Sunday, 4 December 2011


For those in the know, Pantherella are the sock to wear, being both extremely comfortable, and sporting some fantastic designs. They are made of the finest merino wool, cashmere and sea island cotton. They use the same circular spinning method they have used since 1937 when it was founded in Leicester, and has remained there for the past 75 years.

They have a perfect balance of funky designs, and simple, more formal business wear, although still with a touch of razzmatazz. These socks have a specialised high design to avoid committing the awkward faux pas of visible ankle flesh.

PS apologies for the delay between posts.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Festival Chic

During my adventures at The Crow's Nest in Glastonbury just over a week ago, it occurred to me to take note on what to wear on such an occasion. I would suggest, if dry, flip-flops, desert boots, sandals or bare feet. 

If muddy however, Wellingtons are a necessity. I have noticed a growing trend for folding them down recently, like a sort of reverse turn-up.  

For the legs, shorts if dry, or jeans if wet. Your upper half ought to be clad in a tee shirt, and/or poncho or jacket. My preference is leather as it doesn't show the mud.

Friday, 13 May 2011


Norman Rockwell's Sunday Morning

The pyjamas (or pajamas) are timeless nightwear that first evolved into the pyjamas (or pajamas) that we know today in the 1930's when trousers were introduced to the affair. Before that men slept in long nightshirts. 

Cary Grant in The Awful Truth wearing a nightshirt
The word 'pyjama' originates from the Persian word 'Pae jamah' a garment used to cover feet or legs as Middle Eastern daywear. They were brought back to Britain by colonials as a sleeping garment.

Morecambe and Wise in bed

Morecambe and Wise Breakfast Sketch

In the 21st century Derek Rose remains the leading manufacturer of classic pyjamas. Now pyjamas are dying out due to the growing popularity of tee shirts as nightwear. 

Laurel and Hardy in evening atire 

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Man and his Clothes

These images are from the early 1950's magazine Man and his Clothes. 

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

A Brief History of Denim

Denim started in the 1600's in a town near Turin Italy called Chiere, it was produced for sailors from Genoa, which is were the word 'jean' is thought to have originated. The word 'denim' is thought to have come from 'serge de Nimes', although it is argued that it actually originated from another fabric called 'nim' as Serge de Nimes was prominently wool and silk.

Two hundred years later, in 1853, Levi Strauss, moves to California selling dry goods and trousers made from the canvas he was selling, he received complaints that the material was uncomfortable, so Levi Strauss switched to denim.

On the 20th May 1873 the blue jean was born as we know it as Levi Strauss and taylor Jacob Davis patented the rivet to strengthen the jeans.

In 1902 Levi Strauss died, four years later all his records were lost in the San Francisco earthquake.

In 1924 the 'Can't Bust 'Em' company use the term 'jeans' to describe these trousers for the first time. Then Hollywood took up the craze, dressing their cowboys in them.

In the 1950's jeans became the symbol of rebellion under the leadership of James Dean and Marlon Brando. They also became a rock'n'roll icon.

They were worn in the '60's by hippies, as flares. In the '70's the ripped jean became a fashion icon. The 80's brought designer jeans into the world as slick tight skinny styles, contrasting to the baggy, low-waisted jeans of the hip-hop '90's.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Early Mafia Movie Chic

Edward G. Robinson in 'Little Caesar'
George Raft - Publicity Shot
Paul Muni in 'Scar Face'
James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart in 'The Roaring Twenties'
Happy Valentine's Day

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Cravat

Terry Thomas
The cravat is possibly one of the most stereotyped pieces of clothing, automatically associated with playboy billionaires on yachts, cads or dandies. However this article of clothing has been around long before these stereotypes existed. 

'A cravate, a pipe and a robe define a man's
elegance.' Clark Gable
The cravat is of Croatian origin, it was part of the Croatian military uniform. The word cravat comes from the word Hrvat meaning Croat a native of Croatia. 

The French took it up in the 1630's during the 30 years war, when Croatian mercenaries joined the French army it soon grew popular throughout Europe. 

'A well knotted cravat is the first
serious step into a man's life.' 
Oscar Wild
On King Charles II's return from exile in 1660 he introduced to Britain what was then the height of fashion in Europe. The cravat lost its popularity in the late 1600's but returned in the 1770's with the Macaronis' arrival and remained popular, although varying dramatically in style until the 1970's. 

Monday, 13 December 2010

Punks; The Thieves of Youth Culture

Sid Vicious in Leather Jacket

Johnny Rotten in Ted mode
Unlike most youth   cultures, Punk does not have a  set uniform, but still manages to be distinctive. It achieves this by taking the most striking parts of other youth cultures. For example, Brothel 

Creepers from Teds, leather jackets from Rockers, D.M.'s from skinheads. Other sources included Dennis the Menace sweaters, and Mohican hairstyles from Native Americans. They did not do this out of lack of imagination but to mock through irony and to look as threatening as possible as well as to rebel against the status quo.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Crimes and Misdemeanours


Thursday, 11 November 2010

This was England

The iconic image of Dr Martens boots can be felt around the world. Above a Chinese punk wears them.

This year Doc Martens turned 50. These boots were born from a skiing accident during World War II, when Dr Klaus Martens designed a new boot with air padded soles because army issue boots were too uncomfortable for his injured foot.

He sold the company in 1960 to British manufacture R. Griggs who changed the heel, used yellow stitching, and patented the AirWair soles. They were adopted by the working man, and weren't considered remotely fashionable until Pete Townshend of The Who took them up and DM's where brought into the limelight.

They were soon to be adopted by a variety of youth cultures nameley by skinheads who stereotyped the boot as an aggressive fascist footwear. Then the punks grasped the already bloodstained history of the Dr Martens boot.

Early skinheads

Ironically the police at this time also wore them for practicality and comfort.

Today the aggression of the boot's image has been diluted to become a general fashion item, and now what started off as anti-fashion has become a mere trend.

The Clash

Monday, 25 October 2010

Long John Smedley

John Smedley was founded in 1784, making it the oldest factory in the world, its home is in Lea just outside Cromford in Derbyshire. They are famous for their wool and cotton knitwear. It is believed that the term 'long john's' came from John Smedley when they made underwear for the army. 

Their most iconic sweaters are their polo shirts and their cardigans. It must be admitted that a few of their latest designs are bordering on the eccentric. Despite this they continue to produce some great quality knitwear.

Actor Martin Freeman sporting John Smedley polo shirt, teamed with cravat.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Saville Row Field Day

Today Saville Row will experience its roads being closed off to traffic, laden with turf and sheep to mark the first day of British wool week. An event sponsored by The Prince of Wales to celebrate the British wool industry, which has been dying out do to cheap imports and synthetic materials.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

A little dab'll do ya!

Brylcreem first started in 1928 by County Chemicals (a British Company) made primarily for slicked back well groomed mens hair of the time.  It was taken up by RAF pilots which lead them to be dubbed The Brylcreem Boys.

In the 50's it was worn not only by Greasers and Teds to keep up the quiff/pompadour, but also by conservative squares. Maintaining their well cut, neatly groomed hairstyle. By the 60's men started growing their hair long a little dab just wasn't enough and Brylcreem lost its popularity,                          

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

The Blazer

There are two distinct varieties of blazer, the double breasted and the single breasted. The double breasted is commonly navy blue with gilded brass buttons and three pockets and flaps, with the exception of the breast pocket, also known as the reefer jacket. Whilst the single breasted blazer has three pockets traditionally without flaps and often an emblem on the breast pocket.
The term 'blazer' has several origins, the most popular of which comes from the frigate HMS Blazer where in 1837 Queen Victoria was going to visit the ship. The captain noticing how scruffy the crew looked, made a jacket for himself and his crew. When Queen Victoria saw them, she was so impressed with the uniform that she made it compulsory for the rest of the navy to wear similar jackets. 

The club jacket was called the blazer either because the club crest was emblazoned onto the breast pocket, or other theory is that The Lady Margaret Boat Club in 1825 had bright red jackets that blazed. 

They were popular for sporting events in the 1900s, were they were then taken up by schools as part of their uniform.

In the 1960's they were adopted by Mods. Then in the 1970's they were worn again by Mods during the Mod revival. Punks also took them up at this point.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Thanks for mentioning me impossible cool, but  actually I'm 13.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

1920's Men's Swimwear

Up until, and during the 1920's, all men's swimwear was knitted, which as you can imagine  made it extremely heavy when wet. The result of this excess weight meant the bathing suit would often fall down. 

                                             All men's bathing suits, due to public indecency laws had to be one piece and have a skirt or skirt effect. It was either this or fly fronted flannel trousers to the knee with a vest. Sometime after this, the one piece 'speed suit' came along, with deeply slashed arm holes and closed leg trunks. This was the beginning of speed over modesty.

In 1933 a removable top was invented, although all this produced was scandals and arrests for public indecency. It was not until 1937 that men were allowed to go topless in public.