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Understated.

Yep, thats how I’m starting this post. With one word.

Ironically, there’s a lot that can be said for being understated. In fashion it means that sometimes a simple faint micro check speaks louder than a big bold one. That being said I decided I would go with my new Hardy Amies navy suit when visiting one of Cape Towns most understated cocktail bars. An understated suit for an understated bar, it was the perfect fit, so was the suit now that I think of it!

Besides a very discreet OoM sign at the bottom left of the doorframe and a hand painted ‘cocktail bar’ sign just above it, you would never know this place existed. In fact, its less than attractive exterior makes all the surprises on the other side of the door that much more exciting.

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This isn’t the first time I’ve visited or reviewed Outrage of Modesty (you can check out my first review here) but this isn’t the same bar. Well, okay, outside of an updated mural, its the same bar. But as far as the drinks are concerned, this might as well be a whole new bar.

So, whats different? Well pretty much everything. In order to keep things interesting OoM would regularly update their menu with the season, but this time they decided they would update their menu with a whole new experience. The fancy glasses and menus may be gone, but the fancy drinks and incredible flavors remain. The man responsible is legendary New York mixologist and author of ‘Alchemy in a Glass’, Mr Greg Seider or as he introduced himself “Seids”.

Seids immediately got busy making us a whack of cocktails all the while talking us through the inspiration behind the flavors as well as the story behind crazy names like ‘Ground to Glass’, ‘The Reach Around’ and ‘Charmane Star’ – a drink dedicated to what Greg believes this Filipino adult film star tastes like. Hmmmm.

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The highlight of the tasting was of course stepping behind the bar and making a drink of my choice. Being a big blues fan the ‘John Lee Hooker’ seemed like the obvious choice. This drinks namesake is inspired by John Lee Hookers cover of One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer and naturally a combination of all three ingredients to produce what Seids believes is Cape Towns next cult cocktail. I loved it!

I learnt that making a good cocktail is a lot like making a good suit, respect the heritage while never conforming to the norm. No surprise that these were the fundamentals behind Hardy Amies’s approach to fashion, 2 fundamentals still evident in the brands tailoring to this day. My suit may have appeared understated in it’s simplicity, but it was the details in the tailoring that made it the ultimate canvas for all the accessories. The drink was no different, simple in its promise of 3 ingredients but brought to life with the addition of cinnamon, agave, lemon and sarsaparilla!

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If you’re looking for that perfect navy suit and find yourself in London, I suggest visiting Hardy Amies store on the iconic Savile Row, or just drop in online and pick something out.

If you’re looking for cocktails filled to the brim with as many stories as there are flavors then pop into Outrage of Modesty after 6pm from Tuesday to Saturday at 88 Shortmarket street, Cape Town.

Okay. Drink safely and stay fancy.

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Packing for a trip is hard. It seems though the shorter the trip, the harder it is to pack.

When going on a long overseas trip, the best rule I’ve ever heard is take half the clothes and twice the money – easier said than done, but a nice thought anyway. What happens though when you need to pack for a 1 night business trip? My advice, keep it super simple.

Essentially you’re packing 2 outfits, one to travel in and one to make that business meeting worth it. For flying the rules are simple, stay layered and loose. Try and stick to natural fabrics so that your body can breathe and layer up – it gets cold up there.

Lastly, always carry on. If you can avoid it never check in your bag, it just means getting to the airport earlier and getting out later or worse, landing in Johannesburg while your bag goes round and round baggage claim somewhere in outer Lithuania. What? It happens!

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To start off, you’re gonna need the right bag! Something small enough to carry on and big enough for all your things. I got this duffel bag when I picked up the new Aramis Voyager fragrance, but I’ll give you some details on that later.

Pick your business attire very carefully. The most obvious thing is going for items that are crease resistant, so maybe stay away from linen. I like to travel with unstructured blazers, they’re less bulky and easier to fold, I also tend to go for something with a heavy pattern as it does a great job at hiding small creases – here’s a pro tip: turn your blazer inside out to prevent creasing on the sleeves especially.

Make sure you have little pouches for all your small bits (earphones, watches, sunglasses), this way they don’t end up floating round your bag and drive you crazy when you try and find them. This also makes it easier to pack and unpack in the end.

Toiletries are always the most difficult. Start with a good toiletry bag, it stops any leaks and spills from ending up all over everything else. Now, unless you have a whack of travel toiletries try and limit yourself to the essentials, some good face cream, hair products and some shaving gel. A decent hotel should provide all the rest. Lastly, invest in a good mens grooming kit, you never know when you’re gonna need those tiny scissors.

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Packing order is important as you want to avoid creases and use space wisely.

Pack the heavy items at the bottom, like your shoes and toiletry bag. Not only will this prevent your other clothes from getting dirty but it will also stop them getting creased. Fill your shoes with all the small bits and bobs like your tie, belt and even your underwear – not only does this help use up space but it also keeps your shoes from getting all bent out of shape.

The best way to pack your pants is to roll rather than fold them, not only does it make for easier packing but it prevents creases. I’m starting to think I should have called this blog post ‘crease prevention 101’! Lastly pack the things you’ll need access to, like books and headphones right at the top, this way you wont be scratching around in your bag looking for them and getting everything all….yes…creased!

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That’s it. When you land all thats left to do is hang everything up so that it can air out, do this as soon as you can, the longer everything stays folded up in your bag the more chance you have of those creases setting.

Now head out for a local dinner and a drink (you probably deserve it). Get into bed at a decent time and smash that business meeting in the morning.

Need that little extra confidence boost? Pick the right fragrance, the right scent can do anything from increase your focus, reduce your stress and even put you in a good mood. I’ve been using this Aramis Voyager fragrance for the last week and it’s definitely a new favorite. I like my fragrances spicy and woody so this hits all the right notes.

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Oh yes, so about that free bag. Well if you pick up any 60ml (or larger) Aramis EDT between the 12th of March and 2nd of April you walk away with a free Aramis duffle bag. Yeah, that simple. I recommend giving the Aramis Voyager a try but you can check out the range and offer right here.

Okay. Travel safe and stay fancy.

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The Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo is very quickly becoming our favourite event on the Cape Town social calendar. Now in its 7th year running, it only seems to get better.

We’re not sure if it’s the giant balloons or the free flowing french champagne but we always have the best time. Now that I think of it its probably the champagne, I mean, I can drink that stuff all day son all DAY!! And so I did, literally. #YOLO

The day however, is not all about champagne – not that it would be a problem if it was – but its about celebrating the sport of kings and looking your best while doing it! Horses, fashion and champagne…just not necessarily in that order.

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Deciding what to wear to the Polo is always a little tricky. This years theme was ‘Clicquot Journey’ which basically celebrates the wanderlust that is the thrill of traveling the globe. I decided to take a little inspiration from the ever stylish Italians with a classic creme double breasted linen blazer from Casper Designer Wear and navy trousers from Fabiani.

February has been a scorcher so the linen blazer (combined with the cold champagne) went a long way to keeping me cool. My bright yellow pocket square from Heywood 1922 was a cheeky wink to the famous Veuve yellow label while the brightly colour plaid tie from bows n ties picked up on the pocket square and worked perfectly with the houndstooth pale blue shirt from Fabiani. In order to keep things more on the casual side I went with a pair of classic tan brogues from Spitz Shoes and matching belt from Paul Smith

Look, I didn’t win best dressed, (heck, I didn’t even get a nomination) but I loved this look and navy and creme are fast becoming my favourite colour combo for summer.BalloonDSCF6571DSCF6295DSCF6251DSCF6757DSCF6275

If you’ve never watched a live game of polo, then stick that on your bucket list, it remains one of the most impressive live sporting events i’ve ever seen. The symbiotic relationship between the player and the horse is incredible, I mean they might as well be centaurs. The big event of the day was of course the main match between Veuve Clicquot and Shimmy Beach with Shimmy Beach literally stealing the game in the last few minutes and taking it 7-5.

With the horses out the way the day very quickly turned back to fashion with a quick runway showing from Craig Port, Carducci Menswear and Gavin Rajah . Unfortunately, I wasn’t around to catch the best dressed nominees nor winners on the day – no it wasn’t sour grapes : ) Not being one for drinking and driving I had booked my ‘take me home’ service at a waaaaaay to responsible hour and missed out on all the fun at the end of the day.

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I did however manage to catch some great personal best dressed favourites on the day. My front runner was of course Elzaan who knocked it out the park with her sleeveless pleated dress from H&M, what a winner 🙂 I also loved my friend Lukas Nangolo’s bright and bold blazer pants combo, wish I could pull something like that off – keep an eye on this guy, I reckon he’s gonna be doing some big things! Lastly, and this a matter of being in the right place at the right time I managed to catch this awesome shot of Boity looking super elegant as usual and sending my twitter into a spin.

Ahhhh man, what a day. Cant wait for next year!

Okay. Stay Fancy.

 

 

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Nothing says “I’m climbing this corporate ladder all the way to the top ” like walking into work with a shiny new leather briefcase.

I believe strongly in dressing for the job you want and not the job you have and your briefcase is as good a starting point as ever! Your briefcase should not only be an extension of your style but it should tell people that when it come to business, you mean business –  Whatever that business may be. So take a look at your current briefcase. Does it tell the world what you want it to? No? Don’t worry I’ve got you.

Nothing goes with that real leather smell better than the smell of opportunity! And opportunity is knocking pretty hard right about now. I’ve teamed up with the folks at Korchmar to bring you a give-away that pretty much guarantee’s you that promotion – ok I cant actually guarantee that but I can guarantee you’ll look like you deserve a promotion.

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Every Korchmar bag is handcrafted using top quality leather, solid brass hardware, canvas that is infused with wax for added strength and durability and premium twill lining. Your Korchmar bag should basically last you a lifetime. These guys have been making leather bags for 100 years now. Yes, literally 100 years. In fact, it’s their birthday and they’re giving you a present. That’s right, your choice of any Korchmar briefcase to the value of $600.

Here are the entry details folks:

  1. Make sure you’re following @Korchmarbags on Instagram.
  2. Leave a comment on this post or my Instagram post telling us which bag you would like to win from the Korchmar briefcase range – Something simple like ” I really want to win the Garfield briefcase from @Korchmarbags”

It’s pretty much that simple but just in case, check below for the T&C’s

  1. Competition opens on the 27th of February 2017 and closes on the 05th of March 2017.
  2.  Competition is only open to residents of the United States of America.
  3. All above steps must be completed for your entry to be counted.
  4. Winner will be chosen using random.org and announced on the week of the 27th of February 2017.
  5. Winner will be contacted vial mail (if entered on the blog) or direct message if entered on Instagram.

Okay. Stay fancy and good luck.

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This is the blog post that nearly didn’t happen, because this was the trip that nearly didn’t happen. However, after one botched booking, 1 tropical cyclone (upgraded to a Typhoon I just might add) 2 canceled flights and one ‘touch and go‘ landing, we made it to Mauritius!

See, after a really busy 2016, Elzaan and I really needed a break. We needed to go somewhere, where doing nothing was pretty much all they expected you to do. Somewhere, where drinks magically arrived at your pool lounger and your toughest decision was wether your eggs should be fried or scrambled at breakfast! We decided on the turquoise waters of Mauritius. Neither of us had been, but it was nice and close and well priced so we dived right in. No pun intended.

After all the afore mentioned drama we arrived at the 5 star Radisson Blu Azuri Resort and Spa on the north east coast of the island and were ready to (finally) let the holiday begin! After a super quick and friendly check in we arrived at our room, a garden view room…with a view of the ocean! YES!! The rooms are massive, with even bigger en-suite bathrooms and our personal favorite, the day bed on the balcony. There’s nothing that beats coming back to a nice room after a day at the beach, so this was perfect!

The hotel is set in super lush and tropical gardens with loads of little nooks and crannies giving you the ability to get away from it all and enjoy your own piece of paradise. The resort has 2 pools, but we mostly spent our time at the main pool (pictured above and below) as it was the closest to the bar. That’s right, the bar. We had lost 2 days and weren’t going to loose a second more. The pool is surrounded by loungers and day beds, as is the hotel’s private beach just meters from the pool. When it comes to relaxing in the sun, there was always somewhere to go.

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Now, Elzaan and I love nothing more than exploring the streets and alley ways of our neighborhood when we’re abroad.We live for those hidden gems and little culinary experiences that bring soul to our trip. This wasn’t going to be one of those trips! This was a forced relaxation trip and so we didn’t want to think about where our next meal was coming from and how much it may cost us – I don’t mean financially either, I mean, I once had a meal in Thailand that cost me a week of toilet hugging and it so wasn’t worth it!

With that being said we opted for the all inclusive option. This meant that all our meals and most of our drinks were included in the booking price. We did ‘oooh and ahhh’ over this for a couple of days when booking, but in the end we’re super glad we went all in.

The hotel has its main restaurant called Le Comptoir that offers buffet style meals 3 times a day with a themed dinner every night, as well as 2 a’la carte restaurants offering something a little different. In the end we made our way through them all but really loved our night at L’Azuli with a little fine dining and Ocean One for some lunch time  pizza and pasta! Was the food good? Well, I picked up 5kg’s in one week so you do the math!

Part of the all inclusive package are selected drinks. Yeah, I know, ‘selected’ was worrying to us too, but there is such a large amount of wine, beer and cocktails to choose from that we never got bored. Trust me, nothing beats working your way through the cocktail menu at the pool without worrying about the resulting bill. I even created my own speciality called the WMBW, it’s made with lemongrass ice tea, simple syrup, lemon juice and a double shot of local coconut rum. Mmmm Mmmm!!

 

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The hotel offers a lot of free excursions and activities during your stay so everyday we would try something new. Between paddle boating, sea kayaking, snorkeling and a bike trip we pretty much managed to fill up all the empty time between eating and relaxing.

However, as a break from our relaxation (oh the irony) we decided to take in one outside excursion while we were there. Everyone we had spoken to went on about how amazing swimming with the dolphins is. Neither of us are particularly big into swimming in the middle of the ocean, but decided to take the plunge none the less (I mean, these puns just write themselves sometimes!)

Now, just to clear it up, this isn’t a massive swimming pool with 2 or 3 dolphins that are trained to play nicely with humans. This is you swimming with wild dolphins in the middle of the ocean as they go about their daily lives. And it’s not a hand full of dolphins either, we’re talking hundreds of them. Your speedboat races out to where the dolphins have been spotted and you basically jump out and intersect them as they come swimming around, over and under you. The moment you put your head under water all you hear is dolphin chatter and all you see are dolphins. The experience is nothing short of incredible and the team at Dol Swim ensured that.

 

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There was one last thing we did in Mauritius that is definitely worth mentioning, something I’ve had up my sleeve for a while now.

Together with the great team at Radisson blue I arranged a surprise beach dinner at the Azuri’s sister hotel the Radisson Blu Poste Lafayette. We literally sat with our feet in the sand and the lunar eclipse hanging so low over the ocean it nearly made the surrounding candle lit lanterns obsolete. The meal was a 4 course seafood feast complete with scallops, prawns and lobster Thermidor. The final ‘course’ however was served only to Elzaan and the smile on her face when she lifted the cloche was almost as big as the smile on my face when she said ‘yes’.

Looks like we might need to change the name of the blog…’What My Fiancé Wore’ does have a nice ring to it don’t you think?

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So, what started as a nightmare really did end as a dream. Mauritius is an incredible place that far outweighed our expectations. The Radisson Blu Azuri is a truly spectacular hotel, the service and staff are unmatched by anywhere else we have ever visited, nothing seems too much to ask and all requests are met with a smile. The hotel manager walks around constantly checking in with all the guests as if they’re long lost friends. Its awesome!

If you’re looking for a little down time and just need a quick break, this is definitely the best place to do it. My only advice would be, don’t go in cyclone season and if you only buy one thing for your holiday, make sure it’s travel insurance.

Okay. Stay Fancy!

How versatile is your shirt game?

I’m guessing you’re thinking “not very versatile” right? After all…a shirts a shirts a shirt right? Well, kinda. But if you’re smart about it, you can change your look just by wearing your favourite shirt in a different way.

We tend to split up the shirts in our closet “these are my formal shirts…and these are my casual shirts and never shall they traverse”. Sound familiar? If so, stop it, stop it right this moment. It’s time to hybridize that shirt collection, if you were gonna wear it to a braai (BBQ) then its time to take it to the boardroom…and possibly even the other way round. The shirt…not the braai, its never a good idea to take a braai into a boardroom.

So, I’ve taken a little journey with 4 shirts from Old khaki and tried to reinvent how we wear them so that you can shirt up with a difference. We’re gonna take it from casual to formal, but you already knew that didn’t you? Of course you did it’s in the subject line.

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Firstly the mandarin collar. This shirt is maybe the most casual of them all, something you might wear on a Sunday to the beach right? Probably.

So we’re gonna start off slow, adding just a few details allowing you to shirt up to the next level. The easiest way to get the most out of this shirt is to make sure you do up that top button (boom!!! – amazing) just make sure it fit’s you properly around the neck and doesn’t hang loose. Pair this with a blazer and some denim joggers and you’re ready for a summers night out…anywhere really.

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The short sleeved pattern printed shirt. Let’s be honest, you’ve never worn a short sleeve button up without shorts have you? You’re missing a trick you know. Pairing your short sleeve shirt with a lightweight cotton blazer lets you dress up for summer without getting hot and sweaty.

Perfect for lunch at , um, wherever is currently cool to go for lunch – I cant keep track. Pair this with your favourite pair of jeans an old pair of brogues and a popping pocket square to keep everyone from deciding if you came for a good time or a long time!

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The linen shirt. Firstly, you wanna be care full with this guy, make sure your shirt has a decent mix of cotton and linen or it will crease just by looking at it. Linen shirts are synonymous with adventure travelers and, well, rich italians on tropical island getaways – you know the type. So i’ve decided to take this one in a whole new direction.

See almost every piece of menswear has its origins in the military, so let those khaki colours work for you and take a walk (or march as it were) on the formal side of life! Pair this shirt with a leather biker jacket, slim fit chinos and a textured tie for the perfect 2nd date outfit. (never wear a tie to your first date) Throw on a pair of sneakers for a contemporary edge and bonus points for a matching tie clip!

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The plaid shirt. For those of you who don’t know what the heck plaid is read this. We generally refer to these as ‘check’ shirts – though we shouldn’t…because they aren’t (seriously, read the plaid article linked above) – and we all have a couple in our closet. They tend to be restricted to use with jeans for those Saturday nights or chinos for Sunday lunch with her folks.

Wearing a plaid shirt can really bring that contemporary edge to your formal game. But you gotta get it right. The pattern is busy enough so try and keep the rest of the outfit neutral while taking care to pick up on the colors in the plaid. I like to mix and match the blazer and trousers, borrowing different colors from the pattern to bring it all together. Picking out different colors  helps to incorporate the pattern and make it feel considered. If you can find a way to incorporate the smallest details with the shirt pattern – tie clip and pocket square – you will have a winner on your hand.

And that’s it really. Now start wearing your shirts and stop letting them wear you!

Okay. Stay fancy.

 

 

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Last Saturday saw the  inaugural Sun Met celebrated with Mumm come to life with its decades of glamour theme in all its glory.

It was a perfect day for a little horse racing, a lot of champagne and some very fancy people. For those of you who caught my Decade Of Glamour inspiration post a couple of weeks ago you’ll know that this year was all about celebrating the best fashion from the last 8 decades. I decided I would go back to the 30’s, an era of gangsters, jazz and speakeasies dressed in the unofficial uniform of  prohibition, the pin stripe suit. I completed the look with a contrast waistcoat, pin collar shirt and paisley tie.

(Unfortunately this look was pieced together with some old pieces in my wardrobe so I have no links to share with you. The Sunglasses are by Ray Ban, the suit was by Stephen Cole at Stuttafords, the shirt by TM Lewin, the tie and pocket square by Paul Smith and the shoes by Zara)

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Now no gangster is complete without his Moll (look it up) and there was no broad more beautiful than mine on the day. Elzaan’s dress by Casper Bosman was absolutely incredible, she really stole the show!

Of course, the Sun Met has always been as much about fashion as it has been about horses, so everyone really looked great on the day. The gents from I see a different you definitely put there awesome twist on some classic suiting while model /blogger Anesu Chogugudza and his girlfriend Abongwe deservedly picked up’Best Dressed Couple’ – I only say deservedly because Elzaan and I never entered : ) I was however incredibly flattered to find out his outfit had been inspired by 1920’s Decades of Glamour post.

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The rest of the day was literally spent rubbing shoulders with the who’s who of South African fashion culture over a glass or 10 of Mumm Champagne. There is literally nothing that beats a ice cold glass of bubbly on a hot summers day. No wait, drinking it dressed as a  1930’s gangster…that…that beats it!

We managed to catch a few races trackside but were always to slow to place a bet, good thing too I was all in for Captain America taking the Sun Met when it got snatched up by Whiskey Baron. What was I thinking right? Given my outfit Whiskey Baron would have been the obvious choice!

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In the end, the day was TOTE’s amazing (see what I did there) and we just wanted to thank Sun International for being such incredible hosts, we look forward to next year.

Okay. Stay fancy!