23 February 2011

Nautical knitwear - the original Guernsey sweater

Spring is coming and the nautical look is always bobbing up from the fashion waters.
However the Guernsey, the ultimate sailing sweater, is more of a classic than a trend.

This medium knit from Guernsey works hard to make it look plain sailing, becoming a favourite for seamen due to its warmth and resistance to sea spray. The classic square-shaped tunic style has a split at the hem for ease of movement and a straight neckline originally so it can be reversed as alternating the front and back made sure is was more hard wearing. Today, you can get them in crew and v neck. During the Napoleonic wars, the Guernsey joined the British Royal Navy and changed from a fresh faced blond in unscoured natural wool to the more deeper navy blue.
The plain knit make this chunky knit look lean, which is a good choice for the larger guy who wants a thick warm jumper without the bulk.
Like most sailors, the Guernsey couldn’t resist having distinct markings on his arms -a rib at the top of the sleeves to represent a sailing ship’s rope ladder , a raised shoulder seam to represent the rope and the garter stitch panel for waves breaking the shore.
check out www.guernseywoollens.com or www.guernseyknitwear.co.uk for the original style
YMC (You Must Create) have updated the look with their Guernsey Briton crew neck with button shoulder. In the traditional navy. Normal price £170 on sale at £119 on www.hubshop.co.uk, dry clean only.

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12 February 2011

The Chunky Hunky knits - lastly the fairest of them all; Fair Isle

A Scottish hunk from the Shetland Isles, although it is said he did get some of his good looks from the Spaniards when a ship from the Spanish Armada was wrecked near the Islands in 1588 and the islanders fell in love with the Moorish patterns the sailors wore. But his striking colouring is all Scottish from local plants and lichens.
In 1922, the Prince of Wales made Fair Isle designs the must-have when he wore an authentic hand knit Fair Isle jumper on the golf course.
Today the Fair Isle looks are emulated by wannabe Fair Isle knits and have become the trend for this season, especially on the chunky knit. Pictured above: New Look Fair Isle-style shawl jumper with gloves. www.newlook.com
The placement of the pattern is important as this will draw the eye towards that area. For those with a larger tummy go for the yoke pattern as in this chunky Republic Soul Cal jumper (pictured above ); it will draw the eye up away from the middle.www.republic.co.uk
Not all the Fair Isle hunks are chunky; even in the finer knits, wearing the pattern along the top will give the illusion of broader, hunkier shoulders. Pictured above: New Look red Fair Isle style jumper. www.newlook.com
But for the fairest Fair Isle of them all and ‘the real MacKay’, you have to look to the Shetland Islands. At Thistle and Broom the website introduces you to the actual knitters.  This ‘Eas a’ Chual Aluinn’ knit (pictured above) is hand-knitted by Agnes in blues, greens and aqua to represent its namesake – the highest British waterfall. It takes her approx 100 hours to create and costs from £245 to £525, depending on what you are buying.  A bit more expensive than the wannabees, but here you are getting a 100% Shetland wool item lovingly hand-knitted which will last, so the cost per wear will work out to be reasonable, if not cheap!
And if you want a very similar pattern to that worn by Edward, Prince of Wales, then Mary Williamson (the actual niece of Maggie Simpson who knitted the Prince’s jumper), is your knitter! She knits tank tops, waistcoats and cardigans in the pattern and even skull caps modelled here (pictured above) by her son-in-law John.

 Full article on http://www.eclipsemagazine.co.uk/NewEclipse/Joomla15/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=48&Itemid=74

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10 February 2011

The Chunky Hunky Knits- This time the Cable Guys

The Cable Guys look hunky in the chunky knits, but more of a ‘geek’ look in the finer yarns.
French Connection

Both are a good trendy look, but if you’re going for the hunky look it has to be a chunky knit. This is good for the slimmer guys but for the more rounded guys -why add unnecessary bulk the cables will create?
Musto Summer coast knit- www.musto.com

So either go for a sweater which isn’t all cable stitch. Musto’s Summer Coast knit just has the cable stitch around the shoulders and upper arms, taking the bulk away from the tummy area and drawing the eye towards your shoulders. www.musto.com
Jackson jumper - www.qualityknitwear.co.uk

Or avoid the cable knits all together. Quality Knitwear’s khaki/orange Jackson jumper shows a hand knitted plain stocking stitch is just as effective. Price £60.www.qualityknitwear.co.uk
Ashton & Logan www.am-golhar.com

Specialised textile knitwear Designer Am Golhar shows you can be a double chunky hunk proving that layering is not just for the finer knits. Here we have the hand knitted ‘Logan’ cable crew neck sweater in camel at £238 and the angora blend ‘Ashton’ rib cardigan in dark chocolate at £136. www.am-golhar.com
At the moment her collection is only stocked in Milan (those lucky Italians) but you can email for sales enquiries on info@am-golhar.com

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8 February 2011

Chunky hunky knitwear - the Aran

Aran – The typical ‘hunk’ of the chunky knits.

Originating from the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland, the Aran is the younger more enterprising brother of the Gansey. Not as hard working, this sweater relies on his rugged blond looks and thicker wool to attract outside buyers to give the families on the island more income. He probably never went out to sea with the fishermen as his bulkier and stiffer style restricted movement, leaving this to his leaner and more flexible brother the Gansey. The traditional blond colour was due to the sweater being made from undyed sheep’s wool.
He does have one party trick – he can absorb 30% of his weight in water before feeling wet. And also draws water vapour away from the body keeping the wearer warm and dry.
This style with its pattern stitch and worn in a light colour will add bulk so good for the skinny guy.
And it may not make you more rounded guys in to hunks but what’s wrong with the soft cuddly teddy bear look? Go for the Aran cardigan in a darker colour which will be more slimming with its v neck front.
For one off vintage knitwear pieces visit www.qualityknitwear.co.uk .
They only stock retro and vintage knitwear including the classic Aran. This cardigan called ’These Loving Arms’ is selling at £45 and comes in large with tortoise shell buttons. But don’t worry if you are pipped at the post with this one as they do have other Arans online.

Full article on http://www.eclipsemagazine.co.uk/NewEclipse/Joomla15/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&catid=48%3Amens-fashion&id=2262%3Aknitwear-for-men-chunky-hunks&Itemid=74

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7 February 2011

Chunky Hunky Knitwear - First in line The Gansey

Gansey – The original hunky fisherman.
This hunk has always worked hard for his living, keeping the fishermen warm and dry, allowing easy movement so he can get on with his work and unfortunately sometimes providing ID for those who drowned and whose bodies were washed up on the shore.
The Gansey from www.ganseys.co.uk

 Always in shades of moody dark blue with the grease (lanolin) left in the staple for better protection against cold wet winds, these workaholic sweaters were never washed. Luckily the fishermen had a Sunday best sweater that smelled more eau de sea spray than from the everyday fishy collection.
The sweater is seamless and has the patterns front and back – this allows the sweater to be reversible- a good trick to keep those areas such as the elbows from wearing out so soon.  Another trick was to leave the lower sleeve plain so it could be unravelled and re knitted.
The neck and cuffs were tight to prevent water from seeping in but the actual torso was looser to allow freedom of movement
Although looking good , the intricate stitch patterns were there for a reason – to provide extra insulation from the cold winds, plus the way they were tightly stitched helped the water run off the sweater.  These creative patterns of ropes, diamonds, cables, ladders, herringbones and anchors symbolised the fishermen’s daily lives. The knitters would also add initials or mistakes to indicate their village and sometimes their family which is how they could identify the drowned bodies
Not as popular now, this sweater is hard to find but can be purchased through: www.ganseys.co.uk
And glad to report, the Gansey has relaxed a little with a selection of colours other than navy and no more grease!
This sweater is great for the outdoors due to its warmth, freedom of movement and some water resistance. 
A good chunky for the shorter guy because traditionally the sweater is shorter in the sleeves (so they wouldn’t get in the way when hauling in the catch) and in the torso length, so this style will not swamp you.
And good for the more rounded guy as this chunky is not too bulky.  Go for the dark colours and the vertical patterns such as the Filey, to slim down the torso.

For the full article read: 

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4 February 2011

How to Choose Men's Swimwear

Karen Grace from www.frumpytofunky.com shows off different types of swimwear available to men looking to choose the right pair of swimming trunks.

Style For Men:
How To Choose Mens Swimwear

Now, we're going to talk about how to choose men's swimwear. There are so many different styles, so you need to consider your body shape, but choose a type that you feel comfortable in. There are the board shorts, they're longer length and they were designed for active sports wear.

So, they do have a Velcro fly and the tie at the front, and so they do look like they would fall down, but they're quite secure, because they were designed for surfing. So, they can take the force of a strong wave. Now, they usually come in bright colours.

Now, this is good for the skinnier guy to add bulk. But for the larger guy, go for the more subtle colors. You don't have to go for black, but go for the darker colors and less pattern.

And what that will do, will slim you down. Also for both skinny and larger guys, you can get baggy and super baggy in board shorts. Always go for just the least baggy you can go because if you have the super baggy, for the larger guy, it will make you look bigger, and for the skinnier guy, it will make you look skinnier.

For the skinny guy, if you want to add bulk, as I say, go for the loud colors. Go for the loud patterns, and go for all these pockets, they will add bulk. For the large guy, go for maybe less patterns, deeper colors, and go for the more streamlined look.

Now, they do come in different leg sizes. They come just above the knee, on the knee, and below the knee. Now, if you're the shorter guy, you need to go for the shorter board shorts because the length will make you look shorter, so always go for the shorter style.

For the taller guy, you can go for any length you feel comfortable with. And now we're going to move over the Bermuda shorts. This is shorter in length to the board shorts.

It still can be baggy, but it's not as baggy and it has elasticated waists. It's also more conservative in colors and the patterns. So, it does suit the more mature guy, who still wants a younger look, but doesn't want to go for the very youthful board shorts.

And now, we move on to the short shorts. Now, these are coming in fashion and they have a retro feel to them. So they're better to expose more leg if you want to have tanned legs, they're also good for the shorter guys because they do expose more leg, and so therefore, you're taller than if you were wearing the Bermuda's or board shorts.

So, just watch out for those because they are coming into fashion. And then, last and least are the boxer shorts and the briefs, the swimming briefs. Now, if you're a serious swimmer, then these are quite good because they have less drag in the water and if you have an athletic body, then you're okay.

But they don't actually disguise any imperfections. Now, they're not that popular in the UK or the US but they're very popular in South America and the rest of Europe. And in some places, such as France, these are the only types of swimwear men can wear in the local swimming pool.

So, if you're going to France, you need to consider that. And that's how you choose men's swimwear.

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