Friday is one day in the week which seems to bring a sigh of relief to many especially those who work Mondays to Fridays. Its means the weekend is finally here and we can afford to do the things we enjoy doing (with people we love) and when we want to do them. We can even put our feet up and do nothing at all if we so choose. Amazing isn’t it?
Friday is that one day we can actually walk into the office with a pair of chinos without raising eyebrows. But wait, there is a name for it and it’s “Casual Fridays”.
In the spirit of casual Friday, let me share a few looks on men I came across in London over the past three weeks or so. These looks fit perfectly into the work environment depending on what you do.
– The first look is by Sez, a look I’ve being channelling all summer. Blazer over shorts!
Blazer – Burberry
T Shirt – Ralph Lauren
Shorts – top man
Loafers – Alexander McQueen
Pocket square – Ted Baker
– Second is by David and here is what he wore.
Blazer – Asos
Shirt – Reiss
Jeans – Top Man
Shoes – Aldo
– The third shows a couple of mates sitting in a park enjoy lunch. The honest truth is that I actually forgot to ask what they wore so you will have to forgive on the details and just enjoy the vibrance of the summer colours in the pictures.
Tell me what else would work well for “Casual Fridays” in the comment section below.
You know what, I think my short wearing game is getting better (even if I have to say so myself) with every passing summer since forever. And I am not talking about wearing shorts just to pop round to the corner shop neither and I will explain if you give me a minute.
To some, the idea of wearing shorts automatically conjures scenes of strolling along the seaside on a hot holiday with a beer in hand. If I am honest, I know people who do not even contemplate the notion of wear shorts at all beyond their front door. Some may even see shorts as a less worthy investment due to their seasonal nature or their alleged lack of versatility. It’s like saying it’s a pair of shorts and that’s that. To many, the thought of looking like a schoolboy is a massive turn off and to be honest, you will look like a school boy if you do not know how to dress shorts, which is kind of why I have put together this article.
So before you go all snobbish over a pair of shorts for fear of making you look like a schoolboy, hear me out whiles I remind you that shorts have been and are still part of an array of official uniforms for different professions such as the military and police for practical and functional purposes. And we all know that police and army are as professional as it gets when it comes to uniforms. Police officers in many British colonies (especially those in hot regions) in the 50s wore Khaki shorts as part of their uniforms and two such examples were Hong Kong and Sierra Leone. Even now, there are parts of the world where shorts are worn by police officers on beach and bike patrol.
In fashion, apart from Pharrel Williams who wore shorts with a bow tie to the Oscars in 2014, other notable men who dress up and make short wearing effortlessly cool are Sam Lambert (half of art comes first), and Nick Wooster.
What I am trying to explain above is that shorts can be used outside of sports and recreational purposes for grown men. Did I hit a cord with you? Is that a yes or a nah?
Anyway now that we have established that shorts are not just for school boys and strolling along the beach, let’s see how we can put this look together.
I have used shorts in various capacities but for best results here is what you need to do to push the envelope and stand out.
Pair your shorts with a nice dress shirt, dress belt, pair of loafers (preferable penny loafers), and depending on the occasion and weather, a blazer. As you can see in some of the images, I have used a tie and a bow tie for some added integrity.
Just before you go out and splurge on all kinds of short, here are a few things to consider:
Stick with chinos or Khakis
Avoid patterns and stick with solid colours
Runaway from cargo shorts and stick with classic cut
Not only is this a cool look which will set you apart from the crowd, it is the most practical way of dressing for hot weather whiles still maintaining looking dapper. Did I hear you say this look is what casual Fridays at work are made for right? Errmmm I will let you go through the painstaking task of reading you HR manual.
Oh and when you decide to don you spanking new pair of shorts trying to look all fly, please do yourself a favour and moisturise your legs.
Africa Fashion Week London or AFWL has come a long way since its inception in 2011. This year’s event was held at the Olympia London on the 7th and 8th of August. It is another great example of how the African culture and lifestyle is influencing and taking roots in London as mentioned in my post August in Africa summer festival 15. AFWL is by a wide margin the largest catwalk event in Europe celebrating African styles and designs and has caught the attention of many even beyond Africa and Europe. The show has attracted over 300 hundred designers and more than 40, 000 visitors. I personally have little reservations about a few designers’ commitment to pushing the art from being a dream to truly becoming an avant-garde were by the framework for future African fashion is laid. Up to the point of typing this post, my research laid bare, for the lack of web presence on some of the designers and exhibitors. Living in a world where everything points towards digital, its surprising this minority have not tapped into this area to make themselves known.
Notwithstanding, collectively the runway shows for 2015 have been spectacular with many designers pushing the boundaries to widen the horizon of what is expected from an “African” themed fashion show. It is no longer the case where Ankara and Kente dominates the catwalk to represent the entire continent. For many years, designers have used these two fabric types to create what they saw as the embodiment of African fashion. To my delight, this is no longer the case and even for those who use Ankara and Kente have done so in such clever ways as to show a different dimension to the art of designing.
A good example is Mary Martin London. Mary Martin showcased some beautiful pieces to include a Cecil the Lion inspired dress. “When I saw the lion on TV I was deeply shocked” said Martin as she was interviewed by the BBC world service. Martin spent many nights working on the dress in time for the show. Other designers who showcased beautiful pieces on the catwalk for the 6:30 show on Saturday were:
Amanda May Needle point Soraya da Piedade Vanelse Sarah Arthman Kilumba Steve Mandy Nsoromma by Tribal Piece The organisers did a fantastic job to put this show together and i think it is going to get bigger and better in the coming years. I am already looking forward to AFWL16. As a men’s fashion and lifestyle blogger, i wish there were more men’s fashion designers out there. May be this is an area up and coming fashion enthusiasts need to look into. Browse through the photos and let me know what you think by leaving a comment
Colours! What is it about coloured garments (suits to be precise) that make most men panic? Is it the fact that we are never too sure how to pair colours when we choose to mix them, or is it the prospect of standing out in the crowd? Ok before I go any further, let me just qualify the word colour just in case some of you are wondering what I’m on about. My use of the term colour refers to anything outside of the neutral range such as black, white, grey, and sometimes brown and beige. These colours are neutral as they do not show or appear on the colour wheel. In essence they are “safe” hues. Fully saturated bold hues such as red or burgundy, green, aqua, pink, royal purple and more to the point, yellow are my idea of colours.
These colours are far less likely to be worn by men in comparison to the wardrobe staples such as navy, black, and grey. I mean don’t get me wrong these are appropriately named wardrobe staples for a good reason but you are not going to get very far if you truly want to make a statement where colour is concerned. Black, white, grey do a great job at pairing either with each other or anything on the colour wheel, but that’s about it.
Ok let me take a step back a little bit. The truth is wearing a full suit in any of the bold colours mentioned above is tricky and I get it. Imagine wrapping yourself in a badly cut coloured suit like royal purple on any given day. That will get you attention alright but for all the wrong reasons. Get it right and I guarantee you will turn heads, literally. I mean you only have to look back to Autumn/winter 2014 run way were many models donned the elegant burgundy. Burgundy was like an instant hit that continued it reign to date. Nothing better than a well-tailored burgundy suit for spring/summer 2015 season and I think Ozwald Boateng epitomizes this look perfectly. This have statement piece written all over it.
However, I understand that wearing a bold coloured suit is a bit too much for some especially those who are not used to colours. May be you want to break into this sphere of fashion and style gradually? Well I have good news for you. Your statement piece does not always have to be a full suit. I recon a well cut blazer can equally do the job with half the risk. To demonstrate this, I used my statement piece for spring/summer 2015 which is a yellow/mustard coloured blazer from suitsupply. I fell for this piece the minute I walked into the store. In fact, I went in for something completely different but left with a big smile on my face knowing that I have made a good purchase.
I do not need to wear matching yellow trouser with this piece as I recon I risk looking like a clown or worst a walking banana. The idea was to pair my yellow blazer (which is a warm colour) with a navy trouser (cool colour) to get perfectly balanced mix.
I had the option of wearing either a blue or white shirt but went with the neutral option which is white. I added a pair of brown tasselled loafers from Paul smith, and brown belt from banana republic to match the brown buttons on the blazer. To top it all off, I also added a light blue pocket square (cool colour) to break the yellow a little bit. I made sure that nothing competed with the yellow blazer in the form of patterns or other warm colours. It was all about the blazer.
Pairing can be a daunting task for some, but I recon learning a thing or two about colours will go a long way to help. What better way to learn about colour pairing than the colour wheel eh. So yeah, get acquainted with the colour wheel and see how you get on. Understanding the position of each colour (all twelve) is important and will determine the difficulty or ease of pairing, or whether they can be paired at all.
Here are three things to consider when looking at the colour wheel:
Similar colours – these are next to each other and are generally easy to coordinate
Complementary colours – Complementary colours are opposite each other on the wheel and are quite difficult to pair in comparison to similar colours. Try not to wear them in their full strength together as they may be too much for the eyes.
Contrasting colours – these have three colours between them on the wheel and can be troublesome for the eyes if used with their full strength. A good way to pair them is to use a darker tone with one of them just so they do not compete with each other.
So brighten up your wardrobe by investing in a bold statement blazer. Come back and share how you intend to pair it up. Feel free to add your comments and tips below as I am sure other readers would appreciate it.