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.
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.
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.
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.
Now, 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.
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.
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 email@example.com 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.
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.
• 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.
For 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.
Sunglasses by Rayban
Jacket by Topman
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
Okay. Stay Fancy.
To call Nick bartender feels like an insult, I mean the man isn’t exactly sliding beers down the bar, though despite being one of South Africa’s most awarded barmen, Nick insists he’s just a bartender “I’m here to serve my customers” he says to me.
Now, Nick hasn’t always been a bartender, he’s actually a qualified quantity surveyor (I still don’t know what that is) but the calling of the cocktail shaker was too large for him, and so he put passion first and followed his dream. Good thing he did, as it’s taken him all over the world conducting workshops and seminars as well as competing in both Bacardi Global legacy cocktail competition (where he made the final 8 in 2013) and Diageo World Class Global Bartender (placing 17th amongst the worlds 50 top barmen). The man is a legend with a beard to match.
My first experience with Nick was walking into The House of Machines ready to order my usual “pint of lager” when someone suggested I let Nick make me a drink. So after a quick little chat about what I usually drink and what flavours I enjoy he set out to make me an old fashioned. That single drink changed my drinking habits for life. Watching Nick fuss over everything from smoking the glass on a block of maple wood to trimming the edges of his perfectly cut orange peel blew my mind.
When I set out to document Cape Towns craftsmen (and woman) I always had Nick top of my mind, I don’t think I have ever met a more passionate individual in my life and it comes across in every drink he makes for you, from his stirring technique to his flamboyant pouring he will walk you through every step of the 20minute process…what comes out of the other side is heaven to your mouth. Take a look at the little photo documentary below to get an idea.
Nick spreads the word of bartending on his tumblr The Alchemist Says and you can find him at The house of Machines most weekends or in any bar around the world really, best to keep track of him on his twitter and instagram
Nick wears a levis Trucker jacket and old Levis Sawtooth Western shirt.
Okay. Stay fancy.
Sartorial Sunday has never been about perfectly tailored suits and matching your lapel accessories. Rather it’s been about finding some unique style and trying to understand what makes it work. It’s also about some nice ideas for leaving the house well put together on a Sunday morning, regardless of your destination.
In this, another great capture by one of my favourite street style photographers Garcon Jon, we find the perfect blend of formal and casual, or would that be casual and formal, too hard to tell, its so perfectly blended. Like a smoothie.
I love this approach to dressing, where one item (in this case the denim) takes an outfit and turns it on his head. Think about it, if he had completed the 3 piece suit with the missing pants puzzle piece, he could be well on his way to some corporate job in a high rise somewhere, but the denims means he won’t feel out of place sipping on a flatwhite and munching a gluten free brownie at some coffee shop on an idle Sunday afternoon.
Lets take a look at some details.
Now as much as I like this look, I think it can be pushed slightly.
Firstly, i’m not crazy about the shininess of the suiting fabric (personal preference) I prefer something a little more textured in this situation, I also think that it would work better if it was a little prepped up with a nice stripy tie and then contrasted heavily with some distressed skinny denims with a purposeful turn up. Check out my versions below with links to all the items.
Get navy textured blazer here
Get navy textured vest here
Get white shirt with button contrast detail here
Get preppy stripy tie here
Get distressed jeans here
Get navy polka dot pocket square here
Get brogue boots here
Okay. Stay fancy.