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On to the next adventure!

William James said: 

''To change one’s life:
1. Start immediately.
2. Do it flamboyantly.
3. No exceptions.” 

He had a point!

Changes sharpen our minds and keep our hearts young!

Cici and I are moving to Barcelona this summer! New location, new experiences, new new new... I can´t wait to share our new life over there with all of you!

Because so many things are happening at once, this blog will be on hiatus for a while until everything is back to normal.

I hope you all have a fantastic spring and summer season and that you use the holidays to think about which big and small changes you can make in your life to give it a bit of a spark! It can go from changing your diet and your style to changing where you life! Everything affects us.

Here's to the next adventure!

 

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No more blind online buying? Yes, please.

Ok, raise your hand.

 

Have you ever bought clothes online thinking they would look flawless on you and then they arrive, you try them on, and you find out they make you look like a potato? 

 

The crowd screams: Guilty.

 

Have you ever gone on an online shopping spree and then sigh and empty the basket because you know there's no way you can tell if the garment will really fit you?

 

The crowd screams: Guilty.

 

Have you ever thought of how much time you could save (especially if you live in a big city) or how many brand options you could have (if your town has a lack of choices) if there was an effective and trust worthy system to figure out what pieces you should buy online without wasting another week with returns and frustration?

 

Guilty, guilty, guilty.

 

Well 2017 might just be our lucky year.

 

Fashion brands around the world are developing a system that will be able to predict if a pair of trousers, a shirt, a dress, a blazer, etc. fits us, our body type, height and general complexion. 

 

It will almost be like having a personal stylist at our finger tips to recommend us pieces and outfits. They want to go as far as taking into consideration our face, hair, eye colour and skin tone. And we will get all of this input from the confort of our homes.

 

It sounds good, right?

 

If this type of programming is used with the intention of providing a service and not with the idea of pushing the brands that bid higher to the potential customers, I think it could as groundbreaking as the semantic web was almost a decade ago.

 

What do you think about this? Is it something you would be willing to try? Let me know in the comments below. 

 

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Five touches that elevate your look.

So you've mastered your wardrobe. Your shelves and racks are full of pieces that are perfect for your body and lifestyle, everything you have looks spot on, but you'd like to take your style to the next level.

 

Here is how:

 

1. Invest in good basics

Now that you know what works for you, you shouldn't be scared to build a good back wardrobe. 

 

Try to invest in those basics you use again and again. Buy the best quality you can afford, it doesn't have to be all at once. Get one or two pieces per season and see how your outfits go from 10 to 20 in a matter of seconds.

 

2. Personal touch.

There is always something that makes us unique. Perhaps you like neckerchiefs, or a particular type of jewellery or fabric. Whatever it is, incorporate it to your daily outfits and make them yours.

 

 

3. Learn how to incorporate trends into your style.

It can be scary to add new elements to your wardrobe once you've mastered it.

 

It's good to proceed with caution, but there's no reason why you shouldn't add a few trendy pieces here and there to give your looks a bit of a twist every season.

 

The trick is finding what works and what doesn't for you, adapt the trends to you and your style, not the other way around.

 

4. Perfect grooming.

Everything should be in the best condition possible. Clothes wise, make sure they are clean, ironed/pressed, and well kept, if they look old, throw them away.

 

Keep your shoes clean and renew their insoles and soles whenever needed.

 

Keep yourself clean and groomed. Pay attention to your hair, wash it as regularly as you need and find a cut that works well with your features and it's easy to maintain.

 

 

5. Posture + attitude.

Many times we forget that the way we carry ourselves is what adds those extra "points" to someone'a aura.

 

You could dress two people with similar body types with the exact same outfit and one might carry it better than the other.

 

Walk straight but without squaring your shoulders too much, don't look down, look at people in the eyes and be polite.

 

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Top 5 tips to make sure you are always well dresed.

If you are a regular reader of my posts, then you've seen me insist time and time again on the importance of dressing well and how much it can affect your personal and work lives.

 

I know many people do understand how key this is, but still have trouble getting dressed in the mornings and are never sure or happy with the results they get.

 

Dressing well doesn't mean constantly being dressed up. Dressing well means choosing the right garments and accessories for each occasion, taking into consideration what kind of message you'd like to put out there.

 

Are you going to a wedding? To a work meeting? To the office? A party? A date? The gym?

Do you want to look relaxed? Approachable? Powerful? Serious and trustworthy? In control? Fashionable?

 

These are questions that we all should ask ourselves before picking an outfit, I'm not saying you should literally answer each and every single one of those questions, I'm saying that you should keep them as a guide and remember that you should adapt your wardrobe to your needs instead of your clothes choices forcing you to adapt.

 

Here are 5 tips to help you make sure you are making the right choices:

 

1. Only keep in your wardrobe pieces you look good in. They have to be your size, in the appropriate fabric and the right cut/shape, fall the right way, fit like a glove.

 

2. Make sure every item is clean and ready to wear. Ironed, pressed, you name it.

 

3. Always add a personal touch to your outfits, that will help you look more put together.

 

4. Think about where you are going and what you need your clothes to do for you. Think of it as rehearsing a speech. With time it will become second nature, you will just know.

 

5. Ask the opinion of someone you trust. When in doubt, ask. If you aren't sure if what you are wearing flatters you or is the right pick ask a trusted friend, or a professional. Don't ask your partner! Although a woman will likely tell you the truth, a man will feel he has to say you look terrific no matter what!

 

 

These are general rules that will help you get better at the art of dressing for success.

 

However, if you still find it difficult or would like structured help you can rely on, there are good professional stylists you can contact that would be happy to put you on the right path.

 

 

Remember, everyone can look chic and on point, is a matter of learning.

 

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Active wear is here to stay!

During the past couple of years there has been a huge increase in high quality brands, especially from Canada, that had brought it upon themselves to bring active wear clothes that aren't yucky to the public.

 

By yucky I mean that, they are well cut and well look presentable enough to wear into many jobs without being ''judged'' for wearing your gym clothes. 

 

Their concept is: look as if you were wearing regular clothes but feel like if you'd stepped on your work out gear first thing in the morning. Comfortable, movable, breathable but still stylish and chic.

 

Long gone are the days when, if you worked in a job that required a lot of mobility and a certain degree of activeness, you had to choose between being comfortable but terribly under dressed or looking good but having your clothes work against you all day long.

 

It's a concept that I hope carries on developing and bringing more and more interesting pieces that aren't just plain black and white.

 

I like the way they keep experimenting with texture and fabric fluidity and even if elegant active wear isn't your first choice as a regular outfit, it can always come in handy when you need to run errands and want to look good without putting too much effort.

 

What do you think of this new trend? Have you tried any of these clothes? Would you be willing to?

 

Consider giving them a chance if you are struggling with your day to day look in a job that requires you to put on a bit of sweat.

 

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

 

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Five things to invest in if you are a woman

It's very easy to fall into the habit of consuming fast fashion. In fact, fast fashion has been forced down our throats for the last few decades, and while regular shopping is probably unavoidable if you are passionate about clothes, what we can avoid is waste our hard earned money on pieces that would look ragged after two washes.

 

I do understand that compromises must be made. If you follow the trends religiously and you don't want to break the bank, it might be wise to buy a few pieces here and there from Zara, TopShop, Gant and the like. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as you know that they will probably last one season looking presentable (maybe a season and a half if you are lucky and take really good care of them).

 

However, we all should have a few things we can rely on that we know look amazing on us and we can dress up and down, make classic or trendy with a few add ons.

 

Most of us know what kind of cuts and materials we look good on. If you don't enlist the help of a ruthless and honest friend (perhaps even two) and go through your wardrobe together, even better consider investing in a stylist. Our main wardrobe should be made of these garments. If we had to run away for a weekend somewhere, we should be able to create a business, casual and evening look with them and know that we look perfect. Once you have found the kind of clothes I'm talking about, you won't mind investing a bit more of money on them to ensure they look the best way possible on you and they remain in your wardrobe as staples for as long as possible.

 

That said, here are five things you should invest in if you are a woman:

 

1. A good pair of heels. We all know the horrors of wearing uncomfortable heels. They are bad for your feet, ankles and back. And you probably look like a drunk duck walking on them. You know, those shoes that make you rather walk on your tongue than on your feet at the end of the day. Ditch them! Find a good pair that fit your feet shape well, have the correct height for you and your physical conditions and are versatile. Unfortunately, the comfortability of a heel is usually directly proportional to the price of the shoe but hey, better have one pair you can rely on than twenty that make your life a living hell!

 

2. A good bag. I've said it many times. First impressions matter, whether we like it or not. Choosing the right handbag is part of that. Again, like with the heels, go for quality over quantity. Perhaps invest first on a day to day bag and then move to an evening one.

 

3. A well cut dress that flatters your figure. Kudos if you can dress it up or down depending on the occasion. The fabric and cut should be as good a quality as you can afford. If you are not a dress kind of girl, then go for a pair of tailored trousers. They are often one of the most difficult pieces to find, so if you find one that flatters you make sure to invest in them.

 

4. A jacket. It can be a blazer, a leather jacket or something different, but make sure you have a good one. It's going to depend on your lifestyle and what you will need it for, but an IT piece will round an outfit and make you look sharper and more put together.

 

5. Jeans. The thing about jeans is that if paired correctly, you can do almost anything with them. You just need to wear ones that look flattering on you. Denim colour, black, grey... that's your preference. Find a good brand that makes clothes for your shape and tastes and start collecting maybe!

 

 

Do you believe in quality over quantity? Tell me about your shopping habits in the comments below!

 

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Upgrade your tie game!

Don't you get bored of always wearing the same knot on your ties?

 

I get it that it's easy and convenient. You've done it so many times that every morning you just do it without thinking, it's become automatic. That means it's time for a change!

 

Aren't you tired of the same Windsor or half Windsor you see everyday at work?

 

Here are six knots you can try to shake up your tie game: (With videos to learn how to make them).

 

  • The Eldredge Knot

Original and regal.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FukqiewJuPw

 

  • The Trinity Knot

Beautiful and elegant. As compact as a Windsor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCh3KiNYI00

 

 

  • The Krasny Hourglass Knot

Incredibly original and perfect for ceremonies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_lB7S8zWYA

 

  • The Plattsburgh Knot

Sophisticated and elegant for those long meetings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=no3XpZBQ0lQ

 

  • The Pratt Knot

If you want to try something different without moving too far away from the Windsor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgORgQizMQY

 

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Designers and high street collaborations.

With Kenzo and H&M's new collaboration launching a few months ago, there's been a lot of talk about high end brands and designers partnering with high street shops and department stores.

 

But will this combination carry on working in the future? Is it even a good idea for an established brand to be linked to the likes of TopShop, Target and H&M?

 

The answers are maybe and it depends.

 

This unlikely partnership started way into the 90s and after some trial and errors, developed into the successful Karl Lagerfeld + H&M collection from 2004.

 

Although the designer wasn't happy with the results (he was upset that H&M released a small number of items to the public) it was the kick start of a series of collaborations between the Swedish brand and famous names (Isabel Marant, Lanvin, Alexander Wang among others) all of them received with similar success.

 

These days, no one gets surprised when we hear that the main high street retailer is partnering with so and so high end brand, it has become part of our culture.

 

Would I recommend this kind of business to other designers?

 

I'm not sure.

 

The thing with this type of collaborations is that you have to be clear about what you expect to gain from them. If all you want is to cash in some big bucks and then lay back and enjoy, then by all means, say yes to that H&M proposal.

 

If you are looking for some ''free'' publicity, then again go for it.

 

However, if you are getting into this because you would like your designs to be available for the masses, if you would like for the general public to have a taste of what your creations look like and feel like and perhaps with it seek new potential costumers, then be careful.

 

I think Lagerfeld was right about being upset with H&M's way of handling things. Usually all the pieces from these collections sell out with in a couple of days, sometimes hours, and the company doesn't produce new ones for sale.

 

What is the point then?

 

Probably only privileged people can have access to your regular designs, so I'm assuming you are doing this because you want others to have a piece you've come up with, even if the quality isn't the same, it's still part of you or your brand. When sold en masse, this is ok, because everyone understands that the quality has been decreased but still enjoy wearing your idea, but if these lower quality items are made in small quantities, then they automatically become rarities. Rarities that go on Ebay for hundreds of pounds. Pieces that would be a mirror of your brand all of a sudden, but without the original quality.

 

 

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How to build a basic wardrobe

Quite often one of my clients would tell me that they don't think they have a wardrobe base to start working on during our sessions. Evaluating it, curating it, etc. They just want to start anew and build a closet from scratch.

 

Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes that can be done when buying clothes, is just randomly buying pieces you like. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you should buy things you don't absolutely love, no. What I mean is that it's very easy to fall into the temptation of going shopping, seeing a nice pair of trousers or a blouse at a reasonable price and go and buy it.

 

That's the wrong approach.

 

 Just because something is cute it doesn't mean you must get it. You need to have a system, so you know what you need, what you want and what would complete your wardrobe. And the best way to do that is to:

 

1. Get your basics right.

 

2. Know your lifestyle and personality inside out. 

 

Once you have nailed those two, filling your closet with the right pieces that would make you happy would be easier. You would stop wasting money and you would start thinking about investing in garments and accessories that you like and can refine your look.

 

This applies to both men and women. 

 

The best way to create a rounded wardrobe from nothing is to start with the basics. Not everyone's basics will be the same. It's going to depend on which part of the world you live in, the climate, the type of environments you usually navigate and your personal style.

 

For women it's easy to say a well cut blazer made of a good material, a pair of fitted jeans (skinny or straight depending on the shape of your legs and overall body structure), a white shirt , a little black dress, a printed dress, good pair of heels, etc... I'm sure you've heard all of these before but they might not work for you.

 

Men are usually recommended to buy a couple of good and versatile suits. Three crisp shirts, high quality jeans, and so on.

 

But the truth is that the way you should go about basics is like this:

 

- Think of how you need to dress everyday (for work or whatever you spend more hours doing during the week).

 

- Decide how you will like to dress during the rest of your hours.

 

- Have a dressier outfit for an event, party, date... 

 

- Don't forget about good quality lounging clothes.

 

With all of that in mind, buy 12 to 16 pieces that could carry you from morning to night, Monday to Sunday. Imagine you couldn't have any other clothes, just those 16 pieces, what would you choose? Those are your basics! Otherwise called capsule wardrobe. It's the ratio of top to bottom, dresses or suits that really matters.

 

How to avoid all closets looking exactly the same?

 

That's where personal style comes into the picture.

 

Some people would like certain colours, materials, would want a blazer instead of a bomber jacket or a leather one instead of a suede version. You might like prints, someone else might prefer a nudes and black and white palette...

 

Those little touches are the ones that would make your starting wardrobe yours.

 

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Five things you should invest in if you are a man

I'm not talking about a safe and durable car, a house or the stock market here.

I mean investments in your appearance.

The amount of time, care and many times money we spend in ourselves can really be noticed by others and help form a good image and develop a nice reputation.

 

Obviously not everyone can afford to spend the same amount of cash on their appearance and that's all right, we can all try to be our best possible version within our budget.

 

The fact that, most of the time, we will have to really get our money's worth makes choosing the right garments and accessories to invest in all the more important.

 

Many times choosing a few high quality pieces can bring any look to the next level and you'll be surprised, although quality and loud price tags tend to go hand in hand, it's not always as expensive as we might think.

 

When a piece has been well made it will carry on looking as new for a long time. At the same time, if it has been chosen wisely it means that it suits you and your needs perfectly, so you won't feel the need to get rid of it and buy something new. Hence the use of the word investment.

 

Here are five things you should not go cheap about:

 

  • A suit: I've already given you a few tips on how to make sure you buy the best suit possible (link) and although this might sound old fashioned, every man should have a suit they look impeccable in. At least one. I don't care if you don't wear it to work or if you think you don't need it. You do! You should choose a colour you can play with morning to night, business to black tie (ish). And it should fit you as if it was made for you (if you can actually afford a bespoke or made-to-measure one this is the first investment you should make!). Buy the best suit you can afford. You won't regret it.

 

  • Shoes: Nothing screams low self care like having dirty or ratty shoes. I notice some people put a lot of effort on every single piece of their items but somehow overlook the shoes. Buy a pair that is made of leather and not some plastic fancy material. Sewed and not glued if you can. Pick a design and a colour that can both look good with your suit and with casual clothes. Make sure they are as comfortable and breathable as possible. And take good care of them. Clean them, polish them, change the insoles when needed.

 

  • Wallet: If I had a penny for everytime I've seen a man take out of his pocket a wallet that clearly belonged in his teenage years... There are so many brands out there that make cool or classic designs you can choose from. Soft or rough leather. You don't have to spend a huge amount of money. Company's like Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss or Tom Ford have nice models that could be a good investment without the commitment of a Louis Vuitton. Please, leave the Adidas at home.

 

  • Watch: It doesn't have to be a Rolex or Cartier, obviously. But a good watch can last you a lifetime and bring your whole look together. You can get away with a tie from Zara Men but a watch... not so much. Choose heritage brands that are specialised in watches over designer accessories. They will last longer and chances are there will always be pieces to repair them.

 

  • Casual wear: It's not all about the suit. You should have a couple of casual outfits that look good and you can rely on in important occasions that don't require to fully dress up. A good pair of jeans that feel like they have been made for you. It's better to spend 200 pounds in a good pair than having four or five that don't make you look your best. Same with a good casual jacket, be it made of suede, leather or your favourite material, a well cut jacket can take you anywhere.

 

 

What are the pieces you invest more money on? Do you have any investment ones in your wardrobe at the moment?

 

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5 touches that elevate your look

So you've mastered your wardrobe. Your shelves and racks are full of pieces that are perfect for your body and lifestyle, everything you have looks spot on, but you'd like to take your style to the next level.

Here is how:

1. Invest in good basics

Now that you know what works for you, you shouldn't be scared to build a good back wardrobe. 

Try to invest in those basics you use again and again. Buy the best quality you can afford, it doesn't have to be all at once. Get one or two pieces per season and see how your outfits go from 10 to 20 in a matter of seconds.

 

2. Personal touch.

There's always something that makes us unique. Perhaps you like neckerchiefs, or a particular type of jewellery or fabric. Whatever it is, incorporate it to your daily outfits and make them yours.

 

3. Learn how to incorporate trends into your style.

It can be scary to add new elements to your wardrobe once you've mastered it.

It's good to proceed with caution, but there's no reason why you shouldn't add a few trendy pieces here and there to give your looks a bit of a twist every season.

The trick is finding what works and what doesn't for you, adapt the trends to you and your style, not the other way around.

 

4. Perfect grooming.

Everything should be in the best condition possible. Clothes wise, make sure they are clean, ironed/pressed, and well kept, if they look old, throw them away.

Keep your shoes clean and renew their insoles and soles whenever needed.

Keep yourself clean and groomed. Pay attention to your hair, wash it as regularly as you need and find a cut that works well with your features and it's easy to maintain.

 

5. Posture + attitude.

Many times we forget that the way we carry ourselves is what adds those extra "points" to someone'a aura.

You could dress two people with similar body types with the exact same outfit and one might carry it better than the other.

Walk straight but without squaring your shoulders too much, don't look down, look at people in the eyes and be polite.

 

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This week's inspiration is...

Martin Scorsese.

With several films under his belt considered masterpieces, and a few documentaries here and there, Scorsese has become one of the most applauded directors of the last decades.

From Taxi Driver to The Departed and Living in the Material World, his work is always worth checking out.

Martin has also mastered the art of having a signature look with his black rimmed glasses!

 

Who has been inspiring you lately?

 

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The Crown

Perhaps one of the revelation series of 2016, The Crown captured the hearts of its audience with a gorgeous historical portrayal and a stunning wardrobe.

Definitely one of the tv shows I've been recommended over and over again to add to my winter TO WATCH list, what better to fight the winter blues than immersing yourself in royal intrigues!

 

Things to look out for:

- The acting: The cast has been marvellously chosen, they carry the weight of the show and their roles amazingly. They don't disappoint.

- The scenography: Beautiful decorations, beautiful shots, beautiful filters, beautiful rooms... you get the idea.

- The music: Perhaps one of the most aluring things of The Crown is the list of songs chosen to accompany you throughout the story. You will be adding quite a few to your Spotify list for sure!

- The clothes: It's true that royal ennactments pave the way to use gorgeous wardrobes but not all productions do it well. Each episode will have you want to parade around the house with vintage attire.

 

Have you watched The Crown? What do you think about it?

 

Tell me which are your favourite new tv series to watch right now! 

 

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