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

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!

Online Dating for Men: The Ultimate Guide

Do you remember the last time you met someone in-person, struck up a great conversation, exchanged contact info, and actually went on a date? Me neither. Let’s face it — online dating has made it incredibly simple to find a date, yet dating has never been more complicated.

There’s an overwhelming number of dating apps and websites, and the number of people on them is even higher. Using the “fish in the sea” metaphor, there’s never been more fish in a bigger sea. The question then becomes — how do you stand out? 

In this guide, we go over the general rules to dating online as well as give you the best advice around how to craft your bio, what photos you should include, and the proper messaging etiquette to get your online connection offline (That’s the goal, isn’t it?).

The General Rules

  1. Know what you’re looking for
    • Every man has a different goal when dating. Some are out for casual relationships, while others may be looking for their future wife. Understanding what you are searching for will help you decide what to put in (and leave out) of your profile. 
  2. Choose the appropriate dating site(s)/app(s)
    • As with the above, each dating site is catered to different needs their users may have. Some are better for long-term relationships, while others are where you’ll best find casual dating partners. Here is a grid with each major dating site/app and their level of “seriousness.” This isn’t a perfect analysis (we just ranked them based on our team’s perspective), but it’s a good benchmark to think about when choosing which platform(s) to use for your dating life.
    • Tinder (app): 3
    • Bumble (app): 6
    • Hinge (app): 7
    • Zoosk (site/app): 8
    • Coffee Meets Bagel (site/app): 9
    • eHarmony (site/app): 10
    • Match.com (site/app): 10
    • OkCupid (site/app): 10
  1. Show, don’t tell
    • This rule goes for both the pictures you include as well as the words you write for your bio. Your goal isn’t to say you’re funny, it’s to convey that. You have to allow people to come to conclusions themselves, instead of making the conclusions for them. 
  2. Leave more for their imagination
    • Similarly to the above rule, you don’t want to put an exhausting amount of detail in your profile. You should have enough information about you to pique their curiosity and want to learn more over a few messages, and eventually a date. 
  3. Be respectful of their boundaries
    • Everyone has their own boundaries when it comes to dating, and with online dating, even more so. There are a lot of horror stories from dates gone wrong, people stalking matches, and more. You have to understand that some people may be hesitant to meet in-person or even exchange contact information. The best approach is to be empathetic with their requests and patient with their preferences. 
  4. Schedule an in-person date sooner rather than later
    • The point of online dating is to find someone you want to go on dates with in real life. If you spend too long messaging someone back-and-forth, it can seem like you’ll never end up meeting each other, and one of you will get bored with the other person.
  5. (Bonus): Don’t lie about your height!
    • Height can often be a tricky thing when it comes to dating, but it really shouldn’t be! Whoever you date shouldn’t consider your height as a factor that makes you a better partner, regardless of the height difference. There are many couples where one partner is significantly taller than the other. If someone you’re dating has an issue with your height, then they’re generally not worth dating anyways.

So, with those general rules out of the way, let’s get into some specifics!

Your Bio

Writing a great bio takes time, but trust us, it’s time well spent. When crafting your bio, it’s important to be descriptive, but not boring. As we mentioned in the “Show, don’t tell” rule, you need to craft your bio in a way that conveys what you’re trying to say without blatantly saying it. For example, instead of writing, “I have a great sense of humor,” you should share a funny story about yourself. You need to think about what exactly you’re trying to communicate and think of ways to convey it without saying it outright.

Your Photos

While there are no hard-set rules regarding what pictures you should have in your profile, there are a few Do’s and Don’ts.

Do:

  • Smiling (In general, looking happy!)
  • Action shots
  • You “leading the pack” (Ex: You’re in front when hiking)
  • Pictures where they go, “How did he do that?” or “That’s really cool!”

Don’t:

  • Selfie pictures (Especially shirtless)
  • Too many group shots
  • *Holding a fish*

Your Messages

You got a match. Great! Now it’s up to you to apply all that advice about being witty, humorous, and charming to the conversation! When messaging someone you matched, it’s important to talk to them as if you were talking to them in-person. Use full sentences, have complete thoughts, and have good taste. You’re talking to someone online, and they may not be as open with you as they would be if you had met them in-person. The goal is for you to eventually meet with them in real life, but for now, you have to establish a reason for them to do that.

A few tips:

  • Be honest
  • Personalize your greeting message! 
  • Chat as you would in real-life — use full sentences
  • Don’t talk about yourself too much
  • If you like them, tell them!

There you have it, the ultimate guide to online dating for men. It’s complicated, to say the least, but we hope this guide has been helpful in giving you the best direction in how to start. Go get ‘em, player!

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!

Confidence, Style and The Short Man

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

Change in a man’s life is inevitable, and there are certain times in our life when we need to ask ourselves, “How can I make a change to my life for the better?” Positive change comes in a variety of ways, but the most impactful change can come from two things: style and confidence.

“…as your confidence continues to grow, other things that may have seemed important start to feel less important.”

Webster’s Dictionary defines confidence as a “belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities.” Style refers to “a group of personality traits which also match a specific fashion theme.” I truly believe that each one of these traits succeeds with the help of the other. Style begets confidence and vice versa. For the shorter man, having each of these traits in spades is essential.

Graphic t-shirt and baggy sweatpants. 1996.

Confidence is not something many men would admit they’re lacking in. They may be very confident in other areas, such as sports, academics, or creative pursuits, but when it comes to presenting themselves to others, whether it be a group, a potential employer, or a romantic partner, their confidence dwindles (especially the last one!). For the shorter man, that feeling at least doubles.

Although there are many ways to develop confidence, I’ve discovered that the most effective way is to focus on your personal style. Most self-aware men have some type of style or look. And unlike other men, I was always someone who liked to stand out in a crowd instead of blend in, so my particular style was a bit more theatrical. In high school, I went through my rock n’ roll stage. In college, it was the preppy stage, and post-graduation, I went through a biker and a western stage. That last stage lasted the longest.

Since I rode a motorcycle for quite a long time, my particular look revolved around jeans, t-shirts, biker boots and a leather jacket. Later on, I started to add more “stand-out” pieces, like western and civil war-related clothing, WWII aviator jackets and other rather theatrical pieces. I must admit, I did receive my fair share of compliments on my outfits, but it wasn’t until I decided to upgrade my style to something more “grown-up” that everything changed.

Upgrading one’s look, especially for men, can seem rather difficult. Men are creatures of habit. We’re very comfortable with an old pair of sweatpants, ratty jeans, an old t-shirt (most likely one with a superhero graphic on it) and worn-out running shoes. Now, you may read that and think to yourself, “What’s wrong with that? I should be able to dress how I want without being judged!” This is a commonly held belief, and although that should be the case, the reality is the first impression we make on others is heavily influenced by our appearance.

For me, that was my height.”

If your go-to walk-around attire is sweatpants and a t-shirt, you’ll give people the impression that you don’t care about yourself. People may even think you’re lazy. Whether any of these traits actually hold true, that’s the message you’re sending to others. You’d be surprised what the difference a simple pair of well-fitting khakis, button-down shirt, and clean, casual shoes can make in how people see you and treat you. More importantly, you’d be surprised in the difference that makes in how you feel about yourself. This is where your confidence starts to develop. And as your confidence continues to grow, other things that may have seemed important start to feel less important. For me, that was my height.

Smart layers and fitted clothes. 2019.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not constantly thinking about my height (or lack thereof), but, in the past, I would treat my height as the go-to scapegoat for any hardship. If things didn’t go my way, it was because of my height. Nothing else. That changed once I decided to care more about myself. I now feel more confident that the message I’m giving is one of someone who knows what he wants and what he’s doing to achieve it.

I’ve begun to look at challenges as opportunities to grow. That if something doesn’t go as planned, it has less, or perhaps even nothing, to do with my height and more to do with how I tackle that particular challenge. My focus has shifted from a mindset of, “Why me?” to “What can I do differently the next time I’m in a similar situation to achieve a better outcome?”

Confidence is a powerful thing. It allows you to see possibilities you couldn’t see before. And as you continue to grow your confidence, my hope is you remember that change starts with you.

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

Upgrade Your Style With These Pieces

Classics you can’t go wrong with

All of our clothes are thoughtfully crafted from scratch to fit men under 5’8″. We focus on creating timeless pieces that you can keep in your wardrobe for a long time. 

Job Interview Style Guide

Job Interview Prep

Congratulations! You got a job interview. It’s a step in the right direction, but now you’re asking yourself, “What do I wear?” That’s a good thing. It means you want the interview to go well, and your attire is a major factor in creating a great first impression. In this guide, we’ll go over a few “what not to wear” items as well as the general style rules you should follow when preparing for a job interview. Then, to top it all off, we’ll give you a few tangible examples you can take and apply to your next interview.  


Table of Contents:


What NOT to wear

A large part of making a great first impression in a job interview is how you dress. You don’t have to go overboard on spending (i.e. buying luxury designer brands), but if you put in a bit of thoughtful effort on your wardrobe, it’ll pay off in the long run. In preparation for your next interview, run through the following DON’T DO checklist to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. 

Don’t #1: Wear flashy colors

The flashy new shirt you bought may fit in well at dinner or a nightclub, but it’ll stick out like a sore thumb in a job interview. It’s best to keep your color scheme simple and neutral for an occasion like this. Now, that’s not to say that you can’t wear any colors, but you do want to save the bright “pops” and accents for less professional situations, such as a wedding. 

Don’t #2: Go overboard with patterns

In a similar vein to avoiding flashy colors, you want to avoid crazy patterns. A simple pinstripe or check pattern is fine, but when you mix too many of them without caution, it becomes incredibly easy to fall into the tacky bucket. 

Don’t #3: Assume a blazer will fix everything

Unless you’re interviewing at a startup company, throwing a blazer on an old t-shirt and hoodie combo won’t fly. While a blazer is a great choice to elevate your look, the clothes you wear underneath it still matter. Opt for a buttondown shirt or wool sweater for a safe but refined look.

Don’t #4: Misinterpret “casual”

If a company’s dress code has “casual” as part of the name, it doesn’t mean you’re free to wear flip flops, a t-shirt, and shorts. It just means you don’t have to wear a two-piece suit. Whether it’s smart casual or business casual, you’re still expected to present yourself in a professional manner. 

Bonus: Don’t wear too much cologne

This doesn’t have anything to do with style per se, but it does have a lot to do with creating a great first impression. You want to blow your interviewer away with your poise and professionalism, not your pungent scent of cologne and aftershave. Moderation is key, especially in this instance. 

General Rules for Job Interview Success

There’s no universal rule book when it comes to dressing for an interview, but there are a few given rules and expectations hiring managers and interview conductors have. Here are a few tips you can take and use as a general guide for your next interview outfit.

Tip #1: Do your research

Every company has a different combination of work culture, industry, product positioning, etc. This means that each company you interview at may have a different expectation of you when it comes to the attire you wear. Law firms, for example, may frown upon your outfit if you show up any less professional than a two-piece suit. Consulting firms and banks are likely to do the same.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, showing up in a two-piece suit at a startup tech company may work against you as well. It’s important to do your research on the company ahead of time so you can get a feel for what is expected of you and your attire. A simple email or call to your point of contact at the company should get you this information. In the worst case, business casual is a safe, middle-ground bet.

Tip #2: Overdressed is a good thing

Slightly overdressed, I mean. If you discover through your research that a company has a more casual dress code, it doesn’t hurt to show up in business casual attire. In fact, it’ll help you make your case as a serious candidate. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Dress for the job you want”? This applies here. For candidates who have aspirations of career growth, there’s no better way to telegraph that than overdressing (just a little bit). 

Tip #3: Simple speaks magnitudes

It’s important to restate that simplicity is key when making a great first impression. It’s not what you wear, but how you wear it. The simplest clothing items worn with the proper fit and appropriate style accompanied by unmatched confidence will never fail to impress. There’s no need to add an extensive amount of accessories or any other unnecessary clothing items to your outfit if you’re already wearing the basics really well. Remember the acronym KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). 

Tip #4: The devil is in the details

When you have a simple, sharp outfit on, the tiniest details can make a lasting difference in the impression you make. An unironed shirt, baggy pants, a stained jacket, etc can derail your efforts to impress. It’s important to show up to your interview prepared, and I’m not just talking about your interview answers. 

Tip #5: Proper preparation

To prepare for a job interview, it’s common to go through a “mock” interview with someone you know who can ask you potential questions. This is a smart preparation strategy that you should also apply to your chosen outfit. In order to catch small mistakes, you should wear your chosen outfit in front of a friend or loved one and listen to their feedback. They may point out something you wouldn’t have caught otherwise. 

Let’s take a look at a few outfit ideas you can wear to your next job interview!

Outfit Ideas

Outfit 1: Business Professional

Business professional is normally reserved for consultants, bankers, lawyers, etc. It’s the most professional you can get. 

Featured: White Dress Shirt

Outfit 2: Business Casual

Business casual is meant to be a flexible dress code, but for a job interview, we suggest pairing a fitted jacket with dark denim jeans. Some companies would be fine with you skipping the jacket and donning a sweater, instead. This is up to your judgement. 

Featured: White Dress ShirtDark Denim JeansV-Neck Sweater

Outfit 3: Smart Casual

Smart casual is the dress code you want to go for if you want to portray yourself as more stylish and on-the-edge. While we don’t suggest going too outlandish with your outfit, smart casual is a good way to express your taste and personal sense of style.

Featured: Black JeansBlack Crew Neck Tee

In a job interview, your main priority is to impress. Your interviewer, potential managers/coworkers, the CEO of the company — you want to blow them all away. When you put on a well-fitted, stylish outfit, you’ll not only look good, you’ll feel good. That’s confidence. And when you bring confidence to a job interview, it puts everyone else at ease and ready to follow your leadership. 

What To Wear To Jury Duty

Jury duty is the backbone of our country’s legal system. It’s part of our responsibility as US citizens, and it gives us an opportunity to have a real impact on a person’s life. What you wear to jury duty is important, because as with any occasion, first impression matters. In this article, we cover the basics of what you should and shouldn’t wear to jury duty. 

Is There A Dress Code?

First things first, you should check to see if your court has a dress code. Some may be more lenient than others when it comes to shoes, ties, jackets, etc, but there are a few general rules you should follow.

You have to remember that during the jury selection process, you’re being evaluated on your perceivable character traits. These include your trustworthiness, reliability, and honesty. You’re being judged on whether or not you can be fair and impartial during trial.

How you dress for this occasion matters. When you’re evaluated, the lawyers take everything they can perceive about you into account. If you dress like you’re going to the beach or relaxing at home, they won’t think that you are a responsible person who can make an important decision using critical thinking.

General Rules:

1. Wear clothes that are neat, tidy and well ironed.
2. Opt for subtle clothing that isn’t too flashy.
3. Be comfortable. You’ll be sitting down for most of the time.
4. Do not wear extremely casual outfits. Shorts, ripped jeans, sandals, t-shirts, etc are a no-go.
5. Wear closed-toed shoes. Leave the flip flops at home.
6. Avoid revealing clothing.
7. Avoid unnecessary accessories such as hats, caps, sunglasses, etc.
8. Tattoos that display anything offensive should not be visible.
9. Don’t wear graphic t-shirts, especially those with slogans.

Whatever your outfit of choice, you want to follow one general rule: be professional and respectable. You probably don’t want to stand out. At least not too much.

I’ve put together a “Build Your Outfit” grid that spans three distinct looks: Elevated Casual, Smart Casual, and Suited Up.

Building Your Outfit

As mentioned above, there are some general rules when dressing for jury duty. But as you can see by the outfit grid, there are a lot of combinations you can throw together for a great look.

While this grid is a great template for you to choose from, you should feel free to tweak your outfit as needed. It’s meant to be a starting point, not a hard-set rule book.

What do these outfits look like in person? Let’s take a look!

Outfit Ideas

Outfit 1: Elevated Casual

This is the type of outfit you want to wear when you’re going for a more comfortable, more casual look without being too casual. Wearing dress sneakers for this look won’t look out of place, and if you end up getting off of jury duty, you can head straight to the office right afterward and not look too shabby!

Featured: Grey ChinosHeather Ash Grey Button-downCharcoal Crew Neck Sweater

Outfit 2: Smart Casual

This is the combination you want to go for if you’re trying to dress to impress without trying too hard. Again, you’ll want to double-check your court’s dress code to see if you can wear jeans, but in case you aren’t allowed to, feel free to switch jeans out for chinos or dress pants.

Featured: Indigo JeansFaded Sky Gingham Button-down

Outfit 3: Suited Up

This is for the occasions where you want to go above and beyond your normal call of duty. The suit color you wear should be neutral like the navy suit that’s pictured, but feel free to wear a grey or charcoal suit.

Featured: White Dress ShirtBlue Ink Quarter-Zip Sweater

We hope our guide was helpful and helps you select the right outfit for your jury duty. It’s safe to say that what you choose to wear is the first of many critical decisions you’ll need to make as a juror!

Style Yourself With These Pieces

Classics you can’t go wrong with

All of our clothes are thoughtfully crafted from scratch to fit men under 5’8″. We focus on creating timeless pieces that you can keep in your wardrobe for a long time. 

STYLISH OVER 40

HOW TO DRESS WHEN YOU’RE OVER 40

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

At the ripe “old age” of 55, I can honestly say I wasn’t always “stylish”.  Just a few years ago, I wore nothing but jeans, graphic t-shirts, and motorcycle boots.  That’s not to say that this classic look isn’t considered stylish, but I can say the way I wore them was definitely not. My pants were too long, and my t-shirts were worn out. A few years ago, I purchased my first hat — a very dapper homburg.

I knew that this hat would not work at all with my old look. It simply wasn’t sophisticated enough. Put simply, I wasn’t dressing to impress, especially at my age. So I decided to upgrade my look.

THE OVER 40 STYLE RULES

Upgrading your look at the age of 40 or older can be a bit daunting. You don’t want to dress like your father and you definitely don’t want to dress like you’re still in a college frat. There are 3 main things you definitely need to keep in mind when striving to look stylish. What you need to focus on is having a proper fit, avoiding fads, and most importantly keeping it simple.

Watch the length

Proper fit, at any age, is always key to looking good, but as we mature ill-fitting clothes become incredibly less attractive. To combat this, avoid pants that bunch up at the bottom, short sleeves that reach your elbow, and long sleeves that are frankly too long.

Something as simple as having pant legs that are the proper length (slight break or no break) will go a long way to make you look stylish. Generally speaking, your clothes should be fitted, but not tight.

Avoiding Fads and Trends

Fads and trends are two different things. Examples of fads are wearing 20 beaded bracelets on one wrist or wearing jeans that are too skinny for your body. These should be avoided when you reach a more mature age (unless you’re a rock star like Steven Tyler from Aerosmith — that guy can wear anything!)

These trends may work for younger men, but on an older gentleman, they just look like you’re either out of touch or trying too hard to hold on to your youth. Trends, which range from the current style of trousers, the width of your collar, the accessories you add on are what you need to stay abreast of.

Keeping It Simple

Keeping your look clean and simple is much more stylish than you’d think. A pair of dark wash jeans, white button-down oxford, a blue blazer, and a pair of loafers are more than enough to make you stand out as a stylish gentleman. 

Want to add a little flair to your outfit? Add a colorful pocket square or a tie. These simple touches will add some pop to your look and make you stand out in the crowd.

Finally, the main thing that will pull these 3 keys together is confidence. No matter how nice your outfit is, if you’re not wearing it with confidence, it will show. There’s nothing more appealing to people than a man with confidence.

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