My TK Maxx Winter Haul | Luxury Leathers & Stylish Knits

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

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

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


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

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

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

TK Maxx Knitwear x Carl Thompson.jpg

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

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

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

LASTLY THE TK MAXX NEVERENDING STOCKING

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

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

Clothes for the Grey Moods | Men's Style Edit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SHOP THE STYLE EDIT

Autumnal earthy clothing by Next Menswear AW17 | Style Edit

I'm never disappointed when shopping at Next Menswear, in fact it is totally the opposite as I'm always absolutely delighted by the design and quality. I've known for a few years now how good Next is but the message is still taking a while to reach the majority of men. For example when wearing this outfit I had a couple of people ask where I got the coat from and how much it was. When I told them Next and £120 they were shocked and both said that they couldn't believe that Next was that good.

All menswear fashion bloggers love autumn winter or layering season and you can really showcase your style. That can come with problems storing all of these new clothes especially the coats and knitwear! I've got to the stage now where I've hit a limit on the amount of space I have for all of my clothing. So I have a rule, which is 'one in one out'. Basically if I get gifted or buy something new it has to be better than something already in my wardrobe otherwise it's got to go. By the way, I give all of my second-hand clothing to the FARA charity shop in Balham if you ever want to pick up a bargain as I usually gift them at least 1 bin bag sack full of clothes every month.  

I really am brutal with the 'one in one out' rule but every single piece of this style edit from Next made the cut and pushed out some of my older pieces to the charity bag. Not only that but the coat and in particular the Chelsea boots have become two of my all-time favourite pieces this AW17 season. The Chelsea boots will be in my collection for years to come, I love them so much.

If you love this style edit or the Next Menswear collection in general you can shop everything by clicking on the images below.

 

SHOP THE LOOK

The Style Off - NEXT Menswear - Episode 5

We are back, for the 5th episode of THE STYLE OFF, a YouTube collaboration with Oli from The Tailor Fitted where we both take a single item of clothing and style it to our own personal style. We have taken two of our favourite pieces from the NEXT Menswear AW16 knitwear collection and completed the look in our own style. Watch both videos above, let us know what you think and of course, who styled it better using #Carl or #Oli with a comment on the YouTube videos. This months style off was sponsored by NEXT Menswear AW16 collection. The items we have chosen from the NEXT knitwear range is their Burgundy Textured Roll Neck and their Grey Textured Gansy Jumper. Watch both videos and let us know who styled it better.

THE NEXT BURGUNDY ROLL NECK - CARL'S LOOK

THE NEXT BURGUNDY ROLL NECK - OLI'S LOOK

SHOP NOW

THE NEXT GREY JUMPER - CARL'S LOOK

THE NEXT GREY JUMPER - OLI'S LOOK

SHOP NOW

Special thanks to Next who gifted the items for this Style Off.

A BRITISH HERITAGE BRAND BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE

Don't you love it when you find a brand that you haven't worn before but ticks all of the boxes? British heritage (tick), quality fabrics (tick), great design (tick) and at a good price (tick). The Beehive Brand specialises in premium British manufactured knitwear inspired by post-war time industry. Its heritage dates back 230 years and the designs are based on original knitting patterns from the 1920s.

Beehive have been working through an archive of patterns, photos and pictures  and will slowly introduce these knitwear items to us focusing on jumpers, sweaters, cardies, hats, scarves and gloves. So keep an eye out for their news ranges because this brand is going places.

This street style look was built around championing the turtle neck knitted jumper from Beehive and I did this by wearing an open necked classic navy pea coat which showed off the detail of the knit. If you like what you see, you can shop the look.

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Photo Credit Sophie Milner

ROLL NECK CABLE KNIT - OUTFIT OF THE DAY

Retailers must be screwing over the mild winter weather, especially those whose main profits come from outerwear, knits, jackets and coats. I have spoken to a few brands and retailers myself during various networking events of menswear business owners like myself. Most still have autumn/winter stock left over from AW14 due to 2014 being a mild winter and now 2015 making it back-to-back poor seasons. So will the menswear trade shows coming up for AW16 be boom or bust?

Retailers are great at liquidating stock during December and January with various sales of which they use clever marketing to sell old stock whilst still making large profits. However these are normally the larger stores, who have the luxury of 100s or 1000s of staff, they also have various retail stores throughout the whole of the UK. So if a particular style is not selling in say Manchester, well they will just try another store where historically that particular style has sold well.

I feel for the smaller boutique retailers who often sell on smaller margins, operate month by month financially and do not have the ability to 'suck up' a bad season. With stock piling up and the designs from past seasons, it is a cycle that can become irreversible.  

Sometimes I feel I'm propping up AW15 brands single handedly as all I seem to be talking about and buying is knitwear and this outfit of the day is no different - if you like my style, shop the look below and help out retailers and brands this AW15 season.

SHOP THE LOOK

Photo Credit Sophie Milner

WINTER KNITWEAR JUMPERS

Every Christmas I buy a novelty jumper that gets one wear and then takes up space in my ever-expanding wardrobe for the remainder of the year. Without sounding 'sooooo fashion', wardrobe space is valuable and a jumper that gets worn once in a year - is out, goodbye, adios, vamoose! What I really want this year are jumpers that I would actually want and wear for more than just novelty.

I've recently discovered Woodhouse, who have an exceptional range of knitwear, of which you can check out here. Today is a great day to shop their collection as they have their 'Cyber Sale' on today offering great discounts on brands such as Lyle & Scott, Lacoste, Polo Ralph Lauren and Barbour.

The jumper I purchased from Woodhouse is a thin knit perfect for winter layering. I've worn it with nothing underneath and layered with a blue trench coat as it was one of those warm ish winter mornings. However recently, I have been wearing it over the top of a white button-down shirt and it looks great.

In my styled look above, I have kept things very simple by using (hate this word) on-trend pieces. Since the photoshoot was taken along Chelsea embankment, it's only right that I have styled my footwear with the chelsea boot in plain black suede by asos. The black ripped jeans (again asos) were a little bit drafty but give the outfit a little edge! Then I have the Farah purple jumper from Woodhouse. A navy trench coat from Topman. Completing todays men's style outfit is a black leather holdall from asos and a purple check knitted scarf from Massimo Dutti.

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Photo Credit Sophie Milner

WINTER WARDROBE ESSENTIALS

I for one love Winter and in particular Autumn/Winter style - knitwear, jackets, coats, scarves and boots. I just feel that if money is to be spent on expensive items that will last you 10 years plus, this is the season to do it. So I'm going to go shopping online via MR PORTER and pick out my winter wardrobe essentials.

PEA COATS

UMBRELLAS

KNITWEAR

BOOTS

CAMEL COAT

TUXEDOS/DINNER JACKETS

LEATHER GLOVES

SCARVES

GREY & BLACK STREET STYLE WITH DML JEANS

When winter nears, mornings get greyer and nights darker and so does my wardrobe. Packed away are my pastel colours and its time for dark layering with knitwear and this look is just the beginning. There is no secret that grey, black as well as dark blues are mens staple colours, so you should all be able to put something casual together similar to the street style look above.

I took my new grey skinny stretch jeans by DML Jeans and combined them with some new black Converse Chuck Taylor II trainers. DML jeans have some nice orange inner stitching, so I decided to showcase this by turning up the jeans with a couple of rolls, which works great with converse boots. The DML jeans are affordable at only £35 which is quite amazing as the fit is perfect (not too skinny and not too loose), there are also nice detailed touches with the DML logo on the inner pocket and bold stitching. I found the denim fabric was quite light and therefore comfortable and washes well.

Moving on to the upper half, I chose a two-tone grey tee from ASOS, with zip detail - and although the images look like I have moobs, it does actually fit well! Then for warmth, I have added this Religion black knitwear which was quite punchy at £80 but worth every penny (brought via ASOS). I brought it a size bigger than what I would normally and the jury is out wether that was the right thing to do or not? I've then finished the look with my trusty black leather bag, again from ASOS.

If I was to wear a jacket with this look, I think a multi tone grey checkered oversized jacket would work awesome...although I didn't manage to find one!

 

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PHOTO CREDIT SOPHIE MILNER

HUNTSMAN QUINTESSENTIALLY BRITISH

Huntsman are a Savile Row success story, founded in 1849 by Henry Huntsman and a brand I have admired for a very long time. The name Huntsman would suggest dapper country gentlemen and a large part of their collection is tweed and targeted to that market although looking further into their work; they have some incredible tailored suits.

Huntsman, the quintessential British Luxury Brand, project a timeless, sharp look in a thoroughly modern fashion. The brand have a rich history and proud traditions, with strong values of quality and craftsmanship. Over 80 hours of workmanship go into creating each garment. The high end bespoke suit manufacturer also sell accessories such as stylish umbrellas (From £155), overcoats well worth the investment (from £1950), cashmere scarves (from £225) and knitwear (from £125). 

Huntsman have a history of exceptional bespoke tailoring but also have a relatively small collection of suits, shirts and knitwear that you can purchase online.

Here are my picks from their online collection...

SHOP HUNTSMAN HERE

Take a tour along Savile Row with me below: