Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Top, man.

It was mens day at London fashion week and I managed to squeeze myself into a couple of shows. The below pictures are from the Topman design show which was at the Royal Opera house this morning. Now I know the pictures are below par but the general idea of the show (from my eyes) was 1950's prints on shirts, high waisted trousers and a few double breasted jackets here and there. Turn ups on trousers were a must. Overcoats had faux fur on them (innovate not imitate there I think) and the whole look was stylish without looking to contrived which is a major plus point I think for a fashion show. 

What I like at every fashion week is that we don't see the jeans sagging round the backside look or silly beanie hats hanging off the back of the head it (usually) comes back to the best of menswear: tailoring. I have to say the crowd today was dressed very well (shirts, ties and separates were spotted left right and centre) and we should all dress like this, always. Dylan Jones, Jeremy Langmead and Sir Phillip Green were all there and of course they were suited and booted. A suit shirt and tie is a mans go to outfit when in need of a) looking sharp b)feeling good c) impressing. I also spotted Sir Phillip littering on his way to his car after the show tut tut Sir Phil (and he dodges paying tax to pay the street sweeper who will clean that up.)

A print from the invitation just to give you a taste of the theme.
Back to the clothes though and I am massively impressed by this collection. I hope a lot of it gets into store and is available for the public to wear and neaten itself up once more. I am going to have a shimmy on down to the Topman party later on tonight and tell them exactly what I thought of there show so expect a post from my bed sometime tomorrow.

Toodle pip.

Monday, 21 February 2011

All you need is love.

For those of you who haven't seen the film I Am Love then bloody why not? It is an exhilarating experience. The better half and I went to see it at the flicks last year when it came out and we only just got around to watching it on dvd this weekend (although we bought it well before Christmas). It stars Tilda Swinton as the lead. Living the high life as the matriarch of a ultra wealthy Milanese family her world, and her families, is turned upside down by a chance meeting. I will leave it there for those of you who havent seen it.
A film based mainly in the Italian city of Milan should get the style juices flowing and you will be pleases to know that this one does not disappoint. The film's wardrobe was done by Fendi and Jill Sander but there is, of course, a Hermes Birken bag here and a Gucci Loafer there. It shows how well the Italians put things together and instantly your looking up lessons in Italian and considering if you could do your job in Italy, Milan perhaps. I read earlier today (on a website of high regard) that Italian men are just trying to dress like English men and this is why they look and dress like they do. Well if that is true how come I never look half as good as them when I try to dress with a bit of Milanese flair? Best stick to what I know best. If anyone can let me know what that/this is then I would be most grateful.

Friday, 18 February 2011

On the cheap

Is there anything better in life than a good old bargain? I might sound like a tight northerner here but picking up a pair of Ralph Lauren cords for under a tenner is a steal. As previous readers should know there is nothing I like better than a pair of Ralph cords. Have a look at them.

Not bad eh? My favourite thing about them, apart from the price, is the side adjusters. Cant beat a nice brown button side adjuster in my eyes especially when you own a pair of oxfords that are the exact same colour as them.  I am going to have the belt loops taken off, the trouser width reduced and then have a turn up put on them. Beauty.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Always take the weather with you.

Can you feel it? I don't want to tempt fate or the gods of Olympus but I think spring is on its way. Yes, yes its the same every year one day of mild weather and sunshine and we (by this I mean me) go on the hunt for all clothes spring like. I am not shy of wearing bright colours at the darkest of times as posts on this very blog will prove but when the sun is out it is a lot easier to start thinking about colour.
Last spring/summer I was let down by the weather never really getting its backside into gear. This year I am heading off onto warmer climates for my sartorial jaunts. Planning  a wardrobe at an early part of the season can be tricky just because you haven't seen the weather you are planning for but its always good to base yourself around a few key items. A blazer is a must. My summer blazer is a wool, cotton and mohair mix navy blue with mother of pearl buttons (brass buttons in winter on heavy cloths and m.o.p buttons on lighter cloth these are my rules read of them what you will) and this goes well with jeans of pretty much any colour. Cue picture of jeans in different colours.

I am going to try and get my grubby mits on all of these Ralph Lauren jeans but the pink are for sure my favourite. I am not the worlds biggest jean fan but in bright colour they distract my little mind enough that I almost forget they are even denim. But why stop there with the colours.....

I am all over these Tod's driving shoes as well. These are just a select few of there range of course but they are fantastic and splash a bit of colour down on your dancers can be the finishing touch to a nice bright outfit. These shoes are only meant to be worn indoors (thats rich seen as though they cost the best part of 300 nicker) or you wear through them quite sharpish. Granted these jeans and these loafers maybe a bit too much together but I will still give them a blast.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Star spangled suit.

I had the pleasure having the majority of the day to myself yesterday (apart from a meeting here and there) and I managed to find myself in that Middle Eastern delight that is Knightsbridge. I gasped at One Hyde Park (tacky, very tacky if you ask me), marvelled at Harrods estate agents and then swooned over the American doing it just as good as any Englishman, Mr T. Ford of course. 
Now I am a purist. Born and raised on Savile Row my morals are rooted in the best of British but I still have to hand it to him he does The Row as good, if not better, than anyone.

Take the suit above for example (I know its been pinned to hell but no one is perfect are they?) the shape of the lapel, the pitch of the sleeve and, my personal favourite, depth of the pocket flaps. I haven't even started on the pattern of the cloth clashing with the tie but it all looks so well put together. Savile Row would frown upon the peak lapel with the two buttons I guess but I rather like it.

The lay out of the concession in Harrods is something like a gentlemen's club and you somehow end up staying longer than you expected as the thick carpet under your feet makes you slow right down and you can almost feel the luxury flowing through the soles of your shoes. Although the area was understaffed I guess having too many Fordite's around would give it an overcrowded feeling and I wouldn't of had time to sneak these pictures in.

£149 for a tie is a bit steep mind you in anyones money and the suits coming in at £2,550 are not that far off going down to Savile Row and getting your own pattern cut for a nice whistle made around you.
It is all about buying into the brand and lifestyle of course and spending £1200 on a shawl collar cardigan might seem steep (it is worth it when you see it believe me).
It pains me to say being as English as Oak but no one does it better than ol' Tom.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

The end is nigh

Pocket squares. There not for everyone (I think they should compulsory when wearing a jacket but there you go) but it is a way for someone to express themselves a little when wearing a suit or jacket and trousers. All the ways you can fold them and all the materials and patterns they come in there is a whole world of pocket compliments waiting out there.
As every blog, website and men's magazine says your pocket square should compliment your tie and not match it. I shudder when I see the tie and pocket square sold as a set and they are the exact same material. It just looks odd. Nothing should match and everything should flow nicely to give it the look . I was working away like I do just this past week when a suit arrived for me for a photo shoot. I took it out of the carrier and hung it up. I gave it the once over and to my surprise there was already a pocket square folded neatly in the breast pocket. I thought some one had left it in there from another shoot or something.  Below is what was tucked away white end up. 

I am sorry for how bad the picture is here but what this is meant to be is 2 pocket squares in one. A black and a white one. Its such a shame that it has come to this a suit with a pocket square in it is bad enough but a pocket square that is "reversible" is such a sad sight. Has it really come to this? Gone is the individual flair and taste and in its place is paint by numbers for men. 
Below are my two favourite pocket square and tie combinations for all occasions.

Classic red and navy club stripe with a pink and red paisley square. This one works well with just about anything so its always a good one to take away with you such is its versatility. Blazer and grey trousers is my favourite with this pairing.

Sky blue knitted tie with a navy, sky and orange mosaic pocket square. Knitted ties have come back into style the last few years and they used to be looked at being more casual but I think the give a great texture to an outfit. 
So please please please try and use some of your own flair and lets make these 2 in 1 pocket squares a thing of the past. Who's with me then?

Friday, 4 February 2011

Showing your colours

Middlesbrough home kit from this season.  

An extremely good friend of mine emailed me earlier this evening asking if it was bad form to wear your  football teams (soccer for you lot over the pond) shirt to a match which is taking place tomorrow. Now I cant really see the attraction in dressing the same as everyone else sat around you but that then is where the unity from a football match comes from. The whole "we are in this together" attitude is what makes the worlds favourite sport just that.
I emailed my mate and told him that a football shirt would just not do. As I have already mentioned in a post last month red doesn't suit me which is a pain when our teams home kit is as red as a Boro lass straight off the electric beach (Boro means Middlesbrough the team we support and electric beach is a sun bed for those of you not in the know). I mean its bad enough these chaps get paid a small fortune to persue a hobby but to make us all dress in the same cheap nasty material is taking the biscuit in my eyes. A subtle nod to your team is more than enough. I suggested a red jumper from Hackett and an outfit built around that. This shows whose corner you are in but also means you can enjoy a few drinks after the game with your pals and not look like a 9 year old boy on their way to a 5-a-side football party.

What I would be wearing instead.

Out of the two items posted here I know which one  I would rather be wearing even though red isn't my colour (have i ever told you that??). So I guess my point is that going all out and donning the replica home shirt is a bit to far and naff but showing your support of the 11 lads out there is a must so always fly your colours high and proud but do it with a bit of panache eh lads? You never know you might just start something off.