Sunday, 30 August 2015

Product Review - Cravat Club Pocket Square

Craig of That Dapper Chap reviews one of the new Japanese print pocket squares available from Cravat Club



Product

Until recently The Cravat Club has been more commonly known for its range of top quality, you guessed it, cravats. Following a recent re-branding exercise they have diversified and are now offering gents like you and I a wider range of products which now includes pocket squares.

As you may know I have already carried out a product review of their cravats HERE and this post focuses on their pocket squares, in particular the ‘Midori’ Japanese silk example depicting a beautiful Japanese Maiko going about her daily chores. 

The 'Midori' silk pocket square

The ‘Midori’ is just one of three individual Japanese designs available from Cravat Club. This particular design is also available in blue and orange, and in cream and blue. They also have Mount Fuji in three colour ways along with Koi Carp, again available in three stunning colour choices.

Each one is made from 16oz ‘extra soft’ 100% silk twill and is designed in London by Japanese Artist Yusuke Aoki. They are printed and handcrafted in England and include hand rolled edges.


Artist Yusuke Aoki

This range is larger than the standard sized squares and come in at 42cm x 42cm (16” x 16”)

Price


Priced at £60 this is a more expensive piece and reflects the fabrics, design and manufacture. It’s important that we support British industry and manufacture but this does mean a higher price than their mass produced counterparts, which also come with a larger carbon footprint and the knowledge that 10,000 other guys have exactly the same one jutting from their left breast.



Packaging & Presentation


The square came beautifully packaged at a level expected from a product of this value. The black box with its distinctive gold writing is very sturdy, and the square was lovingly folded so that the lady’s face was immediately presented once it was opened. The box was lined with tissue paper and also included an information card contained in its own wax sealed envelope.



For its journey it was sealed in a durable plastic wallet to avoid knocks and scratches along way across the UK in the British postal system (which can be a traumatic experience for any package)



Performance


The square is silk so it doesn't have the same stiffness you'd associate with one made from a thicker man made material. It’s very soft and supple and will flop if you have too much material poking out of your pocket.

While some pocket squares are small and disappear annoyingly in to the depths of your pocket this won’t. There’s ample fabric here to stop this happening but it can feel a little bulky in a very small patch pocket unless you use your origami skills and fold it perfectly.



Because the image is so beautiful you'll want to show it off to its best advantage, so unlike squares with an all over repeating pattern you will need to consider your folds or ‘bunching’ technique.


A closer look at the stunning design

Pertinency


If you're looking for a cheap disposable accessory this isn’t it. If you're looking for a quality piece of great design which is manufactured in the UK and will last you a lifetime then take a look at the range.

The design is both unusual and individual, so if you're a gentleman who errs towards things less ‘standard’ this could be for you. Just make sure that you position yourself near to a weeping damsel so you may gracefully and skilfully whip it out of your pocket and offer it to her so she may dry her eyes. Let’s just hope that she isn’t wearing one of these fangled new waterproof mascaras as you'll need a trip to the dry cleaners the following morning. Feel free however to use this to your advantage, as if she is a real lady she will offer to pay the bill, that way you get her number. Win, win.



Pros & Cons


The fact that it is designed, printed and crafted in the UK is a huge plus point for me. Its unique design, coupled with the fact that it is available in three different colour ways is another positive.  The fabric is high quality and the packaging is of a high standard too.

On the flip side, it may be a little large for those used to the smaller sized squares.

 

People


The majority of the team loved the design but one member isn't too keen on Japanese style in general so wasn't a fan. I suppose the distinctive style will result in a ‘marmite’ moment for some and if you don't like this particular design, Cravat Club do also offer other pocket squares in a huge variety of patterns and colours.

Everyone thought the packaging and the new logo were good quality with comments like “classy” and “very swish” They liked the feel of the item and could tell that it was silk.



I very nearly didn't get it back as one lady decided to wear it for the rest of the afternoon as a neckerchief claiming that “it matches my dress, therefore it’s now mine” She reluctantly returned it to me, weeping as she did, which then placed me in an unwanted conundrum (see Pertinency above) as I didn't want my pocket square covered in black gloop, or her number for that matter!



Précis


Overall, I'm really pleased with the pocket square. I love the design and the overall quality and feel of it. It’s going to last (mascara permitting) and is a different design to what we're seeing in our stores. In short it gets the T.D.C. stamp of approval.


Promotion

   

THANKS FOR READING!


Tuesday, 25 August 2015

M&S Menswear: AW15 Outerwear



This Autumn sees two key outerwear styles for the new season; the bomber jacket and the mac, and at M&S there is a great selection to choose from.

Make a statement in the Best of British puppytooth bomber jacket, the bold contrast of the white and black creates the perfect monochrome look.

For a more classic style choose the Collezione bomber in navy and wear with a pair of dark indigo North Coast jeans to create the perfect day to night outfit. 

Smarten things up in the stone coloured Autograph mac or the M&S Collection cotton mac in camel, both ideal choices to stay dapper in the cooler months.

All styles will be available to buy in selected stores and online at www.marksandspencer.com from early October 2015.

Best of British Parka - £349

Best of British Puppytooth Ball Black White Jacket - £259

Best of British Puppytooth Coat - £259

Best of British Sharkskin Mac -£269

Autograph Leather Wool Bomber Jacket - £149

Collezione Mock Suede Bomber Jacket - £69

M&S Collection Cotton Mac - £79

Autograph Modern Mac - £99

THANKS FOR READING!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

5 staple shoes every man needs

That Dapper Chap looks at the five essential shoes that every man should own



Tucano-lifestyle

Whether you have a fetish for footwear and have shoes piled high in your home or you take a more minimalist approach to stocking up on these fashion items, there are certain styles of footwear that you must have in your collection. So that you don’t miss out on the essentials, take a look at the five staple shoes that all men should have


1) Brown leather brogues


Originating from Ireland, brogues are truly iconic shoes. With their decorative perforations and elegant shape, they work perfectly with a range of ensembles. According to footwear specialists Anatomic, brown brogues are ideal for creating the genteel country look. These versatile creations tread the line between smart and casual, meaning they can be teamed up with anything from jeans and chinos to suit trousers. 


'Gabriel' Brogue Shoe - £119.95


2) Black business shoes


Whether you’re trying to give the perfect business pitch, you’re keen to impress in an interview or you simply want to look smart for the office, a pair of black business shoes will be your best friend. Lace ups or slip-ons can work equally well. The important thing is that this footwear has a nice sheen and is the perfect shape to be worn with smart trousers.

'Davi' Lace Up Shoes - £134.95


3) Winter boots


Let’s face it, Britain isn’t usually known for its blistering sunshine. When temperatures take a tumble in this part of the world, a sturdy pair of winter boots always comes in handy. Bear in mind, you don’t have to compromise style for comfort during the chilly season. Leather Chelsea boots are a classic case in point, as are smart lace-ups. Meanwhile, if you’d prefer something a little more casual, desert boots may fit the bill.

'Pedras' Lace Up Boots - £134.95

4) Sandals


On the rare occasion that the sun does make an appearance, or if you head off on holiday, some sandals will be essential. For the chilled out look, a pair of casual flip flops could work perfectly. Alternatively, if you want something a little more dapper, smart designs featuring leather uppers may be better. As well as helping to keep you cool when temperatures climb, these summer essentials have the added benefit of being easy to pack away in suitcases or holdalls when you set off on summer sojourns.

'Sabino' Sandals - £64.95

5) Trainers


Last but not least, you’re bound to need a decent pair of trainers. If you’re into sports, your collection may include a range of specialist shoes, but as a bare minimum, you should have a comfy pair of fashion trainers that you can wear when you want to relax at the weekends. A good pair shouldn't date, so it’s wise to steer clear or wacky colours and styles and instead stick to classic colours and designs. White always works well, but if you want something more understated, brown, black or navy could be ideal.

'Serra' Trainers - £89.95

By covering these five bases, you can be confident that you’ll have the perfect pair of shoes for any occasion. Whether you’re walking the dog, taking a drive, doing a day at the office or attending a wedding, you’ll have footwear that fits the bill.


THANKS FOR READING

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

What I Wore Today #33 Primark Outfit

Craig of That Dapper Chap show of his latest look, created entirely from the range available from Primark





I know what some people are like, they will turn up their noses at low cost menswear, with comments about poor quality and other elitist remarks. My view is that style is how the pieces are put together and not what they cost. A person can spend thousands of pounds on an outfit and look like a dogs dinner. They're happy of course, as they're dripping in designer names, would I know that, or care? No. I'd simply know that they looked a complete mess!


I'm an average guy, just like you. I have bills to pay a car to keep on the road, a mortgage and mouths to feed. I can't afford to spend £3,000 on a suit and I'm not even sure I'd want to. Having grown up in my Brothers hand-me-downs and less than expensive clothing, I've learned that it really isn't what you wear (or 'who' you wear) it's the choices you make and how you wear it. This post is testament to that, and I honestly believe I've created a high end look on a low cost budget.




I'd seen this pale blue summer blazer in my local Primark store and really wanted it, so on payday I went in and bought it. They had three left in stock and luckily one was in my size. It was a sign! 



Now, what else would I get to go with it? I'd been looking for some stone coloured chinos for a while and saw these, thinking they would team well with the blazer for a really summery look. I tried them on in store, they fitted really well but were way to long for me. A sewing machine and 30 minutes later, and they were the perfect length. 

This was the first time that I'd altered my own trousers and I think I did a pretty good job! It's certainly given me the confidence to do it again. These chinos were inexpensive enough that I thought if I did it wrong I could just buy another pair.



The loafers, slim fit shirt, floral tie, invisible socks, belt and pocket square are also from Primark, as are the sunglasses. The lapel pin is my own as are the bracelets, watch, tie clip and briefcase. 

Overall I think this look is a win, particularly when you look at the cost. I know that there are implications associated with low cost clothing, but one thing I can tell you is that Primark are taking the quality of their clothing and its design very seriously. Speaking recently to their new menswear designer; Marcus at a recent event, his passion for quality and style was clear, and I hope that I've done him proud with this summer look.












Where It's All From


Brown Leather Effect Loafers: Primark - £12.00
White Invisible Socks (5 pack): £4.00
Stone Chinos: Primark - £8.00
Leather Effect Belt: Primark - £4.00
White, Easy Iron Slim Fit Shirt: Primark: £5.00
Pale Blue Floral Tie: Primark - £2.00
Pale Blue Summer Blazer: Primark: 35.00
Bicycle Print Pocket Square: Primark - £1.50
Sunglasses: Primark - £2.00
White Rose Lapel Pin - Home Made
Bead Bracelets: Home Made
Brown Leather Briefcase: RJR by John Rocha At Debenhams

THANKS FOR READING!