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.

Clothing Care Guide for Men

Here at Ash & Erie, we know just how good it feels to find the right fit. We maintain a high standard for our fit, materials, and construction to ensure that we have the highest quality clothing. However, buying a garment meant to last is one thing, but you need to preserve them! Here are a few tips on how to do just that:

Take Good Care of Them

It’s never fun when you outgrow your clothes. It’s even more of a bummer when you accidentally shrink your clothes while washing them. Here’s our care recommendations for all of our products. These guidelines will increase the longevity of your clothes to save you time and money down the road. Although it’s a bit of work, the thrill of looking great is worth it.

Everyday Shirts

Even though we use pre-shrunk cotton and wash our finished shirts with a garment wash, certain methods of washing will still shrink your clothes in a way that you might not want. One way to avoid this is by getting your Everyday Shirts dry-cleaned. If you don’t want to do that, you can wash your Everyday Shirts at home, too, but in order to prevent shrinking, you’ll need to use cold water and let your shirts air-dry (and then give them a good ironing afterward). 

Dress Shirts

Similar to Everyday Shirts, we suggest you dry-clean your Dress Shirts for the best results. If not, be sure to wash on cold with like colors to avoid shrinkage and bleeding. With Dress Shirts especially, it’s important to avoid dryers completely. You should always hang your Dress Shirts up to dry.

Tees, Henleys, and Polos

Like our Everyday Shirts, you should wash your tees, henleys, and polos in cold water with like colors to avoid any shrinkage or unwanted dye bleeding and staining. Dry your tees, henleys, and polos with no to low heat to avoid shrinkage. When storing your tees, henleys, and polos, we recommend folding the sleeves towards the back and folding it once to avoid unnecessary creases. We recommend not hanging your tees, henleys, and polos as the cotton will stretch and create a hanger mark.

Jeans & Pants

Like all natural fibers like cotton and denim, jeans and pants will shrink when any heat is applied. To avoid any shrinkage, you should wash your jeans and pants in cold water and hang them to dry or apply very low heat. With jeans and pants especially, we warn against overwashing. Although this is a personal choice, we encourage you to wear your jeans and pants several times before washing them. 

The General Rules

Keep Your Clothes Organized

If you respect your wardrobe, you’re respecting yourself. Don’t leave your shirts in a pile on the floor – hang them up and keep them organized in your closet. We like organizing our shirts from lightest to darkest, personally, so we always know where there are, and that they’re safe from children, pets, spilled drinks, roommates, and acts of God!

Pay Attention to Your Clothes

Once you’re out in the world, other people will be checking you out, and whether it’s because you’ve found the right fit, or because you have a mustard stain, people are going to notice. So before you go out, make sure your shirt is clean! Make sure the buttons are firm and the loose threads are cut and that your collar is crisp and that there are no stains from sweat or deodorant or anywhere else. And, like anything, prevention goes a long way—if you’re taking care of your shirts while you wear them, they’ll continue to take care of you for your next outing.

Iron Your Shirts

Wrinkles ruin a look. Whether you like it or not, ironing is important. It’s okay if you don’t know what you’re doing—there are even guys in our office who only just learned how to iron in their late twenties. The internet is your friend here, or maybe one of your friends can be your friend here — get an iron, find a wrinkled shirt or pants, and get to work. The nice thing about ironing is that you can fix your mistakes—just don’t scorch your clothes or your skin in the process!

Wear Your Clothes!

There’s no better way to understand your wardrobe than by wearing it. When you try on your clothes, you remind yourself what fits and what doesn’t, what matters most to your comfort and style and what to focus on when you buy new clothes.

At the end of the day, these are tasks that anyone can do. A bit of effort before and after getting dressed can make you look sharp all day, no matter what you might be wearing. Ash & Erie clothes are made to last. Follow these tips and you’ll be looking great in our clothes for a long time!

Presidents Day Trivia

Presidents’ Day was first established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington. The holiday falls on the third Monday of February every year.

Now, it’s a day where we recognize all 44 U.S. presidents past and present. Donald Trump currently serves presidential term #45. Interestingly, there are only 44 individuals presidents, since Grover Cleveland served non-consecutive terms during terms #22 and #24.

In honor of Presidents’ Day, we decided to take a look at the heights of our Presidents, past and present!

Did you know…

  • James Madison is the shortest Presidents in history at 5 ft 4 in tall.
  • Abraham Lincoln is the tallest at 6 ft 4 in.
  • 23% of presidents have been 5’8″ or under. These 10 presidents stand at 5’8″ and under.
  • 71% of presidents have been above-average height. These 31 presidents stood taller than the average U.S. male height of 5’9″.
  • Interestingly, in U.S. presidential elections, the taller candidate is twice as likely to become president. Let’s change that!

Current Candidates

Here are the top candidates running for President in the 2020 election and their heights.

Democrat

  • Joe Biden – 6 ft 0 in
  • Michael Bloomberg – 5 ft 8 in
  • Pete Buttigieg – 5 ft 9 in
  • Tulsi Gabbard – 5 ft 8 in
  • Amy Klobuchar – 5 ft 8 in
  • Bernie Sanders – 6 ft 0 in
  • Tom Steyer – 5 ft 10 in
  • Elizabeth Warren – 5 ft 8 in

The average height of all 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates is slightly over 5 ft 9 in.

Republican

  • Donald Trump – 6 ft 3 in
  • William Weld – 6 ft 4 in

The average height of all 2020 Republican Presidential Candidates is 6 ft 3 1/2 in.

The average height of all 2020 Presidential Candidates is 5 ft 11 in, the same as the average height of all U.S. Presidents.

President Height

  1. George Washington – 6 ft 2 in
  2. John Adams – 5 ft 7 in
  3. Thomas Jefferson – 6 ft 2 1/2 in
  4. James Madison – 5 ft 4 in
  5. James Monroe – 6 ft 0 in
  6. John Quincy Adams – 5 ft 7 1/2 in
  7. Andrew Jackson – 6 ft 1 in
  8. Martin Van Buren – 5 ft 6 in
  9. William Henry Harrison – 5 ft 8 in
  10. John Tyler – 6 ft 0 in
  11. James K. Polk – 5 ft 8 in
  12. Zachary Taylor – 5 ft 8 in
  13. Millard Fillmore – 5 ft 9 in
  14. Franklin Pierce – 5 ft 10 in
  15. James Buchanan – 6 ft 0 in
  16. Abraham Lincoln – 6 ft 4 in
  17. Andrew Johnson – 5 ft 10 in
  18. Ulysses S. Grant – 5 ft 8 in
  19. Rutherford B. Hayes – 5 ft 8 1⁄2 in
  20. James A. Garfield – 6 ft 0 in
  21. Chester A. Arthur – 6 ft 2 in
  22. Grover Cleveland – 5 ft 11 in
  23. Benjamin Harrison – 5 ft 6 in
  24. William McKinley – 5 ft 7 in
  25. Theodore Roosevelt – 5 ft 10 in
  26. William Howard Taft – 5 ft 11 1⁄2 in
  27. Woodrow Wilson – 5 ft 11 in
  28. Warren G. Harding – 6 ft 0 in
  29. Calvin Coolidge – 5 ft 10 in
  30. Herbert Hoover – 5 ft 11 1⁄2 in
  31. Franklin D. Roosevelt – 6 ft 2 in
  32. Harry S. Truman – 5 ft 9 in
  33. Dwight D. Eisenhower – 5 ft 10 1⁄2 in
  34. John F. Kennedy – 6 ft 1 in
  35. Lyndon B. Johnson – 6 ft 3 1⁄2 in
  36. Richard Nixon – 5 ft 11 1⁄2 in
  37. Gerald Ford – 6 ft 0 in
  38. Jimmy Carter – 5 ft 9 1⁄2 in
  39. Ronald Reagan – 6 ft 1 in
  40. George H. W. Bush – 6 ft 2 in
  41. Bill Clinton – 6 ft 2 in
  42. George W. Bush – 5 ft 11 1⁄2 in
  43. Barack Obama – 6 ft 1 in
  44. Donald Trump – 6 ft 3 in

The average height of all U.S. Presidents is 5 ft 11 in.

In the future, we look forward to having even more Presidents of all heights!

P.S. This weekend only, shop our Semi-Annual Sale to get up to 30% off Winter Sweaters and Flannels!

Valentine’s Day Style Guide

Whether you find yourself in a brand new relationship or are celebrating many years with your Valentine, it’s important to impress on Valentine’s Day. 

While dinner reservations and flowers are important, it’s also important to dress to impress for the occasion. With that in mind, here are some of our favorite outfits for the big day.

Creating an outfit takes time, effort, and strategy. We’re here to help!

Table of Contents:

What NOT to wear

There are a few general rules to Valentine’s Day outfits. Keep these DON’Ts in mind when it comes to what to wear for your Valentine’s Day plans.

Don’t wear baggy clothes

Baggy clothes are a huge turn-off. If your clothes are too big for your body, it’s noticeable. Everyone looks better in clothes that are the right size and a slimmer fit that isn’t too tight and still allows you to be comfortable is the best option for most men.

Don’t look sloppy

This rule is a catch-all for your overall appearance. Your hair, your teeth, your accessories, and most definitely your clothes. You should put just as much consideration into your outfit as you do your Valentine’s Day plans and gifts! The day is about showing love and impressing your Valentine, so don’t skimp on your outfit.

General Rules

Dial in the fit

As we alluded to above, the fit of your clothing matters. A lot. For in-depth guidance, check out our clothing fit guides.

Don’t feel obligated to wear red and pink

While it can be tempting to wear a completely red and pink outfit, we suggest to keep the red and pink Valentine’s Day colors to accents at most. A red or pink tie can be a fun accessory depending on the outfit, but don’t feel obligated to dress the Valentine’s Day theme. What’s most important is that your clothes look and fit great!

Dress it up

While it might be acceptable to wear a t-shirt on a normal date night, this is Valentine’s Day. This is a time to show your date exactly how much you love and care for them, including dressing more fancy than usual! Typically, your plans will dictate a more formal outfit than a normal date night anyways!

Outfit Ideas

Here are our Valentine’s Day outfit ideas for you: 

Outfit 1: Fancy Dinner

Featured: Grey ChinosHeather Ash Grey Everyday ShirtCharcoal Crew-Neck Sweater

This is an elevated look perfect for your Valentine’s Day dinner and drink plans. Our Heather Ash Grey Everyday Shirt is an ideal base layer to any great outfit, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Then, our Charcoal Crew Neck Sweater is the perfect soft and warm sweater. Finish the outfit with our Grey Chino Pants, which are formal enough to impress your Valentine.

Outfit 2: More Casual

Featured: Greyhound Everyday ShirtDenim Chore JacketMidtown Jeans

This outfit is perfect for more casual Valentine’s Day plans. Our Midtown Jeans paired with the Denim Chore Jacket creates a polished look when layered with our Greyhound Everyday Shirt. Whether your plans are a walk around the park or a movie night, this outfit is perfect for any casual plans.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Whatever your plans, we hope you have a happy Valentine’s Day spending time with the one you love. While you are making dinner reservations and ordering flowers, take some time to plan our your best Valentine’s Day outfit. With our advice, you’re sure to dress to impress!

Fabric Guide for Shirts

This is the official Ash & Erie guide on shirt fabrics. There are many considerations to make when creating a high-quality men’s shirt including the fabric weave, thread count, ply, mill, and quality of the cotton itself. It can be overwhelming to understand the differences when evaluating shirt options! We’ve curated this guide to help you feel confident in your next shirt purchase. 

Fabric Weave

First, the weave. A shirt’s weave refers to the way in which these threads of cotton called warp (vertical) and weft (horizontal) are woven together to make the fabric. Different weaving techniques give these fabrics different properties. By understanding the weaves and their properties, you can make the best decision about which shirt and weave works best for you and your needs!

Poplin

Poplin, otherwise known as broadcloth, is tightly woven with an over and under weave. These fabrics typically feel the smoothest thanks to their simple weave and lack of texture. Poplin fabric is thin and breathable. White poplin fabrics can be slightly transparent. These shirts are more prone to wrinkling but maintain their smoothness when ironed. These fabrics are typical for more formal occasions and are what you think of as a classic crisp fabric.

Shop Poplin Shirts

Twill

Twill is made by weaving each warp and weft threads over and under two vertical threads to create a diagonal pattern. It is a softer and thicker fabric than poplin. It is warmer than poplin and therefore not as breathable. The fine weave makes wrinkling more of a problem when wearing twill and stains more difficult to remove. Twill drapes well and is very easy to iron.

Shop Twill Shirts

Oxford

Oxford is a basket weave where multiple weft threads are crossed over an equal number of warp threads. Whereas the poplin is an over and under weave with one piece of yarn, the oxford uses multiple pieces of yarm. Many times, one color of the weft is crossed with a white warp resulting in a two-tone appearance. This two-by-two weave is a thicker and rougher texture, but very warm. These fabrics are very popular for more casual shirts, but still can be worn to the office.

Shop Oxford Shirts

Pique

Oxford Cloth, or pique, is similar to the pinpoint oxford although it uses a slightly heavier thread and looser weave. It has a slightly rougher texture but is more durable than most fabrics. It’s composed of a symmetrical basketweave where one yarn may cross two yarns. It’s the least dressy and a staple in polo shirts. Oxford cloth does not easily wrinkle.

Shop Pique Shirts

Flannel

Flannels are most often a brushed twill or brushed poplin fabric. The brushed fabric gives the flannels their warm, fuzzy, thicker feel. They’re mostly 100% cotton but can sometimes come in cotton/wool or cotton/cashmere blends for added warmth.

Shop Flannel Shirts

Melange

Melange or heathered fabrics come in every sort of weave, including poplin, twill, and royal oxford, and are woven using multi-colored yarns. Each yarn will be dyed this way, most often with 2-3 hues. This allows shirts to look more organically inconsistent. 

Shop Heathered Shirts

Thread Count

The higher the thread count, the smoother and silkier (and more expensive!) the fabric. Thread count is often referred to with a number like 50s, 80s, 100s, 120s, 140s, and so on up to 330s. These numbers refer to the yarn size. Typically, a thread count above 100 will imply a 2-ply fabric. For example, a 180s yarn will likely be two 90s yarns twisted together.

Ply

Ply is how many yarns are twisted together to make a single thread. Shirts are generally two-ply or one-ply, with two-ply shirts being more durable and therefore superior to one-ply fabrics.