Dressing the part: a work story

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NOTE: I did actually wear this to work, but it never made it to the Blog, so using this as a stand-in for today’s story time.


The other day my colleague and friend Chris mentioned that someone in the office had asked him “Has Grant been cautioned about how he dresses?” Naturally I was a bit stunned by this, because while I am never the picture of perfect corporate attire I am never grubby or what I would consider poorly dressed.

It turns out that the person in question had noticed that I have started dressing more corporately aligned, and wondered if this was because I had been told to? My friend thought that this was rather hilarious, and made the comment that I had probably just run out of clean clothes (thanks Chris, really).

What this has shown me (ridiculously, after seven years in the Public Service) is that as dry as the accepting and encouraging of diversity as it is; people are still paying attention to what I wear on a daily basis. It really is a strange realisation to have, because 90% of the time I am fairly confident in saying that I am dressing whole heartedly for myself. This however in turn begs the question: should I be? (more…)

Oxford Shirt: A classic you should own

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Wearing: navy silk necktie with lobsters – L.L.Bean, ebay | pale blue cotton Oxford Shirt – Marcs | black leather belt – Raphael Steffens | navy slim chinos – ASOS | denim camouflage loafers – Shibuya Tokyo |


Oxford Shirts are a preppy staple which anyone aspiring to look preppy, gentile or just well dressed should be familiar with. The name Oxford refers to Oxford University, and along with Yale, Cambridge and Harvard, it is a hardy fabric weave for shirts originally produced in the 19th century by Scottish fabric mills. The others​—Yale, Cambridge and Harvard—have long since ceased to be produced.

The oxford shirt is easily recognizable by the oxford weave, a basket-weave pattern that combines two yarns woven lengthwise against a heavier yarn crosswise. Oxford shirts frequently, but not always, have button-down collars. (more…)

Trousers: A Recent Find from M.J. Bale

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Today I am wearing: | gold tone aviator sunglasses – ebay | navy single-breasted blazer – ASOS | blue and white polka dot silk pocket square – thrifted | French blue linen button-down shirt – Trenery | brown leather belt – Sportscraft | navy blue cotton trousers – M.J. Bale | navy polka dot socks – WitcheryMan | whiskey brown leather brogues – Trenery |


I think that I have spoken here several times in the past about how much I detest formal pants or slacks. There’s just something about the design of this garment that fills me with an intense fury, and as such I have all but given up on wearing them. I am, however, very aware that wearing jeans to work is hugely taboo for a lot of people, especially in the Public Service like I am. Wearing jeans to work five-days a week is pushing things. So I’ve had my eye out for something suitable to replace my jeans with, and finally I think that I have found them. (more…)

Menswear: 8 Instagramers Who Inspire Me

Menswear is obviously a consuming passion of mine, and despite being initially violently opposed to the idea of Instagram, I have come to be obsessed with the app as a sort of visual diary, and have found countless accounts across the globe who continue to inspire me day after day. There’s a wealth of reasons why I keep coming back to these same profiles, and I thought that it was high-time that I share with you some of the Instagramers who I turn to daily for that much needed dose of menswear inspiration, or to challenge my own tastes, or to remind myself that there will always be someone better dress than you. These 8 accounts are the menswear gurus who are currently rocking my world with the sartorial expertise and personal styles as different as you could imagine. Check them out, give them a follow, tell me what you think – I promise that there is something here for every man’s taste.

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t.v.f.u.h – Jared t.v.f.u.h (the view from up here) is a Brisbane based menswear Instagram that features point of view images of Jared’s daily outfits. The photography is crisp and clear, the angle is engaging and personal, and the outfits are ceaselessly well executed.


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The Solid Sartorialist – Charles A man after my own heart, Charles is inspiring to me in his dedication to showing that bigger guys have no excuse when it comes to the style stakes. As a chunky guy myself it’s a great kick in the pants to see him killing it on a daily basis, reminding me that my weight is not an excuse to be poorly dressed.


Plaid, the 90s, and Acne Studios

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Wearing: | gold-tone aviator sunlasses – ebay | navy slim tuxedo blazer – ASOS | blue plaid button-down shirt – Acne Studios | blue wool necktie – MJ Bale | dark blue plaid pocket square – Loft, Shibuya | | brown leather belt – Sportscraft | white skinny jeans – ASOS | whiskey brown leather loafers – ASOS |


Plaid is not something I ever really saw myself coveting. As far as materials go, it is more commonly known in Australia as Tartan of Flannel, and tended to be synonymous with bogans is footy shorts with too many kids crowded around their feet, until it was co-opted in the 90s by the grunge movement. Plaid recently made a resurgence in popularity in fashion, thanks to a bizarre sort of 90s revival that the kids have all been raving about. Here’s the thing though: I am 30 – I lived through the 90’s the first time around, and while I can hand on my heart declare that the music of the 90s was the single greatest era, ever; it didn’t really have that much else going for it. And Plaid shirts I thought to be just another trapping of the insistent  90s nostalgia that fashion has been experiencing.

And then I saw this gorgeous plaid shirt on ebay, and my whole worldview changed. (more…)

Bow Tie: A Meditation on a Trend

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Wearing: |speckled blue jumper – H&M | pale blue Oxford shirt – Polo Ralph Lauren | maroon bow tie – vintage | brown leather belt – Sportscraft | light Moto jeans – G-Star Raw | tobacco brown leather brogues – Trenery |


Bow ties were once regulated to strict preppies and conservative college professors, but have exploded into a men’s fashion staple over the past few years. Not all of it has been good, with several ‘new’ takes on this humble accessory being invented which usually signals the end of a trend (for example, the wooden bow tie, a pet hate of mine). Lately I have been wondering whether there is still a suitable way to wear a bow tie to add a jolt of personality to our wardrobes, or if the trend is well and truly dead.

Admittedly, the use of a bow tie will not suit every guy’s wardrobe or lifestyle, but I do believe that there are still ways to give these beautiful menswear staples a place in your wardrobe. (more…)

Shitty Silver Lining: A Story

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Wearing: goldtone aviators with blue mirrored lenses – ebay | navy cardigan blazer – Travel jacket, thrifted | blue and white checked shirt – Reserve | Black leather belt – Rapahel Steffens | burnt orange cotton chinos – FCUK | camouflage denim loafers – Richard Smith, Shibuya


This is a story about a shitty silver lining. You see, despite the fact that I am something of a realist and always mistaken for a pessimist; I do legitimately believe that there is usually a silver lining to most situations in life. Recently while my best friend Mags was visiting from Sydney we uncovered the shitty silver lining to my recent move, which is that I have to down-size my wardrobe. (more…)