Yesterday marked the opening of the 80th edition of what is considered the nirvana of menswear enthusiasts: Pitti Uomo. During this week, the world’s eyes are set on Florence, Italy, where 1000 of some of the most renowned menswear labels are showcasing their collections for the upcoming year. I do mean: “the world’s eyes”, as besides the 32.000 buyers expected at the premises, the worldwide media coverage of the event allows everyone to get its share.
This year’s edition will feature the debut of the Pitti Guest Nation, a project aimed at establishing bonds and exchanging know how with invited countries, the first of which is Brazil. Also, guest-wise, one definitely worth mentioning is none other than Band of Outsiders’ very own Scott Sternberg, who will be presenting the label’s SS12 collection in the charismatic scenario of a formal cigar factory.
With so much press coverage and the presence of renowned street style photographers, it becomes somewhat easier to sweeten the bitter taste left in the mouth of those, such as myself, who once again faced the harsh reality of waking up to a place other than Firenze.
Hi tehre, I would kike to know if you're portuguese. Sorry but I work in fashion and Apparel industry and came out to this blog throught Denimology. And it is amazing!
"Links á la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup"
Parabéns pelo bolg!
Hi Adriana, thank you so much! I am Portuguese, currently living in Porto.
If asked to, I believe I wouldn’t be able to pick just one favourite shirt among those I own, but this custom contrast club collar would definitely make it on to the top 5. There’s a certain unique elegance (and versatility) surrounding that rounded collar: although some might argue it begs to be paired with fancy neckwear, be it a tie or a bow, it can easily overlook them for a differentiated buttoned up sans tie look. Moreover, if you’ve been wanting to sport that brand new collar pin, there are few shirts out there as suited for it as this one. One aspect to keep in mind though, is that this model is supposed to be worn buttoned…much like double breasted jackets.
I’ve been sporting it often recently and similar models in different colors and patterns have already made their way into my wishlist. As with every shirt, fabric plays a very important role regarding the suitability and formality attributed to it: a finer fabric will reward you with an exotic dress shirt, whereas oxford cloth makes them the perfect match for that special pair of worn out jeans. This look combines several striking items, such as the checked navy peacoat, houndstooth elbow patched cardigan and the shirt itself, but they all blend in together as none is overwhelming. The emphasis is on the small details: hues darken as you approach the outer layers (light blue, grey, navy), tones are complementing among pieces (tie and patches) and the silver tie bar just adds that extra flare…
Checked navy wool peacoat by Paul Smith, grey wool/cashmere cardigan with houndstooth elbow patches by Annapurna 5+1, custom made light blue contrast club collar shirt by Gentleman, Levi’s 511 slim fitting jeans (tailored), Portuguese boots, vintage brown knit tie, vintage brown braided leather belt, silver tie bar by Tie Rack.
One of the most decisive aspects in determining whether you go in a store or not, has to be its shopping window. An appealing one is bound to raise your interest and entice you to wander in, craving to know more about the store’s universe.
On this note, Por Vocação is definitely worth mentioning. In a joint effort with a few collectives, their latest entry revolves around Buttero’s SS11 collection, drawing inspiration from and celebrating the use of “green” high grade vegetable tanned leather. By combining a selection of natural plants, wooden floor boards and letting their imagination run wild, they were able to come up with a truly amazing window.
If you’ve been following me for a while now, you know I’m not the biggest enthusiast when it comes to online shopping.While I do believe there are some concerns to keep in mind, there are times when online is the way to go, be it due to an amazing deal or simply because there’s no other way to get hold of a specific item.
A while back I got a glimpse of the Allen Edmonds Arlington shoe, an intricate loafer featuring all the detailing you could wish for: tassels, kiltie and perforated brogue detailing. It was just a matter of time until I found myself browsing through endless auction pages on Ebay, trying to score a near mint pair.
When I came across this one for the bargain price of $19.99, I just knew I had to have them. A couple of bids, custom issues and a few days later, they arrived in perfect condition. Unfortunately, they ended up being a bit too narrow for me…but no harm done as my father gladly took them in.
One of the aspects which seems to be overlooked in fashion blogs and websites alike, is how one’s outfit should be put together according to a given situation. If we browse through most street style or picture based websites, we’ll most likely be presented with sharply dressed men and women going on and about their daily tasks. Obviously, we all love to see suberbly complex looks, but it seems that the context in which they’re photographed is usually redundant - fashion shows, events, on the way to work…
Certainly those same men and women have vast wardrobes at their disposal, whose contents allow them to dress up or down according to their agenda; it’s just that we often don’t get a chance to see them in different situations. In fact, as I see it, being able to discern “what to wear when/where” is a crucial aspect for stylish individuals: the ability to blend in, while dashingly standing out, simply by portraying an outstanding ensemble.
The truth is not all individuals match their outfits to the situation. In an excessive effort to look good, they sometimes forget to match their clothes to the moment or place, resulting in an inadequate, out of place look. Imagine, for instance, you’re having a sunny Sunday brunch at a seaside venue, the canvas deckchair just screaming your name: you’ll most likely want to bask in the sun for a while and pleasantly enjoy it…hard to pull off if you’re all suited up.
Don’t get me wrong, I love dressing up and intricate ensembles just as much as the next, but I believe there’s a time and place for everything. The “perfect” look is the one which, besides making you look good, allows you to feel confident and confortable about yourself, and may very well be comprised of tailored shorts and a trim polo shirt should the situation call for it. Your wardrobe is varied for a reason…make the most out of it!
Japanese designer Daisuke Iwanaga’s leather goods have been receiving some much deserved international praise. Focusing his research on traditional Japanese themes (such as samurais) and drawing inspiration from the environment surrounding him, Daisuke is able to deliver fresh designs each collection, all while trying to step his techniques up a notch. It’s this devotion and continuous desire to improve that makes his pieces some of the most unique and appealing out there.
Taking a unique approach to his craft, he seeks the best horse hides and along with 2 co-workers is able to produce the much hyped goods (namely handbags), by means of what appears to be an entirely manual driven process. If you ever wondered what goes into making high end bags, or what justifies their steep price tag for that matter, take a look at the following videos featuring Daisuke’s workplace and manufacturing process.
Originally resulting from a combined handcraft effort of both men and women in the 19th century, this unique French variant of the slip on has recently become one of the most sought alternatives for men’s Summer footwear. Usually consisting of a braided natural fiber jute sole and canvas uppers, espadrilles are perfect for hot Summer days, allowing your feet to breathe and adding a stylish vibe to your attire.
Nowadays, besides the traditional models, you’ll be able to find more refined ones, with rubber/leather additions to the rope sole and a variety of materials for the uppers. Although the essence of the espadrille itself remains intact, the use of higher quality materials allows for a longer life span and a sleeker look than the originals; the downside? Instead of a 20€-30€ price tag, you’ll be looking at something in the 100€-200€ range.
I guess it all comes down to what you’re looking for…I was after a model which would stand out amongst the crowd of cloned offerings out there, and as such, was willing to spend a tad more. These n.d.c.’s feature super soft greyish brown suede uppers, leather stitched soles and the characteristic rope layer; to top it off, they’re made right here in Portugal.
I’ll be wearing the s**t out of these this Summer…
Selectism recently published an interview with Sergei Sviatchenko, the brilliant mind behind one of my (if not THE) favourite blogs of the moment: Close Up and Private. Recently named Denmark’s best dressed man, this arquitect/artist provides some of the most insightful and refreshing takes on men’s blogging out there, by means of outstanding, yet beautifully simplistic pictures of his son, intertwined with color blocks and unrelated appealing images. This makes for a whole new experience, resembling that of an art exhibit or installation, all while throwing amazing outfits at you, one after the other. If you have yet to visit his website, do so now!
Here’s how he sees it:
"The idea is, with my knowledge, with my style, how I understand it, I mix the clothes exactly the same way as I do my collages. So the combination works in the same way a stylist would work with the clothes.
"When I put them on Erik, my 19 year old son, it’s suddenly extremely twisted."
This month’s edition of PARQ Magazine has just come out and I’m pleased to announce that it includes an article written by me. PARQ is a free Portuguese magazine, focused on a variety of subjects which include architecture, design, music, fashion and lifestyle. With 20 000 monthly copies distributed at select venues, it has definitely been on the spotlight in what regards the market of gratuitous publications.
The post relates to the A/W 2012 event promoted by Wolke Bos, a collective of young national designers aimed at expressing their unique take on fashion through seasonal runway shows.
I have to thank the guys over @ PARQ for the opportunity and keep an eye out as future collaborations are on the way!
Scans from the the magazine
Some of the creations. Visit their FB page for more photos of the event.
Men should have a few footwear alternative in their wardrobes. If you give it some thought, there aren’t that many (trully) essential shoe models one must own. Without getting too comprehensive on that matter (it’s been covered here), I’ve been feeling an urge to go on about one in particular: the Loafer.
The reason? I believe it to be the most misinterpreted of the pack: I’m growing tired of the ill tailored suit/loafer combination: unfortunately, it seems that sporting a baggy suit with full break pants and the traditional black penny loafer, is the way to go for about 90% of the working male population whose job require them to suit up…Loafers are, in essence, casual footwear. Referred by many as the grown man sneaker, they have been around for ages, becoming a staple of men’s fashion especially for the preppy enthusiasts. Although they are indeed a step up from sneakers, allowing for a more put together ensemble, these are usually not suit appropriate and are best paired with rolled up pants and no socks; in fact, they’re the perfect complement for the look.
However, as with everything in life there are exceptions to the “rule”, which, in this case, relate to the loafer itself, the suit and the environment you’re in. Although a suit usually calls for a more formal shoe such as an oxford, brogue or monk (one that covers your foot), pulling it off with loafers is doable.
If you’re going to try it, the first thing to take into account is the variety of models (penny, tasseled, etc) and leathers available, which grant them several degrees of “formality” within their casual spectrum. Following this, you’ll want to make sure your suit has that perfect slim silhouette and that your pants allow little to no break, whether you have them cuffed or not. Finally, consider where you’re going to wear it: casual settings allow you to go sockless, whereas working environments don’t.
One of the main concerns amongst IPAD owners (after raising the money to purchase it), is finding an efficient, yet stylish, protective case. Providing an eased and relaxed consciousness for IPAD users has become a major business, spawning the appearance of several models from high end labels to independent designers.
Among the variety of fabrics, materials and shapes, one that definitely hit a soft spot for me was the Kork case. As the name states, the case is made entirely out of natural cork, which besides being extremely light is perfect for absorbing impacts and keeping the Pad’s temperature low. On top of that, APRODUKT (the Portugal based company behind the project) uses recycled natural cork making it one of the most environmentally friendly products on the market; also, in the odd chance that you ever grow tired of it, the case is 100% recyclable.
Although these technical details are important to some, they would be rendered seamless without the visual appeal, which, lets face it, is downright great. Add to that the affordable price tag and you end up with a great option for your beloved touch pad.
My post about the “berbere” belt was just selected for this week’s Links à La Mode! It’s great to be recognized by such a relevant network of bloggers as the IFB. Keep following and enjoy all the other posts!
As I was selecting my posts for this weeks Links A La Mode, I realized how important it is to have attractive and original images in your posts. I noticed that I would open a post and close it promptly if the images looked rather….. what’s the word… meh.
Here is how to have your blog posts chosen by me [Denimology] for LALM:
Images Are The Main Course — A great image will draw in your reader. The image might be beautiful, odd, heartwarming, instructive or just curiosity-provoking, so long as it keeps the reader wanting to read your post.
Don’t Forget To Use an Image — It’s better to use a generic image than no image at all but ultimately your image should represent what the subject of your post is about.
High Quality Images Are Best — We’ve all heard the saying “Pictures speak a thousand words”, but in the blogging world they speak even more. Adding HQ pictures to a blog post will visually stimulate your readers and help them identify with you, the writer.
Resize Your Images — While images can make your blog looked polished and professional, having images that hang over into the margins or that are cut off is sloppy blogging.
Links à la Mode: May 19th
And She Loved: How to DIY more— list of resources for DIY projects and ideas
One of the crucial aspects which sets us apart from other species, is the ability to develop rational thinking: when faced with a problem we are able to analyze it, and by means of our intellect and imagination, come up with a solution. It is this gift that allows us to create new objects and discover alternative uses for pre-existing ones.
Fashion, as a breeding ground for overly sensitive, creative and bright individuals, namely designers, is the perfect subject to put our aforementioned abilities to good use. It comes to no surprise that (some of the best) designers were able to incorporate materials and objects from our everyday lives into their creations, further setting in stone fashion’s recognition as an art form.
Sure, most designers are exceptionally creative, but make no mistake, the ability to push boundaries resides in us all. Some of the most impressively stylish people can be found while walking down the street; surely you’ve come across dapper men and women whose personal sense of style led them to unique interpretations of common items:
Now, I’m not unconditionally supporting all of the choices pictured above (as some are a bit over the top), but some DO work and with astonishing results. The lesson to learn here is: let your creativity run wild, with no restraints, take risks… and enjoy finding your own fresh take on fashion and style.
For the final entry of the series I’ll focus on the vintage handcrafted patchwork “berbere” belt. The first thing that caught my eye was the variety of colors and detailing: if you thought the tunic was a bold piece, this one definitely takes the crown. The thing is, being an accessory, it has a much smaller impact on the overall ensemble, making it easier to pull off. As belts are usually perceived as a finishing touch or embellishment, they pose the perfect opportunity to add a splash of color and boldness to an outfit; even if you’re wearing a suit, don’t be afraid to tone it down a bit.
Due to its length and marked creases at distinct parts, it’s likely that the original owner wore it tied up at the front or side, letting the long ends drape over the leg. Although this is a great look, here I went for a more usual approach, doubling it through the belt loops and incorporating it into a casual, weekend appropriate look: trim navy bomber jacket, crisp white shirt, slim dark blue jeans, boat shoes and messenger bag. As the belt is a such a bold statement piece by itself, the best way to make it work is to balance the rest of the look, avoiding strong shades or patterns, so as not to go overboard.
Slim navy bomber jacket by Lacoste, white dress shirt by ACNE, dark blue jeans by Levi’s (511 slim - tailored), vintage patchwork moroccan belt, light brown crepe sole boat shoes by Buttero and brown canvas messenger by Zara.
Savage Beauty. Don’t tell me you haven’t heard the paradoxically exquisite title of the Alexander McQueen exhibit currently mesmerizing the fashion world and the blogosphere. I mention it for two reasons. First, a couple bloggers in this week’s roundup show you the exhibit in New York—as well as a satellite version in London—through their own lenses. So if you didn’t know about it, check out their posts and resurrect your fashion cred.
Savage Blogging. Now that’s my title, and while it was inspired by the McQueen exhibit, it also characterizes the approach many bloggers take, as well as entries this week that speak to the issue. Want to be haute stuff in the blog world, like The Sartorialist? Think it’s all a numbers game? Well, I certainly hope not. That is savage blogging: when your objective ceases to be the art of it, the connection, and you are devoured by an obsession with your numbers. When you get so big that you forget you used to be a nobody until fellow bloggers read your blog and lifted you up. When you stop conversing, and simply become a talking head. With a camera. No thanks.
As blogging and social media mature, many are finally realizing what my mama told me years ago: You get more flies with honey. Don’t be savage bloggers, loves. When you give and interact genuinely, your star will shine, I promise you. Your numbers will grow, and people won’t write you any “open letters” to remind you that you’ve gotten a little too big for your britches. Honey, honeybuns. Got it?
Similarly to what happened last season, Wrong Weather once again invited me to put up 3 looks using their pieces, this time for Spring Summer 11. Drawing upon Summery inspiration, I set out to deliver three different, yet somewhat related ensembles, which would transpire my personal aesthetic into WW’s universe.
The first look is the most relaxed and season inspired of the bunch, pairing two Summer staples: shorts and a short sleeve shirt. This was all about having fun with color and mixing patterns, which due to the different scales and complementing shades blend perfectly together (checks on the shirt and stripes on the shorts and belt). The second look is focused on the striped navy motif and the splash of color given by the desert boots; the tote screamed Summer to me and is a great way to carry your stuff around town. The final attire is a step up, something you could wear to work (depending on your area of expertise, of course) or a night out. Buttoning up in hot days is perfectly doable, but here I went for a slightly more casual feel, leaving the top button unbuttoned and making use of the military tuck. Although he’s wearing a tie, the overall ensemble just seems Summer appropriate.
I’m really excited with the end result and by being able to share it with you. All pieces are available for purchase here.
1 - Checked short sleeve shirt, striped seersucker shorts and navy canvas backpack by A.P.C., navy canvas lace-ups by Common Projects and tie-belt by Dries van Noten
2 - Navy striped long sleeve shirt by Comme des Garçons Shirt, navy cotton chinos by A.P.C., mustard yellow desert boots by Armando Cabral and striped tote bag by Opening Cerimony
3 - Light blue dress shirt by Wrong Weather, raw dark blue denim by A.P.C., navy crewneck sweater by A.P.C., brown wooven sandals by Armando Cabral, brown recycled leather belt by Daniel Dinis and ecru striped tie by Dries Van Noten.
One of the most important decisions when purchasing any type of bottoms concerns hems. Following the main event, so to say, which consists in finding a pair that suits your liking regarding cut, fabric, color or wash, comes the stage of minor (or not) necessary alterations. Unless you’re buying made to measure trousers, you’ll most likely need to have them tailored: at the very least, lengthwise. We all try to find that “perfect pair”, but these kind of tweaks are usually required and “predicted” by manufacturers (slacks are usually offered without hems and jeans have extra fabric at the bottom).
Besides the initial cuffed/uncuffed dillema, one must decide on the suitable length and amount of break - regarding slacks, I prefer them cuffed, with little to no break - but when it comes to more casual alternatives such as chinos or jeans, I find this to be one of the toughest calls one has to make. Especially since your choice feels much more final and irreversible than with slacks, where usually hems safeguard about 3cm of fabric on the inside or you can simply uncuff them for the extra length; if you choose to crop your jeans and have the original hem sewed in, there’s no extra fabric there, which means no margin for error.
I hadn’t purchased jeans in a while, but recently I got a couple of bold colored ones and found myself struggling with this issue. As with every choice you make, you should weigh the pros and cons prior to your decision; here are a few things to consider:
1 - Roll or no roll
Deciding on whether or not you’ll want to roll them up, is a great way to help you get going. No matter the way you like to roll them, doing so will require extra fabric; the amount will depend on how high you want the roll to sit. If you’re going to sport this look play it safe and leave them a bit longer;
2 - Have them taken in
If you’re considering highly cropped jeans, at the ankle for instance, take into account that that is the slimmest part of your leg. So, if you take a pair of straight leg jeans and crop them at the ankle line, you’ll end up with bell bottoms. That being said, consider taking them in 1cm or so from the shin down;
Some jeans will feature factory made hems which tailors/seamstresses cannot reproduce; they can, instead, reattach them at your desired height. This allows you to preserve the original aesthetic and integrity of your jeans, but will be pricier than a regular hem and you won’t have any extra fabric left;
Original hem (left) vs regular hem (right)
4 - The right shoes
If you’re going for a more traditional look, with the jeans covering a part of your shoe, make sure you’re wearing a bulkier model (such as a brogue) when you have them marked. This is most important for slacks but also applies to denim;
Being sure about the end result is a lot different than having a brainstorm of ideas which you won’t be able to accurately express to your tailor/seamstress. Do some research, check out streetstyle blogs or websites and know for sure; you might even show them a pic of what you’re after;
Hey, I wrote in awhile back asking about your Gucci watch and I think you said you needed to check the box to see what model it is. Just wanted to see if you'd had any luck. Thanks!
Hi! I’m sorry for the late reply, but rest assured I haven’t forgotten about you. I asked my father to track down the original box but he had no luck :/ As I mentioned before, he had it for quite some time so I believe it may no longer be in production. I can send you some pics by email so you can contact Gucci about it if you’d like. Either way I’ll try to find a few similar current models and post them here.
Apart from the main elements which comprise an ensemble, one of the most essential add-ons is definitely shades. They are one of the few accessories whose design is as relevant as functionality: sunglasses not only enhance your aesthetic, they also protect your eyes from harmful sunlight. In fact, chances are you’ve grown so accustomed to them that no matter the time of the year, you won’t leave the house without a pair.
When it comes to models, we’ve been experiencing somewhat of a revival moment, with many of the successful models of old making a strong comeback (you need only take a look at Ray Ban’s latest reissues of the Wayfarer, Aviators and Clubmaster). One of the trends which seems to be picking up is that of round shades à La John Lennon.
Although eyewear should be picked according to one’s face, to ensure adequate framing, if you’re lucky enough to look good in these, you should definitely pull them off. I would advise on going for the originals, trying to snab a pair off Ebay or thrift stores, but for those of you who prefer them new, here are a few options…
As I’ve mentioned before, despite the amount of gadgets and information channels available to us nowadays, there’s something special when you actually write something, instead of relying in said channels.
If you think about it, most major decision making moments require you to express your consent in writing. When you put your signature on any given document, it carries a whole significance that no other digital counterpart can replicate. Curious, how in a world run by computers and the Internet, where millions of euros are constantly being moved around online, writing your name in paper still remains, to this day, the ultimate way to do business.
My point? Trust me, when the time comes for you to pull out your pen, a plastic BIC or freebie medical propaganda rollerball, isn’t the kind you want to show your clients or business associates. As with so many other pieces or accessories, your choices affect the image you portray; some will notice it right off the bat while others will unconsciously perceive it. Now, I’m not saying you need the most exquisite or expensive pen on the market, but investing in a beautiful quality alternative is definitely worth it: it shows you care, pay attention to details and most importantly, that you mean business.
If you’re thinking this only applies to successful entrepreneurs and there’s really no reason for you to own a nice pen, think twice: whatever your line of work is, you’re bound to interact with clients, suppliers, colleagues, you name it. At some time or another, you’ll likely jot something down, even if it’s just additional info on your business card…
I’ll leave you with a few interesting alternatives:
When you visit a fashion blog you often see a stylish blogger posing in a perfectly, put together outfit with gorgeous scenery. What you don’t see is the work that goes into curating and maintaining a fashion blog. This week the theme across IFB was outfit posts: what deems an outfit worthy, what goes into creating a stunning visual post and ultimately the comments (some not so nice) that we receive as style bloggers. Ultimately, blogging is a way to express our love for fashion and personal style but as this week’s links can attest to, there is much more to fashion blogging than meets the eye.
One of the latest additions to the Bombarda area, is a much needed vintage shop. Populating this ever growing, trendy block, Trash Vintage is yet another step forward in the slow introduction of vintage to Porto’s shopping scene. Continuing the flow of pro pre-owned clothing initiatives, such as Spot’s Fleamarket and other small boutiques, the store presents a carefully curated selection of both menswear and womenswear alternatives.
The family run business takes its pick mostly from the Portuguese market, but Paris and London also make the cut as far as providing interesting pieces. The premise behind it all is delivering unique, unpretentious garments to those who truly appreciate this universe: they believe that for an item to be special, it doesn’t need to carry a specific label…not to say that vintage Chanel or Dior wouldn’t be welcomed, but they don’t obsess about it. Also, it’s worth mentioning that their prices are vintage appropriate, in the 5-20€ range, unlike other overpriced establishments.
One of the best things about these stores is the element of surprise: you never know what you might come across and it’s exactly what makes them so appealing. Just don’t go in hoping to build a wardrobe; instead, think of those items as complements to your everyday attire, allowing you to raise the bar and make it one of a kind.
Next time you’re in the area, be sure to stop by!
PS: I couldn’t leave empty handed, so I copped a great multicolored striped tie for my collection.
Bombarda Shopping Center, store 25, Miguel Bombarda Street, Porto.
I must say I’m one of those persons who suffers with low temperatures…As I’ve stated before, amongst my Winter essentials you’ll always find a pair of gloves and a cap. In fact, gloves are one of those items which have slowly grown on me during the past few years…I’ve come to appreciate their elegance and the complementing effect they have on an outfit.
One of the models which has seen an increasing burst in popularity is definitely the driving glove. As the name states, this variety was originally used by race car drivers as a means to protect the hands and increase grip on the steering wheel. Also available in fingerless versions, the driving glove is easily recognizable by its distinct features: perforated leather for extra breathability, open sockets on knuckles and back, and an adjustable snap fastening, which besides securing the glove in place, would originally adapt to the driver’s chronograph, ensuring a clear view.
The thing about this type of gloves is that they may seem a bit too pretentious if you’re caught anywhere else but coming off of your ride…However, when your hands are not at risk of freezing and with the current amount of touch operated gadgets (Ipad, Iphone, tablets and don’t forget cameras), they might prove to be a valuable option.
On this entry I’ll leave you with a few pics of the embroidered tunic I mentioned earlier. When I asked my brother to keep an eye out for them, I must say I had envisioned something different: a basic tunic in solid colors whose hemline would sit at the thighs, allowing for interesting plays with length. The thing about creating expectations and visual images in our minds, is that the element of surprise may backfire when the time comes.
Thankfully this wasn’t the case: besides knowing me well, my brother also has great taste. He got me an olive green cotton tunic with orange embroidered detailing on the front: definitely a bold piece. However, it poses the perfect opportunity to add visual interest to a look, by mixing vibrant colors and unusual design.
The minute I laid my eyes on it, I immediately pictured it paired with a shirt, blazer or even a tie. What I love about these pieces is that they’re usually a great way to make you think outside the box, challenging you to develop your creative side and come up with ways to make them work. Here, I used it as an overshirt, trying to oppose its relaxed nature with a more put together look: it’s amazing how a classic combo of khaki pants, white shirt and loafers is given a whole new life.
Olive green Moroccan tunic, white slim fit dress shirt by Paul Smith (S), khaki cotton trousers by Osklen (tailored - 40), brown distressed penny loafers by Lottusse (8.5), vintage braided belt, watch by Gucci.
I’m a strong supporter of investing in timeless, classic pieces, which will last you a lifetime and are easily paired to form outstanding outfits. However, sometimes, adding a fresh twist to your look feels invigorating and just…right. An interesting, out of the ordinary way to raise the bar for a look, is by throwing ethnical items into the mix.
The thing about them is that they immediately catch your eye: I love gazing into these additions as they definitely set an outfit apart, breaking down that “off the rack” impression. How can I put it… they add background to your attire, it’s almost as if they have a story behind them, one that people will want to know; for me, they relate to vintage pieces in this way. I’m a sucker for the concept of collecting said items during my travels and wearing them proudly, reminiscing past journeys, places and people.
The trick when incorporating ethnic pieces is balance. If you go overboard it might look awkward and like you’re trying too much…on the other hand, the right piece might bring that special something into the picture. Perhaps the best way to get familiar with the concept is by starting with accessories: take a look at Joshua Kissi’s and Travis Gumb’s incredible collection of wrist jewelry, comprised of colorful beaded bracelets and engraved rings. Due to their scale, these pieces are hard to mess up, and even if you do, they won’t scream it to everybody else. Get it right though, and they can make a huge difference.
When you come to terms with smaller items, you might want to try something bolder, the likes of knitwear, tunics or jackets. I recently got two Moroccan pieces my brother brought back from a week long trip to the country: an ancient “berbere” belt and an embroidered tunic. Although I love them both, the belt blew me away; as for the tunic, it’s a welcome challenge to incorporate it on my daily ensemble. More on that on future posts.
A while back my good friend Miguel was going on and on about how fashion was for the wealthy and the myth of an affordable version of it. Designer clothes are indeed expensive: be it due to the materials used, craftsmanship involved, branding or simply the exclusive status they provide to those who wear them.
However, with all the available offerings out there, be them low cost garments, local brands/artisans or the vintage universe, all you need to pull off an original and appealing look “on the cheap”, is creativity.
Miguel challenged me to put up a complete look for under 200€, since he had been struggling with it. It might not be the easiest task if you try to stay away from a head to toe “low cost retailer” ensemble…
This whole look revolves around the vintage Lacoste Harrington Jacket. It was an amazing find at one of my favourite London’s vintage shops: Rokit. I’ve really been into pale colors lately, and this yellow shade is just perfect for Spring; the tartan lining is a great plus. Although I’m a strong supporter that guys should push the boundaries and try new things, sometimes it just feels right to stick to the classics: a basic crewneck tee, chino-like cotton trousers and timeless canvas sneakers.
Pale Yellow Vintage Harrington Jacket by Lacoste - (approx.) 50€ @ Rokit
The coming of Spring is a call for color… As brighter, sunnier days become more often, so does our urge to lighten up the mood by throwing on bolder pieces in lively shades. For me, one of the items that just screams Spring is a pair of colorful bottoms, be them chinos or slim fitting denim.
Although at first they might seem a bit too much, calling upon a “Go to Hell” attitude, these make for a perfect addition to any wardrobe, providing that much sought diversity and uniqueness to your look. The thing about color is that most men are reluctant to experience with it as it’s much safer (and easier) to stick with the basic palette of blues and black.
I say go for it, have some fun with your outfits: if you feel that trousers are too big a step to take, begin with small accessory pieces such as scarves or pocket squares and slowly move on to more expressive items. Doing so will let the concept sink in, allowing you to build your confidence and color matching skills.
I’ve been on the lookout for some bright alternatives and I came across these slim fitting jeans by Zara. Besides presenting a wide variety of shades, the fit is great as is the price tag…at €25,95 you couldn’t ask for more, especially since you might not want to splurge on a pair of jeans you won’t be using everyday. I can already picture them rolled up, paired with loafers “sans” socks, or simply cropped high above the ankle…
Tuscan brand Buttero’s SS collection has been earning some much deserved praise on the web. Aimed at delivering high-end quality footwear, this season’s focus is on their trademark vegetable tanned leathers, original recycled rubber soles and refreshing leather detailing and embellishments. From low and mid top sneakers, to boat shoes and chukkas, there’s something for everyone.
I got a chance to get hands on with some of their models over at Por Vocação and I’ve got to say these guys never cease to amaze me…
Although Spring is officially upon us, we’re still a few months aways from continuous sunny days. Even with the temperatures rising, Spring showers are well reported phenomena which call for specific garments.
Apart from the ever reliable umbrella, this time of the year is perfect for lightweight parkas or cotton trenches, whose purpose is more focused on keeping you dry rather than warm. One of the best things about these items is how easily they adapt to your outfit: as the final layers, you can effortlessly pair them with just a shirt and tie, a full suit, a blazer or a heavy knit cardigan. Given how light and thin they tend to be, they make for a great layering alternative to top your usual attire. Just bear in mind at the time of purchase, that the size and fit should reflect your needs, that is, if you’re planning to wear a blazer underneath, you might want to size up.
When it comes to this type of outerwear, I tend to favour pieces on the longer side, sitting at the hips, due to the slim silhouette and extra rain protection (for added emphasis on the silhouette, look for belted options). On this note, this waxed olive cotton parka makes for the ultimate rain attire for those pesky rainy days…Love how the shades of tan on the drawstrings, scarf and boots perfectly complement each other.
PS: I’ve been wanting to include my dog in a post for some time now, and the chance presented when she gladly entered the picture as we were shooting.
Olive waxed cotton parka by Our Legacy (M), brown v-neck cashmere/silk sweater by Massimo Dutti (M), checked shirt by Boglioli (hidden-40), jeans by Levi’s 511 slim (32 tailored), waxed leather Portuguese boots (44), vintage braided belt, camel scarf by Burberry and glasses by Prada.
Today’s post has been written by my good friend Laura Hunter-Thomas from the amazing Obsessive Coolness. I’ve been in touch with Laura for a while, as I love her deep, insightful posts, and we decided to guest post on each other’s blog. Head over to her website to check my post.
It is a well-known fact that fashion does not always cater to the less fair sex. While women worship at the (fashionably adorned, of course) alter of harem pants, jumpsuits, feathers and fur, and madcap prints, men desperately offer sacrifices to the God-please-don’t-let-my-girlfriend-ever-wear-that. There’s even a hilarious and popular blog, The Man Repeller, dedicated to the “fashion do’s and fornication don’ts” that haunt men’s nightmares.
But while we are all, in varying degrees of distress, aware of the practice of warding off hetero men with women’s one true love – fashion – what about the revenge of the men: woman repelling? Of course there are the wannabe gangster faux pas (chains – “You are not a gangster, your necklace comes from Topman, and why are you wearing women’s accessories?” – and low-hanging trousers, namely), but what about the sartorial sexual setbacks of the chic and fashionable?
In the Libido Litigation Act version 1.0, it boils down to three items often sported among the male fash pack: bow ties, v-necks and skinny jeans. Yes, a guy can look incredibly chic in all of these items, but they will, quite frankly, do nothing for your powers of attraction (probably because each gives the impression that you bat for the other side). A bow tie worn outside of a situation warranting a tuxedo screams ‘not on your team’, while v-necks and skinny jeans (both often sported by Hayden Christensen wannabes going for the rocker-chic look) both leave you in competition with your paramour (I mean really, a guy shouldn’t have skinnier legs than his love interest, or more cleavage on show).
But here’s the thing – should you care? Well, only if you’re dressing for fornication rather than fashion. If your end-of-the-night goal is to be scoring photo ops with Mr. Lagerfeld rather than sharing your bed, well then, a bow tie is practically a required uniform! If you’re reading this, you most likely are, after all, a fashionista. Embrace your calling. Go on, be a (wo)man repeller.
On a recent trip to Morocco my brother was able to bring back some amazing findings. Besides a few traditional garments (more on that on a future post), he scored a couple of outstanding hand dyed embroidered rugs, in bright red and indigo blue. The craftsmanship and detailing on these is simply amazing…
As you might’ve noticed, when it comes to shopping I’m a fan of small independent boutiques. Given the choice, they’re my go to place should the need arise to purchase a specific item.
Nowadays, however, we can’t deny that some of items available at massive franchises such as H&M or Uniqlo, are worth checking out. It’s a fact that many of the times the quality of saids items is somewhat doubtful, but if you browse them thoroughly your patience will be rewarded…as will your bank account. Let’s face it, unless you’re fortunate enough to have a privileged financial status, or you’re an outstanding shopper who carefully picks his acquisitions, building a wardrobe solely on high end clothing will pose a daunting task.
The thing is, in my opinion, women are better off in this field: the overall design and quality of womenswear at those retailers is better, making it easier for them to pull of a million dollar look with only 50€ or so. When it comes to menswear though, I find it more of a challenge to put up a great look only with such pieces, as the outcome will most likely appear a bit off, be it due to cut, fabric, shape or design. So…what about us?
Well, I believe there are a few tips to successfully score great items at these stores. First, carefully scout the place and analyze the pieces that caught your eye, don’t be afraid to touch them to get a feel of the fabric, take a look at the labels, scan the seams and stitching, and of course, try them on. Face it as a challenge, finding a needle in a haystack…Secondly, stay away from strong image statement pieces: noticed the bold striped sweater on the window? So did the other 5000 guys that entered the shop; by avoiding these pieces you drastically reduce the chances of bumping into a handful of guys wearing the same as you. Furthermore, people won’t immediately know where you shop, which as I see it, is a plus. Last, but not the least, keep an open mind and try to envision the potential of each garment; some of them will look like a whole different story after being adjusted at your tailor.
That being said, some of your best bets at these stores are accessories and understated or basic pieces which will remain anonymous, such as jeans, tees, cardigans, hoodies or shirts without striking features. Here are a few options:
I’ve praised American brand Pierrepont Hicks' neckwear before… Their passion for quality ties and bowties is visible in each and every piece, whose craftsmen gather more than 70 years of experience. Taking an innovative approach to a market saturated with offerings of all sorts, they produce some of the most detailed and refreshing pieces out there.
This season, they combine their trademark contrasting blade ties and reversible bows, with fresh summery fabrics such as linen, silk and lightweight cotton. The color palette revolves mostly around pastels, but for those of you with a love for bolder items, there’s still something in the mix to suit your liking. Also, did I mention that at 3”, their ties are the perfect width?
One of the most important aspects when it comes to knitwear, besides fabric and cut, is the shape of the collar. Among all the available options, the v-neck sweater is probably the most elegant and versatile of the bunch, being easily dressed up or down as you pair it with a tee or a shirt and tie. Make no mistake, not all V-necks are created equal, and within the spectrum you’re offered several variations: higher, lower, wider…
A higher stance V is the most common type, but I’d like to express my love for the low V-neck sweater. In colder months when layering is a necessity, and walking out the door with nothing but a shirt under your jacket will most likely turn you into a popsicle, this is one of my favourite pieces. Its lower and wider stance allows you to portray the shirt+jacket ensemble (while keeping warm) as it’s easily concealed by your outerwear. Plus, if you’re a fan of neckwear, few other pieces allow you to show just the right amount of shirt and tie, while keeping them perfectly framed.
When looking for this type of sweater I believe it’s best to go with thicker fabrics, with some shape to them, as very lightweight, thin fabrics may end up looking loose and baggy, depriving them of the elegance and framing assets. Scottish brand Lyle & Scott offers some great options in outstanding quality wools which are definitely worth checking. Here, I paired mine with a navy peacoat and a shirt+tie combination, stressing the aforementioned framing effect and drawing attention towards the tie. Also, this is the kind of Winter day when you should throw on your white jeans: sunny and freezing cold.
Navy melange peacoat by Paul Smith, greyish blue low v-neck sweater by Lyle & Scott, striped dress shirt by Carolina Herrera, white slim fitting jeans by Massimo Dutti, brown brogues by Henry James Shoes, sunglasses by Ray Ban (aviators), vintage tie, argyle socks by Calzedonia.
I have a thing for watches…without wanting to underrate the role other objects play in a man’s attire, I find the watch to be the ultimate men’s accessory.
Throughout history, and to this day, they’ve been spotted on the wrists of powerful and stylish individuals, emphasizing they’re image of confident, self assured, decided men. Not to say these traits cannot be portrayed by bare wristed men, but there’s something about a watch that just seems to accentuate them. In fact, as it’s usually the only accessory for many men, a timepiece can say much about its wearer…
For the second entry of the “Faithful Companions” series, I’ve decided to go with what is probably my favourite watch among those I own: the Rolex GMT Master II. The thing I love the most about it, is that it’s been passed on to me by my father, so on top of being an outstanding horological piece it holds a deep sentimental value. Furthermore, its aesthetic makes it an all rounder, being definitely one of the heaviest rotated pieces in my collection.
I definitely hope to carry on the tradition by passing it on to my son someday…
A while back, Wrong Weather hosted an event to commemorate the arrival of their new footwear brand: Armando Cabral. Although I was unable to attend the inauguration, I had a chance to drop by later on and get a glimpse of the newly arrived models.
Making its international debut this season (SS11), the shoe brand comes as an extension of the renowned top model’s successful career, who ignited runways for brands such as Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein, Dries Van Noten and Dior Homme (among others).
Aimed at delivering luxury footwear for men, the focus is on high end materials, quality craftsmanship (made in Italy) and fresh, invigorating color palette and design, courtesy of Rucky Zambrano. On this first collection the range of models includes boat shoes, desert boots, loafers and a personal favourite, the woven sandal.