by Keanu Adorable

Tis the season of blessings and joy, and there’s no excuse to just throw on a Christmas jumper that you dug out from the back of your closet that you got from your mum or significant other from last year or could even be the year before. Whether you’ll be roasting chestnut on the open fire or down the pub with your mates, we here at Clothes Make The Man are going to make sure you are prepared for the season’s events ahead and have your Christmas wardrobe covered.

Christmas Office Party

Dressing the part and knowing what to wear can sometimes be a tricky issue, should it be super formal or super casual, or somewhere in-between? A no brainer and the key piece of fashion advice when dressing, you should wear what the occasion dictates. If there is a dress code or theme to the party, then stick to that.. A perfectly tailored suit that’s easily adaptable or semi-formal blazers and trousers will complement cocktail looks. Keep things classic with dusky navies, subdued cobalt and muted greys. Stick to tailored suits that are fitted, but not too tight. Keep blazers figure hugging, fresh and modern and alter pants to just skim the top of the footwear.

Blazer

Shirts

Fitted dress shirts are proper, classic and safe in whites or powder blues. With that in mind, a modern or brighter patterned button down shirts can give a new edge to your outfit, provided they are not too over the top. Build on the colour of your suit with complementary shades that will look presentable and well put together.

Shoes

Great shoes should not be overlooked or underestimated. A traditional round toe leather Oxford is timeless and the shoe of choice for that smart attire look. Upgrade your style in authentic leathers and switch things up with different textures like brogue punch holes. Loafers can be considered if the event is less formal but keep them relatively classic with colours in and black, navy or brown.

Christmas Eve

Whichever style Christmas Eve you tend to have, it’s also a good time to chuck on some fresh threads and look your best. This night is one of the best times to get together with friends and have a good drink down your local or have a more traditional family gathering and a takeaway or head out for a meal, casual attire would suit best, but it’s important to add a bit of a bit of swagger too. Pieces we recommend are overcoats and roll neck sweaters that will keep you warm, these can paired with smart trousers and smart looking trainers.

 

Christmas Day

Start the day of right with with these pair of White Company Pyjamas, will make sure you get a good nights sleep for the big day, and feel the warm cheerful christmas spirit with your family.

728x90_CMTM_BannerYou know us men are a selfless lot, we’re all too busy thinking of what we’re going to buy our loved one, that we all to often overlook what WE want for Christmas. We at Clothes Make the Man are all to aware of this problem and can sympathise with our good readers and so we thought we’d let you take a few moments break for a little US time, yeah think about what we might want sat under the Tress come Christmas Morn. So here’s a selection to wet your appetite –

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These lil lovelies caught our eye or should that be ear, they are Bang & Olufsen Play headphones from MRPORTER.COM, deliver exceptionally clear, authentic audio. The soft leather memory foam earpads and lightweight support ensure you’ll be able to listen to your longest albums in comfort, while the lead can be plugged into either side and features an in-line remote control and microphone for flexible use on the move. Ohh Santa you better not forget.

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Ohhh the weather outside might well be frightful but inside this Parka jacket by Banana Republic you certainly will be feeling delightful. Totally versatile and completely practical this Parka will keep you good whatever the weather throws at you this Yule.

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Simple put this jeans are blinking fantastic, by Albam and a classic in every shape of the word plus a real wardrobe essential, each pair is crafted from a custom woven 13oz Vintage Rope Dyed Indigo Japanese denim, in a new factory in the north of England. When you receive your jeans they are a beautiful deep blue colour, untouched by fades and washes so you can make them your own as you wear them. The denim now has a chain stitched hem that gives an original finish that echoes back to the ways of old.

 

 

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This brilliantly traditional Gentleman’s umbrella contrasts a navy canopy with a light brown wooden handle and a silver metallic engraved logo tab, by the equally brilliant Patrick Grant for Debenhams for his GREAT Hammond & Co range.

Twice Again RRP £44.50

 

Celebrating its thirtieth birthday this very year, Swatch have created some incredibly iconic watches during this time including this great design classic, interestedly called, “Twice again”. Most people at some point have had a swatch and now’s the time to do it again.

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Orson & Welles stock the best in original film posters from the 1950’s to 1980’s. Prices range from £100 for the 1954 re-release classic Port of Wickedness “She ruled, a queen over gold-mad love-hungry men…” to £5000 for the Star Wars non-Oscar version of the UK Quad Style C film poster – a key item for any serious Star Wars collector.

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Hats, gloves, scarves combos are always a winner, but make sure you be specific in what your after or you can end up with novelty-tastic example. This set from Paul Smith will have you looking dapper no matter if your dressing down for a festive tipple or smartening up your act for an in-laws meet up.

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Switch by Native Union is a truly GENIUS product, a Portable Bluetooth speaker, Professional conference call device and Mobile phone charger ! Its currently the way the Clothes-Make-the-Man office are listen to their music. Its wireless technology allows you to enjoy your music , movies and games. SWITCH is powered by three speakers, ensuring optimal sound quality whatever your music taste and take calls from over 30 feet away from your Bluetooth device, all the while looking pretty damn cool.

 

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ZZZzzzzzzzzz

This coming Friday,  yes Friday 14th December is the most popular date for Office Christmas parties, this year. You and your colleagues from offices and places of work up and down the land will be coming, or should I say thrown, together to celebrate the Yuletide season. The Office Christmas party is up there with a UN Peace Conference or a Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, for being a potential volatile environment. Ken in Accounts getting into a fight with Bill from Marketing or Peter from Head Office being caught in the disabled toilets with Karen from HR or Susan from from the Kendal office being in tears because Nigel from I.T. who were smooching to Wham’s Last Christmas, had gone in for a snog and Susan has just got engaged to Paul and sees Nigel as just a friend. Ohhhh Office Christmas Do’s can be great fun, honest, but there are a couple of golden rules that you need to adhere to, to stop that FEAR when you awake on Saturday morning-ish.

Do: Enjoy yourself, get to know your colleagues a little better, but not too much better, if you know what I mean, cough, First aid cupboard.

Don’t be the talk of the office on Monday

Don’t: Goes without saying Don’t drink and drive, book a cab beforehand.

Do:  Treat people as you would like to be treated, remember that one, not always easy but in the long run it’s the best way.

Don’t: Be the talk of the Office on Monday Morning leave that to someone else.

Do: Be fun, til the season to be jolly.

Don’t: photocopy your bits and bobs (Or at least don’t get caught)

Don’t: Sit in the corner and sulk, It’s a party, have fun.

Do: Dance, it’s Christmas ! In the words of Noddy Holder of Slade.

Ohhhh I’ll see you in court !

Don’t: Bring a dodgy friend that may get into a fight or decide to dance on the desks.

Do: Be cordial to that person that does your head in. It is Christmas so try to put on your happy face on, if just for one night.

Don’t: Decide it’s a great time to tell your co-workers what you really think. How you are sick of him/her not pulling their weight. Speaking of weight, do not mention how he/she could do with losing a few pounds, NO !.

Do: Keep the conversation upbeat and casual, til the season to be jolly, after all.

Don’t: Get into office politics, it’s easy to fall into this trap. Work is common ground so inevitably the conversation will be work based. Try not to talk about Sandra’s boyfriend or the fact that she’s going through her third divorce.

I can feel that hangover from here

Do: Dress well, if your office is a suited one, still dress smart but wear a decent pair of jeans, don’t end up looking like Jeremy Clarkson, think more Gary Barlow or Ryan Gosling.

Don’t: Wear a novelty Christmas Clothing, it might be a party but you do want to keep your dignity and want people to see you as professional come Monday.

Do: Talk to your boss. If it’s at your boss’s house, thank him or her for having you, it’s polite.

Don’t: Decide it’s a good time to talk about a raise or Christmas bonus. Maybe bonuses were cut this year, if you are deeply upset by this, maybe you should give it a miss, yeah.

The Ideal Outfit for your Office Party

 

This Black velvet jacket by Ted Baker is not only festive and bang on trend but will have you feeling like 007 when you enter the room and play, go for it wear it with a pocket square, if someone dares, take the mick, put them in there place with a witty put down like, “Did we get dressed in the dark again” or “What are you wearing to the party tonight ?”

 

Keep it simple and this shirt from Mark & Spencer will have you looking $1000,000 even though it costs just a faction of that. Team this black shirt with the black velvet jacket for a sophisticated look. Plus it won’t show the sweat from a boogie on the dance floor or if you spill a drink down yourself. These things happen !

 

Now yes its an Office party and you want to keep an air of professionalism, but it is a party with these jeans from Albam not only are you giving a casual element to this look but you are putting it out there, “Yep I know how to dress.”

 

Finish the look with these little beauties from Grenson @ MrPorter.com. Please trust me don’t ruin this perfect outfit with novelty socks or tie, keep it simply and trust me if you go with this outfit for your your office party, you will have a great time and if you following the golden rules. I just think that promotion AND rise might just be in the bag.

 

 

About eight years ago while on a Press trip to Manchester I found myself sat next to the subject of today’s Textual Conversation. As the dinner progressed and the vino flowed myself and James Shaw started to discuss his new business idea and I proceeded to tell him he was mad for leaving his job and thinking about starting up a new clothing brand while we were in such a bad economic climate. I can categorically state I was 110% wrong, in fact I could not have been any wronger. This little brand, that in my tiny little mind was destined to fail has, to put it mildly, come on in leaps and bounds since it was founded in 2006, in fact Albam, to give this Great British clothing brand its correct title, was recently voted ‘Best for Men’s Fashion’ at The Telegraph’s Best Small Shops in Britain awards. Albam was built on a foundation of, “to make an honest product that is well made and that uses great fabrics”. This ethos has served the brand well and has earned itself the accolade of being THE most copied, sorry inspiring, brands of recent menswear history, from multi national designer houses to humble little high Street retailers, have used Albam as their inspiration in some way, shape or form for pieces or entire collections over recent seasons, whether they’d admit it or not.

The customer of Albam is equally diverse from Actors, Creatives, club kids, trendies or regular guys all loving a bit of what the label calls ‘Basics’ or what I would call foundation pieces. They, in my opinion, produce great, easy garments that lift whatever you’re wearing and make you feel good about yourself and what you’re wearing.  As an independent clothing company, Albam are always looking for new ways to tap into their customers lifestyle, bringing them more of what they love: honest, beautifully-designed and well made products, whether that be the artisan services of barber extrordinaire Matt Raine aka Mr Natty or collaborating with mid century modern furniture website antikmodern.

Anyway, enough of me going on with oneself, lets hear from the man himself the co-founder of Albam, James Shaw;

What’s your favourite piece of clothing ?

I have three at the moment! A Western Mountaineering Down vest. Albam seamless T Shirts and a pair of Spellbound Jeans. My daily basics.

Who is your style icon ?

Cliché, but there is Steve McQueen (the actor) Simple American sportswear, great staples and just worn with his own edge. Not sure I would have liked to know him in person but he looked great. Royal Robbins (climber) looked pretty awesome when he climbed El Capitan back in the day and then nowadays I am not so sure. I like the idea that you wear the clothes rather than the other way round. Clothes should always be well made and great fitting, but I want to see the person and not the clothes first. 

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

I can after a few goes, my dad showed me many years ago and I just never have the opportunity to wear one regularly. They are fun but for me, speed is pretty important in the morning!

What piece of style advise do you live by ?

Keep it simple.

In your words, describe the collection ?

Albam AW12 has 3 points of view, which are relevant to the brand. We realized that we want different things daily and a single look/silhouette wasn’t particularly us as we live doing many and varied things. So we took this and created 3 spirits, all interchangeable but taking into consideration the basics of a wardrobe, great shirts, denim, T shirts, sweatshirts, work blazers and some technical outerwear and then looked to our sportier and more relaxed “white” label to bring in elements of sportswear whilst our “black” label brings to life some more fluid silhouettes, softer minimalism, maybe a Modern Crafted English silhouette. Honest, confident, a nod to the technical and a purity of thought.

Have you ever bought a piece of clothing and regretted it ? If so what & why ?

I bought a great Armani work jacket once, it was on sale for £50 and thought I must have it. I got it back home when I was living in Manchester and then sent it back. Twelve years later I regret sending it back, it would have been perfect for this winter!

In terms of regretting a piece because it wasn’t right, I have banished these to my Room 101!

What do you have to do after this conversation ?

Go for a run to wind down! I have cleared my inbox and my head is spinning!

What would you like to be doing after this conversation ?

Going for a run anyway, it keeps me in check with my headspace and creates a fluid energy that keeps my mind ticking.

What piece of clothing should everyman have in his wardrobe ?

Great jeans, for me at the moment anyway. Various stages of wear, Japanese denim, maybe some Albam in there for good measure!

What inspires you ?

Movement and the idea that we have to keep on moving on.

If you could have invented anything what would it be ?

Time, we all live by it, so that would have been fun!

Albam’s store on Bleak Street, London

 

Albamclothing.com

 

 

 

The Murdock London Barber Shop at the Shop at the Bluebird in London

The Art-Deco inspired Tommy Guns barber shop at the Superdry flagship store

Regular readers of Clothes-make-the-man.com may have noticed of late a trend developing at menswear retailers with the addition of a traditional barber shop, but with the all important, contemporary twist, in their flagship store. However, this isn’t a new phenomenon, for years bastions of traditional department stores such as Selfridges, Harrods and some of the more old school House of Fraser stores such as the former Kendals in Manchester, have all boasted grooming emporiums to answer any possible requirement the dapper gent may request.

Nevertheless, the style pendulum has well and truly swung back in favour of the traditional barber shop experience. In the last few months alone we have seen the brilliant Murdock London open at the uber trendy Shop at the Bluebird on the Kings Road in London and then only last week we had Ted Baker inviting us to experience his Turkish inspired Ottoman Lounge, as you fans of Clothes-make-the-man.com will know only too well.

Mr Natty himself, Matt Raines at Albam

Nonetheless, these retailers are far from being on their own on this particular grooming tip. TopMan have enlisted the service of top barbers Sharps, as too have Ben Sherman who are soon to open this service in their Islington, London store . Superdry have opted for the grooming skills of Tommy Guns for their retailing flagship stores. Tommy Guns are particularly known for creating a striking environment that blends heritage Barbershop influences, faux narratives and modern day craftsmanship to their hair cutting prowess. And those guardian of No 1 Savile Row themselves, Gieves & Hawkes are a dedicated contemporary oasis within their traditional male haven, maned by Gentlemen’s Tonic.

Also, we have seen the likes of Albam, yes trendsetters extraordinaire Albam, who have been offering the unique services of Matt Raines and his Mr Natty brand within their stores.

And for our Irish readers, or if planning a trip to the Emerald Isle, the wonderfully stylish Brown Thomas have recently opening their own grooming enclave in Brown’s offering packages from the ‘10 minute Quick Fix’ and the ‘40 Minute Rejuvenation’

Although, the first time I saw this new modern day trend, of a return to the barber’s chair within a men’s shopping experience was with the Mancuian style gurus Oi Polloi. Who for years in their original store, had queues out their door waiting to take advantage of their single barber’s chair.