Friday, 6 July 2012

Top 10 For Men

My male friends are constantly joking with me, asking if they are wearing the right clothes and what should they expect next in menswear, in a tone not so sarcastic that it provokes retaliation, but such that suggests a willingness or want for more information, without losing too much testosterone. And after much deliberation on my next post for the blog, I figured, why not do a list of ten items every man should (and probably does) have.

First, lets go right back to basics, a pair of all star converse. I don’t feel I need to support this with anything, I’m pretty sure most men already own a pair or five, and if you don’t, then just don’t let people know this, get yourself down to Office, Shuh, Sole Trader (are those even still going now?) and pick up a pair before anyone finds out. Bog standard shoes, giving the wearer the ability to look ‘cool’ without looking like a douche who tries too hard.

Number two on my list, Calvin Klein underwear. White preferably. Now this is a tricky subject, seeing as I am a woman, is there too much I can say about men’s under garments without sounding a bit perverse? Well I’ll probably be darned if I do, and darned if I don’t. Whilst I spent a Christmas with the buying team for a renowned department store, working on menswear accessories, Calvin Klein was a big buy for them, and sold through continuously. So clearly you folks like you CK briefs, and quite frankly, nothing is worse than Primark bought underwear your mum picks up for you four times a year.
Three, now although scent isn’t really fashion, at the same time, it is. You could look sh!t hot, but if you smell like hot sh!t then what’s the point? I love Chanel Sport Por Homme personally, the chances are, if you cannot pronounce it, it smells good. Steer clear of anything with a celebrity face on it, or with a naked lady as the bottle, remember, someone might see this bottle and having to explain why you have Peter Andre’s perfume to a friend could be a difficult situation, all best avoided.

Four, now I deliberated putting this as my final number ten, but I guess I got a bit excited and had to slot it in at four. Band tee-shirts! I must say, the whole picking of a band is a very tricky thing to do. Nothing too obvious, ruling out The Who, Kiss or Jimmi Hendrix, nothing people would not have heard of, ruling out anything you hear on BBC Radio 6 (although props if you know some of these) and nothing too lame, ruling out Mc Fly, Midnight Beast, and… did I say Mc Fly? (unless you’re actually a 13 year old girl and its 2004) A good band would be something like Bombay Bicycle Club, The Strokes, or Black Keys, but remember, whatever band tee-shirt you wear, be prepared for scrutiny and that others will expect you to know more than three songs, and none of which can be from their most recent album. Try markets down Brick Lane, retro stores like Rokit, or music stores like Rough Trade or even at a gig.

Five, this, yet again, is a bit of an obvious one, a pair of slightly worn, Levi 501’s. Timeless, effortlessly cool, and then you will have Jean envy. I don’t think I need to explain much more?

Six, here we come on to watches. Now the topic of men and their watches is a bit on the tricky side. I mean, the amount of fake Rolex (or Rullocks as I like to call them) going around, its like the whole fast car thing. Personally I think if you cannot afford the flash watches, don’t buy a fake. Casio are best, they last as long as you want them too, will always look good, and show that you don’t really care about fashion and clothing as much as you actually do. Steer clear of anything with Velcro, nothing say, I can’t quite tie my own shoe laces like a Velcro watch. Just stay on the short bus or don’t wear one.

Seven, another one you probably have, and if you don’t, then don’t let people know this. Leather jacket, with or without a hoodie attached inside. They will always remind me of programmes like The O.C. or Skins, but you have to admit, people in those programmes ALWAYS looked good! Throw it on over any outfit and you’re ready to go! Check out SuperDry’s range, or River Island.

Eight. Seeing as summer is fast approaching, well as fast as English weather will allow, sun glasses are a big factor. Go Ray-Ban or go home. I don’t think this is something limited to men either, everyone needs to own at least one pair of ray-bans. Tortoise shell, black or a bright bold colour, depending on how many you want, in the classic retro style.

Nine. Belts, from what I know at least, are pretty important; I mean they hold your trousers up. Enough said really right? Then again getting a good belt seems to be a tricky situation. There seems to be so many options, colours, styles, thickness and buckle. I mean, as cool as that batman buckle your aunt got you for your last birthday is, its still not the easiest thing to wear. Try something leather, plain, black or dark brown. It will match casual trousers and formal suit pants. Yet again, without making you seem as though too much thought has gone into your dress process. Look at Next, ASOS or Diesel.

Ten. Now this is a bit of female input I must admit. A crisp white shirt never go amiss. Be it from Topman, ASOS, Ted Baker, Hugo Boss or Saville Row, it creates this perfect desk to dinner (where you can wear it to work, then out to dinner or the pub for those of you not in the know about ‘desk to dinner’ dressing) look, appealing to men, women, friends and family. Every man can pull off a white shirt, and every man should at least give it a go.

So this is my current list of Ten Must Haves for Men, no doubt I will be updating this every so often.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Tis the Season to be Festiv-al

The festival season has arrived, and what a bloody sigh of relief, finally something to get your ears ringing, feet tapping and your heads banging! This weekend kicked off the festival summer with Hackney Weekend and Isle of Wight Festival, along with Love Box and I could go on... Now the bands are lined up, the tickets are bought, mum has pulled out the wellies, you're spending your evening duck-tapping your tent back together after the carnage of last year. But wait, what are you going to take with you, with so little space in between the tins of cooked breakfast, bottles of fosters and sun lotion your mum has made you promise to take. How to pack proficiently? Here's an idea...

Start off basic, shorts, vest and denim shirt, adding a bit of fashion know how with accessories can make or break a basic outfit, and where better to try out new things than at a festival, where if u do go wrong, its not like you know half the people there! 
Casio watches are the best buy right now, great with wear and tear, water-proof and timeless for everyday use.
Festival footwear will always be a challenge, take two options, a hightop trainer is bang on this year, make it cream, beige or camel, or "cream" as most men know any shade of this to be. It will attract the dirt like Heat Magazine, but show off your "i dont care i'm at a festival" side! 
Sunglasses are always a must at a festival, even if the sun isn't shinning, you will need them for your hungover eyes from friday morning onwards. Go for a straight top, tortoise shell, something cheap and cheerful, chances are your mate might sit on them. 

And a top-tip for festival packing, ROLL your clothes up, this saves space and puts security off checking all of your bag, i got 2 full bottles of vodka in this way!!!
***disclaimer, i have never, nor will i ever, try to sneak glass bottles into a festival***

Suits You Sir!!!

So, blogger have changed everything around, I am a big fan of change though, it has given me the inspiration to create my first menswear blog. Quite frankly, its about time too! So my original blog, a la mode, has birthed this little gem, male a mode. (and i'm sure that doesn't translate properly, but quite frankly i dont mind)

Round one! ding ding!

A big trend for the next 12 months will be tailoring. I'm not suggesting you get yourself down to Saville Row any time soon, or even Moss Bros, by tailoring, i mean attention to detail, structure, bold colours and a new fit of suiting!
I'll get cracking with the fit, we have seen the traditional fit, and in comparison to the modern suit, its quite baggy, even outdated -dare i say!- oh and then we have the supper skinny, watch out testicles, its almost body paint skinny fit suit. I cannot say I am a fan of either, but being a woman I'm not sure where I can rank myself for opinion. This new fit, narrow, with breathing room, or about-bloody-time-they-made-a-suit-like-this-fit as i'm going to call it, quite catchy right? Will allow for the modern male to work, dine, party, be a dad, be a husband, and most importantly be a man in a dapper suit. 

I am picking a lot of inspiration from the new bond film that is due for release on the next few months. Skyfall (pretty awful name right?) is daring to take suiting to the next level, with an almost crease proof fabric (i daren't say that Bond would be able to leave a suit un-creased!) tones and hues of grey, midnight blue and black, 'cause where would we be without black!? 

But you don't wear a suit? oh no, well fortunately for you mister, the tailoring trend is seeming through to the mainstream. what? you say, thats right, even a jeans, tee-shirt and jacket man can work this trend! Jean fits stem from a want to create something wearable, durable, and practical, and this suit fit allows for it. Tailoring you look is easy, firmer neck lines on tee-shirts, a new breed of shirt-jacket, wear it either way, it has a firm structure without shoulder pads (horay!) and makes the less 'built' man look like Arnie! (no promise folks sorry)

Outerwear, I know how you men like your coats and jackets, this (and next more importantly) season see's a lengthening in the classic Mac and wrap coats, hitting the knee is something the Mac has always done, but this is going to be taken on by other coats and outerwear. Invest in length, but remember folks, its not the size but how you use it that matters, wear it with narrow jeans, polished brogues or loafers and a crisp white shirt. Don Draper eat your heart out.

Finally colour. This is my personal favourite part of trend prediction, it can be used on any garment and then you don't need to worry about the garment themselves, its so easy a man could do it! Charcoal greys, midnight blue, rustic red, shaded bottle green and teal are hot right now in predictions for next season, invest!!!!

[All images taken from and Skyfall website]

Male A Mode: Knitty Gritty Menswear

This season, knits are making a big impact, I know it is still summer (well the British equivalent to summer at least) but buying products out of season saves money, and time, I know those pesky male shoppers like saving money and time when shopping, so perk those ears fellas!

This piece is from Missoni's A/W 12/13 collection, and yes, i am demonstrating that cardigan do not always have rocking chair, slippers and a "nice brew" associations. Opt for simple colours when wearing textured pieces, you know that supposed rule girls go by, with the legs or cleavage out? well it applies to menswear, texture or colour, put them together and you look like a clothing skank, excuse my french.

Great news for your inner geek too, consol graphic prints are making a comeback Mr Pac-Man himself would be jealous of, indulge in bold fonts, attention to detail, but don't forget your loyality to the good ol' super hero tee-shirt (warning, mixing both may result in social isolation).

Looking for a source of cultured inspiration?
> Somers Town, the undisclosed second instalment of This Is England, filmed in black and white the picture sets out the discover the untold story of youth in London, how cultures are clashing and more importantly, how wearing the wrong footie top in the wrong area of town can be a bigger faux-pa than socks and sandals!
plus Somers Town is currently on BBC i-player, no excuses folks!
> Alabama Shakes, this band is a new sound for this era, unfortunately I cannot see them getting onto radio1 any time soon, rough and ready sounds, and they recorded the entire album in a garage! wicked!
> ALT-J like a good synth? 'nuff said really right? album is out now, and they will be supporting Temper Trap at Somerset house later in the year.

[Images via Google & WGSN]

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Looney Tunes

So, a lot of people argue my belief that music and fashion are closely connected. I could talk for days about how this is pretty much a fact. I thought I would continue with the music based posts for my blog. I dont care what you think, my music and my fashion are potentially the two most important parts of my personality. And I am going to share these with you.
Firstly I should probably thank my close friend Alex for getting me back into finding new music, there's only so much Nicki Minaj one girl can listen to.

M83 are, from my understanding (well my reading of Wikipedia to be honest) are a french/spanish lot, with some banging tunes. You may recognise this song from Made in Chelsea. But they have been around for a few years, so rub the justin bieber out of your lug holes and take a listen to this.

Yukon Blonde are another fine example of indie music. the perfect soundtrack for summer, if it wants to hurry up and get here that would be perfect!

And yes, girls and boys, I have saved the best till last. Alabama Shakes are a lovely little set up, with a wicked vocalist, find this sound no where else. They have great potential to go very very far, and boy god I hope they do.

H. x

Friday, 6 April 2012

The Little Red Dress

In the spirit of all things single, I'm doing a post on the perfect little red dress (LRD). I recently red (see what I did there?) an article about how women who wear red out are more likely to attract male attention, now I cannot stress enough that 
1) I do not plan on going out and buying lots of red dresses in the attempt to end my spinster status, I quite like it
2) I have counted, and i own one red dress, one red poka-dot dress and one with birds on it. My wardrobe is massive, so these three dresses make up about 0.2% of my clothes
3) I quite simply found this little 'fact' interesting and wanted to research potential LRD's

So here goes..

Perfect for day time, and quite frankly this is my number one from the selection. Asos £32. 
I'm probably a little too into the sloughy chic right now, I guess it's a mix of practicality and this "sexy but doesn't know it" persona, which this dress reflects perfectly.

One part candy girls, one part lolly pop and a hint of yummy mummy, this dress is a sweet little thing. The cut is good for someone a bit less endowed in the chest department, or someone who nips in most at the waist. Next £45.

This is a bit more on the work front, desk to dinner is a look many struggle to fulfil but this Calvin Klein number fits the bill perfectly. It is clearly a CK creation, simply, elegant, masterfully cut, and with only the best fabric available to mankind. At £180 you definitely need a well paid job to be able to go from desk to dinner in it though!

Another personal favourite. Topshop and a snip at £30, I mean you can't really go wrong with Topshop anyway but this shift allows for movement, yet at a shorter length still gives an air sexy.

Finally, a Westwood Anglomania dress. Well it would only be fair that, if we are talking about bright colour and impeccable design, I mention Westwood. You might need to sell your kidney to fund this purchase at £205, but still, that's why we have two.

H. x

Monday, 2 April 2012

The Pyjama Trend - Do You Dare To Wear? ? ?

Another year, another fad trend, no doubt the pyjama trend is not going to be as long standing as say, skinny jeans, black nail polish or the dreaded 'jegging' (no matter how hard i try people still want to wear them!) 
What? you say, yes, thats right ladies, finally a trend i can sink my pyjama loving feet into! I, myself an a big fan of pyjamas, nothing beats that excitement of waiting to go to bed with a new pair of jim-jams! and just to clarify, i am twenty one, and yes i have an undisclosed love for bed wear, the cosy kind. 
You want proof of this? Well seeing as you asked so nicely...

Exhibit A- Jonathan Saunders, and by far the most wearable of the pyjama trend. baggy shirt, i can dig that, loose fitting, silk (possibly, i am guessing) trouser, so long as the underwear isn't showing through i can handle it. The black definitely detracts from the fact this is the pyjama trend, makes the whole outfit much more wearable and stylish. so far so good.

Exhibit B- Richard Nicoll, I purely chose this shot because the print on here is beyond fabulous! and print is something that the pyjama trend will let us play around with, HURRAR! something with a bit more texture for summer 2012!! i'm starting to get excited about this now...

But wait! what is a trend without an all star cast of followers? nout, that's what. and by golly, who has gone and done it.. only Rihanna! and i must say, this has possibly sold it to me. if i was say size 6 and 5ft11in. so maybe not this year, but apparently girls dont stop growing until they are 22 so if i sprout up in the next 11 months this may well be an option for me.

Alas, the pyjama trend isn't so bad when you think about the horrific mess most trends leave in their wake, tone upon tone of unwanted wooden clogs (don't throw them out just yet, i think there is another season left in them!) pile and piles of flit and flare jeans, yes they are flattering, but all i can think of when i see a pair is ashton kutcher in That 70's Show, which i guess is not something i should complain about. my single mind knows no limits i guess.

My suggestion for the trend, for those of you who dare to wear, team it with the old fail safe of "if its tight on top, make it loose on bottom, if its tight on bottom make it loose on top" therefore balancing out the slightly wacky trend. Team pyjama style bottoms with a fitted blazer and spaghetti strap (slightly loose) top that falls at the waist line of the trousers, or grab a pyjama style top and team with something either fitted, short or of legging-origin.

H. x