Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Dream on

You can afford the Baracuta G9 and Persol 714s. Don't bother asking about the '57 Jaguar XKSS.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Just what you need for a September bike ride

The air is getting fresher by the day now - it's starting to feel closer to autumn, even though the leaves are still on the trees and no-one's wearing an overcoat yet. Anyway, it's time to layer up, especially when you're out and about on your bike. This is what I wore on Saturday morning on my way to Kilburn post office...with a bit of wishful thinking thrown in:
Uniqlo Flannel Shirt
Albam Utility Waistcoat
Levis 1967 505 Rigid
Oliver Spencer Fine Stripe Scarf
Shuron Sidewinder sunglasses
Vintage Omega Seamaster 120
Keds Call of Duty sneakers

Friday, 24 September 2010

Why I like Albam

I've been impressed enough with Albam's simple, stylish collection to buy a few items from their Beak St store recently. Their Cotton Casual Blazer and Regular Leg Jean have impressed me in particular. I already own a number of unlined cotton blazers from places as diverse as Beams in Japan and Margaret Howell in London, so I know what I like when it comes to this sort of functional, lightweight garment. And what Albam has created here, I like a lot. The jacket has a sturdy construction, being fashioned from thick cotton, with narrow lapels, three outside pockets and a small inside pocket. There are nice touches, such as smaller pockets within the lower patch pockets, which are big enough to hold your iphone 4 or a small wallet. Like Oliver Spencer's Portland Jacket there is a small white tag to help you fasten the lapels together, should a chill autumn wind blow in your direction. It's just a good, solid reliable item, as the sales assistant said, "the sort of thing every man should have in his wardrobe". I couldn't agree more. In fact that's why I bought two of them, one in navy, the other in dark green.

Then there are the jeans. These are a similar cut to my Levis 505s, with a regular leg tapering to a seven and a half inch bottom. Actually, the rise is slightly lower than the 505s, which I personally find a lot more comfortable. The rear pockets are a simple design with no stitched adornment. There is a small ticket pocket at the front with steel coloured studs at the corners and the jeans are made from Japanese denim with a red selvedge. As far as denims go, these are simple, classic pants, something you should wear every day and not get too precious about. In a few months I'll keep you updated how they're bearing up to the daily grind.

Lastly, the thing that I really like about Albam is that their clothes are remarkably good value. £135 for the blazers, and just eighty quid for a great pair of jeans. The only downside is that with prices like these Albam tends to sell out their stock very quickly, as their stuff tends to be made in relatively small numbers - once they're gone, they're gone. Maybe I should have kept all this to myself...

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The Return of the Donkey Jacket

Forget "Oh No, It's Selwyn Froggitt". Forget the garb worn by bin men, and hod carriers, navvies and skinheads. The Donkey Jacket, re-imagined and updated by some of menswear's top designers, is back for winter 2010. It's smarter, made from finer fabrics, real leather and waxed cloth. And with a level of detailing our Selwyn could only dream about. Magic.

From top to bottom: Nigel Cabourn, Oliver Spencer, Blaak Homme, Barbour and Paul Smith

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Ripley Style

In Anthony Minghella's 1999 film version of "The Talented Mr Ripley", the elegant Italian suits and accessories are symbolic of the lifestyle that impoverished Tom Ripley lusts after. Particularly when they're being worn by the wealthy socialite, Dickie Greenleaf. Ripley ends up acquiring Greenleaf's threads, his tailor and his sartorial sense of style, even if he has to resort to some dark deeds in the process. Mind you I'd have killed to get my hands on some of this stuff too.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Nicely Broken In: Clarks Originals

From left to right, my very own Ashcott boots in Oakwood Suede, Wallabees in Ebony Suede, and Desert Boots in Cola Suede. Easy on the feet, and very easy on the pocket, available direct from the Clarks website.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

The autumn of the Shawl Neck Collar

The shawl neck collar is literally everywhere you look this autumn. On cardigans and sweaters, on jackets and thick coats. Here is a quick overview of some of the nicer shawl necks around at stores and online right now. First up, Albam makes a damn fine thick woollen shawl neck cardigan, the Irwin. Albam only creates limited runs of its garments, and I hear that many of the sizes in certain colours have already sold out, such is the popularity of this piece of knitwear. Next, Levis Vintage have a great looking shawl neck jacket in blue cotton, simply styled with anchor buttons. Woolrich Woolen Mills also has a version of this jacket in navy, their Maine Guide jacket, in slightly thicker wool and with more detailing. Lastly pictured here is the quilted Signalman's jacket from Oliver Spencer, in 100% polyester with leather buttons.