FASHION FRIDAY – Bagged


With the Olympics around the corner, women’s handbags trends are racing toward the finish line with all things athletic. Perforated leather, mesh paneling, and athletic detailing are being woven into all pieces. And these aren’t just for gym bags and backpacks, it’s for every day, take me anywhere use.

Don’t worry guys – you get to look stylish in a “manly” way too. Billy Reid has a range of leather bags made especially for men which will be the envy of everyone at the gym or going to work. http://www.billyreid.com/category/luggage/horween-cordovan.html

These are certainly a step up from the original duffle bag (the name comes from Duffel, a town in Belgium where the thick cloth used to make the bag originated) which are still used by military personnel.

FASHION FRIDAY – Suited and Booted


My theory has always been “you judge a man by his shoes”. Saying that I may now add suit into the mix too having seen some shockers, but also some great ones. There is nothing like a well cut suit be it in the office or at a wedding. So girls, next time your other half asks for your assistance, or guys if you are buying one solo, here are the must haves that will make the difference between class and cheap! And remember, it is an investment that should last you for years.

Fabric:
The suit’s fabric will make the difference between a $1,500 suit and a $6,000 one. Anything above a grade of 110s is guaranteed to make a respectable-looking suit.

Flower Loop:
Stitched by hand under the lapel to hold the base of the flower that few men ever wear anymore, it’s the kind of detail that shows the tailor cares about tradition. And tradition, in matters of tailoring, is a good thing.

Sleeve Length:
The jacket’s sleeves should never reach further than the point where the base of the thumb meets the wrist. If they do, go down a size.

Hand-Stitched Sleeve Lining:
A sure sign the shoulder will fit closely and comfortably. Check the inside seam where the arm meets the body: If it’s been sewn by hand, you’ll see barely perceptible creases or pleats where the two cloths come together.

Hand-Finished Interior Pocket:
Check the internal left breast pocket: If it’s set off by strips of the external fabric, that means it’s been reinforced, so it’s better able to stow your wares without sagging.

Hidden Pocket:
It’s a credit-card-sized compartment that conceals valuable possessions right next to your family jewels.,,, very handy!

Vented Pleats:
This subtle fold falls just below the internal waistband and ensures a good fit. It also helps prevent tucked-in shirts from bagging or slipping out.

FASHION FRIDAY – Glasses


Look closer… can you see me now? It may be time to invest in some glasses, but how do you pick the right ones?

Frames
Choose a frame that fits what you are using them for, your personality, lifestyle and face shape.
A flexible wire frame, a more sophisticated plastic frame? Titanium? Gunmetal? For sports, choose flexible wire rims, for normal use, choose the others. Top tip – if you like wide frames, make sure not to make them too wide, otherwise they will hurt your ears.

Shape
Generally, people with oval faces should lean more towards rectangular glasses. People with more a square face should go for the oval or circular glasses. It can also help to try to match the shape of the top of the glasses to the shape of your eyebrow.

Another thing to consider is your eyelash length, as long eyelashes can rub on the lens.

Sunglasses, just plain cool is good. Some of the favourites –

Persol, an Italian Eyewear company founded in 1917 to make advanced lenses for Italian fighter pilots, has come a long way. Some fans of the brand are George Cluny, Julia Roberts and Justin Timberlake.

Chanel, timeless elegance and beauty!

Golden Hearts turned Chrome. Chrome Hearts was founded in 1988 by Richard and Laurie Stark, originated making motorcyle gear, but as their fan base widened, so did their collections. This bold and trendy brand is a favorite of both the rich and famous, and the famously rich.

And of course Ray Ban. Look no further than the tried and tested Aviator. Ray-Bans were first created in 1936 and the Ray-Ban Aviator became a well-known style of sunglasses when General Douglas MacArthur landed on the beach in the Philippines in World War II, and photographers snapped several pictures of him wearing them. Ray Bans were quickly seen outside of just the army. In 1937, Ray Ban made their first patent on the Ray Ban Aviator sunglasses.

FASHION FRIDAY – London Fashion Week


London Fashion Week has just finished, and on the back of the report from New York Fashion week, let’s see which trends carried over and any new ones that are on the radar for our British and European friends.

Army Green/Military was the standout trend that continued in London, and is definitely set for a comeback this fall on both sides of the Atlantic

Quilted jackets are hot… and not just in temperature. Although be sure the buy something structured, not puffy, or you may look like a marshmallow!

Florals from summer will continue into winter for the Brits

Leather trousers of all length and widths featured, and in all colours from mustard to black
Tartan has evolved into block colours (thank heavens we can say goodbye to tartan again!)

Dungarees/overalls are back – you decide

Long, sleek evening gowns – definitely my favourite glamorous trend from these shows

Velvet – if done right can look fabulous in a jacket, skirt or trousers

Personally NY Fashion Week was far more inspiring (but that’s just my opinion!)

The highlight of the week – Stella McCartney’s flash mob fashion show

FASHION FRIDAY – Shoes that Sparkle

Every girl should have a pair of “glitter shoes” in her wardrobe, for when you want to sparkle.

Now you don’t have to be a bride to wear them as they have become far more mainstream and the big fashion houses are coming out with some great new styles that suit everyone from super high heels to sandals, wedges and even flats for when you want to be comfortable but still shine!

My top 5 stars:

Marc by Marc Jacobs Mouse ballerina flats ($230)
Mui Mui glitter wedges ($750)
Christian Louboutin Multibrida Glitter Pumps ($995)
Jimmy Choo Glitter Bootie ($795)
Givenchy Glitter chunky heel sandals ($995)

FASHION FRIDAY – Business Casual

Friday and not sure what to wear to work? Casual Friday was hot during the Dot-com bubble of the late 1990s and early 2000s by way of a relaxed California-based business culture. While casual Fridays signify a more relaxed wardrobe, there are still things that should never be worn to the office. There is no better way to destroy your professional credibility showing up to work decked out in gym gear, and here are a few other things you should avoid.

Sweatshirts, hooded or otherwise; tank tops; athletic/sports gear; t-shirts with an advertising message; beach wear; low cut tops; short skirts; anything with sequins; flip flops; running shoes; frayed or acid wash jeans; leggings; Hawaiian shirts (unless the company specifically recommends them, which I assume never happens!)

My suggestion for appropriate Friday wear is in the story board I have put together on the right. Safe, stylish and still professional (ie you will get to keep your job!)

FASHION FRIDAY

My “never travel without” item is a cashmere pashmina I bought while in India on a business trip 7 years ago. Besides keeping me warm, it can dress up any item when heading to the office, and here are some ways to wear it.

1. Wear your pashmina as a shawl.
2. Make a full shawl wrap – drape the pashmina around you, like a shawl, and then tie the ends in front of your chest
3. Wear it the European way – fold the pashmina in half and drape it around your neck. Bring the loose ends through the loop and pull them through
4. Make an artistic knot. Slide the wrap around your neck and tie a loose knot in the middle of the right side and pass the left side through it, then tighten the knot.
5. Create a shorter scarf – crease and fold the pashmina lengthwise three or four times.
6. Dress up your coat – fold the fabric four times lengthwise and drape it around your shoulders under the collar of your coat.
7. Slip on a sarong. Wrap the scarf around your waist and tie the ends together at the hip. Wear this sarong over fitted pants, a skirt or a dress.

And when buying a pashmina, neutral colors are the most versatile. Spice colors suit people with darker skin tones, while camel, ivories and beiges are best for those with pale complexions.