HOW TO WEAR FORMAL SHOES CASUALLY

Summer is a social season full of dates, dinners and parties, and with the warmer months slowly creeping up on us isn’t it about time you started focusing on your shoe game? In our books, neglecting your footwear is a cardinal sin, but we all know how tricky it can be striking the smart-casual balance just right, especially when it comes to what we’re putting on our feet.

Pulling off formal footwear in a casual way is easier than it looks. Formal shoes are versatile, honestly they are, you just need to know how to style them. That’s where we come in. Whether you’re going for a smart clean look look or casual contemporary, the formal shoe has got your back. From brogues to loafers, chukka boots and boat shoes, step up your formal shoe game by wearing them casually.

Brogues

mens brogues
PHOTO CREDIT: Trend Style

Brogues are every mans go to when it comes to formal shoes, often seen worn with a traditional suit at weddings or in the office. But there is another alternative for your trusty Oxford’s and we’re not talking about that other suit you own. Try jeans. A shoe that’s versatile and easy to wear, the brogue suits both casual and smart styles. In an array of styles, the brogue really has the potential to switch-up the style of your outfit.

Key Brogue Styles

  • Perforated
  • Wingtip
  • Derby
  • Oxford

How to Style the Brogue

Dr Martens Made in England classic black brogue
SHOP: Brogues

The brogue, traditionally worn with suits and chinos, is the ultimate formal shoe to wear casually. Swap the suit trousers for jeans and keep the wash dark to maintain an element of formality. To keep the look low key, opt for simple t-shirt and pair with a denim or casual jacket to create the ultimate off duty look, perfect for drinks down the pub.

casual brogue outfit grid

Loafers

mens penny loafer
PHOTO CREDIT: Oxford Cloth Buttondown

Loafers the ideal choice for comfort; they slip on and off easily, go with any outfit, and look great when styled with jeans or slim-fit trousers. The perfect shoe all year round, they are a mainstay of men’s footwear and will never go out-of-style. From the tassel loafer, to penny loafers and drivers, this style can really open up your options for smart-casual style. When styling the loafer, remember simplicity is key to wearing this formal style casually.

Leading Loafer Labels

  • Hudsoon
  • G.H. Bass & Co.
  • Russell & Bromley

How to Style the Loafer

G. H. Bass & Co Penny Loafer

To style the formal loafer casually, opt for a light colour chino and pair with a shirt worn unbuttoned for the ideal Summer holiday evening look. Roll up your chinos and ditch the socks for a really casual, laid back feel.

summer loafer outfit grid

Chukka Boots

mens chukkas
PHOTO CREDIT: WordPress

The Chukka boot is a similar style to the desert boot, so named after chukka period of play in polo, the sport in which they were originally worn.

The Idle Man offer a range of  chukka boot variations in streamlined, minimal styles. They are a smart shoe that blur the lines between smart and casual meaning they are both versatile and extremely easy to wear. To style this formal shoe casually, pair with a dark wash denim jean in a slim and tapered fit.

Main Characteristics of the Chukka Boot

  • Rounded toe
  • 3 eyelets
  • Suede or leather upper
  • Thin leather (formal)or crepe sole (casual)

How to Style the Chukka Boot

Hudson Chukka boot
SHOP: Chukka Boots

Jeans are the ultimate way to style the formal chukka boot casually. Pin roll your jeans to reveal the ankle detail of your boots and reveal your socks. On top, it’s really up to you so if you’re feeling casual opt for a t-shirt, but if you want to smarten things up a little go down the shirt route.

chukka boat casual outfit grid

Boat Shoes

mens boat shoes
PHOTO CREDIT: Daily Bruin

The boat shoe was originally designed by Paul Sperry in 1935. An avid inventor and sailor, Sperry slipped and fell overboard one day when he was sailing out on long island. Inspired by the way is dog was able to cross ice without difficulty, Sperry patented the technology of carving grooves into the soles of shoes, modeled on those like the ones on his dogs paws, and designed a shoe that could be worn on boat decks without slipping.

The boat shoe is a classic and timeless style and since its inception 80 years ago has rarely been seen out of fashion. The ultimate formal shoe, the white sole and soft leather of the boat shoe means that it can be easily dressed down and is a great Summer option.

How to Tie Your Boat Shoes

There are a million and one ways you can tie the laces of your boat shoes, and most of them are a massive improvement in terms of style on the traditional bow tie. Take a look at one of the most interesting and traditional ways to tie your boat shoe laces.

How to Style the Boat Shoe

Timberland Boat Shoe
SHOP: Boat Shoes

Dress down the boat shoe and wear this formal style casually by opting for shorts and an open shirt, or go for a nautical theme and pair with a striped t-shirt for the ultimate summer look. Team with a classic pair of shades and you’re onto a winner.

summer boat shoes outfit grid

On That Note…

There’s no need to feel limited with your formal shoes; formal footwear can be the most versatile and easy to wear of the lot. Whether it’s denim, shorts or chinos, the options to mix up your formal and casual attire is simpler than you think.

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HOW TO WEAR LONG SLEEVED TEES

Knowing how to wear long sleeve T-shirts can be a challenge, we’ve run through how to style them and picked out our best on offer at the moment.

Following on from our winter layering guide, we introduce you to another winter staple: the long-sleeved T-shirt a.k.a. the ideal base for any winter outfit. Don’t worry we aren’t trying to scare you into the cold weather; we’re just styling you through it. Like your everyday tee, the long-sleeve T-shirt comes in an array of colours and style variations from: crew neck, v-neck, raglan, and the popular ribbed.

Ribbed variations are the most-chosen style for men when opting for a long-sleeved option. They have fast become the focus of outfits, and can be worn alone or paired with a statement jacket, jumper or sweatshirt. When layering this tee, remember you could either go bold or subtle. To achieve a bold statement look opt for bright, stand-out colours as options, and black, white or neutral options lead to a more toned-down look.

Play with the style of the long-sleeved tee, and wear it under a graphic printed shirt, paying homage to the grunge/skater style. Suited for a more relaxed outfit, with light-wash denim. Wear to size for a smart, trim look; and up a size for a loose relaxed fit.

Printed

long-sleeve-t-shirts-printed

Plainer

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Something Different

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SHOP: The Hundreds Long Sleeve Polo | The Hundreds Long Sleeve Rugby | Nicce Button Up Long Sleeve

COLD WEATHER LAYERING GUIDE

When winter comes along it’s easy to just throw a coat over a basic outfit and be done with it. Follow this quick guide to see how to layer your winter outfit with a little more style and thought.  

Winter time fashion tends to look great in theory, and less great in reality. In the prints and blog posts you’ve got the perfectly groomed man strutting down the street in a open coat and thin scarf, seeming oblivious to the falling snow around him. Paints a pretty different picture to the reality of shoving your numb hands in your coat while you wait for the bus.

Still, there is an achievable line between editorial shoots and that miserable commute to work. A bit of clever layering can keep you warm and looking good, and it’s easier to get right than you might think. We’ve got ways to get your winter style on point, while keeping you in the plus zero temperature.

How to Layer Clothes

Layering isn’t tricky. In fact everyone does it pretty much every day. The moment you throw a jacket over a T-shirt you’re technically layering, but it can take a bit more thought to get winter layering perfect. Unlike summer or autumn layering you’re having to work with a bit more with winter clothing, and the more pieces you’re using, the harder it gets to keep everything looking put together.

This doesn’t mean the only way to create a good winter outfit is to spend hours piecing it together, but a little more care can make a big difference to your overall look. One way to make it easier for yourself is to work out whether you want to have colourful pieces and accessories, or keep things simple with blacks and greys. Both can be used to create a stylish outfit, but need to be worked into your outfit in different ways.

You’re going to need three layers to keep you snug. The first is called the base layer, the second the insulating layer, and the third the protection layer. You can add more if you’re dealing with serious cold weather, but three is standard.

how to layer for winter outfit
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

Base Layer

So lets start with the base layer. This needs to be something that’s soft against your skin, is versatile enough to match with the two other layers, and won’t leave you sweating. Something made from 100% cotton is a good idea, as it will allow your skin to breathe and ensure you don’t trap in any excess moisture. If you’re dealing with really cold temperatures a long sleeved cotton top might be necessary, but for the most part you’re probably best off with a simple short sleeved design.

winter layering base layer

Insulating Layer

The insulating layer’s job is to trap in heat, so materials like variations of wool, which have good insulating properties, are an ideal choice for this second layer. If you’re going for a fancy look and you have the cash to spend try something like a cashmere sweater, which has a softer finish while still keeping you warm. A full lambs wool sweater is perfect for cold weather, but can be a little scratchy. Make sure your base layer has long sleeves so you’ve got a layer in between the wool and your skin.

how to layer for winter insulating

Protection Layer

Like the base layer, the protection layer should be made from a breathable material so you’re keeping in heat rather than moisture. If you’ve got adequate base and insulating layer then you don’t have to worry too much about getting a super warm protection layer (and it explains why you see so many guys walking around with a seemingly flimsy coat as their winter wear).

Avoid anything made from synthetic materials and they’ll just make you sweat up a storm, and go instead for natural fibres such as wool and cotton. If you can’t go full on natural, try going for a blend, as even a little cotton or wool will help balance out the finish.

winter layering outfit ideas

What to Wear in Winter

So now that you’re aware of the basics of layering it’s time to move on to what to actually wear in the winter time. Whether you’re more of a minimalist guy who shies away from lots of colour and pattern, or someone who embraces it, there’s plenty of winter styles you can go for. Having some basics in your wardrobe, whether they’re in the form of sweaters, base layers or coats, is going to help you complete your outfit more quickly in the morning, and save you unnecessary faffing.

Men’s T-shirts

If you’re using a T-shirt as a base layer then it’s a good idea to have a few of them to cycle through. Plain, unprinted ones are best because they go with everything, and having both short sleeved and long sleeved options is a good idea for dealing with changeable weather. Try going for cotton ones if you can. They last longer than synthetic ones and aren’t a lot more expensive.

what to wear in winter layering shirt

Men’s Jumpers

Jumpers are kind of a obvious one for winter wear. They’re easy to throw on, they keep you warm, and if you pick the right one, they can look pretty good as well. You can go for a thick jumper for your mid layer clothing, keeping your protection layer thin and breathable, or go for a neater, thin jumper, like something made from angora, and increase the number of layers you’re wearing or throw over a thicker coat.

A turtle neck is good choice if you want to for a more streamlined look and don’t want to be weighed down with scarfs and heavy coat collars, where as a crew neck jumper is a good idea if you’re hoping to layering a shirt or underneath it.

If you need something for work, or you’re just not a fan of bright colours and bold patterns, then going for neutral tones can give you a clean, sleek look that’s ideal for smart and casual outfits. Grey, black and navy are all colours that suit everyone regardless of shape or size, and are versatile enough to match with a range of pieces.

winter layering outfit jumpers

For a warmer look that’s good for casual wear, a splash of colour and some pattern never hurt anyone. As a general rule it’s best to choose one or the other, as sometimes a jumper that’s brightly coloured and has a busy pattern on top of that can be kind of a strain on the eyes. Block coloured jumpers can be merged into a more neutral outfit to keep things sleek, yet interesting, and patterns can help to add some depth to a look.

winter layering outfit colour jumper

Men’s Trousers

When you’re dealing with seriously cold weather it’s best to leave your jeans in your wardrobe. They’re fine as a basic protection layer, but the heavy weight cotton isn’t the warmest of materials, and it gets heavy when wet (not great if you get an impromptu cold shower or snow fall). Trousers made from wool sound like they might be the scratchiest thing to have on your legs, but they’re almost always a mix, with something like polyester to soften out the material.

Generally wool trousers will fall closer to formal or smart casual wear, simply because the material will be stiffer and therefore the trousers will hold their shape better than cotton or poly-blend trousers. Due to this you might prefer to wear them in smarter looks, and go for some lighter weight trousers when you’re putting together a casual outfit.

winter layering wool trousers

If you are going for a more casual look, and wool trousers are out, try some close fitting chinos instead. Anything too loose is just going to give the wind prime access to your legs and nether regions, and really, no one wants that. You want your trousers to be close enough around your legs to help trap in heat, so try picking a slim or skinny fit for the best winter clothes.

If you want a good pair of basic chinos it’s best to pick a few in versatile colours like navy or black, as they’ll be able to match with a variety of colours, helping you to dress up formal and casual looks easily. A comfortable pair of chinos is great for mixing and matching with a range of colours, so whether you’re wearing a bright yellow sweatshirt or a simple white shirt, they’ll help complete the look.

how to winter layer trousers

Men’s Shoes

There’s the myth that you lose heat through your head, so many people think that jamming a wool beanie on is going to be enough to keep them warm. Don’t get us wrong, hats are great, but that whole idea is a complete myth, and you’re far more likely to loose heat through your hands and feet. Good shoes and thick gloves are generally the best option for winter accessories, but let’s just focus on the shoes for now.

mens-winter-boots
PHOTO CREDIT: Astute Attire

There’s a lot of shoes you can go for in the winter months, but in general there are a few basic guidelines you should know.

  • Suede shoes are a bad idea for winter, as its too lightweight to keep in heat, and can be damaged in wet weather.
  • Shoes with a textured rubber sole is the best option, as it gives you better grip if you’re walking through icy streets or snow.
  • Go for shoes that reach to your ankle or further up, as they’ll keep more of you protected from the cold, and there won’t be a gap between the top of your shoes and trouser leg.

A neutral coloured pair of lace up boots will always be handy to have, and you can go for a variety of leather looks to create different finishes. Hiking boots and wellingtons are ideal to have in the back of your wardrobe, and if you’re dealing with a snow day they’re really the only footwear worth putting on.

Trainers can be worn, but it’s a good idea to go for one with a heavy rubber sole, like ones from Vans or Converse, as they’ll give you slightly better protection from the cold. Best not to wear them on icy days though, as you will end up ice skating to your destination.

winter shoes layering

Men’s Coats

Most people have a winter coat. It’s kind of a necessity if you live somewhere that gets lower than 5 degrees in the colder months. Depending on how you choose to layer, you can go with a different range of coats and jackets, from men’s duffle coats to leather jackets.

Men’s Quilted Jacket

Occasionally associated with the elite, horse riding members of the public, the quilted jacket is a stylised piece that’s surprisingly warm despite its lightweight finish. The traditional quilted coat comes in a neat diamond pattern, usually reaches to the hip, and has a collar made from a differing material to the rest of the jacket – usually suede or corduroy.

Green tends to be the classic colour for a quilted jacket, but this definitely gives off the country gentleman vibes, so if you want to avoid that it’s best to go for a more versatile black or navy number. Quilted jackets tend to be handy to have around as they’re easy to take around with you due to their lightweight build, but still give you a good amount of warmth despite their size.

Quilted jacket men winter layering

Men’s Trench Coat

Trench coats have been around since the First World War, with the long, waterproof design being a lighter weight alternative to previous army wear. The design has changed over the years, with different brands interpreting the basic shape in different ways.

In general though a trench coat is a waterproof or water resistant long coat, usually reaching the knees. Its long design makes it perfect for the winter months, with it covering most of your body and ensuring you stay protected against the wind and rain.

winter layering trench coat

Men’s Leather Jacket

Leather jackets are pretty much a staple throughout the majority of the seasons, except probably summer, unless you want heat stroke. They’re versatile, yet manage to give an alternative boost to any outfit, come in a variety of designs, and can easily be layered up to suit different weather conditions.

A classic black biker jacket can go with a range of casual outfits, whereas a sleek bomber jacket can be mixed with more tailored pieces to give a clean, minimalist look. You can also go for a more chunky look with a ultra warm shearling design, choosing one in a less conventional brown to give a softer finish.

winter layering leather jacket

Cold Weather Outfit Ideas

There’s a number of ways to create a layered winter look to suit your style, but it doesn’t hurt to have a little inspiration. Whether you’re going for a casual, weekend look, or something for the office, there’s a number of ways you can use simple pieces to create an outfit that’s right for you. There’s no rule on how to dress for winter, but there’s always some basic ideas to work with.

For something winter friendly and effortlessly casual, a shearling denim jacket is ideal, with its lightweight look complemented by a warm, woollen lining. The cool tone enables you create a warm outfit that’s still light and easy to layer up. Throw on a grey jumper, layering a simple T-shirt underneath for extra warmth, and finish off with some green chinos and brown boots to complete the summery coloured outfit.

casual winter outfits men

For a more smart casual, sleek look, keep the colours muted and the layering minimal. A shirt and jeans is a classic combination, and although it’s not the warmest ensemble, if you pick a slightly thicker, warmer coat you should still be able to avoid frostbite. Finish with some brown lace up boots and a long scarf for that extra protection from the cold.

winter outfit casual look men

Lots of layers can make a surprisingly tailored look, as long as you use the right pieces. A shirt and blazer can act as your base and insulating layer, meaning you can throw a lightweight mac over the top and still stay warm. Pull on some beige chinos for a light, less subdued look, and finish off with some sturdy brown boots.

winter outfit ideas for men

Your Quick Guide on How to Layer your Winter Outfit

  • It’s a good idea to have at least three layers when you’re dressing for winter, having a base layer, insulating layer and protective layer.
  • Try and use natural fibres for the base layer so you trap heat rather than moisture.
  • Wool is a good insulating material, so use it for your middle layer, and try a woollen blend pair of formal trousers for a formal look.
  • Make sure you’re wearing shoes with a sturdy, rubber heel for a strong grip.
  • Experiment with different textures, fits and colours to create a more dimensional finish.

On That Note

Winter layering can really help give your outfit a more interesting look, as you’re able to incorporate more colours, shapes and designs into a look, while keeping warm. With the right layering you can even use some of your spring and autumn wardrobe in your winter outfits, adding in accessories like scarves and hats to complete the look. Layered clothing doesn’t have too many rules, so see what works best for you, work out what style you want to go for, and go from there.

MENSWEAR STYLE GUIDE: GET ACESSORISED

As the majority of guys slowly become more fashion conscious, men’s Jewellery has become more in demand.

With this being said, not everyone has jumped onto the male jewellery bandwagon. It must be that fear of not being able to pull of those studded earrings or that leather bracelet correctly.

After all, jewellery is primarily considered to be a woman’s forte – leaving the ties and cufflinks to the chaps.

There are various types of jewellery available in the market tailored for men, some featuring detailed pendants/symbols and others keeping it simple and minimalistic like this £95 Tateossian x MenswearStyle bracelet.

It’s important you know your taste when it comes to choosing jewellery. Do you prefer silver, gold, metal, wood or steel? Is leather an issue for you? Do you prefer rings, bracelets, earrings or necklaces, and most importantly what do you want your jewellery to say about you?

When you first dive into the wonderful world of men’s jewellery it’s important that you begin slowly and small. Let’s face it, looking like Mr. T is the last thing you want in 2014 right?

Watches from My Bag, rings from Thomas Sabo, cufflinks from Duchamp or bracelets from Tateossian are often good classic starting points. As you begin to progress, you’ll soon find necklaces and maybe rings more appealing to compliment with your bolder statement outfits.

Most gents are under the impression that wearing various pieces of jewellery will lead to their outfit looking less sophisticated and over-complicated. The key to avoiding this is to pick pieces that compliment each other without overpowering the rest of your look.

This watch by Triwa for example would add sophistication to both a casual and tailored outfit since the timepiece carries a level of classic elegance yet modern tones at the same time.

Triwa men's watch

Triwa men’s watch

If your aim is to sport jewellery everyday it’s important that you opt for masculine options. Avoid bright, flashy types – keep those for the ladies.

Stick to your personal sense of style, items which you’re comfortable in. Then brush up on your attitude, it’s all about how you wear it and how your confidence prevails in doing so.

However, it’s important to remember that if you’d like to wear jewellery for a more formal workwear look you’ll most likely find yourself restricted.

Your choices should be kept down to the very basic types of jewellery; these can be tie accents, cufflinks, wedding rings and watches.

There you have it, a quick and easy to follow guide on how to slowly accept the wonderful world of men’s jewellery.

Start simple and small, and within time you’ll grow comfortable with sporting bolder accessory statements. Have fun with it and remember, by making mistakes, it’s the only way we’ll learn.

"Stick to your personal sense of style"

Stick to your personal sense of style

THE RISE OF THE EXTENDED LENGTH TEE

There will always be things we take for granted in this life; those cozy mornings in bed on a Saturday, the FREE Wi-Fi we like to access in public places, and that coffee we buy every morning, which we rely on for our morning kicks. Ah, it’s the little things eh?

Without knowing, many of these daily things have become a central part of our existence, with each holding importance in its own way.

Our fashion choices also evolve in this way, with decisions made based on comfort and convenience and often not given much thought – a routine. Lets take jeans for instance. The majority of males see this as a staple of their wardrobe, and really, it’s not given much thought, you’ll pull them on and match them with the rest of your outfit and voila, job done.

The T-Shirt has slowly become a part of this routine, and sadly it has become something we take for granted. The faithful tee. Our wardrobes are full of them, with most being old and worn to death, but who cares – you can’t go wrong with a tee right?

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Over the years T-shirts have become the main staple piece in men’s wardrobes for a number of reasons; they are very versatile, easy to wear – yet often not worn to their full potential. Recently, a new wave of tee has caught the eye of fashionable folk, and it is now ready to inject some life into wardrobes around the world: the extended length t-shirt.

You’re skeptical, I can tell, but you have to PAUSE and trust us. After all, if it’s good enough for the likes of Kanye, its good enough for us, yeah?

kanye-west-watch-the-throne

Designers are slowly warming to the concept of the long length tee and we’ll be the first to tell you – it’s set to be a hit this Spring/Summer ’14.

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The extended-length T-shirt is set to revolutionise the way we view our humble tee. One day we shall wake seeking cleaner cut lines and edgier alternatives, something which British brand AQ/AQ & ADYN both have to offer with their new SS14 t-shirt collections.

Offering that alternative to your everyday t-shirt, available in classic whites, black and grey.

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AQ5A1669_c19b918d-338b-4933-9301-16d52d2d81b8_1024x1024  AQ5A1674_1024x1024

When styling this tee, don’t stress. Since your silhouette instantly frames differently, it’s best to opt for a skinnier pair of Jeans or Trousers – for balance, and in the summer you could even wear it with a pair of relaxed-fitted shorts. It’s really that easy!

Just remember, these tees are all about the shape, y’know when they say bigger the better? Well, the same applies to longer – go long or go home.

MENSWEAR STYLE GUIDE: WINTER LAYERING.

Its depressing isn’t it? All this talk about wrapping up warm, wearing jumpers, cardigans and heavy quilted jackets. We’d much rather be back in our sandals and shorts, basking in the glorious warmth of the sun…. Erm yeah, lets keep dreaming for a few months, ey. For now, those bitterly-cold Winter days are here to stay, and we here at ‘Menswear Style’ would like our readers to be equipped with all the knowledge to keep effortlessly warm during this cold spree. CLICK TO READ MORE.

MENSWEAR INSPIRATION: SERGE DENIMES.

He’s known as one of the stars in the award-winning reality show ‘Made in Chelsea,’ but did you know he’s also the mastermind behind the urban Menswear company ‘Serge DeNimes’.
Who is this ‘he’ I’m speaking of you ask? Oliver Proudlock, of course!

If you’re familiar with E4’s ‘Made in Chelsea’ then you’ll know Mr Proudlock as being the guy with the unique-edgy fashion appeal (not to mention he’s also pretty damn cute!).  In terms of Menswear, Oliver Proudlock speaks volumes with his fashion sense. He likes to create a statement, express himself and isn’t afraid to play around with different styles and colours. This probably derives from his degree in Fine Art and love for photography.

Proudlock rockin’ Serge DeNimes LATEST A/W collection. ||  Image taken from proudlockstyle.com.

Serge DeNimes [the name relates to Denim and Proudlock’s adoration for it] was founded in 2011 and since has grown into something magical in-front of the urban menswear world.

The first Tee collection was inspired by photographs, which were taken in 1978 by photographer Lena Proudlock [Oliver’s Mother], these images were focal on the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. This collection was a success and has only proved how much Proudlock has to offer the world of menswear.

Two years later and Serge DeNimes have just released their latest A/W 13 collection, with items ranging from: all-seeing eye tee’s; printed graphic tee’s; phone-cases, and snapbacks – everything in the new collection is SO SERGE!

A sneak peek of the new collection. || sergedenimes.com.

Serge DeNimes All Seeing Eye tee. || sergedenimes.com

PRE-ORDER THE NEW COLLECTION HERE: sergedenimes.com/shop 
CHECKOUT OLIVER’S STYLE BLOG: proudlockstyle.com.
TWITTER LINKS:
– twitter.com/SergeDeNimes.
twitter.com/oliverproudlock.