2 Killer Autumn Jackets all Men should own

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What are the best men’s Autumn Jacket on the market right now?

The two lightweight autumn jackets that I would recommend for you is the River Island Dark brown faux suede racer jacket for £70.00 and the M&S Suede Baseball Jacket for £129.

What's so great about these autumn jackets?

The River Island Autumn racer jacket is easily the best men’s autumn jacket on the market right now for price value. It's made of a faux suede fabric so you're not paying for the high end material. Yet the look is relatively indistinguishable.

It has quilted panels on the sleeve and a popper-fastened racer neck collar. Similar to that of a storm collar.

The only thing I'm not a huge fan of is the side slip zip pockets. I find putting my hands in zip pockets uncomfortable and scratches my hands. But it's an authentic look and it simply goes with anything.

A photo of the second jacket was posted recently on my Instagram page in partnership with Marks & Spencer to announce the news of their new pop up store in Soho.

One lucky winner got to win the jacket as part of a giveaway competition so make sure you're following my page as I'll be doing more posts like these.

This malleable-soft suede jacket has a regular fit, ribbed stretch cuffs and waistband to help create the classic bomber silhouette. Chunky zipper fastening and band collar. It's fully lined with a handy zipped interior pocket big enough to house a card wallet.

Why these autumn jackets works so well?

I often switch between both blue and black denim trousers. You can see in both photos that because of the dark brown and tan hues, I can wear both these jackets interchangeably. To see all the latest AW19 colour trends you should check out what's been on show at New York Fashion Week via Pinterest

They're also lightweight so NOW is the time to be wearing these jackets before the big freeze hits.

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Chester Barrie Reveal New AW19 Collection | Make Mine a Double (Breasted)

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It's always an unbridled joy to wax lyrical about Chester Barrie. Breaking news, they have just released their AW19 collection combining the sophistication of the modern world with the elegance and tradition of Savile Row.

The emphasis this season is on suits but there is a good selection of jackets, perfect for weekends as well as the office. We can cast our eyes back to the AW17 collection when Chester Barrie imbibed a whole renaissance with their immaculate double breasted jackets. 

Shapes are strong and flattering infusing premium cloth with detailed patterns and tactile finish sourced from a variety of mills, Loro Piana and Foxes Brothers being the pack leaders for this AW19 collection. 

Warm Autumn hues (not colour-ways. Colour-ways is not a word in my book. Nor is smart suiting for that matter) and subtle patterns combine to form timeless and elegant styles.

Having spoken to Pete Brooker, editor of the James Bond fashion blog From Tailors With Love, I’ve learnt corduroy is expected to explode this season after Daniel Craig was seen wearing a bloodied Massimo Alba cotton-corduroy slope suit on the set of No Time to Die.

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This will be in keeping with Chester Barrie's prophecy that corduroy is the seasonal must have. Corduroy features prominently in the AW19 collection with a selection of trousers and a jacket that are ideal for the cooler winter days.

From the super-soft corduroy jacket, made from using a mix of prime cotton and luxurious cashmere, to the sturdier cotton corduroy trousers it is a far cry from college lecturer cord of years gone by.

Although I still think the college lecturer cord is still a strong look. Rocking the corduroy jacket on campus will have the other lecturers get up and place their pens on your table like that scene from A Beautiful Mind (one of my favourite films ever!)

Have you seen inside Chester Barrie recently? They had a refurbishment late last year. They were the first tailor on Savile Row to have a virtual interactive 3D scan, allowing their long distance customers to feel a part of the brand's community.

It's further prove that Chester Barrie is a forward thinking menswear tailor, with one eye on its heritage, the other on consumer experience, and it's third eye (the all seeing eye) on sustainable fabrics and future trends.

From the sumptuous Prince of Wales check suit (also available as a three piece) to the Melange Texture Suit crafted in an exquisite cloth and completed with peaked lapel and extra ticket pocket, this a collection designed to help men look their best.

For jackets the stand-out piece is a double-breasted baby camel jacket though the Hopsack Donegal Jacket, which uses different coloured yarns and a mix of cashmere and silk to give it extra dimension, is also a contender.

And finally, a note on Chester Barrie’s sophisticated range of Sea Island cotton shirts: their lightweight, cashmere-like feel and simple elegance are the perfect foil to Chester Barrie’s sophisticated tailoring.

Collections are priced from £499-£1500 depending on what you're buying. 

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How to Make The Most of Your Suit | One Suit Styled Formal to Casual

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In my recent video 'Burgundy Suit Five Ways' I gave some suit styling tips on how to dress a suit up formerly and down casually. A purple or burgundy suit might not be the go-to colour for office wear. Whilst purple is becoming more mainstream, voted colour of the year in 2018 by Pantone, it's still too ostentatious for regular 9-5. 

However, it's ideal for a date night, maybe a special event or if you're attending a wedding as a guest. 

The suit I've chosen is an Austin Reed London which you can procure from their made to measure service. They now do fittings door to door. I've also done a recent review of that service on blog which you can read about here

In this video, I've styled a burgundy suit from Austin Reed London 5 different ways. I've tried to show how you can style the suit smart as well as casually. How you can wear the burgundy blazer with a pair of black jeans, so it's all about making the most out of your suit...not just for smart occasions but also going out for a night out.

LOOK 1:

The smartest version. I've used my Hawkins & Shepherd blue and white cutaway collar shirt to give the look some lift. However, the key element here is the wine red college stripe silk tie Hammond & Co. by Patrick Grant. I think this tie is an absolute bargain at £22, considering how much you pay for silk ties elsewhere. (Turnbull and Asser charge 5 times that much). 

The college look has a preppy vibe, but also gives off a subliminal 'man that knows something about something' aura. This look would be great for a race day event. Maybe a dinner at the members club. Purple is a colour associated with wealth and this styling looks like you belong in Home House baby. 

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LOOK 2:

If you're not wanting to go super-smart, conscious that you might be overdressed, then simply notch it down a few with this look. I've dispensed with the shirt and tie but kept the look and the tones clean with a black roll neck jumper from Marks & Spencer. 

Again a very accessible price at just under £40. Available also in Navy and Plum. But the black offers contrast and will be perfect for those nippy Autumn morning commutes. 

It's also a great business casual outfit. I've worn this to a couple of client meetings and it puts everyone at ease. 

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LOOK 3:

How about this bobby dazzler. This is a great date night look. I've opted for one of my own Hawkins & Shepherd button down shirts without a tie. It's fitted and feels great. It's a great way to bring a casual element to a smart look without looking like I've just clocked off. 

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LOOKS 4 & 5:

Now we're getting into the last of the casual stylings. I consider this look a perfect 'meet and greet' style. Maybe a look you'd wear to the cinema, perhaps even down to the pub. I've swapped out the trousers for some ASOS black jeans and introduced some M&S white trainers. 

This is a good strong look for you gentleman who don't feel comfortable wearing suits, but want to start dressing with a smarter, with a bit more intent. 

You can check out all the links to the products I've worn in the bio in the video. If you like this video please give it a thumbs up and subscribe, it will encourage me to do more.

Men's Wedding Style | What to wear as a guest to a Winter Wedding

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Hello everyone. Today I'm going to bring some suggestions on what one could wear to a Winter Wedding here in the UK is 9 degrees centigrade, 5 degrees Fahrenheit. 

So I'd suggest a 3 piece suit and an over coat. Bear in mind that all these looks are just my opinion coming from a viewpoint of what I would wear. 

I'm not looking to subtract any eyeballs away from the groom. Yet at the same time I'd like to distinguish myself from the other guests. The fit will need to be perfect so planning is key. Don't leave it until the last week to get measured for a suit because last minute alterations might be required. 

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JUMPERS BENEATH SUITS

Having a V-Neck sweater in place of a waistcoat is a great idea. On a quick Google search I've picked out some interesting looks for you to consider. 

I really like all the looks in the slide below, only the middle one would not be appropriate for a wedding. Consider wearing a roll-neck throughout the duration of the day. You might want to take a jacket off during reception or at the dinner. Not wearing a shirt and tie at the dinner table of a wedding is unforgivable. 

The look on the left is more conservative than the dandy on the far right. But both would be more suitable for a winter wedding than the one in the middle. 

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THE ROYAL WAY 

Admittedly the wedding between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry was in May, not a Winter month. However, a traditional long morning dress, tailcoat, 3 x 6 double breasted waistcoat and trousers works perfectly for all seasons. You can go for a heavier fabric on the coat should you wish. 

Prince George you'll notice has double reverse pleated trousers probably from Gieves and Hawkes. Prince Harry and David Beckham have gone for flat front trousers. Becks has a tighter fit and a lower rise for a modern style. Doesn't Victoria look a knockout? 

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THE EMERGENCY OVERCOAT

Having a camel cashmere overcoat will be the true Excalibur of your winter wedding outfit. It's light enough that you won't sweat away and protective enough to keep you from freezing in a cold non-heated English church in early December. 

What's best is that this Cashmere Camel overcoat is not only half price but interchangeable with almost any colour suit. From burgundy, to navy, to black or blue, this coat will have you looking fine through all the seasons and ceremonies. 



Worthy of Bond | Brands We'd Like to See James Bond Wear

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What brands are synonymous with the cinematic James Bond? Typically they'd be British. They'd be handmade but ultimately, they'd be luxurious and denote quality. 

Today I want to talk about the brands Worthy of James Bond. I had a long chat with my friend Peter Brooker who has just launched a brand new website dedicated towards the style of James Bond, From Tailors With Love

He has also started a hashtag #worthyofbond highlighting brands he deems worthy of being in the franchise. Using brands from that Hashtag we cobbled a list together and welcome your thoughts and suggestions in the comment box below. 

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HEMINGSWORTH

A relative new comer to the fashion industry but already making some serious waves. Hemingsworth started making tailored swim shorts for gentleman looking to look stylish in and out of the pool. 

Manufactured and designed in the UK and of course modelled by my good friend Peter Brooker who surely must be in the running for a casting call by EON himself someday? 

Didn't Lazenby start out as an underwear model? 

SMYTHSON 

The heritage Bond Stationary and leather goods brand founded in 1887. Influential figures from Sigmund Freud to Sir Winston Churchill, recognised the timeless purity of their goods so why not add Bond to that list. 

Bond has used Louis Vuitton luggage before when he visited Chateau Chantilly in A View to a Kill. More recently he carries a Globe-Trotter Original Brown suitcase in SPECTRE.

I think Bond could mix it up a little. Surely a man with as many stamps in his passport as Bond would have some back-up luggage for worst case scenarios. 

LONDON SOCK CO 

As worn by Daniel Craig so I'm lead to believe. You may have also heard me wax lyrical about the London Sock Co company in a previous article on my blog. 

It's a great gifting item because you can record a 60 second video (displayed within the box) that will make you feel like a super spy. 

OLIVER SPENCER 

Oliver Spencer offers great casual wear, and features UK design with around 40% of the collection is made in England. I think Bond would have championed his plucky spirit, abandoning his education in favour of opening a stall at Portobello Market. The kind of entrepreneurial spirit on which this country was founded. 

HAWKINS AND SHEPHERD 

And lastly but leastly! Whilst we're talking about entrepreneurial spirit. Whilst we're talking luxury and British design? My Hawkins & Shepherd shirts are made of the finest quality cotton. With some of my new range being a mix of cashmere and cotton. 

I do a range of Tab Collar shirts, a look favoured by Daniel Craig in the photos we saw when Prince Charles went to visit him at the Pinewood Studios. Make sure to check out the video I did with my friend and co-host of the From Tailors With Love podcast Pete Brooker on what makes a quality shirt. (You might find an amazing discount code tucked away in the show notes). 

Outfit of the Day | Smart Tailoring

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For anyone looking to get into smart tailoring, take a look at the following combination that I'm currently enjoying. I was recently asked in an interview by Vuelio for my favourite go-to outfit and I instantly gravitated towards this. 

The flannel double breasted suit is from Suit Supply and I've had this in my locker for close to 4 years now. It's a flannel wool so has that nice texture to it. Close up you can see it's almost a marl sky blue, with some fleck which from a distance gives it that two tone look. 

It's double breasted but I like to wear it open. Because the jacket is reasonably short, almost like a peacoat, and the fabric is light it drapes well open. When it's closed it's a 2x6 construction and I have the sleeves cut to a modern length so the cuffs can pull through. 

The shirt is one of my own, a Hawkins & Shepherd Blue Stripe Luxury Shirt made from 100%c Soyella Duecento cotton. The cuffs you can see are mitred which gives it a little extra. I love how the blues marry between the shirt and the suit jacket. 

I've kept the pattern on the tie simple so not to interrupt the visuals. A Deep silk navy polka dot tie done in a four in hand. 

It's a look that you can pull off in client meetings, event dinners or even on first dates. I wouldn't personally wear it on a first date as it looks more business than smart casual. Depending on the setting of course. 

I've also modernised the look by wearing ankle socks. This shows off the tailoring of the trouser and breaks up the darkness. You could even where light or stone coloured khakis with this double breasted jacket for a nautical look. I once toyed with the idea of changing the buttons over to brass, but never got round to it. 

Someday maybe. 

SHOP THE LOOK

Outfit of the Day | My Signature Autumnal Style

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What is your go-to Autumn outfit? If you're looking down the road once we pass the summer heatwave for some Autumn menswear ideas then here is my signature look. 

The 'blogger approved' key to layering articles will be hitting your feeds very shortly. I'm looking to get out in front with this look. 

First it's the Hawkins & Shepherd Camel Cashmere coat, currently half price on the website. This coat has been a staple piece in my Autumn wardrobe for the past three years. It's interchangeable, it's light and it's perfect for those slightly chilly months on the run up to Winter. 

Underneath I'm rocking a faded denim shirt by Zara. This brings out a wonderful contrast, not only colour but in texture. The shirt has the worn in look, whilst the coat looks brand new (although it's three years old).

The Autumn look has to have something earthy, something honest. The black Superdry jeans and tee, are fairly run of the mill but keeps the look clean. 

I do have distressed jeans, knee blow outs and honeycomb stacks, but that would have been too much of a clash, I didn't want anything to break the lines of this aesthetic. It may look simple, but it's a classy look. 

Take a look at the watch. It's a Rotary GMT Henley with the red/blue Pepsi Cola bezel. The chain strap gives it the verisimilitude of a dress watch, which upgrades the entire look. Same with the Ray-Bans. 

Let me finish by waxing lyrical about these Dr Martens. Don't they look supreme? They are the Cherry Red Vegan 1460's Boot and unlike most men’s boots, don't need to be worn in. Normally I like to hire one of my lackeys to break in my boots for me to save the blisters. (Only joking). 

They are currently available for £130 and I can't recommend them enough. The colour is tailor made for autumn wear and they bring a real classy yet street finish-vibe to my Autumn look. 



SHOP THE LOOK

 

The Fashion Hero | Why I've Decided to be a Part of This Movement

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Today I want to officially announce my involvement as a mentor in the upcoming TV series The Fashion Hero. The Fashion Hero is a TV series filming in South Africa next year, the theme is centred around influencers who promote positivity, diversity etc. 

These influencers will get paired with mentors who will offer advice and frame their narrative. I'll be giving their platform a boost and bringing general awareness to all the good work they're doing in promoting mental health. 

As Steve McQueen always used to say, when you take something you need to give a little bit back. The world of social media has been very good to me. It's now time for me to pay it forward for the youngsters coming through. 

There is still an opportunity for you to get involved and be selected. This goes out to all those people that have also hit me up recently complaining that they can't get their accounts off the ground. That the Instagram algorithm has knocked them off their perch. 

Instagram especially is something that's always shape-shifting on us. Soon they might be doing away with the 'likes' and it will level out the playing field for a lot of people. 

If you want to get your head above the parapet, it's going to take more than just emailing brands your media deck. You might have to start door knocking, the old fashioned way. 

Picking up the phone more, writing about brands for the love of it. Rather than the endorsement cheque. 

That's why I'm daring you to get involved with The Fashion Hero. 19 million people have already hit the website and 66,000 contestants have already signed up for their chance to be on the show. 

If you're selected you get the chance to go over to South Africa and more importantly, by being part of The Fashion Hero movement and TV series, you will become a role model for future generations. 

The future is what you make said the Doc, so make it a good one. 

Christie's Tailors in Leeds | Wedding Suits, Business Suits & More

Today I'm putting one foot outside of London and introducing you to a tailor in Leeds called Christies Tailors. We often assume that all the best tailors, all the most important menswear fashion houses reside in London and nothing else matters beyond the outer limits of the M25. 

In truth a lot of the mills are in the north of England, many of the designers manufacture their clothes outside of the city to reduce overheads. We're no longer living in the salad days where the likes of John Stephens who almost single handily invented Carnaby Street, designs and produces all the garments at the back of the store. 

Whilst I haven't had the pleasure of frequenting Christie's Tailors, the proud sponsor of this blog post, I've scoured ruthlessly through their website and can certainly vouch for the useful and educational content. 

Christie's Tailors have over ten years' experience and offer a variety of men’s tailoring services. They embrace challenges of creating and altering individual garments, as well as provide superior quality 2-piece and 3-piece tailoring.

WEDDING SUITS

They have a welter of fabrics available for you to choose from. (I'm told 800 which is staggering). A bespoke wedding suit is something that will give you that air of confidence on one of the most important days of your life. 

If you're unsure on what look you're after, the experienced tailors and consultants at Christie's will be on hand to guide you through the process. 

BESPOKE SUITS

Christie's offer a bespoke and made to measure service for their suits. Aside from your wedding day you might need a suit another special event, the Cheltenham Races, or the Grand National (slightly closer if you're in Leeds).

Importantly, a well-fitting business suit can really ameliorate you amongst your colleagues. You don't have to dress like Beau Brummell in the office to distinguish yourself amongst your colleagues. A well-fitting suit that is tailored to your spec, can be just as visually arresting.

You won't have to pay Savile Row prices for your bespoke suit when you shop at Christie's. Although everyone requires different functionality from a suit, it's best to drop by and make an appointment with Christie's to get a quote. 

OTHER SERVICES

Something that caught my eye when I was rifling the Christie's page was how they have offer their services to make unique garments. 

A rapidly growing industry is the Cosplay universe. Many people are looking to get their own garments made, inspired by the ones they idolise on the big screen. My friend Pete Brooker even travelled to Hoi An recently to get a Safari Jacket made seen in one of the James Bond movies. 

I'm sure he and many other fans of costume design would be interested in knowing about Christie's Tailors. 

 

Versace V-Urban Watches Reviewed

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Today I'm going to take a look at the V-Urban Versace Watch from the Versace – Spring/Summer 2019 Collection. 

On first glance it has a very mesmeric quality. The white kaleidoscopic-esque sunray dial pulls you into the watch and allows the finer details to unravel around it. 

This watch for men takes inspiration from vintage aesthetics. Harking back to the elegance of yesteryear and, in particular, watches from the 50s and 60s.

You can see the vintage hallmarks expressed and embodied in the watches simplicity. The deft-design,  understated in size with meticulous details, it features an ultra-flat case that is perfect for more formal looks.

You can have the options of the double-stitched tobacco coloured leather Butterfly buckle (my personal favourite) or the more ostentatious two-tone steel with middle links in IP gold Butterfly buckle. 

I'd love to know how this watch is received by the hardcore Versace fans. Naturally I'm a fan, I seriously recommend you catch The Assassination of Gianni Versace wherever you can. I'll leave a link to the Netflix series here

I've always found Versace to be one of the most important pioneers for women’s fashion. The way he wanted to make them feel empowered, sexy and independent in his clothes. A quote from Gianni Versace from the book 'The World's Most Influential Fashion Designers reads 'Fashion has to be free to express personality and individuality. I always look for people who are out of the crowd, who are individuals, who are free, who have a real sense of style, which means their own sense of style.'

These words sum up my entire philosophy on fashion. So does this watch echo the late Gianni's believe? 

For my money it does. The watch has a very unique style and visual feel. Perhaps with the steel bracelet could be mistaken for a Rolex Datejust 36 Champagne Burst, but only from afar and there are many distinguishable differences between the two. 

It has the Versace stamp with the Medusa at 12 o’clock. Versace fans will love that. 

Minimalist yet decidedly chic, it is an accessory with a metropolitan calling. A must have for the classy Versace man. Available now in Versace boutiques, authorised retailers and online at versace.com (Currently 825 GBP at the time of writing).

A Casual Suiting Style | Outfit of the Day

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It's been awhile since I discussed some of my current looks. Although I've sharing these images on Instagram, I don't always have time to flesh out the ideas behind the look. 

Despite my reservations surrounding the Kingsman: Golden Circle, the tailoring was untouchable. The Kingsman, in reality The Huntsman on Savile Row, has a special capsule collection housed on Mr Porter, this suit being one of the exclusive designs. 

The double-breasted jacket is a 6x2 meaning there are 6 buttons with 2 rows that can fasten. The arrangement is more traditional and conservative. It's made from a navy super 120s wool, sourced from the iconic William Halstead mill - a purveyor of fine fabrics since 1875.

It's fully canvassed, fully lined, fitted but not constricting. At first glance you might not notice that's double breasted as I'm wearing it open here. A lot of double breasted jackets can lose their shape if not done up. However, thanks to the lightness of the fabric, it doesn't drape off kilter. It's a darker tone also so the silhouette, on the surface at least, looks uninterrupted. 

The mid-rise trousers come with unfinished hems and adjustable tabs at the waist. 

Casual Suiting

As much as I despise the word 'suiting' I'm struggling to come up with another term currently. What I'm trying to convey is that not every suit needs a shirt. I've pared down the overall look with a River Island longline tee. A crew neck will tidy the look. 

I've finished the look with some Marks & Spencer lace up trainers in white to offer some contrast to the overall finish. These lace-up trainers for men have been given M&S's Freshfeet™ finish to ward off odour and are also vegan friendly. 

Where would I wear this? 

This is perfect for a dress down Friday look at the office. Maybe a date after work. It shows you've not come straight from the office and you've made some effort to dress smartly, but not too formerly. 

SHOP THE LOOK

11 Best Fashion Books You Need on Your Shelf

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Today I want to breeze through some of the fashion books that I've read in the past year. Some I use as reference books for blogs, others I use for design inspiration, some I just the like pictures ok? 

I think these fashion books offer something for everyone and I'd love to get some recommendations from you in the comments below. 

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DRESSED TO KILL - JAMES BOND THE SUITED HERO 

The impact of the Bond films on popular culture is impossible to overestimate. (BTW if this is your cup of tea then I can recommend  my friend Pete Brooker's podcast From Tailors With Love where he dedicates an entire 30 minutes every week to the style of James Bond). 

Dressed to Kill follows the sartorial transformations from the 1960s chic of the Nehru-collared jacket in Dr No to the classic Italian tailoring by Brioni in Goldeneye. 

Dressed to Kill is available on AMAZON: 25 GBP

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FASHIONPEDIA 

The visual dictionary of fashion design. This is very much a reference book for me that I must turn to at least 2-3 times a week. It has everything from flat designs, collar types to the anatomy of a mans dress watch. 

From the Fashionary Website: 49 USD (I purchased mine in the Saatchi Gallery).

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ICONS of MEN'S STYLE - JOSH SIMS

I probably started my modest collection with this beautiful book a few years ago. Again this is a great reference guide for me. Behind nearly every item in the modern male wardrobe is a 'first of its kind' - the definitive example., often designed by a single company or brand for specialist use, from which all subsequent versions have evolved (and originals of which are now collected in the booming vintage market). 

Icons of Men's Style: Available from Waterstones for 10 GBP 

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FASHION IN FILM - CHRISTOPHER LAVERTY 

Christopher Laverty is a costume and fashion writer and consultant. Fashion in Film celebrates the contributions of fashion designers to cinema, exploring key garments, what they mean in context of the narrative, and why they are so memorable. Be sure to check out Christopher's blog

Clothes on Film is available through his publisher Laurence King: 30 GBP

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HOUSE OF NUTTER: LANCE RICHARDSON 

House of Nutter tells the story of two gay men who influenced some of the most iconic styles and pop images of the twentieth century. A fascinating read and wonder through 60's, 70's menswear. Anyone who loved Rocketman and is interested in the suits Elton John wore would definitely be interested in this book. Tommy Nutter also designed the clothes worn by 3 of The Beatles on the cover of the Abbey Road album. 

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A HISTORY OF FASHION - J.ANDERSON BLACK & MADGE GARLAND 

This is a real comprehensive view on the subject of fashion. Maybe you'd struggle to take this on your summer hols, it's quite hefty. However, it's a glossy treasure-house of information. I was lucky enough to pick this up in a charity store. Sadly I've not managed to find one online. 

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THE KING OF CARNABY STREET - THE LIFE OF JOHN STEPHEN - JEREMY REED

John Stephen first came to London in 1952 at just eighteen years old, but his expertise and unerring eye for cut and detail propelled him to the front of the fashion brigade. You'll find his blue plaque on the fringe of Carnaby Street. 

Available from Waterstones for 20 GBP

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BOUTIQUE LONDON: A HISTORY: KING'S ROAD to CARNABY STREET - RICHARD LESTER 

To any style conscious Londoner in the sixties just two places mattered: the King's Road and Carnaby Street. By the end of the decade the whole world came to be seen, to take part in the theatre that played out of the new boutiques and onto the street. 

This book is beautiful, wonderful images and really captures the essence of the time. 

By this used on Amazon right now for 15 GBP 

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MAKING THE CUT: RICHARD ANDERSON 

Master cutter Richard Anderson has worked on Savile Row for over 35 years. He started his career at the age of seventeen as an apprentice at Huntsman. In 2001 he co-founded his own Savile Row company, Richard Anderson LTD, with Brian Lishak. 

I learnt a lot from Richard in this book and its beautifully presented. 

Available through Thames and Hudson for 30 GBP

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SAVILE ROW - THE MASTER TAILORS OF SAVILE ROW 

James Sherwood is currently working with Henry Poole I noticed. He did a book with Turnbull and Asser and it's hard to believe that this book is nearly 10 years old. It's the real almanac for Savile Row tailors and it's elite and lustrous history. 

Available on Amazon for 30 GBP. More information on James Sherwood can be found on his website

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THE WORLD'S MOST INFLUENTIAL FASHION DESIGNERS - NOEL PALOMO-LOVINSKI 

Another great reference book for the history of inspiration. Each of the 50 designers is analyzed according to his or her most significant contributions to the dialogue of fashion. There is a special emphasis on who and what influenced each designer, as well as how the designer has inspired others, thereby revealing connections that have helped to shape the history of fashion. 

Buy used from AMAZON for 2 GBP 

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Hawkins & Shepherd Celebrates its 6th Year | A look into their future plans

Today I mark the 6th year anniversary of Hawkins & Shepherd. I want to thank many of my new and existing customers who not only support the brand, but reach out to me personally to thank me for the quality of service. 

The luxury shirtmaking industry is a fiercely competitive one. London has a great pedigree of manufacturing made to measure shirts, I'm humbled and proud to align myself (dare I say) with some of the marquee names such as Emma Willis, New & Lingwood, Turnbull & Asser etc. 

Whilst I might not have quite the history of some of these notorious ateliers, I've been inspired by their commitment to quality. As Hawkins & Shepherd continues to grow I want to give you some tiny insights into what lies in store for Hawkins & Shepherd. 

Sustainability. I'm currently looking into different fabrics that can provide a more eco-friendly alternative to cotton. The eco-textile market is an ever shape-shifting landscape and it's very much early days, but I can tell you I'm currently keeping an eye on reports out of Finland on a fabric called Ioncell that's derived from birch trees. 

The website will be getting an overhaul to enable a more slick user experience. I'm currently in talks with 3 developers that will help bring my vision to reality.  

I'm also looking to offer more style advice on what to wear for formal occasions. As you may have seen in recent weeks I've had the pleasure and privilege to be invited to some of the most prestigious events in the country such as Ascot, Goodwood and Henley

I don't want anyone to be floundered at what to wear to these events. DM me or comment below for any advice, more than happy to help. 

I've also teamed up with some other mens fashion influencers to offer unique discount codes on some of my shirts. I don't want to give too much away at this point but stay tuned James Bond fans! 

All these ideas I'm implementing to help strengthen my position in the luxury shirt market. As well as constantly releasing new seasons collections such as the New Cashmerello range, I'm also in the throes of recording 'versus' YouTube videos, pitching my shirts against other high street brands. 

If you're interested in knowing what makes a luxury shirt and the differences you should be looking out for, please check a previous post on The Perfect Shirt

Top 12 Luxury Watches for Stylish Men 2019

Today I'm going to introduce you to some luxury watches that are on my wish list. It's very much an aspirational thing to be able to afford a luxury watch. Whilst a watch doesn't define you, it can certainly communicate a message that you're serious about your appearance. Plenty to get through so let’s get into it.

 

Omega Seamaster 300m 

The Omega Seamaster is arguable one of the most iconic dive watches of all time. This particular Seamaster is a tribute to the brands maritime legacy. Various incarnations of the Seamaster 300m have been worn by James Bond, starting with Pierce Brosnan in Goldeneye who wore the Seamaster Professional (both quartz and automatic) throughout his tenure.

Bond 25 will mark the 25th anniversary of Omega’s involvement with the James Bond franchise. 

All the watches I am listing can be found through Watchfinder who are the proud sponsors of this post. All their watches have a 12-month warranty and are put through vigorous accuracy and authenticity checks.

PRICE £2,550 

Breitling Navitimer 01

I could look at the dial face on this Breitling Navitimer 01 watch for hours. Quite happily. It has that energy, that look of a watch that you want to live in. If there was a Honey I shrunk the Blogger movie, I'd want to be the leading shrunken man and I'd want to run around inside this watch. The bezel has this cog-wheel texture that gives it this industrial hyper-masculine sensibility. 

PRICE £5,250

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Grande Date

I class the Jaeger watches as the haute couture of watches. What do I mean by that? I don't really know. But they have an irrepressible flair. Many brands have attempted to replicate that elongated bezel with concave striped silver chassis. To no avail. There's only room for one maestro in this division. 

PRICE £6,750


IWC Big Pilots

I will be touching on a more ostentatious IWC watch later in the blog. For now feast your eyes on this Big Pilots watch. Notice the sub-dial on the 3 O'clock position that tells you when your movement is in need of some juice. Dig that. 

PRICE £7,395



Bremont DH-88

My new best pals, Bremont. So kind of them to invite me to the Henley Regatta a few weeks back. You can read about my day out and a brief history on Bremont on a separate post here. There's a wonderful blurb about the history and the inspiration behind this watch on the Watchfinder site. Bremont are a very romantic brand. I'm slightly infatuated with them right now. 

PRICE £7,500

Omega Speedmaster Missions

We spoke about the moon landings before. You know I'm obsessed with all that right now. We haven't been back to the moon since 1972. Do you know why? Yes money, back in the day it cost something like 4 billion USD to get on the moon. The Vietnam War kicked off and things just got shelved. But largely people just lost interest. Can you believe that? 

So this Speedmaster Mission is one of a 22-piece limited edition commemorating the 40th anniversary of its legendary Moonwatch. 

PRICE £7,650

Hublot Classic Fusion

We're going through the gears now. Into the 5 digit category. This Hublot Classic Fusion speaks to me. It has that aforementioned aspirational elegance. Cleaner face, deft minimalism, no pretence, no chi-chi. 

PRICE £10,950 

Rolex Datejust 41

Can you believe we have gotten this far without mentioning a Rolex watch yet? This has a sparse, almost supernatural feel to this watch. If those protesters camping outside Area 51 right now broke through the fences, found an orgy of alien autopsy reports and discovered this Rolex watch was delivered to earth as an offer of peace from an extra-terrestrial being; I wouldn't be a bit surprised. 

PRICE £8,925 

Rolex Submariner

I'm going to slide in the Submariner 5513 here surreptitiously. It really is the watch that got me into watches. Bond fans will recognise this watch from Live and Let Die. "Pure magnetism darling". 

PRICE £10,950 

Rolex Daytona

Confession, this is not really my style. The watch is of course beautiful, but not one I would normally gravitate towards. That said I’m a huge race fan. Love the F1, love Stock Car racing (yes I’ve seen Days of Thunder and Talladega Nights way too many times) and the Daytona 500 is the tip of the spear when it comes to NASCAR. If money was no object I'd be the proud owner of this Daytona Watch

PRICE £12,650

IWC Portuguese Perpetual Calendar

There is something about brown alligator leather over silver bezels and dial faces. Arabic Silver to be precise. It's just a gorgeous combination, they saddle so well, it's the ornate-embodiment of class. 

The moon phase dial; often times I see this on the underside of the centre pin. Here it's in the treble twenty range, to use a darts analogy. It's prouder, its confident. This IWC watch will be the real show pony in my watch drawer someday. 

PRICE £17,500

Patek Philippe Grand Complications

This isn't a watch this a lifetime achievement award. I picked this Patek Philippe because you need to see what a luxury Rose Gold watch should look like. So often I'm seeing Kickstarter brands use Rose Gold to offer the verisimilitude of luxury, but this is the real deal. 

I love the brown sun-brushed dial face that gives it an exotic unquantifiable quality. As Patrick Bateman would say, 'something illusory'. He would also ask people to not touch the watch. I'd hire my own bouncers if I were to wear this out in Clapham. 

PRICE £47,500

About Watchfinder

Watchfinder & Co, the Preowned watch specialists, have thousands of watches available from more than 50 brands. As well as the brands listed in this article you can find preowned watches from Panerai, Cartier, Montblanc and more. With close to 20,000 Excellent reviews on Trustpilot, you can shop with confidence.

 

Lord Timepieces Review | British Watch Brand on the Rise

Today I'm going to wax some serious praise on Lord Timepieces. They were kind enough to send on this exquisite Chrono Rose Gold Black watch for me to review. 

Firstly, the pictures don't really do it justice. Entombed in a rose gold bezel sits a perforated dial face, intersected with 3 dial faces, each with their own design. 

It has an aviator quality to it. Handsome, sleek and elegant. What's great when I created this Lord Timepieces review is how it really catches your eye, without being overly showy. It's a 45mm so doesn't come across too muscular. It's a chunk of money at £145, but in the grand scheme of things and compared some branded dress watches it's very evenly priced. 

Other watches from the website I have my eye on are thee Sport Black Silicone, the Sport Gold and the Chrono Gold Black. 

The Sport Gold Black Silicone has a dialled-down dial face that looks very rugged. Quasi-retro but at the same time, I can see Christopher Lambert rocking this in some prison Sci-fi film set in the year 2047 when all the cars look terrible and the only stylish thing left is this watch!

The Sport Gold is undoubtedly a more bling take on the Black Silicone. Not my usual go-to style but I do like to mix things up every now and then. This would be perfect for that upmarket urban night out. When you're wanting to get that little extra attention in the club or bar. 

This Chrono Gold Black Lord Timepiece is the inverted version of the Chrono Rose Gold Black watch I was sent. A very 'dressier' style than I'd usually go for but after showing the page to some other friends, it was this one that came out top. 

More reasons to love Lord Timepieces 

Have a nose around their site I'm sure you'll find at least one piece that will grab you. Great news if you're a student as Lord Timepieces offer 10% to all students

They ship internationally for FREE, although check the customs and import charges if you're buying outside the UK. 

It's a London based brand. 

*This sponsored post/review was created in collaboration with Lord Timepieces.

The Perfect Shirt | Top 5 Ways to Know if You’re Buying a Luxury Shirt

Today I’m going to give you 5 things that make the difference on a luxury dress shirt. I’ve been running Hawkins & Shepherd for around 6 years now and have acquired a lot of knowledge and experience in the shirt making industry. Here are some things that I look out for immediately when determining the quality of a shirt.

THE COLLAR

The collar on a man’s dress shirt needs to be high quality. The first thing I look for is edge stitching. What is edge stitching? This is a term given when the stitching runs to the edge of the seam It’s harder to do as a tailor because there is less room for error so therefore it takes longer. It’s a technique that takes greater skill.

Most shirts will have quarter edge stitching.

Another thing to look out for on the collar is whether the collar is non-fused. There will be a lining in a collar that is sometimes fused to the fabric on one if not both sides. It’s a cheaper and quicker way to manufacture shirts. Sadly that adhesive used to fuse the collar can perish and react with the fabric over time and washes. You may have recognised a bubbling effect on your collars if you’re buying entry level shirts. To test whether you are buying a quality dress shirt you should be able to pull the fabric away from the lining on both sides. 

Lastly don’t forget about the removable collar stays. Entry level shirts will have them fused in which can be problematic when ironing. Plus ironing over plastic is not desirable and over time will leave nasty indentations on the collar.

STITCHING

Let’s talking about stitching on a dress shirt. Stitching is the most expensive part when it comes to manufacturing. Especially if the shirt is composed using single needle side seam stitching. (Try saying that after one too many Heinekens). A cheaper method of manufacturing is to use the double needle. But single needle leaves a beautiful finish.  

THE SPLIT YOKE  

The all-important split yoke. I’m talking about the block of fabric situated on the back of the shirt that sits over the shoulders. A split yolk means that 2 pieces of fabric lay over the shoulders. It fits better on the shoulders and there is more flow if you have a split yolk. If there is a pattern shirt then it’s more of a design aspect as to whether you chose to have a split yoke.

Personally I like a non-split yoke when its striped or checked. Watch for a split yoke on a lower quality shirt, quite often the patterns will not match up. 

FRONT PLACKET 

I love it clean no stitching. These might come down to personal preferences but there are certain features that will distinguish a luxury dress shirt.

The front placket should without question have mother of pearl buttons mother of pearl buttons, tightly sewn to the placket.

 Every buttonhole should be sewn vertically, apart from the bottom one. This needs to be sewn horizontally which will allow freedom of movement. The bottom button hole will often be the one that sees the most action and needs to flex with the body.  

Talking of movement, look at the gusset of the shirt. A well-constructed shirt will have the triangle area to allow for more movement. It also cleans the hem to a nice finish.

 Some shirts are over engineered with different fabric on the front. I personally don’t see this as a luxury choice. Just extra fuss and a distraction.

The fabric entry level for a luxury shirt will be a  cotton twin 100's. The higher you go up in the yarn count the finer is going to be and more often the softer. Lower yarn count like 40’s, 60’s will be a thicker fabric and not conducive for a dress shirt.

SLEEVES

It’s crucial that the shoulders line up pattern wise with the arms. Again there should be no fused linings in the cuff. I also look for a smaller button on the sleeve placket. I love double button cuff personally, but that it not deemed a feature of luxury, more tradition. If I have a sharp cut in the collar I would also look the same in the cuff, rounded cuffs and collar. 

ICIW Gym wear | Be the Best Dressed in the Gym

Today I'm going to talk to you about ICIW, an athleisure brand out of Stockholm that have sent on a few garments for me to wear to my KOBOX sessions. 

I'm always keen to champion the brands that share the same belief system as I. That have a similar narrative that often includes starting from nothing, taking a leap of faith. 

When I read the backstory of founder Gustaf Ollas and learned how he too switched paths from full time employment and pursued his vision of creating training clothes that he would like to wear. 

Gustaf worked as Personal Trainer and sold dietary training courses online, but knew very little about the textile industry when he began his journey with ICIW in 2012. 

I think at everyone at some point in their lives have ideas on setting up their own tee shirt company right? They get fixated on a theme or slogan, order up about 1000 and then have to deal with boxes of unsold tee shirts clogging up their garage 2 years down the line. 

For anyone that has had any modicum of success in starting up their own brand they'll know the process for producing new garments generally takes between 6-12 months, from idea to prototype and finally to finished product. If you're interested 

It's a tricky business especially as trends and fashion waves move quicker than seasons in today’s current retail climate. ICIW offer high quality training clothes at a competitive price. Most products are manufactured in limited edition to make the customer feel unique.

SOCIAL MEDIA PHENONMENON 

Again, for budding entrepreneurs, take time to familiarise yourself with the ICIW website. It's clean, easy to use, strong imagery and they empower influencers and leverage their social media accounts in very creative ways. 

For example the Hashtag #icaniwill has been used more than 1,600,000 times in writing.

Today, ICIW are a team of seven. A close knit community that provide awesome training apparel and generate positivity and health through the medium of fashion.



Bremont Watches | A Brief History of the Brand

I was fortunate enough to be invited to Henley Regatta last week on behalf of Bremont watches. You can catch that article on the Henley Regatta dress code over on my blog here

The day was truly educational. My first time at the Regatta it's one of those landmark events that makes you feel unashamedly and quintessentially British. 

Bremont is not only a proud sponsor of the Henley Regatta, but also operates a  Parts Manufacturing Facility in a separate location just outside Henley-on-Thames where it is manufacturing case and movement components.

So it's a great homegrown brand. A brand borne out of hardship and tragedy, when the founders and brothers Giles and Nick English suffered a tragic loss. In 1995 their father Euan died and Nick broke over 30 bones following an air-show training incident that Nick had with his father, Euan English.

(I'm going to include the story from the press release here as I can't word it better and it's such a romantic genesis, that I feel it has to be told). 

"The following year after the plane crash, Nick and Giles were back in the air, flying across France in a 60-year-old plane. Bad weather forced them to make an emergency landing in a pea field in the Champagne region.

As fate would have it, the field was owned by an old farmer, who not only reminded the brothers of their own father, but was also a former WWII pilot and just as passionate about aircraft as Nick and Giles.

His farmhouse, where the brothers stayed for a couple of nights, also housed a wonderful selection of restored wall clocks and he wore a particularly special wristwatch, the one given to him by his father. His name, Antoine Bremont, was chosen to grace this range of British watches with his passions in life mirroring closely those of the brothers and their late father.

The brothers were determined to make a watch that would last more than a lifetime. To that end, it had to be made from the best available materials using the most tried and tested techniques.

Indeed, this led to the company’s maxim “Tested Beyond Endurance”; all Bremont timepieces would be tested above and beyond the demands placed upon conventional wristwatches."

It's great to see a British brand invest so much into the local economy, providing jobs and reviving the some would herald, the lost art of British watchmaking. 

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 Passionate about reinvigorating Britain’s horological past, Bremont is wholly dedicated to developing mechanical watch manufacturing expertise in the UK and plans are underway for the opening of a new headquarters bringing together the current manufacturing and assembly under one roof. The 35,000 sq ft building will be a bespoke design built into the Oxfordshire countryside.

Bremont has flagship boutiques in London, New York, Hong Kong and Melbourne with plans for further expansion.

Please take the time to find out more about Bremont and visit their website here

 

 

Men's Dress Code at Henley Regatta | What to wear for Henley Regatta

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What makes Henley Regatta one of the best events in the Summer calendar? This year I was kindly invited to enjoy the frivolities of the festival on behalf of Bremont watches. 

It was my first year at the Henley Royal Regatta. Of course I had first gotten the rowing bug watching the likes of Steve Redgrave and Alex Gregory bring the Olympic Gold home for Great Britain. 

My long distance readers might also be familiar with the scene from The Social Network depicting the oddly brilliant Winklevoss race sequence, filmed here in Henley. 

I finally got to experience my first ever Henley Regatta. Cautious to meet the right dress criteria, I opted for my white Debenhams chino trousers with my stone peak-lapelled linen blend Reiss jacket and a Hawkins & Shepherd formal shirt

You'll find many navy and deckchair striped blazers at the event. Of course if you’re affiliated with a rowing club or rowing school, you’ll be able to wear your school/club blazer and tie.

I adhered to these trends by wearing a burgundy, grey chevron tie, with a pin stripe shirt. The burgundy really off-set the white colours and we were really fortunate with the weather.

The linen jacket was light enough to circulate the heat and of course my Bremont watch finished the all British look. (OK aside from my Tom Ford sunglasses, nearly all-British).  

It's worth noting one of the event sponsors Jeremy Hackett of Hackett London has a word on the dress code on the Henley Regatta site. If you're not attending the Stewards Enclosure there is no dress code, although one is encouraged to enter the spirit of the event with rowing apparel and striped attire

Elsewhere I was in esteemed company with the likes of David Evans from Grey Fox Blog. He looked an absolute picture in the paddock as they say, wearing a striped shirt from Budd Shirtmaker’s, a Navy New and Lingwood jacket and a straw panama from Laird Hatters. 

Influencer and model Alistair Guy plumbed for a blue pinstripe shirt from Eton Shirts. 





 

 

Austin Reed: Progressive Made to Measure Service Goes Door to Door

Austin Reed have unveiled their personal tailoring service, bringing the Made to Measure experience to your home, office, private members club etc. 

I think it's a fantastic move, progressive yet equally clandestine and traditional. Talk to any of the big tailors or shirt makers around today and they'll regale stories of how they would go meet their clients at their place of work or in their hotel etc. 

The legendary Doug Hayward would often meet his clients at The Dorchester and not only measure them, but watch them walk around the room. Study their posture and how they carry themselves. 

Austin Reed are recognising that it's a different world where our attention and time are strained. Not everyone gets lunch hours to nip off to their tailors to get measured. And how good is any experience when it feels frenzied? 

How does it work? 

Together (you and the Austin Reed consultant) will peruse their exclusive selection of luxury fabrics, linings and trims to visualise your bespoke suit.

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Following your first consultation Austin Reed will contact you to arrange a fitting. Final adjustments and any fine-tuning will be completed in a matter of days, with your finished design presented in a versatile Austin Reed travel cover.

Pricing starts from £500, with a made to measure 2-piece suit totalling to approximately £1000. 

My experience was relatively frictionless. I scheduled a consultation and thoroughly enjoyed the process. There is something undeniably empowering about being fitted for a suit on your own terms. I felt like Roger Moore. 

I think we've all been put in situations where we've been persuaded into ill decisions/purchases, perhaps due alien environments. In the sanctuary of my own home I felt much more confident about the process.

CONSULTATION

The Clothier came to my house, I offered him a cup of coffee and some biscuits (not the shortbread) whilst he walked me through the fabric and design options. We discussed football, fashion and of course dogs, whilst I was measured for the suit. Then we had to discuss the style options, such a single vent, turn-up trousers, side-adjusters and what colour buttons - to name a few.

PRODUCTION

After the initial consultation and measuring, the fitting is arranged. Any tweaking or adjustments can also be done through the Austin Reed Made to Measure service which ensures the desired result.