Where I shop for specific items of men's clothing

Everyone has their favourite shops that you head directly to, without passing GO or grabbing a coffee, when arriving at Bluewater, London Westfield or on Oxford Street. Well I'm no different. Depending on what I'm looking for I'll head straight to the brands that I know, fit well, are within budget and that I have brought from before and loved. With this outfit I did just that and here is where I brought each item from and why.

Firstly lets discuss the specs. I have had my eyes lasered for about 8 years when both eyes were short sighted at around -4.75. For those of you who wear glasses will understand that -4.75 is blind to the extent of you can barely read size 68 font when it is right in front on you. My eyes have since deteriorated slightly and I now have to wear glasses again, but lucky for me the styles have changed from gold rimmed, thick lenses with transformers (girl's had My Little Pony) on the sides to the designs that Kite are producing now. I found Kite through Instagram and have loved their optical designs ever since. They have a store in Westfield Stratford where you can get your eyes tested and customise your own frames for a flat fee and they have some incredible modern frames to choose from.

Next up is the shirt. Now there really is only one place to get your formal shirts from and that is Hawkins & Shepherd. A Hawkins & Shepherd shirt is always handmade and are crafted in a small family run tailors who take care in their work - unlike so many other shirt makers who factory run their work with no care and attention. Hawkins & Shepherd are only available online but have recently launched their AW16 collection of new pin collar shirts, button down shirts, suits and made-in-Britain cashmere overcoats.

Reiss is my destination for mid-range priced classic coats. Every season without fail they deliver, I mean their designs don't change too much but that fabric hues they use are always on style. This coat is their GABRIEL and priced at £295 and is sure to a sell-out piece.

My jeans are from Superdry. It isn't my normal destination for jeans, although I have felt that the standards and workmanship that go into jeans recently has declined due to so many affordable pairs entering the market. I recall a time when I used to spend a minimum of £125 on a pair of Diesel jeans, although for the last 5 years my shopping habits for denim has changed to affordable and I have brought most of my pairs from Topman or ASOS. Well I was on the search for a pair of jeans what were great quality but will not break the bank and I found them at Superdry of all places for £65.

My shoes are made by John White from Northamptonshire so the quality of craftsmanship that goes into them is great and you can really feel the comfort when you wear a pair. These brogue shoes with a grain exterior in a tan colour are available through Hawkins & Shepherd.

I've accessorised with a pair of quilted dark brown gloves from Barbour and a 100% silk navy polka-dot scarf from Hawkins & Shepherd.

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Photography by Rebecca Spencer

Personalise Your Sunglasses This Summer with KITE

Without sounding too much like Barney Stinson from 'How I Met Your Mother' with all of his rules like 'New is always better' but we do all look better in sunglasses, period! Although there are exceptions to this rule. For example, you can never wear sunglasses on the London Underground, never, you just look like an egotistical twat. 

Some people collect shoes, bags, trainers or coats. In winter I pretty much collected knitwear and coats and now in Summer I'm building quite an impressive sunglasses haul. In my collection are cheap pairs from £10-20 all the way up to a couple of pairs around the £300 mark, so these new ones from KITE are right down the middle at £150. 

KITE are a relatively new UK brand, launching in 2014 based on British design and Italian craftsmanship. Sometimes to improve on something as classic as optical glasses and sunglasses, you have start with a blank piece of paper which is what KITE have done. Shoppers can be savvy but most of the time we are just puppets to major marketing strategies by massive brands designed to engage us into purchasing their products. In many respects shoppers have become wiser to companies spending millions to force their particular brand message or new season products on us...which has given birth and a rise of the blogger - a personalised voice for all brands, small, medium or large. KITE are a major NEW brand success story, built from scratch and proving that you don't have to have a heritage from the 1800's to be successful and making great products.

The advantage KITE has in the current marketplace is they were able to start from scratch. Their designs, their service and their pricing model are all unique. Firstly, they offer a flat £150 fee for all of their sunglasses and optical designs, which includes lenses and also offer a free high tech eye test.

During my first visit to their flagship Westfield Stratford store, I was greeted by friendly knowledgeable staff - who seemed like they were genuinely passionate about the design and product they were promoting (not selling). I mentioned 'not selling' because I didn't feel like the staff were the hard selling type at all. The whole process was about them assisting me in choosing the right frame for my face and whilst incorporating my own personal style. The final product is totally customisable by choosing different frames, arms, lenses and even an artist inspired lens cloth. 

My final designed sunglasses were a bold tortoiseshell frame with slightly more discrete tortoiseshell arms and tan faded lenses...what do you think? You can head into store or shop online below with a few of my favourite pairs.

 

SHOP KITE SUNGLASSES

SHOP KITE OPTICALS

Photography by Ella H