28 May 2011

New Look Men's Autumn/Winter 2011 Collection

New Look Autumn/winter 2011 for men is all about the great outdoors. It's the rugged look of well worn items such as weathered jeans, the oil wash parka ,vintage wash chinos and check workwear shirts.
Above image left to right:
Gingham shirt £17.99,fair isle cardigan £34.99, fair isle fingerless gloves $5.99and straight jeans £24.99
Fair isle bobble hat £8.99, checked shirt £19.99, padded gilet £27.99 and oil wash jeans £32.99
Faux fur trapper hat £12.99, End on end shirt £19.99, fair isle scarf £10.99, fisherman jumper £24.99, fair isle fingerless gloves £5.99 and twill trousers £27.99
Overdyed check shirt £19.99 and straight jeans £29.99
Fair isle bobble hat £8.99, pea collar shirt £14.99, tailored tweed jacket £54.99, checked parka £44.99, reversible belt £8.99 and chinos £27.99

He's a lumberjack and he's OK in his end on end shirt £19.99; his cosy red lumberjack coat with faux shearling collar £49.99; belted cuff chinos £27.99 and his checked high top boots £39.99.

Chunky navy Fair Isle knits reappear for the colder months . Here seen as a shawl cardigan £32.99 and teamed with a cowl neck denim shirt £26.99 and red chinos £27.99.
The cable jumper is another chunky hunk at £29.99, here worn with the popular red check shirt £19.99 and faux fur trimmed parka £49.99 

The keycolours for the check shirts are reds, blues and greens.
Left to right:
Red checked shirt £19.99 and faux fur trimmed parka £44.99 with ripped worker jeans £32.99.
Overdyed checked shirt £19.99, fair isle fingeless gloves £5.99 and straight jeans £32.99

There will also be a hint of the country gent with tweed and tailored jackets, gingham shirts and elegant knitwear.
Here given a modern twist with fair isle bobble hat £8.99, red gingham shirt £17.99, dogtooth check tie £5.99, fair isle cardigan £32.99, denim tailored jacket £54.99, fair isle fingerless gloves £5.99 and red chinos £27.99

Available soon from www.newlook.com 

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26 May 2011

Men's Grooming Products Awards by CEW

The Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) hosted their 6th annual Beauty Awards this year at the Intercontinental London Park Lane. 
And for the men's grooming products they awarded the following:
Best New Men’s Grooming Product- Mass category.
Nivea for Men Q10 Revitalising Gel 

This light gel contains Coenzyme Q10 which supplies the cells with long lasting energy and Mint Extracts to cool the skin and wake up the senses. Absorbs in to the skin leaving no greasy residue. Apply morning and evening over face and neck avoiding the eye area.

 Best Men’s Grooming Product - Prestige category 
 Shiseido for Men Skin Empowering Cream.

Formulated with Carnosine DPTM, the oxidation-fighting peptide and Beech Bud extract. Helps minimise the appearance of wrinkles and improves skin resilience around the eye area and facial contour with regular use. Apply morning and evening.

Best New Men’s Fragrance:
Chanel Bleu De Chanel EDT.

A new woody aromatic fragrance containing citrus notes of lemon and grapefruit, woody notes of cedar and sandalwood with labdanum, nutmeg, ginger,patchouli, mint, vetiver, jasmine and pink pepper..

The main sponsors of the awards were www.superdrug.com

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21 May 2011

For a cheap Quality Suit - Go Vintage

Can’t afford a bespoke suit? Then why not buy a vintage bespoke suit and have it altered? 

Founded in 2006, www.savvyrow.co.uk specialise in classic British vintage clothing, including bespoke suits. OK these bespoke suits were made to fit someone else and have been put out to pasture by the original owner, but with a good tailor to make the necessary alterations to fit your own body shape, the suit will be back in the saddle and a favourite to be first past the sartorial winning post. You’ll be placing your £300-£400 bet on a hand tailored suit which was originally sold for around £3000. 

The 70’s are back in trend and this 1976 bespoke 3-piece dark grey suit with royal blue stripe is graded as in immaculate condition at a great price of £175. Estimated fit size UK40 short

Where else would you be able to get a designer suit for £125? This Burberry dark navy blue suit is graded as excellent condition and estimated size is UK46 regular. It is made of medium weight super 100s wool, has horn buttons and a navy blue satin lining with Burberry charger design.

Savvy Row hand picks their garments making sure they are of high quality and have stood the test of time.  They check the items for marks, stains, loose stitching etc and then grade accordingly so you know the condition of the suit.
Mint: An item is as perfect and pristine as when it was originally made and shows no sign of wear (mint condition is rare for vintage clothing).
Immaculate: An item shows only the slightest signs of wear.
Excellent: An item shows typical signs of wear due to occasional use but has no obvious flaws.
Very good: An item is considered wearable but has some obvious flaws (e.g. staining or soiling or loose stitching to lining). Flaws are repairable, so the item can be returned to Excellent condition.
Good: An item is wearable but cannot be returned to Excellent condition even if repairs are made.
Restoration: An item has many significant flaws but its historical value merits an investment.
 Plus they give a comprehensive description and the measurements alongside each suit.

They are also not averse to stocking classic readymade suits as long as they are well made and concentrate on brands such as Aquascutum, Gieves & Hawkes, Austin Reed and others from Saville Row or Jermyn Street.

 An XL immaculate Aquascutum navy blue pin/chalk stripe suit at £109, probably 1980’s. Estimated fit size UK45 regular

This Brook Taverner RTW pale green herringbone suit is not vintage but actually new. It’s a very slight second due to some tiny flaws to the material. At £69 it’s a steal.  Estimated fit size UK46 regular

And before the suit is dispatched to you, they make sure it is clean by steaming it inside and out.

These suits are all one offs and although they were available at time of print, they may have already been snatched up.  But don’t worry as Savvy Row have new stock arriving daily so you just have to keep checking their site.

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20 May 2011

How to get the best fit in a quality suit at a good price

A bespoke suit will be the best fit, but it does come at a hefty price.

So the next best thing is the cheaper made to measure. Here a pre-made pattern will be modified to best fit the customer.  Goldilocks would love it- this suit is not too expensive and not too cheap, it’s just right for a quality suit.

One company that just specialises in made to measure tailoring is ‘A Suit That Fits’on
www.asuitthatfits.com  Tel: 0203 0067999

Here’s Johnny!!! That’s the name of the model and he’s in a Prince of Wales design (code CB-700033-6) in light grey worsted wool perfect for all seasons.  This is in the distinguished range and starts at £305 for a two piece plus any extra styling options.

Their suits are hand tailored in Nepal. Starting with one of their master cutters who all have over 30 years of tailoring experience, the suit pieces are then passed to the tailor for stitching and hand finishing. Once completed the suit is checked at their head office in Kathmandu to make sure the measurements and styles are correct before shipped to England.
All their suits  have half lined trousers and floating canvases

So how does it work?
First step is to choose the style and fabric via their website or by visiting one of their 30 studios nationwide.
They have 3 fabric ranges: Professional, Distinguished and Premiere
The fabrics in both the Distinguished and Premiere ranges are 100% natural fibres, with the Premiere including their finest mohair and wools from the best mills.

The fabric of this navy suit is from the Alfred Brown Yorkshire mills who have been weaving fine worsted fabrics since 1915. Made from pure merino wool (code UKAB-Merino 3) this suit is in the Premiere Range and is ideal for the cooler months. Starts at £375 for a two piece.

Once you’ve selected your fabric, you go on to selecting the style – double or single breasted, one, two or three button etc. But also you can then start selecting the extra details which are synonymous with a quality suit. These are at an additional cost but are reasonable: one of the most expensive is the working cuffs at £25, hand stitched notched lapels are £10, whilst double vents are an extra £6. It can add up but the running total is shown throughout the procedure and allows you to go back and change.
 A Suit That fits say that the average two-piece suit value from their distinguished range comes out at £350 and from their Première range suit at £475. 
There is also a chance to bring out your personality with the choice of lining colours. You don’t always have to have a silver lining, you could go for hot pink, and a two toned effect from their Mystique range or add texture with the stripes and jacquard patterns. Plus you could even go for stitching on lapels and the button hole to match the colour of your lining.

This is a blue medium weight blended herringbone wool from the Distinguished range - ideal for the colder months. (code HAB-5). The bright D51 Paraquette lining keeps the heat up. Starts at £335 for a two piece suit.

Second step is to be measured by either:
Their style advisors in one of their studios for £25.
If you live in London, they can come to you for £50
Do it yourself using their measurement wizard and printable guide for free
The first two include a fit guarantee – no this isn’t some kind of gym membership but a guarantee that your suit will fit and if not then any alterations needed will be at no extra cost. Plus the reordering process is easy as all your details are stored.

And the third and final step is to have the finished suit delivered or you can go to their studio to try it on and ensure it fits perfectly.
www.asuitthatfits.com  Tel: 0203 0067999

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19 May 2011

Quality suit at good prices - It's all in the detailing

We've looked at the fabric, lining and canvas. Now it's the turn of the little details that maketh the quality suit.
Working Cuffs 
The story goes that Napoleon first put buttons on the cuffs of his soldiers’ uniform to stop them from wiping their noses on their sleeves.  You’d think that would have been the least of his worries! And those poor soldiers having to look for a handkerchief in the middle of battle! 
 However, buttons were not put on suit cuffs for the same reason but to enable the sleeves to be rolled back whilst working.  These ‘working ‘ cuffs (button holes that actually open), are a sign of a quality suit.  And Saville Row go one step further saying that a good suit should always have four buttons on the cuffs.

Charle Tyrwhitt navy Italian travel suit
Charles Tyrwhitt Italian travel suits have working four button cuffs with natural corozo buttons. This collection is a herringbone suit in 3 colour tones –charcoal, black or navy. Normal price is £600 but with their May promotion they are £299. They have a high twist yarn to resist creasing and so perfect for travelling.  2 button single breasted jacket, 100%wool woven in Italy. Trousers half lined to the knees. www.ctshirts.co.uk

Kissing or stacked buttons (slightly overlapping) on jacket sleeves are a sign of a good suit. Originally they indicated that the suit was handmade rather than machine made as the buttons were not perfectly aligned.  Now it is possible to have on machine made suits but it is still a sign that some care has been taken to make the suit.
Duchamp electric mohair suit at House of Fraser

Brighten up your day in the Duchamp single breasted electric mohair suit with kissing buttons on the cuffs. Available from House of Fraser. £565
70% wool and 30% kid mohair. Extra detailing is:  double vents, angled flap pockets, lilac butterfly jacquard viscose lining, silk woven butterfly pocket triangle on inside, laser cut filigree resin buttons and exclusive butterfly embroidered melton www.houseoffraser.co.uk

Horn Buttons - made from horn or bone rather than plastic. And if you can’t get horn then corozo is a good option. Referred to as ‘vegetable ivory’, corozo buttons have high scratch resistance and can withstand high and cold temperatures, which helps if the suit needs to be dry cleaned.
Charles Tyrwhitt’s suits in their Black label collection have natural horn buttons.

Charles Tyrwhitt Classic selection

Their cheapest range, the Classic wool suit, has natural corozo buttons.  The suits come in black & white dogstooth, twill (navy or mid grey), chalk stripe (navy or charcoal) and charcoal sharkskin. These are all 2 button but you can get 3 button suits in navy and mid grey twill. All normally at £400 but in their May promotion for £200. They may be cheaper but they still are great quality with 100% wool, floating canvas chest piece, 4 working button cuff, natural corozo buttons and trousers half lined to the knee. www.ctshirts.co.uk

All prices correct at time of publication

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18 May 2011

Canvasing for a Quality Suit at a Good Price

In a quality suit the jacket needs to drape well and in order for it to drape well you need to consider the skeleton of the jacket i.e.:
The Canvas 
Ideally the canvas of the suit should be hand basted rather than fused i.e. the layers of the suit are stitched together rather than glued together. Fused canvases will not move as freely or drape as well so may bubble and pucker over time. Canvases which are hand stitched to the wool shell will move with the rest of the suit.
A hand basted full canvas front will work out more expensive , so to make it cheaper you could opt for either a half canvas front or a floating canvas chest piece.

A half canvas front – the canvas is only half fused and only at the lower part where it doesn’t really touch the body. The top half is stitched so the jacket can mould itself better to the shape of the user. There is also padding sewn in to the lapel where it rolls to give it soft support which lasts longer than a fused suit where it can become flat quicker.

J by Jasper Conran at Debenhams
Can’t afford designer? Then go for their diffusion lines. J by Jasper Conran at Debenhams is £230 for a grey checked two piece suit with a half canvas front and half lined trousers.    80% wool, 10% polyester and 10% polyamide,  www.debenhams.com
A floating canvas chest piece – here some glue is used in the top part of the suit but is not completely stuck to the front of the suit as in a fully fused suit.

T.M.Lewin's Red Label range
T.M.Lewin’s Red Label 2 button suits are contemporary slimmer suits for everyday wear. In this collection is the Borough Navy plain weave with sky piano facing lining and was chosen by the England cricket team. It is made of 100% super 80s merino wool, and with a floating chest piece. Was £450.00 now promotional price of £219.
 Trousers come unhemmed so the right length can be specified and carried out for free.
All prices correct at time of publication.

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17 May 2011

Every Quality Suit has a 'Silver ' Lining

Well it doesn' have to be silver, but you've gone to all the trouble of choosing a 100% wool so your suit can breathe, so you want the lining to also be able to breathe.   
Silk satin will make the suit more expensive so a cheaper option is Cupro. This fabric breathes like cotton, feels like silk and is actually lighter in weight.

Charles Tyrwhitt Black Label range
Charles Tyrwhitt’s Black Label collection is their most contemporary style with a slim cut fit and has cupro body lining with silk trims.  Here they have 3 suits: a black twill, a black & white Prince of Wales check and a tonic blue suit – all at £700 but in the promotion reduced to £350.
The suits in this label are of 100% pure new wool, half canvas construction, and 4 working cuff buttons. The buttons are also of natural horn. The trousers are half lined to the knee with one rear hip pocket. www.ctshirts.co.uk

And every quality suit should have trousers which are lined at the front down to the knees. You don't want to be chafing your delicate skin now do you?

M&S Sartorial suit
Marks & Spencer ‘s  Sartorial pure wool 2 button Pow Check suit in grey is of 100% pure new wool and the trousers are lined.  The Birdseye cloth is from Alfred Brown, a Yorkshire mill renowned for weaving fine worsted fabric.  The price tag of £199 makes it a great quality buy.

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