My Love Affair With ECCO shoes | The Perfect Day-Night Trainer ECCO SOFT 8 LX sneaker

Today I'm going to tell you more about my new sartorial love, these ECCO SOFT 8 LX sneakers. I've eulogised previously about ECCO shoes being the perfect day-night trainer and transforming from a diminutive shoe factory in Bredebro, Denmark with a small flock of employees, to a key player on the world shoe-stage with 19,500 employees and sales of more than 20 million pairs per year across 87 countries.

The latest addition to my foot locker, the low-top ECCO SOFT 8 LX sneaker, has an incontestable physical dimension. A rugged masculinity, I'd even go so far as to say an animal virility! It's composed from a durable rubber sole and constructed from rich, two-toned ECCO leather, the result a functional and stylish choice that delivers visual clout for casual days around town.


An added bonus on buying ECCO shoes

When buying shoes online my biggest worry is how accurate the sizing will be. Remarkably, sizing differs a lot from brand to brand.

ECCO Shoes come lined in leather for additional softness with removable inlay soles for optimal in-shoe comfort and optional extra width when removed. 

How I style my ECCO Shoes

It's important first and foremost to keep the mid-sole clean. Women detest mucky trainers –  it’s one of the biggest put offs, apparently. You can do this by simply applying Cif with a toothbrush and warm water or using ECCO’s shoe wipes, RRP £2.99. 

I've chosen to highlight the trainer by cuffing my denim in a single roll. I've kept my jeans and jacket in black and navy blue hues to ameliorate the trainer and the contrast lacing that comes with the shoe. 

The size ranges are 39 - 47 and you get free delivery in the UK on orders over £79. 

*This sponsored post was created in collaboration with ECCO Shoes.

Why Own a Luxury Watch?

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It's a wonderful time to be a watch owner. With the rise of capital crowdfunding, watch brands such as MVMT and Adexe London have enjoyed huge success over the past couple of years. 

Men have graduated from the odds and sods draw, (that paraphernalia stuff now gets sloshed around window sills and shoe boxes that gets tossed without taxonomy under the bed) to a fully-fledged watch draw brimming with all kinds of boutique and often, unheard of brands. 

But it all feels a little vacuous without that special luxury watch. The Excalibur every man dreams of unsheathing once he opens his draw. But why have a luxury watch in today's modern climate when the standard of entry level watches are so good? 

Put simply, there are some fundamental truths in life, one being there is something quite incontestable about owning a luxury watch. The notion of craftsmanship, the complexity of complications, the sublime harmony and symmetry that only come from a luxury watch foregoes the most palpable of gratifications. 

Whether it be a Rolex that makes you feel aligned with 60's era James Bond, an IWC that reflects your affinity with the lustrous Bradley Cooper, a Patek Philippe for the paragon of irrefutable masculine chic, or a Jaeger LaCoutre simply because it sounds sexy, a luxury watch says something about you. 

It omits a certain aura and as the saying goes, one can read a shape of a man’s character by the company he keeps on his wrist. Or as Rocky Balboa more eloquently puts it, 'You want to have a good time, then you're going to need a good watch'. 

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Recently I had a great compliment on my dress watch, that came from an unexpected source who's critique in men’s fashion I deeply admire. Having laudatory comments bestowed upon you from your peers is unfathomable. 

A luxury watch is an investment that typically holds its value, and we haven't even spoken about the sentimental value one can accredit to a family timepiece. It's why Tom Hanks gives back the pocket watch to Helen Hunt at the end of Castaway, even though she gave up on him and married the dentist. 

It's why Bruce Willis goes back for his father’s watch in Pulp Fiction and chances perilous consequences, some too colourful to delineate here.

A luxury watch if nothing else could be your legacy. For all the materialistic-skeptics out there, it could be the greatest thing you do. 

5 x Best Christmas Box Subscription Gift for Him

Today I'm going to highlight some of the best Subscription Services I've earmarked for Christmas gifts. A subscription service is truly the gift that keeps on giving and every month someone gets reminded what a good egg you truly are. 

DiscoverBrew

You might have seen me Vlog about DiscoverBrew where I talk about the benefits of being a BrewBox subscriber. Each month 6 of the best beers arrive on my doorstep, complete with personalised vids that will describe each beer and what food you can pair it with.

The merits of the brands rest on its fantastic selection of beers. Just when you thought you knew all there was to know about craft beer you get presented with a new one and you fall in love all over again. 

Each beer in the box is hand-picked from hundreds that are tasted by the DiscoverBrew team, and only great beers make it into each box. 

Coffee 

My favourite scene from Pulp Fiction is when Quentin Tarantino gives a thrift monologue schooling Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta and indeed the entire audience on why quality coffee is so important. (Unfortunately the dialogue is far too colourful to transcribe here, but I'm sure you get my point). 

If you have someone in your life that is serious about Coffee then introduce them to Pact Coffee.

Their coffee is bought directly from the best farmers across the world then roasted in small batches at Pact HQ in Bermondsey, to ensure the very optimum quality.

Grooming

A lot of us feel begrudged leaving the house at all these days. Especially in this inclement weather and for something so perfunctory as razor blades. 

Why not save someone else the hassle as well by treating them to a razor blade subscription service by the Bearded Colonel. Made in Germany, the high water mark for quality razors.

Delivered direct to your door and small enough to fit through the letterbox so you needed hang around waiting on the postman. 

Music

A promise I've made to myself in the new year is that I'm going to rekindle my passion for vinyl. Really Carl? You're such the go-getter trend setter. 

I know, it's about 20 years too late, but I'm a sucker for nostalgia and I've already got the beard so I feel like I'm halfway there. 

If you know someone that is an avid music goer or has seen High Fidelity and   on a regular basis why not sign them up to Flying Vinyl.

They're a company that sends its members a monthly box filled with the best new alternative music printed onto beautiful 7” vinyl records. 

Shirts 

Ok well you know I'm no shrinking violet when it comes to self promotion. I like to think I tread that fine line of eagerness and persistence. My Hawkins & Shepherd shirt subscription service is the ultimate gift for that man in your life that is career driven, professional and scrupulous about his personal style. 

Save him the hassle of going out and finding new shirts every other month and keep his wardrobe enlivened with new design led, sophisticated hand crafted shirts every month 

Delicacy

Finally, avoid the hustle and bustle of the farmers markets by signing up to the Neals Yard Dairy cheese subscription service. 

Treat your palette to a wonderful myriad of different British farmhouse cheeses. If anyone is looking to get me a gift for Christmas I'll be pleased as punch to receive this. 

Ideal for people who enjoy entertaining or those who like having a few hearty pieces of cheese to hand for both cheeseboards and cooking.

*This sponsored post was created in collaboration with DiscoverBrew

Small Details, Big Differences | How to Look Great in Black Tie | Men's Style Advice

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With Christmas and New Year celebrations comes the black tie invitations. Corporate events or fancy friends, this is the time of year when you dust down your tuxedo. This should be seen as the opportunity to look your best and with an unlimited budget, there are some beautiful products available. If I had a spare £15k, I would invest in a diamond and pearl “dress set” from Deakin & Francis to accessorise my bespoke dress shirt. But there are a few more economical tips that can make you stand out for all the right reasons that will not break the bank.

  1. Wear a black tie. There is a clue in the title. This means a black bow tie and not a long tie. It must be a real bow tie that you tie yourself.

  2. Can’t tie a bow tie? Learn. It is a cool life skill. There are plenty of online tutorials.

3. Still can’t tie a bow tie! Purchase a real one one that can be unclipped at the back and ask the nice person in the shop to tie it for you. If they do not know, you are shopping in the wrong places.

4. Avoid most wing collar shirts. Opt for a turndown “normal” collar.

5. If your evening shirt was supplied with studs, do not wear them. They look cheap and cost pennies. You can buy better studs for not a lot of money that will improve your look.

6. Your studs should match your cufflinks. Perfectly.

7. Your wristwatch should complement your cufflinks. It should be slim with a black leather strap. James Bond can wear a sports watch with black tie. You can’t. If you do not have a suitable watch, do not wear one. You can find out the time from your mobile phone anyway.

8. You do not need to wear dress studs with your shirt. Some pedants even believe that it is incorrect to stud shirts for black tie.

9. Cummerbunds are great on the slim but are ugly on anyone with a belly. Be honest with yourself. Remember that a cummerbund should sit on the waist and is not a belt. You will need to wear your trousers high on the waist to allow the cummerbund to sit properly.

10. Wear braces. They will hold up your trousers at the correct height and keep everything in place.

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11. If you own a dinner suit, make sure it is well pressed and in good repair. It is worth having your evening shirt professionally laundered between wears so that it is always in pristine condition.

12. Make sure you show plenty of shirt cuff, a little more than you would normally.

13. Be wary of anything novelty and avoid fancy waistcoats. And avoid anyone wearing a fancy waistcoat at a black tie event!

14. You can wear a little colour with your pocket handkerchief. Dark reds and purples always look elegant. But a simple white cotton or linen simply folded is always correct.

15. Wearing a flower in your lapel is supremely elegant and a cost effective and correct way of standing out. It should be a simple white or red bloom and no one will ask if you are getting married.

16. Wear plain long socks and make sure your shoes are immaculately polished.

17. Pay special attention to your grooming. Ask your barber how you could style your hair differently for a formal event. The “slicked back” look is very elegant and conjures up images of the 1930s but is not achieved by over-applying cheap hair gel. Your facial hair and fingernails should be recently trimmed.

18. Do not wear a white silk scarf at the event. If you happen to have an evening scarf, check it in with your coat.

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King & Tuckfield and Richard Biedul Reunite for SS19

King & Tuckfield and the statuesque Richard Biedul have joined forces again for a second collaboration. This much anticipated SS19 collection has only feathered the nest of affection I have for both Richard and King & Tuckfield, spearheaded by the irrepressible Stacey Wood. 

This latest collection has drawn inspiration from vintage postcards of weather worn British seafronts and has imbued a sophisticated yet playful collection of summer essentials, in a warm and uplifting colour palette. 

The collection offers an oblique rejuvenation into the deck chair stripe and a return of the high rise single reverse pleat denim trousers with exaggerated flared trousers that beautifully characterises the flamboyance of the brand, and the versatility of Richard. (I'd love to pull off a look like that). 

I was also privy to some of the mood boards into how the collection was annotated. What became clear to me instantly, was the domineering essence of vintage nostalgia. From the 60s-Era Porsche 911 Targa, to the wistful echoes of a British Summer along the Yorkshire Coast. 

King & Tuckfield modern elegance nods respectfully at a young 1950's gentleman, appreciative of the detail and craftsmanship of that era an antidote to today's throwaway culture. 

The brands signature materials palette of quality denim, merino and twill is accented with playful deck stirpes and vintage textured suits. King & Tuckfield continue to focus strongly on sustainable, ethical and responsible manufacture, incorporating quality denim, merino and even reworking classic deckchair fabrics from the 1950's. 

You can also be a apart of the King & Tuckfield journey as they are looking to crowdfund capital to take the brand to the next level. Check out their Crowdcube campaign here. 

As a side note I also enjoyed listening to Stacey Wood talk to my friend Peter Brooker over on the Menswear Style podcast about how the brand got started and her working relationship with Richard. 

This limited edition 8 piece capsule will be (in part) available for pre-order at www.kingandtuckfield.com from November, and from selected stores including Liberty and Fenwicks from early 2019.

Please note that the full King & Tuckfield SS19 collection is available to view by appointment at their showroom (92-96 De Beauvoir Block, De Beauvoir Road, N1 4EN). 

Goodwin Smiths New Collection | Men's Style Edit

Today I'm finally going to let rip and tell you all about the wonderful and prestigious Goodwin Smiths New Collection. My Instagram posts have been littered with style edits, many of which have been centred around these sumptuous Goodwin Shoes.

I consider Goodwin Smiths to be one of the best kept secrets in the shoe industry, which is astonishing considering they've been designing and manufacturing quality footwear since 1928. 

They manage to offer a great accessible price on their shoes by selling exclusively online. As much as I'm a fan and proponent of bricks and mortar, I'm also a huge proponent of free enterprise. (And not averse to saving £200 on a pair of high quality shoes, which is what you'd expect to pay in big brand department stores). 

These shoes are also awesome for this inclement weather. (Yes I use the word inclement like everyone else because I hear it 20 times a day on the London Underground). The durable anti-slip TPR sole unit with leather welt detail is key and beautifully enshrined with handmade Italian leather uppers. 

I have two shoes from Goodwin Smith, an eager beaver might spot the Sherwood Bordo brogue boot I've been sporting these past couple of weeks. 

However, this Linton Brown boot, (also available in Tan) is a premium buff calfskin leather, which has been primed to accept the unique colouration applied by our master craftsman. 100% chromium free. 

Why is Chromium bad? 

Chromium has been identified as the 4th worst pollution problem in the world! When your feet get wet your shoes can react to the solvents and the glues found in certain boots and shoes. Not good news for your feet, or your partner who is also subjected to looking at your feet when it's feet up time for Match of the Day. 

Invest in the best

Overall these boots feel fantastic, the leather is supple and my step is confident and assured. The price has even been reduced online so it's a great opportunity to treat your feet this Winter. (How about that as a tagline?) 

My TK Maxx Winter Haul | Luxury Leathers & Stylish Knits

Fuelled by my rabid impetuosity to find some of the best menswear bargains on the high street, I took a jaunt down to TK Maxx this week. TK Maxx offers up to 60% less than the RRP on all its products and I know they're renowned for having some of the super big brands at amazing prices. 

My casual game is generally quite measured but it needed an injection of fun and I wanted to create an updated look for the Christmas parties and the inevitable photos that come with. Inside TK Maxx I felt somewhat unshackled. The fun of shopping had been renewed, probably because of the inexhaustible amount of clothes on offer.

Frugal shoppers looking to bring out their personal style and boost their inner confidence, will baulk less at the prices of the unique clothing in TK Maxx than in any other store. 


Come on Carl, tell us what you bought from TK Maxx? 

Ok keep your pantyhose on. As we move into AW18 you'll see a lot more winter hues, greys, blacks, tans as well as a couple of much needed accessories.  

You're not going to believe that I picked out this Grey Roll Neck Knit for £49.99 reduced from £175. The best thing about getting compliments on this piece is telling people how much I bought it for. 

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At a scoop, I managed to nab this Tan Knit jumper for £24.99 reduced from £95. It works perfectly offering a distinguished contrast under both my Navy Cashmere Overcoat and my grey windowpane check blazer. The sleeves on the jacket are a little shorter than I'd normally go for, but it works perfect to highlight the contrast and strikes a great visual balance. 

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Perhaps the biggest bargain of the day, was finding this black leather bag reduced to £69.99 from £375. A stylish accoutrement, especially when you have as many out of office meetings as I do. The quality is incontestable and it's not only men’s bags that TK Maxx offer in the accessory department. 

I couldn't refuse these black leather gloves, reduced from £45 to £19.99. The cold snap is already here and trust me, you can craft many more snowballs if you have your hands covered. Great product doesn’t hang around, so head in store or online now to get everything you need for the power season, because once it’s gone – it’s really gone!

LASTLY THE TK MAXX NEVERENDING STOCKING

You need to keep your eyes peeled when visiting TK Maxx as there are 80+ never-ending stockings up and down the country, hiding in a TK Maxx near you. If you manage to find Stocko you'll be one of the lucky winner's entitled to a year's supply of presents! Check out the latest campaign online and follow the hashtag #FindStocko to join in the fun. 

*This sponsored post was created in collaboration with TK Maxx.

Hawkins & Shepherd Navy Cashmere Coat | Men's Style Edit

We're all starting to feel the bitter chills of the cruel British Winter. This year we saw the beast from the east demonstratively smash its way through the UK, causing a significant slump in consumer spending and causing the British economy £1 million pound a day. 

Not only was this catastrophic for the fragility of the British high street, it was bloody cold! I've stocked up on a few coats this year as you may have already seen with the French Connection Pile Coat and the Green Maroon check overcoat from ASOS. 

If you are the type of guy who invests in statement, timeless pieces of clothing a coat is the perfect choice.

This limited edition double-breasted (also available in single-breasted) 100% British navy cashmere coat, is the unsung hero of the Hawkins and Shepherd collection. Perfect for this winter and what's more, it's currently half price at £800. 

What I love about this coat is how the cashmere offers an impeccable texture to the look. You'll also notice it has a contrast under collar. The grey felt panelling brings a fresh modernity to the piece and just looks ace in photos. 

The cashmere is sourced from Harrisons of Edinburgh, and is a design collaboration between myself and Savile Row trained woman's designer Calder London.

It comes fully equipped with soft silk lining, stylish buttons and is an incredibly versatile signature piece. Perfect for wearing over dark casuals as seen in the pictures, or traditional day to day suits. 

I believe with the ubiquity of the cashmere camel coat (also available through Hawkins & Shepherd) the future trends for autumn/winter will see a pendulum swing towards the Navy look.

SHOP HAWKINS & SHEPHERD CASHMERE COATS

London Sock Company | Why these socks can make you cry

Believe me this is possibly the best gift you can send someone this Christmas. London Sock Company, a men's luxury fashion brand that focuses on creating beautifully packaged stylish socks and gift boxes, has now integrated an in-built audio-visual screen that plays a personalised message to the lucky recipient. 

I love this! Not only because you get to feel like Ethan Hunt being sent a Mission to accept, but it brings a little humanity back into Christmas.

Those little things that count for everything. When you open a gift and you know, someone has spent the time getting that, making that. There is thought, design, heart and time that has gone into that gift. Perhaps that's not something you necessarily associate with socks and accessories, but London Sock Company has completely changed the landscape on that. 

Your video can be up to 60 seconds long, and is simply recorded during checkout. (Full and easy step by step guide over on the website). 

Each box comes with 15 pairs of their most stylish socks, and if you're a bit camera shy then fear not worry, as model and investor David Gandy has already recorded a few words on there for you.

Not only does this inject emotion into a typically perfunctory present, but the recipient will also be able to brag about wearing the same socks adorned by a host of celebrity and high profile wearers such as David Gandy, Daniel Craig, Tom Hiddleston, The Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, to name only a few. 

SHOP THEIR VIDEO GIFT SETS BELOW

*This sponsored post was created in collaboration with London Sock Company.

Clothes for the Grey Moods | Men's Style Edit

I received such blandishments on a recent Instagram post that I felt it would be remiss of me not to write a line or two about it. 

A good friend of mine Darren Branch recently and astutely recognised that my Instagram page has been ladled with a palpable greyness. That's partly because it's turned so bitterly cold and bleak out there. 

This outfit though I'm particularly pleased with as it engenders and reflects a certain melancholy that comes with the change of season. 

The Peacoat is a perfect coat for winter by French Connection, and I've written extensively about the Deluxe Pile Coat on my blog.  It's double breasted but because it's a peacoat and not a trench or overcoat, you can wear it open and it doesn't lose its shape. 

I've teamed that with a simple medium-weight cotton button down shirt underneath; quite figure hugging, as is the black stretch denim jeans from Topman that I've double-cuffed at the bottom. 

The lace up brogue boot from Goodwin Smith is the real show pony of the ensemble. This Sherwood Men's Leather Brogue Boot is more formal than the brown pair I own. I paired those with the cashmere overcoat you can find in a previous style edit

Finish off the look with some on-trend Serge Denimes jewellery. 

These shots were taken by the wonderful Sophie Milner, who is just a delight to work with and not only manages to capture my outfit, but captures my mood also. 

SHOP THE STYLE EDIT

Hawkins & Shepherd Camel Overcoat | Men's Style Edit

If there was one staple piece of autumn/winter wear that's been a flag-bearer for my Menswear E-Commerce store Hawkins & Shepherd, it's the 100% British Cashmere Overcoat. It's a collaboration garment borne of a long working established relationship with myself and Savile Row trained woman's designer Calder London.

Hey Carl, what are the benefits of Cashmere? 

Thanks for asking. Firstly, it's a sustainable fabric, it has various insulating properties - in the winter it will keep you warm and insulated yet it will ensure you stay cool in the summer.

I personally like the textured look of Cashmere and the luxurious feel.

The finest details

The coat is crafted from Harrisons of Edinburgh and finished with a soft silk lining, tortoiseshell buttons and a dark grey felt on the underside of the collar. A keen eye will detect the coat is cut slightly tapered to cater for a modern silhouette.

Style over traditional suits in formal attire or with dark denim if you are going casual.

How do I style a camel cashmere overcoat? 

I often team my beloved overcoat with traditional suits in formal attire or with dark denim if I'm going casual. A lot of people have been commenting on these awesome Goodwin Smith classic leather brogue boot, so I'll do another style edit and talk more about those in a later blog. 

The best bit about this Cashmere coat

Well one of the best bits, is the price. It's currently on sale exclusively through my Hawkins & Shepherd website listed at £800. Don't have to wait for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thongs on a Thursday, this 100% cashmere coat is available in 38" and 40", also in double breasted. 

SHOP HAWKINS & SHEPHERD 100% CASHMERE COATS

The Large Lapel Black Men's Overcoat | Men's Style Edit

I going to elaborate further on this exquisite French Connection Deluxe Pile Coat as it's drawn a lot of attention on my Instagram feed. Firstly, it's a double breasted wool-blend with a heavily textured look. A lot of bloggers and sartorialists will tell you never to wear a double breasted open, which is true for suit jackets and long coats as they will lose their shape under the unevenness of the fabric. 

However, this is more peacoat in size and I can wear it open because we live in a free society and you're not the boss of me. Sorry, I'm feeling uncharacteristically defensive today.  

Secondly, it's super luxurious and the fabric has a gorgeous supple quality to it. It's a loose, non-constricting fit and the large collars really draw focus to the face. 'Vanity, always my favourite sin' - Al Pacino. The Devil's Advocate. (By the way my predictive text wanted me to say The Devil's Avocado which I thinks sounds like a much more interesting film). 

In a rich grey hue the coat promises versatility, providing the perfect finishing touch to your winter wardrobe. I have paired this with mutual dark colours to emphasise the broodiness, yet styled with white sneakers brings a little contrast to the ensemble. 

This French Connection Deluxe Pile Coat is currently on offer through the French Connection website, reduced from £250 to £200. Only available in Black. 

SHOP THE MEN’S STYLE EDIT

How to Dress for a 20’s Theme Party

The word you'll hear most associated with the 1920's is 'roaring'. It really was a period where more than ever in our history, people were conscious of having a style and more importantly, being able to express themselves through their individualism. With the uptick in secret club events evoking the clandestine nature of 20's Speakeasy's, I thought it would be appropriate to put a style guide together. But first a quick bit of information on some of the reasons on how the 20's earned its roaring reputation. 

In 1914, there was the Great War. For the first time in British history women were asked to join the British war effort and around 1917, American forces would come to Britain and with them they brought the wonders of jazz and stimulated a dance culture not seen before. Men would discard their naval and military uniforms and look to impress the ladies with their chalk line suits, spats and braces. With that said, here are a couple of tips that might help you with your 20's styling from top to bottom. 


Hats

A great era for hats; the Homburg, the Boater, the Panama were just some and all very popular at the time. With the success of Peaky Blinders the Newsboy Hat will be a safe bet for your party. If you're going gangster fedora, then make sure it's a wide brim and be sure to accurately do your hair because gentlemen take their hats off indoors. As Jamie Foxx mentions in Django Unchained. 'You don't wear a hat in the house white man. Even I know that'. 


Ties

I'd recommend printed ties with thin stripes. Don't allow them to hang too low, if it should hang below the waistcoat then tuck them into the trousers. You can opt for a bow tie, make sure it's self-tied. 


Suit

It's important to have the suit matching. With that I mean ensure the jacket, trousers and waistcoat are the same fabric. You should plum for baggy pants, known either as Knickers, Plus Fours or Oxford Bags. Ensure they're bagginess looks right and if possibly, brought up to the naval. Be sure to use and held up with braces or suspenders, as belts weren't prevalent in this time period. The jacket should ideally have 3 buttons, wide lapels, without falling fowl of bilious or cartoon-esq. 


Shirts (Pin Collar or Tab Collar)

During this time there was an Oasis/Blur style war breaking out over stiff and soft collars. Both are acceptable, as are detachable rounded collars, as seen in The Great Gatsby. For dress shirts the collar could be pure white like the cuffs, whilst the body would be striped. The popular cuffs could be double cuffs. Fabrics were mostly cottons or linen, silks were becoming a little pricey for the common man by the 20's. For my money I'd go for a Pin Collar, the collar bars hit the scene in the late twenties and I believe will give you the edge at the party. Attention to detail my friends. 

Shoes

Steer clear of anything square capped. Two-toned wing tipped derby’s were everywhere on the dance floor back then and has enjoyed a resurgence since with the likes of Boardwalk Empire, La La Land has carried on the Gatsby mantle. The uppers should be a blend of leather on canvass and I'd mute the colours to tan/beige which will be more versatile with other items in your wardrobe. 

 

Stylish Winter Overcoats | Men's Style Edit

If there is one piece of clothing that can define a look for the autumn/winter seasons, it is a statement overcoat. Most men have a large number of essential coats for winter such as a leather jacket, a shearling jacket and probably navy, black and camel overcoats. However to mix it up a little bit, check out the ASOS collection of overcoats, including this incredible green, camel, maroon number for only £85.

The coat was cut in a oversized fit, so if you are between sizes, go down a size and you’ll find it will fit better. It is also very warm, so on days that are warm, just simply wear it with a plain t-shirt and colder days layer up.

As always if you like the style edit, you can shop the pieces by clicking on the images below.

SHOP THE STYLE EDIT

David Gandy Interview | Discussing The Launch of His Tailoring Collection for M&S - Marks & Spencer

David where do you start with a project of this magnitude? What are the initial discussions to be had between you and the design team at M&S? 

Tailoring has always been a passion of mine, and as the designer of my loungewear and underwear collection, I have always wanted to progress to design a small tailoring capsule collection - it seemed the perfect time, after becoming the Ambassador of Tailoring at M&S a year ago. Our initial discussions began with brainstorming my favourite tailoring style details, the heritage of Savile Row, inspiration from classic tailoring, and the versatility of how tailoring is worn today.

 

Typically tailoring designs start from inspiration boards, mood boards, then illustrations etc. Did you have to go through this process and did you do any illustrating yourself? 

The process began with bringing in vintage pieces of tailoring for styling references and inspiration. Once we created the designs, we spent a long time choosing cloths and the finer details, such as side adjusters and lapels etc, as well as ensuring we got the best fit possible.

 

Can you tell me a bit about your inspiration for the collection, did you pull inspiration from your personal tailoring experiences, M&S archives or tailoring heritage?

The main source of inspiration came from vintage items from my wardrobe – in particular a vintage M&S St Michael suit and vintage pea coats. Key style references included; ticket pocket detail on the suit jacket, an extra button on the waistcoat, broader collars and a longer length silhouette and classic back belt on the coat.

M&S has an incredible heritage in tailoring – introducing leading innovations to the high street such as colour standardisation in 1985 which allowed jackets and trousers to be bought separately for the first time. They have a brilliant team of designers, who I worked through the process with to further understand what was possible and what the customer wants.

 

How long did it take to develop a collection like this and what hurdles did you face? Were there any designs that didn't make the cut? (Pardon the pun). 

I began working with the M&S design team on the collection in November 2017. Using British cloth is an integral part of the collection, and we devoted many hours to finding the best quality cloth at an accessible price to the customer – all the fabrics are woven in the UK.

 


Did you have an age demographic in mind when curating this collection; and if so how did that factor in to the final designs? 

The collection was created with versatility in mind more than anything. The three pieces were created so they can be worn together or separately, dressed up or dressed down, season after season. I hope the collection appeals to men of many styles, ages and lifestyles.

 

Did you have free range on selecting fabrics and materials for the collection?

The M&S designers and I spent a long time sourcing the right cloth for each of the pieces. Both suits and the coat are crafted from fabric woven in Yorkshire.

The overcoat is also made from wool certified by The Responsible Wool Standard which is a global standard for growing wool with progressive standards in land management and animal welfare and uses technology to trace wool back to the farms where it was sourced.



How did this collaboration differ from any others that you've done previously? 

This is my very first tailoring collection - creating my own collection has always been a dream of mine, and this felt like the right time after many years of learning about the craft of tailoring throughout my career. As the Ambassador of Tailoring at M&S I’ve spent a great deal of time with the design team, learning about M&S tailoring and the design process.

 

What were the most enjoyable parts of the journey? What piece from the collection are you most proud of? 

I’m very proud of the collection. I’ve enjoyed seeing the collection come to life throughout the entire process, from initial sketches, fabric swatches, fits, trims and finishing details, to seeing the finished dinner suit, three-piece suit and overcoat. Style and fit are at the heart of the collection, along with premium cuts and quality fabrics, all at an attainable price point. My favourite piece has got to be the overcoat – I love its longer length, broad lapels and the fact that the wool is traceable right back to the network of farms in New Zealand.

 

Would you do it all again? Can we expect to see another collection after this? 

Watch this space!

SHOP THE COLLECTION

The Cole Haan 2.Zer0grand Style Edit | Start from the ground up

I've been getting a couple of enquiries of late about my new swathe 2.Zer0grand water resistant footwear from Cole Haan, so I've compiled a mini style edit should you be in need of rejuvenating your autumnal wardrobe. 

The 2.Zer0grand Oxfords comes with a classic wingtip look on the uppers but with some special upgrades. It's made from a woven textile so it’s very supple and soft also has some leather accents around the tongue and heel. 

Upfront is the traditional lace up closure that giving you a secure fit, it has blind eyelets (hence the Oxford name) for a clean finish. 

The insole has great cushioning, it has rubber pieces in the high wear areas for plenty of traction and durability. (Available from Colehann for a cool £155). 

I've styled these shoes with a Fassett camo shirt from All Saints. Camo is a trend that has refused to rescind and this shirt follows in the footsteps of military attire with dual buttoned chest pockets. As this shirt is composed from a heavier cotton I prefer to wear it open and open the sleeves all the way back. (Any excuse to show off the Seiko). (Available from All Saints for a cool £108). 

I'm mixing up some accessories with Serge Denim rings and Tom Ford sunglasses. 

The real show pony is the Bodaskins Leather Jacket. 100% premium Napa Sheepskin leather cut with tailored lapels, quilted panels and a classic V silhouette that makes my shoulders look supreme. If you're looking to layer this jacket then you might want to go a size up. (Available from Bodaskins for a cool £589). 

Karl Lagerfeld & "That" Varsity Jacket | Men's Style Edit

Today I want to introduce you to the Sebastien Varsity jacket from Karl Lagerfeld. Made from Blue and white leather, cashmere and virgin wool (my favourite kind of wool) featuring a ribbed collar, a front button fastening, long sleeves, side pockets and a ribbed hem and cuffs.

I have fetishised over owning a Varsity Jacket for some time. I get oddly gooey and nostalgic for no good reason when I see Varsity Jackets. Perhaps it’s a sign of a misspent youth growing up watching brat-pack films like Breakfast Club, The Faculty, Teenwolf, the collegiate look, when done right, holds much reverie in the 16 year old Carl Thompson.  

But Carl, why am I paying over £700 for a Varsity Jacket? 

Great question and here's your answer. Karl Lagerfeld is one of the biggest marquee named designers in the western world, naturally you're paying for the name. The brand strikes an effortless balance between timeless classics and contemporary, cutting-edge cool. As the man himself says, “Fashion is a game that has to be played seriously.”

With the name comes the quality assurance. The materials are genuine premium fabrics. More entry level brands will offer synthetic equivalents on their Varsity Jackets (polyester, viscose and elastane) and the sleeves will be almost certainly made of faux leather. Which is fine, but just remember you get what you pay for. 

Notes on Care

Don't wear out on a stag-do. Don't lend to any of your friends named Monkey or Dangerous Dave. Dry Clean only. It has cashmere in it so don't let the missus or mum anywhere near it. 

How to style 

The jacket is casual, but I'd refrain from pairing it with anything stone wash. Match the dark blue with black jeans, distressed or not is up to you. There's an increasing trend for inner layers to be pulled out and beyond the outer layers these days. 

Notice the model has an oversized jumper in comparison to the length of the jacket. The jacket is cuffed at the bottom so don't fight it. Wear it open with a graphic jumper or sweater that mirrors the quality of the jacket. 

SHOP THE STYLE EDIT

Small Details Big Differences | How to Wear a Suit | Men's Style Advice

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Some people look better in a suit than others. It could be the amount they spend or it could be that the suit is made for them. A proper bespoke handmade suit on Savile Row will cost around £5k. But no matter what you spend, there is a way of wearing a suit that will improve your appearance that costs nothing (or maybe a little…certainly nowhere near £5k). So if you value your appearance and would like to look your very best in tailoring; read on. This will significantly improve the appearance of any high street suit.

  1. Polish your shoes. You can read more about this in my last post.

  2. On a new suit make sure all the visible white stitching is removed. This can be on the shoulders, vents and cuffs.

  3. Please remove any brand labels that are on the jacket cuff.

  4. Your jacket side pockets may be stitched closed. Keep them this was as long as you can…more on pockets later.

  5. On a single-breasted jacket, only do up the top button on a 2 button style and the middle-button on a three button style.

  6. On a double-breasted style where you can button up more than one outside button, pick the one that is most comfortable. Always do up the inside button.

  7. Keep your trouser hip pocket buttons done up.

  8. Distribute your kit around your various pockets. Suits have plenty of pockets so never overfill them. Your wallet should be slim and have neither Velcro or a coin purse attachment. Consider using a card wallet rather than a billfold.

  9. Keep minimal a amount of stuff in your trouser side pockets. Perhaps a couple of coins, some banknotes and a clean hanky. Do not keep your phone in your trouser pocket.

  10. The outside chest pocket of your suit looks its best when it has a pocket handkerchief in it. Forget any crap about matching and co-ordinating and acquire a white linen or fine cotton, a navy silk spot and a dark red paisley. This will complement all your ties. If you are not a hanky guy, your chest pocket is useful for spectacles, sunshades or mobile phones.

  11. Don’t fret about folding your hankie and don’t keep touching it.

  12. Your lapels should have a buttonhole in them. If it is not open, it can be cut open with a sharp knife. This is where you wear your poppy or flower at a wedding. If you ever need to wear a badge on your suit to show unity to a cause you feel passionate about, this is where it should be placed. I cry a little whenever I see wedding flowers in the chest pocket of a suit.

  13. Do not overload lapels with brooches and trinkets. But you can wear a flower and a pocket hankie at the same time.

  14. In modern business, the suit/no tie look has becoming the norm and is not a flattering look on most men. When I worked on Savile Row in the 1990s, wearing a suit without a tie was considered edgy. Now it is the uniform of provincial mid-management. Wear a tie. A few simple textured solids is all you need.

  15. If you are carrying a little weight around your waist, avoid white shirts and bold patterns. It draws attention to your belly.

  16. Never wear a rucksack. It kills your suit and your dignity. Imagine going mountain trekking carrying a leather briefcase. That is how stupid a rucksack looks, not to mention inconsiderate to fellow passengers on public transport. If you absolutely must have a rucksack, at least carry a smart leather version.

  17. If you are a tie-wearer and like a tie-bar, please position it below your chest and not underneath your chin.  Unless you are appearing on The Apprentice and it is 2012.

  18. Pay more attention to how well your tie is knotted than how long the blade is. Practise tying a few different tie knots to see what you prefer. When you have discovered that the “schoolboy” or four-in-hand is best, you should practise achieving the perfect dimple.

  19. Keep pens in your inside pocket and ration how many you need to carry.

  20. Braces will make your trousers hang better. I would suggest getting a tailor to add buttons so that you can wear the traditional kind. Clip-ons are quite fashionable at the moment but they can damage the waistband.

  21. If you have a long journey or commute and need to wear headphones, please keep them discreet.

  22. If you are not a regular suit wearer, try to avoid posturing when you receive compliments. Shooting cuffs and adjusting your tie looks contrived and corny. Try to maintain a relaxed elegance.

  23. If you want to dress down your suit or want to wear it at the weekend but not look corporate, consider a simple long-sleeve crew neck in cotton jersey or fine merino wool. Seriously, a navy crew neck with a dark suit is an easy yet sophisticated change of pace.

  24. When not wearing your suit, empty the pockets and store on a proper hanger with good shoulder support. Plastic is fine. Keep the trousers from the cuff and allow them to hang unfolded. You can buy specialist hangers for this or you can borrow them from hotels.

  25. Brush regularly and give a light steam.

AW18 Arrivals – The Ecco Crepetray Hybrid Chelsea Boot

Not so long ago I rhapsodised (rather eloquently I might add) about the Ecco ST1's. I called the founder Karl Toosbuy the Patron Saint of shoes after introducing me to footwear that didn't need breaking in at all!  

The life of a fashion blogger is demanding on your time and your feet and when you merge the two you’ll need a pair of comfortable shoes to get you through day. A typical week  would see you traipsing around the streets of London from meetings to press days then photo shoots. In fact yesterday (true story, promise), I was doing a photo shoot with another blogger who was tiptoeing around because her new shoes were rubbing. Of course wearing Ecco shoes, I knew that they were designed to negate the ‘wearing in’ process, so I gave her my socks and I went bare-back for the rest of the day. It sped up the day and gave my ears a rest from the complaining about how much her feet were hurting therefore a massive thank you to the Ecco Crepetray Hybrid Chelsea Boot from both of us!

My feet feel incredibly secure and protected in this Ecco Crepetray. I love its simplicity, it's refinement; its definitely going to get utilised more and more come the colder months. 

Inspired by workwear of the past, this classic Chelsea boot can transition from the office to evening drinks with minimum effort. It's understated with elastic sidings, the high-shine leather uppers and delicate stitching are supple and it moulds to my foot without compromise. 

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Carl tell us what is a Crepetray? 

I know it sounds like something I'd set up for Charlie if he started losing the use of his faculties.

In fact the Crepetray outsole is a revolutionary update on traditional crepe soles that benefits from being a lighter and responding to the shape of the foot, offering a more natural feel. It also doesn’t have any of the complications traditionally associated with the material, such as stickiness in the heat and stiffness in the cold.

I'm lucky in that I'm quite a block size, though I have some friends that fall between stalls. Ecco manage to negate most of those 'betweeners' by including removable insoles that also delivers optimal in-shoe comfort. 

My Ecco ST1's are still going strong so I'm happy to champion the quality of this brand. Initially I thought the price point might be a little high for essentially, a non-marquee brand. Ostensibly, of course, these Ecco Chelsea boots are an investment piece. One that delivers in style, comfort and versatility. 

Expect to see plenty more of this boot in my Instagram feed. 

 

My Predictions on The Vuelio Blog Awards 2018 | Men's Lifestyle & Fashion

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Oh the woes of a Blogger. We bloggers love to bemoan how hard we work, the endless hours we spend chasing brands for payments, the RSI we endure through fiddling with Instagram pins. 

Yes it can be a slog, as Tom Cruise would say in Jerry Maguire, 'a soul swallowing siege, that I will never fully tell you about'. But we all make our choices in life. And some days those choices feel vindicated. Days like when your blog gets nominated for an award.

That's right, Vuelio, have picked me from the many esteemed and well-heeled bloggers for this year’s Mens Fashion Award. The Bloggers award ceremony is now in it's 4th year and the winners will be announced at the Bloomsbury Big on November 30th. 

Here are the other candidates and I'd like to just share some quick thoughts on each and how I see the contest going. 


Ape to Gentleman - apetogentleman.com

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Run by Chris Beastall. A very tidy platform, easy to use site that delivers quality and informative articles. Very fashion centric, I love how the site never compromises on image quality.

Chris will be a tough opponent, he's tall and will have a long reach. But I figure if I catch him early with some counter punches and keep myself away from his 'hammer' right hand, I predict an early knockout, with yours truly coming out on top. 

Prediction: KO round 3 - Thompson wins



Clothes Make The Man - clothes-make-the-man.com

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Run by Anthony McGrath. A solid seasoned veteran with an all-round game. I think Anthony will struggle to keep up with my level of fitness though so I expect him to tire in the later rounds. 

Prediction: Thompson wins on points, unanimous


Grey Fox - greyfoxblog.com

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Run by the ever studious David Evans. David is a former English teacher so I'd struggle to win the war of words. I know he's a keen cyclist so his fitness coming into this contest will be on a parr with mine. 

David however does struggle with concentration. I know he is on social media a lot and I expect his mind to wonder halfway through the contest. When I see his concentration levels dip, that's when I'll go in for the kill. 

Prediction: KO Thompson wins round 7


Man For Himself - manforhimself.com

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Robin James and his lustrous hair. Strong all round game. Trouble is with Robin, he's too much of a nice man and too good looking. I don't know how much he really wants to go to the trenches with me on this and mess up the cash register. 

Prediction: Thompson wins, Man for Himself forfeits the contest


Permanent Style - permanentstyle.com

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Simon Crompton, well with 500k page views a month Simon will certainly have the home crowd on his side. He has a tidy game, his site is dynamic, his content engaging. However, I know Simon is used to fighting in the upper-divisions, coming down to this weight class will be a huge wake up call for him come fight night. 

Prediction: Thompson wins, KO round 12 Thompson 

I'll keep you posted and will be sharing my thoughts leading up to the event but for now a huge thanks to the good people at Vuelio for the recognition. If someone can inbox me where I need to drop off that envelope of cash that would be great.