Friday, 26 February 2010

All around the houses

IT’S all around the houses, as trousers this blog, because I am looking for some jeans and blimey where to start?

The darker denim lines always hold sway and work well with either trainers, boots or suede footwear.

I am very taken with the Edwin jeans, especially the Hidetora unwashed, they are the right side of dark denim for me, although the red selvedge are also worth a view and fore those fans of the skinny leg, check out the ‘slim’ leg line.

Having drawled all over the recent release of the Levi vintage range, which will surely blow away the stores when they are released this spring.

Boot cut all the way for me it must be said, but if you can’t wait that long the PWR ranges are straight 504 is an early release, while the sta-prest will always provide a classic look.

And in true Brit style classic Wrangler jeans, topped with checked shirts are also worth running back to.

Released by popular demand, the jeans come in at a every reasonable price, with two ranges on the shelf, the original Blue Bell and just Wrangler ranges, with the Ace jeans bringing back a much missed look.

The blue bell offers some stunning cuts, especially in the clay Moto Sherpa denim shirt which makes any look, classic W emblazoned across the chest pockets in a superb denim sheen.

All these combine well with penguin jackets, Harringtons being the obvious cult look that has always cut an anti-establishment style all of its own.

All we need now is a two tone or Ska revolution and we are set for a dancing summer.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

More neck than a swan

HOW much neck has Liam Gallagher got? After a sterling rock ‘n’ roll performance at the Brit awards, wearing a natty Pretty Green black parka 2, the former Oasis front man showed a snarl and style in equal measure.

So how much neck does it really take to be a ballsy rock and roller?

Well looking at the superb range of scarves the Manc madman has created for Pretty Green quite a lot.

Silk really seems to be the only way to go with a scarf that is a fashion statement rather than a winter warmer, and the black label silk twill paisley scarf is a stand out product,.

This does not bear the companies label and has a more subtle style to it, not a word that Liam himself was aware off as he leapt about after receiving the award for the best British album in the last 30 years.

It is ironic that such a steely character would immediately choose the crafted sheen of a silk scarf to don, but I feel it is a very wise move and a welcome visitor back on the high street.

The polka dot scarf in black is also fast becoming a classic accessory and in many ways has replaced the tie as a finishing piece to any outfit.

The full range of polka dot designs, coming in red, white and navy create a nice break from an outfit, but while Pretty Green may be the new kid in town, the classic Tootal brand still holds its own and by some way.

Harking back to the 1950s this has roots that have never been lost, superbly crafted, with feathered ends and of course proudly stamped with made in England.

I love the Luke-Lion logo link up silk scarf in the Wainwright range, or the multi-stripe and for a reasonable price of £30, these make a statement of style and affordability.

With 12 designs on offer from the polka, Wainwright, Paisley and Multi-stripe ranges the choices are seemingly endless.

To my mind they complete a look, have done for years and are sure to do so throughout the coming year and onwards.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

The old enemy

ENGLAND v Germany has always been an interesting contest, whether its on the sporting fields, battle fields of high street fashion stakes.

This spring the arrival of the Spezial Adidas trainer alongside the release of some truly spectacular English craftsmanship, in the shape of John Smedley provides another mouth-watering offering.

OK, the two are not doing battle, they do offer two interesting variables, style over practicality, which has been seen in many clashes between the great nations over the years.

Smedley offers wearers simple cuts, with classic lines, a thought process that does away with complications for the one true idiom of quality.

Pure wool or cotton mix jumpers and t-shirts do away with practicality and providing a statement of intent for the wearer.

The heavier cotton T-shirts such as the Pegasus or the Dorado all come with specific giveaway ‘buzz’ words, such as ‘fitted’ and ‘tailored’, how very reassuring and English.

They are not simple casual wear and are never likely to be seen running the gauntlet on a tennis court, such as le Chemise Lacoste, whereas Adi Dazzler designed his footwear for one purpose, practicality.

Their style comes in the performance, each designed to fulfil a role, and the Spezial does exactly that.

It’s role is to look superb with a nice pair of Levi jeans, or Lois cords.

That comment would have the German’s choaking back their sauerkraut, but for the English fashion conscious man, this is how we see the ranges.

Generally only the footwear will only see a five-a-side or handball court, in the case of the suede topped dark olive Spezial, years after they are first purchased.

Smedley is a building block of class for any wardrobe, understated, logo-less but classic and the latest releases are nothing less than superb.

You don’t strain yourself on a sports court in Smedley, it is just not cricket.

As the words of the song go; ‘You’ve either got or you haven’t got style’.

Smedley has it in spades.

The squared off shoulder and tapered collars on the polo ranges show a specific eye for detail, rarely seen in such products, while the ultra fine cotton used in the Marshall pull-over again exudes a certain level, which enhances any wardrobe.

England v Germany, class versus the classic, I think this one will have to go down to penalties once again. But whatever you do, enjoy the match.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Hats of the day

Don’t look back into the sun, but at least protect you loaf from it, that’s what I reckon. Be it summer sun, or just to keep the old canister warm until spring fully hits its straps.

So for the English look, what better way to start off with the classic flat cap, which has been combined nicely with silver screen players such as Danny Dyer and Guy Richie alongside their Fila five stripe tops, see the opening night screening of Nick Love’s The Firm and Dyers’s appearance on Soccer AM with fellow Business star Tamar Hussan.

Kangol must be one of the great names of modern fashion headwear, and their Tropic Plaid 504 style show they are still a-head of the pack in many ways. Like what I did there?

The tweed flat caps style will always be a London classic, from costermongers in the old East End of London to the chaps style now, the tweed ‘titfer’ (titfer = hat) has to be their peak. Sorry, no more dire jokes.

Also, don the Arthur Daley, Pete Doherty style trilby, with countless Kangol’s on offer, with the Arnold range of hats, exchanging for the straw version in either beige or brown for the summer months.

Christy’s also offer some sublime English designs, with their Balmoral tweed caps and of course, the Casual classic tweed Dear Stalker or Sherlock hats.

But with the summer around the corner, the baseball cap will always hold sway as the package holiday beckons.

There are countless ranges available, for example the Fjall Raven Serak industrial green style cap, but the French doyen of Lacoste still stands aloft.

Their Prune range of baseball caps, with the smart cross thread style caps are classics, which their new shoe ranges, really provide street and beach level style.

The Luz SRM NBOK boating shoes are a must, or plump for the Ronne SRM canvas shoes, with thin soles are excellent for the beach or travelling light, multi-purpose you might say.

Fred Perry Authentic’s shoes in canvas or the Storm trainers are both lightweight and stylish, in plain colours fit with any garms.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Bags of Fun - Admired by many and worn by few

‘Supp your beer and collect your bags’, well I know it’s poetic licence, and not quite what The Jam sang, but that’s what any holiday-planning, fashion conscious globe trotter will be doing, or should be at least.

So what will be catching the eye on the Heathrow cat-walk or cutting a dash on the sun-soaked beaches of the Copacabana?

Well first up the look to be hiding all your holiday wardrobe treasures in has to be the MacLaren range of bags.

These stylish English range sports bags and holdalls in brown provide style, size and sophistication and are sure to complete the top to bottom summer look.

The canvas bag’s in a light almost khaki brown have feature leather straps and bottom to provide suitable protection for any beloved wardrobe in airport baggage handling areas.

The range, offers a variety of bags, from the Shoulder to the Dart, Ariel Trout to the super stylish Windsor leather bag.

But once out of the airport, surely one the new Adidas Adicolour range of small sports holdalls.

Whether it’s the classic Airline bag in a variety of colours, reknowned in the playground and at sports clubs during the heydays of the late 70s and 80s, or the smaller Sir bag, these timeless products will always be respected.

English branding again with the Fred Perry bags, provide a similar look, but with a home-grown style. The authentic shoulder bag in black and red the perfect foil for a short trip away.

For the more adventurous combining a bit if winter chic with summer sun can be found in the Fjall Raven Kanken range of back-pack bags in a range of colours.

It really is time to shake of those winter blues and run to the sun, so packing your sun-soaked satchel with goodies is a must.

Shorts, which are multi-purpose can be found in the vintage ranges currently appearing.

I was taken in, as always, by the classic Casual ranges of Fila lifer and loafer shorts, which, for my part, the standout shorts of any wardrobe. Pockets, and a superb cut, make these an all-round winner.

With the sun-tastic Carrera range of shades now in full affect, my current fav is the Safari-o C11 glasses, the beach looks a cinch this summer.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Shady business

AS every fashion conscious man knows planning ahead is vital, knowing the colours for the summer and jackets for winter, is what makes a wardrobe successful.

Saying that, on your head or more to the point on your face is just as important and as the summer clothing ranges begin to hit the shelves, sunglasses are making a huge return.

Not that they’ve ever been out of fashion, but some classic brands are returning and this time it’s open season on style, with 80s looks rocking up alongside some sterling 60s and 70s ranges.

For me the shade of choice is the aviator shape, that’s only because of the shape of my ‘loaf’, so for me the arrival of the Carrera range of glasses, and of course the brand’s classic Aviator shape Champion range is a source of celebration.

The fabulous Carrera coloured shades, bring back memories of F1 drivers James Hunt and Jackie Stewart, while the aviator harks to Hunter S Thompson, the late, great outlaw journalist.

Or for the more sports orientated, try the Rush SMG shades, which are a smaller, closer cut aviator style, designed for driving, rather than the fly-bird look, while the Ticky style, bares a resemblance to the Wayfarer..

Persol shades are also set to land next month and are set to prove a smash with their close cut designs, which evoke classic summer time styles.

The new 714 Italian shades evoke style and class and are favourites of a certain Daniel Craig as James Bond, and Jay-Z has been seen rocking them.

Open top motors and barbecues will see these shades dominating this summer, along with favourite holiday destinations.

It really is true, in the area of cutting edge design that you really do get what you pay for with sunglasses, hence why designs such as the Wayfarer by Ray-Ban have remained unchanged since initial conception.

From Hollywood to Henley this shade has always remained a favourite and it is set to do so again this summer. Having graced the faces of Pitt and Nicholson, to name a few, this shade is synonymous with the Hollywood set.

Accessories can make a look and a watch, especially if has kitsch value, can top off any look.

The newly re-released Timex digital ranges are a superb combination of colourful and kitsch.

Either garishly coloured, such as the digital two ranges, or the classic gold or silver, the look is not so much Timex, but timeless

Topping off with a cool Lacoste T-shirt or smooth chamomile 55 or pastel coloured Pengiun vintage shirt, sunglasses are a vital component, so do get caught in the shade is how I see it.

The future maybe bright, but the fashionable look for the summer isn’t.

Thursday, 4 February 2010


THE Madchester and Brit pop generations were smattered with both Mod and Casual influences, which can be seen on the streets again.

Kickers and classic Adidas firebird tracksuit tops and the Originals t-shirts along with boot cut and in some cases flared Levi jeans to name but a few, were seen on street corners throughout the nation and their reimergence now, in the shape of the the 3-strip and retro trefoil ranges and the glorious Kicker boot and shoe is a fine time.

The later following of Brit pop saw Damon Albarn of Blur, sporting a Fila Settanta tracksuit top, during the Parklife video as the vaguely Mod group stepped up their style, while the Manc lads of Oasis, headed by ace face himself Liam Gallagher, blazed a trail of fashion, well at least the front man did.

The classic white fur trimmed Parka shone like a beacon and can be seen reflected in the singers’ release of a crystal white parka for Pretty Green, sported recently by Weller himself, in the latest Pretty Green promo pictures priced for £4550.

Friend and sometime song-writing partner Richard Ashcroft used the bands’ Urban Hymns album cover to sport a return of the Wallabee, with glimpses of Diadora during their American tour under some natty cords.

While band such as The Enemy have been flagrant in their support of Fila clothes. The Coventry based song smiths took part in the Italian labels advertising campaign for the release of the five-stripe jackets.

With a youthful sound that tipped its hat to The Jam, the group who were never a nod too far from the world of the football Casual look either, donned both Flia gold and retro tops recently.

A similar jacket to this is the newly released Ratner from Penguin, which looks crisp in either red or mazarine blue.

So it’s all out there and the news that Pringle have extended their range of classic jumpers, with the classic Argyle range diamond cuts coming out priced just £89, just makes things a little better.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

MOD SQUAD - Hit's the New Arrivals Area at Stuarts

Knowing your roots and then adapting to your surroundings is key to any fashion and fashion conscious fellows wardrobe.
For me the Casual look has always tipped the balance, but where did it come from? What is its heritage?
Simple classic lines and attention to detail, a link with the clothes an obsessive need to remain one step ahead, well it’s not punk is it!
Mod is the forefather to Casual, many icons of the Sixties Mod and later Seventies trench coat stylings are still omnipresent today in all men’s fashions.

Cast you mind back to Steve McQueen, classic desert boots, try checking out the obvious Clarks classics, the Originals range, featuring the Cola suede desert boot, or the Harris Tweed limited editions, which add a little bit of extra style.

Not to mention a few well tailored trousers, such as the Baracuta chinos, Ben Sherman offer some classic cuts in the shape of their Rone Raven and Eubank gun metal trouser, along with the Luke 1977 Mills shirt range. The Levi vintage cut jeans range are something to celebrate and the PWR regular Flt 752 coloured jeans, while of the numerous Levi denim jeans, the 1967 vintage wash are my favourites, which go hand in hand with that iconic wardrobe.
Films like the Thomas Crown Affair and Bullett are enough to whet any appetite for clothes, while the Baracuta (G9 slim fit) and Fred Perry Harrington’s could have you fighting between the two.
The Albion style of Mod was obviously the classic look labels such a Fred Perry Laurel t-shirt range, which spread over as the prevalent label of the early Manchester Casuals known as Perry boys. While The Who film Quadrophenia based in Shepherd’s Bush, the spiritual home of Mod, having fabulous scenes of a Perry bedecked Phil Daniels riding around the area, along with some superb parka wearing moments. Or the gang sporting Sherman gingham button-down collar shirts, or why not try the Baracuta versions?
The parka has now mad a huge resurgence thanks to Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green label, a name taken from a classic Jam song. Of course Gallagher’s style took hugely from Mr Weller’s band and the Modfather himself, but more on that another time.
So the links and many of the labels remain and can also be seen in clothes worn by Bowie, think of the Low album cover, his hair being more Casual flick than Mod. The trench coat look has endured and once again is making a return as summer arrives, check out the Baracuta G23 raincoat as a good starting point .
This is where the ability to have a keen eye for lines and cut, along with the ability to mix and match are vital for any dedicated follower of fashion.
The basic coloured clothing wardrobe to start, relying heavily on these iconic looks, before branching off for seasonal and just added colourful looks is the obviously the next step.
So it is good to see ranges of clothes providing something for all, and it’s always worth looking around to see how these style have lasted or been championed by bands, singers, actors and quite simple the stars of any town or high street worth a mention, the Boy About Town.