SUMMER PRINTS

Like many relationships, its not over until, well, its over and summer is no different! It's NOT over people - be positive maybe an Indian summer is just around the corner (*maybe). I for one am not giving up, I actually refuse to. So to get you all in the same happy summery mentality I have put together this floral print look with some of my favourite pieces this summer. 

I know it is struggs when waking up to the same old grey cloudy days but thats what holidays are for. Do you really think someone from Rio, Monaco or Dubai has the same buzz we get about going on holiday...I think not! So if my weather predictions are incorrect take this look abroad, it is perfect.

Throughout Spring Summer 2015 (SS15) from the catwalks of London Collections:Men to the high-street labels, bold floral/tropical prints have been used in abundance. 

Floral prints are the main focus of this outfit yet I didn't want to over do it. For me styling prints on prints is a bit much...therefore I've opted for a plain pair of navy shorts from my favourite newly discovered brand Spoke-London.com. The floral short sleeved shirt is from ASOS which is a white shirt with black stencil print and it even matches my floral tattoos...sorted. The bag is from Herschel purchased again through ASOS, again it's floral print and perfect for the beach. The look is finished off with my pair of Hudson Pierre tassel loafers which makes the look a tad more smart, although replace with some flip-flops or canvas trainers for a beach vibe.

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SUMMER CHINOS - MADE TO FIT

It's been all over the news, Britain is in the middle of a two week heat wave, which shouldn't be of surprise as it happens every year at some point, although a little unpredictable when. Which is why your wardrobe NEEDS a pair or two of chinos. It's these hot, sweaty days when the inner silk lining of your suit sticks to your body and your jeans are just way too hot - that you need to turn to your chinos for help!

Everyone knows that summer in London can be great, with all the festivals, bear gardens, pop-up foodie places, alfresco dining etc need I go on. But it can also be one of the must frustrating, mainly the unbearable heat of the tube, especially when stuck in a tunnel due to 'someone taken ill'. 

I would recommend a light coloured chino in these days of crisis. In particular from SPOKE LONDON where fit comes first. I have been a lover of chinos for a long time but it is hard to find a pair that fits well around the thigh as well as the calf. When I first tried on this pair of their almond flex design I could feel the quality of the materials used and also they fitted perfectly. The waist fitted so a belt was not required, the thighs all the way down to the calf fitted exceptionally without being over skinny, I even caught a 'few' girls (well you have to exaggerate these things!) checking out my butt - so it must have fitted nicely there too. They were comfortable, practical and look awesome.

The chino is so versatile, the above look was smart-casual which I think works best. I styled the Spoke chinos with a Peter Werth navy blazer, River Island white t-shirt and brown tassel loafers by Hudson Pierre. You can easily change this up a little with a shirt/tie for a formal look or tone it down by removing the blazer and throw on a pair of casual footwear for a more casual look.

Spoke-london.com have a large collection of chinos and update their looks regularly. Although it's not just about having a large range - the colour palettes and fabrics their designer choose are bang on. Being in the tailoring business myself, I understand a bit about quality products...I love the fabric used and the small details of the pocket fabric, the branded buttons, the ribbon lining and the quality of the seaming & hemming. 

Their website is also well designed and intuitive, with major emphasis on getting your fit right. They have a fitting guide where you measure your waist, leg and thigh then input it into a calculator and like magic you are told the best size for you.

If you head over there now, some of their designs are up to 30% off which is a bargain for something that will cost around the £60-80 mark and last a very long time.

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Spoke Chinos | Peter Werth Blazer | River Island T-Shirt | Hudson & Pierre Loafers

Photo Credit Sophie Milner

LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN TREND REPORT SS16 #LCMSS16 #LCM

After reviewing hundreds of photos and reading many of the LCM designers style notes - most of which are exceptionally well written and extremely creative - however I'm going try to bring all this fashion jargon back to earth for the everyday man.

Prior to London Collections SS16, I expected and wanted to see more focus on Made-in-Britain pieces, summer tailoring with shorts and plenty of prints. I'm happy to say that I wasn't disappointed. You can watch my pre LCM interview for Mode Stories/Brash UK below:

It's such a unique event which gets London buzzing and there is something for every type of style from flamboyant fashionistas to smart Savile Row tailoring. Seeing LCM expand to 4 full days is not surprising after reading the growth of the menswear industry from Caroline Rush, CEO of the BFC who told The Guardian 'The global menswear market is now worth $440bn (£298bn) as men are spending more than ever on clothing and footwear.'

'London is the global home of menswear with great heritage and cultural relevance, not only with the Savile Row tailors but also home-grown talent and international super-brands.'

'This breadth is what makes London unique and inspiring.'

 

MY LCM SS16 TREND REPORT

SUMMER WHITES

With this Spring Summer 2016 trend, the pristine white houses of Chelsea will have nothing on you. Seen across collections from Tiger of Sweden, Alexander McQueen, J.W. Anderson, Agi & Sam, Maharishi and Craig Green.

ORANGE TONES

I have been a long admirer of all orange tones because the colours are so versatile yet bold, so only a small tiny detail can transform your outfit. Seen on collections from Lou Dalton, Hardy Amies, Sibling and Craig Green.

WINDOWPANE FABRICS

Taking its name from the wide windowpane like checked pattern, this style has recently been brought back from sartorial exile. A windowpane suit isn’t for the light-hearted; it’s a bold print of retro elegance that makes a statement. Seen on Paul Smith, Chester Barrie, Tommy Hilfiger, Hardy Amies and Dunhill

DESERT & CAMO

Think Desert Camouflage and I immediately think of the Belstaff SS16 collection, which was all over my twitter and instagram feed during LCM. Also seen at Topman, Gieves & Hawkes and Maharishi.

STORMY SUMMER COLOURS

The trend: Stormy Summer Colours were huge at LCM this year with hues of grey being featured at almost every show. Similar to the Great British weather, Aquascutum stayed true to its British heritage and featured greys, blacks and dark blues in their SS16 collection. Also seen at Burberry, YMC, Hardy Amies and Oliver Spencer.

PRINTS

It goes without saying really, prints were always going to be big for SS16 as the summer months give more freedom to use bright colour print palettes. Have fun with this trend, however leave the double prints to those who are in the know and can pull it off! Seen on the collections of Topman, Katy Eary, Sibling, Kit Neale, James Long, Xander Zhou, Alexander McQueen and Richard James.

GREYS

Hardy Amies’s SS16 collection had a space odyssey inspiration behind it- featuring a colour palette of charcoals and greys in the form of elegant suits, bombers and trousers made from techy fabrics. Greys also featured in the collections of Burberry, Topman, Dunhill, James Long and Margaret Howell.

Special thanks to London Collections: Men chairman Dylan Jones OBE, The British Fashion Council, all the ambassadors & menswear designers.

Special thanks to London Collections: Men chairman Dylan Jones OBE, The British Fashion Council, all the ambassadors & menswear designers.

PHOTO CREDIT CATWALKING.COM

SUMMER TAILORING AT LCM SS16

I have been banging on for a while about a look which I call 'Summer Tailoring' which is in essence, wearing your suit attire as you would normally but replacing the trousers with tailored shorts. It's a simple look but looks great and is very versatile. 

Whether you are going to the races, a polo event, summer weddings or even out for an evening on holiday - this look is stylish, comfortable and different. This trend is very formal, however to give something extra to the look, incorporate prints and different fabrics such an linen.

The important aspects of this look are to pick a nice pair of tailored shorts, I prefer contrasting the colours between your shorts and blazer. Then a formal pair of comfortable shoes, my preference would be a worn in pair of brogues. For the more confident of us, go bold with a pair of colourful socks.

It looks like the designers at London Collections: Men have agreed and used this look in their SS16 collections. Above are from Richard James SS16 collection.

Above Left: Tiger of Sweden SS16 collection. Above Right: Margaret Howell SS16 Collection.

Above Left: Thomas Pink SS16 collection - this is a more casual twist on the Summer Tailoring look, but I have added it to show how versatile the look is.

Above Right: Oliver Spencer SS16 Collection.

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MY 3 FAVOURITE COCKTAILS THIS SUMMER

Okay, so I'm no Tom Cruise serving up cocktails and dreams in some remote caribbean island, instead I'm at my poky flat in Clapham South, London throwing together my three favourite cocktails this Summer. However all is not lost because I can assure you that 'if' the sun comes out in London - we'll make the most of it and appreciate these cocktails a hell of a lot more!

Where I lack in cocktail making skills, I'm pretty good at googling how to make them and following instructions, plus I have a serious amount of experience in drinking them. My mates would say I have had an uphill paper round, referring to my ever growing wrinkles and aged appearance and drinking has certainly played its part.

With that in mind...here are my SUMMER COCKTAIL FAVOURITES and ingredients.

1. JUG OF PIMMS.

  • 50ml PIMM’S No.1 per glass.
  • 150ml of Lemonade per glass.
  • Mint, orange, strawberries.
  • Cucumber to garnish and ice.

Note. To mix things up, why not try replacing the PIMMS with Harry Brompton's alcoholic Iced Tea (stocked in Waitrose & Sainsburys).

2. ESPRESSO MARTINI.

  • 25ml Kahlúa liqueur.
  • 25ml chilled espresso coffee.
  • 50ml Vodka.
  • Ice (for the shaking process).
  • Sugar or honey to taste.
  • Garnish with 3 coffee beans.

Note. Try replacing the Kahlúa with Baileys and using Smirnoff Espresso Vodka or Patron XO Café.

3. DISARONNO SOUR.

  • Glass with Ice.
  • Pour 45 ml of Disaronno.
  • Pour 30 ml of fresh lemon juice.
  • Add a teaspoon of brown sugar.
  • Stir and garnish with lime slices.

Note. This a very clean and crisp cocktail. An alternative is the Amaretto Sour, which you add egg whites and shake in a cocktail shaker.

ENJOY AND HAVE AN EPIC SUMMER!!!

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.

CASUAL SPRING LAYERING

I have been banging on about Spring Layering for a couple of weeks now, as we are in the months where we can have 4 seasons in one week. 

Think of your typical work day, how many times are you too hot or too cold? If you wear thin layers, you have the ability to control your body temperature in many situations easily with the added bonus of looking great - layering a t-shirt, jumper and a smart jacket always looks more presentable than a bog standard t-shirt and jeans.

With this look, I have tried to go for more casual layering and opting for brighter colours such as tan brogues and a yellow t-shirt, as well as bringing out my lighter shade jeans that only work in sunnier days.

I have two trench coats which are perfect for these colder mornings yet warmer days and today I opted for the navy in order to contrast against the jeans and with yellow/navy working well together.

Finally, I have gone for no socks. 'No socks with brogues'! Yes...it is possible but only if they are VERY worn in. Don't be stupid and buy a new pair and wear them on day 1 without shoes as you'll be wearing flip-flops for a week after.

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Vintage Tan Brogues Similar Here | ASOS Skinny Jeans | Topman Navy Trench Coat | T-Shirt Similar Here | Grey Knitted Bomber Jumper