April Playlist: What I’m Listening To

With April just days away, here’s a quick round-up of the top 5 songs I’ll be listening to this next month, and why you should give them all a listen too.

1) B*tch Better Have My Money – Rihanna [Out Now]

Rihanna BBHMM

The second single to drop from Rihanna’s highly-anticipated eighth studio album (dubbed ‘R8’ by her fans), BBHMM is completely different from the previous ‘FourFiveSeconds’, but not at all in a bad way. Co-produced yet again by Kanye West, the track has a darker, more urban vibe than the previous single, similar to that of her fourth album ‘Rated R’, and has you hooked from the very first listen.

2) Jealous (Remix) – Nick Jonas feat. Tinashé [Released April 5th]

Nick Jonas Jealous

I must say, when I first heard about Nick Jonas’ first solo effort, I was a little bit reluctant to give it a listen. However, when I finally did, I wished I’d done it sooner. The song surpassed my expectations by a mile, and I quickly fell in love with the R&B-esque production and the catchy lyrics. The official remix featuring upcoming R&B superstar Tinashé is even better, with the young singer adding even more of an urban feel to the track.

3) All Hands on Deck (Remix) – Tinashé feat. Iggy Azalea [Released April 19th]

Tinashé All Hands on Deck

I’ve been a huge fan of Tinashé for a while now; I loved her mixtapes and her album, and became officially hooked when I saw her live in Manchester earlier this month. Following guest appearances on singles by Ty Dolla $ign, Kid Ink as well as the Nick Jonas remix I mentioned earlier, the songstress has definitely been keeping herself busy – and she is showing no signs of slowing down as she teams up with no other than Iggy Azalea for her latest single, a remix of the album track “All Hands on Deck”. Iggy’s fiercely confident verse only adds to the club-ready production and Tinashé’s killer vocals. If this song isn’t a hit, something is wrong with the world.

4) Biscuits – Kacey Musgraves [Out Now]

Kacey Musgraves Biscuits

Kacey Musgraves took the world of country by storm in 2013, following the release of her fantastic album ‘Same Trailer Different Park’. Her latest effort ‘Biscuits’, although a little bit more light-hearted, channels the same blunt, witty appeal as her previous work, and has already set off climbing the country music charts. If this single is any indication as to what’s in store for Kacey this year as she releases her second studio album, then I for one am very excited.

5) I Really Like You – Carly Rae Jepsen [Released April 26th]

Carly Rae Jepsen I Really Like You

This song is everything that I could possibly have wished for when I heard that Carly Rae Jepsen had recorded what was set to be ‘the next Call Me Maybe’. The lyrics are fun and catchy, the vocals are great, and the ’80s inspired production just couldn’t be more perfect. It isn’t ‘the next Call Me Maybe’, in fact, I think its even better than that. Paired with a hilarious, star-filled music video, there’s no doubt that this song will be huge.

So, what will you be listening to this April?

Let me know in the comments below!

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Spring Essential: The Rain Mac

With April showers soon to be on their way, its time that you prepared yourself with some spring essentials – and what better place to start than with a classic rain coat? With various styles and retailers out there, here’s all you need to know when shopping for this much needed piece.

Style

1) Classic

Classic Black Classic Blue

           Classic Yellow Classic Navy

Following the rain mac’s return to the world of fashion last year, classic colours and styles led the comeback. With the trend still going strong now in SS15, these classic styles carry a sort of retro-old school feel that will fit nicely into any wardrobe and allows you to wear the jacket for seasons to come and still look cool, even when other trends take its place on the runway. For a truly retro style, go for one with a matte finish in either yellow, blue or black, or experiment with different colours and high-shine textures for a look that may be better suited to your own personal style.

2) Printed

               Printed Blue Printed Khaki

 Printed StarsPrinted Space

Prints have been huge in men’s fashion recently, from aztec to space-print to florals, each season finds a new pattern dominating the runways. Over the past few seasons, the rain mac has been one of the first pieces to receive the new print treatment, SS15 being no exception. These particular jackets are designed to make a statement, and will do so best when paired with neutral pieces, allowing them to stand out.

3) Transparent

Transparent Black Transparent Blue

Transparent Clear

A much more modern and edgy take on the classic rain mac, transparent variations have popped in tons of different stores, and are a great way of adding some individuality to your outfits. Fully clear styles can work both as a statement piece when worn with neutral tones, or can be the perfect way to showcase a show-stopping shirt, jumper etc. whilst still keeping dry. Tinted rain macs don’t carry the same flexibility, but are even more eye-catching, and look great with different shades of the jacket’s colour. Topman are really the place to go to for these, with a small collection of transparent and semi-transparent choices just waiting for you.

Things to Remember

1) There are two different types of rain macs out there: quality ones that are meant to last, and cheaper ones that are made for short use and meant to be disposed of afterwards. If you’re looking for protection from the rain for the whole season, you want the first kind, whereas if you’re looking for an easy way to stay dry at a camping trip or a festival, the second kind may be more what you’re after.

2) Something that needs to be kept in mind more concerning chunkier, clear jackets – plastic scratches. This may sound a bit silly, but it is important to remember to be careful with these kinds of jackets as scratches show up quite badly and can easily ruin the jacket’s polished, modern style.

3) Unlike other jackets, rain macs are there first and foremost to protect you from the rain, not to keep you warm. Because of this, you’ll find yourself wearing at least a few layers underneath it, and need to make sure that your jacket will fit over these. If you have any doubts about whether it will or won’t, you may want to try it on in store or consider ordering one size bigger than you usually would.

So, what kind of rain mac will you be hiding under when the rain hits this spring?

What other rainy-day items would you consider ‘spring essentials’?

Let me know in the comments below!

Steal His Style: Mark Ronson

To say that the last six months have been busy for Mark Ronson would be a complete understatement. He’s not only found himself atop of the UK charts with his latest album, but his Bruno Mars collaboration ‘Uptown Funk’ has taken the world by storm, topping charts and setting records in countries all over the world. However, the grammy award-winning producer has also been at the top of his game in terms of fashion recently, ranking in the Top 50 best dressed men of the year over at GQ. But how can you add some Mark Ronson-esque style to your wardrobe?

What You Need to Know

Brit Awards 2015 Fashion Week Mortdecai Premiere

Mark Ronson’s style is very simple, yet very effective, and can therefore be easily achieved. Most of his outfits consist of one statement piece paired with all neutral pieces (mainly black) to help it stand out. Along with the extra attention being drawn to the key part of the outfit, this also prevents his looks from looking too busy and from clashing. This can be adapted for any style or occasion, for example, if you’re looking for a more smart-casual look, opt for a pair of black jeans, shoes and a bright shirt or jacket, if you’re after a more sports-luxe feel then go for a pair of black slimline joggers, black trainers and a printed sweatshirt etc. The excitement doesn’t just have to be kept to the top half either – experiment with statement trousers or shoes, while keeping the rest of your outfit plain for a look that still has the same effect, but is a little less common.

Get the Look

             Black TrousersBlack Brogues

   Black Trainers          Black Jeans

Whereas Mark usually opt for a pair of smart, black trousers for his high-profile appearances, something that would work great for formal parties or a day at the office, you may find that a pair of slim, black jeans fits better into your everyday wardrobe. Brogues are a stylish and easy to pull off option for formal footwear, and all-black trainers will give the style feel to your casual looks.

Tartan Blazer Floral Trousers

Statement Trainers Floral Bomber

Statement pieces can vary from bold patterned shirts and blazers, to brightly coloured shoes, and are best picked by you to ensure that they suit your style. That being said, these are four great items that would look amazing as the crown jewel of your outfits this season. This tartan blazer from Topman is very similar to the one that Mr. Ronson sported at fashion week, and will allow you to easily recreate his look. The printed Zara trousers and the Nike Internationalist trainers are perfect examples of how to add print to the bottom half of your outfit, and I recently purchased this great Forever 21 bomber jacket which is not only perfect to obtain a Mark Ronson-like look, but the canvas type fabric is extremely comfortable and the colours and style of the jacket are bang on-trend right now.

So, will you be channelling your inner Mark Ronson with your fashion choices this season?

What’s your favourite Mark Ronson look?

Let me know in the comments below!

Spectacular Spectacles: Which Sunglasses Should You Be Wearing This Summer?

With SS15 finally here, I myself cannot help but look forward to what will hopefully be a warm summer, and I’m sure there are plenty of you out there in the same boat. However, with our daydreams soon to become reality, it is time that we began investing in some summer fashion essentials, starting with the perfect pair of sunglasses! With countless shapes and styles, which should you go for this season?

Style

1) Wayfarers

Wayfarer Black Wayfarer Clear

     Wayfarer Green   Wayfarer Tortoiseshell

Since they were first introduced over 50 years ago, the Wayfarers have become the most popular style of sunglasses out there. Available in pretty much any colour you can think of, these glasses along with their classic style will fit easily into any wardrobe. While they do suit most, disregard what you heard about Wayfarers suiting all face types. Their lenses are slightly smaller than those of other styles, and, because of this, I wouldn’t recommend them to those of you with oblong shaped faces as they may make your features look too small, throwing off the overall balance of your face.

2) Aviators

Aviators Black   Aviators Bronze

 Aviators Gold  Aviators Blue Tint

A close second to the Wayfarers in terms of popularity, the Aviators offer the same classic style with an added vintage twist. Their teardrop shaped lenses are best suited to those of you with square, diamond or oval shaped faces, whereas those with diamond and round faces are best suited to something else. With their frames usually made out of metal, I’d recommend sticking to classic colours such as black or silver. However, feel free to experiment with the colour of the lenses when looking for a pair to fit your style.

3) Round Lens

Round Black Green Round Silver

Round Silver 2   Round Tortoiseshell

Quirky, retro and stylish, round lens sunglasses are bang-on trend right now, with the fashion of the ’70s making a huge comeback. As for which face types should be wearing these glasses, the same rules apply as with the Aviators. Whether you go for a classic pair, or one of the more modern variations that are out there right now, these glasses are bound to add personality to your looks this summer.

4) Square Lens

Square Black 1 Square Black 2

  Square Black 3 Square Grey

Perhaps the most under-appreciated style of glasses here, square lens sunglasses are not very common, but, worn right, can look amazing. Their square-shape give them a look that’s both retro yet modern, and that is perfect for those of you with rounder faces, as the sharp angles provide the face with some balance. To match the feel of the glasses, avoid shades of brown and muted colours, and go for something sleek like black, grey, navy etc. or something in a bright shade.

Things to Remember

1) Try Before You Buy: You should always try on a pair of sunglasses in store before you buy them. There’s no certain way of telling whether you like them or not when buying online, and certain is exactly what you want to be before buying.

2) Oval Faces Need Not Worry: People with oval-shapes faces are very lucky when it comes to sunglasses as their face shape suits pretty much every shape of glasses out there. However, they should be wary if buying Aviators – go for a pair that doesn’t droop too low as you’ll risk making your face look too long

3) (Almost) Every Rule Has It’s Exceptions: If you see a pair of glasses that you love, but your face type isn’t recommended for them, don’t feel as if you can’t wear them. All the things said here are nothing more than suggestions. Find them in store, try them on, and decide for yourself whether they suit you or not. After all, fashion is all about self-expression and what you feel comfortable in.

4) Don’t Limit Yourself: If you like two different pairs, but can’t decide which style you like better or which one is better suited to your style, there’s nothing wrong with buying both. Feel free to invest in as many different styles as you like.

5) Designer Sunglasses May Be Worth It: Although this article, like most on this blog, focuses on highstreet products, it may be worth investing in a pair of designer sunglasses. They’re more expensive but are likely to last you a while longer.

6) Sports Glasses and Novelty Glasses Are a No: This is one rule that has no exceptions. Keep your sports glasses for sports and your novelty glasses for stag-do’s, hen nights etc. Neither should be worn as your everyday glasses, unless your goal is to look ridiculous.

So, which type of sunglasses will you be wearing this summer?

Have any other tips to remember when buying sunglasses?

Let me know in the comments below!

Sports Luxe Vs. ’70s Comeback: Which Trend Will You Be Sporting This Season?

Last years runways saw tons of different trends take centre stage, showing us that SS15 would be a season to remember. With its polished yet laid-back style, the presence of Sports Luxe continued to be felt in big-name collections such as Burberry Prorsum, whilst the psychedelic prints of the 1970s comeback dominated runways from the likes of Topman Design to Saint Laurent. With both set to be huge, which is the trend for you this season?

Sports Luxe

A trend that has been prevalent in men’s fashion since back in 2012, Sports Luxe continues to live on both on the runway and the highstreet. This look is extremely easy to pull off, and gives an effortless, stylish vibe to your outfit that can work perfectly for both your casual and formal attire.

Casual Style

CSL Backpack      CSL Joggers

CSL Sweatshirt CSL Trainers

Adding a hint of Sports Luxe into your casual wear is simple. Replace your old pair of jeans with a pair slimline joggers, or swap out your favourite jumper for a sleek sweatshirt. The bomber jacket also fits perfectly into this trend, and, with it also being this season’s must-have piece, it is definitely a good idea to pick one up if you haven’t already. Trainers are an obvious essential with this look, and a cool, fashion forward pair are the key to Sports Luxe success this season. Finally, invest in a back pack with a minimalist design for anything you might need to carry around. Although these items are most commonly found in block colours such as back, grey and navy, don’t be afraid to mix things up this season with brighter shades and stand-out prints. Scuba and leather-look pieces will also allow you to put an SS15 twist on this trend without stepping too far away from its urban appeal.

Formal Wear

FSL Jacket FSL Trousers

        FSL Trainers

Finding a way to incorporate Sports Luxe into your formal wear is much more difficult as most pieces are associated with casual, street style. However, it can be done. Ditch your usual formal footwear and pair your favourite slim-fit suit with a pair of crisp, all-white trainers to add an urban-dapper look, similar to that of Nick Jonas.

The ’70s

From the fringe-filled, floral fashion of hippie culture, to the leather covered rise of the punk-rockers, the 1970s were full of different styles and trends, all of which are back in men’s fashion this season, just waiting for you to add them to your wardrobe.

Casual Style

CSC Flares       CSC Suede Jacket

        CSC ShirtCSC Glasses

Unless you want your outfit to end up looking like a fancy-dress hippie costume, try not to go all-out with the ’70s inspired look, keeping to no more than a few pieces per outfit for a look that channels the decade without fully replicating it. For example, swap out your regular, slim-fit shirt for a baggier alternative in a psychedelic print, or keep the slim-fit pieces on the top half and match them with a daring pair of flared jeans for an authentic ’70s feel. A fringed, suede piece could easily replace your trusty leather or denim jacket this season for the same effect. Let a pair of John Lennon-esque sunglasses be the crown jewel of your ’70s look as you enjoy the sun later this SS15.

Formal Wear

FCS Zig Zag Shirt FCS Blue Flares

FSC Mint Flares FCS Twig Shirt

70s influence is probably best added to your formal style in small parts, especially at work where you want to dress stylish but not too over the top. The easiest way to do this is by pairing your regular suit with a wide-collared shirt, and by trying out earthy or pastel colour schemes. Flared, smart trousers could also be used to channel the decade in your formal wear, but are a lot more of a risk. If you are brave enough to try a pair however, be sure to keep the rest of your outfit slim to prevent a costume-like look that throws off your body proportions. Topman is undoubtedly the place to go this season when looking to pull this look off, with their Topman Design range being inspired by the ’70s and ’90s.

So, which trend are we more likely to see you in this season?

How will you be fitting it into your wardrobe?

Let me know in the comments below!

Essential Attire: The Foundations of a Perfect Wardrobe

As the new SS season gets under way, fashion-forward fellows all across the country are adding last minute pieces to their spring wardrobes, and, while the new, in-trend pieces may be what steal the show, their outfits could not survive without these essential pieces.

1) Timeless Tees

T-Shirt Grey V-Neck T-Shirt White Slim

T-Shirt White V-Neck   T-Shirt Black

Crew-neck or V-neck, slim-fit or regular, the plain, short sleeve tee is a must for men everywhere. The options are endless; take a laidback approach and keep it on its own, dress it up with a blazer for something more semi-formal, or layer it up with your favourite shirts, jackets and knitwear. Invest in colours such as white, grey and black for a selection that will still work for years after purchase.

2) The Statement Jacket

Denim Jacket Dark Denim Jacket Light

Leather Biker Jacket Leather Jacket

Whether you go for leather, denim, or both, a statement jacket of at least one sort needs a place in your wardrobe. Both pieces simply ooze personality and either one will work perfectly as a cherry-on-top for any outfit. Fit is key with both types; your jacket should be snug, making nothing but straight lines – if it drapes and creases then the fit is not right. Finally, make sure the sleeves are not too long and, to ensure it survives the trends of countless seasons to come, go for a classic colour.

3) Dependable Denim

Jeans Light Blue Tapered

Jeans Mid Slim  Jeans Mid Blue Spray On Skinny

An undeniable essential, there is no excuse for not having a signature pair of jeans in your wardrobe. There are tons of different jeans out there – from loose-fit to spray-on skinny, you should go for whatever type best suits your style and body type. Each and every style has the potential to look great, however, in order for them to fulfil their potential, there are a few things you should remember: body type is key – anything looser than slim-fit or tapered on someone with really skinny legs will look off, and anything tighter than those on someone with larger hips/legs will not work either; belts should only ever be worn as an accessory – if your jeans fit you right then you will not need one; and, again, you should keep to classic colours – you cannot go wrong with a pair of blue jeans, however, a black or grey pair could work just as well.

4) Your Favourite Jumper

Knitwear Blue Cardigan Knitwear Grey Cable Jumper

Knitwear Maroon Black Jumper  Knitwear Stone Ribbed Jumper

Cosy and comforting, a reliable jumper may not be everybody’s first thought when they hear the phrase ‘wardrobe essentials’, but their versatility and all-year-round appeal make them a much-needed addition to your closet. Unlike other essential items, there are not really any rules with knitwear, and there are probably more choices here than with any other piece here. From easy to dress-up  V-neck and crew-neck sweaters, to casual, chunky cable-knits the choice is completely down to you. I myself like to keep my wardrobe stocked with a few different pieces, button-up cardigans being a personal favourite, and I advise you to do the same. Again, when looking for pieces that will survive ever-changing trends, opt for neutral colours, with ones such as grey, navy, maroon and beige working best.

5) Calm, Casual Kicks

Shoes Navy Trainers Shoes Suede Brogues

Shoes Suede Loafers  Shoes White Trainers

The perfect pair of shoes can easily take your outfit from fairly forgettable to outright perfection! Because of this, no man’s wardrobe should be without a pair of stylish, casual footwear. The more semi-formal dressers out there might want to invest in a pair of loafers or suede brogues, whereas trainers, plimsolls and espadrilles work perfectly for a more laidback style. When looking for casual shoes, go for something that is comfortable, and try to avoid patterns or bright colours for long lasting style.

So, which one of these pieces do you get the most use out of?

Are there any others that you think should be classes as ‘wardrobe essentials’?

Let me know in the comments below!

SS15 Key Piece: The Bomber Jacket

Over the last few years, the bomber jacket has become somewhat of a staple of men’s fashion. From the catwalks to the highstreet, they’re pretty much everywhere, and  they will continue to be this SS15. But, what type of bomber jacket should you be rocking this season? Let’s take a look at the options…

1) The Classic Bomber

Classic Bomber Blue

Classic Bomber Red Classic Bomber White

Although now a bit common, the classic bomber jacket remains a stylish and versatile addition to any wardrobe. Its sleek, adaptable design has kept it in style these past few seasons and SS15 promises that they won’t be heading anywhere anytime soon. Often found in neutral colours such as black, navy etc. , they can complement nearly any outfit and are great for pretty much all occasions. Embrace SS15 even more, and get yourself a classic bomber in one of this season’s top colours.

2) The Printed Bomber

Patterned Bomber Patwork  Patterned Bomber Floral

 Jersey Bomber Print

If you’re looking for something a little less-safe than the classic bomber, then look no further. With everything from florals to camouflage, you will have no trouble finding a bomber jacket with a pattern to match your look. Try an all-over print if you want to make a big statement, or keep the madness to just the sleeves or body for something that’s still fun but doesn’t draw too much attention.

3) The Jersey Bomber

Jersey Bomber Navy 

Jersey Bomber Texture Patterned Bomber Palm Trees

Casual and comfortable, the last type of bomber jacket on this list keeps the same stylish design as a regular bomber, but mixes it with the same warmth and coziness of your favourite hoodie or sweatshirt. Available both in classic colours and exciting prints, the jersey bomber is the go-to jacket for this season’s more chilly days, and will easily give your casual style a much more fashionable edge.

Where to Buy:

ASOS

ASOS probably offer more bomber jackets right now than any other retailer and do so in a range of different colours and fabrics, with quite a few prints too. Their prices are as expected, starting at around £38 for a regular bomber and £20 for a jersey one. I bought myself a reversible bomber from ASOS a while back – it looks amazing, its extremely comfortable and the quality is amazing. The service was also great, with quick delivery and an extremely easy way to return any unwanted items. If their current range is anything similar then I would definitely recommend them.

Topman

Topman do not offer as many colours as ASOS do and only a few prints but some of their prices are better, with their classic grey bomber currently only £30. On top of that, they offer an obvious advantage  over ASOS, with customers being able to visit the store and try on the jacket before they decide to purchase it. As with most products at Topman, these bombers seem to be of high quality and their reviews say the same thing.

Zara

With prices ranging from around £40-£60, Zara’s selection of bomber jackets are a bit more expensive than those at ASOS and Topman. However, they may well be worth the extra price, with a range of prints not found at any other retailer and various different textures from faux leather and suede to satin. If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd with your bomber, then Zara may well be the place to go.

So, will we see you sporting a bomber jacket this season?

Which jacket type/retailer would you recommend?

Let me know in the comments below!