Double cuffed shirts are not easy to find in South Africa so why not look a little further afield and order some from TM Lewin in London?
Double cuffed shirts really can make all the difference to the look of a man in a suit. In fact scrap that, as far as I am concerned they make all the difference. The fact is that the shirts that we get in South Africa tend to be pretty middling in their quality. And when you do get great quality shirts, they are simply priced right out of the market. Don’t let me even begin on double cuffed shirts, as far as I am concerned they are simply not worth buying in South Africa. Simple as that.
So if you are looking for some great shirts, what do you do. Well short of flying to Hong Kong and getting them tailored. You could just order them online?
TM Lewin in Jermyn Street – if you are ever in London then you have to walk it, it is one of those great historic men’s shopping strips – has been at the business of making shirts since 1898. They have recently sprouted all over London, but don’t let that deter you. The bottom line is that they make great shirts and what is much more important, they are affordable and undoubtedly of a higher quality that the shirts you get in South Africa.
It is really as easy as popping onto the site, selecting the shirt size that you’re looking for, selecting the colours and you’re off. They always have a deal going when it comes to their shirts. Usually you can get four of them for a hundred quid. Now let me ask you this, what is the cheapest double cuffed shirt that you’ll find in South Africa? The value in the deal, even after duties and shipping charges, will beat every South African retailer every time.
They make a great gift, and I am certain that any man who still wears shirts to work, would doubly appreciate them!
A Harris Tweed Flat Cap is an utterly timeless garment and cuts a fine figure, especially when worn by a man of a certain age…
I have just spent a month abroad (which is why there has been nothing posted) and it was grand! On the way back from our holiday I agreed to meet a friend at Heathrow Airport, he had also just been away, and that was the only way that we could be sure that we would see each other. I have to admit that I have always liked the flat cap as a piece of clothing, to me it is an utterly timeless accessory, and it not as bland as the American baseball cap.
Needless to say that I was wearing mine. Well one does not really wear a flat cap as much as sporting it. Why would I not have, I had just bought it the week before while making my way round the Ring of Kerry, in a little shop, overlooking what looked like the whole of western Ireland. My mate on the other hand had been to Skye, the roughest of the Isles (or more fairly, one of) off the coast of Scotland. He too had been into a trinket store or two and came across his Harris Tweed Flat Cap.
I cannot tell you how much I was overcome with envy. While mine was still special, it was not Harris Tweed, because other than the name, it is the design of it that really tips the scale. We are both in our mid-thirties, and I would argue that we are of an age where you should not been seen in public wearing a baseball cap, unless of course you are attending a baseball game? So get him a flat cap, better still get him one that is made of Harris Tweed.
The hot sun that you have beating down on us all year round is just about enough reason to give that man in your life a Panama hat!
It has always been said that the hat, as a fashion accessory and something worn daily by men the world over, disappeared because of JFK. Whether that is true or not I have never been able to verify, but the theory is that JFK chose not to wear a hot, the consequence of this decision, because he was the very icon of the modern and contemporary man, was that men the world over abandoned hats. I can vaguely remember from my childhood that there were still some that did, my grandfather by way of an example was one that wore hats until the day that he died, but it does seem a thing of the past. Well not any more, it seems that in the last few years hats of all descriptions have come back into fashion – the hat, it would seem, is one the comeback trail. And if you are going to wear a hat, particularly in the hot climate that we have down here in South Africa, then surely the hat to wear would be a Panama Hat?
There is no doubt that a Panama Hat is back in fashion, but if you wanted some expression of the fact then just look to the glitterati. It would seem that wherever you go, whenever you turn on the television and catch a moment or two of those magazine programmes, someone will appear with a Panama Hat. The great thing about them is that you can get them in retail stores, but even better there is a company that manufactures them to your precise specifications herein South Africa. I have not tried them, but I guess that if you are looking for one to give as a gift, then this is a good place to start.
Harris Tweed is easily the most recognisable name in the business and a tweed jacket is a necessary accessory for winter. For Gifts.
If bow ties are coming back, then it is not going to be very long at all before tweed is back in full swing. Now the problem in South Africa is that it really is only ever cold enough in winter for any sensible person to be able to wear his tweed jacket, but it is still an essential and certainly classic bit of clothing and well worth having. If you know anything about tweed at all, then you would know Harris Tweed, and you would know that it is the best that there is.
I bought my first Harris Tweed jacket on a visit to Scotland, that is after all one of the things that you must do when you are over there, and have since worn it every winter in South Africa. What I like about tweed is that it is versatile and that while you may imagine that you would not have all that frequent an occasion to wear it to, it is not the case. Not only can you wear it as you would a sports jacket, but it is also splendid for a Friday night out on the town. It is durable too which means that you get a great many years wear out of it.
The only real problem with Harris Tweed in South Africa is where to get it. There are some retail outlets that stock them, but generally speaking the selection is really poor. Fortunately we live in a n age where this is not a problem and I have tracked down a splendid British site where you can buy Harris Tweed jackets for men online. They have a gifting service too which is really grand.
So if the chap in your life could do with a little something from over the waters then buy him a tweed jacket for a gift.
Once upon a time they were the ultimate expression of fashion and now they are on the way back, yes bow ties are back in fashion. For Gifts.
It is hard to believe that something like the bow tie, which fell out of favour somewhere in the 1980s, is on the way to making a comeback. What got me on to it, and here I have to admit that I continued to wear them for long after they were no longer in fashion and consequently have a terrific collection of them, is that all of a sudden you can once again buy them in South African retail stores. I did some digging online and it would appear that it is true, I can dust off the box of bow ties that is sitting in my cupboard and once again jump to wearing them? The better news, of course, is that I have narrowed the field in the search for gifts, because really there are so many options when it comes to them.
Now I accept that this is not going to be to everyone’s taste and that there is a whole brigade of men that would be appalled at the thought of being given a bow tie. Be that as it may, for every three or four that don’t want to wear them there will almost certainly be one like me that would be keen on it.
Got out there and find him a bow tie. The only bit of advice is how to tie them, because if he has never done it before, it can be a frustrating learning curve. Here is a great link to a how to do it diagram. Be brave, encourage him, and let’s enjoy another quirky throw back to a fashion we all thought would simply not come back again.
If you can get it right and appeal to his sense of humour, there is nothing like a brilliantly funny T-Shirt as a gift. For Gifts.
One of the best gifts I have ever been given was from a friend of mine in the UK. We had been out seeing the sights around Canterbury and followed up all that work with a severely entertaining and very pastry filled lunch. We may have had a few milkshakes to wash down the pies. We followed that by walking the pedestrian friendly streets and in doing that stumbled upon a store, which by this stage was already closed, and admired the fine merchandise in the window. Now I had no idea at that moment that he had been searching high and low for gifts, trying desperately to find something I’d like, he had exhausted most whisky options…
So it was that a few weeks later, when I was safely back in South Africa, that a package arrived in the post. It was a quirky t-shirt, and while I would not ordinarily celebrate what Niles Crane called an under-garment, I loved it. It was personal and funny, and even though in the particular case it poked fun at me, it was a t-shirt that gave me great joy.
There is a further, often forgotten, advantage of getting a t-shirt. It is that at some point it will wear thin and head towards its grave. At that point it comes into a second life, it can serve for years as a general rag in the garage…
Anyhow, there are all sorts of options about, although the brick and mortar retailers do generally seem rather thin on humorous t-shirts, I suggest that you go to Laugh it Off as a start, and persist, because it really does make a great gift for men.