Looking Stylish In Tartan


Tartan is very fashionable and stylish, more designers are now using tartan in their designs more than ever before, tartan its self is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours, which is made from wool, but it’s now made from many different type of materials, tartan is heavily associated with Scotland and kilts,  tartan is called plaid in America, in 1746 tartan was outlawed to bring warrior clans under government control, tartan is now the symbolic national dress of Scotland.

a lot of people think each clan had its own tartan this is not the truth, the highlands tartan are really associated with regions and districts, tartan was produced by local weavers using natural dyes available in that area, the patterns were different, people chose what colours they wanted like people today when they go cloths shopping, it was not till the late 19th century that many patterns were created then associated with clans of the highlands.

When Scottish regiments were formed in the British army they had their own tartan designed for them, each regiment like all British regiments had their own customs and certain dress uniforms, one of the most famous was the Black watch their tartan was also known as the black watch tartan, many men served in the Scottish regiment, in time these men left the army and some emigrated to places like Canada, Australia, America, even Europe, they took with them their tartan kilts, which would have been worn on remembrance days, very soon these tartans inspired many designers.

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Black Watch tartan

The Black watch tartan is one of the most used by designers, it gets it name from the dark colours of the tartan, its consists of blue, black, green top check then a blue, black, green, black, blue under check, this allows the opposite blues to carry a different check, the effect is stunning but stylish, this is why I’ve chosen this tartan, you can get many stunning pieces in Black watch tartan.

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http://www.mrporter.com

This stylish field jacket from Mackintosh in Black Watch tartan, is crafted in the UK from  showerproof waxed cotton bolstered with supple oiled leather, this handsome tartan piece is practical and stylish, it’s a part of the Mr Porter Kingsmen collection, it would look great with roll-neck sweater and some brogue boots.

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http://www.ctshirts.co.uk

If your looking to make a statement in style, this 100% pure wool slim fit blazer, in classic Black Watch tartan, will see you turning heads, it comes with working cuffs, also a striking green lining, add some stunning charcoal flannel trousers and a pair of brown suede loafers for a stylish classic look.

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http://www.stuartslondon.com

Now if your looking for a stylish but practical shirt  this Black Watch 100% wool shirt is the ticket,  it comes from the Pendleton Woolen Mills collection, with a stylish button down collar, and branded buttons in a tailored fit, add some Levi`s 501s for urban chic look.

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http://www.wingtip.com

Scottish trousers or Trews  as they are properly known,  are simply tartan trousers in a tapered fit, these trews from Wingtip in Black Watch tartan are 100 % wool,  they look great with a navy blazer and a nice white dress shirt.

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Tartan is very stylish for street style here we have a guy wearing some stylish Black Watch tartan trousers.

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Black Watch tartan shirts are very chic and make a bold statement add some chinos for a stylish look.

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Black Watch wool suits are very chic go for a tailored fit to create a sartorial sharp look add a navy tie.

So you can see having a little tartan in your wardrobe is stylish and very different, there are many different types of tartan to choose from, me I always go for Black Watch to me its more stylish and chic.

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

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

Get The Shearling Look


Shearling is all over the cat walk’s, from coats to bags its the in for look for 2015, Shearling has a 70`s chic about a nod to the classy wide boy, Shearling is a skin from a recently sheared sheep or lamb that has been tanned and dressed with the wool left on, It has a suede surface on one side and a clipped fur surface on the other. Usually the suede side is worn outward, Shearling can be made from real sheepskin or from synthetic fibers, real Shearling breathes and is more flexible than synthetic Shearling, coats and garment are considered luxurious, the lighter the Shearling is, the higher quality it is considered to be. Shearling was at its height during world war 2, Pilots & bomber crew`s flew at high altitudes so they need clothing to keep them warm, Shearling became a classic which made it way into civvy street, in the 70s Shearling was in fashion with all the major fashion labels, but know its back with a bang.

There are two types of design`s I want to share with you first is the classic Del Boy secondhand car dealer style, the other style is a classic & its my favorite the leather Shearling Coat.

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When the BBC came to dress their Del Boy Character,In Only Fool`s and Horses, they needed to dress him in some proper pucker street wear to keep him warm, they chose to dress in a classic Sheep Skin coat, the one they dressed him in came from the Nursey sheepskin company ( www.nurseysheepskin.co.uk ) their classic sheepskin coat is cut generously, with two side vents, large pockets, additional inside security pocket and four leather buttons, with the lush sheep fur surface on the collar & the inside, this is the most iconic Shearling coat design, it comes in many colors from light tan to deep lush brown.

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In the 1930s a parachutist by the name of Lesley Irvin designed a leather flying Jacket , it had to keep pilots warm during high altitudes, but most of all if they had to bail out they need some thing that didn’t get in the way of putting on their parachute, he came up with the R.A.F sheepskin flying jacket, Made from heavyweight sheepskin, its thick natural wool provided incredible insulation. And, while the sheepskin was considered heavyweight the jacket itself was comparatively light and remarkably comfortable. Irvin insisted on the most supple sheepskin: in a cramped cockpit movement was already restricted and no pilot or crew would want to be constrained further still. The Irvin jacket was a masterpiece of design, maximum warmth and comfort combined with maximum mobility. The jackets had long sleeves zipped to enable gauntlets to be worn. The wide collar could be raised to provide excellent insulation around the neck and lower part of the head and face while a belt at the waist to ensure draughts couldn’t drop the pilot’s body temperature and reduce his level of alertness. The original jackets didn’t have pockets as these were not needed, the most distinguished feature is the rich ginger sheep fur surface on the collar & the inside of the Jacket.

The key to wearing Shearling is wearing it with the right clothes & accessories so lets see how fashionistas are wearing Shearling on the street .

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This super uber cool mustard long double-breasted over coat, with a rich plush dark Shearling sheep fur surface on the collar is a stunning piece, the style is very chic but dapper.

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A classy street style look sporting a light tan roll-neck sweater with a rich chestnut-brown leather jacket with a plush ginger Shearling on the inside then to give a stunning look they have added a darker Shearling to the collar very nice.

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If your looking for a Milan or Paris inspiration get a loaded of this dapper fellow, he chosen a deep chocolate Shearling coat with a stunning outer suede finish, it gives his double-breasted pin stripe suit outfit a stunning finish..

If your after a chic 70s look get some Shearling in your wardrobe for 2015, if you get the right coat you will have classy coat for many winters to come.

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD

The Art of Denim Clothing


As a lover of fashion I’ve always had a bit of denim inn my wardrobe, I can remember my first skinny dark jeans in the 80`s,  they were by Dark horse god I loved them, I got my first denim jacket when I was 11 it was a stone wash Wrangler, I thought I was the dog`s balls, my favorite Jeans were my stone washed Levi`s 501`s, I got them in the summer 1987 when Levi`s were at their height, they lasted me up to my 16th birthday, as a young lad I had worn them to the park out to the school disco, you name it I did it did it in those jeans, but we all grow up as kids, so I had to say good-by to my number one favorite Jeans,

I always thought denim came from the good old USA, bit how wrong I was, denim is a sturdy cotton warp-faced twill textile in which the weft passes under two or more warp threads. This twill weaving produces the familiar diagonal ribbing of the denim that distinguishes it from cotton duck, The name “denim” derives from the French serge de Nîmes, referring to the city of Nimes, the word Jeans is also French for Genoa, Italy,  this is where the original denim Jeans were made, as immigrants moved to the new Americas, they brought with them their customs & traditions, that`s how denim came to the US.

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Levi`s Jeans were all about being masculine

One new immigrant that came to America was Levi Strauss, he set up a wholesale business selling the denim material in  San Francisco, a tailor named Jacob Davies, a Latvian Jewish immigrant, from Reno, Nevada, would buy denim material from him to patch up gold miners trousers,  he had an idea to use copper rivets to reinforce the points of strain, such as on the pocket corners and at the base of the button fly, but he didn’t have the money to purchase a patent, to protect his idea, so he went to Levi Strauss & asked him would he like to go business with him, Strauss provide the material`s, Davies made them,  on May 20, 1873, the two men received U.S. Patent 139,121 from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Levi Strauss Co was born, in the 1890s they invented the iconic 501 five pocket jeans.

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Calvin Klein made denim sexy & desirable

Jeans eventually became more excepted as casual wear, former immigrants returned to their home country’s taking with them the modern jeans, soon subcultures like Mods, Hippy`s, Punks, adopted the Jeans as a part of their look, during the 70,s new designers like Calvin Klein took the humble jeans to new heights, they made the practical jeans in to some thing that was fun & desirable, the 80s was all about denim, rockers wore denim every wore denim, at the end of the 80s the denim dream was over, Levi`s had to close over 10 factory’s, more people turned to casual trousers,

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When fashion changed to more casual chinos denim crashed

But denim is back people and its even hotter than ever, you can mix denim with every outfit if you match it with the right cloths, but one point people its got to be Indigo, stone jeans is what your granddad wears to go shopping in, be bold be proud, it’s all about layering so let’s have a look at some fashionistas wearing some dapper denim pieces.

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This guy has taken the smart but casual look to a different level, but the rolled up sleeve belongs in the 80s other wise Nice.

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Double denim is always a cracking look, what I love about this look is the classic suspenders, the pumps just make it pop.

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Denim was invented for work wear, so matching it with a shawl neck cardigan will give you a raw masculine stylish look.

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Here we’ve got double denim again, then he’s worn a tan roll-neck sweater added a touch of tweed with the waistcoat, then with a great layering effect he`s added a classy short trench coat, very chic with bags of panache.

I don’t wear denim much today, but I’m investing in a new indigo denim jacket this month, I`ve just got a great pair of Levi`s 501s with the red tab guys, denim has a great place in any man`s wardrobe it all about how you wear it & what you wear with it.

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD

The Harrington Jacket


Now when it comes to casual jackets ,there is one jacket I love more than any thing, that is the Harrington Jacket its been worn by Elvis Presley even Frank Sinatra.  I love the way the jacket is put together very simple it has a collar so you can pop it up when windy, a short body so it’s a snug & comfortable fit, also two side pockets with flaps to keep your hands warm on a windy day, a simple chunky brass zip ,due to its simple design its been copied and copied by every fashion brand going ,the lining is usually Fraser Tartan but other brands like to put their own lining inside to show this their brand of Harrington.

Steve McQueen wearing at classic Harrington jacket in Navy Blue

Steve McQueen wearing at classic Harrington jacket in Navy Blue

The Harrington got its name from a character called wait for it ! Rodney Harrington from a soap opera called Peyton Place ,the reason why ? yes he always wore a Harrington simple, but it was invented in the 1930s in the UK but there is a  bit of an issue who actually came up with the design, the two company’s in question are Baracuta from Stockport the other is Grenfell from Burnely, the designs are very similar, but Grenfell’s feels softer & has a beige checked lining lovely if you’re an old dude. The main reason I love Harrington’s is thanks to Steve McQueen he made simple clothing look cool, because he wore a Harrington he made wearing a windbreaker as they are called in America cool  so people wanted them .

Harringtons were adopted by many cultors over the years

Harrington’s were adopted by many cultures over the years

In the 60s Mods started to wear Harrington’s as a part of their look, the brands most associated with mods where Fred Perry & Ben Sherman, in the 70s Skin Heads adopted Black Harrington or Burgundy colored ones as a part of their look, in the late 70s early 80s  scar was in so rude boys adopted the look thanks to bands like Madness, in the 90s the Perry boys as they were called from the Brit pop scene embraced the look, the Harrington still lives on today thank to labels like Pretty Green who have given the Harrington a new fresh look, so I think Harrington’s will still be in vogue for a few years to come. so have a look at the very best in British Harrington’s if you like the jacket click onto the image or link underneath to go to the website

Baracuta Harrington in stone

Baracuta Harrington in stone

http://www.baracuta.com

History says that Baracuta was the first company to make the classic jacket in the 1930s in Manchester Stockport, the design is simple its known for its versatility and water-repellent with a cool mix cotton, also the classic Fraser tartan lining ,two front flap pockets & the iconic umbrella back vent with ribbed waist & cuff.

Grenfell Harrington Jacket

Grenfell Harrington Jacket

http://www.grenfell.com

Now the other the company who claim to be the first to make the Harrington Jacket is Grenfell in Burnley, the design is the same as Baracuta but the cotton is a lot softer, the lining is in a beige check nice for old guys Grenfell is named after the cotton it is made from it’s a very nice jacket .
Ben Sherman US

The Ben Sherman Harrington Jacket
The Harrington jacket is an iconic part of Ben Sherman heritage. This classic example features flap and button pockets with tab branding, centre front zip-through and ribbed hem and cuff. Lined in our house check with an inside patch pocket, this lightweight cover-up is a great seasonal option. Classic Harrington Lined in house check Funnel neck with double button Flap and button pockets with tab branding Umbrella back yoke Ribbed hem and cuffwww.bensherman.com

Fred Perry X Bradley Wiggins Harrington Jacket

http://www.fredperry.com

Now Fred Perry is famed for being a street clothing brand, their Harrington’s are a polyester cotton blend with a bat wing yoke, their lining is done in Stewart tartan, but also a very fitting jacket, I love the Fred Perry Harrington’s in navy with a gold logo it just pops.
Pretty Green Kingsway Harrington Jacket Navy

Pretty Green Harrington jacket comes in a slim fit, with a stylish paisley lining, it has a Pretty Green leather logo, this is a stylish piece that looks the business day or night.

http://www.prettygreen.com

One of the new boys on the block selling their brand of Harrington Jackets is Pretty Green, I will admit it I love them they are amazing, the fit is more of a straight fit with a single button collar fastening, metal zip with leather pulley, button cuffs ,internal back seam with a pretty green leather logo badge on the front ,the lining is pretty greens very own paisley design very suave.

Warriors Black Harrington Jacket

Warriors Black Harrington Jacket

http://www.warriorclothingengland.com

If you want a Harrington Jacket but can’t afford the big labels, then my friends meet Warrior they have been making their own Harrington jackets for years ,their design is very similar to the original but they don’t have a back yoke, the good news they have just started making Harrington’s with the back umbrella vent in a heavyweight polyester.
ETO Jeans UK

I hope again you have found this blog help full if you do have any questions please do ask me

BY

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD