Fairytale of Old York

Fashion, places

I live in a city called York. It’s a great place to live.

Beautiful medieval architecture, quaint little shops, countless tea rooms and cafes. It’s just a dream.

It’s nothing at all like its louder, brasher namesake New York. So it always makes me laugh that when the British first invited themselves over to what we now call America and built the Big Apple – the economic centre of the United States, one of the busiest cities in the world, the city that never sleeps – they perhaps had my quaint little home in mind.

Overkill, guys. Overkill.

Anyway, today’s look was shot out and about in my favourite city in the world.

York. The original.

I got this denim shirt from Gap last year and it’s a great versatile layer to throw on. It has got poppers instead of buttons so it’s handy if you ever find yourself performing an impromptu striptease. Which I frequently do.

Down below I’ve got some black chinos from Zara (sadly no poppers here). An absolute steal in the sale, they can be dressed up or down. These are a ‘slim fit’ where I’d usually go for the slightly tighter ‘skinny’, but I’m quite happy with how they sit on me. As usual, I’ve rolled up the hems a little to show off my brogues that I’m starting to realise I definitely wear too often.

Finally, I love this coat from Gap’s new spring collection.Granted, it’s far too thin to be a realistic option for February in the north of England, but it definitely looks great. If you’ve an eye for detail, you might notice the striped lining – a tiny little flourish that I really enjoy, making the item stand out a little.

In my younger days I found the idea of a contrasting lining little more than a waste of time – after all, no one can see the lining (unless of course you’re the Fresh Prince and you wear your blazers inside out). Now that I’m an older, wiser, hopefully more stylish gentleman, I see a little more merit in hidden details. It’s like your little secret.

I won’t tell if you don’t.


Tropical Monochrome


My, my. It has been a while, hasn’t it?

Now let’s not start pointing fingers and throwing accusations about who abandoned whom, let’s just all enjoy the fact that we’re together again. Deal?

Ok, let’s get down to business. (To defeat the Huns.)

Summer’s pretty much dead and gone and we’re rapidly moving into the only season where it is appropriate to use the words pumpkin and spice in the same sentence. Or latte for that matter.


As something as a final hurrah for the dying season, let’s try a last ditch attempt at a summer look. This muted tropical outfit will see you from your mate’s BBQ through to drinks at your favourite rooftop bar.

With a top half as striking (and let’s face it – obnoxious) as this, it’s a good idea to keep the rest of the outfit as simple as possible. I’ve gone for these black skinny suit trousers from ASOS. Black jeans would work just as well, but proper trousers give it a subtle touch of formal, making it look a little more thought out. On a hot day, dark shorts would be great too.

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White trainers are pretty much my go-to at the moment, but you could probably already tell that by how well-worn they are! For a monochrome look, obviously the only colours allowed are black, white and the 50 or so shades of grey, so these white sneaks fit perfectly. The trainers dress down the suit trousers and make sure everyone knows that you’re still young and cool, but if you want to go a little more upmarket, black brogues or monkstrap shoes could replace the sneaks, taking the look from day to night.

Going ‘sockless’ with the trouser hems rolled up once or twice is a nice touch. (I awkwardly forgot to do the hems in the picture.) I put sockless in inverted commas because not wearing socks in the summer just leads to sweaty, smelly shoes which is bad for everyone, especially the people you live with. Try no-show socks like these and your housemates will love you forever. Unless of  course you’ve got other things wrong with you. But I’ve tried my best.

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This tropical tee and shirt are from boohooman.com but I’m not even going to bother linking them because their stock turns over so quickly. I thought I’d go for the matching set as it’s something that stands out. Matchy-matchy can be hard to pull off so replacing the tee with a plain white one, leaving just the tropical shirt, would be a great alternative if you’re not sure. I decided to tuck in the t-shirt as, once again, it adds a formal touch to the look.

Hawaiian-esque shirts are having something of a comeback at the moment, especially with the rise of the Cuban (or revere) collar. That said, it can be easy to look like you’ve accidentally stumbled into your father’s holiday wardrobe. To combat that, I’ve gone for a minimal black and white pattern.

Alternatively, as we move into autumn, you might want to jettison the tropical print altogether and try a similar look with other patterns. Paisley, windowpane check and stripes (pinstripe and otherwise) are some of my favourites.

Finally, throw on a plain baseball cap and some mirrored sunglasses to finish off this contemporary look with a 90s twist.

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Well I have to say, it was great catching up! We really must do this more often.

Call me.




Looking for a good time, sailor?


It’s been a hot couple of weeks here in England. Finally our prayers have been answered and the sun is shining. And of course, we’re responding to it in typically British fashion: by complaining. It’s too hot, it’s too humid, I’ve died of dehydration and vultures are picking at my lifeless carcass. Quit your moaning, guys. Let’s just enjoy it while it lasts, eh? To quote Peter Kay’s response to sunshine complainers, “Have a Solero and shut the *bleep* up!”

I, for one, am loving this heatwave, but I suspect that’s because I’ve spent most of it indoors watching Netflix. If you’re anything like me then, you’re in need of a summer outfit for the odd occasions when you have reason to leave the house. Something that says, ‘this definitely isn’t the first time I’ve been outside this month and this sunshine definitely isn’t burning me with the white hot intensity of one million furnaces’. And if you’re anything like me, you also want an outfit that’s cool in both senses of the word.

Well don’t worry, friends, here’s an outfit that is as cool than several chilled cucumbers. This is a great summer outfit that keeps the heat away and looks good too. England’s gping through something of a tropical heatwave so I shot the photos for this in the most tropical location I could find. My back garden.

This outfit has quite a nautical feel to it, hence the questionable title of this post. They came to a seafaring sartorial climax a couple of years ago, but nautical styles are never really out of fashion. Just ask James Dean. Or the Village People.


Let’s start off with the sailor’s classic: the Breton striped tee shirt. These are available pretty much anywhere, especially in the summer. This one is blue with thin white stripes but the inverse would work just as well, as would  equally thick blue and white stripes.


Next we’ve got some white denim shorts. These were once cheap but ill-fitting white jeans so I cut them off at the knees and rolled up the hems a couple of times. No sewing required! Khaki shorts (not the cargo kind) would work just as well here. Or a bright colour if you’re feeling adventurous.


In case it gets chilly, which it almost always does, I’ve got this cosy waffle knit jumper to get me through the breezy evenings. I like a  comfy baggy style so I went for an XXL when I usually wear a medium. This makes it quite large on me, but I like it snuggling up in the excess material. If you prefer a more fitted style, pleasse go for your actual size! If you’re feeling exceptionally preppy, drape the jumper over your shoulders and tie the sleeves together around your neck. You’ll look like the illegitimate lovechild of Ralph Lauren and Carlton Banks from the Fresh Prince, but it’s a strong look.


Remember back in 2011 when all the boys would wear boat shoes, polo shirts and drop-crotch cuffed chinos with greasy ‘wet look’ hair gel? Good times.

Following the navy blue theme of the outfit, I’ve gone for this sort of hybrid between canvass plimsolls and boat/deck shoes. You might notice the touch of Breton stripes inside the shoes. It’s the little things. Ordinary, non-mutant plimsolls would also be more than acceptable for this look or, if you want to add a touch of formal, go for some nice  brogues in brown or beige.


Finally, this pair of tortoiseshell keyhole sunglasses tops the look off. Different face shapes will suit different sungalsses so go with what works best for you. Classic aviators or wayfarers work just as well, especially if they’re in a preppy tortoiseshell pattern.



And there you have it. Nautical inspired, cool summer outfit. You’re welcome.

Spring Outfit


I left the house the other day (this is surprising enough without me continuing the story) and I was pleasantly surprised that, with my coat unzipped, I was almost not cold. Almost. This either means spring is coming or I need to stop self-medicating. (Joke.) So, Spring is on her merry little way, hopefully followed by her estranged cousin Summer, who’ll stay with us for roughly as long as estranged cousins do on sitcoms – two weeks max, before she’s hastily written out. It’s been about a year since I wrote my last one of these so I thought it was time for another style post. A year on, here’s another spring outfit:


Topman longline tee

Let’s start off with a t-shirt, shall we? I’ve gone for this grey ‘long line’ one from Topman. Long line just means the bottom hem comes down lower around my groin. No pleasant way to say that. Oversized styles like this have been quite big over the last year or so, reflecting a general 90s sportswear trend. Top tip: you can just buy a larger size instead of specifically long line ones as they’re generally cheaper. Play the game. Beat the system. Stick it to the man!! Alternatively, feel free to just use a normal t-shirt if you prefer.


Tan, beige, weathered sandstone, call it what you like.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to be warm (i.e. not from the north of England), you’ll want a jumper. I got this one from Primark not too long ago. You can make up your own mind on what colour you want to call it. This might help. The long tee should stick out under the jumper a little to create a nice layered look, making the outfit a little more distinctive. Wear some dark jeans underneath. Darker shades will contrast nicely with the lighter jumper. I chose a pair I got on sale from Zara. I forgot to take a picture so I’m afraid you’ll just have to use your imaginations on this one. As per usual I rolled up the hems a couple of times. wpid-img_20150325_1409492.jpg.jpegwpid-img_20150325_1412212.jpg.jpeg On top we’ve got this denim jacket which adds a bit of texture to the look. I’ve rolled the sleeves up a few times on this  too. I can’t tell you where it’s from as it belonged to one of my parents a long time ago and neither can remember which one. I’m pretty sure it was my mother though…. wpid-img_20150325_1153052.jpg.jpegwpid-img_20150325_1154122.jpg.jpeg Altogether it’s quite a casual look so I’ve added a touch of formal with these brogues. You can go sockless (buy ‘invisible’ socks. Bare feet in shoes sweat like crazy) or add a pop of colour with some bright socks, to jazz up an otherwise rather pale outfit.


“One ring to rule them all.”

If you’re feeling optimistic, try some sunglasses. I’ve got this necklace which is just a ring on a chain. If you’ve got a ring that doesn’t fit or is a little too obnoxious to be wearing all the time like some kind of a medieval monarch, chuck it on a chain and wear it around your neck Lord of the Rings-style. All the cool hobbits are doing it.

And if it’s a little chilly, throw a coat on instead of the jacket. No point being cold just because it’s supposed to be spring!

Spring expectations.

Spring expectations.

Spring reality.

Spring reality.

Spring outfit


Spring is here! Hurrah!

As we start to put the thick coats away and dust off the sunglasses, the unmistakable feeling of spring and, dare I say it, even summer is in the air.

However, living in England, we all know that the mere fact that it’s spring or summer doesn’t guarantee, or even really suggest, that it’s going to be warm. We’ve all fallen prey to the tricks of the sun, tempting us to go out in a t-shirt when it’s a lot colder than it looks. So here’s a spring outfit that’s not too… naïve, shall we say.

Let’s start this one off with the plain white tee. There’s not really much to say about this classic. Despite being commonly worn as an undershirt, a well-fitting white t-shirt brings an air of simple style.


On it’s own, a white tee can look pretty boring and plain so we’re going to jazz it up with more layers. And what’s more jazzy than a floral shirt? Nothing, that’s what…. well maybe a saxophone. This is a short sleeve shirt with a floral pattern that I got for a couple of quid in Primark. Prints are always quite popular in spring, especially floral patterns, and printed shirts have been quite popular for a couple of years now. I’ve gone for this one with quite small flowers on it but if you’re feeling a little braver, you can choose one with bigger flowery  patterns on them like a Hawaiian  shirt. If flowers are a little too feminine for you then you can buy a gun and/or an overpriced sports car. Alternatively, you can go for a different pattern. Check or polka dots or paisley would all work just as well.


These are some pretty plain mid-wash skinny jeans so to make them a little more special, I’ve rolled up the hems a couple of times. I’ve gone for quite small tight rolls, but play around with it and see how you like it.



On top of everything is this navy blazer. It’s quite thin so it’s good for spring/summer. Wearing the blazer obviously covers the shirt up so the (some would say) obnoxious pattern isn’t so in your face. This is a nice trick or people who might not be confident enough to wear bright colours or patterns too ostentatiously. Here it’s just a small touch of colour/pattern which gives the otherwise simple look a pizazz, making it look like you know what you’re doing. I like to roll up the sleeves of the jacket so everyone knows that I’m fun. I can be fun. Sometimes. Putting in a blazer gives it a little touch of formal style which I like because it gives off a kind of ‘work hard, play hard’ vibe. Look, I’m wearing a blazer in an informal style. I’m so crazy and fun! Seriously though, I think it’s pretty cool to mix in a little formal into a casual outfit and vice-versa.


And finally, simple plimsolls like this finish off the look. If you’re feeling a bit more brash, go for some retro hightop sneakers. Very cool. I almost wrote “cool dude”. I’m becoming my mother. Help.



I think it’s safe to say these shoes have seen better days.


Autumn days….


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.


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.)


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.


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


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.


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.


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:


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).




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._