With British summer time having officially ended but the weather now hotting up, we are in the bizarre position where summer has finished, the weather is hot - and the best bit - the fashion world is looking ahead at what us stylish gents will want to be wearing next summer. Got that?
Fashion weeks across Europe have just closed and one of our favourite designers, Vivienne Westwood, showed a strong menswear collection for SS12 – inspired by London’s Olympics, set to take the capital by storm next year - and so her men’s fashion show’s dominant theme. There were of course some typically catwalk-only, show-stopping ‘Westwood moments’ which not every one of us will pull off, but what’s great about Vivienne Westwood is her understanding of how the British gent likes to dress: dapper, smart and often a little bit eccentric, daring to be different from the crowd.
Everyone wears Westwood in their own way, which is what makes her designs even more universally appealing and enduring. Those of us in the North like to dress it up with smart 3-button collar shirts (got to be worn with the skull & crossbone cufflinks) and polos and a smart pair of dark rinse jeans (our favourite has to be those jeans by Dior Homme who also just showed a strong collection at Paris Fashion Week) and a pair of brogues by the likes of Paul Smith, but Londoners like a washed out, more relaxed approach to their Westwood, typically choosing the designer’s draped knitwear and the her signature ‘drop crotch’ trousers. It’s about mixing it up and making sure the look is right for you.
Whatever your style though, formal and tailoring-inspired or relaxed and casual looking, one of the strongest themes to emerge across the menswear design shows at all three major cities, London Fashion Week as well as those held in Milan and Paris a few weeks ago, is that the 'man-bag' is now firmly something the major fashion houses believe we should be wearing.
Our advice? Ignore the major fashion houses and the silly term 'man bag' (which would probably put any sane man off from wanting one).... But. BUT. Look, let's be frank there is only so much rubbish we can cram into our pockets, before people start to look away with embarrassment when you walk into the room. So, let's be grown up about it, you're going to need to need a bag at some stage. Which just happens to made for a man.
What the hell. Let's just call it a man-bag.
It's something we talked about on our blog a few months back, when we asked our readers 'are you man enough to wear a man bag?'. Our readers contacted us to tell us a resounding 'yes', and that in many instances they owned bags more expensive than their better halves! Well, it is the 21st century.
Anyway, this brings us back to Fashion Week - Vivienne Westwood showed her menswear collection with her range of new men's bags, two of which KJ Beckett have in stock.
Both are leather, and both are extremely good quality as you'd expect from this brand. The black leather version is sleek and will go well with a sharp suit, and has the logo subtly placed in the bottom corner so will certainly be suitable for the office.
The brown version is a bit more rugged, due to it's distressed leather finish and will look smart with a pair of old jeans and maybe a Belstaff jacket when going for a stroll around the park on Sunday morning.
No, I've never worn a shoulder bag for a trip to the park on a Sunday morning either, but this seems like the perfect opportunity to start, surely?