Saturday, 28 April 2012

Scooped 'em again!

Downloaders of The Times' iPad edition - an excellent app, I'm not doubting that - will have spotted that once again the men's style page has been omitted. I'll be monitoring this, presumably it's what they do all the time.

No matter - one of today's high spots is a very brief look at Style Pilot - a brand new men's website which allows you to mould your clothing choices according to your body type and colouring.

I say brand new - the Times clearly believes this to be the case; just as I covered the Smithfield Case before them, I also got in with the Style Pilot site earlier with this post.

Last week Smithfield, this week Style Pilot. If they write about Herring Shoes next week I'll stop assuming this is a coincidence.

Friday, 27 April 2012

A shoe-in

I had a birthday recently and some spending money so I've been buying shoes I didn't particularly need but liked. In this case I went for Sienna loafers from Herring Shoes. I went for the burgundy colour (pictured).

Loafers have always been a bit of a mystery to me. They've always looked either too informal to wear with a suit but not quite relaxed enough to be casual. One thing that's happened over the last few years, though, is the line between the two has been blurring and I see a lot of people wearing pretty decent looking loafers with both jeans and suits. These are going to go well with my favourite blue suit as well as the more casual outfits, although they wouldn't be right for the rigidly formal business suit I agree.

Buying clothes through the Internet can be a risk. I have no connection with Herring Shoes and I'm not on any commission, so when I recommend the company you'll understand it's purely because they do a damned good service. Shoes are packed solidly in a rigid box; they arrive completely undamaged within (in my experience) a couple of days. I was delighted to find a couple of extras included in the box; a tin of the right coloured polish (had I thought of buying Burgundy polish? Had I heck...) and a decent sized cloth to cover your lap whilst applying this polish weren't mentioned in the market but were in the box regardless.

Tip: check their sale stock. Men's shoe fashion does change but something like a classic brogue doesn't alter that much, so if you can pick up something like a pair of upmarket Church's shoes for £275 rather than £350 plus - if you're in that market - this is the place to come.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Miscellaneous style notes

Just a couple of things that didn't quite warrant a blog entry in their own right.

First a note from a client - nobody's paying me to say this and I'm not on any incentive to do so. But it would be wrong to write for the people at Wizard Jeans occasionally and not mention that they're offering a 20% discount until the end of the month. Details are on their website, essentially enter the code on their homepage and watch the price fall when you check out.

Nice to see the Smithfield Case getting a mention in the Times Magazine on Saturday, on the men's style page. They said it was a brand new service which is odd because LifeOver35 reviewed it over a month ago. So there'd been time to find it, receive some clothes, have the unwanted items picked up and write it up over a month before the Nationals.

Ah well. One of my gripes with the Times is that it doesn't serve us blokes terribly well anyway. If you want evidence and have access to the iPad app then have a look at Saturday's magazine section. On paper there's a page for men's style ideas; on the iPad app I was slightly miffed to note its absence from the "magazine" section.

Maybe they think if we've spent our money on an iPad we can't afford clothes?

Friday, 20 April 2012

Bad spelling and changing meanings

OK, so I'm looking into new colognes for an entry on this blog shortly - currently whiffing very pleasantly of a new version of Kouros from Yves St. Laurent. More on this anon.

But for the weekend you might want to look at these Twitter messages from people who, frankly, can't spell "cologne" - with predictably crass consequences:

(My thanks to Paul Ockenden for drawing this to my attention - he assures me it's been doing the rounds on Twitter for a few days).

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Fashion by body type

Another men's clothing site has launched and this one has a twist - it asks about your build, colouring and body type then makes recommendations based on those parameters. Called Stylepilot it asks for a few basics - are you a V (wide shoulders, narrow waist), an inverted V (broad waist, thin shoulders) what colour is your hair and soforth.

It then makes recommendations from some leading designers - you can get some nice pieces from Gant, Polo Ralph Lauren, many others.

It has one element I'd call a flaw; I put myself in as an inverted 'V' and got entirely slim fit shirts coming out. Now, as Vs go, I'm quite inverted and trust me, some brands are a bit tight. The founder tells me that most people will look better in a 'slim fit' rather than standard fit, which looks like a tent and flatters no-one. I take the point to an extent but I'd still be inclined to look out for stuff that's too fitted (and get back to the gym so I can wear it a bit better).

The site is based on the principle that men don't really know what to wear. Mintel research says that 60% of us don't believe we have a good sense of style while Style Pilot's own research says two thirds of men need help to pick out clothing, while many of us have our clothes laid out by our partners every day. I'd find this a little debilitating, to say nothing of taking my partner for granted, but apparently it happens.

This is basically the same approach taken by a number of sites, but with extra pictures to help you identify body type. I certainly wish them well - I still won't be buying any slim fit shirts for a while.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Discounted tailoring for LifeOver35 readers

OK, back from holiday and I'm in a position to offer a 25% discount on tailoring. It's from Clements and Church and it's easy for you - just enter the promotional code CC76937235 during the checkout process online and they'll lop off twenty five pee in the pound for your first order.

Suits, jackets, ties, cufflinks, less formal stuff like denim and even umbrellas - they've offered this to LifeOver35 readers to celebrate (or market) the launch of their new e-commerce site.

I'm grateful for the offer and would be interested to hear how any readers get on. The offer is open until 14 May.

Declaration: just for clarity - LifeOver35 isn't getting a cut of this, there's literally nothing in this offer for us bar goodwill, we're highlighting it only because readers may be interested.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Alec Lawless R.I.P.

Long-time readers of this blog may remember an interview with Alec Lawless of Essentially Me, who tailor-made scents for customers. You wanted something unique for you, you went to him. Here's the post.

As you'll gather from the title of this one I've had some terrible news. He designed some perfume for my wife as I suggested I'd probably arrange, last year; this is why she was on his customer list and that, in turn, is why today she and not I had an email saying he'd died in an accident whilst on holiday. I have no other details.

I met Alec once. He was a nice guy, a bit larger than life, you'd have sworn he was an ex-actor rather than an ex-teacher and oenologist. He was more than willing to talk to someone who was only vaguely starting up a blog with no real plan behind it, and when it came to meeting up with my wife and making a perfume for her he was professional, dedicated, pleasant and happy to take as many goes as it took until she was happy.

He wasn't a close friend or anything, but a smashing bloke to interview. I doubt that he was much older than his early fifties. My thoughts, inevitably, are with his family and friends.