Thursday, February 20, 2014

Must-Have Men’s Boots

Boots are the go-to footwear at this time of year, so you need to make sure that yours are bang on trend. Check out our rundown of fashion must-haves that will see you through the coming cold months.

Hiking Boots

No longer restricted to hill walkers, hiking boots have become a men’s fashion staple this season. Chunky, enhanced-grip soles – especially in colours contrasting that of the main body - and traditional lace hooks are essential features.

Standout laces are also extremely stylish: look for striped or brightly-coloured variants for a contemporary look. You can always customise your boots by visiting a site like Big Laces for the perfect pair.


Liquor Store Clothing stocks a huge range of Red Wing boots that perfectly encapsulate the trend. Bright yellow laces, exquisite stitch detailing, beautiful leathers and the iconic white sole feature on a premium boot that will last for years.

Biker Boots

Men’s biker boots are ideal for creating an effortlessly cool look. Make sure you get a pair in quality real leather – black is best – that feature buckle detailing. Slip-on rather than zip-fastened designs better channel the laidback style, and look great with slim-fit jeans tucked into them.

To really capture the rock star image, add a military or leather jacket. This River Island utility jacket is ideal, with metallic detailing providing extra edge. As the spring arrives, you can update your look by adding a pair of stylish sunglasses – Sunglass Hut stocks a great range of brands, including Ray-Ban.

Wellingtons

Wellington boots are a necessity if snow or heavy rain hits, and are a great investment peace for the impending festival season. One of the biggest brands to be seen in is Hunter. We love the chunky and rugged Balmoral Short design, which mimics the style of a utility boot.

This winter, make sure to wear your wellingtons with super-comfortable welly socks – celebrate the British heritage brand with this chic Union Jack design – and premium-quality designer outdoor clothing.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Converse: The Coolest Designs for Men

Converse make some of the most iconic footwear in the world; their sneakers are often replicated, but never matched. Worn by rock stars, sports stars and Hollywood stars alike, they’re the go-to fashion item when it comes to creating an effortlessly cool look – no matter what the outfit.

The classic Chuck Taylor All Stars were inspired by the basketball court and eventually came to encapsulate the spirit of the sport. Now, there’s not only hi-tops but a whole range of styles, which allow anyone to express their personality. Check out some of our favourite men’s options below:

Design Your Own

Converse stand for individuality, and there’s no better way to let your footwear do the talking than with a pair of personalised sneakers. You can design your own Converse online, with the option to customise originals as well as modern styles such as canvas slips. You can add your name to the heel stripe, change the colour of the lace eyelets and even add limited-edition graphics to the tongue.


Star Plyr Ox 

The Star Plyr Ox design puts a retro twist on the traditional low-top pumps, with a star and chevron logo replacing the Chuck Taylor badge on the side. The construction is also sturdier, with extra padding for additional comfort, but they still have that distinctive Converse look. tReds is currently offering the sneakers in a range of colours, and many are on sale – there’s free UK delivery, too.

Loud and proud

There is a huge range of Converse trainers featuring loud graphics and bold prints – perfect when you want to make a statement. You’ll find limited-edition comic strip designs, graffiti art, ultra-bright colours, and there’s even a range of Gorillaz Converse available. Some trend-setters even choose to mix and match their pairs to create different looks.


Look sharp

Converse might be the ultimate casual shoe – they’re perfect for dressing down a suit – but there are some styles that perfectly complement a more dapper look. We particularly like the range of leather Jack Purcell sneaker boots and the all-black hi- and low-tops. The super-low-profile, slim pumps are also a smarter option for nights out.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Men’s Fashion: What Makes a Great Brogue?

When it comes to choosing footwear, you don’t necessarily need a wardrobe full of shoes for each and every outfit. By investing in a few choice pairs, you can make sure you have something to finish off any style perfectly.

Every man should own a pair of brogues - it’s as simple as that. They’re a wardrobe classic that no fashion-forward gent should be without. Characterised by their chunky design and perforated decorations, brogues were originally designed for walkers, to allow water to escape when tackling wet terrain. Nowadays, they make fabulous business wear and are perfect for less formal occasions when complemented with denim.

Here’s our guide to choosing the perfect brogue for you.

Traditional 

If it isn't broke, we don’t see the point in fixing it. At least, that’s our opinion with regards to the classic brogue in a warm, tan leather. Barker shoes like the one below are handmade in Britain and are sure to last you for years, as a good-quality brogue should.


Finish off the look with jeans or trousers (depending on the occasion), a crisp shirt and a sharp blazer.

(Barker Baileys Brogue, in Cedar Calf Leather, £220, from Charles Clinkard)

Suede

Though brogues are traditionally made of polished leather, suede is becoming increasingly popular. Best avoided if you’re tackling harsh winter weather, limit wearing suede to autumn at the very latest to prevent you from losing a fabulous pair of shoes to water damage!

Check out these Baker casual suede brogues, available to buy online from Dune. While they won’t be appropriate for the office or occasions when you’re required to dress dapper, they’re a nice alternative to have in the wardrobe for a more relaxed look.  Pair them with dark-wash denim, preferably in a slim cut: wearing regular cut with brogues will swamp the shoe and distract from the detailing.


Though the majority of suede designs are brown or black, don’t be afraid to experiment with the different colours on offer. These vibrant green brogues by Arthur Knight might not immediately jump out at you, but paired with dark jeans and a brown leather jacket, you’re sure to lead the fashion pack.

Boots

Over time, evolution has given us variants of the traditional brogue, including boot designs. While these modern interpretations are by no means disrespectful to the fashion monument that is the brogue, appreciate that overall impact of your outfit will be dramatically different.

(Loake Burford Brogue, in Tan Leather, £220, from Charles Clinkard)

Definitely waning towards the more casual look, boots are generally slimmer in design – they’re perfect if you’re intimidated by the bulk of a classic brogue. Wear with a slim-cut jean to carry out the sleekness of the boot. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tartan: The Manliest of Materials?

If asked to think of tartan as a fashion item, you’d be forgiven for conjuring images of kilts to your mind. True, tartan has become somewhat synonymous with this traditional Celtic garment. Kilts originated as the traditional dress of men and boys in the Scottish Highlands during the 16th century and, in a way, tartan continues to be regarded very much as a man’s material.

Speaking to The Guardian, Dr Jonathan Falers, author of Tartan: Textiles that Changed the World, called the material “the uniform of rugged masculinity”. Dr Falers, a lecturer in cultural studies at Central St Martins art school in London, goes on to suggest that “tartan signals a back-to-basics feel”.
There is something undeniably masculine about pieces crafted from unique tartan blends. It potentially has something do with the fact that a large number of these pieces come from heritage brands like Barbour, usually associated with the traditionally male-dominated agricultural industry.

Check out this Barbour shirt, from the range of men’s country clothing at House of Bruar. The simple block cheques and earthy colours of the material itself reflect the notion expressed by Dr Jonathan Falers that tartan reverts back to basics. What’s more, the oversized tailoring and cut of the shirt contribute to the masculinity of the piece.


(Barbour Rannoch Shirt, Classic Tartan, £69.95, from House of Bruar)

If you’re loving this as much as we are, we’d advise wearing it with dark-wash denim in a regular cut; finish off the look perfectly with heavy, bulky boots, like this suede ankle design, also by British heritage label Barbour.


 (Barbour Readhead Shoe, £119.95, from House of Bruar)

So it is just the link with the earth and the outdoors which implicates tartan as a man’s material? MensLifeStyleGuide.co.uk provides a very interesting insight into the link between golf and tartan, which again would serve to explain why it’s considered a somewhat masculine textile. The sport has always been famous for its loud trouser designs, although the popularity of tartan on the catwalk means that golfers are now some of the most fashionable sports people in the world.

Tartan trousers have since escaped the boundaries of the sporting arena, making their way onto the high street. Retailers like Topman now include tartan pieces, like these red and black cheque trousers, as part of their formal collection, reflecting the Scottish tradition of using this material for formal wear.

Of course, no one is saying that tartan is solely the property of male fashion followers. Women explore the outdoors, work as farmers and put up a mighty fight on the golf course. What’s more, tartan is just as prominent in the world of women’s fashion. But it’s hard to escape the powerful associations between tartan and masculinity.

Either way, some key pieces make for a fantastic addition to your wardrobe!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Inject a little Italian: Classic Style Influence from the Fashion Nation

Italy, she gave the world high-fashion names Dolce and Gabanna, Gucci, Armani and Prada, alongside youthful contemporary designs from the likes of 55DSL, Coolcha and Antony Morfato. The sheer volume of fashion-elite names the county has churned out is nothing but impressive and we could all do ourselves a favour and give our wardrobe some Italian influence this coming winter.

Italian style is more varied than most people think. It’s a big country and trends differ as they do in any other European nation, but one thing that is guaranteed is the emphasis and consideration that goes into Italian fashion. From the graffiti covered streets to marbled floors of bourgeois hotels, style is key to Italian culture regardless of class, sexual orientation or profession.

High-gorge suits effortlessly dressed down, unstructured sweats and graphically designed street wear; premium denim and confidence when accessorising all come to mind when thinking of Italian styles. These are all easy elements we can incorporate into our everyday looks so here are our top tips when doing so.

Starting with denim, the cornerstone of many a good outfit, there are several names that come to mind. Diesel, Reply, Versace all deserve a nod of appreciation, but to inject true Italian style, choose a pair of Armani jeans from the collection available at Diffusion. From a relaxed fit to more constructed styles, there is sure to be a pair suited to you and your Italian influence.

To give your denim a grown-up finish, pair it with a stunning suit jacket from Italian tailoring experts Mr Rick Tailor. Available at Matches Fashion, this two button wool jacket would look effortless worn open with a crisp white shirt, unbuttoned at the top with Armani Jeans for a perfect smart day outfit.

If tailoring isn’t your thing, why not opt for a strong knit. We need all the fine winter wear we can get and this gorgeous Boglili chunky cardigan would look great paired with a Missoni scarf and wool pea coat. It’s the little details that set the Italian fashion elite apart so scarfs and gloves from high-end names are a must to emulate the look.

If casual warmth is what you want, why not opt for a street-ready sweat from 55SDL? The iconic Figgers pull-over is good place to start if any. Pair it with skinny jeans and Italian-American footwear Gourmet for a cool, casual style unique to you and your attitude.

So there you have it, the top tips for injecting some Italian style into your wardrobe. Just remember - Italian style transcends age and never decays, wear it with confidence and you’ll look every bit the fashion icon.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Get the Look with SnapBack Caps


The Snapback Cap: How To Wear It

The snapback cap is a dividing accessory. With the rise of smart, three piece suites, the cap is seen as adolescent streetwear. However, last year the cap was seen on the DKNY, Dior, Van Assche and Alexander Wang catwalks for autumn/winter 2012, so if it’s styled the right way, it can make an interesting statement that will ensure that you won’t be forgotten easily.

Wear It With Your Suit   

Dior Homme used snapback caps as accessories to the suit. This is a trend that easily translates to everyday wear, as you simply have to match the colour of your suit and the hat. If you choose to wear a trouser cut wider and baggier, your outfit will echo streetwear a little stronger than if you were to wear a skinny cut. The contrast between the two keeps the look smart, but youthful.

Streetwear

If you’re not really a suit-wearing type guy, then perhaps urban streetwear is more your style. Pair a snapback cap with low slung, relaxed trousers, a sweatshirt and a backpack. If you’re really embracing this style, go for high-tops too. Keep the colour palate muted, and use fabrics like suede, shearling and leather, and you’ll look cutting edge, but not garish or over the top.

Celebrities

Many hip hop artists are regularly spotted in snapback hats, such as Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, and Kanye West, as well as sportsmen like Michael Jordan. Caps are also popular with female celebrities, such as Megan Fox, Gwen Stefani and Rihanna have been spotted in them.

On The High Street

High street chains have seen a surge in sales of caps, with sales increasing by up to five times in comparison to the last year. New Era are a company famous for their caps, and are the official manufacturer for the caps of every Major League baseball team in the US. So when you see celebrities wearing a New York Yankees snapback cap, it’ll be by New Era. They also have other designs as an alternative to the classic baseball design, such as camouflage pattern, or a Batman design. Obey Clothing have caps in a retro design, and the Vans quirky Aztec prints are bang on trend.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 and the Return of Men’s Sports Luxe


2012 was a pretty good year for British sport. With the Olympics, Paralympics, Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France, and Andy Murray won the US Open as well as Olympic gold, it’s no wonder that Sports Luxe was back in fashion for men. Initially a spring/summer trend, it looks set to stick around.

How You Can Get The Look

Throw on a tracksuit and some trainers; pretend you’re off to the gym? You’re forgetting the ‘luxe’ part. Look to sportswear as inspiration not the gospel; keep the cut of the clothes in mind and have fun with textures and fabrics. Mix smart and casual for an exciting look.

Colour

Autumn/winter styles always have a more muted colour palate, reflecting, strangely enough, autumnal colours. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, though you may think it might make you fade away in a crowd, but if you pair interesting colours together such as a burgundy and a forest green in the same outfit, then it can make someone look twice.

The Bomber Jacket

A key piece for the sports luxe trend, the bomber jacket is a short jacket with ribbed cuffs and hem. Find one that fits in with your personal style so it complements the rest of your wardrobe. You could go for a baseball style jacket, a leather bomber or something inexpensive in cotton- it’s the silhouette that matters for this sports inspired trend. If you’re looking for something that puts you apart, then opt for something in a pattern or with contrasting sleeves.

Pop it on over the top of a shirt for a sharp smart-casual combination.

The Trainer 

Along with the usual big sportswear names, one of the best designers for the trainer is Cruyff. Football legend Cruyff created the ultimate sports shoe in 1979 - an elegant, luxurious, sophisticated shoe- just waiting for the sports luxe trend to appear. Find your pair of Cruyff trainers at Gravity Clothing. Choose a pair in suede or leather and your shoe will embrace the smart-casual feel of your outfit; stick to grey, black or navy and you will retain a sophisticated air.