Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Style: 40 Suits & 40 Ways To Wear Them

I don't buy nor read GQ magazine anymore. I do read the South African publication, but the US version just doesn't do it for me. It's hard to decipher just what GQ is peddling and most of the style and menswear articles are overshadowed and eclipsed by sex-training-sports-technology-cooking-comedy-hormones-raging-macho-man type articles, and this has taken the interest out of reading it. Ask any classic menswear aficionado and they'll tell you how they harken back to the days when this magazine was a menswear staple and a must read for any style conscious gent.

That aside, while browsing through GQ.com I came across this rather incredibly innovative and practical gif-like video showcasing the versatility of a suit. There's very little difference between a suit jacket and a blazer and this video illustrates that point quite vividly; It's in how the rest of your suit is dressed up, down or borken up into separates that rules can be broken, lanes straddled and lines blurred. What stands out for me is how the looks go from work to play so easily. Dressing down a suit is a 'science' on its own and in some instances it requires more than just removing your tie and unbuttoning your shirt collar. Two things I took from this presentation: Buy a suit that offers you the option to wear it as separates and, when buying a suit try to envision how you can maximise its use.

                                           PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Pick of the Week: The Little America x Herschel Supply Co.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have written a lot about how I used to be a hip-hop head and how the culture influenced me. I’m not a head anymore but some things have continued to follow me even though they aren’t much of an influence. I really thought that my backpacker days were over until I laid my eyes on this gem on the EastDane website last year. It’s been in storage all along because I just couldn’t find a way to use it as yet but when I was preparing for BNL 2015, I knew I had found the perfect opportunity to use it.

During the Four Nations tournament, that was held in March, I broke it out and I was pleasantly surprised by this product. The backpack is by a company called Herschel and from what I’ve seen elsewhere on the internet, Herschel is a quality driven company that makes innovative and functional luggage. I was very impressed with the other products I saw on EastDane and their website. I’ve had backpacks before but nothing quite like this one.

I finally decided on purchasing because I couldn't make up my mind as to what to buy with the voucher I had received from EastDane, however, I was sold on this backpack when I observed its colours. Its kaleidoscope really drew me and I actually pictured myself wearing it. Some people would be averse to a backpack with light colours because it'll probably dirty and soil easily, however, I've taken a cautious approach and will not be careless in the way that I handle it. One thing about its design is that it was built for comfort. The exterior might be tough but once you sling it over your shoulder, you can feel just how comfortable and soft it is on the body. The shoulder straps are fully padded but they are light and they do not add any heft to the it.

This is what I mean by comfort. At the back of the bag there is some padding with a mesh design that adds to its unique aesthetic; the comfort levels on the shoulder blades and lower back are great. It appears that the Herschel company had ergonomics in mind when this backpack was desgined. 

It also features a drawstring top as a closure. I will admit however, that it isnt a spacious bag, which is why I only used it for notebooks, school books and stationery. It also has two small inside pockets on both sides for things such as writing instruments.

Signature coated poly fabric

The strap closures have a metal pin clip and magnetic snap buttons and this ust adds a touch of uniqueness to a great product. I admire how this backpack really stands out with its many design and signature features as well as nuances that are particular to the Herschel company.

There are two big compartments on the inside which are fully lined with fleece. It feels smooth to the touch and very lush. And it is big enough to fit a 15 inch laptop. It's not an everyday bag for me but it supplants my briefcase as part of my carry-on luggage whenever I go on my basketball assignments. I'm not going back to my hip-hop backpacker days but I'm sure you'll agree this is a stylish way to keep moving forward.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Brands: Bloggers Connect for Durban

The Tuesday following the Passover I received an invitation to attend a breakfast meeting at the Durban Country Club hosted by eThekwini Municipality's Communication's Unit. I haven't been to a blogger's event in a quite a while and this time around I saw a number of new faces who come from all sectors of the blogging milieu. I always attend events like this with an open mind because it's always an opportunity to learn something new. The municipality was launching this initiative as an intervention of social media bloggers to market, educate and inform the public about various campaigns. The municipality's objective is to partner with bloggers to promote eThekwini as a place to live, work, study, visit and do business.

Bloggers are key to this message because the city plans to build a location brand through coherent communication to put the city ahead of its competitors in this fiercely contested territory. The partnership is also an endeavour to make more information known to residents. With authenticity and pride bloggers have the tacit task of attracting investment and tourists.

There was also a discussion around bloggers using their platforms to develop Durban as a brand. This would need the city to meet bloggers halfway because in order to prosper, the city has to harness social media and  use the power of blogging to develop the city.

Two important things I learned about how bloggers should engage certain entities, especially those wanting exposure on your blog are: a press release is not ideal because it doesn't come across as authentic and it sounds as a sales pitch. Rather give the blogger an experience and then they can write about it, that way the piece comes across objectively with a personal touch. The other was: what's in it for us? The relationship has to be balanced and beneficial to all involved. That way the city is represented and portrayed in a positive light and bloggers are given an incentive and are motivated to tell the city's story.

There will be more events of this kind so that all the right bloggers are invited and their knowledge and expertise are engaged and utilised.

Durban has a story to tell and it isn't what you've witnessed in the news lately.

                                               PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Style: This Autumn Consider The Trouser Waistcoat Combo

Even though the days have become a little cooler and the nights are slightly chilly it doesn't mean that you should get the heavy artillery out just yet. I got a 'shock' last week when, one morning, I saw people in warm outerwear, boots and scarves. I saw one gent wearing a navy blue velvet jacket and I thought it's way too early to be wearing thick, heavy and warm fabrics. What I would like gents to consider as an early autumn combination is the matching trouser and waistcoat. Usually the go to garment for cool weather and dropping temperatures is something with long sleeves, maybe a sweater, jacket or cardigan, however, I would like to suggest that a waistcoat, especially as part of a suit, can be equally effective both stylistically and functionally. There's really no need for a sweater, jacket or cardigan.

Even though this combination is slightly less formal it is still office and business appropriate, and it's immensely aesthetically pleasing than a simple shirt and tie. A matching trouser and waistcoat is also better looking than a matching trouser and sweater. The latter can be quite bland, lacking in creativity and, unsophisticated. It also doesn't look like it's incomplete, whereas a trouser, sweater and tie combination seems like it's missing another garment.

It has taken me a long time to warm up to a waistcoat with lapels. I'm inclined to think that the layering can be quite bulky when a jacket is added. A starting point, however, is definitely a waistcoat with lapels because it exudes a dressier look and it imitates a jacket in some ways. Because it's not exactly cold out, a fabric I  suggest is a 100% pure wool which is breathable. As it gets colder you can then opt for worsted wools, flannel and corduroy.

For now, try this combination, it's fail proof.

                                            PG: Man to man, generation to generation.