35 life hacks for the modern gentleman
There are certain things every guy should know.
From how to properly cook a steak to clear-cut rules on matching your dress shoes to your suit, these tips will make every guy's life a little easier.
CLOTHING & STYLE
1. Roll your shirt sleeves the right way.
Instead of rolling the cuff slowly up your sleeve, flip the cuff back and pull it to just below your elbow. Then take the bottom (inside-out portion) and fold it up so it traps and covers the bottom cuff. Your shirt sleeves won't unroll again.
2. Pack a suit without getting it wrinkled.
Simply wrap the suit in tissue paper and place it in a bag to keep it in good condition.
3. Learn the "sometimes, always, never" rule of jacket buttons.
The top button should sometimes be buttoned (stylistic decision), the middle button should always be buttoned (it pulls the jacket together and is flattering), and the last button should never be buttoned (it messes up the tailoring and flare of the jacket).
4. Match your dress shoes and suits.
Photo Credit: stRafaello
5. When possible, always try to buy full-grain leather goods.
It's the highest-quality leather money can buy, it will last forever, and it's far superior to top-grain and genuine leather.
6. Invest in quality shoe trees.
A good pair of shoe trees will maintain the shape of your nice work shoes, prevent the leather from warping or cracking, and absorb any excess moisture from your shoes so they don't rot from the inside out. Bespoke shoe trees are the best for your expensive shoes.
Photo Credit: Bluefly
7. Hang your suits and dress shirts on cedar wood hangers.
The cedar acts as a repellent for moths and absorbs moisture. And unlike wire hangers, these thicker hangers will not damage or stretch out clothing
8. Fold your sweaters instead of hanging them.
Even lightweight sweaters stretch out if they're on a hanger for too long. It's better to fold sweaters in your wardrobe and hang dress shirts and T-shirts instead.
9. Go sockless without causing a stink.
There's an easy way to cheat that oh-so-popular sockless look. Loafer socks are undetectable, but effective at soaking up sweat so there's no funky odor.
10. Use leather soap and oil to preserve your shoes.
After a tough winter, make sure to take care of your nice shoes. It will dramatically increase their lifespan and ensure your footwear investment pays dividends for years to come.
11. Let your shoes breath between wears.
You shouldn't just slip on the same trusty pair of dress shoes day after day. Why? Because if you let them rest they'll stay alive that much longer.
12. Use a non-soap cleanser before you shave.
Soap is bad for your skin. Really bad. The basicity of both liquid and bar soap dries your skin out and leaves it rough and raw. A non-soap cleanser like Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser is best for daily use.
13. Follow three simple steps to avoid razor burn.
We've outlined them here.
14. Always tell a new barber how long it's been since your last haircut.
Barbers know how long it takes for hair to grow, so if you tell them how long it has been since your hair was last cut, they can imagine what your hair looked like way back when. From there, you can either tell them you want it to look the same or describe how you want it to be different from last time.
15. Tailor your haircut to your face shape.
If you have a rounder face, get a haircut that's tighter on the sides. If you have a longer face, ask for longer hair on the sides and around your temples.
16. Keep your sides cropped short if you're dealing with male pattern baldness.
Get the sides cropped close with scissors or clippers and the top short with the hair brushed to the side. Don't get any kind of part since you don't want any hard lines drawing eyes to the "problem area."
17. Only wash your hair three times a week.
Most hair professionals agree that you should wash you hair at most every two to three days. Some barbers, like Van Cappizzano of Ball and Buck in Boston, even advocate abstaining from shampoo altogether.
18. Pour salt on any stain immediately.
Say your date spills some red wine (it happens). Scatter some salt on it right away and work it into the carpet with your hands. Leave it there for a few hours and then vacuum it out.
19. Walnuts can get rid of wood scuffs.
Seriously. Run your finger along the scratch and then rub the walnut into it, too. Your finger will warm up the nut's oil and help it soak into the wood. Then buff with a cloth.
Photo Credit: YouTube
20. Fix your credit-card magnetic strip with cellophane tape.
Place it over the magnetic strip if your credit card ever stops being read by those machines.
21. Wrap some duct tape around an old gift card.
It's hard to find a small roll of duct tape to keep around your office or around the house. Instead of carrying around a huge roll, take an old gift card and wrap some duct tape around it for an impromptu, smaller roll. You can then either stick it in your wallet or keep it in a drawer so you always have it on hand.
22. Realize the effectiveness of a lingerie bag.
Though a lingerie bag can be used for underwear, for men it becomes a great tool to wash loafer socks, watch straps, and anything else that might get lost in the tumble.
23. Avoid drying your clothing at all costs.
Dryers do nothing but destroy clothing. Your clothes will last longer, look nicer, and not shrink if you air-dry them instead.
24. After washing tennis shoes, tuck shoelaces into the dryer door before drying.
A neat trick can stop your shoes from tumbling around in the dryer when you try to wash them. If you close the door on the shoe's laces, the shoes will hang there, still get dried by the heat, but avoid that terrible sound and possible dryer and/or shoe damage. It's a win/win/win.
25. Use your thumb to tell if your steak is cooked to temperature.
This is a tip that Old Homestead Steakhouse co-owner Greg Sherry told us: Bring together your index finger and thumb and feel the fleshy area below the thumb — that's what rare feels like. Do the same thing with your ring finger and thumb — that's medium. And the same with the pinky finger and thumb — that's well-done.
26. Eat chicken wings the right way.
Eating drumsticks is easy, but the wing is a little harder because there are two bones. This blogger figured out how to easily remove the bones and dunk the entire wing.
27. Buy a really expensive, quality knife.
It'll last you forever, won't dull as quickly, and will make cooking so much easier. In fact, you'll even save money in the long run because you won't keep buying cheap knives.
28. Sharpen your knives with a ceramic mug.
A few strokes of the blade against the bottom is all you need. Just make sure the rough ceramic is exposed.
29. Know what kind of whiskey to drink and when.
If you're getting wasted with shots, well, whiskey is fine. If you want a spicy whiskey neat or on the rocks, go for a rye whiskey. Check out our full breakdown of what whiskey to drink when.
Photo Credit: Business Insider
30. Learn the difference between "strong," "weak," "sweet," and "sour" cocktails.
Strong means you want more alcohol, while weak means you want less. Sour means there will be a citrus note (lemon, lime, orange) while sweet means that sugar or syrup is involved.
31. Remember this simple "stirred versus shaken" rule.
Stir drinks that are all spirits and shake drinks that have egg, dairy, or citrus (unless otherwise specified).
32. Let lemon and lime juices sit out to age.
These two citrus juices taste best after they've been allowed to sit for 4 hours (you can keep them bottled, sealed, or refrigerated). Don't do this with oranges though — freshly squeezed is the way to go!
33. Know how to make an Old-Fashioned.
Place a sugar cube in an old-fashioned glass and saturate it with two dashes of bitters and plain water. Muddle together and fill the glass with ice cubes and two shots of bourbon or rye whiskey. Then garnish with an organic slice and cocktail cherry. Done.
Photo Credit: Mike Nudelman/Business Insider
34. When adding ingredients to cocktails, always start with the cheapest.
For example, add your citrus, then fruit juice, then alcohol.
35. Make simple syrup in a pinch with lime juice and brown sugar.
Mixed to taste, it's a great substitute that won't change the taste of the drink significantly.
SEE ALSO: 15 Things Every Modern Gentleman Should Have In His Bathroom
Now learn how to find your signature cocktail:
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