Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Vulnerable men get suited & booted with suit swap campaign at House of Fraser

Men in the UK are being asked to surrender their old suits for a good cause. Whether they are a little tighter than they used to be or it’s just time for an upgrade, they can donate their unwanted threads at House of Fraser stores as part of the Suited & Booted campaign. The donated suits will go to vulnerable men, kitting them out in style for job interviews, while customers will receive a £100 voucher to spend in store. 

Upgrade that old suit (image Grey Fox)

Launched in 2012, Suited & Booted is a London-based charity that works with vulnerable, unemployed and low-income men to provide suitable clothing, advice and mentoring for interviews. Men are referred to Suited & Booted by other charitable projects and organisations including, Job Centre Plus, NHS, Careers Development Group, Social Services. Suited & Booted help over 1,000 disadvantaged men each year with clothing, advice and mentoring for interviews. Please visit:

The Suited & Booted campaign at House of Fraser runs from 18th August to 13th September at all 58 formal wear stores, including outlets. The £100 voucher is redeemable on all full price suits and must be used in store (not redeemable online). See House of Fraser for your nearest store.

Cornerstone - British-made shaving products on subscription

The idea of having your razor, replacement blades and other shaving products delivered when you need them is an attractive one - but the products have to be up to the task. A year ago I was asked to review such a service (based in mainland Europe) and was sent an inadequate razor and blades that couldn't manage my beard without much re-shaving. I refused to cover it on the blog until it had been improved.

So it's good to find a quite different service, based here in the UK, that has got it right from the start. Cornerstone provides a good quality products that work, when you need them, on subscription. Started in June of this year by young entrepreneur, Oliver Bridge, the range includes gels, balms and scrubs developed by dermatologists. The razor (personalised with your initials, GF for me) is an attractive aluminium one which is well-balanced and whose blades easily managed my tough stubble.

It's good to see that, while the blades are made in Germany, the razor and shaving products are designed and made here in the UK. The volcanic pre-shave scrub (which prepares the face for the shave), shave gel and post-shave balm have barely any scent. This provides a welcome neutral base to those of you who prefer to use your own choice of after-shave fragrance.

Recommended for those who like quality products delivered on time. See Cornerstone's website.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Rise of the Men's Fashion Blogger - Fashionbeans

I'm grateful to Marcus Jaye for including Grey Fox in his article on The Rise of the Men's Fashion Blogger on the renowned men's style blog, Fashionbeans. Marcus is a longstanding blogger and his TheChicGeek is now a classic and influential menswear blog. On the basis of his considerable experience, he makes the point that it is focus and passion that keep successful blogs afloat. As he points out, bloggers are exposed; without the layers of editors that professional journalists have to check and correct their content, it is a challenge to remain respected and authoritative.

The article looks at what he describes as "a few of the most visible players currently in the menswear blogosphere". Of course, I'm delighted that Grey Fox Blog is there, particularly as it appears with many professional blogs, which earn their owners a living. Grey Fox, as an amateur blog, is not on that league, so it's gratifying to appear in such company.

Visit TheChicGeek

What bloggers do you follow and like? please comment below on your recommended blogging reads.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Grey Fox taking part in Hackett's #10Men1City campaign

I'm grateful to Hackett for the invitation to participate in #10Men1City to celebrate the unveiling of their AW14 collection. The campaign follows "ten of the most significant style influencers around London" (Hackett's description, not mine) wearing their favourite jacket from Hackett’s new season range. 

Images Hackett

As the ten chosen gentlemen visit their favourite spots in London we'll be uploading pictures onto our Instagram accounts. No doubt we'll be seeing a wide range of London's sites, from the top of St. Paul’s dome to our favourite back alley cafes. Images will be shared across Hackett’s social media channels throughout the four weeks, with weekly updates on the Hackett website. The brand will then choose one image that they think best captures the influencer’s own distinctive styling, matched with their vision of England’s great capital.

It's hard to take pictures of yourself on an iPhone (although I do confess to the odd selfie) so I'm very grateful to my friend and blog colleague, Sarah Gilfillan of Sartoria Lab, for patiently helping out on occasion. I haven't asked her to do any styling, so shortcomings in that respect are all  mine! She has simply taken some of the shots.

My jacket is a crisply-tailored, semi-structured piece made from a tactile and luxurious wool/angora blend specially made in the Scottish borders - and very nice it is too. The range is available from Hackett here from £325.

I'm obviously by far the oldest of the ten, and it's good to see Hackett maintaining their lead as a brand that recognises that the older man has a place in the mainstream of menswear style. The ten are, Seb Law (@sebulous), Scott Fraser (@scottfrasersimpson), Derek Addo (@Derek_dash), Zak Velsvoir (@zakvelsvoir), Nas Abraham (@nas_abraham), Kenny Ho (@kennyhostylist), Dan Rhone (@mfminstagram),Talha Velsvoir (@tvelsvoir) and Martell Campbell (@mrflyycampbell) and me (@greyfoxblog). 

Please follow and support the campaign on Instagram #10MEN1CITY @Hackettlondon.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Jacket Required July 2014 - a few favourites

Jacket Required, a menswear trade show, took place at the end of July. I find events like this useful in providing inspiration for my search for style. Many brands attending sell streetwear or younger baseball-cap-type clothes; maybe not what most older men would go for, but there are many interesting and more classic styles to see. Here are a few of my favourites:

Sanders Shoes - an interesting brand making shoes in Northamptonshire for sale under their own and other labels. Many are classic designs, many have a colourful twist. Click here to visit Sanders -

Private White VC - Manchester-made, I wrote here about my factory visit earlier this year. Casual and outerwear with a difference, all with a very classic design basis. Click here for Private White VC -

Greatcoat - a fairly new label making outerwear and raincoats in London, England. Click here for their website -

Realm & Empire - casual wear brand, making some products (knitwear) in the UK. They base their styles on inspiration found in historic British artefacts and documents. See their website here.

Baracuta - although now Italian-owned, their traditional Harrington jackets are still made in the UK. See their website here -

Triumph & Disaster - I liked the humour and design of this New Zealand skincare, shaving and grooming brand. See their website here.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Dashing Tweeds - have some fun this summer

I've long been a fan of Dashing Tweeds' irrepressible style. Their collection successfully combines the qualities of its founders; mixing the extrovert nature of Guy Hills with the consummate originality and design skills of Kirsty McDougall. And, of course, it's British-made and designed, using high-quality British or Italian cloths.

Tweeds and summer don't mix of course, so the Dashing Tweeds summer range uses seersucker, wool and cotton to produce a colourful, comfortable collection that cries out to be worn on holiday or during these final summer days.

The cotton knitwear is designed by Quinton & Chadwick, whose superb designs are justifiably becoming well-known. I hope to feature them and their products another time.

Although the clothes shown here are modelled by a fairly young man, this shouldn't put off the older man. You don't need to own a skateboard to appreciate Dashing Tweeds' design and quality. These are true classics with a twist, ideal for the man who looks back at his fortieth birthday but is willing to show an element of originality in his style.

Dashing Tweeds offer 30% off their Summer Collection until 31st August. I'd buy the lot if I could, but have a particular hankering for the shorts suit - and their combination of lightweight seersucker blazer and ideal-length shorts is too tempting, particularly as the seersucker is woven in Suffolk.

Visit Dashing Tweeds website or, better still, go to their newly-refurbished shop in Sackville Street, equidistant from Piccadilly, Savile Row and Regent Street in London.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Grey Fox features in 'The Grey Fox Issue' - Mr Porter Journal

I'd like to thank Mr Porter for featuring Grey Fox in today's Mr Porter Journal, ('The Grey Fox Issue'). In doing so they are recognising that the older man can be interested in style and that he has commercial clout and influence in the fashion world. For me this is a significant development as it confirms that the aims of this blog are slowly bearing fruit. See The Mr Porter Journal.

We had great fun on the shoot, in a huge, shabby-grand, Georgian house in Belgrave Square, London. The team was outstanding, but I'd like in particular to thank the photographer, Cat Garcia, for her wonderful work. The stylist, Scott Stephenson, allowed me to select the clothes from Mr Porter's astonishing collections; there is an emphasis on some favourite British brands. It was fun trying things I hadn't worn before.

While the use of the description 'cult' is a gross exaggeration, I'm pleased that Grey Fox has been recognised. This is acknowledgement that older men can be the specific target of fashion marketing - and that's one of the aims of this blog.

Many thanks also to the many of you who support Grey Fox, getting in touch with comments, ideas and suggestions; you have little idea how much I appreciate it: greyfoxblogATgmailDOTcom

If you're new to Grey Fox, please also follow on Twitter (@GreyFoxBlog), Instagram (GreyFoxBlog), Pinterest (Grey Fox) and Tumblr (Grey Fox). Thank you!

From Mr Porter - photographer Cat Garcia