Style Icons Who Have Nailed it in Their 40's

Screen Shot 2019-04-26 at 06.30.16.png

Yes I'm coming for you 40's. Though I'll forever have one foot in my 20's. I'm in the embers of my youth as Frank would say, but have never felt better. I'm in better shape now than I've ever been and currently writing this under a palm tree in Whitsundays, killing an hour before I head out chase down the sunset on my paddle board. Life is good. 

Before I do I wanted to highlight the style icons in their 40's that I admire. I'll do a series of these overtime as the generation thing, how people dress as they go through the gears of life fascinates me. 

DAVID BECKHAM 

David Beckham is the gift that keeps on giving for influencers and bloggers. Annotating his different outfits can certainly kill a slow news day in fashion. He's a wonderful ambassador cum-co-owner for Kent & Curwen, a British heritage brand with now a flagship store in Covent Garden. 

He traverses the line of style and statement effortlessly. Wearing some beautifully pared down pieces that will get anyone noticed without screaming 'look at me'. Exactly the line a man in his 40's needs to know. 

CHRISTIAN BALE 

Readers of my blog might have guessed that one was coming. I love Christians red carpet game more than his casual out-of-office style. Which is about as non-descript as it gets but hey-ho. Lots of cargo pants and non-logo denim shirts from what I've seen in the press.

He is obviously on good terms with Brioni however because Christian's always immaculately turned out at black tie events. His Brioni tuxedos are styled with black silk shirts and matching black ties to emphasise his mysterious quality. 

He is after all Bruce Wayne still in my eyes. He is an enigma of an actor taking on crazy roles for independent movies like The Machinist. That film was bananas. 

JUDE LAW

The thing I love about Jude Law is that he has a natural eye for a decent casual game. He has a very English style, loves his braces and his Donegal tweed. Well before he took on the role of Watson in Sherlock Holmes. 

He is a big proponent of wide brim hats are Brooklyn-esque beanies. I've read online that his style varies from Topman to Hackett London. As a resident Londoner it's no surprise that he's an indigenous shopper. 

DERMOT O'LEARY 

He has an awesome line of aftershave does Dermot, be sure to check out my blog reviewing his fragrances exclusive to M&S. He's regularly touted as being one of the UK's best dressed style icons in their 40's 

He has had some turbulence in the fashion industry. Investing and apparently losing £70k in former Savile Row tailor Spencer Hart. 

Dermot has a very unfussy style, fan of roll necks and a modern look. His lapels often suitably narrow, nipped in at the waist with a slight flair in the skirt. Very Doug Hayward of the late 70's. 

SADIQ KHAN 

If it's ever been possible to completely dislocate ones feelings of a person; their political agenda from their personal style, Sadiq Khan is that man. 

Seemingly out-of-office during the Climate protests. Knife crime at a record high. Cross Rail not delivered and the infrastructure for transportation has been somewhat wanting in London of late. All of which I can't hold Sadiq personally accountable for, but I just don't know what the man is doing other than looking swathe in his blue suits. 

He makes off the peg Zara (reportedly his go-to) look like tailor made costumiers. Sadiq dresses perfectly for a man in his late forties. His height is also a factor. He has a diminutive body (carriage) so low rise trousers work well.

High rise with inverted pleats would distort his frame. His shirts fit snug but not sprayed on. Never a tie so I think he wants to relate to the man on the street. He looks like he's about to roll his sleeves up and get stuck in. If only he would.  

 

 

Best Dressed Men in Their 30's

775173905RM053_St_James_s_H.JPG

What can you expect in your thirties that never happened in your twenties? You appreciate fully the unbridled sensation of dressing in a crisp white shirt. You realise you knew nothing in your twenties. The importance of being grateful. That sleep is precious and a decent mattress is essential. That sugar is less forgiving. Etc.

I'm sure I could do an entire blog. But one thing that I've paid attention to more in my thirties is not only how I dress, but the people around me dress. It really is something you never turn off. I even watch films and am taken out of the movie entirely if I can't hack if the lead male is wearing an ill-fitting suit.

Anyway, I'm going to be highlighting some gentlemen around me within my age bracket whose style speaks to me. I'll be starting by looking at men in their 30's.

RICHARD BIEDUL 

Richard has an impeccable style. Has modelled for Canali, New & Lingwood, Hemingsworth La Perla and Chester Barrie so far. He's also done two collaboration with Stacey Wood over at King & Tuckfield.

A very rakish, classic look. Reminds me of Vincent Cassel and although his style is regal, he has a rebellious streak with his smoking and tattoo's. He's done great things for British Fashion and is incredibly approachable, sweet and unassuming.

DAVID GANDY

If you stare long and deep enough into David Gandy's eyes, you'll be transported to a magical world where you ... wait sorry .. another story, another time.

David has little need for an introduction. He is regarded as the first male supermodel. Perhaps gaining an international recognition when he modelled for Paul Smith in the London Olympics 2012. His face and frame somehow tower majestically on every billboard overlooking the A40 on my way into Marylebone. 

Yet what I love about David most is his lack of fashion elitism. He never comments on trends he doesn't like. I don't think he even judges people on their fashion tastes. Just cracks on with his own wonderful style and manner. God love him. 

LEWIS HAMILTON 

He's one cool cat out of the cockpit is Lewis. His legendary fashion 'tastemaker selective' often gets him into the arbitrary GQ and Esquire best dressed men listicles. He's forged great relationships with both Versace and Dolce & Gabanna over the years. However, his first collaboration of note has been under the Tommy Hilfiger label. The collection of athleisure is typical flamboyant Lewis. Vibrant and unabashed. Youthful and slim to skinny fit distressed denim. 

RICHARD MADDEN 

Madly tipped to be the next Omega brand ambassador, Richard has had a meteoric rise to fame since his appearance in The Bodyguard. His frame is not dissimilar to mine and compliments the modern tailored look. Slim lapels, nipped in at the waist. He reminds me of Orlando Bloom but with more promise. He looks too young to be in a suit night and day. As with men in their thirties you can tell when they'd rather be in a tee shirt jeans. A leather biker jacket is more becoming Richard than a Sexton lapel-esque Tuxedo. 

EDDIE REDMAYNE 

I've always thought Eddie had a great unfussy style. One of these cats that’s got effortless style. I remember hearing an interview with Chad McQueen when quizzed about his father’s style. He said 'I never found his Dad look twice in the mirror.' Meaning he'd throw something on and walk out the door. I have a feeling Eddie has a similar vibe. He's done some work for Burberry in the past. But he's due a decent movie. Nothing I'd go watch in the past 5 years. 

 

My Love Affair With ECCO shoes | The Perfect Day-Night Trainer ECCO SOFT 8 LX sneaker

Today I'm going to tell you more about my new sartorial love, these ECCO SOFT 8 LX sneakers. I've eulogised previously about ECCO shoes being the perfect day-night trainer and transforming from a diminutive shoe factory in Bredebro, Denmark with a small flock of employees, to a key player on the world shoe-stage with 19,500 employees and sales of more than 20 million pairs per year across 87 countries.

The latest addition to my foot locker, the low-top ECCO SOFT 8 LX sneaker, has an incontestable physical dimension. A rugged masculinity, I'd even go so far as to say an animal virility! It's composed from a durable rubber sole and constructed from rich, two-toned ECCO leather, the result a functional and stylish choice that delivers visual clout for casual days around town.


An added bonus on buying ECCO shoes

When buying shoes online my biggest worry is how accurate the sizing will be. Remarkably, sizing differs a lot from brand to brand.

ECCO Shoes come lined in leather for additional softness with removable inlay soles for optimal in-shoe comfort and optional extra width when removed. 

How I style my ECCO Shoes

It's important first and foremost to keep the mid-sole clean. Women detest mucky trainers –  it’s one of the biggest put offs, apparently. You can do this by simply applying Cif with a toothbrush and warm water or using ECCO’s shoe wipes, RRP £2.99. 

I've chosen to highlight the trainer by cuffing my denim in a single roll. I've kept my jeans and jacket in black and navy blue hues to ameliorate the trainer and the contrast lacing that comes with the shoe. 

The size ranges are 39 - 47 and you get free delivery in the UK on orders over £79. 

*This sponsored post was created in collaboration with ECCO Shoes.

King & Tuckfield and Richard Biedul Reunite for SS19

King & Tuckfield and the statuesque Richard Biedul have joined forces again for a second collaboration. This much anticipated SS19 collection has only feathered the nest of affection I have for both Richard and King & Tuckfield, spearheaded by the irrepressible Stacey Wood. 

This latest collection has drawn inspiration from vintage postcards of weather worn British seafronts and has imbued a sophisticated yet playful collection of summer essentials, in a warm and uplifting colour palette. 

The collection offers an oblique rejuvenation into the deck chair stripe and a return of the high rise single reverse pleat denim trousers with exaggerated flared trousers that beautifully characterises the flamboyance of the brand, and the versatility of Richard. (I'd love to pull off a look like that). 

I was also privy to some of the mood boards into how the collection was annotated. What became clear to me instantly, was the domineering essence of vintage nostalgia. From the 60s-Era Porsche 911 Targa, to the wistful echoes of a British Summer along the Yorkshire Coast. 

King & Tuckfield modern elegance nods respectfully at a young 1950's gentleman, appreciative of the detail and craftsmanship of that era an antidote to today's throwaway culture. 

The brands signature materials palette of quality denim, merino and twill is accented with playful deck stirpes and vintage textured suits. King & Tuckfield continue to focus strongly on sustainable, ethical and responsible manufacture, incorporating quality denim, merino and even reworking classic deckchair fabrics from the 1950's. 

You can also be a apart of the King & Tuckfield journey as they are looking to crowdfund capital to take the brand to the next level. Check out their Crowdcube campaign here. 

As a side note I also enjoyed listening to Stacey Wood talk to my friend Peter Brooker over on the Menswear Style podcast about how the brand got started and her working relationship with Richard. 

This limited edition 8 piece capsule will be (in part) available for pre-order at www.kingandtuckfield.com from November, and from selected stores including Liberty and Fenwicks from early 2019.

Please note that the full King & Tuckfield SS19 collection is available to view by appointment at their showroom (92-96 De Beauvoir Block, De Beauvoir Road, N1 4EN). 

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. 

edited-9164.jpg

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

The Large Lapel Black Men's Overcoat | Men's Style Edit

I going to elaborate further on this exquisite French Connection Deluxe Pile Coat as it's drawn a lot of attention on my Instagram feed. Firstly, it's a double breasted wool-blend with a heavily textured look. A lot of bloggers and sartorialists will tell you never to wear a double breasted open, which is true for suit jackets and long coats as they will lose their shape under the unevenness of the fabric. 

However, this is more peacoat in size and I can wear it open because we live in a free society and you're not the boss of me. Sorry, I'm feeling uncharacteristically defensive today.  

Secondly, it's super luxurious and the fabric has a gorgeous supple quality to it. It's a loose, non-constricting fit and the large collars really draw focus to the face. 'Vanity, always my favourite sin' - Al Pacino. The Devil's Advocate. (By the way my predictive text wanted me to say The Devil's Avocado which I thinks sounds like a much more interesting film). 

In a rich grey hue the coat promises versatility, providing the perfect finishing touch to your winter wardrobe. I have paired this with mutual dark colours to emphasise the broodiness, yet styled with white sneakers brings a little contrast to the ensemble. 

This French Connection Deluxe Pile Coat is currently on offer through the French Connection website, reduced from £250 to £200. Only available in Black. 

SHOP THE MEN’S STYLE EDIT

Karl Lagerfeld & "That" Varsity Jacket | Men's Style Edit

Today I want to introduce you to the Sebastien Varsity jacket from Karl Lagerfeld. Made from Blue and white leather, cashmere and virgin wool (my favourite kind of wool) featuring a ribbed collar, a front button fastening, long sleeves, side pockets and a ribbed hem and cuffs.

I have fetishised over owning a Varsity Jacket for some time. I get oddly gooey and nostalgic for no good reason when I see Varsity Jackets. Perhaps it’s a sign of a misspent youth growing up watching brat-pack films like Breakfast Club, The Faculty, Teenwolf, the collegiate look, when done right, holds much reverie in the 16 year old Carl Thompson.  

But Carl, why am I paying over £700 for a Varsity Jacket? 

Great question and here's your answer. Karl Lagerfeld is one of the biggest marquee named designers in the western world, naturally you're paying for the name. The brand strikes an effortless balance between timeless classics and contemporary, cutting-edge cool. As the man himself says, “Fashion is a game that has to be played seriously.”

With the name comes the quality assurance. The materials are genuine premium fabrics. More entry level brands will offer synthetic equivalents on their Varsity Jackets (polyester, viscose and elastane) and the sleeves will be almost certainly made of faux leather. Which is fine, but just remember you get what you pay for. 

Notes on Care

Don't wear out on a stag-do. Don't lend to any of your friends named Monkey or Dangerous Dave. Dry Clean only. It has cashmere in it so don't let the missus or mum anywhere near it. 

How to style 

The jacket is casual, but I'd refrain from pairing it with anything stone wash. Match the dark blue with black jeans, distressed or not is up to you. There's an increasing trend for inner layers to be pulled out and beyond the outer layers these days. 

Notice the model has an oversized jumper in comparison to the length of the jacket. The jacket is cuffed at the bottom so don't fight it. Wear it open with a graphic jumper or sweater that mirrors the quality of the jacket. 

SHOP THE STYLE EDIT

Small Details Big Differences | How to Wear a Suit | Men's Style Advice

clem-onojeghuo-252608-unsplash.jpg

Some people look better in a suit than others. It could be the amount they spend or it could be that the suit is made for them. A proper bespoke handmade suit on Savile Row will cost around £5k. But no matter what you spend, there is a way of wearing a suit that will improve your appearance that costs nothing (or maybe a little…certainly nowhere near £5k). So if you value your appearance and would like to look your very best in tailoring; read on. This will significantly improve the appearance of any high street suit.

  1. Polish your shoes. You can read more about this in my last post.

  2. On a new suit make sure all the visible white stitching is removed. This can be on the shoulders, vents and cuffs.

  3. Please remove any brand labels that are on the jacket cuff.

  4. Your jacket side pockets may be stitched closed. Keep them this was as long as you can…more on pockets later.

  5. On a single-breasted jacket, only do up the top button on a 2 button style and the middle-button on a three button style.

  6. On a double-breasted style where you can button up more than one outside button, pick the one that is most comfortable. Always do up the inside button.

  7. Keep your trouser hip pocket buttons done up.

  8. Distribute your kit around your various pockets. Suits have plenty of pockets so never overfill them. Your wallet should be slim and have neither Velcro or a coin purse attachment. Consider using a card wallet rather than a billfold.

  9. Keep minimal a amount of stuff in your trouser side pockets. Perhaps a couple of coins, some banknotes and a clean hanky. Do not keep your phone in your trouser pocket.

  10. The outside chest pocket of your suit looks its best when it has a pocket handkerchief in it. Forget any crap about matching and co-ordinating and acquire a white linen or fine cotton, a navy silk spot and a dark red paisley. This will complement all your ties. If you are not a hanky guy, your chest pocket is useful for spectacles, sunshades or mobile phones.

  11. Don’t fret about folding your hankie and don’t keep touching it.

  12. Your lapels should have a buttonhole in them. If it is not open, it can be cut open with a sharp knife. This is where you wear your poppy or flower at a wedding. If you ever need to wear a badge on your suit to show unity to a cause you feel passionate about, this is where it should be placed. I cry a little whenever I see wedding flowers in the chest pocket of a suit.

  13. Do not overload lapels with brooches and trinkets. But you can wear a flower and a pocket hankie at the same time.

  14. In modern business, the suit/no tie look has becoming the norm and is not a flattering look on most men. When I worked on Savile Row in the 1990s, wearing a suit without a tie was considered edgy. Now it is the uniform of provincial mid-management. Wear a tie. A few simple textured solids is all you need.

  15. If you are carrying a little weight around your waist, avoid white shirts and bold patterns. It draws attention to your belly.

  16. Never wear a rucksack. It kills your suit and your dignity. Imagine going mountain trekking carrying a leather briefcase. That is how stupid a rucksack looks, not to mention inconsiderate to fellow passengers on public transport. If you absolutely must have a rucksack, at least carry a smart leather version.

  17. If you are a tie-wearer and like a tie-bar, please position it below your chest and not underneath your chin.  Unless you are appearing on The Apprentice and it is 2012.

  18. Pay more attention to how well your tie is knotted than how long the blade is. Practise tying a few different tie knots to see what you prefer. When you have discovered that the “schoolboy” or four-in-hand is best, you should practise achieving the perfect dimple.

  19. Keep pens in your inside pocket and ration how many you need to carry.

  20. Braces will make your trousers hang better. I would suggest getting a tailor to add buttons so that you can wear the traditional kind. Clip-ons are quite fashionable at the moment but they can damage the waistband.

  21. If you have a long journey or commute and need to wear headphones, please keep them discreet.

  22. If you are not a regular suit wearer, try to avoid posturing when you receive compliments. Shooting cuffs and adjusting your tie looks contrived and corny. Try to maintain a relaxed elegance.

  23. If you want to dress down your suit or want to wear it at the weekend but not look corporate, consider a simple long-sleeve crew neck in cotton jersey or fine merino wool. Seriously, a navy crew neck with a dark suit is an easy yet sophisticated change of pace.

  24. When not wearing your suit, empty the pockets and store on a proper hanger with good shoulder support. Plastic is fine. Keep the trousers from the cuff and allow them to hang unfolded. You can buy specialist hangers for this or you can borrow them from hotels.

  25. Brush regularly and give a light steam.

Don't Blow it | What to Wear on a First Date

Hello gentlemen, some of you may have got wind that I'll be appearing on the The Dating Live Show in November. Over the years I've been guilty of being over meticulous when it comes to selecting outfits for dates. Ironing my pocket squares and bleaching the crepes of my outer soles with obsessive-fastidiousness. 

Having pride in your appearance is one thing, but shouldn't be done at the cost of sucking all the fun and frivolity out of fashion. 

 

1# What NOT to wear on a first date 

No gilets. I made that mistake some years ago. My primary focus was utility on this particular date. It was nippy, we had been over familiar on the texts which meant I could dress down. My date arrived looking incredibly exotic in a Burberry dress and sequin jacket. Immediately she remarked upon my gilet and scoffed. 

The date was terrible, partly because my confidence was blown before we had even reached the restaurant. 

TIP: Make the effort. This is an audition. You're not watching the footy down the pub with your mates. 

  

2# Make that change

That's right listen to immortal words of Michael Jackson. If you're going to a date straight from work then you must prepare before leaving the house. Don't crumple your date gear into a plastic bag along with your lunchtime bananas. Make the effort; it's the best way to make a first impression. 

TIP: There are plenty of clothes carriers out there to help you keep your clothes immaculate during travel. I would recommend the David Gandy designed Aerodrome travel carrier for Aspinal of London.

 

3# Don't put on a costume

You're going on a date, you're not opening a store on Savile Row and there won't be a swarm of paparazzi flocking in a rugby like scrum taking pictures of you both. My point is you don't need to wear the punisher for this one. (The punisher is the one outfit in your wardrobe you wear to stop traffic). Wear something you feel confident and comfortable in. 

TIP: Choose comfortable fabric and less constricting clothes. Don't opt for any figure hugging. There is nothing more off putting for a woman than having a button pop off and land with deft defying accuracy in her flat white or Aperol Spritz.

 

4# Smart Casual 

When I go on dates I tend to wear neutral or monochrome colours, fitted jeans, contrasting each garment but softly. Ultimately I want my outfit to be reasonably safe, no garish or bilious motifs or logos. I'm a huge proponent that you can't go far wrong with a crisp white shirt.  

Just please wear clean brogues or trainers. (Despite my self-effacing opener about bleaching the crepes of my trainers, I still dutifully clean them before leaving for a date). 

TIP: To coin a football analogy you just need to run this into the corner flag. You've done the hard work and got her on a date, don't risk going for broke on anything ostentatious. Simply obey a couple of rules; clean trainers, fitted clothes not spray on, no gambles. If you'd like to embellish the look at all accessorise a little with bands, bracelets, necklaces, certainly a watch. 

 

5# Envisage and give her something new

Dress your age. I've completely forgotten about that one. Remember you're 35 not 25, no need to rock the R2D2 tee shirt, unless you're taking her to a convention. Actually, screw that. Who cares if it's a convention, dress like you're auditioning for the role of future husband.

When you arrive on your first date you should also wear something that she hasn't seen in your online profile picture. She might see you in that outfit that you're wearing in a dozen or so Instagram posts and think you're wardrobe survives on shoestring budget. When you ask her to go halves on the coffee, no matter how 'new man' you want to come across, her suspicions will be confirmed. 

TIP: Not every date warrants a new trip to Reiss, but change the order up. Make sure there's a new combination that hasn't been snapped or seen before. If you're really on a shoestring budget ask a close friend if you can borrow 'that shirt' you like. 

  

6# Believe in yourself

You know my philosophy of never being in competition with yourself. This ideology has to be nailed down before you arrive on the date. 

You need to project the best version of yourself and your choice in wardrobe will say a lot more than the spoken word ever could.

Being comfortable and most importantly confident in the clothes you are wearing will breed confidence in other areas of your date, such as the chat and the flirty interactions.

Remember above all else, have fun. Remember to smile, like she said, 'You're never fully dressed without a smile'.  

TIP: Don't slouch; make sure your posture is not slovenly and hunched. Try and arrange the date in a venue you're familiar with to ease anxieties. Opt for comfort over style. Again, this is a date, not a lifestyle shoot for GQ. 

 

BADR Clothing Review | Athleisure & Casual Wear

Your athleisure game should never be in disrepute. One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing guys at the gym looking like they've just mined the lost property bin. Of late I have been road testing a few pieces from BADR Sport range. BADR come to the table with an incontestable edge, what Apollo Creed might refer to as the Eye of the Tiger. Their range of men’s premium casual clothes and accessories are inspired by fighters and their streetwear transcends active gym wear and street wear. 

Each garment exude an attitude, replete with fresh designs, premium fabrics and the iconic BADR B Logo on every piece. 


The Classic BADR Print Tee

Perfect for everyday wear and suitable for training or for layering underneath a denim shirt. Contrast these with a pair of distressed denim and give you're streetwear game a potent look. It's the BADR's best Seller and is available in eight different tones. 


Short Sleeve Hoodies

When I'm in the gym I like to pull my hood down, gives me focus. Plus it makes me look bad-ass, a hand look to achieve in a boxing gym. The short sleeves make it a breathable piece, which comes as a welcome reprieve post session when I need to sit down and simmer. 

Available in Black On Black, White On Grey And Orange On Camo. A decent hoodie is what every man needs coming into Autumn/Winter for those runs down the river. 

Badr Jeans Skinny Fit Jeans

You know how I'm a fan of skinny black denim. The BADR skinny fit is machine washable so you don't have to treat them like a pair of treasured Japanese selvedge. They have a stretchy quality so will be a universal fit unless you're supremely rugby-figured. 

The price point is very accessible and can't be sniffed at. Pair these with one of the BADR classic print tee to complete the look. They do recommend going up a size to avoid disappointment. 

BADR Signature Shorts 

Finally the BADR Signature shorts. Deftly designed and uber comfy. It's made from 97% cotton, soft to the touch and is incredibly lightweight. I've spent the past week lounging around the house in a pair, as well as rocking up to my KOBOX sessions wearing them. 

A highly versatile garment that is emblematic of the brand. Practical, aesthetically sound, comfy and truly delivers in performance. 


SHOP THE STYLE EDIT

Wearing Khaki White & Black | Men's Style Edit

Yesterday I was staying over at the girl I'm seeing's house with the heating on and a duvet watching Netflix, yet today I've been sweltering at home with all of the doors and windows open. Those weather contrasts are typical of this time of year and therefore your style has to match this diversity. T-shirts and shorts need to be in your wardrobe next to knitwear and jackets. 

A look that I'm really enjoying wearing right now is a plain t-shirt layered with a shirt and khaki/black/white is a great combination of colours for this 3 piece casual outfit. My khaki shirt was purchased from ASOS as well as the black jeans and white t-shirt. The mid-top white canvas trainers are from Superga, where you can design your own artwork and the in-house artist will paint your design onto your trainers for a small fee. My accessories are plentiful with EMOM sunglasses, a watch from Esprit, rings from Serge Denim, bracelets from Gentlemens Chuckaboo and pendant chains from Alex Orso.

As always if you like this Men's Style Edit, you can shop the pictures below. 

 

SHOP THE STYLE EDIT

Introducing Hermano Menswear | Men's Style Edit

A few weeks ago I was introduced to the new casual menswear brand Hermano by Pete Wicks, who is best known for being on The Only Way is Essex. There have been some successful transitions from being a reality star to a business person and there have been some car crashes. And without doubt the Hermano men's collection is by far my favourite of them all. It ticks all the boxes for men wanting casual attire or loungewear. It's a collection for the everyday man who loves a beer down the pub, a cocktail at the bar or a night in with the missus.

I loved the collection so much that I brought a handful of their pieces and are now some of my wardrobe staples. In true Hermano style, I've worn the pieces with a monochrome look, accessorised with men's jewellery and rolled my sleeves to show off the tats!

You can shop the HERMANO collection direct on their own site or via JD Sports with a price range of around £20-65 per piece.

 

SHOP THE EDIT

Photography by Charlie Sawyer

Is it Time for Lightweight Knits | Men's Style Edit

I hate to bring up the thought of knitwear after the summer we've had in London but the UK weather is like the Greek stock market, pretty unpredictable. Take today for example, sunny for a touch, mainly rainy and now that it's early evening (around 6pm), I'm starting to feel a little chilly. Maybe we're all now so used to 36 degrees with 90% humidity...who knows.

Lightweight knitwear really is the answer on days like this because it is light, breathable and warm. How to style: you can layer over a t-shirt if you would like another option to control your body temperature or just wear the knit alone if the materials are comfortable enough on your skin. There is nothing worse and it's like torture if you wear an itchy 100% woollen jumper direct onto your skin. 

I love the cut of these thin knitted jumpers and you can get them everywhere, my favourites are from ASOS, Uniquo or NINES Collection and you can get them in a variety of different colours. Great colour choices for AW18 are navy, burnt orange, grey and really dark greens. 

I've styled the knitwear simply with a pair of black jeans, men's jewellery and a white pair of custom designed Superga mid-top trainers.

 

SHOP THE EDIT

Photography by Charlie Sawyer

Small Details, Big Differences | Men's Shoes

Shoes After a good shoe shine.

Shoes After a good shoe shine.

No matter how well your suit fits or how many folds there are in your hand-made Neapolitan tie, it will all be in vain if your shoes are dirty. Well-cared for and polished footwear is the simplest way to improve your appearance. Handmade shoes are expensive but their value will be eroded if they are not properly cared for. On the other hand, a well-polished pair of shoes from the High Street will look significantly more expensive. If you value your appearance, you must take care of your shoes.

You need time, patience and the right kit.

Good quality polish is vital and I strongly recommend the products by Saphir. These are significantly more expensive than the usual supermarket brands but you are buying the absolute best and, compared to new shoes, they are a worthy investment. Also, these polishes will last a long time. Even when they appear to dry-out and there is little left, you will still be able to use and get many more shines from it. Never use “hi-shine” sponges….these contain silicon and will ultimately dry your shoes out. You will also need shoe cream, again Saphir produce some good ones but I also like the ones by Meltonian. To apply the polishes, I like an old poly-cotton t-shirt…the older the better. You also need brushes. I do not see the value in expensive brushes and use entry-level versions although some swear by horsehair.

Shoes Before they have been polished.

Shoes Before they have been polished.

To polish your shoes, make sure they are clean and dry. Remove the laces and either put in shoe trees or stuff with old newspaper. Brush vigorously and then apply shoe cream with your rag. Creams come in various colours but you could get by using black and neutral. Once the cream is applied, allow to dry before polishing with your wax polish. It is important that both products are used. You should think of shoe cream as moisturiser and wax polish as make-up.

By applying small amounts of polish with a slightly dampened piece of cloth, you can obtain a mirror shine. Keep applying small amounts of the polish in small anti-clockwise movements and see the shine develop. To “finish” off, you could buff with a selvyt cloth. Selvyt is a specialist polishing textile and is not cheap but will last years. It can also be used to revive the shine between polishing. Do not neglect the heel or welt (where the upper is attached to the sole) and specialist welt brushes are available…but an old toothbrush works just as well. For cleaning heel the and side of the sole, you can buy “edge cream”…or you can use a black marker pen.

If your shoes are scuffed or scratched, they can be repaired by using “mirror gloss” by Saphir (I am not sponsored!). Mirror gloss is a harder wax that when mixed with water creates a hard finish, ideal for filling in small flaws. It can also be used, as the name suggests, to create military-grade shines. Once you get into the habit of polishing shoes, you will start to quite enjoy the process as it can be quite therapeutic and you will also enjoy the admiring glances your shined shoes will attract. But you might want to take it to the next level. You can experiment with brown shoes by using different coloured polishes…I would always suggest using a little black on your brown or burgundy shoes to give them an “antiqued” finish. But to really make an impression with your footwear, you need to seek the services of a “patina artist”. Not to be confused with the bootblacks you sometimes see (although they also offer a valuable service), the patina artist can re-colour your shoes and add all sorts of depth to the leather.

The Jaunty Flaneur on London’s Savile Row is one such service. For a small fee they can give your shoes a military shine or a full re-colour. To try the service, I gave them a pair of old Edward Green brogues I purchased back in 1992. I paid £95 for them back then but to replace them with a similar quality would cost me nearer £950 today! The result was impressive and I have gained a few more years wear out of them. I would highly recommend the service. Tom and PJ are both passionate about shoe-polishing and will happily pass on their knowledge and expertise.  They also stock the right kit to maintain at home. This isn’t a quick service, so be prepared to wait a few days but the results are worth the wait. They will often strip-off old layers of polish, this can be achieved at home but something I would prefer to leave to the professionals.

If you have a special occasion such as a wedding, an artisan-level shine will take your outfit to the next level.

My Favourite High-street Tailoring Brands | Men's Style Edit

Recently I have been reading up on the history of Savile Row tailors and I think Nick Hart said it best 'Savile Row is a reminder of qualities and values that outlast and transcend depressions, recessions, fads and here-today-gone-tomorrow fashion'. However much I adore Savile Row tailors, their craftsmanship and skill I also realise that their prices are also out of reach for many Londoners.

That said my go to brand for a decent suit, on the high-street is REISS who have a large selection for suits for the masses priced at around £450-650. Another alternative is my very own Hawkins & Shepherd suits which are currently on-sale from £650 down to around £250 - a massive saving on a suit made from 100% British Wool fabric.

 

SHOP MY SUIT PICKS

What to Wear for a Regatta, Horse Racing or Summer Event | Men's Style Edit

This morning whilst walking down the Kings Road in Chelsea on my way to today's KOBOX class, I passed a couple who looked like they were dressed for the races. Being in men's fashion, I tend to look into what people are wearing more than anyone else and my opinion was that he could have styled things a lot better, so here are my top tips.

I'm a massive fan of double-breasted suits, you'll stand out from everyone else who plays it safe with single-breasted blazers. Remember that a double-breasted blazer is normally tailored slightly shorter than its single-breasted cousin. Always only do up the middle of the 6 buttons and leave the bottom button undone. Navy is a great choice for the colour of your suit, it's easier to accessorise with different colour palettes and less common than a light-grey suit, which I personally think can look a little cheap.

A crisp white shirt is a must. Usually these type of events are summer based, so make sure you pick a shirt with a breathable weave such as a poplin, in a fine yarn count such as a twin-100 cotton. The higher the yarn count, the finer the cotton so therefore a twin-100 shirt is a high quality shirt. Go down to twin-60s and the shirt may seem too heavy or go higher to twin-160s and you'll end up paying a fortune. A great statement shirt would be a pin collar shirt or tab collar shirt, available from London shirt makers Hawkins & Shepherd.

Simplify your accessorises. Basically don't over do the colours, I've seen so many people wear different colour socks, tie and pocket square and it just screams you are trying too hard and in all honesty, it looks cheap and tacky. If you are wearing a multi-coloured tie, keep the socks & pocket square plain and simple. Alternatively draw attention to your pocket square my styling a simple tie. Always wear a watch and shine those shoes.

 

SHOP THE MEN'S STYLE EDIT

King and Tuckfield Release the Richard Biedul Collection

I've always said of Richard Biedul, he makes fashion look annoyingly-easy. He has an utterly beguiling, insouciant way about him that just makes your eyes gravitate towards him. His flare, his wire brush hair, and when he smokes he embodies the signature look of a Parisian 60's-beat poet. 

He was born in London and signed as a model in the summer of 2013. Richard made an immediate impact in London, Paris, Milan and New York walking for and shooting with some of the world’s leading fashion brands including Armani, Canali, Davidoff, Dunhill, Etro, Hackett, J Crew, La Perla, M&S, Oliver Spencer, and Paul Smith.

I loved the New & Lingwood Edmonton Linen cream suit that he wore to the St James Catwalk at London Fashion Week Men's. On day 2 he pulled out all the stops wand rocked an indigo pleated trouser and matching bomber jacket. These were some of his own designs produced in collaboration with King and Tuckfield. 

They have now launched their British Heritage inspired AW18 micro-collection. This limited edition 6 piece capsule is now available for pre-order.

"It's created in a way that you can wear every item together. It’s about comfort, function and formality. It's not one above the over we wanted to create a symbiotic relationship between the two."  - Richard Biedul

King & Tuckfield’s signature aesthetic fuses a distinctly British 1950’s feel, with sharp contemporary styling inspired by the colourful stories of founder Stacey Wood's family history.

"Nowadays we buy a top for £15 and forget about it. People from our parents and our grandfather’s generations would wear their clothes and cherish them, even hand them down. We need to get that back." Stacey Wood, Designer.

The design team draw daily inspiration from the way in which tradition and modernity meet on those bustling Spitalfields streets, where vintage memorabilia shops are juxtaposed with smart new sneaker stores. The brand is passionate about quality, favouring materials and craftsmanship that will endure for decades and contribute to the evolving narrative.

Jim Chapman said in the video profiling the collection "They are a good way for a guys to get away from jeans and these are colours that people need all the time."

This season’s stand out fabrics are a unique rippled corduroy in an inky navy, a steely blue moleskin and a beautiful dense twill with a combining colour palette of warm golden chestnut, rich indigo accented with bright forest green highlights.

New styles introduced include a relaxed chino, trench coat and a boxy 1950’s over-shirt. Signature pieces such as the pleat front trouser in denim, and the exquisite merino knitted polos return in new fabrications.

 

My thoughts on the King and Tuckfield project. 

It's been quite hard for me to divorce myself from sentiment as I've met Richard a few times now. But his collaboration with Stacey has ticked every box for me. It oozes class, it defies current disposable trends and you can tell there has been a lot of heart and soul poured into these clothes. 

 

Stand out piece? 

The ribbed collar bomber jacket. Looks great over a textured polo, tailored from double dyed rich indigo slub denim using traditional denim detailing. Beautifully styled with the roll back cuffs to accentuate the casual element, finished with the dual button down breast pockets. Salute. 

The Perfect Sneakers | Men's Style Edit

In this weeks Men's Style Edit, I'm going to be discussing a brand that offers luxury handmade sneakers, made using traditional methods on our very own shores. The brand in question is Crown Northampton and I have become very fond of their sleek, minimalistic sneaker (or trainers as we usually say in the UK) design. Combine that with supporting a local UK business and I'm sold!

I find it really difficult to get a pair of luxury sneakers that concentrate of the highest quality materials and workmanship, which are comfortable yet modern in design. Now I've worn a pair of the Crown Northampton's 'Overstone Derby' range, I've found that exact sneaker and I want to add to my ever growing collection. 

You can shop a selection of these styles at Bodileys as they are the very first marketplace selling them and here are a few of my top picks:

With minimalistic sneakers, I prefer to style an outfit in a similar style, simple colours such as white, navy, black and let the footwear be the talking point. So what do you think of this summer style? What would you do differently and most importantly what do you think of these sneakers? 

 

What to Wear on a Summer Holiday in the Evening | Men's Style Edit

Carl Thompson Blogger.JPG

Here is my second instalment of what to wear on a summer holiday in the evening. For the second night on my recent trip to Zanzibar, we had an incredibly romantic meal booked at the chef's table. The weather was very warm and humid at about 6pm yet got a lot cooler by 8pm and plus the restaurant had air conditioning. Therefore I decided to go back to what I know best from living in the UK....layering.

The meal and company were sensational and hopefully I looked the part, personally I think I did! Wearing all white abroad looks great in the sun and is totally acceptable, although it doesn't transition well when back in London, walking down Oxford Street on a rainy day whilst holding an umbrella just doesn't cut it.

The whites in this outfit are all different shades which gives the look *some character. Sorry, let me rewind...I mean I hate writing that as what does it really mean? An outfit has character...actually shame on me, that's just some wishy-washy crap that you'll read on other style blogs, not mine, I'm better than that! But it is good to mix up slightly different shades of white when you are wearing all white otherwise you'll risk looking like bed linen.

I'm wearing skinny white jeans from ASOS, a white linen shirt from REISS, an off-white blazer from REISS, brown suede loafers from REISS and sunglasses from TOM FORD.

SHOP THE EDIT