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MAKEOVER: I was man enough to have a makeover

PUBLISHED: 19:00 21 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:42 01 July 2010

Richard after his Life Matters makeover and inset what he looked like before. PHOTO: SIMON FINLAY

Richard after his Life Matters makeover and inset what he looked like before. PHOTO: SIMON FINLAY

Emma Harrowing

Male readers of Life Matters often write in to ask how they can improve their look, but many are not brave enough to have a makeover in the Evening News.

Male readers of Life Matters often write in to ask how they can improve their look, but many are not brave enough to have a makeover in the Evening News. That is until Richard Voisey wrote in to ask for help. Emma Harrowing jumps to the style rescue and gives Richard a new look.

Since the likes of celebrities such as David Beckham jumped on the fashionista bandwagon an increasing number of men are conscious about the way they look. If you are a man you may not be ready to don a sarong or copy your wife or girlfriend's style, but you may want to change the way you look to be more trendy, younger and attractive.

Ask any man who he most aspires to in the style stakes and the answer will probably be James Bond, George Clooney or Brad Pitt. For Richard Voisey, from Wroxham, the answer is James Bond, well maybe in slightly more casual attire.

“When I am at work I wear a suit and when I am at home I wear combats and T-shirts,” says Richard. “I'm either very smart or very casual and I haven't a clue how to achieve the smart/casual look. This is a problem when I go to informal business meetings and the invite states smart/casual, I never know what to wear and I always end up feeling out of place.”

The smart/casual dilemma is a challenge men and women face from time to time. For men, wearing a suit without a tie or with a T-shirt under the jacket instead of a shirt is the option many would take to achieve this look. I want to show Richard that by experimenting with clothes he can create a look at is not only suitable for his informal meetings but also reflects his personality.

Richard has recently lost two stone in weight as he is training to cycle from Land's End to John O'Groats (he is actually days away from achieving his goal as you read this). Says Richard: “There are five of us taking part in the challenge and we will be covering 1117 miles in 13 days. I've been in training since the beginning of the year and the result is that I am now 15 stone eight pounds and my suits are a little loose!”

Clothes

To help Richard get the smart/casual look he wants I took him to see Julia Kaluska, fashion advisor at John Lewis, for some tips.

Says Julia: “There are many smart/casual looks for men around at the moment so it should be easy to show Richard how he can create the look to suit him. In order to look stylish it's important to wear the right colours and shapes for you. Richard's skintone and hair colour dictates that he will suit blue-based cool colours. He is also conscious that his body is longer than his legs, so wearing jeans or trousers that are slightly longer and keeping jackets and tops shorter he will create the illusion of having longer legs.”

There are many looks you can go for if you want to create a smart/casual look. The trend for double denim can look smart if you wear dark denim jeans and a dark denim shirt tucked in with a belt and leather brogues, a checked shirt can also look smart if teamed with a pair of chinos, and the Mod look with Harrington style jackets and straight leg dark denim jeans is symbolic of the smart/casual style.

Skincare

An increasing number of men use moisturiser to soothe their skin, especially after shaving when layers of the skin are removed causing inflammation, redness and dryness. To show Richard that having an expert facial is not just for the ladies I took him to the beauty room in John Lewis where a Sisley beautician treated him to an hour skincare treatment.

Richard normally uses soap and water to wash his face, so what did he think of having a cleanser, toner, face mask and moisturiser applied to his skin?

“I cannot believe how soft my skin feels; it also looks really good! The treatment was so relaxing that I almost fell asleep! I will definitely keep trying out the moisturiser especially as my face will be prone to the elements while I am out on my bike.”

Hair

To finish Richard's new look I took him to see Sinead at Saks on Orford Hill. Says Sinead: “Richard's hair is very curly and coarse which makes it difficult for him to style. From looking at how his hair grows I am going to cut the back and sides a lot shorter, but keep the length on top. By blow-drying his hair, Richard will find that it will be less wiry and a lot easier to style. He doesn't usually use hair products but if he uses a small amount of styling cream he will find that his hair will look a lot better.”

The verdict

Says Richard: “I certainly look very different. I'm wearing clothes that I would never have even considered before, especially the shirt and the scarf, but the outfit really works and I would definitely feel comfortable wearing this to one of my business meetings.

“The facial was amazing and it's good to know that there are many products out there specifically designed for men's skin, especially as us guys have skin problems too!

“I love what Sinead has done to my hair, whether I will take her advice on blow-drying my hair remains to be seen, but it certainly looks and feels a lot better than it did.”

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