ThatIsBeyond… The Haircut – A Rite of Passage

Just this weekend I took my two and a half year old son to get his haircut. This is only the second time he has had it cut, and after the first time we approached our second visit with a little trepidation.

The first cut was a spur of the moment, spontaneous dive into a barbers with no queue and we had little clue what to expect!

We knew that the loud hairdryers and the buzzing clippers were “not going to be his favourite”… getting him to sit still for longer than a few seconds was going to be “a challenge” and the new environment a bit of a “sensory overload”, but goddamn it… he needed that cut!

This time, we knew that we had experience on our side! He knew it wasn’t going to hurt, and this time I was on home ground – because I was taking my son to MY barbers. I knew what had attracted me to this local little hole in the wall would also be the reason my boy would love it too.

A) there are Lego aircrafts hanging from the ceiling.

B) there is a stormtrooper in the window.

C) the staff are tremendously friendly and down to earth

D) this is the MANCAVE!

What was intended to be just his haircut, became an experience for us both to share. Distinctly, this was a father/son moment and one that we both enjoyed. My wife was there to talk to him and keep him calm, and sat next to him I could interact and marvel at him from the mirror. He felt like a big boy because he got his own chair (just like Daddy) and the booster seat meant that he was tall enough to see in the mirror and that he could see me at eye level.

I felt my shoulders drop and I relaxed into that chair even just for a few minutes. Toby made sure that everyone in the vicinity knew that he “don’t like the hairdryer” which raised a few gentlemanly chuckles (mine included). He loved the experience and got a sweetie for being so good.

There were also balloon animals, swords and flowers… for the kids both big and small!

Yes, this was just about a haircut, but for us it was also about so much more. These are family moments we are building here, and that is what life is all about after all! (and what’s better than the embarrassment that we will cause when he’s older and we tell his partner that he “don’t like the hairdryer!!!”

That my friend is another Rite of Passage as well!

MANCAVE offers a virtual queue system during busy times, so that you can wait in comfort (in the pub with a cool beer) and they’ll text you when it’s your turn!

Support your local small businesses, and if you at in Maidstone, make sure you check MANCAVE out.

2-4 Pudding Lane

Maidstone

ME14 1LN

Mancave website

Twitter: @mancavebarberuk

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MANCAVE Maidstone

ThatIsBeyond…My body confidence musings.

New Post! Only this time i’ve experimented with with the media of film!

This is a little look at “body confidence” for a man in his thirties and how my wavering body confidence has shaped my adult life. It’s not all doom and gloom! Just an honest and open exploration of life under the veil of lacking body confidence.

As always please follow, share and comment with your body confidence experiences.

TIB

 

Thatisbeyond… the shortlist of swim shorts (to be seen in).

As we approach the end of the season, it’s finally time to look back on the swim shorts that have punctuated this glorious summer!

I’m not afraid to admit that my swimwear game has been very strong in 2018. I have experimented with pattern colour and of course style – and along the way I have discovered some amazing pairs which will become part of a more permanent collection!

So what brands have really done it for me this summer? Well… I think you might be surprised about some of them, because they are not necessarily brands that are synonymous with swimwear! So here a little SHORTlist of SwimSHORTS (geddit?!)

HOM

HOM are one of my absolute favourite underwear brands, the cut and the quality of the material, knocks their ranges out of the park season after season. I was therefore so excited to see that they had released some pairs of trunks ready for the heatwave.

There was no way that I could not try this bright blue pair with neon florals. A “big guy” balances a very fine line with florals, but I found that the ratio of pattern to base colour was perfection, and ensured that this stylish beachwear didn’t look clown’ey on my ample figure!

How can you not feel summery in these? They are really quick to dry and the mid length cut, means that there is a bit of room to run around in or play beach volleyball in (if that’s your sort of thing!) They are priced at £45.

And I should say that these are really excellent quality and so stylish ,that they will last season after season.

H & M

What I really love about this pair. is the cut. They are very 2018 (no doubt the sort of shorts you’ve seen in reality tv shows like Towie or Love Island) the short, sporty line is pretty flattering for most body types and the pipework around the edges, keeps the style luxe and well finished. They are also the cheapest of the round- up at just £12, but I suspect, that you wouldn’t suspect the tiny price tag! The material is not my favourite texture (it’s sort of parachute-ey) but the camouflage pattern more than makes up for it, leaving these stylish swimmers looking great on the beach or ont’ telly!

Jockey

This sporty pair are tip top quality and on trend for this season (as well as being classic cut to see you through the summers of years to come). I love the bright orange colour and the black sporty stripes on the side. Invisible zips on the pockets make these super practical for a trip to the beach and they ease perfectly from the sand to the bar!

These are super comfortable to wear and look great on. A mid-length is going to suit most guys and the cut is flattering to a fuller leg (like mine).

I LOVE these swim shorts, so there is now way that you will prize them away from me!! Jockey have used all of the underwear technology to create a really strong product that looks good and feels great.

Oddballs

Not technically a swim short… more a swim brief (or speedo if you will!) but I had to mention these as they are a fun,bright and jazzy design (called Digital Rain – Magenta).

This cut of brief is not a natural choice for a bigger guy, but sometimes you want to catch some proper rays in the garden (where no one is looking) and these do the job excellently. Yes, these are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea… but I like ‘em #judgemeifyouwant

On top of that, oddballs invests money into its charitable cause The Oddball foundation, which aims to raise awareness about testicular cancer around the world. Their underwear, “obble hats” & swimwear all helps this mission so every purchase makes a difference.

So as you can see this summer has been filled with amazing swimwear that offers style longevity.

What have you been wearing this summer?

What brands should also have made this list?

TIB

ThatIsBeyond… A Taste for Change.

As I get older, it becomes abudently clear that my tastes are constantly changing and developing. Just a few years ago, I could not tolerate drinking white wine… whatsoever. But recently I found myself buying a lovely little Riesling, and found myself thinking “when did that happen?”

As time goes on your preferences may be informed by fashions or current trends but your choices are based on what you as an individual like, rather than what the rest of the pack do! I guess you get to know who you are, and your tastes will reflect that, in essence.

As a self-proclaimed bigger guy, I have spent a lot of my life wanting to be able to access fashion, but have been sized out, season after season. There are definitely many more options for the “bigger guy” on the local high street, but it can be a minefield trying to develop your personal style with the limited high street ranges that venture up the sizing scale.

Since dropping down in size, there have definitely been more options available to me, and I am finding that I can express my personal style, confidently. The problem is, that for many others guys with a bigger build, the options are extremely limited. Less choice means that the natural process of development just cannot happen because the options are not available.

I have always been a beer guy, In fact I love beer. But as I have got older I have wanted a bit more variety. Who knew when I first started drinking that I would ever choose a Gin and Tonic? Or opt for a Merlot over a Guinness? Through this exploration, I have developed my palette, and now I get enjoyment from many, MANY alcoholic beverages!! (with the exception of Sambucca – ThatIsBeyond… RANK!).

But what if the same could be said for fashion for the broad, tall and portly? Would we feel better about ourselves if we weren’t boxed into a wardrobe of basic-wear? If we could buy jeans on the high street that weren’t skinny, super skinny, extra super skinny, so skinny I can’t fit my arm in the leg hole skinny… would we have a more diverse sense of self.

Where women’s fashion has led, men’s fashion must follow. We need more variety in our sizes, and we must not be confined into the realms of sportswear. I want to see the high street offering fuller sizes in well cut gear, and offering more options to the large proportion of men who do not fit the skinny jean mould.

We want to sip our bourbon, have an ale, and hell, sometimes we want a glass of rosé instead. But as my picture shows… not all things change, I may be the only person in the world who eats pick and mix with my wine??? But that’s my choice and one that has developed years of discovery… but I ALWAYS go back to the Pick and Mix!

The thing with pick and mix is, that you can only pick and/or mix if the options are available to choose from. This is an analogy that I hope the high street can learn from.

TIB

ThatIsBeyond… Let’s Talk Below The Belt.

The internet has been all abuzz with with men’s brand Below The Belt.

With all the hype, I just needed to try the products out for myself. I popped to my local Boots ands tried to get my hands on some, but to no avail. A second store ended in the same result (and by this time in 30 degree heat my balls really NEEDED to get some!). Luckily at my third attempt (only a short drive away) I found the ‘Fresh and Dry Balls’ & the ‘Instant Clean Balls’. So I scooped them up into my basket and headed straight for the check out!

Let’s face it, if this spell of hot weather has taught us blokes nothing else, it has taught us how sticky and chaffing our balls can get. #word.

If I’m honest, it’s not something about myself that I particularly wanted to know more about… but I must say that the relief that this product gave was palpable!

I bought both products in the ‘Fresh scent’ as that was what was available, but I really wanted the ‘Active Scent’. On the Below The Belt Website there are four fantastic fragrances to choose from and the active one tickled my fancy! That said the F&DB product smells good (in fresh) and couldn’t be any simpler to apply:

How: squeeze a penny sized amount into your palm. Rub gently around your crotch. The moisturising gel is rapidly absorbed, drying to a silky fine layer.

Now, one word of warning ⚠️

For my first application, I did my thing, following the instructions, and straight away pulled up my @boxmenswear black briefs and went about my day. A few hours later I need to use the bathroom and upon unzipping my flies, I could see something rather unsavoury looking on my underwear.

Fear not it was simply a few white marks on the underwear (which came out in the wash) but given the right circumstances, this could have been a little awkward!!!

To that end my recommendation is to shower, then coat balls, then let it dry before putting your favourite boxers on.

The instant clean balls, is essentially a ‘ball and crotch freshener’ and it’s super comfortable to wear. A application is cooling and freshening below the belt and keeps you fresh and clean all day long. Perfect for the festival circuit and for a little spruce before a date, this is a product that I think most blokes would have a use for. (Before a date we want everything fresh down there so that nothing is getting in our way)!

Each product was less than six pounds, which I think is a fantastic price point, and there is no danger of the stinging willy that you can sometimes get by squirting deodorant down your pants!

Below the belt grooming is all about focussing on a simple issue, which all of us blokes suffer with (no doubt) and coming up with a simple and effective solution, that also doesn’t need to break the bank.

The purchase of both products also donated 20p each to Prostate cancer U.K. which is also a fantastic cause. So why not try it out for yourself by visiting www.btbgrooming.co.uk

I have also picked up the sports lubricant and will be testing it’s anti-chafing abilities when I start upping my marathon training.

Let me know what you think in the comments. I am also, always happy to answer any questions that you might have.

Keeping it cool, below the belt.

ThatIsBeyond

ThatIsBeyond… Sondos Alqattan – The Age of Entitlement.

Sondos_aq was an Instagram handle that thankfully, I had never heard of until a couple of days ago.

Her comments regarding removing the passports of Filipino workers to ensure they “stay put”, were alarmingly nonchalant and uttered with the naivity of youth. She also doesn’t believe in breaks and feels that her needs as an “employer” (or slave owner) should rank more highly than her workers (or slaves).

She is yet another example of a minority of a generation, that feel because they think something that the world must listen… and now that the world IS listening, and rightly berating her for her absurd viewpoints and vehement entitlement, shock horror, she is trying to weasel her way out of it but without being, even a little bit repentant of her actions.

Phrases like “you don’t know me”, “you haven’t experienced what I have” and toe-curlingly, “thank you for saying I am beautiful on the outside”, have not won her any favours. In fact, the best thing that could happen, is that the world of selfish entitlement that she has built around herself implodes cataclysmically. Associated brands not taking action is affirming these archaic and belligerent standpoints – and they should also be held accountable.

It is a symptom of the times, unfortunately. I hope that she learns from this (which is unlikely) but more than that I hope that this generation of entitled people who do nothing but gaze at themselves in a camera lens, learn a simple lesson that they must be accountable for their views.

My support is with the Filipino community (and all other communities across the world whose mistreatment continues to happen every day). But I do urge everyone to remember that one vile person should not reflect on a nation.

Stand with us all, and bombard any brand that she is an ambassador for.

Max Factor have led the way, now we must ensure that the rest will follow.

Perhaps she will learn her lesson when SHE has to go out to work?!

Humility and remorse when you have done wrong, are beautiful qualities in an adult. I hope her eyes are opened by this experience and that all people across the world get the human treatment that they are entitled to.

ThatIsBeyond… Two DC Movies drop their trailers!

Exciting things afoot from Warner Brothers and the DC franchise, just a couple of days ago we were lucky enough to get two trailers in one day!

I for one am really excited to see both of them!

Why not check them out below – and start freeing space in your diaries….

Shazam!

We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out.  In Billy Batson’s (Asher Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Zachary Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard.  Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them!  Can he fly?  Does he have X-ray vision?  Can he shoot lightning out of his hands?  Can he skip his social studies test?  Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child.  But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong).

Due for release April 2019.

Aquaman

From Warner Bros. Pictures and director James Wan comes an action-packed adventure that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas, “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa in the title role.  The film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime—one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be…a king.

Release Date December 14th 2018.

ThisIsBeyond… A Saturday morning’s loungewear

Today I choose to be comfortable.

This Dad is battling his son to eat that last bite of porridge! He’s looking after his Bunny whilst he fixes the car crash that happened around his tiny toes and Dad and mum are also trying to juggle their cups of decaf Coffee and Tea respectively!!

When your parenting, sometimes the most important thing is to be comfortable and supported and that is why this morning @boxmenswear , I choose you.

Being more of a brief man in everyday life, I picked out some of these boxerbriefs, mainly because all of the reviews had talked about the comfort factor that they provide. The classic black style but with a contemporary bold logo on the left leg, makes this a super nice blend for the modern man who also likes the classics.

Their slightly longer cut makes them great loungewear (the neighbours walking past the kitchen window really don’t need to see me in something skippy!) and the fabric is soooooo soft. It has a blend of 92% cotton and 8% spandex which means there is a lot of manoeuvrability without bunching in the crotch! (Which let’s face it, is never pleasant!). The support for your junk is really good, which means that a dad on the move, can be at his very best all of the time. No readjustment necessary!

The waist band is also a nice feature with its shiny finish contrasting the matt of the fabric and the BOX branding over the right hip.

All in all, a fantastic product that looks great (even on me) and has that Dad comfort-factor that we all know we need!

I have also just seen some new pastel colours, available for pre-order now or if your whole underwear drawer could do with a spruce up, then there is a Bundle for you (which will save you a few quid too – probably enough to treat the family to a little something).

Check out the website below and tell them that ThatIsBeyond sent ya!

Boxmen

ThatIsBeyond…Frustration!

Frustration is one of those words that is often overused. The F word is often the go to phrase for a mild inconvenience (myself included) but actually this doesn’t even touch the surface.

The dictionary (The Oxford English Living Dictionary, in case you were wondering!) describes frustration as follows:

The feeling of being upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to change or achieve something.

‘tears of frustration rolled down his cheeks’

But for me this description doesn’t even come close to the sheer finger – curling unpleasantness and helplessness that I experience when the world seems out of balance and I just can’t roll with the metaphorical punches.

The only way that I can navigate through the instantaneous draining of positivity, is to let out a stream of consciousness, that once started, cannot be stopped or halted. It’s an insular feeling that I think can only be understood by me. My wife can see this from the outside. She supports and gives me room to verbally tumble around like a drunken badger, without her judgement, but from inside this mess I have no control.

The best way to describe the incapacitation that I feel, to give some context, is when a sad event happens. I have spoken at a couple of funerals in my lifetime. As a trained performer I have managed to pull myself through a flood of emotions and move from start to finish seamlessly. But at my late grandmothers funeral I only made it to the penultimate line. I felt a heat rise within me, a flush of the face, a pull in my cheek bones, a closing of the throat, a sharp intake of breath, and then as quick as a hiccup a grief-filled inability to breath gets moist with tears and raw emotion halts my flow.

Frustration tastes of tears and feels like my insides are bigger than my outsides. It’s a steam train and caboose edging nearer and nearer to the end of the tracks but it’s clear that it’s running out of steam.

My frustration is frustrated further by the fact that I am out of control. It physically hurts and emotionally drains me.

It’s a feeling that my lot in life is pre-determined, so why bother?

It’s simply, that the buggy that I just bought arrived broken, when every review on line was 5*.

It’s that no matter how I feel, i look, I will never stop caring what the person in the street is judging me for. It’s the computer, that never works properly, it’s the 5th time I have to repeat any instruction… this list is endless.

But with all of this comes the big G. The Guilt. That when I am inside a frustrated episode, I cannot see the good and the fortunate position that I am in. It’s hurtful to those around me to hear “why me?” With an attitude of “my life is so rubbish”. When I am really the luckiest guy alive.

Being inside this mess is physically and emotionally exhausting. It’s not the “frustration” of not getting the team that you wanted in the World Cup sweepstake, or missing the train by 30 seconds! It’s a physical battle to hold the tears back with a heartfelt feeling of helplessness.

I’m no doctor or therapist. I just know how I feel and what I can do to continue on over these stumbling blocks. I let my words out on this page, and even if no-one reads them it somehow feels better.

I can focus on being me. Me the dad. Me the husband. Me the guy who is as he is, frustrated or not.

ThatIsBeyond.

ThatIsBeyond… the Zippo you never knew you needed.

As a fashion-forward man, trying to discover the ULTIMATE look, lifestyle and family experience, I find it extremely important that I accessorise every aspect of my life!

As the song goes “You’re never fully dressed without a smile” and no holiday is complete without the ultimate swimwear, an easy to use sun cream, a margarita in hand and now (as I have recently discovered) an attractive cover for your passport!

As soon as I saw this sharp case for my travel documents, I knew I had to have it. It’s not that I needed it… but I wanted it. And sometimes that is simply enough!

This high-quality black leather accessory is a sleek and masculine addition to your holiday packing. It protects that all important document from such disasters as:

When you go on a work trip to Rioja and discover the lid is no longer on the upside down water bottle!

Or:

When a “mate” throws a passport to someone else to show you truly terrible pic and it instead lands in a pint of fruit cider.

(Ok, so it’s not water proof but you get the point, right? Stuff happens!and this bad boy will protect it from general wear and tear!)

The finish of the red stitching is super stylish. The debossed Zippo logo adds that modern gentlemanly flair to it which just emanates class. Zippo bring you their synonymous lighters, but they are more than just that one product – they can offer the accessories you didn’t even know that you needed in your life.

I also love a product that could be the perfect gift for the man that has everything… because this really is a treat that will brighten any trip. And amongst this amazing leather range, there is truly something for everyone.

Check out their whole range of accessories from key rings to wallets here http://www.zippo.co.uk To hey may just have the accessory that you didn’t know you needed!

So when you are passing through check in, be THAT guy, the one with with style from the tips of his toes to the tips of his fingers…

Much holiday essentials picture also includes:

Summer print Swim short from HOM

Asda Protect factor 15 refreshing clear Sun Mist

& A Margarita

Follow http://www.thatisbeyond.com for updates and for my Summer Favourites post which will follow next week, and features the products above and many many more!