Archive for the ‘How to’ Category

Cycling, features, How to

What to look for when buying a vintage or used racing bicycle – video

By Stefano on November 19th, 2012

So you you have set your heart set on the type of bike that Eddy Merckx used to spin around the Alps on in the 70s. Well you clearly have taste. There’s no denying that older racing bikes from the 60s through to the 90s have a tad more style than lot of today’s racers and consequently they have become much sought after.

The trick thouguh is to make sure that the bike you buy is vintage gold rather than a crock that will fall to bits within weeks of you buying it.

We asked Phil from Love Bikes London to take us through what you should look for when buying a vintage racer.

His top tips are

1 Make sure you don’t buy a nicked bike
2 A little rust and wear and tear is ok, but you need to check to see if the bike has suffered any serious damage
3 The most important part of the frame. If that ok you can rebuild much of the rest of the bike,. If that’s gone move on
4 20-30 year old wheels are fine. But if they look a little worn probably best to replace them
5 If you are not too hot on cycle upkeep make sure you are friends with someone who is like, off the top of my head Lovebikes London.

Gifts, Home, How to, Lifestyle, Lifestyle & Gadgets

Throw a tasty indoor BBQ this winter with the Philips Avance Grill

By Gerald Lynch on October 22nd, 2012

Philips Avance Grill 01.JPGFancy throwing a rain-free indoor barbecue this winter? That’s exactly what the Avance Grill from Philips lets you do. A 2000W grill designed for use inside the house, but without scrimping on the juicy flavours that characterise a great outdoor barbecue, it’s great for cooking red meats, poultry and fish, as well as grilling veg too.Philips Avance Grill 02.JPGThough we at Brandish have their fingers on the fashion pulse, we weren’t in the queue when they started handing out Michelin Stars. But the Philips Avance Grill makes it simple for even amateur cooks to throw together a tasty meal. For starters, there’s just one control, a heat dial that lets you choose how hot you want the grill to get, with a handy indicator light that blinks off once the grill has warmed enough to cook on. Philips also throw in a simple cook book too, showing dozens of recipes that can be made simply by throwing all the ingredients in at once. It’s basically fool proof.

The Avance Grill’s secret weapon is its “Taste Infuser”, a small circular metal depository where you can pop in smoker chips. A packet of hickory chips come in the box, which when heated up in the compartment on the grill (and the glass lid has been shut in order to keep the smoke circulating around the meat) adds a sophisticated smoked taste to your dishes. A small well at the back of the grill can also be filled with water if you’re looking to steam meats, keeping steaks moist and fish from going too crisp.Philips Avance Grill 04.JPGCleaning the grill is easy too. The glass covering panel slides out, as does the cooking grill itself, exposing the heating conductors below. The Taste Infuser pops out of the grill, and there’s a run off tray underneath that collects excess oil (keeping meals pretty healthy too). All these can then be soaked in warm soapy water, with the cooking grill and glass panel washable in a dishwasher.

Even with our lack of cooking experience, we were able to knock up a load of tasty dishes for a gang of pals in just 30 minutes or so, including preparation and beer-sipping time. As well as a great BBQ alternative on a rainy day, we’d also say the Avance Grill is a great going away present for students who aren’t too comfortable in a kitchen, as it’s so easy to use.Philips Avance Grill 10.JPGThe Philips Avance Grill costs £120 and can be picked up from Argos and Homebase. Extra taste-infusing Smoker Chip packs in a handful of different flavours can be picked up for £7 from

features, How to, Shoes

How To Remove Salt Stains From Your Shoes

By Laura on December 16th, 2010

If it wasn’t for sidewalk salt in the winter we would all be slipping and sliding all over the place, however, it can make a huge mess of your shoes. Leaving those awful, highly visible, white stains behind, not to mention permanent damage to the leather.

In the last few weeks I have heard a number of people say they have thrown their shoes out due to the salt damage. Growing up in Canada, this is a problem I am all to familiar with, but there is a solution that will help your shoes see it thought to another season.

Just follow the following steps and you will have your shoes looking as good as new.

Things You’ll Need:
Warm water
White vinegar
Paper towels
Soft cloths
Shoe polish (optional)

1) Remove any grains of salt that may be stuck to the outside by brushing your shoes down.

2) Create a mixture of two parts water and one part white vinegar. It’s OK to approximate the amounts, and just use your best judgment to make sure that you have enough to clean the both Shoes; the required amount will vary depending on the size and of the salt-stained areas.

3) Dip a folded paper towel into the water and vinegar mixture and rub the solution onto a small stained area of one shoe. After it appears that the white stains have been rubbed out, switch to a clean, soft cloth and buff the area dry. Continue moving along the surface of the shoe, cleaning one small area at a time and immediately buffing it dry with a separate cloth.

4) Let both shoes air dry for at least 30 minutes after you finish cleaning them. Check them again to see if you missed any spots. They may only show up after the leather has fully dried.

5) Polish your your after they’ve completely dried. Regular polishing throughout the winter season will help strengthen the integrity of the leather and put up an additional barrier to the harmful sidewalk salt.

Home, How to

Taking Care of Your Clothes: Steaming

By admin on December 9th, 2010


I hate ironing… so much so that I have been known to try and fix collars with my hair straighter, despite the fact we have 2 perfectly good irons in our flat. I am sure having a crisp white shirt is more of a concern to men, but for some reason its one of those little things I always over look.
I always make an effort to take my clothes out of the dryer right away so that they don’t become wrinkled, but its just not the same. The worst part is I fully acknowledge that ironing can make your clothes look 100x better yet I just don’t do it.

In the last few months I have noticed a growing trend towards Steamers. Its seems the days of giant, clunky, industrial looking steamer are long gone. As they have undergone a make-over making them more portable and better for home use.

Steamers work on any fabric, so you no longer need to try and navigate through the hundreds of settings or worrying about putting the heat up high. It also reduces the need for dry cleaning, so can save you a few pounds too. But beyond all the practical and aesthetic advantages of using a steamer, the key distinction – it takes less than half the time.

So could this trend be the end of the iron and ironing board? I hope so!

Check out the Fridja Steamer available here for £99

Clothing, How to, Jeans & Trousers

Just Do It: DIY Project #1- Cartoon Trousers

By Will Reid on April 9th, 2009

cartooncropped.JPGWith a month long holiday in India coming up, I knew I had to get some stand-out holiday wear. I thought about the different eras of recreational wear and began racking the (fashion) history books for inspiration- jumpsuits, capri pants, high-waisted slacks, kaftans, tunics, dungarees…the list goes on. But then, as with all moments of fashion genius, America’s Next Top Model came on the telly and I was reminded of the genius that is Jeremy Scott.

As a result I was led to a picture of a friend wearing a pair of Jeremy’s cropped print trousers and I fell in love. In order to recreate the look, I bought a pair of Topman’s cartoon-print pyjama bottoms (£15) and tied bits of string around my lower legs. I then folded the pyjama fabric under the string to achieve a cropped effect.

Because the print is so loud, you should stick to basic items in muted colours. And even if you don’t get the look that you wanted, I assure you that making the trousers is almost as much fun as wearing the finished edition anyway.

Coats & Jackets, How to

River Island check jacket

By admin on March 30th, 2009

river island check jacket.jpg

This check jacket doesn’t deviate too much from the mainstream, it’s a nice spring blouson which you could wear quite easily with jeans but I have bigger plans for this piece. Available from River Island for £39.99 it deserves a little more attention.

A pair of narrow cobalt blue trousers will transform the jacket into something more extraordinary and will really stand out against the pale stone grey and the check. Add a pair of lace ups and some socks in carefully considered colours (I’m thinking something along the lines of magenta, grey or coral) and you’ll be ramping up the drama even more for this high street piece.

How to

“Come to fix the taps?” Dare to wear: the boilersuit

By Colin Chapman on March 18th, 2009

The latest Fantastic Man should be on the shelves of your favourite magazine seller anytime now (or available in advance exclusively from RD Franks). Amongst the many, many items of note is a boilersuit modelled by stylist Elgar Johnson. The boilersuit is one of those trends that, despite predictions, hasn’t taken off. Last summer APC had a gorgeous denim version (as derided/modelled by Alexis Petridis in The Guardian mag) whilst Adam Kimmel has this luxury version, again in denim. Nether were very prevalent on the street but maybe it’s second summer lucky for the coverall?

Elgar certainly shows off his boilersuit to great effect. Minimally styled with Reebok trainers, Uniqlo T and a tool bag, his simple look is clearly the way to go with the all-in-one. An eye-catching printed T-shirt visible through the unbuttoned-front, plain hi-top trainers and a top layer of oversized plaid shirt for warmth would be my suggestion. Worn with confidence, this could be a sexy, comfortable look .. try not to overstyle it though or you may end up looking like you’re on the way to a gay fetish night. So leave the mlutch at home!

Adam Kimmel denim boilersuit from The Corner, or unbranded from utility clothing suppliers everywhere.

How to, News

The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis tries out the Mark Ronson look

By admin on February 24th, 2009

Who’d a thunk ol’ Petri Dish was on You Tube?! Well here is showing us how to dress like Mark Ronson.

This seems to consist of a Specials-lite look of Ray Bans, retro jacket and pork pie hat. The respected music journalist doesn’t always hit the menswear mark, but to his credit he is self-depreciating enough to be loveable… Give it a watch!

Heroes and Celebrities, How to

No plans for Valentine’s day? Do the Funky Chicken

By admin on February 14th, 2009

If you’re dateless for Valentine’s Day the you should just take some tips from Rufus Thomas on this video of Stax Record’s music festival in 1972. Just don a pair of pink shorts, matching pink shirt with ruffles and do the funky chicken, it worked for him and the crowd of 40,000 people and I’m sure it will work for you.

I wouldn’t recommend doing this anywhere except your front room or bedroom, but it will definitely beat sobbing against a rainy window to the Smiths.

Accessories, How to, Trends

Ditch the generic stripe! Brandish’s guide to wearing scarves

By admin on January 12th, 2009

scarf stripy cable check rib guide how to wear scarves.jpg
Click image to enlarge

When your own boss writes that he wants to burn his stripy scarf it’s time to write a definite guide to scarves.
We featured a stripy scarf pick way back in November but we need to go back to basics. The obvious purpose of a scarf is to keep your neck warm, but sartorially speaking a scarf has a multitude of uses, jump through for our guide to the scarf, and burn that stripy scarf!

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