It’s fair to say it’s supposed to be summer now and even though the weathers not amazing, it is still loafer season. In the spirit of loafer season a couple weeks ago I bought some loafers from Zara and last Thursday I wanted to wear them to work with my blue pin stripe trousers. I took seven or eight steps out my door and realized my foot was flipping out the back of the loafer like sandals. Then it hit me, I bought the wrong size.
I’m a size 8 in every shoe and trainer except loafers. It’s important when buying anything that you try on a small size first to see if you can wear that size comfortably. If you can without feeling like you’re about to burst out your clothes and shoes, then go for it.
Everything looks better a size smaller and that is definitely true when it comes to loafers. Don’t ask me why, it’s just how it is. Size 10 shoes look better than size 11.
Next time you go shopping online or in-store, try goes a size down, if it doesn’t fit well you can always return it.
Continue reading if you want to hear how my returning experience went this weekend. I took my loafers back to return them and found that they were now £39.99 down from £59.99. Good news, to swap a size 8 for a size 7, I had to return the size 8’s for a full refund and then buy the size 7’s. I’m now £20 richer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tinie Tempah is well known to us for his many talents and recently he has become a bit of a fashion icon in London, for good reason too. He is very well dressed and is never afraid to express himself in his outfits and wear things others probably wouldn’t. This weeks Get The Look is one of Tinie Tempah’s more simpler outfits but still lets people know what he’s about. If you’re looking to dress casually smart on the weekend, this outfit and it’s many variations will serve you well.
The Look – Tinie Tempah
Considering we are well into spring now and approaching summer it just makes sense that we start adding more colour to our outfits. The colours of spring are warm, bright and light. What this look does extremely well is take all those spring colours and turn them into a pretty decent outfit without looking like a toddler wearing flowers.
The blazer, the main piece of the outfit, is a warm salmon colour. The spring colour scheme continues from the blazer onto the pastel jade trousers, combined with brown suede tassel loafers. The outfit is completed with a darker tie, white shirt, lapel pins and a watch.
You have a few options in the suit department in regards to which colours you want to work with. With the blazer you can go with MOST of the different colours in the spring colour palette shown below (avoid the dark colours.) The only rule you need to follow is that to you should either wear matching trousers or trousers that are lighter than the blazer. I recommend pastel teal trousers like the ones Tinie’s wearing or plain white ones.
In terms of material then I would go with Linen or Cotton. Both these fabrics are fantastic for summer and letting your skin breathe. You don’t want to be walking around in a wool blazer sweating all over the place. Choose how thick you want the clothes to be as well. Even though it’s now Spring, it still can be bloody cold here in the UK.
Shirt & Tie
This part of the outfit is basic, you can swap these for anything really. It’s really easy to just stick to white shirt and any dark tie. The dark tie works really well as a balancing act between looking super summery and looking smart. The only important point to make is that you should keep your tie skinny. Thick ties don’t go well with the casual looks and will result in you looking quite odd – keep your tie thin.
Loafers – don’t we just love them? Tinie Tempah certainly does, he’s always seen in these funky cool loafers. The loafers in this look are a dark chocolate brown suede completed with small tassells. Loafers are easy to find online but it’s important you decide whether you want to wear casual loafers or work/smart loafers. Suede is quite versatile and depending on how you wear it and what you wear it with, for example with or without socks, you can really swing your suede shoes from work-smart to smart-casual very quickly.
If accessories aren’t your thing, don’t worry the outfit won’t fall apart without them. However, if like me, you love accessories, then you’re in for a treat with this outfit. Firstly the watch; any watch will do but ideally you want to match your watch to your shoes. Your belt should also follow suit with the watch strap and shoes, all dark brown will go perfectly with this outfit. The lapel pins are can be what ever you want really, I’d probably wear one of my charity badges on my lapel.
That’s it, you and Tinie are now identical twins. As always let me know what your thoughts are on this look from the wonderful Tinie Tempah. Leave a rating up top on how many stars out of five you would give this outfit.
Spring is upon us lads, which means one simple thing; loafer time! As the weather heats up, we remove our layers until eventually we remove even our socks. No shoes look as good as loafers do without socks. Loafers are fantastic for formal wear to work, black tie events, smart/casual and even just casual. These Navy Blue Tassel Loafers designed by Reiss are beautifully crafted pieces of art, which is made with 100% suede leather.
These slip on design, low heel loafers would look amazing with any dark suit and can even be matched with a grey suit, as long as you pair it with a navy blue tie. As they are designed by Reiss you can expect to pay a decent amount for them, priced at £159.00 from ASOS you are going to want to take care of these properly with a good suede cleaner.
I know a few of you bought the burgundy loafers and brogues that I posted last week so I wanted to give you something that will really complete the outfit. Burgundy is a very special colour because it used to be very unique and rare to find someone in a burgundy suit, nowadays it’s pretty normal, although they still has that kind of wow factor about them. This Next suit is a standard slim fit suit with two buttons and twin back vents its pretty much what you would expect from Next.
This is not a suit of high quality so if you do buy it then expect “floating pieces of fluff” to get stuck to your suit jacket. Be sure to carry a lint roller in your bag or keep it at your desk. Made out of mostly polyester, Next states that this suit is machine washable but I personally would stay away from sticking your blazer or trousers in the washing machine.
This suit is really cheap at a retail price of £79 for the jacket and blazer and an extra £29 for the waistcoat its like the perfect back up suit. This burgundy suit perfectly matches the brogues and loafers I wrote about earlier, which if you bought one, you could have a full burgundy outfit for £100 – bargain!
So I’ve been out quite a bit lately doing some shopping, as I’m sure you’re aware from all my different posts recently. So while in the shopping centre as always I checked OFFICE for shoes, I get probably 75% of my shoes from there so as per usual I figured I would try and buy some brogues from there. I couldn’t find the right pair for me so I decided to leave. Just before leaving I noticed these two beautiful pair of burgundy shoes. I have never owned burgundy shoes although it is probably one of my favourite colours when it comes to clothing, both formal and casual, but I have never really had an outfit that would look great with burgundy shoes.
The Arabella loafer is a smart slip on shoe made with hi shine dark burgundy leather. With wig tip detailing, this style also features two tassels on the front along with a contrasting black sole with a slim block heel.
Well to be honest, my advice is get both if you can afford too, if not then go with what suits your style best. If you don’t own loafers or brogues yet, I’d go and get some black versions first before starting off with burgundy.
Update: I don’t recommend Agnes & Norman at all, after receiving my loafers, they were the wrong colour. I ordered brown and got a cream colour, the shape of the shoe its self was ugly and huge.
So at work the other day I was just relaxing and I came across Agnes & Norman in the work database and I thought it sounded familiar so I googled the company. Turns out I recognised the store, however, I’ve never actually been in before. Now being the curious boy I am I decided to go through the website having a look at what kind of stuff they actually sell.
I normally judge a store initially on the price and then I go from there. On this instance I ended up stumbling onto the Hamilton Suede Loafers. My initial thoughts looking at these shoes were, “pshh £42, their probably not real leather.” Then i noticed they were on sale down to £42 from £70, which then captured my attention as £70 is the general bench mark for me to go for buying shoes. Anything below £60/70 I dont expect it to be that much of a quality shoe. So after checking the product description, low and behold; their a quality pair of loafers.
Here’s the online description;
“Sophisticated suede loafers with this season’s must have tassle detail, Harrison is one for the gentlemen out there. Made from stylish antique effect burnished suede with leather binding, they give a smart yet casual look to any outfit, and look particularly good paired with dark jeans.”
I don’t actually own these yet as I just ordered them online today but I can tell you that I will definitely be using these loafers as work and weekend shoes. Dark brown loafers look absolutely stunning with dark jeans so I know I’m going to be turning some heads on a saturday with these. I also can’t wait to stroll into work with these bad boys on my feet paired with a brown belt, grey suit and dark tie – I’m excited.