Monday, November 17, 2014

Brands: Combatant Gentlemen Navy Blue Modern Fit Suit

November has been a quiet month due to exams and a lot of pressure at work, however, now that I have the exams out of the way I think it's time I finally posited on the navy blue modern fit suit by Combatant Gentlemen. As I have alluded before Combatant Gentlemen is a fairly new menswear outfitter available online. They are slowly making their mark on the online menswear world and nothing gives me more encouragement about them than their recent developments; they have expanded their range to include outerwear and black tie formal. They seem like they mean business by offering suiting and other garments in quality fabrics at very affordable and reasonable prices.

The suit is a dark navy blue shade, however, it can be distinguished from other shades of dark navies. The fabric is 100% pure Italian wool. For me, the fabric is the best thing about the suit. It is simply beautiful; smooth to the touch, comfortable and soft, I think it will satisfy a lot of gentlemen who are interested. The suit is off the rack, it comes in a size of your choice, I chose a size 40R and the trousers, which are flat-front, were a size 36 waist. The trousers are unhemmed and this means I could finish them in any way I wanted. I chose to have them cuffed especially because the fabric is a little on the warm side with some heft. This suit, by the way, is appropriate for autumn right through spring; it'll be too hot and heavy for summer. The back image evinces some of the flaws of a off the rack suit; fabric bunching from the lower back to between the shoulder blades. The sleeves also were slightly baggy and this explains the bunching of the fabric through the tricep. These are minor flaws, I believe with time the quality of the construction of the suits will get better and more precisioned.

I had to play it safe, Combatant Gent suits come in a slim and modern sizing, and I elected a modern size just to avoid disappoint in case a slim fit didn't fit. 

For me this suit is a great start for the young professional who is starting to build his wardrobe and is looking for a suit which is affordable quality. I'm sure you'll agree that $200 US isn't bad at all; and that, in my opinion, makes Combatant Gentlemen very competitive in the online menswear milieu.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pick Of The Week: Supremebeing White Canvas Stitch Plimsoll

If you've been mulling making forays into white garment territory then you can start here; the Supremebeing canvas stitch plimsoll. Now that it's spring it's time to brighten up your footwear and these sneakers are the way to go. Minimal in design, sleek and low-cut, this is the best choice when it comes to sneakers for spring and summer. Conversely, in autumn and spring sneaker choices should be on the chunky, thick-soled side because they work with heavier fabrics.

The great thing about sneakers in summer is that they come in an array of colours, textures and designs, and this makes it possible to experiment with various clothing styles, dress codes and combinations. The Supremebeing signature plimsoll with a foreshortened toe section and low profile top line also features flat laces and signature Supremebeing bamboo sole unit.

These sneakers are this week's pick of the week because they're an essential, however, more importantly, they are on sale, marked down from R650 to R195. I have my own pair that I purchased sometime in September and recently broke out for the first time this past weekend. I also obtained them on sale for R260.

I attended a beauty pageant at the weekend hosted by professional football club Mamelodi Sundowns. The occasion was the Miss Mamelodi Sundowns 2014 Durban Regional Finals. My wife implored me not to wear a suit and when I finally decided on what to wear the end result was this slim fitting navy suit, a grey henley, a light blue gingham pocket square, and the Supremebeing stitch plimsoll's. I was very comfortable, I didn't feel overdressed and this was a good way of dressing down without being over the top. 

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Reader Questions: Tailors In Durban

Hey man! I just stumbled across your blog. Really great stuff, thanks.

I wanted to ask you very quickly if you could recommend a good tailor in Durban?

I am currently looking to buy a suit as I'm starting a new job soon, in London and it's important to me that I am looking as goo as I can be.

I am tired of dealing with salesmen in suit shops trying to upsell me on overpriced items when they don't have even the first clue about the fundamentals of style, let alone fit.

I will probably by a suit off the rack (budget restrictions), and then have it adjusted. I am also thinking of getting some shirts custom made.

Any help you can offer would be absolutely fantastic. I am open to anything in the Pietermaritzburg/Durban area.

Kind regards,

Hi Duncan

Thank you for your email and enquiry. I have tried a few tailors in Durban over the years and I have two that I use exclusively: Soli Omar Tailors and The Tailor Shop. The former is in central Durban and the latter in Montclair, 10 minutes south of Durban. My experiences with them have been varied, for different reasons, however I’ve been more than happy with the end result on all occasions. Whether it’s been work I’ve had redone due to an improper fit or an enquiry, I have always been a happy customer.

At the moment I’ve been frequenting The Tailor Shop, owned by Vic Gobrie, a whole lot more simply because of its proximity to my home. Their work is commendable and their customer service is exceptional. They engage the customer, carry out instructions to the tee, and they also offer suggestions where applicable. I’d advise that you speak to them and ask questions because they listen to everything. Also, don’t be hesitant to  push the envelope because they are willing and the best they can do is try. Currently, I have a jacket that is being reworked into a waistcoat and I’m just waiting for the final product, maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t, but, at least Vic will have tried.

I don’t have any experience in custom suits, therefore, I think it’s best if you say you’ll buy off the rack and then have it altered. I have read too many blogs that all speak the same thing when it comes to the fundamentals of custom suits that I have my doubts when it comes to South African tailors. I, honestly, really wonder about the quality, craftsmanship and handwork that goes into a custom suit made in SA. On this issue, I will encourage you to speak to Vic because through our many interactions I have come to know that he also make custom suits. This of course is another direction that this blog has been yearning to take.

I have absolutely nothing unpleasant to say about Soli Omar because I have had stellar results on all the work they’ve done for me. They are experienced, have been in existence for many years and everyone is knowledgeable in menswear and tailoring. In everything always communicate what you want done and that’s what must be carried out. At Soli Omar speak to Mohammed or Yunus, they are the two gentlemen I work with and they are definitely on top of their game.

I also like the idea of getting custom shirts and this points this blog in another direction which will be useful to us. I’m sure there are other reputable, quality tailors between Durban and Pietermaritzburg…I just need to get out more.

Soli Omar: 331 Monty Naicker Rd (formerly Pine str), Durban, 4001
031 305 5856

The Tailor Shop: 141 Jacobs Rd, Durban, 4001
031 465 7408

I sincerely hope you find what you’re looking for and get the best results.

                                                   PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Style: The Anatomy Of A Shirt

These are the basic terms used for all the different parts of a shirt. Men's clothing is a vast subject which takes time to learn, especially on a subjective level. These images evince just what is most important on a shirt and where it is located. I suppose, as much as you will learn from it, your tailor, shirt maker or salesman in the store should and must know what the anatomy of a shirt entails. There's so much to the subject of shirts, the collars, the sleeves, the buttoning, the cuffs, the fabrics, and the patterns. What is cannot be disputed is that it forms an integral part of an outfit and it definitely says a lot about attention to detail.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pick Of The Week: Cutty Bright Chinos

If there is slight apprehension from a gent regarding the incorporation of bright colours into your wardrobe then allow spring to be your guide. This is a start when it comes to bringing diversity to your wardrobe, in a stylish and subtle way. There's no better place experimenting with bright and vibrant colours than these Cutty chinos available from Runway Sale. A little about these chinos; they are made from 100% cotton with a slim leg fit, side tabs, branded buttons and a branded leather trim above the back pocket. They are pretty standard, quality chinos that subscribe to the spring palette and weather conditions.

Using colour to make an outfit fresh works, especially in spring when one can take it a step further by wearing garments with bright colours. In winter bright can be worn with accessories like socks, shoes, bags, etc, but spring is a real opportunity to work in something more substantial socks or shoes. 

I'm one of those gents who is slowly working his through the bright colour scheme (I'm going to be wearing white pants for the first time in my life, I think) therefore if I was looking wear any of the chinos featured here I would definitely play it safe with the rest of my ensembles. They're bright and command a lot of attention in the first place, therefore anchor them down with blues. Think of a navy blue blazer; you can pair it with everyone of these pants. It is the safest but most stylish way to complete this look. Pairing them with a white shirt is also playing in the safe zone.

Bright chinos are not your average man's wardrobe staple.In fact, when it coves to summer trousers, most men play it safe. Navy blue then is the colour of choice for most men. These colours are light but not loud and are safe for any gent looking to start the alternative colours route. This is an opportunity to kick your style into a higher gear by confidently wearing bright chinos. I'm of the opinion that once you pull off bright chinos, colourful, bright jackets aren't too far behind. This isn't my pick of the week if the price isn't right, and for R249, I'm sure we can all agree that that's value for money.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Style: Men's Denim 101

I've had questions relating to denim for a long time, and it's being one question upon another because of the things I was discovering about denim. For instance I was under the impression that jeans and denim are the same. Only to find that a jean is a style or design of pants and then denim is the actual fabric. So there is a difference. Then things got a little more complicated with something called selvedge denim because during the earlier years of this blog selvedge denim was all the rage. I wanted to know more about it but I just didn't do the research because to me a pair of denim jeans is just that. Rue La La has recently launched a guide to men's denim. The guide provides information on everything from cut, color and washes of the classic wardrobe staple. I obliged because this is an opportune time for this type of post and the fact that it has immense educational value. Therefore without further delay I will let them take it away. Please click on the pictures to enlarge them.

                                Read more about denim trends on the Rue La La blog, The (Style) Guide.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Style: Can You Stand The Rain?

I remember a scene from the Steve Harvey where he posed a question to his class where he asked,
 "who was Christopher Columbus?". After much commotion, Sarah, a learner, responds rather ignorantly and says "Columbus was a TV detective with a cigar and trench coat". You know who she was referring to, right? Well due to the rainy weather we've been  experiencing to mark the beginning of spring, I finally got an opportunity to break the Strellson trench coat. Yes, I did try it on when I bought it but I wasn't ready for the perfect fit it would show when I wore it with a suit. On a rainy day last week I definitely felt confident enough to rock it.

I'm a happy customer. I am happy with the fit throughout the body, the length is perfect as well because it hits just a smidgen above the knee, the sleeves are long enough and in relation to shirt and jacket sleeve, the coat sleeves allow for both to show. The belt and buttoning fit right in as well. I'm glad that I didn't have to take it in for any kind of alterations.

As stated before this trench coat is very light and although it was rainy and chilly, it added a touch of warmth as well. The collar stands quite rigidly and does a good job of protecting the neck. One thing I did miss mentioning about this coat is that it has a small top button on the lapel and a 
 button hole on the opposite lapel to give it complete closure. Almost like an English hunting collar on tweed jackets.

I can definitely stand the rain in this trench coat because it fulfills all its functions, most impressive is that it is waterproof and in the light, unrelenting rain we experience in Durban I know I'll be dry.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.