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 

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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 

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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.

 

Men's Accessories for Summer | Men's Style Edit

Over the past few months I've been asked many times on email and via Direct Messages on Instagram, how men should accessorise. For men, less tends to be more, by choosing quality products over quantity. For example, go for a beautiful well crafted bracelet from Gentlemen's Chuckaboo for £19.99 rather than 5 fabric bracelets that you can get in Thailand for 20p which will end up looking cheap and dirty, certainly not the look we're going for.

Combine a watch with the tones of your outfit, so when I wear black jeans, I tend to wear a rose-gold or black strapped watch. Navy jeans and I'll opt for a navy watch face for example. 

Chains or pendants are massive right now but stick to one rather than hang layers and layers of jewels around your neck. Below is how I've styled this look with a variety of my favourite men's accessories.

 

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How to Wear a Denim Jacket 5 Ways

Denim jackets can be quite hard to style correctly but looks great when done right. Surprisingly the denim jacket is quite versatile, you'll be wrong to think otherwise. When styling a denim jacket with jeans (double denim), I would recommend wearing a different shade of denim for your jeans so there is a contrast in colour to your denim jacket. Mainly a casual urban look but in look5 I have styled the denim jacket in a formal way to experiment slightly to show you how good it can also looks with a shirt and trousers. Let me know what your favourite look is?

LOOK 1

LOOK 2

LOOK 3

LOOK 4

LOOK 5

So there you go, my 5 ways to style a men's denim jacket - let me know which one you prefer and here is a recap:

Photography by Rebecca Spencer

Customising Your Denim with boohooMAN

A little while ago, along with a handful of boohooMAN's favourite menswear bloggers, I was invited to their Denim Workshop. The boohooMAN design team were on hand to teach us how simple it can be to customise your own denim, at home with just a few common tools. I've never customised denim before but after a short while I finally got the hang of how to make rips, distressed looks, applying patches and making unique cuts.

Anyone can do it, seriously. All you really need is some iron-on patches, scissors, sand paper, something like a needle to pick the threads and of course a large table to work on, or maybe even the floor.

I chose this dark denim jacket from boohooMAN to showcase my skills and wanted to start off with the front of the jacket by colouring in and making a showcase piece of the front denim pockets. For my left pocket, I used a white marker pen to colour in the pocket flap and stripe pattern on the pocket. The right pocket has been torn off and painted yellow where the pocket previously was. I then picked the stitching on the left pocket and sanded the edges giving it a bit more rustic look.

I think I went a little over the top with rips on the arms and back, so my top tip would be that less is more when you are a beginner, getting the hang of denim customisation. Remember you can always add extra rips later on for further personalisation.

Finally to showcase that this is a true one of a kind, limited edition, created by me for me piece - I added a little '1 of 1' motif at the hem of the jacket.

What do you think? Only honest comments welcome!!

Show me how you customise your denim by tagging your photos with #boohooMANstyle.

How to wear double or triple denim

"Ooooooo double denim" and a scrunched up face is what I get every time I attempt this supposed fashion faux pax. But in this day and age is it really that much of a no-go style? Simply, the answer is no. I think that UK fashion has come a long way in the last 5 years but not only from the top fashion elite but also the everyday male or females who are in many ways the driving force behind trends that big brands catch on to. Are we becoming a more fashionable society due to a large number of accessible influencers on social media showing us different ways to wear everyday clothing - rather than only the high-end magazines that target the wealthy with their superbrands. I like to think so.

In fact I grew up reading such magazines, although the imagery was aspirational and the brands were always at the high end of luxury and fashion. I could never transition what I was reading from the magazine into something I could purchase affordably and style myself...maybe thats why ASOS was born - although they cottoned on to this a little sooner than I! 

Nowadays, there is so much content out there and I feel that as a blogger you have to push the boundaries of style because if we get it wrong then you will not...thats my excuse anyway!

So on to double or triple (in this case) denim. What are the rules if there are any? Disclaimer to any denim know-it-alls...this is just my opinion! 

DOUBLE DENIM RULES

1. Denim always looks better with tattoos.
2. Try to mix up different coloured denim.
3. If you choose the same colour denim, always match different washes.
4. Denim is normally distressed and therefore it's better to pair denim with your most worn in, slightly ropey footwear. Such as a pair of leather boots that have been over worn and scuffed. Or a pair of white converse that now look more cream coloured, have a small hole in the side yet somehow look better than when new.
5. Rips and slight faults give denim character. The only exception is when the crouch area wears out and you are exposing gouch!
6. Don't be afraid to mix smart attire with denim or chambray.

 

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Photography by Rebecca Spencer

ARE DENIM TRENDS SHIFTING? #THISISDENIM

In my opinion YES and it is about time! For what seems like donkeys years jeans have been getting slimmer, skinnier and spray-on. The skinny jean styles are not going to get phased out over night but its nice to see more roomier jeans on the high-streets and pioneering this new trend is Topman. 

Topman has been THE destination for skinny jeans for some time and as the trend in denim starts to shift so does the Topman offering. After heading into the Topman Oxford Circus store and meeting up with the exceptional, friendly personal shopper guys, I learnt a lot more about the upcoming denim trends. Topman are offering their largest menswear jean range ever, with new washes and styles available including flared denim and a wide leg cropped style (which I wore in my styled looks below).

My regular readers will realise - I wear a lot of skinny jeans! With Topman challenging me to a style a look with their new wide leg jeans, it was the perfect time to attempt something different. So here are the TWO looks that I styled.

LOOK ONE

Double denim with a formal twist. This look is perfect for AW15 and with autumn on our doorstep it incorporates layering with dark denim tones and tan jacket. Wear a t-shirt under the shirt for extra warmth or take the jacket off and roll the sleeves for the warmer autumn days. The Topman 'This is Denim' wide leg crop jeans are an ideal accompaniment with boots, making them a clear a new season must-have. In this look I have chosen to keep the jeans full length and not rolled as it works better with the smart/casual aesthetic.

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LOOK TWO

Comfortable casual attire. One of my go-to colours this season is green - in particular khaki - which is why I chose to style it up for my second look. This outfit is a very comfortable and styled for someone who is particularly a little more fashion-forward. The wide-leg jeans work perfectly with oversize items, so I have chosen this loose-fitting black t-shirt. It can be a bit much if worn by itself, so to tone it down slightly, I have put on a thin wax utility jacket. I've reused the same black brogue boots, this time showcasing them more by rolling up the jeans to a more cropped length.

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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Topman via Mode Media. The options expressed herein are those of the author (Carl Thompson) and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Topman.

WEARING DOUBLE DENIM (DO'S & DON'TS)

One thing I have learnt about fashion is that however many so called 'rules' there are, there actually are none. When rules are broken so often, there is no point in calling them rules anymore. Avoid wearing double denim is probably the most commonly known fashion faux pas of all time. When Britney Spears & Justin Timberlake attempted to break the rule all those years ago, you would have probably thought the rule was there for a reason. In come the cavalry of stylists, fashionistas, designers, street stylists and style bloggers to find a way to make double denim work.

2 years ago if I walked out of my house in double denim, I would have been laughed straight back in doors to change. But today is a different day and I'm feeling brave...here are my rules of how to wear double denim:

HOW TO WEAR DOUBLE DENIM

1. Always match different denim colour  shades. This is my first and most important rule that I abide by. I would never wear the same shade of denim jeans as well as shirt or jacket. 

2. Buy yourself a chambray shirt. Chambray is often mistaken for denim but it is a thinner lighter material which works extremely well when paired with denim. A lot of London's shirt makers are bringing out formal chambray shirt designs to be worn in smart attire. Because chambray is a light material it works extremely well in Autumn/Winter when layering for warmth.

3. Make sure the denim is well fitted. I'm sure the fashion forward guys and girls would find a way of making denim oversize garments work, however for me denim works better perfectly worn in a tailored fit.

4. Layers. Take the edge off the double denim by layering with t-shirts, jumpers, scarfs and accessories. This will soften down the look slightly.

In my outfit post photos above, I have chosen to mix ASOS black denim biker jeans with a DKNY dark blue denim jacket that I have had since 1990! Simply styled with a white tee and white/grey camouflage converse high-tops.

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Photo Credit Sophie Milner