Archive for the ‘features’ Category

Clothing, Coats & Jackets, features, Suits & Tailoring

Choosing the right suit

By Laura on November 30th, 2011

With Christmas parties just around the corner, many of you will be looking for the perfect suit for the night. To help you pick the right suit for your shape, we spoke to Nicholas Charles Tyrwhitt Wheeler – Founder & Owner of the London based menswear brand, Charles Tyrwhitt.

As Tyrwhitt says “a suit should make a gent look smarter, stand taller and feel more confident,”so while there are plenty of options for good off-the-peg-suits ,getting it right still requires some time and effort. With this in mind Tyrwhitt.has shared his Suits for all Sizes guide:

The Bigger Gent
Many men’s shirts have a roomier fit to accommodate the larger frame, as do some suits for the more strapping sort. However, there is nothing worse than a suit that fits correctly around the middle but extends well past the knuckles in the sleeve (a common gripe for larger chaps). The key thing to remember is that you should steer clear of anything that makes you appear larger than you already are; give three-button jackets a wide berth, choose a one-button jacket instead. This way you can show more tie, thus breaking-up block colour ways which can make you appear larger. Look for a store that offers bespoke tailoring service which will help the mighty man get everything in proportion and achieve a slick, sharp overall look.

Broad Shoulders
When choosing the right suit jacket for broad shoulders, you should remember that the waist area unfortunately suffers all too often. It is a common sight to see a broad gent sporting a suit jacket that accommodates his generous shoulders, but is far too baggy through the middle. Again, using a bespoke tailoring service will work towards avoiding this pitfall. Bear in mind that getting the right shoulder fit in a suit jacket is arguably the hardest thing to achieve in terms of suiting, so it is worth considering alterations for your off-the-peg buy. A skilled tailor will get the shoulder fit just right whilst nipping in the waist of your jacket just enough to produce a harmonious silhouette.

Long Arms
Achieving a smart look when you have longer than average arms shouldn’t be too arduous; a tailor will be able to properly adjust the length of your jacket sleeves in no time at all. As a rule, you should show no more than a ¼ of an inch of shirt outside your jacket sleeves, as anything more than this will make the sleeves appear too short. No shirt sleeve peeping out looks just plain odd, and should be avoided at all costs.

Muscular Builds
A common mistake that the built bloke makes is opting for a skin-tight suit to show off his fine physique. This is not only unnecessary but also perilous as he will only end up with a suit that is far too tight. If you are lucky (or dedicated) enough to be Herculean in build then this should come across in the way you hold yourself; not in the tightness of your smart attire. Perhaps consider buying your suit as two separate pieces- a jacket and trousers independent of each other- as this will allow you to choose a jacket large enough for your chest, arms and back without having to buy trousers which are too big for your slighter bottom half.

Shorter Men
The watch-word for diminutive dandies is “proportion”. Less-than-lofty lads ought to keep everything in proportion: sleeve, trouser and jacket length should all be exact in terms of measurements as this will work towards you looking the part. Furthermore, it is important to know what to avoid when dressing correctly for your height; bypass fashionable short jackets (the preserve of the more statuesque squire) and just say no to shorter trousers (a la Thom Browne) as these simply will not work.
In a nutshell, it is about being honest with yourself; knowing your size and shape, your pluses and negatives and your limitations.

features, Lifestyle & Gadgets

Introducing Saint craft lager

By Laura on November 16th, 2011

A few weeks ago, The Saint Brewing Co sent Brandish one of the very first bottles of their new lager – Saint.
The Saint Brewing Co, has spent two years developing Saint, and it has definitely paid off. It is a wonderful tasting lower-carbonated lager, with distinct sharp citrus taste, floral and soft fruit notes.

The Saint Brewing Co hails from Manchester and are making a name for themselves as a leader in the craft lager revival.

Independently made in small batches, Saint has developed a lager that brings contemporary style to craft brewing. Combine their unique process with high quality ingredients, and you get the fresh tasting, light bodied and easy to drink Saint.

Steve Wilkinson, head brew master for Saint said, “For too long the lager market’s been dominated by a dated range of continental brands, all of which taste pretty much the same: overly bitter and gassy. Saint’s something different, something new: light, fresh and, best of all, genuinely British.”

This is probably one of the best lagers we have had in a long time, so can’t wait for it to be available in bars nationwide in January.

features, Watches

The Grande Seconde Watch by J.Crew x Mougin & Piquard

By Laura on November 15th, 2011

J.Crew and luxury watch retailer Tourneau recently teamed up to reproduce a pair vintage styled watches based on sketches from Parisian watchmaker Mougin & Piquard’s archive.

The watches clearly reflect J.Crew’s design sensibilities while borrowing its style from the pilot watches of the ’20s. The Grand Seconde Watch collection features beautiful outer dials displaying minutes and seconds, accompanied by an inner dial showing the hour. These limited edition watches, handcrafted in Switzerland, are available at J.Crew for $425 USD.

features, Footwear, Shoes, Sports, Sportswear

Review: K-Swiss Blade Max Trails

By Laura on November 9th, 2011

Let’s face it; most of us amateur runners live in urban environments with limited access to unblemished cross country paths and tracks. That said, once we do manage to skip our way through the traffic and bypass the concrete highways, many of us like to get as close to cross country running as we can – even if a jog around the local park is stretching the term a little. Personally, I like to get onto the softer ground as soon as possible and having had to pull out of a recent 10K run after my knees took too much of a pounding on the London streets I was keen to try out the new K-Swiss Blade Max Trail trainers and quite literally put them through their paces.

The first thing that struck me about them was their solid base. I certainly felt confident looking at them that these would give me a more robust tread out on the wild pathways of Tooting Common. As I set off the sky was grey and there had been a fair amount of over night rain – water which as I would discover had left the ground soft and slippery. I was interested to see how the trainers would cope with these relatively treacherous conditions.

I took a deliberately difficult route that I would knew would take me across soggy fields, dangerous branches, hills and the obligatory inner city dog poo. I hit the soft wet ground first and have to say that my new footwear definitely gave me superior grip. Nobody likes running through wet mud but after a few paces I found that my confidence had grown and I no longer needed to run delicately as you do with standard running shoes, rather I was bouncing over the mushy ground. My only concern being what my wife would say when I returned home covered in mud. Next was a more cross country section through the trees. Many an ankle has been left sprained by stray roots popping out from hidden crevices but again the trainers stood up well and I felt comfortable that my knees and ankles were in safe hands (metaphorically speaking of course). Finally I headed down a shale pathway full of rocks that can often poke through less robust footwear, leaving you either off balance or with sore feet. Not a problem anymore as the solid sole made light work of the uncertain terrain.

I certainly give the K-Swiss Blade Max Trail a big thumbs up. Wherever you run, you’ll likely find yourself traversing across a range of different terrains, from concrete streets, to soggy marshes, or bumpy ground. The K-Swiss Blade Max Trail gives the right amount of protection combined with a soft running action. They’re not necessarily the quickest trainers out there but then that’s not what they’re designed for.

The K-Swiss Blade Max Trails retail for £90

Guest post by @jamieoharvey

Accessories, features, Sales

Freehands Gloves launches in Europe with a 50% off Groupon Deal this Thursday

By Laura on November 1st, 2011

Freehands, the gadget lovers gloves launch this week in Europe with a special Groupon offer in the UK for 50% off any order this Thursday November 3rd, 2011.

Freehands, are the leading brand of gadget gloves in the US and now they have set their sights on capturing the European market; and just in time for winter.

These unique gloves were designed by New-York-City based Josh Rubin, the founder of, when he found himself answering his iPhone with his nose to avoid taking off his gloves. The hassle of the glove-or-phone conundrum came up at dinner with his father, Stanley Rubin, who conveniently manufactures and sells gloves over the last 25 years. In a matter of minutes, sketches were drawn, the scissors were out, and the Freehands glove was born.

Freehands Gloves come in two designs for keeping hands warm, Conductive tips or Flip-Fingers. There are tons of different styles, colors, and Thinsulate insulated high quality materials like cashmere, leather, fleece, rag-wool, and Polartech to chose from.

The Conductive Tips are great for any touchscreen device as special materials conduct electricity like your finger normally would so you don’t have to take off your gloves to use the device. The Flip-Fingers are ready for anything winter throws at you while keeping your hands toasty by giving you access to your fingers by using built in magnets to hold back the flipped finger caps when you need them.

If like me you constantly have to check your phone, these gloves are the perfect winter accessory. Don’t forget to check out the Groupon deal Thursday to get a pair halfprice!!

bags, features

Mission Workshop’s Fitzroy rucksack

By Laura on October 31st, 2011

Fitzroy Rucksack as used by Bicycle Coffee Co. from Mission Workshop on Vimeo.

We get sent a lot of cycling bags here at Brandish, but The Fitzroy by Mission Workshop has to be one of our all time favourites.

Mission Workshop is a San Francisco based company that creates bags, clothing and
shoes for urban cyclists. Previously they created the well known cycling brand Chrome, so it goes without saying these guys know what they are doing.

Utilizing the experience they have gained over the last 15 years, Mission Workshop is crafting a line of aesthetically clean, and functionally utilitarian, urban riding gear.

The Fitzroy is an impenetrable fortress of a pack that holds and protects all of your gear,
cargo, and valubles from morning’s start to the day’s end. Built to last a lifetime with waterproof fabrics and military spec. construction. The Fitzroy also features multiple weatherproof compartments, urethane coated zippers, waterproof materials, and an internal frame sheet. Large zippered pocket fits most 17’’ laptops, with smaller zippered pockets for your gear.

The bag comes with a lifetime warranty and retails for $219.00. You can pick one up here

features, Grooming

Movember 2011

By Laura on October 31st, 2011

Moustache Season is upon us as Movember kicks off tomorrow. So its time to man up and grow that cookie duster.

Every November, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in the UK and around the world. The aim is simply to help raise money and awareness of men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.

On Movember 1st, men will start the month off with a clean-shaven face and then for the rest of the month, Mo Bros will groom, trim and wax their moustaches becoming human billboards for men’s health. So what are you waiting for? Join your Mo Bro’s and sign up here.

If your based in London don’t forget to pop down to the Merc clothing store on Carnaby Street throughout November for a tash tidy

Clothing, features, Gallery

Alexander McQueen 2011 Fall/Winter Collection

By Laura on October 16th, 2011

I absolutely love the latest collection from the British fashion house Alexander McQueen.
Overall they have created a minimal but elegant collection. A few of my favourite pieces include the beautiful Prince of Wales check suit, the Fair Isle Jacquard knit button-up, and a cashmere turtle neck featuring the McQueen skull on the front.

They also have a few more casual pieces such as the bomber jacket, the cashmere pony-print v-neck sweater and classic skull motif scarf.

Alexander McQueen

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Celeb style, Clothing, Collaborations, features, Gallery

Adidas Originals by Originals James Bond for David Beckham 2011 Fall/Winter

By Laura on October 16th, 2011

Adidas have rolled out the much anticipated third installment of the popular David Beckham / Design by J. Bond collection for Fall/Winter 2011.

The collaboration between sport and style icon David Beckham and Undefeated founder James Bond has been widely celebrated in the past, and will yet again see a contemporary range of footwear, outerwear, and accessories.

Much of the inspiration has clearly been pulled from collegiate imagery and has a very traditional American sportswear feel to it. This is something we have seen a lot of in the last two seasons. The varsity jacket in particular seems to be making a comeback. What do you make of this trend – will you be rocking the look this Fall/Winter?

adidas Originals by Originals James Bond for David Beckham 2011 Fall/Winter

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Coats & Jackets, Designer Spotlight, features

A.P.C. Heavyweight Harris Tweed Jacket

By Laura on October 11th, 2011

French ready-to-wear brand A.P.C. is easily one of my favourites. Founded in 1988 by Tunisian born Designer Jean Touitou, they continue to impress season after season with their beautiful high quality garments.

The fall collection is now available, but one piece that really stood for me, was this wonderful sartorial city jacket. Woven in the historical Harris Tweed, this jacket combines contemporary Parisian style with heritage fabrics.

What makes this jacket stand out, is the superb attention to detail. From the cream shearling collar and epaulettes to the customized zip/button front and four pockets. The jacket is a bit pricey at £485, but this is a classic look you will be able to wear season after season.

The jacket is available here

features, health

Stay healthy this winter: get your vitamin D

By Laura on October 11th, 2011

With the winter months getting ever closer, we know how tempting it is to slip into hibernation mode. Baggy clothes, comfort food and general avoidance of the outdoors… let’s admit it, we’ve all been there. And If like us you, work in an office tied to your desk all day, falling into this routine is not hard.

So to keep you motivated over the winter we will be doing a series of features of tips and products to keep you in top shape. To kick off the series, we spoke to nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk to get the low down on how you can stay focused and energetic.

Her advice – get your vitamins, especially vitamin D.

Vitamin D has become one of the most researched and positively-publicised vitamins over the past few years and for good reason. It seems that hardly a week goes by without another study highlighting a new benefit. Most of us already know about its role in helping to form and maintain strong bones by aiding the absorption of calcium, but it appears that thi bone-strengthener may also be a brain-sharpener.

Fiona pointed us to one recent study which compared the cognitive performance of more than 3,000 men between the ages of 40 and 79 and found that the men with the highest levels of vitamin D showed the best cognitive function. In fact, the men with higher levels of vitamin D performed consistently better in a simple neuropsychological test that documents an individual’s attention and speed of information processing.

Vitamin D is primarily synthesised in the skin after exposure to sunshine. It was previously thought that as little as 5-10 minutes of sun exposure on arms, legs and face 3 times a week without sunscreen between 11am and 2pm during the spring, summer and autumn months should provide a light-skinned individual with adequate vitamin D and allow for storage of excess for use during the winter with minimal risk of skin damage. Those with dark
skin may require twice or three times the exposure. However, a recent survey in the UK indicates that more than half the adult population are deficient and in winter around 1 in 6 people show a severe deficiency. If the body cannot produce enough vitamin D because of insufficient sunlight exposure, we need to up our levels with D-rich foods but even then we may be short.

So if you want to stay sharp and avoid winter lethargy try and get out of the office for a brisk walk at lunchtime and get plenty of D-rich foods into your day. This includes foods like canned salmon, sardines and mackerel, soya milk, yoghurt, cheese, cow’s milk, egg yolks, orange juice and cereals fortified with vitamin D.

Fiona even shared a meal plan with us designed to not only keep you on top of your game, but to help you avoid blood sugar peaks and troughs which are the enemy if you are looking to shed a few pounds and/or keep your waistline in check.

Meal Plan:

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs (add an extra yolk), a couple of slices of lean,
grilled bacon, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms, rye toast and a large glass of
D-fortified orange juice

Mid Morning Snack: tinned, mashed salmon on oatcakes and a latte made
with soya milk

Lunch: Bean or Lentil Soup and a big mixed salad with lots of colour topped
with a dollop of cottage cheese and mixed seeds or pine nuts

Mid Afternoon Snack: Couple of pieces of fresh fruit with a chunk of hard

Evening Meal: Very Quick Mackerel (bake a couple of smoked mackerel, skin
side down, in a medium hot oven until deliciously hot and smokey, about 4-
5 minutes) and serve with lots of roasted vegetables, drizzled with soy sauce
and sweet potato chips.

For more fitness advice check out Fiona’s latest book ‘2 Weeks in the Fast Lane’

Collaborations, features, Footwear

Yarn-bombing for the Converse Knitted Cuff

By Laura on September 30th, 2011

The latest offering from Converse, brings street style and the unique, eco-urban mark-making art form Yarn-Bombing together, to create the Knitted Cuff.

HOTTEA, is one of the many artist working in the medium across the US. He got into Yarn-Bombing after being shot by a taser gun and spending three days in jail for graffiti. By changing the medium he works in, he was able to continue augmenting his environment without damaging it…lowering his risk of being caught by councils and police.

HOTTEA as well as a number of other Yarn-Bombing artists’ joined up with Converse and Foot Locker to bring their unique artform to the campaign and Europe, using threads of yarn to artistically link every day street objects, giving the environment its very own version of the knitted cuff.

The shoe comes in a number of colourways including a knitted red, black and white woollen cuff with a grey canvas upper on a high top silhouette. It is also available is a series of plaid collars .

The Knitted Cuff by Converse is available now exclusively at Foot Locket for £54.99

features, News

Topman General Store Shoreditch

By Laura on September 30th, 2011

Topman have just launched their latest concept store in Brandish’s very own neighbourhood – Shoreditch, London.

The store is set to function as a social and fashion destination for the local community. With its exposed brickwalls, it has a very NYC vibe to it and will feature a curated selection of key Topman pieces, seasonal project collaborations with a handful of branded items and limited edition artwork/books.

If your by Spitalfield Market make sure to check out the shop at 98 Commercial Street.

Accessories, Collaborations, features, Watches

The Terry Richardson Casio Collaboration

By Laura on September 28th, 2011

Terry Richardson, yeah the pervy guy behind American Apparel, recently released a double book, called “Mom & Dad.” To launch the book, the world acclaimed photographer Richardson, is exhibiting picture of his parents at the Colotte in Paris.

The exhibition is joined by a small pop-up store, which includes a selection of products such as t-shirts, G-shock and BabyG Casio watches. Despite what we may think of Richardson, these watches are pretty damn cool. The watches come in a brilliant red plaid, mimicking his trademark button-down shirts.

Mom & Dad is being held at Colette now through November 5 and you can purchase the time pieces online and in store today.

features, Footwear

Colourful shoes by T & F Slack Shoemakers London

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on September 28th, 2011

Who says autumn/winter means you have to opt for black shoes?

T & F Slack Shoemakers London is the brainchild of husband-and-wife team Tim and Fiona Slack who are as dedicated to making ‘modern classics’ as they are to each other.

They take the classic ‘Oxford Brogues’ or ‘Derby’ shoe shape and give it a contemporary feel with fantastic colour combinations, stitching details and fabrics for the modern gentleman.

Choose for a selection of ready-made shoes or have a bespoke pair made to order from their Notting Hill shop or using their ‘build your own’ system at Selfridges or Liberty.

The manufacturing factory in West London produces around 150 shoes per month using an eclectic mix of simple, modern machinery to old-fashioned salvaged from other shoe factories.

Prices start at £185.


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