23 October 2017

The Idle Man: AW17 Review




Denim jacket: The Idle Man
Reverse weave hoodie: Champion
Relaxed tapered "dad" jeans: The Idle Man
Sneakers: Converse 70s



Padded gilet: The North Face
Oxford shirt: Supreme
T-Shirt: SHIRT Comme des Garçons
Straight leg chinos: The Idle Man
Sneakers: Converse 70s x PLAY Comme des Garçons



Wool coat: Yohji Yamamoto Pour Homme
Cotton corduroy shirt: The Idle Man
T-shirt: SHIRT Comme des Garçons

Disclosure: I was sent some pieces from The Idle Man Autumn/Winter 2017 collection to review. Product links are not affiliate links, but purely for informational purposes.

I discovered The Idle Man online store at the start of last year while looking for somewhere to buy a pair of Dickies 874 trousers from, because at the time all I could seem to find elsewhere were the slimmer cuts. Since then I have shopped from there a few times because they stock a good array of menswear brands and I find the customer service pleasant and efficient (which sounds like a small detail, but you would be surprised at how many retailers fall short). However I had never really had any great amount of experience with their affordable own label until recently. I bought a fluffy teddy bear hoodie (that some of you may have seen on my Instagram), which I absolutely love. So when I got an email from the team soon thereafter asking me whether I would like to review some of the clothes from their current Autumn/Winter 2017 collection, I thought it would be fun to see what other clothes they offer and whether they could actually work with the clothes in my wardrobe.

I tried to get pieces that would allow me to create quite a few different looks, just to see what sort of diversity was possible in terms of styling. Indeed I liked the fact that their lookbook for the season, while small, was varied enough to show what routes one could go down or find in terms of dressing. So I have been wearing the various pieces in my own daily outfits to get used to how they feel, how they move, and overall to get a good idea of what I like about them, and what could do with some improvement. I have broken down the review into sections, which hopefully cover my key impressions and findings. Overall, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

Design

The collection as a whole has a pretty diverse array of options to choose from, with a decent offering for basics and layering pieces, meaning that it caters nicely to a wider audience. I think that all of the pieces that I chose were solid in terms of design. I tried to stick to more foundational pieces so that I could use them as a spring board for different styles - a very casual look, a more refined casual, and then a relatively smart look. I thought that the corduroy shirt was interesting in terms of material choice, because it was a very fine corduroy, meaning that in person it looks almost like velour. I enjoy wearing different textures of black, so that was nice. In terms of materials, I think that the fabrics chosen lay well, flowed well and felt comfortable. I do wish the denim was a heavier weight, but that is personal preference I suppose.

Fit

I thought that the shirt would be a hard sell, because I usually have difficulty in finding sleeves long enough, but this one fit surprisingly well. I could have done with an extra half inch of cuff and perhaps a slightly longer collar, but otherwise it was fine. I went with two different pairs of trousers just to get an idea of the cuts. The straight leg chinos fit comfortably, with a good amount of space around the seat, which was nice, because I really dislike anything tight up top (I usually size up because although I have a small waist, my bum is relatively large, and this was no exception). The relaxed tapered "dad" jeans were something I was curious to try because I have been seeing them everywhere lately. I went with the long leg, rather than the standard, because I am quite tall and did not particularly want three-quarter length jeans (I have made that mistake with cropped trousers before!). They fit as intended in that longer length, and overall were roomy and comfortable, although I wish they had a sharper taper.

Construction

For such an affordable offering I was not actually sure what to expect, but thankfully everything seemed solidly built and up to daily wear without any issue. The stitching was a bit hit and miss in terms of tidiness though, so I did spend a few minutes before wearing things for the first time just taking some scissors to them to clean things up. The chinos were finished nicely and well made though, so that was nice to see. Given more time I would be interested to see how they hold up after multiple washes, but I might edit this post later on down the line with an update.

Value

I have said it already, but I was pleasantly surprised. The label is on the affordable end of the spectrum, and as such I do think it is worthy of consideration at that price point. I also think that it would be a good way of experimenting, for those wishing to explore different styles or looks without necessarily spending so much. One small note though - I paid for next day delivery on these, well before the cut off time, and it ended up taking two days to arrive. This was more to do with the fact that Hermes delivery is rubbish in my area, but even so, something I have to mention.

Conclusion

Overall I think that The Idle Man's own label is a solid affordable option for those wishing to add some nice basics into their wardrobes, or simply experiment with their style without investing so heavily, monetarily speaking, into the process. I enjoyed the fact that the pieces I had worked relatively seamlessly with the rest of my wardrobe, and felt natural in terms of styling.

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The Idle Man, a menswear based retailer, catering to the style conscious man. Hosting brands such as Herschel, Dr. Martens and Laboratory Perfumes, The Idle Man is a go-to destination for men. Alongside the online shop, The Idle Man Manual is a blog dedicated to offering style advice as well as stories and guides about music, grooming and lifestyle.

The team over at The Idle Man were also kind enough to offer readers 10% off their orders with code DAPPERKID10

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5 October 2017

Haider Ackermann: SS18 Details


Spring/Summer 2018










I am still very much processing the women's Spring/Summer 2018 collections, but wanted to share these detail shots from the Haider Ackermann collection, which I absolutely loved. I know that tailoring is not particularly trendy right now, what with the rise of streetwear and post-Soviet normcore, but I am always a fan of designers who know how to cut complex patterns and make it look so fluid and easy. As for gut reactions? I think Junya Watanabe and Kei Ninomiya had really strong collections, I thought the Anrealage collection was interesting, I did not care for Rick Owens this season but I might be in the minority there, Alessandro's Gucci has gone from shows that made me smile to shows that make me cringe, the Cindy Sherman inspired Undercover collection was cool and I assume will sell well, and of course Yohji Yamamoto smashed it.

What have been your favourite shows so far?

xxxx

28 September 2017

SS18 Favourites: Y-3


Spring/Summer 2018










Y-3 have been running an advertising campaign in major cities around the world with the tagline “Uniform of the streets since 2003”. That seems rather presumptuous to me, but I can most certainly understand the thinking behind it. Before the current streetwear trend, before anybody used the ghastly phrase “athleisure”, and before the revival of giant 90s sportswear logos, there was the collaboration between Yohji Yamamoto and Adidas, which sought to provide sportswear for urban living. The collaboration has been a solid one, with a dependable output of more basic branded sportswear pieces, suitable for the gym, alongside more directional pieces that make you pay attention to the catwalk shows. Indeed the most impressive thing about Y-3 to me is how they have been able to carve out a clearly defined and recognisable brand profile and aesthetic. Other fashion designers have collaborated with Adidas since, but they are ordinarily limited to a few sneakers or perhaps updating a pre-existing Adidas tracksuit design.

With Y-3, Yohji and Adidas have been able to create something new most seasons, with Yohji's design language translated through Adidas materials and techniques. I really do think Y-3 has been getting stronger and stronger over the past few years, because they are willing to take more risks and actually diversify their output. The tailoring in particular is surprisingly striking in its design and a breadth of options is available, allowing you to dress for different occasions aside from actual sporting activities. In the past I felt like you often had to wade through a lot of gym fluff and loudly logoed t-shirts and tracksuits to find the more interesting pieces, but thankfully they have come to expand their shows in the past few years, offering far more options to a fashion-conscious crowd who want more than a tracksuit and boxing shoes.

I enjoy the Y-3 shows most seasons and I think this latest Spring/Summer 2018 was a really good collection for them. It was more relaxed and fluid in its design than usual, which I really enjoyed. I find that sometimes the overly technical pieces can come off a little too gimmicky, as if they are just trying to show off what they are technologically capable of, but I understand that there is a market for urban techwear. That side of the brand however now appears to have its own offshoot, so that is something those interested can follow. For my part it is the minimally branded pieces and easy tailoring that really catches my eye. I actually think the womenswear offerings were stronger than those offered for the men this season, but I suppose there is more opportunity to play with different garment types where womenswear is concerned, and so that is perhaps hardly surprising. Oh, and all the slip on sneakers look dope, so I am excited to try them on.

Did you enjoy the Y-3 show, or would you prefer more luxe sportswear?

xxxx