WORDS BY GRACE DOWNS

UK women’s online retailer Missguided has officially launched its menswear brand Mennance. Combining smart and casual quality products, the brand states that it’s confidently creating what the consumer needs with standout styles and trends. Mennace was initially launched through ASOS by its creator Nitin Passi last year, but now it has expanded to its own stand-alone website and store in Boxpark in Shoreditch.

The brand was “born out of an appreciation for desirable fashion at an affordable price” inspired by youth culture, Mennace takes a direct, no-nonsense, approach to mens’ fashion, from fit to finish. The idea is to create both a stylish and practical range of quality menswear. The Mennace launch campaign showcases and supports emerging talent in different creative backgrounds such as music and art. With lead designers Penelope Armstrong and Romy Townend stating that ‘We’ve put a lot of effort into ensuring that our fabrics are of the highest quality.’ The heavyweight fabric helps to ensure that the styles fit in a relaxed way. with confidence and style in mind. Mennace is a lifestyle, not just clothing.’

Want to try before you buy? head up to their pop-up store within Boxpark Shoreditch. The store has all of it’s Autumn/Winter collection which is perfectly on trend, with a strong selection of baggy tee’s, sleek joggers, classic denim and striking coats and jackets. Whether you’re going for a different look or an understated confidence, there is something in store for you.

The pop-up store is the perfect opportunity to head over and check out the weekly drops.

When two great entities come together to work in partnership, you can only expect good things to come from such an arrangement. I mean look at a Fish & Chips, Laurel & Hardy, Batman & Robin, Salt & Pepper, Cannon & Ball. OK nearly always. But nonetheless when The Idle man announced it was creating a dedicated grooming section in partnership with Beast, I mean come on.

Independent male grooming retailer Beast, who recently debuts its first UK store in Seven Dials, Covent Garden, who stock a range of high quality male beauty products including Murdock London, Caudalie, Kiehls, Malin & Goetz and fragrances. The fresh and clean store design reflects the emporium of products on offer and the basis for the brands new e- commerce operations.

Whereas The Idle Man goes from strength to strength, in the past 3 months alone the brand has grown to 2.5m monthly users and launched a U.S. specific website. Not back for a etailer who started out less than five years ago, “because we wanted to show you that being stylish shouldn’t be difficult.”

With half term literally round the corner, it’s not too late to plan a little getaway and what could be better than a city break, maybe not the first idea that comes into your head when thinking about a holiday for the family and keeping all those ages, genders and personalities Happy but we think weekengo might have the answers to your worries.

Online weekend getaway portal and app, weekenGO have released a study revealing the top 100 best cities to spend the weekend, with London, UK taking the top overall top spot. The results give an overall score for each city, but also indicate which destinations are best for three different types of travellers; millennials, families and baby boomers. As a company who’s business is weekend breaks and who lives and breathes weekend travel breaks, weekenGO undertook the study to define what exactly makes a city great for a short visit, and to help travellers of different age groups and dynamics to choose a destination which best caters to their interests.

To determine the categories for the study, weekenGO first considered what factors affect a weekend trip. Several criteria are important to travellers no matter their age or affluence, for example how easy a city is to navigate, the ease of finding accommodation and the number of green spaces. To highlight which cities are best for different demographics, including, families, the number of social locations such as restaurants, bars and clubs, maybe not so relevant for families but, were included, as well as cultural activities such as museums, art galleries and theatres. In addition, safety and tolerance were factored into the research, looking specifically at data on women’s rights and safety, LGBT friendliness and the perception of security. The study began with the top 1,000 cities determined by the number of visitors based on the UN-WTO. The researchers then analysed all of these factors to create a ranking of the top 100 best cities to visit for the weekend.

To create the individual scores for families a, weekenGO looked at traveller’s interests on a macro level to determine the best overall representative score. Each category is scored, with a high score indicating high desirability for this factor and a low score indicating a low level of attractiveness for tourists.

Given the fact that we looked at over 1,000 cities worldwide, every destination that made it to this top 100 ranking ought to be on your weekend getaway bucket list.” commented Tobias Boese, co-founder and managing director of weekenGO. “Cities at the top of the ranking such as London, Paris and New York are iconic for a reason, but those cities at the bottom of the ranking such as Casablanca and Belgrade still have a great deal to offer for an unforgettable weekend trip.”

TOP TEN CITY BREAKS FOR FAMILIES

Switzerland isn’t the first country that’s comes to mind when you think of sophisticated, sexy loungewear, yes watches, loungewear, not so much, but Zimmerli of Switzerland want to change your mind. For this seasonal collections “Crossroad Stories” for gentlemen and “Shades of Opulence”for ladies, are inspired by the big metropolises, the collections convey a sense of urban life and infinite diversity. Playful patterns encounter perfect lines, dramatic colours contrast sensual pastel shades and cuddly materials complement the finest fabrics for wintery comfort.

Since 1871, this traditional company has been committed to producing underwear that meets the highest expectations of the most discerning clientele. Handmade in Switzerland, the quality of these undergarments remains unsurpassed worldwide. Privileged wearers see and feel this quality immediately. The finest materials, precise fit, supreme comfort – the most pleasant touch tells the connoisseur that this can only be one brand.

The unique, sophisticated and time-consuming knitting process that Zimmerli’s implement is a worldwide exclusive that dates back to the 1930s – which creates the legendary soft touch and extreme elasticity without the addition of synthetic fibres. The subtle cutting technique characterises the luxurious comfort and makes every Richelieu item a unique article, handmade in Switzerland.

Daywear items are available in comfortable cotton- and Modal-blend fabric and in the exquisite Sea Island cotton. The geometry of the metropolises appears on the woven and jersey pyjamas from “Linear Compositions”, while the nightwear of “Perfect Symmetry” shows a quieter design language. The revised loungewear models are striking. Modern, sporty cuts are complemented with sophisticated woven-jersey combinations or labels with quilting seams – unique features that make the wearer an ambassador of true values.

In the second of our series of conversations where we highlight some of the individuals in key positions within leading retailers, who play a key role in shaping the way many of us dress. Today we turn our focus to one of the best known British high Street retailers, certainly the one with the best heritage, Marks & Spencer.

And the person in question is their Head of Menswear Design, James Doidge. Doidge, like the brand he now works for, he too has quite the pedigree. Prior to his current position, James worked as Menswear Design Director at Calvin Klein for 11 years. Before that he worked at such luxury brands including Asprey, Versace and Paul Smith. With this experience, this has given him a wide range of reference points and inspiration that he brings to M&S.

If you could have invented anything what would it be?
The denim jean. It’s such a timeless and versatile piece of clothing, and it’s fascinating to see how it evolves and changes over the decades, reflecting each generation. It’s one of the few items of clothing that looks better as it gets older.

If you had one day to live what would be your biggest regret?
No regrets, every experience – good or bad – makes you a more rounded and stronger individual. You learn for your mistakes and are empowered by your successes.
If I had one day to live, I’d be hanging out with friends and eating food!

What inspires you?
Travelling, both with work and for holidays.
I’ve had the great fortune of working and living in Milan and New York as well as London. It gives you a great perspective and understanding of people and the world.
We travel a lot with work, visiting different cities for market research and inspiration as well as visiting our suppliers around the world. Tokyo is always inspiring on many levels: for style, culture and also the fantastic food.
One of my favourite holidays was surfing in El Salvador, which is an incredible country with fantastic people and nerve-wracking homemade fireworks!

What’s your favourite piece of clothing?
A black wool suit jacket that I bought from a charity shop when I was 16, I still wear it today! The cut around the chest and shoulder are what makes it fit so well.

Who is your style icon?
I don’t have one singular style icon that I look to – I love the dialogue between music and clothes and how each influence one another. ‘The Look’ by Paul Gorman is a great book that explores this subject.

Can you tie a bow tie? If yes, who taught you?
I usually only wear a bow tie when I’m wearing a tuxedo, and think that they sit and look much better when they are hand tied. My Uncle Barry first taught me to tie a bow tie, but there are lots of great guides online and on YouTube that can teach novices how to tie a bow tie!

What piece of style advise do you live by?
Mix and match, wear smart shoes – such as a pair of suede Oxfords – with denim, or a knitted polo shirt with a suit. Wool trousers with a t-shirt and trainers create a clean modern look.

What piece of clothing should everyman have in his wardrobe?
A classic white Oxford shirt. It looks great freshly ironed, or equally good creased and thrown on, and work with suits or jeans. I like to wear mine with a knitted tie, as it doesn’t look too formal with the button down collar.

Have you ever bought a piece of clothing and regretted it?
Absolutely, everyone has at some point, it’s all about learning what suits you and how best to express yourself through clothes. There was a Dior Homme suit that made me look like a Quality Street! There are also a few things I wish that I had bought and didn’t too, one being a Helmut Lang parka in 1999.

If you could give your teenage self advice, what would it be?
Keep on doing what you’re doing and maybe take a few more photos to remember your outfits and haircuts.

Best piece of advise you’ve ever been given and by whom?
“Buy quality not quantity” from my Grandma. Quality comes at all price points – the more expensive it is doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s best quality.

If you could collaborate with one brand, who would it be ?
Apple. It’s going to be very interesting to see what products they diversify into next – how tech becomes more wearable and starts to make decisions for us.