Hawkins & Shepherd Celebrates its 6th Year | A look into their future plans

Today I mark the 6th year anniversary of Hawkins & Shepherd. I want to thank many of my new and existing customers who not only support the brand, but reach out to me personally to thank me for the quality of service. 

The luxury shirtmaking industry is a fiercely competitive one. London has a great pedigree of manufacturing made to measure shirts, I'm humbled and proud to align myself (dare I say) with some of the marquee names such as Emma Willis, New & Lingwood, Turnbull & Asser etc. 

Whilst I might not have quite the history of some of these notorious ateliers, I've been inspired by their commitment to quality. As Hawkins & Shepherd continues to grow I want to give you some tiny insights into what lies in store for Hawkins & Shepherd. 

Sustainability. I'm currently looking into different fabrics that can provide a more eco-friendly alternative to cotton. The eco-textile market is an ever shape-shifting landscape and it's very much early days, but I can tell you I'm currently keeping an eye on reports out of Finland on a fabric called Ioncell that's derived from birch trees. 

The website will be getting an overhaul to enable a more slick user experience. I'm currently in talks with 3 developers that will help bring my vision to reality.  

I'm also looking to offer more style advice on what to wear for formal occasions. As you may have seen in recent weeks I've had the pleasure and privilege to be invited to some of the most prestigious events in the country such as Ascot, Goodwood and Henley

I don't want anyone to be floundered at what to wear to these events. DM me or comment below for any advice, more than happy to help. 

I've also teamed up with some other mens fashion influencers to offer unique discount codes on some of my shirts. I don't want to give too much away at this point but stay tuned James Bond fans! 

All these ideas I'm implementing to help strengthen my position in the luxury shirt market. As well as constantly releasing new seasons collections such as the New Cashmerello range, I'm also in the throes of recording 'versus' YouTube videos, pitching my shirts against other high street brands. 

If you're interested in knowing what makes a luxury shirt and the differences you should be looking out for, please check a previous post on The Perfect Shirt

The Perfect Shirt | Top 5 Ways to Know if You’re Buying a Luxury Shirt

Today I’m going to give you 5 things that make the difference on a luxury dress shirt. I’ve been running Hawkins & Shepherd for around 6 years now and have acquired a lot of knowledge and experience in the shirt making industry. Here are some things that I look out for immediately when determining the quality of a shirt.

THE COLLAR

The collar on a man’s dress shirt needs to be high quality. The first thing I look for is edge stitching. What is edge stitching? This is a term given when the stitching runs to the edge of the seam It’s harder to do as a tailor because there is less room for error so therefore it takes longer. It’s a technique that takes greater skill.

Most shirts will have quarter edge stitching.

Another thing to look out for on the collar is whether the collar is non-fused. There will be a lining in a collar that is sometimes fused to the fabric on one if not both sides. It’s a cheaper and quicker way to manufacture shirts. Sadly that adhesive used to fuse the collar can perish and react with the fabric over time and washes. You may have recognised a bubbling effect on your collars if you’re buying entry level shirts. To test whether you are buying a quality dress shirt you should be able to pull the fabric away from the lining on both sides. 

Lastly don’t forget about the removable collar stays. Entry level shirts will have them fused in which can be problematic when ironing. Plus ironing over plastic is not desirable and over time will leave nasty indentations on the collar.

STITCHING

Let’s talking about stitching on a dress shirt. Stitching is the most expensive part when it comes to manufacturing. Especially if the shirt is composed using single needle side seam stitching. (Try saying that after one too many Heinekens). A cheaper method of manufacturing is to use the double needle. But single needle leaves a beautiful finish.  

THE SPLIT YOKE  

The all-important split yoke. I’m talking about the block of fabric situated on the back of the shirt that sits over the shoulders. A split yolk means that 2 pieces of fabric lay over the shoulders. It fits better on the shoulders and there is more flow if you have a split yolk. If there is a pattern shirt then it’s more of a design aspect as to whether you chose to have a split yoke.

Personally I like a non-split yoke when its striped or checked. Watch for a split yoke on a lower quality shirt, quite often the patterns will not match up. 

FRONT PLACKET 

I love it clean no stitching. These might come down to personal preferences but there are certain features that will distinguish a luxury dress shirt.

The front placket should without question have mother of pearl buttons mother of pearl buttons, tightly sewn to the placket.

 Every buttonhole should be sewn vertically, apart from the bottom one. This needs to be sewn horizontally which will allow freedom of movement. The bottom button hole will often be the one that sees the most action and needs to flex with the body.  

Talking of movement, look at the gusset of the shirt. A well-constructed shirt will have the triangle area to allow for more movement. It also cleans the hem to a nice finish.

 Some shirts are over engineered with different fabric on the front. I personally don’t see this as a luxury choice. Just extra fuss and a distraction.

The fabric entry level for a luxury shirt will be a  cotton twin 100's. The higher you go up in the yarn count the finer is going to be and more often the softer. Lower yarn count like 40’s, 60’s will be a thicker fabric and not conducive for a dress shirt.

SLEEVES

It’s crucial that the shoulders line up pattern wise with the arms. Again there should be no fused linings in the cuff. I also look for a smaller button on the sleeve placket. I love double button cuff personally, but that it not deemed a feature of luxury, more tradition. If I have a sharp cut in the collar I would also look the same in the cuff, rounded cuffs and collar. 

Introducing the Luxury Shirt Collection by Hawkins & Shepherd

Today I'm very excited to announce the launch of The Luxury Collection by Hawkins & Shepherd. It's been in the pipeline now for a long time. This collection of luxury shirts uses the finest fabrics in the world and the highest level of handmade shirt tailoring.

Within the collection I have two different kinds of luxury shirts; the Cashmerello shirt which is a luxurious blend of 15% Cashmere and 85% two fold 120's Swiss Cotton and the Soyella Duecento shirt which are a Two-ply 2/200 fabric.

Tell me what makes these shirts luxury?

Mens shirts have become something of an obsession for me. I have to have the best quality, the best fabric, the best cut. The finish on these London shirts are just beautiful. Look at the stitching on the collar, it's as close to the edge as you can get which denotes the quality.

Now look at the stitching on the collar of a Charles Tyrwhitt shirt. You can immediately see how safe the stitching is because they've brought the finish in at least 10ml from the collar edge.

Please note this is not an attack on Charles Tyrwhitt shirts. From online reviews they provide adequate shirts at an accessible price. I'm merely attempting to clarify and distinguish what makes my shirts superior and where the extra money is being spent.

The cuffs on both shirts are double buttoned only the Cashmerello shirt comes with curve edges, whilst the Soyella Duecento shirt features cut edges. Both are adorned with mother of pearl buttons.

For what occasions can I wear these luxury shirts? 

These are not dress shirts, the colours are not conducive to black tie events. Unless you buy them in white of course. However, men’s formal shirts are not quite as formal as they once were. With the advent of casual Friday and the up rise of men working from home, men are no longer restricted to wearing white shirts to the office. 

Luxury shirts brands such as Hawes and Curtis, Thomas Pink and Turnbull & Asser have also cottoned on to this (pardon the pun) with their recent capsules introducing dress-down collections. 

I'd recommend these UK shirts for most formal events. If you're looking to make a statement and want to feel confident when walking into a room. 

The Colours of Summer: Hawkins & Shepherd Spring Summer Pastels Collection

I'm taking a quick time out from the travel log and want to bring to your attention some new Spring/Summer Pastels available on the Hawkins & Shepherd site. 

We're emerging into that time of year when you start looking at your shirts and thinking they look a bit tired. They call it a Spring clean for a reason right? There's no better time to rejuvenate your wardrobe with a shirt subscription service through Hawkins & Shepherd

Current Shirt Trends 

For me I'm really trend-led. I do believe in producing quality timeless shirts that have a proven track record of not just fawning to flavour of the month clubs. 

I've intergraded some strong bold stripes and into the H&S Spring/Summer shirt range this year. Pink pastes and fresh colour palettes are also available. 

There is something for everyone not only in the varying types of colours, but the collars also come in curve tab, cutaway, pin collars etc. 

I'm very excited about this collection of ready to wear shirts. The fresh pastel colours for this Spring/Summer season is a reflection of where my head is at right now. Clean lines, positive radiant colours. 

I want these shirts to be worn with confidence. I want you to be bamboozled by the quality of these shirts. I want you to question why some shirt makers get to charge double the price for only half the end result. How some brands get to exist purely on their name. 

The pastel hues of pink, lilac, blue, mint etc, these are all neutral Spring/Summer colours that are interchangeable with staple garments you probably already own. Dark blue jeans, Navy blazer, the tan shoes etc. 

Spring/Summer sees the return of drinks by the river, smart-casual garden parties, the Henley Regatta, Race meetings, first dates in the beer garden and so on. We don't just want you to own one Spring/Summer shirt but have a modest collection on a revolving carousel. Take a look at the shirt subscription package to see how you can save money on upgrading your wardrobe.

You'll keep your friends and your work colleagues on their toes with how new and refreshed you look every time they see you. 

I've worked hard on the designs and it's taken time to bring the concept to market. I'd very much appreciate you leaving a comment on what your favourite Spring/Summer shirt is in the comment box below. 

https://www.hawkinsandshepherd.com/collections/spring-summer-collection

 

The Marc Darcy Look: Level up without breaking the bank

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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.

UK Shirt Subscription Service | Hawkins & Shepherd


I've been asked on a variety of occasions to explain the minutia of the shirt subscription service on Hawkins & Shepherd, so I'd like to walk you through it. 


Why do I need a shirt subscription service? 

Reason One

Shirts are the most used item of clothing a man could own. Unlike our American counterparts, us Brits rarely wear a vest beneath the shirts so the garment is in constant contact with our skin. Meaning it should be washed or dry cleaned more regularly. 

We also wear out our shirts quick. The elbows start to perish as they meet every day demands of being rubbed on our desks. The collars start to deteriorate and discolour. It's important for someone who wears shirts daily not only to equip oneself with a decent supply of shirts, but to have them on rotation. 


Reason Two 

You also don't want to be the guy in the office that is Mr Predictable. You don't want your co-workers to think 'he's wearing his Monday shirt' or 'he's wearing that shirt still with the toothpaste stain on the chest'. 

You're redoubtable presence in the office will not go unnoticed if you appear fresh and well-groomed for the workplace every day. 


Reason Three

Save time, save money. You don't need to shop around and look for discounts, waste weekends fruitlessly maundering the high street in search of your correct size. With the Hawkins & Shepherd subscription service we take out all the heavy lifting and ship direct to your door. 


How does the shirt subscription service work? 

We have broken the subscription service down into 3 tiers, dependent on budget and how demanding your lifestyle can be. 


Enthusiast - One Shirt per Month 

If you are a business traveller or maybe you just love the feel a crisp new shirt gives you, then this is the package for you. You can either opt for a 6 month or 12 month subscription package. UK Customers Only. You'll be asked for a few details such as collar size, colour and fit and once selected we'll be sending a shirt out to you every month at 40% off the price of an average shirt. 



Executive - One shirt every 2 months

If you wear shirts every day for work, they can become stiff, discoloured and worn. Keep up your sartorial game with this package. 

With a 12 month subscription package you'll be able to get 6 shirts a year at 30% off. 



Essential - One shirt every quarter

Everyone should to be able to wear a Hawkins & Shepherd luxury shirt. Split the cost of one shirt over the period of 3 months with this package. This is a great deal for those that are on a limited spend, but still want to have the option of getting a fresh look with an investment piece. With the Essential package you'll be getting 4 shirts a year with a 20% discount. 

If you have any questions regarding this service then please do not hesitate to ask. We aim to answer all questions within 24 hours. 

 

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

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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

Plain Shirts Vs Pattern Shirts by Duchamp

Following on from my popular blog post How to wear a floral shirt and still look effortlessly cool I've gone shopping at Duchamp London who are renowned for making exceptional pattern shirts and plain ones too for the record! The purpose of this experiment is to take two shirts, one plain and one floral which have similar colour tones and style them in exactly the same outfit to see how easy it is to a) completely change a look by simply mixing up your shirts and (b) wear a pattern shirt and still look great.

As a shirt maker myself with Hawkins & Shepherd, I can appreciate a great shirt when I see one and Duchamp are incredible, the fabrics are unique, their tailoring is exquisite and their attention to the finer details is spot on.

For this challenge I've chosen a purple palette for the shirts which I've styled with a pair of black trousers, black blazer, grey socks and finally a pair of black brogues. With the plain shirt it appeared much more formal then wearing the patterned shirt and therefore styled better tucked in whereas the pattern shirt, although still smart in appearance gave the look a bit more of a casual feel to it.

WHICH ONE DO YOU PREFER? Plain or Pattern.

SHOP THE LOOK

Photography by Sophie Milner

Experience Made-to-Measure at Brooks Brothers | 150 Regent Street, London

My first introduction to Brooks Brothers was this week, where I was chosen as the UK influencer to represent London in their European campaign showcasing the made-to-measure experience alongside their other influencers in Rome, Milan and Madrid. As a lover of the exquisite craft of tailoring, it was a goal of mine to work with and learn from such a historic tailor such as Brooks Brothers which established themselves in 1818. Brooks Brothers flagship store, located at 150 Regent Street in London, is a vast expanse sprawled across two floors including their exclusive made-to-measure experience, pool table and a lounge relaxation area where you can sit down and browse their collection of suit, coat and shirt fabrics.

Brooks Brothers are an American tailoring icon, renowned for exceptional customer service, quality fabrics and the best tailors. They are offering their existing customers and a new generation of Londoners to experience their made-to-measure service of which you can enjoy 25% off until October 1st 2017.

Brooks Brothers' fine tailoring meets the extraordinary quality of Proraso's products and Carter and Bond’s barber shop expertise, offering a pleasingly old fashioned and flawless shaving experience. Customers wishing to create their bespoke Brooks Brothers suit will be greeted in a temporary Barber Shop area within the store, receiving an impeccable and professional shaving or beard and moustache regulation. 

I joined fellow influencers Fabio Attanasio, Giorgio Giangiulio and Alvaro Arce for the London Made to Measure Experience, narrating the creation of my own MTM suit and Proraso barber service.

The Brooks Brothers MTM configurator launched last Spring/Summer, continues accompanying clients in their online suits’ and shirts’ customisation through a wide selection of fabrics, pockets, buttons and vents. By booking an appointment in their favourite store, at home or in the office, clients finalise their MTM experience with the help of a qualified MTM specialist.

During the whole made-to-measure experience, I was extremely at ease and relaxed mainly because of the beautiful setting in their Regent Street store and the fantastic staff who cannot do enough for you, to make you feel welcome. My made to measure experience started with a tailor measuring me for my shirt, followed by the suit jacket, then trousers but it all depends on your requirements. If you would like to get a new autumn/winter coat tailored especially for you, then the tailor can advice you on the optimal length, size, style and fabrics that work well when making coats. The key is to trust your tailor, take their advice but also add your own ideas of personality into the mix - maybe it's an extra button or turn-ups on your trousers, make it personal to you.

Brooks Brothers' scour the planet for the finest fabrics made from only the best raw materials which is why it might take you a while to flick through all of their fabric swatches...but take your time and make sure you get the perfect suit for you! Personally I went for a 100% cashmere suit jacket in camel and a contrast pair of trousers in dark grey, both fabrics were in a herringbone weave and I made the trousers slim fit with bold turn-ups.

After getting measured up for my new suit it was time to get groomed using the extraordinary quality of Proraso's products and Carter and Bond’s barber shop expertise.  

Proraso is a Florentine brand founded by Ludovico Martelli producing high quality products. Thanks to its centenary experience, it has served the daily care of three generations of men.

Established in 1818, Brooks Brothers was the first to offer ready-to-wear clothing and has continued throughout history with iconic product introductions including: seersucker, madras, the non-iron shirt and the original button-down collar. Nearly two centuries later, Brooks Brothers is proud to uphold the same traditions and values and to be the destination for ladies and gentlemen from every generation. Since its founding 199 years ago, in New York, Brooks Brothers has become a legendary international retailer while maintaining a steadfast commitment to exceptional service, quality, style and value.

It is safe to say that, Gentlemen you are in great hands with Brooks Brothers.

Photography by Stefano Massè

The Must Have Summer Shirt Collection by Hawkins & Shepherd Tailored for Versatility

When it comes to fine shirt making you do not have to look too far, in fact you are already online, so just click on one of the images above and you've found them! In an increasingly digital world Hawkins & Shepherd have focused on operating solely in an online marketplace giving their customers across the globe an equal opportunity to wear their exceptional cotton shirts. Hawkins & Shepherd which was launched in 2013, continues to grow, improve and supply its loyal customers with the best in men's shirts. Many of the London based shirt makers still own retail spaces, which are extremely costly in terms of rent, security and staffing. Paying for these overheads has to come from somewhere and that often leads to selling an inferior product at a higher price, making more profit margins. Being online only, you do not have these costs and are therefore able to offer a better quality shirt for a better price - which is why a Hawkins & Shepherd shirt will ALWAYS be handmade using skilful tailors and the best fabrics.

At Hawkins & Shepherd, they realise that more men are after versatile shirts that can be worn day-to-night. A shirt that looks equally great in the office, walking along a marina on holiday as well as going for dinner or drinks. This summer collection has been designed with that in mind, a truly perfect shirt for this summer, holiday season. They've handcrafted their shirts using 100% cotton fabric in an Oxford breathable weave. The patterns are clean lines in a variety of pastel colours and a variety of different collar types to suit everyones personal style preference.

The Hawkins & Shepherd Summer pastel shirts are simply the best choice to look smart, cool & stylish. Now also available in plain super-soft luxury cotton.

At Hawkins & Shepherd, they are forever evolving and looking for new and exciting fabrics with even higher quality, so keep your eyes peeled for their developments as there will be some exciting improviments to the website and well as their products in the coming months.

Where I shop for specific items of men's clothing

Everyone has their favourite shops that you head directly to, without passing GO or grabbing a coffee, when arriving at Bluewater, London Westfield or on Oxford Street. Well I'm no different. Depending on what I'm looking for I'll head straight to the brands that I know, fit well, are within budget and that I have brought from before and loved. With this outfit I did just that and here is where I brought each item from and why.

Firstly lets discuss the specs. I have had my eyes lasered for about 8 years when both eyes were short sighted at around -4.75. For those of you who wear glasses will understand that -4.75 is blind to the extent of you can barely read size 68 font when it is right in front on you. My eyes have since deteriorated slightly and I now have to wear glasses again, but lucky for me the styles have changed from gold rimmed, thick lenses with transformers (girl's had My Little Pony) on the sides to the designs that Kite are producing now. I found Kite through Instagram and have loved their optical designs ever since. They have a store in Westfield Stratford where you can get your eyes tested and customise your own frames for a flat fee and they have some incredible modern frames to choose from.

Next up is the shirt. Now there really is only one place to get your formal shirts from and that is Hawkins & Shepherd. A Hawkins & Shepherd shirt is always handmade and are crafted in a small family run tailors who take care in their work - unlike so many other shirt makers who factory run their work with no care and attention. Hawkins & Shepherd are only available online but have recently launched their AW16 collection of new pin collar shirts, button down shirts, suits and made-in-Britain cashmere overcoats.

Reiss is my destination for mid-range priced classic coats. Every season without fail they deliver, I mean their designs don't change too much but that fabric hues they use are always on style. This coat is their GABRIEL and priced at £295 and is sure to a sell-out piece.

My jeans are from Superdry. It isn't my normal destination for jeans, although I have felt that the standards and workmanship that go into jeans recently has declined due to so many affordable pairs entering the market. I recall a time when I used to spend a minimum of £125 on a pair of Diesel jeans, although for the last 5 years my shopping habits for denim has changed to affordable and I have brought most of my pairs from Topman or ASOS. Well I was on the search for a pair of jeans what were great quality but will not break the bank and I found them at Superdry of all places for £65.

My shoes are made by John White from Northamptonshire so the quality of craftsmanship that goes into them is great and you can really feel the comfort when you wear a pair. These brogue shoes with a grain exterior in a tan colour are available through Hawkins & Shepherd.

I've accessorised with a pair of quilted dark brown gloves from Barbour and a 100% silk navy polka-dot scarf from Hawkins & Shepherd.

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Photography by Rebecca Spencer

HAWKINS & SHEPHERD SHIRTS FOR SPRING/SUMMER 2016

Luxury men's shirt makers Hawkins and Shepherd have returned stronger than ever this Spring/Summer season with their new-look collection as part of a wider evolution across the styling of the brand. The introduction of their new button-down and pattern shirts are in keeping with market trends. As always, Hawkins & Shepherd shirts use the finest cotton fabrics and classic, handmade tailoring. Don't expect them to be in stores for some time, so get online and shop today, as this collection is limited edition and while stocks last. 

Hawkins & Shepherd White Button-Down Shirt

Hawkins & Shepherd White Button-Down Shirt

It feels odd writing a piece on my own shirts  but who best to do that than myself as I have put so much sweat and tears into getting Hawkins & Shepherd where it is today and I'm so proud of the brand.

Our button-down shirts have small details that stand out subtly whilst sticking to minimalistic, classic shirt tailoring. For example we stitch the top button hole and the last button hole in a different colour that compliments the shirt fabric perfectly. 

Our pattern printed shirt fabric has come from Portugal and is a limited edition, when they are gone their gone. The pattern collection centres around micro prints...paisley, geometric and polka dots are my designers favourites.

What to expect from Hawkins & Shepherd in the future? We have designed our first Hawkins & Shepherd Suit and Overcoat range in collaboration with Savile Row trained tailor Laura from Calder London using Britain's finest fabrics from Holland & Sherry. The suits will consist of single and double-breasted options and will be made to order. Our overcoat range will consist of two 100% Cashmere limited edition camel and navy jackets.

This is a major step forward for Hawkins & Shepherd but one that has been at the request of the label’s loyal customer feedback. We are small enough to react quickly to our customers’ wishes and in many ways they shape what we do as a company.

Hawkins & Shepherd Blue Micro Geometric Print Button-Down Shirt

Hawkins & Shepherd Blue Micro Geometric Print Button-Down Shirt

SHOP HAWKINS & SHEPHERD SS16 SHIRT COLLECTION HERE

Photo Credit Kylie Eyra

JANUARYS BEST BUYS

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January for most of us consists of looking for bargains in the SALE, doing dry January and saving your pennies for Valentines Day (check out my gift guide for her here). I however went on a bit of a spending spree, as remember my New Year starts from 1st Feb...last month was merely a trial month which has been well and truly ripped off my calendar and binned. Here are my best buys, all of which will be reviewed at greater depth in separate posts in the near future.

 

OLYMPUS PEN E-PL7

I'm starting to get a little collection of cameras now and I have added the Olympus Pen E-PL7 to my Nikon D5000, Canon GX7 and Panasonic DMC-GF6...time to sell one maybe, any offers!? I brought the retro silver and black style packaged with a pancake lens then brought an additional 45mm lens for exceptional blogging photos. I'll be reading the manual front to back all week and will come up with my beginners guide to blogging with an Olympus Pen E-PL7 very soon.

HAWKINS & SHEPHERD SHIRTS

London's finest shirt makers, Hawkins & Shepherd have just brought out their first range of button-down and pattern shirts for this 2016 Spring/Summer season. Don't expect them to be in stores for some time, so get online and shop today, as this collection is limited edition and while stocks last. Check back in the next week or two for some styled looks with these shirts.

A NEW SIGNATURE SCENT

I have been a long admirer of Creed Fragrances and visited their Mayfair store last year (read the review here). I've been wearing the same old average, boring aftershaves for too long....you know the same ones that everyone has. I have been wanting a new fragrance for a while so splashed out on two of my favourite aftershaves by Creed. I'll be reviewing both fragrances soon an deciding on what will be my day and night scents.

COPPER MUGS

I haven't exactly been doing dry January as I mentioned....actually the total opposite. I've hit a couple of cocktail bars recently who always seem to be serving their cocktail in copper mugs, a trend? Yes maybe but I'm a sucker for following the in crowd, so I brought some. Not quite sure why - but they are pretty awesome!!

MINT GREEN - THE ESSENTIAL SUMMER COLOUR

As expected the greens didn't reach new heights in the recent UK elections but they get my vote for the colour of the season. Green has been the most underrated colour for a few seasons and with brands such as BOSIE by Stytched.co.uk and luxury shirt makers Hawkins & Shepherd coming out with some beautiful designs, its time for change.

Green is quite a hard colour to style, which is why a lot of men avoid it. Although if you go for lighter shades such as mint you have much more choice when choosing how to style it. 

You many hear remarks such as 'Blue and Green should never be seen,' but that's not necessarily true. Lighter shades of green, again such as mint go extremely well with blues. Yet for todays look I have chosen a dark shade of grey as I think the colours work perfect together.

When putting together this look I wanted to focus on unique accessories that I cant find anywhere on the high streets as I want to give you - my readers - a unique experience rather than blogging about the same old rubbish that so many other menswear bloggers do!

So after a small amount of research, I have found this amazing new online boutique called stytched.co.uk - you should check them out. 

Stytched specialises in men's accessories with designers and brands that are not available anywhere else in the UK. Their range is currently quite small but their products are unique, luxury yet affordable, and I'm personally very interested to see how they grow.

Their frosted mint skinny tie has been designed by a New York based brand called BOSIE. When you see this tie up close, you can really tell that it is a result of fine craftsmanship and a labour of love, which makes the touch and feel of this tie that little bit more special.

Next on my hit list of accessories was their navy tie bar with palm tree detail, this time by a completely different designer called Riada which is the brainchild of Jasmine Adair.

I can assure you that the quality and love that has gone into these products is fantastic and it's not all about brand names: it is time to give the smaller niche companies an opportunity to shine because it's often these places that you'll still find quality at a decent price...rather than just paying for a label.

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Tie by Stytched.co.uk | Tie Bar by Stytched.co.uk | Hawkins & Shepherd Shirt | M&S Suit | Hawkins & Shepherd Socks | Grenson Shoes | Hawkins & Shepherd Flower Lapel

HOW TO WEAR GINGHAM CHECKS

When looking at shirt trends this Spring Summer, I immediately think of the gingham check worn in a smart casual look. Here I have chosen to wear a penny cutaway collar shirt but this look would also work well with a casual button-down collar.

This is a great versatile look that can span through Spring & Summer:

Spring: On cool days, add a thin jumper. When the sun peeks out from behind the clouds or for a more casual look just remove your blazer roll the sleeves. 

Summer: Leave the blazer at home, roll the sleeves. The shirt would also work well with shorts over a white t-shirt and unbuttoned.

But what is Gingham check?

First and foremost it is a check fabric, woven so that the difference colours contrast in subtle and bold tones and can be found in different size checks. 

Gingham is a medium-weight balanced plain-woven fabric made from dyed cotton or cotton-blend yarn. It is made of carded, medium or fine yarns, where the colouring is on the warp yarns and always along the grain.

 

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Reiss Grey Blazer  | Hawkins & Shepherd Shirt | ASOS Boots | Hawkins & Shepherd Socks | ASOS Jeans

THE DECK CHAIR SHIRT!

When choosing fabric and designing the Hawkins & Shepherd Spring Summer 2015 collection, I wanted to go bright and bold to accompany their popular yet safe essentials collection.

Bold stripes and gingham checks are what I decided to focus on and will be THE designs to have throughout SS15 and even AW15. Although they are beautiful shirts, they are also hard to style correctly and therefore often avoided and instead opting for the bog standard whites and blues.

Well today is lesson one in how to style them. It is important to match bold colours in particular stripes with a block colour and in this case I chose navy. Try to keep the small details small and not over used or over powering. In this look I have gone for Hawkins & Shepherd Red wool socks but thats it with the red accessorising. It would be too much to then add a red pocket square..its one or the other.

Other than the coffee, which was awesome by the way; thanks The Chelsea Quarter Cafe on Kings Road - the only other accessory I have worn is a navy tie pin with palm tree details by stytched.co.uk. The worst sin when wearing a tie bar is if the tie bar hangs over the edge of the tie and with this particular bar being 1.75" in length is it perfect for semi-skinny and classed width ties.

Where to position your tie bar? Divide your tie into thirds. The bar should be pinned one third of the way down from your knot.

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Suit Supply French Navy Suit  | Hawkins & Shepherd Shirt | Gibson London Tie | Hawkins & Shepherd Socks | Black Brogue Shoes

THE MUST HAVE SHIRT STYLES FOR SS15

We all know that Spring can be a tough month to dress due to the changeable weather and with Summer creeping slowly into the picture it may be time to refresh your wardrobe with some new shirt offerings.

Spring and Summer shirts need to be breathable so you’ll have to choose the correct weave for the weather. My recommendation would be to go for a poplin weave, which is simple in design, light and breathable. Avoid heavy weaves such as herringbone or Oxford.

Now that I have saved you from those embarrassing sweat patches, it is time to work on your style. So make an effort guys, don’t follow the norm and always take pride in your appearance whilst feeling comfortable in what you are wearing.

Here are my must have shirt styles this season:

The Gingham check

Let the iconic gingham check take centre stage. This distinctive design is perfect for your Friday shirt as it looks great styled with a plain tie or unbuttoned during your well deserved after work pint.

Go Green

I’m not expecting the greens to light up any records in the polls but they get my vote for the colour of the season. Green has been the most underrated shirt colour for a few seasons but with luxury shirt makers Hawkins & Shepherd and Eton Shirts coming out with some beautiful designs, its time for change.

Prince of Wales Check

Often voted as one of GQ’s best dressed men, the Prince of Wales check is fabrics best dressed weave. Classic and versatile, this royal style should be in everyone’s wardrobe.

Bold Stripes

Evolution, from fine stripes to medium stripes, its time to go bold or go home.

Floral Prints

The marmite of shirts! These shirts will turn heads good or bad. Wear these styles with confidence and you’ll be fine.

5 OFFICE WEAR ESSENTIALS

It’s easy to slip into old (and boring) habits with office wear: the same old shirt and tie combos, a worn out jacket, and some drab trousers. Are you guilty? It’s a simple formula that works, but it’s a lot easier to shake up your office wear than you might think. Take a read of my 5 office wear essentials...

The Friday Shirt

It’s a Friday and everyone’s ready to break out of the office and go for a pint, so meet your new favourite dual-purpose shirt. Smart enough to keep a professional aesthetic, but casual enough to go from office to bar by simply taking off your tie and rolling up your sleeves.

Brogues

Brogues should be an essential item for any man, especially within their office wear wardrobe. Their classic style is incredibly versatile: they can be worn with a suit if you work in The City or with casual jeans if you’re a media or tech worker. 

Socks

One of the easiest ways to add a splash of colour or personality to simple office wear attire is with a pair of socks. They’ve fast become a statement piece. Go bold but keep it classy in rich and bright colours.

Tie/Pocket Square

Another way to add some colour and personality to your office wear is with ties and pocket square. But one of my personal preferences is to not match the tie and Pocket Square. Never over coordinate or overdo the pocket square, tie, and socks. Too many bold colours, or using the same colour too often will look like you’re trying too hard and will guarantee a few dodgy looks in the office.

Gym Bag

The final office wear essential has to be the gym bag. Fitness is a major part of most men’s lives and the easiest way to incorporate a good fitness routine is by working out before or after work. Make sure you get a gym bag large enough to comfortably fit in all of your kit, trainers, and protein shake. Avoid looking like a 90’s office reject by opting for a duffle or barrel bag instead.

5 MUST HAVES FOR SPRING

It feels like spring is finally here in London. The sun’s out and the weather is definitely warming up, so what better time than to give your wardrobe a bit of a refresh. Here are my 5 must haves for men’s style this spring.

Lightweight jumper

Finally it’s time to say goodbye to chunky knits. Nobody wants to be getting hot and sweaty wrapped up in a heavy knitted jumper when you’re spending the weekend in a beer garden, so one of my must haves for spring is a lightweight jumper. Thin merino wool is an ideal springtime alternative and can easily be layered over a shirt.

Lightweight trench coat 

It’s starting to get a bit too warm for leather and it certainly feels like there’s no need for heavy wool blend coats anymore. My second must have for spring is a timeless trench coat. This is a classic menswear piece that nobody should be without. Shorter style trench coats that fit just below the hip are an easy option and look less formal. Beige will look classic and the neutral colour is ideal for springtime, but navy and black are other versatile and wearable options. It’s lightweight and easy to take off when you’re on the tube and hold in your hands for when things do get a bit warmer.

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Shirts

Heavier blend shirts need to be put to the back of your wardrobe in favour of lighter more breathable weaves for spring. Poplin is always a good option, or lighter cotton. Now the weather is warming up it’s easier to ditch the coat and just wear a shirt and blazer to work.

Roll necks

Just because it’s warming up doesn’t mean it’s time to ditch this classic knit. The key to making roll necks work for spring is by keeping the knit light and by not over layering. The roll neck works as a great alternative to a shirt under a jacket or blazer and was seen across major menswear shows for SS15 such as Louis Vuitton, Katie Eary and Alexander McQueen. Ditch the darker colours in favour of lighter shades of greys and neutrals.  

Desert boots

My final must have for spring is the Desert Boot. Lying in-between casual and formal, desert boots are an easy way to smarten up an outfit that would have looked too casual with trainers, or dress down a slightly more formal look. 

Men's Spring Layering

Men's Spring Layering