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
More images below
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!"
Quietly, it's electric don't you know, he drove to The Francis Crick Institute just behind The British Library. TheChicGeek has his science head on in this OOTD in a JW Anderson space shirt and Cutler & Gross spectacles. Somebody pass me the plug!
SCIENCE - Named after the man who co-discovered the DNA molecule, The Francis Crick Institute is a biomedical discovery institute, next to St. Pancras station, dedicated to understanding the scientific mechanisms of living things. Its work will help to understand why disease develops and to find new ways to treat, diagnose and prevent illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Credits - Jacket - Hackett, Shirt - JW Anderson, Watch - Uniform Wares, Spectacles - Cutler & Gross all from MRPORTER.COM, Shoes - Russell & Bromley, Jeans - Paul Smith Bespoke, Yellow Candle - Cyrnos Cire Trudon, White Fragrance - Mont Blanc Legend Spirit, Gold Fragrance - Dunhill Icon Absolute, Blanket - Hackett
TheChicGeek was given the privilege of experiencing BMW’s new limited-edition MRPORTER.COM i3 electric car for his latest series of OOTD. Looking sleek in its navy/black colourway with white highlights, the new BMW i3 X MRPORTER.COM is the city car equivalent of a classic tuxedo.
TheChicGeek thought he’d take a spin around the city and take a first look at the latest crop of buildings springing up in London. Much like the new BMW i3, these buildings will become the future design icons of London.
ART - The first stop was Tate Modern’s new extension, opening this year, housing its video and performance art collection.
Get involved #FutureIcons #BMWi3
Credits - Suit - Acne Studios, Shirt - Paul Smith, Watch - Uniform Wares all from MRPORTER.COM Shoes - Russell & Bromley, Change Tray - Typo, Vetiver Insolent - Miller Harris, La Promeneuse Scented Cameos - Cire Trudon, Blanket (background) - Hackett
Shot by Robin Forster on Olympus PEN
Watch the video below
Teach me tiger! One of the season's most fun menswear items, the souvenir jacket is a kitsch take on the classic bomber. Great for holidays or just something to have a bit of fun with. Forget Gucci, Saint Laurent or Valentino, this is only £55 at ASOS. It's also well padded for warmth.
Wear it, here, layered up with lots of pattern or print in fashion's new take on maximalism or use it as a standout item with a simple plain T-shirt and trousers, letting the jacket do the talking.
How do you wear yours? Get involved #PeacockGeek
Credits - Souvenir Jacket - ASOS, Tailored Jacket - DKNY at Moss Bross, Trousers - French Connection at Moss Bros, Cap - Scotch & Soda, Backpack - Scotch & Soda, Necklace - Rokit Vintage, Kaftan - River Island, Watch - Tateossian, Shirt - Joe Browns, Green Necklace - Rokit Vintage, Sunglasses - Sunday Somewhere, Socks - Item M6, Jungle Shoes - Base London, Leaf Pin - Tateossian, Pep Start Eye Cream - Clinique, Daily Light Guard Defense Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 30 - Aveda
Make your own Gucci-style SS16 corsage here
More images & video below
Looking as hot as the donuts! TheChicGeek is as bold as a tequila sunrise in this OOTD.
Taking his cue from the new romantic mood in menswear, TheChicGeek makes flower corsages and feathers the latest must-have menswear accessories when worn with bright silks, beautiful patterns and colours.
Unpinned with a sharply tailored jacket, let your imagine run wild and escape to a place where there is no limit to male display. Join the Peacock Revolution!
Get involved #PeacockGeek
Credits - Jacket - French Connection Exclusive to Moss Bros, Coral Pin - Tateossian, Shell Shirt - Scotch & Soda, Floral Sweater - Scotch & Soda, Feather Necklace - River Island, Spectacles - Cazal, Watch - Storm London, Bracelet - Tateossian, Belt - Rokit, Trousers - Scotch & Soda, Trainers - Replay, Socks - Item M6, Extreme Blue Fragrance - Michael Kors, Body Defence Sunscreen - Zelens
Shot by Robin Forster on OlympusPEN
Check out more images and the video below
Make your own Gucci-style corsage here
Oscar Pinto Hervia of Hervia.com
“One of our favourite brands for this season is Thom Browne. The collection consists of spring / summer staples such as these walnut fold-up glasses that offer 100% protection and are handmade in Japan”.
Left - Thom Browne - Sunglasses - £665
“With prominent military references on the catwalks this season we think these Rick Owens hi-tops are a must have for spring. With an incredible leather finish and the on-trend khaki colour these boots are the perfect wardrobe update right now”.
Below - Rick Owens - Hi-Tops - £726
“As the innovator of minimalism Raf Simons designs deliver great quality and style every time. This isolated Stevie Print crew jumper, especially, is a piece that is sure to make waves this season”.
Left - Raf Simons - Crew Jumper - £380
“Another timeless piece that will get you through both spring and summer is this Rick Owens Bomber Jacket. We are big fans of Rick Owens here at Hervia and so this dark dust leather bomber is definitely one of our top picks. With pockets playing a massive role in the season ahead we believe this bomber marries style and substance”.
Below - Rick Owens - Bomber Jacket - £1666
“With utility influences throughout the SS16 range, Rick Owens offers a variety of easy-to-wear pieces that bring high style and practicality as well. These grey oversized Cargo Crop pants are comfortable and effortless to wear, but will still ensure you are on trend this season”.
Left - Rick Owens - Cargo Trousers - £330