Monday, 24 January 2011

Surprising what you find when you're not looking for it.

Last week I found myself in a cupboard in the Topman press office. This was due to work reasons and not that I just wanted to hide away from the world I may add. Rooting through the samples for a few men's photo shoots I have coming up I noticed a superb checked overcoat. On closer inspection it turns out the coat in question was a stunning Harris Tweed number made for the collaboration between Topman and Harris Tweed. Well I was amazed. The cloth is superb, exactly what you would expect from Harris and the fit of the coat is quite fantastic. It has a long centre vent in the back and what I particularly love about the coat is the depth of the pocket flaps, nice and deep. It is quite simply one of the best pieces of off the peg tailoring I have ever come across. So you can imagine my delight when the chaps at Topman said I could have it as a gift as they were finished with it for the season. Huarrah.

Some oddball in Regents park.
Its first outing was yesterday when me and the Mrs went for a stroll around Regents Park and paid a long over due visit to the Sherlock Holmes museum. I have lived in London for 5 years and it has always been on the list of things to do and I am glad to say we have finally ticked it off. I believe that even Holmes himself would of loved my latest addition to my already over flowing wardrobe and he for one would be able to appreciate my investigating in the first place.

Aforementioned oddball signing the visitors book at the Holmes museum.
The museum was great way to flit away an hour or so on a Sunday afternoon and it was good to see it nice and busy. One of England's old heros really does deserve his own shrine, whether fictional or not, and I enclose some pictures for you to sample the style of the place. I remember as a young chap reading Hound of the Baskervilles and being so scared I put the book in my bottom draw to keep the baddies at bay. After I had calmed down a bit I went back to the drawers, put my torch back on and read on some more so good was the writing. 

The old bean himself. Good smoking jacket.

A dandy at heart. Sherlock's pocket watch.

His jackets above his bed which is rather an odd place to keep them I thought.
So for all you lot reading in London or anywhere for that matter get yourself along to this splendid little piece of our capital, I am sure you can find out his address.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Rupert the Bear: The style icon

Look at him?  Amazing.  This outfit has really got me going. I spotted it on a greetings card yesterday and it clicked with me straight away. The matching scarf to the trousers is an interesting idea, I am going to have to hunt down a cloth that can carry out both purpose's and I love the colour. The red jumper maybe a bit tricky for me as I do not suit red (as a Boro supporter its a sad state of affairs. Our team play in red at home so I alway used to get the away kits in blue, much better for me) but I will have a look into it.
It has to be said though that the best thing Rupert has on here is a smile on his face. Maybe the best accessory at this time of year. Well done old bean.

Monday, 17 January 2011


Over the weekend I went to watch The Kings Speech at my local picture house. First of all I do have to say the film itself is fantastic. Colin Firth plays his part with amazing stuttering authority and Geoffrey Rush is just impeccable (as always). Bravo to the british film industry.
As you might imagine I had more than an eye on the men's outfits and there were some beauties. My pick has to be this flannel number worn by Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush).

The swelled edges on the lapel teamed with the bow tie and folded pocket square make it look very 1930's and very acceptable to be worn today. The evening after I had been to see the film I folded my white pocket square just like how its done above and stuffed it in my out breast pocket of my flannel three piece suit. I know I am a lucky chap to have a wardrobe that I can call upon to create these looks but it is a such a good look that I think we should all get on the bandwagon with it.
Bow ties at the ready please gents!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

I had to tell someone so I picked on you.

I ended up in fine Mayfair hotel yesterday afternoon for a celebratory drink. My cousin Joe, a smashing lad who is still living up north, had just been offered an amazing job in London so I swept him off to the fine establishment for a bottle of bubbles.
We sat down at 3.31pm precisely (one of the main perks of working for yourself is afternoon drinking) and we started chatting about the new job, moving to London and how fantastic life is here in the capital. He is very excited to be coming down and I am over the moon that he is making the journey southwards on the M1 to join us in our quest for fun, stories and laughs (note I didn't say "better life" there as many northerners have amazing lives still in the north just fyi).

After ploughing through our first bottle in no time I had to make a visit to the gents. Now I have been to this English institution on many occasions but I can never remember seeing these shoe protecters at the standing room only bit.

How good are these? I mean I am not a messy chap in the lav's but these are fantastic (I wouldn't fancy the job of cleaning them mind you) and they kept my Oxblood shoes dry and splash free. Quite brilliant I think. Imagine then my joy to turn around and see a hat stand. The dandyist (is that a word? If not it bloody well should be) bathroom I have ever been in bar non. I am going to have to buy a hat to put on that hat stand next time as I am not missing out on this.

So the next time you go to the gents just look around and see if they measure up to this one. I am writing this in a Pret A Manger in central London and I am off to use the facilities. If they don't have splash guard's and a hat stand I am not going to be happy.Wish me luck.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Going green

Here is my favourite knitted tie. Cashmere and in dark green (I also have it burgundy) it really has been a staple of this winters wardrobe. It goes with just about anything and I have teamed it up here with a lightweight Prince of Wales check suit, micro pink gingham white collar and cuff shirt and a pink paisley pocket square. I am not a real fan of green as it I don't suit it really but I think a splash of it works well sometimes and it is a real classic colour. This tie also works well with the sky blue shirt and navy blue suit combo (that look to follow, maybe next week).
The cashmere gives the knot that chunky feel (not big like a footballers knot by the way) so its sits well with the cutaway collar as I have so masterfully put together. 

Monday, 10 January 2011

Check, mate?

I was looking for something to wear yesterday when it dawned on me: I have seven suits that are in a check material. I have to say that this wasn't intentional to build up a Duke of Windsor wardrobe, it just happened and now all of these check suits are my go to suits when I am in need of an outfit that is super smart but reflect's me best.

This is the latest addition to the team.  A fantastic check and amazing Loro Piana cloth my favourite at the minute as it's a three piece which helps to keep the freezing London temperatures at bay whilst looking sharp. I have a watch hole on the waistcoat as well for granddad's pocket watch.

This one is also a three piece and the cloth is Holland and Sherry luxury flannels. Super cloth but it is to tempting to wear all the time so I have to save it for the best of the best (if you ever see me in this then you know I have an important meeting, lunch or night out on the tiles).

A trusty old double breasted (not that this one is old by the way I only got it in October) Prince of Wales cloth by Fox bros and co. Love this one to bits as well and it's another winter warmer. One can always call upon a double breasted in this cloth to dazzle anyone. Burgundy tie, sky blue shirt and oxblood oxford toecap shoes is such a strong outfit with this one, not forgetting a smashing pocket square of course.

Another P.O.W check but in a much lighter material this time (9oz Holland and Sherry I think) in a single breasted two button job. I love this one in the heat of summer with a pair of loafers and sky blue socks I know summer feels like such a long time away but it will get here in the end.

So there you have just four suits from a wardrobe that is bulging with dogtooth, prince of wales and panel checks amongst others. I am ordering a new suit next week, all being well, and yes you might of guessed it I am thinking about going for a check, mate.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Are you being served???

 At the weekend a good friend of mine asked me if I would lend a hand this week when he went to find a wedding suit and I jumped at the chance to help my chum out. He had seen a suit online from a powerhouse of English tailoring and wanted my eagle eye view on it. So we rocked up to the flagship store (I am not going to say who it is as this review is bad) and entered its lovely fine building on Regent's street. We made our way to the sale suit section and had a look. A few suit's took his eye as the online one was not there and after being in the store for about a good quarter of an hour we were finally approached. Now I am not a snob in fact I would say I am the opposite but the appearance of the sales women who came over was rather shocking (think Dorothy Perkins circa 1999 and you get the picture) she straight away told us that we would struggle to find anything now the sale was nearly over which is exactly what my pal wanted to hear with his wedding fast approaching.
I ended up slipping the jacket on him and showing him where it could be tweaked to get the best fit whilst the salesperson slouched on the counter looking bored and uninterested. What has happened to the service in these "high end" stores? The store was deathly quite and they could of taken full advantage of our situation (in need of a full outfit for a wedding) but just didn't have the staff our the know how to do so. Mr Humphrey would have been very disappointed!

We left the store deflated to say the least only then to find out it was pouring down outside and not a brolly between us. We headed for the only street in London that could live up to my high expectations: Savile Row. Now me and my pal had a budget of about a bag of sand for the full outfit which was going to be a bit of a stretch but I had faith in the sartorial Lord (in my head it's Tommy Nutter and Beau Brummell sat together having a bit of a love off. Not that Beau paid for anything of course.)
Wandering along my favourite place on earth nothing really took our eye until we hit upon Gary Anderson. I haven't really spent much time in Gary Anderson but as soon as we stepped through the door I got that nice feeling of "every things going to be alright now".

The chap in there came over  straight away asked us the usual questions and before we knew it my buddy was trying on a navy two piece, shirt and tie to match. The suit was just a little to dark in my opinion so we opted for a petrol blue number next and we were thrilled. Down from £999 to £700 and it fitted the bill perfectly with a sky blue shirt and navy knitted tie he looked more than the part . The nice chappie (who's name I did not get but I will trust me) was more than delight to be served by and a good time was had by all. Bravo indeed.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

New Years Honours List

Well now that all that is over with its back to the in's and out's of mens style and what not. Having just found out via twitter  G.Q's best dressed list is out and I thought I better have a look and let them know what they got right and wrong. I had a scan through them to see the usual old faces: Becks, Tom Ford Etc. The newcomers:Dr Who's Matt Smith and Sam Taylor Woods younger half Aaron Johnson. Fair play to these guys as I have to say they have a neat sense of style and pull it off with a bit of swagger which is half of what style is all about.
Then as sure as night follows day there they were. The golden couple, love's young dream: Elton and David. I am fully for same sex marriages and adoption by same sex couples. All for it and on these notes well done to the two of them but for gods sake how on earth how these two are perceived as best dressed is beyond me. Elton John (or Reg Dwight as his parents know him) has never been "best dressed" he needs at least 2 inches off his sleeve length here and as for that shirt and glasses combo... well don't even get me started. He looks like a futuristic mad professor. All I can say is thank god his hair grew back since the mid 70's!!! (It is your hair right Reggie?)

Moving onto his slightly better half (I say slightly through gritted teeth mind you) David. His trouser length here is just unacceptable. He could make a waistcoat out of the excess there and the edging on the jacket matched with the cravat is very uninspiring to say the least. He has made an effort but its mind numbingly dull and does not get any points from me.
These best dressed lists are no more than who's who and who is mates with the editor. All pals together  Its a shame as some of the best dressed men in the world ply their trade on Savile Row and have a subtle sense of how to dress and make an impact at the same time. The majority of this list are trying to plug  something or something (Elton's hair maybe?)  or are in the limelight at the moment so there face there will sell thousands of copies. Its a shame really but as god is my witness I would never accept being on this list. Oh wait there just got an email from a Mr D Jones at G.Q... erm I guess I had better answer this one!