• Tips
  • Matching Belt And Shoes

    belt shoe combo above the ankles

    It’s well known and established to have matching belt and shoes. The fact that you’re even on a fashion blog in the first place means you have some understanding of fashion. Black with black, brown with brown, tan with tan and so on and so forth. I don’t wish to bore you with the basics. With this post I intend on helping you with some tips as to how you go that extra mile and really match your belt and shoes.

    2 Essentials – Black/Brown & The Tanned Belt

    Black – The black belt is a must. Don’t cheap out here. I have a few black belts but the belt I’ve been wearing for the last year is a beautiful Tommy Hilfiger leather belt. I bought it on sale from House of Fraser for £26.

    TOMMY HILFIGER Leather Belt

    Black belts go well with everything, mostly because they go unnoticed by many. Having matching belts and shoes in black is the easiest thing to do. People with a keen eye will notice your belt and they will have a new found respect for you when they see the quality of your belt. This is something that has brought about many compliments for me, I recommend grabbing yourself a nice thick, genuine leather belt, preferably with a small designer logo on it.

    Brown – There are a hundreds of different shades of brown. Finding one to match your shoes will be difficult. I solved this issue pretty easily. I bought a standard brown belt for £10 from Marks & Spencer. I’ve owned it for ages and it matches loads of stuff. If you put the belt next to the shoes, it would be slightly off but who cares. Not all of us have the money to own fifteen different belts.

    John Lewis Reversible Leather Belt, Black/Brown

    Tan – If you have a hard time matching brown with brown you will most definitely have a hard time matching tan’s. You can’t really have a tan belt that goes with everything. I wouldn’t advise having a basic tan belt, best thing to do is take your shoes with you when you go to buy a belt and just place them next to each other.

    Can You Be Too Matchy?

    Matching shoes and belt is a must. It’s never too matchy, don’t listen to anyone who says otherwise. With that being said, matching more than your belt and shoes, like the other types of leather accessories are a bad idea. Wearing leather driving gloves or carrying a leather briefcase that matches your shoes and belt will look far to pretty. If pretty is your thing, go for it.

    Extra Tips

    Leave The Belt At Home

    It’s better to leave the belt at home and go out with your brown brogues by themselves than wear an off belt with it.

    Same Store

    As with the picture above, many good retailers sell belts that perfectly match their shoes in store. If you’re buying a pair of beautifully blended oxblood/brown shoes and the same store sells a matching belt – buy it! If you let that opportunity slip you may never find a matching belt again.

    how to match your shoes and belt

    Don’t Buy A Blue Belt

    Except if you’re following the previous tip and you are buying that belt specifically to match a pair of bad-ass blue loafers, avoid blue belts. Match tan with tan, brown with brown and black with black or blue.

    Always Have Matching Belt And Shoes – You Can’t Afford Not Too.

    Matching Belt And Shoes

  • Reviews
  • WeirdApe – Excelsior Black & Gold Watch Review!

    Excelsior Black & White - Mechanical Skeleton Watch

    WeirdApe Excelsior Magnum Gold – Mechanical Skeleton Watch

    Excelsior Black & White - Mechanical Skeleton Watch
    There are some amazing small companies out there doing very innovative and crazy things for great prices. WeirdApe is one of them, considering all their watches range from £25 to £35 and they have over two-hundred different styles – they’re doing really well.

    WeirdApe have chosen some really creative designs that go really well, you’ll be spoilt for choice. As they all look pleasing and can go with many outfits. You get the choice of many colour sets along with strap colour and material. Some of their designs are in every sense of the word – WEIRD.

    First Impressions: Wow what a piece of art!

    Design

    Once you catch the Excelsior in your eye-sight it automatically makes you go for a double look, you get a craving to want to peer inside it. The kid inside me came out when I first took it out the packaging, I wanted to see it ticking away with all the mechanics moving around.

    The design is simple, gold and silver with a black synthetic leather strap. Anyone could see that the designs at WeirdApe are well thought of while at the same time being kind of crazy. The choice of gold and silver is well combined, for example the gold could be seen on the buckle, head, time-winder and inner clock work. The the silver stainless steel is then added to help make those small details stand out and be easily visible.

    With the gold skeleton design you can see right though the background into the inner clock work, allowing you to see the magic behind how the clock maintains its time. Seeing the magic is my favourite feature, it just amazes me. Undoubtedly most watches in this sort of design will cost you into three figures.

    The clock work can be viewed from the front and back, as there is a clear glass which allows you to look in. Now although it is so cool to have a watch were you can see the clock work, there really isn’t much you can actually see. Still amazing to look at none the less, on the first observation as the WeirdApe have put a skeletal background with static dials and gears to help enhance this feature.

    WeirdApe Cover

    General Use / Description

    The watches dials consist of a hour, minute and second ticker which can be set from the pin on the right hand side. The pin also needs to be used to wind up the clock work as this watch is not battery powered. This can be done by twisting the pin clockwise. You know you are doing this right when you can see the gears moving in the back. Its important to point that out as it did take me a little time to work out how to actually get the watch ticking. I must admit for the first twenty minutes I thought I had been sent a broken watch. Now this function is really unique and gives an old fashioned feel to the watch, however I’d rather just have a battery or even better, a decent watch that ticks away with out the need for batteries or a daily wind-up.

    This is my first mechanical powered watch, I’m not a fan. I’m not sure if this is the norm but since the watch does not have a battery or self winder, the mechanical wind up itself will only last around two days. In a way its still impressive and gives you the chance to crank it up when putting the watch on in the morning. That however is being really positive, in reality I can’t be asked to check the time on my phone then crank my watch up and get it to work accordingly.

    Excelsior Magnum Gold - Mechanical Skeleton Watch

    Occasion

    Upon getting this watch I was really excited to wear it and did hope to wear at on any occasion. I soon realised that this was not the case and the watch is really just a show piece, to grab peoples attention and rake in the compliments. This mainly is because of the type of style along with it being mechanically powered, which will get annoying when you forget to crank it back. I wore it wherever I could and showed many people to get their opinions on it, the compliments came flying in and people assumed the watch was an expensive timepiece. So thumbs up on the reasonable price tag.

    Durability and Quality

    For the average price tag of a non branded watch, you get a beautiful crafted watch made out of stainless steel with a high grade synthetic leather strap. Only shame for me was that the strap was very stiff and tough from new and even after wearing the watch after a week, it still struggled to fit my hand snugly. I will definitely be replacing the strap with a genuine leather strap. WeirdApe, if you’re reading, fix the straps, they’re horribly uncomfortable.

    Excelsior Magnum Gold - Mechanical Skeleton Watch

    Conclusion

    I really do love this watch and putting the obvious downfalls aside, I would highly recommend getting one for the watch collection. At only £35, you can’t go wrong. The WeirdApe Excelsior is not a watch to wear on a daily basis but it is a great go-to watch when looking to switch things up and grab a few compliments. As a first watch, I’d steer clear and get a reliable watch, but to add to the collection.. Perfect.

    Excelsior Magnum Gold - Mechanical Skeleton Watch

  • Blog
  • To Primark Or Not To Primark

    Primark-Canada

    That is the question, well at least one that I have been asked a lot recently. It would be very easy for me to brush off this question and just simply say; no don’t go to Primark . That would definitely be a contradiction on my part, as I was in Primark yesterday, I did only buy a towel and a washing basket but none the less, I’m “technically” a Primark shopper.

    There are some things that you can buy from Primark that are completely fine and acceptable, such as; homeware and underwear. Primark is fantastic for essentials like bedding, socks and t-shirts and I would definitely go there to buy them. I’m not really one to buy a plain blue t-shirt for £30, but I am happy to pay £4 for one at Primark.

    Things You Must Not Buy From Primark

    Apart from underwear and things for the house, you should not really be stepping foot in Primark . Items to avoid are the ones that stand out in your outfit such as a suit or a shirt that people would notice often. With Primark you can really see the low quality in items like suits, shirts and ties. When you compare a Primark suit to a suit from anywhere else you get the feeling something is wrong, it looks like the Primark suit has been stuffed into a box and shipped from Turkey to Britain. Take a closer look at the shirts and ties and you will see threads hanging off everywhere and they lack massively in colour.

    Avoid: Suits, Shirts, Ties, Shoes, Jackets & Casual Clothing Like Chinos

    primark menswear

    Unemployed Or A Teenager?

    If you are either of the above, then scrap everything I wrote previously in this post. Not having any money spare to have an expensive or quality wardrobe is not a bad thing, it’s just a part of life that most of us have been through. Primark can be a great place to build your wardrobe on a tight budget so feel free to spend the little money you have available on a Primark suit or shirt.

    Primark-Edinburgh1

  • Reviews
  • Sioux Couture – Fancy Socks

    sioux couture cover image above the ankles

    I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile and have just been putting it off for so long. I was approached awhile ago by Sioux Couture (I have no idea how to pronounce it) and they asked me to have a look through their site, pick some socks and review them. Obviously I weren’t going to turn them down so I figured I would give them a try and then write a review on their socks. I would just like to apologise to the guys and girls at Sioux Couture as I’m going to be brutally honest and say exactly what I love and don’t love about the socks.

    Sioux Couture Review

    In this review I’m going to go over five different areas; my first impressions, the look, the comfort, the practicality and the price.

    First Impressions – 8/10

    On first opening the package, I thought thank God it’s finally here. As its made in Italy and shipped from Spain it does take awhile to get through customs. So expect a week or two for delivery. Once opening the package I was quite impressed with the packaging. Each sock is packaged in a pocket like cover, which I now use them for other handy stuff around the house.

    Sioux Couture - Customs Package
    Sioux Couture - Pocket Packets

    The Look – 10/10

    The socks look amazing, when you wear them you literally draw compliments toward you. The colour is fantastic and vibrant. I enjoy standing out with my outfits and these socks really help me be seen a mile off. I have two blue socks, a red one and a purple (see below) and they are absolutely stunning. I’ve worn them and washed them each between 5-6 times so far and they still look brand new. Sioux Couture have done an amazing choice in picking the correct colour combinations, my favourite being the purple/pink.

    sioux couture purple blue and red socks by above the ankles

    The Comfort – 9/10

    The feel of these socks can easily be described as incredibly soft and comfortable due to them being made from egyptian cotton. Once you put them on you can really feel the difference in quality compared to your normal five navy socks you got for £3. Wearing them throughout the day is refreshing as they aren’t too tight and you get the feeling that your feet are being allowed to breathe. I also walked around the house in them and they did the job of keeping my feet warm in my not so warm flat.

    The Practicality – 6/10

    Here’s where the socks lack in awesomeness. What do I mean by practicality? How well they do their job. The job you expect from winter socks is to keep your feet warm. The job of invisible socks aka ballerina socks, is to be invisible when worn with trainers. The job of colourful socks is to look great and be seen. The colour of the socks are fantastic but where Sioux Couture have slipped up is how well the socks stay up throughout the day. I find myself every hour or so pulling my socks up, which considering I sit down at my desk in a call centre all day, it’s really unexpected. To be fair to them, this is a problem a lot of socks companies have, my TM Lewin socks are even worse than them, but regardless – it’s still a problem. Socks really don’t look attractive on a smart or smart/casual look if they are rolling down and getting bunched at the ankle.

    above the ankles - Sioux Couture

    The Price – 7/10

    How much will one of these bad boys set you back? £10.73

    Nope not for two pairs, just one pair, £10 for a pair of socks is a bit steep. I have owned a fair amount of socks in my time and these are among the most expensive. I do own socks that are much more expensive than Sioux Couture’s but I still get the feeling their over priced.

    Overall – 8/10

    Well in all the four areas I covered, you must say, Sioux Coutures fancy socks did a pretty decent job. I wouldn’t say they are the best socks in the world. However, they are pretty damn good and paying £10.73 for pretty damn good is in my opinion – worth it. I don’t recommend these if you are only just dipping your toes in the big pool of colourful and playful socks. On the other hand, if you’re a seasoned veteran in this sock game, then you really don’t have any excuse not to grab four of these beautifully crafted socks.

    To sum it all up, if you want compliments and socks that will grab people’s attention and don’t mind paying a premium for them or having to pull them up every so often, then grab yours here;

    siouxcouture.com/en/

    Sioux Couture - three stacked up
    Sioux Couture - socks lined up on a bench
  • Blog
  • Pay Day – Shopping List June 2015

    selfridges every man needs these things

    I’m in London for the weekend visiting my parents and considering it was just pay day, obviously I had to do some shopping. After spending all day on Oxford Street, I decided I would compile a list of all the great clothes and accessories I saw throughout the day. Most of this list, I either already own or just bought today and I’m hoping you will find as much joy and benefit from these products as I do.

    Things Every Man Needs

     

    1. Easy To Carry Cufflinks

    On my trip down to London I realised I left my cufflinks at home in Birmingham, considering the only shirt I brought with me was double cuffed, I was screwed. Thankfully the weather on Saturday was fantastic so I just rolled my sleeves up and went shopping. I found myself in TM Lewin looking at cufflinks and then I remembered they sold those silly pretend cufflinks and figured for £4 – why not? So these are now my easy to carry cufflinks.

    Navy Pink Knots TM Lewin
    Navy Pink Knots – TM Lewin – £4.00

     

    2. The Perfect Undershirt

    If you wear a dress shirt to work then you know how useful undershirts are, not only do they stop your shirt from being ruined by your sweat in the summer, they keep you warm on those not so hot days. The problem is if your undershirt is too loose fitting or not long enough, it can cause your shirt to look cheap and baggy. This is easily solved with the best undershirt I’ve ever owned and seen. Uni-qlo’s undershirt is literally the thinnest item I own, its so comfortable and tight fitting I barely know I’m wearing it. The length is amazing dropping right down pass my boxers meaning it will never become un-tucked no matter what I do. I bought mine in white but it’s available in about eight different colours.

    MEN AIRism V Neck Short Sleeve T-Shirt white
    MEN AIRism V Neck Short Sleeve T-Shirt – £9.90

    3. Loafers


    With Summer basically here you really have no excuse now not to be rocking some dapper loafers. I’d definitely go for a slip-on loafer with the tassels. Loafers are fantastic for looking casual in a suit, especially when worn without socks. On Saturday I grabbed myself some decent loafers for £60 from Zara.

    Blue Zara Loafers
    Blue Zara Loafers – £59.99

    4. Replacement Collar Stays

    Us gentleman that wear shirts all the time and look after them properly know that you have to take out your collar stays whenever you wash or iron your shirt. Just incase you don’t know, if you don’t then you will ruin your collar and possibly melt your collar stays into your shirt. So since we are constantly removing our collar stays it is very possible that we may lose them. I’ve lost about five in the last three months. As an aspiring gentleman you should look after your clothes and buying some replacement collar stays is a great insurance item for you.

    Collar stays - above the ankles
    Collars Stays – £ 1.95

    5. Base London Black Base Power Gibson Shoes

    Black shoes are few and far between. Many men just wear any sort of black shoes and just expect them to go un-noticed. Your shoes are ridiculously important and every that cares about you will notice them. This June it is probably best you put away those battered black shoes and get yourself a new professional pair. Schuh is a great company to buy from, they have some good brands under their belt and are definitely a great retailer to check out. Base designed these shoes and they are both comfy and very stylish with a slight bump along the front of the shoe to create that perfect work look.

    mens base london black base power gibson shoes 2
    Base London Black Base Power Gibson Shoes – £68.00

    6. TM Lewin Shirts

    Buying a new shirt is something you should do every so often, at least once a year. I love shopping and summer is a great excuse to buy a new shirt. As it heats up you spend more time with your jacket/blazer off and more time showing off your shirts. Since people are going to see it a lot more the next couple months, it makes sense to wear fresh shirts. TM Lewin is a heavyweight in the luxury shirts industry and definitely without a doubt my favourite shirt retailer. Grab your next shirt from them, you will not be disappointment- I promise.

    Slim Fit Light Blue Stripe White Cutaway Collar Shirt
    Slim Fit Light Blue Stripe White Cutaway Collar Shirt – £29.95
  • Blog
  • Driving Gloves from Black.co.uk

    Men's Black Leather Driving Gloves cover

    Do you drive? If so, do you own leather driving gloves? If you don’t drive, I ask you the same question…

    Do you own leather driving gloves?

    As a kid we all watched the movies and saw the main actor speeding in his ferrari/aston martin with some suave leather gloves, and then pulled out the automatic gun and started kicking ass. Well leather driving gloves make you feel like that. When I wear them I feel like at any moment a 4×4 truck is going to swing around the corner shooting at me and I’m going to have to pull out my assault rifle and end them.

    Is that feeling of badass’ness worth the £45 these leather gloves would cost? Hell yeah.

    Men’s Cognac Leather Driving Gloves

    The Company

    Black.co.uk is among the more unknown companies in the UK probably because they don’t have any retail stores. They look after their customers pretty well and if you sign up to their newsletter you receive 10% off which is £4.50 off these gloves. They also deliver to anywhere in the UK for free, which would normally cost like £3.50.

    The Gloves

    You could probably get these in fake leather for like £10 on the market. These gloves are made from 100% real hairsheep leather which is strong yet really soft on your skin. The gloves have the standard design you would expect from driving gloves with knuckle vents and perforated fingers which is used both for comfort and ventilation.

    Available in two sizes, small & medium and in two colours, black and brown. I personally recommend brown.

    Men’s Cognac Leather Driving Gloves

    Click the images below.

    Men's Black Leather Driving Gloves 1
    Men’s Black Leather Driving Gloves – £45.00
    Men's Cognac Leather Driving Gloves 2
    Men’s Cognac Leather Driving Gloves – £45.00
  • Tips
  • Your Tie Clip Should Never Be Wider Than Your Tie

    tie clips and suits 3

    I’ve been really busy recently and haven’t managed to post much but I went for a walk today with the Mrs and noticed some cheerful chap in a suit, he looked pretty decent except he had a wide tie clip on a skinny tie. I had a dying urge to go up to him and correct the issue by stealing his clip. However I’m now hoping he reads this.

    Tie bars are a great accessory and can really make us men look smart and dapper. They create a feeling of taking extra care on our appearance, even though they only take 3 seconds to apply in the morning.

    tie clips and suits 4

    If you are like me and like to switch between skinny ties and wide ties depending on the suit you are wearing then you really should own a tie clip for your skinny ties and a tie clip for your wide ties. Tie clips aren’t expensive so don’t be stingy on this one, its important. Some people say the tie clip should be the same length as your tie, others claim it should be almost the same length. Which ever opinion you follow is up to you, however it is absolutely essential that the tie clip isn’t longer than tie itself. This looks crap, cheap and weird.

    The only other problem some people have is where to position them, that’s pretty simple, just have a look at the below image.

    the perfect way to wear a tie bar

    Get Yours Here..

    Moss London Gunmetal Skinny Tie Bar
    Moss London Gunmetal Skinny Tie Bar – £15.00
    Moss 1851 Silver Brushed Tie Bar
    Moss 1851 Silver Brushed Tie Bar – £15.00
  • Blog
  • Polo Ralph Lauren – Pack Of Three Socks

    Polo Ralph Lauren - Pack Of Three Socks

    So I’m at home thinking should I go into town and do some shopping on this lovely bank holiday monday or should I have a look online first and then go out shopping. So naturally I decide to have a look online for some ralph lauren socks. After scrolling through google’s shopping list I noticed these three pretty standard Ralph Lauren socks. I was really phased until I noticed they were only £21. I had a feeling there would be some stupid delivery charge and I was right, then as I changed tab, a promo box popped up offering me free delivery. (The code saved me £4.90.)

    So long story short, I am now waiting for three Ralph Lauren socks to appear in the post in the next few days. Being the nice guy that I am, here’s the link to MenLook website where you can grab these as well;

    Polo Ralph Lauren – Pack Of Three Socks

    Enjoy, I’m off out shopping now.

    Polo Ralph Lauren - Pack Of Three Socks
    Polo Ralph Lauren – Pack Of Three Socks – £21.00
  • Blog
  • Spring 2015 – Bow Ties!

    bow tie cover page spring 2015

    As we are all aware now it’s actually possible to go out without a jacket/coat in the UK now, which is good news – it’s spring time! So how do we go about tackling spring in terms of our wardrobe. Well first things, first, we insert more colour into our outfits. Next we start to slowly move our thick clothes, the wool/tweed suits only get worn occasionally. Now that we don’t wear coats anymore, people can see our shirt and tie a lot more, so it’s time to show off a little and boast some beautiful bow ties.

    The best thing about bow ties is, they can be worn casually or to events (not to work though.) Most of the time bow ties are quite expensive if you are looking for something thats not just a plain boring bow tie. Here’s where I come in, check out My Tuxedo. Without a shadow of a doubt, My Tuxedo is probably among the best places you could buy retail suits & accessories for a great price.

    Navy Blue and Red Plaid Bow Tie
    Navy Blue and Red Plaid Bow Tie – £6.99
    Navy Blue and Yellow Plaid Bow Tie
    Navy Blue and Yellow Plaid Bow Tie – £2.99
    Red and Blue Plaid Bow Tie
    Red and Blue Plaid Bow Tie – £6.99

    Canon IXUS 150 Digital Camera, HD 720p, 16MP, 8x Optical Zoom, 2.7″ LCD Screen

  • Blog
  • Black Ash Wooden Belt Hanger

    BLACK ASH WOODEN BELT HANGER

    Once you get to a stage where you own quality clothing and accessories, you now need to look at how you are actually taking care of them. We have all been at a stage where we just cram everything into little boxes or draws around our room. Eventually you will need to break these habits because the £35 belt you bought a year ago after being crammed in a draw or rolled up constantly it will start to show very quickly.

    BLACK ASH WOODEN BELT HANGER
    BLACK ASH WOODEN BELT HANGER
    Belt hangers are not a necessity but when you consider they cost £10, it’s really not that much money so don’t be stingy and grab one as soon as possible. When you hang up a belt, you allow the leather to breathe and go back to its normal state.

    You could go on ebay and buy these from china for half the price but I recommend paying the extra £3 and getting a quality one that will last you your life time and maybe even your kids.

    Black Ash Wooden Belt Hanger