Sunday, July 31, 2016

House of Fraser - Men's Accessories

House of Fraser as a store sticks in my head for all the right reasons. In my early twenties (heady days before Internet shopping was a pipe dream) it was the only place that sold my favourite aftershave of all time, Bvlgari Pour Homme. When I was asked to take a look over their male accessories to see what they had to offer I didn’t have to think twice after all I could happily bankrupt myself when wandering around one of their many stores. 

Instead of looking at the usual items, such as cufflinks, ties and belts to accessorise an outfit I thought slightly outside the box and have gone for some lovely items that cut across a broad range of budgets and covers everything you need when it comes to mens accessories. 

So, what did I spot that I could see myself buying? Here’s what…
House of Fraser - Men's Accessories

Wrist action 

A stylish update of a classic Casio design, this timepiece is built for classic and street styling. The piece features a daily alarm, 1/100th second stopwatch and illuminator backlight and is 30 metres water resistant perfect for everyday styling.

I’ll be the bag man 

Tommy Hilfiger Ethank Mini Flat Crossover Bag is described as being a small messenger bag which is perfect for London travel and again, you won't be annoying anyone on the tube in rush hour with your backpack

Wallets, and not a mothball in sight
Paul Smith London Small billfold colour flash wallet which is suitable for both cards and cash and by cash I mean notes and not change!

Did you really think I wouldn’t pick out cufflinks
Simon Carter Rope ball cufflinks, made from metal they are the kind of cuffinks which can be worn casually or more formally, simple in design and detail, they tick all boxes.

Yes my obsession continues in this department and I have chosen The STORM Cog Leather Bracelet. It features 3 separate leather bracelets held together with a highly polished stainless steel magnetic fastening, featuring intricate cog detailing.

I spy, with my little eye 
An essential for sunny weather, these sunglasses have a classic gold-tone design of these aviator sunglasses is complemented by the simplistic detailing which makes them an ideal outfit addition whether you`re close to home or away on holiday. 

Whatever your tastes (unless you are a massive goth - nothing wrong with that) there are literally hundreds of male accessories to choose from at House of Fraser. I have to admit, when I was asked to take a peek through I expected to spend around an hour going through the site. Instead, I've spent hour after hour over the past week picking out some excellent products from reputable fashion houses and building up an online wishlist on their site for when payday comes around.

Go on, head over there and take a look, I'm 100 per cent certain you will find at least one thing you really want to buy.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Legs out Sunshine!

Fear not readers, not a pair of second skin speedos in sight - thankfully.

Instead, today I will be looking towards my summer holidays and picking out a few pairs of shorts that would go down a treat in sunnier corners of the world or would work as a rather casual attire for those scorching days in the office.

With the assistance of BeautyqueenUK I have picked out four different styles of shorts that I could see myself donning and finally exposing my pasty legs to the sun! Trust me, they need something, they look positively awful, no positively sick.

On with the show......
Men's Shorts
Superdry Core Cargo Lite Shorts in Green featuring a seven pocket design, button fly fastening, belt loops and a reinforced saddle. The shorts feature an all over print and are finished with a Superdry logo patch on one of the belt loops and a logo tab on the back pocket.

Bench Evade Black Cargo Shorts, 100% cotton and have pockets on either side of the leg for essentials and perfect for something a bit more formal than meandering about.

Criminal Laguna Cargo Shorts - These cargo shorts from Criminal are a stylish summer option. Crafted from hard-wearing twill fabric, these cotton shorts exude refined, rugged appeal. The buttoned pockets lend a functional purpose to this essential pair.

Tommy Hilfiger John Light Twill Shorts in Navy. These area bit more formal and perfect for a lunch or dinner date with a short sleeve shirt or non-offensive tshirt. Button fastening with pockets on either side for your essentials.

What do think to my selections? Would you ever wear a pair of shorts to work?

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

22 top tips for mens fashion

Every now and again I will go shopping and spend a fortune on clothes only to get home, try them on and realise that I could have saved the expense and simply wrapped myself in a potato sack, naturally tied with string at the waist and still look better. I have little fashion sense and being colour blind means that I’m basically useless at dressing myself.
22 top fashion tips for mens fashion
Writing this little blog has helped, reading male fashion blogs has inspired me in ways I never imagined (hell, I’m firmly converted to wearing a variety of bracelets now to complement an outfit) and every now and again I will come across sites that offer advice, much needed advice in my case.
22 top fashion tips for mens fashion
22 top fashion tips for mens fashion
22 top fashion tips for mens fashion
Late last week, in between searching for our youngest cat Hector who had gone missing for days on end (he is back now - rejoice) and celebrating the birthday of the ball and chain (the lovely BeautyqueenUK) I was sent a link to, an online retailer of men’s fashion who have pulled together 22 top tips for mens fashion. You can see their handy infographic here.

I have to say, the infographic did make me smile, there were a few tips in there that appealed to my dark humour but actually, a lot of what they say rings true. I’m not sure about storing a few shirts and a blazer at work (although that reminds me I need to bring my tuxedo home from my work locker) but tips such as ‘wire coat hangers should only be used for breaking into cars’ and ‘if you’re not sure how much aftershave you should be using then you shouldn’t be allowed to use any’ are so true.

Personally, my favourite tip, and something I get wrong a lot was in relation to suits:

  • Fitted is good
  • Snug is dicey
  • Tight is wrong

That is so true, nobody wants to be able to count how much change you have in your pocket from ten yards!

Go on, take a peek at the tips - what’s your favourite?
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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Tee wishlist 2016

“Tees me, tees me, tees me baby…….“ - ah yes, the crappy tunes of the early 1990s, it can mean only one thing. Yes, that’s right, there has been sunshine for more than two hours so to us Brits (well, us Northerners) its basically summer. Oh look, I managed to get a reference to awful music and the purpose of my post into the opening words! 

While true that summer is allegedly here I have found myself for months now pouring over the fashion boards on Pinterest looking for clothes to help me cope with the stifling temperatures on London Underground. I honestly do lose hours of my life on Pinterest whether it’s looking for new aftershaves to try, clothes I really think would suit me, art that takes my fancy or just quirky stuff I would like should I ever to be in a position to have my own little room in a house. At the moment though I’m stuck in casual wear and tees in preparation for some glorious sunshine for me to worship. With that in mind today I’ve pulled together a tees wishlist I could really see myself in over the summer months and want to buy.

If you want to see my main boards over on Pinterest you can here - there is loads of cool stuff, promise. My board dedicated to tees can be found hereSo this is what I have picked out. I have tried to pick a cross selection of tees to suit a range of budgets, after all, this would be very dull if I just said “everything from the Hugo Boss shop or anything by Paul Smith”.

With that in mind I have actually started with Hugo Boss and the most expensive of my choices - the tee below (left) is £85 and available here. It’s a regular fit cotton tee but I really like the all over pattern that looks as though someone has thrown ink or black paint all over it. It would go really well with a pair of tapered jeans and boots. 

Second up is a grey tee design from one of my favourite online stores, Buy Me Brunch. They have lots of off the wall humour tees and some frankly offensive ones. For $28 a pop though they are really affordable and last for years.  I ordered a number of tees from here over a year ago and they have kept their shape, colour and comfort. The tee (above right), with the 'Handsy as Hell' print makes me laugh.

Third is this blue Captain America tee (below left) from Next at £18. At that price it makes an excellent knocking around top that would go with a pair of cargo shorts or jeans. It also isn’t that dark so it would be great in the hot weather and won’t attract too much heat.

Fourth up is a faded floral print from River Island (above right) and again only £18. I have found myself drawn to this style of print for ages and I’ve finally found one that I think would go brilliantly with a pair of charcoal or black skinny or tapered jeans.

Last up is another from River Island but this time just £15. The splatter print below again looks as though someone has gone to town with some paint on a plain tee, but unlike the Hugo Boss tee, this one won’t break the bank!

What do you think to my choices? Could you see yourself or someone you know wearing these?

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Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Vaping - Trying to Kick a bad habit!

It's hardly a massive confession, I smoke and I smoke rather a lot. At least twenty cancer sticks are consumed by this blogger on a daily basis and while I know they are bad for me I just can't kick the habit - will power is not something I will ever win an award for. That's a fact. 
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So rather than attempt to kick the habit and go cold turkey I have been looking around for alternatives to reduce my consumption, save some cash and stave off some nasty illnesses. 

I've tried pretty much every nicotine replacement therapy available without success - patches, gum and the little inhalers. What's left to try? Well, it seems that vaping has worked for a large number of my friends but I wanted something with an authentic tobacco flavour and so I looked into it a bit more and was staggered at the selection of goods and products available to a novice in this area. 

What is vaping?

Vaping is basically inhaling water vapor through a vaporizing device and it's an alternative to smoking those filthy disgusting smelling cigarettes. No foul stench and bad breath, no cigarette burns in clothes (when slightly worse for wear) and well, you're not inhaling several very poisonous substances!

If you're not a smoker already I don't recommend you start what will be a lifetime addiction to nicotine by vaping, but of you are looking to reduce your consumption of cigarettes then you should take a closer look at the massive range of pipes, flavours and extras available from Vapelux disposable e cigarettes from which prices start at just £5.99, which is quite a saving!

Far from looking like a cigarette, these e-cigarettes provide an authentic tobacco flavour without the smell, giving you an easier way to make the transition to vaping and quit smoking. Each stick comes in a range of eye catching colours and delicious flavours, with a stylish packet and crystal glowing tip. The issue for me with smoking is something to do with my hands, which might sound weird, but when you have a habit like smoking, holding something in your hands is one of the things I miss, this option offers a product like a cigarette, which is not a cigarette.

This blogger is going to give it a try, after all my bank balance and skin will be much healthier for quitting.

Have you given up smoking with success? Have you tried vaping?

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Monday, July 04, 2016

Hawes & Curtis - Quintessentially British

Hawes & Curtis, well they are a luxury shirt maker founded in 1913 based on Jermyn Street, London. Since being founded they have expanded from everything tailored and exclusive to a range of clothing for the man (and women with their range) who wants to look stylish no matter what the occasion.
Hawes & Curtis - Quintessentially British
You can read more about the history of the company over at the Hawes & Curtis website, but this is what they say about themselves:

Hawes & Curtis was founded by two accomplished outfitters, Ralph Hawes and George Frederick Curtis, who opened the first store at 24 Piccadilly Arcade in February 1913. From the beginning the heritage brand has been acclaimed by aristocracy and Hollywood's elite. Notable customers have included the Duke of Windsor, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Lord Mountbatten, Frank Sinatra and Fred Astaire.’

I was lucky enough to be approached by the company to see if there was anything in their new ranges that I would like to try and style. I opted for two shirts, the first casual and the second to go with a suit on the unlikely event that I would be thrust into a formal setting.

The first shirt can be found at the Hawes & Curtis site here:

It’s the men’s blue and white medium check classic fit linen shirt. I opted for large and it is rather large on me, in fact my frame must have shrunk quite considerably! This shirt normally sells for £49.50, £34.50 in the current sale or for £25 if you buy four men’s shirts (at the same time)

This is how's I styled it (said in a bit of a country bumpkin voice).
Hawes & Curtis - Quintessentially British
Hawes & Curtis - Quintessentially British
Hawes & Curtis - Quintessentially British
Hawes & Curtis - Quintessentially British
Hawes & Curtis - Quintessentially British
The second shirt can be found on the Hawes & Curtis site here:

It’s the men’s lilac and white dogstooth check tailored fit shirt with a double cuff. This shirt has something of a silk feel to it despite being made out of cotton and sells for £49.50 normally, £34.50 in the current sale or for £25 if you buy four men’s shirts (at the same time)

I think I managed to pull it off, despite not wearing a suit properly in over a year! 
Hawes & Curtis - Quintessentially British
Hawes & Curtis - Quintessentially British
Hawes & Curtis - Quintessentially British
These aren't cheap, although you can pick up bargains as part of their multi-buy deals. That said, the quality of the shirts, the comfort and ease to wash and iron (yes, that is a consideration) they are well worth the outlay. If these last even half as long as my other tailored shirts then I would be happy to pay upwards of £50 for just one. I was surprised at how comfortable the casual shirt was, how the material let my skin breathe despite the exotic London temperatures and generally left me feeling at ease as everyone else around me melted. The formal shirt was equally as good and even with the suit jacket on I didn't feel overly hot or sweaty. Excellent chaps, excellent.


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