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New product – collar & trousers extenders

There’s this particular shirt you own that fits right everywhere except the collar, which is just a little tight – not too tight but still uncomfortable. You don’t want to throw it away but you know you’ll only wear it as a last resort – which is never. Well, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a solution for that – and it’s available at KIR ROYAL.

Our COCHIC collar extenders allow you to increase the size of your shirt collars by up to 2 cm. Simply attach the elastic loop to the collar button and slide the extender’s button into the collar’s buttonhole. Small, yet effective and it’ll save you from having to endure the discomfort of a tight collar without being noticeable. By the way, they are also guaranteed to last longer than your shirt.

Priced at €8.90, each pack contains two pieces, one with a black elastic loop, the other white.

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Also available are trousers extenders that have the same function as collar extenders. So if you’re struggling to button up your trousers, probably because they shrunk in the washing (why else?), here’s the solution. 

At €7.50, each pack contains one piece in black.

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Seven Secret Santa gift ideas

It’s a workplace tradition that is intended to enhance the Christmas spirit among colleagues. Yet, what do you get someone you probably hardly know and on such a low budget? We’ve put together a list of items that are practical, cost less than €25.00, and obviously stylish – and they’re all available at Kir Royal.

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Introducing Maians – shoes handcrafted in Spain

A few years back, while wandering around the old streets of Barcelona, I came across a little shoe shop whose quirky and comfy looking designs I found fascinating. Needless to say, I ended up getting myself a pair. Considering how often I wore them and how long they lasted, they’re probably the best pair of shoes I ever owned. Little did I know back then that I’d be stocking the brand in my shop.

Maians is a brand whose style is very much inspired by Barcelona’s distinctive urban yet laid-back character, resulting in a design that’s casual but definitely chic. In addition, its use of soles, that are made from vulcanised rubber, render their footwear not only stylish but extremely comfortable – something I can vouch for. 

Moreover, each pair is completely handcrafted in Spain by a select group of shoemakers, using only regionally-sourced materials, and by means of a traditional manufacturing process. These shoes are not only beautiful, they’re also a reflection of the rich shoe-making heritage the Spaniards are known for.

Available at KIR ROYAL is the Sisto Combi model (picture), in sizes 40 – 45, and priced at €75.00. Only one pair per size is stocked.

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Introducing Neville – a skincare brand based on natural ingredients

When it comes to skincare products, men have never been as spoilt for choice as they are today. Of course, the quality varies from one brand to another, as does the fragrance which is more than anything, a matter of personal preference. When searching for the perfect brand to stock at KIR ROYAL, we limited ourselves to brands that are affordable, had great reviews, and most of all, contained as little harmful ingredients to the skin as possible. 

NEVILLE, a British brand ticked all three so we decided to first give it a try, using ourselves as guinea pigs. First, the scent itself swept us off our feet. The shower kit consisting of an exfoliating shower gel and shampoo contains a blend of pumpkin and sugar cane (shower gel) and clove and bergamot (shampoo). The cologne contains notes of clove, frankincense, and cedarwood. The result is a truly masculine fragrance that’s sophisticated and fresh. 

Second, being free of parabens, petrochemicals, artificial foaming agents or colouring makes the products gentle on the skin. In fact, after use, our skin wasn’t dry at all. Another thing we love about the brand is that they do not perform any animal testing.

Currently in stock is the shower kit (pictured above) priced at €44.00 and the Tobacco Musk cologne at €68.00 (100 ml).

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Men’s underwear guide

I had just moved into a new apartment and an old lady who lived on the ground floor knocked on my door. As she handed me a pair of underwear that looked very much like one I owned, I realised she wasn’t there to welcome me and invite me for a glass of schnapps. ‘I found these in my yard, Monsieur, and I believe they’re yours’ said she with a cheeky grin. Yes, it was windy and up till that day, I never saw a need for pegs. Luckily, it was one of my best pairs, not that it mattered much given that at her age, she was probably wearing a nappy.

To most of us, underwear is first and foremost a functional garment, which we wear because that’s what most people do and for beneficial purposes too. However, to go for just any underwear is plain wrong. Finding the right underwear is about feeling good – and that means both comfortable and confident, which is why one’s choice of underwear is indeed a personal one.

The different types of underwear – pros and cons in terms of comfort 

Boxers, trunks, boxer briefs, and briefs all have a different fit and come in varying lengths, meaning how comfortable they feel will also depend on what they’re worn under. Boxers are best for sleeping in, as they feel less restrictive. However, because they fit loosely, they can be very uncomfortable when worn under most trouser styles, especially tighter fits. Having a low crotch, they tend to bunch and gather. They are also not the most recommended type to wear under shorts, due to their peekaboo risk.

With trunks and briefs, neither the gathering of too much fabric nor ride-up are anything to worry about, though briefs can cause panty-lines when worn under trousers/shorts in a fine fabric. In addition, both styles offer support in the right places though how comfortable a particular style feels depends a lot on the design of the pouch and how tight-fitting or loose the underwear is.

Thongs and jockstraps are another alternative. These will obviously avoid the visible panty-line but I’ll leave it up to you to decide on how comfortable or not they are. Personally, I don’t find them very appealing on men but hey, that’s just my opinion. 

The contribution of design in maximising comfort 

Some of the brands that specialise in men’s underwear, such as Andrew Christian (available at KIR ROYAL), are focusing on what is labelled as ‘anatomically correct’ design. This is intended to offer maximum comfort by basically respecting the natural make-up of the male anatomy. The result is a sensation of having everything in place without that intrusive or restrictive feeling that underwear can sometimes have. Minimising the use of itchy tags and stitching is another factor that makes a particular design more comfortable than others. Clearly the choice in men’s underwear has become far less simplistic than what it once was, to cover more than just type but also design.

The importance of fabric-type for comfort

For a special ‘night’ you might wear a particular pair of your preferred type of underwear – one you probably keep for such an occasion. Similarly, you’d want something that’s suitable for the gym or any other sport activities, not so much for style but for comfort. This is where fabric plays an important role.

For everyday use, particularly in a warm climate such as ours, what one should really be after is underwear in a soft, light, and breathable fabric, such as cotton or modal. You would also be more comfortable in fabric that can absorb moisture easily, such as bamboo cotton or rayon. Underwear made from synthetic fabrics, which are non-breathable and therefore, trap heat, such as nylon and satin are best worn when intended to be removed soon after – just to set the mood.

When it comes to sports, using your everyday underwear will not only speed up the deterioration of the fabric but also prevent you from maximising comfort. Sports underwear is usually made from a highly moisture-absorbent fabric with cooling properties, such as COOLMAX or Pima Cotton, which is just what you need to avoid skin irritation, when sweating yourself out. The fit should also offer some support to keep the family jewels in place.

Feeling better-dressed in stylish underwear

Back in the day, men had no real choice except for a handful of colours in rather unflattering designs. In recent years, the market for men’s underwear has exploded and in response, so has the availability of designs. Probably fueled by the multiple marketing campaigns featuring male footballers in underwear showing off an enviable bulge, as much as by a general increase in image-consciousness amongst men, we have come to see underwear as more than a purely functional garment.

We choose that design that appeals most to us – classical or trendy – wanting not just comfort but to also feel good about ourselves, sexier, and yes, more confident. Essentially, I wouldn’t feel well-dressed in old underwear that’s seen better days, even in a new and stylish outfit. It’s why more men are opting for branded underwear, as opposed to the unflattering Abanderado styles we grew up in. Even if no one will know what we’re wearing underneath, it doesn’t matter. Wearing good underwear is no longer about impressing others but about feeling good. Agree?