Fresh style insights, tips and commentary by Michelle Tea, Michael Braithwaite, Leo Plass, Page McBee and Carrie Leilam Love.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Guy Basics

So as fun as fashion can be you've got to get your basics down to really look and feel good. Start with your face. The people have realized that guys need products too. This is nice but, it leads to that overwhelming amount of products to choose from that women deal with constantly. Keep it simple. You don't need 10 different face washes and creams. If you need to shave, use shaving cream and a nice razor. Disposable razors are fine, so long as you dispose of them after a few uses. If you get yourself a razor you can save money in the long run by buying cartridges instead of full razors. The environment will thank you also for not creating as much waste.

Here's my favorite from The Art of Shaving.

Don't let them confuse you with all that newfangled 3 blade, 5 blade, 20 blade shit. I think 3 blades work good enough and are way cheaper than the 5 blade, but, if you get a lot of in-grown hairs maybe you should try the 5 blade. Just don't go 1 blade and don't skimp too much. It is your face after all.

People will try to sell you on oils and brushes and all sorts of stuff for shaving. It's not all that necessary so long as you use a couple good products. I really like Kiehl's. It used to be because they only had a few simple men's products, but, they got the memo and are out of control with them now. The "Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream - White Eagle" works great. It also lasts forever as you put on only a very thin layer.

Use after shave lotion! Seriously, don't make this mistake. If you think you don't need it because your face gets all oily after shaving you're wrong. It is creating that oil to make up for the dryness. Cut it off at the source by using after shave lotion. Again Kiehl's makes a good one. "The Ultimate Men's After-Shave Balm and Moisturizer" does the trick.

For washing, all you need is 1 face wash. Choose one that works for you. I find that any simple cleanser will do. Don't use an exfoliating cleanser. If you need to exfoliate do it separately and not everyday. The more important part is your face moisturizer. Which you definitely need. Again don't give me some your face is too oily for this shit. Using moisturizer balances the oil. Just make sure you use a light one if you are oily. Wash and moisturize your face before bedtime. This is more important than in the morning as it's when your skin does all it's work. Rubbing your face into all the dirt from the day all night does not work. My favorite, life saving Kiehl's product is, Facial Fuel SPF 15 sunscreen. I use this 80% of my days. If you take only 1 thing from this blog, this should be it. When the sun has faded and all the color from your face with it, this will save you. Yes, wearing SPF helps you maintain a tan. It's super light too. On the other 20% of my days and at night I use the Facial Fuel without the SPF.

Ok, I'll stop rambling about your face. But, if you have any questions please feel free to ask.

So, now I will talk T-shirts. I know everyone is on the lookout for the perfect T-shirt constantly. I put an end to that for myself. It's too much hassle. So, what I do is once a year I buy a 6-pack of Hanes Classic Tagless V necks. And a 3-pack of Hanes Classic Crew-neck. I try to coordinate getting these in 'summer' so they are fresh for the warm weather times. But, who ever knows when that's going to be around here.

Buy them in the size you normally buy. When you take them out of the package you will say 'these are huge!'. After 2-3 washes in hot water they will fit like they were made for you. Believe me. Also, bleach the fuckers. I'm not sure why everyone is opposed to bleaching whites. 'Don't they get thin?' they ask. Well yes, don't you buy Alternative Apparel and American Apparel soft t's because they are thin? 'Yeah but, won't they get holes and not last as long?' they ask. Well sure but I don't need to be wearing the same $5 T yellowed with brown pit stains in 10 years anyway thanks. If you are opposed to bleach for environment issues use Oxiclean for laundry at least. I use both. At the end of the year when it's time to get new ones I don't throw away the old. I get Rit liquid dye in the color of my choice and throw them in a huge pot on the stove with the stuff and simmer them. Rinse thoroughly let dry then wash. And viola I am swimming in a variety of T's for a very low price.

Don't believe me? These are a bit ratty as I haven't gotten to this task yet this year but, proof nonetheless.

For the finale of this Basics post let's talk underwear. Once again the market is flooded with men's underwear these days. But why? Do you want to look like a clown when your pants come off? A pre-teen? Do you want some bit of kooky pattern popping out when you bend over? If so, stop it. Your underwear should NOT show if your pants are on unless by accident. If you want some flair wear a necklace or a bracelet or some shit. Your underwear should match your outfit and not be a focal point of your outfit. When your pants do come off the only statement your undies need to make is, 'I am clean and I know what I'm doing'.

So, because I think the undies should match the outfit I have taken to wearing all white boxers mostly. Sorry to bore you but this post is about basics. The Merona white boxer packs from Target work fine and that's what I usually get because they are cheapest.

But, I prefer the Calvin Klein woven traditional fit boxers from Macy's because they last longer and are short like me.

The other alternative is the Calvin Klein boxer brief in black. Make sure the name is the same color as the undie to not give off a Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch look though.

Carry on.

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