Style Icons in Their 50's

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Why should anyone in their 50's dress any different to someone in their 30's? In truth they shouldn't. Although there is no denying that your body undergoes fundamental transformations the older you get. Your carriage will naturally increase, your relaxed posture will dip incrementally, your seat will broaden. (Your arse will get fat). Your skin tone and hair will alter so some colour palettes may no longer complement you.

I've taken a look at some style icons in their 50's whom I think do a bang up job of ensuring their style is classic, timeless and aspirational.

GEORGE CLOONEY 

George is an obvious 50's style icon. He has an immortal-ness aura because he's had grey hair for the past 30 years. A neat trick he's stolen off Phillip Schofield; Look old early, look young late.

George has an affinity for Armani. He got married in an Armani Cashmere suit and looks the business. One of the films that is rarely spoken about is The American. The off the rail Ermenegildo Zegna suits. The crease resistant suits are actually staple pieces for wanderlust folk. You can find out more about that here.

COLIN FIRTH 

I think every man wishes they look as good as Colin Firth when they reach 58. I mean son of a gun, why isn't he out there banging cocktail waitresses and getting chucked out of Chiltern Firehouse for rowdy behaviour every other week?

Despite getting the brogues and oxfords, laces in, laces out rule back to front in The Kingsman, Colin Firth is no novice when it comes to style. Even before Tom Ford cemented his place as the sartorial obsessive for his directorial debut, A Single Man.

Personally for me he is the iconoclast for eyewear. His thick chunky black rim glasses are real statement pieces. Very tricky to pull off this look without sliding into Harry Hill caricature. For A Single Man he wore Tom Ford of course. For Kingsman: The Secret Service he and Taran Egerton wore Cutler and Gross. I believe Colin Firth also wears Rayban outside of films.

GRAHAM NORTON

I'd love to know who makes his suits. He might be a wild pick but Graham Norton has some amazingly crafted and unique looking suits. Some things Google just don't want to help you with. In 2003 he was voted worst dressed male in a poll by GQ. Nice work GQ? 

In an interview in 2009 he confessed to buying suits off the peg in shops. Cut smash 10 years on he's clearly had a stylist give him some positive direction.

Thanks to an article in the New York Times I can tell you he has a penchant for brands such as Thorsun (known for swimwear and flamboyant printed shirts) and Citizens of Humanity, renowned for their high end cutting edge denim. 

SIMON PEGG

Ok so Simon Pegg is 49, I checked. But he looks 50 God dammit and anyone that is 49 doesn't think they're in their 40's. 

Simon has a great casual game. It's almost run symbiotically with his career, both ascending in parallel with age. His green opal leather jacket from Star Trek 3 he wore to most of the press junkets. Looked fantastic. 

He's got a very punk/indie streak in him. His overall persona is affable, approachable and I think he tries counter that sometimes with leather jackets as a reminder that he's not the guy next door. He looks like the guy next door. Imagine him in Superdry Tee's and Casual sweats. Simon has to burn extra calories to distinguish himself. Hey we can't all look like Tom Cruise in our 50's. Some of us don't even look like Tom Cruise in our 30's. 

That's all I have time for today.

Articles that have helped me research these plus 50 style icons found below.  

https://www.samishleather.com/product/simon-pegg-star-trek-3-leather-jacket

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/08/style/graham-norton-bbc-holding-abc-carpet-and-home.html

https://www.whatsontv.co.uk/eurovision/graham-norton-talks-barbie-dolls-and-gaudy-suits-202576/

https://www.mrporter.com/journal/the-interview/mr-graham-nortons-wardrobe-diaries/1476

 

 

Style Icons Who Have Nailed it in Their 40's

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Yes I'm coming for you 40's. Though I'll forever have one foot in my 20's. I'm in the embers of my youth as Frank would say, but have never felt better. I'm in better shape now than I've ever been and currently writing this under a palm tree in Whitsundays, killing an hour before I head out chase down the sunset on my paddle board. Life is good. 

Before I do I wanted to highlight the style icons in their 40's that I admire. I'll do a series of these overtime as the generation thing, how people dress as they go through the gears of life fascinates me. 

DAVID BECKHAM 

David Beckham is the gift that keeps on giving for influencers and bloggers. Annotating his different outfits can certainly kill a slow news day in fashion. He's a wonderful ambassador cum-co-owner for Kent & Curwen, a British heritage brand with now a flagship store in Covent Garden. 

He traverses the line of style and statement effortlessly. Wearing some beautifully pared down pieces that will get anyone noticed without screaming 'look at me'. Exactly the line a man in his 40's needs to know. 

CHRISTIAN BALE 

Readers of my blog might have guessed that one was coming. I love Christians red carpet game more than his casual out-of-office style. Which is about as non-descript as it gets but hey-ho. Lots of cargo pants and non-logo denim shirts from what I've seen in the press.

He is obviously on good terms with Brioni however because Christian's always immaculately turned out at black tie events. His Brioni tuxedos are styled with black silk shirts and matching black ties to emphasise his mysterious quality. 

He is after all Bruce Wayne still in my eyes. He is an enigma of an actor taking on crazy roles for independent movies like The Machinist. That film was bananas. 

JUDE LAW

The thing I love about Jude Law is that he has a natural eye for a decent casual game. He has a very English style, loves his braces and his Donegal tweed. Well before he took on the role of Watson in Sherlock Holmes. 

He is a big proponent of wide brim hats are Brooklyn-esque beanies. I've read online that his style varies from Topman to Hackett London. As a resident Londoner it's no surprise that he's an indigenous shopper. 

DERMOT O'LEARY 

He has an awesome line of aftershave does Dermot, be sure to check out my blog reviewing his fragrances exclusive to M&S. He's regularly touted as being one of the UK's best dressed style icons in their 40's 

He has had some turbulence in the fashion industry. Investing and apparently losing £70k in former Savile Row tailor Spencer Hart. 

Dermot has a very unfussy style, fan of roll necks and a modern look. His lapels often suitably narrow, nipped in at the waist with a slight flair in the skirt. Very Doug Hayward of the late 70's. 

SADIQ KHAN 

If it's ever been possible to completely dislocate ones feelings of a person; their political agenda from their personal style, Sadiq Khan is that man. 

Seemingly out-of-office during the Climate protests. Knife crime at a record high. Cross Rail not delivered and the infrastructure for transportation has been somewhat wanting in London of late. All of which I can't hold Sadiq personally accountable for, but I just don't know what the man is doing other than looking swathe in his blue suits. 

He makes off the peg Zara (reportedly his go-to) look like tailor made costumiers. Sadiq dresses perfectly for a man in his late forties. His height is also a factor. He has a diminutive body (carriage) so low rise trousers work well.

High rise with inverted pleats would distort his frame. His shirts fit snug but not sprayed on. Never a tie so I think he wants to relate to the man on the street. He looks like he's about to roll his sleeves up and get stuck in. If only he would.  

 

 

Best Dressed Men in Their 30's

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What can you expect in your thirties that never happened in your twenties? You appreciate fully the unbridled sensation of dressing in a crisp white shirt. You realise you knew nothing in your twenties. The importance of being grateful. That sleep is precious and a decent mattress is essential. That sugar is less forgiving. Etc.

I'm sure I could do an entire blog. But one thing that I've paid attention to more in my thirties is not only how I dress, but the people around me dress. It really is something you never turn off. I even watch films and am taken out of the movie entirely if I can't hack if the lead male is wearing an ill-fitting suit.

Anyway, I'm going to be highlighting some gentlemen around me within my age bracket whose style speaks to me. I'll be starting by looking at men in their 30's.

RICHARD BIEDUL 

Richard has an impeccable style. Has modelled for Canali, New & Lingwood, Hemingsworth La Perla and Chester Barrie so far. He's also done two collaboration with Stacey Wood over at King & Tuckfield.

A very rakish, classic look. Reminds me of Vincent Cassel and although his style is regal, he has a rebellious streak with his smoking and tattoo's. He's done great things for British Fashion and is incredibly approachable, sweet and unassuming.

DAVID GANDY

If you stare long and deep enough into David Gandy's eyes, you'll be transported to a magical world where you ... wait sorry .. another story, another time.

David has little need for an introduction. He is regarded as the first male supermodel. Perhaps gaining an international recognition when he modelled for Paul Smith in the London Olympics 2012. His face and frame somehow tower majestically on every billboard overlooking the A40 on my way into Marylebone. 

Yet what I love about David most is his lack of fashion elitism. He never comments on trends he doesn't like. I don't think he even judges people on their fashion tastes. Just cracks on with his own wonderful style and manner. God love him. 

LEWIS HAMILTON 

He's one cool cat out of the cockpit is Lewis. His legendary fashion 'tastemaker selective' often gets him into the arbitrary GQ and Esquire best dressed men listicles. He's forged great relationships with both Versace and Dolce & Gabanna over the years. However, his first collaboration of note has been under the Tommy Hilfiger label. The collection of athleisure is typical flamboyant Lewis. Vibrant and unabashed. Youthful and slim to skinny fit distressed denim. 

RICHARD MADDEN 

Madly tipped to be the next Omega brand ambassador, Richard has had a meteoric rise to fame since his appearance in The Bodyguard. His frame is not dissimilar to mine and compliments the modern tailored look. Slim lapels, nipped in at the waist. He reminds me of Orlando Bloom but with more promise. He looks too young to be in a suit night and day. As with men in their thirties you can tell when they'd rather be in a tee shirt jeans. A leather biker jacket is more becoming Richard than a Sexton lapel-esque Tuxedo. 

EDDIE REDMAYNE 

I've always thought Eddie had a great unfussy style. One of these cats that’s got effortless style. I remember hearing an interview with Chad McQueen when quizzed about his father’s style. He said 'I never found his Dad look twice in the mirror.' Meaning he'd throw something on and walk out the door. I have a feeling Eddie has a similar vibe. He's done some work for Burberry in the past. But he's due a decent movie. Nothing I'd go watch in the past 5 years. 

 

Mens Fashion & Style Icons From the 1920’s – 1930’s

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Between hitting the pads, swinging idly in the hammocks on Whitsunday Island, I've had plenty of time to catch up on some fashion history. As many of you already know my style inspiration for Hawkins & Shepherd shirts is heavily themed around the pin collar shirts that were massively in vogue in the 1920's to 30's.

I've made a tonne of research notes and stumbled across some devilishly handsome gentlemen that were really stood out from that era. I wanted to share some of those notes with you today.

Robert Montgomery

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Robert Montgomery was an American film and television actor, director, and producer. I've included an MGM still and to quote sartorial writer James Sherwood; I 'Love a man who can wear white flannel and a cravat with conviction.'

According to IMDB, in 1935, he became President of the Screen Actors Guild. His stay with MGM lasted 16 years, and was only interrupted by WWII when he joined the navy. He saw action in both Europe and the Pacific.

You'll notice if you Google Robert Montgomery that he wore a lot of suits, with heavy cloth as was typical of the time. But immaculate fit, incredibly suave. He was clearly a man who dressed with the plenty of intent.

Marlene Dietrich 

They're not all going to be dudes in this article. It would be utterly remiss of me not to point out the fine splendour of Marlene Dietrich, regarded as the original Flapper. I've taken notes from the wonderful book by Christopher Laverty called Fashion in Film, a derivative from his excellent blog Clothes on Film.

He talks about the costumier Travis Banton who made the suit for Marlene Dietrich's first Hollywood film entitled, Morocco. 

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'Banton eschewed the era's (1920's - 30's) more obvious glamour to craft a controversial indelible image in the history of cinema. Dietrich plays a nightclub singer Amy Jolly, seen for only the second time wearing white-tie formal attire for men: black tailcoat, black trousers, white wing-collar shirt, white dress waistcoat  with white bow tie, white silk pocket square and black top hat.'

I strongly recommend you to all look as closely at the trends in women’s styles as well as men. When I write articles themed around menswear trends, I've always got half an eye on what the women are up to. Especially in this rejuvenated, androgynous-shapeless, gender fluid fashion era, it's a mistake to think that one does not reflect nor inspire the other.

FURTHER NOTES

Whilst trawling through the glorious 'A History of Fashion' by J.Anderson Black and Madge Garland I thought this was worthy of note.

'The most important item of the new style was the width of the grey flannel trousers, or 'Oxford bags' as these large garments were called since they had been launched by some under graduates of Oxford University'.

Clark Gable

Clark Gable was very much the George Clooney of his day. Just look at the supreme collar fit on his shirt, perfectly angular for his dimpled chin.

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According to an excellent article by Vintage Dancer 'Most collars were 3 or 3.25 inches long but could extend down 5 inches. Clark Gable wore the 4.5 to 5 inch California collar in a few of his movies.'

His most recognised films are Mutiny on the Bounty, It Happened one Night and of course Gone with the Wind.

Before the Second World War would eliminate an entire clientele of Savile Row customers, the three main houses Anderson & Shepherd, Huntsman and Kilgour, French & Stanbury would have more than likely provided the suits for Gable, much like they did for Valentino, Astaire, Chaplin and Grant.

Fred Astaire

King of the White Tie and just an incredible dancer. I love the quote that Gene Kelly gave about Fred Astaire as being "the only one of today's dancers who will be remembered."

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According to linear notes in Savile Row, by James Sherwood, the earliest record of Astaire on the Row is in Anderson & Sheppard's 1923 ledger. His style has been immortalised in modern day trail blazers such as the late Tommy Nutter and his former partner Edward Sexton. 

For further reading you can catch the wonderful article by Gentleman's Gazette on the life, times and style of Fred Astaire. They go into fantastic detail about his tailcoats and reference his style ambivalences in his autobiography Astaire, Steps in Time: “At the risk of disillusionment, I must admit that I don’t like top hats, white ties and tails.”

Gary Cooper

Remarkably the long read of Gary Cooper on Wikipedia mentions very little of his personal style. By all accounts he wasn't much of a conversationalist. But his style spoke volumes. Like many of his leading men contemporaries of the time, Cooper got his suits tailored at Anderson & Sheppard. 

Post war Cooper would change allegiance to fellow Savile Row tailor Norton & Sons. His films of not would be the aforementioned Morocco, A Farewell to Arms, (he was good friends with Hemingway) and The Wedding Night.

I've found a wonderful quote on the Gary Cooper website that characterises my thoughts on the man. 'No matter what costume he put on, he looked like he owned it. The camera loved him, and so did the box office.'

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Celebs Bring Their A-Game to the Avengers Endgame Purple Carpet

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When you have ten hours at an airport to kill you can't help but fall down a few rabbit holes on the internet. With the Avengers And Game premiering in LA this week I got to see the whole thing unravel on Twitter, Instagram etc. I've developed a rather obscure fascination with celebrity style and red carpets these days. I've made some notes and might require some of your help to identify the tailors and brands. 

Anthony Mackie - Falcon

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Falcon! Anthony did his research alright. Look how cool he looks on the purple carpet with his purple knitted tie and purple check shirt. His 3 piece suit looks to have a dusting of purple in it, although the light and the carpet could be playing tricks on me. 

This is could be a Calvin Klein suit. He has been known to endorse Calvin Klein before for a shoot for Sharp Magazine. Although if I was a gambling man I'd guess this is a Brooks Brother suit. Similar to the BrooksCloud fit, deconstructed. 5 button waistcoat, bruschetta pocket and peak lapels. The fit is so good around the shoulders. Brooks Brothers also did the wardrobe for The Adjustment Bureau in which Anthony starred. 

Chris Evans - Captain America

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Cap is a big lover of Salvatore Ferragamo. He wore Ferragamo to the Oscars and arrived in China as part of the press tour for Avengers Endgame wearing an all red Ferragamo suit. 

For the premiere in Los Angeles Chris arrived dressed in a custom royal blue two-button notch suit with a slim-fit mint shirt and tie by Ferragamo. 

Chris Hemsworth 

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A real ballsy number this and not afraid to show off some silver jewellery also. Hemsworth wore a full paisley suit by Etro. The shirt is also just-off navy and his silk tie is a heavy midnight blue with still a touch of paisley print to it. 

This look required no pocket square as it would interrupt the flow of the pattern. Instead Chris has accessorised with some silver rings, a black bead bracelet and gold bezel watch. Probably by TAG Heuer as he is an ambassador. Thanks to GQ magazine for highlighting the brand. 

Robert Downey Jr - Iron Man 

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Jesus Christ talk about rabbit holes. Trying to find out who does Robert Downey Jr's suits is like swimming through custard. I gave up in the end so if anyone can help me out with that I'd love you for it. 

Robert wore a black and silver embellished 1 in 4 double breasted suit that screamed Gucci. I'm tempted to say Savile Row tailor Richard Anderson could have been the mind behind this as he's known for odd quirks in detail. Check out the jetted pocket on the right skirt, unmatched to the flap pocket on the right. 

The peak grosgrain lapels are wide enough for Sexton to raise an eyebrow, and the gold collar matches evenly with his signature eyewear. For my money he is trying too hard to stay hip with his suede ankle top biker boots. But what do I know. Bradley Cooper (right) shows him how it should be done. 

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The Christian Bale Look: Where to shop

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Christian Bale is a very interesting Style Icon. For my money he is at the apex of A-list actors and his canon of films will already leave a greater legacy than most of his contemporaries. American Psycho is one of the ballsiest art house films, now a cult classic, but could have completely derailed his career as an actor. The subject matter was too risqué for Leonardo Di Caprio who reportedly turned the role down. 

But let’s focus on Christian Bales style. Of late I've seen him adopt a very black-on-black look when it comes to the red carpet. Bespoke Brioni, black shirt, black tie and black suit. In keeping really with the aura of the man which is still something of an enigma. How perfect for The Dark Knight, to have such an illusory appeal. For my money he'd make a great James Bond, still. But The James Bond producers typically opt for a calibre of actor who is still a relative up and comer. Bale is too established to cut the figure of Bond now. 

Sorry I was talking about his wardrobe. In this article I'm going to give you some alternatives to the Christian Bale look, I'm not affiliated with the brands in any way. 

Bale has a very casual, almost schlubby look when off screen. This Navy Harrington over navy tee and straight denim is very much an incognito look for Bale. He is not looking to stand out or grab attention. I've picked this outfit out because the fit is still fantastic. Not every outfit has to scream 'look at me'. 

I've pulled a close alternative Navy Bomber jacket from RRD that has a very fitted silhouette.

Continuing along with the Christian Bale casual look you'll notice that even his casual style has little time for ostentatious logos or designs. This black denim shirt has been worn in. The collars are slightly dog-earred and the colour has drained. 

However, I know from experience that you should be reluctant to ever wash your denim shirts. The Lee Western denim shirt might have a dual patch pocket instead of Bale's singular breast pocket, but you'll still achieve a similar look. 

The Cargo pants, or cargo trousers as we call them feel very American on Bale. He probably feels more at home in his casual attire. I get the feeling if he didn't have to scrub up for roles that demanded a shave, he would be living night and day in cargo pants. 

You can find dirt cheap cargo trousers online. H&M, Mountain Warehouse all do them for £20 ish. I quite like the cut of the Jack Jones Cargo pants and you can shop for those here

I doubt Bale feels comfortable modelling clothes for modelling sake. I'm sure he'd much rather be doing push ups somewhere. But he's wearing a very deluxe black Salvatore Ferragamo Knit jumper for this shoot. 

I'm going to recommend something else other than a £10 knit from H&M. By the way, if we really want to do something about fast fashion maybe search engines can do something else other than throw up H&M or ASOS stuff that you can buy for less than a Soya Cappuccino. 

Anyway, check out my friends down at King & Tuckfield. They have some knits that are sustainable and deluxe. One is currently half price. 

The American Psycho raincoat jacket. Yes, one of the most famous coats in the history of cinema. I know for a fact that Rains in Coal Drops Yard near Kings Cross had a limited edition run of these. 

They do a metallic, silver equivalent on their site so I'm presuming the transparent jacket may have sold out. Perhaps it was never listed and was in-store only. I'd certainly give them a call and ask if this is the exact jacket you want. 

The Tom Hardy Lookbook & Where to Shop: Get the Tom Hardy look

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The Tom Hardy style is a real bar-setter for anyone aspiring to build their wardrobe. I've been spending a lot time scrapbooking, assembling mood boards for various designs and projects and thought I'd put together some of the Tom Hardy highlights.

The comparison clothing are just suggestions. They are not replicas or screen accurate. I'm also not affiliated or sponsored by any of the brands.

Tom Hardy Dunkirk Farrier Shearling Bomber Leather Jacket

Remember seeing this beauty in the iMax but getting wildly distracted. I kept thinking I need to track this jacket down the minute I get home. I think sadly, so did every other man because it became such a saturated trend after that I gave it a trend-miss.

However, a few years on it could be the time to revive the shearling bomber leather Jacket. If you're not in the market to wear real shearling then a company called American Leather Jacket has modelled a replica which is now reduced.

Tom Hardy Elusive Brown Jacket

I'm struggling to find this cool brown jacket anywhere. It looks like something that Belstaff might do but the fabrics not leather. I've put an interesting comparison of a jacket by Feather Skin.

I know the design is way off but I like the vibe. The jacket Tom is wearing could be Dunhill as I know Tom likes a bit of Dunhill. I have located the tee shirt though. Check out Dead Legacy they have some playful designs.

Tom Hardy Check Shirts

The Check shirt, lumber jack look is a signature look of the casual Tom Hardy. He'll wear these kind of shirts in films and in his free time. I've struggled to get a close one on this purple/grey casual shirt.

I used to own one similar by Scotch & Soda. Whilst this looks like Scotch & Soda it's not available on their site. I've cast a broad net and found some close-ish comparisons on ASOS. Brands like Jack Jones, River Island and Original Penguin will offer close alternatives for check shirts.

Tom Hardy Suit & Shirt Style

Despite my reservations about this film you can't ignore that Tom Hardy was fantastic in it. The costume design by Caroline Harris was also quite ravishing in places. I listened to an interview with Soho Tailor Mark Powell on the From Tailors With Love podcast who was quite indifferent to it, but I'm a fan.

Sartorially the two Kray brothers, (both played by Tom Hardy are distinguished with Ronnie wearing Double breasted and Reggie wearing single breasted suit jackets. Simple and effective.

The suits were made from wool sourced from northern mills. Christopher Ecclestone, played the character 'Leonard 'Nipper' Read' and wore an old 50's original suit from Hardy Amies. 

The tab collar shirts shirts I imagine were tailored and can be found via Hawkins & Shepherd. Those crisp white shirts have been a source of inspiration for me when designing my own shirts. Check out my range of formal white shirts that are a homage to the classic styles of 50's and 60's tailoring. 

Tom Hardy White Henley T-Shirt

So this one we know is from Dunhill. I'm more in love with the ensemble than I am with just one piece of clothing. The beaded necklaces is certainly the sort of thing I've been paying closely recently with the impending launch of my own brand. 

But the beard, the style, it all comes together for me here. Also notice the henley is textured so it lifts up. There is something palpable about this top. Or maybe it's just because there is a body of tepid steel lurking beneath. 

Of course you can pick these Henley White tee's up for under £10 at H&M. 

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Best London Street Style Photographers to Follow on Instagram

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Sadly it's an occupational hazard that means I have to be in 99% of the photos on my Instagram feed, ruining the view as some might say.

Trust me, I'm much more comfortable behind the camera, but pictures of sunsets minus yours truly, doesn't keep the lights on at the Thompson household.

That said I'm a huge advocate of street photography. I've highlighted some of my favourite London Street Photographers and recommend you give them a follow on Instagram and tell them I sent you.

OMNISTYLE

Fronted by my good pal Andrew Barber. Andrew is one of London's best street photographers and has accompanied me on many shoots. He really captures the essence of people when he looks their way.

Somehow he manages to distil every moment down to its finest millisecond. Always a pleasure and a privilege to be in this gentleman's company.

DAVID NYANZI                                             

London based photographer David has an uncanny knack of capturing the most ostentatious and elaborate outfits on the London streets today.

It holds a great balance between staged and street photography. I often go to David's page to get inspiration for poses, angles and... well I was going to say outfits but a lot of those are just a bit too bananas for me.

NIKON STREET STYLE

Ran by my good friend Pete Brooker over at Human Research. He takes pictures of strangers, without permission he adds. Apparently one of the first person he asked if it was ok to take their picture turned him down flat. Today he tells me he can't face that level of rejection so has never asked permission since.

GARCON JON

No London Street Photographer's list would be complete without the addition of Garcon Jon, AKA Jonathan Daniel Price.

I've always wanted to have a middle name. Makes you sound so much more dignified when people read it aloud.

Daniel is quite experimental with his lighting. Often seeking the less obvious angles. Such as car wing mirror reflections or interrupted spaces.

THE1HARRIS

AKA Richard Harris. Has a very unique sense for capturing disturbed beauty. Almost like a magnet for identifying ones solitude.

His captions are also enchanting, lyrical, thoughtful and I'm just in love with this guy. His feed is a joy to get lost in.

Let me know if you have any other recommendations in the comment box below. Even if it's your own Instagram handle I'm always on the lookout for London Street photographers for personal paid lifestyle shoots.

 

Introducing the Luxury Shirt Collection by Hawkins & Shepherd

Today I'm very excited to announce the launch of The Luxury Collection by Hawkins & Shepherd. It's been in the pipeline now for a long time. This collection of luxury shirts uses the finest fabrics in the world and the highest level of handmade shirt tailoring.

Within the collection I have two different kinds of luxury shirts; the Cashmerello shirt which is a luxurious blend of 15% Cashmere and 85% two fold 120's Swiss Cotton and the Soyella Duecento shirt which are a Two-ply 2/200 fabric.

Tell me what makes these shirts luxury?

Mens shirts have become something of an obsession for me. I have to have the best quality, the best fabric, the best cut. The finish on these London shirts are just beautiful. Look at the stitching on the collar, it's as close to the edge as you can get which denotes the quality.

Now look at the stitching on the collar of a Charles Tyrwhitt shirt. You can immediately see how safe the stitching is because they've brought the finish in at least 10ml from the collar edge.

Please note this is not an attack on Charles Tyrwhitt shirts. From online reviews they provide adequate shirts at an accessible price. I'm merely attempting to clarify and distinguish what makes my shirts superior and where the extra money is being spent.

The cuffs on both shirts are double buttoned only the Cashmerello shirt comes with curve edges, whilst the Soyella Duecento shirt features cut edges. Both are adorned with mother of pearl buttons.

For what occasions can I wear these luxury shirts? 

These are not dress shirts, the colours are not conducive to black tie events. Unless you buy them in white of course. However, men’s formal shirts are not quite as formal as they once were. With the advent of casual Friday and the up rise of men working from home, men are no longer restricted to wearing white shirts to the office. 

Luxury shirts brands such as Hawes and Curtis, Thomas Pink and Turnbull & Asser have also cottoned on to this (pardon the pun) with their recent capsules introducing dress-down collections. 

I'd recommend these UK shirts for most formal events. If you're looking to make a statement and want to feel confident when walking into a room. 

The Colours of Summer: Hawkins & Shepherd Spring Summer Pastels Collection

I'm taking a quick time out from the travel log and want to bring to your attention some new Spring/Summer Pastels available on the Hawkins & Shepherd site. 

We're emerging into that time of year when you start looking at your shirts and thinking they look a bit tired. They call it a Spring clean for a reason right? There's no better time to rejuvenate your wardrobe with a shirt subscription service through Hawkins & Shepherd

Current Shirt Trends 

For me I'm really trend-led. I do believe in producing quality timeless shirts that have a proven track record of not just fawning to flavour of the month clubs. 

I've intergraded some strong bold stripes and into the H&S Spring/Summer shirt range this year. Pink pastes and fresh colour palettes are also available. 

There is something for everyone not only in the varying types of colours, but the collars also come in curve tab, cutaway, pin collars etc. 

I'm very excited about this collection of ready to wear shirts. The fresh pastel colours for this Spring/Summer season is a reflection of where my head is at right now. Clean lines, positive radiant colours. 

I want these shirts to be worn with confidence. I want you to be bamboozled by the quality of these shirts. I want you to question why some shirt makers get to charge double the price for only half the end result. How some brands get to exist purely on their name. 

The pastel hues of pink, lilac, blue, mint etc, these are all neutral Spring/Summer colours that are interchangeable with staple garments you probably already own. Dark blue jeans, Navy blazer, the tan shoes etc. 

Spring/Summer sees the return of drinks by the river, smart-casual garden parties, the Henley Regatta, Race meetings, first dates in the beer garden and so on. We don't just want you to own one Spring/Summer shirt but have a modest collection on a revolving carousel. Take a look at the shirt subscription package to see how you can save money on upgrading your wardrobe.

You'll keep your friends and your work colleagues on their toes with how new and refreshed you look every time they see you. 

I've worked hard on the designs and it's taken time to bring the concept to market. I'd very much appreciate you leaving a comment on what your favourite Spring/Summer shirt is in the comment box below. 

https://www.hawkinsandshepherd.com/collections/spring-summer-collection

 

The Marc Darcy Look: Level up without breaking the bank

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Today I'm going to wax lyrical about the brand Marc Darcy. I've actually had an interesting relationship with Marc Darcy. We shared some floorspace at Moda Gent a few years back. (A trade show in Birmingham). 

The show was a great experience for me, showcasing my Hawkins & Shepherd shirts. I no longer do the show but I was invited back as a guest speaker to talk with the head of design at Marc Darcy. 

Cut/smash to a few years later and I'm still enjoying a great working relationship with Marc Darcy, modelling one of their ready-to-wear pin stripe suits as you'll see in these photos. 

This is the LEWIS Navy Blue Pinstripe Suit features a double button fastening to the front, single vent on the seat with two flap pockets on each hip with additional mini welt pocket to the right.

I'm wearing two different waistcoats. One is noticeably double breasted with two flap pockets to each hip. The other my personal favourite, a brown five button waistcoat. Yes I've done up all the buttons, they don't call me the Carl 'five button' Thompson for nothing you know. 

Marc Darcy is a fantastic, accessible brand for those that are interested in levelling up their wardrobe, but are a few financial steps away from Savile Row. 

For off the peg suits, I find the cut very flattering. I'm not your standard block size when it comes to trousers. Normally ready to wear trousers always need hemming no matter what. For some reason these come up perfect on me. I'm 31-32" waist, 5'9 and a bit. 

With every suit order you get a complimentary handkerchief coordinating to the inside lining and lapel pin badge to complete the look.

I'd say if you're getting married, or going to a wedding but can't afford Tom Ford prices. This is a perfect place to look for a wedding suit.

There's also an abundance of styles and patterns to choose from. Windowpane, over check, POW etc. Whether you're the guest or groom you'll have a lot of fun getting lost around the website. 

If you've shopped with Marc Darcy I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts in the box below.

Hackett London Celebrate the Launch of Aston Martin Racing Pro Collection

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Hackett Founder and Chairman, Jeremy Hackett and Aston Martin Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman celebrated the launch of the Aston Martin Racing Pro collection by Hackett for Spring Summer 2019, at The Vinyl Factory, Soho.  

I love it when a plan comes together. Equally when great minds think alike. Hackett London is a true British success story and together with Aston Martin they've given both car nuts and fashionistas something to salivate over. 

At the event Quiet Man, jazz and funk artist performed as guests arrived. VIP attendance included Hugo Taylor, Henry Conway, Ali Gordon and Alistair Guy. My invite literary did get lost in the post and arrived after the event. 

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New for Spring Summer '19, Hackett London and Aston Martin announce the launch of Aston Martin Racing Pro by Hackett; a bold new range of premium clothing designed and crafted for the man who desires forward thinking and engineered sportswear.

Aston Martin Racing Pro by Hackett is a sportswear collection created in response to Aston Martin’s ‘Track to Tarmac’ road cars and showcases a brand new aesthetic for the two brands intended to complement an era of modern power and race technology.

Aston Martin Racing Pro by Hackett takes modern, slim silhouettes, inspired by the lines of the Aston Martin Vantage and its distinct design features. Functional and performance fabrics have been incorporated into the range with an emphasis on accessible  athleisure wear.

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Where can I buy the pro racing range? 

You can shop the range online at Hackett. I haven't managed to get down to a Hackett Store to view the range myself but looking at the imagery I certainly have my eye on a few pieces. 

Stand out pick for me would be the Cotton-blend bonded jersey zip front sweater. It has a very light construction and a concealed placket. Very chic, the moto inspired styling is very congruent with the look of Aston Martin. 

Why You Need a Cashmere Coat in Your Lives

Today I want to talk about the emergence of Spring and the Hawkins and Shepherd Cashmere coats. It's one of the perks of owning a pirate ship, I get to call the shots. I get to promote my own brand if I want, so sue me! 

Wait don't. I looked into suing that nimrod(s) that wrote that Medium article the other month. It's a costly business. 

That aside let me give you 3 reasons why you need a Hawkins & Shepherd cashmere coat in your life.

1.     100% Cashmere. Quality guaranteed and the fabric is supplied by the renowned Harrisons of Edinburgh. You'll find an abundance of overcoats on the market currently. However, very few will be made from a fabric with this much quality.

If you're looking for a cheaper price point then expect to cut corners on quality like most things. It will more than likely be a synthetic blend, won't drape as well and won't be as soft to the touch. 

2.     100% customer service. I'm right here guys, very accessible if you have any problems with your product or delivery.

I won't be dropping names here but one of my best customers is an actor in Hollywood who reached out to me after ordering a quote. He was so happy with reaching out to a human being and having that one-on-one service that he has since ordered regularly through the site. 

As much as I'd love for Hawkins & Shepherd to become a monolith of an e-commerce site and make me rich beyond my wildest dreams, knowing my customers have access to me if they have any questions is very rewarding. 

3.     It's not quite summer yet! I know we have all enjoyed an awesome February so far, but don't be fooled. It's not quite bikini weather yet in London. The beauty of a cashmere coat is that it is light and can be worn throughout the Spring months. 

 They are also currently reduced to £800 and we have immediate stock. No time like the present and why not inject a new lease of life into your Spring wardrobe.


SHOP THE CASHMERE COLLECTION

 

Best Dressed Men at the Oscars in 2019: Was it the Tom Ford show?

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No host at the Oscars this year? Did you notice? Probably not because all eyes were on a man you've never heard of in a Dressedo. (I'll take credit for that one). 

Rifling through all the stories, gossip and red carpet rumours in the morning papers today I wanted to throw out my thoughts on what I've seen.

Firstly we have this hell-mary. The actor is the ostentatious Billy Porter and the dressedo is by Christian Siriano. Billy also rocked up to the Baftas wearing custom couture by Randi Rahm Studio.

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James Bond 

Daniel Craig looked match-ready as he presented the best supporting actor alongside Charlize Theron . Presumably in Tom Ford although no announcement or accreditations on the Tom Ford Twitter account. 

Midnight blue peak lapel tuxedo. Single button, jetted pockets, notice the gauntlet cuff with the black grosgrain trim. Other standouts are the large boutineaair and rather large butterfly bow tie. 

The shirt has black studs and his shoes are noticeably high-shine black leather patina with a deep heel. 

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Also representing Tom Ford 

Joe Alwyn and Bradley Cooper also wore Tom Ford. Bradley rocked the O'Connor suit, styled by celebrity stylist Natalia Bruschi. Joe's lapels were massive (with a tiny bit of puckering suggesting it needed to be worn in a tad). 

Still he looked fabulous, with a ready shaped large bow tie and cummerbund. 

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Michael B. Jordan looked in prime form in his velvet TOM FORD Shelton cocktail jacket, cocktail pants, evening shirt and bow tie. His shirt similar if not identical to Daniel Craig's. 

Lastly look how beautiful Jennifer Lopez looked in a mirror mosaic Tom Ford dress, partnering Alex Rodriguez in his white Tom Ford dinner jacket. 

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Chris Evans 

As you know I have a thing for Velvet currently, my Chester Barrie velvet jacket is often my go-to for award ceremonies. It seems so long ago that I wrote about Chester Barrie overtaking the red carpet at the Oliver Awards

Chris Evans rocked up in a made-to-measure blue velvet collar tuxedo paired with a bow tie and classic patent lace-up shoes by Salvatore Ferragamo. 

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OUR BEST FIT | Marks & Spencer release their new denim campaign

Today I'm going to showcase the new denim campaign from Marks and Spencer which celebrates their 'best ever fit' across menswear and womenswear. 

The big news is that Marks and Spencer have streamlined their denim collection to four fits. Skinny, Slim, Straight and Regular. It feels like Gordon Ramsey has done a Hell's Kitchen make-over and stripped everything superfluous off the menu, leaving just the signature dishes. 

Outfit 1 - Indigo Skinny Denim Jeans:

So here we go, starting with outfit one. I'm wearing a pair of the Skinny-fit stretch jeans for a remarkable £22.50. It has a little bit of elastane in the cotton so doesn't feel constricting like some skinny fit jeans can. 

The jacket is pure cotton and sits well with earthy tones, like the indigo jeans and brown boots. The notches are high on the lapel which gives it a work-wear vibe. I love the tortoiseshell buttons, a nice accoutrement. Only £65. 

The Oxford Shirt is 100% cotton and is cut narrow through the shoulder and slightly suppressed through the waist. It has a button down collar and is priced at £19.50. 

The Chelsea Boots are probably my favourite piece of the ensemble. Available in brown or chestnut, (I've gone for brown) it really completes the look and smartens everything up. Available for £79. 

TOTAL price: £186 

SHOP THE LOOK

Outfit 2 - Light Blue Skinny Denim Jeans:

This second look is an even more casual affair. You won't often see me in light denim but I wanted to shake things up a bit and experiment. 

This is the Light Denim in the same cut. A skinny fit stretch jean in a 32" that will get more mileage in the summer I'm sure. 

They pair really well with these super-sleek white lace up trainers. It's a fresh look, it's upbeat and the price is remarkable at £35. 

You noticed how I paired the white sneakers with the white shirt? That wasn't accident folks. This is a Grandad collar shirt, the fabric is lightweight and the sleeves are long. However, it's more suited for the Spring and I often rolled my sleeves so it works perfect for me. 

I've finished the look with another cotton tailored fitted jacket (although not in this picture). The blue-on-blue, partitioned with the white shirt and white trainers is a very fresh look and brightens up the Instagram feed. Available for £65. 

TOTAL price: £140.25 

SHOP THE LOOK

Overall thoughts 

Very accessible price points. A good touch stone for people looking to get into smartening up their wardrobe. Arguably a little safe, but this is M&S not Gucci. For the price and the quality I think Marks & Spencer still offer great value. 

The items are all fairly neutral in tone so can be interchangeable. 

*Includes paid partnership in collaboration with Marks & Spencer.

 

Tramp Menswear: Keeping it British

Today I wanted to give a little love to an upcoming brand called Tramp Menswear. After meeting the founder and designer Sapphire at a recent London event I got to see some of the collection up close and now I'm road testing one of her designs.

I'm wearing the Tramp Menswear Grey Zip Neck Jumper, with my AG Jeans and Dr Martens. You may have noticed how my socks and jumper match, that is not an accident. 

It's a perfect jumper for a casual event. It's slim fit with a ribbed collar, cuffs and hem. The logo is a something that draws attention. When I'm around people, I catch them trying to subtly identify the logo and that allows me to explain the story of the brand

It's a very British brand, all the products are made to order and manufactured in Norfolk. You can find out more about the manufacturing in a video on Tramp Menswear site. Their tagline is “designed to shape the stray’s and inspire the heroes.” Which I like. The logo which you'll find embroidered on the left breast is an exclusive signature dog that features on every Tramp product.

It's a good time to shop for some new pieces for your wardrobe, there are many items on sale and all items over £20 offer free delivery. This grey zip jumper is currently reduced to £65.80. 

This outfit is perfect for everyday events. I've worn it to coffee meetings, walking Charlie around the Common and out shopping on weekends. The black jeans offer a great contrast to the grey. You may have noticed I don't wear a whole bunch of blue denim generally. 

Other items on the site I would recommend is the Mull long sleeve tee, with contrast rib collar and sleeve hems. You'll also find accessories such as caps and socks as well as subscription boxes. 


It's Time to Talk About Carl

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I was made aware of the defamatory article anonymously and callously published on the medium.com website, which has named my e-commerce business Hawkins & Shepherd and myself personally amongst other businesses and influencers.

I'd like to take this opportunity to clear a few things that have circulated some social commentary since the article was published. It's been a very traumatic week for me personally having to be on the receiving end on what I consider to be a pernicious article, published on an open platform without approval or checks for authenticity.

It's been very tough keeping emotion out of this. Some of the scathing consistent attacks I would even categorise as cyber-bullying. I'll do a follow up article to this about that in due course.

Now I'm a 38 year old man. I've developed a thick skin and can rely on a certain muscle memory to get me through this kind of onslaught. I don't suffer from depression but I feel anxiety pangs like anyone else. 

When my phone pings, my heart races. I don't even want to look at my phone right now.

But some of the bloggers I've spoken to that are implicated in this article have only just turned 20. I've had private conversations with them who are on the verge of having a break down. 

Now I don't want to advocate for one second the flagrant use of ‘Insta fraud’ as it’s been labelled. I think the industry is on the mend. I think it's right to highlight where the regulations need to serve the industry better. I can speak about this because I have reformed. I used to follow and unfollow around two years ago but that's not my scene anymore. 

However, I think this article is more a personal attack, laden with spite, resentment, with a pernicious undercurrent and I want people to realise that we're still dealing with human beings.

People that share and retweet thinking they're throwing a spotlight on the issue of Instafraud, are actually sharing an article that was removed, with unfounded accusations from an anonymous source. It's cut deep into the people that are implicated, and is still having a profound effect. 

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I've not risen to any of the comment threads on social media that are continuing a very aggressive media attack on my name and brand.

Instead I've been spending my time talking to the brands and management companies of whom I've had the pleasure of working for and alongside as an ambassador for many years, reassuring them of the inaccuracies in the article, of which I'll get into soon.

I have a very open and honest relationship with these brands (there names I will refrain from disclosing for now) I've been honoured to work for and I've been overwhelmed with the support I've received in return. You can see some of the messages of support I've received below. 

From one brand:

"A member of our team did see the article, but I’m aware that we’ve already spoken to you about your historical follower pattern. We were satisfied with the conversation we had with you and are happy to continue working with you on projects that we feel you are suited." 

From an agency: 

"Hey Carl. We were made aware of the article last week and having read it we agree it comes from a place of spite. The “facts” presented are heavily laden with opinion, conjecture and are overall slanderous to everybody mentioned.

We also realised it was quickly removed. I think your statement on the article is strong and unemotional which is more than can be said for the original author of the article itself. It’s a shame that you’ve been put in a position whereby you need to address it.

On a personal level it doesn’t change how we view you nor alter how we’d like to work with you moving forward.

If you need anything from us to help support you then just let us know."

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Some of this might sound like lawyer talk, because I wanted to detach my emotions and just deal with the facts.

ADDRESSING COMMENTS IN THE ARTICLE

“Allegedly another one of the biggest cheats in the Men’s fashion space, Carl Thompson is one of the biggest frauds out there in terms of inorganically growing his account. His cheating goes as far back as records go, which is January 2016. From January 2016 until July 2017 he aggressively followed and unfollowed hundreds of people per day, cheating his Instagram and cheating his way to over 54,000 from practically nothing.”

Back in 2016 it wasn’t unusual to follow a lot of accounts. I personally followed thousands of people - every blogger, friend, fashion enthusiast etc, who I knew as part of the Instagram community and who helped to shape my own style.

From around April 2016 to April 2017, I used to follow some accounts and have engaged with them, later unfollowing.

I want to note here that despite what the article says, by that point, I have already amassed around 20-25,000 followers from my consistent men’s fashion Instagram posts, presenting and TV appearances.

Instagram at that time was mainly to promote my business Hawkins & Shepherd, where I invested over £100,000 of my own money, and for the love of the industry and the fashion.

During that time I did not know where the Influencer marketing would go and if I would be a part of it. It was a very new industry with no guidance.

In summary, with all due respect to the anonymous authors, I’m a massive part of this very much nascent industry and I have earned the respect from multiple fashion designers, business owners, journalists, PR’s and other Influencers.

“After the scandal of July 2017, he then appeared to have stopped, and his account has been in decline since, which is no coincidence. His Instagram name comes from the brand he owns (which also has manipulated Google reviews), but he uses this to promote himself as a blogger, and has a blog in his own name, carlthompson.co.uk.”

I have stopped following and unfollowing in April 2017 when I realised that this form of marketing had a serious influence on consumers and that it was something that I wanted to be a part of for the long-term.

In addition, I have been building trusted relationships with brands and wanted to offer a great ROI. My Instagram account did slowly decline for a while, however, I actually have perceived that trend as a good thing because real followers who may have just followed me because I followed them, decided to unfollow.

As the rate of decline was very slow and gradual, I have still been gaining followers and have been retaining ones that truly wanted to engage with my posts. What the article fails to mention is that my Instagram account is growing again and has never been more engaged. I would like to comment here that I have never bought fake followers.

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I would like to point out that the comment regarding my e-commerce business Hawkins & Shepherd being a “complete slander” is based on no evidence whatsoever, which again just highlights  the fact that this article is a personal attack.

Hawkins & Shepherd has 400 reviews, all 100% verified customers that have to be legally registered on the Yotpo review platform that I use. Below is a screenshot of this:

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The Google Reviews that the article has suggested were also manipulated in fact are genuine reviews, most are customers and some are from friends/family that I’ve gifted product to and they have kindly written a review.

“He is one of the most disingenuous and fake Influencers out there. The perfect example is working with several shaving brands, pretending to use their razors and products, then his beard magically stays on his face in the next photo, despite claiming that the razor is good and he’s apparently shaved it off.”

I regard the opening statement  as defamatory with the purported “supporting evidence” taken out of context.

My captions and images have been consistently well received, I have invested  a considerable amount of time and effort in creating these images and in ensuring that the content is exactly what the brands expect and is of an exceptional quality.

“This was comically seen when he posted about Harry’s and more recently Gillette and their razor blades, foaming up his face with razor in hand, and in the very next photo, his facial hair magically re-appeared a day later. Either the razor is not very good, he grows hair like a werewolf or he’s lying. We’ll let you be the judge.”

Whilst I applaud the anonymous author on his/her diligence in finding the one inconsistency from over 1,800 posts on my Instagram channel, posts on my Instagram grid rarely correlate to a physical date/time timeline.

When working with brands many posts have to be vetted and authenticated weeks, sometimes months in advance. The consistency of my beard between posts is arbitrary.

“He holds almost no authority, no influence and is disliked by many of the other men’s fashion bloggers and influencers, for cheating with his Instagram and being incredibly fake. His Instagram engagement is currently at 2.06%, and has been manipulated.”

I have no comment regarding this other than I have evidence to the contrary available to brands on request.

“FAKE INFLUENCER PARTY”

The Hard Rock Hotel invited me as an unpaid guest to create content on their behalf. After seeing the results of the engagement and the quality of the content provided, I was invited to promote their newly opened Hard Rock Hotel in London.

“He has now set up a new ego website, to showcase his arrogance and for people to believe that he’s kind of a big deal. “Who Is Carl Thompson .co.uk” is a website telling you who he actually is.”

The website https://www.whoiscarlthompson.co.uk/ serves as an online visual Media Pack/CV. It serves no other purpose other than to provide detailed information on my portfolio.

“According to it, he’s a TV presenter, model, influencer, photographer, YouTuber, business owner, blogger.”

Each of these are correct and accurate. I’m happy to forward on examples of each on request.

“It seems he craves the fame, being on First Dates along with Dinner Date.”

I make no apologies for appearing on these shows that are watched and adored by millions of viewers.

“According to his Instagram, he’s currently an ambassador for Haigclub, Jo Malone and Kobox. He has worked with Debenhams, House Of Fraser, Panasonic, ECCO Shoes, 360 Coffee, tk Maxx, Lab Series, Kronaby, Starbucks, Philips, Reiss, Burton, Mazda, and many more.”

That is correct and I’m extremely proud to have worked with each of these brands.


FURTHER READING

VOTED TOP 6 MEN’S LIFESTYLE BLOG IN THE UK 2018

https://www.vuelio.com/uk/blog-awards/shortlist/

TOP 10 UK MEN’S LIFESTYLE BLOG 2017, 2018, 2019.

https://www.vuelio.com/uk/social-media-index/mens-lifestyle-blogs-uk-top-10/

These are all based around official Google blog statistics, domain-authority, quality of writing and imagery. Voted by industry professionals.

MY OWN BLOG STATISTICS PUBLISHED

Earlier this year, I have published my Blog Statistics with screenshots of Google analytic data (I note the extremely low 1.03% bounce rate for the year of 2018).

https://www.carlthompson.co.uk/further-reading-blogs/2019/1/18/carl-thompson-all-the-stats-from-my-blog-revealed

YOUTUBE

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7saYubGIW4nDfajCS9Kkqw?view_as=subscriber

My channel has around 8,800 Subscribers with a very engaged following and has almost 1million views on the videos published.

 

 

 

Two Style Edits From Zalando

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Today I'm going to be talking about a few pieces I've been recently styling for Zalando. Zalando is a very interesting online e-commerce site that hosts an incredible number of brands on their site.

They have garnered a fierce reputation in the industry thanks to their fiercely competitive returns policy. (100 day return policy for unworn items).

According to WIKI at least 50% of their goods get returned as a result yet still they manage to not only survive, but thrive since their inception into the UK market in 2011.

Enough background, let’s talk shop.

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LOOK NUMBER ONE: Street Casual 

I've been needing to refresh the casual side of my wardrobe. This Columbia hooded zip is 100% fleece-polyester with a herringbone weave. It has a wonderful texture to it and a marl-fleck that makes it stand out. Currently on sale at £71.99.

I've paired the fleece hoody with these awesome O'Neill winter boots. Pairing the grey hoody with a few hues of grey and black to bookend the look. (Let’s not mention a few grey hairs shall we?). The boots have a real sporty-snowboarder look, a reinforced heel for that secure step. Importantly they're padded and flexible providing great comfort. Currently on sale £99.99

Lastly I'm finishing the look with some Pepe Slim fit jeans. Perfect for my casual style, with a hint of elastane which gives it a little stretch in the right places. Evenly priced at £79.99

LOOK NUMBER TWO: Smart Casual 

Whilst look number one is the more street/sporty look. This is more smart/casual. Again I've opted for the same Pepe Jeans slim fit that you saw in look one. You can't go wrong with a simple dark denim. Straight, no fuss no thrills. The way a jean should be. 

The textured jumper is made from acrylic by a brand called Mennace. I like the feel of this jumper, I like the fit. The elasticated waist band helps neaten the look. I also like the price point, reduced to £33.14. 

I know that white trainers are going to be high maintenance in the rainy season here in London, but these Puma sneakers just look the business and a great contrast to the dark denim. I'll wear these trainers into the ground. A decent price at £79.99. I'd expect to pay to that for branded sneakers. 

Lastly, how about this Pier One Trench Coat, only £69.99. I love the smart look, the details, the contrast amber-buttons. I know you can't beat a Burberry trench coat which this is clearly looking to replicate. But I'm paying Burberry prices and I'm still turning heads. 

 

 

A Look Inside Jacket Required 2019

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Jacket Required breezed through Brick Lane again this year and as ever. You can take what you want from events like these. I normally like spending a bit of time with the reps and head of sales for brands to talk about what they're working on. What colour schemes are they bringing out in the new year? 

I try and divert from the arduous small talk about the woes of the high street. It's not a case of ignoring the elephant in the room, it just breathes negativity. Plus some of the brands are finding this to be a time of wanted change. Tom at Edwin told me that they are looking to open an event space in their Bethnal Green store as they need to capitalise on their square footage. 

Edwin are pushing a new selvedge denim release for AW19, deepening the visuals on their leather logo patches. I love the corduroy shirts and trousers they're also incorporating into the look this season. I saw a lot of corduroy on the rails this year, which can only be a good thing.  

I spoke to the Oliver Sweeney guys and they told me that they're pushing their green leather brogues and suede ankle high lace up boots this season. As many of you know the brand was in real dire straits not so long ago after the founder and designer Oliver Sweeney suffered a stroke that left him paralysed down one side of his body.

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He's staging a remarkable comeback however and his designs for next season are already being bought up by enthusiasts of the brands and shoes-alike. Without them even going into production. 

Sperry had a great turn out. Lots of textured boat shoes, their colour palette is balls out this year. They've also continued their patchwork boat shoes, but now with the pattern going throughout the shoe rather being confined to the vamp. 

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Lastly a shout out to a new shoe that's now on my radar. Sebago. There was no one at the stand so I took some pictures and did some quiet digging. Turns out they've been around for years and are renowned for their 'Docksides'. An iconic boat shoe worn by Pharrell Williams, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman and Kate Middleton. 

Inside Track: Best Watch Instagrammers to Follow

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Who knows their onions when it comes to watches? Sure you can follow GQ, Esquire and all those boys. But it's the journalists themselves, the specialists that give you inside track. Beyond the journalists you have the watch creators, the designers, the rabbit hole is endless.

I've got a few instagrammers that I keep my eye on when certain events like BaselWorld or SIHH 2019 comes up. I've penned down a list and if you're into your watches, then give these accounts a follow.

SOPHIE FURLEY 

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This lady is an obsessive. Sophie Furley is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolution magazine and is at every launch, event and exhibition all over the world.

I'm sure she could quite easily moonlight as a travel blogger if her diary allowed. Her posts are a plethora of different luxury and submariner watches. Eclectic, diverse but always clearly delineated. 

CHRONONDO 

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Chronondo (or Dan to his pals) was established in 2015, has 30 timepieces in his watch drawer from Jaeger LeCoultre to Audemars Piguet, and has an online store where people can buy and sell watches free of charge

Dan also extends his great taste in watches to other elements of his wardrobe. Very distinguished, always well turned out. 

GILE ENGLISH 

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Whilst you should definitely be following the Bremont Instagram page, (support British design and manufacturing where you can people) it's also quite cool to see what goes on behind the scenes sometimes.

Co-Founder Giles English (now there's nominative determinism in action) is something of a swashbuckling entrepreneur. I'll be honest, I just love the cars he drives around in. Oh and the watches. Of course the watches. 

ELIZABETH DOERR

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Well I envy Elizabeth the most. Watch journalist, and editor-in-chief of Quill and Pad, she gets to hang around all the big knobs. It must be a cushy gig being a watch journalist. If I had to start over I would be a dedicated watch journalist.

Flown around the world, check out some watches, press the flesh with Pierce Brosnan, then a good old knees up back up the hotel. Someone else will pick up the tab. How's my aim watch journo's? Can't be any more to it than that surely? 

(Remember folks don't phone in, it's just for fun). 

ROLF STUDER

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And then there's dear old Rolf Studer. I like the name Rolf, it's been blighted perhaps in the past few years by you know who, but here is a Rolf you can rely upon. Rolf Studer, CEO of Oris, as well fastidiously annotating all the Oris watches that christen his wrist, he also has a lustrous head of hair. 

Let me know who else I should follow in the watch world, drop me a comment below or catch me on Instagram.