Uncategorized

#57. Styling My New Polaroid Sunglasses: 22-08-2017.

For today’s post, I figured I’d style my new Polaroid 1027 black sunglasses, courtesy of Sunglasses Shop. They very kindly sent me this beautiful pair, and since I haven’t uploaded an outfit post here in a while, they have provided the perfect opportunity to do so. Polaroid are undoubtedly one of the world’s leading brands for eyewear, and having worn the frame all day, I can honestly say they are supremely comfortable and fit very snugly. So, massive thank you to the guys at Sunglasses Shop, especially since they sent out a pair of Clubmasters, which are the only style of sunglasses that ever seem to suit me. I know, woe is me, right?

Anyways, since the frame itself is very much neutral, most outfits would complement it, but for this particular post I kept it clean and simple: a dyed-blue denim shirt by Dr. Denim, worn over a white tee by Drop Dead, and paired with black New Look skinny jeans and black Ben Sherman leather derby shoes. This look is perfect for smart-casual occasions, and the Polaroid 1027’s contribute to what I hope is effortlessly cool styling.

I think these photos came out pretty nicely – hopefully you like them. Let me know what you think in the comments! If you’d like to pick up a pair of these Polaroid sunglasses, you can do so at https://www.sunglasses-shop.co.uk/polaroid/pld1027-s/matte-black-rzzm9-polarised/53811. Cheers!

Advertisements

#35. Building an Affordable, High-Quality Wardrobe: 15 Minimalist Staples to Recreate Your Style.

I had somewhat of a small revelation the other day; despite the numerous posts I’ve written on various aspects of an outfit, and on how to find them on a shoestring budget, I’m yet to write up a conclusive cornerstone guide for those who wish to start anew, or for those looking to remove the noise from their wardrobe and replace it with high-quality, staple pieces. So, for today’s post, I thought I’d show you the 15 products I would be buying if I wanted to create a new wardrobe from scratch. I’d like to note beforehand that these pieces are a little more expensive than those in my regular posts; however, when you’re only buying a handful of items, and ones which will hold their form for years to come, then it’s honestly worth the extra initial expenditure. I’ve picked out everything you’d possibly need to recreate your style with versatile and high-quality, monochrome staples, predominantly from Scandinavian brands renowned for their use of superior fabrics and minimal design.

Every great wardrobe, irrespective of individual style, needs to get the basics right, and that means you need to spend a little bit more on your t-shirts. Now, I’m not talking spending £30 and upwards per tee, as many brands would have you believe is necessary for quality – Selected Homme‘s plain tees are available on a 2 for £25 deal, but retail individually at £16. These pieces are well under-priced. I own a number of plain t-shirts by them, and can say with confidence that they’re the most comfortable and long-lasting basics you can buy at that price-point. These O-necks are available in black, white or midnight blue, but I would abstain from the latter and just pick up one in black and one in white.

1. Plain T-Shirt: http://www.selectedhomme.com/gb/en/slh/great-offers/2-for-45ch/o-neck-t-shirt-16034242.html – 2 for £25, or £16 each.

16034242_black_001_productlarge16034242_white_001_productlarge

Now that the basics have been sorted, you need a t-shirt that stands out from the rest. Graphic tees can look great when designed with ingenuity and charm, and whilst I tend to refrain from 99% of graphics, P&Co know exactly what they’re doing with their t-shirts. The designs are all clean, unique and heavily-influenced by Americana and biker culture. This particular tee is on sale at the moment at £18, with all sizes available – a rarity, trust me.

2. Graphic T-Shirt: https://pand.co/collections/t-shirts-long-sleeves/products/give-em-hell – £18, on sale from £30.

2_67ca710d-a31b-4aca-b0fc-14a4e89dafa0_1024x1024.jpg

That’s genuinely all the t-shirts you’ll need in building your new wardrobe – the plain tees offer incredible versatility and will never go ‘out of style’, and the P&Co piece is one which will fit the purpose for any occasion where you’re looking to stand out a little more.

The next essential you’ll need to pick up is a formal white shirt, which pretty much goes without saying. The ‘Redondo’ by AllSaints is a slim-fitting, long-sleeve, evening shirt, and is well worth the £70 investment – the last thing you want is to underspend on your dress shirt and have it lose its shape after a few washes and wears.

3. Formal Shirt – https://www.allsaints.com/men/shirts/allsaints-redondo-ls-shirt-ms120f/?colour=10&category=11 – £70.

ms120f-10-1

Next up, I’d be looking to buy a denim shirt, preferably black. Denim shirts are functional, and a high-quality piece can last you years. You can style them open, layered over a plain tee, or buttoned-up, to wear on a smart-casual occasion. This black, slim-fitting shirt, once again by Selected Homme (seeing a pattern here?), is ideal to build up a new wardrobe with. It’s priced at £45.

4. Denim Shirt – http://www.selectedhomme.com/gb/en/slh/shirts/slim-fit-shirts/slim-fit—denim-shirt-16055131.html – £45.

16055131_Black_001_ProductLarge.jpg

So, we’ve got a dress shirt and a denim shirt. The final style of shirt needed is a casual one, and by that I mean flannel. Of the three, flannel shirts are by far the most versatile – not only do they provide a timeless top layer for spring/summer looks, but they can be layered up beneath a coat for warmth in the winter. Checked flannels are often worn open over plain t-shirts, and are available in pretty much every colour palette conceivable, however, if you’re looking for staples that can be integrated into an interchangeable wardrobe, I suggest keeping it monochrome. This slim-fit, checked grey flannel shirt by Farah costs £60. However, if you’re a student you get 10% discount, which would make it £54.

5. Casual Shirt – http://www.asos.com/farah/farah-shirt-with-yarn-dyed-flannel-check-in-slim-fit-grey/prd/6625372 – £60, or £54 with student discount.

6625372-1-grey.jpeg

In the height of winter, what pieces in your wardrobe become indispensable? For me, it’s jumpers. I own a lot of plain jumpers. There’s nothing better than layering up with jumpers when it’s sub-10 degrees, and, if you opt for unadorned pieces, they can provide near-limitless styling options alongside their functionality. Scotch & Soda are an Amsterdam-based brand, well-known for their exceptional minimalist design. Their graphite crew-neck jumper comes in a cotton-cashmere blend, and is priced at £79.95.

6. Jumper – https://www.scotch-soda.com/gb/en/men/pullovers-cardigans/crew-neck-pullovers/cotton-cashmere-pullover/101642.html – £79.95

hi-res-16013509-FNT.jpg

The foundations of the upper-half of the new wardrobe are now complete, and to pair with all the tees, shirts and the jumper, you’re going to need some legwear. First up, denim -specifically, Dr. Denim. Slim, black jeans are about as essential as you can get, and the ‘Snap’ jeans make an ideal bottom-half at £50.

7. Jeans – http://www.drdenimjeans.com/uk/snap-black – £50.

0530101101.jpg_1.jpg

The second set of essential bottoms are formal trousers. French Connection‘s slim-fit pair come in black, and are on sale at £34, from £80. Much like the dress shirt, you don’t want to skimp expenditure on the trousers, and to get a well-constructed pair at £34 is a steal.

8. Trousers – http://www.asos.com/french-connection/french-connection-plain-formal-slim-fit-trousers/prd/6970352 – £34, on sale from £80.

6970352-1-black.jpeg

The backbone of our wardrobe has now been formed and well-supported, and now we’re onto the more expensive pieces, namely, the outerwear. Don’t worry, it’s not impossible to find a winter coat that’s both, beautiful, and affordable. Noose & Monkey‘s herringbone overcoat comes in a wool-blend, and is priced at £180, which, with 10% student discount, would be £162. I know it sucks to part with £162, but when you’re getting a coat that looks this good, and will stand the test of time, in return, it’s worth it.

9. Winter Coat – http://www.asos.com/noose-monkey/noose-monkey-herringbone-overcoat/prd/6621949 – £180, or £162 with student discount.

6621949-1-charcoal.jpeg

The next staple piece of outerwear is a leather biker jacket – the single most effortlessly cool and functional jacket you could own. When building a wardrobe from scratch, this is the one piece I’d be most willing to invest heavily on. Many high-fashion leather jackets retail well above £700, some of which go into the thousands, but you really don’t need to be spending more than £250 to get a biker jacket that’s a cut above the rest. This asymmetric, belted, black biker jacket by Goosecraft is priced at £225. Students would again get 10% off, making it £202.50. Honestly, jackets like these are worth the initial outlay when you’re only looking to buy a small number of items. Quality always trumps quantity when building a new wardrobe.

10. Leather Jacket – http://www.asos.com/goosecraft/goosecraft-leather-belted-biker-jacket-asymmetric-zip-in-black/prd/7207024 – £225, or £202.50 with student discount.

7207024-1-black.jpeg

Much like the denim shirt, denim jackets are extremely durable and versatile. Scandi kings of denim, Nudie Jeans, price their ‘Sonny’ black denim jacket at £115. A denim jacket is essential when you’re limiting your quantity of clothing; it can be worn over jumpers, layered with flannels, or kept lightweight in spring when worn with a plain t-shirt.

11. Denim Jacket – https://www.nudiejeans.com/product/sonny-dry-black-black – £115.

Sonny-Dry-Black-Black-160443B01.b_1600x1600.jpg

So, that’s all the clothing sorted – the handful of pieces will serve you extremely well for years to come, and can be worn interchangeably to create numerous looks for all occasions.

What’s next? The best bit. Footwear. Firstly, everybody needs a pair of military boots. Once you’ve worn them in, they’ll genuinely be your best friends; I say ‘once’ because before that you’ll want to douse them in petrol and set them alight. Zara‘s footwear collections have always been exceptional, and this pair of black Antik-finish boots with side-zipper are nothing less than stunning. They’re priced at £79.99.

12. Military Boots – http://www.zara.com/uk/en/man/shoes/view-all-%7C-from-size-39/black-antik-finish-boots-c734091p3763692.html – £79.99

5624102040_2_5_1.jpg

To pair with the French Connection trousers and AllSaints dress shirt, you’re going to need some Oxford shoes. Once again, Zara are on hand with the ideal pair. Their patent leather Oxfords come in at £69.99.

13. Dress Oxfords – http://www.zara.com/uk/en/man/shoes/view-all-%7C-from-size-39/patent-finish-oxford-shoes-c734091p3721571.html – £69.99

2036102040_2_3_1.jpg

Yes, that is a touch of colour you can see in the next pair of shoes. Whilst this post has thus far been all monochrome, I figured a bit of burgundy wouldn’t go amiss in the wardrobe. Burgundy works extremely well with monochrome looks when used sparingly, and these leather Derbies by Base London are all you’ll need to brighten up an outfit a little. They’re on sale at £52.

14. Casual Derby – http://www.asos.com/base-london/base-london-xxi-oscar-leather-derby-shoes/prd/6690946 – £52, on sale from £80.

6690946-4.jpeg

And we’ve arrived, 1400 words and 14 items later, at the final piece for a new wardrobe – a pair of trainers. I don’t wear trainers at all, day-to-day, but I do wear them to go boxing in and for those monthly runs, and I imagine most people would like to have a pair just in case they decide to use that gym membership they’ve been paying for for 4 months but haven’t yet ‘found the time’ to utilise. The ‘Flex 2016 RN’ running shoe by Nike is ideal for any of the above, and is priced at £70.

15. Trainers – http://store.nike.com/gb/en_gb/pd/flex-2016-rn-running-shoe/pid-10942171/pgid-11266203 – £70.

flex-2016-rn-running-shoe.jpg

It’s taken me 8 hours to research and type this up, bloody’ell. It’s been a lot of fun to do, to be honest, and hopefully will prove useful for any of you guys who have been thinking about recreating their style or building up a new wardrobe from scratch. I’d love to get some feedback – let me know what you think in the comments, and tell me how you’d change or add to this. Cheers.

 

 

#33. Kartel: Affordable, Minimalist Watches.

Up until my family trip to Mexico, around fourteen months ago, I had never worn a watch; no G-Shock, no Timex, not even those solid straps of sugar you slowly gnawed your way through as a kid, bead by bead, leaving a loose string and a diabetic dial on your wrist – I hated those. No, I was, oddly enough, never even slightly keen on watches. I’m going to attribute that to the sight of bulky metal straps and ugly digital timepieces that wrapped themselves around the people around me as I was growing up. That’s not to say that bulk and metal can’t be beautiful, I might add – *cough* Rolex, if you’re reading this, you make the cut – however, the lack of simplicity in watches, in my experience, is what really drove me away from them. I didn’t realise that a less pronounced timepiece, with a slim leather strap and uncluttered face, would contribute to my sense of style rather than obscure it. That was until I saw that Giorgio Milano watch, which, no doubt, you’ll have seen on my Instagram, in the window of a jewellery store in Mexico, which I was later gifted as a 20th birthday present by my parents. That gift opened up the world of watches to me, and now I can honestly say I was a fool not to appreciate the sugary beauty of those sweet strings. That, and I now actually find myself appreciating even those watches which I had abhorred as a kid. Again – Rolex, hit me up.

Anyways, having been gifted a stunning watch by the guys over at Kartel, up in Scotland, I thought I’d take the time to offer a little review on it. It was such a cool surprise, and I’m really grateful for their gesture. My blog is still in its infancy (yeah, you’ve got years of me left), and so, it’s always unexpected when a brand takes an interest in what I’m doing. So yeah, thank you Kartel for that, I appreciate it massively.

The watch I picked out was the Haig, in rose gold stainless-steel with a smoked graphite leather strap and faint dusty-grey dial. It caught my attention on the website because of the unusual strap and dial combination, and as I’m sure you are already aware from the biker jacket post, I adore grey leather. It arrived four days later, in a slim but robust blacked-out box the length of the watch, in-keeping with their timeless branding.



At first glance, I could tell that the watch would be lightweight and more wearable than my Giorgio Milano, which features a tougher and heavier leather strap. The Haig’s strap is soft genuine leather, but very much durable, and wrapped around my wrist with no resistance, unlike what you find with most new leather, which tends to take some wearing in. The back of the strap is a beautiful light caramel nubuck, with clean branded stitching. There was very little weight to the watch whatsoever, meaning that it can be worn all day (like I did yesterday) without it feeling cumbersome – in fact, after a while you forget it’s there, until you look down at your wrist and catch a glimpse of the subtle, sophisticated face.


Kartel manage to create minimalist magic, mingling timeless design with novel nuance; the warm and soft clouded-grey of the dial provides unique contrast with the darkened strap, unlike many minimalist watches, which tend to feature clear white or matte black dials. Of those more conventional timepieces, Kartel have a whole bunch to pick from, too. The large 40mm face feels smaller on the wrist than I’d expected, thanks, no doubt, to the sleek craftmanship of the casing and strap; it seems like the Haig would sit perfectly as a dressy day watch.


I’ll be styling it in some outfit shots this weekend (90% sure on that), so look out for those. However, I’ll just mention that this watch would, of course, pair well with a more monochrome look, sparing the greys and sticking to plain black and white staple pieces, with grey suede for the footwear or on a belt to compliment the watch. If you wanted to spice up the colour palette a little, the dark-grey of the strap would work with muted, mossy greens and deep wine or burgundy, which, in my head, looks like the perfect Christmas Day look. Don’t overdo the colour though; I’m thinking a mossy-green jumper over a plain white t-shirt, paired with black jeans and burgundy brogues, and accessorised with the Haig and a grey suede belt. As for formalwear, a medium-brown skinny suit, like this one by ASOS, would dress up the watch – just switch out the brown waistcoat for one that matches the strap.

http://www.asos.com/asos/asos-super-skinny-suit-jacket-in-brown/prd/6145341

6145341-3.jpeg

I’m very much grateful for the generosity of Kartel, and for their interest, and so, hopefully this review will prove a reliable resource for any potential customers of theirs. Go check them out at www.kartel.co.uk. I saved price until the end because it is genuinely the best bit; what baffled me when pouring over their website was their pricing. At first sight you think, “these can’t be high-quality, or durable, or look as great as in the photos, when they cost less than £100”, but you would stand corrected. “You get what you pay for” tends to be a rule of thumb for most matters in life, but Kartel overdeliver and underprice. If you’re looking for Christmas gift ideas, or even to just treat yourself, their range is very affordable and equally charming.

I’d also like to say that I wasn’t asked to write this review by Kartel, nor asked to do anything at all, not that I would ever write a review I didn’t agree with. So yeah, go give them a quick browse. Hope you guys have enjoyed this post. Since we’re on the subject of watches, I thought I’d throw another clue out there for my first brand collaboration; they did extremely well with their Kickstarter campaign. Keep the guesses coming. And go add me on Snapchat for more details: @nikpxtxl. Cheers.

#2. LC:M FW16.

I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to write for the internationally-published, men’s fashion magazine, HERO, during this year’s London Collections: Men, at which some of the most prestigious names in fashion would unveil their collections for Fall/Winter 2016.

They have asked me to cover the shows for Coach, E. Tautz, Margaret Howell, Christopher Kane, Belstaff and Paul Smith. I will post the links to the reports as they are published by HERO, if anyone is interested in giving them a quick read:

Saturday 9th January:

Sunday 10th January:

Monday 11th January:

#1. A New Beginning.

This is just a short post to explain the changes that have occurred on my blog over the past few days. I have been in the process of re-branding and re-designing this site to better fit the style of the blog; the first change made was to the name, which is now just a stylised form of my own name, with the domain to match. The theme has been replaced for a more minimal, monochrome one, and the direction of my blog will be anchored on fashion and lifestyle, with the vast majority of posts being centred around my personal style and any published writing for magazines.

I’ll be leaving up the previous twenty posts – of which many were written on my time living in Paris last summer – mainly because they were fun to write, and hopefully equally enjoyable to read.