Archive | January, 2013

Flat Caps Galore!

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Flat Caps Galore!

Posted on 31 January 2013 by Guest Post

As the cold weather  returns with its usual bite, it’s time to break out the winter wardrobe, pack away summer’s light shades and flimsy materials and replace with rustic hues and warm wool. Now’s the time freshen up your look with some stylish and toasty headgear – well you may as well look sharp scraping the ice off the car at 6am as you trudge to work!

Recently we were sent  me some wonderful flat caps to review, perfect timing as the floods in Yorkshire recede to be replaced with icy blasts.  The first three are from Bailey of Hollywood (regular readers will remember my review of their summer range here) and another from A Hume.  First up is the collection from Bailey:

These offerings from the Bailey winter range deliver the impeccable standards of workmanship that Bailey are renowned for. Gone are the outlandishly daring fabric choices of the summer range, replaced with beautiful winter tweeds and understated muted tones.  The quality of the outer fabric is thick and luxurious, the design patterns well defined, and the winter nature highlighted by thick padding for warmth.  I’ve waxed lyrical in the past about how well made items bearing the Bailey name are, these being no different.

The inner liner is a work of art.  On some items (even expensive items that charge only for the name) you can quickly identify where shortcuts have been taken to reduce manufacturing costs.  For example, on a flat cap of lesser quality, the inner liner would be a single piece of fabric stitched to the rim, with a button in the middle and maybe a few stitches to hold it to the outer. The inner liner on all of the Baileys demonstrates an eye for tailoring-esque detail and a stout refusal to compromise on quality.  The lining is made of 5 individual panels of Bailey monogrammed material, each stitched with perfect alignment to the outer material panels, something I’ve never seen before.


Traditional doesn’t mean boring. There are design touches in abundance that make these caps standout.  My personal favourite of this brace is the Golf model. With its traditional tweed outer this cap could be dismissed as run of the mill, but Bailey have given it a modern twist. The foam insert in the peak makes the shape of the cap very defined and consistent, resulting in a stylish modern flat cap.  I haven’t stopped wearing it since it arrived and I even met up with the editor of this blog at cigar function with it atop of my noggin to many admiring comments. The others sent continued the restrained choice of fabric; the Varden sporting a single coloured dark cloth and the plain mono-chrome Lord, almost a classic houndtooth design, are both perfect for when tweed doesn’t suit your mood. The cut of the pair gives a tight, head hugging sharp look.

The A Hume offering, made in the UK exclusively for A Hume of Kelso from 100% Wool, steps away from conformity in its choice of fabric and construction.  A truly traditional green herringbone outer is given a modern feel by the use of a very large check of pastel blue.  The method of construction is unique, the whole cap made from a single piece of fabric with the back panel formed by razor-sharp relief cuts and stitching.  This method ensures the cap fits tightly around the head resulting in a very modern, tailored look.

Many thanks to both Bailey and AHume for supplying us the hats to review




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Chatham Marine – Orwell Country Desert Boots

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Chatham Marine – Orwell Country Desert Boots

Posted on 29 January 2013 by Chris Ford

I hadn’t heard of Chatham Marine until recently but it seems they are a British company that have been around for 20years  catering for what they call the ‘weekend sailor’  supplying everything from waterproof clothing to polo shirts , hats and footwear.

For a while I have been looking for a Desert Boot style casual shoe and had yet to pull the trigger as every time I found a pair I liked they either didn’t have my size or I felt they were a little pricey.

Then I came across  Chatham Marines Orwell Country Desert Boot, keenly priced at £59.00 and looking exactly how I imagined the perfect boots would I went ahead and got a pair in Brown.    I received the boots a few weeks ago and I have to say I am nothing but happy and quite frankly really impressed how well made they are, as they were only  £59.00 I wasn’t expecting anything amazing but the quality of these boots and the solid construction really is impressive, in fact  several colleagues have asked me where I bought them and that I think is a true sign that something looks good, when others covert them!

If you would like your own pair or to explore the rest of the range offered by Chatham Marine head over to

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Atempting #DryJan with the help of Equator

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Atempting #DryJan with the help of Equator

Posted on 17 January 2013 by Chris Ford

In the past I’ve  heard lots of of friends and colleagues talk about having a dry January before which means zero consumption of alcohol for the month.  Some do it just for kicks , most do it to somehow combat the excesses of the Christmas and new year period,  why am I doing it?  because Equator offered to send me some of their non alcoholic beer to try for the month so I figured why not?

…and so it began, Ive never tried a alcohol free beer before so had no idea what to expect and really have no idea how Equator stacks up against the others out there but it certainly wins in terms of ingredients or shall I say lack of the bad stuff!


Equator has  Zero calories,  Zero Sugar as well as  Zero alcohol, that’s right none!,  this surprised me as after a bit of research I found that most of the so called non alcoholic beers still have a very tiny amount in there anyway how am I doing after two weeks?

Well not bad, its actually easier than I thought not to drink booze well I say easy, I find it easy others dont seem to find the fact that Im not drinking so easy! , the amount of times a pint has been thrust into my hand with something like ” ah go on just have the one”  makes me feel like a drug addict trying to get clean with my friends as the pushers.. kind of strange how people feel uncomfortable when you aren’t drinking but so far I have stuck to it.

So I guess you are wondering how Equator tastes?   well its certainly not a proper beer, and in a blind taste I would spot it a mile off but on the positive side it is I would say very similar to some of the weaker lagers out on the market , it kind of reminds me of Carling in a way.

Will I last the month?  Id like to think so but there’s two weeks to go so we shall see in my next update!


For more info on Equator check out their Facebook and Twitter links below




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WOW wireless bluetooth speaker

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WOW wireless bluetooth speaker

Posted on 10 January 2013 by Chris Ford

Recently I was in the market for a portable speaker to take with me  while travelling, while my Iphones speakers are ok they don’t really let you appreciate your  music that clearly and I like to play some tunes while getting ready in my hotel room.

So after looking around I decided to go for the WOW Bluetooth speaker and Im really glad I did.

First off the speaker are made out of a durable rubber material ideal to take the bumps and bruises my gear take when travelling,  also the speaker has a built in USB rechargeable battery making it easy to charge and a separate charger isn’t needed as most of us have one already for our phone or can charge via the laptop.


Also one of the main things I loved was the easy connection, my phone found the speaker straight away with no fuss and there was no need to enter a password (another annoyance I find with bluetooh devices!)

all in all this speaker was well worth £49.95 and if you want one yourself head over to where you can purchase them in  anyone of six colours.



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Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 Power Select Razor

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Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 Power Select Razor

Posted on 03 January 2013 by Chris Ford

Recently I was invited to try Wilkinson Swords brand new Razor the Hydro 5 Power Select, and over the last month I have been using it for my daily shave to give it a proper evaluation.

I think we are all getting a bit tired of a new razor coming out every year claiming to be the next big thing in shaving by adding that all important ( or not!) extra blade and to be honest I expect the Hydro 5 to be no different but after near on a month using it I will say its probably the best shave I have ever given myself, not as good a a professional cut throat shave but its very close!

The razor has a built in vibration  setting which can be customised to limit skin irritation and also a handy battery indicator lets you know clearly when you are about to run out of juice.

Probably my favourite feature of this new razor though is the gel reservoir which contains Wilkinson Swords ‘skin defence complex’  which hydrates your skin during the shave and feels rather wonderful once you are done.


If you are in the market for a new razor I can thoroughly recomend the Hydro 5, I’m really happy with the close shave and the soft and refreshed feeeling after the shave, Im sure you will be too.


Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 Power select is available nationwide now with a RRP of £12.99 for the razor and a pack of 4 blades is £9.99





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