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

5-Pocket Twill Pants: Olive 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 Olive pair in.

On colors:

Our Olive 5-Pocket Twill Pants are a versatile pair of pants. The olive color is a great tone for any season, but especially Spring and Fall. In general, olive is a color that beautifully complements 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 Olive 5-Pocket Twill Pants, you’ll create a color combo that’s incredibly simple but eye-catching. Put simply, a crisp white top with olive pants just pops.

Navy

When paired with navy, olive-colored pants will give you a sense of authority. Since navy is another great Fall and Spring time color, combining it with olive is powerful and makes a statement.

Grey

Another neutral color, grey is good to pair olive 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 olive 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.

Brown

Wearing brown with olive can be tricky because there are many shades of brown. Not all will work with the shade of olive you have, but most should. A good dark brown shoe or a tan jacket should make for a great pairing with your olive pants.

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

On pairings:

Casual outfits

Smart casual outfits

Business casual outfits

On activities:

Our Olive 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 Olive 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.

A Man’s Guide to Wearing Hats

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

When we think of hats, many of us, especially those in my age bracket, think of Cary Grant and Indiana Jones in their famous fedoras, Michael Corleone from “The Godfather” in his stylish Homburg and, most recently, Thomas Shelby from “Peaky Blinders” in his newsboy cap.  Hats were very commonplace in the late 19th Century to the end of the 1920s. But sadly, nowadays hats are rarely seen (with the exception of a baseball cap).

That being said, of all the accessories a man can wear, a hat is by far the most stylish.  A hat adds a touch of mystery, class, and sophistication to any outfit. It’s also a very suave way to finish off an outfit.  Here are my three favorite hat styles and how I wear them.

Fedora & Trilby

The word fedora comes from an 1882 play where the heroine wore a center creased, soft brimmed hat.  After Prince Edward started wearing them in 1924, it became popular for its stylishness and its ability to protect the wearer’s head from the wind and weather.  In 1920, it was associated with Prohibition and gangsters. In the 1940s and 1950s, noir films popularized it even more. It wasn’t until the late 1950s when informal attire became widespread that the fedora became less commonplace.

The fedora, with its lengthwise crease down the crown and its ‘pinch’ on either side of the front, comes in various felt fabrics such as beaver, rabbit, wool, and straw (aka Panama, which is worn primarily in warmer climates). It also comes in various crown and brim sizes.  It can be worn with the brim down for a classic, traditional look or the brim up for a more modern, youthful look. The classic look works best with more formal attire such as a suit or sports jacket. The more modern, turned-up brim, works well with jeans, khakis, and boots.  Personally, I think it gives off that rock and roll vibe.  In warmer weather, a Panama hat is the best option.  It works great with a summer suit or linen pants and a polo shirt.  My favorite fedoras are the Stratoliner and Whippet.

Like the fedora, the trilby also has its roots in the theater.  The hat was first popularized in a stage adaptation of George du Maurier’s novel “Trilby”. It was initially worn as a “rich man’s” hat in the early part of the 20th century and mostly only in Britain.  The hat all but disappeared and didn’t resurface until the late 70s as part of the retro scene and then disappeared again. The trilby is best known as the hat of choice by “Old Blue Eyes” Frank Sinatra.  The trilby, sometimes referred to as a “stingy brim”, is similar to the fedora, but it has a smaller crown and brim.

Cowboy/Western Hat

If there’s one hat that is considered the most recognizable throughout the world it’s the cowboy hat.  Recognized for its high crown and wide brim it is the defining piece of the North American cowboy. The first cowboy hat was designed by John B. Stetson in 1865 and was made popular by movie icons like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.  Nowadays everyone from cowpunchers to rock stars wears a cowboy hat. Unlike other hat styles, a cowboy hat takes a bit more confidence to wear especially if you live in a place like New York City where cowboys aren’t as common. One of my favorite—and most complimented—cowboy hat to wear is the classic Open Road.  With its three indentations in its high crown, it gives an air of class and business.

Newsboy Hat/Flat Cap

The newsboy cap gets its name from its wide popularity with newsboys or “newsies”.  Although it’s thought of as a boy’s cap, it was popular with men of all ages during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Extremely popular with the working class, it wasn’t limited to them. The upper class often wore them to more leisure activities such as golf or driving.  The newsboy cap, also referred to as a Gatsby, paperboy, or applejack (as the wider, more floppy version is known as) is typically a 6 or 8 paneled cap with a front peak often made of wool or leather and lighter materials such as linen or cotton for warmer weather.  The flat cap, sometimes known as a scally, is a rounded cap with a small stiff brim.  Although these two styles of caps are often confused, the main distinction is that the newsboy cap is baggier and floppier than the flat cap.

Purchasing a Hat

If you’re purchasing your first hat it’s always best to skip the mall and department store and go to a quality hatmaker/dealer.  These are the people who really know hats and can explain the difference between a quality $200 beaver felt fur fedora and a $20 wool-blend fedora.  My first hat was a beaver felt Homburg which cost me $250. I instantly fell in love with the hat but wasn’t sure about the price. Once I was able to see and feel the differences between a quality hat and a cheap hat I was able to understand the reason for the price tag.   Now I’m not suggesting that your first hat should cost you $200, but it’s always best to know and see the differences. A quality fur felt hat will retain its shape and color over time. Specialists, like Stetson, Borsalino and Akubra for example, focus on quality and design and not on trends.

Choosing a Style and Color

When choosing a hat style think of what your personal style is and what you want the hat to say.  Since a fedora or cowboy hat is not something everyone is wearing it will get attention. For example, walk down the street in an Open Road hat and you will be noticed.  A newsboy or flat cap is probably the easiest choice to ease yourself into wearing a hat.  Its casual and unassuming style is easy to pull off and not as “attention-grabbing” as a fedora or cowboy hat.  Color and texture are just as important. A neutral color like tan, brown or grey is the easiest to style with your outfits.  Unless you’re looking for that “stand out piece, I’d avoid colors like red, yellow and multi-colors as well as large patterns.

So if you’re looking for something to add to your wardrobe that will make you stand out from the rest, give a hat a try.

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