Men’s Free Style


THIS BLOG HAS NOW MOVED
February 16, 2009, 17:40
Filed under: Uncategorized

stop

 This blog has now moved. All the posts and more can now be found at:

 http://asimplerstyle.wordpress.com

 Thanks!



A concession for the recession
February 10, 2009, 18:01
Filed under: Discussion | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I have finally found a piece on the internet discussing the upcoming Uniqlo menswear tailoring range – a concept which even devoid of detail has had me salivating for weeks.

If jackets, waistcoats, shirts and formal trousers “in a palette of both formal darks and ice-cream lights” do in fact appear at the “incredibly affordable” prices reported in the article, I predict all manner of stylish chaos will erupt at the new concession Uniqlo are opening soon in Selfridges to launch the range (said to on 23 February, but the Uniqlo site has it down as 21 February).

My hope is that this will signal a breakout for Uniqlo’s fantastic clothing to a wider audience – but it is also possible to detect in the launch a more fundamental retailing shift? Traditionally, Selfridges have prided themselves on stocking some of the most expensive fashion items known to man (the Topman concession being a rare exception), so it is at the very least unusual for them to be giving over so much space to such a resolutely inexpensive label.

Perhaps (and we can only hope) the downturn is beginning to prompt department stores into re-assessing where the bulk of their business lies and focusing more on providing quality products at affordable prices. I guess only time will tell…



Get shirty
February 9, 2009, 18:43
Filed under: Discussion | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

If you have ever wondered whether it’s really worth splashing the cash on designer clothes then this may give you food for thought.

The Observer recruited Paul Smith to give its readers tips on how to create their own ‘designer’ pieces, and here he provides a step-by-step guide to customising inexpensive vintage shirts in order to create something with a more stylish modern cut.

shirts

This kind of advice is great for those of us who want to put our own skills to the test and create a wearable piece out of cheap, recycled clothing. But it seems to me that the article is also suggesting that the only extras you get from a designer shirt is superior fabric and a superior cut – both of which appear not to require the usual costs associated with such items.

Paul Smith himself accepts that the vintage shirts you can pick up cheaply are so well-made that even he “spends hours each season looking into the construction details”. And if the patterns he has given away are as good as they purport to be, then improving the shape of an otherwise baggy shirt should also be within the average person’s reach.

Of course I accept that designers like Smith need to invest in the type of technology he describes to come up with original designs for shirts, and it is this whole process you are paying for when you buy his clothes. But if, with a bit of effort, anyone can have a crack at producing something of similar quality without all this expense, you do have to wonder what the point of going designer really is.



Bag it up
February 3, 2009, 16:53
Filed under: Advice | Tags: , , , ,

I’ve just come across this – it looks like charity shops are doing well out of our current money troubles, at least in terms of selling clothes. I think it’s great that people have thought about the savings they can make, both in their wallets and to the clothes mountain recent consumerism has created – but one problem is that it appears to have led to a run on the shops themselves.

So, if one of your New Year’s resolutions was to sort out that bulging wardrobe, have a quick look at my Sharpen Up page and make sure that any unwanted items don’t end up out in the cold, but instead safe and warm in your local Oxfam (or similar).



Failings in launch

The online shopping community appears to be cock-a-hoop this week (and not just because the snow covering Britain at the moment is preventing people from getting to any real shops) following the launch of the menswear collection at My-Wardrobe.com.

I have to say, I’m struggling to get excited about it. Despite all economic indications to the contrary, the people who run the site obviously think that men are crying out for a new place to spend ridiculous amounts of money on clothes. Although the list of brands available include reasonably-priced favourites of mine like Lyle & Scott and Superga, the majority listed fall into the super-luxury category and (unlike similarly themed site ASOS) betray a distinct lack of originality in the selection. I can’t be the only one wondering what the rationale behind it is.

I would like to think that there will eventually come a time when online retailers wake up and realise that what we’re really looking for is a site that brings together affordable, everyday items – the marketplace model is, after all, savvy and higly user-friendly. But if not even the deepest recession we’ve seen for decades can open their eyes to it, perhaps the sensible money  is on the view that nothing ever will.