At an industry dinner last night a discussion arose on the topic of details. Great men's style has always been about more subtle additions than flashy tricks but it's arguably more important than ever in order to prove your style credentials in this way. I know I'd prefer to give a wink with a bright pair of socks than something more visible, which is interesting when contrasted with the womenswear trend of re-embracing 90s bold branding like Kenzo jumpers and Alexander Wang's 'Parental Advisory' labels. This all got me thinking about the details that I feel are essential, the items I love to use in everyday life.
1. The Scent: Smelling great is the most subtle of all details. It makes a superb first impression at an important meeting and is the perfect reminder in a man's absence once he finds his signature. I'm not the sort of guy to have a cabinet filled with fragrances as when I find the one I like, it tends to stick around for a while and after a stint with Margiela's 'Untitled', I've been on the lookout for something new. Luckily, last week Dior sent me a bottle of their new fragrance for men, appropriately named 'Homme', which launches next month. It's got a nice balance of earthy musk and subtle sweetness that's already earned me some compliments. That's always nice.
2. The Shoe Care: One thing my dad passed onto me was the importance of taking care of footwear. Once you get a nice pair of shoes, it's important to make them last and Oliver Sweeney's shoe care box not only works a treat but also looks slick itself.
3. The Umbrella: Come on, we live in the UK. There's no excuse for a cheap pound-store brolly. A wooden handled gentleman's umbrella will stand the test of time...and wind...and rain...and end up being more economical in the long run. I quite like a classic navy or racing green but this printed one from Present London is pretty cool.
4. The Document Holder: After jibing Mr Phil Green over his 'man clutch' carrying habits last time we had a pint, it's time for me to eat my words. I prepared to leave the house last night for this dinner and knew I needed something for my iPad and journal. A backpack's too casual, a totebag's too large...but I found the perfect solution with Holdall and Co's British made leather goods. David from Grey Fox blog introduced me to the brand last week and now it's securely on my wishlist.
5. The Cufflinks: Not many people notice quality cufflinks but I think they're important to get right. Sticking with something simple means they can be worn day after day and as I've admired Stephen Einhorn's rings for a long time, I've now set my sight his simple yellow gold Soho Cufflinks.
6. The Hair Style: As much as I'd love to be the type of guy to gel-up and comb-back a slick 1950s cut, my hairline simply won't allow it. I've been recommended hundreds of products by barbers over the years but only Ruffians Texturising Putty works for me. I can't be fussed with too much time and effort so this is perfect to stop it looking dry, whilst keeping it from being greasy.
7. The Spectacles: When I wore my Oliver Peoples glasses to the Hackett x Sartorial 7 shoot everyone asked where I got them. As they're a few years old the 'new' is starting to fade but I'm not ready to replace them just yet so got these from London Retro as a second pair. Still an attractive design without a big price tag.