The Brand New Topman Store

Craig of That Dapper Chap visits the brand new Topman store in London’s Knightsbridge on its opening day

The brand new Topman store in London’s Knightsbridge

I was super excited to be invited to the opening day of the brand spanking new Topman store at 70 Brompton Road in London.

After seeing the people at Tom Ford in Harrods it was just a skip across the road to see exactly what the new store had to offer. Situated in the lower ground floor of the existing Topshop, which has stood there for a while now, the guys at Topman told me that men would often come out of Harrods and into Topshop while on a shopping spree and were disappointed to find only womenswear on offer. So, not wanting to miss a trick a new Topman opened it’s doors.

Goodies await in the Personal Shopping suite

With a DJ spinning some tracks there was a real buzz about the place as I made my way around the racks of clothing. I was of course drawn to the suit section, where they had a number of great options on offer. So after a chat with the PR guys I was introduced to Janal, who has recently returned to London after living in Australia and is now their brand new personal shopper and stylist. Janal had put together a rail of clothing for me to try and I couldn’t wait to see what she’d selected for me. 

If you’d like to find out more about the Topman personal shopping experience, please take a look at my previous article HERE which explains the whole process.

Clothing for days and a wide selection on offer for the discerning gent

Inside the Personal Shopping suite, all kitted out with new styles to try

There were a couple of suits that I’d seen which were unfortunately not available at that point so I’ll make sure I get my hands on those when they come into stores. Janal had selected a beautiful light blue double breasted skinny fit suit, and a light camel single breasted suit and really couldn’t decide between the two! They both looked great and I have to say that I wanted them both!

Topman were offering complimentary tailoring in store on their first day

Topman are offering us some great tailoring this season so keep your eyes out and get yourself to the new store in Knightsbridge and see what you think. In the meantime, here are a few examples of some of the tailoring on offer.

A crisp white double breasted suit, perfect for that summer wedding

50 shades of grey in this clean skinny fit suit

A touch of dapper with this tux with satin collar

More double breasted delight. DB’s are going to be big this summer guys

A three piece suit with long line jacket

My favorite from the entire collection and I cannot wait to get my hands on it

Chester Barrie Sponsors the 40th Laurence Olivier Awards

Monday night saw A listers and fashionistas alike taking their rightful places at this years Laurence Olivier Awards. Celebrating it’s 40th year, a lot of the guests, nominees and even presenters were dressed immaculately in attire by Chester Barrie.


Chester Barrie

Founded in 1935 Chester Barrie is a quintessentially British brand offering gents like you and I top notch suits, shirts ties and accessories. 

Their first shop opened in Londons iconic Savile Row in 1937 and has been there ever since, You’ll find their flagship shop at number 19. When you visit just know that you’re rubbing shoulders with the likes of Cary Grant, Winston Churchill and Frank Sinatra who all enjoyed the classic tailoring of Chester Barrie.

Savile Row in the good old days

The Laurence Olivier Awards X Chester Barrie

Mr David Gandy attended the event in a beautiful grey jacket made from, cotton and cashmere and Loro Piana silk. Also in attendance was Valkyrie actor Jamie Parker who was rightly nominated for ‘Best Actor in a musical’ for Guys And Dolls. The evening saw him wearing a classic Chester Barrie shawl collar jacket.

David Gandy looking sleek and sophisticated in his grey jacket
Jamie Parker in double breasted waistcoat and shawl collar jacket

The evening saw Kenneth Cranham win the award for ‘Best Actor’ for his role in The Father, the English version of the French drama.

Best Actor in a supporting role’ went to Mark Gatiss for Three Days in The Country. Both gentlemen were dressed in Chester Barrie, wearing their classic black dinner suit.

Kenneth Cranham winner of ‘Best Actor’

Winner of ‘Best Actor in a supporting role’ Mark Gatiss with Dame Judy Dench with her eighth Olivier Award

Star of the TV show Hustle and OBE Adrian Lester was nominated for ‘Best Actor’ which, if won, would have seen his is mantelpiece straining under the ever increasing weight of his numerous award wins. Adrian decided to wear velvet to the ceremony and looked particularly dapper in his Chester Barrie jacket.

Adrian Lester switching this up by wearing a velvet jacket

This season sees a new design from Chester Barrie with ‘The Drury’ Described as a classical rich three piece suit, it’s one made for the event as it oozes the level of glamour needed for such a ceremony. The suit was sported exclusively by previous winner of ‘Best Actor’ Mr Rory Kinnear.

With a single link fastening Mr Kinnear’s jacket features a black shawl collar and matching gauntlet cuffs. 

Mr Kinnear in ‘The Drury’ suit

My award for ‘Best Suit’ of the evening would have gone to Alfred Enoch who cut a dash in a textured burgundy mohair suit. Not only did the colour stand out from the expected black of the evening but the jacket has a distinctive twist with its red velvet collar. That suit is on my want list!

Alfred Enoch dares to be different in his burgundy suit by Chester Barrie

Find Chester Barrie

    

The Tailored Short – Office wear or beach wear?

That Dapper Chap explores the concept of the tailored short as office wear and gives us some do’s and don’ts.

It’s a debate which splits opinion, should guys be able to wear shorts to the office? Men argue that as the weather gets warmer that the ladies have more options available to them, and that what they do have available is more acceptable within the office environment. In short (no pun intended) they are jealous.

The short suit. Tailored and expertly accessorised

THE DEBATE

The whole smart casual thing has never sat well with me. It could work, but it’s a case of ‘give them an inch and they’ll take a mile’. The minute you say ‘smart casual’ a lot of guys see it as an opportunity to dress like they’re about to go and fix up the garden. Faded jeans with torn hems and a polo shirt is not ‘smart’ by any stretch of anyones deluded imagination, even if “it does have a collar” Grrrrrrr.

Every summer I hear the same groans “I wish we could wear shorts” Why? Does the air conditioning not keep you cool enough at your desk? Are your legs that great that they must be shown to the world? Do summer cotton or linen trousers not combat the incredibly average summer temperatures that we experience for the two days of summer we have here in the UK? Come on guys, we’re not that close to the equator! 

It’s all down to the fact that the majority of men have little desire to make an effort to look good, dress smartly and evoke an image of professionalism.

A tailored suit with a crisp white shirt and tie. Getting it right.

TAILORED SHORTS

Having said all this I do own and I do wear tailored shorts. I much prefer these to the standard nylon, drawstring sports shorts that ‘grace’ our streets as soon as the temperature rises above ten degrees, and burst into flames the second they meet a naked flame. Sports shorts should be kept for, you guessed it, SPORT. If you don’t do sport, don’t wear them! Have some self respect.

Me in my pink tailored shorts, floral shirt and brogues

HOW NOT TO DO IT

A friend and colleague approached me recently and asked if I’d seen an article in a local newspaper. His wry smile made it clear that I needed to take a look. Upon seeing the piece my immediate thought was that it was a joke, honestly, but reading on I realised that it was a serious piece, and I admit to be taken aback by the images that went with the it. Prepare yourself!

The article, like this, is about the possibility of wearing tailored shorts for work. Great. Lets debate, lets discuss our opinions and reasoning, lets agree to disagree if we have to. But one thing that I will NOT agree on is how they have attempted to present a positive example of how this look should be styled. Are you ready? Grab a cushion to hide behind as it’s a real horror show!

The gents in their tailored shorts. Image property of EADT

A closer look at the shorts. Image property of EADT

The first thing I want to say now is that the shorts themselves are great! Great colours and great cuts. I like them and would wear them. the shorts are not the problem here.

In the article, found HERE, it states that the stylist in the store where they embarked on their fashion faux pas, questioned not only their credibility but also their shoes! I’m not surprised! He is clearly a gentleman of taste. Shoes aside (which, yes, I do have major issues with) it’s the socks that make me want to pluck out my eyes with a blunt pencil. What is it about British guys and their bloody socks!? We(British men)have been ridiculed for years about our decidedly dogmatic approach to frightful footwear, particularly the tendency to wear socks and sandals. The above styling is just one step (a really really small step) away from that! Don’t ask me what that’s all about, I have no idea!

Office appropriate, stylish and sockless. Another example of how to get it right

Losing the socks may go some way to making the look more acceptable to me, but we also have the braces issue (yes, for me it’s an issue) Again, I like and do wear braces, button on of course. Maybe it was a sartorial challenge, a concept testing and boundary breaking approach that they were after. On the other hand maybe it was just four blokes messing around in a clothing store, like kids at the dressing up box. 

It doesn’t work. If I’m wrong, please tell me. leave a comment below. I don’t claim to know everything, or that I am right all of the time. Sometimes I get it wrong, but when I do I certainly won’t post pictures of it in a daily newspaper. Slow news day? maybe?

Another example of how this look works really well

HOW TO DO IT RIGHT

There are few fundamental rules (or suggestions) that I’d like to bring your attention to when opting for an office appropriate look with shorts. Firstly, don’t wear socks and please, please don’t wear rubber based slip on shoes or anything that fastens with velcro like the guys from my local rag! Go for a soft leather brogue or a loafer. Both are very classic styles and lend themselves really well to a smart look with shorts.

Great use of colour and perfect for the office

A belt will make the look smarter, add detail and negate the need for braces. Braces and shorts are not a good combination and you run the risk of being split in two and offending passersby with an unsightly and ugly bulging camel toe. Trousers offer some traction at the knee and calf to prevent them sliding up too badly. Shorts don’t. Beware.

Shorts, blazer, belt and brogues and great combination

The light coloured jacket gives a real summery look

Two dapper gents, perfectly attired in their shorts

A great use of bold colour, making a statement

Another dapper summer look

 

Nick bateman looking great in this beige summer short suit and bow tie

A well fitted shirt will work wonders, long sleeved and well ironed in a poly cotton mix to keep the look professional. A tie will look great but keep it on trend, maybe knitted and square ended. Maybe something with a preppy feel. Think Ralph Lauren.

I wouldn’t be tempted to wear a waistcoat with shorts, as like the braces it’s just wont compliment the look. However, a matching jacket or smart sports coat, like the one below will. 

Perfect for the summer and smart enough for the office

The short suit, available from Next

Next are currently offering a few suits where you are able to buy the jacket, trousers and shorts all to match, this is a great option. The navy textured short suit above is available HERE for £105

The light stone, cotton suit below is also available in four pieces, trousers, jacket, waistcoat and shorts so you can mix and match at will. Check it out HERE

The stone cotton jacket from Next

The matching stone cotton shorts, from Next

So, it can be done and it can be done well. While you’ve never see me walking in to the office wearing shorts I won’t hold it against you if you do, especially if you do it well. If however you wear horrid shoes, black socks and clip on braces with a dreadful tie, don’t ever expect me to speak to you again!

THANKS FOR READING!