A perfect outfit is nothing without the right pair of shoes. What you choose to slip on your feet can make or break an entire ensemble -- no matter how well-coordinated, how well-planned or how well-structured your outfit is. To make sure that all your hard work in expertly color-coordinating the ideal get-up doesn't go to waste, here are five -- that's right, five -- shoes that every man should have lined up in a neat little row on the floor of his closet.
1- The sneaker Casual wear is an important part of every man's lifestyle. You can't be in the office all the time, right? And when you're relaxing on the weekends, chances are you opt for a great pair of jeans and a laidback shirt. When you're in casual mode, be sure to adorn your feet accordingly by including a stylish sneaker to your shoe collection. This Roma Pigskin vintage '60s Puma trainer is a perfect example of how to dress down your look by styling up your gear.
2- The casual shoe Since not every laidback occasion is sneaker-appropriate, you're going to need a second type of casual shoe. This second footwear option comes in the form of a lace-up shoe with a thin leather sole. Today's casual shoes are sleek, structured and void of any bulk -- just like Steve Madden's Boarder shoe. This shoe will look immaculate paired with a straight-leg jean.
3- The black dress shoe For those high-brow formal occasions, or for a regular day at work, the black dress shoe is a classic item of footwear to own. There are no exceptions to this rule. Aldo's Cilda loafer is just one example of the many styles of dress shoe you can own to mix and match with your slacks and suits. With its barely there sole and elongated toe box, it's a chic shoe that'll effectively gussy up any formal or business outfit.
4- The brown dress shoe In today's fashion world, brown is the new black. While black is still a classic color and reserved for ultra-formal occasions, brown has become an acceptable alternative for occasions that are less decorous, yet still proper -- like the boardroom, for example. The Hermesilas model of dress shoe from Aldo is the perfect pair to slip your feet into and head to work.
5- The ankle boot The ankle boot is an important shoe to add to your collection -- especially for the fall. It's a functional piece because you can wear it in varied ways. For instance, you can wear your ankle boot with a business suit or a pair of jeans and it will complement both looks successfully. These black leather, square-toe boots from Gordon Rush are a prime example of a sophisticated shoe that you can pair with almost any pair of pants.
These simple Do's and Don'ts along with some common sense, should keep your jewelry looking great for years
Do let your jeweler check your loose stones frequently. It's a good idea to have your jewelry checked once a year.
Do clean fine jewelry often to maintain its sparkle and beauty.
Do keep gemstone-studded jewelry, pearls, and gold and silver pieces separated from each other to prevent scratching. Store fine jewelry pieces in soft pouches, soft cloth wraps or plastic bags to help protect them.
Don't wear fine jewelry when doing housework or gardening. Even though most jewelry is durable, a hard blow can chip a stone.
Don't heap your jewelry into one drawer. Keep diamond and pearl jewelry separate and, ideally, wrapped in velvet, paper, silk or plastic zip-lock bag.
Do not use toothpaste as its abrasives can damage softer gems and metals. Most fine jewelry can be cleaned by soaking for 10 minutes in warm soapy water (using a mild detergent soap). Use a soft brush on harden gems to loosen any dirt around the prongs. To reduce greasy build-up on diamond jewelry, dip it in plain alcohol before soaking.
METHODS OF CLEANING YOUR JEWELRY
Wearing your jewelry over a short period of time can make your jewelry get smuged, soiled and dusty. Lotions, even the natural oils from your skin can create a film on gemstones, reducing their brilliance. In addition, chemicals in the air can oxidize or discolor the mounting. Keeping your jewelry clean will maximize its beauty. Here are four methods of cleaning your jewelry.
Detergent bath: Prepare a small bowl of warm suds using any mild household liquid detergent. Brush jewelry with a soft brush until you have created a lather around it. With the jewelry on a plastic or metal strainer, rinse off with warm water (be sure not to clean your jewelry over the drain !). Pat your jewelry dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
Cold water soak: Make a solution of 4 parts cold-water and 1 part very mild dishwashing detergent. Soak the pieces for several minutes. Lift out and tap gently around all sides of the mounting with a soft brush. Rinse the pieces in the solution once more and drain on tissue paper.
Quick-Dip Method: Buy one of the brand name liquid jewelry cleaners, choosing the one that is best for the kind of stones and metals in your jewelry. Read the label carefully and follow the instructions. Do not touch your clean diamonds with your fingers, as the oils from your hands will leave a film on the stone.
The Ultrasonic cleaner: There are many types of these small machines available to the public today. They will clean any piece of jewelry that can be soaked in a liquid within a matter of minutes. These machines often have a metal cup, which is filled with water and detergent. When the machine is turn-on, a high-frequency turbulence is created. Avoid using ultrasonic cleaners on emeralds.
NOTE : Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and warning before using these machines. The above methods are not appropriate for pearls, opals, lapis, corals and other gems. A very quick dip in plain lukewarm water is suggested for these fragile pieces.
TIPS ON CLEANING AND CARING FOR YOUR PEARLS
Pearls require great care. Just like any other jewelry, pearls get dirty but you have to clean them with care or you'll end up with damaged gems. Fine quality pearls, if properly cared-for, can last for generations. Here are some cleaning tips to make sure your pearls live a long and lovely life :
Pearls stay cleaner if you put them on after you've applied your cosmetics, perfume or hairspray
Do not clean your pearl jewelry using mechanical/ultrasonic cleaner.
Do not clean your pearls with chemicals or harsh detergents.
Pearls should only be wiped with a soft, lint-free cloth as soon as you take hem off. The cloth can be dampened with water or it can be dry. If damp, allow the pearls to air dry before putting them away.
Dirty pearls can be cleaned with a mild soapy water solution.
Make sure you take off your pearl rings before applying hand and body cream.
Don't use abrasive cleaners or rub pearls with abrasive cloth. Both can wear away the nacre coating, leaving you with a plain looking bead.
HOW TO CLEAN STERLING SILVER JEWELRY
Clean sterling silver with a phosphate free detergent, a low abrasive cleaner, such as 3M Tarni-shield silver polish, is a good choice for removing light tarnish. Some people use toothpaste to clean their sterling silver, however most silver experts caution against it because they feel toothpaste is too abasive and leaves dulling scratches.
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