The Oxford shirt or OCBD (Oxford cloth button down) is my favourite thing to wear. Named after the Oxford weave, they were championed in the US by Brooks Brothers and you can read all about the history of the shirt online. Compared to a dress shirt, it’s made in a textured fabric which feels heavier but is more breathable meaning it can be worn casually. Moreover due its sartorial roots it can also be worn with a suit.
The first one I bought was £26 from ASOS. It isn’t completely 100% cotton but the slim cut fits me much better. A lot of people rave about the great value Oxford shirts at Uniqlo my advice would be to try shopping around and find one that fits you well. In terms of colour; pink, white and blue are safe bets.
Left: Uniqlo, £14.90 Right: Topman, £26
The t-shirt had humble beginnings as an undergarment worn by the US Navy during wars and blue collar workers due its light weight and inexpensiveness. In the 1950′s it was Marlon Brando who moved t-shirts into the fashion spotlight. His portrayal of Stanley Kowalski in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ got the attention of the public and his fitted plain t-shirts were what led to the ubiquitous item that it is today.
Aside from being a stand-alone item of clothing, the simplicity of a plain t-shirt means it has the ability to tone down an outfit from becoming ‘too much’. At the same time it can frame another item like a great trench or a bold check shirt. For example Belstaff signed David Beckham to promote their luxury outerwear and he wore white t-shirt which brought attention to the very cool leather jacket. Similarly, Tinie Tempah favours scoop neck t-shirts which allow him to show off his chiselled chest as well as the flecked blue suit in the photo below.
There are plenty of cuts and colours to choose from; if you want to be spoilt for choice then stroll into an American Apparel store. For me, Gap provide excellent, 100% cotton t-shirts below £10 – you cannot go wrong. Uniqlo has a lot of big fans so I would also recommend them. Don’t be afraid to branch out into coloured different colours such as a conservative navy or blood red.
February has been a particularly stormy month this year, the Environmental Agency in the UK has sent out dozens of flood warnings and troops were put on high alert. Aside from affecting public transport or flooding homes, heavy rain also creates problems for what you wear, it can damage your leather jackets, shoes and bags. Leather is a basically a skin and just as our skin doesn’t particularly favour harsh chemicals or dirt, leather doesn’t like it either. It causes leather to fade, wear out, lose its suppleness and even shrink. So considering the British weather we have been having, it’s time to invest in some leather care.
Collonil Leather Gel can be used on both leather and suede goods so if you are ever feeling tentative about walking out in your nice suede trainers then this may give you a bit of assurance. The gel acts as a water repellant so it prevents the rain from soaking into your shoes and bags, the rain merely sits on the product and can be wiped away when you get home.
It comes in a small plastic pot and it could easily be mistaken as moisturiser as it feels very light and spreads onto your shoes/bags very easily. I tend to dab a little onto an old tshirt and then rub the gel on my shoes in circular motions. It doesn’t smell bad once applied and you can buff it into your leather shoes for a bit of a shine. Collonil Leather Gel is also recommended by the luxury brand Mulberry and is sold for around £8 on the their website but can also get it for about £6 on Amazon.