Thursday, 27 November 2008

Scarf Ace

So the cold is most definitely here. And, as with previous winters, I have been combatting the freezing mornings by wrapping myself in scarves. I’ve got many, but the ones I go back to in this sort of weather are, unsurprisingly, weighty, woolly and warm. This one is a current favourite. The electric blue stripes inject a little colour into what is otherwise a monochromatic piece. Also, it's very long and very thick, which means you can really bury your chin into it on a cold day and it wraps around the neck twice. I'm wearing my scarves more loosely this year, just wrapped once and billowing in the bitter wind, rather than tied into a half-knot. While it does get a little warm on the tube, the resulting fug keeps you warm owhen you get out. The lambswool itself has also gone quite bobbly now, but I've since decided that this is a nice antidote to a smart coat, and makes the texture more noticeable and a little worn. The weight of this scarf also means I can wear lighter coats, or as with today, a velvet blazer and still get feel toasty. Despite the Guardian's rejection of scarves in last week's Measure, they're still an absolute Staple for me; a reminder of Paris and the best way to keep warm this - and every - Winter. Other Staples this week:
Woolly scarves
The King's Head pub on Upper Street and it's brilliant funk night on Wednesday
M&S Extremely chocolatey Mini Rings
Matter at the O2
Shane Meadows' film This Is England
Vans slip-ons
The Cribs album 'Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever'


Yesterday, on arriving at work, I found this article, by the lovely Gareth McLean, on my keyboard. The juxtaposition of my workmate leaving this on my desk, and the sane reasonings of McLean illustrate the power of the 'tache. It perfectly sums up my approach as well. Read it and nod sagely, fellow moustache-growers...

Friday, 21 November 2008


A Monocle Shop? Has someone been reading my mind? A couple of people have drawn my attention to it already; I intend to get down there as soon as possible, though I imagine with such a tiny floorspace, there'll be queues around the block. Nonetheless, I'm sure it will be a great success.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

The Staple - Tiger of Sweden

Manchester, So Much to Answer For...

Well, a lack of postings last week, at least. I was up North again this weekend, visiting my parents’ new house in the Lake District. It was a much-needed break, and lovely to sort through childhood possessions and finally get somewhere decent to store my old copies of the Face, L’Uomo Vogue and Arena Homme. No massive surprises, though my old school yearbook provoked some brilliant memories…Needless to say, a long weekend spent in front of a roaring fire with a cup of tea in hand was absolute bliss. I met up with my parents in Leeds before heading up to Cumbria, found my Dad a coat in French Connection and dropped into one of my favourite Leeds shops, d_store. Every time I’ve been back, I’ve popped in here (and usually made a purchase), and the buying is superb; mostly Tiger of Sweden, but some other similarly minimal designers feature, the focus being on sharp, narrow silhouettes and mod-inspired tailoring. Coupled with some Northern hospitality, an open, airy layout and a particularly brilliant soundtrack, this shop is one of Leeds' best - and the sale section is a goldmine. I bought this shirt for the bargainous price of £23 and it got me thinking about skate style. I've been wearing (more out of comfort perhaps) some black velvet Vans slip-ons which I've had for ages, but paired with this and some dark Diesel denim, there was a certain skater tendance to my outfit; especially with the top button done up. I might cultivate this in coming months; like couriers, skaters forge a style that is based in both practicality and style; thus a casual shoe like the classic slip-on can look urbane and slick with a button-down like this. Also, this style blend is perfect for early, cold mornings; simple to throw on, warm and comfy, making it a Staple indeed. along with the rest of this week's Staples:
d_store in Leeds
Tiger of Sweden menswear
Weekend in the Lake District
SebastiAn remixes album
A fixed iPod
Shelved magazines
A good bottle of Brown Brothers Chenin Blanc

The Staple - Buck Magazine

PS: Hope you enjoy the new leitmotif; new house means a new perspective. Wooden hangers are always a Staple...

Bucky Strike

On my hungover way to Manchester last weekend for the Chibuku Warehouse Project, I decided to pick up a copy of Buck. It’s been mentioned by a few of my fellow bloggers, but until now, I’d been put off by the overly preppy, fussy cover. Foolish, I know, but first impressions count. Once I actually opened it however, it was a delight. Bite-sized articles complimented pages of street style photographs, review of some of my favourite watering holes sitting next to practical tips (who actually already knew how best to put up a shelf? Not me) and informed, relaxed articles. All this wrapped in a well-designed, unshowy and simple layout. I particularly liked the Sartorialist-esque North-East-South-West split of London fashion. Very on-the-button. It certainly made for an easy train-read anyway; shorter articles perfectly compliment the mix of fashion snippets and made the whole magazine more of a wide-ranging printed blog than a serious fashion tome. A neat and modern twist on print publishing. The trip back North also reminded me how much more friendly and inviting the people can be there; from the Travelodge to a 5am taxi home, everyone was chatty and helpful, even to a man dressed in a sequinned cape...Anyway, the weeks' Staples:
Buck Magazine
Meeting Justice and chatting to them in French
Folk knitwear you can curl up inside of
G2 crossword
The Warehouse Project in Manchester
Wetherspoons’ selection of Kopparberg ciders
Cafe Bin Tang in Kentish Town

Thursday, 6 November 2008


One quick thing; on this week's notes of smart/casual, I've notice far too many men in the City pairing their normally pretty suave navy suits with ugly and cheap black shoes; Navy suits should be worn with brown shoes. No exceptions; I know there's a recession on, but go and invest, please. See this man (from the Sartorialist, where else?) for clarification. See George Bush for how not to do it.

The Staple - Casual Footwear

Smart vs. Casual

This week in the office, we've been given the 'reward' of wearing casual clothes for the week. Not the bonus we were perhaps expecting (biscuits work best for me), but it has confused me as to the importance of smart clothes at work. On the one hand, it's good to have a pride in your appearance, and feel confident when arriving to work, especially if you have to deal with clients. But most people in the office have come into work in some form of smart/casual; replacing work trousers with jeans, and to some extent shoes with smart trainers, but keeping a smart top half (unlike me; I sit here in my new plaid trainers, a Silver Surfer Marvel t-shirt and a salmon-coloured cardigan). I guess I am to the younger end of the office spectrum, but there has not been the level of casuality I might have expected. And this has got me thinking; perhaps I should smarten up properly for work, and dress up more for the evenings. As much as I love comfy jeans and a slouchy jumper (my vintage Folk one is perfect), it's not really a 'going-out' look. One thing I have noticed as a Northerner living in London is that there's no real division here between day- and evening wear; the time taken to go home, change and have dinner which would be commonplace back home, is spurned here for more time down the pub. Both have their advantages, yes, but from a sartorial point of view, unless you are in the habit of changing at work, the weekend becomes the only time to experiment fully with your wardrobe. I guess that's why I'm sat here in a bright cardigan, and everyone else isn't; and why people on Brick Lane look quite so umpressive/odd on Sundays. So next week I'm going to endeavour to wear smarter clothes at work, and go a little further with my evening outfits. Doubtless this weekend's trip to the Manchester's Warehouse Project will make for an interesting outfit choice...
This week's Staples:
The Chandos pub in Covent Garden
Wearing the right shoes with the right outfit (more later)
Nigella's brilliant Express recipes
Tuesday night's great TV
Grace Jones new album, 'Hurricane'
Topman's sale (plaid boots + check short for £20 total)
'The Conformist' by Alberto Moravia