How to Change Your Hair Style

Men's Personal Stylist: George Clooney Hair

I’m all about instant gratification. Give me the choice between store-bought and homemade, and I will almost always go for the quick fix. My family calls it “Rathness” to want to get things done yesterday. Unfortunately, in my line of work, there aren’t always shortcuts. Obtaining a new wardrobe can take time, not to mention the tailoring that’s inevitably involved. One place where I can satisfy my Rathness, however, is with updating clients’ hairstyles. Call today for an appointment tomorrow, and boom, you’re well on your way to a new and improved you.

I get that the idea of changing your hairstyle can be intimidating, especially if you’ve been rocking the same look for several decades. But it's defeatist to assume that if you’re past a certain age it’s too late to make a change. So what if you’re 40 years old and have been wearing your hair the same way since you were a kid? That’s all the more reason to consider an update, especially if you (and your spouse/partner) think it looks stale. If you’re on this site, chances are you’re already thinking a change may be in order, and perhaps hair is part of it. To that I say, dive in, go for it. If you don’t like it, it will always grow back in a couple of weeks.That said, it’s key to go about your hairstyle upgrade thoughtfully so that you get your desired results. Below are 8 tips on how to do this.1) Ask others with hair you like for the name of their hair stylist. (A lot of people have a hard time asking questions like this, but it’s not a big deal. Just say that your barber is retiring, and you need someone new.)2) Check on a user-review site like Yelp in your area for a hairstylist who’s well-recommended for men’s scissor cuts (not clippers).3) When you call for an appointment, see if you can go in for a consultation first. That way you can discuss your goals in advance and ask how s/he would go about achieving them before breaking out the scissors.4) After you’ve found a stylist who’s the right fit, it’s imperative that you communicate clearly with him or her. Explain what your job is (including how conservative your look needs to be and what you typically wear to work), what image you’d like your new cut to convey, and how much maintenance you're OK with. If you're a chameleon and want something hip for outside of work, but conservative for everyday, tell the stylist. In many cases, all it takes is a subtle difference in how you fingercomb your hair when you get out of the shower to distinguish between looks.5) Part of clear communication is bringing with you at least three pictures of looks you like. Hair stylist James Hernandez of James Hernandez New York says, “Texture and density play a big part in determining the end result. But where the visuals help is in capturing the concept of the look you are after, both what you want to achieve and what you don’t want. Any stylist that is opposed to you using visuals, I would be little leery of their understanding of the craft of haircutting.” Stylist James Joyce agrees, “In the conversation before starting the service, the stylist can decide what element of the pictures you bring is grabbing your eye. Sometimes it’s the shape of the head, and sometimes it’s the texture of the hair.  Either way it’s a big help to have a non-verbal idea. Pictures can be printed off Google images or clipped from magazines.”6) Your hair will look best parted on one side vs. the other. So sometimes the change may just be switching the part (or losing it altogether). A good hair stylist will know where the best part placement will be.7) Facial hair correlates closely with your hairstyle. Talk to the hair stylist about what works best for your face shape and what suggestions, if any, he’d make to change your facial hair given your new cut. Also ask if he needs to trim your eyebrows. This takes 30 seconds, and he can do it with a pair of scissors (don't let anyone near you with wax).8) If you feel your look is dated, it may not just be your present cut, but also the product you’re using. I worked with a new client this week who thought that the “wet-look” gel he was using made him look more contemporary, when in fact it was conveying a look that was out of touch. For this reason, bring any product you use and have the hairstylist evaluate it. He may tell you to chuck it and give you a recommendation for something new. Make sure he also shows you how to apply it. You may feel silly doing this, but trust me the next morning when you’re trying to get out the door quickly, you’ll be happy you know what you’re doing._______________________________________________________________________________Are you thinking of making a change to your hairstyle? Leave me a note in the comments below. I'd love to hear how it goes for you.

Heat Wave Style

Men's Personal Shopper: Summer StyleScorching hot temps got you down? When it’s 90+ degrees out, you are definitely going to do some sweating. But there are ways you can prepare so that you minimize the damage to your wardrobe and appearance. Below are 11 tips for keeping cool and confident this summer.Grooming1) Take your morning shower with the coldest water you can stand, and use a cooling soap with mint.2) When you get out of the shower, powder your feet, armpits and groin to help keep you dry. Menscience body powder uses cornstarch and zinc oxide instead of talc (which has shown to have negative health effects) and was formulated for all-over use.3) Use deodorant with antiperspirant, which slows the production of underarm sweat. Men's Personal Shopper: Summer Style4) Apply a cooling product like Korres's Greek Yogurt Cooling Gel as needed, post-shower. It’s designed for sunburns, but does a great job relieving all sensations of heat from your body.5) Face wipes also make you feel and look cool by absorbing grease and oil.6) Get your hair cut shorter and more frequently during warm months (including cleanups for the hair on the back of your neck and around your ears).Clothing7) My guiding principle is that clothing should always fit impeccably, but in the summer months, I am OK with slightly looser fits to facilitate airflow, especially for items like linen shirts and pants.8) Dark colors absorb sunlight and therefore heat, so opt for light colors like white, off-white, light grey, beige, and pastels, all of which present as more seasonally appropriate as well. Men's Personal Shopper Lightweight Summer Clothes9) Choose natural fibers that breathe and are good at absorbing moisture. These include tropical weight wools, seersucker (not just for suits), linen (try in a tie if you wear one every day), hopsack, light cottons (opt for cotton broadcloth vs. a heavier oxford), cashmere, and silk. I like Bonobos' lightweight chinos and the summer weight casual top above left and right. When shopping, be sure to read labels and avoid anything with nylon or polyester in it.10) A quarter-lined or unlined suit jacket or sport coat will be lighter on your body than one with a full lining. (Note: this type of unconstructed jacket is inherently more casual than those with full linings, so be wise about where you wear them). If you go quarter lining, make sure the lining is made from Bemberg, which does a better job than silk of wicking moisture from your body.Plan Ahead11) Keep your office stocked with a backup shirt (especially good if you have a big meeting at the end of the day or dinner/drinks after work), face wipes mentioned above, and a bottle of deodorant. That way you're set if things get sticky.How do you stay cool and comfortable in the summer months and still look like you mean business?

How to Dress Like You Mean Business: What Would a CEO Wear?

There's a lot of great info out there on what to wear for dates, but not so much for a high-level business role like CEO. Whether you're looking for a C-suite position or you already have one and want to dress the part (this can define your relationship with your staff), your appearance is key to your success.Appropriate attire will vary based on the type of business environment you are in. A Fortune 500 company is likely to have a much more formal dress code than that of a smaller tech company, which, in turn, is apt to be even more dressy than a start-up. Below are eight tips on how to dress like you run things:What Does a CEO Wear: Power Ties1. Dark colors and straight lines signal authority. So a navy suit and with a strong shoulder and a red tie connote power and authority. For the smaller tech company or a culture where you want to be slightly more approachable, it might be a textured red tie with polka dots and a navy blazer. (Tip: many websites allow you to shop by color, which is a great time-saver.)2. High contrast color combinations are perceived as powerful (that's why a tuxedo is so eye-catching); just make sure you're not wearing too much contrast for your own natural coloring.How to Dress Like a CEO: Laceup Dress Shoes3. For dress shoes, opt for lace-ups over slip-ons. You'll gain credibility that way.4. While we're talking footwear, it's important to keep your shoes clean and well-maintained. Find a great shoe guy and take your shoes in as often as needed for polish and retooling. Here in Manhattan, my go-to is The Leather Spa.5. Get good haircuts. A lot of guys discount the importance of a great scissor cut, but it can truly make or break your look.What Does a CEO Wear: Quality Attache Case6. Invest in high quality accessories like a leather carry-all or portfolio. You'll use these things everyday, so it makes sense to spend a little more on them, as your cost per wear will be lower.7. Make sure your clothes fit right. A good fit not only flatters your body, but it also shows that you've taken the time and effort to make yourself look good, and that you're aware of where and how to choose clothes that suit you.8. Have confidence in your choices. For example, if you decide to wear socks with an interesting pattern or a color you've never worn before, dive right in. If you don't own what you wear, people will pick up on that. The absolute most important element of your outfit is confidence!

Product Review: Philips Norelco Vacuum Stubble and Beard Trimmer Pro

Philips Norelco Vacuum Stubble and Beard Trimmer ProThe nice folks at Philips Norelco recently sent me their Vacuum Stubble and Beard Trimmer Pro for testing. We tried it on Rath & Co. team member Josh, who usually sports a bit of neatly trimmed stubble. Here's how it went:-We loved the vacuum design. It was a major bonus not having hair fly all over the place while shaving.-The blade felt big, sturdy and soft. We didn't need any fancy products for it to be comfortable.-Josh liked being able to shave in reverse with it. The trimmer he nomally uses sometimes pulls on his hair painfully when he does that, but he had no issues with this one. We did notice some hairs in the sink though he used it backwards (which might mean we weren't supposed to do that).-It was nice to be able to customize what length stubble you're going for. The Trimmer Pro has 18 settings from 1mm-18mm.-We also liked the options for faster and slower speeds.Overall, this is an excellent product for no-brainer trimming if you want to get that "next day beard" look, without waiting for your hair to grow in after shaving and hoping it does so evenly. The Stubble and Beard Trimmer Pro retails for $59.99, and you can get it here. If you have any thoughts on this trimmer, or any others that you like, we welcome you to share them in comments or tweet me here.

Profile in Awesomeness: Ross D.

I met Ross D. at a party a few months back, and after one look at him, I knew we had to talk. That nonchalance! That haircut! Here was a guy who owns his look, whether it's a jean jacket and t-shirt or his "ride or die" vintage leather jacket. So I asked him a few questions...Rath: What do you do?Ross: I work in music. I do songwriter/producer management.Rath: Where do you hang out?Ross: I live in SoHo and pretty much never leave the downtown area. All my friends make fun of me. Going uptown is like a major travel commitment for me. The Upper East Side might as well be New Hampshire.Rath: Are you thinking of signing that guitarist behind you?Ross: If he can play "Stairway to Heaven" with his eyes closed, standing on one foot, while balancing a pineapple on this head then it's a done deal.Rath: What do you wear to a meeting with songwriters or producers?Ross: I usually wear whatever I feel comfortable in. The great thing about working in music is so can dress however you like. It enables you to express yourself creatively, which I feel ultimately helps foster both a creative and productive work environment.Rath: What's your favorite NYC music venue?Ross: I really like Bowery Ballroom. They always have good shows and the vibe is great.  Brooklyn Bowl is a cool venue as well. Who wouldn't like kicking their friends asses in bowling while listening to great music?!Rath: What sort of outfit do you usually wear when you go there?Ross: I usually wear whatever I'm wearing to work, etc.  However, recently I saw Hole play. I felt obligated to wear flannels and grunge it up.Rath: Where do you shop for clothes?Ross: Pretty much everywhere. In the words of my mom "Living in SoHo in like living in a mall". She is right. It is hard to step outside without buying anything. Trust me, I have the bills to prove it.  I love vintage clothes. Eleven on Elizabeth is one of my favorites. LA has GREAT vintage. Jet Rag on La Brea is hard to beat.Rath: What's your favorite outfit?Ross: Definitely my black vintage motorcycle jacket. It took me forever to find the perfect one, but when I did I knew this was my "ride or die" jacket. I love the fact that the damn thing will outlive me and will probably end up right back in a vintage store someday being someone else's "amazing find". Full circle. Gotta love that.Rath: Where did you get that rad haircut?Ross: Amy at Arte Salon. She is the best. Not only does she give me a dope haircut every time, but she gives me whiskey too!Rath: Do you spend much time on hair styling, or are you a wash and wear guy?Ross: I'm definitely a wash and wear guy.  Bed head was the best thing to happen to guys since ESPN.  I wonder who the genius was that invented this look? Probably some hungover guy that was too lazy to comb his hair before work one day and just owned it. Brilliant.Rath: Do you have any men's style pet peeves?Ross: Wow I have a lot. First off, those knit hats with the baseball brims. They are the worst. This leads me to my next pet peeve...guys that wear knit hats in warm weather. If you are having a bad hair day or whatever just put on a baseball hat. I also really hate sandals. Good for the pool/beach but bad for everyday life. Who in the hell wants to see a man's hairy feet?!

Just Browsing (CNBC Eyebrow Grooming Fail)

I was flipping channels the other morning when I came across the above specimen of non-eyebrow grooming. At first I thought it was a joke, like maybe David Faber was having a snooze in the green room when Erin Burnett took a razor to one half of his brows and some crazy glue and a fake mustache to the other. But after a few minutes with no one batting an eyelash or, er, a long eyebrow strand, and showing David Faber how foolish he looked, I realized that it was no joke indeed.I’m not saying guys should go out and get their eyebrows perfectly formed, but when the pieces are so long they start to tickle your eyeballs, or you have one eyebrow instead of two (a unibrow? uh...check please), it’s time for a little grooming action. Find a reputable salon in your area and ask the groomer to reduce your brows. Tell him or her that you do not want scarily feminine eyebrows of the Jesse Metcalfe variety, but rather normal, cleaned-up, but still masculine ones. Then get yourself some tweezers and a pair of small scissors, and touch them up yourself in between visits, being careful not to get overzealous. Also consider using Givenchy’s Mister Eyebrow fixing pencil which contains adhesive polymers to keep those stubborn stragglers in line.P.S. Dear TV-photographing, I wish I knew how to quit you.

Jude Law's Leather Lapel Blazer as Seen on Saturday Night Live

Now and then while watching TV, I find myself rewinding and pausing (and rewinding and pausing) to get a good look at something a guy is wearing. It then becomes less about the show that's on than the look I've zeroed in on. The grey shawl collar leather-lapel blazer Jude Law wore on Saturday Night Live a few nights ago presented one such example (see top photo above). He also wore it to the Tokyo premier of "Sherlock Holmes" back in February (see bottom photo above).
This jacket is outrageously cool for a number of reasons... It's a unique statement piece that you won't find in just any store or clothing line. It shows his (or his stylist's) sharp eye for the distinctive. The jacket is a smart combination of elegant grey suiting fabric with the edgy black leather lapel and therefore presents a fun and compelling mix of styles. On top of that, grey is a universally flattering color, so most people who wanted to could wear this jacket and look great in it. And grey mixed with black is a no-fail color pairing.
Jude definitely made improvements to the styling of this item since wearing it as a complete suit back in February. [Note: it's best not to split up your suit in this way. It causes the jacket and pants to wear out at different speeds, so when you put them back together, they no longer match each other perfectly. Of course, it's possible that Jude has a whole closet full of this suit across the pond, and he can therefore afford to break it up as he pleases.] He appears to have had its sleeves shortened since the "Sherlock Holmes" premier, which was a smart move. They were much too long there, at least in the image above (jacket sleeve length should never reach lower than where the thumb meets the base of the wrist). I also much prefer the black tuxedo pants as seen on SNL to the grey suit pants. Because the jacket is such a statement piece, the simple dark bottoms ground it and allow it to pop on its own. In contrast, wearing it as a complete suit with this much skin feels like he's trying too hard in a Miami Vice meets The Sopranos way, and therefore draws away from the jacket's cool factor.
As for what he's wearing underneath, the look is strikingly better with the henley than with his heavage-happy u-neck shirt (also, I'm not sure what that excess black fabric poking out of the bottom of the jacket in his premier outfit is...another top, perhaps so low-cut we can't even see it?). We know Jude likes to show off his chest hair, but it feels misdirected with a suit. I'd also like to see the jacket-tux pants combo with a simple, crisp white v-neck (higher cut please).
I haven't yet been able to figure out who the designer of this jacket is, but if and when I come across anything similar in my Tastehunting, I'll let you know!

My Hands-Down Favorite Hair Product for Men

My always sharply-dressed and well-coiffed friend was visiting town last weekend, and both his Mint Tingle Facial Masque and his hair product were commandeered by airline security. So he asked me for a recommendation as to what he should buy to tide his hair over while here. After busting on him for being such a product junkie, I told him – and now I’ll tell you – about my go-to hair product: Kusco-Murphy Lavender Hair Cream. While in all cases one size doesn't fit all, I've seen it work nicely on a variety of hair types, and that's why I recommend it. Its texture and weight are perfect, as it’s neither too greasy like some of the heavy waxes out there for guys, nor too sticky like the silicone-based anti-frizz products. Also, it's not a gel, so your hair actually looks like hair, not a gravity-defying "blowout" like DJ Pauly D's signature 'do from Jersey Shore (check out this amusing video tutorial of him demoing his hair styling technique: "I'm just rubbing the gel around the perimeter"...wha? If your hair has a perimeter, we need to talk. See my Services page.).Anyway, back to Kusco-Murphy's lavender goodness. The smell is amazing, but very subtle, not like you bathed in Axe Body Spray. Although this product is on the expensive side, a little bit goes a long way. The best price I’ve found for an 8 oz jar is $30 plus shipping here or $35 from Arte Salon and Bigelow Chemists in Manhattan. Take a dab and rub it between your palms, then work it in back to front.Check it out, and let me know what you think!

2010 Academy Awards: The Stars’ Clothing Personalities

It was clever TV programming last night to pit the guy-magnet movies “Old School” and “Saving Private Ryan” against the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. Although a lot of men are averse to watching awards shows, much can be learned from how the stars present themselves. Here are some interesting picks and the serious and not-so-serious messages they tell me as an Image Consultant.Wow, just wow. Ryan Reynolds looks relaxed and at ease in his monkey suit, something that’s not exactly easy to accomplish. His confidence absolutely shines through. Takeaway: own your look and people will notice...James Cameron shows his playful side with a haphazardly stuffed blue silk pocket square. The color and execution of this detail reflect his creativity and unpredictability. The matching of pocket square to wife #5’s dress is also unpredictable…er, unpredictably bad that is. Maybe it was meant as a gesture of solidarity with his incumbent spouse, especially with his stunning and stylish ex Kathryn Bigelow also up for numerous awards. Regardless, someone please tell him that the Oscars and prom are two very different scenes...In contrast to James Cameron’s fluffy pocket square look is Jake Gyllenhaal’s meticulously folded white one. From his neatly trimmed hair, eyebrows, and beard to his perfectly fastened bowtie, we see his understated sophistication and attention to detail. This is a guy who makes his bed every morning -- or at least tells his butler to...Style icon George Clooney is always dressed and coiffed impeccably, especially for awards shows. That’s why his hair cut fail is particularly surprising. The man actually has duck fuzz bordering on a mullet. The only rational explanation for this deviation from his usual elegance must be that he’s got an upcoming part in “Wayne’s World 3”. If that's not the case, I’m sure there are boatloads of ladies who would be more than happy to trim the back of his neck for him...While it’s old news that Robert Downey Jr. is an aggressive dresser, we really see how playful he is via this look. Of note: despite his apparent sneaker-wearing nonchalance, he does match his sunglass lenses to his bow-tie. Evidently there is method to the madness...Robin Thicke thinks outside the box with his velvet tux and calfskin loafers. It’s hard to do this with formal wear, which has so many hard and fast rules, but the talented Robin Thicke displays his imaginative but still refined clothing personality...Woody Harrelson…is down with world peace. ‘Nuff said.

Ten Holiday Party Do’s and Don’ts for the Stylish Man

1. Hair product can tend to make your forehead shiny, so wash your face after application to avoid that lacquered look.2. If the weather is foul, and the party you’re going to isn’t dressy, try wearing a dark wash, slimmer cut pair of jeans with rugged boots. You can even roll your jeans up neatly as seen here:3. Be prepared for the occasional host who asks guests to remove shoes at the door by wearing dress socks that are in good repair – you could even try a pair of red or green ones (not both!) for subtly festive flavor. I like these which are on sale from J. Crew.4. Do keep your facial hair trimmed for holiday festivities. The only people allowed to have big furry beards are Santa and Randy Moss. When your facial hair brings to mind a certain fake beard from Jackass: Number Two…that’s a party fail.5. Make sure your hair isn’t greasy on the day of the party. You should be looking slick…your hair, not so much. If you’re unsure if it looks dirty or not, ask a female friend whom you trust to be straight with you.6. If you wear cologne, spritz once (or twice max) on your neck, then put the bottle down. While it’s true that in the wild animals are attracted to each other based on smell, less is more when it comes to people.7. No matter how festive you’re feeling, don’t wear any decorative ties, sweaters, etc. with things like reindeer or Santa on them. See #2 for how to add a dash of holiday spirit. If you absolutely cannot do without novelty clothing items, put them on a patient friend, like Robert.8. If you tend to have an everyday uniform like jeans and a t-shirt with a button-down thrown over it, try thinking outside the box for casual party wear. Pair one of your cool graphic t-shirts (no sports team tees please!) with a military cardigan and a nicely fitted pair of dark jeans.9. If you’re going to a party that calls for “black-tie optional”, and you don’t own a tux, instead of renting one that surely won’t fit right, another “option” would be to wear a black, navy or dark grey suit with a white shirt and a dark either plain or patterned tie.10. If you wear glasses, make sure the lenses are clean. Ladies want to see your handsome eyes, not the smudges on your glasses.

Men's Winter Weather Footwear

Many of my recent conversations with guys about menswear have turned to what to wear on your feet in sloppy winter weather. If you have nice shoes but are worried the slush/salt/rogue gifts from the neighborhood dogs lurking in the snow are going to ruin your gear, consider a pair of overshoes. Companies like Sierra Trading Post and Neos make boots that go over any kind of footwear you're wearing without having to pull and stretch on rubber like those creepy galoshes from back in the day. They're waterproof, warm and have high traction on the soles so you stay upright at all times. My favorites are the Explorersand Uptownersfrom Neos and the New England All-Season Overboots from Sierra Trading Post.If you're looking for something a little more streamlined, check out the Men's Executive Overshoe from Tingley.They aren't insulated, but they'll keep you dry and standing on your feet instead of your bottom. You gotta love the names companies give for men's shoes..."Uptowner" and "Executive" -- how subtle!And if you're just looking for rainwear that's not obnoxiously ugly, I am very into Tretorn's rain boots. I like both the green for a downtown look and the charcoal for something more conservative, or "uptown," if you will.So there you have it, my first post. Welcome, and please come back soon for more musings on men's styling!