Before you tackle your annual Spring Cleaning tasks, take for a minute and look in a mirror: is there a bearded, touque-wearing schlub dressed all in black and grey looking back at you? If so, then you might want to let the empties just sit in the garage for a bit longer and tend to more pressing matters. We asked some industry experts how to look and feel your best from head-to-toe for the coming spring. That way, your inner awesome matches what’s on the outside.
Kelly Locklock, Club Director at John Allans Toronto
Being in a Grooming Rut: The biggest issue for men during the winter is that the cold weather brings out dry skin. Obviously, the easiest way to combat that is moisturizing regularly.
The Best Way to Lose that Winter Beard: A hot towel straight razor shave is the best bet to get rid of any beard. The heat and straight razor make for a smoother and closer shave. Don’t forget, a pre-shave is important to reduce irritation.
Benefits of a Hot Shave: We include seven hot towels in our shave and incorporate our own skin care line to soothe the skin, again making it a smoother and cleaner shave. That’s easy enough to duplicate at home but if you let us pamper you, we do it in a private area, with a beverage and a shoeshine.
Matthew Collins, Co-Owner & Stylist at Brennen Demelo Studio
Being in a Hair Rut: I find guys are far less attentive to their hair needs in the winter. And especially in cold cities like Toronto where toques are in right now. That’s the easy option. They actually help most guys with thick unruly hair manage it and tame it down. It’s for sure the right time for any guy who wants to grow his hair out to start and just cover up till they have their summer beach hair.
What’s In Style for Spring: We’re certainly still seeing the undercut or fade to long on top. It’s still in. Also seeing it go far more grunge. I am not a big fan of the ‘fake top knot,’ which a lot of guys now are trying to pull off. Just let it all grow.
What To Ask Your Stylist for: Well if it’s long hair they want, they just need to commit and grow it super long, but avoid ‘hockey hair.’ If you want a more polished look, ask for a fade with a deep part on one side. It’s hard to pinpoint a name associated to a specific cut because everyone has a different view on what a men’s cut name really means. In this social media age, it’s best to have pics saved to your phone to show your stylist.
Jay Pizzo, Personal Trainer & Fitness Expert
Being In A Fitness Rut: Living in Canada makes it very easy to hibernate all winter and get into a rut. You were active all summer, playing sports outside, hitting the gym on a regular basis to maintain that beach body, then -30 hits and that gym time turns into Netflix time. Keep it new and exciting so you don’t get bored with your regular routine. It just allows you to add new skills so you can continue to reach new goals, keep things exciting and avoid getting into an unhealthy relationship with your couch.
Easing Into a Spring Regime: Use a proper program. Whether you hire a qualified personal trainer, or do the research yourself on the internet, you want a program that is going to allow you to slowly get stronger without getting injured. For example, squats and deadlifts are fantastic functional exercises, but if you’re new to them (or haven’t been to the gym in a while) you’ll want to start off with really light weight or even bodyweight to build a foundation.
Keeping Active: There is no real way to combat a sedentary lifestyle in the winter other than not being sedentary. If you find yourself staying fit during the warmer months and falling off during the winter, adjust your goals accordingly. Most guys want to be super lean in the summer and have that six-pack but often neglect getting stronger and not giving their muscles a chance to actually grow. Try using the winter months to maximize hypertrophy and develop a nutritional plan as well to achieve that goal. Focus on functional compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, bench-press and planks.
Yuna Kim for ECCO Canada
Being in a Shoe Rut: Style sometimes goes out the window during the cold winter months, just so we can shield ourselves from the polar vortex. Boots that are practical for winter months won’t take you into spring, though. While it’s still a little messy out there, take a tip from the ladies and stash your work shoes under your desk or in your bag to protect them from the ice and salt.
Spring Shoe Trend: This spring, sneaker-inspired high tops and shoes in premium leathers will be on trend like the ECCO Gary collection. The marriage between street style and work wear is becoming more prevalent.
Shoes Every Man Needs: Men no longer have to be limited to just a sneaker and a dress shoe. Men should expand their shoe wardrobe and have fun playing with all sorts of styles. You can never have enough shoes but if we were to pick 2 styles: the dressy would have to be the FARO Cap Toe Tie and the casual the hi top ENNIO.
Leslie Ferranti, Education & Esthetics Manager for The Ten Spot
Being in a Skincare Rut: Men fall into the ‘doing nothing’ category sometimes….they let the water fall down their face in the shower and they think that is washing!! They may also use bar soaps that can be stripping to the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
Preparing Skin for Spring Weather: Going for a facial is great. Getting a professional exfoliation will get rid of the dead skin that built up over the winter months. It will also help clear up some congestion (blackheads) that may have collected. For something simple to fit into an everyday routine, use a cleanser/exfoliant one or two times per week and a moisturizer. Simple and easy.
Melissa Austria, Owner & Curator at GOTSTYLE
Being in a Style Rut: With the weather being cold and gloomy, the biggest style rut guys get into is retreating to their safe and cozy clothing: dark colours and a casual/sloppy style.
The ‘Must Have’ Piece this Spring: Definitely the new jogger. It’s a new silhouette for most guys and is a great way to incorporate both comfort and style into your wardrobe. Wear it on the weekends, brunch dates and even dress it up with a jersey blazer and a collared shirt and wear it on date night.
What To Toss and What To Buy: Guys need to start getting rid of all the plaid that they have in their closet and putting them away for next year. Keept a coulple of your favourite shirts, and start to phase out the rest, updating them with a micro-print shirt instead (fresh and new for the spring). Other spring essentials: jersey blazer; again comfort and style all in one, feels like a sweatshirt but with the sartorial style of a sport coat. Also, look for plaids to move away from the shirts and onto the pants. These pants co-ordinate great with the micro-print shirts and light-weight solid sweaters and knits.
Of course at this point, any thing that is boxy, over sized, three button or pleated in a guys closet should be burned!