The IKEA of haircare – REF

REF-Grupp1Sweden, the country that gave us the Volvo, meatballs, Britt Ekland, of course the flat pack phenomena that is Ikea and who could forget Abba. Well as a way of apologising for Abba’s drunken Karaoke classic Dancing Queen, the Swedes are now giving us REF for Men, a simple, fuss-free, high-quality haircare.

REF promises a comprehensive collection of essentials for every type of hair possible, which makes choosing the right products easy with a number reference system that means you can’t go wrong. Pick the right product and codes and ta dah !
Perfect hair every time.

Using the simple REFerence system(see what they did there), consumers can assess each product on four key criteria; Hold, Shine, Volume and Care on a scale of 0-5. The salon formula range is designed to help consumers and salon professionals identify the most suitable products for their hair type in a reliable, no nonsense way.

Key ingredients in the product range include;

  • Tamanu Oil is a vital component in REF products, thanks to its’ natural ability to improve firmness and smoothness.  This aromatic nut oil, originally from the South Pacific, ensures damaged scalps are healed and hair remains healthy.
  • Silk Proteins are an integral ingredient in many REF products. The structural protein found in silk, discovered to strengthen and restore hair back to health, improves elasticity and coats hair to prevent splitting. As a result hair becomes stronger, shinier and easier to manage.

The range is formulated to meet the demands of male consumers looking for convenience as well as quality. The simple, masculine scent reflects the up to date ethos of the REF brand, creating products that are both aesthetically pleasing and able to perform to a high level, just like those pesky Swedes.



Simon Carter – Textual conversations

Mr Simon Carter

The one, the only Mr Simon Carter


British croquet champion, classic car collector and connoisseur Simon Carter’s inimitable blend of British elegance and practicality, tradition and panache have won him a dedicated following, which counts Gary Oldman, Will Smith, Jonathan Ross and Robert Downey Jnr  plus a rather thriving label, thank you very nicely.

From humble beginnings, the brand was founded when Carter was still a student and gradually moved from brooches, to cufflinks to watches and today includes a suiting line as well as luggage, jewellery, ohh lets not forget the new Gervaise Doggy Door stops, in homage to Simon’s canine counterpart and a diffusion range in, West End by Simon Carter, which offers a more 1960s inspired sharp clothing collection, aimed at a younger more fashion conscious customer. So he’s not just the “King of Cufflinks”, anymore.

Only recently Simon agreed to dress the “Giant killers” Bradford City FC as they prepare for their historic Cup Final bid at Wembley.

Anyway enough of me, you want to read what the man himself has to say, not me. So please enjoy the pearls of wisdom from Mr Simon Carter ;



If you could have invented anything what would it be?

The wheel – think of the licensing deals.


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

That I only had one day left to live and that I didn’t eat enough potted shrimps because I wouldn’t have to worry about the butter.


What’s your favourite piece of clothing?

A pair of vintage Chelsea Boots by Alan McAfee of Dover Street


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

Seek out and only wear utility clothing from the 1940’s because it is so well designed and hard wearing.


Who is your style icon? Why?

Prince Charles because he always looks stylish. He rarely looks fashionable.


Can you tie a bow tie ? If yes, who taught you ?

Yes – I taught myself.


What piece of style advise do you live by ?

Style is what you make it. Fashion is dictated by others.


What piece of clothing would you relegate to Room 101?

Baseball caps


Who would do you ideal diner guests and why?

Quentin Crisp for gently bitchy conversation, Jo Brand because she is so funny and Christopher Lee because he is stylish and interesting. He also has an amazing voice – I want him to say ‘pass the salt please’.


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


It was a hobby and began with 100 brooches for men. I tried the whole of the Kings Road and hadn’t sold a single one. At the last minute a fabulous jewellers called Cobbler & Bellamy brought 50. That was the lucky break.



If you could collaborate with one brand (Who you currently aren’t) who would it be and why?


The V&A Museum – beauty and history what more do you want.



Measuring up the members of Bradford City Football club ahead of their Cup Final bid at Wembley.

Measuring up the members of Bradford City Football club ahead of their Cup Final bid at Wembley.

Walkies - The New Dog Door Stops

Walkies – The New Dog Door Stops

The Darwin Panda Cufflinks - Just one of the many examples of cufflinks by Mr Carter

The Darwin Panda Cufflinks – Just one of the many examples of cufflinks by Mr Carter

A man isn't truly fully dressed without a tie pin, particularly by Simon Carter

A man isn’t truly fully dressed without a tie slide, particularly by Simon Carter








Keep on Running – Saucony Originals

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For those of you out there of a running persuasion, and you know who you are, Saucony are a brand you’re probably very familiar with as they’re one of the leading running shoe manufacturers on the market. Now, if like my good self, you couldn’t think of anything possibly worse then pounding the concrete streets in the wind, rain, scorching heat or even snow, but do appreciate the aesthetics of a good running shoe, then look no further then Saucony Originals.

The US brand founded in 1898, Saucony have been producing classic, durable running shoes for 115 years, so they know a thing or two. Hailing from the banks of the Saucony Creek (mirrored by the ‘river like’ appearance of the logo) in Pennsylvania, they have long been a brand both at the forefront of technological advancement and the maintenance of a dedication to stylish simplicity of the running shoe. This is no better personified than in the archetypal Jazz silhouette, first released in 1981 as the most technical performance running shoe of its time.






Back in the Summer of 71 – Reiss 1971



Reiss originally launched the range 1971 back in Autumn 2009, aiming to attract a more contemporary, youthful audience, willing to push the boundaries and adding a new dimension to the Reiss customer. So why 1971 ? Well, of course this marks the date that David Reiss founded the brand. No matter, the brand were at the time of  1971’s launch and still today VERY insistent that the collection is not retro, in any way- but rather fashion-forward. They see the customer as modern, current, self assured and confident as the range likes to celebrate iconic men, but in turn gives the customer the chance to be the character.

Reiss, pride themselves on always evolving and moving things forward, never sitting still. And so, wanted to re-invigorate 1971 and create a minimal, sharper spirit which is reflected in the product offering. The brand want 1971 to encapsulate this ideal of youth, sharp and clean whilst remaining true to the Reiss brand values. They worked with the Mantra of SOULFUL, COOL, CREATIVE & EXCITING… and used these words as  the foundation blocks for this collection in creating a new identity for 1971.

As part of this re-birth they have also introduced an iconic bishop (Chess piece, not a mitre etc) logo featuring on menswear casual shirts, trousers, shorts, knitwear, cottons and tees. This reflects the location of the first Reiss Store, which of course opened its doors in 1971, in Bishopsgate, London, ‘Where Shoreditich Meets the City’.













Pearls of Wisdom – RI Masterclasses

Inbetween launching and showing during London Fashion Week, the new Rhianna range for River Island. These crafty little retailers have another launch which caught my eye nearly as much as the Bajen beauty, the RI Masterclasses the first of which is with that Master of Style, wit and long term friend of Clothes Make the Man, the debonair Mr Dan Ruckwood. Like River Island, Dan is a busy man when not being papted for Street Style websites the world over for his Sartorial flair, he’s also Style Director of Mens Health UK. Rather, then me procrastinate any further, let me leave you in the good man’s hands and have a listen to the style gems Dan has for you. Ohhh one last thing, keep your eyes peeled for future Masterclasses that promise to draw on the knowledge of experts to give the modern man  ‘hot tips’ for grooming, music, and even mixology !!!!