HOW TO TIE A TIE: August 2007

Monday, August 27, 2007

Titanium Mens Wedding Rings - The Contemporary Look for the Modern Man

The wearing of a man wedding ring is a relatively modern phenomenon. So is the use of Titanium in Titanium mens rings.

One of the newest and classiest of the modern jewelry materials, Titanium is setting a standard in the looks of contemporary mens wedding bands.

Despite this, mens titanium rings are reasonably hard to find in your local jewelry store. Unfortunately titanium hasn’t quite made it into the consciousness of your local jewelry merchant. So if you want to find the ultimate in contemporary male jewelry, including men’s titanium rings, you have to look further affield.

Enter the internet. There is a world of choice on the net for the modern couple searching for the ideal contemporary design mens titanium wedding band.

But first, what is titanium?

Titanium is a naturally occurring element, not an alloy. In other words it isn’t just a mixture of two or more different metals to produce a third one, as alloys are. That is not to say that Titanium cannot be alloyed with other metals, just that Titanium itself is not an alloy.

It is in fact often alloyed with other metals for jewelry making to make it harder, although all Titanium including pure Titanium makes a fine jewelry material.

For the more chemically minded amongst us, Titanium is listed in the periodic table as a natural element, atomic number 22.

It was named in 1795 after the god Titan.

Titanium can even be found in space rocks. The Apollo 17 mission brought back rocks with up to 12% Titanium in them.

Because of it’s natural properties Titanium has been primarily used in the aerospace industry, and only more recently applied to jewelry making.

But why is Titanium such a great material for making mens wedding bands? A number of reasons.

Firstly it is very hard, much harder than traditional ring materials such as gold and silver. It is extremely lightweight, corrosion resistant and very strong. It is so strong in fact that rings are fashioned out of a solid block of metal, so make sure that you get your size right as resizing is usually not an option.

It is hypoallergenic, meaning that it cannot produce skin reactions or allergies as can be found with some other ring materials, though rare.

But the real reason is that it looks great! Titanium can be shaped into a wide variety of styles. It can also be colored into a stunning range of colors which can be mixed and matched.

For this reason the range of choices in mens Titanium wedding bands is much greater than for a more traditional material such as gold for example. Although gold can be altered to offer a small range of different colours, it is basically gold colored. Titanium offers a much wider range of choices in color.

Titanium also offers a choice of finish, most commonly satin, matt or polished.

Black Titanium mens wedding rings are amongst the most eye catching of all the Titanium rings. Black Titanium rings are usually a mix of black Titanium coupled with another color as an all black ring can be overpowering. But a contemporary style mens black Titanium ring is almost the ultimate in chic for the man who wants to make a statement.

Mens Titanium rings can be coupled with a wide range of precious gemstones, including diamonds, to add effect. And as Titanium is so strong it is also possible to buy tension set titanium rings.

What are these? Well the strength of the material is used to suspend a gemstone, say a diamond, between the two ends of the ring so that the gemstone is almost hanging in space in the ring. A totally modern look.

The strength of the Titanium keeps it there.

And for the more creatively minded amongst us it is possible to design your own mens Titanium ring. There are online jewellers who offer the option of making up a design for your Titanium ring that is unique only to you. You decide exactly what style, color or mix of colors you want.

Want to add a gemstone? Or more than one? Where do you want to put it in the ring? It’s all up to you.

There is no doubt that the older traditional materials used for making rings make beautiful rings. Gold or silver rings are still high on the list of choices for many men, and modern ring designs in these materials are also impressive.

But the modern man who has decided to wear his marital status on his finger shouldn’t buy a ring before he looks at the range of Titanium mens wedding rings.

The only difficulty is making up your mind which one!

Find out more about Titanium Mens Rings as well as many other types of Men’s Wedding Rings including Platinum, Gold, Silver, Diamond, unique and custom made and inexpensive Mens Wedding Rings.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hip Hop Fashion Jewelry

Hip Hop fashion in the 80's and 90's revealed a new approach to style and dress. It was the beginning of a tidal wave fashion influence still felt today. Sparked by rap artists experimenting with a new art form, Hip Hop fashion became an expression of the Hip Hop culture manifesting in ever aspect of dress. Clothes, shoes and jewelry norms were shattered as more music fans converted to the Hip Hop culture embracing the fresh innovative style of Hip Hop fashion. Today, we experience Hip Hop differently as it is dominated by mainstream corporate commercialization. Nevertheless the organic evolution of Hip Hop fashion continues its spread through the streets, inspiring millions to seek out Hip Hop.

The Hip Hop Fashion evolution started in the early 80's. Men were sporting Jheri curls, a shiny curly afro look, often clowned for its greasy tendencies. Hi-top fades soon took over as men felt proud to prune their afros into box like structures. Kangol hats, which resemble a standard hat but with top pushed down, were in. Afro-centrism was the wisdom of the day represented by red, black and green clothing sported by artists like Public Enemy.

Transitioning into the 90's, band like Kris Kross began to affect Hip Hop fashion spawning a new era of colorful baggy clothing. Kids began wearing red, yellow and green clothing striped like Christmas candy canes. During this time, Hip Hop fashion experienced a new genre of artists known as gangsta rappers. They sparked a west coast phenomenon of rap music and Hip Hop fashion. Gangsta rappers wore khaki pants and white t-shirts keeping things "gangsta" as they referred to it. Today, Hip Hop fashion is big business. White kids in the suburbs tilt their hats in honor of Hip Hop. Brands like Phat Farm, Sean John and Rocawear make hundreds of millions of dollars dealing in mainstream Hip Hop fashion.

Hip Hop has also influenced shoe design. In the 80's groups like Run DMC popularized the use of sneakers. Specifically, Adidas white sneakers were worn with bulging thick white laces. In the 90's, Timberland boots dominated Hip Hop fashion on the east coast and Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars were most popular on the west coast. Timberland's are still worn in modern times but have transcended Hip Hop fashion into a typical mainstream shoe brand. Converse is also still favored by gangsta rappers such as Snoop Dog. Today, however, rappers have their own shoes. The Game and 50 Cent are examples of artists today who are selling original designs in shoe wear manufactured by companies they either fully or partially own.

Hip Hop fashion has always included iced out bling bling jewelry. Back in the day thick yellow gold rope chains were donned by the likes of LL Cool J and Big Daddy Kane. The more conscientious Hip Hop fan might sport an Africa necklace adorning the red, black and green in remembrance of his brothas and sistas in America and Africa. The 90's came along and so did high end platinum. Sean "Puffy" Combs, Biggy Smalls and Jay-Z made sure you knew that they were sporting platinum, the most expensive of all precious metals. Today, platinum and white gold are highly popular along with diamonds, otherwise known as ice. Bling cross pendants, bullet chain and iced out bling bracelets drip from the bodies of our favorite artists.

Hip Hop fashion continues to influence mainstream fashion in general. The market share of Hip Hop orientated fashion companies continues to grow. As long as interest in Hip Hop music and culture continues, so too will the desire for Hip Hop fashion.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Men's Cologne

Men’s cologne has always played an important role in the history of perfumes throughout the centuries. The fact is that the use of fragrance as it is today is widespread throughout many different countries worldwide. The modern men’s cologne that you may happen to buy today provides a rich, and aromatic scent concentrated in one, stylish and relatively small bottle.

The most common fragrances of men’s cologne around today are rose lavender with other flowers such as iris, orchids and jasmines.

So, do you still think that you know everything that was to be known about men’s cologne? Don’t you feel that there were so many things that were to be known still?

Furthermore, we have to thank to that special secretion obtained by the male elk if we can enjoy that particular scent of men’s cologne. Musk is the name of the secretion and is also the most expensive and prized ingredient.

Unfortunately, the price for even a small portion of natural musk is very high, but modern scientists have identified the molecular structure of pure musk oil and can now artificially create his proven secretion at a price that is relatively cheap.

So to summarize I can say that the exciting, powering scent that invades the air as soon as a man uses men’s cologne, is the enchanting result of a mix of secretions and spices used ranging from cinnamon, ginger and even pepper. One can find several different men’s colognes in stores which are rich in scent and power, and the wide variety to choose from is so abundant that surely every man can find the product that best matches his personality and skin type, but bear in mind that very often the right and definite choice arrives only after numerous tests.

In any case a good guideline to follow is to apply the fragrance on the skin smoothly, with a massage, so that rubbing will make the alcohol evaporate, thus losing the scent all around.

In conclusion, a great quality men’s cologne, represents your personalty, it talks about you and for sure people will remember the enpowering scent of a beautiful men’s cologne for a long time.

That was all about men’s cologne and I sincerely hope that you must have gained by this article on men’s cologne.

AF a man using cologne who has the passion for writing and likes to express his emotions through the net. Visit

Monday, August 13, 2007

Men's Fashion - 3 Things To Look For in A Dress Shirt

When choosing a flattering dress shirt you will want to consider the shape and size of the collar, the quality of the cotton and the color. Fabric is important but not as important as the collar and the color. Since the shirt color and the collar are close to your face, you will want those aspects to be perfect because when people talk to you it is the first thing they will see.

The shape and size of the collar you choose is important because it should flatter the shape of your face and the length of your neck to create balance. If you have a long face and neck for example, you will want to balance the length of your face by choosing a wide spread collar with shorter points.

This is the most casual of all collar styles because of its relaxed appearance and collar buttons. Button-down shirts are worn with sporty jackets and can be worn without a tie.

This collar is the most versatile collar because it can be worn with suits, sports jackets and can be worn without a tie.

The collar is considered dressier because the points of the collar are a little wider apart. This collar must be worn with a tie to fill in the gap.

It gets its name from the tab that connects the collar points behind the knot of the tie. This type of collar should be worn with a tie.

White Contrast
A white collar is named so because it is in contrast with the patterned or colored fabric of the rest of the shirt.

Although this type of collar (which is really a shirt without a collar) is sometimes worn as casual and formal, it is best reserved for casual wear.

Dress shirts should be made of fine cotton because it not only looks dressier than regular cotton and other fabrics, but it also feels more comfortable against your skin. Cotton shirts mixed with synthetics breathe less and lack vividness of color.

Not all cottons are alike and the quality of the cotton determines how dressy the shirt appears - the finer the cotton, the dressier the shirt. The drawback of cotton is that it wrinkles easily; yet, for those who travel a lot, synthetic blends offer the benefit of easy care. If you do choose a synthetic blend choose a blend that has more than fifty percent cotton.

For formal and business wear the white shirt remains classic. Although shirts in solid colors are suitable for business wear, bright colors are not traditionally as dressy as blue and white. As the color and print grow bolder the shirt becomes more casual.

Shirts that fit well have sleeves that end one inch below the wrist bone, collars that fit neatly around the neck without pulling and are not too tight and a shirttail that ends at the crotch to allow enough room to sit or bend.

©Copyright 2007 Sheila Dicks Sheila Dicks is an Image and Wardrobe consultant who helps men and women reach their full potential and gain greater self-confidence by finding their beauty from the inside out. You can find her at,,

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Ties and Cufflinks for all seasons

And as autumn approaches fashion completes another seasonal cycle. And we wait in great anticipation for new styles freshly watered down from the catwalks. New designers emerge while others blend in with the back ground. And so another turbulent season approaches. Buyers like me have to be in close communion with the turbulence of an industry subject to constant change. For the online shop I buy for, developing a theme is as important as selecting styles by designers. The chosen theme is “made in England" it goes against the grain as more and more brands head East to reduce production costs, at risk of devaluing their brand.

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If you’re looking for value, there is always something new and exciting, but not easy to find. “Made in England" individuality and originality need not cost a fortune, so if your budget is a little tight, don’t be concerned, because there are brand names that cater to your needs, at the right price.

One prime example is Timothy Everest a long time emerging Savile Row tailor, remember this name, it will be making fashion headlines on a regular basis over the next five years. His ties are accompanied by the conservatism expected of Savile Row, but without loosing a hint of originality, affordable luxury best describes Timothy’s ties, made in England with the Savile Row stamp of approval, all this for £45.00.

Moving slightly away from the conservative tone of Savile Row, and across the Thames River to Battersea, we take a look at Ian Flaherty, a man of substantial artistic talent. Already renowned world wide for his vibrant cufflink designs, he uses pure English Pewter, Swarovski Crystals and brilliant enamels. His silk ties strike a similar chord, they reflect through colour arrangement and symmetry, brilliance, unique to Ian Flaherty. Slightly more expensive than Timothy Everest at £59.00, all his designs are produced in limited quantities and handmade in London. They’re sure to give many years good knottage.

And to a more unlikely candidate: Vivienne Westwood, founder and promoter of the Punk Style. She has ventured down every road from designing evening gowns to crockery for Wedgwood. Three times winner of “fashion designer of the year" and awarded DBE in 2006 for her contribution to the fashion industry. Vivienne’s ties are as original as you can get without being garish novelties. In August her spring summer collection will be on display. The big surprise is her cufflinks, as refreshing as a cool breeze on a hot summer’s day. It’s easy to see why Vivienne is held in such high regard. And her ties are only £55.00, not bad, considering her credentials.

As autumn approaches I look forward to spring summer, not to welcome the warm weather but to welcome the arrival of the new collections of some of my favourite designers. “English made true to my theme".

The Hidden Underneath - the Right Underwear

The importance of wearing the right underwear cannot be over-emphasized. It sculpts our bodies and helps to hide away unwanted bulges. The excitement is knowing that under an un-assuming pair of jeans and a simple t-shirt you have the kind of underwear that could send any man’s head swirling. While many spend enormous amount of hard earned cash buying designer clothes and what have you, some wise women have invested in buying the right underwear. The right underwear indeed has the potential to fit you into that long desired tiny-waisted gown and fitted shirt/top. Whether you are trying to give an illusion of fuller bust, trying to play things down, or creating for yourself an antique doll’s very tiny waist line, anything is possible. It took me years to discover this and now I can’t help sharing this with any one that cares to listen. Needless to say it has sent my self confidence spiralling to the highest heavens.

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The good news is that underwear need not perform only supportive purposes, they could also be sexy. Yes sexy!! You should demand beauty, support, fit and comfort from your underwear. It’s either these or your settling for something that will compromise one for the other. Spend quality time finding the right size, colour, fabric and style. You could start with safe colours like black, white and nude and gradually work towards buying all the colours of the rainbow. This is good fun especially when you go with a friend. Focus on quality and what works best for your body shape. Some people rightfully consult with some one who can help advice as to what size of bras/knickers they should get. It is good practice to have this done bi-annually. Remember to avoid going for overly tight underwear as this may cut into your body and give away the bulges you are trying to hide in the first place.

If you are trying to create the effect of slim hips and torso, look for ‘seamless all in one body slips’. The waist-cincher is definitely your best bet for bulging tummies and wide waists as it helps accentuate the waist. Underwear made of nylon-esque fabric helps provide a smooth surface for any clothing to rest on. Do not forget that ‘D’ size and above bra cups are better off in bra designs/styles that combat sagging. Underwired Balconnet/Balcony bras are highly recommended. They come in different exciting styles these days; they need not be boring. For smaller size cups, be careful to avoid over padded bras. The danger here is that people can see right through them. Try the wonder bra. It works wonders indeed. The result is a fuller bust and increased confidence.

With the right underwear things that used to flap and bulge need not do so any more. We can wear what ever we want to wear resting in the assurance that our hips, busts and stomach are not in the way of an admiring eyes. It’s all about making the best of what you already possess.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Essentials For The Male Medicine Cabinet

You have the Rolex Submariner, the summer home in the Hamptons and a Porsche Boxter to get you there. Your degree from Harvard Business School sits next to your latest plasma, digital whatever.

But do you have a pair of sleek nose-hair clippers?
"Some of the most business-savvy men tend to forget about health and grooming essentials," says Vic Sosikian, owner and founder of the Los Angeles men's day spa Mark Matthew. "Items like a good facial cleanser, a pair of nail clippers or pain medication are an afterthought, but very important [nonetheless]."

In Pictures: Essentials For The Male Medicine Cabinet

So important that it can have an affect on your social life, too. Recently, T.W., a hedge fund manager in New York City, brought a girl back to his apartment post-date for round two of his night out. His stomach was in turmoil due to an inconsistent eating schedule, and he had to end the night early because he didn't have an antacid readily available.

"The whole thing was a lose-lose situation," he says. "If I had had something to take, it could have been a home run, but instead I made up this story about how I had an early morning and needed to get some sleep."

Having a stocked medicine cabinet is not that challenging. Men need only a few essential items that have a long shelf life, says Dr. Michael Smith, chief medical editor at Web MD.
Hydrocortisone cream or ointment for insect bites or poison ivy, pain medication like Ibuprofen (Advil) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and a thermometer to communicate with doctors effectively when you are not feeling well are at the top of Smith's list.
Grooming products also count as medicine cabinet essentials, starting with a pair of nail clippers.
"Nothing is more upsetting than seeing a man with long, scratchy finger nails," says Sam Choi, creative director of the John Allan's grooming clubs for men in New York City. "Nail maintenance is crucial if you work in a corporate setting and plan on doing a lot of 'meet and greets.'"

Along with nails, properly maintaining your facial hair is important if you work in a corporate setting. Shaving with a disposable razor and a bar of soap could be disastrous to your skin and your professional appearance. Invest in a good razor with sharp blades and a moderately priced shaving cream to keep skin looking healthy.

"Not all shave cream is created equal," says Danielle Malka, chief executive of eShave, a men's grooming company in New York City. "You want to make sure your shave cream is giving you the closest shave possible, so you don't start to see a re-growth by the time your afternoon meeting comes around. And because shaving exfoliates the skin, you'll want to make sure your shave cream is adding moisture instead of taking it away."

While most men fall on the side of having too little in their cabinets, there are those who overdo it. For the grooming and health pack-rat, how much is too much?

"When you have things in there that don't fit your lifestyle," says Smith. "If you are married with kids and still have condoms from college--it's time to throw those out."

In Pictures: Essentials For The Male Medicine Cabinet


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