Scrub Up Well

Hi Readers,

This is a mens fashion blog thats real, honest, down to earth and accessible to the every day man. The aim is to encourage an effortless style at a very low budget to give you the ability to reinvent your wardrobe with just a few items and boost your confidence. The aim is to help people towards their desired style in a way that you makes you 'feel' better in what you wear. Every man in some shape or form has an interest in maintaining a good appearance...I want to advise on how to do that with little time, effort and money.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Treat Yourself!

Every month i'm going to do a treat yourself special. As you know this blog is designed for the average guy who wants an above average wardrobe without having to create a huge dent in his wallet. I'm trying to make it accessible, find value for money and give advice on how to shop economically. However there comes a time in everyone's life when they see something they like, they can't really afford it but they think 'f*** it, I work hard,i'm getting it'. Or it could be that it's your birthday, it's christmas, it's your anniversary, it's Pancake day, whatever the occassion, we all feel the need to dig into our pockets and treat ourselves to something special once and a while. So every month I'm going to talk about a speciality item between £100 and £600, which I think is a good investment for your wardrobe.

This is my first monthly 'treat youreself' edition so I'm starting it off with one of my all time favorite items. The Uniform Wares Watch. Although these have been out for a while, they've only come into the limelight in the past couple of years and now it's being featured everywhere (GQ, Esquire, Mr. Porter,).

 The History:

The philosophy behind the watch comes from classical British design with a contemporary finish. Designed by Oliver Fowles and Patrick Bek in 2009 (originally furniture designers), these watches are not only practical and durable, but extremely stylish and unique. Each collection is individually styled with great detail, which goes through an extremely lenghty crafting process through parametic modelling software, which allows attention to the most microscopic detail, not to mention the brilliance of Swiss and Japenese manufacturing behind it to ensure the best quality. The great thing is that these watches look as effective with with a t-shirt and jeans as they do with a 3-piece suit, which is a rare quality in watches. Take a look at the collection and my advice would be, if you're thinking of spending  £120 - £400 this month, get yourself one of these.

The Collection:

There are 5 collections to date with subtle individual charactersitics. My favorite so far is 200 series, for something more basic go for the 100 series and for something smarter, try the 250 series. All are great value for money and come in a huge range of colours and styles. 

In order from top to bottom: 

300 series - £620
250 series - £390
200 series - £240
150 series - £180
100 series - £120

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Getting Absolutely Leathered

People often see leather jackets as something casual for the weekend but this article is to show you how the right leather jacket can also be worn smart. So next time you're wearing a shirt, tie and trousers/chino's, why not throw your leather jacket on top instead of a blazer. It's something different, eye-catching and a good way to mix up your daily style using what you already have in your wardrobe. You don't have to wear specific shirts or trousers with leather jackets, just ensure the leather jacket you have looks good and fits well. 

Leather jackets are what I'd consider to be a good investment piece. This is an item of clothing that you only need one of in your ideal wardrobe and you need to really shop around for the right one because you want to get it right first time and you want one that is timeless, will last years and one you can wear for loads of different occasions. My advise would be to save up and really splash out here because a good leather jacket will stick with you for a very long time and is actually more economical in value then most clothes. Here are some ways you can wear a leather jacket and still look smart enough for work or whatever the occasion happens to be.  

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For a good range of quality leather jackets visit:

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Science of Seduction

Classical've just started dating a girl and you've invited her over to yours for a casual dinner, but what do you wear?  This is tough  because you want to look your best but still be quite relaxed because you're at home, it would look odd if she walked into your living room and you're chilling with a tuxedo on. There is a fine line between 'making an effort' and being 'uptight', espeically when you're at home. You want to wear something which says to her 'I naturally look this amazing every evening with no effort so how about it?'. Therefore what I've done is to take the idea of  smart outfit for example a shirt, tie, jumper, trousers etc. and strip everything away until you get something in the same vein but more casual. So we've ended up with a simple v-neck jumper and chino's. It's smart but not too uptight and it's relaxed enough to wear at home. It's something you can wear so that when (not if) she says 'you look nice' you can say 'oh this? I just threw this on'. You want to let her know you've made an effort for her yet give the impression that you've not spent hours trying to do it. I've also made a careful choice of colours, black and dark red being 2 of the most seductive and passionate colours of them all as well as being incredibly flattering to wear.

For your upper half I've chosen a thin fitted v-neck jumper, again decent price, can be bought online and can be worn on a number of occassions. I'd say wear nothing underneath apart from maybe a black low cut vest that won't show at the top (not white as this will show through the jumper). The v-neck isn't too low however if you're not comfortable with this then wear a fitted scoop neck white t-shirt underneath this. These kind of jumpers are usually quite fitted  around the stomach but remember, black is very thinning, especially in a dimly lit room and you'll be sitting down for most of the night, not doing a belly dance (hopefully) so trust me, if you're carrying a spare bit of timber, she won't notice with this top. It's a good option to give a more slender and sculpted disguise. 

For the bottom half I've chosen a comfortable slim chino that has enough elasticity and flexibility to sit comfortably at dinner.The maroon slim chinos by ASOS are perfect and will look great with the black jumper, again keeping your colour palette dark.

As you are at home, you won't be wearing footwear so the choice of socks here in important. Remember attention to detail is everything as girls will analyse you like a hawk, so I've matched the socks to the whole outfit.

Top - Allsaints - £65

If everything goes incredibly well on your date then you have to be prepared. The same attention needs to be put even until your last garment so your choice of underwear needs to be right. Keep to black or white, with an established men's underwear such as Calvin Klein, Emporio Armani or D&G. Remember with underwear that although the price seems steep (£20 for one pair of boxers), girls tend to pay much more for their underwear so if they can make the effort and spend the money then so should us guys. I understand that some men don't like big labels, it seems too flash. I'm only suggesting this because there isn't always a lot of choice when it comes to fitted underwear and what would you rather have written above your crotch in an intimate moment...'Armarni' or 'Marks and Spencers Autograph'? I know which I'd rather have.
As already mentioned, attention to detail is of prime importance here so if you have some spare cash and want to add some more detail to the outfit then a vintage watch is great and very good value for money. As you may not have had time to trawl through vintage shops, then check out American Apparels collection of unisex vintage watches. This recommended Philop Persio wrist watch with a black face and leather strap, looks brilliant and is only £31.

For tips on what to cook check out:

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Under £100 Club

Today I read an online article from an internationally recognised magazine/blog (Esquire) about 'Summer Style'. I saw the style and of course, with the best stylists in the industry an unlimited budget, these outfits were great. But then I read a comment right underneath it and it read:

"this is great, but the weekend bag alone at $1500, is more expensive than my whole holiday! Do you have any summer outfits for the other 99% of us!?"

When I went back up to the style and calculated the cost, I was shocked! This outfit was designed only for people with cash to burn. You have to be on some serious income to think about spending over £1000 on the bag alone to carry your significantly more expensive clothes to go on an even more expensive weekend break. With this random persons comment in mind, I decided to think up 5 whole outfits, top to bottom, for less than £100. And I can guarantee you this, with these items you'll look a lot better than any of those other outfits put together by high end articles AND even better you won't have to re-mortgage your house to afford it!   

As the summer is already here and everyone is enjoying the British sun, I've chosen 5 full outfits, all different styles to suit different peoples tastes. This blog is all about efficiency so I've kept the number of places to get these clothes to a minimum and everything can be ordered online if you follow the links provided. These outfits not only cover different peoples tastes but also takes into consideration various events that people may be going to over the summer. I've also added a range of different fits to suit various body shapes so for example if you're uncomfortable with above-the-knee shorts then follow the 'chino' link where you can find the exact same colour as the shorts but in trouser length. I hope you enjoy and as always, your feedback would be greatly appreciated! 

Day at the Beach

This 70's inspired outfit is smart yet comfortable for the beach. It's appropriate for a day at the seaside and smart enough to wear around town. The combination of colours are warm and neutral, a good variation to the usual summer bright colours. The individual items can also be mixed with other things throughout the year. For example in the spring you can wear the polo shirt with some check trousers and brogues. 

Day at the Beach 2:

Above we have quite a simple and smart outfit for the beach but that might not be everyones cup of tea. I got a couple of comments about the bright chino's below so I thought I'd add something brighter for the beach. For those of you who are comfortable with being bright in the summer (which is something I would definitely recommend for those of you who are slightly tanned/olive skinned) then please take a look at this outfit and let me know your opinion. 

I've gone for a nautical look, which was very popular last summer and has definitely been repeated this year. The problem with the nautical look this summer is thats it's absolutely everywhere! In every shop window, both on the high street and in boutique shops. If you meet up with a group of friends, guaranteed half of them will be wearing some sort of striped garment so i've used this look but put a slight twist on it. I can understand why it's so popular because horizontal stripes make the top half of your body look more sculpted and hides a bloated belly very well, which is great after a couple of pints. To make this a bit different I've gone for trousers instead of chino's, which looks great if you roll them up a couple of times, and a 3/4 length top so something a bit unusual. Here it is, my take on the nautical look, under £100, I'd love to hear what you think.

The Garden Party

There are loads of garden parties and outdoor social events this time of year, especially with the diamond jubilee approaching. I understand that sometimes it can be difficult to look smart without digging into your office wear, so I've chosen a very smart and affordable seasonal outfit for the aspiring gentleman. Please bare in mind that if double breasted jackets aren't for you then there is an almost identical single breasted jacket on the same link at the same price (just click back onto 'Jackets' and it will appear) 

The Music Festival 

Another major part of summer, which is often appreciated in most fashion blogs, are festivals! After spending quite a lot of money on festival tickets, you may feel a bit strapped for cash. I've created quite a casual and youthful look for anyone attending a festival this summer.


The City Break

If your planning a city break, either with a group of mates or with your partner, I've put together this very simple and effective outfit for you. It's sharp, contemporary and best of all, it's suitable for light packing! 

And there you have it! My 5 summer outfits for different occasions, all at less than £100! Best of all many of these items aren't just useful for the summer. Brogues are a year round item as is the denim jacket, the blazer and the trainers. Let me know what you think and I look forward to your comments.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

4 Shirts Every Guy Needs

I truly believe that just like dogs, the shirt is also a mans best friend. They are a good way of slimming down certain areas and beefing up others if you get it right. If your workplace requires you to wear shirts and you want to know the best shirts to get to start off with, I've picked 4 basic shirts that should provide a good foundation of your shirt collection. 

The Size Guide.

First and foremost you need to get the right size because regardless of how nice the shirt is, it will look bad if it doesn't fit right. 3 simple steps to follow to get the perfect fit:

1. Make sure you can fit your index finger around the front part of your neck when buttoned all the way to the top. So drop your index finger underneath the collar right under your left ear, follow it around until you get to your right ear. This  should just about move around. It doesn't need to go all the way around contrary to popular belief. 

2. The arm length needs to be exact. Put your arms by your side and raise 1 arm about 45 degrees. The shirt should fit exactly from your shoulder to the bottom of your palm without any wrinkles or creases. You don't want it any shorter than this because when you wear a jacket on top, you want the cuffs of your shirt to just peep through. 

3. The fit around your body should be comfortable, depending on your body shape. There are no rules to this apart from if you're slim, go for slim fit, if you're not, go for a casual fit. The thing to bear in mind is that when you tuck the shirt into your trousers or jeans, you don't want loads of excess shirt hanging out like muffin tops. This will make your top half look wider than your bottom.

Now that the boring stuff is out the way, let me show you good value for money shirts.

The 'White Stuff'.

White shirts are essential. If I had to choose 1 item for my top half that I would have to wear for the rest of my life, it would be a white shirt. There are many benefits to the white shirt. Firstly they match with just about anything (apart from white trousers... unless you're about to meditate OR you're a millionaire living in St. Tropez, or you're a millionaire in St. Tropez and about to meditate, in which case please do wear white trousers and a white shirt, you deserve it millionaire buddha!).
It can bring attention to other parts of your clothes e.g. wearing a white shirt with a plain pair of jeans and a special pair of brogues, the attention will go to your brogues because the white shirt compliments other speciality items so well. You can dress it up or dress it down. It also makes you look healthier and here's how to test that out. Look in the mirror and look at your face, now smile. Now get a white sheet of paper and put it underneath your chin and repeat the action, you immediately look healthier because white reflects light. 

Where to get a good white shirt from? Walk all the way past Saville Row until you get to good old Marks and Sparks. For some shirts it's nice to splash out, but with this, M&S do a very good quality shirt for only £29 and best of all, it's 'non-iron' for all you men who still don't know how to iron! (click the link below to view full selection)

True Blue.

Blue is a classic colour to get and again can be mixed with a lot of things. It's preppy but not in a 'try-hard' way. Just 2 rules to bare in mind:

Rule No.1 -   Go for sky blue, not bold or navy just yet. 
Rule No. 2 - Do not wear it with grey trousers unless you work in I.T

2 places I would suggest to go for a blue shirt

For blue shirts, you can even go for an oxford collar like the bearded gentleman above. The pro's of this is that it can be worn more casually with jeans or even shorts. The con's are that it limits the range of ties you can wear with it (usually just thin ones). The best value for money blue shirt with an oxford collar is from Gap.


Even stretching it out further....why not go for a short sleeve this summer! 

From - excellent summer choice with chinos or skinny black jeans

The Real Pink Panther.

Royal Pink is a timeless colour that is rarely worn correctly. The issue here is that when men see pink they only think to wear it with navy. This is what I once thought and now I can see that pink goes with more things than you may think:

Again head to TM Lewin, Gieves and Hawkes and quite ironically Pink do a good Pink shirt. 

Stripe Tease.

I've added a stripe to mix it up a bit. You have 3 plain shirts, now you want something with a strip. Again I would stick to blue or pink for this one. The issue here is that you need to be careful with what tie you wear with it. Don't do spots is probably the only rule I can put on this one and even then there are exceptions (photo 2). The rest is up to you but here's some inspiration so hopefully again you'll see that there are more things you can wear with a stripe than you may have thought. 


And there you have it! Your 4 shirt safety net. If you're just about to start a new job and need to start from scratch, go for 2 white shirts, 1 blue, 1 pink and 1 stripe in blue or pink. That will be 5 Monday to Friday to last you to your next pay day. You could even get all 4 from TM. Lewin as part of their 4 for £90 deal if you're lucky. Click the TM Lewin link above to find your nearest store.