Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Anchors Away

Belfast has a long and proud maritime heritage and when Andrew, the captain of Anchor & Crew got in touch, I knew I had the perfect setting for some photos so I took a quick trip to Belfast's Titanic Quarter and got snapping.

Having admired the wrists of fellow bloggers Aftab and Robert when they sported their Anchor & Crew bracelets, I felt very lucky when they offered me my choice of bracelet too.

I opted for the Admiral in taupe. The supple leather is buttery soft and the antiqued anchor clasp is both bold and masculine. The attention to detail is clear from the high quality of the materials used to the cool tin packaging it arrives in.

starboard & port

Anchor & Crew are obviously passionate about heritage, but this has inspired rather than limited their collections, taking something traditional and reinventing it with the use of unusual colours and creative design to create a collection of jewellery that captures the imagination.

Check out the full range here, including bracelets, bangles and necklaces.

all photos property of rogues+brogues

Sunday, 24 May 2015

rogues+brogues | Lush

Earlier this month I was lucky enough to win a competition hosted by Lush Belfast in association with Sea Shepherd.

I'm an occasional Lush shopper, my usual purchase consists of the Ocean Salt scrub, perfect for sloughing away all that dead skin under my beard and helps keep my oily t-zone under control.

I hadn't tried any of these products previously so I was pretty chuffed and excited to get stuck in and give them a go. I shared my prize pic on twitter and a few fellow bearded bloggers sang the praises of Kalamazoo!

I've been using this quite regularly this month, the pot currently resides in the en suite shower. It really does freshen up my skin and helps give my beard a good seeing too. It also helps that it is pretty tasty as I invariably end up with some in my mouth.

Dirty shaving cream
I'll have to admit, I've only given this a limited trial as I don't shave much. But from the little test I had on the nape of my neck, the thick creamy consistency went on smoothly and helped soften down my stubble, I suffer greatly from beard rash regardless of razor, temperature and product and while this didn't work any miracles, I did have a pretty bloodless experience.

Dirty solid perfume
This little gem interested me most. I've been looking for a new summer scent and this is fresh and zingy with hints of citrus and mint (like a wearable mojito). Being a solid, this is handy to chuck into your bag and ideal for holidays as it takes up so little space and comes in well under your liquid allowance.

The Guv'ner
This is an interesting product. I'm  a little paranoid when it comes to deodorant and body odour in general. I always apply a roll on and a spray, perhaps over kill but I never seem to hold scent and would rather smell of deodorant than BO. The Guv'ner is a dry powder, the main ingredients include sodium bicarbonate and charcoal, both known for their abilities to absorb moisture and neutralise smells.

Bunch of Carrots
There were 3 bars in the pack, however, my other half helped himself to one for a bath during the week. A subtle bubble and a fun orange tint to the water was the result. I have a little obsession with rabbits so I just love the quirk of these.

Thanks again to Lush for my wonderful prize, I'll no doubt will be back soon to replace these new favourites!
(Don't forget to take your empties back to Lush for recycling and you'll receive a freebie for your good deed)


Before you rush off to buy your own Lush stash, please check out the great work of Sea Shepherd.

all images are property of rogues+brogues

Friday, 22 May 2015

Touching Kloth

Last Sunday I took myself into Belfast for a good old rummage at the Kloth Vintage Kilo Sale.

I had been sent a fun invitation from Orla, the brains behind Kloth, in the form of a revamped vintage sweatshirt in my favourite shade of green (How did she know?) The premise was simple; pick what you like, take it to be weighed and pay £20.00 per kilo.

 I do love vintage clothing but find the selection here really limited. I think it boils down to men either buying cheap clothes and they end up wearing out and being chucked, or men just don't seem to turn-over their clothes as much as women so there is less to giveaway.

Anyway, I excitedly made my way to Studio Souk who were hosting the event, arriving around 1.10 (it started at 1.00) and my chronic need to be early for things paid off as there was already a swarm of determined vintage shoppers mauling the rails to pick up some bargains.

It was great to see a good menswear offering, with silk bombers, parka jackets, ski coats, Hawaiian shirts, flannel shirts and denim being the main stories.
It was also refreshing to see a great turn out of male shoppers too - just goes to show that there is a market for it here in Belfast and hopefully it is the shape of things to come.

I bumped into my friend Carolyn of Forever Scarlet who was tackling the womenswear section.

I had my eye on a burgundy silk bomber jacket - I envisioned myself as the Driver from Driver. However, the unflattering reality is I'm clearly not Ryan Gosling and resigned myself to allowing a better man than me to carry off the look.

I was pretty pleased with my mini haul. I went for some over-sized pieces, just the sort of comfy casual things you look for for summer, the shirt you pull on at a barbecue when the sun goes down.
I was also delighted to pick up a vintage Levi denim jacket - I begrudge buying a high street knockoff when I can have the real thing.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Guide London Giveaway

My blog has been going for 2 years this July - it's hard to think what I did before I poured my word jumble on the posts here but I'm very grateful to the folks who read it and the kind companies who have supported me.

Speaking of, Guide London recently sent me a fantastic long sleeve jersey shirt to celebrate my mini-milestone of reaching 200 likes on the Rogues+Brogues facebook page so I thought I'd say thank you to them and to you with a little giveaway. The shirt is in a rich marsala colour (Pantone's colour of the year dontcha know) with a contrasting dark chambray trim at the collar and cuffs.

Simply complete the widget below to enter! Competition closes Friday 8th May!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*prize sponsored by Guide London. Shirt size medium - no alternative given. I reserve the right to amend or withdraw the conditions of this competition at any time

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

On Hallowed Ground

Myself and my blogging missus Ruth were recently invited to a coffee lab hosted by the kind folks at Ground. I've mentioned this company before, having serendipitously stumbled upon them last year. As much as I like coffee, I have to admit I was a little naive to the actual journey from bean to blend to barista.

Our venue was the comfy surroundings of the Waterstones Belfast branch and our host for the evening was manager Michael. Michael gave us a brief background intro to himself, describing his past experience in independent coffee sales and hosting similar events for coffee aficionados before stepping back to the comparative security of the corporate coffee culture. This move did nothing to diminish his passion for the product and his wealth of knowledge was fascinating.

Prior to this event, I viewed baristas a slightly more diverse waiter. I was ignorant to the exacting specifications that goes into making the cups of coffee we take for granted.

For example; did you know an espresso brews for exactly 22 seconds? I didn't.

flat white
We were introduced to the true concept of filter coffee - this is not the stuff you may be used to stewing and brewing away in the office percolator. (I think this is often the reason why people say they don't like coffee; they've just never had a good one.) With a bit of flair from a copper and wood aeropress, he explained the principles of saturation, filtration and brewing. This is a craft, not just a case of boiling the kettle and filling your mug.

in love with the rustic aeropress 
snapped taking snaps
Coffee can be seen as a parallel to wine; the end product is dependent on so many external factors; the climate, the soil, the altitude. In the same sense, the aeration and temperature are key too. I've often been critical of ordering a coffee and it being, to my palette, cold. (This due to my uncouth habits of necking boiling buckets of tea and coffee at home.) A drink served with boiling water will have scalded the coffee which will simply imper the flavour. This doesn't apply to a tepid mug of coffee-themed milk you might expect from certain chains....

Michael also told us he had just returned from a trip to Honduras to meet the farmers who produce the beans that go into so many of the blends Ground offers, including their exclusive Purple Dragon blend. It's often the independent that will go this extra mile to know the origins and ethics of their products, something that's sometimes overlooked in larger companies.

Thanks again to the team at Ground for hosting us and for giving us such an enjoyable and informative evening. I am now trawling eBay for a coffee grinder, drip kettle and some new coffee cups!

*all images property of rogues+brogues and willow lane

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Crown Joules

Last Saturday, myself and Ruth from Willow Lane and Rosanna from Silver Brogues met up for our inaugural Blogger Brunch. We to one of my usual haunts, Established, for some coffee and catching up.

I thought it the ideal opportunity to break out some of the gorgeous new season pieces Joules kindly sent me recently.

In Belfast, we don't often get great weather and when we do, we take it with a big pinch of salt. I know from experience to dress for eventualities rather than potentials so I opted for the Foxton Quilted Jacket. I love the country-heritage style of the jacket and it's the ideal Spring piece for those inevitable April showers.

I paired my jacket with the Lyndhstck Tartan shirt. I have said before how much I love tartan and this bold, Madras-style check is bright and fresh. To pull the colours together I slung my Cambridge satchel over my shoulder and trotted through the sunny, cobbled streets of Belfast's Cathedral Quarter.

You can rarely go wrong with the classic blue & red combo.

My new Kickers boots (courtesy of a Bunnipunch competition) completed my metro-lumbersexual look

Belfast got its first Joules store just before Christmas last year and I'm delighted to see it doing so well in the city. I think the affordable mix of country-prep has a wide appeal - it's easy and unfussy without being too casual. 

Here's to a Summer full of sunshine so I can get plenty of wear out of my new gear!

*Jacket & shirt supplied by Joules. All images property of rogues+brogues

Monday, 6 April 2015

90:10 - The Peter Pan Ratio

Some people are good at being adults. Old souls some call them. A sensible, grown-up approach to life, with a reasonable and well adjusted outlook and attitude.
I am not one of these people.

I turned *coughcough*33*coughcoughcough* late last December and I have been resisting "growing up" with every fibre of my being. I have self-diagnosed chronic Peter Pan syndrome, a classic case of the boy who never grew up.

  • I am still the man who watches cartoons. A lot. Not anime or sophisticated animated movies; actual cartoons.
  • I am the man who still plays Pokemon - I have done so since Red was released when I was 16 (I was probably too old to play it then let alone now.)
  • I am the man with an encyclopedic knowledge of X-Men rooted in my decades long obsession with comic books.

And so what? What benefits are there in always being sensible or grown up? I have a mortgage and pay my bills and drive a car - sometimes that's adult enough for me.

It's this balance that inspired the 90:10 brand, a range of clothing that embraces being 90% grown up and 10% not. The brand is the brainchild of Dan who, like many of us, was reluctant to fully assimilate into the adult world. He wanted to keep some joie de vivre with a range of relaxed and fun (without being novelty) clothing for the man who is sick of having to wear a suit or shirt at work and just wants to take it easy in his down time.

I am a committed hoodie lover, and so when Dan offered me one of their hoodies, I gratefully accepted. The hoodie itself is a fine, slim-fit brushed cotton in a rich dark blue. As many of my hoodies are zip-front, its nice to have a pull-over version for a change of style. It's a soft and comfy piece that will be perfect for a low-key weekend. The logo is subtle and will encourage a question rather than shouting the answer of where it came from.

As it is that little bit finer, it could be layered under a coat or body warmer, or as we enter summer, I can see them being the go-to barbeque/beer garden hoodie for when the sun begins to set.

rogues brogues menswear blog 90:10 clothing man

rogues brogues blog 90:10 menswear clothing man

rogues brogues blog menswear 90:10 clothing man

Many people say that the secret to living longer is staying young at heart, so I'm determined to do that and will display my 90:10 split with pride!