Watch Review: Rotary Gents Stainless Steel Red / Blue GMT Henley

Today I'm going to be offering my thoughts on the Rotary Gents Stainless Steel Red / Blue GMT Henley, currently available to buy for 225 GMT. 

Some Specifications 

This robust Henley from Rotary features a 41.5mm case with a black dial and statement hands (signature paddles) and hour markers all encased with scratch resistant sapphire glass.

The GMT function is bi colour blue and red: a stunning eye-catching detail. Noted by some aficionados as the Pepsi Bezel. The Stainless Steel 3 link bracelet is secured with a deployment clasp. (More on that in a bit). It is water resistant to 100m.

What is GMT again? 

It stands for Greenwich Meantime. Many people use GMT watches to know their local time, and some other time zone that is usually not GMT.  Many GMT watches have a rotating 24 hour bezel such as this one. 

And GMT came from where? 

GMT was originally designed for travel. The origins stemmed from a collaboration between Rolex and the now dissolved Pan Am Airlines. Pan Am reportedly asked Rolex to make some watches for their pilots to tell differences in two different countries. 

What's the general vibe on this Rotary Gents Stainless Steel Red / Blue GMT Henley? 

I've spoken to people on the forums regarding this watch asking for some feedback. Which is always a dangerous thing  to do as I don't like to have any dissuasion from my instincts. General feel is that it's about right for the price point. 

Some dissatisfaction with the second hand not lining up exactly the way it should, but I've not found that to be honest. There's also been some price fluctuations between various resellers so some feel like they got their monies worth, others not. 

And my take on this watch? 

Personally I'm liking the way this watch feels on my wrist. The crown is big but doesn't dig into the back of my wrist. I think this is a perfectly functional watch to walk around the park, perhaps go traveling with. 

I wouldn't be precious with it, it's not got the beauty or guile of a Tag Heuer Aqua Racer. But it's a nice homage to say the Black Bay Tudor. (Even though the purists will tell you not to buy 'homage'). I'm not a purist, so I'm immune to such lofty pretension from hauteur’s looking to get a cushy gig at WatchTime.

I mentioned the bracelet earlier

Yes the deployment clasp is not the most fluid. I've got no problem with taking a couple of links out of the strap to get a better fit for my wrist, but the deployment clasp was a bit frustrating. 

 

Warm Day Winter Styling | Men's Style Edit

Has winter even started here in the UK, come on ice, snow, wind and rain….lets be ‘aving ya! Actually ignore that, I’ve been enjoying leaving the door open whilst working from home and saving money on heating bills. However it’s my fashion this winter season that has benefitted most. I’ve been able to wear a lot of my existing wardrobe and brought less knitwear and bulky jackets, saving pennies in the meantime.

With that in mind, I’ve created this Men’s Style Edit which is wearable on the warmest of winter days, yet can be transitioned simply by adding socks and a tailored overcoat on the colder snaps.

The black t-shirt is from ASOS, over-shirt from A Day’s March, the grey trousers are Zara, the white trainers are from Nubikk and finally the sunglasses are from Emon Eyewear.


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Men's Accessories for Summer | Men's Style Edit

Over the past few months I've been asked many times on email and via Direct Messages on Instagram, how men should accessorise. For men, less tends to be more, by choosing quality products over quantity. For example, go for a beautiful well crafted bracelet from Gentlemen's Chuckaboo for £19.99 rather than 5 fabric bracelets that you can get in Thailand for 20p which will end up looking cheap and dirty, certainly not the look we're going for.

Combine a watch with the tones of your outfit, so when I wear black jeans, I tend to wear a rose-gold or black strapped watch. Navy jeans and I'll opt for a navy watch face for example. 

Chains or pendants are massive right now but stick to one rather than hang layers and layers of jewels around your neck. Below is how I've styled this look with a variety of my favourite men's accessories.

 

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The Cuban Collar Shirt | Men's Style Edit

Okay so we're forecasted continuous rain in the UK for the next 10 days, so I couldn't feel less Cuban right now if I'm honest! Some people say that I have an over imaginative mind and I'm harnessing all of it's power right now in the attempt to imagine this shirt on the beaches of Cuba or in-fact anywhere remotely sunny. Instead I've thrown off my large warm jacket, umbrella and photographed this outfit during a brief break in the weather on the streets of London.

It's quite hard trying to showcase new SS18 (Spring/Summer 2018) collections when the weather just isn't playing ball...but as a predominately fashion blogger, I have to persevere, adapt and carry on regardless. I love the simplicity of this look, a basic monochrome palette and on-trend Cuban collar shirt completes a very summer look. Imagine this on a tropical paradise sipping a cocktail.

Starting from top to bottom, I'm wearing sunglasses from Finlay & Co, a white Cuban shirt from Reiss, watch from Rotary, skinny black jeans from ASOS and white trainers from Cole Haan.

 

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Photography by Rebecca Spencer

How to Wear a Tuxedo | Men's Style Advice as Featured in GQ

If you pick up a copy of the GQ China magazine (December 2017) and turn to the Men's Style Advice section, you'll find my face explaining what I wear for party season. Without duplicating content, I'm using my own platform to explain in a little more detail what I'm wearing, why and some style advice I would give to anyone wanting to look incredible in a tuxedo or as us Brits like to call dinner jackets. 

For the GQ China tuxedo style advice section, there was only one tuxedo that I wanted to wear and that was my 3-piece by Savile Row's Chester Barrie. The tailoring put into this tuxedo is the best in the world, it's crafted with the most skilled hands in the business and you can appreciate every stitch and every cut of the pattern as it aligns with your body shape. When looking for a tuxedo to wear for a special occasion, there are a few aspects that for me are a must. Firstly for the dinner jacket, peak bold lapels are an absolute must, they give an element of style, sophistication and screams that you know how to dress and you're not just following high-street trends of modern skinny lapels. The cuffs have to be working cuffs and the buttons should be discrete yet in a design that matches the suits style perfectly. 

Moving on to the waistcoat. Firstly make sure it fits well and is not too tight. If it is too tight it will look terrible when sitting down, it will rumple up the shirt underneath and will ultimately make the outfit as a whole look disheveled. The buttons on the waistcoat must match the buttons on your dinner jacket. The cut of the waistcoat should be low cut, this is to champion the shirt underneath and make the bow-tie prominent. If the waistcoat is cut too high there will be no colour transition between the dark suit fabric and the bow-tie. As with this Chester Barrie tuxedo, I love the contrast between the single-breasted blazer and the double-breasted waistcoat as well as the peak cut lapels of the blazer and the elongated curves of the waistcoat lapels. 

Kind of obvious but the trouser fabric should match that of the dinner jacket blazer and waistcoat. The trousers should be cut slim but not too skinny and certainly not baggy. Turn-up trousers are welcomed so long as they are tailored at the correct length and the trousers are tapered perfectly - if you need any advice on this, either comment below and I'll get back to you or speak to your local tailor. Leave the belt at home and opt for a pair of trousers with side adjusters. 

The shirt is an important part to the perfect tuxedo style. It has to be a crisp white shirt and in my personal opinion have a classic downwards collar. Button-down shirts should not be used, wing-tip shirts can look cheap, like you've just been to a hire shop and give an adolescent appearance. If you want a shirt fabric that is breathable then opt for a lightweight poplin weave in a 2/100s yarn count, if you want more warmth then an Oxford or herringbone weave would be a better option. Many tuxedo shirts are tailored with a fabric called 'Marcella' which has a textured appearance and often used specifically in the bib area of dress shirts. Another option is the wear a pleated shirt. If you are wearing one of these shirts, you'll want to show that in your look and therefore another reason why you should wear a low-cut waistcoat otherwise you'll just cover up the shirt details. For the buttons, I prefer classic, bone coloured mother-of-pearl to leave the chest area clean from too much clutter. A lot of people like to wear black satin covered buttons, although my personal opinion is that they look like a airport landing strip. The cuffs can be either double French cuffs and single cuffs, depending on preference and if you would like to wear cuff-links. My personal preference here is single cuffs, as I think they fit the wrist better and showcase your watch. Sometimes a double French cuff can be tailored too large and therefore covering your watch and unless you spend good money on a decent pair of cuff-links they can look like you've just won them in a Christmas cracker.

Always self tie your bow-tie, no clip-ons and if you don't know how to tie a bow-tie then practice and practice some more because it looks better and you'll get the admiration of your fellow party guests and work colleges. If you would like a YouTube tutorial on how to tie a bow-tie you can watch mine here. After you have mastered it you can play around with the shape of the bow and the knot. Try to make the knot as small as possible and the bow large in a butterfly style. As for the colour to wear, I prefer a classic black bow-tie but feel free to add your own personality here and go for some bold patterns or colours if you wish.  Do not match the bow-tie fabric/colour with your pocket square.

Shoes should be black and preferably patent shoes which is a coated leather that gives a glossy, shiny finish. If you decide to wear a pocket square, avoid matching it with the same colour as your bow-tie as it looks tacky, instead why not wear a plain white pocket square or no pocket square at all. If you have gone for an outrageous bow-tie colour and pattern, I would suggest not wearing a pocket square. 

Accessorise with a black leather strapped watch, scarf, overcoat and if you live in the UK then of course a large, durable umbrella. 

Lastly when starting my blog in 2013 it would have been an absolute dream to have been featured in GQ so this is an incredibly proud moment for me. It's an amazing way to sign off 2017 which has been a successful year but most importantly enjoyable. 

 

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Photo Credit - Andrew Barber - OmniStyle

Why It's Time for a Life & Body Detox

My life 'Online' is great. Just head over to my Instagram account and you'll see that for yourself, but is it really that great in 'real life'? If you peel back those Instagram filters and Photoshop layers you'll uncover the truth. Just a normal guy who experiences the same highs and lows as everyone else, battling through life. Trying to be successful in work, experiencing different cultures through travel, searching for 'the one', trying to find time for friends and family whilst forever thinking what the fuck am I doing with my life?

This weekend started on a Thursday for me, as I was an usher at one of my friends wedding which was taking place on Friday. Being freelance taking time off work is always quite stressful as you have no holiday pay, no sick pay and no pay in general if you don't put in the effort and hours. Right now I'm working so hard creating content and have a variety of different collaborations of which are focused on creating advertorial and editorial content for the brands. Interesting but time-consuming. Having a few days off work made me think about the blogging industry in general, is it really worth all the work for the reward and why I continue to do it? 

5 years ago I left a very successful career in IT working for a privately owned commodities trading house where I was the global head of networks, network security and voice communications. A role that took me around the globe, from DR Congo in Central Africa to the bright lights of Singapore in Asia and everywhere in-between. If only I knew what a travel blogger was back then! I left this career to pursue a better work/life balance, something that, looking back over the last 5 years I've yet to achieve and although blogging isn't the most challenging in terms of intellect it is extremely challenging creatively and mentally. I now work from home 7 days a week from 7.30am to about 10pm most days, if not later. 

The blogging industry is an odd one, it's relatively new in terms of a career and most of the time it is very individual, a bunch of very ambitious, competitive people all contesting in a saturated market place. I've been creating content on my blog since 2014 and built it from a handful of page views to one that now competes with some of the biggest men's lifestyle publications in the UK. I'm really proud of where I've got in this new workspace, but I'm also immensely proud for each and every single men's or women's blogger out there. The very early adopters of the blogging life deserve so much credit, they were the visionaries of what created the industry that many of us work in today. Then you have the remarkable creative bloggers who have refined blogging with their professionalism and exceptional content. This selection of people are the ones who have elevated blogging into editorial content creation, a segment of this industry that is arguably the most cost effective and desirable for brands. Finally you have the late-adopters trying to make it, who are incredible; their desire and ambition keeps us all on our toes. The way we consume data has changed year on year and is going to continue to evolve over time, so who knows where we'll all be in 5 or 10 years time. Each and every blogger deserves credit as you've seen a gap in the market and capitalised on it.

This year I've been working really long hours creating content for men's lifestyle brands as I feel things have really taken off with not only my blogging but my business too and I need to capitalise on the good times. My business is London shirt makers Hawkins & Shepherd and I'm currently in the final stages of creating a new collection of 'Country Shirts' perfect to wear with a tweed jacket and in the early stages of designing a new premium Made-in-Britain range of shirts. It is all taking it's toll on my work life balance as right now there is very little 'life' going on as it is all 'work'. Even events which seem great on Instagram Stories are actually considered as 'work'. 

At 37 and what seems like a great life, I've been successful in my career, I've started a year-on-year growing business and have capitalised on a new industry in blogging. I've met some incredible people, some intelligent people, some people that make me belly laugh for hours and some amazingly beautiful people. All that said I'm still single and spending the weekend at a wedding with incredible couples and families really hit home. Is work effecting my ability to find a girlfriend? Am I concentrating on work too much, that my life and what I desire in my future are being affected? Is work stopping me from seeing my friends and family? Why does work take up every spare hour of every day I have? And is this the reason why I can't seem to give even what 'on paper' is the perfect girl for me a chance? Am I going to be eternally single and 'Uncle Carl' to all of my friends kids? Work has taken over, fact. Which is why I've decided to take a life detox, that doesn't mean that I'm going to stop working - hell no! It just means that my priority's need to change slightly and I'm going to look at delegating more so that I can focus on life again. 

If I look back at my relationship history in the last 7 years, it's been pretty shocking on all accounts. Other than one relationship that we brought out the worst in each other I've only really had a few two months flings (I don't really know what the call them) as they had potential but went nowhere. But it's not only my love life that has taken a backseat due to work commitments but it is also my fitness. Today I felt normal again after a couple of days of insane drinking, so decided to do a boot camp class on Clapham Common with British Military Fitness. How have I got so unfit?! So it's also time for a body detox which I'm going to record my progress as of tomorrow for a couple of months and see how far I can transform in a relatively short timescale of 8 weeks.

 

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Photography by Sophie Milner

Casual Sports Tailoring | Suits with Trainers

Casual tailoring is a type of men's style that seems to be more tolerated in terms of a style choice these days. Traditionally, I would turn my nose up at wearing a suit with trainers. Even wearing gym trainers with your suit when hitting the gym prior to work was a little too much of a fashion faux pas for my traditional sartorial sense of style. Well times are changing slightly and mixing casual clothing such as a t-shirt or trainers with formal suits is becoming quite mainstream with NEXT menswear running collections dedicated to the design or styling of 'modern tailoring' or 'sports tailoring' as you may also hear it referred to.

I personally don't see this style breaching the strict dress codes of some of the larger FTSE100 or 250 companies in the heart of London...by this I mean the big banks, insurance, accountants etc. Bigger companies tend to be less lenient on breaches to their dress code 'give an inch, take a mile' springs to mind. As a 36 year old man who prior to working in the fashion industry used to work in a corporate office, I loved to dress smart or formal. Not only do you feel a sense of power, a sense of style, a sense of tradition, it also is quite easy to dress formal as you are not having to think so much about high-street fashion. Wearing suits is very much about colour or pattern combinations, get this right and you'll look great regardless on the cut and cost of your suit.

However there is a place for this type of mixing casual with formal style and I'm seeing it appear more for going out, when a suit is too much yet a blazer is perfect. I'm seeing this style be very much a spring/summer look, where the design of the blazer is tapered and the trousers are either draw-string or tailored as cropped which allows for the wearer to opt for no socks and trainers or a more casual shoe choice. 

In my outfit choice of the day, I've styled my look based on what I'm doing throughout the day. During this day I had a few meetings dotted around London, so I was walking between them, jumping on an off trains as well as having a press event in the evening at one of London's coolest rooftop bars. Firstly and most importantly, I needed to wear my most luxurious, comfortable trainers (or sneakers). There was really only one brand that comes to mind and that is Harrys of London whose shoes and trainers are at the forefront of design and only use exceptional, luxurious materials. It's this level of comfort I needed when wearing no socks and doing a lot of walking on a day where the weather is in the mid 20's. These sneakers are handmade in Italy and part of their 'Mr Jones' collection, which are designed to look just as good with tailored trousers as well as a pair of jeans. The Mr Jones offers unrivalled comfort and practicality in the form of the Harrys of London new non-skid Vibram® Wave rubber sole. Being a warm day, I then wanted to wear a lightweight suit with a roomy t-shirt, it really was just a comfort choice. When walking around, I could just take off the blazer; put it back on and I'll still look smart, casual and stylish for my event in the evening.

So as always, if you like it, shop it using the picture links below:

 

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Photography by Ella H

Outfit of the week | Style Edit

Happy Friday everyone, how has your week been? I've had one of those really productive weeks posting on my blog almost every day as well as a few brand collaborations coming through, partying and meeting with my best mates. So the next couple of months on the blog are going to produce some exciting new content, in all categories Travel, Fashion, Grooming, Fitness & Tech...so make sure you check back daily. 

In this outfit of the week post I'm wearing a mixture of menswear brands such as Stradivarius, Reiss, Rotary and Donhall & Bell. If you like it, shop it below.

 

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Photography by Charlie Sawyer

LITTLE TOUCHES THAT MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE

The first thing many of us think about when putting on some formalwear for the office is what suit, shirt and shoe combination shall I wear today. We all fall into that trap from time to time. We forget about the small touches and little details that can transform a plain blue suit and white shirt into an outfit that will get people talking.

With that in mind, I decided to wear my favourite accessories that I have brought in December and style them with my most normal plain suit and shirt combo. My goal is to remind you that the smallest modifications to your everyday workwear can seem like you are wearing a completely new outfit.

First off, the blue striped socks are from MEN:Ü - I actually brought these as a present for someone but decided I actually quite like them myself! The socks are made from bamboo...yes thats right bamboo! I can not believe how well they stretch and how soft and comfortable they are. You can buy the gift set here and at only £11.95 it is such a bargain.  

Moving up the outfit, towards the waist and you'll find this brown tan plain leather belt from GANT. It is perfect to wear with your suit as it is not too thin or thick and the classic gloss buckle oozes class. At a mid-range price of £60, it is the perfect gift for that sartorial someone in your life. You can shop all the GANT menswear Christmas gifts here.

What dapper work attire is complete without a great watch. This swiss-made slimline rose-gold with a black leather strap watch from ROTARY is my buy of the month. I cant stop looking at it. Classic and classy, feels and looks great. More importantly for just under £200 (with a lifetime guarantee) it is worth every penny and will be one of your staple items that you wear with absolutely everything. You can shop the ROTARY watch collection here.

And my final accessory to finish off this workwear look is a plain white, with small navy polka dot pocket square. The navy polkas match the suit and gives an understanding of what subtle sartorial dressing is all about. This pocket square was a steal at £8 from ASOS. 

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Photo Credit Sophie Milner