A Guy's Guide to Watches

A Guy's Guide to Watches

10 things to consider when buying that first watch
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There comes a time in every guy's life where it feels like something is missing on his wrist. After watching dad wear a watch for as long as you can remember, you have come to the realization where it's time to start wearing one yourself. Whether you're inheriting your great-grandfather's classic timepiece or investing in a brand-new sport watch that has more features than you can count (oh, and it's waterproof to 1,000 feet and can tell you the surf in Hawaii), here are 10 things to keep in mind when buying a watch.

1. Sport vs. lifestyle

This decision might be the most important of all. Think about how often you'll be wearing your watch. Where will you be? Who will be around? Please never buy an expensive sport watch and wear it to a job interview, you'll look ridiculous. My recommendation is to find a watch that can be dressed up or down and looks right in 90 percent of scenarios. This goes a little back to the leather vs. metal debate. Also, consider the style of the features. Are the hours presented as numbers or numerals? Numbers are generally less formal. Avoid crazy fonts or styles, you're better off being conservative.

2. Color of watch face

The choice of a white watch face vs. a black watch face is critical. For your first watch, you're best off getting a watch with a white face. Why? Easy. White goes with everything, it's clean. You can't go wrong. If you're straying from white, a light tan or khaki is a decent substitute and will give a more classic presentation. Only buy a black-face watch if the band is black. Navy is probably the only other color you should consider, but it is much more fashion-forward. Stick with white for now and buy that one a few years down the line.

3. Band type

The key here is versatility. Your options here will be leather, metal, grosgrain (think sturdy fabric), metal and rubber. First, leather is a great option, it's classic and timeless and can still be contemporary with the right watch face. The oils from your skin will naturally wear in the leather as you wear it, which adds character to the watch. Metal watches are also immensely popular and communicate power. They're flashy, so if that's what you're looking for, go for it. Grosgrain should only be worn during summer; save this for a future purchase. Stay away from rubber. It's cheap and you'll be hard-pressed to find a watch where it looks good.

4. Band color

Another critical choice, although this one is a little more open to your preferences. If you're going with leather, brown and black are your options in most cases. Brown goes with nearly everything, while a black watch is a great second watch to complement that brown one. Gold, silver, black and rose gold are the most common colors you'll find if you're buying a metal watch. Stick with gold for a more traditional look. Silver is more contemporary and generally matches with a bit more than a gold watch will. See previous note for comments on a black watch. Then there's rose gold. It takes a special person to pull this off – it's usually a color saved for women's watches. Stick with gold or silver for you first one and go from there.

5. Special features

Right in line with 1., beware of investing in a watch that has features you will never use. Do you really care about what time it is in Dubai or phases of the moon? Water-resistance is definitely something to consider. Generally, you won't need to know much beyond the time itself, the day of the week and the day of the month.

6. Number of hands

This consideration is fairly minor. Essentially the watch will either have a second hand or it won't. The difference is subtle. A watch with hands only telling the hour and minute are considered more formal than one which includes a second hand. Unless you're looking for an extremely formal watch, don't worry about this too much, although it does bear consideration.

7. Brand

This is one topic that actually bothers me a decent amount. Sperry's are great shoes. Ralph Lauren makes nice oxford shirts, polos, etc. Would you go to Microsoft to buy a microwave? Stick with brands that are dedicated to watches, they will almost always be higher quality. Don't be that guy that strictly wears Vineyard Vines or Ralph Lauren, from his clothes down to watch. Keep Citizen, Bulova, Seiko and Skagen in mind.

8. Price

Far and away the most subjective point on this list. If you have 10 g's to blow on a watch, go for it, but I wouldn't recommend it. Truthfully, you can probably find a watch to meet your needs for as low as $40-50 if that's your budget. I would stick within the range of $125-400. Anything less and you're sacrificing some quality, any higher and you're probably buying more watch than you need. Don't hesitate about spending $200-300 on a watch you wear day in and day out. If you treat it right, it will last for years. When you think about it that way, $20-30 a year for a watch that easily lasts 10+ years doesn't sound so bad.

9. Do You

Unlike some other parts of fashion and style where the rules are a little more rigid, your watch is just that – yours. This list is meant to give a good starting point for things you should at least be aware of when buying that first piece of ice to put on your wrist. If you really love that lime-green sport watch, do you and buy it. The key here is confidence. Rock it and wear it proudly.

10. Where to buy your watch

Think you're ready to buy one now? Macy's and Amazon both have an excellent collection hitting almost everything on this list. Don't be afraid to shop around and take your time. I honestly went through every single watch on Macy's website (3,500+ options) before I narrowed it to around 25, then slowly eliminating other options to the point where I found the one. Brown leather, gold metal, white face. Citizen is known for its quality and it's an eco-drive so I'll never need to replace the battery. It doesn't tell me anything more than I need it to, and I can dress it up or down. Also check out Fossil, Kohl's and brand-specific websites to assess your options.

PS: If you have an iPhone and like the idea of an Apple watch, do it. It screams class but might be a little too tech-oriented for some.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.prowatches.org/5-amazing-seiko-watches/

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.
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It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semi-colon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.


2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.


4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."


5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."


6.Greek symbol of Inguz: where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."


8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya)


9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty and artistic creativity.


10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love and creativity or to put yourself in to whatever you do.


11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from the Hobbit. It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.


13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength & stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.


16. A glyphs means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."


18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe & the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can reminds us of the inconsistency of life. It is also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.


SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos


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How To Amp Up Your Thrifting Game

Consider this Thrifting 101.

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If you're a big thrifting fan like me, you know that you don't always have to go to the mall to get a cute new sweater or a belt to match your outfit. However, while basically anyone can thrift, there are definitely some tips and tricks to step up your thrift game and help you score some great finds, as well as other things you should definitely know.

1. Goodwill doesn't wash their clothes.

While Goodwill is definitely one of the biggest thrift stores out there, they don't wash their clothes before putting them out on the floor (but people who donate are encouraged to wash all their donations before dropping them off). Don't let this discourage you though-- I've found some really great things at Goodwill. Just remember to wash everything you get there before you wear it!

2. Find out when stores put out new items.

This is literally as easy as calling and asking, or asking a staff member while you're at the store. This way, you'll know when there's more variety to choose from.

3. Don't be afraid to branch out into different categories.

Me and all of my friends who thrift can tell you that some of the best (and coziest) sweaters can be found in the men's section, and besides, clothes are for everybody, and don't have a gender.

4. Be mindful of the season.

If you want winter clothes, go when everyone is getting rid of their old jackets and sweaters. If you want a sundress of a pair of shorts, go when summer is beginning or over and people are purging their closets.

5. If something is damaged, make sure you can repair it (or know someone else who can).

There's no point in getting a pair of jeans that are ripped off the seam or a shirt with multiple moth holes no matter how cute they are unless they're mendable.

6. Know that the older the clothing item, the more "off" the sizes may be.

Older items of clothing can run anywhere from 2 to 6 sizes smaller.

7. Don't buy swimsuits or undergarments.

Just don't.

8. Learn when your local thrift shop has deals and sales.

That way, you'll know when is the best time to go in price wise-- but remember that doesn't necessarily mean that there will be a good variety.

9. Don't get something just because it's "unique".

Sure, you might see something that catches your eye, but don't just get something because it's unique and cheap. If you don't really like something, or if you know that you'll never wear it, don't get it.

10. Don't give up.

If you don't find something amazing the first time you go thrifting, don't worry! When you go thrifting you won't always find a standout piece every single time. Keep going, and branch out to different thrift stores, and you'll be sure to find the thrifted piece of your dreams.

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