A Gentleman Never Skips Breakfast

Time is precious in the morning. In the rush to work, it's tempting to skip that extra 5 minutes for some breakfast. But wait. Breakfast may be more important than you think...

Did you know?

Men who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight than those who skip the meal, and are less likely to have high cholesterol.

So, how about swapping out that mid-morning croissant and latte for a bowl of oats and a glass of fruit juice?

Why eat breakfast?

Breakfast literally means 'breaking the fast'. Having been without food all night, your body is low on energy and needs fuel, in the form of food, to get going again.

Complex carbohydrates or low-glycaemic (low-GI) foods are the best sources of energy for your brain. They slowly break down into glucose, providing a long-lasting source of energy.

Researchers have found that eating breakfast can help brain function, important for us all - our kids, athletes, office workers and high-flying power brokers alike. Studies have found people who always skipped breakfast were 27% more likely to have a heart attack.

Yeah, but I wouldn't mind losing a few kilos...

Many a man is tempted to skip breakfast in an attempt to lose weight, however, research shows that a man who eats breakfast tends to eat less fatty foods and fewer calories during the day. Eating breakfast kicks in your metabolism and helps balance your food intake throughout the day and makes overeating less likely. If you have had a bowl of cereal first thing, you are much less likely to reach for the cookie jar or that donut during the morning.

What makes a healthy breakfast?

The best choices for breakfast are high in fibre and low in fat. Breakfast should account for about 25 percent of your daily energy requirements. Choosing wisely can help you include many essential nutrients and can help you well on the way to achieving your recommended daily fibre intake. Look out for breakfast cereals that are low in sugar and high in fibre.

Breakfast cereals tend to be high in B vitamins and if served with milk you also get your intake of calcium and a dose of protein as well. Choose one or two percent milk to cut down on fat.

Juice it up

A fresh fruit smoothie is a great way to start the day. Chuck some fruit and ice in the blender and give yourself a vitamin blast first thing. If you don't have time for this, try a glass of fruit juice. Concentrated orange juice has just as much vitamin C as freshly squeezed, so don't worry if you can't get hold of the very fresh kind. Vitamin C content of juice decreases the longer the carton/bottle is open so to get the most benefit you should drink it within 3 days of opening.

Juice isn't enough on its own to set you up for the day. If you are not having breakfast cereal, have some whole-grain toast with low-fat spread and, ideally, marmite (or vegemite for the Aussies amongst you), which contains lots of B vitamins. If you don't like marmite, have a small helping of jam or honey instead.

Prefer something cooked?

If you have time in the morning there are plenty of healthy, cooked options. Try a poached egg or beans on toast, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, and a French omelette, or a lean-cut bacon sarnie (grilled of course).

Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper, so says the old adage. Make sure you make time for your most important meal of the day.

Don't Forget the Protein

A healthy breakfast has a minimum of 5 grams of protein, though for the active gentleman (and if you're not active you're no gentleman in the the Style Magnate's book) we'd suggest upping that to 20 grams to keep you lean and keen. And for a man in a hurry, combine a low fat protein shake with a piece of fruit and you are good to go.

Key Points

  • After a night without food, your brain and body needs fuel to get going.
  • Breakfast can help improve your mental performance.
  • The best choices for breakfast are low-fat, high-fibre foods that provide sustained energy throughout the morning. Try breakfast cereal or whole-grain toast.
  • Don't forget the protein - at least 5grams

People who eat a healthy breakfast are less likely to be overweight than those who skip the meal.

Fact Or Myth

Myth: skipping breakfast is a good way of losing weight.

Fact: eating a healthy breakfast can help reduce the total number of calories you eat in a day and can actually help you lose weight.
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The Perfect Fitting Dress Shirt

It doesn't matter how good the shirt is, the quality of the fabric, the designer brand, how shredded you are, how naturally handsome you might be - if the shirt doesn't fit, you look like shit.

Given that simple fact, The Style Magnate remains dismayed that most men still get it wrong.

The most common scenario is a shirt half a size, or more, too big. The shirt that balloons around the waist is just as unflattering as a skin-tight one. "Blousy" is a look no gentleman should be associated with.

Unfortunately, retailers don't make it easy to get it right. Even if you know your measurements there is no consistency in sizing and no two manufacturer's shirts fit the same. They all tend to vary somewhat about an average and any given shirt will fit very few people well. Unless you have the measurements of both the shirt and your body as with the Sizemikk Fit System, the only way is to try it on, take an honest look in the mirror, and follow these guidelines for nailing the perfect fit:

The Neck

Simple rule - you should be able to comfortably stick 1 to 2 fingers between your neck and the collar of your shirt when it's buttoned. And when we say 2 fingers we mean place your middle finger on top of your index finger and see if you can fit that finger stack in. If you can fit your whole hand in, it's too big, size down until you find it. If you can button the shirt but can't fit a finger in, go up 1/2 a size and try again.


Yep - that shirt fits

The Torso

The body of the shirt should be trim throughout the torso. Snug in the chest, with buttons lying flat, but with no sign of tension across your pecs even when you breathe in. It should taper from your chest down to your hip in line with your body shape - and that line of course is not the same for everyone. Point is, no billowing. And no exploding buttons - anywhere between your neck and hip.

Box pleat - for beefy guys

The Back and Shoulders

The seams of the shirt should lie at the start of the curve of your shoulder. Broad, beefier guys should consider a shirt with box pleats (two folds between the shoulder blades) in the back for a little more room without extra volume. Slimmer builds should opt for more fitted styles, without pleats, contouring down towards the waist.

The Waist

As mentioned - no ballooning. Billowy folds don't hide anything, they only make it worse. We also don't want you bursting any buttons. Sitting down while wearing the shirt it should lightly skim your waist but have just a bit of room even after that big Friday lunch.

The Sleeves

With your arms by their sides, the cuff of your shirt should stop just at that corner where the base of your thumb meets the wrist.

Length

The back of the shirt should be long enough to lie under your butt when your seated. Feel it there. That'll be good for your posture and it won't ride up and come untucked.


So, it's certainly not rocket science, however finding a shirt that truly fits unfortunately is not so easy. Traipsing from store to store trying on shirt after shirt. Or rolling the dice with an online purchase after navigating through incomplete sizing tables, product descriptions and length conversions. It can be painful. We believe there's a better way. The Sizemikk Fit System is the dead-simple way to find quality shirts that fit. Sign up today.


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A Gentleman’s Guide To Denim Jeans

Jeans, made from the material “jean”, were originally worn by sailors from Genoa in Italy in the 1700's. The word “denim” came from the name of a sturdy French material, serge de Nimes : serge (a kind of material) from Nimes (a town in France).


Jeans as we know them today were invented by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss in 1873. That year, the two men received the US patent for their pants made with copper rivets to reinforce the points of stress, such as at the pocket corners and bottom of the fly. They began manufacturing these sturdy, riveted pants which soon became the de-facto standard for miners and factory workers at the time.

Denim jeans became popularised in the 1930's thanks to cowboys wearing them in the many western movies that came out of Hollywood in the period.

In the 40's rival companies like Wrangler and Lee appeared. Then in the 50’s denim became popular with the youth as a rebel symbol thanks to TV and movies like Rebel Without a Cause with James Dean in 1955.

In the 60’s jeans were the pants of choice for uni and college students and thanks to the hippie movement, embroidered, painted and psychedelic versions emerged.

In the 80’s designer labels started appearing and acceptance of denim jeans became widespread - everyone who was anyone had to own them. Since that time it would be fair to say no gentleman’s wardrobe is complete without at least one pair of denim jeans.

Types of Denim

Raw

Raw denim is denim in its purest form. Unwashed after being dyed during production, it is dark, stiff and very durable. It fades with wear in certain areas, creating a natural distressed look over time. It also fades with washing.

A pair of raw jeans will take weeks or months to break in, but when the fabric finally does relax, it will adapt to your body. No two pairs of raw jeans will wear exactly the same. If you want a high-character, personalised garment, raw denim is the gentleman’s choice.

Treated

If comfort trumps fit and style (and we’d suggest it never should - they should go hand in hand), then treated denim can be suitable. Pre-washed and pre-distressed, in theory they are already broken in and won't stretch or shrink with subsequent washes.

Selvedge

Selvedge - quality
Selvedge denim is on the top shelf of the denim family, and as such the Style Magnate is a big fan.

Derived from the two words self and edge, it's a reflection of how the seam edge is also the natural edge of the cloth from which it is woven. It identifies a superior quality denim - manufactured using more threads making it heavier and more durable. There is usually a woven stitch, often red, further defining the quality and make of the fabric.

Japanese selvedge denim has a reputation as being the best denim in the world.

Stretch

Originally unique to the women's domain, stretch versions of denim have become commonplace for men as well. It's mostly about comfort, and in the case of form-hugging skinny jeans, it's also about practicality. Adding 1% to 2% of spandex to the denim is enough to give it a softer, stretchier feel.

Fit Matters

Broadly, there are 5 different types of fit:
  • Boot cut - a close fit with a slight flare towards the bottom
  • Relaxed or wide fit - loose-fitting from waist to bottom
  • Straight cut - neither tapered nor excessively loose
  • Slim fit - tapered but not form fitting 
  • Skinny - tapered and form fitting
Jeans also come in 3 basic rises - low, medium and high.

Style Magnate Fit Tips

"The number one mistake? Buying a jean that fits perfectly. It'll stretch about a full size during your first 30 wears, so always size down." - Matt Baldwin, Baldwin Founder and Designer 
  • Shorter guys - go for a tapered fit. Stay well away from baggy jeans.
  • Heavier guys - go for wide-leg, straight-leg or slightly boot-cut shapes. Steer clear of tapered fit or skinny jeans.
  • Athletic builds - you may need to go for a wide-leg, but make sure they're not too loose, you still want to draw attention to your toned body.
  • Unless you’re slim or athletic, avoid low-rise jeans (the muffin-top isn't flattering for anyone). 
  • The cuff - If you’re taller, go ahead and roll em up an inch or two, or more. Especially if its selvedge (then everyone else can see it's selvedge too). But if you’re on the shorter or chunkier side, they should stop right on top of the shoe-line.
  • The Style Magnate wouldn't be seen in high-waisted jeans, no matter the body type. Give the skinny jeans a miss too. If Bond wouldn't wear them - you shouldn't either.
Daniel Craig, perhaps the shortest Bond, getting it right with the tapered fit


Denim Care

Honeycomb fade pattern
  • In general - avoid washing them too often.
  • For raw denim, many recommend waiting 6 months but we’d suggest you try going at least a few weeks before the first wash. And wear them as much as possible in that time. The idea is, the longer you wear them without washing, the more character and attitude they will acquire. And any whisker (crotch), honeycomb (knees), stack (above the feet) or train track (on the outside seam) fade patterns will be in just the right places for your body. 
  • During this time rub with a damp cloth if you need to remove stains. In the event of any odour, hang them outside on a sunny windy day. Or turn them inside out and shake them well.
  • When it’s finally time to wash your well-worn jeans, turn them inside out, button and zip, and wash at 40 or 60 degrees Celsius. Stretch the inseam while the jeans are damp. Hang dry - don’t tumble. 
  • If you wash the jeans too early, the indigo will bleed out over the whole garment, producing a characterless, even, dark indigo colour.
  • For treated denim, again, wash them as little as possible. Like when they’re stained. Or have lost their shape. If they begin to sag in the knees and seat, washing will tighten the yarns, helping the garment regain its original form. 

Denim Mistakes

Doubling down

Denim jeans + denim jacket. Actually this isn't strictly a mistake, but unless you're a cowboy, it's risky. If you must, make sure the denims are different shades - probably a darker jacket than the jeans.

Denim shorts

This has been inappropriate since 1997. May as well tuck in your shirt, don a belt and clip your mobile phone to your hip.

Acid Wash

We assume you already know that. If not, we have our work cut out for us. I suggest you reach out to Jenny immediately.

Hectic Prints

The Style Magnate doesn't wear Ed Hardy. Eva expresses it better than we could:
"Whenever I see a guy wearing jeans with embroidered stuff all over them, I always think his dick is the size of a baby carrot. Really. Just realize less is more." - Eva Amurri, actress

Don't do it

Denim jeans remain a versatile and stylish staple of every gentleman's wardrobe. The keys to getting it right are fit - knowing your body shape and choosing accordingly, and understanding the fabric.


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Summer Styling Tips for the Big & Tall Gent

The stylish gent has secured a classic cold weather look and feels confident in wools, knits, and plaids. These styles and cuts are often flattering for a taller, bigger man. However, what about the summer season? How does one stay cool, comfortable, and maintain a fell fitted style?

The main rule to remember for any season - fit is key. Once securing clothing that fits the big and tall shape, there is no fear in exploring with patterns, colours and materials.

The tips below will help the big and tall man maintain a smart and classic summer style.

Tip 1: Stay Cool, Calm and Collected in Linen

Summer often unveils unpredictable weather, for which linen is a great material. Linen will stay cool during hotter days and dry during humid or rainy weather. The material is breathable and therefore dries quickly. In the evenings, linen will layer well with a blazer or light topcoat.

Linen shirts look pulled together when tucked in but also relaxed and stylish when tucked out. As long as the linen shirt fits appropriately around the chest and shoulders, the rest is open for creativity. Collared shirts with the option to roll up the sleeve provide practically, comfort, and style.

Further, no modern gentleman should be afraid of linen trousers. Whether it's casual trousers for a day off or formal trousers for a day at the office, both will serve well in the summer weather and with summer styles. Once an appropriate fit is achieved, linen trousers match well with blazers, t-shirts, or collared shirts.

When buying linen one should make sure to stay comfortable and well fitted. A big and tall gent can wear slightly looser fitting clothing but must stay mindful not to create a baggy look.

Finally, linen is a smart investment. Quality linen will look smart and sharp for years to come.

Tip 2: A Colorful Summer

Colours can draw positive attention while exhibiting charisma and confidence. Colourful trousers are one way to show personality while still looking sharp and mature. Green or mustard trousers pair well with the summer style. Worn with confidence, less traditional colours such as pale pinks and mint greens work well on a larger, taller build.

Finally, patterns should never intimidate a big and tall man. One should simply remember to pair bright colours and patterns with whites, greys, and black for balance.

Tip 3: Polish off the Look With Accessories

Accessories are an easy find for the big and tall gent and should not be ignored. Accessories such as hats and sunglasses are not only smart but also a practical summer choice. Donning a straw hat on a trip to the country or beach adds style, personality, and protection. Any big and tall man should wear a hat with confidence. Stylish hats add positive attention to a bright or subdued outfit.

Finally, sunglasses can make or ruin a look. Stay smart by buying the proper frame to suit the face. Black or tortoise shell print is a classic look.

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The Sports Coat: A Checkered History


A standout scene from Mad Men Season 5 saw Donald Draper and Ken Cosgrove gathered for a Saturday night soiree in the lounge room of Pete Campbell. The three men were wearing sports coats with the classic check style synonymous with the 1960’s. The three jackets could be described as same-same but different, an ensemble of bright colours, bold patterns and understated elegance, a dress code that conveyed the cocky attitude of a rising star alongside the alpha confidence of a man who has nothing to prove.

For so long the Check Sports coat has been the realm of fancy dress, themed parties or the guy with a wayward fashion streak. But thanks in part to the rise of hipster movement and the renaissance of sixties style, the check sports coat has been given a new lease on life and found its way back into the wardrobe as an evening jacket that is great for dressing down when you need to style up.

Some designers have taken the move one step further, using wild and vibrant patterns normally seen on Aunt Mary’s wallpaper. Itsallstyletome.com described the fashion as the uber statement bringing a man one step closer to becoming a peacock. Combine with a neutral coloured pair of trousers to create a vivid but relaxed look that will get feathers flying.



If your sense of style takes a lead from the creative men of the 1960’s, include it in your personal profile on Sizemikk and we’ll show you where you can buy the fashions that suit your style.

Sizemikk – size, shape and style.

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The Dandy - Women Love Guys Who Dress Up


“It is, above all, a burning need to acquire originality, within the apparent bounds of convention. It is a cult of oneself, which can dispense even with what are commonly called illusions. It is the delight in causing astonishment and the proud satisfaction of never oneself being astonished.”
Charles Baudelaire, The Dandy.



The Dandy is one of the more colourful personas played by many successful men throughout history. Twenty-first century Dandies include Johnny Depp, Russell Brand, Austin Powers and Marc Hunter; artistes such as Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Oscar Wilde and Rudolph Valentino were much loved proponents, whilst the originals, Lord Byron, Casanova and Count Dracula, had their roots in English aristocracy and the courts of renaissance Europe.

Dandies are known for creating their own image, often mixing styles comprised of both masculine and feminine fashions. They appear as fluid and ambiguous, appealing to both men and women through a style that is attractive but elusive, often stirring up repressed desires. They are non-conformist but graceful, domineering and flirtatious. Think pirates, musicians, courtesans, performers and magicians. Dandies are players.

The independence and creative detachment of the Dandy will often give him the upper hand in the pursuit of love and seduction. The Dandy is synonymous with sexual freedom, drawing out the playful and rebellious side of a conservative mate.

The wardrobe of a Dandy will usually include brightly coloured small pieces selectively worn to contrast an otherwise nonchalant outfit – a red vest, a green tie, a paisley shirt. Well chosen luxurious materials such as velvet, lace and silk convey an appearance best described as, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”   

In more audacious getups, Oscar Wilde was known for his green velvet suit, Andy Warhol his silver wig while Austin Powers was adored by slinky women for his groovy garb.

Deep rich colours and creative patterns in jackets and suits, plain long flowing shirts, layered with natural materials and rustic bling. Dandies layer and accessorise but not to the point of overdoing it – less is more. Carry one piece with an air of indifference: a belt, a ring, a necktie, a hat or glasses. Create a spectacle through your own approach to the world, not through over-exertion in front of the mirror. 

At the end of the 19th century, American dandies were called dudes (Wikipedia.org). In the 21st century, every man is a dude but the modern dandy is a man is who mixes mystery with style and passion with fashion. He cooks rare and drinks rich. 

Create your own style. Then find it. On Sizemikk.
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Power Dressing for Leaders and Men of Action

Given the appalling state of politics in Australia, in both style and substance, our public representatives could take a few lessons from our closest allies. US President Barack Obama is well noted for his sharp suits and clean cut, leader-of-men demeanour, but even the dearly defeated Mitt Romney presented a style that evoked power, trust and confidence. Whereas the man who so desperately wants to lead Australia, and some might say PM-elect, Tony Abbott, stylistically is best known for his man-of-action in red togs appearances.

So what makes for solid power dressing? For men, the essential item is a well-cut, dark coloured suit. Depending on your working environment and your natural colours, you might do well with a mid-grey but generally speaking, a light shirt contrasted with a dark suit will convey a sense of confidence, strength and good old-fashioned masculinity. A white shirt against a dark blue suit is a classic but other powerful combinations are sky blue on navy, light pink on dark grey or for a casual, understated power, use a dark shirt under a light grey suit.

Shirts should be flat (no stripes or checks), leaving any texture or patterns to the suit and tie.

As for ties, red has always been symbolic with power but only when it doesn’t clash with the other pieces. When you’re wearing a light blue shirt under a dark blue or grey suit, go for a tie that has shades of blue or grey in it. The texture or patterns in the tie is your chance to show some character and exude a bit of charm, just don’t go wacky. No cartoons, no motifs.

Rath and Co has a great blog for guys looking for style tips that work well in business, whether you are in a creative, conservative or leadership role. The article on style for CEOs is insightful.


To bring it back to the men of power, I’d love to know your thoughts on which Australian politicians are leading the style stakes?

Malcolm Turnbull dresses to his strengths.




Paul Keating raised the bar as the world’s best dressed treasurer.
Paul Keating: world's most sartorial treasurer?





Who is leading the style stakes in the Australian halls of power?

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Dress for Your Body Shape: Small Men

Many celebrities of the short and stocky variety, and they range from the recent James Bond Daniel Craig to classic screen legends like Alec Guinness and Laurence Olivier, show that a good suit does make the man, even when you're on the short and broad side. 

James Bond on a Budget
Many fans were surprised when Daniel Craig received the role of Bond. With Craig being of a smaller-than average and slightly stocky frame, 007 was a role that had traditionally gone to taller men like Sean Connery and Roger Moore.

With classic clothing designs and visually striking styles that emphasise masculine features, Craig has redefined the Bond role and gone on to personify the magnetic look that has defined the franchise. 

Beyond the conventional tuxedo, a Bond staple, Craig demonstrates that slim-cut Levis, leather jackets, polo shirts and chinos can make a man stylish without out a black tie. Many would even suggest that although he is on the shorter side, no one has better exemplified the sophistication and style of the Bond character than Daniel Craig.

Fit, Fit, Fit
It's no secret that the key to men's clothing, whatever your height or build, is fit, fit, fit. 

An inexpensive suit of a good fit will always look better than an expensive suit with a bad fit. For shorter, stockier men this rule is all the more true. Baggy and poor-fitting clothes will make a shorter man appear smaller than he actually is. A good fit that flatters the lines of your body conveys that impression that you’ve brought your A-game. 

The Proper Sizing
Understanding your size when it comes to suits and business wear is of the essence when picking out a set of clothes that will give you an edge in the boardroom. Suits (and shirts) should sit square on your shoulders, not rounding off, and the difference in length between a 40S and a size 40L can differentiate a powerful and striking style from one that appears flimsy or underwhelming. 

Look at old photos of Laurence Olivier and you'll notice that his suits were often fitted in a traditional style that de-emphasised his shorter height. Making sure that sleeves are of the proper length, showing a quarter to a half-inch of the shirt cuff will give you a svelte appearance even on your worst days. 

Vertical Patterns for a Longer Look
Pattern matching is also important. A suit with vertical pinstripes, for example, can make your body shape appear longer than it might otherwise, and a cut that is wide in the shoulders and thinner through the frame can emphasise the muscularity of the body in a way that is both flattering and sophisticated.

A Step in the Right Direction
Keep in mind that the formal side of footwear will also increase your height! A pair of dress-shoes from a reputable company (for elegant shoes that don't break the bank, like Sperry or Bass) will often give you lift and posture. Casual shoe styles like blucher mocs or white bucks provide a bit of height with an elegant look that is essentially timeless. 

With these tips in mind, developing a personal style geared toward your size can be a major key to improving how you feel both physically and mentally. The rewards of looking good are numerous, with social status and business bearing two readily attainable benefits. Spend some time looking to those you admire of a similar size to   get positive leads on developing a style that can work for you. 
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Brora

Brora
Brora is one of Britain’s best-loved and most successful modern cashmere & clothing brands.

Since its beginning in 1993 it has steadily grown into a fully-fledged fashion label with its own distinctive viewpoint - wearable, subtle but highly individual, and mainly British-mad.

Scottish cashmere is still at its heart but every season owner and creative director Victoria Stapleton and her design team create an ever growing range of clothing to build a complete wardrobe around those beautiful knits using only the finest fabrics.
All Brora cashmere is made by their mill in the Scottish borders that has been producing cashmere for over 200 years - they are passionate about "made in Britain" and make the majority of our clothing in the UK.

Brora believe in sustainable fashion and sell beautiful clothing that can be worn season after season.

Brora were delighted to win the Best Knitwear Online Award in the Sheerluxe Online Shopping Awards 2010.

Indeed - nothing beats the luxurious feel of Brora's cosy Scottish cashmere and beautiful clothing.


You'll be able to find the Brora shirts that perfectly fit you soon at www.sizemikk.com
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Henri Lloyd

Henri-Lloyd, a British Sailing Heritage brand since 1963, founded by Henri Strzelecki MBE has established over five decades a formidable global reputation for innovative design and quality in sailing clothing.

Mr Henri, as he became universally known, founded the company based upon hard earned principles of honesty, integrity and freedom, and it is these principles that are the foundations of the Henri Lloyd brand today. One of Mr Henri’s many talents, passed on to his sons who have steered the business for the last two decades, was the ability to treat everyone with the same level of genuine interest, wit and charm whoever they were.



You'll be able to find the Henri Lloyd shirts that perfectly fit you soon at www.sizemikk.com
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