22 December 2010

MELVITA - men's organic grooming products

Melvita, the French organic beauty brand, have formulated a new natural grooming range to address the unique characteristics of men’s skin.
The most exciting one is the SHAVING INNOVATION

Melvita Aftershave Balm and Shaving Cream both contain a unique complex designed to slow beard regrowth. It is a blend of fruit extracts from Papaya and Lemon with an extract from Olive leaves that works to reduce the speed and thickness of hair re-growth.
Soft and rich shaving cream lifts facial stubble for a smooth shave.  Shea Butter, Birch Sap and Aloe Vera combine to hydrate and soften the skin, helping prevent irritation and any unsightly rashes
A light gel-cream which soothes and repairs the skin post-shaving. Jojoba hydrates and soothes whilst Lemon Pectin reinstates the skin’s protective hydrolipidic film.

But the Hero product of the range is the ANTI-AGEING FLUID

Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidants agents fly to the rescue and protect your skin helping it look younger for longer.
Its powers come from Everlasting lower Oil which boosts collagen production making skin looking toned-up and smoother. Other powers are taken from plant oil complex such as Olive, Argan, Shea and Siberian Pine Nut which deliver vital phyto-sterols to deeply nourish and hydrate dull skin.

And we all know puffy eyes and dark circles are not just something women suffer from so check out:
Whether you developed your puffy eyes or dark circles from getting in touch with your feminine side and crying over a late night romantic film or burning the midnight oil on the computer, this gel has micro-circulation boosting caffeine ( and you thought it was just for drinking) which reduces puffiness and dark circles.
 Other wonderful ingredients are Acacia Gum to firm and tighten the delicate eye area and Aloe Vera to soothe and hydrate the skin.

You’ll be forgiven if you have not heard of this brand before because they only came to our shores early this year.  They have a wonderful shop in Covent Garden (19 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard, London WC2E 9AB) or you can purchase these products online www.melvita.co.uk

 History of Melvita
Biologist Bernard Chevilliat founded the brand in 1983 when he started creating a cosmetic range based on products from the beehive.  He’d become fascinated by bees and the vital role they played in the eco system, and so took up beekeeping professionally. Using his knowledge of biology and his love of beekeeping, he was able to develop personal care products as close to nature as possible
He chose the name from the Latin word Mel meaning honey and Vita meaning life. 
In 2002 Melvita was one of the first companies to obtain the ecological and organic ECOCERT certification

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Melvita for men available on Amazon:
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21 December 2010

Garbstore SS11 at Urban Outfitters

Garbstore draws it’s influence from what they coin as ‘unfamiliar vintage’ – familiar garments that reference the past in the use of original fabrics or the way they are made and then add a modern edge in to the mix.

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17 December 2010

Urban Outfitter's Boutique Brands -Velour and Alife SS11 collection

Swedish fashion brand Velour call their style  ‘Feel good Preppy’ where the designs mix the classic preppy look with Swedish west coast influences.

For SS11, colours are light and fresh such as this mint cable knit jumper and baby blue chinos with checked shirt.
Teamed with a pair of Alife crepe soled plimsolls for the retro feel
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15 December 2010

Black Tie Event - The Overcoat

You still need to look the part when you arrive and leave, so no parkas, trench coats, anoraks or other casual coats.
The chesterfield is the traditional formal overcoat, but other dressy long overcoats in a dark colour are acceptable. The formal scarf is white silk with tassels.
Oliver Sweeney Enfield cashmere coat
Oliver Sweeney has a simple but high quality navy pure cashmere chesterfield coat (no velvet collar) named the Enfield after the vintage motorcycle. Price at time of print £795.00. More details on their website: www.oliversweeney.co.uk
Udeshi Astrakan coat
Udeshi has a more flamboyant overcoat again in the chesterfield style. The Astrakan coat was inspired by a coat worn by a prominent 1960s “gentleman” gangster, and the collar and lapels are covered in astrakan (Persian lamb) imitation. The coat is cut with a fly front and unusually double vents – which allows more comfort and easier access to the back trouser pocket. Price at time of print £1475. Check out there website for more details www.udeshi.com

Ede & Ravenscroft scarf and overcoat plus tuxedo
For the above scarf and overcoat check our www.edeandravenscroft.co.uk

Remember, Black tie events are where you guys can look suave and sophisticated in monochrome – leave the glitz and colour to us ladies – dressed in the right attire you don’t need it.

For overcoats and scarves on Amazon:

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14 December 2010

Black Tie Event -The Shoes & Socks

A pump with silk bows is the traditional evening shoe and dates back to the 16th C when they were worn with knee breeches and silk stockings. The name derives from pomp because of their elegance.
Oliver Sweeney's Globe patent slip on
However most men now wear either black patent-leather or well shined calf skin slip-ons or oxfords. The slip on is the most formal of the two.
For patent go high end as the cheaper patent shoes will crack over time.
Oliver Sweeney's Oscar patent lace ups
Oliver Sweeney patent leather is a result of calf leather being sanded on the top surface to give a mirror finish and then a thin layer of polyurethane is applied giving a true patent finish. They have the two styles the Globe patent slip and the Oscar patent lace. Price at time of print £350.00
Pantherella's black silk socks
Socks should be black silk, no chunky wool or bright patterns. Pantherella have a selection of black silk socks starting from £22 (at time of print

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13 December 2010

Black Tie Event - Cummerbund or Waistcoat?

You don’t have to wear either, however bear in mind your shirt. Waistcoats and cummerbunds are a great way to hide where the dress studs finish and the ordinary buttons start.

Moss Bros/PR Shots
Originally a white pique waistcoat from the formal white tie attire was worn but later this changed to the black vest. They either have their own lapels or if not are in the same fabric as the jacket’s lapels. Waistcoats are great to keep the slim line look if you happen to unbutton your jacket. This is due to the continuation of the same colour from trouser to waistcoat.
Cummerbunds (from the Hindu word kamarband) were originally sashes worn in India and brought back by the British. The sash should be worn with the folds pointing upwards –originally so that men had somewhere to keep their opera or theatre tickets handy. Cummerbunds can accentuate a portly stomach, but can give the skinny guy much needed inches.
Whichever you choose - go for black. Keep the colours for less formal events.
However if you decide to go for colour then only choose the dark shades such as navy or burgundy.

And  always keep your bow tie in black - never match to a coloured cummerbund or waistcoat
Pocket square
Don’t forget your pocket square; this is your finishing touch. Traditionally white linen, but white silk is now more popular.

Full article can be seen in Eclipse Magazine: 

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12 December 2010

Black Tie Event - The Dress Shirt

Always choose white and buy an actual dress shirt, a normal shirt will not do.
M&S PR Shots
The better made formal shirts will have a bib front i.e. a double layer of fabric at the front where it is exposed by the jacket and ending just above the waist. The bib can be plain, pleated or in the traditional Marcella pique pattern.
Wearing studs instead of the top 2/3 buttons of the shirt is traditional and good quality dress shirts will have eyelets to accommodate them. However if the buttons are pearl then this is also acceptable.
Simon Carter jet dress studs
. Simon Carter has a set of 5 clear or jet studs you can add to your shirt.-  http://www.simoncarter.net

What style of collar?
Before WWII, stiff shirts with winged detachable collars were common, but now the modern dress shirt for black tie events is softer with a classic turn down collar and French cuffs. Although in the US they favour the semi-stiff shirt with an attached wing collar, in the UK a wing collar is usually for white tie events only.
Collar styles for black ties are the spread (more formal) and the semi–spread, because both suit a bow tie. 
Spread (wider distance between the collar points.). The spread collar suits slim men or men with long thin faces as the horizontal line of the spread balances out the vertical line of the face.
Udeshi extreme cutaway collar
Udeshi extreme cutaway is their signature collar style and sweeps back as far as possible without it disappearing altogether. Price at time of print is £185-  http://www.udeshi.co.uk
Eton dress shirt
The more rounded face should go for the semi spread as the horizontal line of the collar is not as prominent. If you have a very round or wide face go for the longest collar tips you can find on a semi spread collar as these create vertical lines which will balance more with your face.  Eton shirts have moderate cutaway and classic point collars with longer collar points. Price at time of print £110-£130

Cufflinks should be monochrome and if wearing dress studs should either match or harmonise with them. 

Angelo Galasso cufflinks
 Go for stylish mother of pearl such as these Angell Galasso silver cufflinks (stockists: 8-10 hans Rd, London SW3 1RX 0207 584 3978) or ...
Simon Carter cufflinks
....these understated onyx bars from Simon Carter.

Article seen in Eclipse Magazine 

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Dress shirts on Amazon:
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11 December 2010

Black Tie Event - The Dinner Jacket

The Dinner jacket evolved from the smoking jacket. In 1860, tailors Henry Poole & Co made a short black smoking jacket for the trend setting Prince of Wales (later to be Edward VII)  to wear to semi-formal gatherings away from London as a comfortable alternative to the stuffy formal wear of the tail coat.
James Potter a rich New Yorker took the look back to the states with him where it proved so popular at the exclusive country club, the Tuxedo Park Club; it became their informal dining uniform.  And you’ve guessed it - the jacket became known as a tuxedo.
In fact the name tuxedo came years before the name dinner jacket. In Britain it was still known as a smoking or lounge jacket.

What style jacket to choose?
Moss Bros/PRShots- examples of shawl collar(front) & notched collar(back)

 The original style was a shawl collar and one buttoned single breasted (derived from the smoking jacket), then came along a more formal look of peaked lapels (from the tailcoat) and later and now more popular are the notched lapels (from lounge suits).
 The shawl collar is softer and would suit the rounder guy and also guys with softer facial features.
Moss Bros/PRShots Example of a peaked collar
The more ostentatious peaked lapels sweep wider than the shawl so will widen the chest area for the slimmer build and also the upward sweep will make shorter guys appear taller. The sharpness of the peaked lapel also suits sharper facial features.
The notched lapel is the most popular although considered less formal by traditionalists.

The first double breasted dinner jacket was ordered from Savile Row by song and dance man Jack Buchanan and was popularised by the Prince of Wales (later to become Edward VIII/Duke of Windsor) in the 1930s. This style is best for the slim to skinny guys as it adds bulk. However it does make the body appear shorter, so it is a good choice for the very tall guy but not so good for the smaller man who should stick to single breasted.  The rounder guys should also avoid double breasted and go for the more slimming one buttoned single breasted style.

Most DJ’s are vent less which create the illusion of height and a slimmer silhouette – especially great for the shorter guys and the heavier guys.  Some do have side vents but are less formal and don’t look as elegant, best kept for the taller and skinnier guys.

What colour?

Primark/PRShots- navy tuxedo
Always black or midnight blue.  Both are the only acceptable formal colours, so please do not be tempted to wear any other colour. The midnight blue has more depth and is said to look more black than black in artificial light. Black can take on a greenish hue.  The wearing of midnight blue was popularised by the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII/Duke of Windsor) in the 1920’s. However it is not as popular today and is hard to find unless you have one custom made, which can be expensive.
 www.asuitthatfits.com is reasonable starting from £210 and has fine Kid mohair in midnight blue.  For designer wear, Calvin Klein has a 2 buttoned single breasted suit (Troy) in midnight blue and going to the other end of the market, Primark has a navy tuxedo suit.
If you purchase just one DJ then go for black, people will notice the midnight blue more and realise you only have one formal suit. With the black you can get away with owning just one.

Hire or to buy?
It’s nice to own a dinner jacket, you don’t have to run around looking for a suit to hire, you’re ready for any short notice formals and you know no one else has worn it.  But if your body shape changes and you gain a few pounds over the years then squeezing in to a tight fitting DJ is not the best look, besides being very uncomfortable.
With hiring you know it’s going to fit you every time and if you don’t go to many black tie events, it’ll work out cheaper.  Also you can choose different styles and designers each time. Austin Reed and Moss Bros are established places to hire black tie attire. Austin Reed has a new Q Club you can join to help you choose the right formal wear. www.qtheclub.co.uk.
Moss Bros/PRShots - Hugo Boss suit
Moss Bros have designer dinner suits such as the one button peak lapel Hugo Boss dinner jacket with matching trousers, Ben Sherman and a three button Ted Baker.
Ede & Ravenscroft black tie attire
If you are planning on going to several black ties then in the long run buying is the cheaper option .-Ede & Ravenscroft are specialist in formal wear and have an extensive selection of tailoring  and accessories ranging from £395 for the dinner jackets and £154.99 for the evening trousers at time of print.

Matalan/PRShots- formal trousers with braces
The trousers
Obviously have to be cut from the same cloth as the jacket so buy or hire together. The fabric on the seams should match the fabric on the jacket’s lapels- satin or grosgrain
The more formal have front pleats, are high waisted and held up by braces.  This style hides a less than perfectly flat stomach, makes the legs look longer, and allows a looser waistband for those large meals.  It may not be cutting edge fashion but we’re talking tradition and style here.
Definitely do not wear a belt.

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Tuxedos on Amazon:
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10 December 2010

Black Tie Event - The Bow Tie

Christmas and New Year are near, festivities have started including Black Tie events .
At a glance, it looks as though you’ve got it easy when it comes to black tie attire: all the guess work of what to wear is nonexistent, everyone expects you to turn up in the same outfit as everyone else and you get to wear it over and over again! Plus black tie attire is going to make you look ‘smoking hot’ – no matter what body shape you are.

But smoking hot can turn in to a damp squib if you don’t follow a few simple sartorial rules. 

So let's start with the obvious: The Black Tie

The colour clue is in the title - black, no other colour is acceptable at a true black tie event.
The tie also should also be a Bow Tie, preferably of silk and should always match the texture of your jacket’s lapels. If your lapels are smooth satin silk then go for a satin silk bow tie but if your lapels are of grosgrain then your bow tie needs a textured finish such as grosgrain, barathea or faille.
Go for a self tie one rather than a pre-tied. How else are you going to get that sexy loose draped tie look at the end of the night?

Keep the tie proportional to your face – the ends of the bow should be in line somewhere between the edge of your face and the outer corners of your eyes.  Anything smaller or larger your head will look disproportional.
The type of tie is also important:
Moss Bros - Butterfly style bow tie
The Butterfly tie is a large bow and should only be worn by men with a large neck size, bigger face and chin; otherwise you may end up looking more like a clown than James Bond.
Primark - batwing style bow tie
The straight Batwing tie is narrow and is best for thin men with longish faces and a narrow collar size.
Diamond pointed Bow ties are not as common so are good to add a bit of individuality whilst sticking to the black tie rules.
Eton - thistle style bow tie
However the Thistle or semi-butterfly is the more classic and popular tie.  It is smaller than the full butterfly and thicker than the batwing tie so is a safer choice for most men.

Remember a black bow tie will make you look stylish, a coloured one will take away most of the sophistication.

Part of article as seen in 

All images from PRShots
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Black Bow Ties available on Amazon:
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