Sartorial Sorcery

Fashion

I have a friend who is a witch.

Ok, he’s not quite a witch, but he is into magic.

Well, he does card tricks. It’s just that some of his tricks baffle me to the extent that sorcery is genuinely the only logical explanation.

Anyway, this friend of mine, keen to get his witchcraft career going has taken to coasting around bars with a deck cards, wowing people with his particular brand of trickery. Simply from doing this, he has made useful contacts (maybe even a celebrity or two) and has even received offers to perform. It’s basically magical networking – like how I’d imagine Harry Potter would have gotten his first job.

The reason I’m telling you all this is because of my friend’s golden rule: No one questions a man in a good suit.

There’s just something about a suit that gives you a certain confidence, a certain sense of legitimacy. It protects you. Like a suit of armour.

If you saw me running down the street in a hoodie, let’s face it, you’d probably think I’d stolen something. If you saw me running down the street in a suit however, you might assume that I was a businessman, late for a terribly important meeting, or maybe a contestant on The Apprentice with five minutes left to finish the challenge before facing Lord Sugar and a tutting Karen Brady in the boardroom.

As such, no one questions why a stranger in a bar has just asked them to pick a card, when said stranger is wearing a nice suit. It just adds to the mystery.

In that vein, I decided to do a little suiting wizardry of my own and put together this formal outfit.

Going for a bit of an old-fashioned banker/ Tory politician vibe, the outfit is decidedly navy in theme.

Keeping things as classy as you’ve come to expect from this blog, my trousers and waistcoat are from Primark… in the sale. Regardless, I love the navy Prince of Wales check that harks back to Britiain’s bold tailoring traditions (or at least it would if it cost more than £15).

Unfortunately, they didn’t have a blazer in my size so, instead, I thought I’d relax things a little and go jacket-less. Then I remembered that I live in England and that it was January so I opted instead for my favourite coat which I think suits it quite well.

The shirt is from H&M. Due to my neanderthal-esque proportions, the cuffs on most shirts stop just shy of my wrists, which I really need to look into. Recently however, I’ve taken to giving my coat sleeves a single roll and, handily, this slightly tricks the eye into thinking that my arms aren’t quite as lanky as they truly are.

The frankly huge holdall bag is from Boohooman.com. Admittedly I didn’t envisage quite how large it would be when I ordered it – the woes of buying online. As I realised when it arrived, pictures don’t really do it justice but, take my word for it, it’s massive. It’s a great weekend bag though, because I can basically fit all of my worldly possessions in it with little to no trouble. I can’t be dealing with cramming things into small bags. I was never any good at Tetris.

My tie was a Christmas present from my housemates and it’s from Next. I’m a big fan of the tan/rust colour which brightens up what would otherwise be quite a dark, plain look. Finally, finishing off the outfit are my trusty blue-laced brogues from eBay.

And hey presto, there’s a look fit for any aspiring wizard.

Expelliarmus!

 

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Burgundy, Belts and the Baffling Nature of Man’s Simultaneous Desires for Singularity and Assimilation

Fashion

With London Fashion Week Men’s over and Pitti Uomo just beginning, show season is well underway. As the international menswear community flexes their sartorial muscles, I thought I’d do a little outfit post.

I wore this a couple of weeks ago to a meal with my family. I tried to dress things up a little, just to remind my family of my unwavering sartorial dominance over them, but it was just a meal in a casual restaurant so I didn’t want to go overboard.

I built the look around this burgundy polo-neck/roll-neck/turtleneck (I’ve never been quite sure what the official term is). Burgundy is a big colour every autumn/winter season and always looks great on knitwear. Killing two birds with one stone, I’ve tucked it in – simultaneously keeping things fancy while also giving a little wink to 90s style where tucking in was all the rage, as the cast of Beverly Hills, 90120 would tell you.

I love the texture of this wool coat (to be honest, I got it from Primark so it’s definitely not wool, but let’s just pretend). Equally contemporary and classic, it’s one of my favourite coats and it’s great for layered looks as it’s not too thick.

Keeping things simple, I’ve gone for these dark selvedge jeans from Topman that I got in the black Friday sale in 2015. In fact, almost everything in this outfit is from various sales. I love a good sale.

These brogues (regrettably full price) keep things nice and traditional but the blue laces give it a little modern touch, as does this skinny belt (sale, baby!).  It’s nice to play around with colours, shapes and textures to give a sense of individuality – or at least as much individuality as a mass-produced belt from a worldwide franchise can grant.

Ok that’s all I’ve got for you. I’ll let you ponder the nature of our conflicting desires for uniqueness and inclusion in your own time.

Party Season

christmas, Fashion

I love parties. Love ’em.

Yesterday I went to my work’s Christmas party. When I was at university Christmas ball/party/formal invitations came in thick and fast from various societies and organisations, but since graduating, the well has all but run dry. So yesterday’s was my only proper Christmas party of the season.

So I needed to make the most of it.

Aside from all the food and drink and poor to average dancing, Christmas parties give us an opportunity to get our gladrags on.

Party season is an excuse to get all glitzed up. Materials, textures and colours that we normally wouldn’t go for are suddenly on the table. Tuxedos, evening dresses, silk, sequins, velvet, glitter. Anything’s allowed.

I got this deep purple/burgundy blazer from H&M. Obviously it’s a bit of a statement piece so I’ve tried to keep the rest of the outfit as simple as possible.

After being teased by a friend for my collection of pre-tied bow ties, I recently bought a self-tie one and thought I’d try it out.

It’s harder than it looks.

You can probably tell from the absolute monstrosity around my neck that that was merely my third (semi) successful attempt at tying a bow tie. Ever. So I feel no guilt for inflicting it upon you.

I got these skinny formal trousers from Topman and in classic Edi style I’ve rolled up the hems to show off my socks. The trousers are quite skinny (maybe even a little too skinny if we’re honest) so cuffing the hem makes my legs look a little wider and a little less like drainpipes. A little.

I’ve gone for these tan brogues because they spice things up a little downstairs. By which, of course, I mean that they liven up the otherwise plain bottom half of my body.

Why? What did you think I meant?

To match my bow tie I’ve got a black pocket square (the handkerchief you put in the breast pocket of your suit). Usually a pocket square is a great way to bring a little pop of colour or pattern to your outfit but that’s not necessary with a striking blazer like this so the plain black accessories bring things back down to earth a little.

I also had a scarf that I wore with it but I forgot to wear it in the pictures. Just imagine a really lovely patterned silk scarf. For men.

So there you have it. That’s my party outfit for this year. If you wish to see any more you’ll just have to invite me to your parties.

Your call.

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Fashion

So I managed to leave all my coats at my mother’s house over summer, which in hindsight, no longer seems like a great idea seeing that it’s now December and that winter has no chill. Or rather, has too much chill.

Anyway, I went home last week to pick up some warmer clothes, and also to see my family and stuff. Revelling in my newfound warmth, I thought I’d put an outfit together.

I’ve gone for a rather simple, understated look, which is fine because I have nothing to prove to you people. That said, I’ve tried spice it up a little with some interesting patterns and textures. You’re welcome.

This cream cableknit jumper has a bit of a preppy look to it, which is something I’m not always able to pull off, so I quite like this one. I got it from Gap last Christmas and when I wear it, people always ask me if I’m just off to play some cricket. The answer is always no.

The coat is from Primark, which I got in the Christmas sales last year. I really smashed it last Christmas, to be honest.

I’ve gone for some dark jeans, once again, keeping it simple. And finally I chucked on these old sneakers which I really like but are absolutely falling to pieces, not unlike my life.

Awkwardly Un-seasonal Outfit

Fashion

I put this outfit together in the summer and didn’t get a chance to post it so I thought I might as well do it now. Things aren’t gonna get any warmer till about April so it’s now or never really.

Naturally, as a summer outfit, it’s a little light on layers, which isn’t exactly appropriate for mid-November in the north of England, so just imagine I’m wearing a big, fluffy fur coat on top.

I got this high neck tee from Boohooman.com. I love the sporty hems around the neck and arms. It’s a small detail but it brings a little bit of excitement to what would otherwise be a boring white t-shirt.

 

For my nether regions, I’ve got these skinny formal trousers from Topman. This definitely isn’t the first time I’ve said it, and it definitely won’t be the last, but formal trousers are great at bringing a touch of class to a casual outfit.

Underneath all that, I’ve got my trusty white sneakers that are definitely on their way out but are refusing to grow old with dignity, much like I intend to.

To give this a winter update, I’d add a thick plaid shirt in navy or red and a casual bomber.

 

Beverley Forever-ley

Fashion, places

I’ve lived in York for over 4 years now but due to a mixture of laziness, lack of funds, and the unrelenting, soul-snatching appeal of Netflix, I haven’t explored much of Yorkshire in that time.

So naturally, when my friend offered to take me to Beverley, I jumped at the chance. I was even more keen to go when I realised that Beverly was the name of an East Yorkshire town and not just some lady he knew.

So on the 5th of November (which I’m sure is an important date, but I just can’t remember, remember) we headed up to Beverley.

We spent most of the day walking around the Saturday market and exploring the quaint little town. That said, last year a new shopping complex opened in Beverley that is far from quaint (though is relatively little) and the locals I spoke to seemed half-heartedly unhappy about it but reluctantly willing to accept it, much like how we respond when Mark Zuckerberg decides to update Facebook.

The Beverley Minster (cathedral) was lovely, though not as big as York’s one. But as short people the world over often say while standing on their tiptoes, size doesn’t matter. The building was absolutely beautiful inside and outside like it was on a Dove Real Beauty advert. A highlight for me was the decidedly modern geometric marble floor in a building that was built 800 years ago.

One advantage that the Beverley minster has over its York counterpart is that it’s possible to get a good photograph of its exterior. The area around York minster is too dense with buildings and obnoxious trees to get a good picture of the mammoth building.

For the style fans, I’m wearing tweed trousers from Asos that I’ve rolled up twice at the hems, giving quite thick cuffs in a bit of a 90s-esque throwback. I’m also wearing black suede desert boots from Boohooman.com, a green tartan scarf from Gap and my friend’s oversized coat i.e. the coat is too big for me but I’m going to pretend it’s done on purpose.

After wandering around town for a couple hours we headed back to my friend’s house to get something to eat before heading out again to see the Guy Fawkes Day firework display. Getting to the fireworks was something of an ordeal as we found ourselves climbing over and under fences and racecourse barriers, respectively, and trudging through fields littered with horse poo. I was assured by my friend that this was all legit and not untypical of countryside life, but I took that with a pinch of salt. And a pinch of horse crap.

The fireworks were great though. We arrived a little late and basically had to follow the lights in the sky to find our way, but it was beautiful climbing a hill and gazing at the sky lit up with stunning colours and patterns. It would have made some great shots for the film/reality show that I’m still waiting to be made about my life.

I had a great time exploring Beverley – a town who’s density of bakeries by square mile rivals Starbucks in central London –  and I enjoyed writing this too so I might try another post like this next time I visit somewhere new, especially if it’s a place with the name of a middle-aged woman.

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Autumn days….

Fashion

It’s been a great summer, hasn’t it? Andy Murray won the Wimbledon, Miley Cyrus twerked at the VMAs, and in a curveball move from the weather, we actually got quite a lot of sun. But, alas, it’s all over. Come on, guys, we knew it wasn’t going to last forever. (Insert sad emoticon here.)

Now we move steadily to autumn and to the dreaded winter which, let’s be honest, we only put up with because of Christmas. But the colder months of the year aren’t all bad. I mean, who doesn’t love stepping on crunchy fallen leaves in autumn? Besides that, there’s always the delights of the Autumn/Winter wardrobe: Fairisle jumpers, winter boots, big, warm, snug coats. At the risk of sounding like Mr Autumn Man, the following season’s got quite a lot going for it, sartorially at least. And it is for this precise reason that I’ve put together an autmumn layering look for you fashionable males out there.

Autumn clothes tend to be more sombre and neautral than their spring/summer counterparts. Obviosuly, no one’s expecting you to throw out all your brightly coloured sumer clothes, but you’ll notice that, almost subconciously, people start to wear less bright clothes…. like we’re mourning the loss of the sun…. If you compare these two pictures from Next’s High Summer and Autmn/Winter lookbooks, respectively, you’ll see what I mean.

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Next High Summer

Next Autumn/Winter

That being said, bright colours can stop your outfit from looking depressed, so I’m going to start out with a yellow sweatshirt because I like yellow. After all, YOLO. (See, I can be cool.)

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We all live in a YOLO submarine. See what I did there? (That joke was terrible on so many levels. I’m genuinely ashamed of myself.)

A white Oxford shirt underneath tones down the brightness of the yellow. And it looks pretty good too. Depending on my mood, I might undo the top button (cheeky bit of cleavage). I think fastening the top button makes it look marginally more formal. Try it both ways and see how you like it.

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You have to get all A’s in your A levels to wear an Oxford shirt

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I’ve gone for skinny indigo jeans and rolled up the bottoms a couple of times. Dark blue jeans like these are a staple and pretty much everyone owns a pair. Rolling up the hems makes it stand out a little. I got this pair from Primark for a tenner.

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Looks like Miley isn't the only one getting

Looks like Miley isn’t the only one getting “turnt up”

To finish of the outfit, I’ve added these (imitation) suede chukka boots in a tan kind of colour. They didn’t come with these laces, but I think these navy trainer laces make them look a little more casual and I like the contrast between the colours.

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A ‘shacket’ (a thick shirt that is worn like a jacket), I use inverted commas because I hate that word, provides an extra layer for chilly evenings. Burgundy’s a popular colour (see my carpet for more details), so I’ve gone for one:

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I rolled up the sleeves on this too

Finally, this light brown belt matches the shoes (though it probably won’t be visbile behind the jumper).

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Ta-da!

Ta-da!

Mustard yellow, burgundy and navy blue is possibly my favourite colour combination at the moment. They mirror the hues of autumn (yellow and brown leaves etc). But don’t take my word for it? FC Barcelona clearly agree with me.

So there you have it, my autumn layered look. Comment and let me know what you think. Layering is one of the few things that makes the colder months bearable. I love being able mix and match colours and textures of clothes, and the simple fact that it keeps me toasty.

And if layering’s not enough to get you through autumn and winter, there’s always those overpriced gingerbread lattes. “Christmas in a cup,” they say. Personally, I’ve never wanted a cupful burnt turkey, family arguments and bad television, but hey, each to their own._