Friday, 29 May 2015

Royal Ascot - what to wear video advice from Oliver Brown

Royal Ascot is between 16th and 20thg June this year. As ever, there are questions about what to wear and Oliver Brown, the Chelsea-based menswear shop that supplies formal wear for all occasions, has good advice on the topic, as can be seen in this video.

Kristian Robson, Oliver Brown's Creative Director, gave me some good additional advice in relation to waistcoats, hats and coats, as follows:
“I think people will go bright this year with their waistcoats, people seem to be getting more adventurous” 
“With a view to top hats I would say always go for black as opposed to grey” 
“I personally prefer a black morning coat to a grey morning suit and this is most certainly our most popular style in the store however we are seeing grey becoming more popular”
See Oliver Brown for more information, or to buy or rent formalwear.

See Royal Ascot 2015 for information about racedays and events.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

British Boxer pyjamas (and 20% Grey Fox reader discount code)

I bemoaned the passing of pyjamas on Twitter recently and was offered the chance to try some of British Boxers' wonderful sleepwear for men. Naturally, I'm converted, no more battered boxer shorts and ancient Nirvana t-shirts for me; quality and style now rule in the Grey Fox bed. Here, for your edification, delight and hopefully not titillation is a Grey Fox selfie of him looking classy in pyjamas.

Beautifully-made from high quality cotton, these are among the best pyjamas you will find, as I've come to expect from one of my favourite British brands. For more about British Boxers, their sleepwear and British-made underwear, click here. To claim 20% Grey Fox reader discount quote the code GREYFOX (simple, huh?)

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Thomas Clipper launch second successful Kickstarter campaign - traditional shaving products

Within a few days of launching their second Kickstarter campaign, Thomas Clipper, who deliver traditional shaving products to your door, have spectacularly exceeded their original financial target. 

Unfortunately I was out of London and couldn't make the Kickstarter launch party last week, but I followed developments with interest. Thomas Clipper launched last year after an initial Kickstarter campaign and quickly established themselves in a fascinating growing market as men appreciate the benefits and advantages of traditional shaving techniques.

Thomas Clipper supplied me with a superb single-bladed razor (the 'Mark K', left in image above) a few weeks ago. British-made, its weight and balance are perfect for a wet shave. Products like theirs have converted me to the benefits of traditional shaving and my multi-bladed razors were binned a month or two ago. Their shaving bowl (pictured above) exemplifies their approach; beautifully-made, its wood came from a felled horse chestnut tree planted in 1710 and recently blown down in a gale. With good quality oils, creams, soaps and colognes, shaving is becoming pleasurable again.

You can read about and support Thomas Clipper on their website and on also Kickstarter.

Monday, 25 May 2015

'Bergamotto Positano' a new fragrance for men from Floris

I haven't covered many fragrances on the blog and that needs to change. I use after-shave balms and fragrances a little and am increasingly appreciating the subtle scents of some of the best (often British-made) products for men. As a newcomer to this world, I claim no expertise, but I know what I like and will bring you a few favourites when I can.

Sadly the technology is yet to exist that will enable me to waft a sample of a chosen fragrance to you sitting at your laptop, so you will have to imagine this new eau de parfum from Floris, called Bergamotto Positano. It's a subtle blend of citrus and vanilla which gradually tones down to a quiet collection of Mediterranean-inspired scents in which, for me, lemon and vanilla dominate and which linger without cloying with a delicate gingery sweetness. The official description reads, 'Top Notes: Bergamot, Marine, Mandarin. Heart Notes: Green Tea, Orange Blossom, Ginger, Vanilla. Base Notes: Amber, Spice, Ambrette, Woods, Vanilla'. This is a sophisticated product which you should try for yourself and, indeed, share with the love of your life, as it's a unisex fragrance. 

It's made by request, so is of limited availability. Its exclusiveness will appeal to many as it's hand-blended by Floris, family perfumers since 1730, at their Jermyn Street premises in London. Cost £160 for 100ml; note that stock is limited. For more information, visit Floris.

Floris also offer bespoke services that enable you to be be a guest of Floris while exploring and developing your own fragrance, meeting a member of the Floris family and enjoying a glass of champagne. More details from Floris.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Video: Peregrine Clothing made in England from British wool and fabrics

Knowing my love for British-made menswear (and factory visits), family-owned Peregrine Clothing, founded in 1796, have kindly given Grey Fox Blog readers an exclusive preview of this video showing their clothes being manufactured at their factory in England using British wool and fabrics. For more on their innovative ranges of men's and women's knitwear see Peregrine Clothing.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Wedding style for men: Marks & Spencer bloggers' styling event

What does a man wear for a wedding? This year sees my 37th wedding anniversary. I'm not sure if that makes me an expert on weddings or not. However, I was grateful to Marks & Spencer for inviting me with other bloggers to an event at which we were to select outfits for several different types of marriage ceremony, from traditional country to beach. 

Marks & Spencer x bloggers wedding event with cake and bubbly for that authentic touch

I quickly learned that, from the man's point of view anyway (it was a menswear event) there is a huge range of choice for all at Marks & Spencer, from groom, best man, ushers, to family and guests. I was pleased to see that top hat and tails are available for the traditional wedding (I wore morning suit all those years ago), while a wide range of jackets, suit and accessories can be found for any style of celebration. 

Some of the wedding accessories available from Marks & Spencer

Long gone are the days when morning suit or dark suit were obligatory at weddings. Anything goes now. That's a good thing, but remember that this is one of the most special days of your life, so looking back decades later at yourself wearing shorts and little else at a beach wedding, or a nondescript jacket and open neck shirt at a casual ceremony may lack that element of style that such a day deserves.

Grey Fox pontificates

Each blogger was given a wedding to style for. I drew a beach wedding and a wild card, for which I chose the morning suit. For the beach I chose a linen suit with panama hat, pink gingham shirt with no tie and a pocket square (see top image). 

Marks & Spencer morning suit. The shirt was small for the mannequin, hence the unbuttoned look

The morning suit was nicely-made and I selected a very classic grey theme with a crisp white shirt. I preferred a tie to a cravat. The morning suit is creeping back into favour. It seems to me that one great advantage is that, with a such a classic look, wedding photos won't look as dated when you pore over them nostalgically in 30 years time as they will if you wear current trends for suits or jackets.

Some of the Marks & Spencer wedding styles designed by the bloggers

If you prefer a lounge suit or jacket/blazer, M&S had a superb range from square cut traditional business suits to soft-shouldered Italian style in high tech fabrics. Colours ranged through greys and browns to one of the largest selections of blues I've seen in a while. Wedding costs can rapidly get out of control and being able to buy good quality but reasonably-priced menswear, such as is available from M&S, is a real advantage. M&S recently reported the first profits for a few years and I can see how their improving clothing offering must begin to fuel recovery.

If you're planning or attending a wedding this year, I suggest you have a look at the huge range of suits available at Marks & Spencer

If you have any suggestions or thoughts about styling for that special day, please get in touch.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Military-inspired embroidered pins from Alice Made This

I've seen and admired the work of some of London's military tailors, so this new project from Alice Made This caught my eye. Inspired by the intricate gold and silver embroidery used on ceremonial military uniforms, she has produced a range of lapel pins.

Military embroidered goldwork from Hand & Lock

Alice has worked with London-based Hand & Lock to produce the range using goldwork embroidery techniques and building on the graphic nature of their designs to form a clean, geometric collection.

There's a great shortage of good lapel pins and this is an area of men's jewellery many of us have yet to explore. It's good to see such fascinating military-inspired products being produced. 

Made in England and priced from around £175 to £220 from Alice Made This.