The Idle Man’s Guide To Autumn Trends

Summer is finally over, which means it’s time to pack away the shorts and flip-flops and reintroduce your more autumnal attire. A new season brings new outfit challenges and autumn is no different, the weather is as unpredictable as a grapefruit’s squirt and you’ll have to be able to layer your clothes appropriately. Here at menswear retailer The Idle Man we thought we’d give you guys at Send A Raven the lowdown on the key trends this autumn.

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Shirts Are Key
Kick off your layering with a lightweight t-shirt to go underneath your other items, in the late autumn months you can alter this to a long sleeved to fend off the cold. For the weekends, a casual checked shirt will keep you warm and on trend, whilst you can change this to a plain shirt for work. If you’d rather go for comfort over style then a hoodie is ideal to go on top, but if you prefer the smart look, a blazer will do the job just fine.

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Wear A Hat
The hat has undertaken a transformation over the years, resulting in it being a more acceptable piece of clothing. A plain beanie is a staple piece that can go with any outfit, as well as keeping you warm and leaving you looking good at the same time.
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Add More Denim
Autumn is the perfect time to add a denim jacket to your wardrobe, they are heavy enough to keep you warm without appearing too bulky. They can also be layered easily and worn in a variety of different colours. You can always switch your bottom half to chinos if you can’t stand the double denim look!

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A guide to the Ashes for a cricket novice

ashes

July saw the beginning of the 2015 Ashes series between England and Australia. Held in England, the test matches will be taking place up and down the country including Lord’s, the Oval, Sophia Gardens and Edgbaston. The series will be running until August 24th, and as Alastair Cook’s and Michael Clarke’s teams battle it out, now is the perfect time to become acquainted with this cricketing tradition. Here is a mini-guide to the Ashes for a cricket novice:

 

What are the Ashes?

The Ashes are a test cricket series between England and Australia which began way back in 1882. The two nations were playing cricket and unfortunately England lost, prompting The Sporting Times to run an obituary the next morning proclaiming the end of English cricket in a mock obituary. “The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia”, the obituary stated, which led the then England captain Ivo Bligh to proclaim that he would “regain those ashes”. Thus began the Ashes: a biennial competition between Australia and England, the victor bringing home the famous Ashes urn which is reputed to hold the ashes of a cricket ball. Fans of the series should keep an eye on Coral’s website for the chance to bet on the matches, with the opportunity to choose who is your best bowler to the overall winner there are several ways to get involved.

 

Famous faces at the Ashes

Like Wimbledon, celebrities and big names flock to the Ashes to both see the world-class cricket but also to be seen themselves. Consequently there will be lots of coverage from the series: not just from the day’s cricket but also to keep an eye on who’s there. This can be fun for the celebrity fans amongst you; hopefully there will be a cricketing equivalent of the famous Gerard Butler and Bradley Cooper selfie from Wimbledon. Known celebrity cricket fans include the likes of Harry Potter himself – Daniel Radcliffe and Hugh Jackman so there may well be some familiar faces at the test matches!

 

Make sure you’re dressed for the occasion

Whether you’re planning on going to one of the test matches themselves or having a mini-Ashes themed party at home you’ve got to make sure you’re dressed for the occasion. Hopefully the summer sunshine will continue throughout the tournament, and will allow you to enjoy the cricket in the good weather. Floral is a strong trend in menswear this summer, and can be styled with this £17.99 shirt from New Look or these Quiksilver chino shorts priced at £60.

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How to create a Stylish Bedroom on a Budget:

Having a stylish bedroom doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to spend a small fortune. Whether your bedroom is spacious or cosy, there are ways to ensure that you’re maximising the space you have; choosing the right colour pallet and making sure that your furniture is the right size can help to make sure that the space is not overwhelmed.  Here are four easy to follow steps that will ensure you stay on the path towards a stylish bedroom without breaking the bank:

Get your DIY on:

Whether you already have some furniture or you are starting from scratch it is worth considering sprucing up older pieces rather than spending a lot of money on something which is brand new. With the furniture you already own, this could be as simple as giving it a quick lick of paint or changing the handles. However, if you’re looking for new pieces, you may want to check out your local boot sales or vintage stores. This way you’ll find something unique to your room and whilst it may need a bit of love and attention, you will be surprised at how easy it is to transform the most mundane to the most fabulous!

Use your space wisely:

It can be easy to get carried away when you’re redecorating, and to assume that the biggest means the best. This isn’t always the case. Sometimes people forget to measure the space of the room they’re working with, and buy pieces of furniture that simply overwhelm it. For example, if your room is more on the cosy side, it might be an idea to consider a double rather than king sized frame. This compromise can allow the room to feel spacious and still designed to fit your needs.

Be cool with your colours:

If you’ve been to the DIY store recently, you may have noticed the shelves of colour options now available in paints. You can even get them to mix up a specific colour, just for you! It is really important to not get too carried away with the options and want to use as many as possible. It is wiser to choose your colours carefully. Take advantage of the information available and save yourself some stress!

Give it a personal touch:

It is worth considering when you’re flicking through the latest interior design magazines that these bedrooms are designed to look perfect, rather than to be lived in. With this in mind, you need to remember that this is your room, and if you want to have a collection of photographs of your nearest and dearest: go for it.  Don’t feel too confined by trying to be stylish, especially if this means you’re denying yourself the space of your dreams!

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What To Know About Race Day Fashion

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Spring will be here in no time, and with it the U.K. will begin to celebrate the busiest season of the horse racing calendar. This is a big deal not only in sport, but also for those who enjoy high-end fashion. For many years now, prominent racecourses have been magnets for fashionistas, and high-profile races now include entire days devoted to the fashions popularly associated with horse racing culture. As we prepare for this festive time of year, here are a few things you should know about race day fashion.

 

Colour Depends On Atmosphere

 

If you’re new to horse racing festivals, particularly in the U.K., you may have it in your head that bright, warm-weather colours are part of the uniform. Indeed, this is the popular image for many races, and a search for race day fashion tips will certainly turn up a number of sundresses and accessories in colourful pastel and neon shades. And if the weather is agreeable, by all means embrace this aspect of racing style. But know also that in the U.K. in particular, weather and atmosphere can result in dimmer, more rustic attire. Consider a 2014 Guardian feature on the fashions of the Cheltenham Festival, one of the earliest on the UK calendar. In this feature you’ll find heavy overcoats, fur accessories, and a great deal of browns, blacks, and grays. Even the greens and pinks tend to be dimmer shades, all in keeping with what can often be cooler weather.

 

The Hat Trend Is Universal

 

If you’re reading about horse racing fashion, you’ve certainly seen and/or heard that fancy and often oversized or ornamented hats are part of the expected attire. In fact, they’re nearly a style requirement! We only mean to reiterate this, as well as to point out that it applies to virtually all major races—and men, too! Much of the focus on racecourse style is directed toward women. However, whether you’re a man looking for race day tips or a woman looking for fun ideas for a date, it’s worth noting that men also opt for stylish hats that are often vintage. One of the early previews on Betfair of the Cheltenham Festival offers a nice glimpse of the trend’s application among men. It shows not just a fan but legendary trainer Paul Nicholls himself wearing a delightful fedora at the tracks. Any men reading this may want to follow his lead.

 

High Heels Aren’t Necessary

 

It’s part of the popular image often associated with race day fashion: the big oversized hat; the bright and colourful sundress; and high heels. But the fact is that heels aren’t always the most practical footwear options for a day at the races. Sure, you’ll be happily seated at the tracks or at restaurant tables for much of the day, but you’ll also be walking the tracks and mingling on foot with other spectators. For this reason, some women prefer to opt for flats simply for the sake of comfort. However, stylish alternatives to ordinary heels often seen at the races include boots (if appropriate with the weather) and platforms. Platform heels in particular—some of them almost boot-like themselves—are popular options at many races, as displayed in the Daily Mail’s recap of 2014’s Grand National fashion.

 

Accessories Win The Day

 

Horse racing fashion is largely about putting together as bold a look as possible without venturing into tacky territory. Much of that has to do with finding the right accessories. Pins and brooches, ribbons and bows, jewellery and watches, handbags and umbrellas… all of it is fair game for a day at the races. The right combination of noteworthy accessories can take a standard race day look and turn it into something recognisable. This is certainly one of the main points worth keeping in mind as you set about designing a racecourse wardrobe.

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Replica Watches

When you just can’t afford what you want, you ultimately start considering the possibility of buying a replica watch. Is this a wise decision? What are the financial, legal and qualitative implications of this purchasing decision? I am sure that once you are fully aware of these facts you will change your mind about buying a fake product.

The first thing you must know about replica timepieces is that these are illegal. Next, there is the fact that these are poor quality accessories and make you look foolish. It is obvious, for anyone who knows you, what you can and cannot afford. If you are seen wearing a Rolex watch then everyone will assume it is a fake, and they have every right to do this. A luxury designer watch like Rolex costs about $10,000 or so. Only wealthy people afford to spend this kind of money on a watch, and they would never conceive the idea of purchasing a fake product.

The best replicas you can find on the market according to replicareview.co are incredibly cheap quality when compared to the original ones. Such an imitation watch costs about $400-$900 and it is supposed to be equipped with an ETA automatic mechanism. This kind of replica is very similar to the authentic model, in terms of looks, but it has a very short life span. In general, this type of fake timepiece will break in a couple of years. After this, you can just throw it in the rubbish bin. No jeweler will ever accept to repair it. In the end, you will lose $400-$900 for a low quality replica watch. For the same amout of money you could choose the alternative of an authentic good quality watch like Tissot, Seiko, Citizen or Michael Kors. These wristwatches will work perfectly for many years to come.

I know, the more commercials we see with expensive luxury watches the more we want them. The high price tag of these timepieces is designed to turn them into much sought after products, products destined to satisfy the ego of an elitist part of the population. At the opposite pole, replica watches are intended for those who simply cannot afford the real deal, but want to enjoy the same status symbols as those who do. But believe me, it will only harm you image and people will soon start to see you as fake as the watch you are wearing.

Style and respect aren’t the result of what you are wearing, but rather of how you do it. People who are natural, original and positive tend to differentiate themselves from others by having a unique fashion sense and a vibrant personality. I advise you to see the truth about replica watches and understand that these fake products are undeniably a poor purchasing decision. The reasons for this statement are more than obvious: the quality is awful and they do not serve their purpose. Your image won’t improve if you wear a fake watch, but it will be altered irreparably due to this negative association.

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M.Nii – Spring 2014 Collection

M.Nii spring 2014 collection surf wear

In the 1950s and 1960’s Hawaii became a favourite destination for the jet-set and the cult of surfing grew in mainland Northern America. Surf-style became increasingly popular and respected surfers and their friends would go to one man for their custom made clothing: Minoru Nii, a japanese tailor based in Oahu. Nii made clothes for the likes of John F. Kennedy, Gary Cooper and John Wayne, sealing his cult status on the island. Today M.Nii have taken inspiration from the 1950’s and their original board shorts to create a fantastic collection of clobber for the summer.

We like this a lot at Raven HQ, 1950’s surfing photographs can be looked at all day and we reckon M.Nii have pulled it out the bag with their inspiration – simple striped tees and vintage looking board shorts, perfect for standing on the shore pretending you’re a surfer. Online store and a list of retailers here.

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M.Nii spring 2014 surf wearM.Nii spring 2014 surf wearM.Nii spring 2014 surf wearM.Nii spring 2014 surf wearM.Nii spring 2014 surf wear Continue reading

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Design – Blue Police Phone Box At Grosvenor Square

blue police phone box Grosvenor Square

Walking from Hyde Park to Soho recently I headed through Grosvenor Square and came across this fantastic blue Metropolitan Police phone box, right outside the US Embassy. Standing all alone and gaining little attention from anybody close by, this blue box looked so dated and unnecessary it had to have a story, and it did, of sorts.

blue police phone box Grosvenor Square

Installed in the 1920s, these boxes were originally designed for the Bobbys-on-the-beat, so they could remain as such and not have to return to the station for orders. They are actually an original version of the Tardis, being put into public use and providing a direct line to advice and assistance, with the sign on the front reading “officers and cars respond to urgent calls”. The door on this box was open and there was a rather out of place, more modern looking telephone inside – this didn’t have a dialling tone when I tried it however (according to The London Grill it is supposed to still be operational due to it’s location outside the US Embassy).

blue police phone box Grosvenor Square

This isn’t the only one of these in the capital, there are in fact eight other boxes, including one outside Liverpool St station and one in Piccadilly Circus. This has now been given a Grade II listing by English Heritage, securing its place in history.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TARDIS

Made of cast iron, it’s painted in a fantastic blue and is both prominent and discreet at the same time; easily missed but a great reminder of days gone by.

blue police phone box Grosvenor Square London

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On The Stereo At Raven HQ This Week..

 

Baby Huey & The Baby Sitters – Hard Times

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Lou Reed – Coney Island Baby

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Future Islands – Seasons (Waiting On You)

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And in case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s Future Islands performing the above song on Letterman recently, one of the best performances by a lead singer on a TV show I’ve ever seen.

Have a great weekend all

 

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Good Jacket For A Festival – The Ryder Packaway From Henri Lloyd

 

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With a handful of festivals announcing their predictably stale line ups this week, one thing that will be sure to brighten up any dreary non-event is wearing the new Ryder Packaway jacket from Henri Lloyd. With their usual technical prowess, this fully seam taped, lightweight jacket comes in the four colours shown above. It retails at £110, probably a snippet of the price of your festival ticket. We like this a lot.

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Design – Florian Saul Servus r75 Coatstand

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Berlin based furniture designers Florian Saul caught our eye with this very practical, moveable coat stand, to which they’ve given the name the Servus r75 (servus is latin for Servant). It can be picked up and leaned against any wall, perfect if you entertain or have a tendency to rearrange your living space a fair bit. Jackets or any other clothes can be placed over the upper curve while gloves, hats or anything similar fit nicely in the leather pouch. I like this a lot, it’s very practical yet sleek in its design, giving you the freedom to create space and remain tidy.

servus r75 florian saul

servus r75 florian saul

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Sunglasses For Spring – Our Top 5 Picks

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Image via Panic Dots

With the sun seemingly wanting to make an appearance of late I thought it timely to offer our top five sunglasses picks for spring. Now, if there’s one thing you can’t compromise on when it comes to buying shades it’s quality, which means, therefore, also the price. Although they are easy to lose/break/scratch/sit on you can spot a cheap pair of sunglasses a mile off so here’s some suggestions that are certainly not a compromise.

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Han Kjobenhaven Timeless Amber clip-ons are £125 from Oi Polloi
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Sheldrake Tortoiseshell from Oliver Peoples, available in-store only
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Garrett Leight Kinney Army Drift/ Moss Sunglasses £215 from Opumo
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Ray Ban Outdoorsman, £210 from Mr Porter
cutler and gross round frame
Cutler and Gross Round Frame, £310, Mr Porter

 

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This Week, We Have Mostly Been Listening Too..

THE WEEKEND IS HERE!!! THE WEEKEND IS HERE!!! THE WEEKEND IS HERE!!! THE WEEKEND IS HERE!!! THE WEEKEND IS HERE!!! THE WEEKEND IS HERE!!!

To celebrate this most glorious of events we’ve decided to start a new little slot, sharing with you what we’ve been listening to at Raven HQ each week. Please don’t judge us, music should be a guiltless pleasure, a place you can lose yourself, a place where you don’t care if liking The Style Council will make you look about as edgy as a satsuma..

Have a good weekend all

 

1. Mutual Benefit – Advanced Falconry

mutual benefit advance falconry

2. Pharrell Williams – Girl

pharrell williams girls

3. The Style Council – You’re The Best Thing

the style council you're the best thing

 

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