London Sock Company | Why these socks can make you cry

Believe me this is possibly the best gift you can send someone this Christmas. London Sock Company, a men's luxury fashion brand that focuses on creating beautifully packaged stylish socks and gift boxes, has now integrated an in-built audio-visual screen that plays a personalised message to the lucky recipient. 

I love this! Not only because you get to feel like Ethan Hunt being sent a Mission to accept, but it brings a little humanity back into Christmas.

Those little things that count for everything. When you open a gift and you know, someone has spent the time getting that, making that. There is thought, design, heart and time that has gone into that gift. Perhaps that's not something you necessarily associate with socks and accessories, but London Sock Company has completely changed the landscape on that. 

Your video can be up to 60 seconds long, and is simply recorded during checkout. (Full and easy step by step guide over on the website). 

Each box comes with 15 pairs of their most stylish socks, and if you're a bit camera shy then fear not worry, as model and investor David Gandy has already recorded a few words on there for you.

Not only does this inject emotion into a typically perfunctory present, but the recipient will also be able to brag about wearing the same socks adorned by a host of celebrity and high profile wearers such as David Gandy, Daniel Craig, Tom Hiddleston, The Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, to name only a few. 

SHOP THEIR VIDEO GIFT SETS BELOW

*This sponsored post was created in collaboration with London Sock Company.

Brightening up London with Happy Socks

London needs some cheering up as it has been quite an odd June for our nations capital. Firstly 60% of London voted to remain as part of the EU, however it was the minority 40% of London but overall country majority that ended up celebrating BREXIT. Moving on to our nations sport, England scraped through a poor qualifying group at Euro 2016 only to be humbled, out-thought and out-classed by minnows Iceland in a 2-1 defeat in the last 16 of the competition. I can safely say, the best thing about the UK right now is watching Love Island!

So I took my favourite pairs of Happy Socks on a little journey around the streets of London with the amazing photographer Ella H. Firstly I headed over to see Big Ben and the House of Parliament then we headed over to Snog (not literally - snog the desert van) along the Southbank to eat some frozen yogurt on some deck chairs and in true London style, it started to rain.

Head over to Happy Socks on Instagram and you'll find some of the most creative imagery of their colourful socks, thats what got me excited about working with them. A challenge to add my own style and creativity to match the happiness of their socks. 177K people around the world also love Happy Socks and working with them, their products and understanding their brand ethos - it is easy to see why they are the most followed sock brand.

Happy Socks started in 2008, where two friends had a vision to spread happiness by turning an everyday essential into a colourful design piece with a rigid standard of ultimate quality, craftsmanship and creatively. 

 

MY HAPPY SOCKS TOP PICKS

Photography by Ella H

AN INSIDE LOOK: PANTHERELLA & TUSTING

LOOK INSIDE PANTHERELLA

LOOK INSIDE TUSTING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

MY FAVOURITE PANTHERELLA SOCKS

 

MY FAVOURITE TUSTING LEATHER GOODS

Thank you for reading, Carl x

CNYTTAN SOCKS

When searching for a luxury sock brand to stock at Hawkins & Shepherd, I wanted to take my time to bring you something a little bit different, yet would accompany my sartorial side.

There are some great British sock brands, all of which use quality materials - however they were all very same same or a bit too wacky for us. 

I came across CNYTTAN socks on instagram as their images stood out as exceptional, so I decided to dig deeper into this (at the time and for me) unknown brand.

Digging deeper I found out that CNYTTAN socks have been featured in editorials in GQ, Esquire, Arena, Men's Health and MAXIM magazines. If stylists are using this brand in their styled looks for all of these magazines then they must be exceptional quality and eye catching.

It feels great to bring this luxury, sartorial sock brand from South Korea into the UK via Hawkins & Shepherd. Their socks make a public statement rather than hiding behind impersonal anonymity.

For me socks are key to any outfit and especially formalwear. It is a small accessory which can transform an outfit effortlessly whether its bold colours, stripes or subtle tones. Their simple shapes, variety of attractive gentle hues, comfortable materials and classic designs together express the fusion of timeless and stylish values representative of our time.

What I love about these socks is the exceptional quality materials they use and the best quality build using hand linking. For those of you who are not familiar with that term, hand linking is a method of closing the toe seam by pairing together the stitches on either side, then linking them with a single thread to create a uniformly smooth and perfectly flat finish. The cheaper alternative is to overlock the seam which can often cause discomfort, particularly noticeable when a perfectly-fitting shoe is worn.

Knitted with the greatest care, CNYTTAN socks aim to deliver unequaled ingenuity and craftsmanship to discerning customers. The craftsmanship and constant attention to detail that is given to the product is never compromised and truly sets CNYTTAN apart in this day and age.

 

STYLED IMAGES

 

SOCK COLLECTIONS AVAILABLE AT HAWKINS & SHEPHERD

MINT GREEN - THIS TIME STYLED SMART CASUAL

Without sounding too much like a broken record, I love mint. Mint choc-chip ice-cream, mint aero, spearmint, peppermint, mint tea and especially that mint tea-tree shower gel that tingles your balls! More than all of that I love this Mint Extreme Cutaway Shirt that I have crafted for Hawkins & Shepherd SS15.

I love so many of the shirts I create but this one is my current favourite, the mint stripe is so subtle and the touch of peach on the last button hole goes so well.

In this post I wanted to show you how you can utilise one shirt both formally and casually. If you would like to read the 'Mint Green Formal Look' post, click on the picture below:

MINT GREEN - THE ESSENTIAL SUMMER COLOUR - FORMAL STYLING

MINT GREEN - THE ESSENTIAL SUMMER COLOUR - FORMAL STYLING

Being Summer, I think the subtle mint green in the shirt goes best with pale tones which is why I have styled the shirt with light jeans, a light grey cardigan, tan brogues and sea foam socks.

Does it work? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Hawkins & Shepherd Shirt | ASOS Jeans | Diesel Cardigan | Hawkins & Shepherd Socks | Tan Brogues

Photo Credit Sophie Milner

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.

 

SHOP THE LOOK

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

COLOUR MATCHING - ORANGE & NAVY - SMART FORMAL

Following on from my Casual styling of the orange and blue colour matching (read that blog), here I have showed how orange and blues can also be used in a smart formal attire.

In this outfit I have used my bold statement jumper to give a greater understanding of how orange can work so well with Navy. Although it also works with small touches of orange. So remove the jumper and you have the small details in the polka of the pocket square, the orange socks and small orange detailings on my Omega watch bezel.

The shade of blue used here in my Suit Supply suit is French Navy which works the best with orange because of its darker tone.

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Suit Supply French Navy Suit  | Hawkins & Shepherd Shirt | Reiss Orange Jumper | Reiss Socks | Dolce & Gabbana Shoes | Hawkins & Shepherd Pocket Square

Photo Credit: Caroline Nicholson Location: Chatham Historic Dockyard

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.