The Guide to Heather Fabrics

What’s a heather fabric?

In short, a heather fabric is made of a mixture of fibers. This gives the fabric a speckled look. For example, if you look closely at our heather charcoal henleys, you’ll notice specks of white mixed in with the charcoal. This is because it’s made of 50% cotton / 50% polyester. This blend is just one of the many variations a heather fabric can be comprised of.

When should I wear heather clothes?

Whenever you want to!  Heather fabric is used in a number of different clothing items, and it provides a stylish and often versatile option.  You can choose to wear a heather t-shirt at home, or a heather button-down to a nice dinner. 

How does heather fabric affect fit?

Since heather fabric can be made of a variety of materials, its effect on fit will vary. A fabric blend that includes polyester typically gives clothes more stretch, especially compared to a woven fabric made of 100% cotton. Fabric can vary so much that it’s important to try on clothes whenever you can to see what you think of the fit.  And make sure to check each care guide that goes along with your clothes!

How do I maintain heather clothes?

We typically recommend a cold water wash and a tumble dry on low to keep your clothes fresh, but this depends on your clothes care guide. As a general primer, the higher the heat you use when washing and drying will wear on your clothes more.

How long should my pants be?

How long should my pants be?

Pant length. An important topic that you’re probably undervaluing. Are your pants longer than they should be? For many men, they probably are! So how long should your pants actually be?

The break(s)

The break of your pants refers to the number of folds at the bottom where your pants meet your shoes. At most, we recommend one full break. If you prefer, you can get an inseam that gives you a half or even no break. But never, never more than one. You don’t want to look like this guy:

This look is called ‘jean stacking’ and it doesn’t look good, especially on shorter men like yourself. When your jeans stack, it can make you look shorter, which we don’t want! This brings us to the question you came to get answered…

How long should my pants be?

You’ll need to measure your inseam. To start, you’ll need a measuring tape and an extra set of hands (not necessary, but it’ll help). Stand up straight and put the start of the tape where your crotch is. Guide the tape down your leg until it hits the ground. Find the number where the tape meets your ankle, and that’s your inseam! Keep in mind that while this number is your true inseam, it may not be the inseam you should shop for. Depending on the fullness of break you want, the inseam you purchase and wear can be up to an extra inch or two longer than your true inseam measurement.

The break guide

Generally speaking, one break is the go-to standard. Jean stacking doesn’t look good on both taller and shorter men, so it’s best to avoid multiple breaks in your pants. However, this standard is flexible based on a few things. First, depending on what type of pants you’re wearing, you may want less of a break. For example, many men prefer wearing chino pants shorter than their jeans. Style is flexible, and you’ll learn what you prefer as you move along. Second, this also depends on the leg opening of your pants. The general rule is the slimmer your tapering, the shorter your pants can be. So, for slim fit jeans, you’ll want a quarter to half break, but you should have a full break with a wider leg.

The Ultimate Home Fitness Guide

This is a guest post written by Style Crew member, Eric Rodriguez.

One of the things that I knew was going to be a challenge for me during this quarantine was figuring out how I was going to get a gym quality workout without having access to a proper gym.  Those of you who hit the gym on a weekly basis know how challenging this quarantine is.  Of course, trying to be optimistic, I figured I’d survive with pushups, air squats and lunges, but after a week of that, I knew I was going to need a comparable substitute for my gym workouts.  After scouring the internet for dumbbells or kettlebells, and finding everything backordered for 2-3 months, a friend suggested I try Powerblock dumbbells.  I checked them out and after reading reviews and watching videos, I quickly placed an order for the Powerblock 50 dumbbells and the Travel Bench.  After about a 3 week wait, the weights and bench arrived.  After my first workout, I knew I was back in business.

At 55 years old, I find that staying in shape is really a matter of discipline and routine. When it comes to my exercise and meal plan, nothing has really changed during this stay-in-place phase of life.  As always, my day starts at 6am.  I stretch for about 15-20 minutes and then begin my workout.  I’m currently doing a 3-Day Full Body workout.  I do 3 sets of 10-15 reps per exercise.  My workout is as follows:

Legs

  • Goblet Squats
  • Split Squats
  • Stiff Leg Deadlifts

Chest

  • Bench Press
  • Flyes

Back

Shoulders

  • Shoulder Presses
  • Side Laterals

Biceps

  • Curls
  • Hammer Curls

Triceps

  • Overhead Extensions
  • Kickbacks

On Tuesday and Friday, I work on my abs.  I’ll do planks, crunches and leg raises.

The key to making this workout routine successful, or anything else for that matter, is to have a plan and to stick to that plan.  As the saying goes “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”  I’m “old school”, so I keep track of my progress in a notebook.  I’ll keep track of the pounds I lift and how I feel (ie tired, energetic, etc.) during the workout.  These notes allow me to make the necessary adjustments to the next workout.  It’ll also allow me to look back and see how I’m progressing and where I may need more work.

The other part of staying in shape is what you eat.  Remember, you are what you eat.  If you want to build lean muscle or lose fat, you need to have a proper meal plan and, just as importantly, you need to stick to that meal plan.  For the last three years, I’ve been doing Intermittent Fasting (IF).  I’ve found IF to have the best effect on my body.  It allows me to basically eat the same foods I was already eating.  The only real change was adhering to an eating and fasting window.  There are a few different IF eating plans.  I follow a 15:9 plan. (A variation of the popular 16:8 plan.)  That basically means I have an eating window of 9 hours and a fasting window of 15 hours.  I have my first meal at 10 am and my last meal before 7 pm.  After that, I’m fasting.  That means no food or beverages, except for black coffee and water, until 10 am the following day.  It may sound extreme to think that you won’t eat anything for 15 hours, but as long as you’ve had all your meals during the eating window, the fasting window is relatively simple.  You can get a lot of very useful information from Thomas DeLauer “How To Do Intermittent Fasting: Complete Guide”.

Upon waking up, the first thing I do is drink a large glass of water, somewhere between 8 – 12 ounces.  Water helps rehydrate the body.  The six to eight hours you’ve slept is a long time to go without any water.  This is a great way to quickly rehydrate your body.

After my morning workout, my first meal consists of 6 scrambled eggs (4 egg whites & 2 whole eggs), ¼ each chopped bell peppers (yellow and orange), 2-3 cremini mushrooms, some fresh dill and salt and pepper to taste.  That’s followed by a bowl of oatmeal which consist of ¾ cup of rolled oats, ¾ cup of oat milk, 6 walnuts, half a kiwi, 2 strawberries, ¼ cup of blueberries, a dash of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of unsweetened shredded coconut.  I finish breakfast with a cappuccino.  The elixir of the gods!  I drink Nespresso Kazar.  I have the same breakfast every morning. Note: The only time I have a different breakfast is on weekends.  Before the quarantine, my wife and I would go out for brunch and have anything from waffles or french toast to steak and eggs and a cup of black coffee or cappuccino.

My second meal is usually a cup of wild rice, 6 ounces of salmon or grilled chicken and half a small avocado with a glass of water.  Note: I have all my meals with water.  I don’t drink juice or soda.  Basically, non sweetened beverages only.

My third meal is a snack.  This snack can vary.  I’ll either have a protein bar and a yogurt or a protein bar with a handful of nuts (a handful contains roughly 6 of each: almonds, pecans, cashews and macadamias).  My current favorite protein bar is Vega Protein Bar.  Sometimes I’ll have a protein shake.  My shake consists of 12 ounces of water, 8 ounces of oat milk, a scoop of Vega Protein Powder (I like vanilla), a cup of So Delicious Coconut Milk yogurt (the flavor varies) and 1 tablespoon of powdered peanut butter.  (Note: I’m lactose intolerant, which is why I use oat milk and coconut milk yogurt.  Oatly is my favorite.  Feel free to use your milk of choice.)

My final meal is usually a cup of wild rice, 4 ounces of grilled salmon or chicken breast, ½ cup of cantaloupe, ½ cup of mango, ½ cup of broccoli and 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds or chopped almonds.  Sometimes, when I either don’t feel like making dinner or feel like having something different, I’ll order a salmon and tuna poke bowl.  This poke bowl, which is similar to my usual dinner, consists of salmon and tuna, brown rice, mango, sweet onion, edamame, crabmeat salad, seaweed salad and sesame seeds.

Now before you say “This is way too restrictive for me!”, note that once or twice a week I’ll treat myself to something different for dinner, like a burger, fries and a glass of wine and Sunday brunch always consists of waffles or french toast.  The trick here is to keep meals like this to a minimum.  They should be special, not the usual.  Also, when at all possible, try to keep these meals on the “clean” side.  A nice lean burger from a non-fast food restaurant is usually a much better choice than a Big Mac.

I’ve found that keeping a regular exercise routine, along with my daily meal plan, has helped me cope with our current situation.  Now I’m not saying that you need to start lifting weights to stay healthy.  This is what works for me, but I do recommend some type of vigorous physical activity such as running, jumping rope or even brisk walks along with a healthy meal plan. Physical activity and relaxation techniques are great ways to help you keep calm and protect your health during this time.

Eric Rodriguez is a content creator based out of Brooklyn, NY focused on men’s style. He enjoys food, watches and fashion and is an up-and-coming model, having been featured in several campaigns for various brands. Currently, he is an ambassador for Ash & Erie as well as Beckett Simonon, the shoe company. 

You can check out his page here: @ericrnycstyle

Denim Jeans for Men: A Guide

There are a few simple pleasures a man has in life: his family, his morning coffee, and his first quality pair of denim jeans. Seriously though, there is nothing more reliable than a well-fitted, high-quality pair of denim. Having a go-to pair in your arsenal is crucial to your style.

Denim jeans have stood the test of time, and for good reason. They’re versatile, rugged, and, when worn with the right outfit, incredibly sharp. In this guide to denim jeans, I’ll walk you through what washes you should be wearing, what clothes you should wear denim with, how to take care of your denim, and we’ll wrap with a few outfit examples you can wear home with you. Ready? 

The Wash

Left to Right: Light, Mid, Dark, Grey, Black

The wash of your denim refers to its level of darkness — the amount of dye remaining — and its base dye color. After denim is dyed, it goes through a washing process to give it the desired fade — light, medium, or dark. If you’ve owned a pair of denim jeans for some time, you’ll notice that it gets lighter each time you wash it. This is why you should only wash your dark denim sparingly if you want to keep that rich, dark color. When it comes to the base dye color of the denim, there are two popular choices: indigo and black dye.

Indigo Dye and its Washes (Light/Mid/Dark)

Out of the two main dye colors, indigo is the more popular of the two. With an indigo-dyed pair of denim jeans, you will come across three main washes: light, mid, and dark. Each wash goes through a standard washing process. While it’s a very technical process, the best summary of it is that the more washing denim jeans go through, the lighter they turn out. 

Black Dye and its Washes

When you look at black- and grey-wash denim, it’s really not that different from dark- and mid-wash denim. The only difference between black-dyed denim and indigo-dyed denim is, you guessed it, the dye used in the process. 

Styling Denim Jeans

Denim is typically worn in more casual settings, though there are a few instances where putting on a pair of solid, dark jeans or a jacket is a great way to stand out. 

Casual

Washes: Mid and Light Indigo, Grey

Pairings: T-shirts, Henleys, Polos, Button-down shirts

Smart Casual

Washes: Dark Indigo, Black, and Grey

Pairings: T-shirts, Button-down shirts, Blazer

Check out our guide to Smart Casual.

Business Casual

Washes: Dark and Mid Indigo, Black

Pairings: Button-down shirts, Dress shirts, Blazer

Check out our guide to Business Casual.

Taking care of denim jeans

Before I launch into our denim care guide tips, the most important thing you can do is read the care label. For help, here is a quick diagram on what some of the most common symbols mean:

Courtesy: Burton

(In order: 40 degree single bar, Do not use bleach, One dot tumble dry, 3 dot iron, Do not dry clean)

The General Rules:

  • Turn inside out pre-wash
    • Most dye on denim is present on the outside, so turning your denim jeans inside out will prevent fading.
  • Don’t overload your washer
    • Denim is a heavy fabric, which can reduce the effectiveness of the washing process when loaded with too many other clothes. 
  • Wash before you wear (for darker denim)
    • Dark indigo or black denim may rub off on your legs, so it’s best to let the washer get rid of any excess dye before you wear your jeans. 
  • Hang dry
    • Dryers can shrink your denim as well as aid the fading process. By hang drying your denim, you can avoid unnecessary wear and tear. 

Check out our full clothing care guide for men.

All things considered, you can’t go wrong wearing a nice pair of denim jeans. They’re considered one of the most versatile pieces of clothing for a reason. Having a couple of different washes in your wardrobe will give you a great variety to choose from and get you one step closer to the perfect outfit for any occasion.

Shop our denim

Chino Pants: Khaki Edition

Khaki chino pants have become a menswear staple. Chinos started out as attire for military troops in the 1800s has grown into an article of clothing that comes in many sizes, colors, and even fabrics. They’re so versatile, in fact, that many menswear brands have offered a “performance” version made from fabrics normally reserved for gym attire. 

In this guide, we’re going to dive deeper into what makes our chinos different and provide some deeper insight into how you should be wearing them. We’ll cover how they should fit, what colors you should wear with them, what you should pair them with, and lastly what activities they’re suited for.

On fit:

Waist

The waist of your chinos should be a snug, but flexible fit. Our chinos are made with 3% Elastane, which gives them enough stretch for you to comfortably move around.

Rise

Our chinos have a low rise, which allows them to sit lower on your waist. This gives them a more casual look that gives you the flexibility to dress them up or down.  

Thighs

When it comes to the thigh-area of your pants, the fit should be tight enough to hug your thighs without be restrictive. A good test for this is to, while wearing your pants, pinch the fabric and see how much is excess. Typically, an inch of excess fabric is a happy middle ground for a slim cut. 

Legs

The legs of your chinos should follow the same rules as the thighs — they should hug your calves without being restrictive. A slim cut chino, like ours, will pass the pinch test around the thickest part of your lower leg. 

On colors:

White

Khaki and white are a classic color combination you can’t go wrong with. 

Navy

Pairing navy with khaki is a good way to remain neutral without being too bland. 

Olive Green

Olive green and khaki is a great color combination for the fall season. The richness of the green works well with khaki to give you a warmer look overall.

Burgundy

If you want to spice things up in your outfit, burgundy is a great color with a rich tone that, along with khaki, gives you a warm, calming presence.

Black

Black is a classic color to wear khaki with when you’re going after darker tones. Make sure you balance it out with a lighter colored accessory, however. A good way to do this is a light colored jacket or pair of shoes.

On pairings:

Elevated Casual

Since chinos are pants that instantly elevate any clothing item, wearing khaki chino pants with a t-shirt can be a great way to elevate your weekend look. Whether you’re running errands, taking a walk in the park, or meeting up with friends and colleagues for brunch, wearing a khaki pair of chinos will give you the responsible look you’re going for. 

Smart Casual

A great way to wear khaki chino pants in a smart casual way is by adding a blazer on top of a solid color t-shirt or a bomber over an oxford button-down.

For more info on wearing smart casual, check out our post here: Smart Casual for Men: A Guide

Business Casual

When you’re trying to make a great first impression for a job interview or first day at work, wearing a pair of khaki chinos with a blazer and dress shoes is a great way to do that. Wear a brown or khaki blazer with brown or black dress shoes to accomplish this look.

For more info on wearing business casual, check out our post here: Business Casual for Men: A Guide

On activities:

For your days off

When you’re running errands on your off-days, wearing a solid pair of chinos is a great choice. Pair this with a solid color t-shirt or henley and you have an elevated casual look.

For when you want to look professional

Depending on your profession, chinos are a great choice for your office uniform. Change colors everyday and it’ll seem like you have an endless number of chinos in your wardrobe. 

For your fancy dinner dates

Dressing to impress applies to the dating world, especially when it comes to dates in the evening. When you’re planning to attend a fancy, upscale place for dinner, it’s important to look the part. Wear our khaki chinos with a button-down or dress shirt and an outer layer of your choice. 

When deciding what to wear with our khaki chinos, it’s important to understand that regardless of what you choose, chinos will elevate your look. This means, if you’re aiming for a smart casual look, you can wear a typically casual item such as a t-shirt and still be able to pull it off. However, this isn’t without limitations, as personal style is a subjective thing. Ultimately, we hope this guide gave you a foundation with which you can base your future outfit choices. 

Check out our full chino collection:

Chino Pants: Grey Edition

Grey chino pants have become a menswear staple. What started as attire for military troops in the 1800s has grown into an article of clothing that comes in many sizes, colors, and even fabrics. They’re so versatile, in fact, that many menswear brands have offered a “performance” version made from fabrics normally reserved for gym attire. 

In this guide, we’re going to dive deeper into what makes our chinos different and provide some deeper insight into how you should be wearing them. We’ll cover how they should fit, what colors you should wear with them, what you should pair them with, and lastly what activities they’re suited for.

On fit:

Waist

The waist of your chinos should be a snug, but flexible fit. Our chinos are made with 3% Elastane, which gives them enough stretch for you to comfortably move around.

Rise

Our chinos have a low rise, which allows them to sit lower on your waist. This gives them a more casual look that gives you the flexibility to dress them up or down.  

Thighs

When it comes to the thigh-area of your pants, the fit should be tight enough to hug your thighs without be restrictive. A good test for this is to, while wearing your pants, pinch the fabric and see how much is excess. Typically, an inch of excess fabric is a happy middle ground for a slim cut. 

Legs

The legs of your chinos should follow the same rules as the thighs — they should hug your calves without being restrictive. A slim cut chino, like ours, will pass the pinch test around the thickest part of your lower leg. 

On colors:

White

Grey and white are a classic color combination you can’t go wrong with. 

Navy

Pairing navy with grey is a good way to remain neutral without being too bland. 

Burgundy

If you want to spice things up in your outfit, burgundy is a great color with a rich tone that, along with grey, gives you a warm, calming presence.

Brown

Brown tones are great accessories to the grey chino pants — depending on the shade, of course. Wear grey with either tan or dark, rich browns. 

Black

Black is a classic color to wear grey with when you’re going after darker tones. Make sure you balance it out with a lighter colored accessory, however. A good way to do this is a light colored jacket or pair of shoes.

On pairings:

Elevated Casual

Since chinos are pants that instantly elevate any clothing item, wearing grey chino pants with a t-shirt can be a great way to elevate your weekend look. Whether you’re running errands, taking a walk in the park, or meeting up with friends and colleagues for brunch, wearing a grey pair of chinos will give you the responsible look you’re going for. 

Smart Casual

A great way to wear grey chino pants in a smart casual way is by adding a blazer on top of a solid color t-shirt or a bomber over an oxford button-down.

For more info on wearing smart casual, check out our post here: Smart Casual for Men: A Guide

Business Casual

When you’re trying to make a great first impression for a job interview or first day at work, wearing a pair of grey chinos with a blazer and dress shoes is a great way to do that. Wear a brown or grey blazer with brown or black dress shoes to accomplish this look.

For more info on wearing business casual, check out our post here: Business Casual for Men: A Guide

On activities:

For your days off

When you’re running errands on your off-days, wearing a solid pair of chinos is a great choice. Pair this with a solid color t-shirt or henley and you have an elevated casual look.

For when you want to look professional

Depending on your profession, chinos are a great choice for your office uniform. Change colors everyday and it’ll seem like you have an endless number of chinos in your wardrobe. 

For your fancy dinner dates

Dressing to impress applies to the dating world, especially when it comes to dates in the evening. When you’re planning to attend a fancy, upscale place for dinner, it’s important to look the part. Wear our grey chinos with a button-down or dress shirt and an outer layer of your choice. 

When deciding what to wear with our grey chinos, it’s important to understand that regardless of what you choose, chinos will elevate your look. This means, if you’re aiming for a smart casual look, you can wear a typically casual item such as a t-shirt and still be able to pull it off. However, this isn’t without limitations, as personal style is a subjective thing. Ultimately, we hope this guide gave you a foundation with which you can base your future outfit choices. 

Check out our full chino collection:

Chino Pants: Navy Edition

The navy chino pants have become the modern-day workhorse of the American male wardrobe. What started as attire for military troops in the 1800s has grown into an article of clothing that comes in many sizes, colors, and even fabrics. They’re so versatile, in fact, that many menswear brands have offered a “performance” version made from fabrics normally reserved for gym attire. 

In this guide, we’re going to dive deeper into what makes our chinos different and provide some deeper insight into how you should be wearing them. We’ll cover how they should fit, what colors you should wear with them, what you should pair them with, and lastly what activities they’re suited for.

On fit:

Waist

The waist of your chinos should be a snug, but flexible fit. Our chinos are made with 3% Elastane, which gives them enough stretch for you to comfortably move around.

Rise

Our chinos have a low rise, which allows them to sit lower on your waist. This gives them a more casual look that gives you the flexibility to dress them up or down.  

Thighs

When it comes to the thigh-area of your pants, the fit should be tight enough to hug your thighs without be restrictive. A good test for this is to, while wearing your pants, pinch the fabric and see how much is excess. Typically, an inch of excess fabric is a happy middle ground for a slim cut. 

Legs

The legs of your chinos should follow the same rules as the thighs — they should hug your calves without being restrictive. A slim cut chino, like ours, will pass the pinch test around the thickest part of your lower leg. 

On colors:

White

Navy and white are a classic color combination you can’t go wrong with. 

Light Blue

Light blue and navy are easy to pull off, so long as you choose a light blue that is distinct from the navy. 

Grey

Pairing grey with navy is a good way to remain neutral without being too bland. 

Burgundy

If you want to spice things up in your outfit, burgundy is a great color with a rich tone that, along with navy, gives you a warm, calming presence.

Brown

Brown tones are great accessories to the navy chino pants — depending on the shade, of course. Wear navy with either tan or dark, rich browns. 

Black

Black is a classic color to wear navy with when you’re going after dark tones. Make sure you balance it out with a lighter colored accessory, however. A good way to do this is a light colored jacket or pair of shoes.

On pairings:

Elevated Casual

Since chinos are pants that instantly elevate any clothing item, wearing navy chino pants with a t-shirt can be a great way to elevate your weekend look. Whether you’re running errands, taking a walk in the park, or meeting up with friends and colleagues for brunch, wearing a navy pair of chinos will give you the responsible look you’re going for. 

Smart Casual

A great way to wear navy chino pants in a smart casual way is by adding a blazer on top of a solid color t-shirt or a bomber over an oxford button-down.

For more info on wearing smart casual, check out our post here: Smart Casual for Men: A Guide

Business Casual

When you’re trying to make a great first impression for a job interview or first day at work, wearing a pair of navy chinos with a blazer and dress shoes is a great way to do that. Wear a brown or grey blazer with brown or black dress shoes to accomplish this look.

For more info on wearing business casual, check out our post here: Business Casual for Men: A Guide

On activities:

For your days off

When you’re running errands on your off-days, wearing a solid pair of chinos is a great choice. Pair this with a solid color t-shirt or henley and you have an elevated casual look.

For when you want to look professional

Depending on your profession, chinos are a great choice for your office uniform. Change colors everyday and it’ll seem like you have an endless number of chinos in your wardrobe. 

For your fancy dinner dates

Dressing to impress applies to the dating world, especially when it comes to dates in the evening. When you’re planning to attend a fancy, upscale place for dinner, it’s important to look the part. Wear our navy chinos with a button-down or dress shirt and an outer layer of your choice. 

When deciding what to wear with our navy chinos, it’s important to understand that regardless of what you choose, chinos will elevate your look. This means, if you’re aiming for a smart casual look, you can wear a typically casual item such as a t-shirt and still be able to pull it off. However, this isn’t without limitations, as personal style is a subjective thing. Ultimately, we hope this guide gave you a foundation with which you can base your future outfit choices. 

Check out our full chino collection:

The Best Podcasts We’re Listening to Right Now

Here at Ash & Erie HQ, we love a good podcast. That’s why we asked our customers what podcasts they’ve been listening to recently. Here’s a round up of some of our favorite podcasts. We’ve organized these into the top categories: 

  • Entrepreneurship & Economics
  • Comedy
  • News & Politics
  • Ideas

Entrepreneurship & Economics

As a startup ourselves, we at Ash & Erie are nerds for a great entrepreneurship and business podcast. Here are our favorites.

How I Built This

Listen here.

Host Guy Raz interviews entrepreneurs and follows their journey to create and grow their businesses. Guy has intertviewed the founders of Chipotle, TOMS, Patagonia, Lara Bar, and Ben & Jerry’s. It’s interesting to hear about the struggles that every company experiences as they grow. How I Built This is one of Ash & Erie’s favorites!

The Gary Vee Audio Experience

Listen here.

Gary Vaynerchuk is an entrepreneur and coach that teaches lessons on marketing and business. GaryVee sometimes interviews entrepreneurs and other experts, while other shows are #AskGaryVee where listeners will ask their own questions for Gary.

Planet Money

Listen here.

Planet Money explains topics about the economy, but in an entertaining and creative way. The podcast started after the 2008 Financial Crisis. You’ll be knowledgeable about all things economics and can impress your friends at happy hour. 

Comedy

Sometimes you need a laugh and podcasts are a great way to do that. Just try not to laugh too much at work, your coworkers may stare.

Conan Needs a Friend

Listen here.

Comedian Conan O’Brien is a household name. His podcast is based on the premise that Conan doesn’t have any friends. He hopes to bond with his guests in hopes of making some friends. Conan is a great interviewer that gets his guests to really open up for listeners. It’s entertaining and you learn really interesting facts about celebrities and comedians like Will Ferrell, Ali Wong, and more.

Armchair Expert

Listen here.

Comedians Dax Shepard and Monica Padman started this interview podcast. While many guests are celebrity types, they also interview authors and specialists. It’s funny while also being honest and real. Guests include Ellen Degeneres, Will Ferrell, Bill Nye, and more.

News & Politics

Staying up to date with current events can be difficult. There’s so much information at the touch of our fingertips. That’s why we love a podcast that can tell us a summary of what we need to know.

The Daily

Listen here.

A podcast by The New York Times, Michael Barbaro interviews NYT journalists and their subjects about the day’s biggest story in 20 minutes. Barbaro is straight-forward and asks understandable questions, which makes overwhelming stories feel manageable and personal.

Snacks Daily

Listen here.

Snacks Daily breaks down the biggest three pieces of business news for you in a digestible 20-minute format. The hosts make stocks, business failures, and IPOs super fun and entertaining information. You’ll have that much more to discuss at the water cooler.

Ideas

Some of our favorite podcasts are ones that make us think about ideas and perspectives we’ve never thought of before. These podcasts always give you something interesting to discuss at happy hour.

99% Invisible

Listen here.

99% Invisible is self-proclaimed “all about the things that you don’t think about,” including why inflatable blow-up men got to be the staple fixture at the car lot. It’s a super interesting show that makes you better understand the design process for everything around you.

TED Radio Hour

Listen here.

The TED Radio Hour is a narrative journey through fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, and new ways to think and create. If you’re familiar with TED talks that happen all across the world, this is it. It’s a great way to hear a new story, new idea, and new perspective.

Those are the podcasts that we’ve been enjoying lately! What are your favorites? Tweet us at @ashanderie with your thoughts.

Top 10 Tips for Working from Home

The recent COVID-19 has found many people working from home in an effort to stay socially isolated. Ash & Erie HQ has been working from home for the past week. We’ve rounded up our favorite tips for staying productive, balanced, and happy while working from home.

1. Maintain and create routine.

Routine is very important for most of us. Whether you like to go to the gym before work or make your kids lunch before school, it’s safe to say that everyone has a different set of routines now that many people are working remotely. What’s important is that you recreate routine where possible, and perhaps establish new routines that make sense for your new lifestyle!

One way to maintain routine is by establishing your work hours. When working from home, it’s easy to mix work and home life. To avoid that, set which hours you will work each day and stick to that!

Think about your favorite routines in life, whether that’s your morning coffee run or gym time, and try to recreate those routines at home! You can wake up extra early and brew yourself a cup or watch a home workout video, for example. While these routines will certainly look different from before, this does help keep you productive and happy when working at home.

2. Establish rules for those who share your space.

This advice applies to those who are working from home with others sharing their space. If you’re working from home alone, lucky you! Enjoy the freedom, and be sure to stay connected with friends and family during this time.

For the rest of us, we find ourselves working from home with others around. Whether that’s a significant other or kids in the house, you need to set boundaries and rules for how to effectively share your space. That may be telling your kids to not bother you for certain times during the day, establishing protocol for when it’s acceptable for your partner to play music out loud, or deciding where you and your roommate will take a conference call.

Similarly, it’s important to set up a dedicated workspace. When working from home, it can be hard for us to separate work and home life. One way to do that is to work in a dedicated area, not just lying on the couch or in bed. That way, when you sit down at your workstation, you know it’s time to work, and when you get up from the workstation, you know it’s time for home.

Without establishing and communicating with anyone in your work space, you will likely be annoyed and less productive.

3. Schedule breaks and go outside.

Schedule breaks throughout the day for lunch, snacks, going outside, and just stretching your legs. When you’re at home, it can be easy to not stop working. Your productivity will thank you if you schedule in breaks throughout the day. 

Going outside is an important part of staying happy during this unknown time of social distancing. We can really take being outside for granted, but it’s a chance to breathe, get some fresh air, take a walk, and soak up any and all Vitamin D. So definitely don’t forget your outside time!

Just be sure to set your Slack or Outlook message to “lunch” and notify any relevant coworkers when you plan on taking breaks. 

4. Over communicate with co-workers. 

Most of us who are used to being in the office with our coworkers and teams are finding it difficult to be far apart. Before, you could turn your shoulder and ask your teammate or employee for something. Now, it’s not so easy! 

That being said, you should strive to over-communicate to your teammates during this time period. We are more connected today than ever, and with a variety of messaging and video conferencing tools out there like Slack and Google Hangouts, there’s no reason we can’t be just as communicative even when working remotely! 

If needed, set up time on your teammate’s, manager’s, or employee’s calendar to discuss a project or task that you’re working on if messaging or emailing won’t cut it. If you need help with something, ask! Don’t hesitate to over-communicate, as it will only help you and the team!

5. Get dressed.

While it can be easy and fun to show up to “work” in our PJs or gym clothes, we’ve found that it can make us more unproductive.

We have found that we’re so much more productive when we show up to “work” in normal work attire. Take a shower, get dressed, and even put on shoes if you need to. You’ll be astonished about how much of a difference it will make.

If you need some motivation, we recommend you try out a new outfit! Here are some of our favorite work from home attire: 

Everyday Shirts: Our casual button-downs fit perfectly. Our motto: when you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you’re more productive. Right?

Augusta Plaid Everyday Shirt

Tees, Henleys, and Polos: For a more casual work-from-home style, try out our knits.

Chinos: A great way to recreate the office look at home.

Jeans: Working from home means casual Friday can be everyday!

5-Pocket Twills: Like jeans, but more colorful. You’ll love these pants.

If motivation is low, you’ll certainly feel more excited to go to “work” with a brand new outfit! While you may not have co-workers to compliment you in person, be sure to show off your new attire at your virtual meetings.

6. Create a to-do list with manageable goals everyday.

Every morning, write down everything that you need to get done that day. Once you have that manageable to-do list, create a plan for how to accomplish it. Make sure to include your breaks in your day’s plan! 

Otherwise, we’re big fans of the Pomodoro method. Set a timer for 25 minutes. Turn off your phone and all other distractions and work on one task at a time. Depending on the length of the task, break the task up into manageable 25 minute pieces. Once the timer goes off, take a 5 minute break. This break can still be productive, like checking an email, but it is your mental break from the task at hand.

7. Don’t do personal tasks during the daytime.

It can be easy to get distracted during the day. Whether you’re online shopping or filing your taxes, it can be easy to work on personal chores during the work day. Try to completely avoid these personal tasks during the day. 

While most of us are social distancing ourselves from others anyways, this rule also applies to any personal appointments. While at work, try not to make social plans or appointments during the workday.

8. Enjoy your flexibility.

While this is a time to create routines and stay productive, working from home can be hard and flexibility is key. If your productivity is wavering, take a break to do an at-home workout, take out the trash, or go for a walk. While it’s important to accomplish your work, it’s also important to be flexible if you feel that your productivity is diminishing.

9. Use your extra free time not commuting for good!

All of us have extra time at home without the added time commuting or with other social obligations. This is a time to reflect on your goals and use this time for good. Whether you’ve always wanted to learn how to play piano, make homemade beer, or train for a marathon, think of this extra time as a way to do that!

Write down what all you’d like to do during this extra free time, like reading or making a dessert with your kids. Then, add those things to your calendar! Schedule out when you plan to accomplish these things.

10. Stay connected. 

Part of the enjoyment of work is being around your colleagues and friends! This time of working from home doesn’t allow for those water cooler conversations. Therefore, try to make it an intentional part of everyday life to connect with at least one person on your team. Whether that’s getting to “work” 15 minutes early to share a virtual coffee or scheduling a FaceTime call during lunch with your friend on another team, it’s important to be intentional about staying connected to your coworkers.

As we wait to see what the total effects of the COVID-19 situation will bring, the best piece of advice we can give you to get through this tough period is to stay positive and be flexible with your routine. Some of you are parents with children who will have to take a break more often than you’re used to. Others will have a harder time adjusting to the newfound flexibility working from home brings. Regardless of your situation, if you remember that we are all in this together, and we’ll get through this together.

This situation is unlike any other we’ve come across before, certainly not in our lifetime. The best thing you can do when it comes to work is to not judge yourself too harshly. We’re all adjusting to a new way of life for now, which means we’ll be faced with the “distractions” working from home may bring. 

This weekend only, take 20% off all shirts with code WORKFROMHOME at checkout.

If you need a little motivation to stay productive, try out a new shirt! You can show it off to your co-workers on your video calls until you get a chance to see each other again in person.

5-Pocket Twill Pants: Steel Blue Edition

We get a lot of questions about our 5-Pocket Twill Pants. What material are they made of? How are they different from the Essential Jeans? What do I wear them with? Which color should I get?

Rest assured, we’ve heard all of your questions and are happy to provide this series of posts dedicated to each color of our 5-Pocket Twill Pants. In the following sections, we’ll cover how your 5-Pocket Twill Pants should fit, what colors to wear with them, what to pair them with, and what activities you should wear them to. Let’s dive in!

On fit:

Our 5-Pocket Twill Pants are the perfect in-between option of our chino pants and our essential jeans. In fact, we suggest you wear them similarly to how you wear jeans. They’re made from 98% Cotton and 2% Elastane to give you the structure and support you’d be looking for in a pair of jeans, while offering a nice amount of stretch for the times you’re on the go.

Waist Size

Our 5-Pocket Twill Pants fit very similarly to our chino pants. They’re flexible like them as well. When it comes to choosing your waist size, we suggest choosing what normally works for you while keeping in consideration that the fabric is stretchier than a normal denim material.

Rise

The rise of our 5-Pocket Twill Pants is a low rise, which means they will sit low on your hips. A low rise on any kind of pant offers a more casual fit and therefore a more casual appearance.

Thighs

Depending on how baggy or fitted you prefer your jeans, the general rule we suggest following is have anywhere between .5″ and 1″ of fabric between your thigh and the jeans themselves. A good way to test this is by pinching the fabric around your thigh and seeing how much fabric you end up with.

Legs

Our 5-Pocket Twill Pants have a slim cut, meaning they’re tapered but not too tight in the legs. You can use the same test mentioned above to measure whether or not your jeans are too tight or baggy in the legs.

Now that we’ve covered the fit of our 5-Pocket Twill Pants, let’s talk about the colors you should be wearing our Steel Blue pair in.

On colors:

Our Steel Blue 5-Pocket Twill Pants are a versatile pair of pants. The Steel Blue color is a great tone for any season, but especially Spring and Fall. In general, blue is a color that beautifully compliments nature — leaves and flowers especially. In the following sections about color, feel free to mix and match as you want — personal style is meant to be personal!

White

When you wear a white t-shirt, button-down, or even dress shirt with our Steel Blue 5-Pocket Twill Pants, you’ll create a color combo that’s incredibly simple but eye-catching. Put simply, a crisp white top with blue pants just pops.

Grey

Another neutral color, grey is good to pair blue with when it feels like white is too bright for the occasion. A grey top or layer is a must when you want to show up looking effortlessly stylish.

Black

Pairing black with blue pants is a good way to bring down the tone of your look, especially when you wear black outerwear or a black top. A simple way to implement black into your outfit would be to wear black shoes.

Now that we’ve established some basics when it comes to what colors to wear with your Steel Blue 5-Pocket Twill Pants, let’s discuss what clothing items you can and should wear them with!

On pairings:

Casual outfit

On activities:

Our Steel Blue 5-Pocket Twill Pants are built for your on-the-go lifestyle. They move with your every step and provide the support you need any time you need a break. The activities you can wear them to are endless, but here are a few ideas.

Running errands

Our 5-Pocket Twill Pants are great for running errands on your days off. Slip them on and go straight to the grocery store, the drycleaners, and even a quick stroll in the park.

On a date

Knowing how versatile these pants are, you can wear these casual for a daytime date or dress them up for an evening date. Up to you!

In the office

Depending on your office dress code, our 5-Pocket Twill Pants are great to wear and pair with any of our button-downs or dress shirts for a solid office uniform.

We’ve covered everything there is to cover with our Steel Blue 5-Pocket Twill Pants, so we’ll leave the next step to you. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, these rules aren’t hard-set and so you can choose to follow them or break them as you wish.

Check out all our full 5-Pocket Twill colors:

Steel Blue
Olive
Pebble Grey