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Treat a man right

Mampering Deluxe Hot Shave

Mampering Deluxe Hot Shave

Deluxe Hot Shave

While metrosexuality may not have gone mainstream, it doesn’t mean a modern man doesn’t enjoy getting pampered from time to time. Mampering, (man + pampering) is for the man that knows he’s worth it. Massages are universally enjoyed but for a different kind of treat try a deluxe hot shave like the one offered at Farzad’s Barbershop in Yaletown.

DELUXE HOT SHAVE
Begins with the application of several hot towels and pre-shave oil to prepare the skin, followed by rich moisturizing shaving lather. The face is then shaved with a straight edge blade, followed by more hot towels. More lather is applied for a second shave, then more hot towels and finally two ice-cold towels are applied to close the pores. The finishing touch is soothing after-shave balm massaged into the face.

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Wear it Right

Vancouver can be cold, wet, sunny and mild all over the course of one day. This unpredictable weather can make dressing for it challenging. As a wardrobe consultant I’ve learned the best way to handle Mother Nature’s curve balls is layering. If you dress for the coldest you’ll always be warm and when the sun comes out, the hat and gloves can come off, if need be.

Wool coat by Via, sold by Victoria's Secret

Wool coat by Via, sold by Victoria's Secret

This means finding easy inter-changeable pieces that can work well together or on their own. One option is a mono palate, like black, just be vigilant as black is a great canvas to show lint and light hairs. Alternately you can be more colourful with your winter apparel. A coat in a bold hue is sure to get a lot of attention so it’s best to play down the rest of the accessories. Choose neutral accessories or ones that have a pattern that includes the bold colour.

Just because we’re bundled up doesn’t mean forgoing one’s shape. Winter coats, like all clothing can work to accentuate a body’s best features and camouflage others. To emphasize a small waist pick a jacket with a belt that draws focus to the narrowest part. To play down a fuller bottom half, pick an a-line coat with pleating that gives the impression that it’s the coat with the volume not the body underneath.

Gloves from Winners, Hat from Urban Outfitters

Gloves from Winners, Hat from Urban Outfitters

Heat is lost through the extremities. Find gloves that keep your hands warm. Leather insulated gloves are really good for this. Make sure the fingers fit snugly (extra space will only make your fingers colder). Pick a pair with soft, inviting lining. Fleece does this really well. Have the colour and style work with your coat and other accessories. You want them to blend into your look.

Umbrellas by Marimekko

Umbrellas by Marimekko

Buy an umbrella that works. This is Vancouver, after all and rain can come any day, anytime. Have the umbrella be a size that you can carry it around EVERYDAY. A tote-sized umbrella is perfect for stuffing into your purse/bag and forgetting about it until the rain shows up. This small size can also fit in a man’s jacket pocket. If rain is certain on the forecast, or it’s already raining when you go to leave the house, bring your heavy-duty umbrella. This is a larger one that’s more awkward to carry around if it isn’t raining but perfect for when it is. There are automatic versions that are great when your hands are already tied up and wind-resistant ones with vents so you don’t have to deal with blown out umbrellas on those windier days. With so much rain and so many options, the pattern on your umbrella can be a way to show your personality. Pick a pattern that makes you smile and then even when you get caught in the rain, you’ll have your own ray of sunshine tucked away, at the ready in your pocket.

Marimekko automatic umbrella

Marimekko automatic umbrella

Hunter rain boots

Hunter rain boots

Invest in rain boots. In Vancouver they are a must and they might just become your best friend. Get a pair that is comfortable to walk in. Buy a larger size if necessary and add a padded insole. Pick a pair that you can stuff your pants into to keep them dry and protected from puddles when it’s really coming down hard. It doesn’t matter if you invest in designer boots or cheap wellies so long as they keep you dry. As for patterned boots, leave them for the kids. Pick a solid pair and you’ll look stylish no matter the weather.

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Getting the most stretch out of your Yoga Pant dollar

Lululemon Groove Pant

Lululemon Groove Pant

Lululemon Still Pant

Lululemon Still Pant

Athletic wear, and yoga pants in particular have come a long way in the beginning of the 21st century. There are lots of fabric, colour and style choices available at a range of prices. Figuring out what works for your body and your needs and how to make them last doesn’t need to be a “stretch goal”.

Fabrics

Yoga pants can be primarily made of cotton or a synthetic fabric, like nylon or polyester. For elasticity there should be some spandex or lycra. The nicest pants have four way stretch, meaning they stretch up and down and side to side for maximum movement. Cottons will breathe while synthetics usually don’t. Unlike nylon, cotton doesn’t have the properties to transport and evaporate moisture so if you think you’ll be sweating your cotton pants might leave you wet. Cotton can stand the heat of the dryer but spandex cannot. In general It’s best to air dry your pants to ensure they keep their shape and stretchiness. Washing Tip: It’s best to wash similar fabrics together. Therefore, avoid washing your synthetic fabric pants with your cotton clothes and you’ll save yourself from a lot of lint transferring onto those pants.

Colours

The standard colour is black, most likely because black is slimming. As a colour neutral* it can be worn with most other colours. A lot of pants now even if they are black have coloured trims or details to give a little personality. Whether you chose black or any of the colour be sure it’s one you like and that works with your athletic tops so you get the most out of your pair.

Styles

Mimi Mango capri pant

Mimi Mango capri pant

Yoga pants come in different lengths, cuts and styles. Premium places like Lululemon offer free hemming on their pants as well as tall options for those long-legged ladies out there. If you buy your pants at a place that doesn’t offer hemming bring your too long pair to a tailor and try them on how you’d wear them (running shoes, bare footed) to ensure the right length and avoid dragging and tripping when you’re wearing them. For comfort and wearability, look for pants that have flat, anti-chafe seams and a gusseted crotch. Once you figure out what your needs are and the right style will be easier to determine. For actual yoga or running, a cropped version may work best, while for casual comfort a full pant style with pockets could fit the bill. Decorative seams down the legs can create shape and make the thighs look narrower. As for fit, same goes as with jeans: make sure you look and feel good in them, so don’t stress about the size on the tag. It’s better to avoid pinching and muffin tops by going up a size or two in the waistband. Make sure the rise (low, medium, high) works for you too. Some pants have a high waistband that can be folded down to give you more rise options in one pair. Also if the store doesn’t have a mirror that shows your backside, bring a trusted friend along with you and you’ll be doing your downward dogs in style from here on out.

*Colour neutral describes colours that compliment almost all other colours and rarely clash. That makes them easy to wear and ideal as base pieces when building an outfit. These colours are black, white and grey. Sometimes browns, beiges and tans (think of khaki pants) can work as neutrals, too.

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