Ensure you look tuxedo-tastic – Chester Barrie’s top tuxedo tips

core 3pce evening suitWe’re coming up to that time of year again, that no matter what age you are, you are either thinking about dusting off that diner suit which lurks at the back of your wardrobe or you’re pondering investing in a new model, because of the aforementioned statement. Whether, its a Wedding, Day at the Races, Award Ceremony, or increasing a Prom, yes you read that right, Proms are not just the exclusive property of High School Musical or Grease, depend on your age. Proms are now common event in educational establishments from Junior Schools, yes Junior Schools, to Universities and as Tuxedos are no longer just confined to your classic Black, single breasted, one button numbers. There is greater choice for us gentlemen to choose from which can of course through up an increased amount of problem areas. So, Chester Barrie, the resident address holder of 19 Savile Row, who have counted Cary Grant, Sir Winston Churchill, Gordon Ramsey and Frank Sinatra as clientele. Plus dressed, probably, the most stylish screen characters of all time, both Steve McQueen in the Thomas Crown Affair and Sean Connery as James in Dr No and Thunderball ! And if that wasn’t enough they are also sponsoring the Laurence Olivier Awards this coming weekend. So one does think its safe to say, this is a brand who know a thing or two about not only tuxedos but suiting in general. Take a look below at their Classic top tips when investing in a Tuxedo –

1) Look for a good quality grosgrain on the lapels.

2) Dress trousers should have a strip of fabric down the side – look for braid. It looks much classier and adds an authentic touch.

3) Do not buy a dress suit that requires a belt – it spoils the look – go for side adjusters or braces.

4) A low-cut waistcoat will enhance the look and looks better than the cummerbund.

5) Marcella dress shirts should off the option for buttons or studs – pleat fronts are flashier but are acceptable.

6) Bow-ties should always be black and self-tie.

7) Studs and cufflinks should be the only flash of colour shown.

8) Pocket squares may also be coloured adding elegance and fun to an eveningwear outfit.

9) A white silk dress scarf should only be worn with an overcoat (a white cashmere scarf can also be particularly classy).

10) Shoes should always be black; traditionally they should have no detail and highly polished.

 11) (And just for good measure) Socks should be black or dark red only.


Bags of Likeability – Universal Works X Millican Collaboration

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 15.47.08Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 15.47.08Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 15.47.08It honestly is a rare occurrence when I’m able to say, watch this, it explains everything, but that is exactly what the below short film does. Two Great British Menswear brands have come together to produce a concise capsule bag collection, offering everything, any man, any bag he could possibly need. Universal Works, who produce a well made, easy to wear and affordable collection for men who want contemporary clothes, but understand tradition and looking good without trying too hard. They have teamed up with Millican,  a brand that follows the path left by eco-adventurer and godfather of sustainable living, no not Tom Goode of the Good Life, God Rest his Soul, but Millican Dalton, who in turn produce a collection of organic canvas bags and accessories. Watch and Enjoy –

SS/13 Universal Works x Millican Collaboration from Millican on Vimeo.

Age Defence – Korres Black Pine Anti-Ageing Serum

Korres Black Pine Serum jpegHaving just returned from what can only be described as being a full on trip to Las Vegas, more on that at a later date, plus having a very bad sleeping new addition to the family, I feel I’ve aged 10 years recently. I’ve started to avoid mirrors and when I find myself confronted in a mirrored lift or washroom I catch myself scrutinsing those “laughter lines” and what can only be discussed as shopping bags under my eyes.

So, when the press release for Korres Black Pine Anti-Ageing Serum arrived in my inbox it really was a sight for, not only, sore but tired eyes. The Greek organic skincare range, whose first product was an aromatic herbal syrup with honey and aniseed, a recipe inspired by “rakomelon”, a warming spirit with honey concoction, which George Korres’ grandfather used to favour in his hometown on the island of Naxos. Set up in 1996 with the aim to utilize its extensive scientific resources for the development of clinical effective and safe products, Korres today offers a natural and certified organic range in all areas of beauty and skincare. The brand’s core values remain the same as in its pharmacy days – the use of herbs and natural ingredients of the highest quality; skin and environmentally friendly products with clinically tested effectiveness; affordable for every day use yet of high-aesthetics with strong artistic direction.

With the Black Pine Anti-Ageing Serum 100% of the test panel users reported positive results with firming and TempSure lifting action for wrinkle reduction, skin elasticity and re-contouring. To further push the benefits of its serum Korres then asked Dermatologists to clinically measure the results on the members of the test panel. They confirmed improvements on every member of the panel.

To achieve these impressive results Korres collaborated with the Institute of Biology of the Laboratory of Cell Proliferation and Ageing, I promise I didn’t make that up, honest, to investigate and harness the exceptional qualities of Black Pine polyphenol [Epigallocathechin] in regulating metalloproteinases [MMPs] thus maintaining the dermis junction (the acellular zone that is between the dermis and the epidermis of the skin).

The combination of black pine extract, a rich source of polyphenols and pure polyphenol Epigalocatechin reduce the action of MMPs and effectively firm the skin and along with the other active ingredients ensures real results.


Sitting at the dock of the bay – Sebago Shoes

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 11.36.15Boat shoes are not everyones cup of tea and it has to be said it does evoke a certain marmite effect in men. But over the last couple of summer seasons it can’t be denied they’ve been growing in popularity, to the point that you can see everyone from your trendy wendys over the “long” summer months busting a battered up pair, your Dad thinking he’s down with the kids to even your Grandad who sees the comfort benefit of them and don’t get me started about the normal everyday man on the street, down the football, in the pub etc. This trend is even further compounded and confused when you have everyone from Lanvin and Junya Watanabe to BHS and Primark producing a version of.

Now, one brand is surnonimous with this style of shoe and hails from an area equally famous for its sea fairing activities. Sebago was founded by three New England natives, Daniel J. Wellehan, Sr., William Beaudoin and Joseph Cordeau in 1946. Their very first shoe, the hand-sewn penny loafer, fashioned after the popular Indian moccasins. In 1970, Sebago introduced their own-branded shoe, the classic dockside. Beloved by many,Docksides would eventually come to define the entire boat shoe category and this very shoe still remains their most popular style to this day.

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 11.34.44Recently, the brand has partnered with true craftsmen who continue the tradition and techniques of the leather tanning processes, in the Horween Leather Company of Chicago, Illinois. The Horween Caftsmen run a century old tannery and offer an array of the finest tannages. The Chromexcel Leather, exclusive to this tannery, selected for their Docksides boat shoes in the original premium leather, crafted from Horween’s proprietary recipe of natural oils. Horween’s time honoured traditions and formulas provide Sebago with a soft, yet highly durable leather, which a little like myself, improve with age and add to their handsome appearance.

Examples of the Docksiders by Sebago

Examples of the Docksiders by Sebago

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Laugh in the face of April Showers – Mackintosh

Charles Mackintosh

Charles Mackintosh

Back in 1823, a lowly Glaswegian chemist of the name Charles Mackintosh, came upon a discovery which would, literally, revolutionise, not only his life, but the lives of many around the world, for years to come. Then, like nowadays, people experienced great difficulty protecting themselves from the elements and the inclement weather. However, one of Charles experiments, essentially him messing around in his lab with one of the by-products of tar, naphtha, led to his invention of a waterproof fabric, the Mackintosh Cloth. This rubberised cloth is produced by spreading liquid, natural rubber between two fabrics, pressed and heated, its that simple. The coats made of this innovative fabric became an over night success and held must have status for THE coat to be seen in whilst walking in the rain. Slightly later in its life the “Mac” or “Mackintosh” as the coat then became known as, was adopted by the British Armed Forces for both World War I & II.

Jumping forward nearly 200 years and the Mac has lost none of its appeal or status and is still the coat to be seen in whilst walking in the rain ! The concept of the modern contemporary outerwear of the rubberised coat that Charles invented, has never strayed far from its origins and as the company put it themselves, “We never design too much and retain the simplicity and the tradition. This makes MACKINTOSH a timeless piece that expresses your individual style.” 

Probably explaining the popularity of this piece not only with style makers and opinion formers but with the general well dressed dapper bloke.