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

What is STYLE ?


I hear the word style used to often, but to me a lot of people don`t know the difference between style & fashion, to me style never dies, fashion does, style is the manner or the way you wear your cloths, by creating a distinctive appearance, some people have natural style some don`t, for those who don`t understand style they will see a certain look then try to emulate it, some times with disasters effects,  you should be bold & proud when it comes to your wardrobe, style is some thing you achieve over time, its like a fine wine it takes time to mature and become special.

There are certain style icons who had style and to this day we still look at them for inspiration, one such icon was Steve McQueen, he has the title of king of cool, he had an uncanny way of taking a simple garment & making it look stylish, certain brands came synonymous with him like Persol, Belstaff, Baracuta, his style was masculine he would wear simple T-shirts or shawl neck cardigans even classy chinos, a lot of people have mimicked his style, the reason why he kept his style simple, last summer I attend a garden party, in a blue oxford shirt & tan chinos with brown loafers and Persol sunglasses, people gave me compliment after compliment, all I did was copy Mr McQueen.

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Here Steve McQueen wears casual chinos, crew neck burgundy sweater with a white shirt, he finishes it off with charcoal blazer, the blazer and sweater complement each other, add Steve McQueen`s casual stance, you have an amazing look.

Another style icon who was stylish, was the Duke of Windsor former King Edward VIII, he was known for bucking the trend, the Duke of Windsor was world-renowned for was his style, not only by his choice in clothes, but how he matched them and how he wore them, it was his modern approach to clothes that made him stand out, he showed disregard for the establishment, he preferred comfortable clothes, on one occasion he was asked to inspect some troops he turned up wearing Oxford bags trousers very loose-fitting trousers, to this day people still take inspiration from this man.

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Here Duke of Windsor wears a check suit most probably wool, the suit is a two button jacket, here he sits with one button done up, the fit is amazing, he chosen a neutral plain color for his tie & shirt , which then gives the suit more definition.

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This man has style, I don`t like the rolled up 80s sleeve look, but the casual chinos with the deep red shirt is a classy touch, he has then added the trench coat to give a smart look, to finish it off he chosen a vibrant silk scarf that goes with the coat & shirt, finished with suede brogues.

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This stylish look is simple but timeless, classic oxford shirt with Navy chinos in a tapered fit, followed by some stylish shoes.

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l like this mans style, he gone with a modern double-breasted prince of Wales check suit, added a stylish waist coat, it’s the red & black that makes it all go together, finished in that fantastic white dress shirt without a tie, most of all his confident stare .

Learning what style is important if you want to look good, fashion comes and go`s, Style never does, it`s all about how you match & wear your cloths.

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD`

Shawl Neck Cardigan


The classic Shawl neck cardigan is one of my most favorite pieces of knitwear, it was a favorite of Steve McQueen the king of cool, a Shawl neck cardigan gets its name from its collar design, which is a collar rolled back in a continuous and tapering line along the surplice neckline of the cardigan, they normally come in a chunky knit, its been worn by film stars & fashion leaders for years, it comes into its own  during the winter months, I own five shawl cardigans in vibrant stylish colours, the key to wearing a stylish shawl neck cardigan is layering also they are very practical.

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This classic Shawl neck cardigan has leather buttons

There are so many different styles & colours to choose from, so if I was you first go for a plain one, choose a neutral colour such as Navy, Red, Deep Purple, go chunky chunkier the better, cable knits are a great choice for style, the fit should be snug on your shoulders, sleeves end at your wrist and slim through the sides, there’s nothing this piece can’t do, the shawl neck cardigan is a rugged piece so it gives the wearer a masculine look.

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This is my favorite picture of Steve McQueen here he wears a classic navy shawl neck cardigan with chinos & desert boots.

The key to wearing a Shawl neck cardigan is layering it with key pieces from your wardrobe, my favorite look is wearing one with a Oxford shirt & plain chinos very preppy but stylish, take a look at these pictures I’ve chosen I have tried to find pictures that capture the style but also the practical side of this stylish piece.

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If you want to create a stylish casual look mix your shawl neck cardigan with a crew neck T-shirt & indigo jeans, in this picture the mans wearing a black cable knit shawl neck cardigan with a toggle fastening, which gives great definition to the outfit.

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Leave the jacket at home, a shawl neck cardigan is not just stylish but it’s also very practical, invest into a 100 % wool piece, as wool will keep you warm & cool, but it will give you a rugged masculine look.

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Hitting the beach then wearing a cream or beige shawl neck cardigan will give you a nautical sartorial relaxed chic look just don`t for get the shades.

I hope I have given you some ideas, trust me getting a shawl neck cardigan wont just change your winter wardrobe it will also give you a stylish look during the winter months.

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD

Roll-neck sweater


The Roll-neck sweater is a sweater with a close-fitting , round, and high collar that folds over & covers the neck, they move with the body, also they are flattering too, because they accentuate the face & elongate the figure, its known by other names like, Turtle neck, Skivvy, Polo neck, Roll-neck clothing have been worn for century’s, In the 19th century they were worn by naval officers & the fascists black shirts, french philosopher Michel Foucault loved them, They became a hit in the united states when Noel Coward started to wear them over there,

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Steve McQueen in Bullet wearing a blue Roll-neck sweater

During 50s women started to wear the Roll-neck, the Roll-neck became a anti-tie symbol, for people who hated formal wear but they still wanted to look good, during the 60 s & 70 s the Roll-neck was lampooned, nearly every bond movie or spy film had bad guys dressed in black in Roll-neck`s, but young & old academics, artists and puffy Shakespeare loving actors, kept the Roll-neck in the mainstream.

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Roll-neck come in many colors

Roll-necks have caused controversy, where men have decide to buck the trend & rules, they have decide wear a Roll-neck to weddings & restaurants,where normally the dress code is tie only, there was reports in the papers of fierce conflicts at restaurants,

The Style of the Roll-neck makes it a great piece to wear, you can wear it on its own, add a blazer for a super chic look, the most common color is black or navy, what ever you wear with the Roll-neck your guaranteed a stylish look, take a look at these stylish looks they will give you some ides how to wear a Roll-neck.

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for a stylish chic look go for a navy Roll-neck & indigo jeans

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if you’re wearing a Roll-neck simply dress it with a stylish blazer

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mixing a Roll-neck sweater with a Camel over coat is stylish & chic

Roll-necks sweaters are amazing, to me you need at least two in your wardrobe, go for Navy & Black, you can get them from most apparel shops, I love to wear my Roll-necks with a blazer & over coat the look is just amazing, the Roll-neck can be worn with any thing, Denim jackets, blazers, overcoats, they are just so universal you just need to buy one.

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD