2 Killer Autumn Jackets all Men should own

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What are the best men’s Autumn Jacket on the market right now?

The two lightweight autumn jackets that I would recommend for you is the River Island Dark brown faux suede racer jacket for £70.00 and the M&S Suede Baseball Jacket for £129.

What's so great about these autumn jackets?

The River Island Autumn racer jacket is easily the best men’s autumn jacket on the market right now for price value. It's made of a faux suede fabric so you're not paying for the high end material. Yet the look is relatively indistinguishable.

It has quilted panels on the sleeve and a popper-fastened racer neck collar. Similar to that of a storm collar.

The only thing I'm not a huge fan of is the side slip zip pockets. I find putting my hands in zip pockets uncomfortable and scratches my hands. But it's an authentic look and it simply goes with anything.

A photo of the second jacket was posted recently on my Instagram page in partnership with Marks & Spencer to announce the news of their new pop up store in Soho.

One lucky winner got to win the jacket as part of a giveaway competition so make sure you're following my page as I'll be doing more posts like these.

This malleable-soft suede jacket has a regular fit, ribbed stretch cuffs and waistband to help create the classic bomber silhouette. Chunky zipper fastening and band collar. It's fully lined with a handy zipped interior pocket big enough to house a card wallet.

Why these autumn jackets works so well?

I often switch between both blue and black denim trousers. You can see in both photos that because of the dark brown and tan hues, I can wear both these jackets interchangeably. To see all the latest AW19 colour trends you should check out what's been on show at New York Fashion Week via Pinterest

They're also lightweight so NOW is the time to be wearing these jackets before the big freeze hits.

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NEW Bergamot & Basil Post Shave Balm by Dermot O'Leary for M&S REVIEW

Today I'm going to wax lyrical about the NEW Bergamot & Basil Post Shave Balm by Dermot O'Leary for M&S

As regular readers of the blog will know I'm a fan of the Dermot O'Leary X M&S's collaborations. I've reviewed the Earl Grey & Sandalwood fragrances previously on my blog and I'm continually buying and replenishing the range. 

Dermot has once again teamed up with the in-house team over at M&S to create a soothing balm to reduce the effects of shaving. In his own words Dermot echoes my thoughts on the frustration that can come with shaving. 

"It's been collaborating with the team at M&S to further expand the collection and bring another fantastic new product to launch. I'm really proud of the family of grooming products we've developed together, and I'm looking forward to adding the Post Shave Balm to my daily routine - shaving can be a nuisance, but your skin shouldn't suffer for it!"

Shaving can be a joyless experience because of the irritation it causes. I've come accustomed to using an assortment of beard trimmers overtime, however still use the razor for the bib of the neckline and cheek bones. 

This past week I've road-tested the NEW Bergamot & Basil Post Shave Balm by Dermot O'Leary for M&S in some sensitive areas around my collarbone, high cheek and general neck area. 

For those unfamiliar with the bergamot bitter it yields a citrus-like fragrance, with a distinctive spicy-floral quality. It's this spicy and sweet opening that will grab you first. Like most post shave balms it will hydrate your skin, and this one is rich enough that you can feel your skin accept the balm. 

Others I've tried can have a tendency to gloss over the skin, leaving an oily finish which isn't very satisfying. This post shave balm is specially formulated to soothe and calm, the balm features the uplifting notes of the best-selling Bergamot & Basil fragrance; a gentle scent of citrus, layered with undertones of precious amber. 

M&S x Dermot O’Leary Bergamot & Basil Post Shave Balm 75ml ONLY £15 Available HERE.

*This paid sponsored post was created in collaboration with Marks & Spencer.

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.

 

David Gandy Interview | Discussing The Launch of His Tailoring Collection for M&S - Marks & Spencer

David where do you start with a project of this magnitude? What are the initial discussions to be had between you and the design team at M&S? 

Tailoring has always been a passion of mine, and as the designer of my loungewear and underwear collection, I have always wanted to progress to design a small tailoring capsule collection - it seemed the perfect time, after becoming the Ambassador of Tailoring at M&S a year ago. Our initial discussions began with brainstorming my favourite tailoring style details, the heritage of Savile Row, inspiration from classic tailoring, and the versatility of how tailoring is worn today.

 

Typically tailoring designs start from inspiration boards, mood boards, then illustrations etc. Did you have to go through this process and did you do any illustrating yourself? 

The process began with bringing in vintage pieces of tailoring for styling references and inspiration. Once we created the designs, we spent a long time choosing cloths and the finer details, such as side adjusters and lapels etc, as well as ensuring we got the best fit possible.

 

Can you tell me a bit about your inspiration for the collection, did you pull inspiration from your personal tailoring experiences, M&S archives or tailoring heritage?

The main source of inspiration came from vintage items from my wardrobe – in particular a vintage M&S St Michael suit and vintage pea coats. Key style references included; ticket pocket detail on the suit jacket, an extra button on the waistcoat, broader collars and a longer length silhouette and classic back belt on the coat.

M&S has an incredible heritage in tailoring – introducing leading innovations to the high street such as colour standardisation in 1985 which allowed jackets and trousers to be bought separately for the first time. They have a brilliant team of designers, who I worked through the process with to further understand what was possible and what the customer wants.

 

How long did it take to develop a collection like this and what hurdles did you face? Were there any designs that didn't make the cut? (Pardon the pun). 

I began working with the M&S design team on the collection in November 2017. Using British cloth is an integral part of the collection, and we devoted many hours to finding the best quality cloth at an accessible price to the customer – all the fabrics are woven in the UK.

 


Did you have an age demographic in mind when curating this collection; and if so how did that factor in to the final designs? 

The collection was created with versatility in mind more than anything. The three pieces were created so they can be worn together or separately, dressed up or dressed down, season after season. I hope the collection appeals to men of many styles, ages and lifestyles.

 

Did you have free range on selecting fabrics and materials for the collection?

The M&S designers and I spent a long time sourcing the right cloth for each of the pieces. Both suits and the coat are crafted from fabric woven in Yorkshire.

The overcoat is also made from wool certified by The Responsible Wool Standard which is a global standard for growing wool with progressive standards in land management and animal welfare and uses technology to trace wool back to the farms where it was sourced.



How did this collaboration differ from any others that you've done previously? 

This is my very first tailoring collection - creating my own collection has always been a dream of mine, and this felt like the right time after many years of learning about the craft of tailoring throughout my career. As the Ambassador of Tailoring at M&S I’ve spent a great deal of time with the design team, learning about M&S tailoring and the design process.

 

What were the most enjoyable parts of the journey? What piece from the collection are you most proud of? 

I’m very proud of the collection. I’ve enjoyed seeing the collection come to life throughout the entire process, from initial sketches, fabric swatches, fits, trims and finishing details, to seeing the finished dinner suit, three-piece suit and overcoat. Style and fit are at the heart of the collection, along with premium cuts and quality fabrics, all at an attainable price point. My favourite piece has got to be the overcoat – I love its longer length, broad lapels and the fact that the wool is traceable right back to the network of farms in New Zealand.

 

Would you do it all again? Can we expect to see another collection after this? 

Watch this space!

SHOP THE COLLECTION

Dermot O’Leary Introduces the Earl Grey & Sandalwood Fragrance | Exclusive to M&S

Following the runaway success of Dermot O'Leary's skincare range and his first two fragrances, M&S is proud to announce the launch of the newest fragrance Earl Grey and Sandalwood, launching in June 2018. Earl Grey and Sandalwood sounds the name a working title Arthur Conan Doyle had for Sherlock Holmes and Watson. Maybe it came down to a coin toss. We'll never know. 

Dermot O'Leary launched his debut fragrances through M&S back in 2017; Bergamot & Basil and Vetiver & Cedarwood. The Earl Grey and Sandalwood is a lighter projection, appropriate for summer use. 

 

What is the bottle like?

The bottle sits square, square shoulders, square base and is transparent allowing a dip-dye effect of aqua marine to sit at the bottom. Almost the opposite to the Vetiver & Cedarwood which had a darker hue of blue at the top and faded to clear at the bottom. 

 

How does Earl Grey and Sandalwood smell? 

Earl Grey and Sandalwood opens with fresh, sparkling notes of bergamot and mandarin, leading to a heart that features aromatic earl grey tea accords and blackcurrant.

The base is composed of complimentary woody notes from galbanum, musk, cardamom, sandalwood and petitgrain, evoking sparkling high mountain streams in the heat of the summer sun.

Speaking of the collaboration and his growing relationship with M&S, Dermot commented; "There's no bond that's more quintessentially British than M&S, and I have loved working with the team there on this latest fragrance which will join the family of products we have created together. I hope everyone enjoys wearing it as much as I do".

Earl Grey & Sandalwood by Dermot O'Leary launches on 7th June 2018 online at www.marksandspencer.com and in M&S stores for £22.

Dermot O'Leary has coincided this new fragrance with the launch of his 24.hr Grooming for Men, a skincare range exclusively for M&S available in store and online. 

With many years in the entertainment business, Dermot has tested a huge variety of products and wanted to apply his learnings to create a hassle-free, affordable grooming collection of his own.

Jo Jenkins, Director of Womenswear, Beauty and Lingerie at Marla & Spencer adds: "We are absolutely thrilled to have worked with Dermot on the launch of his first grooming range for men. Recent research has shown that the male grooming market holds a great potential opportunity, and we are delighted to have partnered with Dermot as we feel both our male and female customers will really relate to him."

 

Would I buy Earl Grey and Sandalwood?

Absolutely. In a heartbeat. Dermot has got a great product on his hands here and the best thing is he isn't trying to over sell his cache. He is a public figure, he is immaculately dressed and a gentleman. Accessible, good quality and a very decent caveat for my Summer outings. 

 

 

M&S Wedding Capsule Collection | Wedding Suits for Men

The biggest quandary I have when creating a capsule for a wedding collection is to style respectively for the occasion, whilst not appearing like I've just ticked all the proverbial boxes dictated by countless and mostly odious style bibles. 

It's very important not to upstage the groom in anything bilious. This is a wedding, not a press board pageantry for the Brit Awards darling. 

I've teamed up with M&S to create a wedding capsule, which I can identify with. If you're attending a wedding this Spring/Summer, then this could be of interest to you. 

Firstly, my loyal readers will know I'm not overly enamoured with light grey suits, I prefer to go with navy which looks classic and smart. Although I appreciate that light grey is very much the mainstay colour of a wedding wardrobe, so for that reason I've mixed in a bit of colour, opting for a grey waistcoat and pink pocket square.

Coming in at a total cost of £378.50

The Jacket & Trousers

You have to think the majority of this day will actually be spent sitting down. Whether it's in a church, at a reception, or slumped on a lighting rig at the end of the night waiting for your cab home. Your butt-cheeks will have a promiscuous day so I strongly recommend a doubled vented jacket. I've plumped for this Navy Tailored Wool jacket, simply put a single vent won't give your butt anywhere to go when seated. 

I've paired some Navy Wool Trousers, with a flat front. You might want to note that these trousers don't come with belt braces which could be deal breaker for some. Personally I'm fine wearing a belt and as braces under a waistcoat can feel a mite suffocating. 

The Waistcoat

The English weather is often much maligned, but we are prone to heatwaves occasionally which is why I've opted for a linen waistcoat, light grey in keeping with the box-tickers. It's a Linen/poly blend so will offer you the benefits of breathability, yet won't crease as much. Plus, you can come back to this number time and again, grey is very interchangeable and the moths won't go for it. Not their diet. 

The Shirt

Typically, I'd go for a shirt that is 100% cotton and double cuffed, but I'm conscious of the budget and this shirt is perfectly serviceable. You can go pink or sky blue with this shirt and it will lift the ensemble like a soufflé as James Sherwood would say. Very breezy yet classic. 

The Accoutrements

For weddings a go-to for many would be pink, pastel or purple hues. These will be standard fare, possibly a little too vaudevillian for my taste which is why I've gone for something more classic and versatile. The Textured Tie will ameliorate neck and draw peoples look towards the neck and face. The Geometric Pocket square has a dusting of pink in it, in keeping with the tradition of the occasion. 

What do you think of my picks? How would you style your wedding suit? Let me know your thoughts in the box below and how you would do things differently. 

This post has been created in collaboration with M&S

M&S Men’s Tailoring Launch with the Appointment of David Gandy as its First Ever Ambassador of Tailoring

This week M&S hosted a star studded evening to mark the launch of its biggest ever men’s tailoring range and the appointment of David Gandy as its first ever Ambassador of Tailoring. I'll tell you what, M&S know how to put on a party, it's a Great British brand steeped in history and they know how to tailor for every gent in the UK regardless of shape and size. For a lot of men out there M&S has always been an introduction into wearing suits, whether it's for your first interview, your first day at work or for a special occasion such as a wedding, M&S has always been there for us - helping us dress better with affordable suits.

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Hosted at the incredible Scarfes Bar in Rosewood Hotel, M&S held a Tailoring Talk with a stylish panel of industry experts including M&S CEO Steve Rowe, supermodel David Gandy, uber stylist, Sarah Ann Murray and industry expert, Terry Betts, and was hosted by style icon and influencer, Jack Guinness. The Tailoring Talk panel deliberated the past, present and future of tailoring, discussed M&S customers and their input into shaping the new range, as well sharing stories on first suits and debating ultimate suiting icons. The talk went on for about 30-45 minutes with a knowledgable audience hanging on every word of the panel. It was also very interesting to hear the panels style icons. For me, when I need inspiration for formal attire it has to be David Gandy and Cary Grant (right).

 Media, iconic menswear influencers and a number of special guests attended the event, including face of M&S Autograph Oliver Cheshire, Jesse Metcalfe and Cara Santana, Toby Huntington-Whiteley, Jim Chapman and Eric Underwood.

The event marked the launch of M&S’ biggest ever tailoring range across more sizes, lengths and fits than ever before with 65 colour style options across four fits, giving customers their most personalised off the peg fit.  This ties in with the introduction of M&S’ first ever tailoring ambassador in the form of global style icon, David Gandy, to bring the tailoring collection to life for customers, offering style inspiration and advice on ways to style and wear suits.

I am honoured and excited to be named as the first ever M&S Ambassador of Tailoring. Ironically my first ever suit was one of my Dad’s M&S pure wool suits that I had altered to fit me, ever since then I have had an interest and love of British tailoring. I have been part of the M&S family for over six years now, both as a face and as a designer for my own collection, which have proved to be very successful.  My role has now evolved and expanded to working behind the scenes with the creative teams on the new suit style section of the website, and on the art direction and styling of the new tailoring campaign. I am delighted so far with the results and I’ve enjoyed watching the ideas and concepts come to life, and hope the new tailoring styles in the imagery and videos inspire M&S customers. 
— David Gandy

It wasn't all cocktails and canapés, there was a real purpose to the event, bringing everyone together so we can spread the word that from Winter 2017, all customers will receive even better service in M&S stores with suit advisors being up-skilled through the introduction of a new nationwide training programme.

A brand new suit style section is now available online, housing editorial content, video, as well as tips on how customers can wear suits for different occasions from the different ranges within M&S.

http://www.marksandspencer.com/s/men/suits

I have long-standing love of the suit, I’ve worn a suit every day of my professional life at M&S and for me, the suit stands for quality, craftsmanship and heritage, much like this great company I work for.
— M&S CEO, Steve Rowe

Dermot O’Leary launches two new fragrances exclusively for M&S

Dermot O’Leary Fragrances

This week started off attending a breakfast event with M&S and Dermot O'Leary to celebrate the launch of his two new fragrances, available from the 7th September. The breakfast was at The Ned hosting some of the countries leading journalists and influencers in the UK. Whenever a fragrance is launched by a celebrity it is normally met with some apprehension from industry insiders and customers alike however after talking to Dermot about the fragrances he was clear that these fragrances were a true collaboration between the master scent creators, M&S and himself - so except something a little special.

M&S has been part of the fabric of mine and
lots of people’s upbringing, it’s a brand you trust
which was very important to me when choosing
to work together. We started the process over
two years ago and during this time I have learnt
an awful lot. It has been such a fulfilling
experience, with some really lovely people. I
have worked with the experts and enjoyed every
second of it.
— Dermot O'Leary
Dermot O'Leary

Dermot is well known in the entertainment industry but also in the fashion industry, being part of the British Fashion Council for years and regularly featuring in GQ's most stylish men in the UK. It is fair to say that a very humble Dermot easily has the credentials to help create what turned out to be two amazing fragrances. The two fragrances are very different and for my nose a clear day and night scent, the Bergamot & Basil is fresh and aromatic whereas the Vetiver & Cedarwood is a contrasting warm, silky and spicy blend to suit your mood and style. 

Following the success of Dermot O’Leary’s skincare range exclusively for M&S, the retailer is proud to announce the launch of two men’s fragrances Bergamot & Basil and Vetiver & Cedarwood. 

Dermot O’Leary Bergamot & Basil

The Bergamot & Basil fragrance, you've heard it here first is Dermot's favourite out of the two. It opens with fresh and uplifting notes of bergamot and lemon, core accords of spicy pink pepper, juniper and patchouli offer depth, complimented by base notes of vanilla, musk and amber. 

Dermot O’Leary Vetiver & Cedarwood

My personal favourite out of the two is Vetiver & Cedarwood as it really packs a punch, it's sophisticated and masculine. This fragrance leads with invigorating top notes of pink grapefruit and mandarin combined with deep accords of black pepper, clove and geranium on a warm and woody base of cedarwood, amber and vetiver. 

I like to tailor fragrances based on my mood, the atmosphere, my surroundings and the weather. Winter and Summer fragrances are very different for me. Day – zesty, lovely sea salt smells. Night - something with a little more body.
— Dermot O'Leary
Dermot O’Leary Aftershave

I've found that both fragrances are insanely good, they serve different purposes, are long lasting, sophisticated, and modern. They are beautifully styled with minimalistic packaging and bottles which will look fantastic on your grooming shelf at home....all for £22, astounding effort.

Bergamot & Basil and Vetiver & Cedarwood by Dermot O’Leary launch on the 7th of September online at www.marksandspencer.com and in M&S stores for £22 each.