Polka Dots & Houndstooth
Taking garments and accessories out of their original context is one of the things that inspires me the most when it comes to menswear. This is something I’m constantly looking out for in new collections or simply by observing stylish individuals on the street. As menswear “rules” bend more and more, so do the limits of creativity and mixing and matching.
Bowties are no longer the epitome of formality nor limited to tuxedos…as a matter of fact, this is precisely one of the pieces I love dressing down with a relaxed candy striped oxford shirt and a pair of worn out jeans. A cashmere cardigan with contrasting houndstooth elbow patches and a reversible gillet add the final details to a casual, put together weekend attire…
Details: reversible gillet by Zara, houndstooth elbow patched cardigan by Annapurna 5+1, candy stripe oxford button down by Our Legacy, jeans by Levi’s (511), polka dot bowtie by Add On, cashmere scarf by Burberry, vintage braided leather belt and watch by Daniel Wellington.
Although tweed is, in its essence, a wintery fabric, its amazing texture and feel shouldn’t be restricted to one season alone. During transition periods as the one we’re currently experiencing, you’ll be facing colder days when the comfort and panache of a tweed blazer is unmatched. I found this vintage double breasted version at Broadway Market, London, for €30,00 and fell in love with instantly, plus no alterations were needed. Thrown over a shirt and a lightweight cardigan is the perfect alternative for colder days. Worn out slim fitting jeans, black cap toe oxfords and a cashmere scarf make for the rest of the look.
Details: vintage double breasted tweed blazer, slim fit dress shirt by Throttleman, lightweight cotton cardigan by H&M, Levi’s 511 slim (tailored), cap toe oxford shoes by Raparo, socks by Paul Smith and cashmere scarf by Burberry.
Model and Styling: Miguel Vieira
Photography: Rita Lino
Burberry Black Label AW11 Collection: a more casual feel aimed at a younger audience…
Urban Menswear Myths #4
When it comes to outerwear, choosing among the myriad of available options may be intimidating at times. Apart from the so called “traditional” models which we all should have in our closets, there are alternatives for everyone out there: heavyweight versions for those who like to sport nothing more than a shirt under it, or lighter ones for the layering adepts. No matter which group you fall into, you need to get your basics covered, starting with classics in neutral shades such as navy or black. I’m a supporter of color, but when it comes to investing considerable amounts (outerwear doesn’t come cheap), you want to have a few all rounders. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that neutrals are the only way to go, especially if basics are no longer an issue and you’re looking for a new addition to spice things up.
To those of you on the next level, aiming to step away from the outerwear comfort zone, there are two paths: go for bold design or experience with color/pattern. As I’m not the biggest fan of overly designed items, I’ll address the colorway. The first thing to bear in mind is that the visual impact is proportional to the size of the garment itself, which colorwise, poses a challenge as few other pieces pack such a punch as jackets/coats. So, the choice of color is crucial: a safe bet on not so usual colors would be camel or hunter green, whereas if you really want to stand out, neon like shades such as yellow, orange or royal blue are the way to go.
If you throw pattern into the mix, the task of finding the perfect piece becomes all the more difficult, but the outcome may be that more exciting. Achieving a balance between both is the key to success, but requires a keen eye, so when in doubt go with solid colored fabrics. Experiencing with bold outerwear is not for the faint of heart, but when you get the hang of it you’ll have a hard time going back to classics.
Rain attire: the lightweight parka
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.
As I’ve stressed several times before, one of the most interesting aspects of a look resides in the small details. Carefully mixing and blending them is a recipe for a perfect outfit, one that easily stands out in a crowd.
A great way to tweak an already great piece is adding elbow patches. Coming in a variety of colors, patterns and materials, they’re an easy and affordable way to add sophistication and visual interest to your attire. Although the blazer is probably the most common garment when it comes to this add on, you should broaden your horizons as to the full potential of these patches: sweaters, long sleeves, topcoats or cardigans all account for great alternatives.
Also, don’t be afraid to lively things up a bit by adding bold colors and textures, that’s what will add the extra flare you’re looking for. Going for different fabrics such as tweed or leather instead of being limited to the usual suede patches, is something to consider. Just bear in mind that if you opt for leather patches your items will only be washable through dry cleaning. The though part about the process is finding the right patches, applying them will be an easy and inexpensive task for your tailor or seamstress. If you want to take the easy route, just look for items which originally come with them. With their recent burst in popularity, you should have no problem finding a few suitable options.
One of the pieces I purchased a while ago is this heather grey v-neck wool/cashmere sweater by Annapurna 5+1. Besides the outstanding blended fabric, with a soft touch and slim fit, what really drew me to it were the houndstooth elbow patches. This look combines several interesting aspects: besides the layering, I love the contrast of the lighter tones of the shirt, sweater and plimsoles with the black jeans, and how the shades of green in the houndstooth perfectly complement the ones in the vest.
Charcoal heavy wool blazer by Rice, Green Eskdale vest by Barbour, heather grey v-neck cashmere/wool sweater by Annapurna 5+1, white dress shirt by Paul Smith, black slim fit jeans by H&M, white plimsoles (Musa trainer) by Paul Smith, glasses by Prada, camel scarf by Burberry and watch by Rolex.
This post is aimed at everyone, especially the women - girlfriends, wives or moms - who are desperately trying to draw last minute inspiration about what to give to the special men in their lives. I hope these are useful!
Bear in mind that the brands shown are mere examples and the items are listed in no particular order.
Trenchcoat - Burberry Prorsum
Peacoat - Schott NY Slim fit
Waxed jacket - Barbour Ursula Jacket
We all love gadjets - Apple’s Ipad
State of the art kitchen utensils - Le Creuset
A reliable cook book - Jamie Oliver
Soaps and Shaving kits - Barbearia do Bairro
Holidays scented candles - Dyptique
Notebook - Archie Grand
An exquisite pen - Faber Castle
A document folder - Cornelian Taurus
Worthy hats - Borsalino
Men jewellery - Goti
Original cufflinks - Paul Smith
Amazingly crafted ties - Pierrepont Hicks
A playful bow tie - Coisas d’Homem
Leather tote and duffle bag - Lottuf & Clegg
Something to read and be inspired by - Amazon
The perfect soundtrack for the season - Sufjan Stevens