Monk StrapsI dont do these posts often, but they started off as one of my blog fundamentals – Education in mens fashion. Not because I was an expert, because I’m certainly not, but because I realised most guys ddint know enough about what they wore to make an educated choice, so between Menswear 101 and Dressiquete I imparted a few tidbits of history and menswear rules (often dictated by history).

I usually put a new post up when I’m speaking to someone and they say something like “What’s a Monk strap” then I realise I still have work to do. Hence the reason for this post.

The monk strap, as the name implies is a shoe style named after the european monks who wore a buckled shoe due to the additional protection they offered in comparison to the sandals they were accustomed to wearing or the ‘difficult to remove’ boots – a problem when walking in and out of monasteries all day I suppose.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, they look a little something like this. Take note of the labels as I’ll be speaking about them later.

Monk Straps3A strap is defined as a narrow piece of leather used to fasten something or offer support, in this case it combines with the buckle in order to fasten the shoe. This is of course the monk strap’s most defining feature as the quarters of the shoe are fastened with buckles at the side rather than with laces laces in the middle as with the Derby or Oxford shoe.

The number of buckles can and will vary on monk strap shoe, personally I’m not a massive fan of the single monk (1 strap) and find the triple monk to be overkill (or maybe I just haven’t seen one I like), but the double monk…the double monk is like goldilocks and the three bears ie: It’s just right. I only recently acquired my first pair of monk shoes and a second pair followed very quickly after. I now have to stop myself wearing them with everything in fear that they will just get ruined.

These shoes have become such a big part of my wardrobe, I have decided that I have no choice, but to make them a WMBW Essential.

EssentialsDespite having been around for centuries, like most fashion they have only recently made a massive comeback – by recently I’de say the last couple of years.

Their popularity is said to come from the grandfather of style Mr Lino Leluzzi, one of the Sartorialists favourite subjects and owner of the Al Bazar haberdashery (I did a mini feature of him in my Sartorial Sundays #7 post quite a while back) possibly making them the most worn shoe at Pitti Uomo.

Truthfully I think there popularity is owed to their versatility, with these shoes dressing up or down with zero effort. they give a suit an extra dapper edge but feel as much at home paired up with some skinny chinos or even an old pair of jeans – though you maybe want to undo the top buckle for that added sartorial detail in that case.

side-viewunder-shoeback-viewThe shoes above are from Paul Evans, and are possibly one of the most beautiful pair I’ve ever owned. The craftsmanship is impeccable all the way down to a leather sole that matches the colour of the shoe. If you’re in the market for some, You can get them here.

Okay. stay fancy.

 

Full-length-walkingWho doesn’t love Mad Men? No one right? Well no one reading this blog at least I bet.

I’m quite convinced the show alone has made men want to be men again.

It brought back the tie clip, the 3 piece suit and just being a dapper gentleman in general. It also brought back the classic cocktail – I mean why did we ever stop drinking a delicious beverage like the old fashioned.

Personally I have a slightly closer connection to the show, I mean, I’m no Don Draper, but I am a Creative Director in the advertising industry and FUN FACT I even worked as a creative director at the same agency that the show is inspired by – DDB (Hey, Its not a claim to fame, but I’ll take it)

So, when Birchbox approached me about giving away one of their Mad Men inspired boxes, I didn’t hesitate, in fact my reply was quite simply “I have just the outfit”

Full-length-standingPocket-square-detailShoesStyle wise I’m much more of a Roget Sterling, you see, we seem to share a passion for fitted grey suits and pattern mixing.

So here we have it, a fitted Prince of wales patterned suit, a contrast collar shirt (complete with collar pin), a burgundy silk polka dot tie with colour matching pocket square, a simple brushed steel tie clip and a pair of woven tasselled loafers.

But you guys aren’t here for the pattern mixing today, oh no, you want to know what’s inside this box and of course how you can get your hands on one.

Birchbox-close-upBirchboxThis is what my box contained when it arrived, but yours can contain any number of Mad Men inspired items, and if you subscribe before 11th of April, your first box will be a Birchbox + Mad Men special edition

If you wanna take a chance however at winning a box with 5 full sized products from the collection, here’s how:

Simply head on back to Instagram and re-gram / re-post the ‘Win a Mad Men inspired Birchbox’ picture and use the 3 following hashtags #BirchboxMan #MadMen & #WinWithWMBW Be sure to tag me in your reposts – this is so that I can track entries, so if you leave them out, I wont know you entered.

As Always, here are the Terms and conditions:

• Competition will run from 10:00PM EST on the 5th April 2015 and close at 10PM EST on 6th April 2015

• Competition winner will be drawn via random draw on random.org and announced on or before 10th April 2015

• Competition only open to residence of the United States of America

Now get back to watching the show ill ya!

Okay. Stay Fancy and Good Luck

For those of you wanting details of the above outfit:

Clubmaster sunglasses from Ray Ban

Suit from Topman

Shirt from TM Lewin

Tie from Friday Tie Day

Pocket Square by The Detailed Male

Shoes by Dune London

 

 

 

 

 

Final-review-B&BA little while back I did my first ever real travel review of the Rico Suter Country House, about 2 hours outside of Cape Town, great little place, go take a read if you haven’t. Anyway, on our way back home from our weekend away we decided to take a little turn at the Spice Route ‘wine farm’

Now I say ‘wine farm’ because there seems to be a new age of wine farms that are more wine theme parks than farms. Of course they don’t have any of the fun thrill seeking rides you’de expect at a theme park ( the corkscrew seems like a missed opportunity) but are rather culinary experiences to provide you with a full day of family fun. Assuming eating is fun for your family that is.

drivewayBarley-and-Biltong-signall-the-beersbrewing-roomWe arrived at a very full Barley and Biltong during lunch so the hostess recommended we do a quick beer tasting next door at the Cape Brewing Company while we wait for a table. I didn’t object.

They have 2 beer tasting options, R25 for 4 CBC beers or R35 for 6 beers 4 of them CBC and 2 Jack Black beers, reluctantly we went for the 4 beer tasting having spotted the burgers that awaited us at Barley and Biltong we wanted to get back and stuff our faces.

Not only are you in a working brewery, but they have a little beer tour you can take to find out all about the process.  We skipped the tour, because, well, we just wanted to drink the beer, not just look at it. Our “craft beer specialist’ talked us through every beers origin and flavour profile as she expertly poured us our tasters.

Mmmmm. Beeeeeer!

lightspouring-beermmmm...beertasting-beersber-tourThe lager was delicious, but the pilsner won us over, so we stuck to that when we returned to Biltong and Barley for lunch.

The menu isn’t huge, but its not really supposed to be I don’t think, its a craft burger joint, they do burgers, they do them well. Stick to what you know seems to be their philosophy.

We decided to give all the options a try, so ordered a bowl of biltong ( a form of beef jerkey for my american readers), the caraway salted Bretzel with butter and the ‘Tafelburger’ which draws it’s name from Cape Town’s famous Table Mountain landmark, though at R95.00 I thought I might be buying the actual mountain.

Menus2-beersbeer-moustacheBiltong-(whole)biltongThe biltong was delicious, though a little dry for my liking, then again, i should have asked for moist, or maybe have gone for something different like one of the game biltongs on offer.

The burger, I can honestly say was worth every cent. Thick, juicy, covered in mature cheddar and a home made tomato sauce, it really caught me off guard as I honestly wasn’t expecting that amount of awesome in my mouth! The chips were okay, they felt a little processed and certainly didn’t deserve to share the plate with the burger, either way, we left none behind.

The bretzel didn’t really feature to be honest. I mean, we ate it, but why did we even order that?

Burger-from-aboveburgertomato-sauceE&SConclusion?

Definitely go for the burgers. I know I’ll be back, I mean, look how happy I am in that photo!!!

After lunch we walked around a little, had a chocolate tasting and finished off with a very milky flatwhite (nothing worse). There’s quite a bit to still see and do at Spice Route, so we’ll definitely be back to try one of the other culinary rides.

Barley and Biltong is open everyday and you can contact them on 021 863 4539 or drop them a mail at info@barleyandbiltong.co.za for bookings and stuff.

 

Okay. Stay fancy.

DW---WIN-HeaderA couple of months ago, as part of my “Essentials” category I wrote a post about the dress watch featuring Daniel Wellington. Today I’m super excited to be giving one of these watches away to one of you guys.

I only have 2 Daniel Wellington watches in my collection, but with all the interchangeable straps, it’s become my go to watch for any outfit.

DW-Watch-Grace-GreenDW-watch---St-AndrewDW-Watch-Grace-BlueBut enough about how fancy they look on MY wrist, lets find out how we can get one on to yours.

As usual, I’m going to be running this competition via my Facebook Book and twitter as it’s the easiest way to keep track of the entries and contact you if you win.

The entry mechanism is simple:

Viist www.danielwellington.com and pick the watch you want to win.

Yeah, its that simple.

Then leave me a comment on my Facebook page under the “WIn – Daniel Wellington Watch” post with the watch name.

or

Tweet “I want to win a (watch name here) @DW_Watches with @WhatMyBFWore”

You can do either of the above, or both if you would like 2 entries – yeah Im generous like that.

Im not gonna force you to Follow Daniel Wellington on Face Book or Twitter – but lets say it wouldn’t hurt.

Here are the T&C’s:

1 – Competition opens on the 16 March 2015.

2 – Entrants must either tweet or leave a Facebook comment as their entry.

3 – Competition open to anyone anywhere in the world and your prize will be shipped to you.

4 – Competition will close on the 23 March 2015.

5 – Winner will be selected via random draw and announced before 27 March 2015

That’s it folks. Good Luck.

Okay. Stay Fancy.

 

full-lengthThis seemed to be one of my least liked outfits on Instagram, weird that, cause I really liked it, but for some reason It got a lot of slack.

I realised ive been keeping it pretty much the same the last few weeks and I’m trying to get back into different colours and patterns. Basically I need to change things up a little, be a little brave. Or brave for me at least. Baby steps and all that.

Speaking about steps, this weeks brave item were those suede tasselled slippers i decided to build my outfit around. I’m a big fan of a slim shoes and an even slimmer sole, so these were perfect for me. So I simply started from the ground up.

The green pants paired well with the neutral shoes and the tone of the blue blazer with the green pants – after all the are analogous colours (same side of the colour wheel) so it was a no brainer. Now it was about picking up on the shoes again, and thats where the brown tie came in, so that it would accentuate the tassels on the loafer.

Finally, the details. some green in the lapel to pick up on the pants, but mostly to work with the camo pocket square that allowed the hints of brown to close the loop. Simple right? I guess not really, in fact I received an e-mail the other day requesting some help with colour combinations and I realised I don’t actually know how to give it, most of it is trial and error, but for me its having worked as an art director for the last 15 years that has given me enough experience with colours to help me a long.

So, i’m going to look at introducing some colour combo suggestion posts in the future. Hope this helps. Now lets get back to the outfit.

medium-shotlapel-flowerpocket-squaretieshoes

If you like the above look, you can find it all (or most of it) below

Sunglasses by Persol

Shirt by TM Lewin

Tie by Friday Tie Day

Lapel flower by River Island

Pocket square by Country Road (available at Woolworths)

Blazer and pants by Topman

Shoes from Axel Arigato

Okay. Stay Fancy.

 

 

Review-form---chalk-and-cork-(2)This post has been a long time coming. In fact, its close on 3 months now.

I’ve been trying to come up with a way to make my restaurant reviews different to those you get on foodie blogs, something simple that can maybe answer everything you might wanna know about a place in simple way. That’s what that form above is all about, or at least that’s what it’s supposed to be. A quick 5min overview of my experience. that way you can see wether it’s somewhere you might wanna go or not, before delving into the details of the article.

About those details, well, there wont be too many, see I’m not a massive foodie either, so you wont hear me talking about mouthfeel or unami – what even is unami? Does it give you a rash if incorrectly prepared? I’ll be giving you simple honest feedback, because this review isn’t for Mr Unami, but rather for the everyday gentleman who would like to take his lady out for a bite to eat.

So, lets begin shall we?

interiorkitchenarial-viewcoffee-machine

I visited Chalk and Cork at the end of last year. My team and I were going out for our year end lunch and wanted somwhere we could sit outside and enjoy good food and wine on a relatively tight budget. I had heard some pretty good things about it and it seemed pretty festive every time I drove past – everyone sitting joyfully in a nice little courtyard under the shade of the tree’s. “Lets give it a bash” I thought.

There were about 10 of us all in all and so we decided we’d try and order a little bit of everything and eat family style. Good decision that. The charcuterie and cheese platters (served with toasted ciabata) were delicious enough, though pretty standard. The real tapas winner was the salt and pepper squid with lemon aioli, i know this because I only managed to taste it when we ordered it for the third time.

menumeat-platterwineHumuscalamari

The final trick was Pizza and I suspect this may just be what Chalk and Cork will become famous for. See, there are a lot of pizza restaurants in town, 5 on Kloof street alone that I can think of, but very few actually make great pizza.

We decided to order ALL THE PIZZA! Not much considering there are only 4 pizzas on the menu. Personally I think this is great, too much choice just leads to confusion and order envy anyway. After giving all 4 a try we decided to give the parma ham another try, twice. The pizza’s are good. I mean really good. A thin crispy base, quality ingredients and the perfect amount of toppings – by the perfect amount of topping I mean its not so overloaded with crap that you can’t pick up a slice. The pizza, much like the rest of the food is a real quality over quantity affair.

They apparently make a killer carb free pizza using a cauliflower base, but none of us were scared of carbs that day, so didn’t bother trying one. Soz.

pizza-doughpizza-prepsalami-pizzabeerveg-pizzaParma-pizza

I’ll be back sooner rather than later so I definitely suggest giving this place a try. You can find them at 51 Kloof Street (Cape Town) – just opposite the lifestyle centre. They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and though they have plenty of seating upstairs I would suggest the courtyard on a nice day.

You can take a look at the menu on their website and call +27 (0)21 422 5822 or mail info@chalkandcork.co.za for bookings and queries.

Okay. Stay fancy

 

As you can imagine i get a few requests asking me to support fashion related kickstater projects.

I generally steer away from them as for the most part I dont believe in the brand or product that is trying to get kickstarted – I mean, i’m always super nice about saying no, but I do say no. In fact, “no thanks” is exactly what I said to Kabeer when he approached me about the Kabaccha shoe project and his vision of changing the shoe game. “yeah yeah” I thought “you and that guy with a bottle opener on his belt I got a mail from last week”. Then I watched his video.

For the first time I thought, “wow, this may actually have a shot” and “I may actually wanna get me some of these”. Kabeer is super passionate about this project, I got that in our e-mail correspondence and i can see he is pouring his heart and soul to this project. But thats not the reason I decided to support his kickstarter, I decided to support it, because I agree with him, I think there is far too little choice in mens shoes and the choices we do have are either boring or expensive.

The launch collection was also super brave, and the more I went through it, the more I thought these shoes needed to find there way onto the feet of some upstanding gentlemen such as yourselves.

INSTA1LoaferMaroonBlue InstaGreenWingtipInsta3INSTA18WingtipCreameGreenINSTA9LoaferBrownOJINSTA14WingtipGreyYellow If you agree with me and think that these are maybe some of the most awesome dress shoes you have ever seen, go support these guys on kickstarter.

I’de really like to see this project become a success, they hit the kickstarter goal in the first day, but really I’de like to see them hit the $500k mark before there time is up. at the very least, you’ll secure yourself a pair of kabacha shoes before any of your friends!

I think we can expect some interesting stuff to come out of kabacha shoes in the future.

Okay. Stay fancy.

 

 

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