Italian Style 3-Piece Suits for Under £200 | House of Cavani

Hello gentlemen, today I'm wanting to introduce you to House of Cavani, an Italian inspired menswear brand that specialises in tweed suits, wedding suits, blazers, waistcoats, shoes and boys suits. These suits have an extremely accessible price point and will be ideal for any man on a budget who was looking to upgrade his wardrobe. You might also be entering the workforce for the first time and are looking to make a decent first impression by wearing some smarter attire.

Their ready to wear collection is a further indictment of how accessible smart tailoring has become. Not so long ago you'd have to pay a king’s ransom to own a suit of this quality. Now it's becoming an increasingly competitive market, and with the up rise of poly-blend suits this has effected market prices dramatically.

If you are looking for a classic style, then check out the Kemson Navy Skinny Three Piece Suit which I'm modelling in this style edit.

This is a Flannel Wool Polyester blend cut in a skinny silhouette. The two button jacket is single vented and the waist is suppressed, cut straight with no flare around the skirt. The lapels are notched and high on the lapel and the Navy is also underlined with a tan-coloured windowpane check.

A nice touch is the branding on the 4-button resin buttons found on the cuff. The last hole is accented. The lining is adorned with a passport stamp motif, although the fabric could be a little heavy for hotter climates although the cut and comfort is suitable for short travel.

The trousers are flat fronted with slanted pockets and the waistcoat (judging by the collection) will also have notched lapels.

House of Cavani have a showroom in Birmingham is you're local, appointment only. When on the site you might want to check out the Chelsea boots with the zips currently on sale. With the stretch denim jeans also going for less that £40, you can certainly get a decent AW18 haul if you're working from a tight budget.





*This sponsored post is created in collaboration with House of Cavani.

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


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

Shirt Tie & Pocket Square Combinations | Grey Suit

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After we received such positive reviews from the recent editorial on which Shirt Tie & Pocket Square Combinations are best for a Navy Suit, today I want to flesh out the options and inspirations for the Grey Suit. Grey isn't technically a colour, but that's not to say that dealing with a non-entity doesn't have its limitations. If you'd like to check out how I personally rock a grey suit you can look at some options in my article, How to Wear a Grey Suit Five Ways. For now I'm just going to introduce you to some killer looks I've found in the internet factory. 

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The Flat White

So a few variants on the style of grey, working from left to right this might be a bit to 'look at me' for some, but I think it's a killer look. Notice the dark edging on the pocket square is also congruent with the rest of the colours. the look is a a deep forward point collar and thick navy tie paired with a white folded pocket square. The suit is doing all the talking. 

Take a look at the middle two. I'm not a fan of the one on the left but I wanted to compare it to David on the right. The one on the middle left has gone very new man with narrow lapels and skinny tie. Tom Ford once said of narrow lapels that it makes him feel sorry for the suit. Almost as if there wasn't enough cloth to make one in the first place. Whereas Gandy on the middle right has gone for a very classic medium-width notch lapel. Neither jacket is under duress, but somehow Gandy's just looks more statuesque. They do have the flat white pocket square in common, as does the chap on the far right (although probably matching pink with his tie). Put simply the flat white should be the very staple of your pocket square game. Like a decent guard in boxing, or a forward defence stroke, or knowing the entire dialogue to Die Hard. It's a given.

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The Craig Way

Typical Bond would have a flat white pocket square, stemming all the way back from the days of Connery. However, when he's not on screen he gets to be a little more risque with his puff folds. Starting from left to right the deep violet tie and square exudes affluence. The silk metallic chrome tie and polka dot square leans more on the dandy than it does the debonair. I'm not overly sold on the middle right picture, again he's gone with the polka dot but I think there is too much going on with the herringbone pattern tie. What do you think? The last picture on the right he looks he's retiring from a heavy night, has discarded the tie and maybe taken a mis step with the full buttoned vest. Still looks the man though and the lion print pocket square looks the business. For more information on how to dress like Bond I'd recommend checking out the the blog The Suits of James Bond run by Matthew Spaiser. 

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Don't forget the CONTEXTure

We haven't really spoken about the texture of materials yet when it comes to pairing. A deep knit tie is traditionally paired with a deep knit square, and you can have some fun with the folds to make it more interesting. Bradley Cooper has paired his deep knit tie with a white pocket square; the edges lines in sky blue which blends into the grey beautifully. Be careful your textures don't clash. It can be just as jarring even if subliminally, just like colours and patterns. 

Dressing Dandy | Men's Style Edit

Recently I attended the MODA trade show at the NEC in Birmingham as part of a three person panel to discuss the latest Dandy Trend in Menswear. But what is a Dandy or a Dandy Dresser? Well it's someone who takes particular pride in their appearance and a man who embraces fashion as a form of self expression. In tailoring it would be considered as someone who would appreciate the fine little details such as the stitching, the fabric, the pattern cut and the importance of quality.

It was an interesting discussion and on the most part the panel agreed with each other, although for me there was one major disconnect which was the word 'trend'. I don't believe dressing 'dandy' is a trend at all, as that would suggest cyclical elements of ups and downs. Dressing dandy or dapper has always been there, it's somewhat engraved in us Brits. You just need to look back at the history of tailoring in Britain to understand the affinity that we have to this way of life.

All the way from the master tailors of Savile Row to the traditional shirt makers of Jermyn Street, you can find signs of our great heritage for this craftsmanship. Dressing dandy has a history throughout our lives, at every major event we tend to wear a suit...from your first job interview to your wedding. So if there is a trend here, I would say that it is that men are experimenting more. For example, men are becoming more adventurous in choosing suit fabrics as there is a big increase in pin-stripe and window-pane check suits being brought. In shirts buyers are being more expressive with collar types such as the pin collar or tab collar rather than a standard spread collar. Men are also mix-and-matching suit colours and textures as well as adding a waistcoat and accessorising more. 

On Instagram if I post a photo looking dandy, the two main comments will be about the suit, coat or layering. So therefore if I was going to style someone and predict the next 'dandy trend' I would start with a pinstripe double-breasted suit which has a tiny bit more prominent height in the shoulders. I would then choose a pair of single pleated trousers, turned-up of course and tailored slightly shorter than normal. I would wear a pair of plain socks and brogue shoes, keeping the look classic and classy. I would have a range of shirts, an extreme cutaway shirt for business, a pin collar shirt for special occasions and a button-down shirt for smart casual situations. Ties should be kept simple and then a boldly beautiful pocket square maybe in a geometric or paisley pattern to finish off the look. Layer with a camel cashmere overcoat.

One final closing tip. It is important not to get carried away with accessorising, yes be expressive but be careful not to overdress or over accessorise.



THE NAVY SUIT | Ties and Pocket Squares Combos

In the post 90's Neil Strauss world of Peacocking, men's tailoring has found its dimmer switch. Between the garishly elaborate 'statement pieces' and the monochrome mundanities of men’s tailoring, lies a convenient halfway house that is accoutrements. In particular ties and pocket squares. Today I want to zero in on the Navy suit and what ties and pocket squares make a good pairing.

Whilst doing some research for the post I took to the net in true Arnie with a mini-gun mode, bouncing between blogs, Insta and Pinterest posts with equal and efficient precision. A lot of people will talk about colour wheels and triadic colour schemes, which is all great and if you'd like to take a deep-dive on that then I'll need to credit the guys over at Deep Knot for their Tie and Pocket Square Combinations Editorial. But I'm going to offer you more of a broad view of combinations that catch my eye, and maybe worm a little science along the way. For more fashion inspiration, you can check out my look book article on How to wear Your Navy Suit 5 Ways


The Future is Orange

The aforementioned colour wheel will highlight orange as the colour diametrically opposed to Navy Blue. Known as the complementary colour scheme. There is no starker contrast on the planet than a Navy/Orange combo. Credit goes to the Silver London for demonstrating how to subtly peacock with this Reiss navy suit and orange accoutrements. If you're looking to flirt a little with the pocket square then you might want to dull the orange slightly, allowing room for manoeuvre in other departments such as a polka dot pattern and a pin stripe shirt.

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Micro Check Shirt/Gingham Shirt

Look I've made it into this collage, how did that happen haha? I think this is one of the most underused combos in men’s tailoring right now, the gingham shirt and Navy suit combo. I've paired my own Hawkins & Shepherd Gingham Shirt with a Navy Knitted tie. However, whereas mine and the others featured are micro-check, Ewan to the right of me went for a bolder separated gingham keeping close to a monochromatic colour palette (a scheme that involves pairing darker and lighter variants of the same colour). 

Kudos also goes to Lookastic.Com for showing us how it's done with the Navy Vertical Striped Blazer, adorned but not distracted by the Charcoal Pocket Square and Brown Plaid Wool Tie. 

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Paisley Crazy

When it comes to pairing paisley patterns imagine being a movie director trying to reign in a Jim Carrey in his prime. His exuberance is off the chart and destroying the picture, it's your job to mollify him but not brow beat him into thinking he can't go off-piste now and again. So Paisley is all about showing restraint. It doesn't need a partner in crime, it just needs others to do their job. You'll find patterns and textures the most exciting part of pairing because you'll get to exercise your creative muscle. I've highlighted some less bilious pairings, but as Bukowski once said 'Some people never go Paisley. What truly horrible lives they must lead.' Or something like that. 

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How to Accessorise Your Dinner Jacket/Tuxedo this Party Season

Party season is a couple of months during Winter where the majority of us have our staff Christmas parties and a fair proportion of these parties normally operate a 'black tie' dress code. Hence why brands bring out entire ranges suitable for 'Party Season' so you know how to look your best at your works staff party. I've already discussed what suits you should where for party season by styling a black tuxedo and navy tuxedo, which you can re-read here.

This post is all about how to accessorise your dinner jacket or tuxedo from socks, shoes, pocket squares, shirts, ties and scarfs. These are the small differences, that will make you transform from looking like every other person in the room into youself, your own personality and your own style.

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The Shirt

Starting from the top down so therefore lets discuss the shirt first. The only two colours you can use when wearing a dinner jacket is either white or black and personally I would always opt for a brand new crisp white shirt, straight out of it's packaging. Choosing a collar type is a little more tricky as there are more choices. When I was 18 or early 20's I thought that you had to wear 'wing-tip' collar shirts with a dinner jacket and how wrong was I. For me the wing tip collar is my least favourite, it doesn't particularly look great and just reminds my of poorly designed shirts from hire shops. 

Instead opt for a more refined elegance in your shirt collar. A simple classic spread collar or even a collar with a narrower opening will look great underneath a bow-tie. Check your dress-code but if you are after something different and from a 1920's era of exceptional dress sense then try the pin collar or the tab collar shirts which although are not designed for bow-ties, work incredible with a black silk tie and offer a different option for those who do not like wearing bow-ties.

There is only one place I would recommend getting your party season shirts from and that is of course Hawkins & Shepherd, the London shirt makers who are famed for bringing back the pin collar shirt styles. You can shop their extensive party season collection online here and below are some of my top picks.

The Tie

Naturally choosing a tie should come next, you have two options which is simply to wear a bow-tie or a tie. That decision totally depends on 1. The dress code .2. Your own personal style taste and .3. Which shirt you have chosen to wear. 

The next choice is colour and if you choose a bow-tie, what style do you choose such as a standard bow-tie or butterfly bow-tie for example. When choosing a colour of the bow-tie I would go for dark deep colours, nothing too colourful and certainly no colourful patterns unless they are subtle (such as polka-dot), you don't want to look like a clown and always think 'what would Tom Ford wear'! Here are my top picks:

The Pocket Square

Who would have thought that a square piece of silk, cotton or linen would be such a sartorial success. Personally I wouldn't match the exact colour of your tie with your pocket square, as that is just lazy and shows no creativity at all, plus it reminds me of weddings. Party season style is not wedding style, it's more refined, classic, classy and elegant. Here are my top picks:

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The Scarf

The scarf I'm wearing is from new luxury brand Fisher & Woordes who are one of my menswear finds of the year. They currently have a collection of 3 scarfs which are warm, classic and beautiful and perfect to style with your dinner jacket suit. The brand also crafts belts as in the ones below.

The Socks

Socks are often the most underrated statement of fashion similar to underpants for men as most of the time, they are not why bother right? Well that may be true depending on the length of the cut of your trousers. If you are looking to suave up your sock game then here are some good choices.

The Shoes

My personal preference for choosing the right shoes when wearing a tuxedo is to opt for a pair of patent shoes. Patent leather is a type of coated leather that has a very glossy shine to the finish. Although there are always other options and here are my top picks in the footwear department.

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How to build your entire wardrobe with only 10 outfits | ep. 1 The navy suit

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I like to follow the concept of a minimalist capsule wardrobe but at the same time have great outfits for every occasion. The main requirement for a look to make its way into my wardrobe is to withstand the test of time: it worked ten years ago, it works now, and it will work ten years from now. The first look that fits that bill to a T is a fitted navy suit combined with white button up, grey tie and a finishing touch of a white pocket square.

There are few simple rules you should follow in order to perfectly style your navy suit (and any other suit in general). These include:

The Blazer: There are three things you should pay your attention to when selecting a blazer which are the widths of lapels, length of the sleeves and overall fit. Make sure the lapels on your blazer are rather slim, sometimes wider lapels can make your appearance wider, but this all depends on your body shape. Wider peek lapels are a tailoring classic but do not suit the masses, so I would suggest getting a second or third opinion when going for a wide lapel. A general rule is - don’t have anything wide around your face, because it makes everything else appear wider as well. The Sleeves should be a tiny bit shorter than you might expect (even though it may feel counterintuitive) so that the cuffs of your crisp white shirt show approx. ¾ of an inch below your blazer. Getting the perfect fit is key to everything, pay attention to how much extra space you have in your shoulder area (where the top button of your blazer buttons) and your bicep area. In these areas the blazer should be snug but not tight. You should be able to comfortably put your arms in your jacket yet not to have it too loose, which would create wrinkles of excessive fabric.

The Tie: As Oscar Wilde wisely pointed out “A well tied-tie is the first serious step in life”. Besides knowing how to tie a tie it’s also important to know how to style it correctly. I suggest to follow the same principle as for lapels and go for a slim or semi-slim tie of which a grey tie works wonders with a navy suit. A simple rule you should adhere to is to match the widest measurement of your tie to the suit lapel width. A semi slim tie has a width of around 6 to 6.5cm, measure your ties by calculating the distance between the two widest parts which should be at the tie blade.

The Trousers: You want them to fit you like a fitted pair of jeans. It’s the middle of the spectrum between slim fit and relaxed fit you are looking for.

The Shoes: The key thing to remember about the shoes is that their main role is to complement your outfit and not to make a statement. This is why I believe you should avoid wingtips or any other major details. Also, avoid a boxy shape.

The Pocket Square: There are so many ways to wear a pocket square but my recommendation is simple. Go for the straight line fold. It might be understated yet it screams class. If you are styling your suit and pocket square without a tie, this gives you more freedom to experiment with a pocket square fold.


Now you have my complete guide to one of the top 10 essential looks in men’s wardrobe. I call this look “the confidence booster”. Whether I want to look great when meeting a business client or impress a date, this is the look I can always rely on. Try it for yourself. When you do this look right you will feel like a million dollars, yet, you don't have to part with a million dollars to get it.



Dressing Smart Casual | The Men's Style Edit

When an invite suggests dressing 'Smart Casual' it's always met with question marks around whether to veer more towards smart or casual? For me smart-casual means a pair of trousers or smart jeans, a shirt, blazer and ties, no trainers and certainly no shorts unless you are in Italy in the fashionable Tuscany district, then it's passable. I think many men struggle with dressing smart casual because there are decisions to be made! So in this Style Edit, I've put together an outfit that I would class as smart-casual (*with a little toe more in the smart side).

I've styled a navy suit, as it's always good to turn up to your meeting or event dressed on the smarter side, then you can always lose the blazer for a slightly casual look. Alternatively you could wear a blazer with a pair of smart jeans (no rips) or trousers in contrasting colours. If your trousers are slim or tapered fit then you have the ability to wear a pair of loafers without any socks. On to the shirt, of course a tie is not required so a button-down or even a granddad shirt is the perfect collar type for smart-causal attire. If you want to marten up a little bit, add a touch of class with a pocjet square or silk scarf as I have demonstrated in this look.



Photography by Rebecca Spencer

How to wear a navy suit 5 ways

Here is my latest edition to my 'How to wear an item of men's clothing 5 ways' playlist and if you haven't already watched last weeks post on how to wear a grey suit 5 ways, go check it out. This week I'm showing you how to style a navy suit for work or for a wedding. A navy suit is the most versatile of all suit colours which is why most men have one or more hanging in their wardrobe. Bold colours work well with navy and in particular red, orange and yellow - however so do earthy tones such as brown or green. So here are my 5 looks to arm you with some basic palette choices when wearing a navy suit.







So there you go, my 5 ways to style a men's navy suit - let me know which one you prefer and here is a recap:


As the bell rang for the start of the Moda Exhibition trade show this morning at 9:30am, it's was a perfect time to give you the low down on my brand Hawkins & Shepherd of which I have spent the last 3 years refining. Mainly we're an online brand, but this year is my assault on the high streets of the U.K. so hopefully you guys will finally have the chance to feel and try on our quality products. You shouldn't have to settle for second best and you won't ever have to with Hawkins & Shepherd. So wish us luck for this show.

Hawkins & Shepherd started its life selling traditional 1920's style pin collar shirts, we had and still have the largest pin collar range found anywhere worldwide and this range is ever increasing as it's still our signature product. This year as part of a large scale restyling across the brand and in keeping with market trends, I have designed our first button-down smart casual shirt, available in plain pinpoint weave fabrics as well as print textiles milled in Portugal. 

Prints have been trending among the fashion elite since 2012, with the designs moving away from (now tacky) large animal prints, to smaller floral and now smaller again we are in the era of the micro-print and it's only now that these prints are suitable for shirt design. There is a reason why plain shirts sell best and it's because we like to accessorise with pattern ties and pocket squares. Too much print is a big no no, print on print is a struggle to get right and often ends up too garish. However with the micro print being subtle and discrete, it opens up new possibilities in shirt design and styling of which Hawkins & Shepherd has now dipped its toes into.

Further to our new shirt offerings, we have entered into a partnership collaboration with woman's wear tailor 'to the celebs' Calder London on our very first suit and overcoat range, using British fabrics from Holland & Sherry which are the finest in the world. We have designed a limited edition 100% cashmere overcoat in classic camel and navy which will be retailing at £1,600. If this is not for you, we also have a cashmere blend (20% cashmere, 80% wool) overcoat available in dark grey (burgundy on the underside of collar) and navy (orange on the underside of collar) which will retail at £985. Our suits, which are again British Holland & Sherry fabrics and 100% wool. Hawkins & Shepherd will offer a windowpane/prince of Wales check and small hounds-tooth designs in both single and double breasted cuts. These are retailing at £775. All available to trade this weekend at Moda and will be available online at from the 1st March.

I guess looking in, it all sounds great as I'm brilliant at sugar coating things but it has been a hard slog, if I'm honest. All of this has not come easy and I'm still in so many respects struggling to take the brand to another level. It has been 2.5 years of hard graft, with many successes and failures, although it's the failures that I learn most from. I'm not sure if you know but Hawkins & Shepherd is totally a one man band, it's me, the designer, accountant, tea-boy the lot...and I have SO much passion for my its hard when I don't have immediate success overnight!! I've given up so much to build Hawkins & Shepherd, from giving up a rewarding career, an early night is something of a rarity these days, my front room is now a storage room for shirts, I now work harder than I ever have and the salary, well what salary!!! Saying that I love every minute of it, I love sharing with my readers stories of my brand and other brands that I work with. I also now have a greater knowledge of what makes menswear products great which I can pass on to you. 

So finishing with a shameless plea, please please please help SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BLOGGER (me!) AND BRAND (Hawkins & Shepherd)!!! It would mean the world to me...just call it a donation, to help me build the brand xx




Photo Credit Sophie Milner