All posts by Tim

The Great Gatsby – 1920’s Trend

The Golden Era, the Jazz Age and Roaring Twenties; the many names for the most glamorous decade in fashion is making a return. The recent re-make of the 1925 novel ‘The Great Gatsby’, directed by Baz Lurhman, starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Carey Mulligan, has fuelled the outbreak of 1920’s style to the catwalk.

As scary as it sounds, the trend isn’t as extreme as dressing like ‘Gomez’ from the Addams Family, complete with a rose boutonnière. See this trend as a much more subtle take on the 1920’s – think smart sportswear aesthethic, polo shirts with geometric prints, chinos and v-neck sweaters, complete with slick hair and accessories.

Ralph Lauren, Hackett and Alexander McQueen were the main designers who took inspiration from the 1920’s for their SS13 collections. Models were spotted wearing white double-breasted suits paired with a Panama hat and two-tone brogues. American store ‘Brooks Brothers’ has been so taken by this trend, it has just launched a brand new ‘Great Gatsby’ inspired collection of tailored outfits and suits.

In the 1920’s formalwear was taken very seriously – double-breasted jackets, wide-peaked lapel jackets, pinstripe fabric and pocket squares were all in vogue. As it was the age of extravagance and wealth, surprisingly, cream suits signified this lifestyle.

To inject some 1920’s glamour into your wardrobe, stick to more modern suit cuts, but choose a fine pinstripe in black, navy or grey. Vamp up the type of accessories too; consider a pocket watch with a fine chain, cuff inks and a pocket square.

Tread with caution when it comes to ‘Oxford bags’, AKA wide-legged trousers as these do not suit every body type and can be difficult to pull off. British model David Gandy is probably one of the only celebrities who have been spotted recently wearing Oxford Bags as part of a 3 piece suit.

Overall, the 1920’s style takes confidence and elegance to pull off, but can easily be obtainable for all. A pastel coloured suit with a pocket square and Panama hat is a great combination for Summer events, whilst chinos, polo shirt and a casual blazer with rolled up sleeves worn with tan loafers are a perfect look for nights out – just don’t forget to drop the top on your Aston Martin convertible.

Top Tips on Buying the Perfect Suit

Whether you wear a suit daily to work or only for special occasions, buying the perfect one should be seen as an investment. There are plenty of things to consider which can only add to the confusion, although these handy pointers below will definitely help in your suit-purchasing quest.

You may have seen or heard the words ‘sartorial’ or ‘sartorialist’ being bandied around recently, which generally relates to a more upmarket, sharp and tailored look, particularly for men. Have these words in mind when shopping for your suit, as over-sized and poorly fitting suits don’t cut the mustard these days.

Finding the right shop or department store is key, make sure to do your research before hand online or by word of mouth. If you’ve got the cash to flash, head to Savile Row in Mayfair London, the unrivalled and ultimate place to invest in sartorial elegance, with tailors on hand to make your wildest suit dreams come true.

Fit

The most crucial element to a suit is the fit, so make sure you visit a specialist and get measured properly. Once you’ve established why you’re buying a suit and what event it’s for, this should make searching for ‘the one’ much easier too.

Jacket

When trying on a jacket, make sure the shoulders hug your own and not over-hang at all. Secondly – 1, 2 or 3 buttons? The most modern suit jacket are the two button kind, the three button is also deemed as a classic, whilst the one button jacket equals high-style.

A notch lapel—what you see on most business suits—is the standard. Make a statement in a peak lapel, it’s more old-school and elegant and is enjoying a comeback with the high-fashion crowd.

Stretch your arms in front of you, are you able to move freely and feel comfortable? Does your shirt show quarter of an inch past your jacket sleeves? If it does, you’re on to a winner.

Trousers

Step away from the pleated trouser, no matter how ‘vintage’ these may appear, they can add un-necessary bulk and ruin the ‘lines’ of a good suit.

Suit trousers should sit at the top of your hip bones, just below your navel. The ‘break’ on a trouser leg is the amount of material which moves at the bottom of the trouser leg. Aim to go for no break (no loose material and a smooth line) or a slight natural wave around the ankle, known as a quarter or half break.

Extras

A suit lining can add extra oomph to your look. A bright contrasting colour or jewel toned lining will add a touch of personaility and edge to a suit. Accessories count – matching colour of belt, shoes and socks are a must, and always consider purchasing a slim leather wallet or appropriate shoulder bag/brief case, because a shabby rucksack will instantly ruin a magnificent, sartorially elegant outfit before you’ve even spoken a word.

Summer Events Dressing for Men

The summer events season is nearly upon us, and whether you’re attending a good friends wedding, Royal Ascot races or a fancy family BBQ soiree, you’re one and only ‘bring it our for every occasion suit’ just won’t do. It’s time to step up in the style stakes this spring/summer and explore the many new and fashionably affordable solutions to update your special occasions wardrobe.

Step away from the black suit and move away from navy if you have to, this season is all about colour. Pastel hues such as mint green, baby blue and lilac are a big trend for 2013. A pastel suit worn with neutrals including a crisp white shirt will balance this outfit perfectly. These light colours also look great with tanned skin tones, as well as tan suede or leather accessories.

An alternative trend this summer is the classic patterned suit in check, gingham or Glen plaid. Wearing a patterned sports jacket, blazer or suit jackets with plain coloured suit trousers is the best way to update your look and will prevent you from looking anything like Rupert the Bear.

If you’re on a budget and you have a perfectly good grey suit already, update your outfit with floral accessories. A matching pocket square and tie worn with a plain coloured shirt can take you from looking bland to dapper in a matter of seconds, and is also easy on the wallet too!

The fit of a suit is extremely important, remember the quarter inch of your shirtsleeve poking out from your jacket sleeve is vital, and check that your trousers aren’t too long or short. Plus, a half-inch of shirt collar should be visible at the back. If this isn’t the case for all these points, make friends with your local tailor to sort the problem ASAP.

Another tricky part to summer events dressing for men, are what shoes to wear. Sometimes black leather shoes can look a little too heavy or harsh on a hot summers day, so opt for softer colours such as navy blue or brown suede derby or oxford style shoes. Don’t forget that tan leather brogues or loafers also make great summer footwear and can be worn with many other casual pieces.

For summer BBQ’s, cotton knee-length shorts paired with boat shoes, or if you’re feet are up to scratch, invest in a pair of real leather sandals in a neutral colour. Faithful khaki or cream chinos will also be a perfect match for BBQ’s and garden parties; they will keep you cool and go with neutral coloured t-shirts and polo shirts.

To top off your smart summer look, a white Panama hat, cufflinks, tie clip, shirt pin or a sleek watch all add to the sartorial gentleman you’re channelling. Remember on these occasions, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Surf Into Summer

The emphasis on tailoring and structured silhouettes this season is great for work or more formal occasions, however not everyone wants to be restricted full time in a three piece suit, no matter how good it looks.

The SS13 urban surfer trend is the perfect solution to your casual look this season; what’s more the high street is fully stocked with California surfer/skater inspired pieces too.

Part Nineties grunge, part surfer with a sprinkling of urban sportswear, colour and layering to keep things current, the key items for your wardrobe include patterned vests and t-shirts, washed out shirts, shorts and trousers. The perfect cover up is the hoodie, whilst the best accessories include beanie or snapback hats and hardwearing yet practical rucksacks.

The SS13 catwalk saw designers such as Shaun Samson and Topman Design take inspiration from 90’s California meets London skater, with acid-bright hues, oversized tops with studs and shorts. Danish brand Rascals’ plays on this trend perfectly throughout their SS13 collection.

Touches of 90’s inspired animal prints are boldly seen across sweatshirts and jackets. Sun-bleached colour palettes of teal and mauve are mixed with pigment green and tangerine, whilst strong man-made fabrics such as jersey, mesh and nylon are perfect to cope in tough environments.

Head to Topman or Urban Outfitters where these high street stores have truly embraced this trend. Topman’s Mid Grey washed denim shorts (£28.00) worn with Blood Brother’s fever colour print t-shirt (£60) make a great partnership; neutral colours paired with bright colours are key, whilst no surfer trend can be without a plethora of prints; think tie-dye, paisley and plaid.

When it comes to the silhouette, try mixing fitted chinos, jeans or shorts with looser fitting vests and t-shirts. A Slouchy hooded top, a bomber jacket or a denim jacket will also go really well with this look.

Trend Focus: Blue Hues

Men around the world breathed a sigh of relief when the runways in Paris, London, New York and Milan sent models out in an array of blue hues for Spring/Summer 2013. Not only does the colour have its masculine connotations and wearability factor, it presents an opportunity for men to experiment with bolder shades of blue, other than traditional navy and sky blue.

On the runway, designers such as Paul Smith, Dior Homme and Gucci took on a timeless sartorialist superiority look, with Periwinkle blue or rich sapphire-coloured, sharp suits. Kenzo, Burberry and D&G chose to go brighter with a range of floral, orient and Aztec prints in turquoise and electric blue.

For many whose wardrobe is full of navy suits or light blue shirts, refresh it with vibrant hues of cobalt to mix wear with what you have already. The colour is very versatile and can be worn effortlessly alongside other key pieces including white shirts, grey tees and black and brown accessories. For summer, loafers are the best smart shoe to wear with blue suits or chinos.

For the cautious, try a pop of blue with a plain blue t-shirt, shoes or a bag. If you want to embrace this trend full on and flex your fashion balls, head to toe blue works equally well, or mix it with other equally bright hues such as orange and lime for a colour blocked effect – this would be a statement for social events and any up-and-coming weddings you’re planning to attend this spring/summer.

If you’re planning a holiday this year in sunnier climes, choose patterned shorts, shirts and tops mixing a plethora of blue shades, just make sure to wear one piece at a time.

Look to the high street for the latest affordable and new blue hued looks; H&M, Topman and Reiss have some great pieces to update your wardrobe, whilst ASOS have a range of blue suits perfect for the office and events.