SPRING FASHION ESSENTIALS


Winter has finally ended & the clocks have gone forward, its time to say goodbye to your chunky jumpers & heavy winter coats, we still need our tweed blazers & light knitwear, but its also a great time to get ready for summer too, as Spring can be a warm period too, as with all men’s wardrobe’s key pieces wear out like T-shirts & jumpers, so these need to be constantly replaced over time, so Spring is a ideal time to clear out your old tatty pieces & replace with fresh colorful pieces. Old stock sales should be on soon, also the new summer ranges are coming out. so I’m going to go through a couple of pieces I reckon a stylish man should have in his wardrobe for the next couple of months.

My first piece I think you need is the classic tweed blazer, tweed comes in many colors & amazing patterns, so they can give you added color & style to your wardrobe, my reason for picking tweed is for two reasons, the first is this blog is for men who want to learn how to dress properly and stylish, when you hit 40 +, puffer jackets do not look good on you any more, its time to grow up and start looking like a real man, a blazer is a key piece that can be dressed up with trousers or Jeans, that’s the key a stylish blazer you can use it with almost any thing in your wardrobe.

So my second reason is how Tweed is made its a rough, woolen fabric, of a soft, open, flexible texture, resembling cheviot or homespun, but more closely woven. It is usually woven with a plain weave, twill or herringbone structure. Color effects in the yarn may be obtained by mixing dyed wool before it is spun, Also Tweed is an excellent fabric for summer too, you know! … Rough, thick and water-resistant, there’s nothing better than a tweed blazer to keep you warm and stylish during the most dreary time of year. But just because tweed wears well in wintery weather doesn’t mean you can‘t rock the look all year-long, so lets have a look at a couple of stylish looks to see how a tweed blazer could do wonders for your wardrobe this year.

Tweed Blazer & Denim Jeans

The first image I’ve chosen is a light brown ie tan tweed blazer, the style of the blazer is a standard notch lapel, two button fastening, straight flap pockets, with four button surgeon cuffs, with leather elbow patches, this is a great casual look , the guy has gone for a pair indigo jeans, light bottle green V-neck jumper & striped shirt, the jumper look great with the blazer due to its deep color and the light tan blazer, over all the base colors are all deep rich colors which makes the light tan color pop out, the finishing touch is the pocket square, you could go with chinos with this outfit, this look would look great in the office, mid week at the pub, or a lazy Sunday morning.

The next image is more sartorial than casual, but still casual in the way it looks, the blazer is a hounds tooth check due to its pattern, again a very light tan color, the blazer is cut in a slim fit style, it tappers to the body to give it a more sharper look, the blazer is a two button wide notch lapel, what makes this jacket very casual is the patch pockets on the front, I love how the cuffs give 1/2 inch to show the shirt cuffs, that’s where the sartorial look comes in, the guy has chosen a pair of deep navy chinos & a simple tan belt, with a white dress shirt with no tie, and finished off again with a pocket square, this outfit is more for a evening out or a summer party, even a wedding, you could dress this look up even more with a pair flannel trousers & a stylish tie, the choices are endless.

My next piece is a must have for all men of all ages, yes its the classic denim trucker jacket, this icon of fashion has been worn by at least every pop star or film star in the last 40 years, the jacket, The first recorded jean jacket was created in the United States in about 1880 by Levi Strauss, approximately ten years after he had invented jeans as a new type of work apparel intended for use by cowboysminers, and railroad workers. The “Type III” denim jacket, introduced by Levis Strauss & Co. in 1962, has been described as the jean jacket “to rule them all”. Also known as “the trucker jacket”, design elements of the Type III include a tapered style, welt hand pockets, and bar tacks which hold down chest pocket and sleeve openings, I own at least five types of these jackets, from borg lined , to simple denim ones, these jackets again are so versatile they are like the Swiss army knife of your wardrobe , winter time they are great for layering, summer time keeping the chill out during the evening, don’t think denim jackets are just for young teenagers, they look great on older men if worn right. so lets have a look at what this stylish piece can do for your wardrobe.

Denim jackets are well known for looking great even when your not trying to look stylish, in this look you can see how easily this shows, the guy is wearing a simple white T-shirt & straight leg chinos, a pair of white trainers, the look is simple but stylish, that’s the simplicity of the trucker jacket, it does not take much to look stylish, you can go with denim jeans if you want, but my self I would stick with chinos, I like how the guy dresses up the look with a simple wrist watch, if it was colder you go with a nice mid grey sweatshirt, the choice is endless just keep it stylish & simple.

Denim jackets are not just for dress down they can be used to look dress up, in the look above you can see the guy has gone for a classic white shirt & navy chinos, his choice of denim jacket is a nice dark indigo, he added style by turning the cuffs up and showing the shirt cuffs off, this look would be great for the office even a date at the local restaurant of your choice, I would even added a nice pocket square to the left pocket to a dash of color,you good even wear a nice pair of dark grey trousers, with this outfit to make it even more classy finished off with a pair of monk strap shoes

As I stated above spring is when the weather gets warmer but it can still be chilly in the morning and evenings, so the next piece we are going to have a look at is the most stylish simplest piece of kit you need to own, yes the sweatshirt, years ago I would of never even thought of owning one of these bad boys, but now they are key to my wardrobe in the colder months, A sweatshirt is made with sweatshirt fleece, which is a heavy fabric that is finished on one side and has a soft, fluffy nap on the other. The garment is designed to be worn with the finished side out and the napped side close to the skin, so the air trapped by the nap will help retain body heat. Despite the name, it does not have to be wool; sweatshirts can be made of cotton, synthetic fibers, or other materials, I love sweatshirts as they keep me warm but stylish, with a sweatshirt you can get away with not wearing as many layers as they keep you warm, they come in every color of the rainbow, a lot of men don’t wear them, as they are viewed as sports wear, how wrong you are, be ready to be amazed what you can do with this piece of stylish kit.

Classic Sweat Shirt

The thing with a sweat shirt its not going cost you much to get one, and if you are fairly stylish guy already, you should have the basics to go with it already, I call this a rugged street style look, simple grey sweatshirt & a pair of Indigo jeans & chunky boots, this look is stylish and bang on the money, you could go with really any color and you would look good, try to stay away from Logo Sweatshirts, its hard to look good in something that makes you look like a advertising board, remember keep it simple and you wont go wrong.

The next image I’ve chosen is to prove you can dress up with a sweat shirt, here we have a guy with a sweatshirt in classic marl grey, indigo jeans again & white trainers, then he goes with a camel over coat, this really dresses this outfit up, if you look there is no designer labels on his clothes this proves you don’t need labels to look stylish, he has kept it simple but stylish, with this outfit he could of gone with Navy trousers & Oxblood brogues to really make it pop, sweat shirts are truly underestimated.

My final piece is another classic of men’s wear its the flannel shirt, yes I know Lumber jacks wore them but trust me, a flannel shirt is a stylish piece to own, you can wear it with nearly any thing if you put your mind to it, Flannel is a soft woven fabric, of various fineness. Flannel was originally made from carded wool or worsted yarn, but is now often made from either wool, cotton, or synthetic fiber. … The term “flannel shirt” is often used casually to mean any shirt with a plaid or tartan pattern. so it keeps you warm and stylish with out trying.

My first picture wait for it yes its me, I love plain flannel shirts they look and feel amazing, in this picture I wanted to dress up this lovely dark chocolate flannel shirt, I chose a knitted beige tie & stone chinos. finished of with cognac color suede chukka boots, this out fit look great for the office or a casual meeting even going out for a meal. I could of gone with Indigo jeans & Chelsea boots, remember keep it simple but stylish.

The World is your oyster

To be honest I looked at so many images to find a nice casual way of wearing a nice flannel shirt, and they were all good, so I simply decide to share them all, you can see from the pictures they in many colors of plaid and you get plain if you wanted too, they go good with jeans and chinos, so again if your the kind of guy who keeps his wardrobe top upped with the classics, you will be able to put together one of the looks above, don’t be scared to mix colors, but don’t mix patterns you look like some one has attacked you with a artist set, if you look above they all wear plain jeans or chinos, let the shirt do the talking, keep every thing else quite, style is not what we buy that is fashion, what we do with it is style.

Thats all I have time for today guys, I hope you have found this blog informative and helpful, I don’t claim to know whats in fashion or what the fashion industry are saying is the next big thing, I view fashion in a simple way, I simply look at the basics and put them together, that way you will never go wrong when trying to look good for your age, do not be scared to try new things, if your looking to buy stylish pieces, you do not need designer labels, go to places like, Burton’s, Uniqlo , Mango Man, Next, and many more these places sell good quality clothing that lasts & its affordable, and you can build a strong wardrobe that will last you a long time

BE BOLD BE PROUD

Yours Kindly

Bob Redfern

LOOKING GOOD IN A SWEATSHIRT


Sweatshirts have been a main stay for most young fashionista’s men & women for a long time, they have been sold by Primemark to Hugo boss, they are a universal piece of clothing, they can be used for casual or sports attire even as dress piece for a night out, they are often used as a way for Apparel companys and college’s or university’s to advertise them selfs, some times people will use them to self express who they follow or how they feel by putting messages on the front, but more and more people are wearing plain sweatshirts in vibrant colours as a stayple piece of there outfit, the key to understanding how to dress up a simple sweatshirt, is first understand where it started from and what it orginal purpose in life was so let’s have a look at its humble begings & how this simple piece of athletic sports wear changed the way we dress and express ourselves today.

In 1926 Benjamin C Russel Jr., quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide Football team, was tired of the constant chafing and itching caused by their wool football uniforms.Russell Jr. worked with his father, who owned a manufacturing company, to come up with a better option. At the time, Russell Manufacturing Company made garments for women’s and children’s knit shirts and undergarments.

Knowing the durability and comfort of cotton they created a new practice jersey that was a modification of a ladies’ union suit top from thick cotton that was produced throughout the factory. These loose, collarless pullovers – produced from women’s undergarments to be used as men’s football jerseys – would go on to become an iconic sweatshirt. Russell went on to create a new division of his factory, focusing solely on the production of sweatshirts in the Russell Athletic mills in 1930. Eventually, Russell Athletic mills became Russell Athletic co.

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The Original Russell Athletic Sweat Shirt 1930’s Era

The sweatshirt’s potential as a portable advertising tool was discovered in the 1960s when U.S. universities began printing their names on the medium. For students and parents alike, university names on sweatshirts became the preferred casual attire for exhibiting school pride. The sweatshirt, along with the T-shirt, provided a cheap and effective way of disseminating information on a mass scale. The T-shirt slogan fad of the seventies inevitably translated to sweatshirts. Recognizing the relative simplicity of customization and the power of clever graphics combined with catchphrases, sweatshirts became a vehicle for personal expression for both the designer and the person wearing them.

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1940’S College Sweatshirt

Sweatshirts are arguably a type of sweater, but made of a fabric and cut similar to sweatpants. A sweatshirt worn with sweatpants forms a sweatsuit a kind of exercise clothing designed to raise the core body temperature and cause perspiration in order to lose body weight before a weigh in for a weight divided sport. It is fashioned out of a thick, usually cotton jersey material. Sweatshirts are also almost exclusively casual attire and not dressy as some other sweaters may be. Sweatshirts may or may not have a hood, and may or may not have a zipper. A sweatshirt with a hood is now usually referred to as a hoodie, although more formal media still use the term “hooded sweatshirt”.

Russell Athletic is still going today and still making this iconic piece here is a sample of one of there sweatshirts

It’s In the original cotton grey sweat fabric, with comfort stitching for less irritation and soft brushed fabric on the inside for increased warmth and comfort, sporting knit cuffs & waistband for a snug fit, with there name on the front, but on the left sleeve you can see there logo with there trade mark eagle motif.

This the company logo up front, so if your looking for an original piece you know what to look for, Russell Athletic at this time have a deal with the Harlem Globe trotters to supply all there kit.

During the late 70’s early 80’s, music and culture changed the way looked and dressed, out went the glamrock and Saturday night fever wide collar shirts and big flares, in came a less dress down attuide, more functional clothing was worn, most kids in America would of owned a Sweatshirt as there School or college would of issuede to them as part of their sport kit, if you were a young kid and you were in the Schools/ College’s Basketball or Football team, you wanted people to know you were the man, so sporting your teams swearshirt under a denim jacket, was away of getting people to notice you, before we knew it every one was following this simple teenage dress style, soon young hip hop rappers, were hitting the streets and making a name for them selves, these young kids, didn’t have cash so they wore what they had, one of those key pieces was the classic Sweatshirt, this influenced a generation to dress down & express them selves.

Run DMC were a huge influence On sweatshirts

The Beastie boys were another iconic Hip group who sported the Sweatshirt

During the 90’s fashion the perryboys popped up there heads and disappeared the grunge look came and went, the Goths stalked our bus stations, but one thing all these styles sported was the Sweatshirt, in the 2000 era brands like McKenzie or Duffer surfaced one of there key pieces was the Sweatshirt, soon the sweatshirt was something most kids got dressed in as it was a cheap item to buy and its wad robust, during the later part of 2010 to 2012 the Sweatshirt was seen sported by people like David Beckham or actors like Jason Statham, soon brands like H & M were sighning them up todo photo shoots sporting there style of sweatshirts to sell to the masses.

David Beckham in a H & M Advertisement

David Beckham Sporting a plain Blue Sweatshirt with indigo Jeans

David Beckham in simple grey Sweatshirt

David Beckham sporting the Kent & Cerwin Sweatshirt

When it comes to looking for a Sweatshirt this is the amazing thing they are not hard to find, price wise you can pick up a simple undranded one up for around £8.00, if your looking for branded or more stylish you will pay more, If you are wanting something different but stylish, go to H & M, there sweatshirts are a staple of what they sell, they have alot of plain all stylish & printed ones your looking between £18 to £30, not bad prices if you ask me, the orginals are about $30, I think you can get them through Amazon too. My advice is invest into three plain pieces in Burgundy, Navy, Grey, these three pieces are more than enough to make some great outfits and look stylish.

One of the things l like about Sweatshirts, if you want to make a statement you can, by buying pieces with unique designs and colours, the one above is just amazing you have the rich deep burgundy colour, then a simple drawing in bold white, no writing just a great design, if your looking to bold in your approach to your style, look for pieces like this that will show your indervintuality, loads of people have the Nike & the GAP be different be stylish.

When it comes to styling a sweat shirt there alot of ways you can do this, but one of my pet hates is people wearing matching bottoms, People you look like your walking around in a big romper suit, no style points there my homies, get with it, dress in style and have pride, go out there and rock the show, let me giude you a through a couple of looks, to inspire you and get that grey matter in ones head rolling and clicking in these images are not mine, but l found them on the web, one of my favourite points of call, is Pinterest a great app for style ideas, l do alot of research on there

This Outfit is a classic to put together, this guy a has gone for a plain grey sweatshirt with slim fit stone jeans, he’s added a camouflage M65 field Jacket, finished with low top trainers, this is a more sort of popping around the shop look, dressing down on a Sunday afternoon style, but very casual and it has bags of urban chic.

Now if you want to stand out and want to make a bold statement, colour is key, bold pastal colours, this guy wants all the attention to his top half, the bottom half is the blank canvass, he’s gone for retro plain black running shoes, black socks, added slim fit black chinos, then he has a vibrant striped T-shirt untucked, it kind of breaks up the two plain colours, then he finished it of with the pastal pink Sweatshirt, a bold and striking outfit, this is a evening or weekend Outfit, I like the black but the pink is a little to light for me.

Now if you want to be an average Joe, or your just tipping your toe in how to rock a sweatshirt, keep it simple but basic, dont put on sweatshirts with crap art, ie l love husky or Beer helping guys to bonk, they are not stylish, untill you get the basics right keep it simple and work your way up, this guy has basic boat shoes on with some straight fit chinos, then mid blue Sweatshirt with some small logo, he not setting the world on fire but he keeping it basics and looks good.

Now if you can remember this one its from the David Beckham H & M picture above, so here we see an actual av

Johnny Cupcakes


In 2001 Johnny Earl was working in a music \ comic shop in Brantree, Massachusetts, his co-workers would coin a new nick name for him every week, one of these was “JOHNNY CUPCAKES” , Johnny was in a band called metalcore, one day he was screen printing some T-shirts for his band he printed a couple of with Johnny Cupcakes on them, almost immediately family & friends noticed them & asked where they could get them, seeing a market for screen printed T-shirts he started to sell them to close friends etc, in 2002 he was touring with a band called Broken Wings he took a stock of T-shirts with him, He got the other musicians on the bill to wear them, this gave him a bigger audiences the brand soon gained a cult following, the following year Earl left the band to focus on brand full-time, In 2005 Earl opened his first store in home town of Hull, it was a boat garage Earl and his farther converted it into a retail space, he made the store to resemble a bakery, to give the customers a unique shopping experience, his logo is very retro but amazing simple its a cupcake with crossbones underneath them.
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Johnny Cupcakes Logo

Johnny Cupcakes is a unique label not just in their clothing but also in how their stores are set up, they sell they sell t-shirts , sweatshirts, Hats, accessories like socks & key chains, their style is very unique he does this by taking the mick out of pop culture, also replacing known symbolic icons with cupcakes, these images then are then printed on T-shirts & sweatshirts.

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Flower power by Banksy

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Flour power by Johnny Cupcake

since Johnny Cupcakes opened his first store his business has grown to over 6 stores, 5 in the united states & 1 in London on Carnaby Street, the reason for their success it’s not just down to their clothing, it’s about the brand he’s made it exciting, some thing that people wanted to buy, first of all he calls all his stores “bakeries” not stores, as you enter one of his bakeries you are met by the smell of vanilla ( via hidden air fresheners), the store is then laid out like a bakery, antique fridges on the wall clothing is displayed out on bakery trays or inside glass pastry cases, in one store they have a cast iron stove & 1930`s mixers, they are designed to bring back childhood memories good times in your life, they even hold movie nights showing eight classics like back to the future or the goonies, Every t-shirt or sweatshirt have oven mitt shaped labels on the inside,some times they have hidden messages inside of some shirts, and some times random free goods, when they pack your purchase its put in a pastry box with the company’s logo amazing, even their online store is some thing special,  web shoppers receive random surprises, Including free overnight shipping or an extra t-shirt or hat at zero cost, Johnny Cupcakes don’t spend money on advertising they invest the money back in the company so they reward their loyal customers.

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In side one of Johnny Cupcakes Bakeries

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Johnny Earl inside his store

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Johnny Cupcakes unique packaging

http://www.johnnycupcakes.com

Recently Johnny Cupcakes have done collaborations, with Nickeloden, Warner Bros, & wait for it  ! “Hello kitty”, Earl still maintains 100 % equity of the company, he still guides the company him self, in the early days Earl wanted to keep the company small so he could manage it himself, but due to its success & growing fan base he is now talking with several private equity firms about branding & licensing opportunities, what ever the future holds for Johnny Cupcakes I hope they continue to grow & stay an individual,

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Crossbones black-black T-Shirt

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Eagle Hoodie

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Crossbones Patch Beanie

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Crossbones Socks Red-Black

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Pin Pack

http://www.johnnycupcakes.com

If you decide to get a garment from Johnny Cupcakes I can guarantee one thing your friends wont have any thing like it.

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD