Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fjällräven - The Outdoor Brand for the Urban Gent

With the all too inevitable failure of the British summer to produce even a modicum of sunshine it’s perhaps not surprising that some of the most popular and sought after men’s fashion brands this season have been those that draw their inspiration from a rich heritage of rugged outdoor functionality - yet still offer the urban gentlemen a level of style and quality of design that looks just as at home on the football terraces than on the side of a windswept rock face. Rural British heritage brands such as Barbour have seen a great renaissance over the last couple of years, while the likes of outdoor menswear labels including Penfield and North Face have successfully brought the great outdoors to British cities.

Hot on the heels of such outdoor brands, British men’s fashion has seen an influx of fantastic men’s designer clothing from Scandinavia - where quality of build and rugged, hardwearing durability are all but essential criteria in the design of menswear in order to survive the elements in what are often harsher climates. Fjällräven (translating literally as “arctic fox”) is one such example of a brand that has made this transition. Taking in over half a century of founder Ake Nordin’s experience, Fjällräven has sought to perfect outdoor garments of the highest order including its immensely popular Greenland waterproof jacket and an excellent range of rucksacks (such as the Kanken bags available from Red Square Clothing).

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What to Wear with a Pork Pie Hat

Pork pie hats get their tasty name from their resemblance to a classic British pastry. Their low, round crowns and short brims suit a wider variety of face shapes and body types than most hats. Once the favored style for Victorian dandies, pork pie hats evolved into the fashion statement of choice for jazz musicians and ska bands. Since very little is cooler than the jazz scene, it's no wonder that pork pie hats are making a comeback.

Like any topper, the pork pie hat has its own fashion rules, although the pork pie is such an adaptable hat that it might be better to consider them guidelines rather than rules. If you have the confidence for it, you can wear a pork pie hat with almost anything.

Casual Pork Pie Hats

The simple silhouette of a pork pie hat goes well with casual clothing. What makes a pork pie hat look more casual is its fabric; in an open-weave straw or canvas construction, it looks a bit less starched than in more formal fabrics. Prints and patterns also make a hat look more appropriate for weekends than for work days. Pair a pork pie with a button-down shirt in a vintage style or with a simple t-shirt. It's a natural match for a bowling shirt, especially if the hat and brim colors coordinate with the two tones of the shirt.

Pork Pie Hats in More Formal Styles 

When you think of formal hats, you probably think of bowlers, fedoras and other shaped felt hats. Pork pie hats and felt hats have a few elements in common, but pork pies have an affable approachability that wider-brimmed fedoras may lack. That friendly appeal makes them well suited to more relaxed styles rather than extremely formal silhouettes that call for a more complex hat. A lightweight blazer with jeans and a pork pie hat is an excellent date-night option. For work wear, a pork pie is a good way to dress up long shirt sleeves and slacks when you aren't wearing a jacket. Save short sleeves for casual Fridays; even with a dapper hat, that style may be a little too relaxed for some offices.

How to Wear a Pork Pie Hat

Tipping the hat back on your head makes a pork pie hat look a little more rakish and casual. If you're slight or short, wearing your hat toward the back extends the line of your body upward rather than capping it with a flat horizontal brim. Moving the hat forward is a more businesslike look; it also tends to shorten a long face. Play around with how you wear your hat to find your best angles.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Complete the Look with Designer Accessories for Men

In the world of fashion it is probably fair to say that when considering the term “accessories” this tends to be something that is widely considered on the whole, an area of the clothing industry that is by and large predominantly associated with women’s wear , with items such as jewellery, hair accessories, designer handbags, purses and the like all regularly a focus of discussion - and indeed in many instances a “hot topic” - on online fashion blogs, as well as in the printed press in countries all over the world.

     But what of fashion and accessories for men I hear you cry? Surely there must be demand for suitable matching designer accessories to compliments men’s clothing too? Well, when it comes to men’s fashion accessories there is indeed now an increasing level of market and demand - and in turn a growing industry of specialist shops and online retailers tailoring their products purely toward the male accessories market and shying away from what is already a massively competitive and largely flooded female accessories marketplace.

     Moodys Worldwide for example, are one such retailer who have opted to specialise purely in a range of accessories for men – with a broad selection of quality leather wallets, smart ties, Mens silk scarves, leather belts, caps and other men’s accessories inspired and popularised by the recent resurgence in gentlemen’s country style clothing. Perfect alongside a quilted jacket, these fine accessories will suit any man looking for a classic country look, even if living in more modernised urban surroundings.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Designer Clothing - Big Brands for Large Men

Larger or taller men can sometimes face big challenges in the smart style stakes as a lot of clothes targeted at those with a bigger build tend to be extremely casual in nature. Jogging bottoms and tracksuit tops, though comfortable, aren't a great style fit for every occasion.

With this in mind, I've been looking at the offerings of Jacamo Menswear this week to try and hone in on pieces that tick the boxes of smart and stylish, yet stay suitable for men of all sizes.

One collection that stood out is the Penguin spring/summer range. Available in sizes up to a 5XL and in longer length options too, Penguin largely concentrate on polo shirts and chinos that are smart enough to pass the pub/club test while staying comfortable. Prices sit around the £50 to £70 mark, making their pieces slightly pricey but still realistic for designer gear. They also design boots and shoes to complement the street smart look.

Penguin clothes perfectly encapsulate the preppy sportswear look that's popular at the moment. The polo shirts and chinos have a touch of the American Ivy League style, but are grown up enough for men in their twenties and beyond to wear.

The brand itself does have its sporty connotations, though with a more gentlemanly nature. Penguin was started by American Abbot Penderson, who was a keen golfer. It's also a brand that has been favoured by some real male fashion icons in the past including Frank Sinatra, Clint Eastwood and Dean Martin - if it's good enough for Ol' Blue Eyes, I'm sure it's good enough for a pint down the pub, a trip to the shops and putting a few holes on the local golf

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Belstaff Still Lead the Way in Mens Designer Jackets

From its humble beginnings in Longton near Stoke on Trent, Belstaff has now established itself as the most iconic and leading brand name in the world of men’s designer leather jackets. Unrivalled in terms of the quality of materials and build, and always at the forefront of technological advancements in fabric, Belstaff now produce the ultimate range of men’s (and women’s) leather and waxed cotton jackets designed for the 21st century adventurer and free spirit.

     The brand has always had strong links to motorbikes and the life on the open road - and its trialmaster jacket has remained a favourite amongst bikers for many decades (and was also warn by Will Smith in the film "I Am Legend"). Belstaff’s Mojave jacket is also a classic design based on the jacket motorcycle legend Steve Mcqueen used to race in during the 1960s. The brand has a rich heritage and history of producing high quality and stylish designer jackets and combining the classic and the contemporary to produce the ultimate collection of men’s designer clothing.