One of the most versatile piece of men’s clothing – the Polo Shirt

As the weather doesn’t seem to know if its coming or going at the moment. One of the most versatile pieces of menswear kit at your disposal is the humble Polo Shirt. OK not from such humble beginnings, we have the French tennis champion Monsieur René Lacoste to thank for inventing this wonderful bit of clobber, back in 1933, when he replaced the classical woven, long-sleeved starched shirt with a light and comfortable short-sleeved one in airy petit piqué fabric, better known today as the classic LACOSTE polo shirt.

Since then the polo shirt has come a long way baby, refusing to be categorised into a casual or formal box, the polo shirt can be worn on either occasion looking equally as good teamed with a clean, crisp single breasted suit for a summer wedding as it does with a pair of dark selvage denim jeans on a long, leisurely evening out with a loved one.

One brand really pushing the boundaries of the polo shirt and it’s versatility is Niccolò P. Based in London, Niccolò P. (pronounced: /ni-CO-lo-P/) launched in May 2018 as a more structured approach to polo shirts: polos smart enough to take you from contemporary meeting to a rooftop bar and from airport lounge to poolside. Made using the finest natural materials and with bespoke-level details in classic style and a contemporary fit.

The fabrics for their ultra soft cotton polo shirts are knitted in Montebelluna, Italy using Supima and Egyptian Mako cottons. Both varieties are extra-long staple cottons of exceptional fineness and, while the fabric is naturally soft, it is very robust and withstands frequent use. They call these polos ‘ultra soft’ as they are knitted using a double-jersey technique. Single-jersey – the most common kind – has a ‘right’ side (always facing out) and a ‘wrong’ or slightly rougher side (always facing in). This means the garment feels softer on the outside than the inside. Using double-jersey, the ‘ultra-soft’ cotton polo shirts have a ‘right’ side outside and in. Together with a mercerised finish it will give you an incomparable silk-like wear, every time.

The Niccolò P. team spent 15 months (and 9 prototypes) perfecting the pattern and sourcing the natural materials for their structured polo shirts – the perfect ‘Friday Polo’. They eliminated the shortcomings commonly found in other polos such as curling/shapeless collars, plastic or imitation mother-of-pearl buttons which crack easily, run-of-the-mill cottons and the boxy fit common in many heritage brands. With flat-felled seams, a stand collar and ‘set-on’ placket giving the shirt its unique ‘structured’ appearance, the result is a polo shirt with bespoke shirt-like attention to detail made using the smoothest cottons; a polo which always feels great and is destined to become a staple in your wardrobe.

“The inspiration for starting Niccolò P. came in 2016 while at a barbecue with friends. Several were wearing name brand polo shirts and I noticed that most had collars which had curled up, cheap plastic buttons or a fit which was too boxy – the quality was clearly not what it should be.

I wanted to put the ‘shirt’ back in ‘polo shirt’ using the highest quality materials in the world produced responsibly in Europe. From this, Niccolò P. was born. The name derives from Niccolò Polo, an Italian travelling merchant best known as the father of explorer Marco Polo. Travel is a personal passion and we strive to make products as versatile for travel as possible – for us this means perfectly threading (sic) a line between formal and relaxed.” Pascal Keane, Founder of  Niccolò P.

A good night sleep will do you the world of good – anatomé

Since Covid-19, villages and pockets of all around the country, but particularly London, have all found that key retail has engaged and brought together the local communities as people have spent more time at home and shopping locally.

With this retail shift, one brand has decided to focus on ‘neighbourhoods’ to expand its retail proposition and to support being where these neighbours live and work. Brendan Murdock, founder and his expert team of nutritionists continue to research the best botanical extracts for optimised performance and balanced emotional wellbeing and produce the best supplements from the finest organic and scientifically proven ingredients. From this he launched anatomē which is driven by a simple belief that nutritional and emotional balance is the key to a healthy, fulfilling life and that a healthy, nourished body will support a healthy mind.

The new anatomé space will become an amiable village store where the customer can meet the team and engage with the product in a new way. The store sits amongst fine company, opposite the fine restaurant, Chiltern Street Firehouse.  Neighbours also include Trunk, Sunspel, Prism, Cire Trudon and around the corner from the bustle of Marylebone High Street and the weekly farmers market.

Murdock has created a new calming space with a contemporary aesthetic in this townhouse building, bringing together his experience of beauty, fragrance and nutrition. This new concept will be divided into three separate rooms and allows in this new world, room for private store appointments and a refined retail experience. 

The front of the store will be the Dispensary, where anatomé’s core product collection is displayed on vertical floor to ceiling ‘pharmaceutical-styled’ dispensary shelves made from glass, brass and wood.

The Learning Room is a sleep experience room, also to be an exhibition space, launching with Sleep on 14th September. Personal appointments can be booked with one of anatomé’s team experts, led by Winder Ton, RD MSc, sleep expert, scientific researcher and lecturer in Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics. Here the customer can relax and learn about which oils can best support your sleep through an engaging customer experience that underpins the ethos of the brand and Aromachology. Healthy living requires restful sleep as part of the daily routine.

Finally, the Essential Oil Room, is an apothecary room where the precious blends are dispensed, bespoke wrapped and personalised for home.

The store is available for walk in or by appointment in the downstairs private rooms, at anatomé we are very aware in these times, the need for a discreet / personalised service.

Completely unique in its conception, anatomē is a holistic wellness brand dedicated to supporting modern life and helping you find balance through personalised advice and product collection.

Well heeled – Six of the Best Brogues

The Evenings are drawing in, Summer is starting to be nothing but a deem distance memory, hey ! Nothing to worry about Autumn & Winter offer men some of the best items to wear and show of over the coming months. Whether that be wrapping yourself up in great knitwear, getting a new winter coat, some great examples out there, but we’ll come to them later and of course the Great British Brogue, check out six of the best below –

Beautiful and a real design classic by a great British brand who know more then a thing or two about brogues, Grenson.

Brogues don’t always have to be so traditional and no surprises who have given these, his own individual spin by Paul Smith

Its not just desert boots and senible shoes that this brand is known for and a great little twist on a classic here Ernest Limit Black Leather Brogue from Clarks.

Looking for something a little different ? Now although not everyone’s cup of tea. These brogues from DrMartens won’t break the bank and with look great whatever the occasion.

Back to a classic with a twist and now for one from the Grandaddy of the brogues and a brand synonymous with not only Brogues but great footwear is Churches.

We couldn’t show you six of the best Brogues without showing you an example of a great sneaker version and this is very much one from Ted Baker

 

 

 

Stay Gold – Happy 50th Birthday Sir Paul Smith

In 1970 a young 24 year old lad from Nottingham, who at the time was still recovering from a seriously bicycle accident, opened a small men’s clothes shop called Vêtements Pour Homme on the city’s Byard Lane.

Fast forward some 50 years, that young man has grown into one of Britain’s foremost designers. Where he is renowned for his creative spirit, which combines tradition and modernity. Starting with one men’s collection, the business now comprises collections for men, women and children, including, shoes, accessories, fragrance and home furnishings and these ranges are available in some 70 countries spanning the entire globe. Where celebrities as diverse as

Stanley Tucci John Hamm, Ian McKellan, Mark Strong and the late David Bowie all are proud to wear his clothes. Plus has collected both a CBE, a RDI and a knighthood, amongst other international accolades along the way.

Yes SIR PAUL SMITH has spent the last 50 years growing a global business.Renowned for his passion, positivity and determination, Paul puts a lot of his enduring success down to the many influential people who’ve advised him over the past five decades. In turn, he has shared his learnings with lots of ambitious and talented individuals looking to start their own businesses.

To mark he’s Golden anniversary in the business, his personal archive of helpful advice is here for you to explore and learn from, too. If you’re an aspiring designer, or even a chef or publisher with a creative and entrepreneurial spirit, Paul Smith’s Foundation gives you the guidance and inspiration you need to take things to the next level, making sure you have fun along the way.

Paul Smith’s Foundation was created to give helpful advice to creative people. While running a successful business for over 50 years, Paul received lots of tips from some amazing cultural figures. In turn, he advised many up-and-coming creatives looking to grow their own businesses. Now he wants to share all his learnings with a wider audience

The Foundation is for anyone with a creative and entrepreneurial spirit. You might be an aspiring designer, or even a chef or publisher. You’re looking for guidance on how to take your ambitions to the next level, and, of course ensure you have fun along the way.

Highlights from Paul Smith’s Autumn/Winter2020 show & some of his pearls of wisdom

Keep on doing it. Never think you’ve made it. There’s always somebody round the corner who’s going to overtake you in the fast lane. Keep aware, understand what you’re doing for a living, keep your feet on the ground and don’t get too big-headed and you’ll be alright”.

“For me, a great entrepreneur is very much about loving life, getting up in the morning, being positive, obviously knowing what you’re an entrepreneur “at”. It’s very much about focus, energy, lateral thinking, and that’s it, really.”

“In the beginning, it was just about owning a shop focused on self-expression and quite a lot of the clothes were made by Pauline or myself. We have never been people who aspire to jets or chauffeur-driven cars. We’re just very at ease with life, and love and health. Just doing normal things.“

“When David Bowie came to my room, which is full of stuff, he just couldn’t stop asking questions. “Where’s that from? What’s that book about?” He had this lovely curious mind and that’s why his songs and his persona and chameleon way existed, was because he was always ready for the next thing, and turning it into something different”

“For me, a great entrepreneur is very much about loving life, getting up in the morning, being positive, obviously knowing what you’re an entrepreneur “at”. It’s very much about focus, energy, lateral thinking, and that’s it, really.”

Happy Anniversary Sir Paul from Clothes-Make-the-Man.com & Good Luck with the Paul Smith’s Foundation.

HOMESPUN CASHMERE’S TOP TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR CASHMERE KNITS TIP TOP

 

Brrrrr there’s definitely a new found chill in the air and that Summer is all but a long forgotten memory. But with this change in the weather let us embrace our Winter wardrobe brothers and layer up !

Now, every well dress man should possess a good quality cashmere knit, it’s one of those luxury investment pieces that you should try and stretch your budget as far as your wallet will let you. Basically the Golden rule with Cashmere is, you look after it and it’ll look after you for many years to come.

One such great Cashmere brand is HOMESPUN Cashmere which launched this season and hails from Suffolk via Mongolia, kinda. Homespun, fundamentally launched to provide essential cashmere shapes in the right colours that feel delicious to wear time after time. We caught up with founder Sam Denny-Hodson recently, we filled us in on the background of the brand.

“What do we actually wear? How many dresses/suits are hanging in your wardrobe that get an outing once a year…..on a daily basis how often do you get up and have time to think through an outfit?

Many of us wear a version of the same ‘uniform’ most days. Living in Suffolk by the beach, I wear jeans at least 5 days out of 7 so half the decision is already made.  In Summer I wear T shirts and in winter a jumper over a T shirt.  

As this has become the way I face the world, I wanted every piece to be the ultimate…the best quality and be the most comfortable it can be… for jumpers, this means cashmere.  

It became an obsession to find a good quality garment that really fitted. It should fit neatly under the arms so that it can be worn under a jacket with ease while cuffs and waistband were long enough not to look mean.

Having worked with leading knitwear companies during 20 years of PR, I had some inkling of where to start looking for a factory to make my dream cashmere collection.  

I knew it had to be in Mongolia and I knew I was going to be really fussy about the quality.  It’s imperative that a cashmere jumper keeps its’ shape when washed and continues to look good for a long time.

Having found a family run factory, I spent 6 months washing sample jumpers to make sure they didn’t pill and retained their shape.

Great cashmere, like great wine, will never be cheap but you should get good value for money as they should become favourite pieces that just get softer and better with wear.”

SAM’S TOP TIPS FOR CARING FOR OUR CASHMERE:

 

  1. – THE BEST QUALITY CASHMERE SHOULD BE WASHED AT 30 DEGREES IN A MACHINE AS HAND WASHING (& PARTICULARLY WRINGING OUT) CAN CAUSE GARMENTS TO BECOME MISSHAPEN.

  2. – WASH IN A CALICO BAG (HOMESPUN GARMENTS ARE ALL SOLD WITH A BAG) SO THAT THE GARMENT DOESN’T GET PULLED OUT OF SHAPE

  3. – THE LONGER THE GOAT HAIR THE LESS LIKELY TO SNAP AND PILL (BOBBLE) BUT ALL CASHMERE CAN BOBBLE A LITTLE BIT…DON’T BUY EXPENSIVE CASHMERE COMBS…USE A DISPOSABLE RAZOR TO GENTLY SHAVE OFF ANY BOBBLES

  4. – NEVER HANG WET CASHMERE…ALWAYS DRY FLAT ON A CLEAN TOWEL

  5. – IF YOU CHOOSE TO STORE YOUR CASHMERE IN PLASTIC ZIP LLC BAGS (I DON’T BOTHER) MAKE SURE IT’S BONE DRY AS ANY MOISTURE CAN CAUSE THE NATURAL HAIR TO SMELL!