Young, dumb, and full of Comme…

breton east ellis

Happy birthday to me!

Saturday was a very important day for everyone as it was the anniversary of the birth of the notorious J Marvellous, a fact which was celebrated with some delightful drinking and such, and also by some delightful gifts.  One of these gifts was a beautiful Comme De Garcon breton (via FW) which is being modelled in the above photo by none other than yours truly, who had feverishly and gleefully wrenched it from its plastic wrapping only moments previously.

It’s a thing of delightful beauty, and something I am overjoyed to own;  a classic cut and style, brought kicking and screaming into the present day with the cute CDG logo.   It hangs really nicely, and has a few little flourishes that mean what could, in lesser skilled hands, have been a fairly lacklustre high street piece becomes an elegant, timeless staple, worthy of a place in any discerning male wardrobe.  Basically I am in love with it, and currently looking for ways to indulge in a civil partnership with it so that we can honeymoon on the French Riviera together, driving around attracting jealous stares in our droptop vintage sports car, and living the lives we were both clearly destined to lead.

In a rather neat segway, also pictured in shot are a pair of trousers which I got from River Island in preparation for a trip to Paris last summer.   I wasn’t sure about the colour initially but they’ve grown on me lately and they make a nice break from rocking jeans all the time.  They’re a little bit thin so tend to be better suited to summer outings but they crumple nicely.  It’s probably only fair to confess that they are essentially an inferior rip off of an absolutely stunning pair of trousers that  I wanted from Albam in Islington at the time which looked something like this:

Nicer than mine. Whatever. At least I have arms. And better shoes.

However I couldn’t afford these then (or indeed now) so I plumped for the RI version, which to be fair haven’t been too bad and lasted quite well, but if you see these Albam ones up close you will agree that they are lovely.  Really nice feeling heavyweight material that looks as though it would scuff up like a dream the more you wore them until they had a really nice patina.  When I am in a Swiss chalet with my CDG breton on the second stage of our honeymoon, I will take photos of us together having a lovely time and send them to these trousers, to show them what they’re missing.

I will finish by giving an honourable mention to the socks that I am wearing.  They’re from Urban Outfitters and have seen a lot of service during these winter months.  I need more pairs of them, they’re always a pleasure to wear, and even when you put them on to go to work, or to go to the cornershop or whatever, it feels like you’re putting them on in a cottage in the Lake District on a crisp spring morning ahead of a beautiful hike through some picturesque woodland.  Moments of pleasure like these are what you (or at least I) want from nice clothes, and these socks never fail to deliver.

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Blaze!

Post 2.  Here it comes.  This is the one where the tweed comes out.  I like tweed.  I wore a variation on this outfit to work the other day and a lawyer told me that he very much liked my “English dandy sort of thing” which I took to be a compliment.  He lavished particular praise on the pocket square and the shoes, but as the shoes I was wearing then were some ropey looking brogues I bought from a Marks and Spencers outlet store in Devon I have taken the footwear up a notch for your pleasure.  Anyway, enough scene setting, let’s move on to what you’re really here for:  pictures of clothes.  As is fast becoming customary, I will start at the top and work my way down like some kind of fashion blogging Another Level.

blueboy. it's a mid nineties pop gag.

"English dandy sort of thing....yeah."

So there’s a lot to chat through here.  The jacket is a grey tweed which is a bit of a family heirloom having seen previous service as my dad’s school blazer, manufactured by a firm called Cobleys who proudly proclaim themselves to be “School outfitters to Brighton, Canterbury, Hove and Tonbridge” at some point in the mid seventies.   It’s much nicer than my school blazer which was a hideous brown polyester affair, about which I’m certain that, should I ever spawn, my offspring would not be blogging about forty odd years down the line.  This on the other hand has some very nice twill work going on, a good cut, and it’s useful for crossing that awfully rocky divide between work and casual wear which has a lot of potential for going hideously wrong.  Cobleys, I salute you.

The belt was another charity shop find, and does the job, nothing too out there, but I do have a thing for leather belts.  I had a short lived phase when I was a young teenager of wearing ties as belts, but as I’ve matured I’ve found leather to be far more satisfactory.  In the above shot it’s wrapped around the waistband of a pair of blue slacks which I got from River Island.  Whilst River Island may never be in the same league as Cobleys, I have to compliment them for the fit on the derriere on these, and the colour is nice.  Granted they do a lot of terrible student t-shirts and hideous scarves, but if you have the time to trawl through the detritus you can find some good stuff.

Yet to upgrade to the Frank Butcher spinning model

Tie fighter

This shirt is a Farah which I picked up at Urban Outfitters in the summer last year.  It’s proved itself to be a versatile piece; short sleeved so good for casual summer vibes but also gives a good account of itself in a slightly more formal setting.  I would like to get a long sleeved version as it’s flatteringly cut, and the collar really lifts it for me.  I think that essentially Farah are good at the basics, done well.  Not a statement piece necessarily, but it sits just right, looks right; you don’t need to worry about it.

For today’s look I’ve added a natty bow tie and pocket square.  The tie was picked up from a charity shop a little while back.  It cost me the princely sum of £1, and was sold to me amidst gales of laughter from the guy behind the desk (who was wearing a fetching pair of stained jogging bottoms) but I like it.  The pocket square was a stocking filler (via Father Xmo) and it’s a lovely print.  I’ve also  had fun looking up the different ways you can fold them which was a previously unknown art form to me.  Here’s a link if you want to get into double peaks and the like:  Fold your pocket square child, you walk like a peasant.

 

Van Halen Approved

All Rise.

Moving on down to the shoes, we round off this look with a pair of sky blue DMs from the summer.  I really like these shoes visually.  What can I say about these that you won’t have seen from the picture?  They rule.  Sky blue canvas, white laces, showing why DMs are having yet another of their resurgent periods.  They’re never far from the action although they do have periods where they go off the boil a bit, but I fell in love with these the moment I saw them staring out of the DM store window.  I’ve never really been a fan of the standard black DM, tarnished for me by their association with rubbish goths who like Carter USM and the Wonder Stuff, but these are some next level bsns.  These shoes have attracted compliments from complete strangers in pubs, inspired slavish devotion from friends, they really do look that good.  The only down side I can think of to mention is that they are absolute swines to break in, and if I walk any distance in them I develop blisters on parts of my feet that I didn’t even know existed.   That said, I think they’re worth the pain.

 

 

So here we go.

So here we are, opening my first foray into the world of fashion blogging.  Here be the clothes of J Marvellous, adorning the mildly gangly frame of J Marvellous, aka Marvellous J and a million other AKAs inbetween.  Welcome to my blog.  Welcome to my life.  Welcome to my slightly shabby laminate flooring.

Prince T-Shirt Model's Own

Ring the bell. J Cool's back in.

Today’s outfit of choice sees me rocking a collection of Xmo presents, which fortuitously have come together to create a utilitarian but attractive ensemble.  Up top we’re rocking a quilted shirt from All Saints (via Dad) which is covering an African Apparel Bob Marley tee (via EW).  My parents get the joke, but a lot of their friends don’t.  If you’re a friend of my parents this page might not be for you.

The devil is in the details

Up close and impersonal.

The shirt is a nice piece, picked up in the sales for a knockdown price, but I’m a big fan of the quilted detail, and it has a wired collar, reminiscent of another All Saints shirt which has been a staple of my wardrobe for ages so it gets two thumbs up from me.  The thing about AS stuff is even though they’re in danger of becoming the next Topshop (“It’s getting like a everybody ting you know?” – my sister), they pay so much more attention to the cut and so you know that even if it’s a vaguely generic bit of clothing, it’s going to have those little details and flourishes that make you feel good; the collar will sit just how you want, it’ll be cut flatteringly on the waist, whatever.  I love All Saints.

Marley Bob

Phil Lynott - R.I.P.

This tee is also a definite hit, and I think destined to be a stayer in the JM wardrobe.  So far no rabid Bob Marley fans have accosted me in the street (which was a fleeting concern), and I think it’s pretty rad.  On Xmo day I teamed it up with a natty paper crown and it looked boom, but on a more day to day tip it goes with pretty much anything.  I was thinking about putting a link in this bit so you could find it to buy it online but frankly I worry about bumping into you wearing it so that’s a no-go I’m afraid.

The more observant of you will have noticed I am wearing black skinny jeans.  These weren’t an Xmo gift, but I stole them from a pile of clothes a friend of mine was throwing away when she abandoned England’s green and pleasant land for Antipodean climes, and whilst they’re nothing special in themselves they often work as a nice sartorial glue to bond the rest of an outfit together.  I think they’re from New Look or something. New Look website. Like you don’t have it bookmarked.

Did you hear about the P-Funk Superstar from Saudia Arabia? Desert Bootsy Collins...

The Originals and Best

Saving the best for last perhaps we have a pair of Clarks’ Originals desert boots, a gift via FW, in a very tasteful shade which is described as “Wolf”.  I think far too many people opt for desert boots in “Sand” but “Wolf” is much better, but who am I to tell people what to do (other than the internet’s premier male fashion blogger since 2012)?  These shoes are pretty much the best thing on the shoe market right now, and if you don’t know, get to know.  The revival of the Clarks brand is a definite winner in my eyes, no longer the sole preserve of  the dapper Jamaican yardie, but once again clothing the feet of a nation of well turned out chaps with an eye for classic British design and high quality materials.   I struggle to put into words how good I think these shoes are, but I’ll have a go:  They’re great.  Essentially they’re the full package, everything I would want in a shoe:

  • Decent heavy weight, hardwearing soles.
  • A nicely cut, clean, simple, and ultimately unfussy bit of design on the upper
  • An elegant four hole lace literally pulling the whole thing together.

Number one shoes right now no doubt IDST.  These came out with me on New Year’s Eve, and when an unwitting inebriated acquaintance spilt some red wine on them I thought I might have to slay him on the spot but I did eventually calm down and on New Year’s morning they were resurrected through adept usage of a suede brush, and all was well with 2012 once more.

Well there you have it.  Stay tuned for further updates in the very near.