Full-length I broke a rule.

There I said it!

But here’s why, I love wearing suits, I sometimes wish I had a super boring super corporate job that paid me a lot of money and made me wear suits all day, but instead I have a creative job that would see me better dressed in an ironic slogan tee, skinny jeans and canvas sneakers. I digress. You see, a suit should never be worn as individual items, but always as a suit, this prevents the items wearing out individually and ruining your suit. Reasonable, yes, but not practical for someone like me (as mentioned above) so, when I picked up this Prince of Wales suit at my recent Topshop personal shopping experience I bought it solely with the intention of splitting it up when necessary…as above.

I love me some patterns, you should know this by now, and so the slight texture in the jacket, the obvious pattern in the pants and the floral bow tie and pocket square could only be toned down with a plain white shirt, something I usually steer clear of because it feels like a bit of a cop out. The bow tie had the right blue to help the jacket pop, but also the bronzish brown flowers so, I paired that with the flower lapel and the brown on the bow tie with the deep burgundy pocket square, in the end, it all came together quite nicely I thought. The blue belt was a wild card and simply because I love it, kinda thought if I was going to break one rule, I could break 2 right!? Here are the details lapel-pinbow-tiepocket-squarewatchshoes

Blazer and pants by Topman

Shirt by TM Lewin

Bow tie by Weekend Casual

Lapel Flower by Weekend Casual

Pocket square by Weekend Casual

Watch by Uniform Wares

Leather bracelet by Caputo and Co

Shoes by Dune London

Okay. Stay fancy.

Title portarit-shotThere’s something about blue jeans and music that just go hand in hand, it’s a little bit country a little rock’n’roll and pretty much everything in-between. So for this my last “live In Levis” documentary I chose an old new friend of mine who’s a musician, I call Lexi and old new friend because all though I’ve only know her for 2 years she feels like old friend, she’s just that kind of person I guess.

I met Lexi at Hard Pressed cafe a new vinyl shop that sells coffee in down town Cape Town , or a coffee shop that sells vinyl I’m never sure, either way It feels like the right kind of place to chat about the craft of songwriting.

Lexi’s been playing guitar and writing for the last 13 years, she had no choice really she comes from the most musical family I’ve ever met, her dad is a big time producer and all her brothers and sister play in some kind of band (check out her brothers just jamming it up in studio - incredible!). So when Lexi asked her dad how to play her favourite song at the time, Indie Arie’s “ready For Love” he didn’t send her for guitar lessons, he simply taught her the chords and sent her to her room. She spent that summer in her room practising and writing new songs with the only 4 chords she knew and that was it, not a guitar lesson in sight, she just learnt to play by ear.

She considers herself a songwriter, not a performer – I beg to differ – because she believes the beauty is in the song and so she writes about the kind of stuff that makes the best songs…life! She says she uses it as a way of working through things, good and bad, when she gets it down in a song it all makes sense to her, and she kinda hopes it makes sense to other people and maybe even help them when they go through those things. I thought that was kinda cool, sure does explain why so many songs resonate with you when you’re going through your own stuff right?

The true craft of writing Lexi believes is in the chords, she’s influenced by country music because it’s all about storytelling but she doesn’t really consider herself a country musician. I asked her to define her music or what genre she fits into, she couldn’t, i pressed her for an answer, she told me to stop. I did. Different chords, mean different things she says, they can even make you feel different things, the craft is knowing how to tell a story and make you feel the emotions at the same time through the music.

Lexi had been planning for a gig she was playing at her dream venue, the attic of an old hotel in Woodstock called “The Attic” (how do they come up with these things?) , she likes playing small intimate venues because she says it gives her a chance to connect with the audience and let them feel the stories.

I asked her where she saw it all going and what she wanted to do with her music, after all, like most musicians this is not Lexi’s full time job but merely a passion that doesn’t pay the bills. So i guess paying the bills would be nice she said, but she really wants to collaborate with a whole bunch of different artists and explore different areas of songwriting, in the end she hopes to end up with 10 songs that define her, 10 songs she can put out there and say “This is me” not for anyone else really, just for herself she says. Much to my surprise Lexi has no desire for rock stardom. Interesting I thought, one wonders why when you hear her play.

So, where can you find Lexis music? Well, you can go straight on over to her souncloud account and listen to her songs or jump on to lexiframe.co.za to find out about what she’s doing and where she’s playing.

Okay. Stay fancy.

Penny-Loafer-22 With summer on the horizon I thought it appropriate to educate ourselves on the most summerish of shoes. The loafer.

I’ve chosen the penny loafer simply because most people don’t know why they are called penny loafers while most of us know what a loafer is. For those who don’t know, a loafer is best explained as a shoe that does not make use of a fastening system – like laces – but is merely slipped on the foot, which is why they are also often referred to as “slip-ons”.

The origin of the loafer seems to date back to 1874 where Wildsmith shoes designed a pair of casual house shoes for King George VI called the “wild smith loafer”. In 1908 however in Aurland, Norway shoemaker Nils Gregoriusson Tveranger introduced a loafer called the “Aurland shoe” or “Aurland Moccasin” based on the design of moccasins worn by native Americans, these quickly became the casual shoe of choice all around Norway and soon the rest of Europe. It was only after Esquire magazine published an article on Norwegian dairy farmers, loafing around in their casual Aurland shoes in 1930 did the loafer trend take off in America.

Penny-Loafer-23 With loafers being all the rage shoemaker John Bass began producing loafers he called Weejuns (after the shoe’s original wearers the Nor’wegians’) but with a signature split strap across the top of the shoe meant to look like a pair of lips with a diamond cut out in the middle. It wasn’t long before people started further customising their loafers by slipping small decorative objects below the slit.

In the 1950’s its said that American prep school students started slipping pennies into these slits not only as fashion statement but also because 2 pennies was enough money to make an emergency phone call back then, the name penny loafer was born.

Like all fashion, loafers have seen a continuous evolution both in their use and style over the years with different details being introduced like tassels and metal bars, they have also been worn everywhere from the boardroom to the moon (little Micheal Jackson “moonwalk” joke there for you people)  and their versatility is endless.

loafer-2laofer-3 loafer-1 Strangely enough it’s not till recently that I started wearing loafers and now that I’ve started I don’t really wanna wear anything else, to me they just scream of Europe in the summer. After writing this article, I also realise I don’t own a pair of penny loafers, I really need to get my hands on some, in the meantime the ones above are my current favourites and all from Dune London.

Okay. Stay fancy.

Full-lengthclose-up-tiepocket-square What do you do when you’re looking for a particular tie, or pocket square for that matter and simply can’t find it?

Well, Håkan Bruce was faced with that problem back in 2006 when he started Ulterior Motive, he wanted to wear ties more often than he had before, partly for work but also for leisure time. The problem was they were either too dull and boring, or they were just silly (think Donald Duck patterns and such). So he realised the only way to wear the designs he wanted, was to make them, so he did.

Ulterior Motive is mostly a mens accessories store, providing anything from bow ties to wallets, all made using material that fit the end goal of what they want the product to look and feel like, instead of sticking to silk ties, or only leather for the wallets they explore different designs and materials. The end result are ties and pocket squares made from anything from silk to wool to microfiber and even linen.

I decided to review the Navy Dots Pocket Square and Dots Navy Tie below.

470_navy-dots-tie_a_large

 

471_dots-navy-pocket-square_a_largeNow, at first glance they look like a basic polka dot tie and pocket square right? But, take a closer look. Look at the dots. See anything peculiar? Yep, some of the dots are missing, randomly. I love that! It takes something traditional and almost boring and makes it fun and contemporary, its by far my favourite thing about these 2 items.

Both the tie and pocket square are made from woven microfibre, to be fair it looks just like silk, but I guess at a fraction of the price.

Navy and white are classic combinations so you will get a lot of use out of these guys, both as a mismatched pair or as individual items. The tie length is great and even with a double windsor knot (My knot of choice) I felt the tie held a good proportion. My only complaint, well, I would of liked it a little thicker, just ever so slightly, but this is just personal preference as I’ve gotten used to wearing broader ties over the last year or so. The pocket square has a great detail on the back with a navy stripe running through and a white dot that you can reveal on certain pocket square folds, again, the smallest complaint is that maybe it’s a little small, though I would rather have a too small pocket square than a bunch of material bulging up my lapel pocket as so many of my squares do.

In the end, I really liked these two products, they will become wardrobe staples for me so I’ve given them 4 out of 5 hangers. Yes, hangers…like stars, except hangers. They represent how much I think you might need something like this in your wardrobe…on a hanger…except figuratively of course.

The guys at Ulterior Motive sent me a couple of other things to check out and over all I was impressed with the range and quality as well as the fact that they’re incredibly well priced, go check them out if you’re looking to up your accessory game.

Okay. Stay fancy.

 

refelctions Anname Meet Annamé Kleyenscheldt, the most patient person on this earth. I know this because Annamé was my Topshop personal shopper for an afternoon at the Topshop / Topman in the V&A Waterfront and the fact that I not only made it out alive, but I made it out with exactly what I was looking for is testament to her patience and skill for that matter.

I was recently invited by the folks at Topshop to put their instore personal shopper to the test, and despite the fact that I hate tests, I really do love shopping, so I thought I would give it a go.

Now, in my mind, I was going to get there and kinda have a dedicated person who would run out to the store front and fetch me my size while I piled up clothes on a change room floor attempting to find the perfect item. I was met with something very different.

First of all the personal shopping experience has it’s own dedicated change room, and when I say change room, I mean its a dedicated suite with massive changing spaces and a couch for your significant other to relax on while munching macaroons and sipping cappuccinos all while you find your perfect outfit.

Annamé also likes to take a little initiative of her own, so she prepares a couple of looks for you before you arrive, depending on your needs. She had built up 6 looks for me, 3 formal and 3 casual all in my size, so that if anything caught my eye I could try it on there and then, this is perfect for when you actually just don’t know where too start and are looking for that special outfit for a special occasion.

I was looking specifically for something new I could wear to an upcoming formal event, so Annamé and I hit the floor to take a little look around.

This is where the experience really kicked up a notch for me, see I’m no lazy shopper I don’t mind doing it for a whole day as you can well imagine, but it is a tiresome and tedious process, more so when you don’t really know what you’re looking for. Having someone who knows where everything is and carries it all around for you makes quite the difference.

Annamé was also really great at picking out things I wouldn’t normally and made some great suggestions. She also ran up and down from the change room fetching me the perfect size in everything while I sipped champagne and ate more macaroons (man those were some delicious macaroons)

In the end, we put together 3 looks, all tiering up from casual to super formal.

look-1look-number-3look-no-2 It probably won’t surprise you that in the end I went with the 2 button prince of Wales tartan suit, it surprised me as I dint pick it out!

Good job Annamé. Good Job.

So would I recommend the personal shopping experience to my friends? Or even you guys? A resounding YES!

First of all, its absolutely free, so you have nothing to lose, its also perfect for those who don’t have the time or patience to shop or just tend to feel intimidated by all the choice out there. If you’re planning for a wedding / matric dance or just looking for a whole new look (Annamé’s favourite brief apparently) this is definitely the way to go about it.

This exclusive experience is only available at the Topshop store at the V&A Waterfront and all you need to take advantage of it is make an appointment with Annamé. You can get hold of her on 021 419 5934 or she suggests dropping her a mail on topshopps@edcon.co.za for availability!

I’m also giving away R1000 shopping voucher at Topshop / Topman in the V&A Waterfront so you can try out the experience for yourself. The entry criteria are simple:

Step 1 – Visit my Facebook page and share the “WIN R1000 SHOPPING VOUCHERS” post

Step 2 – Leave me a comment under the post telling me what you want your personal shopper to find you.

See, simple.

Whats’s that? You want a bonus entry?

Fine. Do this:

BONUS – Tweet “I want to win R1000 shopping voucher from @Topman_SA with @Whatmyboyfriendwore because I need a new…” – you then have 40 characters to tell us what it is you want your personal shopper to find you.

T&C’s:

• You need to complete Step 1 and Step 2 before qualifying for the BONUS entry via twitter

• Competition opens on 04/11/14 and closes on 11/11/14

• Winner via random draw will be announced on the 12/11/14

• Competition only open to South African Residents living in Cape Town

Okay. Good luck and stay fancy.

Full-lengthFor those of you who have been following me for a while know that my standard approach to getting dressed is picking one item and building an outfit around that.

In this case it was the tie, I’m a sucker for new things, and having just received a package from the gents at Weekend Casual stuffed with accessories as well as having come back from a major shopping trip in Johannesburg…so I wanted to just wear ALL THE new things!

I love me a tartan tie, its very versatile as you generally have 3 or 4 colours in the tie to match to different parts of your outfit, in this case I let the neutral colours in the tie form the base and built the major items around that with a neutral jacket and trousers.

I took a chance with the pocket square and lapel flower, technically they shouldn’t have worked, the pocket square was a little busy, and the flowers colour ever so slightly off, but in the end it was the confidence that pulled it off. Ive always said, you can wear anything if you wear it confidently right? Maybe it was confidence combined with the fact that the colours actually all worked together…but who can be sure.

Lets take a look at the details.

Medium-shotlapel-flowerpocket-squarebodytie-clipshoes

Sunglasses by Rayban

Jacket by Topman

Shirt by TM Lewin (available at Edgars locally)

Tie by Weekend casual (available here)

Tie clip by Weekend Casual (available here)

Lapel Flower by Weekend Casual (available here)

Pocket square by Weekend Casual (available here)

Pants by River Island

Shoes by Dune London (available at Edgars locally)

Okay. Stay Fancy.

 

 

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