What I Wore Today – A Sunny Wednesday

That Dapper Chap takes us through his look for Wednesday.

Enjoying the spring sunshine

The outfit laid out and ready to wear

Wednesday started like any other average Wednesday but I was pleased to see that the sun was shining. I wast pleased however with how my hair decided to collapse in the light spring breeze the second that I left the house! 

The stroll to work, bags packed with goodies

I was styling a photo shoot on Wednesday afternoon so I had a couple of bags with me, filled with various shirts, blazers, ties and accessories. It’s a project that I’ve been working on with a local hair stylish and a local award winning photographer so I was excited that we were finally getting around to the shoot, after a few delays. You can expect the first blog story on that very soon.

A closer look at the handmade lapel pins

So, to the outfit. As you know chinos are a staple items for me and I haven’t worn theses camel coloured ones for a while. I like blue and brown as a colour combination so chose a denim shirt and blazer. I’ve hopefully avoided that ‘double denim’ look here!

To give the look a bit of a vintage twist I opted for some button on braces and some two tone brogues. The vintage paisley scarf also goes to maintain this look and also keeps in with the colour theme.

Floppy hair, not the look I was going for

Time to get to the office!

As for accessories, I went for a striped knitted tie and added some home made lapel pins to the denim blazer, throw in a pocket square and you’ve added enough personality to ensure the look come across as considered. 

The full look, complete with scarf to keep out the chill

A close up of the tie and tie clip

Yes, those bags were as heavy as they look

The red and blue paisley pocket square

The two tone brogues give a vintage look

Where it’s all from

Two Tone Brogues: London Brogues

Navy Ribbed Socks – CNYTTAN

Beige Chinos: Next

Button On Braces: Next

Denim Shirt: Topman

Denim Blazer: Ebay

Knitted Tie: Ebay

Vintage Tie Clip: Ebay

Vintage Scarf: Thrifted

Lapel Pins: Home Made

Pocket Square: Primark

Vintage Suit Carrier: Thrifted

Brown Holdall: River Island

THANKS FOR READING!

Meet Monsieur London

That Dapper Chap visits Monsieur London, one the most stylish of men’s boutique stores in the heart of London

I stepped off the tube train at London’s Piccadilly Circus and turned up the collar on my wool suit jacket and held it tight against my chin in an effort to keep out the harsh January chill that did its best to creep into every available space.

After a short walk along Regent Street, passing huge stores with famous names and glittering window displays, I turned towards Royal Opera Arcade and spotted Monsieur London; a quaint little store nestled among the grand architecture of its surroundings. Protected and hugged by these huge buildings like a little Brother being looked after by bigger siblings.

 

Yours truly with Monsieur Londons dapper mannequins

Monsieur London is a welcome retreat from all of the huge brands that sit a stones throw away, with their mass produced stock, over smiley staff, huge displays and prices to match. Monsieur London is all about the individual; it is warm and welcoming and feels like stepping back in time to a more gentile era, when a gentleman could expect personal service and staff who know their items inside out.

 

The interior of the store, small but perfectly stocked

Everything in Monsieur London exudes class and is beautifully presented, and this includes the owner Valentin who met me with a firm handshake and a warm smile. Wearing a tweed cap and a jaunty pocket square, Valentin took me through their collections of high end, top quality men’s accessories, all of which are at astonishingly affordable prices. The concept for Monsieur London is to have a British heritage feel with a French twist.

 

The Proprietor Valentin in his tweed cap 


Where it all began

Back in 2011 you’ll have found Valentin working as a Political Journalist. But bored with their Jobs, Valentin and friend Thibault resigned and decided to travel. Not satisfied with a small jaunt across to another city, the two of them decided to hitchhike from Alaska to Argentina!

Thibault and Valentin back on solid ground

While in Columbia they met a gentleman making suede lined, fine leather bags and they both fell in love with them. So much so that it planted the seed of opening a gentleman’s boutique, selling high quality bags and accessories. A few months later and the friends landed in London. By this time, that small seed had been nurtured and had grown into a full concept, and Monsieur London was born online in 2013 and since then they haven’t looked back. Their first store, just off Regent Street opened last year offering a wealth of fine accessories for the discerning gent.

Instagram media by monsieur_london - 3 good news: 1. the sales have started, 2. our bags are being restocked, 3. Half of our team is back, so the other can leave on holidays (including the author of these words) #gq #sprezzatura #elegance #mensbag #handmade #hat #bag #leather #orange #sweater #scarf #gloves #menswear #mensstyle #mensfashion
Valentin with the bag that started it all

Thibault and Valentin are passionate about providing the highest quality products and they have their products made by hand wherever possible. Many of their products are designed in the basement of their store and they source all of the fabrics and elements that make up their products themselves. Valentin even designed the Hare/Rabbit logo himself, studying videos of running rabbits and hares on YouTube.

Is it a rabbit or is it a hare?


Neck Ties

On a small table in the middle of the store sits a range of delightful neck ties. There are a selection of pure silk ties, all made in the UK, with the silks printed in the Macclesfield UK and stitched in Robertsbridge. There are also ties in grenadine weaving, Royal Irish poplin and also ties in silk and merino wool which travel extremely well as they do not crease.

 

stripes and prints. Something for everyone

Beautiful handmade ties in fantastic printed silks

Just a few of the selection of ties available

You’ll find the current range in sumptuous autumnal colours with some brights thrown in for those that wish to make a statement. With patterns including pine cones and the Monsieur London rabbit/hare, along with a more traditional diagonal stripe, there really is something here for everyone, and also something different for those that wish to stand out from the crowd.

In store you’ll also find a range of knitted ties that are not yet available on the website, so it’s worth a visit.

All ties are handmade and are a snip at £38-£66

The selection of fine wool knitted ties

Bow Ties

If you’re more of a dandy fellow or want a change from the neck tie, why not opt for a bow tie? They are of course made in silk and are available in a range of colours and patterns. All bow ties are self tie but, to help out the first time bow tie wearer, they are available pre tied for you, so you are able to wear it straight away and then learn how to tie it later with the instructions that are included in every box. These handmade bow ties are available at £42-£44


Pocket Squares

By the window is a selection of 100% silk and 100% cotton pocket squares in a range of prints and colourways to suit every outfit. At 36” square you’ll find classic paisleys and polka dots and my personal favourite the Fontainebleau which has a slight medieval pattern and depicts running stags, made from a mix of wool and silk which gives a heavier and luxurious feel.

A wonderful array of pocket squares to choose from

Gloves

I fell in love with the Monsieur London gloves. Made in Millau in France from the finest lamb skin and lined in silk they are very soft and give a great fit as the leather will adjust to your hand when worn. The fineness of the leather results in a less bulky glove allowing the wearer to feel beyond the glove.

Some question why the gloves are lined in silk and not cashmere. This is because silk retains warmth better and gives a lighter result than a glove lined with cashmere.

brown men gloves
Beautiful gloves in soft and supple leather

They currently stock four styles in the Bouquingan range in plain black and brown, black and brown with a contrast edge between the fingers and a plum leather for the gent that wants something a 
little different.

The plum coloured Bragelonne silk lined gloves £141

In addition to the traditional glove they also stock driving gloves in four colourways each with a dash of contrasting colour on the trim. These gloves will last you years and get better with age. At £134-£141 a pair they are a great investment.

The Treville driving gloves £134

I am not the only fan of their gloves however, and Valentin was proud to tell me of an American customer who collects gloves and now owns over four hundred pairs.  Not only does this gentleman of impeccable taste buy the range of gloves available but Monsieur London offers a bespoke service where an individual may have a pair of gloves made to any specification that they wish and he takes advantage of this service also.

Belts and Braces

I love the Monsieur London braces. Not only are they available in a fantastic range of colours and made in the UK, but they also come with both clips and leather button fastenings so the buyer can choose how he fastens his braces to his trousers. 

Easy to alter you can take them from clip to button on in a moments notice. As a bonus you’ll also find the necessary buttons inside the box! If you need instructions on how to sew buttons to your trousers just take a look at the article I wrote on braces for Bespoke Unit here.

Buttoned up to avoid a loose trouser moment

The range of belts available is also very impressive. Made from British leather, they are another item made and hand stitched in the UK. And if there isnt a belt available to suit your needs, why not have a bespoke one made just for you? They’ll also monogram your belt for a small fee to make it even more individual

Beautiful Belts £107-£112

Hats

Hats are the most popular items sold at monsieur London and I can see why. Made in France by one of the very last hat makers, they are available in five sizes from 56 to 60 and available in a great selection of colours. The Monsieur London Antoine hat is made from 100% wool felt with a satin lining. This hat comes with instant elegance built in.

The Antoine hat in green and cognac

Instagram media by monsieur_london - It's Tuesday, stay elegant. #bowtie #dinnerjacket #hat #greenhat #blacktie #bracelet #scarf #blackscarf #handmade #monsieurlondon #beard #beardedman #pitti #pittiuomo #lcm #gq #gqstyle #elegance #smart #dapperman #dapper #dandyism #dresshim #chic
Valentin himself wearing the green Antoine hat £98.00

In addition to the stunning range of felt hats, Monsieur london also offer a more summery selection and have in stock the classic Panama for £58-£95

Scarves

At this time of year every gent needs a great scarf, not only to keep out the cold and be functional but also to look good. If you’re going to invest, go for quality natural fabrics like the selection valentin and Thibault have in store.  With merino and lambs wool, you cannot go wrong.

All hand loomed in Ireland, they scream quality and at just £108 they are a must have items right now.

Some of the selection of beautiful scarves in store

What’s Next?

So, with a solid concept, a beautiful store and a loyal fanbase, what’s next for the chaps at Monsieur london. Not wanting to rest of their laurels, Valentin and Thibault have many plans for the coming year. 

The last year has seen them travel with their concept and open pop up shops in both London and Paris. In fact the pop up in Paris went so well that they are planning to open a store there in July.

They are keeping things to themselves so far and staying true to the Monsieur London brand. There are no plans to open in other stores or sell wholesale just yet as they want to keep prices affordable for all.

Whatever happens in the future I know that with their passion, Valentin and Thibault will make it a huge success and I wish them all of the very best of British (and French) luck. I just pray for an invite to the Paris store opening!

Cheery dapper chaps Thibault and valentin plan their next adventure

Find Monsieur London

      

 

THANKS FOR READING!

Break up the suit

I’ve written a couple of articles about how to wear a suit and split up the various elements, showing you how to wear them with different items to achieve as many different looks as possible. Doing this  makes your suit more versatile. Today’s look shows that I do practice what I preach.

The trousers are a simple pair of navy chinos but the blazer is part of a wool three piece suit that I decided to wear. I’ve already worn the full suit this week but thought nothing of taking and wearing the jacket and nobody commented that it was the same jacket as the look is totally different.

I went with a bit of a red and blue theme and you can see that I used accessories to create a cohesive look. The nato watch strap, club tie and patterned socks all retain the colour story.

In addition to the watch strap, tie and socks I wore coloured bracelets, pocket square and an apple lapel pin to complete the look. The button down denim shirt making for a less formal but still smart look.

The braces may surprise you as they are a hybrid of new and vintage. They were a gift from a well known brand after I attended their recent press day but they had clip ends which I am really not a fan off. So, I rooted through my collection of vintage braces and found a pair which were a bit tatty. I removed the leather ends and swapped them over to the new pair, disposing of the clips I the process.

Black Leather Tassle Loafers: Monk

Socks: Topman

Chinos: Next

Denim Shirt: Topman

Club Tie: Butler & Webb

Leather Briefcase: Vacation purchase

Lapel Pin: Home Made

Watch: Timex

Bracelets: Home Made

Pocket Square: eBay 

Braces: Next

THANKS FOR READING!