As fashion turns towards the 70s for inspiration, there's been a lot more 'brown in town' and particularly this rich tobacco shade. It works perfectly when crossed with a "Talented Mr Ripley" style of higher waist trousers, cool linens and knitted polo shirts.
It also complements the pale blue and white that fills most men's summer wardrobes, making a welcome contrast without being too 'out there'. And of course, it looks excellent worn with other earthy tones of khaki, beige and cream, which will look particularly good on you if your colouring is a little softer (ie: you don't have much contrast between your hair, eye and skin colour.
When I go to clients houses to do a wardrobe edit I'll often find a distinct lack of shoes. They will probably have some smart black Oxfords to wear with suits and some sport trainers and perhaps some hiking boots, but quite regularly I'll find there's not a lot in between, so they struggle putting together a smart casual look.
So I often find myself looking for this style when we go on a personal shopping trip. As well as buying smart leather trainers (you can see the sort of style I mean here though they don't have to be white), we also look for ones that can be a little more formal and be worn for work and / or going out.
Last week I was asked to be on the podcast of fellow stylist Lisa Gillbe. It's always lovely to connect with other stylists, and Lisa is one of the people I often recommend for women.I jumped at the chance to be on The Style Stories podcast where we discussed why men and women book personal stylists, plus which 5 pieces we would choose for a smart casual capsule business wardrobe for men or for women.
Taking your mum out for lunch on Mother's Day on Sunday 22nd March? You probably haven't thought about what to wear yet, but this is exactly the sort of occasion that you need to master the tricky smart/casual scenario so you can look smart but not as if you're going to the office.
Here's some style swaps for you, so you can make your mum proud this Mother's Day and that you can put into rotation for other occasions that require a similar dress code too.
As Spring is coming (I think?!) it'd be nice to lighten up a little with the outerwear. There are lots of checks around at the moment and if you tend to wear plainer colours as your basics, this could be a great way to reinvigorate your wardrobe for Spring. I urge you to at least try one on when you're next out shopping and who knows, you may even like it.
Backpacks have become so popular as more and more guys carry their laptops around, but I'm still amazed at how many men look like they might be going rambling, rather than to work.
So, I decided to take a hike around the internet for you and gather some images of smart sleek backpacks that I often recommend to clients, which are are suitable for work. Some are from favourite brands of mine that I've known for awhile and a couple are from new ones that I was excited to discover.
Last week, by coincidence whilst out on personal shopping trips with 2 separate clients, each of them bought a dark green blazer. It wasn't something I was specifically looking for and in fact it was the shop staff that suggested them in the first place, but both myself and the client were very taken with them.
If you've already got your basic navy and grey blazers in your wardrobe and are looking for something different without being too "out there" then I'd suggest you try out a dark green.
I love something that's versatile and even though it doesn't initially seem it, I think this colour is surprisingly adaptable. Unfortunately I can't find either of the ones I bought with my clients to show you online but I had a look around for some others and these are the ones I came up with.
Last week I was on a personal shopping trip with a client. He really liked these grey flannel trousers from Jacob Cohen, but was unsure whether or not he'd wear them, as he'd had something similar before that didn't get worn. He asked me what he could wear them with and as I went through the selection of things we'd already decided to get, it appeared they went with nearly everything! He was sold!
Most of the outfits he needed were very casual, occasionally moving up a notch to smart casual, so here's how I styled them for him with the other pieces he bought, in an effort to show you just how versatile they can be.
The majority of clients that come to me, don't dress badly, but would just like some fresh ideas as to how they could expand their wardrobes. It's not so much of a transformation they're after but some tweaks here and there, and a few side steps from their normal default style. I've deliberately kept the advice as simple and easy steps that you could incorporate into your wardrobe, rather than super bright colours or extreme styles. The things I'm recommending are the sort of things I frequently shop for with clients when I take them on a personal shopping trip.
So, let's have a trawl through your wardrobe shall we?
The Tusting brand was introduced to me by David Evans from Grey Fox blog. They're a family run brand who produce beautiful, leather bags for both men and women, made in their factory in Buckinghamshire.
I've previously had the pleasure of working with Gillian Tusting alongside David on a couple of occasions, so I was super happy to be asked to work on a new and exciting project that Gillian had dreamed up - "Styling the Tustings" which was a ruse for David and I to get her husband and son's wardrobes in order. Clever girl!