Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Pick(s) Of The Week: Pringle

Courtesy of Runway Sale, an end of season sale featuring items from Pringle. These items are all marked down and they definitely have a place in a gent's wardrobe. Some might say you're getting ahead of yourself. I think it's preparing early for next winter.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Style: My Favourite Winter Shirt Pattern

Rather fitting that this post comes on the last day of winter, even though it's not officially over. The weather however has been incredibly warm. Joburg has been hot and Durban is back to its humid self. I thought I'd touch on a shirt that's been a favourite of mine for many years, way before I became conscious of menswear and style. When winter comes around this has become my go-to shirt because of its colour scheme, pattern and versatility. Winter in Durban isn't that cold so the fabric isn't a big issue just as long as it's warm enough but not sweat inducing like a polyester blend.

This shirt is white with a check of brown and navy blue. It's one of my favourite. I first had a shirt of this nature back in 2003 and after misplacing that one it became something I missed in my wardrobe. After starting this blog in 2009, I came across this one by Ralph Lauren and the only difference it had with the original one I had was that it was button-down. Needless to say that I purchased it without much thought because it had long been a wardrobe staple. Whereas the original one was a spread collar, this one was button-down and this appealed to me because it presented me with many other ways of wearing it.

Brown is an incredibly versatile colour especially because it works with so many other colours that are suitable for autumn and winter. Grey, navy, green, brown; it's just that malleable. I consider it a statement colour with so many valuable properties because of its complementary qualities. It's a casual shirt therefore pairing it with jeans and this brown leather jacket was the obvious choice.

This shirt is slightly more dressy with a sturdy collar that allows me to wear it without a tie. It also has the same colour scheme although the only difference is the pattern. The RL shirt has a mini window-pane check and this one is gingham. It is a spread collar and what I like about it is that the colours make it a bold, standout piece. I also like the fact that it can be paired with a blue, navy, brown, green or grey necktie. That's just how versatile it is.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Style: A Lighter Shade Of Blue

Any shade of blue is probably considered the most complementary colour because of its versatility. Think of a blue shirt and just how well it works with almost any combination of colours and how it's able to hold its own but contributing to the outfit's harmonious aesthetic. I find that blue attire is very easy to incorporate into my wardrobe because it is easy to work with and blends in easily with other clothes and colours. What I find quite concerning is the fact that I find it difficult to incorporate light blue accessories. The knit tie and socks above are what I'm talking about. I've had these items for more than a year now but I haven't worn them because I've found them difficult to coordinate with my combinations. This then begs the question, why did I buy them? Well, it was a case of my eye being captivated and I also thought that it was a colour I don't have, so why not experiment.

I find that with a dark shirt the contrast will be stark and striking and with a light shirt it'll be bland or bright. So the right balance in colour between shirt and tie is key. So I am still pretty much thinking and trying the tie with different colour shirts, but a white shirt seems to work every time whether it's with a grey or navy suit. This colour also forces me to think creatively as to what other colours complement this shade.

The socks will be of better use in summer because they are under the calf and made of cotton. The key is to wear them in such a way that they don't stick out like white socks. This will require careful consideration especially where the rule regarding socks being a shade darker than the trousers comes into play. These are definitely not to be worn with a business suit but should rather form part of a casual ensemble or a casual suit. I'm sure you'll agree that in this case the other rule of matching your socks with your trousers would be inapt because this kind of blue on blue wouldn't be flattering. For now though, they continue to ride the pine in hopes of getting playing time soon.

If you have any suggestions I would appreciate them.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Where Is The Love?: Beauty Blog Awards 2015

This is a first for this blog. It has been nominated in the Best Male Grooming category against some illustrious and well deserving gentlemen. I will be attending the event this coming Saturday evening and if my communication with the South African Beauty Blog Awards is anything to go by, it promises to be a memorable and fun filled event. I am in a catecory with ten other gentlemen who are diverse with a vested interest in blogging and menswear. This is also a unique opportunity to meet bloggers from across the spectrum who blog about anything and everything, and a chance to network and learn from everyone involved. There are nine categories and each category will be sponsored by a company that is associated with the SABBA. It's also good to know that there was a rigorous nomination and shortlisting process which considered design, content, author experience, and social media activity as the deciding factors. A panel comprising four judges will be on hand to select the category winners and this presents an opporunity to learn more about what makes a winning blog, not only for an award but a blog that appeals and resonates with a specific target audience. 

So, I look forward to this coming Saturday and especially learning from this experience. I will most definitely feedback on the event in its entirety. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the individual(s) who nominated my blog for this award. I don't know who did it but I'm grateful to you and my sincere wish is that the Lord God Almighty bless you!

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Pick Of The Week: Polo Sleek Leather Belt

I literally don't wear a belt with my trousers anymore. I'm trying to think back but I can't recall in the immediate past a time I wore a belt. I have quite a few, in different styles and designs but they are hanging mostly in my wardrobe. I stumbled upon these gems on Runway Sale and I thought they make the perfect starter pack for any style conscious gent. Black, dark brown and tan; these colours make for great complementary pieces and they also work year around irrespective of the season. These are also very suited for business dress code because of their slim design. Always pay attention to the colour of your belt buckle because that's how you will match the rest of your accessories like watches and rings, and the bag you carry sometimes. They say the rule is, always match your belt with your shoes; well, that might be the case however, do give the rest of your outfit consideration especially when dressing down.

Consider as well that these belts aren't showy; the days of the designer belt with a huge logo and buckle for everyone to see are long gone.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Style: Avoid These Mistakes

I have been meaning to do this post for a very long time especially after what happened yesterday, I thought this would be a good time to reflect on some mistakes we make when dressing. There are menswear rules and for a long time they were cast in stone, however, over the time the stone has been eroded so much that menswear has become very personal and subjective. Men get dressed in whatever they want, however they want, without any regard for the rules or maybe a lack of knowing the rules. I've been thinking about it and these are seven style mistakes a gent should avoid perpetrating.

1. Leaving the stitched-on label on a jacket sleeve. Some gents don't know that the label on the sleeve should be removed, some leave it there in order to flash the brand name of the suit. In actual fact the label has to be removed. Rather let the suit as a whole speak for itself and not the label.

2. Socks that are not over the calf. From personal experience I can say that this is a pet peeve of mine. I really doubt that the average South African man is privy to how wonderful and useful over the calf socks are. Ankle high and calf length socks just don't suffice because they expose a man's shin, which can be quite unsightly. Over the calf socks don't necessarily cause warmth to the leg. In the right fabric it can be warm or cool, depending on the weather. Another factor to consider in the scarcity of over the calf socks could be the fact that they are difficult to find.

3. Undershirt with inscriptions under a shirt. Nothing is quite unsightly like a bright t-shirt worn as a vest/ undershirt under a shirt. Plain white vests made from cotton with perforations all over are meant for this purpose. More often than not the inscriptions are visible and sometimes unsavoury. Some gents can't wear a vest and will opt for a t-shirt, if you must then go for a white one. This also goes for wearing a crew-neck t-shirt under an open neck shirt, if the t-shirt protrudes from under the shirt then it will spoil your whole aesthetic.

4. Tie and shirt only. This look is incomplete because it's missing a jacket. I think it's permissible for boys in their late teens, however, for a young man fresh out of graduate school entering the workforce there is a variety of inexpensive suits and sports jackets to choose from. Without a jacket you're constantly having to tuck in your shirt and so many foibles that would be hidden by a jacket are exposed.

5. Over accessorising. This has become an affectation that has taken away from the essence of dressing and has bordered on gaudy. Nothing has become more ubiquitous and boring quite like flower lapels. They are everywhere. There was a time when I was really into them but they weren't readily available, this was probably four to five years ago. I don't own any and I'm I don't. But this is not only about flower lapels it's about all these accessories men wear to embellish their look. Everything should be done in moderation because as the adage says 'less is more'.

6. Peek-a-boo look. I thought this look stopped when I ceased to be a hip-hop head. But this is when someone is wearing a sweater over a dress shirt and it's untucked, with the shirt tail and front hem hanging below and exposed. We'll give hip-hop heads a pass but, the style conscious gent shouldn't be dressing this way. Keep it tucked in and tasteful.

7. Short jacket and long sleeves. This is a matter of style and proportion. I find some jacket designs to be a little off because you find the sleeves slightly long but the jacket to be short so much so it exposes the rear. This is wrong in a way because the length of the jacket and the sleeves are out of proportion. The jacket sleeves should be long enough to expose two inches of shirt cuff and the jacket long enough to cover your rear.

These are just my observations and I wonder if any of you gents feel the same way?

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Pick Of The Week: Ben Sherman Crew Neck Jumper

Ben Sherman Crew Neck Jumper

I have a love-hate relationship with clothing in general. One time I may like a certain article of clothing, then another time I may dislike it. This goes especially for clothing that I initially dislike and then over time I start gravitating towards it. This can be said for this week's pick of the week: The Ben Sherman crew neck jumper. I can honestlty say that this design of a jumper hasn't been my favourite for a long time. It's only this year that I started giving it some serious attention, especially because of the way it enhances an outfit overall. My favourite jumper all these years has been a V-neck, simply because of the way it enhances the aesthetic and the way it looks, however, I'm convinced that a crew neck deserves the same if not more consideration.

This one by Ben Sherman is made of 100% cotton, it has ribbing on the cuff and the hem, and it also has a chest pocket. I would consider it a casual piece because of the way it's designed. It's great for layering under a jacket, top coat or some kind of outerwear. It looks set for sporty weekend wear as well. One other thing I like about a crew neck jumper is the fact that it holds a shirt collar in, you don't get the collar falling outside of the jumper creating an untidy look. My favourite way to wear any of these jumpers would be with chinos or jeans and a khaki camel top coat, fnished off with come chukka boots.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.