Monthly Archives: August 2017

The Ultimate Guide for Fashionistas

For anybody interested in fashion, a beautiful coffee table tome is a must have to show off your style credentials. Whether you’re interested in vintage, designer or high street, there is a wealth of books out there to tickle your fancy. Here are my top ten fashionista bibles.

  1. Face Hunter – Yvan Rodic

You know you’ve made it in the style stakes if you’re snapped by this man.

After running his acclaimed Face Hunter blog for the last four years, Rodic has collected over 300 stunning photographs taken all around the world to produce this homage to street style. It is essentially a collectable version of his online outfit database, to dip into when you’re feeling in need of some inspiration. Naturally, he only photographs the most beautiful people in the trendiest of areas but they are all unlikely style icons, nonetheless. It is always far more interesting to have a nosey at what real people are wearing than magazine mannequins and this book will certainly give you the courage to try something new.

  1. The Way We Wore: A Life in Threads – Robert Elms

Stories about clothes woven together to produce this touching autobiography.

Books about men’s fashion are strangely few and far between. If anyone was under the belief that men aren’t sartorially minded then this book is quick to dispel that particular myth. Journalist and former New Romantic, Elms, presents a wonderful account of clothes as a defining part of our identities. He remembers events by the outfit he wore at the time and milestones in his adolescence are identified by the acquisition a much sought after item of clothing. Perhaps most interesting of all, is his analysis of youth subcultures like the mods and punks and teds and how style has always been a source of pride for young British men seeking to make their mark in the world.

  1. Fresh Fruits – Shoichi Aoiki

Colourful, fearless and downright weird- welcome to the world of Japanese fashion.

Remember when Gwen Stefani sang about Harajuku girls and took four of them around with her wherever she went? This book demonstrates why so many people have become enchanted by Tokyo street style. Excerpts from the ever popular Fruits magazine were compiled to make this guide to the latest Japanese trends. Whilst the magazine was aimed at local teenagers this book has wider appeal as a something to buy for curiosity’s sake than for inspiration. Every person pictured is like a glorious cartoon character come to life and every photograph is accompanied by a blurb so that we can learn what exactly they were thinking, going out dressed like that!

  1. In Vogue- The Illustrated History of the World’s Most Famous Fashion Magazine – Alberto Olliva and Norberto Angeletti

The history of haute couture shown through the glossy pages of Vogue.

Unlike most books fashion books, In Vogue doesn’t only offer gorgeous photographs by Irving Penn and Annie Liebovitz and many an iconic cover, it is actually packed full of things to read too! This book presents the story of the ultimate fashion magazine from its humble origins in 1909 to the present day, through stories from photographers and former editors. A nice touch is also the collection of stories by famous authors that have been published in Vogue over the years. A wonderfully varied and quite hefty book that is beautifully bound and perfect for showing off on your coffee table. Let’s face it, we’d expect nothing less.

  1. Cecil Beaton: The Art of the Scrapbook

Fascinating peek into the diary of a legend.

Photographer for Vogue, Royal photographer, Oscar winner and documenter of the roaring twenties. For the first time, Cecil Beaton’s private scrapbooks are now available for everyone to look through and as well as providing a fascinating insight into the inspirations for his work, it also serves as a collection of memories from his extraordinary life. Here you will find a photo of Greta Garbo’s eyes alongside a watercolour painting and Beaton’s own notes. Less a lesson in fashion, this book teaches you how to transform your magazine clippings, sketches and postcards into a work of art in their own right. Perfect for anyone who likes to cut and paste their own mood boards but it is a little pricey.

  1. Vivienne Westwood – Claire Wilcox

The ultimate guide to the grand dame of British fashion.

There is no doubt that Vivienne Westwood is one of Britain’s biggest fashion exports and most eccentric designers. This book, which was published to coincide with an exhibition at the V&A museum serves as both a Westwood biography and design retrospective. It charts her origins in Derbyshire to dressing the punk generation and the Hollywood starlets of today, focusing on some of her most iconic designs (remember the platform shoes that defeated Naomi Campbell on the runway?) and the working methods she uses. If you can’t quite afford Westwood’s clothes, you can console yourself by cooing over the 300 beautiful pictures in this book.

  1. Vintage – Emma Baxter-Wright

Oh this old thing- it’s vintage, darling!

This book is an absolute must for anyone who, like me, adores rummaging through racks of vintage clothes but is never quite sure what they’re looking for exactly. A timeline of fashion from the turn of the last century to the present day, guides you through the key looks of each decade and is accompanied by a beautiful collection of old photographs and illustrations. The features on Dior’s New Look of the 1940s and 50s and the success of Biba in the 1960s make for particularly interesting reading. If you’re looking to recreate a specific style, the book provides a not too detailed account of techniques used and would be a great buy for anyone studying fashion.

  1. Icons of Men’s Style – Josh Sims

Clothes maketh the man.

The second book in my list dedicated to men’s fashion first caught my attention thanks to the rather dashing picture of Gregory Peck on the front cover. This comprehensive list of iconic items of men’s clothing includes the leather jacket, the boat shoe and the Panama hat. We learn about the brands that made them, usually for a special purpose, the faces that made them famous and how they have come to be staples in men’s wardrobes. This book is an easy read as well as being very cool. Expect to see pictures of Tom Cruise in his Top Gun aviator sunglasses alongside James Dean in his Blouson jacket. A must for the fashion conscious man.

  1. Fifty Dresses that Changed the World – The Design Museum

The dresses every woman wished she owned.

More portable than some of the other tomes on this list, this book created by the Design Museum in London is a wonderful tribute to fashion design throughout the decades. It is fun and user friendly and not just for the dedicated fashion student or Vogue devotee. Every iconic dress is included in this, from Marilyn’s white dress in The Seven Year Itch to Audrey’s little black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Liz Hurley’s frankly bizarre safety-pin creation. Each dress is profiled and discussed to see just why it has come to have an enduring influence on pop culture.

  1. Style Diaries: World Fashion from Berlin to Tokyo – Simone Werle

The sartorialists on the street have their say.

If you don’t fancy trawling the internet for inspiration, this offers a nice selection of people who value personal style above fashion fads.

Like the Face Hunter book, Style Diaries focuses on real people who create their own distinctive style and want to share it with the world. Blogging is very much at the forefront of modern fashion and this book acknowledges that by showcasing the 50 best fashion bloggers from all over the world. Not only are we spoiled with pictures of their favourite outfits, but they let us into some of their style secrets and the cute facts about each blogger is a nice touch. If you don’t fancy trawling the internet for inspiration, this offers a nice selection of people who value personal style above fashion fads.

Men’s Fashion Advice is all in the Bag

Maybe women were right after all these years. Carrying stuff in a purse is much, much easier than stuffing everything in your pants pockets. I know I don’t have enough room to carry the whole lot of items I use daily such as cell phones and laptops, to keys and wallets. Men have a lot of things to haul around sometimes. That may be one of the reasons why men everywhere are beginning to copy women and carrying around men’s bags for all that “stuff”.

Forget about that antiquated notion that carrying a bag is just for women and a fancy way of saying carrying a purse. What do you think that briefcase of yours is? If briefcases are OK for men to carry around then there should be no reason why other bags with classic elements, like messenger bags, can’t be an accepted accessories for today’s modern man. Here are a few of the most popular, classic bag styles that can be mixed and matched with both business and casual wardrobes.

  • Briefcase – When it comes to acceptable handbags for men, there is no other more famous that the good old briefcase. The briefcases used today are a far-cry from the ones used by our fathers and grandfathers. These new briefcases are no longer boxy shaped and don’t have those sharp corners but use a more rounded edge. They still employ the use of buckles, leather exterior, and practical interior compartments making this bag a staple for the working-man’s wardrobe.
  • Messenger bag – The slick looking messenger bag was designed and modeled after the bags traditionally carried messengers throughout history. They are normally made from a canvas material and worn swung across your shoulder. These bags have become a big part of urban fashion. The men’s messenger bag has a laidback style to go with a classic, casual flair, while the leather messenger tote screams uptown sophistication.
  • Holdall – A real man of travel needs to own a holdall for those exciting weekend getaways or out of state business trips. What was once considered big and bulky has become transformed into a sleek and stylish carryall. The design for these bags was inspired by the duffel bag believe it or not. Now thanks to a largely leather exterior and more refined appearance it took on more of a classic look than a practical one.
  • Tote – The tote is this generations take on the classic briefcase. It closely resembles an artisan’s bag with the maximum in casual business attire. It has a pretty basic design with soft leather exterior giving it that classic look. It employs the use of long handles giving it an edge of contemporary. This kind of man’s bag will add a touch of casual masculinity to any casual work wear.
  • Newsboy bag – The newsboy bag is one of those classic styles that are forever timeless. It is almost synonymous with men’s casual wear. Similar to s messenger bag’s style, its traditional exterior of canvas gives it less formality than a messenger bag. The newsboy bag is great for students and workers on the go, leaving a fashion statement mark on anyone who sees it.

The Staple Man

Women are always wondering, what to wear, constantly searching for those perfectly matching colors, styles and accessories. Women worry about every season, occasion and Friday night dinner date. But have we ever stopped to think about men?

Men’s fashion essentials will incontestably differ in price and style according to a man’s given age, work environment, personal style and will rarely be concerned with the latest runway fashions or magazine suggestion. But just like in a women’s closet there are some ‘staple’ articles every man needs. (Other than a sports jersey) So with this being said, we ask you men – which fashion items are you missing from your wardrobe?

The Basics
Just like in a kitchen you have milk and cheese, your closet has its basic necessities as well. Blue jeans, button – down shirt, belts, Etc. So please take note of the following:

Blue jeans are embedded in American culture, so of course this couldn’t be left out. A brand new (looking) pair of jeans is key. Obviously you can’t buy a new pair for every outing – we encourage proper care. (The floor isn’t a suitable place) Yet, even though worn out looking jeans have made a come back lately in fashion, just remember not to dinner. Jeans are versatile, comfortable, and can easily be combined with a dressier shoe, sneakers or sandals for a casual look.

The “blue jeans and white t-shirt” look is what men worldwide should be aiming for when not at work. This doesn’t mean the v-neck, which is three times too small or too big. However a proper fitting one with not too much graphic – and please no cartoons! The t-shirt goes with any casual ensemble. Mixed with jeans, cargos or khakis it’s a never fail solution – an extremely simple genre that looks great.

Your Favorite Sweater
Every man in college or alumni has a favorite sweater, regardless of how many times it’s been worn or washed. Don’t worry, we’re not asking you to give it up! But maybe realize that it’s not the most appropriate item to be wearing for dad’s 50th birthday party. Many types of sweaters hang on our department store racks; find one that fits your style. Make sure you’re comfy and it’s versatile. (a gray or beige is always best)

Sneakers, of course
You probably own a pair of sneakers, if not a dozen. All for different purposes, the gym, guy’s night, your ‘nice’ pair and the list goes on. Wearing nice-looking white sneakers with jeans or any other type of sporty pants looks marvelous. Not to mention it’s extremely easy, just make sure they are clean. We don’t like scuff marks.
Now we wouldn’t be complete without accessories. Just like women have purses, jewelry, scarves – the men’s list isn’t that long but here are the two you should never be without!

It’s been said, a watch is the only piece of jewelry a man needs. And it was said for a reason, because it’s true! A timepiece, like shoes can say a lot about a man’s personality and fashion sense. It’s a masculine object and there are so many to choose from, you shouldn’t have a problem.