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Outfit of the day

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Men really got the short end of the stick when it came to fashion.

Our options are really limited, you can just tell that by the size of the menswear section in any given department store – Yeah, I’m bitter about it. So, we just need to start doing more with what we got right?

We generally take a stab at getting our colour mix right, or the braver few take a chance at mixing patterns in order to create individuality within our outfits. But what if you’ve just not that loud bold colour pattern guy? Well, thats when texture become your greatest accessory. The right mix of textures can really elevate your look and give your outfit that understated boldness you usually rely on patterns for. It also gets you that “rich” look as my girlfriend calls it : )

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A simple textured suit and a bold textured tie helps create contrast and achieves that understated boldness I spoke of earlier. But one small step in the right direction can add a little flair to all that understated boldness. All you need is to bring a little texture to your shoe game.

I’m bringing a little cross hatched texture with these Arthur Jack Darrell derbies from Tread and Miller, they have some great brogueing detail on the toe cap which adds a little contrast by adding scale. A full brogue could do a great job of adding a lot of texture in a subtle way, or you could go all out and get a chunky weave and leave all the understated boldness behind!

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Never underestimate the power of your shoes to transform your outfit.

Okay. Stay Fancy.

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For those of us on the southern hemisphere summer has been coming in hot and fast, mostly hot though. We all love summer, sure, longer  days, shorter night the smell of sun tan lotion, drinks with tiny little umbrellas, its great. That is until you need to get your fancy on and break out into a sweat just thinking how you’ll break out into a sweat the moment you put your jacket on.

So I thought I would share a few tips and tricks in how to stay fancy this summer, whatever the occasion calls for. Lucky for us, summer is a little more relaxed (both in and out the boardroom) but that shouldn’t stop you from looking the part. Talking about looks, i’m about to give you the perfect summer look, and to add to that I’m gonna give you 2 ways to wear it. Kinda like a 1 look two ways thing – well, exactly like that to be honest.

When staying cool is the priority there really is only one big trick to keep in mind, all natural fabrics. Yep, breathability is everything and if you wanna look and stay cool all day, you’re gonna want to invest in some linen. Linen textiles are some of the oldest in the world—people have been wearing it for centuries, and for good reason. The natural fiber and light weave allow for maximum breathability. Mix that in with a little cotton and you’re good to go all day son all day! When it comes to colours, you’re either bright and bold or muted and toned down. Personally I like to keep the bright colours for my swim shorts, and keep my formal wear toned down with lots of white (White also helps hide those unstoppable sweat stains). Muted tones are also just easier to mix, a dusty pink will match well with a pale blue, where as it’s brighter counterparts will clash heavily. Well, that is unless you’re over 70 and playing golf in the tropics of course.

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Lets start with something formal, for those important meetings in summer. A simple off white linen blazer paired with some pale blue linen pants works perfectly. Bring those together with a bright white shirt and you have the perfect base for any look. In this case a pale grey tie with some darker polka dot detail is accentuated with a reverse polka dot pocket square and the outfit is finished off with a tan belt and leather brogues. Tan is a great Summer colour, it goes with that relaxed summer feeling I mentioned earlier as it never quite feels as formal as black or brown.

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Now we all know summer is a lot less about the boardroom and a lot more about the boardwalk (see what I did there). But how can you leave the office and head straight out to a sunset cocktail party without an entire outfit overhaul? Well, not much has to change to be honest, loose the tie, undo that top button and trade the pants in for some pale blue shorts. Boom. You’re ready for that beach party…or pool party, or any party close to a large body of water to be honest. If the occasion is more formal, like a daytime wedding, keep the brogues and the pocket square, if it’s more on the casual side, simply trade the brogues in for some white canvas sneakers. What’s the bag for I hear you ask? Well, where do you think I’m gonna put my pants and shoes guys? 🙂

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Both these outfits were put together head to toe from Trenery. If you like either look, you can shop them right here.
Okay. Stay fancy…and cool.

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I havent forgotten about you guys. Promise.

Life has just been a little chaotic later and I’m struggling to find a moment to sit down and share some gentlemanly thoughts with you. Dont give up on us, there’s lots in the pipeline and things are about to get super duper dapper!

In the meantime, here’s some dapper dexterity.

Okay. Stay fancy!

Full-length-(looking-back)Summer sucks.

Okay, that seems a bit harsh, but it’s next to impossible to appear dapper in summer, I sometimes think you can achieve smart casual at best. You wanna know why that is? Layering. Yep, layering can really help push your outfit to another level, but you can really only get away with it in winter.

As with all things, the art to layering is in the details. There is of course a wrong and right way to do it. So, with the help of this outfit I picked up at Trenery I’m gonna try help you get it right as we start heading into the middle of winter here in the Southern Hemisphere.

I speak about ‘the art of contrast’ in pattern maxing a fair amount with my Fancy Friday posts, and layering falls under the same rule – as do most rules in mens fashion. For your layers to work, they need to stand apart from each other, and this is where the contrast comes in. Make sure that if you’re layering in solid colours (like I am in this outfit) that you keep within the same tonal range to avoid looking like a christmas tree. A misplaced pop of colour when layering can draw all the attention to one item and make the layering appear less like layering and more like you just couldn’t work out what to wear so you just wore everything you had.

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Layering is not just about looking good though (or great in some cases) but it’s also the most practical way to dress for our climate. It’s cold outside, then it’s warm in the car but then cold in the parking lot and warm in the office again and it goes on like that all day for a couple of months. Cape town can be even trickier with a freezing cold morning and a summers afternoon in one day. Layering helps you adjust to the climate without having to dress down completely. The simplest and most practical thing for this is knitwear, not only does it add warmth, but if you choose smartly, it can add texture and colour to your outfit too.

As always, you want to avoid synthetic fabrics, they will literally give you no breathing room between the hot and cold spots so where you can stick to wool during winter. The outfit above features both a Brushed Merino wool Trenery blazer and a Merino Wool Trenery V-Neck, not only did they add great texture, but they had me feeling like I was walking around in my duvet the whole day – yeah, it’s that cosy.

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If you like the look above and want to recreate any or all of it, everything is available at Trenery both online and in store.

Modern Brushed Texured Blazer

Merino Wool V-Neck Knit

Classic Custom Twill Shirt

Modern Washed Chino

Terrier Pocket Square

Martin tie

Tyler Leather Brogue

Okay. Stay Fancy.

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I recently wrote an article for the Sunday Times offering 10 Style Tips for everyday. I’m not sure how many of you actually saw it, so I thought I would take some time to maybe share it here on the blog. Not only do I think there is some really valuable advice in there, but let’s be honest, I’ve been a little quiet on this side over the last few weeks.

It’s basically a collection of my favourite Dapper Dexterity and Dressiquete posts rolled into one with some love and care given to detailing each.

The outfit? Well, just some fashion inspo from one of my OOTD on Instagram, it kinda covers everything I mention in the article too. Here we go folks, in no particular order are my 10 style tips to use everyday.

1. Fit first

Above all make sure your clothes fit you properly. The most expensive suit will look cheap if it doesn’t fit you properly, so always go for fit over price. If it feels a little small, it’s probably perfect. A well-tailored suit is to a woman what lingerie is to a man.

2. Never buy cheap shoes

It is impossible to appear well dressed in cheap shoes. In strong contrast to rule number 1, when it comes to shoes, spend as much as you can afford and always buy leather. Good leather shoes will last you much longer and often look better with time so consider it an investment.

3. Don’t let the outfit wear you

Confidence is key when you wear anything. The moment you look uncomfortable in what you have on, you will appear badly dressed. If you choose to wear something risky, then own it, I guarantee you’ll get far more compliments that way.

4. Don’t give in to fashion

Never buy anything that you can’t immediately pair with at least three items you already own. Men often make the mistake of buying something they think will make them standout or be fashionable, then quickly realise they don’t know how to wear it. When in doubt stick to something classic that suits you, after all style has nothing to do with fashion.

5. Every occasion has minimum standards

Check your invite. What does it say? If it says formal, don’t show up in a pair of jeans and a button up shirt with pizza stains. Looking good isn’t self importance, it’s a sign of self respect and better yet, respect for your host in dressing accordingly to their event. Remember, you can never be overdressed or over educated

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6. When you’re asking for money, wear a tie

You can have anything you want if you dress for it. First appearances count, so you always dress for the job you want and not the job you have. Wearing a tie is always a good first step, so make sure you tie it properly. Remember the bottom of the tie should reach the top of your pants – no shorter or longer.

7. Get noticed without trying to get noticed

Take the time to plan your outfits or buy your clothes, consider every detail, then wear it nonchalantly as if it required no effort. Here’s a little tip – make sure one thing on your outfit does not match, it will definitely get you noticed.

8. Know the rules

Men’s fashion is actually pretty simple, it hasn’t changed in the same way that women’s has. For the most part we have the same clothing we have had for more than 100 years. There are rules in place for how we are meant to wear them; things like matching your belt to your shoes or your socks to your pants. Once you know and practice the rules, you can learn how to break them.

9. In the navy

If you’re only going to own one suit, make sure it’s navy. A navy suit is the most versatile you will own (followed closely by charcoal) as it works for both evening and daywear and can be dressed up or down in any which way you want. A simple adjustment like brown shoes over black, can take your navy suit from formal to casual.

10. The only thing that should come in pairs are gloves and shoes

Never purchase anything that comes pre-packaged, like a shirt and tie combo, or a tie and pocket square. You will quickly find that they are poorly made and will make you look poorly dressed. Besides, it takes all the fun out of injecting your personal style into your outfit! The same goes for pre-tied bow ties, learn how to tie a bow tie and you will never look back.

That’s pretty much it. Stick to those guidelines and you should be good to go.

Okay. Stay Fancy.

BalloonsThere are some events in Cape Town that I just don’t want to miss. The sixth annual Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo at Val de Vie Estate, was one such event. So when the invite landed on our desk, Elzaan and I canceled everything else to attend. I mean, does anything else really trump bottomless Veuve in the sun?

Okay, to be fair, it wasn’t only about the bottomless champagne, or the tiny food. It was an opportunity to dress up and rub shoulders with the who’s who of South Africa on another beautiful day in Africa – Okay fine, it really was about the champagne, Veuve Cliquot has been a long standing favourite of mine since my first sip almost 10 years ago.

me---champerspolo-playersChampagne-pourpeople-2clubhouseE-snack-timehappy-timessushiThe day isn’t just about champagne in the sun, it’s filled with everything from fashion shows, to best dressed competitions and of course the sport of kings.

Official Fashion Partner of the 2016 event, D’oré showcased the thought provoking Vanessa Gounden, Artivism for Breast Cancer collection to some massive applause. Unfortunately, there was nothing for the gents, so no feedback from me. The Best Dressed competition for the day, judged by Elle magazine was another highlight. I didn’t even make teh short list so I must of completely missed the mark on the bold theme (inspired by Veuve Clicquot’s bright yellow label – but more about my outfit later). The Best Dressed Female of the day award went to the acclaimed Isibaya actress, Nomzamo Mbatha. Best Dressed Couple went to Nandi Ndlovu and Buntu Ngcuka, while Best Dressed Male went to blogger and presenter Shiraz Reddy.

In the end the day is however dedicated to Polo. The tournament produced 12 goals, with top national and international players competing. Team Seven Oaks won the opening match – playing for third place in the tournament – against Shimmy Beach Club, while Fifth Chukka representing Veuve Clicquot won with an amazing score of 7 – 3 against One Zone Polo representing Julius Bär in the main game. I don’t get to watch a lot of the sport but when I do It’s always super impressive.

catwalkmodelssignbest-dressedferrarissingle-polo-playerpoloDressing for the day proved a bit tricky. I’m not really one for bold statements so rather than go with a bright yellow suit, I chose to take a more traditional approach with light  pastel colours and bolder details.

The creme coloured linen blazer was by Topman, the white shirt by TM Lewin and the trousers by Ted Baker (available locally at Stuttafords) After a very long session of “match the pocket square” at home I eventually ended on this tie from Bows N Ties and an old neckerchief from ASOS – the little light blue floral lapel pin stuck into the hanky was a little trick I came up with to make that area less bold and to help it tie back to the tie. The final detail was the white lapel flower from Nic Harry Style.

I dont often share the girl behind the lens  -though I should cause she’s way better to look at than me- but Elzaan looked amazing in her new Topshop pants and she was just having the best day!

me---FLclose-up-pocket-squarechampagnebaby-cakesE---baloonsWe jut wanted to send a massive thank you to Veuve Clicquot and Vivid Luxury for hosting us, we really did have the best afternoon. If you ever get a chance to attend, I highly recommend you do, there are tickets suited to every budget on the day!

Okay! Stay fancy!

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Watches have become a lot like ties.

Now, unless you’re Flavor Flav, I dont mean you should be wearing them around your necks. I just mean that now more than ever they are the ultimate male accessory.

See, not so long ago men would go out and drop a couple of pay-checks on a heavy watch in a beautiful leather box that they put down as an “investment” to be worn for the rest of their lives. Some of them even purchased wisely and to those, their watches are investments that are worth more now than the day they bought them – but even that’s backfired as they end up sitting locked away in a safe somewhere never seeing the light of day. The rest of those “investment pieces” just end up sitting at the bottom of an underwear drawer, out of fashion and out of date right besides a pair of Mickey Mouse boxer shorts.

So, I say again, “watches are like ties”, not only do they come in all shapes, sizes and colours these days but for about $100 you can pick up some really great ones. But who needs so many watches I hear you ask ? Well, again, just like ties, they help give you a chance to show off your individuality, they become a part of your look, even if only for that day.

To support this new desire for fast fashion watches, watch companies seem to be opening up daily all offering something new and unique to make their watch stand apart. Most get it wrong, but some like Thread Etiquette get it right.

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The guys at Thread Etiquette take a classic approach – simple designs and quality materials all neatly and thoughtfully packaged. Like I said, simple.

I’ve been wearing these 2 for the last couple of weeks and I’m super happy with them. I’m a big fan of simple, in fact the simpler the better, I’m not going diving, flying a plane or running a triathlon at any moment so I don’t need all the bells and whistles. I just need to tell the time and look good in the process.

I love the softness and shape of the leather straps and the thin profile of the case. My favourite detail though is the placement of the crown, it’s the one thing that sets it apart from all my other watches and surprisingly so, it seems like the perfect place to put it so I’m surprised not more watch makers don’t.

The guys at Thread Etiquette also do some great leather bracelets – because sometimes your accessory, needs an accessory – allowing you to add even more versatility to your watch and overall look.

If you’re looking to ditch the big ticket watch for lots of style and versatility, I suggest checking these guys out.

Okay. Stay fancy.