Denim on Denim Edit: Part Two – Casual

menswear

A very good friend of mine is getting married in Lagos, Portugal in September. We couldn’t let him go without a decent send off and what better place to start it off than at a carnivore heaven, Hoxton’s Red Dog Saloon.

The Devestator. The burger that put Hoxton Square's Red Dog Saloon on the map.

The Devestator. The burger that put Hoxton Square’s Red Dog Saloon on the map.

The dilemma came of what to wear. London, well the UK has been surprisingly offering up a good dose of summer (I’m not complaining for the record!!!) so I was a bit stumped as to what to wear for this momentous occasion. The staple jeans + shirt/ t-shirt + blazer combo has become a bit of a uniform of late.

No offence Homes!

No offence Homes!

Having been inspired by summer in NYC, Guerrisms and all things denim I decided to sport my new Levi’s jean jacket (40 – eBay), some tapered, slim fit jeans from Spitalfield’s very own AllSaints (on sale 50% off at £42.50) and a gorgeous ochre yellow linen shirt from Reiss (70% off at £22).

Double Denim. notice the un-ironed - ahem -'Crushed' linen!

Double Denim. notice the un-ironed – ahem -‘Crushed’ linen!

I weaved the yellow theme through the denim with a linen pocket square also from Reiss (£6), a tan brown plaited belt from Bloomingdales ($25) and my beloved Grenson Ellery double monkstrap shoes in tan, a recent steal on eBay (£80).
The shirt was perfect for the cool summer evening as the linen is quite thick so I stayed warm yet cool at the same time. The shoes are definitely a statement piece. They are very bold but beautifully crafted in every way. The jean jacket is from Levi’s commuter series so has some nice details, most notable a hidden breast pocket perfect for a pocket square

Levi's Commuter Jacket and Pocket Square

Levi’s Commuter Jacket and Pocket Square

The night was a blast. The DJ at the Cornershop played a truly eclectic mix we ate like cavemen. All in all a great night out.

Advertisements

Shoe Crush: Valentim by Armando Cabral

menswear, shoes

I have a strong sense of what works for me and what I am happy with. I can’t quite explain it but I know when I have a product in the flesh that looks and feels right. Every so often though a product comes along that blows me away. Something that I was not necessarily looking for, but, that becomes an obsession. The latest is the Valentim, by model and designer Armando Cabral

Armando hated it when Kalaf outsmarted him.

Armando hated it when Kalaf outsmarted him.


But when Armano turned it up a notch... Ahh yeeeah!

But when Armano turned it up a notch… Ahh yeeeah!

You may recognise Armando from his many advertising campaigns, particularly J. Crew and GQ. The man himself hails from Lisbon, Portugal and has a real passion for quality, crafted products stemming from his mother’s influence as a tailor. And it shows in his collection. You also get the sense of travel with several shoes reflecting several influences from around the globe, all executed with Cabral’s own style.

Papel Buffalo Woven Shoe in Leather and Canvas

Papel Buffalo Woven Shoe in Leather and Canvas

Hula Calf Skin Leather Espadrille & Verela Calf Skin Leather Sandal

Hula Calf Skin Leather Espadrille & Verela Calf Skin Leather Sandal

Tombali Deer Leather Brogue and Caio Buffalo Leather Derby Shoe

Tombali Deer Leather Brogue and Caio Buffalo Leather Derby Shoe

Fernando Burnished Suede and Coated Twill Sneakers

Fernando Burnished Suede and Coated Twill Sneakers

High Shine Chelsea Boot

High Shine Chelsea Boot

High Shine Derby Shoe in Burgundy Leather

High Shine Derby Shoe in Burgundy Leather

The shoe that caught my eye was the Valentim. Available in a highly polished, burgundy leather and a slightly distressed brown suede this tasseled loafer oozes craftsmanship and style. The detail that particularly caught my eye was the contours of the toe cap. He has captured this just right in my opinion. Not too squared and rectangular and not to a clown-esque point either. This elevates the shoe immensely in the most subtle of ways. If that makes sense! Basically the discerning eye will recognise the quality, it won’t mash up your toes and it will suit both formal and casual attire with relative ease.

High Shine Burgundy Leather Valentim Shoe

High Shine Burgundy Leather Valentim Shoe

Distressed Suede Valentim Shoe

Distressed Suede Valentim Shoe

ArmCab AW13

Gorgeous Detailing And Craftsmanship

Gorgeous Detailing And Craftsmanship

ArmCab AW13

Already on his 5th collection and having expanded into a Womenswear line there seems to be no stopping Armando’s rise as a reputable shoe maker with an excellent eye for detail. Understandably nervous at his initial launch, the shoe line was snapped up by the likes of Dover Street Market and is now available at Mr Porter. Please don’t buy up all the size 7‘s. I’m saving hard for these!

Swim Wear Edit: Top Ten

Grooming, menswear

With the summer holiday season almost over now is ironically the preferred time for most to get away. Whether it be for a 5 star city break or a cheeky long-weekend in the sun in a desperate bid to prolong our smatterings of a genuine British tan, there is always likely to be some pool time factored in.

Even when down to your skinny’s it is still important to look stylish as you lounge by the pool bar or simultaneously sunbathe, read and listen to chill out dub step on the beach. Here’s my top ten beach shorts to help you do that with relative aplomb.

Orlebar Brown - £235

Orlebar Brown – £235


Robinson Les Bains - €165

Robinson Les Bains – €165


Saturdays Surf NYC - £75

Saturdays Surf NYC – £75


J. Crew - £70

J. Crew – £70


Robinson Les Bains - £115

Robinson Les Bains – £115


Paul Smith - £95

Paul Smith – £95


Moncler - £158

Moncler – £158


Myo - £135

Myo – £135


Acne - £130

Acne – £130


Faconnable - £110

Faconnable – £110

All are available to buy currently at Mr Porter or Matches Fashion.

Top Five – Essential Summer Holiday Staples

menswear, Uncategorized

Like most parents I have small window of opportunity for holidaying throughout the year. That small opportunity happens to come at a premium price but, in a bid to provide a change of scenery, minimise the refereeing, cooking, play dates and reminders about ‘indoor voices’ it is a price I budget for and pay wherever possible. So when the opportunity presented itself to hightail it to Kyrenia in Northern Cyprus at a semi-sensible price I grabbed it with both hands.

Blue sky thinking

Blue sky thinking

The next hurdle to overcome is what to take. I’m a minimalist (in training) when it comes to packing but this got me thinking about summer getaway staples, those must have items to pack in your suitcase for guaranteed summer sun. In line with my minimalist approach, here are my top five key items:-

1). Shorts – an obvious choice but with so much on offer what do you go or? My preference are chino shorts. They are light, versatile and travel well. H&M always have a good stock. Linen short are a secondary choice. Try a bold print for something a little different but this may reduce the versatility of the garment. slim fitting are the most flattering cut too.

The blue pair was not ironed - a common theme in my post pics it seems!

The blue pair was not ironed – a common theme is developing!

2). Vests/ T shirts – now this depends on your frame and the levels of heat you expect to have to deal with. I tend to mix it up, but on this particular holiday the vest was king in temperatures of up to 42C! Now I’m not talking wife-beaters or string vests here, but rather loose, low fit vests. I’m an average build and find that these hang well off the shoulder and cover a multitude of midriff sins very well. The patterns and colour options are limitless with ASOS tending to have a ridiculous range at very good prices.

Loose and low

Loose and low

3). Swimwear – perhaps the most obvious one but your swimwear is very important as this could become your only item of clothing for most of the day! 3 is our magic number to keep the variety. Again most high street stores offer a good selection but we love these striped ones from H&M, a bargain at £5 in their end of year sale. We also love these bold red ones from Mango, and these floral prints from Vilebrequin

Love a strip or 2!

Love a strip or 2!

Mango £15 in their current sale

Mango £15 in their current sale

I'm like a magpie - Attracted to expensive shiny things

I’m like a magpie – Attracted to expensive shiny things

4). Footwear – I like to plan for 3 scenarios. Pool/ beach, excursions and dinner.
Pool are flip flops all the way with the brand of choice being Havaianas. The most comfortable flip flops I’ve ever worn. If you know anyone going to Brazil get them to grab you a pair or 6! Out there they are around £3 as opposed to £20 on our shores.

In every colour imaginable

In every colour imaginable

Including... Blue

Including… Blue

For excursions I tend to take a pair of Vibram trainers. Admittedly they look a little mutated but they are very easy to get used to. Any of you that rocked a pair of Nike Air Rift’s back in the day will know, in fact these are like a Rift and Nike Aqua Sock hybrid. They provide excellent support and are built of virtually indestructible material so much so that they came with a years no fuss guarantee when I bought them in January 2012. Any rip, tear, whatever and your money back. I tried. I failed. You can wear them in the water as well, on the beach, rocky terrain… Hot coals. Ok not the last one but you get my drift.

Meet Vibram

Meet Vibram

For something a little more formal its has to be a driving shoe. Suede is more relaxed and the material more malleable than leather but you have to be careful not to get it wet. I always go for a tassel or a fringed detail just to elevate the shoe. I purchased these pair recently from Mango’s budding menswear range H.E. they were half off at £40 and I think I got the last size 41 in the county! They are the best affordable alternative to Italy’s Car Shoe. They offer real craftsmanship but at a premium price. They are definitely high end but with a bit of savvy you can get a pair in the winter sale for at least 50% off.

Fringe benefits my feet

Fringe benefits my feet


Python Leather for £810!

Python Leather for £810!


Antiquated Goat Leather for £290

Antiquated Goat Leather for £290

5). Formal top – You simply cannot go wrong with linen. Cotton is nice but doesn’t offer as much air flow as linen. I’ve started to embrace floral patterns of late along with vibrant colours. The general key I feel is to go bold either on top or below. For example, If you are going to try a floral print shirt with a pair of bold shorts pick out the minutest detail to colour match, the green of a leaf for example. It will have the biggest impact yet maintain the cohesiveness of your outfit.

Balenciaga

Balenciaga

Reiss Ochre Yellow

Reiss Ochre Yellow

The Hill-Side

The Hill-Side

Do you have a top five list? What would you add?

Denim on Denim Edit: Part One – Business

menswear, shoes

I have been travelling the length and breadth of the UK for work over the past few weeks as part of a special project that I have been managing. Whilst I started out respectfully dressed, the novelty of crawling through dirty plant rooms in my best work gear whilst pretending the place was crawling with infrared alarm beams had worn thin. I decided to take it down a notch or three.

The closest I got to the beach

The closest I got to the beach

Unbeknownst to you guys I have been searching for a wardrobe staple denim jacket for around a year now. I toyed with an older style jacket but the fit, typically loose, was not right for me. I thought about getting it tailored but had to be sure about the wash. I wanted something light in colour and authentically faded. I scoured eBay for ages but nothing came up. It was only on a recent trip to Levis store in Canary Wharf that I stumbled on a dark, indigo rinse, slim fit jacket from their Commuter range. It was marked down to £80 from £120. The small offered the best fit but i decided I could hold off from an impulse buy. It paid off as I tried eBay when I got home and found the very same jacket for £40 BNWOT and BIN! Needless to say I snapped it up.

image

I paired it up with some tapered Iggy slim fit jeans from AllSaints, a white linen shirt and paisley pocket square from Reiss and a green knitted I and boutonnière from US outfit, The Knottery.

image

I love the contrast of the green with the blue of the denim. The silk really softens the denim too with shirt bringing the colours together nicely. The pocket square complimented the outfit well and the boutonnière added a hint of depth to it all. What do you think?

Excuse my expression! Lol

Excuse my expression! Lol

I Wear I Post: Zatchel Satchel

menswear

We jump back into the fray with a review of my brand new Zatchels satchel. I’ve been after a smaller bag for a while now enough for a laptop, tablet, phone, keys and some hand cream in these winter months. I’ve been looking at clutches and even iPad sleeves that have either been too big or too small. I did find this lovely Alexander McQueen laptop bag, in black or tartan, but missed out on it in the sales. Boo hoo hoo!

The One That Got Away

The One That Got Away

I had looked at the satchel market, Cambridge in particular, but discounted them as the one I wanted, the slightly different Music bag, was far too big.

Nice But Big

Nice But Big

Zatchels popped up on my radar, for scandalous, lawsuit reasons but any press is good press and low and behold I stepped into satchel heaven.

Bags, Bags, Bags, Bags, Bags.

Bags, Bags, Bags, Bags, Bags.

I’ve gone for a toned down distressed leather satchel in 14.5” size. It gives a timeless, vintage look and works as much for fully suited and booted client meetings as it does for business casual and even dress down Friday. I opted against having the bag personally engraved but opted for the additional top stitched handle and cross body strap slider for added comfort.

My Zatchels and Me

Even at a relatively small size the bag does look big at first but it fits my laptop and charger, iPad and a notebook in the main compartment, keys, wallet and phone in the smaller front compartment all without looking overly stuffed. Simples. It comes in an environmentally friendly dust bag which doesn’t mask the ‘fragrant smell’. Thankfully this fades with use! The buckles are a bit fiddly at first but soon soften with use and provide good security. All in all I love it. And I know, given the quality, it will only get better with time. Go and get one. Go on then!

Content Out,,,

Content In...

Content In…