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Beard Basics: The Do’s and Don’ts

Man with well groomed beard posing with fist to cheek, showing fashionable watch

Beard Basics

Beards have been on trend for the majority of human history. The first recorded instances of barbering as a profession date all the way back to 5000 B.C. No matter where or when you look in history, facial hair in all its varieties have been staples of men’s grooming and fashion. Considering growing one? Already have one and want to up your beard game? When compared to the hair on your head, a beard is in a league of its own: you also have to treat it right, but there are an entirely different set of rules for facial here. Here are H|M’s beard basics: the do’s and don’ts you always want to keep in mind.

Man being shave with dedicated beard basic products

Beard Basics #1:
Do — Use Dedicated Beard Products

One common mistake men make is using head shampoo on their beard. But you can’t approach beard maintenance with the mentality of “Hair is hair, what does it matter what products I use?” The fact is, the hair on your beard is much different from the hair on your head. It’s thicker, coarser, and more wiry. In order to properly cleanse the hair on your head, hair shampoo strips more of the natural oil your body produces. You need more of those oils in your beard to keep it smooth and nourished. That’s why you need to use a dedicated beard wash. It cleanses the beard and skin underneath without stripping away too much of the oil. And while you’re at it, add a beard conditioner or oil to your beard regimen. Doing so can help supplement your natural oils to keep the beard extra soft and healthy.

Man with clean, beard nicely trimmed

Beard Basics #2:
Do — Focus on Shape, Not Size

A common misconception about beards is the idea that bigger is inherently better. But actually, to make the most of a beard you want it to look neat and tidy. Sure, a thick, full beard is glorious. But if you pay no mind to shaping and trimming it regularly, you will look disheveled at best and like a caveman at worst. This is easily solved by investing in a quality beard trimmer. Or better yet, visiting your local barber. However, if you really must do it yourself, do plenty of research before giving it a go.

Man in white crew neck with long but well kept beard

Beard Basics #3:
Do — Brush Your Beard Daily

Not only will brushing your beard daily help maintain a neat, well-groomed appearance, but it also helps distribute the natural oils through the hair. Natural oils keep it nourished from root to end. Use a wooden, wide-toothed beard comb or a boar-bristle brush. If you want to keep it looking extra clean, blow-dry your beard a few times a week. Brush through your beard from the inside so the bristles face out, and direct the blow-dryer down as your brush through it. Keep the dryer on the warm setting. That’s because too much heat can cause the beard to become brittle. However, no heat at all will keep it from drying in a timely fashion. 

Man with hat and yellow zip up with clean facial hair and groomed neckline

Beard Basics #4:
Don’t — Cut Your Neckline Too High

A quality beard isn’t just about the shape, it’s also influenced by the lines. That is, where the beard stops and starts on your face. Where you place your lines can drastically affect the look of your beard. A common mistake men make is cutting the neckline too high. A simple way to get a clean, well-placed line is to start with a guide. To do it, press your trimmer flat against the line below each of your ears, then work your way to the center. Keep the line balanced along the point where your head meets your neck, just above your Adam’s apple. The angle and lines of your beard should accentuate your jawline, not expose it.

man wearing black notched lapel blazer with clean short beard and mustache

Beard Basics #5:
Don’t — Trim Your Mustache Too Short

Depending on the style you’re going for, mustache widths and lengths vary. One thing to definitely avoid is cutting your mustache too short in comparison to the rest of your beard. Basically, you want the two to be balanced, and keeping the mustache too short can throw that balance off.

Man with well groomed beard and trimmed sideburnssitting on chair holding a magazine

Beard Basics #6:
Don’t — Neglect Your Sideburns

Yes, this is a blog about beards, but the sideburns are also a crucial element. They need to be kept in check, and letting them get too unruly will widen your face. For instance, if you keep a short haircut on the sides and a thick beard, you need to be sure the sideburns taper in between the two lengths. Keep them shorter at the top of the ear and gradually getting longer as you move into the bulk of the beard. While you may be able to trim the bulk of your beard yourself, consider visiting a barber for your sideburns. Tapering sideburns requires a technique that really should be done by someone with experience.

Tools and Products: How to Keep Your Beard Fresh

Through our own research and personal experience, we do have some favorite tools and products to up your beard game. As a note, we are not affiliated with these brands. They are simply products we love, and we want to pass our knowledge of them on to you.

Beard Basics: Tools

There are countless beard trimmers with a wide variety of features on the market. But if you’re looking for one ultimate tool to keep in your arsenal, check out the Hatteker Beard Trimming Kit

Why we love it

You can find it on Amazon for $50, which is a great price even if you were just purchasing the trimmer itself. Instead, you get the trimmer, with an LED battery life display, so you never end up with a dead trimmer and a half shaved beard. Also included in the kit is a hair trimmer head, a beard trimmer head, a detail trimmer head, a body groomer head, a fine-point nose and ear trimmer, and six guide combs (one of which is fully adjustable via a dial). The machine itself also has an adjustment switch to get lengths in between the available comb options. It has a full sixty minutes battery life and has everything you need to look fresh, head-to-toe.

Beard Basics: Products

In terms of products, Billy Jealousy is a brand we’re fans of. They have a whole range of beard-centric products, including waxes, washes, conditioners, aftershaves, oils, and more. They’re made in America, cruelty-free, and use natural ingredients. We love them for leaving harmful sulfates, parabens, and pthalates at the door. If you’re looking to get a collection of beard products going, start with their Devil’s Delight Beard Kit

Beard Envy Products

Why we love it

For only $25, you get full-size bottles of their beard wash and beard conditioner in the Devil’s Delight scent. Devil’s Delight is an intoxicating mash-up of sweet black pepper and sandalwood. It’s a favorite among clients of our barber on staff. Also included in the kit is a boar-bristle brush – densely packed with bristles and soft on the skin. Use the products and brush daily to keep your beard looking fresh.

To sum it up

As mentioned above, beards are a tale as old as time. They’re a men’s grooming staple, and growing one can undoubtedly accentuate your look and make a statement about who you are. But they are their own sort of animal – they require a completely different level of care than the hair on your head. Use H|M’s beard basics tips, tools, and products to put your best face forward, and grow a beard that some men can only dream about. Rock the beard, gentlemen, but always, always remember to do it right.

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Groomsmen Attire: The Ultimate Guide

10 groomsmen hands in a circle showing off embroidered cuffs on custom suits

Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life, and you want everything to be perfect. A big part of that is making sure the wedding party looks great. And that includes the groomsmen attire! The pictures taken will be something you cherish forever. Here is HARTTER MANLY’s guide to ensuring your groomsmen party looks awesome on your big day.

Groomsmen in elegant groomsman attire

Groomsmen Attire Tip #1

Ask yourself what look you want

First, determine what direction you want to go in. That is, do you want a more formal and cohesive look? If you want the look to be tight-knit and styled to a T, you can choose matching groomsmen attire. This is the more traditional option in wedding attire, but it’s not required. Another option is to go for a look that’s more broken up. Doing so allows your groomsmen a bit of freedom to express themselves on your big day. 

How to pull it off

Give them a general guide including the theme of the wedding, color palette, and environment your wedding will take place in. Of course, you’ll want to have them run their final looks by you before they commit. That’s because you don’t want anyone looking straight out of left field. But it can be be a lot of fun to let your groomsmen express themselves. If you do want to go this route, consider including one element that is static for all of your groomsmen. For instance, matching shoes, cufflinks, or pocket squares can really tie the whole image together.
Wedding party posing on stairs

Groomsmen Attire Tip #2

What is the style of the wedding?

Consider the tone, theme, and style of the wedding. The days of requiring three-piece suits in weddings are long gone. What is your wedding dress code? Weddings can have a wide variety of themes, tones, and styles, from beach-themed to rustic to black tie. Considering the theme, you want your party’s attire to match the tone and season of the wedding.  Obviously your guys would stick out like a sore thumb if they wore tuxedos to a beach wedding!

Consider your options for groomsmen attire that go with your theme

While you do want your group to look formal, there are a lot of options for groomsmen attire for any theme imaginable. Doing a rustic theme? Consider forgoing the jackets and dress your guys in suspenders and a bow-tie. Getting married by the sand and the waves? Try lighter linen suits. Are you a country couple? Clean dark denim, a crisp white custom shirt, and cowboy boots look great.  That is, so long as they look neat and tidy. All in all, you want your party to fit in well with the style your wedding is going for.

Wedding Photo with men in vests

Groomsmen Attire Tip #3

Coordinate groomsmen attire with your better half

So you’ve perfected the look of your groomsmen so they blend with your attire. Remember, you need to be sure their look complements your partner’s party as well. Your groomsmen don’t have to match your spouse-to-be’s party perfectly, though. So long as they have similar elements here and there, or common colors, everything will look great. In fact, you do want there to be a little bit of variety between the two parties. All in all, you and your partner’s parties say a little bit about who you each are as people. 

How to do it

The most common way to tie the two parties together is to use elements with similar colors. You can either use colors from the same family, or you can have them use a separate color that is part of your wedding’s color palette. Those same colors and will be used throughout the ceremony in other elements, such as bouquets, seating, or decor. HARTTER MANLY’s customers often match their garment’s button stitch to either the bridesmaids’ dress color, or match the tie and/or pocket square.

Wedding party with matching themed bridesmaid and groomsman attire

Groomsmen Attire Tip #4

Keep the cost of groomsmen attire in mind

Typically, groomsmen pay for their attire themselves, whether they purchase the look or use a rental service. Your groomsmen might come from a different income level than you and even each other, and you want to be sure that you’re not throwing a massive unexpected expense at them. Keep the cost in mind as you’re building your look, and get your groomsmen’s thoughts up front on what they are comfortable paying.

How to manage the cost for your groomsmen

If the party can afford it, purchasing custom suits is always best to create the vision you are going for. You can often get discounted rates for larger parties and share the cost with your groomsmen as part of their groomsmen gift. If purchasing isn’t an option, avoid the boxy brands and go with a shop that understands fit.
A wedding party in elegant groomsman attire by Hartter Manly

Groomsmen Attire Tip #5

Remember every guy is different

Your groomsmen are probably of all different shapes and sizes. You want to pick a look that is going to look great on all of them. If you are worried about the look you pick being unflattering on certain guys in your party, consider giving them the basic parameters – color, fabric, elements like tie and pocket square – and then allow them to find a fit that works for their shape. In a situation where they are all of vastly different shapes, it may be a good idea to go with the concept we mentioned at the beginning: having them all wear different things with some smaller elements in common, or go the custom fit route.

Tying it all together

There’s a lot of work that goes into making your big day perfect for you and your partner. Every single element says something about you two as people and your relationship as a whole. Dressing the wedding party is one of the most important aspects of creating a wedding to remember, and there are many different approaches you can take when crafting your look. Sit down with your guys and your better half and talk about the style and tone you want your wedding to have, deliberate a bit, and use these guidelines to create the perfect look for your big day. If you are interested in renting versus buying, check out HARTTER MANLY’s Rental Options. Happy planning!

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The Right Fit: Ensuring Your Suit Works for You

David at a cafe table

The Right Fit

Suits can be tricky: there are a lot of nuances in suit construction and fit that can make or break a look. No matter the dress code, the jacket, shirt, and trousers all have a variety of aspects that must work together for the suit to look well-fitted and neat. Today, we’re going to look at the different elements of a suit, and talk about how to determine if your pieces have a proper fit. If you are in need of a new suit immediately, check out our suit selection that we can customize to get the right fit for you. You can also read up on our guide to your first custom suit.

How to look for the right fit

First, when trying on your suit, you want to make sure you are standing in what is called the ‘natural stance’. In such a stance, you stand straight with your feet placed slightly apart and your arms hanging loosely by your sides.

Row of suits to chose the right fit

The Right Fit: The Jacket

The jacket easily has the most elements that you need to consider when analyzing the fit of your suit. You must consider the space around the button, the collar, the sleeves, and the back panel, which includes the vents and length. The most important aspect of a jacket’s fit is the shoulders, because they act as the framework for the rest of the jacket and its drape over your body.

The Fit on The Shoulders

The shoulders should lie flat, with no ripples or lumps. Ripples or lumps are indicative of shoulders that are either too long or too short.

If the shoulders are too short, lumps appear because the edge of the suit shoulder pulls back over the the top of your actual shoulder. On the other hand, when the shoulders of a suit are too long, excess cloth hangs over the edge of your shoulder.  The excess cloth forms lumps and ripples.

As a guide, wear shoulders that are slightly wider than your own shoulders. Doing so ensures there is room for the meeting between the shoulder and the arm to rest over the dress shirt without pulling taut.

Man with suit and floral tie. The suit shows the right fit.

How Do The Buttons Fit?

Next, look at the buttons. If you’re in your ‘natural stance’, fasten at least one of the buttons. How does the jacket look when it’s stretched around your torso? If the lapels hang down and angle off your chest, the fit is too loose. If the jacket material pulls the button taut and the bottom corners of the jacket are flare outwards, it is too tight. As with the shoulders, you want no strain and no wrinkles.

The Collar Fit

Your collar is somewhat similar. If it’s too loose, it will hang back and won’t rest flat against your neck. If it’s too tight, it will bunch around the collar. You want it to rest against your neck and be closely fitted, but not too snug. You should be able to fit one or two fingers in between the collar and your neck itself. A poorly fitting collar could be because the size of the collar isn’t right for your body. Other reasons could be due to poorly fitted shoulders or an incorrect size for the back panel.

The Right Fit of the Back and Vents

Speaking of the back, the length should fall just along the curve of the buttocks. From the side view, the bottom hem of the jacket should sit right at the middle of the hand. The vents of the back panel should be sitting flat. That is, they should not pull outwards. If they do, then the fit is too tight. The sleeves come down to one thing: the amount of shirt cuff that is showing underneath the cuff of the jacket. You want there to be about half an inch of shirt cuff peeking out.

A man wearing a properly fit suit jacket.

The Right Fit: The Shirt

The shirt is not quite as complicated as the jacket, even though it obviously contains many of the same elements that the jacket does. Much like the jacket, the collar should be snug, but there should be room for one or two fingers.

The Shoulder Fit

Compared to the jacket, the shoulders of the shirt should be an even closer fit. You don’t want any over-extension at the point where the shoulder meets the arm. Therefore, it should be as close a fit as possible without being tight. That’s because if the shirt is too tight, the shoulders will bunch up.

The Right Length

The shirt sleeves should end at the break of the wrist. You can identify the break as the point where the large wrist-bone is. Stylists recommend having about a half-inch of shirt cuff peeking out from underneath the jacket sleeve. The shape of the shirt should be slim against your torso with a natural taper near your waist. For shirt length, you want enough extra fabric to easily tuck the shirt in. Not only that, but there should be enough that if you lift your arms, it won’t untuck on its own. A good guide is that the extra fabric should reach the v-shaped panel at the top of the inseam.

Man in pink suit

The Right Fit: The Trousers

The Waist and Seat

The waist of your trousers should be snug, but not tight. They should stay up on their own without a belt. The seat should rest flat against the undergarments, without pulling tight or draping too loosely. If the seat is too tight, you will have lines just under the buttocks where the fabric is stretching. If it is too loose, the extra fabric will drape down over your thighs.

How Should Trouser Legs Fit?

The fit of the legs should be straight, with a very slight taper as the pant moves down the leg. They definitely should not flair out, but they also shouldn’t end up too tight around the ankle. That is, unless you want to look like a skater wearing skinny jeans. You want the legs to taper at a slight inward tilt, but still have room for movement. The ‘break’ – or the point where the hem of your pant meets the top of your shoe – is the most crucial part of a trouser fit. You want it to just rest on the top of your shoe. It should result in a slight inward dip right above the front of the pant leg. The break should hit right where the two elements meet.

Man in blue suit standing on stairs. The suit has the right fit through the trousers

The Elements Combined

When you put all of these together, a description of the right fit seems a bit redundant, but it’s the truth: you want everything to lie flat, for the majority of the elements. If your pieces are too tight or too loose, it will cause ripples, strains, and lumps that diminish the elegance you hoped to convey by wearing a suit in the first place. Now that we’re tying it all together, these things seem obvious, but we hope that the specific guidelines we’ve put forth here will help you look at all the elements individually, so that you are left with a perfect fit, every time.

Your Perfect Fit

Ready for your perfect fit? When we make our custom suits, we alter a pattern with your exact measurements. The pattern fits your body before we start constructing the suit, which produces a suit that’s a perfect fit. Even better, our H|M Mobile Tailor calculates your precise measurements down to a millimeter straight from home. All it takes is two photos from your smartphone camera.