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 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

The classic T-shirt


Is a style of fabric shirt, named after the T shape of the body & sleeves, it’s also normally has a crew neck but  you can get them in a V-neck, the fits can come in slim & general fit, they are traditionally made from cotton, and a have a smooth feel to them, the T-shirt evolved from underwear, During the first world war T-shirts were issued to sailors US sailors, they soon became popular with manual workers as undergarments, because it was easily fitted & easily cleaned also very inexpensive, parents started buy them for their kids to wear, after the World War II ex-service men started to wear them in civvy streets, then came it crowning glory, Marlon Brando wore a simple T-shirt in the film  A Streetcar Named Desire, it achieved a fashion icon statues, soon all young kids in college were wearing the classic T-shirt. 

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Marlon Brando in the famous film A Streetcar Named Desire which made the T-shirt fashionable

During the 60s the era of free love & Mod culture, T-shirts became a great way of advertising how people felt & advertising products,  screen-printing also became a cheap way for artists & small company’s to print their own T-shirts, in the 70s one such fashion designer called vivian westwood, designed the famous controversy Lonesome Cowboys image, it was of two naked cowboys only dressed in boots & hats facing each other, their penis nearly touching each other, it was taken away by the police because it was classed as porn at the time.

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Philip Michael Don Johnson in Miami Vice

During the 80s  Don Johnson wore T-shirts with Armani suits on Miami Vice, T-shirts became more of a fashion piece as the decade carried on, through the 90s they stayed a main stay of any mans wardrobe, all major men fashion labels stock T-shirts, there are even company’s who just sell printed T-shirts, the looks & style you can achieve are amazing, a T-shirt is not for casual use, they can be worn for smart dress to take a look at some looks I’ve put together.

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You can see by just adding a simple blazer with a pocket square the T-shirt becomes really classy & stylish

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Lets not for get the classic jeans & T-shirt look

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 Wearing a classic T-shirt with a suit is another classic if you can pull it off

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Another great look of the classic T-SHIRT is the simple dress down look mix it with a stylish hoodie for those Sunday walks to the shop

I normally don’t make a point about people wearing crap items of clothing, But a pet hate of mine is Grown men wearing cartoon T-shirts & they think they look cool, please these items of clothing are fine to lounge around in at home, but in public you look like a proper dick dead, dress your age & have some pride people.

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Funny but what a dick head

If your going to buy T-shirts look at the label, if it says skinny fit & you’re a fat guy, you will end up looking like beach ball, buy the right size & fit, to me you should have 3 plain T-shirts in your wardrobe, Navy,Grey,White these will give you the minim styles & looks you need,

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD