to suit you.
Online dating has seen a massive surge in popularity over recent years, Tinder alone boasts that its users have over 1 million dates per week. Whilst many relationships work, the idea of online dating has, of course, led to some users abusing the system. I am of course talking about catfishing.
To lure (someone) into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona.
Put simply, users steal the photos of someone else, usually someone pretty good looking and set out to make people believe they are real. Many catfish accounts set up social media profiles, add friends (some of these may even be the same person!) and make their fictional lives look real to the people they are trying to lure in. A rough figure worked out that in 2018 around 10% of all online dating profiles are in fact fake - Tinder alone has an estimated 50 million users around the globe, I’ll let you do the maths on that one (it’s 5,000,000)! Facebook is another common place to encounter catfish, the platform has over 83 million fake accounts!
Handbook reached out to Tinder, Instagram and Facebook to find out what their stance was in regards to catfishing on their platforms, all platforms declined to comment.
Last summer, some of my photos were used on a Facebook profile which was used to catfish people, stupidly they added someone that I know and she kindly let me know that there was another me out there. After a week of back-and-forth between myself and Facebook, including me sending Facebook proof of my identity, Facebook decided that the account did not break any of their terms and allowed the catfish to keep on fishin’.
Why they exist
To be able to hide your true identity for that long, you’ve got to be a pretty strong compulsive liar, often they have low self-esteem and feel the need to use someone else’s identity to give them the confidence they lack. Sometimes it can be a little more suspect and they could be catfishing you to have gifts of money sent to them. It’s worth noting here that whilst catfishing isn’t actually illegal, if money or gifts are involved then it could become an extortion case.
When it comes to motives, they don’t always have a reason, it could simply be boredom or loneliness that has led them to deceive people. However, it can be a little more sinister with revenge as a top reason
How to spot a catfish
It can be relatively hard to spot an account that is a catfish. It’s worth having a look at their social media accounts to see whether they talk to friends much. It’s reported that catfish accounts on Facebook tend to have unto 6 times more friends than a regular user because they are constantly adding new people to appear real.
Try running their photos through Google’s reverse image search, if you start to get back results that link to accounts you didn’t know about, you may want to start asking questions.
One of the biggest tell-tale signs is their response when you ask to meet them. If they are happy to meet and actually show up, it’s likely the real deal, however, if they appear shifty, try to dodge the question or stand you up without reason, there may be good reason to be alarmed.
Real stories: When catfishing backfires…
After reaching out for your stories on Instagram, this was a personal favourite!
‘I saw this amazing girl called Milly on Tinder, she immediately got a Super Like from me, and from there we chatted most days. She always got funny when I asked her if she’d like to meet me for a drink, there was always some elaborate and over-the-top story about how something had happened and she couldn’t make it. A couple of times she actually agreed to meet me but stood me up…I realise looking back now that these were all alarm bells, but she made me laugh and kept me intrigued and I was desperate to meet her in person.
Phone calls were rejected, she blocked my number a few times and by this point, I was growing suspicious. I went full Nev [Schulman] and started to reverse-search her images on Google, sure enough, an Instagram account for the real Milly popped up. I decided to bite the bullet and send the real Milly a message - much to my surprise she responded. We ended up chatting loads and even met in person - we’ve been dating for a couple of months and even sent a selfie to the fake Milly!’ - Anon
Have you got a catfish story? Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story!
With 2019 just around the corner, there is no doubt that you’re looking down at that post-gym belly and planning to get rid of it ready for summer. Over the next 3 weeks, Handbook will be reviewing the best at-home fitness apps to see if they really do make a difference in helping you to shift those Christmas pounds.
Sitting at number 21 on the Apple App Store is 8fit, it describes itself as a workout and meal planner app and all in all, it looks pretty aesthetically pleasing. However, if there’s one thing we know about fitness apps, it’s that they make them as good-looking as possible to draw you in, and then sadly lack on the features.
From first going into the app and having a look around, 8fit seems different to others. It boasts over 800 meal ideas, it asks you what your targets are, and then specifically pushes menu choices and food plans to help you achieve those targets. It also tailors the workouts it sets you to ensure you’re once again hitting those goals.
One of the biggest bugbears with home workout apps is how complicated they can be to use. The design of 8fit feels really familiar and nice to use, it’s pretty clean and has everything where it needs to be, you have your homepage which lets you quickly access today’s workouts and meal plan as well as some quick start guides. All you need to do is tap into the app, complete your workout and enter your food and it will log it for you, you can then go back through your calendar and see your progress, great for keeping your motivation up!
What about out-of-app workouts? Simple, you just go in and log what you’ve been up to, it lets you select from a long list of activities including running, yoga and *ahem* sexual activities…hey, exercise is exercise! You can also use this manual-entry feature to add in additional food options and your weight.
It’s a great app for keeping everything neatly in one place, and if you struggle with motivation, the quick workouts will be over in a flash and you can go back to looking at their delicious meal options! Workouts vary from timed runs, HIIT workouts and you can also use their classes feature which can be a little more interactive. You definitely feel the burn after their intense, but short workouts, great if you don’t have a tonne of time on your hands!
Now the chances are you’re probably looking to start working out at home to lower the financial impact of your summer body, let’s face it, gyms can be expensive! In fact, the average Brit pays over £32 a month for their gym membership, that’s a tidy £384 a year! 8fit is pretty competitive, even with its advanced features, a full year comes in at around £55, which would save you around £330, you also get a handy free trial to see if you like it!
It is well worth a look, you can find out more info on their website, on the Apple App Store here (aff), or on Google Play here.
We’re getting closer and closer to the big day, which means only a few days left in the office. No doubt some of you out there have forgotten to buy your Secret Santa present, and there really is nothing more awkward than being that one person that doesn’t get a gift when they’re all being handed out. Here are 5 easy gifts to pick up this week that your Secret Santa is sure to love!
House 99 Hot & Messy Kit
David Beckham’s House 99 grooming range is full of product to help him switch it up and create some killer hairstyles in the New Year. The Hot & Messy Kit includes a comb, Daily Thickening Shampoo, Texturing Clay and a Daily Moisturiser to beat those chilly winter days.
Gone are the days of the stereotypical smelly bachelor pad, design-forward scented candles and diffusers are becoming hot property for fashion conscious lads. The SKANDINAVISK Koto Scented Candle has rugged and zesty scents and looks pretty awesome, too!
Help fuel his 2019 gym routine with MyProtein’s expert range of protein powders. Their Impact Whey Protein is a great option, its vegetarian and comes in a huge range of flavours - Strawberry Jam Roly Poly is a favourite. Plus, use code BEST for 25% off.
It’s almost time to chuck that out of office on and head away from the office for a festive break. You might already have the Holidays all planned out, however if you like living life on the edge and fancy getting away, this top 5 is definitely for you as Handbook counts down 5 snowy locations you have to visit this Christmas.
This postcard-perfect location looks even more incredible in the snow, it’s home to Europe’s oldest Christmas market. It’s the perfect base for all sorts of people, if you’re looking for a chilled out city break then it definitely ticks that box, it’s also nestled within the alps and there’s a range of ski resorts nearby if you’re looking for something a little more thrilling.
If you fancy Salzburg, why not book the incredible 4.7/5 star Hotel Sacher as the ultimate city-centre base.
If you’re looking to take the kids away and hit the slopes over the festive period, Chamonix is the perfect location. Sitting at the bottom of Mont Blanc, it’s famed for its incredible scenery as well as offering plenty to do other than just skiing including tours, shops and of course, a pretty good après scene!
If you fancy travelling a little further afield, hop on a flight to sunny San-Fran and head to chilly Tahoe. California’s snowy spot sits a little under 4 hours from the airport, and offers laid back casual vibes and the USA’s second deepest lake for some pretty, scenic views.
Famed for its Igloo resort, Saariselka offers a bit of peace and quiet, perfect if you’re looking to escape the rat race over Christmas. There’s plenty to do if you’re willing to spend a bit of time outside enjoying the scenery or taking a husky tour. Alternatively you can lay back of an evening and be amazed by the Northern Lights.
If you want to be wowed, head to Banff. The incredible blue waters of Lake Louise will certainly provide you with some Instagram content and the crisp mountain air will have you forgetting about 2018’s stresses in minutes. Get active and hit the slopes, or lay back and relax in the hot springs, it’s the ultimate relaxation destination this Christmas.