It's a new era in fashion - there are no rules. It's all about the individual and personal style, wearing high-end, low-end, classic labels, and up-and-coming designers all together.
Alexander McQueen

I've been flicking through some menswear and style online articles, both online magazines and blogs. I was curious to find out what the goss was of late and was there anything educational. Answer was, to be honest, a lot of the same same, "What you should be wearing this season", "What's hot right now", "Men's essentials", "How do dress if your short or tall". Now these are all great and within good context they are educational and can help but when you start reading them they tell you how something should be instead of offering an inspirational point of view thus leaving "you" the reader the choice of deciding if it is right for you.

Most "essentials" state that every man should have a navy suit, white and blue shirt, black and brown dress shoes, a good pair of jeans and so on. When I was a mechanic, I never needed all of that in my wardrobe and not because I didn't like that style of dressing, but it wasn't necessary at that point in my life. But spearing forward to the present day and I'm in a different situation, I have the time and the life to wear what I like wearing and not only that, I know what I like and what works for me. This is the key to building your essentials, no matter what anyone will tell you; you should wear. Everyone should learn what you need over what is the fashion or in trend. The art of dressing to look the millions only has one rule which is "knowledge" without it, your money is wasted. It's like buying a sports car to help you collect hay bales on your farm because that's the latest model you "should" buy. 

So in saying that today I did what I do every day and wore what I wanted. It's still cold here in Melbourne so layers were the foundry for this outfit. The day consisted of a casual catch up with a friend for lunch before a little retail work, this is "my" perfect reason for smart-casual wear. A few layers of wool on top, a comfy smart chinos, casual sneakers, scarf and a super warm wool bomber jacket to shield the icy winds whistling through the streets. Something I usually think about is what I'm doing that day and the situations I may be in, so I dress accordingly. I know that when I'm indoors I won't wear the scarf and jacket, so my outfit underneath is almost a separate outfit, making the final choice a two in one. This maybe a bit over the top in the line of thought process put into it, but it's just how I've learnt my way of style and I'm sure you all will have ways of your own too.

Jacket by Scotch & Soda Artelier 
Roll Neck by Hermen Menswear
Chinos by Uniqlo
Scarf from Oscar Hunt Tailors
Sneakers by Elect Footwear
Sunglasses by Bailey Nelson
Tote Bag by Nudie Jeans

How a hat makes you feel is what a hat is all about
- Philip Treacy

Following on from part 1 in the creation of my custom hat, we now move into the final day of production. My hat has now been on its form for at least 24hrs and now it's time to remove it. This is the time that Tess would start to think about crown shape, the edge finishing and the colour of the band.

The brim is pinned down ready for the wire to be inserted.

 The crown is then shaped into the desired form.

Depending on the wearer's head shape, there are a few different crown forms to choose from. Tess and I tried out 3 different ones; from the classic pinch, teardrop and the extended teardrop.

We decided on the teardrop crown as it allowed the hat to sit a little lower on my head (but not too low).

Next the wire is inserted - There are different types,  some are pliable to help shape your brim and others will hold one shape.

Choosing the pliable wire, the inner leather ring is cut to size and pinned into place. The hat is then tried on to check if it is firm enough whilst wearing.

The outer brim is then based stitched into place and the, machine stitched to hold everything firmly in place.

I choose dark brown for the band to give the maroon felt a warm contrast. 

The bow is made by hand and then hand stitched into place.

Band placement.

Then a custom green silk lining is glued into place and the inner band is hand stitched.

The custom green silk lining, as it's my favourite colour!

The finished product is amazing, Tess's work is extremely precise yet effortless. 
The experience of going from the creation of something through to receiving the finished product is like waiting for Christmas and then finally opening your presents on Christmas day. If you want your own hat made by Tess contact via Dressed By Tess or email

I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring
- David Bowie

Regardless of how familiar you are with the career of David Bowie, there's a huge chance that you've enjoyed a cover of one of his songs; for example Nirvana's version of "The Man Who Sold The World" (from their MTV Unplugged concert), or heard his music sampled (the Bowie song "Fame" has been used in both Jay-Z's "Take Over" and Lady Gaga's "Fancy Pants") at some stage in your life. Not only is Bowie an icon in music but his work has also had a huge impact on art and fashion too, with his numerous on-stage outfits and costumes designed by legendary names including Issey Miyake, Kansai Yamamoto and the late Alexander McQueen.

Although Bowie's career started in the 1960s, he became popular with a whole new generation of fans in the 1980s when he starred as the Goblin King in the movie 'The Labyrinth', he's also appeared in the films 'The Last Temptation of Christ' and 'Basquiat', where he famously portrayed Andy Warhol.

To showcase David Bowie's inspiring 50+ year career,  ACMI has brought London's V&A exhibition David Bowie Is... to Melbourne and I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the launch party and get a sneak peak at this ground-breaking exhibition last Thursday night, a full day before it opened up to the general public. 

The exhibition has so much attention to detail that you could literally spend hours watching footage and inspecting photographs and costumes. It starts with a timeline of David Bowie from his early days in London, touching on his groundbreaking time in Berlin, through to last year's release, 'The Next Day'. With radio and headphones on, each section is divided into time, or in the case of Bowie, character periods; with video footage, outfits and interviews to accompany each theme. It's an outstanding event and one that I highly recommend to anyone interested in film, music and popular culture. 

David Bowie Is...will be showing at ACMI here in Melbourne until November 1st, 2015 after already having toured London, Chicago and Paris. 

Tickets are guaranteed to sell out really quickly and ACMI suggest that you pre-book to avoid missing out on the entry.  

A big thank you to Scotch & Soda Australia for dressing me on the night.
I personally go to the airport looking like a homeless person, because I think people will leave me alone. But I dress myself with my luggage - all my luggage matches
- Andre Leon Talley

All photos by Dylan Nie

If you read my Travel Essentials post, then you'd remember me mentioning the new Paklite Style Air large luggage bag which I took with me on my recent trip to Indonesia. 

Everyone knows that packing can be a traumatic experience for even the most seasoned of traveller and avoiding going over your baggage allowance can be a difficult task, well, the folks at Paklite came to my rescue with their awesome brand of luggage and I was happy to travel with a brand with such a great reputation and over 60 years of solid experience in the Aussie travel game. 

I ended up with the large trolley case ( 52cm x 32cm x 77cm ) as I wanted to try and fit enough luggage for two people in one single bag. Luckily the large trolley case only weighs 3.85kgs by itself, making it very easy to pack everything that we needed for our trip.

All packed up and ready to leave Melbourne's winter behind, we set off to the airport and at the bagged drop we were greatly surprised to see that our luggage weighed in at 19.6kgs, well under the 20kg limit.

To be completely honest, I wasn't sure the trolley case would get through the holiday being so light, but to my surprise it got through the airports and plane, numerous taxis, a couple of shuttle buses, boats and even a horse and cart. Did I mention that I even dragged it across a beach from a boat? 

 I'm very happy and lucky to get the opportunity to try out and keep this trolley case and in the future it will be accompanying me on many more travels abroad.