Weekend Travel Stylish Essentials

Its spring the long bank holidays are here that means yes “weekends” away, time to pack your weekend bag enjoy the sun and some beer, but if you’re hitting the beach you want to be looking good and stylish, it’s all about packing the right pieces that are practical but also essential, there are many times I’ve seen guys getting away for the weekend, and they are carrying too much kit, also if your going to fly to Europe you normally can only carry an on board bag, even then they check your case if you’re carrying too much aftershave they even take it off you, so you need to be smart and crafty what your carrying in your bag.



The first thing you need is a stylish weekend bag, forget about those little trolley dolly cases you wheel behind you, get a proper man`s bag that’s stylish but most of all you can get your kit in it, the best type of bag is the classic holdall, they come in leather or other materials, a classic brown or black are the classy colours, the other benefit is they have a shoulder strap, which makes it easier to carry, don’t be a pussy and wheel your case behind you, be a man and carry your case you will look stylish and masculine, I’ve chosen this Kangol antique holdall,  because of its size and striking red and navy canvas stripe stylish design, it has three pockets, a shoulder strap and handles which makes this perfect for your weekend getaway.



The polo shirt is one of the most versatile pieces you can pack for your weekend away, it looks great on the beach and if you’re hitting the clubs its bang on with the money, one of the best pieces is the Lacoste ultra slim polo shirt with tricolour piping on the collar and arm bands, it has a stylish button placket, its inspired and designed for the those weekends away.



Oxford shirts are often overlooked as some thing for the weekend, but oxford shirts look great with shorts or chinos, they are the classic playboy look on the beach matched with some snazzy Ray Ban sunglasses, with one oxford shirt you can get two outfits on a weekend end away, wear it on a night out then the next day wear it with a pair of shorts, it will be broken in a ruffled way but you will look very stylish, this oxford I’ve chosen is from Next, it’s a simple shirt made from real oxford fabric, with contrast trims and button down collar, but the good thing it only costs £20.00 not a king’s ransom.



Weekends away are all about catching some rays dressing down, so every man needs some stylish shorts, for get about sports shorts they are ok for the pool, but when you’re hitting the beach side bars you want to look stylish, go for some chinos cotton shorts in a vivid summer colour, these Faxan shorts in a deep pink come from Joules, they are a smart alternative to chinos, but most of all they look stylish with a oxford shirt or polo shirt.



When it comes to foot wear there are many different pieces to choose from, but for me its a pair of Toms Espardrilles, they slip on your feet like a pair of socks, they have a classic suede insole for comfort, a latex arch for added support, they come in a striking rust linen material, Toms even look stylish with jeans and a summer blazer, classy footwear for your weekend away.



Chinos are a must for any weekend away, great for city breaks or hitting the beach, chinos come in many colours but keep it classy go for a light tan or stone, also when you’re hitting the beach you can just roll up the legs and look stylish walking across  it, these chinos come from River Island in a slim fit in a stone colour, they have a classy button fly, they would look amazing with a blue oxford shirt.



Another piece that would not go a miss is a classy straw Trilby, they are not just stylish but also very practical, if you’re sitting by a beach bar all day you need a little protection from the sun, with this Stetson Raffia straw Trilby that’s what you get, with its stylish navy grosgrain ribbon band you will look dapper and stylish.


As you now when you get your bags checked you run the risk of being told your carrying too much toiletry’s, and then you get told to hand over a bottle of aftershave that cost you £65.00 your going to feel pissed off, you then have to go to the duty-free shop to buy more, so even before you have started your holiday your over a hundred pound out-of-pocket, so invest into some travel aftershave atomiser`s, they are about the size of a lipstick case, you simply fill them with your favourite shave, pop them into your bag, and leave your favourite aftershave at home. your sorted also they fit in your pocket, so if you want to stay fresh all day your covered guys.

Where ever you decide to travel to this year do it in style, have fun enjoy the sun and stay safe on your  travels.


Bob Redfern


Ben Sherman

When it comes to a trend setter Ben Sherman is world leader in the fashion market, The company is named after its founder  Arthur Benjamin Sugarman he was born in Brighton, England, at the age of 20 he moved to the America, he soon settled down in San Fernando, California, It was also while in America when applying for citizenship, that Arthur decided to change his name. Ben is what his family called him and Sherman was a surname that he felt was a good, solid, strong American name. he soon raised family his farther-in-law, owned a successful clothing manufacturing company, this is where Ben Sherman was inspired by the likes of  Brooks Brothers, they introduced the Oxford-cloth button-down collar shirt to America, those shirts were a hit with Jazz players like Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Oscar Peterson. in the early 1960s Ben Sherman was called back to England, his Mother had fallen very ill, Without a job, Ben Sherman decided to use his clothing manufacturing experience and rented a factory in Bedford square, Brighton, Ben started making shirts for other people. But soon his creative flair took over and he started designing his own shirts. a lot of people were asking for the Oxford-cloth button-down collar shirt,  these were only available from official importers who had in effect, cornered this market, so Ben Sherman decided to produce his own version of this iconic shirt, Ben’s design vision added the back hook, the button on the back of the collar, but most importantly his feel and passion for fabric, pattern and colour created a unique garment. The shirt became a hit with Mods, by 1965, the company had opened a small office on the upper floors of an office-block in a London backstreet, This acted as the showroom for their shirt collections, the first Ben Sherman store was opened in Brighton in 1967.


Ben Sherman marketing was very unique they decided to box each shirt individually, which was, in those days against the grain. could also get a tie in the same material, colour was something that particularly intrigued Ben, so he used Oxford fabric in pale shades, pale pink, yellow and blue. He used candy stripes, again, using pale pinks, greens and blues. Peoples’ initial reaction to all this colour was not positive, but typically Ben Sherman pushed ahead as he totally believed in his ideas. he imported the best fabrics from America.
Ben Sherman US

Ben Sherman's Blue Oxford Shirt

Ben Sherman classic oxford shirt

Ben Sherman designs came in when fashion was changing, the 60s was all about being a rebel not conforming, subcultures like  Mods, embraced new fashion & music, with Ben Sherman making waves with his bright coloured  modern shirt, he couldn’t produce them faster enough,Ben Sherman opened a showroom on Carnaby street,  the heart of the swinging 60’s which was in full flow and the atmosphere was europhic.

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Ben Sherman gingham shirt

Ben Sherman continue to produce amazing clothing, from Jeans to polo shirts, also dapper suits, the company is no longer owned by Mr Sherman, he sold up & moved to Australia in the 1970s, the company has changed hands many times, but it still keeps to it original roots of producing amazing cloths in vivid colours with amazing details, they have 16 stores throughout the UK, they have three in London which are on ,Carnaby Street, Portobello Road, Camden Walk, the Carnaby store is their flag-ship store, inside is the Shirt Bar, staffed by “shirt-eliers” who can help you distinguish your button-downs from your pennies. they have also replicated this on their on-line store. the brand can also be found in America, Asia, Australia, Europe, South Africa.

Shirt bar

Ben Sherman`s Carnaby Street flag-ship store staffed by shirt-eliers 


so if your looking for a classy shirt or a great outfit get your self’s down to Ben Sherman or go on-line, after 50 years their style & fashion is still as fresh as the day Ben Sherman put pen to pair to design his classic oxford shirt.


Bob Redfern


Oxford Shirts

Out of every thing you can own a Oxford shirt is a must. you can wear it with Jeans or chinos even shorts also blazers, it has been worn by  presidents also film stars also punks & mods, It’s stood the test of time it just gets better like a fine wine.

So what is a Oxford shirt I hear you say, well if you check out the Web or history books it comes up with many things, it turns out that a Scottish mill in Scotland decide to make some shirt fabrics & name them after famous university’s which were Harvard, Yale, Cambridge and Oxford, the one that took off was the Oxford cloth, it was down to its unique design the threads made from 100% cotton & form a criss-cross basket-weave pattern, making it hard-wearing & breathable.

Criss cross basket weave known as Oxford clothing

Criss-cross basket weave known as Oxford cloth

Because of its design it soon attracted sports people like tennis players to polo players, who would normally play in starch shirts, because cotton is very soft its hard to starch the collars, this became a problem for the polo players because the collars would flap around when they played, so some bright spark came up with the idea of button down collars.

Polo Players wearing the first oxford shirts

Polo Players wearing the first oxford shirts

Soon these shirts started to become fashionable, one person who noticed them was John E Brooks grandson of Henry Sands Brooks, who started the famous Brook Brothers menswear, he had a shirt sent to his store in america and had it copied down to the last details, by the time the roaring 1920s kicked off all the college kids were wearing oxford shirt’s. The preppy look was born, Oxford shirts soon found their way into the Whitehouse senators kissing baby’s were wearing Oxford shirt showing younger Americans they weren’t old and stuffy, soon the classic Oxford shirt became an icon for being cool & lade back,  one young playboy who became famous for his relaxed fashion, was JFK other wise known as John F Kennedy, soon to be president Kennedy he was photographed many times in relaxed poses wearing a Oxford Shirt.

JFK in a Oxford shirt and shorts

JFK in a Oxford shirt and shorts

The Oxford shirt went through many changes, but in the 1970s Ralph Lauren made the Oxford shirt cool again, he gave it panache he made young men look masculine when they wore his shirts, he was famous for his light blue Oxford shirt, every young man who went to a prestigious college had a Oxford shirt, in the UK it was the Mods who took to wearing them, and the label to be seen in was Ben Sherman, but the differences in the UK was most young people liked the short sleeve version .
Terraces Menswear - Fred Perry

Mods loved style they only wore the best and that was Ben Sherman

Mods loved style they only wore the best and that was Ben Sherman

During the 1970s & 1980s mens fashion went through many changes, the preppy look was still alive and kicking, but shows like Miami vice made wearing cotton suits with rolled up sleeves and  a T-shirt cool, so people wore more sportswear than real cloths, but classic icons never die, soon people realised dressing like some 80s pop star was very naff indeed, but thanks to Ben Sherman , Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers who believed in their Oxford Shirts, they are once again in demand by fashion conscious young men, who love to look good, so why have these shirts lasted this long, it’s down to their brand & their iconic Status, There are a lot of company’s who claim to have the best oxford shirt, but 9 out 10 times its just a standard poplin shirt with button collars, to me there only three company’s who stay true to the original design, yes they have all put their own spin on it, but it’s still a true Oxford shirt at the end of the day the company’s are as follows.

Ralph Lauren's white Oxford shirt

Ralph Lauren’s white Oxford shirt

 Ralph Lauren


Ralph Lauren took the Oxford shirt to a different level it defined a generation, it was very much associated with the preppy look, if any thing he made the blue Oxford shirt a style icon,  the shirts themselves come in two fits slim fit & custom fit, and come in different colours the cost for one of these fine shirts is £85.00  well worth the investment .

Brooks Brothers blue Oxford shirt

Brooks Brothers blue Oxford shirt

Brook Brothers


Brook Brothers oxford shirts were the first to be mass-produced, I think the design just gets better with age, its made from pure American grown cotton, they claim to be the innovator of the button down collar, they inspired the Ivy League look,  you can tell a Brooks shirts on the barrel cuffs they have 6 leats  whirring this is their signature .They come in Traditional fit , Slim fit, X Slim fit for a true piece of American history your looking at $95.00 again well worth the investment .

Ben Sherman's Blue Oxford Shirt

Ben Sherman’s Blue Oxford Shirt

Ben Sherman

The Original Button Up Since 1963.


Ben Sherman Oxford shirt was influenced by the Ivy League its self, but Ben Sherman added his own touches to this classic, he put a back hook on his shirt also a button on the back of the collar, this was his way of saying this is my shirt, he used a lot of pale colours, he also boxed his shirts individuality, he has dressed five generations & the brand is still going strong, but the sizes are really for small-sized people, your looking around £125.00 for a slice of British history.

Ben Sherman US

The way you can wear Oxford shirts is endless, it goes with every thing from chinos to kilts trust me invest into a Oxford shirt you won’t regret it.

Oxford shirt & shorts

Oxford shirt & shorts

Navy Blazer & White Oxford shirt

Navy Blazer & White Oxford shirt

Chinos & White Oxford shirt

Chino & White Oxford Shirt

www.mainlinemenswear.co.uk - Mainline Menswear is the UK's leading independent retailer of Mens Designer Clothing.
I hope I have ignited your love again for a classic icon, that will just get better as times go’s by, thank you for taking the time to read my blog, by the way if you have any questions please do contact me I would be happy to talk to you.


Bob Redfern