Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pick of the Week: Brooksfield Cardif Melton Camel Overcoat

Courtesy of Spree, this week's pick of the week is something very trendy nowadays: a camel overcoat. I had a moment of clarity not too long ago. I was having a conversation with an old lady and I said to her that I didn't understand why some people were wearing t-shirts and sole layers when it is the middle of winter. Even though in a sub-tropical region the mornings are quite chilly. She responded with one statement, that some people simply don't have anything warm to wear. That's the stark reality which was very sobering to me. This camel overcoat by Brooksfield would be a timely purchase for any gent because it is a classic outerwear piece. Versatile enough to complement both business and casual ensembles it lends itself to a litany of combinations which makes it more than a winter essential. It's currently on sale on Spree for R970 marked down from R1299.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Style: High Armhole Jacket + Low Armhole Shirt = No Cuff Showing

One thing I forgot to add in Monday's post about the navy blue suit is that the jacket sleeves were a tad long and I had them altered because it's only right that some shirt cuff show. The guideline is that at least two inches of shirt cuff should show. I was taken aback a bit when I discovered that even after having the sleeves altered on my jacket I had little to no shirt cuff showing. I almost blamed the tailor that he didn't do his job properly. Upon closer inspection the jacket looked like it had been altered correctly. Something was amiss with the shirt. I couldn't wait to get home so that I could try the jacket with a different shirt. This whole debacle of the missing two inches of shirt cuff played out out on TV no-less, and the observant and style conscious gent would've noticed.

These are the results after I tried the jacket with two different shirts. On the left is the same shirt I'm wearing in the top image and it clearly shows how the jacket's high armhole pulls the lower shirt armhole up which results in no shirt cuff showing. Not even a smidgen. The shirt on the right is an item I picked up from Meltz back in 2009 for a measly R25. I know I say that I have a lot of favourite white shirts but this one is the best of the whole lot. It features a slightly higher armhole and it just shot right out of the jacket sleeve to be in full view. Clearly there's nothing wrong with the jacket, unless I take it for the further sleeve cropping and run the risk of ruining it, however the design and proportion of the shirts needs to be interrogated.

Notice how the shirt in the top image shows a slightly lower armhole, conversely the shirt in the bottom image has a slightly higher armhole. The secret is in the design and proportion of the sleeves. The sleeves in the top image are standard for a shirt with a size 41 neck. The sleeves in the bottom image are slightly longer but do not engulf the wrists and this is augmented by two cuff buttons that make the cuffs button closer to the wrist. If you're faced with the same challenge then you can look for shirt designs that offer longer sleeves and higher armholes. Another option is the online shirt makers who allow the customer to design and insert their measurements or you can take the shirt to your tailor and have the sleeves elongated. The best option, however, is bespoke.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Where Is The Love? Country Attire International Gentleman Journal

I feel like those South African artists who get a whole lot of love outside the country but zero love and appreciation at home. Well, with that said, this is one of those moments that I enjoy and savour because the work that I do with this blog has been recognised. This time by the wonderful folks at Country Attire, a British menswear brand that offers a host of recognisable brands. These brands range from Belstaff, Barbour, Loake, and Orlebar Brown. It gives me great pleasure to announce that they featured me, alongside four other dapper gents, in their International Gentleman Journal. I am very appreciative that now and then someone wants to hear my opinion and thoughts on menswear. I am glad I have stuck to this journey because I learn more and more each day. You can read up on my thoughts and those of my fellow bloggers by clicking the link above. And to Country Attire, thank you very much for this feature and for bringing me one step closer to getting love at home.
PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Style: The Navy Blue Suit

It's been a while since I last posted and the lack of posts can be attributed to a focus on quality rather than quantity. I really feel that I should be posting quality pieces that should inform, engage and get people talking. Trying to go for five posts a week is not logical; put that aside, I am finding it a little difficult to find the time to blog. Rest assured though that my absence is also spent thinking about posts and subjects that would be of interest to me and would appeal to you. Let me also thank you for always checking in and taking the time to read my posts, I appreciate it. I hold firmly to the belief that I have my own contribution to make to menswear and I won't give up on this journey.

I recently obtained this navy blue suit with a micro window-pane check; the suit is by Trenery and for an off-the-rack suit I should say that it holds quite well to the quality test. I'm really digging it. The jacket has a high armhole with a deep V and two button closure. I enjoy the fact with a deep V it allows for the necktie to be on full display and the buttoning itself is comfortable and not restrictive. The close-ups of the suit clearly evince the pattern. It is made of 100% wool and what I like most is the fact that the trousers are unlined. This is a very light wool but I find that it holds quite well in a sub-tropical winter. Once I started thinking about the accessories to wear with the suit I started with a white shirt. I have this theory about navy and grey suits and pairing them with a white shirt; a white shirt will look better with black shoes and a blue shirt with any variation of brown. In this case the white shirt I wore is one of my favourites, a double cuff item I've had for over five years. It's still looking good and is in pristine condition. Once I had the shirt figured out, I opted for a Pierre Cardin tie with a blue, grey and navy check. You might think that the tie and cufflinks are from the same family but tis not so. I bought this tie last year and the cufflinks I've had since 2010. They're from a tie, pocket square, tie bar box set. The colours just happen to complement and don't match each other.

I like a taut fit around my waist and since this trouser is a 34 inch waist, I had no alterations done on it. Since I was swimming in a sea of blue accessories I topped things off with these royal blue suspenders; very comfortable and the right fit. A proper fit around the waist obviously obviates a belt and this is what I always aim for. A navy blue suit is one of the most versatile suits a gentleman can have in his wardrobe. It is an essential wardrobe staple as it presents you with numerous combinations and myriad looks. This, in my opinion, is one of the first suits any gentleman should purchase.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Style: Winter Layers

A cold front is sweeping the country right now and it seems we have more cold weather coming right up until the weekend. And this can only mean that a gent has to take precautionary measures in order to counter the cold. I decided to get creative but stylish, and also pack on the layers because I just don't handle being cold well. 

I haven't worn a scully/ knit hat in years and this time the weather really called for it. As an accessory I decided to pair it with this slim polo neck jersey; I also decided to keep the colours in the family. I like the versatility of a polo neck, especially how it can be dressed up or down, it makes it an essential and worthwhile addition to a gent's wardrobe. Something that's a little awkward is the fit of the polo neck through the neck; I don't know whether it's because I haven't worn it in a long time but the it just feels a little weird or maybe it might take a little getting used to. This denim jacket by CAT® Apparel is quite thick and it forms a warm layering piece. I'm still trying to figure out how to match it colours because it doesn't strike me as blue nor does it look grey.

These are my favourite winter trousers by far; light grey, 100% wool by BRAX. If I could have more of them in a variety of autumn/ winter shades I'd be complete. They also have great insulation inside and this helps in keeping the cold at bay. I've had a lot of extensive work done on them and this is a subject I plan on posting about soon, just to show the amount of work that's been undertaken.

I rounded off with this black nylon raincoat with a warm lining. It's waterproof but at the same time it keeps me warm. I had a little work done on it in terms of tapering the sleeves and it came out wonderfully. Since the trousers are dressy are opted for the black Barker oxfords. A black suede chelsea or navy blue chukka boots would be the best choice.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pick of the Week: Nixon Black Axe Watch

I like how the pick of the week posts are starting to diversify a little. This week I present to you the Black Axe Watch by Nixon. I like watches; they are the perfect accessory to complete an outfit. In the right style and colour, coordination sometimes only be the right watch away. The Black Axe is simple, no frills, but, it makes a statement. I also like how discreet and practical its design is. It features a scratch resistant hardened mineral crystal, a black dial and white luminous hands. It has a stainless steel case and back, and spring pin lugs. My favourite feature is the black nylon strap with a buckle clasp. I changing from one watch to another, on different days; however I don't have the patience to chop and change watch straps, therefore, the Black Axe with a strap already fixed to it is hassle free but very stylish at the same time. It would make a great addition to any casual outfit. The price is also a bargain, R1,259.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.