Getting Stylish For 2015 Music Festivals


Yes it’s that time again music festivals are here, from the classic 1969 Woodstock to Glastonbury, T4 on the beach, V festivals, its been a right of passage for young people to pack their bags and get shit faced for the weekend, than talking about it for the rest of their lives, it’s a time where friends some times have their last get together, before they finish college or university and start their adult life, for some its their first adventure from home and being able to kick back and have some fun,what I love about festivals is you can wear what you want and no one gives a shit, you can wear loud or just dull, it’s about having fun listing to some great music then chilling with a beer, but what I have noticed for years women get noticed for their fashion at the festivals, but the boys don’t get a mention so I thought I would give the boys their own fashion guide for a change and a few tips from my experience’s at the festivals.

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Woodstock 1969 the Granddaddy of all music festivals

Festivals are normally held in fields yes fields so things can get dirty and very crazy, so when your going to festivals you need to pack the right things, other wise you   could be very wet and cold and pissed off that you have wrecked  a £100 pair of trainers, so the guide I’m going to do is not about fashion labels, its about looking stylish but practical.

The other key element is what you pack, remember your going away for the weekend, not for a week, so you need to keep it simple but light, my advise is always check the weather, when I started doing festivals over 20 years ago you didn’t know if it was going to rain or shine, but thank to modern technology we can get a seven-day weather update on our phones, so check the weather before you leave you Muppets, so think about what you need not what if this goes with this, you will be just carrying loads of cloths for bugger all, also if its muddy there’s a good chance all your cloths will get shitty to so more washing for nothing

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http://www.twitter.com/ArkAngelApparel

T- shirts yes it summer what else would you wear, my advise is let your hair down it’s a festival, get loud get some t-shirts with some great vivid prints, there are lots of company’s now that just sell great t-shirts like Johnny Cupcakes or Ark Angel Apparel, but stay away from the cartoon character ones you want to impress the ladies “right”, the other thing about t-shirts they are light to carry, so once you have ironed them you simply roll them tightly, then when you take them out of the bag quick shake their still crisp and fresh.

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http://www.tedbaker.com

Shirts now if you’re a stylish man you will always carry a classy shirt with you, but remember shirts can get wrinkled quick and if you’re in a muddy field there are no irons, so keep it simple pack a oxford shirt or a short sleeve shirt, style wise go for some polka dots or simple strips, if you can find a shirt with some amazing design buy it, shirts are also great for layering you could wear a t-shirt then a shirt over the top unbuttoned.

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http://www.riverisland.com

Shorts summer and festivals are all about shorts, the choice is up to you, denim shorts are classy also stylish, chino cotton shorts are your next choice great khaki, reds, navy, are good colours, but one style tip for you, if you wear a patterned  t-shirt go for plain shorts, other wise you will look like a walking comic painting,

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http://www.lacoste.co.uk

Chinos and Jeans yes I know its summer, but you never know if its going to rain or get cold, so my advise is always pack one pair, also if you wanted to leave the festival to go out and have a meal, you know you have the right cloths to go out if you wanted to.

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http://www.ralphlauren.co.uk

Hooded tops are just amazing at festivals, they are stylish but practical, there has been many morning I’ve gotten up in a field and its been a bit chilly, I just reached for my hoody pulled it on and I was toasty again, also when you pack up on the Sunday or the Monday you are on a comedown from the booze and partying, you feel like pants you simply slip on your hooded top, pull the hood over your head slip your earphones on your sorted ready for the journey home.

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http://www.sportsdirect.com

Jackets yes like I’ve said many times festivals are about summer, but the British weather does not give a crap about summer if it wants to rain it will, I always carry a Karrimor Jacket, they are light but stylish and practical, they will keep you dry and if you do role in the mud it simply wipes of cool, but the choice is down to you but personally always make sure you have jacket in your bag.

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http://www.purple-oval.co.uk

Footwear this is simply down to your choice, my advise is buy some cheap £20.00 stylish pumps, if they do get covered in mud and mashed up just chuck them in the bin, trust me I can tell you from experience save your money, about 15 years ago I went to a rock festival in some white Fred Perry Pumps, they cost me over £70.00 and yes it rained for two days solid in a field they were fucked, lesson learnt, flip-flops are a great choice if they get muddy you just wipe them down.

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http://www.chelseamegastorasia.com

Hats are not just stylish but practical too, think bout it your drinking all day out in the sun, you will get dehydrated very quick, so a hat keeps your head cool and covered, I love wearing a straw Trilby very dapper, or you can go for a classy bucket hat or keep it simple and wear a baseball cap.

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http://www.fostergrant.co.uk

Sunglasses are a must for all festival goers, but again they cost a lot of money, a couple of years ago I sat down and worked out how much I had spent on sunglasses that got broken or lost and stolen at festivals, I came in about £550.00, so if your going to festivals save your best glasses take some cheap stylish ones, Foster Grant are my choice and at about £20.00 a pair I could not be bothered what happens to them.

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http://www.sportsdirect.com

Towels now this is a free tip, it will save you the hassle of dirty smelly wet towels in your tent, simply buy a  travel towel its a special type of towel, that’s water absorbent,  its comes in a travel pouch the size of a face cloth, you unzip it, it opens into a full bath towel wipe your self dry fold it back up put it in the case all done no mess no dirty smelly towel, it will last you the weekend just wash it when back home.

If you do attend any music festivals this year stay safe and have amazing time in style of course

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD

Desert Boots King Of Casual Footwear


Desert boots are the king of casual footwear, before desert boots came about there was no such thing as casual footwear, but all that changed when the desert boots came on the scene, during the second world war the British army went to fight in the desert, they were not properly equipped for the harsh climate, British officers saw locale people wearing a crepe sole shoe made from rough suede, very soon they were going to the local bazaars and getting some made for them self’s, one of those young officers was Nathan Clark he was a member of the family behind Clarks, one of the worlds most iconic shoe company’s, he decide to design his own desert boots, in 1944 while he was stationed in the desert he had some made at a Cairo bazaar, after the war he took his designs home with him, he went to the directors of the company and put his ideas to them, they said they would never sell, but Nathan believed in his design and started to cut the design him self, in 1949 Nathan Clark took his prototype boot to Oscar Schoeffler , fashion editor of Esquire, he decide to run a story on the new casual footwear with pictures, the desert boot was a hit, the rest as they is history.

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Nathan Clark the inventor of the modern Desert Boot

The desert boots became a hit over night , in 1957 they ran an advert saying the most travelled shoe, the desert boot became the first casual shoe, they ended up selling in over 100 country’s,  it was also named as one of the 50 shoes that changed the world, it was down to its unique design, before the 1950s all shoes or boots were made with leather uppers they were made to last so they could be heavy on the feet say after 8 hours at the mill, with Clarks desert boots they were made from a crepe sole, one of natures great shock absorbers and water-repellent, crepe is made from latex tapped from the para rubber tree, its then mixed and mashed and rolled into sheets, then layered to make a great a great comfortable sole, the best thing is it’s entirely natural not man-made. then covered in two pieces of the finest suede.

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Steve McQueen wearing thick crepe sole desert boots in the film “Bullet”

Desert boots have been worn by all types of famous people, in the 60s Steve McQueen famously wore a pair of thick crepe sole desert boots in brown suede they looked amazing, the boots he wore were Hutton Original Playboys, they went bust in the 70s, they were sold in the states under the name of Players as Hugh Hefner of playboy didn’t like people using his company name “PLAYBOY”,  what made McQueen`s character stand out “Frank Bullet” he wore desert boots with a pair of charcoal trousers in the office, this was a revolution in its self, normally if people worked in an office they wore proper shoes, deserts boots were no longer just casual shoes but every day wear.

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Even Prince Harry wears desert boots

Over the last couple of decades desert boots have still maintained a cult following, and have been worn by the likes of Bob Dylan, The Beatles, even Prim Minster`s, they became the foot wear of choice for the mods, the desert boots appeal was adopted by all types of people, that`s why it became such a style icon, the desert boots have been even copied by Marks and Spencer.

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http://www.clarks.co.uk

The great thing about desert boots is they go with most outfits, but its all about the colour that you choose, if you go for crazy reds and bright oranges your limited, but if you choose brown or sand even navy your better off, my favourite colour is cognac brown very rustic with a rich sheen to it, because most fashion labels and stores make their own desert boots now you can pick up a pair for around £20.00, but if you want the originals your looking around £65.00 a pair.

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The other great thing about desert boots they are unsex so both boys and girls can look stylish too.

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With desert boots you know your able look smart even with jeans, they are very chic with an urban twist

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If your someone who has to wear a suit for work dress it down a touch with a pair a stylish desert boots

I’m a lover of the desert boots I own 5 pairs, they are super casual but practical, if your new to desert boots get a pair today you wont regret it, they will become your favourite shoes for ever.

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD

Mixing Vintage With Modern Style


The Vintage look is fast becoming something that every stylish person is going for, in today’s society of throw away fashion, clothing and accessories are not made to the highest standard’s like they used to be, but with vintage pieces this is what you get, about a 10 to 20 years ago certain pieces like silk scarfs and cufflinks would cost you about £40 to £50 you now can pick them up for as little as £5.00, the thought of wearing some thing that some one else owned really puts people off going vintage, this I agree with but I’m not on about clothing I’m on about accessories, but now and then I invest into a vintage pucker blazer if I like it, when I visit  different  country’s I always hit the back street chunk stores, on one of my last European trips I went to Tallinn, in Estonia,  we found many shops selling vintage pieces, in one shop I brought a vintage razor and four pairs of cufflinks it cost me just £20.00, my friend Peter picked up a vintage Finnish navy style pea coat, it was an amazing find he wears it with some Levi`s and looks very stylish,   Key to the vintage look is how you incorporate it in to your every day wardrobe, if you just wore vintage pieces it would probably look like you have just raided your granddad wardrobe,  so what you need to do first is think what vintage pieces would look great with your wardrobe.

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Now if your looking to give your dress shirt a classy stylish look, go for vintage cufflinks, here we have a set of art deco emerald stone in a gold finish, they are just stunning and scream quality, add a suit or blazer your looking the business, these were only advertised at £12.00 on the net.

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Now if your looking to dress up your dull brown blazer, a silk scarf is a great choice to add character and style, this classic silk scarf is in a neutral beige base colour but with a striking green and red design, it brings life to the blazer and looks amazing, the cost for this vintage piece was only £6.00

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When it comes to waistcoat’s you very rarely see people sporting a pocket watch chain when they wear a waistcoat, a pocket watch chain is stylish also it gives your out fit a bit of bling, here we have a stylish black velvet waistcoat adding the silver pocket chain really brings it alive, what I love about this chain is the silver thob that hangs from it very retro but stylish.

Finding vintage pieces is not hard there are hundreds of websites selling vintage clothing and accessories, eBay is a great place simply put in the search bar vintage followed by what your looking for i.e. cufflinks, scarfs, on the settings change it to a world-wide search, when your on holiday find the back street stores have a good mooch about, barter have fun,  when I look for vintage I look for great cufflinks silk scarfs also pocket squares and the odd pocket watch, I love it when people say ” I like that ” I then say it’s a vintage piece they go no.

One of the best things about going vintage is having some thing no one else has, it’s all about individualism, your own style and if you choose vintage this is the style you will get, very rad but super stylish.

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD

Looking Swanky And Dapper In A Velvet Blazer


Velvet is a very old stylish material, Velvet is a type of woven fabric with a short dense pile, giving it that unique velvet feel, it can be made from natural or manmade fibres, years ago only people of nobility wore velvet garments, it was worn by kings in the middle east before trade routes opened up, once trade routes opened up spices and fine fabrics found their way in to Europe, most of it found its way to Italy, soon European  weavers were making their type of velvet weaves, there are hundreds of pictures of kings and queens wearing swanky velvet garments, velvet garment has a unique way of shimmering due to its unique make, but as times changes so does fashion velvet became less fashionable, over the next couple of hundred years velvet was used more for special occasions like weddings or Christening’s, but real gentlemen would love to wear a smoking jacket when at home.

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Navy Blue velvet tuxedo jacket in a smoking jacket style

The smoking jacket was really the first velvet casual jacket, but you didn’t wear it out you wore it in the house, the classic smoking jacket is a mid thigh-length jacket made from velvet, silk, or both. It has a shawl collar and turn-up cuffs and toggle or button fastenings, or may simply be closed with a tie belt. smoking jackets are still worn to this day, one guy who’s always wearing one is Hugh Hefner creator of playboy, Fred Astaire was buried in his dapper chap to the end.

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The Moody Blues were famous for their crushed velvet suits and jackets they wore on stage

But during the 60s crushed velvet and frilly collars and cuffs became fashionable, a lot of young designers were graduating from the Royal College of Art and London College of Fashion, rents were dirt cheap on Kings road and Carnaby street for simple shops, soon boutiques were opening all  over the place, in the early 60s Edwardian style was in fashion, people like the moody blues were soon seen wearing blue velvet trousers very nice, but by the mid sixty’s velvet was out in was more street style jeans and T-shirts

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Austin Powers wearing his swinging sixty’s velvet shagging outfit

Over the last couple of decades the Velvet blazer has been lampooned, Mike Myers dressed his character Austin Powers wearing a velvet suit with frilly cuffs, shagging his way through the 60s then again in our time, another guy that didn’t do the velvet blazer any favours was Liberace, he was an American pianist and entertainer who dressed up in lets just say very poncy outfits that scared young kids, so by the late 90s velvet blazers were not cool at all thanks to these jokers.

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Giorgio Armani wearing a super plush black velvet blazer

But then Giorgio Armani came to its rescue, he redesign it and gave it a stylish twist, soon the velvet blazer was making appearances on the red carpet, one of the people bringing the velvet blazer back into the lime light is Eddie Redmayne he wore a black one at the 2015 Golden Globes then a navy blue one at the 2015 Baftas, so the velvet blaze is back in vogue people, its time to shine and look dapper with a stylish twist.

The velvet blazer is some thing that can be worn for formal or dress down it’s not just for night at the theatre,  normally I find some images to give you some ideas in how to wear this swanky piece, but what I’ve done today using the same blazer is given you three looks, because it`s all about adapting your wardrobe for every day use and that’s what you can do with a velvet blazer.

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for a smart sartorial office look I’ve chosen a black two button velvet blazer, added some plush grey flannel trousers with a classy dress shirt, then to finish this retro look I’ve gone with a black silk knitted tie, you could add a nice pocket square or a tie bar to just finish the over all look.

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Now if you want a stylish street style look a black velvet blazer can give you that edge, I’ve gone with a simple black and white print T-shirt from Ark Angel Apparel, added some indigo black Levi`s 501 in a straight fit very classy but casual, you could add a nice silk scarf or again a nice dapper pocket square.

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Dressing casual with a smart twist can also be achieved with a velvet blazer, here I’ve chosen a simple medium purple roll neck sweater that just looks amazing with the black velvet blazer, but the best point is it would look great with the trousers or the jeans, just add some snazzy shoes or again a pocket square or silk scarf.

The Velvet blazer has come along way, from rich toffs to 1960s long-haired free loving puffter boys , to the sartorial look it brings today, having a velvet blazer in your wardrobe will give you so many stylish looks.

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD

The Classic Essential Duffel Coat


Duffel coats are one of the most stylish iconic coats ever invented, they have been worn by Generals, film stars. famous artists even school kids, the reason “why”, they are such a super practical coat to wear in the cold months, its down to it simple design with a toggle fastening, the original duffel coats were worn by sailors on war ships in the first world war, it was chosen because of its thick coarse woollen material, the name comes from Duffel, a town in the province of Antwerp, Belgium, where the material originates, duffel bags were originally made from the same material, it is thought that the Duffel family later changed to Duffell are responsible for the spread of the garment, but this can not be confirmed, the original duffel was not made from the this fabric, it was made from a double-faced boiled woollen cloth with a twill structure.

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Sailors Wearing duffel coats while on convoy patrol

Duffel coats owes it popularity to the Royal Navy , during the first World War they found them self’s patrolling the Atlantic ocean escorting convoy ships, in winter the Atlantic can be a very hostile place to be, so they needed a coat for its sailors it had to be easy to put on also loose-fitting so it could be worn over their uniforms, they were issued with a camel duffel coat, its design was modified slightly due it being to loose-fitting, sailors found it hard to keep warm in the loose-fitting coat so it was modified into a more narrow fit, but it still included a neck strap, three front wooden toggle-fastening with a rope or leather fastenings, two large outside patch pockets, and a bucket hood it was made over sized so sailors could still wear caps, they loved the coats most of all because they didn’t have to take their gloves off to fasten the front of the coat due to its hook type toggle fastening, it got the nick name of the convoy coat, it was used by the navy in the second world war to, it was famously worn by General Montgomery in Africa where is gets really cold during the night, even David Stirling founder of the SAS was a lover of the duffel coat and was photographed wearing it on patrol, in 2002 the SAS opened a memorial to him near Doune, Scotland, it features him wearing his classic duffel coat standing on a rock.

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David Stirling wearing his duffel coat on patrol

After the war young ex-service men went back to college, certain key pieces like desert boots and duffel coats didn’t get handed back into the quartermaster, they found them self’s being worn by college students in Oxford and Cambridge, soon younger students were looking for the same look, due to large stocks of post-war military surplus coats they were able to get their hands on them, they also became a uniform for people who were anti-government, left wing, people like Michael Foot Labour MP wore the famous duffel coat even Tim Sandler, during the 1950s and 1960s the duffel coat reached new heights, soon British students were going to college in the US as exchange students, they took with them their duffel coats, soon American students were wearing cords & duffel coats with big scarfs, after the 1960s duffel coats  didn’t reach those heights again.

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Students wearing duffel coats n 1962

Glovers are one of the makers and suppliers of the original Monty duffel coat, in the 1950s Harold Morris who was a glove maker, got his hands on some surplus duffel fabric and started to make them for the consumer market with great success and glovers to this day make the best duffel coats going, but key to their success is keeping the coat to the original design, but you can now get the coat in any colour you want, the original duffel coats were made very loose-fitting, these days they are made in a more narrow fitting with a straight seam down the front, the other key features of a duffel coat are.

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  • Cord and toggles fastening are probably the most iconic feature of a duffel coat
  • Collar bar the duffel coat has a bar under the collar, which is closed by buttons
  • Shoulder pads that feature a double layer, it helps to repel water and wear and from wearing bags
  • Patch pockets are traditional on a duffel coat newer designs have flaps on the pocket
  • Traditional duffel coats didn’t have a lining newer designs have a checked lining
  • Original duffel coats had a bucket hood newer ones have a pancake one with studs

http://www.gloverall.com

Duffle coats are still very stylish it’s all about what you wear with it, think of colours reds and yellows to mix with camel or a navy duffel, they look great with chunky knitwear, chinos and jeans with trainers or boots, adding a chunky or silk scarf to finish the look.

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If your looking for business classic coat then adding a duffel coat to your wardrobe will give you a classic stylish piece for seasons to come.

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  Duffel coats are great for a street style look, adding some straight fit indigo jeans a pair of casual boots then adding a vibrant scarf will give your outfit character and a great layering effect.

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You now can get duffel coats in most colours, so if you’re a snappy stylish dresser and you like to make a big entrance, a duffel coat in a vibrant colour is some thing you need in your wardrobe.

I’ve never been a fan of the duffel but with the new stylish designs you now can get I would be happy to have a duffel in my wardrobe.

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD

The Rise Of The Artisan T-Shirt


There are more T-shirt apparel company’s than ever before, in the 70s screen printing T-shirts boutiques were popping up all over in London & New York,  such designers like Vivienne Westwood became famous for their amazing art work they produced on their T-shirts, but soon bigger company’s like Ralph Lauren started produce their own T-shirts, they didn’t use screen press but big printing press they could produce thousands in one day & they were cheaper, through the 80s printed t-shirts become synonymous  with punks, with messages against Margret Thatcher and the government at the time,  through the 90s t-shirts continued to be printed with many screen prints and designs,

Over the last couple of years with the on set of social media, small fashion designers  can get their designs to a bigger audience, more and more people are looking for something stylish but different, company’s like Johnny Cupcakes, Ark Angel Apparel, Aye Kandy Apparel  only design and sell t-shirts and sweat shirts with amazing designs nothing else , so let’s have look at some of their designs and what’s made these company’s such a success.

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http://www.johnnycupcakes.com

Johnny Cupcakes apparel was started by Johnny Earle, it uses cup cakes as the prominent design motif for all its designs, Johnny Cupcakes from when Johnny used to be called nick names by his work mate`s, they would come up with a different one every other week, soon they were calling him yes Johnny Cupcakes he liked the name, he was all so in a band and made t-shirts by screen printing for them, one day he was printing some t-shirts he made some with  Johnny Cupcake’s on them, soon friends saw them and asked where he got them from, he soon was selling t-shirts  to friends his designs caught on, he now has four stores in the U.S. and one in London. his key design’s mimic classic art pieces by mimicking them with cupcakes.

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http://www.twitter.com/arkangelapparel

Ark Angel Apparel are designers and supplier of urban street ware with influences from religion and history with a modern twist, their unique clothing is both stunning and just amazing, they are from paisley in Scotland, they don’t yet have an online store but you can find them on twitter and Facebook, this is one label to keep an eye out for in the future, their style is inspired by old religious art with a modern twist, their prints are not just eye-catching but also very thought-provoking.

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http://www.ayekandyapparel.co.uk

Aye Kandy Apparel is a street clothing apparel label from Glasgow, Scotland, their design is inspired by tattoo art very bold prints of skull mixed with paisley, black and white prints, creative Director Chris Paterson wanted to come up with some thing that rivalled, the likes of Primark style clothing and your big brands like Diesel and G Star, where you’re paying around £40 a t-shirt  and offer some thing far better that was stylish but also very affordable.

2015 is the year for the printed t-shirt with such rich offerings now available you’re going to look amazing this summer.

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD

Time To Go Bespoke Chaps


Bespoke was a very common word about a hundred years ago, now most people don’t know what it means, and they would just look at you with a blank expression, it means to individual order, custom made, that’s how clothes used to be made, if you were planning to go out about a hundred years ago, you couldn’t just walk down to a shop and pick up some 501s thank you very much sir, no your cloths were made to order, the only places that had clothes on the shelf’s was places like the army, but as fashion changed so did hows cloths were made, in the 1960s fashion changed 100% shops started to make shirts and trousers that could be worn of the peg, shops had been doing this for a long time but not in the volumes that they started then, gone went the days of going to the local tailor picking your fabric & style, getting your first measurement, then your second fitting then finally picking a garment that was tailored for you.

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Bespoke became some thing only the rich and famous could have, but now thanks to the internet sites and traveling tailors, you can get a suit blazer or shirt just made the way you want it made, it is some thing I recommend to every young man to get done at least once in their life time, having some thing made that can put your own stamp on is very unique, you get to choose the cut, the collar, the cuffs, the lining, and when it arrives it says made for “YOU”, not made by bla bla in shitty bla bla, it is something that you will be happy to wear and when people say where did you get that from you would say, oh just from my tailor, your friends will say what !, you say it again yes my tailor knocked this little number up for me, then you show them your personal label with your named stitched in it made from the finest silks.

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Going bespoke is not that expensive ever you can get a suit or a blazer made from about a hundreds pounds with delivery about £150, but before you go guns blazing you need to find out if bespoke is for you, my advise is first go for a blazer very simple choice, you have two choices scour the internet for visiting tailors book a meeting in a local hotel get measured, or you can find bespoke websites where you can log on and choose what you want to fill in your measurements, four weeks later your suit arrives nice, but first let’s go through the process of building your bespoke garment.

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Material yes first you need to pick the material, you can have tweed , plaid, stripe, mohair,wool, my advise is go for wool its an all year around fabric, it keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter, and it looks good, colors it’s up you but personally keep it neutral like a navy or a grey.

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Fit now this where you choose the fit you can for a fitted garment which is meant to give you a slim lined figure or you go with a classic fit which hangs of the shoulders just right my self I all ways go for the classic fit.

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Button front style this is where you choose how many buttons you want on the front for a blazer you traditionally go for two button if you want one go for a one button do it, if you want three buttons on the front its all down to your taste.

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 Time to choose your lapel style, you can go peak lapels, notch lapels, rounded notch, shawl lapels, personally stick to notch lapels very classy that will suit most people.

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Pockets this gives your garment a more layered look there are many combinations we could go for , so to keep it simple if you go for the fitted look slanted pockets, classic fit go for straight pockets, one thing I would include is a ticket pocket on a blazer very stylish.

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Cuffs this is some thing else people over look if you have the choice go for working cuff, most suits don’t have them also you can leave one sleeve button undone to look stylish, also you can choose to get the button holes done in different thread colors, always go for a four button, if your daring go for five guys.

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back vent this is the back style of the garment, rule of thumb is a blazer or sports jacket has a center vent a suit has a double vent i.e vents on side but its your garment you choose.

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Lining now this usually one area that gets over looked, I say be as loud as you like, people wont see it only when you open your jacket, so when you do flash your going to wow people, lining is really down to your choice, my self I love vibrant prints in bold colors, paisley in bright colors, chines red dragons spitting orange flames, colorful peacock’s with multicolored feathers, Rio carnival dancers in reds and shimmering purples. what ever you choose just give your bespoke garment some pow.

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Thread color again another area people miss out on when getting your bespoke garment made you can really personalize it with color, choose a stylish color for button holes & lapel pin holes, not long back I had a navy suit made with an orange lining but to bring the suit together, I had the lapel pin hole and the fourth button-hole on the working cuff stitched with orange silk thread it was the bomb no one has what I have.

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now measurement this is most important thing about going bespoke if you don’t get this right you will have wasted your money, if you’re visiting a traveling tailor he will take your measurements, but if you’re doing it through a bespoke site you need a tape measure and a friend, they will have a video explaining how to take measurements do this at least five times, each time Wright the measurements down if all mirror each other fill in the measurement on the site, but there is an easier option most sites you can just click for standard sizes, so get an old suit or jacket that fits you check the size and click the boxes but you still can pick the sleeve size and garment length just to give you that bespoke fit.

I hope I have given you food for thought bespoke is some thing you should try once in your life.

By
Bob Redfern
BE BOLD BE PROUD

Is Your Man Bag Stylish


Man bags have become an everyday essential for every stylish man, the choices are amazing & colors to,  but still there are men out there who don`t understand what a man bag is, I was in London a couple of weeks ago, the fashion capital as they, I was at canary wharf watching city traders trundle by, admiring the sharp suits pocket squares etc, but time & time again I saw men dressed in a bespoke suit sporting a crappy backpack in multiple colors, its one of the worst looks ever, but the worst thing was the men I saw men carrying man bags they looked cheap nasty things, style is not just about your cloths it`s also about the accessories you choose to use.

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Suits and Backpacks don`t go

So let’s have a look at some proper man`s bag & how to use them right let’s be stylish guys, with mans bags it’s really down to what you use it for, if your just carrying your lunch you need a light stylish man bag, if you travel a carry a lot of kit  like books & laptop you need some thing a bit more substantial but stylish.

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The Satchel style is one of the classics of all men`s bags, it was used by children to carry their school books, so when mans bags started to come in fashion the trusted original was a practical choice, you don`t need to have the buckle on it, the style is ideal to carry your lunch and a small lap top, style wise great to be worn with casual or smart dress.

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Now if you’re a student or carry a lot of paper work a rugged canvas holdall is what you want, with additional pockets & compartments you can carry so much more, with canvas you get some really stylish colors, one of the benefits of having a canvas holdall it can be turned from a works bag in to a stylish week-end bag very practical but super stylish.

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The flight bag is was originally designed for flight crews to carry on board planes, soon Air ways company’s started selling the bags to their customers, these bag a very simple in design they are made very rigid to stand up with a shoulder strap, with a zip opening, they are ideal for a works bag & weekend bag.

So if your going to invest into a man bag get your self a stylish practical man bag that will look stylish with what ever you wear.

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD

Steve McQueen the king of Cool


Steve McQueen was a American film star & style icon, he is known as the king of cool, He was born Terence Steven McQueen in 1930 in Indiana, Indianapolis, he probably got his rebel side from his farther William Terence McQueen he was a stunt pilot, his Mother was said to be a prostitute who drank, she was unable to look after him, He moved in with his grandparents, then he moved in with his uncle Claude, he had good memories of the times on his great-uncle Claude’s farm,  In recalling him, McQueen stated: “He was a very good man, very strong, very fair. I learned a lot from him, on McQueen’s fourth birthday, Claude gave him a red tricycle, which McQueen later said started his interest in racing, when he turned 8 his mum sent for him, she had got remarried to another man, when Steve came to leave Claude gave him a pocket watch with an inscription inside the case.” The inscription read: “To Steve – who has been a son to me, McQueen was dyslexic and partially deaf due to an ear infection, Steve’s time with his mum wasn’t good he was sent back to his uncle Claude, a couple of years later his mum sent for him again she was living in Los Angeles, California, his mum had got married a third time at the age of nine his step farther beat him very bad, very soon he was on the street roaming with gangs committing petty crime, he soon was sent back to Claude for the last time, at the age of 14 he left Claude`s with out saying good buy, he drifted back to his mother, very soon his step farther was beating him again & he was committing petty crime again, McQueen was caught stealing hubcaps by police, who handed him over to his stepfather who beat him severely, ending the fight by throwing McQueen down a flight of stairs. McQueen looked up at his stepfather and said, “You lay your stinkin’ hands on me again and I swear, I’ll kill ya, after the incident, McQueen’s stepfather convinced his mother to sign a court order stating that McQueen was incorrigible, remanding him to the California Junior Boys Republic in Chino, California, here McQueen grew up & matured when He eventually left Boys Republic at 16. When he later became famous, he regularly returned to talk to the boys and retained a lifelong association. over the next couple of years moved from job to job a lumberjack, merchant marine, oil rigger, in 1947 he joined the United States Marine Corp, when he first joined up he was very rebelliousness & ended up in the brig many times, but he soon sorted him self even finding him self guarding the president at the time, his military training would come in use later on in life when he used weapons in films, he left the marines in the 50s, when he left the military he was able to get financial assistance from the GI bill to get into college.

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Steve McQueen in the classic film Bullet

McQueen began studying acting at Sanford Meisner‘s Neighborhood Playhouse, delivered his first dialogue on a theater stage in a 1952 play produced by Yiddish theater star Molly Picon. McQueen’s character spoke one brief line: “Allez iz forloren.” (“All is lost.“), to earn extra money he turned to motor bike racing at the weekend which he became famous for,  McQueen ended up getting bit parts in plays, in 1955 McQueen moved to California seeking better acting work in the movies, he again got bit parts but his break through role was a B movie called the Blob, Steve McQueen the film star had arrived, but his first starring role was in a TV program called Wanted Dead or Alive, he played the role of Josh Randal the bounty hunter, his character was famous for holstering a special sawed-off .44-40 Winchester rifle nicknamed the “Mare’s Leg” he soon was in movies with big stars like Frank Sinatra, what came next was of his most memorable roles, it was  Vin Tanner in the The Magnificent Seven, the film the music was a smash hit it cemented McQueen as A list star, Then came one of his most famous roles as Capt. Virgil Hilts, the “Cooler King” in the great escape he was famous for performing most of his own stunts on set, through the 60s top producers wanted McQueen in their films, he became the highest paid actor in Hollywood history, he gained a anti-hero persona, over the next couple of years he starred in many famous films, Bullet, The Sand Pebbles, The Getaway, The Thomas Crown affair, Papillon, Towering Inferno, McQueen became combative with directors and producers in the 70s  which made him less sort after, he didn’t work for 4 years he ended touring america on his motorbikes, he returned at the late 70s and made a couple of movies that were launched in the 1980, it was around this time it was revealed he had cancer, on 7th November 1980 Steve McQueen passed away  after surgery to remove tumors from his neck and liver.

The style icon still lives on today his estate is one of the top ten highest-earning deceased celebrities, this is because Steve McQueen lived life to the full, he had style like no other man, the way he carried him self was amazing, what ever he wore or drove or rode he made it look cool, to this day certain pieces that he wore or used still use his image to sell their products.

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Steve McQueen loved stylish but practical things, so when it came to sunglasses he chose Persol true Italian style, Persol were designed by Via Caboto he made technical advanced glassed, designed to satisfy the demands of pilots and sport drivers who requited comfort, protection and optimum vision, The blue-tinted sunglasses (Persol 714) worn by McQueen in the 1968 movie The Thomas Crown Affair sold at a Bonhams & Butterfields auction in Los Angeles for $70,200 in 2006 after McQueen`s  death Persol dedicated a collection to him.

http://www.persol.com

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When Steve McQueen started bike racing he needed proper bike Jacket that was rugged but practical, he chose a British brand called Belstaff, the Trialmaster is a classic, belted, four pocket jacket, cotton treated to protect against rot, fungus & water, storm cuffs with poppers, it was made popular by trials riders in the fifties and sixties. It was worn by factory test riders as well as competition riders like Sammy Miller and Bud Edkins,

http://www.belstaff.co.uk

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Steve McQueen also loved Harrington Jackets again it was down to their practicality, they were a short bomber style jacket undisputed iconic garment from the collection, chosen by some for its straighter silhouette. Water repellent poly/cotton outer. Coolmax cotton/poly Fraser Tartan lining. Zip front. Double button fastening collar. Two front flap pockets. ‘Umbrella’ back vent. Side adjusters. Made in UK. Regular fit. the brand he chose was called Baracuta

www.baracuta.com

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In the 1970s Le Mans, film he famously wore a blue faced Monaco 1133B Caliber 11 Automatic which led to its cult status among watch collectors. His sold for $87,600 at auction on June 11, 2009, Tag Heuer continues to promote its Monaco range with McQueen’s image.

https://shop-uk.tagheuer.com

Steve McQueen lived by a mantra I live for myself and I answer to nobody.” this sums up the great man he lived life to the full and if any one didn’t like it then to hell with them was his answer, this man has inspired me so much, he changed the way I looked at men`s style he inspired me to start writing this blog on men`s style and fashion. 

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD

Oswald Boateng Fashion Designer


Oswald Boateng is a world-famous  fashion designer, Style icon, Tailor, businessman, celebrity, also showmen yes Mr Boateng has many hats but he’s more famous for his sharp suits & the vivde colors they come in, born in 1968 to Ghanaian immigrants, he had grown up in working-class north London, Boateng was inspired by the immaculate suits his father wore, and received his first suit from his mother aged eight: a double-breasted in purple mohair, he would get up set when his mum put it back into the plastic wrapping, at fourteen, he found a summer job sewing linings into suits,while studying computer science at Southgate college at age 16, he was introduced to cutting and designing by his girlfriend. he started to make his own cloths soon he was designing and selling to his fellow students, he realized that a career in fashion would be more appropriate for him and switched to graduate in fashion and design.  he became obsessed with design, devising a signature fusion of traditional tailoring with exotically colorful fabrics, unmistakable even to an eye as undiscerning as mine, it was not long before Oswald was getting noticed by major fashion designers, he was asked by a friend to help him with to make clothes for a fashion show, and after receiving praise for his work, he was able to sell his own menswear collection to top fashion boutiques in London, very soon he was able open his first studio on Potabello Road in London in 1991, During this time Oswald was mentored by Tommy Nutter but inspired by Giorgio Armani, In 1994, Boateng staged his first catwalk presentation during Paris fashion week, the first tailor to stage a catwalk show in Paris.

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Oswald Boateng the youngest tailor to open a store on Savile Row

In 1995 Oswald opened up his first store on Savile Row,he became both the youngest and first black tailor to open a store on Savile Row, a lot of people said he was too tailored for fashion and to fashion for tailoring  , but Oswald put his doubters to one side & moved on, he wanted to offer some thing different to the younger crowd, his idea was unstructured tailoring, he wanted to create something fashionable but stylish, his design is based on the shoulder line this is key on a bespoke suit, but with an infusion of traditional tailoring with exotically colorful fabrics.

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People said he was too tailored for fashion and too fashion for tailoring

Since then Oswald has dressed film stars to many African leaders, he has been involved in many collaborations, he was made creative Director of Menswear at French Fashion house Givenchy, in 2004 he was asked to design The Coutts ‘World Credit Card’, even designed an affordable line for the high street – o-z for Debenhams, his cheapest suit will cost you more than £1000, while some of his most expensive bespoke suits can fetch up to £20,000

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Ozwald Boateng’s new flagship store and headquarters at No. 30 Savile Row

Boateng’s first flagship store opened in 2008 on Saville Row and Clifford Street’s corner, it was the former old Anderson and Sheppard store, Boateng merged the corporate headquarters of his company with his redesigned flagship store, he currently produces two collections every year which are manufactured at the former Chester Barrie factory in Cheshire, he has a new online store opening soon too.

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The poster for the Man’s Story documentary film.

Oswald has been all so involved in television & movies, he has designed bespoke costumes for,  Hannibal, Lock stock and two smoking barrels,Tomorrow never dies, Sex and the city, Ugly Betty, Eastern Promises, Gangster Number One, Alfie, Assault on Precinct 13, The Matrix, Miami Vice, Oceans 13, and Rush hour, Oswald had a film made about him, it was about Boateng and his business it was filmed between 1998 and 2010, it was a fly-on-the-wall feature documentary, A Man’s Story, it was released in March 2012.

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Oswald Boateng style is traditional tailoring with exotically colorful fabrics

Oswald has now been in the fashion business for over 25 years, in that time he has gone bankrupt once got divorced twice, he`s been awarded a OBE for his services, set up a charity for Africa opened up a flag-ship store on Savile Row and even had a film about him, at 45 there’s lot more petrol left in the tank for this fashion designer to accomplish yet.

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD