Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Take As Many Trips As Possible

Ever since I first blogged about products by TravelTeq I have no and again gazed and wished for possession of them in any way. That bright orange/ tan laptop bag they debuted last year still gets me all excited. Well this time they have come out with The Trip. The name trip with all its meanings and uses was intended for this bag. This is versatility at its functional best. A bag that encompasses everything in terms of storage and space. Not forgetting its stylish aesthetic as well. A stool, picnic basket, boom box, cellphone charger and 'kangaroo' all in one. You just have to appreciate its versatility and user friendliness.

The Trip also transforms into a mobile office thus allowing the traveller the time and place to work anywhere. Big enough to fit your clothes and office implements and, sufficiently compact to allow you your own space when engaging in your work, the Trip is a traveller's wonder.

The Trip's functions on full display. For more information on availability and pricing you can visit Travelteq.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Khakhi Jacket One Mo'gin

Monday sees a repeat of the khaki jacket featured two week's ago. This time in a totally different combination save for the shoes. I call this the would've been Vodacom Durban July outfit. Yes, if I was going to spend the day at the races this past July this is what I would've worn. I love everything about this outfit however that love doesn't even come close to the love I have for the pocket square. That pocket square, believe it or not, is from PEP stores. Yes, that store I wouldn't be caught dead in as a kid, with all that low quality clothing. The pocket square was the perfect complement because it bounced off the red and white candy stripe shirt and the navy and red patterned tie. I remember seeing it for the first time, I bought two of them on sight.

Some people might have a problem with a small collared shirt paired with a jacket with somewhat big lapels. I don't think there is much of a difference, everything really melded for me.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Brogues vs Wingtips

There was a time in my late teens when I couldn't tell the difference between Mary J. Blige and Faith Evans. Both ladies sounded the same, especially their singing voices. This was also the case sometimes with Redman and Busta Rhymes. They had the same voice, tone, style and delivery. At some point my confusion was solved to some degree. From a style perspective, until recently, I was very much perplexed by brogues and wingtips. As stated in a an email to the Shoe Snob I have been under the impression that a wingtip is separate and different from a brogue. This 'false' impression would only magnify because sometimes someone would point out what looked like a wingtip but then call it a brogue. Today however I can confidently state that I am no longer confused.

A brogue is any shoe that has perforations on it. These perforations are holes punched into the leather for decorative purposes. I feel that the perforations also serve the function of a distinguishing feature between different types of brogues. According to history brogues originate in Scotland and Ireland. The perforations formed part of the primary make up of the shoe to drain water that would seep into the shoe. Talk about the relevance of function.

wingtip is any shoe that has a W shape design on the toe cap. Any shoe. A full brogue is a combination of the W design and perforations. A shoe with the W design sans any perforations is also a wingtip. A point of interest is the fact that the name wingtip is largely American derived. Which would further explain my state of perplex, because why call it a wingtip when brogue will do just definitively fine.

A semi-brogue is characterised by perforations on the toe cap and some serration on the edge of the cap. There is also some decorative perforation in the centre of the toe cap. The distinction with a wingtip is the absence of the W shape design on the toe cap.

Quarter brogues differ from full and semi brogues in that they have a cap toe with perforations and serrations along the edge of the cap only. Also absent are the toe cap perforations and decorations.

Longwing brogues as the name suggests have a pointed toe cap and longwings effected by the W shape design. Longwings differ from wingtips because the wing design runs the full length of the shoe and meet at centre seam of its heel.

As my education on men's style continues I must admit that I enjoyed reading, researching and asking questions pertaining to this topic. I am confident that I can also impart this knowledge to others who may need it. As always I advocate knowing the name, of anything, that way you appear to know something about it.

Images taken from Shoe Snob, Wiki images and Google images, respectively.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Style By Men's Health

October's issue of Men's Health carries their annual style issue. A few years ago I remember being excited at their style issue because of only one reason, the affordable prices of the clothes on display. Although rudimentary in presentation I find that this factor helps because it caters a lot more to style novices. It is definitely not in the same league as GQ. Because this is one issue I also find that it gives them time to survey and research prevalent styles in men's fashion and this helps when presenting the style issue because they only showcase the season's best and how to introduce and integrate them into your wardrobe.

For me, nothing beats being in shape. Especially as one gets older. It's almost like Men's Health adds the style segment as a bonus. Along with a fit body, here's a great way to accentuate it. South African readers will find that it caters to all style needs and can be easily translated to one's style and dress sense. Albeit a late posting, an October copy of Men's Health can still be found at book stores and news stands. Next month I review GQ SA top 10 best dressed men. And in that regard, I have a wait problem.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Placket Front Serendipity

When I was in high school I had this obsession with knowing peoples' names. It didn't sit well with me saying 'hey' or any other word to get someone's attention. More often than not saying 'hey' didn't get you their attention. However knowing their name got you more attention than anticipated. This is something that has carried through to my adult life. I must know a person's name. It comes as no suprise that when I purchased this sweater a few months ago, preparing for Durban's mild winter, I didn't know its name and that was a dilemma.

I didn't know what to call it and after toying with ideas of possible names I settled on a shawl collar of a different kind. I didn't get to wear it much, however I was saved the embarrassment of not knowing it's name. Especially in the event that someone asked me. It so happened, serendipitously, last week while browsing some or other style magazine I came to know its name.

Placket Front Sweater by Hang Ten

The instant I came across its name I was relieved, months of uncertainty had now come to an end. And while sitting there reading I had a eureka moment because I discovered that it's name is taken from the basic construction and placement of buttons on a shirt's front and cuff. Needless to say that I have been very confident when handling and talking about it now.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Neckwear Paradox

Courtesy of Yahoo! Sports Ball Don't Lie, tell me if you can spot the anomaly.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mohair Taking A Knock

It's funny how and why I came to writing this post. Especially on a subject such as Mohair. While 'watching' the midday news on Thursday afternoon, I put watching in inverted commas because even though the tv was on, I was engrossed in an old edition of British Esquire, I happened to hear the news reader report on mohair sales in South Africa. At hearing mohair, without looking up I concluded in my mind that this was a product for hair growth and that its sales had been impressive in recent months. I could immediately see myself with a full head of hair, sooner rather than later, as opposed to the receding hairline I have been in denial about. A product that works so much that consumers were buying it in droves.

My glee was quickly turned to inner disappointment because the report was about the fabric, mohair. Not Mo Hair. Mohair, a silk like fabric or yarn made from the hair of the Angora goat has seen a dip in sales, especially after South Africa's winter season. Factors in play affecting sales of mohair are; a continuing strong South African currency against the U.S. dollar and China. Simply China. For the longest time, the South African textile industry has decried the importing of cheaper fabrics from China. This import exercise does a lot in devaluing the textile industry, its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product, it affects the labour market and the overall livelihood of textile workers.

And here I was thinking that a stronger South African currency means that import goods and commodities will be cheaper however this process affects and impacts the local economy.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Style Savvy: Taking Advantage Of The Sun

I decided on some colour for Monday's get up. And this is how it came out. I enjoyed it thoroughly as well. I needed some exhuberant colour for a pocket square instead of the conventional white folded one. Therefore I had no choice but to 'swipe' from some of the wares that I sell now and again. I really liked how it didn't exactly match with the turquoise knit tie but the turquoise stripes did evince some semblance of uniformity. The jacket was an off the rack purchase and then altered by Salim, a Pakistani national, who handles most of my sleeve and cuff alterations. I even had the button holes opened on the cuffs because functional sleeves are one of my favourite sartorial quirks.

A quick rundown of the clothes: Pants, light brown with stripes from Menz Warehouse, Pink semi-spread collar shirt from Apples, Light brown belt from street vendor, Turquoise knit tie from Ben Kruger and Co, Khaki single breast jacket from Fashion Fusion, Tie bar from thrift shop, Pocket square from Finishing Touches, Shoes, light brown cap toes from WoolWorths.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Youthful Ignorance: The Umbrella

Youthful Ignorance is a new series I will be running focusing on all things I looked down upon as a kid. Things I swore I would never be caught dead in. However, as age and experience have taught me, I have now come to appreciate, respect and love the things I once disdained.

Above is this week's weather forecast for Durban and as the season would have it, we have more rain than sunshine. Totally expected by myself. There was a time and place in my youth when I professed, loudly and proudly too, that I would never wear an umbrella. Imagine a young man in his early twenties in, baggy cargo jeans, Ecko hoodie, Timberland boots, a backpack...and an umbrella. What a paradox, where the aesthetic is glaringly absent. Those days are long gone, now I have come to appreciate an umbrella as an accessory with a necessary, important and stylish function. My dress code nowadays would definitely warrant the addition of an umbrella and this is something I welcome simply because I can incorporate it as part of my outfit on a rainy day (pun not intended).

This simple umbrella illustrates the point I am making in terms of stylish function. Imagine a navy blue suit with tan dress shoes. The umbrella is not only an accessory but a complement as well. And since navy is such a versatile colour you can use it to complement an array of suits or clothing combinations. However don't forget that function, in this case, is primary.

For a more in depth look and product review of umbrellas you can check out StyleSiteUs by Paul Walters.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Spring/ Summer Feeling

There are many ways to beat spring heat. Yesterday however I had no choice. It was a clear cut case of if you can't beat them, join them. Temperatures soared into the mid twenties and I had no choice but to break out the tailored shorts. I remember reading, a while back, in GQ, that the best shorts are those cut or tailored from what used to be pants. I firmly believe in this theory. I have three pairs of shorts, all that used to be pants. At some point I opted for the chop because they were long past their best days, but as shorts, were only in their expressive infancy.

I opted for this navy above the knee pair of shorts with a turn up. Loose fitting, worn with a belt, two back pockets, this is my first pair of tailored shorts. Love them.

Since the shorts were solid in a dark hue, I went for this bright turquoise golfer (Elsewhere in the world, particularly America, this shirt is called a polo). This is some no name brand I bought years ago at Mr Price. I can safely say that when I purchased this shirt, I considered it a little too small for me, as my love of hip-hop would've suggested. Who would've known that years later it would be the perfect fit, hitting right at the waist and the sleeves hugging the guns. That's how a golfer ought to fit.

To close things out, faded yellow car shoes by Ferradini, gold oblong watch from my dad and a bright yellow woven belt.

This is not a difficult look to master, however one has to observe fit and proportion so that stylish nonchalance is conveyed. I normally wear these shorts without a belt however after looking at the rest of my accessories the belt went from an accessory to an essential. This srping/ summer be about tailored shorts and golfers. I know I am.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

If I Were The General (When personal style must comply with the rules)

Weddings are supposed to be a joyous and jubilant affair. From the lucky couple down to the catering staff, everyone always appears to be in high spirits. And rightfully so. This is an occasion when decorum and etiquette have to be strictly adhered to. Unfortunately the aforementioned factors don't play much significance in this day and age as people simply do and dress as they please.

Over the weekend what was billed as the wedding of the year took place. The nuptial took place between South African National Police Commissioner, General Bheki Cele and his bride Thembeka Ngcobo. The General just didn't comply with style rules when it comes to the groom's dress code on such an auspicious occassion. He is very much lauded in fashion circles, and therein lies the problem, in that most times the focus is on the brands he wears as opposed to the way he wears them. A big difference, and this is manifested in his overall presentation. I will break down the five most egregious faux pas:

Mismatched colours

I'm sure you'll agree, that white is almost always the order of the day. The mixing of white with a soft off-white or ivory doesn't exactly add up. It isn't pleasing to my eye. As the black and white aggressively dominate the jacket. An all white jacket would've been the ultimate complement. Not to mention a compliment to the bride as well.


A two button jacket always requires for one button be buttoned, the top button. Buttoning both accentuates features that one would rather keep hidden. In the General's case his slightly protruding belly. A one button jacket is the ideal choice as it adds some stylish flair and keeps one's buttoning options limited.

Accessories should be coordinated

The General is very well known for his sometimes outlandish hats. In this case, on such an occassion, the hat was very unnecessary. Not only did it seem disrespectful to the proceedings it didn't match at all with his jacket and the feather didn't go with the flower in his boutonniere. The absence of a pocket square was also highly egregious.

The groom must be the distinguished gentleman

In this case take the opportunity to distinguish yourself from all the other gentlemen present. Wear a bow tie and leave the mundane and conventional tie to the rest. The strogents in bow ties stood out for me for all the right reasons as opposed to the tie worn by the General.

If all else fails wear a tuxedo. Even mismatching the jacket and pants in this case would've been the best idea because a seasonsed image consultant would know that a tux in black and white would trump all styles. A gentleman is also spoilt for choice as well. The tux jacket can be white or ivory. It can be one or two button. There is also a choice of the jacket being peak lapel or shawl collar. The shirt can be either be plain or ribbed with black or white buttons. My preference is french cuffs, at all times. Pants could've been pleated or flat front with a single satin stripe going down the sides. If I were the General I would've heeded these rules.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.