Firstly guys, thank you for heeding my call for your sartorial conundrums, I was pleasantly surprised to see regular emails to the askant account seeking advise and calls for help on solving matters of problematic styling. I promise I will get through them and please keep ’em a coming to askant@ymail.com.

So first up is a stylish young man with an issue regarding looking his best when carrying his gym kit to and from that accursed fitness place. Basically, he’s asks –

Right, quick as a flash, I sprang into action. On inspection of this mighty fine piece of weekend luggage.

Hugo Boss leather Weekend bag £655 hugoboss.com

I do have to say, although I agree with you Ahmed, £655 is a little steep for something that, primarily you want to lug around your sportswear in. You have to see a purchase of this nature as an investment piece, this is something that you, SHOULD, be able to use for many years to come, for weekends away, holidays, business trips etc. The materials used on an object of this level will be some of the best leathers money can buy.

However, this was not what you were asking, so I sourced the great and the good of the UK High Street from Designer names to more humble price points, but something you do need to bear in mind when making a purchase of this nature, particularly with regard to luggage is, buy cheap buy twice. You get what you pay for when buying a leather weekend bag.

Nontheless, this is Ask Ant and answers to your problems is the name of my game. So option one is –

Zara black leather holdall £79 zara.com

From the Espana retail giants Zara, Zara just seem to have come from nowhere to being major players in the style stakes when it comes to menswear and yet they still seem to want to keep somewhat underground with it too ???? This piece is a real bargain, but PLEASE remember the aforementioned maxim, buy cheap buy twice. Spain is known for its leather goods and the quality of them but the price is the price and at £79 it’s an unbelievable one, get it while stocks last !!! Buy two at that price.

Leather weekend holdall £245 from Reiss (not available online as

Option two comes to us from Reiss’s Spring Summer Collection. Although this piece isn’t on their website at the moment it is available from their stores and in the requested Black. At £245 it is a little more but hey it’s not £655, it’s a really versatile and masculine weekend bag that you won’t be embarrassed to pick up at the luggage carousel on the next business trip. It’s just the job for slinging your gym togs into and it’s appearance will improve with age.

Finally, we have option 3, which is brought to us via the fantastic mr porter(.com). If you haven’t had a chance to check this

Black leather bag by Marc by Marc Jacobs £470 available from mrporter.com

amazing emporium out yet, what have you been doing !!! let it be your first job after reading this. It carries everything you could possibly need and so much more, it does take itself a little too serious, but we all can’t be perfect. The bag in question is by Marc by Marc Jacobs and comes in at £470. Probably keep the name of the designer behind this bag from your girlfriend as he IS the King when it comes to girls handbags and you could find yourself, shall we say sharing this lil number. Ahmed, if this be your choice, strike while the irons hot as this piece is selling like the proverbially hot cake. As the learned ones at Mr Porter put it, “Whether heading to the gym or jetting off for a weekend away, this Marc by Marc Jacobs holdall bag will ensure you do it in style. Crafted from tough full grain black leather, it has rugged attitude, so pile in your essentials and go”.

So Ahmed all that is left for me to do is to tell you, the choice is yours ??? Let us know what your decision was and join us again next week for another style clinic.

A.M.

The Phenomenon that was Hai Karate, otherwise known as "the Lady Killer". Please, feel free to insert your own joke here.

Splash it all over, you Brut !

When I say heritage, I don’t mean smelling like an old person, nor do I mean the overpowering pong of Hai Karate or Brut, nothing could be further away from the truth. When I talk about heritage I mean a fragrance that has a history stretching back over 200 years.

Increasingly guys want to smell a little different, hence the explosion in the shear number of mens fragrances on the market today. Men don’t want to walk into a bar and be overpowered by the woft of Joop. Plus a great opener, when wanting to chat someone up is always, “Mmmmm you smell great, what are you wearing?”  And let’s be honest we want ladies to reciprocate this. So what better way to induce this reaction then to wear a fragrance that you can be sure not every Tom, Dick or Harry will be wearing.

Two such fragrances are 4711 & Green Irish Tweed by Creed. 4711, pronounced “forty-seven eleven”, is one of the oldest recognised cologne brands. Often referred to as aqua mirabilis or “miracle water” the exact formula is still a secret today, which dates back to the Cathusian monks of the 17th Century. The Unisex fragrance’s ingredients include Lavender and Rosemary for a calming effect to steady the nerves and Neroli, extracted from bitter orange blossom to guarantee a positive attitude, which, hey lets face it, we all need right now.

Then we have Creed, founded by James Henry Creed in 1760. The House of Creed soon drew the attention of Royalty throughout Europe, even a certain Queen Victoria appointed Creed as the official supplier to the Royal household. Still today Olivier Creed, oversees the House of Creed as President and insists on using natural ingredients rather then synthetic ones. My personal favourite from over 200 scents they have produced over the years is Green Irish Tweed. A blend of floral and woody ingredients that infuses, Violet leaves, Florentine Iris, Sandalwood & Ambergris to create this unique, fresh, masculine and natural aroma which cited Carrie Grant, Robbie Williams & Prince Charles as fans.

4711 is available from good independent pharmacies & branches of Boots Nationwide. Priced at £16.95 for 100ml. (See image below)

Green Irish Tweed by Creed is available from Harrods, Libertys, Harvey Nichols & Selfridges and is £135 for 75ml. creedfragrances.co.uk (See image below)

4711

Green Irish Tweed by Creed

No some joker hasn’t double-parked his yacht on top of the Southbank centre, it’s the new quirky pop up hotel, well hotel room in ole London town. But before you rush off and Google how to book yourself into what has to have one of the MOST incredible views of the great capital, all the rooms were snapped up, literally, before you could say “A-ha me harty”.

The idea is that you can stay aboard the installation for a single night throughout 2012 where a series of artistic performances have been organised including Mrs Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson and the Malian duo Amadou & Mariam, all a touch high brow for me.

But, nonetheless, the idea behind the boat is the Roi des Belges, a riverboat captained by Joseph Conrad who journeyed the Congo in 1890. The brainchild of Architectural genii David Kohn and Fiona Banner who beat off competition from over 500 entries to come top of the class in a competition to celebrate the host city of the Olympics for this year.

For more information check out aroomforlondon.co.uk

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New Year, new start, new you. No, I’m not trying to flog you the benefits of Special K, lets face it, the new year’s resolutions are all but a deem memory now and that gym membership is already gathering dust. Simple, cut out the middle man and get the torso of your dreams, as Burton unveils its latest T-shirt, which promises to revolutionise your body and to give you the six pack of an Adonis, well until you take it off again, but thats only in the small print.

This miraculous garment was designed by the, one man, two guvnors himself, Mr James Corden. James jumped at the chance to show off his artistic skills and illustrate them using a T-shirt for his canvas. While this Tee keeps you LOOKING fit, it also highlights the fantastic work of Trekstock, Burton’s new charity partner. Trekstock raises awareness and vital funds for life saving researching into cancers that affect young people. Through fashion, music, comedy and art collaborations the charity strives to make a difference and raise a smile at the same time.

Burton has pledged that all net profits from the sale of each T-shirt, priced at £16, go straight to Trekstock. So check out burton.co.uk now and log onto trekstock.com.

Psssssss by the way look out for the next  Trekstock/Burton Tee collaboration, by someone called Jack Whitehall, all I’m saying is 3 lions, like you’ve never seen them before !!!!

The very charitable Mr Corden with yours truly

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The original artwork for the Tee by James Corden.

Regularly here at Clothes make the man, we aim to answer any of your sartorial quandaries, queries or general when, what, wheres. So if you need to know where to get the best suit for that major interview coming up, or I’m after a pair of good quality brogues which won’t cost the earth, even, I saw this brilliant t-shirt, do you know where I can get it. Well, we’re at your service, all you need to do is email us here at Clothes-make-the-man, to askant@ymail.com and we’ll endeavour to answers your needs. So remember you’re not alone, don’t sit there stewing about stylish conundrums, contact us.

Think of me as your Agony Ant.