Monday, 15 December 2014

Local Heroes: Andrew Watson Menswear

In the second part of my Local Heroes series, I'm giving you a little history lesson 

Flash back to 2007,  I had just started working in an awful office job and hating every minute of it. After 3 months, I took a chance and applied for a job in Carter, which was then Belfast's premier luxury fashion store. I didn't expect to hear anything back, but to my surprise I was called for an interview by Andrew himself and I ended up working there for memorable 2 years.

Working with such amazing clothes helped shape my personal style and improve my product and industry knowledge and I got the chance to meet some fantastic people. Andrew was/is the go-to-guy for suiting in Belfast. Andrew's quiet confidence meant he not only knew the right fit, you would  leave with your perfect suit and at least 2 shirts, a tie, socks and shoes.

Sadly Carter has since closed, but Andrew & Tim (who was then manager of the Lisburn Road store, previously working across London) have continued and improved on the premise of delivering classic, quality menswear with a wealth of experience and expertise to draw on.

menswear anywhere

Cashmere for Christmas? You shouldn't have!

get some Peter Capaldi Dr Who style with a Crombie coat
Shopping here is a complete boutique experience, with a one-to-one consultation on fit, fabric and styling to ensure you look your best. The store also offers a made to measure service on selected suits and shirts for those special occasions.

notice the running stitch on the shoulders; this indicates a hand-finished suit 
Famous brands such as Loake, Oliver Sweeney, Strellson, Baldessarini, John Smedley & Hackett sit alongside exclusives like Eduard Dressler, Eton, Jacques Britt and Phil Petter coming for Spring 2015.

a shearling coat is a menswear classic

In addition to all this, Andrew Watson Menswear is also the home of The Alteration Boutique. Ingrida is the stitch-witch; if she can't do it, it can't be done.

Have you any favourite independent menswear stores? Let me know in the comments and I might just pay them a visit!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Seeing Red

Pantone, the powers-that-be on all things tonal, have decreed that the colour for 2015 is marsala.

This rich red is a colour that can easily be added and integrated to any wardrobe with a few carefully selected pieces.
Marsala itself is not a particularly common colour, so look for similar wine-y shades to help you tap the trend; burgundy, claret etc. Team them with denim, or add some dark sophistication to your work wardrobe. This versatile colour palette is masculine but playful.

I've pulled a collection of marsala-soaked pieces - but please don't wear them all at once...

Clockwise from top left:

Red has always been a colour associated with strength, passion and energy so add some va-va-voom to your usual attire with some sumptuous shades this season.

With Christmas looming, any of these pieces would make ideal gifts and get a head start on the trend for 2015!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Local Heroes: Urban Threads

This post is the start of a little series highlighting independent menswear retailers across Northern Ireland who are offering something different to the high street.

In an industry dominated with disposable products, independent fashion stores struggle to compete with the bigger names, those giants who have huge stores and huge budgets. But it is the passion, product knowledge and customer service of the independents that sets them apart and it's these qualities that keeps their customers coming back.

My first post features a store which has just opened in my local town of Lisburn. While Lisburn has its traditional menswear stores, it has been crying out for something new and fresh. Urban Threads is the new boy in town and has no plans on leaving any time soon.

I was kindly invited to the grand opening on Saturday when the store was officially opened by Lisburn's Lord Mayor. The store is the brainchild of Steven, drawing on over 15 years retail experience, creating a modern and stylish menswear destination.

The store's pared back interior allows the collections to speak for themselves. Keeping the ranges in capsule collections shows a keen insight into fashion and commercial awareness; a definite case of quality over quantity.

The store stocks big name brands like Replay, Diesel, Tommy Hilfiger, Hudson and Scotch & Soda alongside exclusives like Pearly King and Claudio Lugli.

For a personal passionate and professional shopping experience, add Urban Threads to your list of Local Heroes.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

I Moustache You A Question...

Have you been cultivating a lipwarmer this Movember?

Once a year, men across the globe unite to support other men in a show of hairy solidarity, growing moustaches in support of charity. I have been a contributing Mo-Bro a couple of times over the past years (I am excusing myself this year on account of not wishing to shave my beard off to start again) so a few fellas in work are taking up the mantle.

Boohoo are supporting Movember this year with a selection of moustache themed tees, competitions and grooming tips.

They kindly sent me out a Movember gift box packed with a printed tee, moustache wax (I've been wanting to try it but not plucked up the courage to give it a go) and a handy little moustache comb to keep my top lip looking sweet.

Check out my entry to their #TashOfTheWeek competition. There's still time - enter it to win yourself some goodies. However, if you are entering this competition, I urge you to contribute to the cause too. While it's a bit of fun to grow a 'tache, why not help your fellow man out by donating to research male cancers?

(Ladies - don't feel left out - become a Mo' Sister and download your own moustache!)

Saturday, 15 November 2014


Last week I attended the grand re-opening of Atelier-Design, one of the Belfast's most interesting and inspiring interior stores. Having found a new home in the former Refound building, Atelier covers 3 floors with furniture, furnishings and accessories. The non-traditional layout of the building lends itself to an eclectic mix of contents, including designer pieces from Matthew Williamson and Christian Lacroix, vintage treasures from French Vintage Vie and local artisans Abigail*Ryan.



For the launch of the new location, Atelier collaborated with men's fashion magazine Beyond Man with a model installation showcasing the new FAUXIALITE capsule collection. 

A unisex street-wear collection is inspired by the notion of the faux-socialite, those celebrity icons who have been titled as such with little merit, a label without the legacy. The FAUXIALITE knows, loves and lives fashion. 

Fashion power couple Beyond Man editor-in-chief Lewis Cameron and stylist Jamie Russell's project saw models placed throughout the showroom creating a casual catwalk environment. The models were comprised of bloggers, stylists, students and creatives who embody the ideals of modern fashion; an uncompromising hunger for self-expression through personal style.

One of my favourite touches was super-stylist Jamie Russell's painstaking attention to detail; a cascade of dead flowers falling from the peak of a snapback cap, collars and lapels clad dried roses to contradict the military harshness of a wool overcoat.

The setting, combined with the installation created a truly stylish event. Belfast has come on leaps and bounds in recent years as it begins to embrace the creativity and skill of its residents and this is evident from the works shown. 

The FAUXIALITE collection is available exclusively via Beyond Man