Thursday, 19 October 2017 13:14

Menswear Trend Beyond Borg!

Borg Fleece is the menswear material of the season The Chic Geek Martine RoseIf you thought Borg was a 1970s tennis player. you’d be correct, but, it’s also this season’s hottest material. Normcore, dad-chic, basic-bitch, the sources of reference are numerable, but it’s all about the fleeciest of fleeces, this season.

Borg is a type of synthetic plush pile imitation fur fabric commonly used for linings, according to Wikipedia, and the coolest of London designers - Martine Rose, Cottweiler - have been lapping it up.

You can find it at all price points, just look for exaggerated fleeces in dull colours. You could even ask your dad for his old one - very Countryfile. You don’t want to stand out, you want to blend in. Bring on the boring Borg!

Left - Martine Rose SS18

ASOS Borg Fleece is the menswear material of the season The Chic GeekLeft - ASOS - Oversized Hoodie In Borg - £30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topman Borg Fleece is the menswear material of the season The Chic Geek

Left - Topman - Red Check Borg Jacket - £50

Uniqlo Borg Fleece is the menswear material of the season The Chic Geek

Left - Uniqlo - Men Fleece Long Sleeve Full-Zip Jacket - £19.90

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

River Island Borg Fleece is the menswear material of the season The Chic Geek

Left - River Island - Navy Fleece Hoodie - £32

Martine Rose Napa Borg Fleece is the menswear material of the season The Chic Geek

Left - Napa by Martine Rose - Off-White Tyson Fleece - £275 from brownsfashion.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cottweiler Borg Fleece is the menswear material of the season The Chic Geek

Left - Cottweiler - Contrast-Panel Fleece Sweatshirt - £252 from matchesfashion.com

CMMNSWDN Borg Fleece is the menswear material of the season The Chic Geek

Left - CMMN SWDN - Fleece Track Jacket - £215 from MRPORTER.COM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ASOS Borg Fleece is the menswear material of the season The Chic Geek

Left - Albam - Fleece Jacket - £150

Fila Vintage Borg Fleece is the menswear material of the season The Chic Geek

Left - Fila Vintage - Retro Teddy Bear Fleece Jacket - £64.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Borg Fleece is the menswear material of the season The Chic GeekLeft - Tommy Hilfiger - Block Stripe Fleece Jacket - £240

Published in Fashion
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 09:44

Hot List The Retro Arcade Ringer Tee

Topman Stranger Things 2 Tee T-Shirt Arcade Retro The Chic Geek

A Halloween top you can wear all year around, Topman has teamed up with Netflix to produce a special collection to celebrate the launch of Stranger Things 2. The popular American show, set in 1983, based in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, is returning for a second even stranger series.

Even if you’ve never seen it, this ringer T-shirt features a cute design that encapsulates the best of being young in the 70s and 80s, all at a bargain price of 20 quid and definitely beats going as a kidnapped Kardashian.

Left & Below - Topman X Stranger Things Tee - £20

Stranger Things Tee T-Shirt Topman The Chic Geek

Published in Fashion
Tuesday, 29 August 2017 15:31

ChicGeek Comment Is Topman Struggling?

Is Topman Struggling?

Are the wheels coming off at Topman? From zero to hero, Topman is the poster boy of how brands, thanks to fashion and the sponsorship of fashion weeks, can go from uncool to cool in little over a decade, but, has their run of dominance on the men’s high-street come to an end? 

Topman recently had a clear out of the top brass and creative. Gordon Richardson, who served as Topman's head designer for the past 17 years, has been pushed out along with many others within the Arcadia group. This is usually a sign of trying to stop the rot and starting something new.

Left - Will you be buying your tracksuit from Topman this season?

Taveta Investments, Arcadia’s parent company, doesn't break out individual figures for their brands, but financial figures released in June 2017 showed a 16 per cent drop in profits for the year to August 2016. Taveta Investments, indicated that annual profits plummeted to £211 million, while sales dropped 2.5 per cent to just over £2 billion. Taveta Investments, derived £1.7bn of revenue from the UK in 2016. That marked a fall from £2.2bn a year earlier, although up to £370m of that related to discontinued operations such as BHS, which was sold in 2015. 

That’s a huge drop of £500 million or £130 million, if you take out BHS. That’s still a lot of clothes not sold.

Is Topman Struggling? Gordon Richardson

So, what do we think has happened at Topman? Is it a case of these runs can’t go on forever and or is it something more serious?

One things for certain, it’s much more competitive than when Topman started out on its journey. Whether selling fashion or basics, there is much more choice, both offline and online.

Did they over expand? We know that Australia has struggled, with their franchise partner going into receivership recently, and the big push into America hasn’t really stuck as they don't seem to understand how fashionable us Brits are. American teens, in many cities, have nowhere to wear this kind of stuff.

Right - Has Topman peaked and how can they get their spark back?

Did it get too expensive? With labels like ‘Topman Design’ pushing the upper price points there is a perception that Topman was expensive, especially when compared to other high-street retailers. I’ve spoken to mums of teenage boys who say they leave Topman until last on a shopping trip as it’s usually the more expensive.

Topman’s buyers never committed to ‘Topman Design’. We had the shows, we had the collections, but when it hit the stores or online it was very bitty. They’d only make the trousers of a suit, for example, or items that didn’t really go with each other and the pricing was into three figures.

I think Topman has fallen into that gap of not being fashionable enough and not being cheap enough on basics and is falling into the void in the middle. They’ve lost the energy to ASOS, Boohoo and New Look.

I think there was a case of Topman believing their own hype too. You can’t afford to be arrogant in fashion and thinking you’re the coolest kid on the block, because things move fast and this will quickly bite you on the arse. The campaigns were a little too editorial and not relatable enough.

Fashions have changed too. Topman practically owned the skinny, three-piece suit and was selling volumes of a more expensive product. Now, the kids want sportswear and retro looking basics. It’s not the go-to place anymore. It’s lost its USP.

What are they doing? They’ve hired David Hagglund, known within fashion circles for founding a Stockholm-based creative agency which includes H&M and Hugo Boss as clients. He was also art director at Vogue Paris. David Hagglund is replacing Ms Phelan - Topshop head creative - and Mr Richardson in a 'newly created position' of creative director across both Topman and Topshop. Is combining Topman and Topshop a good idea? Or is this further cost cutting? It’s interesting they’ve given this important job to an Art Director type and it’ll be interesting to see whether Topman will get as much focus as Topshop. I doubt it.

The danger is, as they wobble they go safer, which is the wrong direction. Admittedly, Australia is having problems and America isn’t as fashionable as Europe, but young men want fashion and know it. Brands like ASOS and Boohoo are really pushing it, New Look has got a hell of a lot better and newness is the drug on the high-street.

Topman Design became a bit formulaic and they need to commit to it or scrap it. I think they’re going to find it hard to get that spark back. It’s very hard to do when you’ve lost it, but they’ve done it once before, so why not again.

There’s the juxtaposition between men’s basic and fashion led clothing. Basics are so competitive and difficult to make money from unless you’re doing huge volumes and buying basics from Topman is, well, a bit basic. Maybe they should leave that to Primark and Uniqlo and stick to making fashion.

I think they need to think more inclusive and not try to be too cool without losing the trends. Look what happened to American Apparel when they tried that achingly cool model. You need to be the coolest of the mainstream and, especially in Britain, have fun with it.

I think what we’ll see is, as leases run out, stores will close and they’ll be a renewed focus and growth of online. Topman needs to tighten up its collection and re-educate guys about what they do. As fashion cycles move, they need to aim for a new USP and focus on that. You can't be all things to all people today.

Note - A friend just mentioned on Facebook about the 'Philip Green Effect' and people boycotting his brands due to his handling of the sale of BHS and the hole in the pension fund. This could definitely be having an effect on Topman as many people are aware that he is the owner.

Published in Fashion
Wednesday, 02 August 2017 14:53

Menswear Must-Have The Bum Bag

Bum bags menswear must have AW17 Jared Leto

The bum bag or fanny pack, call it what you will, has been on the cusp of style acceptance recently. Teetering on the brink, it finally came thru this season. YAS! Now, it feels right. It could be all the 90s sportswear or its practicality, but from designer to high-street to online we’re seeing the renaissance of this hands free solution.

Left - Jared Leto Guccifying his bum bag

Bum bags menswear must have AW17 Jared LetoIt's perfect for festivals or when you want some extra security. You can wear it two ways: the classic around the waist or, like the kids, across the body. 

Left - Louis Vuitton - Géronimos - £775

Below - Streetstyle cross body inspiration 

Bum bags menswear must have AW17 Jared Leto

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bum bags menswear must have AW17 Jared Leto

Left - Weekday - Nylon Bumbag - £20 from ASOS

Bum bags menswear must have AW17 Jared Leto

Left - Herschel - Khaki Orange Cross Body Bag - £45 from Topman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Bum bags menswear must have AW17 Jared LetoFar Left - Eastpak - Springer Bonded Blue - £22

Bum bags menswear must have AW17 Jared Leto

Left - Jack Russell - £305

Below - Supreme X Louis Vuitton, Louis Vuitton AW17

Bum bags menswear must have AW17 Jared Leto

Published in Fashion

Love Island is Instragram TV

If Instagram was to make a TV channel - which no doubt is probably on the expansion cards sometime in the future - it would look like Love Island: an endless stream of scantily clad hot people looking toned and buff in a semi-exotic holiday location. 

It’s ticking all those visual social media boxes and the people don't really need to do or say anything. Which probably suits.

Love Island doesn't pretend to have an ‘real people’ like other reality shows, and therefore sticks to a young and more ‘filtered’ age group. It’s all the Vs: vain, vacuous and very addictive.

Left - One for the villa?! ASOS TALL Muscle Raglan T-Shirt - £14

You can chuck in shows such as Ex On The Beach and Ibiza Weekender too and you, basically, have a moving Instagram feed. These people are ‘mega stars’ on social media promoting protein powders and long-line, muscle-fit tees in the gaps between the yo-yoing opportunity of featuring in various forms of reality TV shows.

We’ve grown so used to swiping these types of pics that we can now deal with nightly, hourly viewings of people pretending to find L.O.V.E. when, in fact, the only thing the majority of people love is themselves and this attention we give only encourages it. #Brandme

What these shows show is the growing niche of Instagram and the things the audience on there wants to see. The power and endless fascination of looking at tanned, toned bodies in hotter climes pleases the braindead. It’s the visual equivalent of having a sun-bed. 

And they’re influence cannot be underestimated within its targeted group. Move over Liz Hurley, as there have been reports of an explosion of sales of skinny white jeans thanks to the boys in the Love Island house. H&M, Topman and ASOS are all ‘reporting healthy sales’, well, according to The Daily Mail anyway.

And if you own a swim short brand, it's usually the only thing they're wearing, you want it on these guys.

It’s #BasicBitch TV and these are active consumers open to be influenced. This is the ‘skinny’ generation where too tight is not fitted enough. This is TV as fast and throwaway as the fashion. 

It all looks so perfect and effortless, when in fact they’ve probably been working hard and eating ‘clean’ for months before the show. You can't 'cane it' like they do on Geordie Shore and maintain a six-pack. It increases the pressure, especially on the targeted young audience, to look like this and the stressful, bullying and competitive environment that crosses over to dating apps and their own social media.

I think Love Island is the peak of guys looking like this, in fashion terms anyway. The body beautiful isn't going anywhere, but the tide has turned on tight and I think we’ll look back in a few years and wonder what on earth were they wearing. Read more Goodbye Fitted/Skinny here

Published in Fashion
Friday, 30 June 2017 13:43

ChicGeek Comment Pound Wars Poker Face

I think we all know how competitive it is at the lower end of the clothing market. But, it was an e-mail, a few weeks ago, from Marks & Spencer that really summed up where we are. It was announcing their new range of men’s ‘Quick Dry Swim Shorts’, all pretty standard for this time of year, but it was the price that caught my eye. A bargain £10! This is cheaper than Topman, cheaper than River Island and even New Look. It’s certainly cheap for M&S and, then, you realise all the retailers are busy racing to the bottom.

What this means is, in order for those companies to make money, they need to shift a hell of a lot of product. British retailers are currently playing a game of poker, holding their hand i.e. keeping prices low, waiting for their competitors to fold. 

Left - Pep&Co at Poundland SS17

But, if this game wasn’t tough enough, new competition is entering the market which will only increase pressure on those margins and unsustainable volumes.

For example, Poundland has entered the clothing market. Their in-house brand, Pep&Co, launched into stores in March this year.

They've already opened over 50 Poundland shop-in-shops with another 50 or so planned for the second half of 2017.  The chain, which was bought by the South African group Steinhoff International, expects to put Pep&Co clothing outlets in up to 200 of its 850 stores over the longer term. 

Pep&Co was founded by Andy Bond, who once ran Asda’s George clothing label, with backing from the South African tycoon and Steinhoff shareholder Christo Wiese.

The first shop opened in Kettering, Northamptonshire, in July 2015 and the chain opened its first 50 stores in less than two months.

They sell a full range of menswear, with 90% of the range under £10. Example lines are denim from £5 and 100% cotton fashion Tees from £3.

If people are wearing Poundland, it means they aren’t wearing another brand. This isn’t about sneering at this end of the market, it’s about wondering who will go out of business first. It's unsustainable.

The market is saturated and these business models only work if you can order huge volumes and shift it fast.

This is new competition for all the supermarket brands plus Peacocks and Primark and traditional high-street retailers like M&S and Debenhams are more keenly pricing their offering. Add discount brands such as TK Maxx and the neverending discounts and sales and you have an environment that is harder to make profit in.

Consumers are being squeezed with higher inflation and low wages and are generally satisfied with cheaper clothes. They can't or don't want to pay more.

Then add the internet, with Boohoo offering bargain fashion-led clothing and websites such as EverythingFivePounds, where everything is, literally, five pounds, and you have the perfect storm to implode some of the giants of the British high-street. Arcadia, the owner of Topman, is already seeing revenues fall and Topman is looking increasingly expensive against the competition.

In this game of pound wars poker, who will run out of chips and fold first?

Left - Louis Vuitton? No, Everythingfivepounds - £5

Published in Fashion

You can thank me after, but I just may have found the prom outfit to beat all other prom outfits!!!!! Be the king of the prom by taking inspiration from the king, Elvis himself, and Harry Styles with a combination of black and pink. A pink suit with a black shirt, no tie, says 'dressy cool' and is as timeless as rock itself.

The classic 50s colour combo of pink and black brings to mind Teddy Boys and rock 'n' roll. You want a black shirt with black buttons, plain. No contrasting. You can do black trousers if you don't want to buy the whole suit, but add white socks classic penny loafers and you'll be the beau of the ball!

Left - Harry Styles giving good Elvis in an bespoke Edward Sexton suit

Left - River Island - Pink Slim Fit Suit Jacket - £85

Left Below - River Island - Pink Slim Fit Suit Trousers - £40

Below - Hugo - Ebros Stretch Cotton Shirt - £100 from HarveyNichols.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left - ASOS - Super Skinny Suit In Mid Pink - £85

Left - Topman - Rose Pink Ultra Skinny Fit Suit - £130

Below - Ted Baker - Rosest Tailored Fit Shirt - £65 from John Lewis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left - Opposuits - Mr Pink - £64.95

Below - The original, Elvis Presley

Left - Zara - Sartorial Suit Blazer - £99.99, Trousers - £49.99 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left - Zara - Basic Blazer - £39.99

Left - Giorgio Armani - Single Cuff Cotton Poplin Shirt - £300 from matchesfashion.com

Right - AMI - Twill Shirt - £155 from MRPORTER.COM


 

 

 

 

Left - Actor Aidan Alexander at the Billboard Awards

Left - Marks & Spencer - Autograph - Pure Cotton Tailored Fit Shirt - £35

Left - Moss Bros - Moss Esq. - Regular Fit Black Single Cuff Non Iron Shirt - £25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left - 1950s Cliff Richard

Below - New Look - Deep Pink Suit Jacket - £64.99, Deep Pink Suit Trousers - £29.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below - Be the king, this prom season

Published in Fashion

Put yellow and red together and you don't get orange, but Baywatch. This colour combo always says ‘Lifeguard’, even though on the new film, strangely, they’re using red and blue. Must be a copyright issue!

Anyway, make like Zac and Dwayne down on the beach and go for T-shirts and swim shorts in primary red and yellow. Take the hassle out of Hasselhoff and keep it simple. A strong yellow T-Shirt has always been a difficult one to blend into the wardrobe, but add a red swim short and you get a perfect combo.

Left - An oldie, but a goodie - Original Baywatch

Even if the film’s a load of rubbish, which it probably will be, you can’t get away from the attraction of the sea and surf. Forever and always, I'm always here!

Below - St. Moriz, the no.1 volume self tan brand in the UK, is making a big splash this summer by partnering with the new Baywatch movie which hit screens from 29th May

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left - Orlebar Brown - OB-V - Sunshine Tailored-Fit V-Neck T-Shirt - £65, BULLDOG - Raspberry Mid-Length Swim Shorts - £145


Left - Whistles - Crumple Everyday T-Shirt - £35

Below - Topman - Red Embroidery Swim Shorts - £16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Left - Orlebar Brown SS17

 

Left - ASOS - Longline Knitted T-Shirt With Curved Hem In Yellow - £18

Below - Thom Browne - Slim-Fit Short-Length Stripe-Trimmed Swim Shorts - £290 from MRPORTER

 Below - Topman - Mustard Reality Print T-Shirt - £15

  

Left - River Island - Yellow Rolled Sleeve Pocket T-Shirt - £8

 

Left - Patagonia - Nine Trails Jersey T-Shirt - £35 from MRPORTER

Below - Speedo - Solid Leisure 16” Swim Shorts - £15]

Published in Fashion
Friday, 12 May 2017 15:14

Menswear Must Have The Dad Jean

Jeans are in flux. Okay, that is a bit dramatic, but upstaged by the style and comfort of tracksuit bottoms and the fact that many jeans styles have become way too tight and skinny, it’s time for a new direction. 

The ‘Dad Jean’ is deliberately ill-fitting and unflattering and looks surprising fresh. Liberating and, so-bad-they’re-good type of thing, you need the most ill-fitting shape, in the worst wash you can find. You can thank me later!

Okay, these may take a while to get used to, but, ask yourself, how long did it take until you committed to your first pair of skinny jeans?

Think Kurt Cobain. 
Left & Far Left - Topman - Blue Cropped Wide Leg Fit Jeans - £40

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekday - Drift Loose Cropped Jeans Lagoon Blue Wash - £40 from ASOS

River Island - Light Blue Wash Cody Loose Fit Raw Edge Jeans - £45

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Who knew Obama was the king of the dad jean?!


 

Published in Fashion
Friday, 28 April 2017 15:02

Menswear Must Have The Football Shirt

The best football shirts for men Gosha KappaSo, today is Football Shirt Friday, raising money for bowel cancer research, but if you’re a follower of fashion, then everyday, this summer, can be football shirt friday. The football shirt is the new holiday hawaiian shirt. So, bin the hibiscus and hula-hula dancers and take to the terrace.

You can pick these up from vintage stores, charity shops and on the high-street and it doesn’t really matter which team you support as long as it’s ‘Team Style’. They need to feel as synthetic, shiny and as ‘drip dry’ as possible. These are a loose fit, so not fitted, clingy or ‘muscle fit’. 

Team with a tracksuit and sandals or dad jeans and the best thing about these tops are they are usually fairly cheap and low maintenance. You can even wear these tops with a suit, (I recently rocked one with my Tom Ford suit and it worked on Instagram - see picture below), or on a lads holiday.

Umbro Tom Ford suit

If anybody starts to talk to you about about football, just nod and back away!

Here’s 10 of the best:

Left - Gosha Rubchinskiy X Kappa - £50

henry holland Umbro football shirt stripedLeft - House of Holland X Umbro - Striped Jersey - £61

Red Football shirt UmbroLeft - Umbro - Witton SS Jersey - £14

Below - Devote - Navy Curved Hem Faded T-Shirt - £25 from Topman

Devote Topman football shirt blue white

 

  

must have football fashion shirts The Chic Geek DiadoraLeft - Diadora - Maseru Jersey Men’s - £24.99

Blue white football shirt puma The Chic Geek menswearLeft - Puma - Speed S/S Short - £13.50

Below - Le Coq Sportif - Manufrance Jersey - £60 

Green Manufrance Football Strip Le Coq Sportif

 

 

Hummel football strip kit top orange

Left - Hummel - Core LS Poly Jersey - £14

New Balance Football kits The Chic Geek fashion menswearLeft - New Balance - Tech Training Elite SS Jersey - £28

Below - BoohooMan - Raglan Side Print T-Shirt - £10

football top boohoo man style The Chic Geek must have holiday

Published in Fashion
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