29 November 2010

Shirt & Tie - The Romantic Look

Get in touch with your feminine side with floral and paisley patterns. These have become very  popular in shirts and ties , and give the wearer a softer more romantic look.
Matalan floral shirt from PR Shots
 If you are unsure of this look then Matalan have a white and purple floral shirt at only £16 (at time of print), so if you decide florals are not for you then losing that shirt off your back won’t be a big financial loss. 
And if you find saying it with flowers works for you then go for.......
Eton Hostage of Love shirt

.......this Eton floral print with purple collar shirt from their ‘Hostage of Love’ collection. Very retro which is soooo on trend and going to be big for the summer. The good thing about floral shirts is they look complete even without a tie, but if you do need a tie then either play safe and match with a plain tie in the main colour of the shirt (in this case purple) or pick out an accent colour (pink). Or. ...
House of Fraser tie from PRShots
..... be more daring and romantic with another floral pattern. Again either pair with a purple floral tie or pick out the pink in the shirt. This pink tie has also tiny amounts of lilac to match the shirt.  
But if you're not ready for so much flower power just yet then go more subtle with ...
Ted Baker Pashion shirt from PR shots

Ted Baker ‘Booton’ navy floral jacquard pashion (a merging of passion and fashion) shirt. Uising one colour tones down the floral pattern. 
House of Fraser tie from PR Shots
Then bring it alive with a more flamboyant floral tie. 

If flowers are not your thing then go for paisley
Eton paisley shirt

House of Fraser tie from PR Shots
bring out the accent colours with this contrasting tie.

Simon Carter love bird shirt
If you're all 'loved up', team the tie with this Simon Carter's love bird shirt.

Eton checked shirt & paisely tie
But alas, if it's all too much just go with a paisley tie with a more masculine check, stripe or plain shirt.

And now you've got the romantic look, remember to act the part and be romantic.

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26 November 2010

Shirt & Tie - The Dramatic Look

For those days when you want to create an impact go for the Dramatic look.
Bright colour block shirts combined with equally bright contrasting colour block ties, or bold patterned shirt and tie combination will give high impact but you need to consider your own colouring and whether you can take such bold colours and patterns.
Eton striped shirt with circle tie
This Eton striped shirt with circle tie is a good choice for the dramatic look. If the colours are too bright and deep for you then go for a Paul Smith shirt in the label’s signature coloured stripes to create a more subdued dramatic alternative look.
Eton Circle Spot shirt

If you don't mind deep colours but prefer them more muted than bright, then check out Eton’s blue and tan circle spot shirt – just don't go to the races or they may mistake you for one of the jockeys.(obviously a very stylish one)

Gone are the days when you couldn’t wear a patterned tie with a patterned shirt – experiment with some of the cheaper brands until you are confident for the more expensive ones.
Eton paisley shirt
The rule is when mixing shirt and tie patterns is to make sure they have one colour in common with each other. For different looks you can match the tie with the shirt’s dominant colour or for a more subtle look match with the least dominant colour. The above Eton paisley shirt could be matched with ...
Simon Carter Nouveau navy tie
Simon Carters nouveau navy tie, bringing out the more dominant blue colour ...
Simon Carter Medallion wine tie
.... or Simon Carters medallion wine tie, bringing out the brown in the shirt and the brown in the tie.

Eton striped shirt & tie

When using the same pattern, you can have contrasting colours, but the pattern should not be the same scale – usually the tie’s pattern is the larger or wider if a stripe.
Eton striped shirt with jazzy tie

And when you are super confident – then there are no rules!!

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23 November 2010

Shirt and Tie - The Classic Look

The shirt has come a long way from its humble beginnings as an underwear garment when its long tails were used in the absence of underpants.  It is now, along with the always attention seeking neck tie, an item of clothing where you can really experiment with colour and patterns, where you can express your personality and fashion flare, and where you can easily change your look depending on your mood.
Eton white shirt plus striped tie

Take for instance the Classic man – Your look needs to be smart and well groomed.
The crisp white shirt is the epitome of classic. Originally it was the symbol of a gentleman because it soiled so easily and indicated a man who worked at a desk (if at all) and could afford a good laundry. But now you can also achieve the look with the pastel shades of pale blue ( a colour which became standard in the 1920’s but before then was unthinkable for a gentleman to wear), light grey, pink and lilac.

Eton blue striped shirt with striped tie
 Patterns here are the classic stripes and fine checks.

It’s all about quality and not quantity so you’re looking for:
 Good quality cotton: Sea Island and Egyptian cotton both have extremely fine long staple fibres, allowing them to be spun in to tight yarns and so producing a high thread count which gives a silky feel to the finished cloth.  They also hold dyes better.
Attention to detail: Single needle stitching gives strong seams that are more pucker resistant. Buttons (mother of pearl) should be cross-stitched onto the shirt by hand to ensure that they do not become loose over time. Split yokes ensure a perfect fit across the shoulders. And the collar should be handmade (fused or unfused) A well fused collar will give a smooth look with no puckering, and should use cotton interfacing materials. Collars should have removable bones to keep the shape of the wings perfectly straight when inserted.

French shirt makers, Charvet offer bespoke and RTW shirts and are considered the best, as are the Italian brands Brioni and Kiton. However they are very expensive so make sure your luck with the horses is not a flash in the pan before investing in a few of these.
Cheaper options are the British shirt makers Turnbull & Asser, Swedish shirt makers Eton which feature a non iron finish – great for those of you who have an aversion to ironing (me included) and also British
shirt makers TM Lewin who were one of the first to make the 'coat shirt', i.e. a shirt with studs and later buttons down the front. Before this, shirts were cut like smocks and pulled on over the head.

Simon Carter compass grey tie
For the classic look in ties it has to be silk. A quality silk tie should feel smooth and be made of three pieces of fabric to lie better, cheaper ties use only two pieces.  A classic combination would be a white shirt and dark coloured plain tie. This is a good look for you high contrast men but for the lower contrast men go for a lighter coloured tie such as a mid blue or grey.  And for a softer look go for tone on tone e.g. pale blue shirt and light blue tie or a softer contrast e.g. pink shirt and light grey tie.

Sonia Spencer Horse Win cufflinks
And why not add a touch of light humour  to your classic look with Sonia Spencer’s bone china and sterling silver plated cufflinks with their quirky illustrations.

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1 November 2010

Vertu -the leader in luxury mobile phones

They say “Accessorize, Accessorize” and they’re right because accessories maketh the outfit.
And one accessory that is essential to both man and woman is the mobile phone so why not splash out.

Vertu, the leader in luxury mobile phones, knows that it is important for a mobile to look stylish as well as being functional and have launched the new Ascent 2010 and their first smart phone, the Constellation Quest, which was only launched this October.

The new Ascent 2010 comes in 2 versions:
The cheaper (but still expensive at around 4,200 Euros) and lighter Aluminium model and the more expensive (around 5,900 Euros) Titanium model. Inspiration for the creation of both models was taken from the fast paced lifestyle of motor racing and aviation.
The overall look is sharp and tactile -hard edged and facetted metal styled like aeronautical louver shutters used to reduce drag and then trimmed with either vulcanised rubber or leather in red, orange or gunmetal grey.
The bespoke ring and alert tone is an all new soundtrack created by Unkle and specifically for the Ascent. The exclusive 7 minute track is called “A Darker Shade of Blue”

The Constellation Quest will also come in a choice of materials, the cheapest will combine leather and stainless steel whilst the totally extravagant version will use gold. The handset is designed with the user experience first and foremost in mind so the home screen is uncluttered, displaying only the essentials as chosen by the individual e.g. email notifications, calendar appointments and selected news feed. Vertu will work with you to configure the phone settings to suit your preferences including email accounts, information feeds and social networking facilities. The My key function is also configurable for instant access to four preferred applications. With support for multiple mailboxes this will ensure easy access to all required email accounts from the new handset.
All Ascent mobiles have a chronograph clock face with a stopwatch synonymous with motor racing and military aviation. The clock adjusts itself to its local time location but also always displays an origin location time so you can keep in touch with home.

Luxury services included with all Vertu mobiles are:
Vertu Select- a global service delivering the best in luxury online information, news, reviews, recommendations and exclusive downloads direct to the phone.
City Brief- travel information automatically adapted to the user location, including restaurant recommendations, current events and tips on local protocol.
Vertu Concierge – accessed via a dedicated key on the handset, this service assists, advises and books travel, entertainment, shopping, accommodation, restaurants and events.
Vertu Fortress – will back up all calendar and contact information and store to ultra secure servers at the touch of a button.

And with the new Constellation Quest there’s a few more:
Vertu.me – the new Vertu email account.
Vertu Remote Assist - 24hrs technical assistance where (with the users consent) a technician can resolve a technical or set up query by remote access .

This is definitely a high end luxury, but if you can afford it then why not?

Vertu on Amazon:
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