Look, I don’t need much of a reason to dress up, but a day at the Met is definitely one of the better reasons to suit up. The Met is one of Cape Towns most prestigious horse racing events and with this year marking its 155th running, its also one of its oldest. For those of you who don’t yet know, this year the Met has taken on new sponsors and will be officially known as the Sun Met celebrated with Mumm.

The day is really only about 2 things, horses and fashion. Well, three things if you add champagne. I don’t know many people who know much about horses, so our day is usually focused around Fashion, Champagne and picking the horse with the best name. This years fashion theme is ‘Decades of Glamour’ with a retrospective look at the last 80 years that defined todays fashion. For those of you who may need a little help, I’ve put together 3 looks from 3 of my favorite decades to give you some inspiration and get you going. I’ve partnered up with Markham and Fabiani in order to give  you looks to suit different budgets as well as items that are available right now.

Now, keep in mind, I’m not an historian, especially not one that specializes in the history of fashion. What I do have is Google and a ton of research, but even so, this is meant to be inspirational and not cold hard facts.

1920’s

Men in the 1920’s were arguably the best dressed men of all time, in fact most of the ‘rules’ regarding menswear can be traced back to the 1920’s. When we think 20’s, we all think Gatsby and Leonardo Di Caprio smashing a creme suit with a brown waistcoat and yellow tie. Truth be told, that wasn’t very far off. The colors were all very neutral allowing the details to pop and in a decade where details were everything you made sure you never had a stitch out of place. Men would rarely leave the house without a hat and you would be hard pressed to find someone not sporting a pair of wingtips on their feet.

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I decided I would go for something very neutral with bold patterns and accessories. The double breasted jacket with wide lapels is bang on 1920’s, paired with some simple light chinos and a popping pocket square. If you think the 1920’s is for you and like the look above, you can get it here:

Hat from Markham • Shirt from Fabiani • Bow tie from Markham • Pocket square from Fabiani• Blazer from Markham • Lapel flower from Markham • Trousers from Fabiani

 1940’s

The 1940’s were pretty much ruled by World War 2 and the great depression. This decade didn’t see much change in the mens fashion established in the 20’s and with all the war rationing going on suits became slimmer and military inspired. Pin striped suits really mark the decade as did suspenders (due to leather rations on belts) and your outfit was once again not complete without a hat, pair of two toned brogues and a sizable pants cuff. As the war came to an end everything became wider; pants, ties and especially choice!

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I decided I would crossover war and post war with this military inspired double breasted suit and simple muted accessories. If you want to give the 1940’s a go you can get the following items here:

Hat by Markhams  Suit by Fabiani Tie by Fabiani Pocket Square by Fabiani

1960’s

When you think of the 60’s it’s generally filled with flower power, peace signs and bell bottoms right? Wrong! Well, not wrong actually, I mean bohemia was definitely a look back then but this was a decade where individual style really flourished.  Sub cultures started to adopt there own style and men started hanging up that ‘uniform’ they had been dragging around for 4 decades. Generally things got tighter and louder with patterns and colors everywhere. My personal favorite look from this decade was that of the “mods”, in fact most of what you find in stores today is mod inspired fashion. Clean lines, well tailored suits and a pair of Chelsea boots will get you a long way at achieving this look.

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I’ve definitely taken more of a Mod Persuasion to this look with a simple tailored one button suit but added my 60’s fun in the bright colors and polka dot shirt. If you wanna go 60’s you can get this outfit right here:

Suit by Markham • Shirt by Fabiani • Tie by Markham • Lapel pin by Markham • Pocket square by Fabiani

That’s it folks! If you’re on your way to this years Sun Met then I really hope this post has helped you. Remember, there is a difference between dressing to a theme and dressing up – your outfit should be inspired by the decade but be modern and glamorous. Your outfit should not mimic the decade and be true to every detail as if you’re going to a dress up party.

If you don’t yet have tickets then I hope this post has inspired you to get some, I hope to see you there!

Okay. Stay Fancy.

final-review-book-camissaIt’s not every day you get invited for lunch at one of Cape Town’s landmark hotels. So when the Table Bay hotel told me they had a couple of bottles of GH Mumm on ice, for me and a couple of friends, I didn’t really give it a second thought. Truth be told, I barely gave it a first thought – they kinda had me at GH Mumm  🙂

The Table Bay hotel itself is nothing short of spectacular, having what is arguably the best address in Cape Town – slap bang on the V&A Harbour – this 5 star landmark often feels as though it’s reserved for those climbing off the super yachts anchored just outside. Today however, there was a table waiting for Elzaan and I together with 4 of our closest friends at the hotels official restaurant the Camissa Brasserie. This would be the perfect start to the year and great practice for the upcoming Sun Met of course.

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It was one of those perfect Cape Town summer days, and although we had an opportunity to dine outside it would have meant giving up the lavish leather and marble interior – besides, it was a hot day and we didn’t want our Champagne getting warm  😉

We were in no rush (luckily neither was the restaurant) so we took our time catching up over the home made bread basket, reading through the menu and of course raising a toast to anything we could think of. Sometimes, you don’t have a reason to celebrate so it’s best to make some up along the way.

We eventually settled on our starters and mains and headed straight back to our conversation, champagne and of course some more toasts. Neither of us are food critics so I wont even begin to tell you about mouth feel or crunch factor (is that a thing? It should be if it isn’t) all I know is that my west coast mussel starter was delicious as was my east rock lobster tagliatelle. Elzaan kept showing me how her lamb shank just slipped off the bone and basically all the plates went back empty which is always a great sign.

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When it came to dessert, no one could really decide, so we ended up settling on a classic ‘speed dessert’ to avoid any order envy. For those of you who don’t know, speed dessert involves ordering a dessert for everyone at the table, then having a spoon full and passing left till all the plates were empty. The chocolate fondant went pretty quickly, followed closely by the rainbow cheesecake (or Unicorn cake as we called it), the only thing to suffer was our chessboard, we were simply to full to get through it all.

Our biggest disappointment was turning our last bottle of GH Mumm over to join it’s empty friends in the ice bucket that had given us such a fun afternoon. There was of course one last toast…to the ice bucket of course.

If you’re looking for a special day or night out, I definitely suggest giving the Camissa Brasserie a try for a classic fine dining experience. If you do, don’t rush it, just sit back and take in the beauty its location has to offer, you wont regret a minute. They’re open for lunch (11:00 – 15:30) and dinner (18:00 – 22:30) Sunday to Saturday and you can get hold of them on +27 21 406 5988.

Okay. Stay Fancy.

 

 

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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’m carrying 3 wallets on me.

Yeah, tricky to tell I know. But that’s kinda the point. No one should ever be able to see your wallet. Ever. Nothing ruins a great look like a giant bulge in your jacket…or your pants for that matter. Wait, that came out wrong.

I personally have 2 wallets, an everyday piece with a coin pouch and every single card I own and then a slim little card wallet for those nights out on the town – when I wanna avoid the awkward bulge. The truth is, I don’t even need the big guy, I barely even use it, I’ve had it for about 10 years now and it’s probably time for it to find a home in my bottom drawer. Sorry, I was just thinking out loud there for a bit.

Anyway, lets get back to the 3 wallets story shall we. The guys at Distil Union asked me to take a look at their collection of Wally Wallets. The philosophy behind the design was slimming down the wallet without loosing functionality. So I decided to put them to a little slim test.

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3 wallets no bulges. Boom.

Okay, I really shouldn’t have stuck one in my back pocket because you couldn’t see it anyway but you get the point right? The trick with keeping these guys slim is the pull tab technology that lets you store your cards tightly and neatly while still giving you easy access to them. What that essentially does is remove the extra layers of leather used for card slots and makes your wallet slimmer. The guys at distill union are pretty serious about making wallets slimmer, they even offer  a ‘Fat Wallet Fix‘ tutorial to help you slim down to your essentials.

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Clever packaging and quirky quotes aside these  wallets are really well made, the leather is super soft and you can just feel how well it will age. The Pull-Tab tech works smoothly and Distil Union has also introduced a FlexLock™ mechanism – a spring-steel pocket that keeps your contents secured even as the leather stretches.

I wouldn’t mind finding one of these guys under the Christmas tree this year, even if it is labeled ‘from Sergio to Sergio’. Maybe you’ll do the same, if so use product code WMBW15 and get 15% off  your Distil Union order till January 1st 2017.

Okay. Stay fancy.

 

 

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This has been one of the longest blog posts in the making – since July to be exact. So it stands to reason that it may be one of the longest blog posts of all time. I’ve really struggled to cut down the images on such an amazing experience, so I really hope you enjoy it. Settle in, you may be here a while.

Japan, is one of those few places in the world that lives up to everything its meant to be, yet still manages to exceed your highest expectations. The only other place in the world I have ever been to that had the same effect on me was France, well, Paris to be exact, it just refused to disappoint, it was everything it ever promised to be!

To be honest, there is no particular story about to follow, just a barrage of different pictures and stories that sum up the trip as best they can. Ironically – or possibly not ironically…I’m never sure after Alanis Morissette – it depicts the trip perfectly. A lot of late nights, a lot of delicious drinks, even more delicious food and the most amazing people I have ever met.

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Where do I even begin.

A good friend of mine was turning 40 (you’ll catch a glimpse of him below) and decided his birthday would be held in Japan. Now as I’m not one to miss a party, I decided I would make the 20 something hour journey and share a beer or a bowl of Ramen with him on this momentous occasion. Truth is Ive always wanted to go to Japan, and this just became the perfect excuse, a boys trip to one of the craziest places I’ve ever been. How crazy? Well, keep scrolling, you’ll see.

We spent most of our time in Tokyo and were based in Nishi-shinjuko, just a couple of subway stops from the centre of town, or at least what felt like the centre of town. Tokyo is so sprawling it doesn’t really feel like it has a centre, or if it does, you never really find the end of it. With over 35 Million people in the greater Tokyo area it is the largest metropolitan city in the world and you certainly feel it!

I’ve never been able to quite put my finger on what it was that made Tokyo (Or Japan for that matter) so special. It has all the makings of a great city, great public transport system, amazing restaurants, bars and hotels, tourists attractions galore and is so clean you can eat off the streets – well, depends what you’re eating I guess. There are however 2 major things that stood out for me, the people and the culture. Come to think of it, that may be one thing. Despite its super modern state, the culture remains strong and you see it in the warmth of the people. Well, I mean you see it in the temples and stuff too, but the people mostly. Something that absolutely fascinated me, was how many people wore traditional dress on a Sunday, and I don’t mean the old folks desperately trying to hold on to tradition, I mean young ladies walking round proudly dressed in a kimono on there way to lunch with girls. Amazing!

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So what is there to do in Tokyo? Well, pretty much anything if you go looking for it. We spent our time eating and drinking mostly. Shopping is okay, but you need the time to explore and find the gems, time that we simply didn’t have.

When it comes to eating, i’m gonna start off by saying, you haven’t had ramen, till you’ve had ramen in Japan. That’s a fact. I was lucky, I had saved myself…for 38 years to have my first bowl of ramen. It was at 2am at a hole in the wall in Shinjuku on the night we arrived and it was worth the wait. Can I explain the deliciousness of it? I certainly can not. We ate a lot of ramen, some better than others but none disappointing. We even had fresh udon noodles at a place so tiny it went from empty to  full when the 4 of us walked in. True story.

But Tokyo isn’t just about ramen, you can literally get anything you want to eat if you know where to find it. I know this, because I found myself munching on horse tartar and bovine heart tubes one night at a Korean barbecue – To be fair I wasn’t particularly looking for that, but the experience was worth it. If you want to try anything new, get in the queue, yep, the Japanese love them a queue. Lobster rolls, soufflé pancakes, octopus balls (it’s not what you think) we queued for them all, sometimes for 2 hours. None of them were as good as the ramen. Man did I love that ramen.

Now, if you enjoy a little drink every now and then, you’ll be in good company. The Japanese love a drink (in a good way of course) and you’ll find them dressed in a suit and tie, arm in arm singing in the streets at 4am. It’s awesome! We drank a lot of beer, mostly because the beer is good, but also because its kinda cheap, or cheap enough that you can have a few. Our top drinking experience was however at the New York bar on the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo – you may remember it from the movie Lost in Translation – It’s considered one of the best rooftop bars in the world, and I totally get why. The view is incredible, the service world class, and really, nothing beats sipping an old fashioned while listening to a live jazz band.

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Japan really seems to comes alive at night, and we had some pretty late nights so trust me on this one. At some point we were eating donuts at 2am while watching a street fight and discussing where to go next. So, like I said, trust me.

Between the bars, the batting cages and the only Japanese onsen that allowed tattoos we had some pretty wild nights, come to think of it on one night we managed to squeeze all of the above in, I think. There was however one thing that topped everything we did during our entire trip, its called the Robot Restaurant and if you go to Japan and only do 1 thing, make this it! It’s impossible to explain and the pictures don’t do it justice, but it is a dinner theatre the likes of which you have never experienced in your life. I went from…‘meh…what a tourist trap’ as I sat watching a Daft Punk type robot playing a guitar in a room filled with mirrors, to ‘holy shit, my mind is blown and my life is complete’ as I watched a horse in a dress giving a zebra a piggy back. Yep. Best. Thing. Ever.

We also visited Shinjukus famous Golden Gai district for 1 last drink one night and I was simply blown away by the 100’s of tiny bars packed in amongst a maze of alleys. When i say 100’s I’m not exaggerating, and when I say tiny, I mean, some bars hold a maximum of 4 people! It’s definitely worth a visit!

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Thats the birthday boy up there, dressed the part while tucking into a little saki as we took on the Golden Gai one alley at a time.

I’m gonna have to stop there or I’ll never stop. I have endless stories and even more photos to share, but I think you get the picture. If you got this far in the post, arigato. I hope you enjoyed it.

Japan, is amazing, there really is nothing more that needs to be said. If you ever get the chance to visit, grab it with both hands.

Okay. Stay Fancy.

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In the world of mens accessories, it’s very rare that something new and interesting comes up. Trust me, I get daily e-mails asking for support of some or other Kickstarter campaign, it’s usually a pair of socks, or sometimes a wooden tie, strangely enough never a wooden pair of socks, but that would definitely intrigue me.

When the guys at Vanacci asked me to review their bracelet, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. I have loads of mens bracelets lying around, they all look great, sometimes I pair them with my watch, sometimes with my tie, their primary function though is to look good. So why the immediate interest in these Vanacci beaded bracelets? Well, they’ve added function to something that was until now purely decorative.

“What the hell are you on about?” I hear you ask.

What makes these bracelets different is lockstone technology!….Boom! Yeah, I didn’t know what it was either, so let me tell you. A selection of beads on the Vanacci bracelet are made of a material that captures your fragrance and then slowly releases it all day. The specific science is called capillary action – where water molecules are drawn deep into the material, to migrate slowly back up to the surface through osmosis. It is then that the water evaporates, releasing the fragrance: slow, sustained scent release. 

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Truth be told, I don’t really understand the science, but I don’t really think you’re supposed to, or even that you need to. It definitely makes for a strong conversation starter. According to Vanacci, a few sprays of your favourite fragrance will keep it lasting 7 times longer than just applying it to your skin.

The million dollar question is of course “Did it work?” You bet your sweet smelling ass it worked. I was really impressed, so was Elzaan who kept commenting on the fragrance all day – I had just bought something new that she was crazy about. The next day the fragrance was still there, very slight but definitely still lingering. That got me thinking, what if you want to use a different fragrance? Luckily, by day 2, it seemed to be completely neutral and was ready to capture a new scent. They do have 5 different styles, so maybe you can get one for each of your favourite fragrances and just keep the scent fresh.

If you’re looking for a Kickstarter to support, this is definitely something unique enough that you wont find it at your local department store. If you want to find out more about Vanacci and their lockstone products why not go visit them on their Kickstarter page. With Christmas on the way this might just be the perfect stocking stuffer for that special stinky someone.

Okay, stay fancy.