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Monday Lookbook #4 – The Polo Shirt

Introduction

For this weeks edition of the Lookbook we keep the trend of beginning with basics and one can’t get much basic than the timeless and classic wardrobe staple of the polo shirt. With the temperature on the rise, men need to look for an item that keeps him cool during the summer evenings yet still ensures he is one step ahead of the style game and the polo shirt may just be the item to come to the rescue.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, tennis players ordinarily wore “tennis whites” consisting of long-sleeved white button-up shirts (worn with the sleeves rolled up), flannel trousers, and ties. This attire presented problems for ease of play and comfort.

Rene Lacoste, the French seven-time Grand Slam tennis champion, decided that the stiff tennis attire was too cumbersome and uncomfortable. He designed a white, short-sleeved, loosely-knit pique cotton (he called the cotton weave jersey petit piqué) shirt with an unstarched, flat, protruding collar, a buttoned placket, and a longer shirt-tail in back than in front (known today as a “tennis tail”; see below), which he first wore at the 1926 U.S. Open championship. Beginning in 1927, Lacoste placed a crocodile emblem on the left breast of his shirts, as the American press had begun to refer to him as “The Crocodile”, a nickname which he embraced.

Basics of the Polo

The first thing to consider when wearing & purchasing a polo shirt is the amount of versatility that is readily available; whether you prefer subtle tones or bold statement patterns, there is definitely something for everybody and while this is a selling point of the polo, it can also become it’s biggest weakness.

The key with polo shirts is to understand the context in which you will be wearing it. If you are going for a more formal, clean cut appearance then keep to the plain, neutral type (possibly reach for a polo with pique edges to give a bit of flavour) and pair it with smart separates such as tailored trousers, chinos, blazers & loafers, for example – a navy polo shirt with a pair of cream tailored trousers matched with brown leather penny loafers creates to ultimate Steve McQueen look.

If your looking for something a little more casual, then feel free to experiment with your choice of colour, pattern and print but just remember if you do go the bold and loud route; only one print per outfit. While your polo can be loud as you desire, let it do the talking and keep the rest of the outfit relatively subdued in terms of boldness. Try pairing a red polo with a vibrant print with your jeans, desert boots and a navy Harrington jacket to create the timeless ‘mod’ look – classic and stylish.

Ways to Wear

polos  For a final word, like every piece of clothing, make sure your new polo shirt fits right. The sleeves should finish mid-bicep and the length should just come about halfway down your trousers fly to avoid any unwanted stomach being displayed when reaching for things. As always, I look forward to your feedback and thoughts for future instalments.

Thanks for reading!

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Monday Lookbook #3 – The Desert Boot

 

Introduction                                                                                                                                                                                                    For the third instalment into the lookbook series, we will be looking at a staple that should exist in every man’s wardrobe – the desert boot. Most of the time in fashion, the art of simplicity is often lost to the newest trends and current hot potato’s but for any style savvy gent, beginner or guru, the humble desert boot is an item that is timeless, simple and the ultimate in diversity.

The year was 1941, and the soldier, well he wasn’t just any infantryman, he was Nathan Clark, and he’d  been sent to war with two missions. First and foremost to protect his country, and, secondly, to discover some new shoe designs for his family’s company. As a member of the Eighth Army, Clark had been deployed to Burma, and it was here that he noticed that the officers in his formation were wearing these strange, sand colored chukkas during their downtime. Clark investigated the shoes and learned that they had originally been commissioned to Cairo cobblers by South African soldiers whose old-military issue boots had failed them out on the desert terrain. They wanted something that was both lightweight and grippy which led to creation of a boot with a suede upper on a crepe sole.

—Jake Gallagher, GQ Magazine, August 15, 2012
The Sole of Your Wardrobe
Regardless of your fashion knowledge, the first thing you should learn is that shoes are the backbone of your wardrobe and the most important item you can own – get the footwear right and the rest of the outfit will fall into place. Ever heard the old saying “You can tell a lot about a man by his shoes”; that statement is something everyone should aspire to live by.
The desert boot is a piece of footwear that will need hardly any thought going into it – they look as great with your distressed jeans and plan t-shirt as they do with a button down shirt and tie. Grab a pair in a tan or dark brown colour in a suede material and you simply cannot go wrong. Lace them up with your chunky knitwear in winter (just be careful of rain, suede doesn’t get along well with water – consider buying a leather pair for the colder months) or pair them with chino shorts and printed shirt in summer to give any outfit a masculine edge.
Ways to Wear
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Just remember to keep it simple and any outfit will look great. It’s a great, timeless boot that deserves to be treated as such and not attempted to be outshined by the rest of the outfit. The desert boot is a great investment that will last years to come without fear of never going out of fashion.
As always, I look forward to your thoughts and comments on desert boots & this article. Any and all feedback is welcomed and ideas for future lookbooks will always be considered. Thanks for reading!
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5 Reasons Why I’m a Wrestling Fan

So I’ve just returned from a 5 day trip to London which I hope to feature in some future posts in the coming weeks. The main reason I adventured down to my capital city is to catch the latest live shows of WWE Raw and WWE Smackdown. And while I had a wonderful time, it got my thinking about one thing in particular – every time I mentioned to anyone the reason for my visit I would be scoffed at and asked the same question

“Why do you watch wrestling anyway?”

And so I decided to make a post about  just why exactly I enjoy wrestling and hopefully quell a few haters out there who think it is just for children. Oh, one more thing before I begin – Yes, I’m well aware wrestling is fake!

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1. A Unified Crowd Is A Happy Crowd

A wrestling crowd is unique and different to any other sports crowd in the world. We are all at the event to watch a good wrestling show and cheer on our favourite performers. We don’t fight with each other, we don’t hate each other because we like different superstars – we all join together and create magical moments (see ‘Fandangoing’). You never hear of WWE events breaking down into riots and chaos because John Cena won yet another world title; although one more win may just push us over the edge.

Maybe it’s because we all know wrestling is scripted or that we are all there just for a good time, but every live event I’ve attended has been the best kind of atmosphere you can find anywhere. The only bar brawls we desire are the ones between Steve Austin and The Rock.

johncenarock2. A Good Match Creates Good Drama & Storytelling

Just a quickie to my wrestling fan buddies – I know the irony of using John Cena vs The Rock to picture a good match point but it’s a good screenshot so just Bolieve.

Because wrestling is a scripted affair, WWE has the power to create it’s own magic in a bottle and when they do get it right, it is truly magical. A great match has the ability to draw people in, create pace and drama and for a short while, enables us to suspend our disbelief and actually people the competitors are actually fighting for their lives; the ultimate tale of a fan favourite underdog facing all the odds to overcome the big, tyrannical bully of the world and making all his dreams come true as he raises the WWE Title high above his head.

But a good wrestling match is supported by a great build up and a powerful storyline. Twists and turns to create memorable moments and iconic images are what draws back for more every time.

dolphziggler3. Everyone is their own booking team

Because we acknowledge wrestling is scripted, we all have own our idea of how we would like storylines and superstars to progress. With the birth of the internet came along the IWC – Internet Wrestling Community and everyone has an opinion, all bursting with ideas for new storylines and ways of pushing superstars. This healthy discussion creates buzz within the wrestling world and ensures that it will never become a stale sport (yes, I called it a sport). While some people are happy with John Cena remaining the top dog, other people want other stars to have their chance to shine such as Bad New Barrett, Dolph Ziggler & Cody Rhodes and this kind of distinction and difference is what keeps the community alive and we all respectfully enjoy sharing our voices and opinions.

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4. There’s Enough Variety For Everyone To Enjoy

Whilst it’s true the current WWE product is P.G. rated and therefore aimed towards children, there is enough diversity for everyone to find something they will enjoy and be entertained by within the company. If you do enjoy child friendly content, then Santino Marella and Fandango will accommodate for you; if something a little darker is for your thing then the Wyatt Family and Kane will see to that for you and if you are a guy – the delightful divas are always on hand. From crazy chicks, rosebuds and bizarre ones to preachers, intellectual saviours and Swiss Supermen, there is most certainly something for everyone.

I challenge to find another sport with as much flexibility and variety in it’s product that can deliver a wide range of action within one ring than wrestling does. And if you can’t, then sit back, strap yourself into the exotic express and stop being a bitter little lemon!

WM28%20photo5. Wrestlemania. Baby!

Wrestlemania is the Superbowl or Cup Final of wrestling. It’s the grandest stage in the world. It’s the entertainment extravaganza. It’s the granddaddy of them all. Okay, you get the point – Wrestlemania is big. Every fan gets excited at Wrestlemania season, beginning with the Royal Rumble in January and ending with the spectacular in April. With Wrestlemania 30 in the history books it has a rich, extensive backstory spanning 30 years and only goes from strength to strength with this years filling the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with 75,167 fans.

The storylines leading up to Wrestlemania and usually the best all year, featuring the biggest of stars hyping up the event and getting us all giddy for the night. It is a wonderful time to be a wrestling fan and I plan on attending Wrestlemania 31 next year in California, even if The Undertaker’s streak is over.

So, I hope I have at least stirred up an interest in wrestling for people who read this and justified the reasons why it is my sport of choice. And if I haven’t – “I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news” Sorry, just a hometown hero mark out moment for me.

Until next time!

 

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Monday Lookbook – Floral Prints

Welcome to the 2nd edition of my weekly instalment of The Monday Lookbook. Today we will be featuring the biggest print of the summer – the floral print.

Now don’t flinch when I say floral print and think of all those oversized Hawaiian shirts that everyone sees on holidays. No, no, no. This reinvention of a classic print is much more acceptable. With many big name designers jumping on board there is something for everyone and the beauty of such a trend is that you can go as loud or as subtle as you dare. So with summer just around the corner, go and grab yourself a floral print garment now.

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Tips & Tricks

– For beginners, try a simple accessory such as a tie, scarf or simply a pair of socks to show off your floral nature and then you can slowly upgrade to the polo’s, shirt’s and jackets.

– Layering is key when it comes to toning down an item. You can throw on a lightweight jacket over your shirt as to make sure the print isn’t completely in your face and doesn’t take over the outfit.

– Only one print per outfit! I can’t stress this enough when it comes to loud prints such as these. If you try to pair it with another print it can become to busy and confuse the eye which is something nobody wants.

So I hope you enjoyed this blog post and I would love any feedback or thoughts in the comments section on next weeks Lookbook. Until next time!

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Blogging 101 Challenge Day 30 – First Step Completed!

As most of you are aware by now, I have been participating in the Blogging 101 30 Day Challenge to begin my adventure into the blogging universe and today marks day number 30 and with it, the completion of the challenge! With this post I hope to provide a retrospective of my accomplishments and my expriences on my first step of this 1000 mile journey.

As I said before, I starting this challenge to help get myself on the ladder and get my blog started off in the right direction. Whilst it has armed me with the technical knowledge required to expand my blog such as widgets and pages, the most useful aspect I’ve found of the experience has been the access to a wonderful community; people who are in the same situation therefore sharing ideas and supporting each other. Without this network, I probably wouldn’t have recieved the feedback needed and started to gain followers like I have. So for that, I have to thank everyone involved in this challenge.

On a more personal note, some of the assignments have focused on content that goes into our blogs; these have helped me evolve my creations are set up an editoral calender which I am trying my best to stick to (and having a blast at the same time!) It has taught me the importance of a schedule mixed with spontaneous posts. I have started to adapt to this by having my first regular feature – a lookbook every Monday (be sure to check it out! Shameless plug.)

Looking into the future, I hope to evolve and adapt my writing style as I am aware that it is currently in dire need of work. I will also continue to construct my blog and give it more interesting layout and features which will hopefully gain more traction and followers, something which I look forward to as it means I get to network with all you lovely people!

As a final word, I just want to say thank you to everyone for supporting me on my first step on my journey, every hit counts, every follower matters and I can’t express enough gratitude to you all. Big thank you!

Until next time!

 

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Monday Lookbook – Denim Jacket

“Todays Assignment: develop a regular feature for your blog”

For today’s challenge, we have been tasked with creating a recurring feature for our blogs so what better way to start off my first actual fashion related post. I’ve decided to try a ‘Monday Lookbook’ feature; each week I will analyse a different item of clothing and give a few picture examples of outfits that you can wear everyday. And for the starting entry I’ve gone for one of my favourite pieces.

The Denim Jacket

The power of a denim jacket can’t be exaggerated enough – toughness, durability and flexibility all rolling into one convenient, distressed jacket. Denim as a material is like a fine wine – it only improves with ages. I would recommend picking one up in a light wash as this can be a transitional item seeing right through summer into the winter months. A darker wash won’t fit in very well in the warmer months, instantly making any item you put with it a darker, heavier feel.

A denim jacket can be thrown on with anything underneath and look stylish in a casual setting. Just remember though if your challenging the double denim vibe – no matching washes! It really should be a criminal offense! In a more formal setting? Try yours on with a gingham shirt, knitted tie and a pair or khaki or grey chinos, finished off with some tan brogues for the true sophisticated gentleman feel.

So go grab yourself one and I promise you, you won’t remember how you ever lived without one!

denim lookbook

 Until next time!

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My Summer Hitlist – The 5 Things I Can’t Be Without

As summer is right around the corner (as wet and overcast as summer is here in England) it’s time I got prepared for the event – put your tuxedos and bowties away gents! – and give you an insight to what my summer is shaping up to look like. So, here goes nothing, my Top 5 countdown of summer essentials because, well, who doesn’t love a good countdown?

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 The Location


London

A city break is the way to go this year – because warm beaches and hot sun is so overrated! This year I’m planning a week long trip to the capital of our glorious nation, visiting the sights and catching a wrestling show that is hitting the town. Yeah, I said wrestling – some people never grow up! I decided that I’ve lived in this country long enough it would be a sin to not see everything London has to offer. From Big Ben to Buckingham Palace, I plan to take it all in, but mainly it is for a cheeky shopping trip to the grand Oxford Road – London won’t know what’s hit it! (either London or my bank account, I’m genuinely concerned for it’s safety).

4AA5E31591275463BDB5B35C21960 The Fashion


Floral Prints

Summer just isn’t a season of sun without a wardrobe update and what better why to declare the presence of heat that with a key trend print – floral. With floral prints set to take off massively this year, it would be rude not to pick up one (or two, go on then, three). For starters, grab yourself a printed shirt and layer it up over a white t-shirt, under a statement jacket or simply thrown on with a pair of shorts and shoes that show off that wonderful ankle cleavage! An alternative would be a polo shirt for the more casual days or it can be implemented through accessories such as ties, socks or a trilby. And remember, the bolder the better!

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The T.V. Show


Game of Thrones

Now, everyday can’t be gallivanting about with youthful hijinks in mind, and for those chilled out days indoors when the weather does drop, nothing beats a good session of Game of Thrones – only be best ever show on television. It’s literally becoming a problem in my life; I have become a Monday hermit in fear of missing an episode of the latest season. Want to know what all the hype is about? In a nutshell, Game of Thrones is dragons, swords and boobies – what’s not to love! Oh, and for the ladies there is Kit Harington. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to re-watch Season 4 again before I go cold turkey.

92bc315a (2)The Festival


Radio 1 Big Weekend

A festival in the summer is an unwritten rule for teenagers. Either be there or be without an awesome line-up of some of the coolest acts around today. And what better festival to attend this year than BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend. Sure the location might not be ideal – sunny, warm Glasgow, Scotland – but that just adds to the glorious muddy fun for 3 days. With the likes of Katy Perry, One Direction, Coldplay and Calvin Harris, there is sure to be someone there that will be to your liking and as the old saying goes “what happens I Glasgow…”. Ok, maybe not that last bit but get yourself down there!

The Soundtrack


5 Seconds of Summer

What would any time of year be without some great music to enjoy the finer things in life; sun, friends and a perfectly tailored suit. And my song of choice for this summer is an offering from new Aussie band 5 Seconds of Summer titled “She Looks So Perfect”. With a great summer vibe to rival even Avicii’s new offering “Addicted To You” it is the perfect mix of upbeat tempo and rocky undertones. Taking influences from the likes of One Direction, these young guys look likely to take to the stage this year and have a cracking 2014. And if not, well this song has seen me through the sunny season.

And there we have it, my top 5 summer hit list. I hope you enjoyed reading through these selections and would love to hear your choices for each category or even any top 5 list of things you can’t be without this year.

Until next time!

 

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Try Something New Today

“Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not.

Wear it like armour, and it can never be used to hurt you.”

                                                                                                                           Tyrion Lannister

So for todays Blogging Challenge, we were tasked with trying something new so I’ll keep the speaking bit short and sweet. I’ve decided to implement a quote feature, with the quote in question being a particular favourite of mine from the Game of Thrones T.V. series. It was spoken by Tyrion Lannister to Jon Snow in the first episode and it is something that has stuck with me since. I hope it will give everyone reading something to think about and I hope you absorb it’s true meaning of self belief.

Until next time!

 

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25 Letter Alphabet – Is It Possible?

Today’s blogging assignment is to publish a post based on our own, personalized take on a prompt we have seen on our internet travels. So whilst looking through the 365 Writing Prompts ebook one particular March entry caught my eye:

“The English language contains 26 letters and we need every single letter and as evidence, try writing a post using only 25 letters.”

Could be exciting, I thought to little old me, and so we have todays prompt to go along with today’s challenge! Once I picked a letter to curse and abolish, I set to work on this very post that you are reading right now. I could have gone the easy route and picked a 10 score letter in Scrabble like Z or X but where’s the enjoyment in that? I sit here, having to plan every word and sentence I type with the blacklisted letter written down next to me, chuckling at me as I press my delete button once again to undo the dreaded dark-side letter. And then it hits me – I’m rambling without much purpose so I’ll try and describe my day using my new 25 letter alphabet.

Nothing much beyond the usual to be honest, just that hobby people call work (in case your wondering, I work at Manchester Airport, pop in and say hi sometime!). The highlight being we got to do some product training, resulting in drinking many various naughty liquids, all whilst being paid – sweet! Then it was a quick retreat home; a nap was overdue with me having to wake up at 4am to attend work – not so sweet! And now I sit here writing to you guys with nothing but a cup containing tea, slightly tired eyes and my 25 letter alphabet, all whilst managing to avoid that tempting 26th letter, my Achilles Heel. And you know, I’ve just realised I’ve not had to reach towards the delete button in at least 3 sentences, a new record! I must be getting good at this game.

And with that, I have successfully completed my challenge, writing a prompt and with only a 25 letter alphabet. What was the letter in question you might ask? Well now, that would be telling! I’d love to know in  the comments when you guess what letter is missing in this post and I ‘d love to read everybody else attempt this challenge, it brought enjoyment by the buckets!

Until next time! Laters!

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Looking Back at Blogging: A Retrospective

I’ve been blogging now for just under 2 week and would today like to stop and breathe in the roses; a retrospective, if you will, at my blogging adventure so far.

I originally started this blog to ultimately find my feet in the world and find my calling in life. I’ve realised at the grand old at of 23 that I’m not getting any younger and it was time to take some responsibility and finally decide where I’m going in my life. I don’t want this to seem like a pessimistic rant because its anything but – I have a job, a roof over my head, enough disposable income to live comfortably, but its time I pursued what I really wanted to do in my life – work in the world and field of fashion. As I applied for university last year and got declined (yeah, I know) for a fashion placement on the terms that I needed a portfolio of work showcasing my abilities, I thought what better way to earn my beginners stripes than with a blog? I like to entertain people, I’m an outspoken guy so it sounds like a perfect match!

As I sat there, with a virgin dashboard for my newly born blog armed with nothing but a vision and a dream, I began looking for inspiration for my first post and came across the ‘Blogging 101 Challenge’. Wonderful, I thought, a 30 day guide for people finding their feet in the blogging world. And off I went, my adventure began and over the course of these 2 week I have began to increase my writing skills and learning the little tricks and tips that have helped increase my knowledge, enjoyment and overall quality of my blog and morphed it into something I am growing proud of.

Sure, its early days and I haven’t really done much about men’s style or fashion, but its early days and it sometimes only takes a spark to set the world on fire. The main goal for me at the moment is just to enjoy what I do and put my enthusiasm into every post, hopefully entertaining my readers in the process. I try not to look too much into the future because it will be a long journey to achieving a respectable audience. For now, I’m just having fun posting my thoughts in my own little corner of the internet.

What I’m trying to say I guess, is thank you for every single person who has liked, commented, followed or even read any of my posts, thank for you giving me your time and thank you for supporting me and my dream and hopefully you will stay with my on this adventure. Who knows where this beautiful journey will lead us but I can guarantee it will be a blast!

Danny.