How to be a smarter shopper with “Cost per wear” fashion math’s

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It’s that time of year when brands and retailers start drip-feeding us with information regarding their new season autumn/winter collections, whetting the appetite for our impending purchases. Seasonal weather changes are often a signal from the fashion gods to start investing in a new wardrobe and whether knitwear, overcoats or even a chunky pair of socks are your thing you should start to consider "cost per wear" math's on your fashion purchases.

I mean lets not beat around the bush. Upgrading your wardrobe every single season is expensive yet that doesn’t stop us wanting the new seasons must have threads. New fashionable clothing makes us feel self-assured which is why we tend to buy clothing based on events, a special occasion such as a first date, wedding or even an interview when you need a significant confidence boost. “Cost per wear” fashion math’s is something many of us already calculate when considering purchases and it is a great way to calculate actual cost of buying certain items of clothing. 

Take for example my favourite camel 100% cashmere overcoat, tailored to last, classic in style, handmade by Hawkins & Shepherd at £1,600 (*currently on sale at £800 for pre-aw17) is a true investment piece. I've had the coat for 24 months and have worn it 144 times costing £5.50 per wear. The quality of the product is so high and the style is a classic that will always be on trend and with an estimated 10 year lifespan of the garment - the cost per wear ends up at around £1.

Did you know that the average Brit spends an average of £1,042 per year on clothes (myself a lot more than that!) It's a lot of money, so you need to get the most out of your fashion purchases and one of the brands that I get maximum "cost per wear" return is from Reiss.

If you have been following my blog for a long time you’ll realise that I love Reiss, it’s a brand that I’ve brought since my mid-twenties and remain to do so. Reiss have a small selection of their AW17 new collection in-store right now, which is a perfect opportunity to see first hand if I can buy a timeless outfit which will give maximum "cost per wear" return. I’ve got loads of dinner events coming up over the forthcoming season so I needed to shop for a fashionable, sartorial outfit that was comfortable yet sophisticated and this is what I brought. A navy double-breasted blazer for £250, an Oxford pink striped button-down shirt for £90, a pair of slim mélange soft grey trousers for £115 and a pair of navy suede tassel loafers for £175 – totalling £630. IF I wear 1 item in this outfit 3 times per week for 52 weeks of the year my cost per wear would be around £4. However it is realistic that I'll have some of these clothes for much longer than a year and I'll wear it more, so the costs will come down per wear. Personally I always try to aim for £1-£3 per wear, although I do have a couple of t-shirts that would come in around 2p per wear!

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Photography by Toni Tran

What to Wear When Commuting Around London in Style, on a Bike!

Over the last few years there has been a massive boom in fair-weather cyclists that use peddle power to get around their local amenities - of which I'm one of them. I live in Clapham which is one of those places in London that has everything you'll need in for everyday life and although it's in Zone 2 of the London Underground pay zone, it feels like it has it's own village feel to it - a perfect place to cycle around.

Centred around Clapham common you have a variety of different areas, such as 'The Nightingale Triangle' which is full of prams, coffee shops and a lot of happy estate agents. Then there is Northcote Road, the big sister to the aforementioned for young families with parents still craving a Friday night in the local bars, even if they have to be home by 9:45pm. Walk further on a little and you'll hit Clapham Junction, which is Clapham's answer to oxford street. You then have the 3 tube stations all along the Northern Line...a little greedy you might think, unless you try and get on at Clapham South, Clapham Common or Clapham North at 08:15 in the morning. Clapham North is the 'cool' part of Clapham because if you ask anyone who lives there, they will say that they live in Brixton but in reality its actually the start of Clapham High Street which is famed for Infernos! At the other end of the high-street is Clapham Common, get off the tube here for SW4 Festival or the busiest part of the common on a hot sunny day which is also the congregation area for the local homeless drunks. Clapham Old Town in my opinion is the nicest area, full of Mews, coffee shops and Clapham's best bars. Head out of the bar area and you get to Clapham South (where I live), which is the quieter part of Clapham, except on a Sunday night when Giggerlum Bar comes alive...I mean what do the people who go here do for work on a Monday morning....go there and you'll understand what I'm talking about! The final area of Clapham South is Abbeville Village, which is basically a road...I'm pretty sure by calling it a village is just a way for locals and estate agents to wack on an extra £100K to their house prices.

As a Clapham resident and someone who works from home, getting around the local area easily and quickly is best done on a bike. So recently I upgraded my rusty, old, poorly kept bike which I've had for about 10 years with a new pristine Mango Bike. I wanted a bike that I could specifically design to my own style, that would not cost a fortune and could be delivered as I don't have a car in London. At Mango Bikes, you can design your own bike from as little as £319 and you can also spread the cost in monthly payments with their finance options. Every single piece of the bike is customisable, frame, saddle, bars, rims, tyres, chain and pedals and in a variety of different colours. 

A normal day for me is having around 3-5 meetings which is really hard to dress for whilst looking respectable, yet cycling in-between these meetings. Well I've found the perfect commuting style from NEXT menswear, mixing formal and casual. In this look I'm wearing NEXT drawcord navy trousers which are tapered yet extremely comfortable due to their construction of 66% Cotton, 32% Nylon, 2% Elastane. I've mixed these formal trousers with a navy bomber jacket and simple plain t-shirt which can be untucked whilst cycling and tucked in for a more respectable style. My commuter bag of choice is my leather Made-in-Global rucksack as it is deceptively large and roomy. Finally I cycle in Rockport shoes, where style meets performance. They are all extremely lightweight and comfortable, almost trainer like. Most of the Rockport footwear style offers Vibram soles, Tru-Tech comfort technology and waterproof construction, so actually very well suited to my lifestyle. Finally I've finished off my London commuter style with an affordable fashion watch from Adexe with an interchangeable watch strap from black to tan to suit any outfit choice.

As always thank you for reading and if you like my style, you can shop it using the image links below. 

 

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Photography by Rebecca Spencer

Men's Street Style | Outfit of the Week

Another black outfit, dammit, why do I always wear black? Anyway, I have and the outfit has a few different shades of darkness which blends in well together so therefore is my outfit of the week. Earlier on this week I was supposed to attend the Kong Skull Island, European Film Premiere with boohooMAN, although unfortunately work called and I had to cancel last minute...gutted! Anyway on the plus side, I got this outfit styled from boohooMAN new-in collection. 

Two pieces in this outfit stood out to me above the rest, which was the black roll-neck jumper in a thin fabric, which although black is perfect for spring/summer nights out. Then this versatile 3/4 length coat which is only £40 and an incredible buy. Seriously it is one of the, if not the best bargain I have seen for a very long time. The coat is lightweight and with oversized peek lapels it looks great and feels great.

 

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Photography by Rebecca Spencer

Versatile Footwear with Cat Footwear | Outfit of the Day

With only a week or so left in 2016, I'm working hard to keep on styling lots of outfits so that you can start off 2017 stylish and ready for a big big year! Today I'm trying on a brand new pair of Cat boots which I got from Tower-London.com and putting together my perfect outfit for these rust brown boots. We headed over to St. Pauls in central London for this shoot, which felt pretty weird a my last visit was recently at the First Dates restaurant!

Cat boots are renowned for rugged design and durability, perfect traits for winter. These boots are from the Caterpillar Clay Street collection which are a hand finished premium line inspired by the workforce of the 1800’s. The attention to detail and quality is clear with an emphasis on luxury fabrications and a continued quality construction. Retailing between £149.99 and £159.99 the collection is exclusively stocked at street wear and footwear stockist Tower London at their new flagship store on the iconic Brick Lane in Shoreditch.

The rest of the outfit is made up of distressed grey jeans by Allsaints, a light grey roll-neck jumper by Reiss and a cashmere blend made-in-Britain overcoat by Hawkins & Shepherd.

 

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Photography by Ella H

A Bloggers Retreat | The Serpentine Gallery | Kensington Gardens

The Serpentine Gallery has become a bit of a bloggers dream backdrop. I'm not the first and will certainly not be the last blogger to rock up to this gallery and post the same image as every one else on Instagram! On initial viewing the structure was incredible, although not as white as it comes across on everyones images....good editing people! The early birds to this exhibition would have been able to have stood on the squares unopposed, however since so many people have been climbing the structure (fucking bloggers, spoiling it for everyone!), they've had to hire security to make sure you do not. I mean just imagine if one of the square tubes came away from the rest of the structure and it tumbled down like a Jenga puzzle, awks!

You can visit The Serpentine Gallery 10am - 6pm Tuesday to Sunday and is free to enter and located here (by the pin):

Do what I didn't and make a day of if as there is plenty more to do in Kensington Gardens then just sunbathing. Try visiting the Albert Memorial and if you have children visit the Diana Memorial Playground.

I would like to thank these guys and my photographer Kylie for the inspiration...here are a couple of other Men's Style Bloggers who have done similar shoots at this exhibition (Click on the image to view their Instagram Profiles):

Oh yes, what I'm wearing and why....well I had a few meetings and it was bloody hot, so I decided smart casual was the way forward. In hot weather when you are jumping on and off the tube and you have to wear a shirt, go for the most roomy fit and the most breathable fabric (linen or a poplin cotton weave). Chinos are great in the summer too, a light airy fabric and can transition easily from smart to casual.

 

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Photography by Kylie Eyra

Sunday Somewhere = My Sunglasses Everywhere

Head over to Sunday Somewhere on Instagram and you'll find a plethora of celebrities wearing their frames or beautiful people wearing beautiful sunglasses in beautiful locations around the world. Going against this trend, I decided to take their awesome 'Valentine-Tea' round sunglasses around the grey colours of London.

I do feel like our country is a bit of a joke for the majority of the international community right now, firstly due to BREXIT but secondly after last night's defeat to Iceland in the European Football Championships. without going into too much detail, its a gloomy time especially in our capital city who overwhelmingly voted remain. So today I'm going to take my Sunday Somewhere sunglasses and book a holiday somewhere hot.

As well as some other amazing influencers, we won this FEELSxSUNDAYSOMEWHERE brand ambassador collaboration with Sunday Somewhere on the FEELS app, you can download it yourselves and enter into competitions to work with some of the largest fashion brands globally. 

The above shoot was taken by Ella H as we took a wonder around the Embankment/Westminster area. Here I'm wearing a redish, pinkish, creamish...kind of like a rhubarb custard sweet coloured knitted jumper by M.Studio - a brand designed in Paris by menlook.com. The jeans are a summer light-wash style, by ASOS. My rose-gold slimline watch is from Paul Smith. Finally I'm wearing a pair of Happy Socks with Jim Rickey trainers. You can shop all the items at the bottom of this post.

The above shot was from one of my previous shoots around London with Rebecca Spencer which I wanted to repost because it shoes the sunglasses frames in such an amazing angle.

The above image by Kylie Eyra was taken as part of my festival essentials post.

In the above shoot, I'm actually on the way into the office, so no clue why I'm smiling so much! It's taken by Rebecca Spencer once again and I'm wearing all Hawkins & Shepherd formal menswear.

AND FINALLY MY FAVOURITE SHOT OF THEM ALL....

 

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Photography by Ella H, Kylie Eyra & Rebecca Spencer 

BRITISH DESIGN, BRITISH FABRIC & 100% CASHMERE

Right now my life seems to be going at a million miles an hour but I'm loving every moment of it, I think if I slow down things might stall and I'll find it hard to get started again. I've started by renovating my flat for Spring and this doesn't just involve a cheeky little dust at the back of the cupboard where I keep my half finish tubs of marmite. No, this is a complete renovation of my flat, brick walls added, new carpets, new beds and of course a complete refresh of my wardrobe. Subscribe to my YouTube channel where I'll be posting videos/vlogs of my home renovation project.

I've just brought these amazing gas-pipe clothes rails that look like I have just taken them and walked out of an allsaints store. But what it means is I'm no longer able to hide my hoards of bad moth ridden clothes in a closed wardrobe, now everything is out in the open. It made me think about what is important in a man's wardrobe. I realised I had a lot of disposable clothing that I have hardly worn and just brought because it was cheap. Once I cleared all of this out, I was left with timeless, classic wardrobe pieces that have the quality and design to run the test of time.

As well as the blog, I have been working with Laura from Calder London, a Savile Row trained, womenswear tailor to celebs such a Cara Delevingne on a men's overcoat collaboration for Hawkins & Shepherd. We wanted only the finest British fabrics, tailoring, design, buttons, thread...the lot and couldn't be any happier with the results. 

This brings me back to having a few timeless pieces in your wardrobe that you save up and spend good money on. This camel overcoat is 100% British cashmere, its lightweight and warm, the perfect all season coat. You can style this versatile camel coat in a classic tailoring style by keeping things formal wearing it over a suit or opt as I have done by wearing the coat with a pair of dark denim jeans.

Right, I have to keep this momentum going, new flat, new wardrobe and now I'm off to the gym ready for a great summer in London...I havent been this excited since my last super-like on Tinder! 

 

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Photography by Sophie Milner