what to wear wednesdays

This Wednesday it’s back to normality for me – sporting a smarter look. I love my new shirt from ASOS; perfect for the festive season. Burgundy’s a great celebratory colour, and the polka dots add that little something extra, which needs to happen to stand out at Christmas time!

man stood with hands in pockets wearing denim jacket

I’ve had this classic Levi’s denim jacket for a number of years now, and still find myself wearing it so often, it’s just so versatile. A must for any man’s wardrobe, and it doesn’t need to be Levi’sTopman and ASOS stock v similar, budget alternatives. When I bought it, it was actually bleached blue denim (think 90’s boyband ūüôĄ), so I picked up some velvet black dye and got to work! (Jk, threw it in the washing machine with the dye and voila!!)

Style Tip:- Love the fit and style of a garment, but can’t stand the colour? Check out fabric dyes as a way to help this. Generally only an option if you are willing to change it to a darker colour.

man standing buttoning denim jacket

Since it’s winter, I’ve had to top the outfit off with an overcoat. One of my faves in fact. This one is by Farah, and flows with a pair of jeans and trainers, just as well as with suit pants and smart shoes.

man smiling wearing farah overcoat

As always, thanks for reading.

Pls comment below for any style advice, or to let me know if you’d style this outfit any differently! ūüôā

Peace.

A

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All images taken on an iPhone by Charlotte L Owen

me & my guitar, the anxiety cure

I started playing guitar around ten years ago, when I had lessons for a¬†brief¬†period of time, and ever since I’ve dipped in and out of it.

Having never been in a band, I didn’t have the motivational leverage (I’m aware many don’t need it) to practice eight hours a day. So, as a result, it didn’t become an ingrained habit of mine. This is, even though, I thoroughly enjoy playing the guitar when I take the time to do it, I listen to all sorts of music all the time, and more than any of that it is an amazing practice in presence.

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By that I mean, presence to the moment, with no thoughts about what he/she thinks of me, or how last weekend wasn’t as fun as I’d hoped, or when that elusive next promotion is going to come at work… Nothing but presence to this very moment.

There are countless other practices in presence, such as meditation and exercise, which I partake in, but with guitar beginning to come back into my life I have had a burning desire to post about it.

I believe the reason for the presence experienced¬†when¬†I’m strumming away¬†is that¬†I enter what Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (I know) refers to as a flow state – make sure to check out his book¬†on this topic. It occurs when a task is not too easy, not too difficult, but just right,¬† so you enter a present state in order to keep focussed and perform to the best of your ability. As I’ve said, this removes excessive thought from other events that normally have only built up in the mind and have little (or no) basis in reality – often things that you have built up through repetition, meaning you have developed strong synaptic pathways to that particular memory/premonition and therefore triggers a strong emotional response.

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The amazing thing about presence is that the more you practice it, the more you experience it in all areas of life. So, me finger picking my guitar for an hour a night, isn’t just enjoyable and creatively fulfilling, it also means when I’m in¬†a heated business meeting about hitting this week’s demand target, I’m more likely (though not certain) to keep calm and be able think well under pressure as I tap into present energy – what Csikszentmihalyi refers to as¬†source energy, rather than my mind darting around, worried about how I’m being perceived by my boss and others in the meeting. Don’t get me wrong –¬†I still feel the rising burn of anxiety – but I am much more likely to let it dissipate than to resonate with it.

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SO, yes, playing guitar is an extremely enjoyable creative pursuit, but the hidden pay-off, and why so many people love playing any instrument so much, is the enabled entry into the present moment, and the present moment only.

Thank you for reading, I’m eternally grateful.

Peace.

A

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All images taken on an iPhone by Angela Pegg

 

street style: @theguyfrommilkandhoney

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I was drawn to Ibrahim’s style initially because of his outfit’s silhouette. The layered, top heavy sherpa denim jacket and shirt contrasts amazingly well with his skinny jeans, which then flow into his bulky DM’s.

The attention to detail is also excellent – a look I often go for is dark jeans and shoes – but Ibrahim has inspired me with the pop of colour in his yellow laces. It was only once I began talking to him that I noticed the captivating, aztec patterned bag and shirt which go together so well, and add huge amounts of texture to his look. This is another aspect I might incorporate into my style.

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It’s clear Ibrahim has natural style, and probably threw this outfit together without thinking, but it really made him stand out from the crowd due to the excellently scaled proportions and complementary colours. I’d like to thank him for being my first street style subject of many to come!

Peace.

A

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Images taken on an iPhone by Alex Pegg

 

what to wear wednesdays

This Wednesday, I’m rocking an outfit a little different to my normal style. Over the past five years or so, I’ve always opted for shoes such as Clarks Originals or Dr Marten’s,¬†however, I’ve recently re-discovered my love for trainers. For a start, they’re SO comfortable – I’d completely forgotten the joy of commuting in trainers, many mornings now you’ll catch me bouncing down to the train station in them.

I think the main reason I’d fallen out with trainers is because I’ve always found them more difficult to style. It’s my belief that you can pair a smart-caj shoe with almost any outfit and it will work, whereas trainers needs to be much more thought out (unless it’s summer (yes, please) and you’re sporting short-shorts).

So, below is my attempt at a trainer outfit…

man at on steps wearing camouflage

Adidas Dragons are a popular trainer at the moment, which I’d commend as a safe option, if you’re trainer newbie like myself. I’ve decided to team them up with a slightly boot-cut light blue pair of jeans from Topman¬†which have a 70’s feel to them (the decade fashion has now certainly remembered). The tee I’m wearing is one of my faves. I’ve had it a few years now so it’s becoming rough around the edges, but it is a plain black tee with the Beatles Rubber Soul album graphic printed on it. It wasn’t the easiest to track down – but I would certainly recommend it to any Beatles fan (I’m a huge one). If you’d like to know where it’s from, please comment below, and I’ll try my best to dig the website out.

Due to the relative neutrality of the rest of the outfit, I’m able to go for a stand-out piece such as this camo jacket. It only comes out my wardrobe every so often, but when it does it normally gets a couple of complements. It’s also great to layer underneath an overcoat.

Style Tip:- When wearing a stand-out print such as camouflage (fully aware of the irony), try teaming it with complementary or neutral tones in the rest of the outfit, as to avoid too much of a clash. 

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Writing this post has just inspired me to take a look back on the trainers (from Nike Dunks to Superga 2750) I’ve worn over the years, and my love-hate relationship with them, so watch this space for that!

As always, thanks for reading.

Peace.

A

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All images taken on an iPhone by Charlotte L Owen

what to wear wednesdays

What better way to get over the proverbial hump day, than with some exciting outfit ideas?!

Stripes are the order of the day.

I have kept it simple this Wednesday, with neutral & nautical stripes.

The tee is from Topman, who stock a range of well-fitting tees this season. You can’t beat a simplistic striped tee shirt paired with black jeans for a laid back feel.

Style Tip:- Add a scarf to to a simple outfit to complete it. In this case, the confident clash of horizontal and vertical stripes makes people look twice. Complementary tones, camel in the coat and blue in the scarf, is the icing on the outfit.

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Remember to look out for this post every Wednesday for more outfit inspiration!

Peace.

A

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All images taken on an iPhone by Charlotte L Owen

 

instantly improve your look with floral

Ah, floral… The print that never goes out of style, and which now firmly holds its place in the menswear category as well as women’s.

For me, every man needs at least one floral shirt in his wardrobe. Contrary to popular belief, it is a versatile piece of clothing. In spring/summer, the shirt reflects the season, and looks awesome buttoned-down on a roasting day. In autumn/winter, it has the capability of bringing a smile to someone’s face in a world (UK) where darkness never seems to subside.

man sat down wearing floral fashion shirt

This is one of my newer additions (of many) from ASOS. The pattern is the most striking of all my shirts IMO, and is an affordable way of imitating Tony Montana’s (less the cash & cocaine) style. I used to be FULLY against short-sleeved shirts, but they have started to make their way into my wardrobe.

Style Tip:- Roll short-sleeves up for a closer fit, and so you don’t look like too much like a 90’s office worker.¬†

man wearing floral fashion massimo dutti shirt

This is from one of my favourite brands¬†Massimo Dutti, a higher-end high street store I try to buy investment pieces from at least twice a year if I can. As I bought this online (no stores in the North), I wasn’t totally sure of the fit. When I received it, the shoulders and sleeves were perfect, but there was excess material around the torso so I had it altered.

Style Tip:- If you are taken by a particular pattern or print, but the garment doesn’t fit properly, don’t despair… There are some reasonably priced, extremely talented tailors out there who can make alterations so it fits like a glove (shirt).

man wearing ASOS floral embroidered fashion shirt

man wearing floral embroidered ASOS fashion shirt

Another ASOS shirt. I can resist everything except temptation, and their affordable, varied designs are extremely tempting. Love the simplicity of this shirt, with the bright white contrasting the black. It has also washed well (something I was concerned about), which is crucial when building a wardrobe.

man wearing pink ASOS floral shirt

Another ASOS shirt… You’re getting the idea. This time long-sleeved, which can look quite formal when tucked-in, so I have opted for a more relaxed feel. Also, rolling up the sleeves means the faint print is stylishly shown on the inside of the rolled-up cuff.

Are you already into floral? Or, do you fancy giving it a go? Leave a comment below to let me know.

Thanks for reading, and remember… A floral shirt is for life, not just for summer.

Peace.

A

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Other pieces worn in shoot: Black Bolt jeans from Denham / Dr. Marten’s shoes

All images taken on an iPhone by Charlotte L Owen

top 4 winter coats pt. 1

A huge decision – which coat to get for autumn and winter.

This is the key piece in any man’s wardrobe in the colder months, and versatility is critical.¬†Whether you’re walking in the countryside, seeing mates in the pub or commuting to work, your coat needs to remain suitably chic.

As the weather turns here in the UK, bitterly cold mornings and freezing nights are upon us, so I’ve outlined some options that fit a variety of scenarios.

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1. Superdry military jacket

What I love most about this coat is the collar, which just grazes the bottom of my ears, offering a cool, mysterious look. I also adore its subtle, slightly unusual shade of green which makes it stand out next to a normal green parka. Finally, the coat isn’t too chunky, so it’s ideal to layer with this winter.

 

2. Selected Homme wool overcoat

The above coat was initially bought as a piece for a good friend’s October wedding last year… But it quickly turned into my go-to-coat for all sorts of occasions and everyday wear.

The key to this coat is its fit and its quality. The wool fibre has an elasticity to it, which hugs the body, giving a flawless fit. The sleeve-length is another crucial aspect to your winter coat, and you want the sleeve to stop an inch or two above the start of your hand.

Style Tip:- Try to invest in quality materials as they will last, meaning you can build up your coat collection slowly but surely over time.

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3. Vintage sheepskin sherpa

Sherpa jackets are super-popular this season, and you can pick one up in most high-street stores such as Topman or Urban Outfitters – or check out vintage stores for something slightly different.

The shorter fit gives a more caj feel compared to the longer coats, so this can be ideal for going to meet your mates for a drink or nipping out to the shop on a Saturday morning. To complete the look and add some chic (giving your best James Dean impersonation), flick the collar.

 

4. American Apparel drawstring coat 

I love the cream colour of this coat, making it stand out from the neutral grey and black coats. Let your winter coat make a statement – don’t be afraid to stand out – even if it is only through a slightly unusual colour. I also like the drawstring waist of the coat which gives a snugger fit compared to many overcoats. This can be ideal if you have a slight figure, and don’t want the coat to drown you.

One reason this coat won’t be coming out of my wardrobe as much as the others this winter is because of its slightly-too-large fit. As I’ve emphasised before, fit is the¬†crucial aspect to any garment and, in this case, the coat seems to be wearing me rather than the other way around.

Style Tip:- The fit of the coat is all important. Firstly check the fit, then the style, colour and functionality.

I’ll be back again soon with more options for the colder seasons, so watch this space!

Peace.

A

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Other pieces worn in shoot: Blue turtleneck jumper from Next / Pitney brogues from Clarks / Slim-fit trousers from Next

All images taken on an iPhone by Charlotte L Owen