Thursday, 29 May 2014

Mix and match ... Summer is here

GYM, SUN or just general summer fun now is the time for all styles, mix and match as long as it has a casual feel to it, all is to play for.
Where to start first? Who cares. The first thing I have plumped for is the cotton blend Hugo Boss black jogging pants, these regular fit track pants sport the Boss logo on the left side zip pocket of which there are two.

I like to contrast the actual sport use of the pants with the Armani Jeans crossover strap sandal in either blue or brown, the leather upper round toe sandal has a rubber sole with padded insole.

Now with the blue main stay, try contrasting it with the Minimum DK Kieron ivory t-shirt with stunning palm tree design print on the front, crew neck and slim fit.
Or try the Tetony 1 white t-shirt with multi-image print from Boss.

As an aside, being prepared for every practicality is always cool and keeping everything neatly sorted in the relaxed Swims Footwear 48 hour navy bag, which is a water resistant nylon, waterproof zipper and three inner pocket bag couldn’t be easier. 
Or the Herschel Supply Co Parker navy red backpack, which is a fully lined bag with pleated front and internal media pockets.

Perfect to hold a Barbour Dept B sports hat. The Dartmoor dark hat is a broad rimmed, with camouflage print, waxed outer, or one of the birch or bucket Norse Projects hats, which are the same styling, with reversible Oxford vintage print.

To once again contrast, a pair of Versace Tricolour beige and white or blue shoes, with lace up lightweight shoes, with branded buckle should be safely stowed.

Now to adapt any look a blazer always throws up a summer feel, be it from old school to boat club and the Gibson London pin stripe blazer cuts across both with two hand pockets, satin lining, single vent with delightful print lining, or the icon of Prisoner-esque navy blazer with three button front placket, beautiful white piping on front and pockets, with the Gabicci branded badge, polka dot lining and satin sleeve inner. 

I can just hear ‘Be seeing you’, as I look at the garment.

Of course a sweat shirt is de rigueur in a look of this type, so for crew neck shirts the Penfield Grad Appliqué in grey or yellow or the Norse Projects Ketel logo in dark grey/olive, grey/melangue or black, both sporting the brand name across the chest in classic sweat shirt fashion. 

For a hooded, plump for the Hugo Boss Black jacket hooded BM sweat. Two welt pockets, drawstring hood, zip through with Boss logo, all very Marciano, it also comes in navy.

Now for shorts, there is nothing wrong with the delicious contrast D1 check blue mix Docker shorts, keen length, check print with five pockets and zip fly. 

Or for a slightly calmer colour set go with the sharp stripe Fred Perry regal shorts, four pocket, striped pattern short in soft lightweight cotton and zip fly.

Keeping it casual once again with the Sebago Trenton penny loafer a fully suede upper, contrast stitching shoe with rubber sole. The Moccasin construction shoe comes in dark brown and rust colourings as well. Or the Lacoste Led Moorwell dark brown loafer with tassel upper, leather lining and upper, cushion insoles wonder.

Light coloured shades will work against the larger blue garments I am going for the Justin tortoise Wayfarer based sunglasses from Ray Ban in acetate frame, and brown lens. Nice.

These combinations are very much a tin of sweets, there are many to choose from that work together, it always pays to keep having a look and to mix things up.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Staying out for the summer

THE SUN is out and with the up and down English summer weather in many was its open season to combine looks.
Working a relaxed American chic look is always a winner in the summer months, light denim and iconic preppy shoes, with a cool dark t-shirt.

To start I am plumping for the the Armani Jeans, the J10 Grigio grey, which provide a slim fit jean with a faded grey colour, all the classic Armani touches, including a leather trim on the back, zip fly, with five pockets.

If you want to go all the way James Coburn Magnificent Seven style then plump for the Paul Smith Off White jeans, delicious contrast stitching, five pockets, button fly, with branded buttons.

Of course there are countless styles of Bass Weejuns shoes, but I like the Larkin or Layton for this look if you are after a tassel shoe, there really isn't much better. In burgundy or black the hand own moccasin construction shoe, this beautiful penny loafer shoe is an icon with colours working well against the lighter denim colour.

The Merz B Schwanen Worker shirts provide clean lines, with a slim fit, three button placket crew cut top, coming in red, navy and grey, you could also go for the quieter finish of the Button Facing shirts, red, navy or nature, which is light grey, which have contrast with a ribbed pattern. These have and outside placket and ribbed cuffs, and provide an nice alternative to the bold one colour feel of the worker.

You cannot avoid socks in this situation and of course the classic argyle print of the Burlington, I reckon Manchester navy, but obviously there are so many variations, as you would expect from this legend of sock design.

Now, I would always drop a jumper into the equation, more the case as insurance with something like the Carhartt Toss jumper in maroon or metro blue, simple effective and very comfortable the crew neck jumper works a treat worn on the shoulders and coming in Mouline yarn. Or if you fancy splash of English colour and quality try the Hardy Amies crew, in navy, dark grey or dark green, this two tone corker/ contrast colour arms, this soft lightweight jumper is a perfect summer accompaniment.

And of course no summer set up is complete without a bag, well where else are you keep your shades until the clouds inevitably come out?

The Filson black rucksack, large top opening in black, water repellent, well it is summer, with two large expandable pockets, storm flap and leather carrying handle, this little American wonder packs off a nice little set up I think.

Although you could always stash the Paul Smith off white waterproof jacket, unlined, hidden hood, zip through with storm flap, this nylon wonder is simply that, wonderful and also comes in purple.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

The return... Skylon high

STUMBLING OUT of SLM Towers after launching the first edition of what could be seen as the smartest new magazine on the block, I could easily have been forgiven for getting carried as to the oddity of the situation that befell me.
I was after all sheltering from what seems to be the perpetual rain of British spring and summer relying on the ability of my Crombie Rainmac, blue not the navy, to do so, I find that colour brings out the tan of my Grenson Archies better in dull weather.

I stood clutching all the requisite papers for future editions of SLM in my newly acquired Want Les Essentials De La Vie Ohare shopping tote, when I was approached by a man, not in an Operation Yew Tree way mind.

This rakish chap, sporting a full length coat I recognised as a Barbour Stockman and dark glasses, Ray Ban Cats in black, if I was not mistaken, jammed a small piece of paper, grunted something indecipherable and sped past me and into the night.

Not one for conspiracy theories, I quickly looked around and then recognised exactly what the typed message of: 'Castelnau' meant and who it was from… 

Something wicked this way comes I thought and pondered visiting said property near Barnes, London over a series of fully loaded French 75s, when my curiosity, it must be said, got the better of me.

So I headed out to the West London bolt hole, where I found the door key still under the back wheel of the unmoved Jaguar 420 and entered the decaying old mews knowing the basement was where I was headed.
Dust a plenty, stuffed animal heads, all smacked of only one thing, my old chum and his family lineage, with this gaff acting as the families secret bunker.

Having descended into the cellar, I was greeted by the staccato ‘tap, tap, tap’ of the IBM Selectric typewriter, attached via a ham-fisted series of wires to a Lorenz SZ40.

I am always amazed out how the fingers of influence stretched from young Skylon’s family and as the Selectric decoded his messages from god knows where, I could not help wondering how they had persuaded the Bletchley Park gang to smuggle the out such an historic piece of encrypting machinery, which was now being used to order clothing for the old desperado himself, as he blazed another trail of destruction on some ungodly corner of the globe.

Piecing together the foot steps of a crazed individual is never easy, but slugging back a fabulous glass of 1961 Mouton Rothschild Bordeaux I pondered the word hammered across: Myanmar, Ten C, Minimum Frede shorts, Swims, Orlebar Brown, Persol and of course the final one… booze.

So Burma way (Myanmar) was where my old chum was, presumably hold up in the forests hence the need for the Ten C snow smock to shield from the torrential down pours, and why would he not choose that, although originated for winter camp wear, this military icon would ensure he and the girls (Bubbles and Bingo) remain dry, I am also slipping in the Sfoderato green goggle jacket from C.P. Company, a corking garment, dripping in classic C.P. style, with drawstring comfort and deep chest and lower pockets, perfect for ammo, booze or whatever things normal people might wish to carry.

I like his choice of the Minimum Frede shorts, giving him a flexibility of extra cover with the roll down knee, button fly, and pockets a plenty in arrange of solid neutral colours, a wise move I think as the third glass of this parafino slips down.

I am not going to argue with this choice of OB T-shirts and teasingly I will send him the Tommy Illustration Monaco to remind him of sun-bleached afternoons imbibing his favourites at the Hermitage hotel, also it will won’t provide him with any form of camouflage with its delicious art deco print standing out a mile. 
I will of course drop in a couple Bobby shirts he requested from the range, so he can safely blend in a bit, I am not that cruel. 

The Swims are a wise move as well, he is obviously treading some heavy duty precipitation over Burma way, so these little beauties in the Harry Mud boots, along with the galoshes and of course the Loafers are all quality and provide not only style, but protection. 

Blazing up a Cohiba I wonder if there are any more colours in the rainbow for Swims to feature in their loafer range?

The last two demands have left my slightly confused, only in as much as I understand Skylon’s need for foldable Persol sunglasses, but which ones? The black, tortoise or the Havanas? 
I am not sure, so bung in all three from the 714 range.

As for the booze, well there is plenty here that can be fired over to the old chap, although I will be finishing up this cheeky little red before I begin to compile this little package for the old fox.

And I am sure he will drink to that.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Summer loving with Farah

SUMMER IS definitely on it’s way and one line that has rolled up its sleeves and pulled out some classic wardrobe winners with its short sleeve shirts, they are super cool for what looks set to be a long hot summer and that is Farah.

The Askrigg bordeaux button down slim fit cotton shirt has a Jackson Pollock style print with turned up sleeves and is a delight, with Farah logo embroidered on the chest, sporting a more 80s style geometric pattern print style in claret, sky blue, white and black the Reeth button down slim fit also has the rolled up sleeves. 

The Gunnerside cream shirt is a more relaxed floral, well dandelion print, button down again with sleeve roll, this also has a button fasten chest pocket with logo on it, it also comes in a more muted navy where the flower prints really stand out.

The Trent shirt comes in the same cut and body style, but prefers a neutral one colour in orange or navy with white button and chest pocket.

The Ruxton long sleeve shirt is part of the 1920 range, button down, with wooden buttons, a slim fit cut, with flap patch on the chest pocket and the logo attached not embroidered.

A version on the previous short rolled sleeved shirt, the Gallant is part of the 1920 range and has button down, delicious floral print all over, it has a pen pocket in slim fit, in indigo and deep red and also leans towards the American style of white t-shirt underneath worn open, nice.

Also part of the 1920 range the Gatsby shirts sport wooden buttons, tag logo and have a stunning overall floral print coming in cream or navy.

The Hobart shorts feature the same print as the Askrigg in bordeaux print, lined, tailored fit with four pockets and button fly.

So all you need now are some chilled beers and a pub garden to help kick start the summer season.