TheChicGeek takes a trip. Thanks to Coach and their new Spring 16 men’s capsule collection, TheChicGeek stands out from the crowd in bold colour and pattern.
Inspired by 60s West Coast psychedelia, the collection references everything from The Beach Boys, 90s New York hip-hop and the Kennedys.
Stocked in three Selfridges stores - London, Birmingham & Manchester - and online, this collection has the style, simplicity and ease needed when travelling this summer.
The days of travelling in style are back! Where are you going? Get involved #CoachMens2016
Credits - All Coach - C101 Low Top Sneakers, Tiger Print Leather Backpack, Psychedelic printed blouson (exclusive to Selfridges), Wild Cat Marine Tiger T-Shirt
Orange bench by Friso Kramer @rocketgallery
Burns Jewellers offers TheChicGeek some advice on choosing the best watch for you
Watches are an accessory that can really finish off an outfit, and while wearing an expensive time-piece is a real power move, it is important to consider your lifestyle and which type of watch would be the most appropriate for you. If you are generally quite active you may not get much use out of a designer watch, for example, whereas those who like to socialise in the evenings would have no use for a sports watch.
To ensure you pick a watch that can be worn regularly and proudly, it is important to follow the advice offered by the experts. Reading over this ensures you will understand exactly what the many different types of watches offer throughout your buying journey.
What makes you tick?
There are several different types of methods and mechanisms to make a watch function:
An automatic calibre works using kinetic energy — regular movement from the wearer winds the mainspring, which allows the hands to keep moving. Automatics can be spotted by the second hand floating around the face of your watch, as opposed to ticking.
Quartz timepieces use ready-made calibres and are battery powered, which means they can last a lot longer and are more accurate, but are not as interesting. These are looked down upon by watch snobs, but are actually a far more reliable watch. The second hand ticks. While the battery does have a long life, it will eventually need to be replaced.
What is your style?
An age-old idiom is that ‘the least important thing a watch does is tell the time’, and high-end watch distributors would tend to agree with this. Watch expert Burns Jewellers identifies three distinctive styles of watches, and categorises them based on appearance and the materials used in the watch’s construction.
A dress watch is identified by its plain, thin case and its large hands. These formal watches usually feature a leather strap and have gold bezels, mineral glass, and perhaps even titanium casing. These watches are great for evening events or formal occasions — a classy and elegant option.
A designer watch is more lavish than a dress watch, and the wearer is usually looking to make a statement by wearing one. Designer watches cannot be described generally, as they are individual to that particular brand’s trademark styling. However, they usually feature a gold or other precious metal strap, with a vibrant-coloured face for maximum visual impact.
A sports watch is hard-wearing and usually water resistant, so is made from a combination of stainless steel, rubber, and scratch-proof glass. The face usually features thick, clear numbers and is usually fitted with a compass or another cool gadget.
Hopefully, by knowing exactly the type of watch you’re looking for, you’ll find choosing the perfect piece much easier and more enjoyable.
Red means danger and while TheChicGeek perilously hovers off the cliff he looks as cool as a cucumber in his white seersucker suit. Roll the trousers, push the arms back and something, which was quite formal, now, has a hot weather coolness to it.
If you find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place, quite literally like TheChicGeek, then make sure you always look your best!
Get involved #WhiteOut
Credits - Shoes - Red Sebago Docksides Ariaprene, White Seersucker Suit - Topman, Hat - John Lewis, Neckerchief - John Lewis, Watch - Triwa, T-Shirt - American Apparel, ‘Brow Gelcomb’ - Tom Ford, ‘Exfoliating Energy Scrub’ - Tom Ford, ’Klang’ Headphones - Sudio.
Shot by Robin Forster on Olympus PEN
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TheChicGeek uses the freshness of green to add bold accents on a base of white in this OOTD. From the quilted gilet to the rucksack to the neoprene boat shoes, deep forest green in men's accessories look great in both the city and at the coast.
Who said Summer whites were just for tennis or cricket? Take a trip to the coast and feel those elements. As TheChicGeek can testify, it rocks!
How do you wear you Summer whites? Get involved #WhiteOut
Shoes - Green Sebago Docksides® Ariaprene, T-Shirt - GAP, Rucksack - Eastpak, Gilet - Puffa, Shorts - Energie, Jean Jacket - Replay, Watch - D1, Body Wash - Frederic Malle ‘Cologne Indélébile’, Headphones - Urban Ears, Scarf - Scott Fraser Collection, Sunglasses - Guess
Shot by Robin Forster on Olympus PEN
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If you’re lucky enough to be able to afford bespoke shoes you may have heard of Carréducker before. Founded by James Ducker and Deborah Carré in 2004, Carréducker’s shoes are lovingly handmade in their small workshop near Holborn. These babies cost upwards of £3000 a pair and are usually found in the sartorial home of Gieves & Hawkes at No.1 Savile Row.
Left & Below - Carréducker London - Winkers - £199 in UK sizes 3 – 12
So, for us on a slightly more regular budget, Carréducker, has now launched a new accessible range called Carréducker London.
A Kickstarter success story, they’ve started with a formal slip-on slipper and plan on expanding the brand into many classic men’s styles with further Kickstarter funding.
Using existing pockets of British artisanal manufacturing to make each style, the aim is to build a steady flow of orders, breaking the peaks and troughs, and supporting the skilled local workforce throughout the year. They will make short runs of several different styles and colours, offering customers from around the world the very best of British footwear design and manufacture through their online ‘Shoe Shop’.
The first, Winker, style is made using Designers Guild upholstery fabric. Made in Sheffield in 9 colourways with different fabric finishes, they are leather-lined with a padded sock for comfort and with a leather heel and sole.
TheChicGeek says, "Perfect for adding a dose of laissez-faire attitude to any outfit, the Winker is ideal for Summer and I love the use of the Designers Guild fabrics. I'll be wearing mine with a checked jacket and slim evening trousers."
Left - Coming soon - The ‘Barkan' Desert Boots
Nothing is as classically masculine and maritime as the colour combination of navy and white. Not one to flinch at a challenge, TheChicGeek decided to take the difficult route of getting to the top. Wearing sporty stripes, chalky whites and the new Sebago Docksides Ariaprenes, this style chameleon looks more like a rock lizard!
Get involved #WhiteOut
Shoes - Navy Sebago Docksides® Ariaprene from Sebago & Size?, Bag - Eastpak, Shorts - Hamilton & Hare, T-Shirt - GAP, Zip Top - Le Coq Sportif, Sweater - G-Star RAW Marc Newson, Blue Jacket - Pepe Jeans, Card Holder - Uri Minkoff, Watch - D1, Neckerchief - Scott Fraser Collection, Sunglasses - Police, Spectacles - Guess, Grooming Tool - Philips 'One Blade', Thickening Conditioner & Hair Fibres - Mr by Jamie Stevens, Fragrance - Davidoff 'Horizon'.
Shot by Robin Forster on Olympus PEN
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The final new landmark for TheChicGeek's epic #FutureIcons adventure with the new BMW i3 Mr Porter limited-edition, the American Embassy in Nine Elms near Battersea is the new home of the American consulate when it moves from Mayfair. Looking the picture of diplomacy, TheChicGeek is wearing a classic lounge suit and club tie, the umbrella is a nod to the typical English weather.
DIPLOMACY - Designed by Kieran Timberlake, the new cube shaped embassy is exceptionally environmentally friendly and features a security moat.
Credits - Suit - Hackett, Tie - Thom Browne, Umbrella - Francesco Maglia, Cufflinks - Alice Made This All from MRPORTER.COM, Shoes - Russell & Bromley, Watch - Daniel Wellington, Socks - Pringle of Scotland, Shirt - Thomas Pink, Black Fragrance - Jaguar 'Pace', Frosted Fragrance - Paul Smith 'Sunshine'
Oliver Brown, owner, Kristian Robson, offers TheChicGeek some expert advice on buying and wearing a top hat
CG - What should you look for in a top hat?
KR - Black antique silk top hats are considered the height of beauty and elegance because of their impressive shine, shape and lightness, which is second to none. The modern versions, such as a fur felt in black and grey are bulkier than the antique style, though they do last very well. The 'Ascot Top Hat' and its taller counterpart the 'Hetherington Ascot Top Hat' are the closest alternative to an original silk top hat, but finished with ‘melusine’ fabric, they don't have the same impressive shine, look and lightness as an antique silk top hat.
Antique silk top hats are largely found in black, but can also be brown or grey which is often referred to as ‘white’ even though they are in fact grey. Whilst black is sometimes thought of as more formal, any colour can be worn to finish a morning suit or tails, and worn to all occasions.
If you’re looking for Royal Ascot top hats and have access to the Royal Enclosure, the dress code requires gentlemen to wear black or grey top hats without adornments such as coloured ribbons. The dress code is less restrictive within the Queen Anne and Windsor enclosures, however you’re welcome to adhere to the Royal Enclosure dress codes if you so wish.
CG- What’s the best way to get your correct size?
KR - We would always recommend a fitting with a top hat specialist. It’s very important to get the fit perfect so that the hat is secure enough that it’s not going to move or fall off, but not too tight that it leaves a mark when you take it off. The top hat should sit flat on your hear, not titled forward or backwards and sit ½ an inch above the ear.
CG - Is there any advice on proportions/height of the hat for the wearer?
KR - The shape and height of antique silk top hats evolved somewhat over the years, with the crowns gradually becoming taller in height and the brims narrower. The most common shape of antique silk top hats is the ‘bell-shape’ which has slightly curved sides, but there are also examples such as the ‘stove-pipe’ which has straight sides and is particularly tall. The shape you opt for is a personal choice, for example if you have a smaller head you may want to opt for a crown that’s lower in height to keep everything in proportion.
CG - Anything else in regards to style tips, maintenance etc.?
KR - The top hat must sit flat on your head, not tilted forwards or backwards.
To clean your hat, any dust on an antique or modern top hat can removed by lightly brushing it with a pure bristle brush; when dusting an antique silk top hat it’s important to brush in the direction of the nap to keep it smooth. You can treat it with steam if needed or bring it into the shop to have it cleaned.
Antique silk top hats were designed to be buffed and this will need to be carried out from time to time to keep their polished appearance. Using a velvet pad, sweep over the surface in the direction of the nap a few times until the hat’s deep, glossy shine is reinstated.
If you need to dry your top hat, for example because you were caught in the rain, it’s important you let the hat dry in a naturally warm and airy environment - never over direct heat such as a radiator which could distort the shape of the hat.
With a view to storage, we recommend you keep your top hat in a box, away from moths, and cover the whole hat in silk to protect it. The hat should fit comfortably in the bucket or box so it doesn’t move around too much during transportation, but must also be tall enough so the edges of the hat do not rub and cause wear to the crown.
Have electric car, will travel. Continuing his series of #FutureIcons in association with BMW i3, TheChicGeek drove East to see the first of London's new Elizabeth Line which opens in 2018. Dressed to travel in style, TheChicGeek is wearing a navy suit from MRPORTER.COM and silk shirt for when he arrives in warmer climes.
TRAVEL - The only visible Elizabeth Line station, at the moment, is at Canary Wharf in London's Docklands. Designed by Lord Foster, the new station has been built in the dock and features tropical roof gardens and a leisure complex above the new Underground line.
Credits - Suit - Hackett, Watch - Uniform Wares Both from MRPORTER.COM, Checked Shirt - Thomas Pink, Shoes - Russell & Bromley, Wallet - Tumi, Passport Holder - Tumi, Suitcase - Tumi, Hair Clay - Mojo Hair
Life outside of London?! Yes! Tailors, Clements & Church, are proof that by doing what you do well and slowly growing your retail network in wealthy pockets around the UK, you can build a healthy menswear business with a point of difference.
Left - All images Clements & Church SS16
Starting life a decade ago when Clements & Church’s Managing Director, Mark Nash, bought a tailor’s in the heart of Birmingham, they now have a further four shops in Oxford, Solihull, Leamington Spa, Beaconsfield and, now, online.
They’re not cheap, but then quality tailoring never is.
The Clements & Church’s localised tailors have a feel for their customers and, literally, tailor their offering to suit the area they are in. But, that doesn’t mean they don’t experiment. Using quality Italian and British fabrics, they design new styles of tailoring and accessories every season in bold fabrics and colours while still grounded with good taste. Many items are made in Britain and are an update of traditional designs and processes.
Mark Nash, says, “We have always wanted to combine the very best quality, with individuality and something different. If a customer was after something a bit different, when we first started, other than a navy or grey suit, they wouldn’t have been able to find it. We have filled that gap.
“Clements and Church is unique. We are an extension of our customers’ lifestyle and have fantastic relationships and a very high level of retention. We offer a product that has a sophisticated and distinctive look and we pride ourselves on our knowledge and service,” he adds.
Highly trained tailors are available to service customers for Bespoke and Custom Made suiting in each of their shops.
TheChicGeek says, "This is some of the best tailoring I've seen lately from a label unknown to me, until recently. It's great to see this kind of quality coming from outside of London. It is expensive, but, you are getting value for money when looking at the fabrics and manufacturing used. You're also pretty safe in the knowledge that nobody else will be wearing it, plus you'll standout for the right reasons. Slow and steady always wins the race!"