The Marc Darcy Look: Level up without breaking the bank

Marc Darcy Suits 1.jpg

Today I'm going to wax lyrical about the brand Marc Darcy. I've actually had an interesting relationship with Marc Darcy. We shared some floorspace at Moda Gent a few years back. (A trade show in Birmingham). 

The show was a great experience for me, showcasing my Hawkins & Shepherd shirts. I no longer do the show but I was invited back as a guest speaker to talk with the head of design at Marc Darcy. 

Cut/smash to a few years later and I'm still enjoying a great working relationship with Marc Darcy, modelling one of their ready-to-wear pin stripe suits as you'll see in these photos. 

This is the LEWIS Navy Blue Pinstripe Suit features a double button fastening to the front, single vent on the seat with two flap pockets on each hip with additional mini welt pocket to the right.

I'm wearing two different waistcoats. One is noticeably double breasted with two flap pockets to each hip. The other my personal favourite, a brown five button waistcoat. Yes I've done up all the buttons, they don't call me the Carl 'five button' Thompson for nothing you know. 

Marc Darcy is a fantastic, accessible brand for those that are interested in levelling up their wardrobe, but are a few financial steps away from Savile Row. 

For off the peg suits, I find the cut very flattering. I'm not your standard block size when it comes to trousers. Normally ready to wear trousers always need hemming no matter what. For some reason these come up perfect on me. I'm 31-32" waist, 5'9 and a bit. 

With every suit order you get a complimentary handkerchief coordinating to the inside lining and lapel pin badge to complete the look.

I'd say if you're getting married, or going to a wedding but can't afford Tom Ford prices. This is a perfect place to look for a wedding suit.

There's also an abundance of styles and patterns to choose from. Windowpane, over check, POW etc. Whether you're the guest or groom you'll have a lot of fun getting lost around the website. 

If you've shopped with Marc Darcy I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts in the box below.

Great Suits and Shirt Pairings | Men's Style Advice

It's not always the simplest of tasks to pair the right suit with the right shirt. Depending also on what side of the fashion spectrum you sit on, some shirts that could be construed bilious, have little chance of being tempered by a suit, no matter the quality. Here are some simple style pairings that might help you.

Pin or Tab Collar Shirts = Double Breasted Suits

The 20's were considered the high water mark of men’s tailoring. The pin collar shirt was introduced as a mode of rebellion. The young fashionistas of the day didn't connect with the formality of the stiffened starched collars and migrated over to the soft pin collar shirts. A problem arose however when the relaxed silky fabrics were too delicate to support a tie without looking unkempt. Hence the introduction of connecting the collar to a pin, allowing the wearer a more defined shape.

During the 30's the Double-Breasted jackets were becoming more prevalent, popularised by the Duke of Kent, hence why the four-button construction that buttons at the lower button is eponymously referred to as the "Kent". A suitable marriage for the pin collar shirt would be a double breasted jacket. With the double breasted jacket comes the broad peaked lapels which offers the verisimilitude of a large chest, a look that would certainly augment ones masculinity. A look that has survived in the UK thanks to modern renaissances of London Speakeasy's and Gangster series such as Boardwalk Empire and Peaky Blinders. 

Grandad Collars and Waistcoats

Grandad Collars are considered less formal because of their unconventional look. With a few different interpretations to the origins, from foundry workers to New York wives cutting off their husbands' collars to clean, it has a colourful narrative. Most bloggers will tell you that a simple neutrally-hued blazer will do the trick, however I gravitate towards a waistcoat only, or if the climate is conducive, simple accoutrements such as braces will suffice. 

Mix and Match

david-gandy-white-blazer-style.jpg

The one unsubtractable rule to mix and matching the suit jacket and trousers is to keep the shirt simple. Anything too ambitious in the pattern or motif department and the entire look will unbalanced. A tieless button down shirt will maintain a clean look. 

Ivory Tuxedo - English Spread

Whilst black and midnight blue dinner jackets have silk facings to primarily differentiate them from ordinary lounge jackets, the Ivory Dinner Jacket does not need such a distinctive mark. Not only should the IDJ be a statement in its own right, silk facings invariably pair and precipitously clash with black silk bow ties. A classic pleated-front shirt with soft turndown collar is traditionally paired, although if you're looking for something more contemporary, David Gandy's interpretation using the blue cotton English Spread collar is a suitable act to follow. 

 

Shop These Suit & Shirt Combinations by Hawkins & Shepherd

Outfit of the Week | Wearing Jaeger AW17 Collection

I absolutely love a good suit, so much so that half of my wardrobe is taken up with suits of different cuts, colours and styles. My latest addition was from the Jaeger AW17 collection, my first from this brand so was keen to get my hands on one. What initially drew me to this particular one was the subtle fine check pattern print of the navy suit. I wanted a suit the stepped away from classic plain palette designs and a bit more unique and therefore this one was the stand out piece from Jaeger's AW17 suit collection.

As we dip our toes into the autumn/winter 2017 season, I've moved away from traditional suit styling of a shirt and tie. Instead I went for warmth and style with a smart navy roll-neck jumper, which is a menswear trend right now. When wearing navy on navy, it can look a little boring and unimaginative, so I've added a plain white pocket square to give the suit a little more punch and the wow factor. My shoes are a dark tan colour, but black would also work equally well.

In this outfit of the week style edit, the suit is from Jaeger at £399 as is the navy wool roll neck jumper at £104.  The white pocket square is by Drake's via MR PORTER and part of their Kingsman edit at £55. The shoes are by Goodwin Smith and available for £125 and finally the watch is by Rotary at £155.

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Photography by Charlie Sawyer

HOW TO ASK FOR A PAY RISE & ACTUALLY BE SUCCESSFUL

In 2013 I founded Hawkins & Shepherd shirt makers as I decided there was more to life than a normal 8am-6pm office job. However prior to this shift in careers, I worked in IT for a commodities company over 12.5 years. As my career in IT was at its early stages, so was the company I worked for and we grew together. At the beginning of my employment there, I had the pleasure to work for some incredible mangers who inspired me (the type that are leaders rather than micro-mangers) - in many ways they have shaped who I am today. I certainly got my work ethic from them and they taught me the value of getting along with people, working hard, being creative, listening to others and most importantly respect/value your employees.

During my career I progressed from your everyday IT Support employee "hmmm perhaps a reboot will fix your issue". To more technical projects based roles and finally in charge of the global network and telephony estate, managing a small but great team of around 7 people in geographic locations such as USA, South Africa, China & of course London. For my IT career, that was pretty much where I always saw my progression going but it was hard work and not by chance or by luck that got me there. Everyone knows that moving jobs is a great way of increasing salary and at the very early stages of my career I chopped and changed jobs a couple of times, a year here and a year there. That is fine, although unsustainable because you do not want to be labeled as an un-loyal employee who will jump ship at the sight of a few extra grand! Eventually you'll land a perfect job for the perfect company and thats when you anchor down and shape your career for the future. However, this brings its own challenges. How do you ask for a pay rise within your current role that you have happily been doing for years on a certain salary? You don't want to leave but you know you're worth more?

Asking for a raise is no doubt nerve wrecking but remember that most companies want to bend over to keep good employees. Before you pop that question you need to think about how you are going to ask for a raise. Instant Offices have highlighted what you should and shouldn’t say when asking for a raise. Lets start with the DONTS'.

Click to enlarge

I recall that once during my 12.5 year career, I actually did one of these DONTS' in fact No1 on the list! "I Quit" - well I didn't phrase is like that, it was more along the lines of "I don't want to leave this amazing company, I love it here and see a future for years to come. However, I have been offered similar roles for a bigger salary than what I'm currently on. Is there anyway you could match what they are offering?". Well I'm not sure of the exact words, but the point is that I didn't want to leave but I was willing to risk leaving in order to get the pay rise or promotion that I desired. However, when I put my job on the line, it was a measured risk, as I did actually have other employment offers to jump into if their reply would have been different. 

Asking your boss for a pay rise can be quite daunting but be confident and do your research, you need to be prepared...don't just demand an unreasonable salary that you can not justify. For me as well as many other people, my confidence comes from dressing well. 

Here are a few of my favourite formal workwear looks:

Well it looks like you are all set for that crucial life changing discussion, read the below tips and you'll do just fine....GOOD LUCK :) 

Click to enlarge