AskAnt had a bit of a hiatus over the summer months and we’ve had quite a few enquires asking about it’s whereabouts and well being. Fear not dear reader the sword of damocles has not fallen on this feature, not by a long chalk. So not only is a new season upon us but also a new quandary to test my retail knowledge and sartorial skills. So without further gesticulating, who’s the next subject please ? ;

Ahmed, I like your thinking, I’m currently in the process myself of sorting out new business cards & I can’t tell how mortified I feel when asked for a business card & I have to explain the situation. This instance is unforgivable and shows you in a negative light from the off set and in my mind is an immediate red card and something I need to amend post-haste. So without further ado, lets give you your options.

Now, I’ve decided not to go for the more contemporary  metal or plastic business card holders as I personally feel they upset me & the line of your jacket in the same way as a mobile phone would, they have a tendency to drag things down, a look which is amateur and unflattering. However, if this is what you are after the least offensive can be found in Muji or Amazon.

So, my choice of business card holder, I would go with something a little more traditional, but that can show off a touch of your personality and something that can say what you are about and what you want to put out there, ideally a professional persona.

Mulberry @ Harrods

1) First up is this beautiful option from Mulberry, it says traditional, aspirational, style savvy and masculine. This chic Mulberry business card holder is a sleek staple accessory that will see you through each season in businesslike style and is available from Harrods the height of unique sophistication.

Smythson @ mywardrobe.com

2) Option 2 is  something a little more colourful, this Azure blue leather card case with one slim internal slip pocket and one gusseted pocket for business cards is by Smythson, if you want to display your creative, artist side and something a little left field that can be a good conversation starter, this is your boy and is from mywardrobe.com

Liberty London collection @ Liberty

3) Now your final choice is a bit of a trump card as it has many (many) options all from the under the same roof or platform depending on your preferred preference of purchase. The department emporium Liberty has literally oodles of business card holders and covers every personality from flamboyant statement to conservative classicism.

Acne @ Liberty

Lastly, as requested all of the above are all under the stated budget of £100, actually well under, so enough for another sneaky purchase or even a good night out, sir.

So Ahmed my friend, all that is left for me to do is to advise you, the choice is yours ??? Do let us know what your decision is and join us again soon for another style clinic.

Please remember, if you have any Sartorial stuppers and are in need of a little stylish advice PLEASE don’t forget your not on your own just email us here at Clothes-make-the-man.com @ askant@ymail.com and we’ll answer your problems practically.

Liberty – There aren’t many other stores that can boast shopping in such a beautiful environment

Many things are described as a British institution, everything from Bruce Forsyth to Eton Mess have at some time been cited as one. However one such institution that is undoubtably British through and through, as the afternoon teas they serve in their café is, Liberty. Nonetheless, dear reader, there is something distinctly Un-British at the heart of its corridors of power…..

Since, joining as buying director, from luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman, Ed Burstell was promoted to Managing Director in June 2010 and is now responsible for overseeing all buying functions and marketing at Liberty. The larger then life and surprisingly funny New Yorker, has blown off all trace of cobwebs from the traditional department store and transported Liberty well and truly into the 21st Century and placed it back on the international fashion map as a shopping destination for not only the local consumer but the cosmopolitan tourist to boot. Burstell, has been highly instrumental in the recent launch of the new Liberty Westfield Stratford City store, just in time for the all important Olympics. In this period Liberty has collaborated with such brands as Nike, Barbour & even the international value retailer Target, taking full advantage of the legendary floral print. There is no possible doubt that Burstell has taken Britain to his heart, but at the same time it’s very clear the UK and Liberty have adopted Ed too. Now a man this busy you would have thought wouldn’t have time for interviews and yes he doesn’t but when Clothes-make-the-man.com call you, its hard to say to no;

Ed Burstell – The Managing Director of Liberty

What piece of style advise do you live by ?

Never dress or admit your age or you’ll become your age.

What’s your favourite piece of clothing ?

My Miguel Adrover cashmere column top coat – years before Twilight or True Blood…

Who is your style icon ? Why ?

Steve McQueen. Hot, in absolutely anything.

What piece of clothing should everyman have in his wardrobe ?

A hoodie. Cotton for the kids and cashmere for the rest of us.

If you could have invented anything what would it be ?

The airplane or space ship. The mystery of flight still amazes.

How did you get into the industry, what was your big break ?

After my gap year of living on the beach in Florida and doing what one does when living on a beach in Florida I found myself back in New York with no money and no job.

It was November and I went to Macy’s. They had two jobs – Santaland or a fragrance sprayer. I chose sprayer and worked my way up from the very bottom.

If you had one day to live what would be your biggest regret ?

That I had given up any vices.

 

What do you have to do after this conversation ?

Boring meeting with a supplier.

What would you like to be doing after this conversation ?

Pimms o’clock with a cigarette

If you could only wear one brand/Designer for the rest of your life who would it be ? Why ?

Rick Owens, for his consistent original vision over time.

Who would do you ideal diner guest and why ?

Grace Jones, 64 and still kicking ass.

www.Liberty.co.uk

Never one to do things by convention, the brand and house of Alexander McQueen has long been known for its dark, gothic and unusually beautiful nature in how it produces garments for both Womenswear and more recently menswear. After the untimely death of its namesake, figurehead and dare I say Spiritual leader, Lee McQueen who tore up all of the fashion protocol and did things very much his way. Still in keeping with Lee’s spirit and producing equally jaw dropping collections Sarah Burton has taking McQueen’s mantle and completely ran with it, to her credit.

For the Menswear Collection for Autumn 2012, the brand has produced a short film to showcase the range, which is directed by Marlon Rueberg, with music by John Gosling, The film very much captures the essence of McQueen and truly what the brand is all about.

www.alexandermcqueen.com

The Murdock London Barber Shop at the Shop at the Bluebird in London

The Art-Deco inspired Tommy Guns barber shop at the Superdry flagship store

Regular readers of Clothes-make-the-man.com may have noticed of late a trend developing at menswear retailers with the addition of a traditional barber shop, but with the all important, contemporary twist, in their flagship store. However, this isn’t a new phenomenon, for years bastions of traditional department stores such as Selfridges, Harrods and some of the more old school House of Fraser stores such as the former Kendals in Manchester, have all boasted grooming emporiums to answer any possible requirement the dapper gent may request.

Nevertheless, the style pendulum has well and truly swung back in favour of the traditional barber shop experience. In the last few months alone we have seen the brilliant Murdock London open at the uber trendy Shop at the Bluebird on the Kings Road in London and then only last week we had Ted Baker inviting us to experience his Turkish inspired Ottoman Lounge, as you fans of Clothes-make-the-man.com will know only too well.

Mr Natty himself, Matt Raines at Albam

Nonetheless, these retailers are far from being on their own on this particular grooming tip. TopMan have enlisted the service of top barbers Sharps, as too have Ben Sherman who are soon to open this service in their Islington, London store . Superdry have opted for the grooming skills of Tommy Guns for their retailing flagship stores. Tommy Guns are particularly known for creating a striking environment that blends heritage Barbershop influences, faux narratives and modern day craftsmanship to their hair cutting prowess. And those guardian of No 1 Savile Row themselves, Gieves & Hawkes are a dedicated contemporary oasis within their traditional male haven, maned by Gentlemen’s Tonic.

Also, we have seen the likes of Albam, yes trendsetters extraordinaire Albam, who have been offering the unique services of Matt Raines and his Mr Natty brand within their stores.

And for our Irish readers, or if planning a trip to the Emerald Isle, the wonderfully stylish Brown Thomas have recently opening their own grooming enclave in Brown’s offering packages from the ‘10 minute Quick Fix’ and the ‘40 Minute Rejuvenation’

Although, the first time I saw this new modern day trend, of a return to the barber’s chair within a men’s shopping experience was with the Mancuian style gurus Oi Polloi. Who for years in their original store, had queues out their door waiting to take advantage of their single barber’s chair.

A couple of months ago the lovely guys over at Mens Health Magazine gave me a call and asked if I be interested on seating on their style council, OF COURSE ! was my response so please see below the first of our consultive ventures, this time on five ways to wear a polo shirt. Enjoy. Ohh and remember to log onto menshealth.co.uk/style/essentials/how-to-wear-a-polo