• Reviews
  • Infinities Menswear – My Review

    Ralph Lauren Socks Above The Ankles

    Incredibly excited about this one. Who doesn’t like designer brands? Although the price tag may not always appeal to us, the quality you get for your money is, generally speaking, worth it. I am an avid brand buyer, not because I want people to know I’m wearing Ralph Lauren or Armani, but because I know what to expect from a label. When you own multiple items from one brand, you start to get a feel for it and know how things will fit before you put them on. You know that even though you wear a size 8 shoe, with this brand you’ll need a size 9. It’s nice having that security, it gives you confidence. I remember when the only place to get these world-famous brands was at their outlet stores or at flagship stores like Harrods; which going into makes you feel the need to dress up for the occasion and act in the most ostentatious of fashions.

    Not to take anything away from the mega department stores, they are great, most of the time; I still regularly shop at House of Fraser. BHS obviously got left in the 80’s and have now closed down. The fact Selfridges have a Primark section says it all. Maybe it’s time to try out the smaller companies selling top brands at decent prices, maybe it’s time to try Infinities Menswear.

    Let’s see, shall we.

    Infinities Menswear As A Company

    Founded in 1991, they’ve been around awhile. They built their name by building relationships with big brands and then eventually becoming big enough to retail some labels exclusively. They appear to be a company that has a good turnover of stock which is fantastic since you won’t end up constantly seeing the same dated products every time you visit. I’ve noticed multiple new names and ranges added in the past weeks and on top of that; they ship worldwide for all of you outside the UK.

    Infinities sell all types of menswear clothes; smart, smart-casual, casual and sportswear. I’d say they are more geared towards the casual side of a man’s wardrobe but you can find something to suit almost every occasion. Although please note you’re not likely to find any tuxedos.

    infinites menswear store

    It is incredibly evident that Infinities have a strong relationship with a variety of big brands known across the world; Polo Ralph Lauren, Adidas, Paul Smith, Lyle & Scott and Stone Island to name but a few. I’d say the two biggest and strongest brands they have are Polo Ralph Lauren and Paul Smith. Not only that but with over 250 Ralph Lauren items and over 150 Adidas items, you’re set for all your casual and sportswear needs.

    Quality

    Judging quality is a difficult one. I count 60 brands on the Infinities website. Could I tell you how they all rank in quality? Probably not. Infinities stock many big names as I’ve mentioned previously like Ralph Lauren whereby quality is established, then they have the huge brands where the quality isn’t so up to scratch, not mentioning any names. The issue of quality concerns will always be there so long as you keep trying new brands but if the price is right and the item is aesthetically pleasing, then trying a new label is worth a go.

    Price

    Most of the time when I look at a brand or a product I usually always check the price and ask myself; is it worth that much? The answer is usually no. When it comes to buying branded clothing, looking at the price is one of the last things you want to do really. Obviously, you would have a price range in your head, i.e. I would expect a pair of Ralph Lauren socks to be between £5-12 each, any more than that and it’s just not worth it.

    The way I see branded clothing is simple; I’m paying more than normal for the privilege of a Ralph Lauren logo on my sock.

    Product Review – Ralph Lauren Socks

    I was incredibly fortunate to be sent these Ralph Lauren Polo socks to review. I love free things, for some strange reason I actually tend to wear all the stuff I get for free more than the stuff I pay for. Maybe it’s a psychological thing. I go through phases in the year, whereby I’ll wear colourful socks for a few months and then wear nothing but black socks for another few months. Thankfully with the British weather finally picking up and even recording the second hottest day in the last 10 years, I can wear my colourful socks again.

    Ralph Lauren Socks Above The Ankles

    Ralph Lauren Socks Above The Ankles

    Ralph Lauren as a brand are fantastic, we know that we are basically told to believe that Ralph Lauren equals quality and I’m not about to disagree. Made from Egyptian cotton, these two pairs of socks in Navy & pink are wonderful. I have my reservations about Egyptian cotton as its usually quite thin and thus the elasticity won’t last long. I’ve had these now for two months and worn them many times and surprisingly the elasticity has stayed true. I’m yet to experience that horrible feeling of my sock rolling down my leg and bunching at my ankles.

    I tend to look after my clothes with regards to following the label in washing advice. Even though I take care, cheap socks always end up bubbling into random cotton bunches and usually within two months look a year old. Although the Ralph Lauren socks certainly don’t look brand new they don’t look a year old either. Take a look at them side by side with a pair of socks I bought for £1 a week after I got the Ralph ones.

    Obviously priced at £16 you would expect a difference in quality from the £1 socks but is £8 for a pair of socks really worth it. Well if you love brands and have a spare bit of change, why not? They are light, look fantastic and if you ever do take off your trousers or wear shorts then you can flash that expensive logo.

    Ralph Lauren Socks Above The Ankles

    Ralph Lauren Socks Above The Ankles

    Ralph Lauren Socks Above The Ankles

    The Perfect Customer

    Infinities menswear is not for everyone, same way brands aren’t for everyone. Not all of us are cash rich and many of us have big commitments so sometimes brands are a little out of reach. I recommend if you fit into that category of NOT cash rich, then I suggest only shopping here during the sales and try your luck at grabbing stuff in your size.

    If you are either a massive designer brand wearer or money is not an issue for you then infinities is for you. With massive stock, good prices and exclusives, they have the balance perfect so you probably won’t bump into someone wearing the same thing as you.

    Average Prices

    Accessories – £50

    Whenever we want to buy a certain brand but are not able to quite afford it, we turn to accessories as they’re usually the cheapest. On Infinities buying any accessory will set you back a minimum of £5 for a pair of Egyptian cotton socks from a brand I don’t know. At the top end of the accessories, a Paul Smith leather bag will set you back a comfortable £500. The average accessory will set you back £50, while £60 would get you a Paul Smith leather belt and £30 with Infinities will get you two pairs of Ralph Lauren socks.

    Paul Smith Accessories City Embossed Weekend Bag Black

    I’d say this is fairly expensive for the accessories.

    Paul Smith Reversible Saffiano Leather Belt

    Paul Smith City Embossed Weekend Bag Black

    Polo Ralph Lauren 3 Pack Combed Cotton Socks Black/Navy/Grey

    Shirts – £60

    Shirts are a part of every man’s wardrobe (or at least should be) and quite possibly one of the most important components of the outfit. I’ve spent many years working in the office without my tie and blazer so how my shirt looked was critical. Infinities without a doubt have many shirts available although the vast majority would not be suitable for office wear. Most are quite casual from casual brands like Lyle & Scott, Paul Smith & Armani. Thankfully for us, they do have a fair number of dress shirts suitable for all office environments. An Armani dress shirt would cost you around £70, while you could get a Ralph Lauren or a Lyle & Scott dress shirt for around £60. I wouldn’t expect you to pick up a designer shirt for less than £50, not a nice one anyways.

    Lyle and Scott Lyle & Scott Micro Gingham Shirt Blue

    £60 is probably around the price I would pay for a designer shirt, most I’ve seen would cost a lot more. Overall, Infinities shirts are priced well.

    Lyle & Scott Micro Gingham Shirt Blue

    Polo Ralph Lauren Luxury Twill Shirt Blue

    Suits/Blazers – £200

    Infinities are aimed more towards casual clothing than it is office-wear, which is probably why they only stock one full suit and five blazers all from Paul Smith. The PS by Paul Smith mid-fit suit is the only they sell. It’s a single breasted, double vented navy suit with a playful interior lining. It’s truly a wonderful piece of tailoring made from 100% wool and would be the exact suit I’d love to buy. However Paul Smith’s suits are way above my pay grade, priced at £549.95, it’s not for those with small pockets.

    The other five blazers they stock are all designed by Paul Smith and are priced between £99 and £335. For me the suit is far too expensive while some of the blazers are decently priced, their stock is far too low.

    PS By Paul Smith Mid-Fit Broken Check Suit Navy

    Paul Smith Blazers Infinities Menswear

    Office Shoes – £80

    I must say I did not expect Infinities to stock any smart shoes, don’t judge a book by its cover right? I suppose seeing the giant that is Bass Weejuns on Infinities is enough to put that assumption to bed. The brands that supply Infinities with their smart shoes are four; Bass Weejuns, Paul Smith, Ralph Lauren & Swims. With about 40 shoes to choose from, all range between £65 and £200, which is about what you would expect. The stock once again isn’t fantastic but you can definitely work with it.

    Office Shoes

    The average cost for a pair of shoes you like in your size would probably be about £80. Not bad but not cheap either.

    Trainers – £50

    I’m quite into going smart/casual nowadays so trainers are becoming more and more my kind of thing. If like me, your interested in trainers then you can expect to pay roughly the same amount you would anywhere else. Maybe this is me being ignorant but trainers appear to be the same price across most companies/brands. The only time I can tell a difference in cost would be if one has a sale while the other doesn’t.

    Infinities Trainers

    £50 spent with Infinities will get you a pair of simple & smart Ralph Lauren trainers or a pair of Adidas originals.

    Similarities

    Infinities are just like many other sites, they are essentially a broker for big brands. I suppose they have may have been part of the first few companies that started selling other companies products but with the internet boom, there are now thousands of websites selling big branded items. The question then arises; what makes them different?

    The three main areas that would influence my decision to purchase from one brand as opposed to another would be price, stock & exclusivity.

    We’ve all been on websites where items are so cheap they are basically free, and you’re thinking ‘OMG Armani Suit for £10!!’ then you check and it’s out of stock. You also get those websites that have wonderful products, with free delivery and hundreds in stock but when you compare the price to House of Fraser, it’s £50 more expensive.One thing that makes companies stand out, other than price is exclusivity. If a man’s not bothered about the price for whatever reason then sometimes he can turn to wanting exclusive items others don’t have.

    We need balance and I wanted to see if Infinities has that balance.

    Price, Stock & Exclusivity Comparison

    Adidas Originals Los Angeles Trainers

    I first had a look at some new in trainers, I picked a personal favourite of mine; Adidas Originals Los Angeles Trainer Black. Priced at £74.95, I was fairly certain I’d be able to beat that price. I did manage to beat the £75 price tag by £10 on five or six different websites however none had the trainers in every size. The maximum number of sizes available on any one of the other sites was two (size 6 and size 13.) Infinities, however, had in stock all sizes from 6 to 12. These trainers are a classic example of what I mentioned earlier, most websites have super cheap prices and no stock – fantastic. Interestingly enough Infinities let me order fifteen pairs of these in size 8 so they clearly have stock. In terms of exclusivity the fact that most websites had these in stock themselves for seemly quite a while, I can assume that Infinities are a bit late to the party in that sense so I’d have to mark them down in terms of exclusivity.

    Adidas Originals Los Angeles Trainers

    Price Score – 7/10
    Stock Score – 10/10
    Exclusivity Score – 6/10

    Polo Ralph Lauren T-Shirt Grey

    Next up was the Polo Ralph Lauren Classic Crew Neck T-Shirt Grey Heather priced at £44.95. We all know and love Ralph Lauren and as such I expect Infinities to be off the mark on this one since the Ralph Lauren market is so competitive. I managed to find over ten suppliers selling this t-shirt with only three stocking it in every size, even Ralph Lauren’s own website was out of stock of XXL. Of the three that had every size in stock, all were priced at £45, same as Infinities.

    Polo Ralph Lauren T-Shirt Grey

    Price Score – 8/10
    Stock Score – 10/10
    Exclusivity Score – 7/10

    PS By Paul Smith Brushed Oxford Shirt Sky Blue

    Lastly comes the Paul Smith Oxford Shirt. I wanted to pick something that I thought could be quite unique and I picked well. I searched the web and only found one other company selling it, which is a good sign. Oddly I couldn’t even find it on the Paul Smith website. Priced at £114.95 on Infinities it’s 5 pence cheaper than the other website it’s sold on.

    PS By Paul Smith Brushed Oxford Shirt Sky Blue

    Price Score – 8/10
    Stock Score – 10/10
    Exclusivity Score – 10/10

    Blog

    I do like a good blog, hence why I got into blogging in the first place. I’m addicted to fashion and football blogs and in the last few weeks I’ve attempted to keep up with Infinities blog. Most of it isn’t really to my taste since it’s them promoting their new products rather than useful reads. Which to be fair to them, they are a store and how else would customers know about their new collections if they didn’t promote them. There are some decent reads on how to re-wax your jacket or how to roll up your sleeves however most are look-books.

    If you’re a football fan I’d recommend having a look at the Cruyff rapid trainers. I read the blog post and fell in love, have a read here.

    Cruyff Rapid Trainers Red

    Cruyff Rapid Trainers

    Newsletter

    I always recommend if you like a brand/company to sign up to their newsletter and Infinities newsletter seems to be pretty decent so far. It’s important to know when there’s going to be a new sale so that you can get hold of the discounted items first before the good stuff sells out.

    As a cheeky side benefit, Infinities will you 10% off your first order just for signing up. Not bad by my standards.

    infinities newsletter 10% off

    Final Words

    At first working out what Infinities’s game plan was confusing. I wasn’t sure if they were trying to be like House of Fraser or another version of ASOS. I find that they are pretty much neither or maybe a blend of the two. I suppose I’m still not sure what exactly they are but then again do they need to be anything? Is it possible they can just be themselves? I would say time will tell but they been around for more than twenty years so maybe time has already spoken and maybe you should give them a go.

    Infinities – Click Here

    Ralph Lauren Socks Above The Ankles

    Ralph Lauren Socks Above The Ankles

    Ralph Lauren Socks Above The Ankles

  • Get The Look
  • Get The Look #8 – MusikaFrere

    Get The Look #8 - MusikaFrere cover photo

    There aren’t many people on Instagram better dressed than Davidson Petit-Frère. Combined with his partner, David runs his company; MusikaFrere. You only have to be on their site for three seconds to realize they have unique talents and following them on Instagram is a must. A lot of my style is influenced heavily by men I see online that have amazing fashion sense and David is one of them.

    Get The Look #8 - MusikaFrere 2

    I had a choice of many different outfits from David but ultimately the majority of his outfits are unique and will cost you quite a bit of cash to look that good. Plus you’d pretty much have to go to David in NYC to get them. Therefore I decided to opt for an outfit that is easily copyable but still looks amazing. The look I’ve picked is both smart and casual, while being perfect for both winter and spring. Should you buy this outfit, it’s pretty much an all time classic that you can wear all year round.

    The Outfit

    The outfit is extremely basic, starting with a black slim-fitted turtle neck, a wide lapeled burgundy blazer, slim fitted black trouser and a pair of plain black trainers. Simple right? Simplicity is always the best, especially if you can make it look natural – almost as if you got dressed in five minutes.

    Where Would You Wear It?

    Sometimes we find ourselves with an outfit that we are unable to wear often. Either it is too casual or it is too loud – which is annoying. Doubt you’ll have a problem with this one.

    Wearing it on a night out is the obvious choice, whatever you choose to do with your night, the turtle-neck shows people you are willing to chill a little, while the blazer let’s people know you’re classy guy. Dinners are perfect for this kind of outfit, especially if you’re going out to eat at a decent place where you know others will be dressed smartly.

    Any sort of event, ranging from a work-do or a sporting event to a family baby shower, this look will surely have the colleagues and family admiring you. Whether they say anything to you or not will depend on how often they see you well dressed. If you find that the event is too casual hang your blazer on a chair and show off the fitted turtle-neck.

    Blazer

    The blazer is an elegant burgundy colour, a nice dark dull colour. Not often do you compliment a dull colour, but with winter coming round, you don’t want to be wearing those bright colours. Dark colours are great for many reasons, whether it’s to create a serious/professional persona or to blend in and not stand out like a lollipop lady.

    Turtle Neck

    A good fitted turtle-neck can get you far in this world and is essential for a man with a thing for fashion. They can be worn in a range of different ways. The most common is as a casual/smart look, usually by the older gent. This is combined usually with chinos, a jacket and driving shoes – this is my favourite way of wearing them. Combining it with a suit jacket is the most stylish way, as seen in this look.

    Trousers

    David here has kept it simple, a slim fitted black pair of trousers. Whether the trousers are a chino or a dark pair of jeans it doesn’t matter much. For the smart/formal nights, I’d always opt for the chino. Zara do some amazing fantastic quality chinos for £40. On the more casual night out, I’d definitely go for jeans, especially if you’re likely to be jumping around or spilling things. If that’s the type of night you’re intending to have, I’d probably leave the blazer behind.

    Trainers

    I was surprised to see David wearing trainers, it’s not a common sight on his Instagram page. Both trainers and shoes work well with this look. Which one to wear, depends on the day/night you intend on having. As with the chinos/jeans, follow accordingly (jeans with trainers and chinos with shoes.)

    Don’t forget to follow David on Instagram;

    Davidson_Frere

  • Blog
  • Men’s Fashion & Style

    above the ankles mens fashion

    I’m not much of a traveller really. Apart from the fact I’ve been all over the UK, I have only really had the pleasure of going to Rome, Barcelona, Tenerife, Marrakech, Amsterdam and Lagos. Not many places right. However I am a massive internet user and I’m constantly on some sort of social media and with over 1,600 Instagram posts I’ve seen many outfits from around the world. One thing I’ve noticed is the fact fashion is so different everywhere in the world. I just came back from Marrakech, and you would be insane to wear a three piece suit in that heat. We can look at one another’s pictures and want to emulate that for ourselves but ultimately it’s not what you wear at all, you need to create your own style.

    mens fashion differs style is you

    Style is how you wear it, do you wear a great pin stripe suit and look like your going to a wedding or do you look like you wear a blue pin stripe all the time? Wait go back again and re-read that. Seriously the clothes you wear, how do they look on you. Fashion are the individual items you’re wearing, style is how you put it all together and carry it.

    Here’s a silly example, those gangsters around the world that carry/wear bandanna’s and walk around with their boxers on show to the world. If you dressed like them, would you fit right in or would you look like Justin Bieber? If you do look natural wearing an XXL white wife-beater vest and tracksuits hanging down your backside, then you probably don’t look natural in a suit, not saying Bieber does either by the way.

    Things to consider when trying to look natural and make sure the suit, suits you;

    Grooming

    Whatever hair you keep or remove, whether it’s your beard, your moustache or your nose hair. Have you removed it all properly, does it look good and the hair that remains, is it looked after? How do you walk and talk? Can people understand you, do you speak clearly and are you polite to people? Are you a mature person?

    Budget/Lifestyle

    Are you shopping way above your budget and lifestyle? Can you afford to replace those battered year old shoes? Or are you spending all your hard earned money on useless stuff? Do you wash and iron your clothes properly and regularly? When’s the last time you went to the dry cleaners to pick up one of your suits?

    There’s two types of suit wearers in this world;

    1. “Ooo look at you looking all smart and dapper, where you going today/tonight?”

    2. “Where do you get your outfits from? Do you think you could help me pick some stuff?”

    Which one are you?

  • 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