Make like Steve McQueen in a short-sleeved sweatshirt

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It may seem crazy to suggest wearing something as warm as a sweatshirt given the recent heat spell, but cooler days will come again, they will. Ever iconic, Steve McQueen popularised the short-sleeved sweatshirt in The Great Escape. Perfect for breezier days when you can stand a bit of arm chill but want to feel hugged, a short sleeved sweatshirt is a great item. Customise your own (Uniqlo sell quality, slim fitting versions) by cutting the sleeves off, or consider this more ‘finished’ version by Nom de Guerre from OkiNi. This is a macho look best worn with a throbbing motorcycle between your thighs. At least, wear with chunky boots and faded jeans.

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cchapmanMake like Steve McQueen in a short-sleeved sweatshirt

Love the look: The Hill-side as featured on Secret Forts

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Sometimes a single image can bring together so many different things. I’ve recently become a big fan of the Secret Forts blog, not least because of Valet‘s recent profile of it’s author, James (no surname). Through Secret Forts I became of The Hill-side label, which in its attention to detail sums up the kind of reverence for real Americana that I appreciate about New York City. The Hill-side specialise in fine shirting and amazing accesories like the tie featured in this image. And then there’s the model: that grey hair! I love the fact that the volume of his hair suggests youthful exuberance which is somehow actually enhanced by the grey tones of his hair. Still with me? As ever with the web, the circuitous nature of hyperlinks can lead to so many discoveries, all good.

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cchapmanLove the look: The Hill-side as featured on Secret Forts

Time to turn heads: Ikitabi Ninja Slippers

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With so much attention in menswear having been given to ‘ironic’ preppy wear and reversioned Americana recently, it’s quite refreshing to recommend something a bit edgier and less mainstream. These split-toe, Japanese Ikitabi canvas boots currently at OkiNi will certainly turn heads. Based on traditional Japanese slippers or tabi with the addition of rubber soles, I’m already sold on the attention to detail and the apparently ergonomic effect on your gait. For full Murakami-inspired hipness, partner with simple, pared-back shapes. This black denim suit by ACNE is a perfect combination. Or make use of the neutral beige colourway and pair with pink chinos.

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Colin ChapmanTime to turn heads: Ikitabi Ninja Slippers

Humor me (sic): these shorts are wild

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These marvellous shorts are the union of two happy coincidences: OkiNi starting to feature some little known, (often Japanese) labels and a certain trend for kerrazy 80’s style pattern. Everything is great about these short trousers by Humor, the mix of colours, the brand (you’ve got to love a label that is ‘heavily influenced by the metropolitan underground music’), the cute, turquoise drawstring, THAT print. Like something spawned by a meeting of Timmy Mallet and Jeremy Scott in an elevator (actually, don’t linger on that thought) these shorts have got to bring a smile to your face, and at such a good price.

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Colin ChapmanHumor me (sic): these shorts are wild

Dress me up before you go-go

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Off to a sunny climes for an Easter break? Here’s a head to toe look to get the locals talking and keep you cool. The seersucker blazer from Topman makes a change from the blue or grey fine stripe associated with this fabric. The pink of the blazer sets off nicely the deeper red of this colour-banded vest by Jil Sander. I love these wide-legged shorts (also by Jil Sander), which will definitely air you to the best advantage if you’re heading somewhere steamy but equally look classic enough to wear in town as well as at the beach. Finally, some classic espadrilles grounding the look with a touch of Mediterranean tradition in black .

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Colin ChapmanDress me up before you go-go

A Waste of Money or An Investment Piece? Dr. Martens 1461 Shoe

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Last week I was in search for a pair of school shoes. Beginning with classic brogues, I sampled a pair of black loafers and sneakily tried on a pair of Paul Smith Jermyns (with glorious plum laces) before ending up with a pair of not-so-exciting pointed Topman lace-ups. Inspired by this bout of school-shoe shopping I ventured onto Oki-Ni and came across their Doc Martens. Floral. Striped. Coloured. Neon. But then I came across their 1461 shoe and couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

A shoe, in simple black leather, that was more than double the price but half as nice as many of the shoes I had seen the previous day. These Dr. Martens did not look worth their £70 price tag, especially in comparison to my £35 Topman shoes. Granted, the Dr. Martens are probably better quality and might last longer but, are they even that easy on the eye? I, for one, wouldn’t want to be seen in them.

Fashion is fickle, even in times of economic recession. See after the jump for my Top 5 Best on a Budget Smart Shoes.

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Will ReidA Waste of Money or An Investment Piece? Dr. Martens 1461 Shoe

OkiNi takes a new direction (and the trusty band T-shirt with it)

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OkiNi have just announced they will shortly be branching out to offer a music section on the site, better known for its well-priced designerwear. But this isn’t quite the off-fashion post it may seem, as the first release by the new music arm will be the A Mountain of One album release which comes complete with T-shirt.

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Colin ChapmanOkiNi takes a new direction (and the trusty band T-shirt with it)