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Sartorial Sundays

IMG_9141A while ago my friend Murray said he wanted to start wearing sneakers in a formal way, we both only wear dress shoes and have a similar sense of style. I wasn’t entirely convinced, I barely own any sneakers and the ones I do are all have quite slim profiles as I hate bulky shoes.

Then I caught murray out the one night wearing his skinny blue chinos, button down denim shirt and a pair of retro nike sneakers. I was sold. Somehow it maintained a level of formality that I generally don’t like stepping out of.

So I did some research and found some really cool inspiration online for the whole suits and sneakers vibe. The one that really stood out was this outfit from the bespoke dudes, a navy double breasted suit with some killer retro adidas sneakers, that really just work here.

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IMG_9393See, what I think makes it work is offsetting the balance of the very casual sneakers with a level of detail in the formal wear. Even so, it’s a fine line between too much and too little (and in this case you may wanna stay on the side of too little) as you want to maintain the dapper details of your outfit without seeming like you went to the gym and just forgot to pack your formal shoes.

How does this gentleman do it? Well, small things like the turn ups in the trousers not only keep it formal, but it also means the trousers don’t fall on the shoe and so give some nice separation to let the shoe pop. The pocket square is also a nice touch, but it seemed like the perfect place to stop, a lapel flower or tie clip may have just been too far.

So, I think the trick is to treat them the same way you would any accessory, you need to make sure that something in your outfit is speaking to your shoes, that way it will never appear like a mistake. I also think the shoes have a big role to play, and right now ( Because it’s the trend) it appears that retro sneakers achieve this look best.

Rather than recreate the look (or looks) above the way I usually do, I thought I would rather put together an outfit of how I think I would wear it. Lots of different textures, some nice pattern mixing in the pocket square and the tie which pick up on the red in the shoes, and then a simple white shirt to help keep it casual and some suspenders so as to eliminate the need for a belt.

Get the blazer here

Get the pants here

Get the shirt here

Get the suspenders here

Get the tie here

Get the pocket square here

Get the sneakers here

Okay. Stay Fancy.

Unknown-1For those of you who don’t know, I work in the advertising industry as a creative director, it’s my first big love, way before fashion. So every now and then a commercial gets made that brilliantly combines the two, my friend Aviv from He who says hmm shared it with me via twitter the other day and I was blown away. Here it is:

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t blown away by the ad, it’s very pretty, but outside of the very wanky and fake brand message, I was blown away by these Sapeurs and decided to do some research. These guys are incredible, in a world of poverty their purpose is to be elegant. In fact Sapeurs stands for  Societe des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elegantes (the Society of Tastemakers and Elegant People). And when they go out, they turn the streets of Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of the Congo, into a fashion runway.

I mean, imagine how we struggle in our giant malls filled with global fashion to find the right outfit and these guys go against all odds to look good in a world where everything is bad. It’s incredible! I don’t wanna give too much away as there is an incredibly mini documentary I want you guys to check out. But I will leave you with this little quote by Papa Wemba, a rumba musician from Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) who popularized the culture in the late 1970s and early 1980s: “White people invented the clothes, but we make an art of it.”

Okay. Stay fancy.

IMG_1969s.jpg~originalYes, so, I’m all over the place with my Sartorial Sundays on a Wednesday I know. But I’ve taken such a long break (too long a break in fact) that I just need to start somewhere.

Also, this is too good a look not to share and comment on. It’s once again by my current favourite street fashion photographer Garcon Jon and it’s one capture from a series done with the Sartorial 7. Man these gents have swag in all the right places. Take a look.

So why this gentleman in particular? Well, I just loved the simplicity of the look. Ive always said that if you only get one suit it should be navy, and this is why! It’s timeless, its elegant and it goes with pretty much anything. Also, when in doubt, go with a white shirt, that means you can really go to town on your tie and it should work with whatever else you have on.

There are 2 things that make this look, well, 3 really, maybe 4! The hat! Man I have got to get me a hat, ok, first I have got to get me a head and face for hats but then a hat straight after! It’s just a whole new world of dapper. That green tie pop is also spectacular and he lets it pop, no distracting with a pocket square or lapel flower it’s all about the pop pop pop of that emerald tie, in stark contrast, though complimentary is that very orange umbrella, it’s bright enough to make a statement, but I love how the shoes help ground it!

Nothing you leave the house with is not part of your outfit! Nothing!

Ok, so if you love any or all of these pieces, here’s a starting point for recreating the look. At the very least, get the tie…green is gonna be massive! I think!

Orange 2 tone umbrella available here

Black wide brim trilby from available here

Navy blue suit available here

White long sleeved shirt available here

Emerald green tie by available here

Brown tasselled loafers available here.

Okay. Stay fancy.

ZaraJacketIMG_0301.jpg~originalAnother late Sartorial Sunday, another amazing outfit!

This, another capture from my favourite street fashion photographer Garcon Jon is another perfect example of less is more. A nice monochromatic number that nails it! with complete simplicity.

I’m yet to get my hands on a Double Breasted jacket, they never seem quite right when I try them on in stores, but then I see something like this and it’s just so rad.

There’s not even much to the details of this outfit, it just works in it’s simplicity, none the less let’s take a look.

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So, you should have most of this in your closet already (well all except the DB of course) so you should be inspired, as I am to put something like this together. I have sourced some stuff online to re create this look, but in the spirit of our Want Of The Week I’ve gone all premium with this guy!

Hey It’s christmas, treat yo self!

Get a similar double breasted blazer here

Get a white button down shirt here

Get a slim black tie here

Get a white pocket square here

Get skinny black jeans here

Get double monks strap shoes here

Okay. Stay fancy.

Imagine attending this dinner?

Just sitting around with the who’s who of the mens fashion industry, maybe even your sartorial heroes, dining on steak and lobster, smoking cigars and playing poker!

Dinner2643web

It is the ultimate gentleman’s night! In fact a guys night out should consist of only this! And it should be black tie, just like these guys did it!

Well, strictly speaking, it’s not exactly black tie, but more ‘black ties’ younger cooler cousin – creative black tie or “optional” black tie.

So, what is Black tie? or when do you wear it? Time for another Menswear 101

 

Black-Tie

_7318942So, I often get asked about dress codes, and truth be told, I’m not really up to speed with most of it myself, they’ve all changed so much since there inception that the lines have become slightly blurry, well all except white tie. What is white tie? Well, Its safe to say that if you don’t know, you don’t need to, as it is the most formal of dress codes and often kept for events like state dinners. So, really, it’s SUPER fancy!

So, black tie then? At it’s most basic, black tie is exactly that, a black bow tie, worn with a  dark suit, white shirt and black shoes at a fomal evening event, of course its not that simple, but you could probably get away with that, as have the gents in the above post.

Traditionally though ( and this dress code dates back to the 19th century) the dinner jacket – or tuxedo for our American friends – is a single breasted dark jacket made of wool with contrasting lapels, usually silk, the trousers would also have a single silk stripe running down the outer seam of the leg. The dress shirt would have a pleated front, a turndown collar (winged collars are for white tie) and french cuffs to be worn with cufflinks. The shoes, which were traditionally pumps are now generally highly polished or patent leather oxford shoes.

As with every outfit it all comes down to the details, so you would pair this up with a black bow tie in the same fabric as your lapels as well as a black cummerbund ( in warm weather ) or low cut waistcoat.

As with the dress code, tuxedos have come a long way, and much like suits you get them in all types of fits and styles. You should really only ever buy 1 or 2 Tux’s your entire life, you probably wont get much wear out of them, but when the occasion calls for a Tux, you gotta look the part.

This is why, the little collection I’ve put together goes against my normal, ‘get it cheap’ motto. This is the one time you wanna spend more than you would, it’s the only way to guarantee that when you walk into a black tie event you feel like a million bucks!

I’m a big fan of the 1 button tuxedo jacket, I think it’s just so versatile you can even wear it with a pair of skinny jeans for a rockstar look, everything else is pretty standard, a nice pair of patent leather oxford shoes, some simple classic cufflinks and a pleated tuxedo shirt with a black bow tie. I have eliminated the cummerbund though, why? you ask. Simple. it’s just f@#cking ridiculous and looks terribly outdated, I hate those things.

Tuxedo by Hugo Boss

Shirt by David Donahue

Bow tie by David Donahue

Cufflinks by David Donahue

Shoes by Salvatore Ferragamo

Okay. Stay fancy. VERY fancy!

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I never managed to get to this yesterday, sorry, but I have found this epic Sartorial Sunday look off (possibly my favourite street fashion) Garcon Jon’s Blog which does feel like the perfect mix of Sunday smart.

I’ve never really thought to wear a suit this way, but then again, I don’t wear many suits, I don’t even own many suits. Now that I see this kind of versatility it makes me feel like I NEED a new suit, and I think a one button is the way to go. Something about it all just works, like you could wear this down to the shops and not be to dressy!

Oh and remember what I said about a gentleman and a wooden handled umbrella?Nailed it!

If you agree and think you would like to give this look a go, Ive got some starting points here for you.TS3M_GE04_SOPRANO_09-LIGHT GREY_1

Get similar grey one button suit here

Get similar (couln’t find blue at my usual searching spots) varsity sweatshirt here

Get similar socks (though a little more fun) here

Get some incredible brogues to pull it all together here

Okay. Stay Fancy.

Street-Gents-Q-Shades-of-Blue-New-York2Street-Gents-Q-Shades-of-Blue-New-York4Street-Gents-Q-Shades-of-Blue-New-York3

Sometimes the biggest details are the simplest things. In this amazing capture by Dapper Lou we have this perfectly dressed gent in a classic 2 button navy suit with navy tie and it just looks incredible. After all, if you only own one suit, I would forego the black and go straight for the navy.

Sure he has tiny details like the Ghanaian flag lapel pin and pants short enough to show off those double monk strap boots, but it’s his overall look that is just great with those retro glasses, killer lamb chop sideburns and this “I dont give a fuck” attitude.

Rockstar.

Nothing more to say, it just simply works, simply.

If you wanna put this look together here’s a few places to start.

Get similar navy suit here

Get similar blue shirt here

Get similar navy tie here (this one with a little more texture)

Get similar pocket square here (this one with a little more detail on the edging)

Get similar shoes here

Okay. Stay fancy

92013crosslegs9276webSo finally a Sartorial Sunday on an actual Sunday and with a photograph from the man that started it all The Sartorialist.

This outfit immediately stood out for me as having “nailed it”. Classic colours like blues and browns make it all come together so nicely. I’m torn about that jacket, it looks black, though I’m hoping it’s a dark brown ( Thats what I would of done here). It’s also giving a little tip of the hat to the current bold print trend, nice!

That’s how I like to do ‘trends’, no need to go all in and wear a bold print suit and tie, if you want to buy into a trend cause you kinda like it, rather get one versatile item and wear that a few times, if you find yourself getting more wear out of it then you had planned, get something else. Simple

Here’s a little online outfit created with the inspiration from this dapper young man!

Get similar blazer here

Get similar blue bold print shirt here

Get similar brown and blue polka detail tie here

Get similar tobacco chinos here

Get similar oxford shoes here

Okay. Stay Fancy.

 

 

GarconjonIMG_3735s.jpg~originalGarconjonIMG_3402s.jpg~originalWhat is quickly becoming my favourite street fashion site – garconjon.com – did a little street  fashion shoot for the launch of a new website called man of kind. This is the result.

So I loved it all, and was hoping to recreate one of these looks for you guys by trying to find these items online as I always do. But rather than decide myself, I opened it up to my Facebook fans to decide on there favourite look, like this.

GarconjonIMG_3461s.jpg~originalThe winner, was number 2, only just beating number 3 by 2 votes. Why? Well, I guess it’s the bravest of the lot. I’m suspecting green as a big upcoming trend, I remember seeing a lot of it in NY earlier this year and wanting to buy into it. Mostly I think it’s that effortless dapper edge that number 2 brings, and small details like not wearing a belt gives this look a contemporary feel I think.

If you’re looking to recreate, this or part of this look, you can get similar stuff online here

Get similar green blazer here

Get similar tartan shirt here

Get similar lapel flower here

Get similar navy tie here

Get similar grey trousers here

Get similar suede loafers here

Okay. Stay fancy

tumblr_mlq84806yo1r7fjovo1_1280tumblr_mlp53gGWQt1r7fjovo1_1280tumblr_mlsrb5xwqM1r7fjovo1_1280Todays Sartorial Sunday, (yes I know it’s not Sunday) is gonna be a little different.

This time I really wanted to honour some home grown talent in this blogger trio known as “I see a different you“, thats Vuyo Mpantsha on the left and then Justice and Innocent Mukheli next to him. Yes, they’re twins, and I can never really tell them apart!

There is absolutely no question that these gents have the sartorial edge, but what I love about it is that it’s quintessential African, and thats an incredible thing. Style is one thing, but these boys take style, bravery and mix it in with a little bit of Africa to create something that is truly inspired. Rumour has it that they find most of their gear in second hand stores and tailor it to perfection, I guess thats what keeps every look unique.

This unique look must be why Diesel called them in to form part of the Diesel + Edun Studio Africa exhibition, where they showcased some of their photographic work. Not the first time they exhibited either, they were also invited to show some work in Tokyo. Nice!

I really love these guys, I bump into them every now and then and they are the most humble down to earth crew and I have nothing but respect for them. They are more than fashion, they’re on this life mission to turn around the worlds view on Africa, so much so that they were even invited to do a talk at TED X Soweto. 

They’ve also started a project taking photographs in township schools, something that’s been lost to budget cuts but something they believe every school kid  should have! See what I mean, they’re just nice guys, and I’m sure there is so much more they’re up to that I have no idea about. I wish them nothing but success.

Anyway, if you wanna follow what they’re up to, you can take a look at their Tumblr here, or follow them on Facebook on Instagram and of course Twitter

In the meantime, lets see if we can put together one of these looks. I reckon we go for Justices look, in the middle…or is that Innocent?

Of course were never gonna find this EXACT outfit, but you can kinda get the look.

Get a similar coat with a little pimp fur detail here

Get a smart white shirt here

Get a similar striped tie here

Get similar stone skinny trousers here

Get some stripy socks (that talk to the tie) here

Get similar tan brogues here

Okay. Stay fancy

 

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