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Men’s leather bag: Sandast collection, available at Heroes of Richmond
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Gian Carlo Rossi, available at Heroes of Richmond
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ipad cufflinks (£16.99) from The Inside Man, Wandsworth Common
When it comes to stylish gear, brothers are now doing it for themselves. Victoria Bannerman marvels at menswear
So you thought that the joys of fashion were purely pour femmes? All those side boobs, balcony cleavages and coquettish limbs peeking out of slits so high that it borders on the obscene. Well, get this: men’s fashion is catching up. Indeed, some of it is so delectable that we girls end up pillaging our chaps’ wardrobes for their clobber. Men’s sweatshirts look kinda sexy with a pencil skirt and pointy heels, don’t ya think?
In terms of volume, of course, one still feels sorry for the male of the species. We women have options galore. Trousers, skirts, skorts – hybrid of a skirt and shorts – culottes, dresses: you name it, chances are we have it crumpled in the back of the wardrobe. But unless you’re David Beckham, who just about got away with
a sarong circa 1998 – or, peut-être, a fashionista/art student from Shoreditch – you boys are stuck with trousers, slacks and jeans.
Even so, menswear has undoubtedly evolved, with more urbane detailing and definition. Sophistication is the watchword – and the first requisite is a good suit. Lapels, cuffs, buttons, vents, cut of trouser: all these should come together in the engineering to make a well-cut sartorial triumph. Savile Row is the Kaiser – purveyor of der suit to make a brute look cute and a dandy handsome into a gentleman and a sir.
As the approach of spring turns thoughts to love, show your appreciation for the spear side by bestowing a special gift. To spoil your beau rotten visit the demi-god: the all-fragrant, dapper, ravishing and resplendent specimen of the sublime that is Tom Ford! His Sloane Street store is simply cool: all men should aspire to his aesthetics. Kitted out in one of his jackets, a boy turns into a cool and debonair dude; a real Rat Pack kind of guy.
Meanwhile, out in cobble-laned suburbia stands the quaint penny farthing shop, Heroes of Richmond: a cave of sweet-smelling testosterone to which flocks a covey of dapper swains, intent upon putting the world to rights and stocking up on super cool frippery and adornments. The leather seats, chaise longue and wooden floors all add an earthy, inviting feel to a boutique packed with colourful accessories – like the rainbow coloured scarves that you could, ostensibly, buy for your man, but then purloin for your own couturial delight. Labels such as Oliver Sweeney, Supergra and Gian Carlo Rossi are all here, along with Bailey hats, knitted ties, the Sandast men’s leather bag collection and knitwear from an Italian Company called VNeck.
Heroes also stocks an eclectic range of funky shoes to suit everyone from great-grandpa to a great nephew, while its millinery range is Baker Boy cool and would look equally fine on our feminine barnets. Ladies, it really does pay to treat your special man.
If your appetite is still unsated, saunter up to that famous old Tudor revival emporium in Regent Street. Let Liberty help you spend your cash in a well-stocked basement dedicated to the sartorial needs of your man. All the usual suspects are here: Paul Smith, Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane and many more. There is a fantastic shoe department and a barber shop called Murdock, where preening comes complete with a beverage or two. Life is good!
And, for that perfect unusual gift, try The Inside Man on Wandsworth Common. It’s a sort of grown-up, pared-down version of Hamleys, full of toys for big boys. Some of them are pure fun – such as the frivolous ‘ipad’ cufflinks – while the sophisticated man will love the LSA International decanter set or the ‘Light up my World’ illuminated globe. A veritable cornucopia awaits.
So go and see. Your beau will be in awe of your impeccable taste, telling all his fellows how lucky he is to be blessed with a gal like you. You might even be tempted to agree.