Screen Shot 2013-02-01 at 13.32.20This month sees the stalwart of British Retailing John Lewis launch its first and in certain quarters anticipated and in others dreaded (other retailers), Lifestyle range KIN. Designed in its entirety by the in house Design team the range stretches right the way through from Ladieswear into Childrenswear and Menswear.

KIN is described as, “A hard-working weekend wardrobe that comprises of contemporary, fresh and affordable high quality pieces with a distinctly Scandinavian minimalist feel”.

With its Tailoring element, KIN is really stretching out to a customer John Lewis hasn’t actively chased before, the 30 and 40 somethings who have taste in what they wear and the brands they invest their money in. With this demographic certain factors are paramount when getting them to part with their hard earned cash;

1) Cut – The cut of the garments has to be contemporary, well tailored and flattering.

2) Design – He’s very different to his Father. Design, the way things look, feel and peer approval is very high on his check list. Looking good is of equal importance as any or all of these factors.

3) Quality – Although this Man is as interested in an investment piece as he is a bargain, he HAS to know it’ll last.

4) Cost – With the general cost of living going through the roof, with mortgages, kids and putting food on his family’s plates the right price is Ohh so important to this customer.

KIN by John Lewis Assistant Buyer, Tom Saunders (1)-1With all of these elements in mind the in house team has designed KIN to appeal to men who appreciate quality, clean-cut tailoring at a competitive price. The collection is John Lewis’ most contemporary own brand formalwear offering to date, with a strong focus on detailing throughout including buggy lined jackets, high-notch lapels and AMF stitching.

Champion of the range from conception has been, Tom Saunders, Menswear Formalwear Junior buyer and model of the mens suiting, no less, he says of the collection;

“We wanted to create a tailoring line that provides our customers with wearable pieces, whilst still following the clean and simple aesthetic of KIN. Designing KIN in-house allowed us to really develop our formalwear offering and create a minimalist collection of formal and semi-formal pieces designed to fulfil the lifestyle needs of our younger customer.”

johnlewis.com 

KIN by John Lewis cotton blazer, £79, washed poplin blue shirt, £25, Selvedge Denim Trousers, £59, Chambray tencel dress, £59, slash neck stripe top, £20 (2)

WAZ AA SWEATS LO-RESIt’s Friday, its been a killer of a week that seems to have gone on for an eternity and the weather is promised to be LES MISERABLES wherever you are, OK maybe not in the Southern Hemisphere, but its gonna crappy here ! Batten down the hatches snuggle up to the one you love and put on some comfy clothing for the Mother of all relaxing weekends.

Now if your somewhat lacking in the STYLISH comfy clothing department, let me point you in the direction of Alternative Apparel. This is a US brand that, what can I say, that just get it. They know their customers want clothes that aren’t just about looking good, but feeling good. Clothes that are perfectly worn in —clothes for a casual, truly comfortable lifestyle.

They pride themselves on the vintage-soft feel of their fabrics and flawless fits to their one-of-a-kind washes and hand-detailed designs. But not only that, they take their social responsibility and commitment to the community and eco-craftsmanship seriously and without compromise.

 As they say themselves;
“At the end of the day, we feel good about what we do. We’re excited about the future and we’re making clothes that are going to be with us all the way—not just because we’re attached to them, but because we know that comfort will always be in style”.
AMEN, have a good weekend 😉
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Spring is almost in the air and the winter coats, heavy duty knitwear and thermals can almost, almost be moth balled for a couple of months anyway. With this in mind, we can look forward to Spring and wearing lighter, brighter clothes and forget about layering, for now. The learned subject of today’s The Buyer’s Guide is Jackie Hay, the Executive Director of Menswear and Childrenswear for House of Fraser. Jackie’s CV boasts such brands as Austin Reed and Marks & Spencer before House of Fraser, who in turn have over 60 stores and whose history stretches back some 160 years !!! We asked her to select her top 10 buys for the forthcoming season;

Indigo is the colour of the season and this Kenneth Cole suit allows you to wear the colour of the season for work. Electric blue suit jacket £230 Kenneth Cole

Indigo is one of the key colours for SS13 and this Kenneth Cole suit gives you the perfect excuse to wear it to work. Electric blue suit jacket by Kenneth Cole

 

The classic aviator shape is a must-have for the summer season. Parallel Universe sunglasses £250 Prada

These classic aviator shaped sunglasses are a perennial must-have for the summer.
Parallel Universe sunglasses by Prada

 

Our Linea chinos are a staple item for our customers. We try to cover the main colours for each season.These mustard chinos are a great every-day way to channel the yellows that were seen at the shows. Mustard chinos £55 Linea

Chinos remain a staple in most men’s wardrobes and this pair in mustard, give a nod to the yellow trend without being difficult to wear. Mustard chinos by Linea

 

The perfect lightweight blazer for summer garden parties.  Seersucker ‘Boltons’ blazer £250 New & Lingwood

This lightweight cotton blazer is the perfect jacket for everything from an easy al fresco dinner to an afternoon garden party Seersucker ‘Boltons’ blazer by New & Lingwood

 

Printed swimwear is one of those erstwhile staples most men have in their wardrobes.  And this pair from Calvin Klein feature a great bold print – perfect for holiday lounging.  Blue floral shorts £89 Calvin Klein

Printed swimwear is one of those erstwhile staples most men have in their wardrobes. And this pair from Calvin Klein feature a great bold print – perfect for holiday lounging. Turquoise Tropical swim shorts by Calvin Klein

Practical and stylish, this beautiful tan leather messenger bag is a great investment. Tan leather messenger bag £445 Polo Ralph Lauren

Practical and stylish, this leather bag makes for a great investment piece and will only become better with age. Tan leather messenger bag by Polo Ralph Lauren

Heratige men’s watch £825 Burberry What men’s outfit is complete without a great watch?  This chunky timepiece from Burberry is bold enough to make a statement, but without stealing the show.

Heratige men’s watch by Burberry. What men’s outfit is complete without a great watch? This chunky timepiece from Burberry is bold enough to make a statement, but without stealing the show.

 

Yellow fisherman’s jacket £180 Scotch & Soda Technical jackets are one of the big trends for the season. This lightweight version in water-resistant yellow cotton is a vibrant addition to any wardrobe.

Yellow fisherman’s jacket by Scotch & Soda
Technical jackets are one of the big trends for the season. This lightweight version in water-resistant yellow cotton is a vibrant addition to any wardrobe.

 

Printed shorts £85 Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren This season it’s all about prints, and what better way to showcase them, than with these ikat print shorts?

Printed shorts by Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren
This season it’s all about prints, and what better way to showcase them, than with these ikat print shorts?

 

This tan leather bomber jacket is a fantastic transitional piece that will see the wearer through from spring into the early days of summer. Tan leather bomber jacket £580 Paul Smith Jeans

This tan leather bomber jacket is a fantastic transitional piece that will see the wearer through from spring into the early days of summer.
Tan leather bomber jacket by Paul Smith Jeans

 

Welcome to the first AskAnt of 2013, here hoping that 2013 is a lucky year for us all loyal reader. Today’s enquiry is a common question that I’m asked a lot about and something I suffer with a little myself. So let not waste any time and see what today’s issue is –

 

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OK Kev, as always thanks very much for taking the time to write to us and as always we endeavour to answer to your needs. Basically, you will find a proportion of GOOD retailers will do size 13 shoes but because of the lack of demand they will buy only a couple pairs of them. You mentioned you are looking for boots, now great brands like Red Wing, Wolverine and Dr Martens will all cover size 13. Plus you mentioned cost, Oliver Sweeney is a fine shoe brand and you get what you pay for, most of the time, but you have come to the right place and we believe guys with manly feet shouldn’t have to pay over the odds, when it comes to footwear. Nonetheless, essentially you have slightly reduced opinions, unfortunately, which are

1) You need to do is be really organising and buy your shoes at the start of the seasons, so essentially Jan and Aug/Sept.

2) If you’re feeling brave, hold out and go to the sales at the start, you should be able to pick up some right bargains my friend.

But I think we’ve done a pretty good job coming up with a cross section of shoes which should see you right no matter what the occasion. So firstly,

These great boots, as you mentioned boots, are from Aldo and are currently on SALE so a double bonus

These great boots, as you mentioned boots, are from Aldo and are currently on SALE so a double bonus

 

You didn't think we were only going to give you one opinion did you Kev ? Here are a super comfy and highly directional pair of Desert boots from Clarks and as in Grey will go with most things from jeans to a suit.

You didn’t think we were only going to give you one opinion did you Kev ? Here are a super comfy and highly directional pair of Desert boots from Clarks and as in Grey will go with most things from jeans to a suit.

 

Next up is something a little more formal. A nice black Brogue from Marks & Spencer and at a price which I could not believe sir !

Next up is something a little more formal. A nice black Brogue from Marks & Spencer and at a price which I could not believe sir !

 

Now you mentioned price and all the shoes we've cited are all well under £200 and we've tried to give you lots of options. So if you are feeling slightly Imelda Marco and decide to buy them all, it won't bust the bank. Now these are a classic and a all round great shoe from a great shoe producer, Camper. These boat shoes will see you nicely into summer and will fit you fine all year round.

Now you mentioned price and all the shoes we’ve cited are all well under £200 and we’ve tried to give you lots of options. So if you are feeling slightly Imelda Marco and decide to buy them all, it won’t bust the bank. Now these are a classic and a all round great shoe from a great shoe producer, Camper. These boat shoes will see you nicely into summer and will fit you fine all year round.

 

Lastly, Kev, we've gone for a versatile boot, that once again you can pretty much wear with anything. Now these boots from from Jacamo who specialise in larger sizes whether that be shoes or clothes. So well worth bearing in mind the next time your thinking of a purchase.

Lastly, Kev, we’ve gone for a versatile boot, that once again you can pretty much wear with anything. Now these boots are from Jacamo who specialise in larger sizes whether that be shoes or clothes. So well worth bearing in mind the next time your thinking of a purchase.

 

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

If you have any stylistic problems, events, that  you don’t know what to wear, after the right shows to go with that all important outfit. Whatever, you query no problem is too big nor small, please just email askant@ymail.com and I’ll happily give you informed, knowledgable common sense advice.

lens flare 16_LOW_RGBRumours of this partnership have been rumbling around for about a year now with many people dismissed it as pure speculation and never gonna happen. Well, here it is, Savile Row’s finest, Nick Hart Creative Director and Founder of the renowned sartorial brand, Spencer Hart is set to launch an exclusive collection in February 2013 with British tailoring brand, Austin Reed.

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Nick, adds the finishing touches to the suit

Orlando Bloom, Benedict Cumberbatch, Robbie Williams, Dermot O’Leary, David Beckham, P Diddy and David Bowie are all fans of Nick’s designs and for this project, entitled AR RED Nick Hart, its tried to encompass his trademark influences from the world of music. From British jazz, soul and funk from the 70’s and 80’s, whilst taking inspiration from some of todays leading musicians such as Alex Turner of the Artic Monkeys.

Nick Hart says of the launch, “Taking into consideration the extensive tailoring heritage of Austin Reed, I have designed a range in my vision that is entirely accessible and wearable for the office and exudes the style expected of a modern day gentleman who has a contemporary attitude to businesswear and style.”

The collection includes Hart’s signature Shawl lapels, Peak Lapels and dresswear all cut with a very tailored fit. Key pieces include the sharp, slim fit suit in statement teal. A 3- piece dress suit with black satin lapel in both slim peak and shawl, offering a modish sophistication.Waistcoats are a major feature to the collection featuring Hart’s trademark lapels. Silk scarves and dark ties complete the looks.

Casualwear brings together key pieces including seersucker jackets, a gingham Harrington jacket and navy Harrington bomber style jacket.

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