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.

An Asutralian walks into a bar and asks “what beer do you have”?

No, this is not the start of a lame joke, though it is funny, in an awkward way. A friend of mine walked into an old New York bar – the name escapes me – it was some fancy place in an even fancier hotel. The bar had been around since forever and it was the kind of place men went to be men, you know, sip whiskey, smoke cigars, talk stocks, that kind of thing. Anyway, he walked up to the barmen and asked what beer they had, the bar man replied with “when you know what you would like Sir, I’de be happy to pour it for you”. Ok, sure I’m paraphrasing, but I think you get the gist of it. No gentleman should walk up to a bar without knowing what it is he wants, more importantly though, when he does he should know how to order it.

I overhear too many guys ordering drinks at the bar incorrectly so I think it’s time we stop confusing (or rather annoying) our barmen with this little bit of drinkucation! Yes it’s a made up word.

Neat

For the purpose of this exercise, Ive used a bottle of Gentleman Jack, not only because it’s one of my favourite whiskeys, but it works across all 3 examples.

Ordering a drink “Neat” will get you your poison of choice in a glass un-chilled, with no ice and no mixer. This kind of request is best kept for a good whiskey, bourbon or brandy, something that is aged and is best enjoyed at room temperature. Of course, if you’re out on a bender and looking for results, you could order anything you want neat – just maybe sit on the corner of the bar close to the toilets.

On-The-Rocks

This one we all know right? “Gimme a Jack on the rocks!” It simply refers to liquor poured neat over ice, allowing the liquor to chill and dilute as you sip it. In this case, your ice grade is very important. Yes, their are different ice grades and a good bar should be able to offer you gourmet ice (yea, it’s a real thing) also known as Top Hat or Octagon ice. You’ll recognise this ice from its clarity, that’s because it’s produced in such a way that it is free from  contamination, free from impurities, and contains no minerals allowing a clear cube (not like my foggy home made ones up above).

The benefit of gourmet ice, is that it melts slower and doesnt alter the flavour of your drink with all the minerals and impurities found in tap water. If you want to be a complete whiskey snob, your ice cubes should be made with the same water they use to make the whiskey. But that’s pretty next level stuff.

Straight-Up

Here’s the drink that brings in all the confusion. The term ‘straight up’ means that the drink has been chilled over ice either via shaking or stirring, strained and served in a glass (usually a stemmed glass) with no ice. This is best for when you are looking to chill your drink without too much dilution. A Martini is a great example of a drink usually served straight up.

Unfortunately, the term ‘straight up’ has now also become used to describe a drink served ‘neat’ – as in “straight up with no bullshit!”. Ordering a drink ‘up’ should get you a chilled drink served in the traditional ‘straight up’ way.

The drink above was chilled in a stirring glass and pored with a twist of lime. What’s a twist now? Ordering a drink with a twist refers to garnishing the drink with a thin strip of citrus peel – not a wedge. In most cases, lemon is the default unless otherwise specified.

So that’s it really. Pretty simple in the end.

Now excuse me while I go enjoy these drinks I just poured.

Okay. Stay fancy.

 

 

 

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This is probably one of the most awesome give away’s Ive ever done.

Here’s why. Not only do you guys get to pick your prize (rather than me picking it for you) but with €777 (almost $900) in store credit from Cortese watches, you’re gonna end up picking up 2 or 3 different watches.

My recommendation is that you definitely go for the one I’m wearing, the Savoia C11111 Chronograph with it’s stainless steel body and thick tan leather strap, it is the perfect dress watch that can can transcend the casual barrier. There is just enough chronograph detail to make the watch interesting but not so much that you feel you need to have a pilots licence to figure out what all the buttons and dials are for. The tan strap means it literally goes with everything – don’t ask me why, it’s just the beauty of tan I guess!

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Cortese is all about expressing the many sides of a gentleman, and their watch collection does just that, giving you a chance to pick out something for every occasion you may find your gentlemanly self in!

If I was to make the choice, I would definitely pick up the Dinastia Chronograph (ith that sweet vintage looking nato type strap) for those super casual days. To counter balance that I would go for the Singalore watch to use at the most formal of events – the single watch hand is a guaranteed conversation starter.

Right, so I know what you’re thinking! “gimme, gimme, gimme”

Winning, as always is easy, but it’s a big prize so it’s gonna need some work:

1: Follow the kind prize givers over at @cortesewatches on Instagram

2: Leave a message below on this blog post or on the ‘win €777 worth of Cortese watches’ post on  Instagram with the watches you would spend the money on. Something simple like… “I would spend my €777 on the Singalore C12504 and the Nautilo C18505”

That’s it folks. We’ll draw a name from the entrants on the blog or on Instagram and check it against the new followers for Cortese Watches. The competition is open to anyone in the world and will run from 12 April 2016 and close on the 18th April 2016 with a winner being announced before 22 April 2016.

Good luck and stay fancy.

 

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When I started What My Boyfriend Wore, I created Fancy Friday as a way to get guys to stick their middle fingers up to dressing down for the end of the work week. It was an excuse to stick out of the crowd!

Now, It’s probably just timing or the general zeitgeist of the time, but it looks like there are generally a lot more gentlemen on the roads these days, so Fancy Friday must of worked🙂

I personally have been a little slack at going full fancy myself, and by that I mean every detail and accessory meticulously paired into what I like to think is a perfect combo. I’ve been dressing down a bit and taking stuff a little more casual lately, not because I think Fancy Friday should die, but mostly because we’ve had an endless summer here in Cape Town and it’s just been too damn hot!

medium-shotSo lets take a look at how to approach multiple patterns and textures and pull it all together. As always the key is scale, keep your textures and patterns largely different from one another and it generally does the trick. Sometimes you can even get away with the same size pattern / texture if the colour is different – like the blazer and trousers with a fairly similar sized pattern.

When it came to the shirt and tie, it was a question of scale, the diagonal stripes on the tie are a strong contrast to the thin shirt stripes, so they never fight one one another. Small details like matching the pocket square to both the shirt and tie and allowing the lapel flower to  bring out the blue in the shirt eventually end up bringing everything together.

Lastly and always important, match your leathers and match your metals as i’ve done with the watch, cufflinks and tie bar.

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If you like what you see above, let me help you put it together:

Sunglasses from Rayban

Blazer from Topman

Shirt from TM Lewin

Pocket Square from Bows N Ties

Tie from Bows N Ties

Pants from Markham

Shoes from Zara

Watch from Vodrich

Bracelet from Vodrich

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.