31 Jan 2012

Stone-Dri S/S & AW12

I popped all the way over to the other side of the office where I work to check out Stone-Dri's offerings for this year's Spring/Summer & Autumn/Winter seasons. The Manchester based menswear brand who specialise in outerwear have been making some nice pieces since their comeback last year. Stone-Dri were pretty big players in the menswear market back in the 1950s, specialising technical outerwear, usually in waterproof and protective fabrics.

Above are a few pieces that caught my eye, as always with menswear it's all in the detail. The green and olive tweed 3-pocket jacket was the standout, which is based on one of their original models. Both of this year's collections are on solid and functional pieces which can easily slot into any chap's wardrobe without making too much noise. Other than jackets there's cord shirts, contrast pocket t-shirts, buttoned sweatshirts and some nice heavy knits. All manufactured within the walls of Greater Manchester, winner.
Where it all began, with the Stone brothers

For more on the brand click here

28 Jan 2012

Nice Things @ Togs & Clogs #2

Osma shaving soap - I bet this smells like the old times
Grenson Sid brogues - Best brogues I've come across in a while
London Undercover umbrella - Stay dry and be seen. Handmade in London
Fats Domino singles collection - Just cool
Field Notes pencils - For all you stationery bods
Togs & Clogs x A Few Fine Things iPad sleeve - Cracking piece this

It's Togs & Clogs back again with some cracking products. If you have been reading my blog for a while you may remember me featuring the Manchester based online store, in a post last October. The  store has been open a good few month now and they have some fresh stock in so I thought I'd pick out a few bits for you. As I mentioned last time it's not just the products that appeal to me, it's the way they are shot. Clear and simple is all we really need isn't it? The iPad sleeve is pretty interesting, they've collaborated with A Few Fine Things for this one, using a really nice green tweed and with brown leather edges. They have four different styles of iPad sleeves and they're made in Manchester, England none the less.

Togs & Clogs are also currently running a competition through their Facebook page to win £500 worth of Humor clothing. All you have to do is "like" them and click comps on the left hand side. You've got till this Sunday to enter.

26 Jan 2012

Gift #2 - Muji Human Body Puzzle

 I've been a bit slow with the gift posts that I promised so lets get right back to it. This guy is by far one of my favourite presents I recieved for Christmas, again from Hollie. It's basically an educational toy which helps you learn which body parts go where. When your done "Bones" can sit somewhere in your house looking super cool. She picked it up in Muji after me raving about it a couple of months ago, they really do have some cracking gifts these days. I spotted indoor footballs, solar system puzzles, wooden skyscraper blocks, pocket survival kits....you get the idea, it's basically my current favourite shop.

So here's how Bones works -

Take his cover off
Shake all the pieces out of his body
Have about 5 minutes of fun putting him back together

Bit of a dude isn't he. He sits pride of place right next to all my other miscellaneous.

23 Jan 2012

Inspiration - Ikea Kitchen by Carl Kleiner

One of my favourite posts I've ever done was on Carl Kleiner, back in August '11, so I was pretty pleased when I heard he's be working on a new project. The photographer, along with stylist Evelina Kleiner (they must have got married since I last blogged about them, excellent!) really do have some  brilliantly creative ideas and their latest effort really does get the excitement veins a-popping. Above is the second time Kleiner has worked with Ikea, the first was for their successful cookery book Home is Best. This time around he concentrated on Kitchenware, with pretty effective results. Now these photos tick three boxes for me, my love of homeware/designy stuff in general, cooking and of course OCD heaven, Things Organized Neatly.

Tidy house tidy mind, well here's to wishful thinking.

You can check out more of Carl Kleiner's projects on his website

19 Jan 2012

Thought I'd Give It A Go

Made in USA Dockers with Unqilo shirt & Vans, couple of quality geetars, Victorinox Army knife which is hands down one of my favourite Christmas gifts, Mr. Cooper's very tasty marmalade, Wigwam socks & boots, Monday morning was heavy on the layering, Morris the Mule memo dude sits pride of place on my desk.

Instagram that is. I've only just got a smart phone so this stuff is new to me. Not sure if I'll blog like this again or I'll keep it confined to the occasional Twitter share but it's worth a go. These are all from this week. I'm still messing about with the effects, so most of these do look pretty different. 

What do you think, I don't think it will be a weekly thing anyway. 

17 Jan 2012

Ontour A/W 2012

Ontour, not a brand I have ever heard of but their lookbook for this coming A/W (sheesh I know, we are still in the last one) had some pretty cool ideas going on. Their garb seems pretty cool but it wasn't that in particular that I wanted to share, it was the accompanying tied up images.

I really like the way they have used an entire outfit and well..... tied it all up. For me this is more exciting that the outfit shots but purely from a visual point of view. Obviously you don't get a feel for how stuff fits when it's all restricted but it made me curious about the brand, which made me want to know more. Their plan worked!

The brand was founded in The Neverlands, 2005. Each season they base their collection on a particular journey (hence Ontour ay). A/W's effort is entitled "On the Rocks" and from the images I'm guessing it's a nod to rambling and camping out, which is where the rope motif comes in. Their previous collection was based on protesters and activists, which again has some really cool images too.

For more on the brand visit their siteImage source

14 Jan 2012

Made In....Part 1

Much loved Dr Martens 1461's - Made in England
Harlequin patterned Johnston's scarf - Made in Scotland
New edition to my wardrobe, Dockers cinch back chinos - Made in America
Christmas present from Hollie, Present piccalilli coloured wooly hat - Made in Scotland
The old faithful vintage tweed 2-button blazer - Made in Canada

Lately I have been taking extra noticed to where things are made. To know this bit of extra information reassures me to some extent and instantly puts thoughts into my mind about who might have made them, the type of factory they were conceived in and what type of machinery might have been involved. I'm one of those people that always checks labels before buying stuff in shops, checking out the fabric is a big thing for me, but now I might be adding another one to the list. I don't think it's  going to stop me from buying something but to know a little bit more about what you are spending you money on makes it more satisfying, in my opinion.

I'm going to split this post up into a 2-parter bumper edition so this post doesn't turn too picture heavy. I've got some more interesting stuff to share.

So go into your wardrobes and see what you can find, what are you waiting for? I'll be really interested to hear what sort of countries you can find on those labels, please do let me know.

12 Jan 2012

Revisiting Saddle Shoes

Wearing - Edwin chambray shirt, Levi's 511s, YMC saddle shoes, Uniqlo socks, COS leather lanyard.

Whilst most of us have been taking advantage of the major sales pre and post Christmas I made a pact with myself. Instead of rushing out to see what bargains I could snap up, I'd take a look through my own wardrobe and see which items I tend to neglect. We all have tones of stuff we don't seem to get round to wearing, either from buying stuff on a whim or saving it for a certain occasion. So my idea was to get out all the stuff that isn't in rotation and get wearing it! Simple as that really, I must have liked something about the item in the first place to buy it. So while money is tight I'll go back to these items, assess if they still work for me and get wearing them, if not then do I really need replace it or can I do without?

Something that falls into this category and certainly doesn't need getting rid of or replacing is these YMC grey and black suede saddle shoes, that I picked up in the 2010 winter sale for 70% off. They're surprisingly easy to wear and go most of the stuff I own.

Don't get me wrong I have bought a few bits and bobs in the sale (namely socks, desert boots and a couple of t shirts) but I will be thinking twice about if I really need something. When I do go shopping I may buy something little but I don't tend to buy a higher price point item just out of the blue. Luckily I enjoy the whole shopping experience so browsing is usually good enough for me. It's all relative really isn't it, while I don't have a full time job then this is that way it has to be. 

How did this season's sales work for you? 

10 Jan 2012

Advertising - The Literal Approach

It's taken something from 1936 to properly wow me on a somewhat mediocre Tuesday afternoon. This nice bit of creative marketing is from the Coats Coats Coat store of Copenhagen, Denmark. When the proprietor realised he was well over-stocked on winter coats he adopted pretty crazy tactics to get rid of them. The owner covered the whole of the outside of the shop's building with scaffolding and then covered that with more than a thousand overcoats. 

What better way to make the most of overstocking! This bit of entrepreneurship didn't go unnoticed, it attracted attention from the police and he was ordered to removed the display. The good news though, he did end up shifting all the overcoats.

Can you believe this was going on in 1936? It's pretty ace though, couldn't be more in your face.

For the original source click here

6 Jan 2012

Mr Natty's Master Barbering at Albam

I wish I was half as manly as Barbering guru Mr Natty, but hopefully that will come with age. Ever since I discovered Backyard Bill a couple of years ago (Clare from Tweet knew I would love it, she was the one who tipped me off) it's been a great source of inspiration for me. I referred to the blog on several occasions throughout various uni projects. The imagery and mini profiles are just top notch. Featured here are some ace photos of Mr Natty from Backyard Bill that I have had saved for a few weeks, he's basically my style icon at the mo. He's got that old time charm and style to a tee. 

Mr Natty can currently be found traveling around Albam stores across the UK where you can get a hair cut, Indian head massage and your beard sorted out or a wet shave for £35. He'll even through in a pot of tea and a slice of his lady wife's homemade cake while you wait. If I had hair I'd be tracking him down, in my case I've just got a medium sized beard.

For more details on his services and where you can currently catch him visit Albam or call the number above.