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Giant denim waist basket

This is not a sexy piece of clothing. It’s not even mildly sensual. Take this top for dinner and you can expect the conversation to revolve around Arya Starks’ kill list and whether Rey might be a Skywalker after all. Important topics no doubt. But unlikely to fly in the kind of provincial wine bar that believes chrome, leather and inflated prices is somehow sophisticated. The Kardashian-themed ladies in such places (I’m generalising here, but based from experience) appear to value exaggerated musculature, an excessively moisturised face and block-headed misogyny above all. A thoughtful bro wearing a denim pregnancy harness is not high on their hit-list.

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I dunno, what do you think?

The Hawaiian shirt is a battleground between beauty and ugly where ugly always wins. In the UK, a sunny day brings out the ‘Hawaiian shirt ironists’. Frequently young and thin, they have short hair, moustaches, some kind of Japanese sandals or (ironic) Crocs and a tote featuring the logo of an independent garden centre. The screen on their iPhone will be shattered; the back will be covered in stickers. They use the word ‘like’ too much. They begin an answer to any question by saying, “I wanna say…” They’ll smoke other people’s rollies, but always have money to buy a pickled vegetable wrap. They’ll be wearing a hideous Hawaiian shirt.

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The honesty is off the charts

If you’re familiar with Japanese retailer Acoustics, you’ll know they boast an enviable roster of brands. Yacea, Too Good, Takahiro Miyashita The Soloist, Casey Casey, the Nepenthes family, Nisica, Sanca: the list goes on. You might also have noticed how they show the clothes. Raw, unfiltered, natural shots. Just bros, wearing stuff; snapped, usually outdoors. It’s a marked contrast to how western indies usually spend time styling the look, lighting the subject and positioning them against a modish industrial interior. The Acoustics models look like they’ve just tossed the kit on and gone for a stroll.

Case in point: this set of images featuring a giant body-bag from BROWN by 2-tacs. Dude’s just standing there, by a car park and a flyover. The fucks given are few. But the honesty is off the charts. Acoustics is basically saying that if you buy this, this is exactly what you’re going to look like.

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You are now both ‘style guys’

One of the problems facing the brand snob (and if you’ve even the slightest interest in this site’s usual contents, you are one) is that brands like Oliver Spencer are routinely ignored. It’s not that the products are bad, it’s just that they’re over familiar. Oliver Spencer is easy to buy, easy to wear and goes on sale like clockwork. Which is when that mate of yours, who isn’t at all into clothes, ends up in the pub in a discounted Spencer shirt, happily pointing out how you are now both ‘style guys.’

Thing is, if something’s interesting, it’d be churlish to ignore it just because it’s from a more ‘mainers’ brand. And I usually would. But today, I’m either feeling lazy or have a new found sense of wellbeing to all men. So here’s a pair of genuinely brilliant Oliver Spencer shoes.

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Nuclear sunshine

Beheavyer. Not a brand currently available in the UK. Perhaps not a brand you’ve heard of. But believe me, you’ll want to. With the rise of the right, the collapsing ecosystem and the introspective horror-show of Brexit, my confidence in the future of humanity is already in the toilet. But if some enterprising retailer isn’t trying to bring this brand over here as I type, I’ll assume we really have all given up. I’ll assume everyone accept me has secretly agreed to not to bother, to just let mankind descend into a welter of flailing fists, rabid dribble and nuclear sunshine. Ironically, exactly kind of situation this shirt is perfect for.

When gangs of irradiated Brexiteers try and steal your last tin of Spaghetti Hoops, the loose cut will enable maximum agility – stabbing the rascals in the eyes with a screwdriver will be a sinch. And that light cotton fabric means you’ll remain cool, even as the warheads melt your conservatory.

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Tealights on an imaginary beach

Canada’s Haven have unleashed new Kapital. Only for the headstrong, the drop includes the usual mix of mutilated denim, voluminous trousers, and skewed US references. Denim shorts with a skeleton bone print also feature; but for all our sakes, we won’t focus on them. This ‘Denim Fishing Kimono‘ is the standout.

If you’re looking for something that ticks all the boxes (Japanese make and styling, loads of pockets, beautiful fabric, attention to detail) this is your move.

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Toyota Yaris sponsors drama on 4

The Widow, Cheat, Line of Duty, Motherfatherson, Vera, The Bay. “Beautifully created drama sponsored by SEAT”. “Toyota Yaris sponsors drama on 4”. It’s all about the drama right now. Everything I watch must feature: at least one missing child; a troubled detective who has to juggle a difficult family life (a parent with Alzheimer’s, a fearsome monosyllabic son, or a secret sex-camming daughter will do nicely) a covert relationship between two married coppers; slow panning shots of bogland and a string of victims discovered with their lungs tied round their necks like bloody mufflers. Everyone loves a bit of drama.

This garment is nothing if not dramatic.

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Everything feels numb

My enthusiasm for Inverallan knitwear is well documented on this site. After writing this post, my girl surprised me with my first Inverallan; a simple navy crew neck; robust, knotty and perfect. Coincidently I’m wearing it as I write. It’s warm. And looks luxe. Wearing this I feel around 17% more attractive.

Course menswear stands still for no man, so I’m already examining other items rather like the sweater I now own, but also different enough to entertain another purchase. Enter this knit from Japanese brand Joe McCoy.

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Half-suppressed sniggers: exactly what you want

Tanktops rule. Call ’em gilets, popovers, vests… The fundamental principle of a sleeveless body you can yank over a tee, or a shirt is still giving me the feels. So far this season the Engineered Garments ‘Cover Vest‘ has been owning the space – Instagram’s inundated with cop-shots. And with good reason, it’s an amazingly versatile piece, immediately elevating any fit. But there are some interesting alternatives. Conspicuously absent from western Instagram feeds is this piece from Ohh! Nisica.

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No accounting for idiocy

These Beams Plus trousers look alright. I had a pair just like them from Engineered Garments Workaday – you’re probably familiar with the style. They did exactly the same job as these: hardwearing, loose fit, good number of robust pockets. What they didn’t do was cope especially well with me being an idiot.

I was in a pool bar in Bristol. I was leaning against the bar ordering a round. I turned to take my drinks and realised my trousers were stuck to the bar. No I hadn’t seen the wet paint sign. No I wasn’t happy with the large black marks all over the front of my EG trousers. No the paint never came off. Those trousers are now shorts. Which leaves a loose-green-trouser shaped hole in my wardrobe.

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Braying, ruddy-faced lumps

I don’t like rugby. I don’t understand how it works. I don’t understand why the process of putting a ball in a hole, or touching a stick or whatever, while some other men try and stop you is of any interest to anyone? Also, why do people who like rugby have to be so fucking loud? And tall? If ever I have the misfortune to enter a pub when the ‘rugby’s on’ I can’t move for enormous-arsed burgundy jeans and canoe-like deck shoes. You squeeze through to order a pint and get your face simultaneously swatted by ten different quiffs; all attached to over-excitable, braying, ruddy-faced lumps, whose wives have let them out, seemingly to laugh as loudly as possible about ‘bumming’. Christ I hate rugby.

It’s a shame these Nanamica shirts are inspired by rugby. Because, as I say, I think it’s shit.

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“Appropriate for a wide range of lifestyles and circumstances”

Vaguely in-keeping with yesterday’s ‘wedding guest’ theme, here’s another proposal for attitudinal formality. Of course, this thing is off its tits on madras. Big as a house, bolder than a boulder; this monster will kick your eyes out from 100 yards. Perhaps then, it’s only appropriate for the ‘right kind of wedding’. You know the sort; barefoot bride, kimchi ice-cream, some hairy dude playing a lute.

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Oh my Godddd, take our picture

Wedding invites are go. They’re out there. They’re airborne. They’re spraying in your direction like the contents of a colostomy bag piñata. Sooner or later, something’s going to hit you. Then you’re going to have to A) sulk, B) RSVP and C) think about what the fuck you’re going to wear.

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Hiding in plain sight

This is straight up blasphemy. Your chosen God is irrelevant. Forget what you believe or think you believe. And on the off-chance you have an allegiance to a particular tartan, go ahead and chuck that in the McBin. You are looking upon the new world order. The unenlightened may only see a coat made of different checked fabrics. But come doomsday, those misguided souls will feel the endless prick of the devil’s own sausage fork.

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Highly suggestible audience

There’s been much talk of the damage to the UK economy post-Brexit. Car manufacture, farming, medicine, transport, fishing; dire forecasts all. But what of the businesses likely to prosper after the country we already have is back in our hands? I suggest the time is right to launch a cult. Think about it. There’s a massive market. We’ve already got over 17 million people ready to believe in any old cobblers.

A cult has low overheads. All you need is you and a microphone. Once you’re up and running you can photocopy some pamphlets  – these can feature some drawings of moon men and a short essay about the wisdom of crows. And think of the margins. There’ll be a joining fee obviously, but that will be quickly subsidised by further payments as members move further up the ‘Step Ladder of Enlightenment’ (working title). In no time at all you’ll have the money to buy this jacket  – then you’ll really look the part.

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I bought a pair of Needles H.D Pants

Baggy trousers are a well worn topic on this site. I’ve discussed, purchased and worn Barena, Bru Na Boinne, Eastlogue, Ordinary Fits and OTHER/Shop (RIP). I’ve sized-up in Engineered Garments. I’ve even had a pair made for me to my exact specification. I’ve also dabbled in entry-level Needles. Yesterday however, I went nuclear Needles, I bought a pair of ‘H.D Pants’. I tried them on two years ago in Nepenthes in New York and I laughed so hard the sales assistant thought I was being disrespectful. I tried them on  a year ago in Peckham’s Alpha Shadows, took snaps and Whatsapped them to my girl. She quickly pinged back that if I wanted her to continue being my girl I would not be buying the trousers.

I now own the trousers. I’m wearing them now, in a Peckham cafe, writing this. I feel simultaneously superb and ridiculous.

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Subdued business

Some serious geometric realness here from Japan’s Bru Na Boinne. It’s like someone’s fired a cannon through a Hasbro warehouse – there’s definitely some Qwirkle in there, possibly even a bit of Rummikub. We’ve seen a fair bit of this kind of thing recently, notably from last season’s Noma t.d x Engineered Garments collaboration. Even so, to me, this piece still seems pretty fresh.

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Almost time to switch

This headpiece is called the ‘Educator Hat’. It’s from Nonnative and available now over at Coverchord. Not sure where the whole ‘educator’ thing comes in? Looks to me like something worn by low-level Death Star personnel. The guy who mops the trash compactor perhaps?

Even so, it’s been time since we’ve looked at a new bucket hat. Mainstream fashion coverage is still yawning on about 90s this and 90s that; oversized sportswear and yes, bucket hats. But I don’t see bucket hats as especially 90s. I think of the 1960s; Jack Lemmon, Woody Allen, Hunter S. Thompson. I love bucket hats. Especially when framed by the seersucker, ‘three-roll-two’ language of prep – they offer a wrinkly, often disheveled punctuation to an otherwise neat fit. It is, to my mind, this incarnation of the bucket hat that contemporary Japanese designers frequently choose to channel.

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Remiss to ignore

Gosha Rubchinskiy is back. I say this, not with effusive pleasure, but merely as a statement of fact. Rubchinskiy’s previous branded incarnation didn’t particularly chime with me. Footy sportwear with cyrillic lettering don’t fit with my fits. But, as I say, he’s got a new line, GR-Uniforma, and due to his residual cultural impact it would be remiss to ignore it.

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On the right side of try-hard. Just.

My passion for furry shoes continues; oblivious to the unpredictable UK climate, relentless unsolicited comments and basic common sense. I wore my ‘hairy cow’ Paraboots last night out on the pops. A bloke I had never met told me I had nice shoes. Not sure if he was taking the piss, but I thanked him all the same.

I think furry shoes represent an acceptable level of urban glamour. They’re different; I mean statistically it’s unlikely you’ll find a large number of dudes wearing furry shoes in most environments. But crucially they’re not too razzle-dazzle. They’re not too fancy-boy. They’re not covered in rhinestones and chains. Furry shoes are definitely on the right side of try-hard. Just.

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Just like everyone else

On the train yesterday a woman was crying. I sat two seats away, watching. Nobody raised their eyes from their phones. In fact people actively looked away; out the window, at the floor, anywhere but at the sobbing woman.

It seems pathetic of me to suggest that had I been wearing these trousers she might have broken a smile. That she might have thought, like I do, that they look a bit like you’ve weed yourself. Might it have amused her? Might she have realised that even in the darkest times there are grown men walking around in daft, patchy jeans that look a bit like they’ve had an accident. Could that have helped her, even momentarily?

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What a bummer

Here’s a perfect example of flip-side-wrongness. Observed from the front, the subject, in this case a pair of denim trousers, appears interesting, charming, positively debonair. You’ve got the shadowy ghosts of pockets past up top. And below we have some, arguably pointless, but nevertheless eye-catching, pockets on the knee and calf. They look a little slim, but you could size-up and belt these bad boys in. Everything looks like we’re in business. Until you check out the flip.

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I can’t compete

Nepenthes lands in London and straight away their brands pop up on other local retailers. Not sure why or how that works? Nevertheless, Mr Porter has apparently woken up to Needles. And outside of the Nepenthes store itself, Garbstore has become the first London retailer to carry South2 West8 clothing. They’ve only got one pair of trousers, a couple of shirt jackets and some scarves, but it’s enough to get a sense of the brand’s whole ‘contemporary take on fishing’ thing; as well as reinforcing the fact that, broadly speaking, South2 West8 is much cheaper than the other Nepenthes lines.

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Confessions of a Content Marketer

At first glance this looks like something you’d see squashed amongst other vintage treasures on a rail in Camden Market. So defiantly is it drawing from the past, with its oversized collar and key-party colour scheme, it’s difficult to imagine it originating beyond the 70s. But look closer. It’s made of cotton for one, there are no synthetics ready to combust near a misplaced fondue. But more crucially look at that jagged, irregular patchworking. It’s a technical feat that brings things right up to date. Kind of ugly, but also massively beautiful. This piece is by Japanese makers Haversack. For many wardrobes it’d be a game changer.

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Prodding hopefully at the neoprene bits with a flannel

So, last year Fumito Ganryu left his Comme des Garçons label Ganryu to start his own, independent brand called Fumito Ganryu. This here shirt (amongst the rest of the edit over at LA’s Union) is the result. It seems to be coming from the same place as Ganryu’s Comme work, which is no bad thing, or even much of a surprise. But I suppose it’s telling that I was drawn to this piece, rather than the new brand’s fresher expressions – the variations on coach jackets, the (arguably) hideous royal blue waterproof hoodie, or the triple pocketed long sleeved tee with what looks like a yawning Pac-Man on the front (seriously go and have a look).

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Embrace the irony

A very serious looking vest here. It’s from the imperious and frankly intimidating brand Nemen. Nemen’s a bit like Stone Island – but for grown-ups who don’t need a logo to feel like the big man. And it’s technical. All “high tenacity nylon tape details” and “acid dyes”. I’m not sure if a gentleman needs, “high tenacity nylon tape” on what is, let’s face it, a vanity piece. But therein lies the irony with so much of this kind of high-specification garb. It might be built for scaling a cliff-face, but if the highest you get is a bar stool, do you really need it?

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He’ll have your legs out from under you

In case you hadn’t heard, looking like an Amish buggy driver, who hides from iPhones in case they capture his soul, is all the rage in South East London right now. This guy’s rocking the look. He’s even got the stern expression down. Approach him with a selfie-stick and he’ll have your legs out from under you.

Of course, it’s also about the hat. And what a fucking hat this is.

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Unsuitable for anyone who does anything worthwhile for a living

Boasting a similar conscious philosophy to New York’s Bode, Japanese brand Clamp are all about the upcycling. It’s ethical. Like total ethicology man. Stuff that was once a thing, is chopped into different things and made into new stuff.  And obviously I’m all in favour of it. Although I do question the impact that me buying this vintage silk jacket will have on curtailing the ice cap thaw. I notice that after even I’ve eaten a bowl of Lizi’s Low Sugar Granola, I still can’t do my trousers up.

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Low-impact body-popping

You might have missed these trousers.

Trump’s trying to convince anyone that’ll listen the exact opposite of what everyone definitely knows. May’s autopiloting us through a wormhole into a universe made of human dung. The major parties have burst like a bag of Skittles, members bouncing down the drain and into the anonymity of the Independent Group. The ice caps are fucked; insects are fucked; there’s a US national non-emergency; Russia’s talking about pointing its nukes at us; Boris, Gove, Farage and Rees-Mogg are silently reallocating their personal investments, between boggle-eyed pronouncements that everything’s going to be great.

Even so, you’d expect the launch of a new Japanese casual trouser in five different colourways to get a few more column inches.

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Enough to cause anyone to shit their bath

Zig-zagged, pointy, angular; this White Mountaineering parka is splintered and shardy and impossible to ignore. It’s like rheumatoid arthritis made of polygons.

As is sadly typical, retailer Present doesn’t have any details on the piece. Just pictures and a title. And of course a price. Come on Present, if you want people to drop £1119 on a coat, maybe tell them something about it. 

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A moment

So, are Paraboots having a moment? To answer this, firstly we must put to one side the reprehensible use of the phrase, ‘a moment’. Secondly we can examine some recent evidence. There was this interesting pair we looked at in December. Then there are these hairy ones remember? Exclusive to Goodhood, I ended up buying these. Then I wore them around Peckham and a bloke in a pub asked if they were Paraboots and I told him they were and he was wearing a pair of Paraboots too. The scientists amongst you will already find this extremely compelling. But add to this wealth of research a new pair of Paraboots from YMC, and it’s case closed. Time to get back to the Hadron Collider.

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Easy to pull on, difficult to pull off

I’ve become anaesthetised to the term ‘easy pants’. So frequent is its use across the menswear sites I enjoy, it no longer raises an eyebrow. For a chap brought up in the Midlands it’s quite an achievement. By rights I should be Debenhams wearing, 2.5 kidded, cul-de-sac dwelling, middle manager who’s only just started The Sopranos boxset and never shuts up about it. I’d probably be a knuckle-headed Brexit-liker too. But no, years ago I dragged myself out the Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton basin and now look at me. I’m comfortable calling ‘trousers’ ‘pants’ and everything.

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A couple of yawning semi-circles either side of your neck

There’s a tiny subsection of menswearists for whom the opening of Nepenthes in London (see yesterday’s report) is a bad thing. Or not bad so much, as mildly concerning. Does it make the roster of Engineered Garments, Needles and South2 West 8 in particular a little too available? A little too easy for the bridge-and-tunnelers? Yes. I know. I’m a horrible, dreadful tit. But is it rather like when an obscure techno artist (who you love) starts working with Kanye. One of your things goes mass. People you know, who have never, ever expressed an interest in your obscure techno artist are suddenly name dropping them at every opportunity. I hate that. And I hate myself for feeling this way. Just not enough to stop.

Fortunately for the truly wankery, there are plenty of global brands that remain impossible to get in London’s London town. Porter Classic is one. This is one of their tops.

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Nepenthes London

“Thank you so much for waiting so long”, said the store manager.

“This is a game changer”, a fellow shopper whispered to me.

“Sure you can take photos”, the sales assistant said, “I don’t see why that would be a problem.”

I arrived an hour and a half early. I had a coffee in the cafe opposite. I watched as the staff dusted and swept and polished the new Nepenthes store. Then it was midday. The doors opened. Nepenthes arrived in London. And, as one of the first handful of customers, I can tell you it’s very lovely indeed.

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Latches, stirrups and harnesses

My girl is unable to put things back where they belong. I’m not entirely confident that she grasps the basic premise that things, stuff, objects we own, can (and arguably should) be placed where we’ve previously agreed they live.

Radical viewpoint it may be, but I tend to find that by putting things where they should be makes it easier to find that thing again later. My girl on the other hand prefers to put things in the nearest available place. Hence outstanding gas bills tucked under the cutlery and iPhone accessories in mixing bowls, while piles of receipts I need to expense are frequently discovered making friends in my pants drawer.

At least with a jacket like this I can be the master of my own domain. Look at the pockets on it – it’s a wearable cupboard.

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If something’s expensive, but you don’t understand it, it’s you who’s the idiot

A big circle on a hoodie. What do you think about that? What kind of statement is it making? What story is it telling? I’ll be honest with you, I have no idea. This top is from Sasquatchfabrix. It’s called “Otentou-Sama”; a phrase that even Google doesn’t seem to comprehend. According to retailer Goodhood, the brand represents, “high-performance vandalism.” Sitting somewhere between, “avant-garde and street fashion”.

It all sounds terribly earnest. When I look at it I just see a hoodie with big circle on it. What am I missing?

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There are statement socks and statement socks

The ‘statement sock’ game is one riddled with peril. I was following a dude up the stairs on the Underground the other day. I’m not saying he was a primo clothesman, but he was neat enough; mostly in black and grey: trim trousers, simple shoes, mid-length wool overcoat. But his socks were fluorescent orange. They featured some kind of recurring, embroidered motif; I couldn’t really make them out; maybe pheasants, or golf clubs or some-such nonsense.

Point is, clearly this guy was buying into the philosophy that wacky-socks-equals-wacky-personality. It’s remarkable how such stale ideas (who even invented this rubbish?) have such a lengthy real-world shelf-life. Either way, he was ruining himself.

Of course, there are statement socks and statement socks. Fluorescent orange suggests you think Urban Outfitters is edgy. These socks, from Japanese makers Anonymous-Ism, offer more refined potential.

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Where can you buy classic Comme?

Desert Island moment in menswear history? I’d say mid-late 80s Comme des Garçons. That was when Comme was Comme. Gargantuan silhouettes, floppy jackets, t-shirts as shirts. Architects marched about in pyjama suits, pointing enthusiastically at pastel triangles, while prodding at their Psion Organisers. Trousers were vast and shirts had mismatching buttons. Blazers were boiled, making them look all wonky and bobbly and that was considered a good thing – you’d basically pay a fortune for cooked wool.

The mainline, Comme des Garçons Homme Plus, has left this relative simplicity behind – preferring to explore the importance of dinosaur skulls as hats and assless liquid leggings. Fortunately the Comme des Garçons Homme line persists in delivering a variation on classic Comme.

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A bit Monocle Man?

I don’t visit Trunk Clothiers much. When they first opened in 2010, I worked nearby and enjoyed their large selection of trim, considered Italian tailoring, but more-so the irregularities: Comme des Garçons Homme and (if memory serves) even a little Kapital. Those days are gone and the store now stands as one of the most tightly edited in town; with a buying policy that seems focused on what Marcello Mastroianni might have worn.

It’s all a bit Monocle Man for me: v-neck knitwear over a white tee, suede loafers, Incotex chinos cuffed just so. It’s beautiful, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that if I’m going to dress-up as something, it’s more likely to be a 60 year old Japanese whittler than a Riviera gigolo.

That said, if anything will get me reaching for a phrase book and the Abdominizer it’s a jacket like this.

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Watching life through a colostomy bag

It’s increasingly amusing to hang around east London’s Goodhood on a Saturday and watch as the patrons try to out Hunter S. Thompson each other. Cowboys hats, bucket hats, giant wooly pom-poms, tracksuits tops, garish shirts, velvet pyjama trousers, animal print, double-glazed specs. I haven’t seen anyone with a cigarette holder, but it’s only a matter of time.

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The digital medium could never do this justice

Be of absolutely no doubt, this is an astonishing coat. It’s easy to flip past clothing online, skimming your feed, not pausing long enough to really evaluate. And then, of course, there’s nothing like actually seeing a piece, trying it on and realising instantly that the digital medium could never do it justice. I had that moment yesterday. I tried this coat on. It immediately made everything I own look shit. Best believe. There’s next level. And then there’s this Tatamize coat.

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The perfect way to provoke no interest whatsoever

So it’s announced. Nepenthes London opens on February 15th. For fans of the world we can succinctly refer to as luxury-international-casualwear-frequently-but-not-exclusively-employing-workwear-reference-points (LICFBNEEWRP for short) this is big news. I hear there’s no invite-only launch party – unless I’m entirely out the loop. It just opens on a Friday, in Euston. I will be there.

For many, this news is reason enough not to buy anything right now. To keep your loot trousered for a trip Euston-ways in a couple of weeks. Furthermore, most of the country is seemingly losing their shit over the meteorological phenomenon known as ‘a bit of snow’. Which all suggests that writing a post about a difficult to get, lightweight pair of summer loafers is the perfect way to provoke no interest whatsoever. Evidently I’m more obstinate than I thought.

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Who doesn’t want to walk about covered in peace signs and hallucinogenic fungi?

Rarely do products adopt both the image as well as the ideology of early 70s counterculture. It’s common enough to see renditions of ‘flower power’ imagery – the kind machined onto high-street garments by impoverished Bangladeshis. But Story MFG take their brand and their role in the global marketplace seriously. Organic cotton, natural dyes, hand embroidery: this is a piece that preaches sustainability and love for our planet through philosophy as well as design.

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OMG

I showed the above image to my girl.

“Ohmygod, I can’t breathe”, she said.

Naturally I was extremely concerned and performed a quick diagnosis. It turned out that in fact she could breathe. She was simply saying she liked this vest. And for some reason, choosing to use words that have no business in such a statement.

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Tie-dye is a bit like…

Somewhere between the Cosmological Constant and Daedalus’ Labyrinth lie these tie-dyed shirts from Japanese brand Curly. Look upon them with care. It’s conceivable they represent our first confirmed sighting of dark matter. I understand the chaps over at CERN are taking this very seriously indeed.

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Same but different

I heard boutique garden centres are the new nightclubs. So I went to see. I quickly noticed that there’s no booze. And no sexy dressing – unless aprons and Wellington boots do it for you. There’s no dancing, no DJ, no drugs and no piss-flooded toilets. There are few singles, barely any spray tan, no spinning glitter-balls, lasers or projections of any kind. And I didn’t see one tattooed man beating another tattooed man over the head with a metal stool. In all other respects though they are identical.

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Somewhere between Blue Hawaii and a brain haemorrhage

Within a few hours of these Bode shirts hitting Alpha Shadows they started selling and selling quick. I won’t go into the whole Bode thing again here – the re-purposed antique American textiles, the one-of-a-kindness, the indiscreet approach to pattern – check out the brand bio over here (also incidentally a Rampboy product) and you’ll get the picture.

The fact is, I’ve been slow to pimp these. But they literally started flying out so fast I wondered if it’d be worth it. Who knew there were so many menswearmen keen to drop the best part of £400 on a shirt? Makes you feel pretty inadequate.

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