Category Archives: Menswear

Menswear for all, London Collections trends

Last week’s London menswear collections had plenty to offer in terms of inspiration and not just for the boys. With many collections – from JW Anderson’s ruffly shorts to Katie Eary’s flower print jackets – blurring the boundaries between menswear and womenswear, it wasn’t difficult to spot some  themes with universal appeal.

1. Statement outerwear

Whether you’re more partial to an out-sized check or a bold flower print, the message across multiple collections was clear:  it is time to let your coat do the talking. It does make sense when you come to think of it, given that a coat is the first thing people see when they meet you and in these winter months, you probably wear it more often than any other item.

I’m not denying a patterned coat is a style leap. My current coat is so minimal and plain, it doesn’t even have visible buttons. And it also throws the whole scarf thing into disarray, as a statement scarf with a statement coat is probably a step too far. Even if you decide not to embrace the trend, you can still admire these outerwear beauties from afar.

E Tautz coat A/W 13-14 (image from vogue.co.uk)

E Tautz coat A/W 13-14 (image from vogue.co.uk)

 

Katie Eary flower prints A/W 13-14

Katie Eary flower prints A/W 13-14 (image from vogue.co.uk)

 

2. Loungewear as outerwear

Blurring the boundary between ‘private’ and ‘public’ clothes isn’t a new trend. Pyjama style blouses and trousers were all over the high street this winter and more disturbingly, the Onesie isn’t yet showing signs of dying out.

However, we’re talking another level when it comes to the loungewear on show last week. The Richard James shearling dressing gown/coat is  almost ridiculous in its extravagance but it is a beautiful thing and begs to be cuddled.  Any man wearing it instantly becomes more desirable or at least in danger of being accosted by girls wanting to snuggle up into it. Either way, both parties win.

Richard James shearling coat A/W 13-14

Richard James shearling coat A/W 13-14 (image from richardjames.co.uk)

A less Polar Bear-esque but equally luxurious version of this trend was seen at Alexander McQueen where the look was more of the “I’ve just nonchantly thrown this perfectly cut jacket over my exquisite silk dressing gown and I know I’m fabulous” vein.  A perfect balance of eccentricity and style.

Alexander McQueen LCM A/W 13-14 (image from vogue.co.uk)

3. Green

Not much to say other than green was everywhere, in all sort of shades, so you won’t be able to avoid it come next winter. It all looked lovely though, particularly at Rake and Richard James. On a side note, Rake wins the prize for the most handsome line up of models (see below for exhibit one). I admit this may have slightly influenced how much I liked the collection.

Rake A/W 13-14 (image from vogue.co.uk)

Rake A/W 13-14 (image from vogue.co.uk)

Richard James A/W 13-14 (image from richardjames.co.uk)

Richard James A/W 13-14 (image from richardjames.co.uk)

 

 

 

London Collections: Menswear favourites

The level of interest in menswear has been growing over the past few years and despite many of the men in my life still protesting no interest in fashion, men’s items now represent 50% of the luxury apparel market worldwide (BFC Future of Fashion Report 2012).

So the decision to launch a menswear only showcase in London is a savvy one. And an exciting one if like me, you appreciate a good menswear collection. There was some pretty out there stuff shown by talented upstarts like Katie Eary – impressive and youthful. But, conservative as it may be, I am always drawn to the more preppy side of menswear and the things that caught my eye were a little bit more low key.

1. YMC – these guys have a store just next to my office and I often pop in for a quick lunchtime admiring glance at the sophisticated, prepster style. Check out  this jaunty Burgundy stripy number and the great cut of the trousers.

YMC s/s 2013 (image from gorunway.com)

2. Oliver Spencer – bit of a theme here with the red blazers but I thought this show was spot on. It was the kind of stuff I think men would actually want to wear and the use of colour throughout was perfectly pitched. Not too much to be brash, not too little to be boring.

Oliver Spencer s/s 2013 (image from firstview)

3. Tautz – I have a personal interest in this brand but even if I didn’t, this cape would have caught my eye. It is just FABULOUS – I want to wear this on a breezy bike ride, leaving a bright pink trail as I go.

Tautz s/s 2013 (image from gorunway.com)

4. Margaret Howell – another Elle Tea favourite. So subtle, so intelligent, so calming. This grey coat was made for British summers.

Margaret Howell s/s 2013 (image from vogue)

Dressing Properly

Those who know me are probably getting slightly tired of hearing about E.Tautz but it was very exciting to find out that it just won British menswear designer of the year at the British Fashion Awards! Huge congratulations to Patrick Grant and the team.

I remember when the label was just a germ of an idea and we starting talking about how it would be wonderful to champion the notion of men dressing properly. This concept of taking pride in one’s wardrobe and dressing for the occasion – as was the case for British gentlemen of yesteryear – then became the founding philosophy of E.Tautz, even before any clothes were designed.

Now that E.Tautz is having a moment in the spotlight, Patrick finally has a platform to espouse the Tautz belief in dressing properly. The Guardian just ran an article featuring Patrick saying that “British men are too scruffy”.  I can only hope that all those scruffy Guardian readers (no offense – I’m one myself) get past the minor insult and take note.

Dressing well isn’t necessarily about vanity, it is about respecting the people who you are in company with. Men who look a mess are denying those around them (and not just us girls) of any aesthetic pleasure. And frankly, that’s just selfish!

Obviously I’m not saying everyone has to wear a suit and tie daily, I’m just gently (ish) suggesting that taking a few minutes to think about what you put on in the morning doesn’t make you a vain, shallow half-man man. It actually makes you a considerate and socially aware individual.

So there you go. I look forward to seeing my male readers neaten up their act.

And in case you need a bit of inspiration, here’s a few delicious menswear bits that I’ve come across during my Christmas shopping browsing. Deliberately choosing things that aren’t anyone’s gifts of course. Sorry bro, you’re not getting any of these from me!

1. Every man needs a good pair of brogues. A few of my nearest and dearest swear by Loakes. These brogue-style boots are lovely and will last forever.

Loakes boots

2. You’ll always look smart in a classic Pea Coat. This one from Jaeger is very manly (even if the guy modeling it may not be) and won’t date.

Jaeger Military Pea Coat

3. A good quality cashmere sweater is an essential, especially in the freezing conditions of recent weeks. I like this simple one from Acne.

Acne cashmere sweater

One for the boys

Responding to numerous requests from my male friends, here’s a post for the boys. As regular readers will know, it’s hardly a chore for me pick out desirable menswear items. It’s a well-known fact that much of the time I actually prefer boys’ clothes to girls’ clothes and am envious of the fact that men are less pressured to change their wardrobes every season for fear of looking completely out of date.

So to follow the formula of my ‘All I want for Autumn’ post for girls. Here’s all I would, in theory, want for autumn if I wear a gentleman.

1. A cosy jumper

I guarantee this one from Albam will make you much more popular with the girlfriend – it’s the perfect borrowed-from-my-boyfriend jumper. And I especially love the leather elbow patches (not seen here).

Albam jumper

2.  A perfect blazer

I love this one from Tautz . I am liking the double-breasted look at the minute (for girls too) and this one crosses the smart/casual divide pretty well. A good investment piece.

Tautz blazer

3.  A jaunty scarf

Not to be biased towards Tautz again but this super-bright scarf is great for making a winter statement and will brighten up any classic coat or blazer if you dare. Nice grey wool trousers too by the way.

Tautz scarf