Tramp Menswear: Keeping it British

Today I wanted to give a little love to an upcoming brand called Tramp Menswear. After meeting the founder and designer Sapphire at a recent London event I got to see some of the collection up close and now I'm road testing one of her designs.

I'm wearing the Tramp Menswear Grey Zip Neck Jumper, with my AG Jeans and Dr Martens. You may have noticed how my socks and jumper match, that is not an accident. 

It's a perfect jumper for a casual event. It's slim fit with a ribbed collar, cuffs and hem. The logo is a something that draws attention. When I'm around people, I catch them trying to subtly identify the logo and that allows me to explain the story of the brand

It's a very British brand, all the products are made to order and manufactured in Norfolk. You can find out more about the manufacturing in a video on Tramp Menswear site. Their tagline is “designed to shape the stray’s and inspire the heroes.” Which I like. The logo which you'll find embroidered on the left breast is an exclusive signature dog that features on every Tramp product.

It's a good time to shop for some new pieces for your wardrobe, there are many items on sale and all items over £20 offer free delivery. This grey zip jumper is currently reduced to £65.80. 

This outfit is perfect for everyday events. I've worn it to coffee meetings, walking Charlie around the Common and out shopping on weekends. The black jeans offer a great contrast to the grey. You may have noticed I don't wear a whole bunch of blue denim generally. 

Other items on the site I would recommend is the Mull long sleeve tee, with contrast rib collar and sleeve hems. You'll also find accessories such as caps and socks as well as subscription boxes. 


A Look Inside Jacket Required 2019

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Jacket Required breezed through Brick Lane again this year and as ever. You can take what you want from events like these. I normally like spending a bit of time with the reps and head of sales for brands to talk about what they're working on. What colour schemes are they bringing out in the new year? 

I try and divert from the arduous small talk about the woes of the high street. It's not a case of ignoring the elephant in the room, it just breathes negativity. Plus some of the brands are finding this to be a time of wanted change. Tom at Edwin told me that they are looking to open an event space in their Bethnal Green store as they need to capitalise on their square footage. 

Edwin are pushing a new selvedge denim release for AW19, deepening the visuals on their leather logo patches. I love the corduroy shirts and trousers they're also incorporating into the look this season. I saw a lot of corduroy on the rails this year, which can only be a good thing.  

I spoke to the Oliver Sweeney guys and they told me that they're pushing their green leather brogues and suede ankle high lace up boots this season. As many of you know the brand was in real dire straits not so long ago after the founder and designer Oliver Sweeney suffered a stroke that left him paralysed down one side of his body.

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He's staging a remarkable comeback however and his designs for next season are already being bought up by enthusiasts of the brands and shoes-alike. Without them even going into production. 

Sperry had a great turn out. Lots of textured boat shoes, their colour palette is balls out this year. They've also continued their patchwork boat shoes, but now with the pattern going throughout the shoe rather being confined to the vamp. 

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Lastly a shout out to a new shoe that's now on my radar. Sebago. There was no one at the stand so I took some pictures and did some quiet digging. Turns out they've been around for years and are renowned for their 'Docksides'. An iconic boat shoe worn by Pharrell Williams, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman and Kate Middleton. 

Dressing For a Date: Where do mature guys go wrong?

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There is no such thing as over dressing for a date. There is such as thing as dressing too casually. The biggest mistakes grown men make on dates is heeding the advice of girls when they tell you 'just be yourself'.

Sound familiar?

My advice for dressing for a date is don't be yourself, because 'yourself' is single and gives you horrible advice.

You might think fashion isn't important. Even one of the greatest trailblazers of the 60's peacock fashion era, Mr Fish, was quoted as saying, 'people get hung up on fashion, it's really not that important'.

Don't be duped. Your style and what you wear on a date could be the deal breaker. I remember on a lousy date back in the day (before I really took much notice of fashion), I took a girl on a date on a bitterly cold winters night in South Putney. When it came time at the end of the night she rebuffed my advances.

Somewhat crestfallen I asked why? She said bluntly, "Well I've turned up in this," highlighting her gorgeous figure hugging black sequin dress, "and you've turned up in that," pointing at my generic black gilet.

The enormous golf between us immediately evident, and it wasn't just disparate worlds of style, it was that she had gone to the effort of looking nice. So where are mature men going wrong with style? Not putting in the effort.

Women have uncanny knack of knowing whether you've just come from the office, or you're wearing the same outfit you'd wear to your friends BBQ. You need to first and foremost, make the effort.

SHOES

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Women notice these before anything else. Well, they notice a man’s height first, then it’s the shoes. Then it’s the ass, your face is somewhere in the mix but believe me, your shoes usurp most boxes to be ticked.

I was in the room once when a girl gave a friend of mine an excoriating review of a friend's style. I asked the girl in jest, 'You would date Tom wouldn't you?' She fired immediately, NEVER!

Poor Tom, "WHY," he asked broken hearted.

"Tom you wear shoes that looked like they were bought in the 80's and last cleaned in the 90's." The next day Tom text me a picture of a pair of wingtip brogues he had just purchased from John Lobb on Jermyn Street. Tough love is some medicine.


TROUSERS

Where guys go wrong on dates is not so much the style of the trouser, but the fit and the colour. Women tend to hate corduroy. In fact I've never met a woman that likes corduroy on a man so keep those tucked away until you have your feet under the table.

If you're going Chinos, don't gamble on what Steve Coogan refers to as "Those twat colours." Personally I don't mind "twat colours." I wouldn't wear them per say, but people can be overly sniffy about these kind of things. New & Lingwood do a quite exotic collection of multi-coloured chinos and they look fantastic.

My point is, don't gamble on dates. Don't run the gauntlet of trying to looking young, hippy, happy-go-lucky. Mature women don't want chancers, they want virile men. They look for resourceful men. That's why the whole Crocodile Dundee film is flawed.

Sue would never ditch money bags Richard for some penniless chain-smoking Aussie who had zero utility in the city.


SHIRTS

It's the fit gentleman. That's all I want to say on the matter. Where a shirt on a date to prove you made an effort. That this isn't just a stop gap on the way to see your mates at the boozer.

A fitted shirt you can find quite readily at Hawkins & Shepherd. I have an unbelievable amount of shirts, all varying styles and fits for all occasions.

Failing that, get a shirt from a shirtmaker that will be absolutely nailed on to your body shape. You will pay a premium, but see it as an investment for your future. If you want express some individualism why not try Turnbull & Asser and have some fun with the cuffs. Their signature cocktail cuffs are the best.

BLAZERS

Nothing grey! No woman I've ever encountered has told me she finds a grey suit jacket on a man attractive. You might have some misgivings about putting on a jacket for a date. Seems a bit stiff right?

Wrong. Dead wrong fools! You're a grown up now. No denim jackets, no biker jackets, no bomber jackets. You have to prove to the lady in question, that after this date, you can go on to any members club in London. In fact you're dressed so well, it becomes like a scene from Goodfellas where they welcome you with open arms like and give you a table at the front by the band.

Please Note: I’ll be one of the men’s coaches at the Dating Show Live in June if anyone would like some one-to-one advice or support.

Transitioning into Spring | My Outfit of the Week

With the last couple of weeks being utterly freezing temperatures, it is easy to hibernate indoors with your chunkiest knitwear. However I'm now looking at what to wear when transitioning from Winter to Spring which includes layering, lightweight knitwear and smaller jackets. Check out my outfit of the week.

I've put together this outfit merging a number of different brands including Maniere de Voir, ASOS, Circulr Watches and Donhall & Bell. The black skinny ripper jeans are from Maniere de Voir and I've worn a pair of Donhall & Bell black sneakers which work really well together. I've layered a t-shirt underneath a thin merino wool roll-neck jumper from ASOS. To finish this look I'm wearing a beige suede jacket again from Maniere de Voir and a navy, rose-gold watch by Circulr.

 

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Photography by Ella H

Manière De Voir | Style Review

If you follow my instagram, you'll realise that my style can be somewhat different. I absolutely love tailoring, dressing smart but I also love high-street, casual attire such as ripped jeans, long-line tees and bomber jackets. That is London all over and the diversity of men's style in our nation really shone during London Fashion Week Men #LFWM. Some of the guys were effortlessly stylish and cool and it made me want to broaden my own style slightly and try to find new menswear brands out there rather than shopping at my favourite high-street stores all the time.

Well recently I've been shopping online at Manière De Voir, a brand that I have known for a very long time but never actually brought anything, until now. Manière De Voir are an online UK based mid-market fashion company designing both trend focused Menswear and Womenswear. Their website is great and I love the drop-down option to view their entire collection - of course you can then filter based on all sorts of criteria. Click into the products you like and you'll find every angle of the clothing photographed and styled in a classic Manière De Voir way and zoom functionality to view the finer details.

The products themselves are incredible for the price, the suede jacket in particular has a super soft feel and the black check shirt has become an item in my wardrobe that I wear every day! The rest of my head-to-toe Manière De Voir outfit is centred around a black and khaki palette. The 'destroyed' jeans are more ripped than standard knee rips so if that is your preference you'll love them, although they were a little drafty during the -5 temperature we were shooting in! I've layered a CEO monographed black tee with the flannel black plaid shirt and khaki jacket. Finally with all great outfits, you need incredible footwear and these khaki suede sneakers bring the whole outfit together with a little edge.

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Photography by Ella H

Men's Style & Fashion

For me, 2016 has been a year of major growth and recognition for a couple of years of hard graft on my blog. I started my blog just under two years ago in January 2015 with the idea of promoting my own formalwear brand Hawkins & Shepherd. That was until I realised that I didn't have enough shirts, suits and ties in my collection to sustain a mens style & fashion blog, plus I wanted to diversify. 2 years on and my blog has a voice, an audience and a personality that I would never have imagined possible when I first started.

This year has been incredible and my content has gone from good to great (in my opinion!) and that has shown in the readership stats growth on my blog and engagement on my Instagram feed. It has been so much better than I would ever expect and I want to thank you all for the support. 

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What to expect in 2017? I'm going to expand on this in a blog post in the new year but basically I want to create more collaborations with other mens fashion bloggers and especially other women's fashion bloggers, as our audiences are very different and it will be great way to reach out to a new readership. Finally I'll continue to produce fashion, style and grooming content whilst adding a lot more travel, fitness, tech and lifestyle content. Bring it on...it's going to be epic!

In true style, it's time to explain what I'm wearing. The outfit in general is very neutral wearing an oatmeal overcoat from Reiss, an allsaints light blue shirt, grey ripped jeans from asos, a plain white tee again from asos then finally a light-blue scarf and white trainers complete my look.

 

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Photography by Ella H

Luxury 100% Cashmere Knitwear by Mr Quintessential

Autumn and Winter are the best months to invest in clothing as the collections have much more substance than other seasons. If you look through my wardrobe, I have about 10 or so true investment pieces that will last a very long time, in terms of the fabric and will span through fashion trends because the designs are classic and timeless. These are the types of pieces that you need to spend real money one because the clothing is not disposable. Then with seasonal trending pieces, I would recommend spending less on because fashion changes so fast - mix the two and you have the perfect combination.

These 100% cashmere jumpers & cardigans by Mr Quintessential are the newest editions to my investment wardrobe and I'm truly so incredibly happy with the soft, luxurious feel to the Mongolian cashmere. Their scarves are blended 70% cashmere with 30% wool, which gives the garment a bit more thickness yet still retaining the extremely soft feel.

This light pale blue v-neck jumper is easy to wear throughout the year in an casual, smart casual or even formal way. If you buy this jumper now, you'll be able to use it in winter layering over the top of a shirt or t-shirt and completing the look with a classic overcoat as I have done above. In this look I have tried to show you how easy it is to wear a jumper on a crisp cool morning walking to work and once you get into the office, just remove the jumper or even roll the sleeves for a more casual look. The pale blue 100% cashmere jumper goes well with greys and the light pink trim in the Mr Quintessential Chepstow 70% cashmere 30% wool scarf.

I love finding brands that you wouldn't have necessary heard off, however they are selling an amazingly high quality, luxurious product which is miles better than some of the everyday brands that everyone knows. Mr Quintessential are a brand built on the highest quality cashmere fabric and attention to detail which is why I love them. What they don't have is a million pound marketing budget but what they do have is a great product and passion for what they do. I really do think as a consumer we need to give more smaller niche menswear brands some love, starting today people!

The Mr Quintessential range consists of v-neck jumpers, crew neck jumpers, hoodies, sweat pants, accessories and of course the cardigan. In the look above I've styled their AW16 mens red cardigan with dark black tones. Leave undone with a black tee underneath showing the subtle flashes of red.

My second cardigan I have from their AW16 range is the navy blue with light blue trim design styled in a casual way - perfect for date night, popping down the pub, going for dinner or a coffee meeting.

They say that men lose interest in fashion in their late 30s, but Mr Quintessential strongly disagree, I, like many men in their 30's 40's and beyond, still want to be stylish and look good.

“Fashion is about identity. Men need clothes that are considered investment pieces, that fit perfectly, and look timeless.” Mr Quintessential.

Mr Quintessential offers a range of beautiful knitwear in luxurious Mongolian cashmere that looks relaxed and indulgent, classic crew necks, v-necks, and shawl-neck cardigans that can breathe new life into any look. Their range of stunning dip dyes are individually handcrafted by the finest master craftsmen, therefore making each piece unique and one of a kind. MrQ. will take you on a journey, an adventure in colour and dress you in knitwear which is that little bit more grown up.

What is cashmere? Cashmere comes from any breed of goat that produces cashmere wool. It is the goats fine, soft, downy, winter undercoat. Soft on your skin, it is the highest standard of softness.

It's this warmth and softness that made me get this MrQ cashmere tracksuit top and joggers perfect for nights in...and I LOVE a night in! It would have been easy for me to style the tracksuit together with me sitting on the sofa with my very instagrammable dog charlie and a tub of ice-cream. However because it is quite expensive, I thought I would show you how you could also style these two pieces just as well separately in a style that you can wear out - making the most of your investment.

So there you have it, my 5 MrQ looks spanning all different styles...remember to check them out at mrquintessential.com

 

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Photography by Rebecca Spencer

The Style Off - Realm & Empire - Episode 3

We are back, for the 3rd 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 Realm & Empire's AW16 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 with #Carl or #Oli. This months style off was sponsored by the brand Realm & Empire whose AW16 collection is centred around military history. The items we have chosen from the Realm & Empire range is their US Marine Workwear Shirt in Stone and a pair of loose fitting Diver Utility Trousers in Olive. Watch both videos and let us know who styled it better.

Commando Frogmen, the Special Boat Service and battleships designed to dazzle: for Autumn Winter 16 the Realm & Empire narrative goes deep below the ocean's surface, drawing inspiration from the divers, marines and the clandestine demolitions teams of the Second World War.

 

THE R&E US MARINE SHIRT - CARL'S LOOK

THE R&E US MARINE SHIRT - OLI'S LOOK

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With influences pulled from a US Marines original, keep a lookout for the marvellous three-button pocket detail on our cotton twill workwear shirt - an original feature found in the archive and which conceals two extra-large, additional chest pockets! With displaced forward shoulders, traditional military cross-over yoke design, front patch pocket and self-colour buttons, this shirt is also garment washed for true, vintage appearance and comfort.

 

THE R&E DIVER UTILITY TROUSERS - CARL'S LOOK

THE R&E DIVER UTILITY TROUSERS - OLI'S LOOK

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These loose-fitting R&E diver trousers are inspired by the silhouette and functionality of the uniforms worn by Britain’s Commando Frogmen during the Second World War. Constructed from a soft waxed cotton, we’ve added extra reinforcement on the knees, and a mix of hidden zip and large patch pockets, making them perfect for heavy duty casualwear. Drawstring detailing on the waist and ankles gives you the choice to wear straight-leg or tapered for a more military, fatigue-style. 

Special thanks to Realm & Empire for sponsoring this months Style Off.

 

Blogging is NOT all it's cracked up to be

I get people saying to me all the time that my 'job' - meaning blogging and instagramming, looks so much fun and they wish they could do it. Well firstly, it's not exactly a job, I mean, I would say you need to be earning at least minimum wage (don't even get me started on living wage) before you can claim it as your 'employment'. It's taken a couple of hard grafting years of networking to build up a worthwhile, engaging audience on my blog and social networks before PR companies and brands want to do business with you and don't under estimate the time and effort that takes. 

I often get people asking me to produce them a 'quick' blog promoting their products for free, come on it will only take a few minutes they say - errr major LOL. Okay so thats just say that email communication for the sake of this experiment takes 15 minutes. Then I need to spend time planning the outfit that I want to wear, hmmmm I'm pretty quick at this, so again lets say 15 minutes, although if you are online shopping for other pieces then up it to 45 minutes. The photoshoot day comes and you have to plan the outfits, meet the photographer, find a decent place to shoot then finally actually shoot the outfit. So lets say you meet in London, a photoshoot usually takes 2 hours and add another 30 minutes for travel. Once you get the photos, there may be some editing time, lets say 30 minutes. So you are 4 hours committed before even writing the post. Uploading the images, and writing the blog post can take anything from 30 minutes to 4 hours, totally depending on how many glasses of wine I've had but on average I would say it takes me about an hour and a half. Actually I forgot to add the 'Shop The Look' section, this may look easy - but most bloggers gain commission through Wearisma or RewardStyle so for every shop the look item, you need to create an affiliate link...yep time consuming and defo time for another wine. To finish up you need to proof read, make amendments then social out the post. All-in you are looking at a ball-park figure of 5-6 hours per post.

Most of the time and in particular brands expect bloggers to write posts for them in return for product. The amount of times I've had brands say, pick an outfit up to the value of £150 then style it, write a blog post and social it out all in under a week. Well firstly being a clothing retailer myself with Hawkins & Shepherd, £150 retail equals £50 for the brands themselves. So when we are creating these types of blog posts its for fifty pounds worth of clothing yet giving back 5-6 hours of effort and a large social following which has taken years to grow. Not only that but there are also other costs that come with writing a blog post. Firstly buying clothing is expensive (if you have to buy anything else for the post). Travel costs. Photographer costs which can be £50 up to £200. So whenever you are doing blog posts in return for product you are funding it yourselves and making a loss, I mean thats just not good business. For me I think more needs to be done to establish digital influencing rate cards and have some organisation that helps influencers know what to charge, much like press advertisement has. With print press, brands know what they should pay for a 1/2 page, full page etc, for Pay-Per-Click advertising again there are guidelines but for digital influencers this area is grey for brands as well as influencers and I sympathise with both.

If anyone asks me they want to get into blogging, I'm fully supportive. However I do tell them to commit to it, we are not talking one post a month or a post every now and then....I mean serious commitment because that is what it takes to be a success. You wont be gifted many items until you have a good following, so it can also be very expensive shopping every week. You cant under-estimate how much time and money blogging takes. Unless you are lucky enough to a) have a photographer girlfriend (b) a blogger girlfriend or (c) a cool as fuck girlfriend who you can train to take your photos, you'll need to pay for a photographer. Don't underestimate the importance of having ascetically pleasing images and you may think that any one can take a good photo...nope they cant!

When you get to the point of getting paid or gifted items of clothing, grooming bits 'n' bobs, festival tickets and an unlimited number of party invites it can seem quite glamourous. I have to admit, things are much easier for me right now as I have grown a great working relationship with brands, PRs and other bloggers - although it is almost more important to work harder and produce better content because now brands are paying for it...it's that never ending cycle of trying to improve, trying to be the best. 

Yes this blogger shit can be seen as narcissistic and for sure it is, however it is also a way of venting our thoughts and feelings about everyday life - its about showing our own style and giving our readers an independent view on what to wear or what we like to wear.

Being a #fblogger (Fashion Blogger) #tblogger (Travel Blogger) #lblogger (Lifestyle Blogger) or whatever other hashtag crap we all seem to use - you have to be quite thick skinned and try to not give a damn about what other people are thinking about you. Take this photoshoot for example, Rebecca and I headed over to St Pauls in London bang on the lunchtime rush. Although we managed to find a couple of quiet 'ish' spots to shoot in, there were 100's of office workers walking past mocking me and trying to photobomb you at every opportunity. I mean fair enough I guess these city workers have probably been in the pub since 11:00 sinking pint after pint reminiscing about the good old days before BREXIT...and I'd do the same with a few pints in me. However this is work for us bloggers and it's like me rocking up to some city banking firm, jumping the security gates, bowling up to the nearest forex trader, putting a BUY trade on GBP against pretty much any other currency in the world, give the trader a wet willie & noogie and walk out as if nothing has just happened. 

So during this shoot I had 3 outfits to photograph, which means 2 changes...time is money so rather than heading to the nearest coffee shop to get changed most bloggers just strip off and change in the street - the nearest bush, telephone box or stinky piss alley are well known blogger changing rooms. On this shoot for my first change I headed into some bushes, the type of bushes that you don't want to spend much time in. Hopping on one leg trying to pull off your skinny jeans is hard, it is important to be wearing tight pants or boxer shorts...not loose cotton ones as you don't want passers by getting an eyeful of your bits. Lucky for me, I have a photographer that sees the funny side of all of this and films the whole thing and posts on snapchat...cheers Becca!

So people who throw oranges out of windows (yes this did happen to an ex girlfriend!) or shout abuse; remember us poor bloggers are just trying to make a bit of pocket money, please think twice as we put a lot of effort in doing what we do and we love what we do. For those of you wanting to get into blogging, do it and do it well but don't expect success overnight. For brands...I love you, send me more work *insert wink face emoji! 

 

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Photography by Rebecca Spencer

My Outfit of the Week

The weeks outfit of the week combines three menswear brands that I have never worn before, so I have combined them with a few of my wardrobe favourites. This outfit was taken at the early part of this week, during the cold windy few days we had in London, I mean it certainly didn't feel like June...more like November. This time I headed out with photographer Rebecca Spencer around the Temple area of London, along the Embankment and stumbled across a few awesome areas in which to shoot the outfits and a few odd and exposed changing facilities!

The three brands that I want to mention in this look are Sunday Somewhere, Boom Bap Wear and Jim Rickey. Starting from the top half, this grey lightweight v-neck hoodie from Boom Bap Wear is stylish and the fit is slim, muscle, yet comfortable. The inner lining of the top is fleece like so there is no need to wear a t-shirt underneath, in fact I think it works better worn alone. Jim Rickey is a brand that I found on Instagram, based in Stockholm, Sweden and specialising in footwear. Immediately I purchased two pairs, I was so impressed with their collection and I want another 2 more at least! This grey pair and another white leather with tan details and marble sole. Finally I have accessorised with a brand that is synonymous for being the sunglasses of choice for a-list celebrities - a brand called Sunday Somewhere. 

Its amazing what brands you can find by searching the second page on Google, Twitter and Instagram...so have a browse and if you can also find some amazing menswear brands - if you do, please let me know!

 

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Photography by Rebecca Spencer

A SUMMER OUTFIT OF THE DAY WITH ASOS

When you are taking photos in and around East London, you are never short of edgy brick walls and we certainly found a few in this shoot. I love shooting with Ella because we'll wonder around and she'll pluck out the most amazing spots to start taking photos. These shots were taken of the edges of east London near and around Shadwell.

This weekend has been amazing in London, like a mini heatwave and it feels like summer has FINALLY started, although it is still pretty nippy when the sun goes in at night. So my outfit above is perfect for these temperature changing days. Change the jeans with denim mid wash shorts for hotter days. The jacket is faux leather, light and easy to roll the sleeves if you like. I have finished the look with a simple longline white tee and my new awesome white with copper detail trainers.

Today this is a short blog, so if you have any questions on the look, please comment below, as I'm off to plan my outfit for the Television BAFTAS tonight.

 

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Photography by Ella H

TECH MEETS FASHION AT THE DANDY LAB

For years I have heard the media and brands themselves suggest that clothing retail is moving more and more online for the convenience of the customer and partially due to rising rents in the capital. In some respects this is true, however it has also opened up an opportunity to redefine retail and how we shop. It has allowed creativity to enter the market and to find new exciting ways to make shopping an experience not just a chore. Luckily for myself and all other men out there The Dandy Lab has done just that.

The Dandy Lab, as the name suggests not only combines technology and fashion but also brings out the social side of shopping. It also gives the smaller British brands a retail space to showcase their products.

When visiting the 'Lab' the interior design is white minimalistic with a variety of vibrant coloured products. Being a geek myself, I was interested in how they have integrated technology to enhance the retail experience. Two of the technological practices that were very impressive were the 'learning' and the 'styling' areas. The Dandy Lab stocks UK brands and would like you to know everything about the products before purchasing, so each product has its own swing-tag that you can scan.  This then brings up information on the product and the brand prior to purchasing. Then there is the 'Styling' section. Say you are wearing a green jumper and would like a jacket to wear with the green jumper but are unsure what colour or style of jacket would work well. You can scan in your green jumper and the system will use its complicated algorithm to pick colours and products that you can wear with your green jumper. 

Co-founder, Peter Jeun Ho Tsang said, “The shop is packed with innovation, but it also caters for those who like quality products, value British design and want more from their shopping experience. It’s great to bring this all together under one roof.”

The Dandy Lab is a new lifestyle concept store enhanced by technology launched in Spitalfields, London this summer championing British Craftsmanship and personalised shopping. The men’s emporium marks a “UK first” in British retailing by fusing fashion, lifestyle and technology to create a one-off retail destination. You can visit them at 73 Brushfield St, Old Spitalfields Market, London, E1 6AA.

AN INSIDE LOOK: PANTHERELLA & TUSTING

LOOK INSIDE PANTHERELLA

LOOK INSIDE TUSTING

With so much uncertainty in the world right now, a Chinese stock market mini-crash and the possibility of a Greek exit from the Euro, us British and our tiny island have a lot to be happy about. For starters we can withdraw more that £60 from our cash points and although we love to queue, camping out overnight is a bit much (even for us). Then there was the inspirational Woman's English Football team who finished 3rd at the football world cup and with Andy Murray firing on all cylinders at Wimbledon, these should be happy times.

Add to the mix a Great British manufacturing revival pioneered by brands such as Pantherella and Tusting, I feel it is time to give ourselves a little pat on the back, whilst sipping a nice brew of course. 

Playing the 'Made in England' card has never been so important. Over the years, with so much clothing manufacturing moving from Britain to the rest of the world it has been the ones that have focused on unrivalled quality are the ones to have survived during that time but will shrive for years to come. This is mainly due to them holding on to their values of fine tailoring and character passed down from generations. 

As a knowledgable consumer myself and an admirer of quality. I want to know where my products are truly made, what materials are being used and the ethics of how they are produced. However this still falls some way short of the consumers of Japan as 'William Tusting' explained are the masters at examining luxury goods. Which maybe one reason why their leather handmade products do so well out there because they always stand up to the highest level of scrutiny.

One thing that stood out was the testing regime at the Pantherella factory. From the colour washing tests to the abrasion tests. For me socks tend not to last but talking to Pantherella, a good sock should always last and its down to the materials used.

Both Pantherella and Tusting are family businesses passed down from generation to generation and it's this story and heritage that really sells both brands. Both can explain every baby step in their supply chain, know exactly where their raw materials come from and can explain in meticulous detail (that would put most of us to sleep) the technicals of the materials and machinery used.

Much like the food industries traffic light scheme, more British brands and brands in general should be transparent of their supply chain and the craftsmanship that goes into the making of their products.

Made in England/Britain/UK is making a revival and I urge everyone to support these brands. You'll buy into a family, a local business and exceptional quality products that will last.

Pantherella has been making the worlds finest socks since 1937 from the most luxurious fibres. From their early beginnings in the hosiery business Pantherella has strived to be at the forefront of technology, innovation and designs that surpass even the highest of expectations. All of Pantherella socks are still made in their family owned factory in Leicester by highly skilled craftspeople whom have passed their expertise down from generation to generation to help set Pantherella apart from other brands.

TUSTING is a family firm based in the heart of the English countryside, with its roots deep in the English leather and shoe trade. The fifth generation of the family is now at the helm, following a long line of Tustings who have been tanning, grading and trading the world’s finest leathers for over 130 years. Their current workshop lies close to the original tannery founded in 1875 by their great, great, grandfather and is home to their new generation of highly skilled craftsmen. It is perfectly placed to draw on the considerable talents of local leatherworkers, many of whose families also share in this heritage.

 

MY FAVOURITE PANTHERELLA SOCKS

 

MY FAVOURITE TUSTING LEATHER GOODS

Thank you for reading, Carl x

HOW TO DRESS FOR THE RACES

During Horse Racing season the tabloid spies are on the look out for any fashion faux-pas. So to avoid you the embarrassment of being in their 'Worst Dressed of Ascot' section with a big red cross next to what you thought was your best attire - I'm going to attempt to help you out.

Here are a few generic pointers to check for prior to choosing your outfit for the day:

  • Check the Dress Code! Each horse racing venue may have different dress-codes. You will even find that at the same venue there may be different dress codes for different events and enclosures that you are in. 
  • Check the weather! Do I even need to add this? We live in the UK and it has been printed into our brain. If in doubt, take a brolly...
  • Is Fancy Dress Allowed? The only time I go to the races is for a stag do, birthday or a football tour. For most of these occasions there is chat about Fancy Dress, because well why not right? You should always check with the venue as some do not allow fancy dress, or they will restrict where you can go when you are inside the venue.

There are a few different looks that you could attempt depending on the dress code at the event, here are my top 3:

Modern Classic.

Tweed

Old-Fashioned

Whatever look you go for remember these simple rules:

  • Shine your shoes. 
  • Wear a shirt & suit that fits. 
  • Tie your tie or bow-tie correctly.
  • Smell good!
  • Remember your umbrella.
  • Remember your sunglasses.