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Jamiroquai via Blossom

Still waiting for The Bureau to launch its new site and accompanying Engineered Garments stock? I’ve been refreshing their site for weeks. No joy. I am writing this on Sunday 18th, what’s the betting it goes live before I’ve even finished this post?

Anyway, (at time of writing) the vast majority of EG’s SS18 offering is not directly available on these shores. So I’m looking to Japan’s Reggie Shop, and this entirely irresponsible hat.

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The next worst thing that could happen, could happen

Torn between mumbling upstarts and traditional lyrical dexterity, hip-hop is undergoing a period of upheaval. On one side you’ve got the grammatically challenged, but fresher Cardi Bs, Lil Yachtys and Migoses. On the other, thesaurus-troubling, boom bap surfing duffers like J Cole and Moss Def. Hip-hop is going into melt down. Everyone’s, like, arguing and shit. The world won’t actually explode because of it. But, whatever is the next worst thing that could happen, could happen. We need something to heal the rifts. Something to make both sides realise that, hey, this is hip-hop, we’re just talking over a beat and people pay us for it, this is aces!

My suggestion is the return of robot dancing. Everyone loves it. Everyone can have a bash at it. The Robot is, might I suggest, completely dope. And Japanese brand Meanswhile clearly agree. The last time I saw someone wearing one of these, he was standing behind Turbo and Ozone in Breakdance: The Movie, twitching like a giant excitable penis.

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Torpedo your stylistic instincts

Does this sound familiar? You get togged up for a jaunt down the cafe, shops, bar… You take a final mirror check, then you realise you look too put together?  You’ve got the brown shoes, the blue trousers, the top with a bit of brown and blue in it and a blue jacket. Dude, you’re styled. You’re J Crew man. You’re all considered and shit. You look like you’ve been thinking far too deep. Mr Sympathetic Palette is not the fire.

Emergencies like that, call for a bag like this.

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When vests go Nashville

On the face of it, what we’ve got here is a solid, utilitarian, cotton canvas vest. A couple of chest pockets, a couple of hip pockets with dangly detail, a concealed button placket. But then, on the sides, you clock the lace detail. Youcha! I mean, all of a sudden this piece goes from cool urban to Keith Urban. We’re in Nashville. This is Rayna James stagewear y’all.

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Hosed with pizzazz

Broadly, in sneaker terms, you’ve got: sportwear giant offerings (straight up Adidas, Nike etc…) you’ve got your sportswear giant x designer brand colabs (Adidas Y3, Reebok x Opening Ceremony, Adidas x Raf Simons etc…) and you’ve got pure offerings from the designer brand themselves. These undiluted designer visions frequently result in the diabolical. Overwrought and hosed with pizzazz, you only have to take a look at the relentless paint flicking over at Maison Margiela, the eurotrash branding at Givenchy and anything Giuseppe Zanotti has ever done to get the idea. This shit has Love Island contestant written all over it.

Here’s a style from Japanese enigmas Kolor that manages to break the mould.

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The pleats alone look like they need their own database

Prone to stocking and creating only the most forward-prodding cuts, you can usually spot something at London’s OTHER/Shop that at first glance appears mildly ominous. You’ll find garments that are ostensibly too short, too long, too tight or too loose. But deliberately (and brilliantly) so. Such is the journey towards progressing menswear. Waists are high. You presume a jacket to curve, yet it’s abruptly rectilinear. Long pleats are plentiful.

It’s in the landscape of the trouser where OTHER/Shop and its hosted brands excel at this stylistic flabbergastery. You simply won’t find an average pair of slacks in the mix. Let me draw your attention to Exhibit A: the Studio Nicholson ‘Bunch trousers’.

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Akin to the work of Comme, RANDT, Kapital…

New to London’s Present and to this site, Japanese brand Enharmonic Tavern look like an interesting find. Streetwear and heritage references coalesce, there’s patchworking, boxy fits, sympathetic but surprising colour mashes, and even the odd use of shiny fabric trim. Viewed in totality the line has a bold visual signature, so maybe it’s a shame to spotlight this relatively sombre shirt. Thing is, they do this insane biker jacket too – but it’s Graham Norton as Marlon Brando at a Halloween party. Fun to see, but do you really want to drop a grand on that?

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Something of a political novice

A regular font of street-wisdom, LA’s Union store is fully onside with label Bianca Chandon. “…Great fits and top quality”, they say. “With a perfect, subtle involvement in the political world.” Interesting stuff. And certainly, a quick look at the Bianca Chandon website, does suggest that the brand’s involvement in the political world is fairly subtle. Their policies appear to be represented by t-shirts with Bianca Chandon on them. While their constitutional views appear to involve a picture of an elephant on a tee and some Arabic writing, again on a tee. Still, I am something of a political novice.

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The trees remain ambivalent

The financial advisor said he’d call back about the problem with the mortgage. Damp, he’d said. The bank’s survey didn’t check out, he’d said. Don’t worry, I’ll sort it, he’d said. So where was the call? What’s the solution? The wife’s job is causing problems. They don’t take me seriously, she said, they keep canceling meetings on me. The electricity bill is due. There’s nothing in for dinner tonight. What show do you watch after Godless? iPhone is dying, running so slowly, even leaving it switched off over night doesn’t do any good. And it’s raining. It’s so cold.

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That’s living my friend

Will South2 West8 steal the desirably-obscure-trackpants crown from Nepenthes stablemate Needles? On this site at least, they already have. While the chances of seeing someone in Needles trackpants is (non-scientifically speaking) 1 in 50k, it’s got to be around 1 in 500k to spy anyone in these. To the untrained eye, they are relatively uninspiring tracksuit trousers, a stripe down the side and a little logo on the thigh. To the Nepenthes fanboy they represent Jesus Christ and all his bearded subordinates. These are the must-have you almost certainly won’t have.

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Look upon this youthful earnestness and pine

There are two things you can rely on from Swedish modernists Our Legacy. Firstly, every season there’ll be one stand out banger. Secondly, they offer the most unknowingly humorous style shots in the game. Outrageously bushy and boasting the hue of a gangrenous leg, this cardie was always going to stand out. But it’s the dude wearing this piece that fully blows the doors off. It’s tricky to simultaneously embody a rangy hermaphrodite, a forgotten 70s pop prince and a young Bret Easton Ellis.

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Too council estate photoshoot?

At odds with yesterday’s VISVIM denim simplicity, here’s a profoundly busy and serpentine rendering from Comme’s head boy Junya Watanabe. Is it me or is Watanabe’s work looking dated? Has it in fact for some time? While the North Face backpack cum coats grab the headlines, it’s convoluted shirts like this that pad out the stores. Always boasting a demented price point (this one won’t leave much change from £450) and rabid topstitching, they doubtless have their market, I’m just increasingly unsure as to who exactly buys this stuff?

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Everything VISVIM makes costs a billion pounds

I think few of us in the quality menswear appreciation community are out-and-out minted. Of course, I’m not saying it’s impossible to earn a decent bag of groats from sitting in meetings with other people pretending to understand social media, typing our digital engagement strategies and ideating gifs. But there’s a fiscal gulf between your average Oi Polloi customer and the son of a Swiss aristocrat whose job is Instagramming themselves covered in shit streetwear labels, standing in front of a platinum Lamborghini, holding a baby white tiger, that’s also a unicorn.

A similar budgetary gulf exists between, basically any decent brand you care to name and VISVIM. On the face of it, they produce understated casual-wear, environmentally consciousness and beautifully made. A description that could be levelled at a number of imprints. It’s just everything VISVIM makes costs a billion pounds.

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Small steps and giant strides

I’ve found Mother Earth fist bumpers Atelier & Repairs a little elusive. Their site claims eco-friendly outposts in London and LA, but I emailed the London branch months ago and heard nothing. I just wanted to know if one could pop by to try stuff on? Thing is, from their site it’s not entirely clear if their locations are shops as such, or more workrooms; a random pop-in might not be welcome. I really must chase this up, because their wares are off the charts – a tangle of Kaptial-style free-expression and Syd Barrett’s worst comedown. This schizophrenic kimono is case in point.

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It was here before Christ

Those of you with an appreciation of novelist Clive Barker, or straight-to-video horror films of the mid-80s may remember Rawhead Rex. Barker’s titular creation was a sort of prehistoric god, part body-builder, part dinosaur, who returns from the dead to chomp a rural Irish community and, in one notable scene, baptise one of them with his demonic wee wee. At one point a character shrieks that Rawhead was, “here before Christ”. I believe the same is true of this Story MFG tracksuit. This is the most terrifying exhibition of casual-wear power I have ever witnessed. That it shouldn’t exist is a given. That is always has is inarguable. Dig around the Israeli city of Megiddo and you’d doubtless find a drawing of this on an ancient stone tablet. If you wore this to the Vatican I’d expect the masonry to start collapsing.

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The essential non-essentials

In an average life there are number of ‘big ticket’ items you simply can’t avoid. A home and a car usually top the list. But of course there are other equally wallet damaging necessities; engagement rings, holidays abroad, a big TV, a white leather body-warmer.

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Make your unconventional nature absolutely apparent

Half 50’s baseball player, half off-duty Will Riker playing space-squash: this is from lesser known Japanese imprint Digawel, clearly bonkers, but one of the most interesting pieces this season so far. Look at that tremendous ribbed neck, as though scribbled by a cartoonist using too thick a marker. It wouldn’t look out of place on a Charlie Brown character, and that’s before you even get to the removable sleeves.

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Otherwise mundane items

Feeling moved?  A medley of Cordura fabric, velcro and leather cinching will do that to a man. This is Hender Scheme. And I think they’ve just trumped Japan’s Master-Piece in the fancy-nylon-with-bits-of-leather-trim-rucksack-game. Course, Hender Scheme’s relative rarity has some baring on this, but even so, I have to assume this is a bag most menswearmen would eagerly use to carry their laptop, snout and Graze Barbecue Crunch.

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Degrading cultural baggage

Yes, yes, Needles again. But come on… the SS18 kit is starting to hit the indies now at pace and as usual Needles has a habit of tossing up pieces of wearable tomfoolery so idiotic they verge on genius. Look at this piece. Back in 1989 it’s what an undercover plod would wear to ‘fit in’ at a Sunrise rave. Now it just looks like a gap-year Aussie who’s been finding themselves in the rice paddies of Bali. But it’s by Needles right, so I must be missing something?

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Riven with challenges

Jackets that don’t do up. A fundamental flaw, or an appropriate nod to traditional Japanese garmentry? My inner aesthete demands the latter. The left-side of my brain wonders what would happen when the wind blows?

Irrespective of such burdens of logic, Kaptial have gone ahead and made this anyway.  No buttons, no clasps, no ties; it’s a free-hanging marvel, that will likely offer beauty and irritation in equal measure.

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No one is asking these questions

Problem no.1: It’s difficult to find men’s shoes that make you look like a small girl.

Problem no.2: Hardly any people have issues with loafers falling off all the time, even so, few designers seem keen to address this non-existent headache.

Those of us tortured by insomnia over these simultaneously irrelevant and pressing dilemmas can take solace in the fact that, with these shoes, Hender Scheme has finally answered the questions no one is asking.

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No, you can’t get a laptop in them

The shoulder strap is the star of these SASQUATCHfabrix bags. They look a bit like the spine of one of Giger’s aliens; robust but forgiving and just vaguely icky. There’s rubber inside that nylon strap, presumably responsible for that queasy corrugated feel. But if it sounds as though I don’t like it, I’m doing myself and it a disservice: it’s all killer.

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Slurring threats

As a rule, I’m rarely drawn to red, white and blue. I guess it’s the nationalistic cultural baggage. It’s a bit British and French tricolour, a bit too flaggy. Yes it’s irrational, and sure to raise the ire of people that care about such things, but l but I see red white and blue and I think bulldog tattoos and flat roof pubs, I think about a hairy fist impacting my gums because I glanced at a bloke’s pint.

The thing is, the brand Needles has a habit of making me want things I would otherwise swerve. Through head designer Keizo Shimizu’s peculiar Japanese lens, the tricolour becomes something different, something compelling. Here are two tops from the latest Needles drop over at Alpha Shadows. I can’t decide which I want more. Both leverage a red, white and blue palette, yet both manage to be significantly more appealing than a stringy youth slurring threats because I brushed against his packet of Nik Naks.

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Does the back ruin things?

This is fully a thing. Interesting no? That said, it’s only available in small right now. It’s part of a recent, pretty comprehensive NOMA T.D drop over at Goodhood, but I notice quite a few of the pieces are only available in specific sizes. So either Goodhood is still waiting on the other sizes, or (remarkably) there’s a berserk appetite for NOMA T.D in east London right now.

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How a man of my age ‘should’ dress

Media coverage of the recent menswear shows in London and Milan has seen a resurgence in the use of the term “heritage”. Apparently patrons have been mixing more traditional fabrics and the odd pair of brogues into the usual turmoil of Off-White, Gucci sneakers and Adidas. Those looking to add a bit of rural flair to their flammable sweatsuit ensemble could do a lot worse that tossing on this Filson vest. It goes without saying you’ll look ludicrous. It’s made for fly fishing for fucks sake. But in the vitally important art of wearing-clothes-that-don’t-go-together-to-look-a-bit-interesting, when has worrying you’ll look like a dick ever come into it?

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A navy coat with tonal detail on the pockets and cuffs and that

Nanamica always bring the sensible. Just when I feel like I’m becoming too submerged in the Kapital and VISVIM style beads ‘n’ bongos aesthetic, Nanamica drops some banging, elevated navy basic and my mental dial is reset. Certainly, this quiet cotton/nylon coat isn’t going to explode anyone’s eyeballs. But you need that. You’ve got to have foundation pieces in the mix. You’ve got to have a sober framework; something to tranquillise your fistfuls of Haight-Ashbury accessories.

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Discomfort at the chiropractor

I’m not much of a denim snob. I’m a label snob, which is much worse. Jeans I currently have in rotation include OTHER/Shop, orSlow and Blue Blue Japan. I have no knowledge of the technicalities of their looming or otherwise, I was seduced by the brand and the style, probably in that order. Yes, I comfortably identify as an idiot.

I recently bought a pair of Comme des Garçons Homme jeans in the Dover Street sale. When I got them home I realised they were non-salvage, so turning them up is going to look rank. Not only that, I wore them once to break them in and so restrictive was the raw denim waistband, I ended up in some discomfort down at the chiropractor. All to have a Comme des Garçons Homme badge on my buttock.

I wish I’d tossed my money at these Tender jeans now.

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A hat made of Chewits

The Engineered Garments Spring/Summer 18 collection goes nuclear with colour. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here. Of course it’s typical, come the warmer months, for menswear lines to shift away from the navy, grey and black and get more chromatic, but EG really have gone full Crayola. There are a couple of early pieces over at Oi Polloi – it’ll be interesting to see if the UK market is down with primary coloured cagoules? – but there have been no significant drops UK-side yet. This humble bucket hat over at Japan’s Digital Mountain typifies the collection. It’s obvious why it’s billed as a ‘Sunset Burst’ hat, what’s less apparent is the size of the market for blokes wanting to look like a Caribbean ringmaster?

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Come on, you’ve read this site before

High-end that looks like high-street? It’s a tricky genre to negotiate. The piece might originate from some obscure maker, but if it looks a bit too much like low-hanging chainstore gear, what then? It’s when those rare Korean sneakers look just a little too much like regular Converse. Or when, on the surface of it, there’s not much to distinguish your indie-loomed salvage jeans from the Uniqlo ‘made in Japan’ range. Wankers dilemmas no doubt, but come on, you’ve read this site before.

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Keeping your Warburtons fresh

In a cultural landscape that increasingly celebrates alternative notions of beauty, I have to ask, is Frankenstein’s monster a step too far? Japanese imprint Mountain Research have this new season knit on offer over at NYC’s Blue in Green. It looks like a motorway pile-up in Mary Shelley’s brain, with Freddy Krueger and J. G. Ballard in the back seat.

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Fewer aristocratic yaks

Let’s say Star Wars: The Last Jedi didn’t occur in a galaxy far, far away, but in Dalston Junction. Under such circumstances it would be reasonable to expect some stylistic differences. There’d probably be fewer fish-faced nuns. Fewer aristocratic yaks with gambling habits. And the diamond foxes would almost certainly be cubic zirconia.

Snoke’s dapper Elite Praetorian Guard would also need a re-think. It’d be out with the ketchup-samurai vibes and in with, well… I’m guessing something more like this.

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Only you know the answer

With the stylistic posturing of a poorly wrapped pass-the-parcel, this hat has just dropped at Haven. As head-piece-fuck-shows go it’s impressive and Kapital fans will already be warming up their Paypal accounts. Nutso obviously. But, like, in a good way.

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I’m not suggesting it’s a game changer

Those with their browsers pointed east might have clocked this Ordinary Fits ‘Harvey’ jacket just pop up on Strato. It’s ‘new’ it says. New to Strato. Thing is, it’s not. The same piece has been on the shelves, much closer to home at Peckham’s Alpha Shadows, for time. Indeed, while the piece will run you around 161 quid (plus proxy, duty, postage and so forth) from Strato, you can actually already nab it on sale for £138 at Shadows. For those interested in such things, it’s a pretty rare example of the UK being ahead of Japan with their own goods.

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Homogenised, spoon-fed taste

People have shit taste. Or rather they’ve got the same taste as everyone else, so they’re confused into thinking it’s good. The same, homogenised, spoon-fed taste. You can see it in deadpan grey John Lewis pillow cases. It’s the unread Mondrian art book (concealing a pile of well thumbed Grazias) and boneheaded inspirational phases framed by antiqued fleur de lis. It’s bathroom contraptions in white wicker and big wooden letters spelling out EAT or SLEEP. It’s the random dusting of tat from Oliver Bonas or Urban Outfitters (because modern?). Amazingly even though everyone lives like this, people still consider their taste their own. They actually believe themselves individuals when it comes to taste. People eh?

Seems to me that there isn’t really good taste and bad taste. There’s just what everyone is doing and whatever is different to that. To my mind, whatever is different, is usually more interesting. Hence this robe.

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A story, of sorts

Given the abundance of story telling in contemporary marketing, it’s all the more remarkable how few interesting stories there actually are to tell. When it comes to menswear, it’s all articulated sleeves, organic this and that and the contribution of some obscure team of weavers indigenous to Tibet or High Wycombe. Really, they’re more facts than stories.

Menswear is rife with details like these; intended to bestow on the goods a sense of the otherly, a notion of betterness; fanning your desire and making your ‘click to buy’ finger itch. Which is all well and good, but stories they are not.

While hardly Anna Karenina, these sneakers do actually have a story.

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Sometimes it’s just the right thing to do

In the pre-Christmas scramble to cobble together gifts for family and friends, it’s easy to overlook the most important person in your life, you. While giving at Christmas gets a great deal of press, it’s the receiving component of the festivities I far prefer. And if the giving and receiving are both executed by yourself? Well, I just consider that an efficient use of resource.

Those of similar mind might wish to point their browser at Present. The store has just gone on sale and the price of this interesting Haversack knit has taken a chop.

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VISAs remain trousered

Our yearly menswear soundtrack is reaching its middle eight. A period of respite, an interruption in the repeated pressing of the ‘add to bag’ button. Sale time is imminent. Frankly, Christmas can do one; no serious menswearman wants to pay last season’s prices for last season’s merch. So we wait. VISAs remain trousered. Now is the time for research. And the experienced sale hunter knows to look for the volume of available sizes. A piece still showing all the sizes will be easier to nab come reduction time and quite probably benefit from a larger hack in price.

Personally I have my eye on one such piece, but I’d be deranged to tell you lot about it. Instead I’ll draw your attention to this Riceman coat. Currently full price. Soon not to be. And at time of writing, all three size options are present and correct.

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Let the mandatory gaiety begin

Looking for a Christmas top? I’m not talking about a shimmery party shirt or some mortifying ‘comedy’ reindeer sweater. I mean a proper Christmas top. Something to lounge in, in different lounges. A sofa-hopping festive warmer; offering comfort from the mandatory gaiety, drooling infants and secret cigs in the garden. A top to curl up and die inside when you’re forced to watch the Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Special.

Well, this is it. It’s a Snow Peak Fleece. And while it was almost certainly intended for more strenuous activities, I think it’s ideal for providing a cozy barrier between you and a diabolical curriculum of paper headwear and ceaseless rounds of Qwirkle.

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Put down the Mag Base Drill

I frequently wonder who the audience is for pieces like this? Mad-technical, but with the stylistic airs and graces of a radical Korean architect? Who wears this stuff? When I see documentaries featuring Arctic boffins miserably tape-measuring glaciers, they’re all done up in pretty standard Berghaus and North Face. They’re not squinting into the sun ‘gramming their look. Neither are they wearing 500 quid F/CE tops like this.

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Flaps and flourishes I can’t be bothered to figure out

With cross-body, bum-bag style pouches filling out ‘trends that are over in 2018‘ lists across the streetwear media, here’s an alternative. It’s a shoulder bag. It’s by Master-Piece. And it’s completely not a cross-body, bum-bag style pouch. Although thinking about it, you could and probably would, end up wearing it across your body. Your adherence to, or utter disregard of, the wisdom of Hypebeast et al will certainly influence whether you choose to read on.

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Assuming most of your shoes aren’t furry

I could find a place for these in my fits. Not quite as charismatic as the Primurys we checked earlier this week, but they still offer a noteworthy presence. I mean, unless I’m taking the temperature of my readership wrongly, I’m assuming most of your shoes aren’t furry.

These are from Yves Salomon Homme. Not a brand that crops up on here too often, it’s very much part  of the Matches, Neiman Marcus and FarFetch school of designer flouncery. And yet, I think these make sense. I can see them working with raw denim hems – a vaguely tufty full stop below a significant parka and a countenance of quizzical irritation.

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Worn as effectively on the sleeve as in the heart

Look at this image. This is what a man should be about right now. Beige. Unthreatening. Too much corduroy. Tied up like a creased envelope.

As the evident beastliness of so many prominent males in our current news feed illustrates, some blokes can be bad. Intollerably shit. But that’s some blokes mind. So in my own meager and frankly superficial way, I propose, morality, honestly, sweetness and just downright decency can be worn as effectively on the sleeve as in the heart. If that results in a look that sits halfway between fast asleep and an experimental 1960s poetry-disco, then so be it.

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A fiscal penitentiary

Don’t know how many of you have ever tried to buy a flat? But for those that haven’t, have you any idea how many clothes you can buy during the purchase period? Let me tell you. No clothes. No clothes at all. None. You know one clothes? It’s one clothes less than that. I currently find myself in just such a hinterland, an Upside Down between committing to buy a flat and not yet actually buying the flat. Every available quid is shunted from my grasp into a fiscal penitentiary. The only rule of parole is that it must vanish into a black hole of stamp duty and legal fees.

This state of affairs leaves me feeling fortunate that I’m able to even consider buying a flat, while simultaneously sulking like a toddler because I can’t afford these ridiculous trainers.

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The Man Who Fell To Earth played by Howard Keel

This is some fabricated voodoo right here. A jacket that can be worn four ways. And by that I don’t mean a removable pocket here or there, this piece works regular inside out and then turns it’s entire body inside out to offer up another two variations. Extremely difficult to explain in words, remarkably easy to negotiate when you’ve got the garment to hand.

It’s from Meanswhile and it’s one for the heads. Proper outerwear origami, exquisitely made, Cordura ripstop nylon, webbed tape detail, snap buttons in a beautiful matt finish… If you don’t want a slice of this we can never be friends.

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Exactingly scientific conclusions

It’s cold. A trip from under my quilt to make a cup of tea demands the constitution of a lifer in a Siberian gulag. Outside it’s white. Stinging flakes of chill. Blizzards, blankets, sleet; it’s proper shit is what it is. The whole of London is suddenly a icebox. It’s inconvenient and tiresome. It certainly puts the bore in boreal.

I know what you’re thinking? Some kind of obscurely branded, overly ornate, Korean body-warmer is what’s called for. And as always reader, it’s as though you read my mind.

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The working man

He waits for the pub to open. Just like decades of working men before him. Seeking respite from exertion, from worry, from responsibility. He has a thirst on him. It’s early, but the toil of the morning is already weighing heavily. He aches. He wonders how generations previous managed to face this toil, week-in, week-out?

He hears a key turning in the lock.

They’ll surely offer a flat white he wonders, but what’s their wi-fi like?

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An enigmatic cachet

At first glance this is reasonably unremarkable. We’ve seen this stuff before, patchworking knits, plenty of wooly topography, makes you think of Inverallan and certainly S.N.S Herning.  But this is Comme des Garçons Homme. And when Comme tells a story, you take the yarn onboard.

Even in a landscape of numberless Play logos and unworthy Dover Street colabs, Comme, particularly when attached to the main lines, carries an enigmatic cachet.

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A staged stroll along the Seine

For him Paris is both a place and a state of mind. He’s thankful that on this occasion while geographically in Paris, he also feels psychologically in Paris. This pleasure is expressed through a stroll along the Seine, wearing a Barbie duvet as a scarf.

Gendarmerie as traffic lights, children smoking and the queasy realisation that Parisians guzzle Starbucks. What is Paris, he wonders? For surely it is a city in only factual terms? But the sun is low and it’s growing chilly. He’s happy to leave this riddle to the world’s finest minds. While remaining confident that given time, he could figure out the answer himself.

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