Located at the end of New Oxford Street this store had always been somewhat of a conundrum to me. I have traveled past it hundreds of times on the bus heading to work, normally in a state of dreary eyed comatose. I would get captivated by its historic facade that looks straight out of a film set.
While the surrounding buildings become encased in glass and steel, James Smith & Sons remains largely untouched with enamel signage proclaiming its established year of 1830. And upon reading my new purchase ‘Perfect Gentleman’ by James Sherwood I got to learn more about the shops history.
London Collections: Men has done some fantastic work in moving London to the forefront of men’s fashion. When it was established, LC:M gave a platform to London based brands and designers to show the world what they can offer. With the growing success of the bi-yearly showcase the heads of international brands were turning and one by one they have been queuing up to get involved. For example Tiger of Sweden had ever only shown in their homeland before deciding to join the LC:M lineup. It is fast becoming the envy of the fashion world.
I have seen a lot of brands and department stores releasing made to measure services over the last year and it got me thinking whether men know the difference between this and bespoke tailoring. As a massive advocate for English heritage and the businesses of Savile Row in particular I thought it important for education on the matter.
When I talk about owning a pair of long johns a wry smile always comes across peoples face, and I have no idea why! My long johns are fantastic this time of year and I wouldn’t be without them. For most I think it is a case of not ever having tried them before and therefore they don’t know what they are missing. These aren’t a fashion statement to be worn on their own, they are a piece of underwear to keep you warm and may result in you not having to purchase lots of new winter pieces.
I have taken inspiration for this outfit from log cabins located amongst fern trees or snowy peaks, not the shed at the bottom of the garden where your dad keeps his dirty mags. I can imagine lounging around in front of a roaring fire with a nice glass of whiskey.
Style Tip : For full on lumberjack team with a cotton roll neck worn under the shirt and axe upon your shoulder to keep the winter chill and bears out respectively.
It is starting to frustrate me that I can’t seem to find a winter hat that suits me. Maybe with my advancing years and decreasing hairline it has made the necessity for keeping my head warm ever more important. The missus seems to pull off her new beanie with effortless style whilst I go through the familiar scenario of marching through a menswear store to the accessories department and within 12 seconds have realised that nothing looks good on me.
And then there is the added humiliation with the accessories department conveniently located close to the till point so that every customer with time on their hands as they wait to pay can entertain themselves as I speed date with the hat offering.
When people think of denim they picture more 1970’s images (a recurring theme, I’m really starting to hate that decade!) encapsulating big mustaches and aviator glasses. But it hasn’t always been about the generic blue offerings, men can experiment with complimenting colours as well. Today I’m wearing a chambray blue shirt with grey jeans. To complete the look, team your belt and boots and in this instance I have gone for a dark brown but equally a black combination would suit.
Established in Copenhagen in 2004, the Norse brand has gained worldwide recognition for its focus on high quality menswear that marries performance and functionality. Noted for their minimal approach to men’s apparel, Norse Projects is one of the most respected Danish brands out there.
Norse products are practical, carefully considered and largely influenced by the Scandinavian landscape. From the iconic classic Elka jacket inspired by the colourful stone houses of Copenhagen to Elk leather gloves sourced from Swedish and Finnish forests.
Whether they’re collaborating with established designers such as Hestra and Goodhood or killing it with staple accessories, Norse are the pinnacle of cool.