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

Marc Darcy Suits 1.jpg

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.

Hackett London Celebrate the Launch of Aston Martin Racing Pro Collection

DMB_Hackett_Aston_Martin_Racing_Pro_Collection005.JPG

Hackett Founder and Chairman, Jeremy Hackett and Aston Martin Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman celebrated the launch of the Aston Martin Racing Pro collection by Hackett for Spring Summer 2019, at The Vinyl Factory, Soho.  

I love it when a plan comes together. Equally when great minds think alike. Hackett London is a true British success story and together with Aston Martin they've given both car nuts and fashionistas something to salivate over. 

At the event Quiet Man, jazz and funk artist performed as guests arrived. VIP attendance included Hugo Taylor, Henry Conway, Ali Gordon and Alistair Guy. My invite literary did get lost in the post and arrived after the event. 

DMB_Hackett_Aston_Martin_Racing_Pro_Collection008.JPG

New for Spring Summer '19, Hackett London and Aston Martin announce the launch of Aston Martin Racing Pro by Hackett; a bold new range of premium clothing designed and crafted for the man who desires forward thinking and engineered sportswear.

Aston Martin Racing Pro by Hackett is a sportswear collection created in response to Aston Martin’s ‘Track to Tarmac’ road cars and showcases a brand new aesthetic for the two brands intended to complement an era of modern power and race technology.

Aston Martin Racing Pro by Hackett takes modern, slim silhouettes, inspired by the lines of the Aston Martin Vantage and its distinct design features. Functional and performance fabrics have been incorporated into the range with an emphasis on accessible  athleisure wear.

DMB_Hackett_Aston_Martin_Racing_Pro_Collection004.JPG

Where can I buy the pro racing range? 

You can shop the range online at Hackett. I haven't managed to get down to a Hackett Store to view the range myself but looking at the imagery I certainly have my eye on a few pieces. 

Stand out pick for me would be the Cotton-blend bonded jersey zip front sweater. It has a very light construction and a concealed placket. Very chic, the moto inspired styling is very congruent with the look of Aston Martin. 

Why You Need a Cashmere Coat in Your Lives

Today I want to talk about the emergence of Spring and the Hawkins and Shepherd Cashmere coats. It's one of the perks of owning a pirate ship, I get to call the shots. I get to promote my own brand if I want, so sue me! 

Wait don't. I looked into suing that nimrod(s) that wrote that Medium article the other month. It's a costly business. 

That aside let me give you 3 reasons why you need a Hawkins & Shepherd cashmere coat in your life.

1.     100% Cashmere. Quality guaranteed and the fabric is supplied by the renowned Harrisons of Edinburgh. You'll find an abundance of overcoats on the market currently. However, very few will be made from a fabric with this much quality.

If you're looking for a cheaper price point then expect to cut corners on quality like most things. It will more than likely be a synthetic blend, won't drape as well and won't be as soft to the touch. 

2.     100% customer service. I'm right here guys, very accessible if you have any problems with your product or delivery.

I won't be dropping names here but one of my best customers is an actor in Hollywood who reached out to me after ordering a quote. He was so happy with reaching out to a human being and having that one-on-one service that he has since ordered regularly through the site. 

As much as I'd love for Hawkins & Shepherd to become a monolith of an e-commerce site and make me rich beyond my wildest dreams, knowing my customers have access to me if they have any questions is very rewarding. 

3.     It's not quite summer yet! I know we have all enjoyed an awesome February so far, but don't be fooled. It's not quite bikini weather yet in London. The beauty of a cashmere coat is that it is light and can be worn throughout the Spring months. 

 They are also currently reduced to £800 and we have immediate stock. No time like the present and why not inject a new lease of life into your Spring wardrobe.


SHOP THE CASHMERE COLLECTION

 

Best Dressed Men at the Oscars in 2019: Was it the Tom Ford show?

Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 10.09.10.png

No host at the Oscars this year? Did you notice? Probably not because all eyes were on a man you've never heard of in a Dressedo. (I'll take credit for that one). 

Rifling through all the stories, gossip and red carpet rumours in the morning papers today I wanted to throw out my thoughts on what I've seen.

Firstly we have this hell-mary. The actor is the ostentatious Billy Porter and the dressedo is by Christian Siriano. Billy also rocked up to the Baftas wearing custom couture by Randi Rahm Studio.

billy_porter-golden_globes_2019-h_2019.jpg

James Bond 

Daniel Craig looked match-ready as he presented the best supporting actor alongside Charlize Theron . Presumably in Tom Ford although no announcement or accreditations on the Tom Ford Twitter account. 

Midnight blue peak lapel tuxedo. Single button, jetted pockets, notice the gauntlet cuff with the black grosgrain trim. Other standouts are the large boutineaair and rather large butterfly bow tie. 

The shirt has black studs and his shoes are noticeably high-shine black leather patina with a deep heel. 

Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 10.13.40.png

Also representing Tom Ford 

Joe Alwyn and Bradley Cooper also wore Tom Ford. Bradley rocked the O'Connor suit, styled by celebrity stylist Natalia Bruschi. Joe's lapels were massive (with a tiny bit of puckering suggesting it needed to be worn in a tad). 

Still he looked fabulous, with a ready shaped large bow tie and cummerbund. 

Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 10.12.55.png

Michael B. Jordan looked in prime form in his velvet TOM FORD Shelton cocktail jacket, cocktail pants, evening shirt and bow tie. His shirt similar if not identical to Daniel Craig's. 

Lastly look how beautiful Jennifer Lopez looked in a mirror mosaic Tom Ford dress, partnering Alex Rodriguez in his white Tom Ford dinner jacket. 

Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 10.12.26.png

Chris Evans 

As you know I have a thing for Velvet currently, my Chester Barrie velvet jacket is often my go-to for award ceremonies. It seems so long ago that I wrote about Chester Barrie overtaking the red carpet at the Oliver Awards

Chris Evans rocked up in a made-to-measure blue velvet collar tuxedo paired with a bow tie and classic patent lace-up shoes by Salvatore Ferragamo. 

Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 10.33.08.png

 

 

OUR BEST FIT | Marks & Spencer release their new denim campaign

Today I'm going to showcase the new denim campaign from Marks and Spencer which celebrates their 'best ever fit' across menswear and womenswear. 

The big news is that Marks and Spencer have streamlined their denim collection to four fits. Skinny, Slim, Straight and Regular. It feels like Gordon Ramsey has done a Hell's Kitchen make-over and stripped everything superfluous off the menu, leaving just the signature dishes. 

Outfit 1 - Indigo Skinny Denim Jeans:

So here we go, starting with outfit one. I'm wearing a pair of the Skinny-fit stretch jeans for a remarkable £22.50. It has a little bit of elastane in the cotton so doesn't feel constricting like some skinny fit jeans can. 

The jacket is pure cotton and sits well with earthy tones, like the indigo jeans and brown boots. The notches are high on the lapel which gives it a work-wear vibe. I love the tortoiseshell buttons, a nice accoutrement. Only £65. 

The Oxford Shirt is 100% cotton and is cut narrow through the shoulder and slightly suppressed through the waist. It has a button down collar and is priced at £19.50. 

The Chelsea Boots are probably my favourite piece of the ensemble. Available in brown or chestnut, (I've gone for brown) it really completes the look and smartens everything up. Available for £79. 

TOTAL price: £186 

SHOP THE LOOK

Outfit 2 - Light Blue Skinny Denim Jeans:

This second look is an even more casual affair. You won't often see me in light denim but I wanted to shake things up a bit and experiment. 

This is the Light Denim in the same cut. A skinny fit stretch jean in a 32" that will get more mileage in the summer I'm sure. 

They pair really well with these super-sleek white lace up trainers. It's a fresh look, it's upbeat and the price is remarkable at £35. 

You noticed how I paired the white sneakers with the white shirt? That wasn't accident folks. This is a Grandad collar shirt, the fabric is lightweight and the sleeves are long. However, it's more suited for the Spring and I often rolled my sleeves so it works perfect for me. 

I've finished the look with another cotton tailored fitted jacket (although not in this picture). The blue-on-blue, partitioned with the white shirt and white trainers is a very fresh look and brightens up the Instagram feed. Available for £65. 

TOTAL price: £140.25 

SHOP THE LOOK

Overall thoughts 

Very accessible price points. A good touch stone for people looking to get into smartening up their wardrobe. Arguably a little safe, but this is M&S not Gucci. For the price and the quality I think Marks & Spencer still offer great value. 

The items are all fairly neutral in tone so can be interchangeable. 

*Includes paid partnership in collaboration with Marks & Spencer.

 

Tramp Menswear: Keeping it British

Today I wanted to give a little love to an upcoming brand called Tramp Menswear. After meeting the founder and designer Sapphire at a recent London event I got to see some of the collection up close and now I'm road testing one of her designs.

I'm wearing the Tramp Menswear Grey Zip Neck Jumper, with my AG Jeans and Dr Martens. You may have noticed how my socks and jumper match, that is not an accident. 

It's a perfect jumper for a casual event. It's slim fit with a ribbed collar, cuffs and hem. The logo is a something that draws attention. When I'm around people, I catch them trying to subtly identify the logo and that allows me to explain the story of the brand

It's a very British brand, all the products are made to order and manufactured in Norfolk. You can find out more about the manufacturing in a video on Tramp Menswear site. Their tagline is “designed to shape the stray’s and inspire the heroes.” Which I like. The logo which you'll find embroidered on the left breast is an exclusive signature dog that features on every Tramp product.

It's a good time to shop for some new pieces for your wardrobe, there are many items on sale and all items over £20 offer free delivery. This grey zip jumper is currently reduced to £65.80. 

This outfit is perfect for everyday events. I've worn it to coffee meetings, walking Charlie around the Common and out shopping on weekends. The black jeans offer a great contrast to the grey. You may have noticed I don't wear a whole bunch of blue denim generally. 

Other items on the site I would recommend is the Mull long sleeve tee, with contrast rib collar and sleeve hems. You'll also find accessories such as caps and socks as well as subscription boxes. 


It's Time to Talk About Carl

Carl Thompson Blogger.jpg

I was made aware of the defamatory article anonymously and callously published on the medium.com website, which has named my e-commerce business Hawkins & Shepherd and myself personally amongst other businesses and influencers.

I'd like to take this opportunity to clear a few things that have circulated some social commentary since the article was published. It's been a very traumatic week for me personally having to be on the receiving end on what I consider to be a pernicious article, published on an open platform without approval or checks for authenticity.

It's been very tough keeping emotion out of this. Some of the scathing consistent attacks I would even categorise as cyber-bullying. I'll do a follow up article to this about that in due course.

Now I'm a 38 year old man. I've developed a thick skin and can rely on a certain muscle memory to get me through this kind of onslaught. I don't suffer from depression but I feel anxiety pangs like anyone else. 

When my phone pings, my heart races. I don't even want to look at my phone right now.

But some of the bloggers I've spoken to that are implicated in this article have only just turned 20. I've had private conversations with them who are on the verge of having a break down. 

Now I don't want to advocate for one second the flagrant use of ‘Insta fraud’ as it’s been labelled. I think the industry is on the mend. I think it's right to highlight where the regulations need to serve the industry better. I can speak about this because I have reformed. I used to follow and unfollow around two years ago but that's not my scene anymore. 

However, I think this article is more a personal attack, laden with spite, resentment, with a pernicious undercurrent and I want people to realise that we're still dealing with human beings.

People that share and retweet thinking they're throwing a spotlight on the issue of Instafraud, are actually sharing an article that was removed, with unfounded accusations from an anonymous source. It's cut deep into the people that are implicated, and is still having a profound effect. 

james-sutton-188586-unsplash.jpg

I've not risen to any of the comment threads on social media that are continuing a very aggressive media attack on my name and brand.

Instead I've been spending my time talking to the brands and management companies of whom I've had the pleasure of working for and alongside as an ambassador for many years, reassuring them of the inaccuracies in the article, of which I'll get into soon.

I have a very open and honest relationship with these brands (there names I will refrain from disclosing for now) I've been honoured to work for and I've been overwhelmed with the support I've received in return. You can see some of the messages of support I've received below. 

From one brand:

"A member of our team did see the article, but I’m aware that we’ve already spoken to you about your historical follower pattern. We were satisfied with the conversation we had with you and are happy to continue working with you on projects that we feel you are suited." 

From an agency: 

"Hey Carl. We were made aware of the article last week and having read it we agree it comes from a place of spite. The “facts” presented are heavily laden with opinion, conjecture and are overall slanderous to everybody mentioned.

We also realised it was quickly removed. I think your statement on the article is strong and unemotional which is more than can be said for the original author of the article itself. It’s a shame that you’ve been put in a position whereby you need to address it.

On a personal level it doesn’t change how we view you nor alter how we’d like to work with you moving forward.

If you need anything from us to help support you then just let us know."

mitch-lensink-220106-unsplash.jpg

Some of this might sound like lawyer talk, because I wanted to detach my emotions and just deal with the facts.

ADDRESSING COMMENTS IN THE ARTICLE

“Allegedly another one of the biggest cheats in the Men’s fashion space, Carl Thompson is one of the biggest frauds out there in terms of inorganically growing his account. His cheating goes as far back as records go, which is January 2016. From January 2016 until July 2017 he aggressively followed and unfollowed hundreds of people per day, cheating his Instagram and cheating his way to over 54,000 from practically nothing.”

Back in 2016 it wasn’t unusual to follow a lot of accounts. I personally followed thousands of people - every blogger, friend, fashion enthusiast etc, who I knew as part of the Instagram community and who helped to shape my own style.

From around April 2016 to April 2017, I used to follow some accounts and have engaged with them, later unfollowing.

I want to note here that despite what the article says, by that point, I have already amassed around 20-25,000 followers from my consistent men’s fashion Instagram posts, presenting and TV appearances.

Instagram at that time was mainly to promote my business Hawkins & Shepherd, where I invested over £100,000 of my own money, and for the love of the industry and the fashion.

During that time I did not know where the Influencer marketing would go and if I would be a part of it. It was a very new industry with no guidance.

In summary, with all due respect to the anonymous authors, I’m a massive part of this very much nascent industry and I have earned the respect from multiple fashion designers, business owners, journalists, PR’s and other Influencers.

“After the scandal of July 2017, he then appeared to have stopped, and his account has been in decline since, which is no coincidence. His Instagram name comes from the brand he owns (which also has manipulated Google reviews), but he uses this to promote himself as a blogger, and has a blog in his own name, carlthompson.co.uk.”

I have stopped following and unfollowing in April 2017 when I realised that this form of marketing had a serious influence on consumers and that it was something that I wanted to be a part of for the long-term.

In addition, I have been building trusted relationships with brands and wanted to offer a great ROI. My Instagram account did slowly decline for a while, however, I actually have perceived that trend as a good thing because real followers who may have just followed me because I followed them, decided to unfollow.

As the rate of decline was very slow and gradual, I have still been gaining followers and have been retaining ones that truly wanted to engage with my posts. What the article fails to mention is that my Instagram account is growing again and has never been more engaged. I would like to comment here that I have never bought fake followers.

Screenshot 2019-02-11 at 15.19.42.png

I would like to point out that the comment regarding my e-commerce business Hawkins & Shepherd being a “complete slander” is based on no evidence whatsoever, which again just highlights  the fact that this article is a personal attack.

Hawkins & Shepherd has 400 reviews, all 100% verified customers that have to be legally registered on the Yotpo review platform that I use. Below is a screenshot of this:

Screenshot 2019-02-11 at 15.12.09.png

The Google Reviews that the article has suggested were also manipulated in fact are genuine reviews, most are customers and some are from friends/family that I’ve gifted product to and they have kindly written a review.

“He is one of the most disingenuous and fake Influencers out there. The perfect example is working with several shaving brands, pretending to use their razors and products, then his beard magically stays on his face in the next photo, despite claiming that the razor is good and he’s apparently shaved it off.”

I regard the opening statement  as defamatory with the purported “supporting evidence” taken out of context.

My captions and images have been consistently well received, I have invested  a considerable amount of time and effort in creating these images and in ensuring that the content is exactly what the brands expect and is of an exceptional quality.

“This was comically seen when he posted about Harry’s and more recently Gillette and their razor blades, foaming up his face with razor in hand, and in the very next photo, his facial hair magically re-appeared a day later. Either the razor is not very good, he grows hair like a werewolf or he’s lying. We’ll let you be the judge.”

Whilst I applaud the anonymous author on his/her diligence in finding the one inconsistency from over 1,800 posts on my Instagram channel, posts on my Instagram grid rarely correlate to a physical date/time timeline.

When working with brands many posts have to be vetted and authenticated weeks, sometimes months in advance. The consistency of my beard between posts is arbitrary.

“He holds almost no authority, no influence and is disliked by many of the other men’s fashion bloggers and influencers, for cheating with his Instagram and being incredibly fake. His Instagram engagement is currently at 2.06%, and has been manipulated.”

I have no comment regarding this other than I have evidence to the contrary available to brands on request.

“FAKE INFLUENCER PARTY”

The Hard Rock Hotel invited me as an unpaid guest to create content on their behalf. After seeing the results of the engagement and the quality of the content provided, I was invited to promote their newly opened Hard Rock Hotel in London.

“He has now set up a new ego website, to showcase his arrogance and for people to believe that he’s kind of a big deal. “Who Is Carl Thompson .co.uk” is a website telling you who he actually is.”

The website https://www.whoiscarlthompson.co.uk/ serves as an online visual Media Pack/CV. It serves no other purpose other than to provide detailed information on my portfolio.

“According to it, he’s a TV presenter, model, influencer, photographer, YouTuber, business owner, blogger.”

Each of these are correct and accurate. I’m happy to forward on examples of each on request.

“It seems he craves the fame, being on First Dates along with Dinner Date.”

I make no apologies for appearing on these shows that are watched and adored by millions of viewers.

“According to his Instagram, he’s currently an ambassador for Haigclub, Jo Malone and Kobox. He has worked with Debenhams, House Of Fraser, Panasonic, ECCO Shoes, 360 Coffee, tk Maxx, Lab Series, Kronaby, Starbucks, Philips, Reiss, Burton, Mazda, and many more.”

That is correct and I’m extremely proud to have worked with each of these brands.


FURTHER READING

VOTED TOP 6 MEN’S LIFESTYLE BLOG IN THE UK 2018

https://www.vuelio.com/uk/blog-awards/shortlist/

TOP 10 UK MEN’S LIFESTYLE BLOG 2017, 2018, 2019.

https://www.vuelio.com/uk/social-media-index/mens-lifestyle-blogs-uk-top-10/

These are all based around official Google blog statistics, domain-authority, quality of writing and imagery. Voted by industry professionals.

MY OWN BLOG STATISTICS PUBLISHED

Earlier this year, I have published my Blog Statistics with screenshots of Google analytic data (I note the extremely low 1.03% bounce rate for the year of 2018).

https://www.carlthompson.co.uk/further-reading-blogs/2019/1/18/carl-thompson-all-the-stats-from-my-blog-revealed

YOUTUBE

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7saYubGIW4nDfajCS9Kkqw?view_as=subscriber

My channel has around 8,800 Subscribers with a very engaged following and has almost 1million views on the videos published.

 

 

 

Two Style Edits From Zalando

Carl Thompson x Zalando 1.jpg

Today I'm going to be talking about a few pieces I've been recently styling for Zalando. Zalando is a very interesting online e-commerce site that hosts an incredible number of brands on their site.

They have garnered a fierce reputation in the industry thanks to their fiercely competitive returns policy. (100 day return policy for unworn items).

According to WIKI at least 50% of their goods get returned as a result yet still they manage to not only survive, but thrive since their inception into the UK market in 2011.

Enough background, let’s talk shop.

Zalando 4.jpg

LOOK NUMBER ONE: Street Casual 

I've been needing to refresh the casual side of my wardrobe. This Columbia hooded zip is 100% fleece-polyester with a herringbone weave. It has a wonderful texture to it and a marl-fleck that makes it stand out. Currently on sale at £71.99.

I've paired the fleece hoody with these awesome O'Neill winter boots. Pairing the grey hoody with a few hues of grey and black to bookend the look. (Let’s not mention a few grey hairs shall we?). The boots have a real sporty-snowboarder look, a reinforced heel for that secure step. Importantly they're padded and flexible providing great comfort. Currently on sale £99.99

Lastly I'm finishing the look with some Pepe Slim fit jeans. Perfect for my casual style, with a hint of elastane which gives it a little stretch in the right places. Evenly priced at £79.99

LOOK NUMBER TWO: Smart Casual 

Whilst look number one is the more street/sporty look. This is more smart/casual. Again I've opted for the same Pepe Jeans slim fit that you saw in look one. You can't go wrong with a simple dark denim. Straight, no fuss no thrills. The way a jean should be. 

The textured jumper is made from acrylic by a brand called Mennace. I like the feel of this jumper, I like the fit. The elasticated waist band helps neaten the look. I also like the price point, reduced to £33.14. 

I know that white trainers are going to be high maintenance in the rainy season here in London, but these Puma sneakers just look the business and a great contrast to the dark denim. I'll wear these trainers into the ground. A decent price at £79.99. I'd expect to pay to that for branded sneakers. 

Lastly, how about this Pier One Trench Coat, only £69.99. I love the smart look, the details, the contrast amber-buttons. I know you can't beat a Burberry trench coat which this is clearly looking to replicate. But I'm paying Burberry prices and I'm still turning heads. 

 

 

A Look Inside Jacket Required 2019

fancycrave-174012-unsplash.jpg

Jacket Required breezed through Brick Lane again this year and as ever. You can take what you want from events like these. I normally like spending a bit of time with the reps and head of sales for brands to talk about what they're working on. What colour schemes are they bringing out in the new year? 

I try and divert from the arduous small talk about the woes of the high street. It's not a case of ignoring the elephant in the room, it just breathes negativity. Plus some of the brands are finding this to be a time of wanted change. Tom at Edwin told me that they are looking to open an event space in their Bethnal Green store as they need to capitalise on their square footage. 

Edwin are pushing a new selvedge denim release for AW19, deepening the visuals on their leather logo patches. I love the corduroy shirts and trousers they're also incorporating into the look this season. I saw a lot of corduroy on the rails this year, which can only be a good thing.  

I spoke to the Oliver Sweeney guys and they told me that they're pushing their green leather brogues and suede ankle high lace up boots this season. As many of you know the brand was in real dire straits not so long ago after the founder and designer Oliver Sweeney suffered a stroke that left him paralysed down one side of his body.

IMG_2084.jpg

He's staging a remarkable comeback however and his designs for next season are already being bought up by enthusiasts of the brands and shoes-alike. Without them even going into production. 

Sperry had a great turn out. Lots of textured boat shoes, their colour palette is balls out this year. They've also continued their patchwork boat shoes, but now with the pattern going throughout the shoe rather being confined to the vamp. 

IMG_2110.jpg

Lastly a shout out to a new shoe that's now on my radar. Sebago. There was no one at the stand so I took some pictures and did some quiet digging. Turns out they've been around for years and are renowned for their 'Docksides'. An iconic boat shoe worn by Pharrell Williams, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman and Kate Middleton. 

Inside Track: Best Watch Instagrammers to Follow

Watches of Switzerland x Carl Thompson 7.jpg

Who knows their onions when it comes to watches? Sure you can follow GQ, Esquire and all those boys. But it's the journalists themselves, the specialists that give you inside track. Beyond the journalists you have the watch creators, the designers, the rabbit hole is endless.

I've got a few instagrammers that I keep my eye on when certain events like BaselWorld or SIHH 2019 comes up. I've penned down a list and if you're into your watches, then give these accounts a follow.

SOPHIE FURLEY 

Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 13.52.19.png

This lady is an obsessive. Sophie Furley is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolution magazine and is at every launch, event and exhibition all over the world.

I'm sure she could quite easily moonlight as a travel blogger if her diary allowed. Her posts are a plethora of different luxury and submariner watches. Eclectic, diverse but always clearly delineated. 

CHRONONDO 

Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 13.54.49.png

Chronondo (or Dan to his pals) was established in 2015, has 30 timepieces in his watch drawer from Jaeger LeCoultre to Audemars Piguet, and has an online store where people can buy and sell watches free of charge

Dan also extends his great taste in watches to other elements of his wardrobe. Very distinguished, always well turned out. 

GILE ENGLISH 

Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 13.56.13.png

Whilst you should definitely be following the Bremont Instagram page, (support British design and manufacturing where you can people) it's also quite cool to see what goes on behind the scenes sometimes.

Co-Founder Giles English (now there's nominative determinism in action) is something of a swashbuckling entrepreneur. I'll be honest, I just love the cars he drives around in. Oh and the watches. Of course the watches. 

ELIZABETH DOERR

Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 13.57.29.png

Well I envy Elizabeth the most. Watch journalist, and editor-in-chief of Quill and Pad, she gets to hang around all the big knobs. It must be a cushy gig being a watch journalist. If I had to start over I would be a dedicated watch journalist.

Flown around the world, check out some watches, press the flesh with Pierce Brosnan, then a good old knees up back up the hotel. Someone else will pick up the tab. How's my aim watch journo's? Can't be any more to it than that surely? 

(Remember folks don't phone in, it's just for fun). 

ROLF STUDER

Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 13.58.15.png

And then there's dear old Rolf Studer. I like the name Rolf, it's been blighted perhaps in the past few years by you know who, but here is a Rolf you can rely upon. Rolf Studer, CEO of Oris, as well fastidiously annotating all the Oris watches that christen his wrist, he also has a lustrous head of hair. 

Let me know who else I should follow in the watch world, drop me a comment below or catch me on Instagram. 

 

SIHH 2019 News: What Brand Ambassadors & Celebs Turned up

SIHH 2019.jpg

I was gutted not to make it over to SIHH 2019 this year after being invited by IWC Schaffhausen. I've had a few events that I've sadly had to turn down, but I've told myself that I can't make them all and I have to make my peace with that. 

That didn't stop me checking out all the amazing chronographs and news from the red carpet, following the #sihh2019 in case you haven't already. 

A lot of the brand ambassadors turned out, if not all of them and I wanted to put together a little scrapbook of celebrities that rocked the red carpet this year. You can also find a YouTube video below from the event. 

Hugh Jackman

Hugh was there front and centre as always with Montblanc, sporting the Montblanc Geosphere 1858. He is the ultimate ambassador, never in a scandal, happily married for 20 plus years. His wife is 63! That shows you that he's got dignity people. What a champ. 

David Gandy 

It would be remiss of me not to mention my good mate David Gandy who was also there representing Montblanc. Decked out in his grey single breasted suit, blue woolen-fleck tie and grey cotton shirt. 

Bradley Cooper

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 15.57.09.png

IWC had a whole host of celebs show up for ambassador duties. Rosamund Pike, Dev Patel and the man of the moment Bradley Cooper. Bradley chose to wear a midnight blue tux with hand stitched edges. A white shirt without a placket and a low-rise flat front trousers. The single button is too high up on the jacket in my opinion, I prefer a deeper shawl. But hey, who am I to judge. 

Michael B. Jordan

Representing Piaget was Michael B. Jordan. Some fan shots revealed Michael walking round in both a red leather overcoat with black piping and a black roll neck sweater. 

Pierce Brosnan 

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 15.56.47.png

Ever heard of Speake-Marin? Neither have I. They don't have an atelier in London but Pierce is definitely helping them to boost the brands profile. He looks the business in his blue peak lapel suit. I'm guessing there is a little bit of mohair and silk in the blend to give it its lustre. Possibly from the Brioni collection. 

Did you manage to go to SIHH 2019? How does it differ from Baselworld?  I’d love to know what you thought of the event in the comments below.


The Best Dressed at the Golden Globes 2019

Golden Globes 2019 - 3.png

It's amazing how just one selfie can be at the sole talking point of an awards ceremony. The internet went into melt down as Idris Elba saddled up to Daniel Craig and posted an image to his Twitter account with the caption, 'awks'. 

Thus, fuelling speculation once again about him being favourite to play the next James Bond. It seems to go largely unnoticed that Idris will be 50 by the time Bond 25 is likely to roll around at the earliest in 2022. But hey-ho. 

I wanted to shine a light on some of the tuxedos that dawned the red carpet for the 76th Golden Globe Awards. In no discernible order. 

Ben Whishaw 

Golden Globes 2019 - 5.png

Winning Best supporting actor for his role in 'A Very English Scandal'. Looking the absolute nails in an Alexander McQueen tuxedo, with the typical McQueen hallmarks and embellishments. The crystals that make a bird and floral fabric are Swarovski and the fabric is a deluxe and subtle velvet. Great work Q. You can buy that for just under £3,000 from Mr Porter. 

Christian Bale 

Picking up best Actor in a Comedy or Musical, and being the only award winner to hint at anything political during his acceptance speech, Golden Globe winner Christian Bale walked the red carpet with wife Sibi Blazic wearing a Brioni bespoke wool and silk tuxedo, black cotton shirt and black silk tie. 

Taron Egerton 

Golden Globes 2019 - 2.png

Looking all grown up! Taron arrived at the Golden Globes Awards wearing charcoal grey wool evening tux with black velvet trim. Jetted pockets and a suppressed wait keep the lines clean for a very polished look. 

Richard Madden 

Golden Globes 2019 - 4.png

You know him from The Bodyguard. Yes that one where Kevin Costner gets asked back for one last job because some damn fool said he was the best. Or wait was that in Predator. I get so confused with people getting called the best in movies. 

Richard won for best actor in a TV Drama, and with velvet being the theme again this year as he rocked an Armani velvet suit. 

Idris Elba 

Golden Globes 2019 - 1.png

Ok so it was inevitable. For my money he wore the ballsiest number on the night, a 3 piece from Savile Row trailblazer Ozwald Boateng. Ostentatious, daring with a blue-black Aztecan kaleidoscopic shawl collar tuxedo with a button down shirt and narrow black silk tie. For sure the name, Elba. Idris Elba. Oh shut it Carl. 

Warm Day Winter Styling | Men's Style Edit

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

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

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


SHOP THE EDIT


The Year That Was in Fashion: My Fashion Highlights for 2018

freestocks-org-187367-unsplash.jpg

You might be thinking back on this year and wondering, where did it go? What did I achieve? What were my highlights? When did I start asking all these rhetorical questions like that woman from Sex and the City? 

Here's the fashion news that made the waves in 2018. 

January - Valentino new logo and pop-up shop craze 

Valentino made an a retail play straight out of left field for its resort 2018 collection. A capsule collection was sold in a series of pop-up stores in Tokyo, New York and Hong Kong, whilst they resorted to an 80's aesthetic logo; VLTN.

A slightly nostalgic normcore-noir slotted perfectly into current 2018 trends when streetwear’s hyper-branded and irony-laden aesthetic is pivotal.

February - Lululemon CEO steps down 

Lululemon Athletica CEO Laurent Potdevin is resigned from the retailer citing that the company “fell short of ... standards of conduct” to respect employees and show integrity.

Potdevin was also be removed from his position on the board.

It was a turbulent year for Lululemon with various nefarious remarks from founder Chip Wilson regarding the company’s policy on not manufacturing plus-size clothes. 

That all said the Lululemon store on Oxford Street is awesome. The upstairs menswear division is a little well-kept secret for meetings, coffees and a yoga studio. 

March - Burberry hires Ricardo Tisci 

Riccardo Tisci, left his role as creative director at Givenchy for what many presumed was the top job at Versace, only to be installed at Burberry as chief creative officer.

Riccardo Tisci succeeded Christopher Bailey who’s departure was announced in October 2017. 

Burberry would continue to make the headlines when it was revealed they annually burn millions worth of unsold stock to prevent them landing in the hands of counterfeiters. 

April - Karl Lagerfeld opens in Soho

Karl Lagerfeld opened its first U.S. flagship store in the heart of SoHo at 420 W. Broadway in New York City. 

The flagship will features a combination of both Karl Lagerfeld and Karl Lagerfeld Paris women's and menswear, as well as accessories and footwear galore. 

May - Balenciaga 1200 shirt

This one made Twitter implode. The £1200 tee-shirt/shirt from Balenciaga.

Some Twitterist's went into meltdown  responding with a mix of disparate confusion and some pretty great witticisms. I like the one that comments it looks like it got stuck together in the tumble dryer. 

June - Kate Spade dies 

Yeah sad this one. I know it's not Menswear but Kate was a trailblazer and her suicide effected the fashion community immensely. 

The handbag and fashion designer was found by housekeeping staff inside her Park Avenue apartment, a note was left at the scene.

It's been a big year for mental health, don't struggle alone people. 

July - Dior announce exhibition at V&A

Shit the bed I can't wait for this one. Spanning 1947 to the present day, this exhibition will open on the 2nd February 2019 and trace the history and impact of one of the 20th century’s most influential couturiers, exploring the enduring influence of the fashion house, and Dior’s relationship with Britain.

Book your tickets online. Anyone fancy being my date for this one comment below. 

August - Love Island great for clothing

This is how you sell merchandising  folks. Thanks to the scantily dressed contestants on Love Island such as Georgia, Laura and Megan, searches for thong bikinis, and even thong swimsuits, have increased by 68 per cent in the past two months alone, with an overall 41 per cent increase year on year. 

Year on year the show amps up the ratings and brands get to see a considerable return on their sponsorship. Great TV, great concept, great distraction to a productive day also. 

September - Michael Kors buys Versace

Woah who saw this coming right? Out of nowhere Michael Kors just swallowed up Versace in a ¢2.1 billion dollar and didn't even blink. A couple of Versace purists thought it would cheapen the brand, but so far there's of Versace bags finding its way into TK Maxx. 

The story of Versace on the iPlayer was also some of the best TV I saw this year. 

October - Melanie Trump in Africa

Well it's not a news round up without some kid of mention of the Trumps. Say what you like about the First Lady, but she likes to put on a show right? Not entirely sure if her colonial inspired wardrobe was the right time and place on her tour of Africa. 

November - Dolce & Gabbana

Oh Jesus guys. Why even go there and make a woeful attempt at humour at the expense of a 200 million hammering in the Asian market? 

Overall, Chinese consumers spend over $7 billion each year on luxury goods, according to the consultancy McKinsey. That's nearly one-third of the global market. 

The advert is not racist, just culturally tone death and not at all funny. Such a misstep, will cost them dear. 

December - Ted Baker 

Oh Ray, and his amorous hugs and ear massages. The founder of Ted Baker has now taken a  leave of absence after a petition was rolled out denouncing forced hugs in the Ted Baker workplace. 

Soon only footballers will be allowed to hug in the workplace. 

 

Hammond & Co by Patrick Grant devises 'Gentleman's Essential Kit List' for Debenhams

Hammond & Co by Savile Row tailor Patrick Grant has launched a brand new AW18 collection entitled 'Gentleman's Essential Kit List'. 

The ‘Kit List’ is the tailored suit that echoes all the hallmarks of the Hammond & Co brand which has been sold exclusively under the Debenhams umbrella since 2013. 

As some of my readers will already be readily aware, I've had a pathological obsession with Patrick Grant for an indeterminable amount of time. He has successfully rejuvenated Savile Row's Norton & Sons in 2005 before relaunching E.Tautz & Sons as a ready-to-wear label in 2009. 

This current release alchemises the belief that the modern gentleman can simplify his existence with the adoption of a simple versatile wardrobe.

The cut is inspired by classic Savile Row tailoring. The range includes a jacket in single-breasted and double-breasted styles, a single-breasted waistcoat, and two styles of trousers, one at fronted and one pleated, both available with either belt loops, or side adjusters for true English style.

“Hammond & Co. has brought together what I believe are the essentials of every modern gentleman’s wardrobe in one simple kit list.

Seven simple staples that will ensure he is always stylishly and correctly dressed, whatever the occasion. At the heart of our kit list is the essential Savile Row suit; perfectly cut and never-changing in two different colour British-made wools."

Patrick Grant, Hammond & Co. designer

The Savile Row suits are available in two beautiful English-made 100% pure wool fabrics; one a classic mid-grey flannel, and the other a lightweight navy panama, and both fabrics will form an ever present part of the collection.

I've opted for the Charcoal Flannel Savile Row jacket, Trousers £90, Waistcoat £70, Shirt £39, Tie £20, Oxford Shoes £95. It's a modern crisp look. I'm in utter bewilderment of the supreme fit. For sizing I've gone: Suit 38" Trousers 30" Shirt 15.5" Medium, Shoes 8. 

And what I love also about this collection is that these fabrics will always be available. So often I get a suit and of course the seat is the first to show wear, or maybe the elbows on a blazer. When I go back to source a matching pair only to find the supply has been exhausted, I'm left infuriated. 

With this collection, hence the name 'Gentleman's Essential Kit List' you can simply replace the piece you need, ensuring a long and happy life for your suit. Much like you would if you had invested in a suit from Savile Row. 

SHOP THE LOOK

My Love Affair With ECCO shoes | The Perfect Day-Night Trainer ECCO SOFT 8 LX sneaker

Today I'm going to tell you more about my new sartorial love, these ECCO SOFT 8 LX sneakers. I've eulogised previously about ECCO shoes being the perfect day-night trainer and transforming from a diminutive shoe factory in Bredebro, Denmark with a small flock of employees, to a key player on the world shoe-stage with 19,500 employees and sales of more than 20 million pairs per year across 87 countries.

The latest addition to my foot locker, the low-top ECCO SOFT 8 LX sneaker, has an incontestable physical dimension. A rugged masculinity, I'd even go so far as to say an animal virility! It's composed from a durable rubber sole and constructed from rich, two-toned ECCO leather, the result a functional and stylish choice that delivers visual clout for casual days around town.


An added bonus on buying ECCO shoes

When buying shoes online my biggest worry is how accurate the sizing will be. Remarkably, sizing differs a lot from brand to brand.

ECCO Shoes come lined in leather for additional softness with removable inlay soles for optimal in-shoe comfort and optional extra width when removed. 

How I style my ECCO Shoes

It's important first and foremost to keep the mid-sole clean. Women detest mucky trainers –  it’s one of the biggest put offs, apparently. You can do this by simply applying Cif with a toothbrush and warm water or using ECCO’s shoe wipes, RRP £2.99. 

I've chosen to highlight the trainer by cuffing my denim in a single roll. I've kept my jeans and jacket in black and navy blue hues to ameliorate the trainer and the contrast lacing that comes with the shoe. 

The size ranges are 39 - 47 and you get free delivery in the UK on orders over £79. 

*This sponsored post was created in collaboration with ECCO Shoes.

Why Own a Luxury Watch?

Watches of Switzerland x Carl Thompson 14.jpg

It's a wonderful time to be a watch owner. With the rise of capital crowdfunding, watch brands such as MVMT and Adexe London have enjoyed huge success over the past couple of years. 

Men have graduated from the odds and sods draw, (that paraphernalia stuff now gets sloshed around window sills and shoe boxes that gets tossed without taxonomy under the bed) to a fully-fledged watch draw brimming with all kinds of boutique and often, unheard of brands. 

But it all feels a little vacuous without that special luxury watch. The Excalibur every man dreams of unsheathing once he opens his draw. But why have a luxury watch in today's modern climate when the standard of entry level watches are so good? 

Put simply, there are some fundamental truths in life, one being there is something quite incontestable about owning a luxury watch. The notion of craftsmanship, the complexity of complications, the sublime harmony and symmetry that only come from a luxury watch foregoes the most palpable of gratifications. 

Whether it be a Rolex that makes you feel aligned with 60's era James Bond, an IWC that reflects your affinity with the lustrous Bradley Cooper, a Patek Philippe for the paragon of irrefutable masculine chic, or a Jaeger LaCoutre simply because it sounds sexy, a luxury watch says something about you. 

It omits a certain aura and as the saying goes, one can read a shape of a man’s character by the company he keeps on his wrist. Or as Rocky Balboa more eloquently puts it, 'You want to have a good time, then you're going to need a good watch'. 

Watches of Switzerland x Carl Thompson 3.jpg

Recently I had a great compliment on my dress watch, that came from an unexpected source who's critique in men’s fashion I deeply admire. Having laudatory comments bestowed upon you from your peers is unfathomable. 

A luxury watch is an investment that typically holds its value, and we haven't even spoken about the sentimental value one can accredit to a family timepiece. It's why Tom Hanks gives back the pocket watch to Helen Hunt at the end of Castaway, even though she gave up on him and married the dentist. 

It's why Bruce Willis goes back for his father’s watch in Pulp Fiction and chances perilous consequences, some too colourful to delineate here.

A luxury watch if nothing else could be your legacy. For all the materialistic-skeptics out there, it could be the greatest thing you do. 

5 x Best Christmas Box Subscription Gift for Him

Today I'm going to highlight some of the best Subscription Services I've earmarked for Christmas gifts. A subscription service is truly the gift that keeps on giving and every month someone gets reminded what a good egg you truly are. 

DiscoverBrew

You might have seen me Vlog about DiscoverBrew where I talk about the benefits of being a BrewBox subscriber. Each month 6 of the best beers arrive on my doorstep, complete with personalised vids that will describe each beer and what food you can pair it with.

The merits of the brands rest on its fantastic selection of beers. Just when you thought you knew all there was to know about craft beer you get presented with a new one and you fall in love all over again. 

Each beer in the box is hand-picked from hundreds that are tasted by the DiscoverBrew team, and only great beers make it into each box. 

Coffee 

My favourite scene from Pulp Fiction is when Quentin Tarantino gives a thrift monologue schooling Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta and indeed the entire audience on why quality coffee is so important. (Unfortunately the dialogue is far too colourful to transcribe here, but I'm sure you get my point). 

If you have someone in your life that is serious about Coffee then introduce them to Pact Coffee.

Their coffee is bought directly from the best farmers across the world then roasted in small batches at Pact HQ in Bermondsey, to ensure the very optimum quality.

Grooming

A lot of us feel begrudged leaving the house at all these days. Especially in this inclement weather and for something so perfunctory as razor blades. 

Why not save someone else the hassle as well by treating them to a razor blade subscription service by the Bearded Colonel. Made in Germany, the high water mark for quality razors.

Delivered direct to your door and small enough to fit through the letterbox so you needed hang around waiting on the postman. 

Music

A promise I've made to myself in the new year is that I'm going to rekindle my passion for vinyl. Really Carl? You're such the go-getter trend setter. 

I know, it's about 20 years too late, but I'm a sucker for nostalgia and I've already got the beard so I feel like I'm halfway there. 

If you know someone that is an avid music goer or has seen High Fidelity and   on a regular basis why not sign them up to Flying Vinyl.

They're a company that sends its members a monthly box filled with the best new alternative music printed onto beautiful 7” vinyl records. 

Shirts 

Ok well you know I'm no shrinking violet when it comes to self promotion. I like to think I tread that fine line of eagerness and persistence. My Hawkins & Shepherd shirt subscription service is the ultimate gift for that man in your life that is career driven, professional and scrupulous about his personal style. 

Save him the hassle of going out and finding new shirts every other month and keep his wardrobe enlivened with new design led, sophisticated hand crafted shirts every month 

Delicacy

Finally, avoid the hustle and bustle of the farmers markets by signing up to the Neals Yard Dairy cheese subscription service. 

Treat your palette to a wonderful myriad of different British farmhouse cheeses. If anyone is looking to get me a gift for Christmas I'll be pleased as punch to receive this. 

Ideal for people who enjoy entertaining or those who like having a few hearty pieces of cheese to hand for both cheeseboards and cooking.

*This sponsored post was created in collaboration with DiscoverBrew

Small Details, Big Differences | How to Look Great in Black Tie | Men's Style Advice

Watches of Switzerland x Carl Thompson 6.jpg

With Christmas and New Year celebrations comes the black tie invitations. Corporate events or fancy friends, this is the time of year when you dust down your tuxedo. This should be seen as the opportunity to look your best and with an unlimited budget, there are some beautiful products available. If I had a spare £15k, I would invest in a diamond and pearl “dress set” from Deakin & Francis to accessorise my bespoke dress shirt. But there are a few more economical tips that can make you stand out for all the right reasons that will not break the bank.

  1. Wear a black tie. There is a clue in the title. This means a black bow tie and not a long tie. It must be a real bow tie that you tie yourself.

  2. Can’t tie a bow tie? Learn. It is a cool life skill. There are plenty of online tutorials.

3. Still can’t tie a bow tie! Purchase a real one one that can be unclipped at the back and ask the nice person in the shop to tie it for you. If they do not know, you are shopping in the wrong places.

4. Avoid most wing collar shirts. Opt for a turndown “normal” collar.

5. If your evening shirt was supplied with studs, do not wear them. They look cheap and cost pennies. You can buy better studs for not a lot of money that will improve your look.

6. Your studs should match your cufflinks. Perfectly.

7. Your wristwatch should complement your cufflinks. It should be slim with a black leather strap. James Bond can wear a sports watch with black tie. You can’t. If you do not have a suitable watch, do not wear one. You can find out the time from your mobile phone anyway.

8. You do not need to wear dress studs with your shirt. Some pedants even believe that it is incorrect to stud shirts for black tie.

9. Cummerbunds are great on the slim but are ugly on anyone with a belly. Be honest with yourself. Remember that a cummerbund should sit on the waist and is not a belt. You will need to wear your trousers high on the waist to allow the cummerbund to sit properly.

10. Wear braces. They will hold up your trousers at the correct height and keep everything in place.

GQ December Issue By Andrew Barber (OmniStyle)-12 Cropped.jpg

11. If you own a dinner suit, make sure it is well pressed and in good repair. It is worth having your evening shirt professionally laundered between wears so that it is always in pristine condition.

12. Make sure you show plenty of shirt cuff, a little more than you would normally.

13. Be wary of anything novelty and avoid fancy waistcoats. And avoid anyone wearing a fancy waistcoat at a black tie event!

14. You can wear a little colour with your pocket handkerchief. Dark reds and purples always look elegant. But a simple white cotton or linen simply folded is always correct.

15. Wearing a flower in your lapel is supremely elegant and a cost effective and correct way of standing out. It should be a simple white or red bloom and no one will ask if you are getting married.

16. Wear plain long socks and make sure your shoes are immaculately polished.

17. Pay special attention to your grooming. Ask your barber how you could style your hair differently for a formal event. The “slicked back” look is very elegant and conjures up images of the 1930s but is not achieved by over-applying cheap hair gel. Your facial hair and fingernails should be recently trimmed.

18. Do not wear a white silk scarf at the event. If you happen to have an evening scarf, check it in with your coat.

GQ December Issue By Andrew Barber (OmniStyle)-15.jpg